WATCH: Eliza Dushku blows the lid off ‘constant sexual harassment’ by ‘Bull’ co-star Michael Weatherly
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On Tuesday, Eliza Dushku testified to being a victim and survivor of sexual harrassment in front of the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing titled, “Silenced: How Forced Arbitration Keeps Victims of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in the Shadow”.
The 40-year-old actress made serious allegations against her co-star but didn’t name him in the virtual video.
She played J.P. Nunnelly alongside Michael Weatherly as Dr Jason Bull in the drama series, “Bull,“ which ran for six seasons.
In the short video, she said: “I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today about this important issue and will share my experience as a victim and survivor of sexual harassment in the workplace and as someone who was fired and silenced when I attempted to address it.
“In 2017, I was aggressively pursued by CBS to become a co-lead in a show called ‘Bull’.
“I was told the role would be a six-year commitment to play a smart, strong leading lady; a confident, high-powered lawyer, meant to counterbalance the existing male lead and that the role had been written specifically with me in mind.
“However, in my first week on my new job, I found myself the brunt of crude, sexualised and lewd verbal assaults.
“I suffered near-constant sexual harassment from my co-star. This was beyond anything I had experienced in my 30-year career.”
She went on to point out that the perpetrator was also one of the show’s producers and that he would refer to her as “legs”.
“He would smell me and leeringly look at me up and down. Off script and in front of about 100 crew members, he once said he would take me to his rape van and use lube and long phallic things on me, and take me over his knee and spank me like a little girl.
“Another time, he told me that his sperm were powerful swimmers. These are just a few examples, these are not a line in the script, they were incessant and demeaning and directed at me in the middle of what was supposed to be a professional workplace.
“I tried to be professional and just do my job but was relentlessly sexualised, crudely mocked and laughed at. I began dreading going to work each day and often rode home in silence on the verge of tears, feeling this confusing shame for not having been able to stick up for myself more.
“I feared that if I pushed back or reacted strongly my job could be risked or my professional reputation could be harmed.”
In 2018, Weatherly, who found fame on the “NCIS” show as senior field agent Anthony DiNozzo, issued a statement to New York Times in response to a report they ran on the sexual harassment allegations.
It read: “During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. 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 apologised.
“After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I was was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”