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CBS Paid $9.5M Sex Harassment Settlement to Eliza Dushku

Actress reported harassing comments from 'Bull' star Michael Weatherly
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2018 8:46 AM CST
Eliza Dushku attends a film premiere in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 5, 2016.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – An investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Leslie Moonves, as well as "cultural issues at all levels of CBS," revealed that the company paid $9.5 million to actress Eliza Dushku to settle harassment claims on the set of Bull. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, 37, had signed on for three episodes of Bull, but was expected to become a full-time cast member. Then star Michael Weatherly made a rape joke and comments about Dushku's appearance and a threesome in front of cast and crew in March 2017, according to a draft investigation report viewed by the New York Times. "Here comes legs," the 50-year-old actor said. He also reportedly joked about a "rape van" and spanking Dushku over his knee. Though Dushku confronted him, she was written off the show almost immediately in what she said was retaliation.

In January—around the time Dushku said she was molested as a child on the set of 1994's True Lies, per Deadline—the actress received a settlement roughly equivalent to what she would've made as a cast member for four seasons, which CBS confirmed Wednesday. Dushku's allegations "are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done," the statement reads. Lawyers say much the same in the report, noting Bull outtakes "captured some of the harassment on film," per the Times. In a statement, Weatherly says he was "mortified to have offended [Dushku]" and apologized when she said she was uncomfortable. Now, "I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate," he adds. "I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza." (Read more sexual harassment stories.)

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