A well-known actress received a settlement of $9.5 million from CBS earlier this year after she complained about alleged sexual impropriety on the set of the network’s drama series “Bull” and was subsequently written out of the show.
The network confirmed the secret settlement paid to Eliza Dushku, who was reportedly on track to become a full-time cast member on the series before she complained about star Michael Weatherly’s alleged misbehavior.
“In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome,” The New York Times reports. “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.”
Dushku, who became a star through her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” and other series and through roles on the big screen, appeared on three episodes of “Bull” before winding up in mediation with CBS following the incident. The amount of the settlement, The Times reports, was “roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.”
CBS said 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 Times notes that details about the incident surfaced as part of the internal investigation at CBS that began in August, prompted by allegations against Leslie Moonves.
“In a draft of the investigation report, which was reviewed by The New York Times, the lawyers said the company’s handling of Ms. Dushku’s complaints was not only misguided, but emblematic of larger problems at CBS,” The Times reports. “When faced with instances of wrongdoing, the company had a tendency to protect itself, at the expense of victims, the investigators wrote.”