Eliza Dushku Speaks out About Harassment Accusations Against ‘Bull’ Star Michael Weatherly: ‘Daily Undeniably Demeaning Conduct’

Actress was paid $9.5 million in a settlement with CBS after complaining about Weatherly’s on-set behavior

Last Updated: December 19, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

Eliza Dushku has spoken out about her sexual harassment settlement with CBS, saying the company and “Bull” star Michael Weatherly breached the terms of their agreement by speaking to reporters.

In an op-ed published in the Boston Globe on Wednesday, Dushku said she suffered “daily undeniably demeaning conduct” by Weatherly while acting alongside him, including repeated inappropriate sexual comments and professional retaliation after she spoke out.

Last year, Dushku was tapped to play a major role in three episodes of “Bull,” with the option to become a full-time cast member the following season. But Dushku said she was written off the show after she confronted Weatherly, the series’ star, over his on-set behavior.

The New York Times broke the news last week that Dushku was paid $9.5 million in a settlement agreement with CBS after being fired from the procedural, in what she said was retaliation for her complaints about Weatherly.

Dushku declined to comment for the Times report — she now says she was attempting to honor the nondisclosure terms of her settlement agreement — but Weatherly directly addressed the matter last week in his own statement to the Times, calling his on-set comments a failed “attempt at humor.”

“I was under the impression that Weatherly and [‘Bull’ showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron] would also not respond per our settlement,” she wrote. “Instead, all commented to the Times in what amounted to more deflection, denial, and spin.”

“In no way was it playful, nor was it joking with two willing participants,” Dushku wrote. “It was not ‘Cary Grant ad-libbed lines,’ an incredulous Weatherly excuse … This was classic workplace harassment that became workplace bullying. I was made to feel dread nearly all the time I was in his presence.”

Dushku said Weatherly’s behavior was captured on camera, with the recordings going on to play a key role in her settlement negotiations with the network.

“The tapes show his offer to take me to his ‘rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things,'” she wrote. “There was also his constant name-calling; playing provocative songs (like ‘Barracuda’) on his iPhone when I approached my set marks; and his remark about having a threesome.”

She also wrote that Weatherly often boasted about his friendship with now-ousted CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves and “wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat.”

Dushku said she approached Weatherly to discuss his behavior before her dismissal, to which Weatherly “doubled down and ratcheted up his retaliation” in response. She said he acted coolly toward her on set and worked with producers to have her removed from the show.

She described Caron as “undaunted to do Weatherly’s bidding.”

“According to what top production brass at CBS told my agent, Caron had gotten rid of me without the knowledge or consent of that CBS team,” Dushku wrote. “Caron personally fired me as I was filming on set one afternoon. It is highly unusual to get fired in the middle of a shooting.”

As a condition of her settlement agreement, Dushku demanded that CBS “designate an individual trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general.” She also asked for a meeting with Steven Spielberg, whose company Amblin Television produces “Bull,” to call on him to take action against bad behavior on the production.

“In the end, I found uneasy solace in the important conditions I imposed on CBS, and that I would get paid for at least some of my contract,” Dushku wrote. “I am still trying to make sense of how this could happen, especially in these times … But I do feel it is my duty to respond honestly and thoroughly to CBS, Michael Weatherly, and Glenn Gordon Caron’s latest revisionist accounts.”