CBS paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 million to resolve claims that she was retaliated against for complaining about sexual harassment on the set of the prime-time drama Bull from the show’s lead, Michael Weatherly, according to a report in The New York Times.
Dushku joined the show at the end of its first season for a run of three episodes in May 2017, playing criminal defense lawyer J.P. Nunnelly.
She claims that Weatherly made demeaning comments about her appearance, saying “Here comes legs” when she arrived on set, said he would bend her over his leg and spank her in front of the cast and crew, and suggested she wanted to have a threesome with him and a male crew member. Dushku felt “disgusted and violated” following the incidents, according to interview notes from an internal CBS investigation.
Dushku allegedly approached producer Glenn Gordon Caron, who told her that they would talk to Weatherly together.
Weatherly texted network president David Stapf to “talk about Ms. Dushku’s sense of humor,” according to the Times.
Days later, the actress was written off the show, despite plans for her to become a series regular.
Weatherly, 50, apologized in a statement to the Times, but denied that he had anything to do with Dushku’s firing.
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” he said. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
You’re in the midst of the #MeToo and Times Up movement and you’re realizing your behavior was “not appropriate” after “reflecting?” Seriously?
CBS has had some HUGE issues with sexual harassment that have brought down Charlie Rose and the network’s Chairman and CEO, Les Moonves.
Weatherly denies having anything to do with Dushku being written off the show: “It’s my recollection that I didn’t tell anyone how they should do their job regarding the hiring or firing of anybody.”
Also, “It’s my recollection?” Who speaks like that? Thanks, advice of a lawyer.
Plus, that $9.5 million settlement? That is not chump change. CBS knew that it had a major problem with this and definitely wanted to keep that quiet. Well, that didn’t work out so well.