Actress says she was fired from CBS because she 'did not want to be harassed'

Image: Eliza Dushku at a premiere in Beverly Hills, California, on April 5,
Eliza Dushku at a premiere in Beverly Hills, California, on April 5, 2016. Copyright Chris Pizzello Invision/AP file
By Janelle Griffith with NBC News U.S. News
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"I did not over-react. I did I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired," Eliza Dushku said in a new op-ed.


Actress Eliza Dushku, who reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement with CBS last year after alleged on-set sexual comments from the star of the network's show "Bull," said in a new op-ed that she was fired because she "did not want to be harassed."

In the opinion piece for the Boston Globe, Dushku said that she had not commented for the New York Times article on the settlement because of her confidentiality agreement. But now she said she wants to set the record straight after others involved commented to the Times in what she calls "more deflection, denial and spin."

Dushku said she was written off the show after confronting actor Michael Weatherly about his remarks about her appearance and jokes involving sex and rape that made her uncomfortable.

Weatherly told the Times that he had made jokes to Dushku while taping mocking lines in the script.

But Dushku wrote in her opinion piece, published Wednesday, that he began harassing her "early on."

"I can handle a locker room," Dushku wrote. "I do not want to hear that I have a 'humor deficit' or can't take a joke. I did not over-react. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired."

"What is hardest to share is the way he made me feel for 10 to 12 hours per day for weeks," she wrote. "This was classic workplace harassment that became workplace bullying. I was made to feel dread nearly all the time I was in his presence."

Dushku also alleges in her op-ed that Weatherly bragged about his relationship with former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who left the network in September amid allegations of sexual harassment or assault by 12 women.

"He regaled me with stories about using Moonves's plane, how they vacationed together, and what great friends they were," she said. "Weatherly wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat."

On Monday, the CBS board of directors saidthat after an internal investigation of its former CEO and the culture at the company it will not pay Moonves the $120 million in severance in his contract. Moonves's attorney, Andrew J. Levander, said his client "vehemently denies any non-consensual sexual relations and cooperated extensively and fully with investigators."

"This wasn't just about money; I wanted a culture change," she wrote in her opinion piece. "A significant settlement condition was my requirement that CBS designate an individual trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general."

CBSin a statement to The Associated Press on Dec. 13 said: "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."

NBC News has reached out to CBS, Weatherly and Dushku for comment but did not immediately hear back.

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