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CBS paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 million after she accused Bull's Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment

  • The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star made headlines last year when she joined the CBS drama for a three-episode arc that was poised to become a series regular role. "Then," according to The New York Times, "came a series of comments that made Ms. Dushku uncomfortable. In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She believed her time on Bull came to a sudden end as a result of retaliation. After she went through mediation with CBS, the network agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons." The Times says details of Dushku's confidential settlement emerged from  the independent investigation into sexual misconduct at CBS. Dushku declined to comment to The Times, but CBS confirmed the settlement, saying in a statement: “The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims 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 settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.” The CBS investigation found there were "well developed plans" to make Dushku a series regular. The Times reports that "the investigation’s findings show how Ms. Dushku sought to address conduct she found demeaning, why she believed she faced retaliation and how a top CBS lawyer tried to undermine her claims with what investigators described as an 'antiquated' view of how a woman should comport herself in the workplace." Days after she confronted Weatherly and producers, Dushku was written off the show. Weatherly denies he tried to get her fired and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron said her being written off had nothing to do with her complaints. The actress then entered mediation, rather than file a lawsuit. When CBS tried to show outtakes to bolster its side, the footage actually provided a "gold mine" for Dushku's lawyers because the harassment was caught on tape. The $9.5 million settlement was reached in January amid the #MeToo movement. In an email statement, Weatherly said he apologized to Dushku. “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," he wrote. "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.”

    TOPICS: Bull, CBS, Eliza Dushku, Glenn Gordon Caron, Michael Weatherly, Sexual Misconduct