Eliza Dushku was reportedly paid $9.5 million (£7.5 million) by U.S. TV network CBS after making sexual harassment allegations about her Bull co-star Michael Weatherly.
The 37-year-old actress’ claims about Weatherly’s behaviour have come to light as part of an investigation examining the behaviour of CBS’ former chief executive Leslie Moonves following sexual abuse allegations being made against him.
According to the New York Times, who wrote that they have seen a draft of the investigation report, Eliza, who joined Bull for a three-episode arc beginning in March 2017, accused Weatherly of making inappropriate comments about her appearance, suggesting a threesome with another member of the Bull cast and making a rape joke in front of other cast and crew members.
She confronted Weatherly about his behaviour, and shortly afterwards, despite the fact her character on the primetime drama was originally meant to be made a series regular, a stunned Eliza was told she had been written off the show.
Following the axe, Eliza is said to have signed a confidential agreement with CBS for $9.5 million – the estimated amount she would have made as a cast member for four seasons on the programme.
Weatherly has also apologised for his behaviour, telling the Times: “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 humour, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologised. 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.”
In the investigation report draft, lawyers dealing with the case said that Eliza’s allegations are representative of significantly larger issues at CBS that have yet to be resolved.
“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,” a spokesperson for CBS said.
“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.”