Actress Eliza Dushku has stepped away from the spotlight in Hollywood, but she wants people to know she’s doing it on her own terms.
In an interview with Time magazine, the 38-year-old actress discussed her decision to move back to her hometown of Boston months after a New York Times report revealed that CBS had reached a $9.5 million settlement with her over alleged sexual harassment on the set of the network’s primetime legal drama “Bull.”
Dushku expressed frustration at not being able to talk openly about her accusations against Michael Weatherly, her former co-star on the show.
“We’re talking in code. NDAs re-victimize people,” Dushku told Time. “They give more power to the powerful. And as the less powerful person, you have to live in someone else’s f-cked-up version of reality.”
The actress told the magazine that she moved back to Boston to study holistic psychology in her hometown.
“I need the distance to recalibrate and start a family,” Dushku, who is pregnant, told Time. “But I don’t want people to think coming forward means ending your career. I could be acting. I could be in L.A. I just need to be here right now.”
Dushku previously came forward with details of her settlement in an op-ed for The Boston Globe in December, despite her nondisclosure agreement with CBS. In the op-ed, Dushku said she was fired shortly after she confronted Weatherly for acting inappropriately, saying he commented on having a threesome with her and made a rape joke to her.
The actress said she was revealing the details of her allegations after seeing Weatherly and “Bull” producer Glenn Gordon Caron speak on the record to the Times. (Dushku declined to comment to the Times because of the NDA.)
“The narrative propagated by CBS, [Weatherly and Caron] is deceptive and in no way fits with how they treated me on the set of the television show ‘Bull’’ and retaliated against me for simply asking to do my job without relentless sexual harassment,” the actress wrote in the Boston Globe op-ed.
In a statement to the Times, Weatherly said he was only joking with Dushku and apologized for the way he acted.
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” Weatherly’s statement read. “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.”
Dushku’s interview with Time comes more than a year after she revealed she was molested as a 12-year-old actor while filming “True Lies.” She wrote in a Facebook post that the abuser was stunt coordinator Joel Kramer, who has denied the allegation.
Dushku says she’s still angry about complicity in the entertainment industry.
“I guess what makes me angry is people knew. Important people knew,” she told Time magazine. “They could have done something. And they didn’t.”
Dushku’s sexual harassment settlement with CBS came to light while independent attorneys hired by the network were investigating the company’s workplace culture after the company’s former CEO, Leslie Moonves, was accused of sexual misconduct.
A draft of the company review, obtained by the Times, suggested that CBS mishandled Dushku’s complaints against Weatherly and revealed a larger problem within the company.