Actress Receives $9.5 Million Settlement from CBS in Sexual Harassment Allegations

Actress Receives $9.5 Million Settlement from CBS in Sexual Harassment Allegations

Eliza Dushku would have received approximately $9.5 million had she remained a cast member of the CBS series “Bull” for four years. That didn’t happen, but she’ll still receive that much money because “Bull” star Michael Weatherly made sexually harassing comments to her – and she called him out on it.

Afterward, she was written out of the show, which Dushku believes happened because she stood up to Weatherly. Via mediation, CBS agreed to pay her the amount of money she would have earned had she continued to work on the show for four years.

Comments Made in Front of Cast and Crew

Many sexual harassment cases become a “he said, she said” situation. That’s not what happened here. Weatherly made his harassing comments about Dushku in front of the cast and crew. They included a comment about a threesome, a rape joke, and remarks about Dushku’s personal appearance. Weatherly later apologized for his comments in an email to the New York Times.

Plans as a Regular Cast Member

Bull, currently among the top 10 network entertainment programs on TV, premiered in 2016. Dushku, 37, was originally signed at $35,000 per episode, but there were plans for her to become a regular cast member. She played a criminal defense lawyer who flirted with Weatherly’s character, but the producer, Glenn Gordon Caron, told her there was no intimacy between the characters until the show’s fifth season.

Dushku claims it wasn’t long before Weatherly began making comments about her, including a statement made in front of the crew and other cast members that he would like to spank her.

Confrontation with Weatherly

According to investigators, Dushku approached Weatherly and told him that people on the set followed his lead. After he commented on the threesome, she told him a crew member made a similar comment. After their discussion, Weatherly sent a text to the president of CBS Television Studios saying he wanted to discuss Dushku’s “sense of humor.” The reply was that Dushku improved the show.

Dushku told her representatives she was worried that Weatherly would try to get her fired, and that was exactly what transpired. Just a few days later, her character was written out of the show. Caron, however, contends that they’re not exercising their option to have Dushku as a regular cast member was not punitive.

Mediation Rather Than Lawsuit

After she was dropped from the show, Dushku considered filing a lawsuit against CBS, but opted for mediation instead. The company’s chief compliance officer provided outtakes from the show, believing they would bolster CBS’ position because they allegedly contained film of Dushku cursing.

Instead, the outtakes confirmed her allegations, since some of the harassment appeared on film. The settlement agreement prohibits Dushku from discussing what happened to her on the set.

More Troubles for CBS

The Dushku settlement is just one aspect of an alleged pervasive atmosphere of sexual misconduct at the network. This Morning host Charlie Rose had several allegations last year for sexual harassment, and 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager this year.

Les Moonves, the former CEO, has been accused of numerous incidents of sexual harassment during his tenure, and has also been accused of destroying evidence relating to these claims. Moonves denies the allegations.

Recently, actress Cybill Shepherd accused Moonves of canceling her 1990s sitcom Cybill after refusing Moonves’ advances.

Do you think were harassed at work or by a supervisor or co-worker? Visit our workplace harassment FAQ page for more information. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact us online or by phone at 877.858.8018. All inquiries are protected by the attorney-client privilege and kept CONFIDENTIAL. (There is never a fee for a consultation. Our legal services are handled on a contingent fee basis meaning no legal fees or costs unless we win.)

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Related topics: sexual harassment (48) | workplace harassment (40) | Entertainment (11)


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