Actress Eliza Dushku defies non-disclosure agreement in CBS sexual harassment settlement

Actress Eliza Dushku in a Boston Globe article on Wednesday broke her non-disclosure agreement with CBS to describe her $9.5 million settlement with the network stemming from her allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. 

Dushku wrote that she felt "compelled to chronicle what actually happened" after The New York Times ran an article over the weekend about the allegations. 

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"I declined to be interviewed for that piece because I wanted to honor the terms of my settlement with the network," Dushku wrote in the Globe, adding that she was "under the impression" the other CBS employees involved would also decline to comment. "Instead, all commented to the Times in what amounted to more deflection, denial, and spin."

The Times last week obtained the final report from an external investigation into issues of sexual harassment and "cultural issues" at CBS. The report contained revelations about Dushku's settlement with the network earlier this year, which investigators said was emblematic of a tendency at CBS to protect itself rather at the expense of victims, according to the Times.

Dushku claims that she was ousted from a co-starring role in "Bull," a CBS drama that premiered in 2016, after she complained about sexual harassment from her co-star Michael Weatherly.

"I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired," Dushku wrote in the Boston Globe article. 

She described in detail the harassment from Weatherly, which included comments about her appearance that were recorded on tapes shared by CBS lawyers.

"Weatherly harassed me from early on," Dushku wrote. "The tapes show his offer to take me to his 'rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things.'" 

Weatherly once proposed a "threesome" to her in front of the cast and crew, prompting another man on set to say that he also wanted to have a threesome with her, Dushku wrote. She said that Weatherly called her "legs" and "regularly commented on my 'ravishing' beauty, following up with audible groans, oohing and aahing."

"Weatherly had a habit of exaggerated eye-balling and leering at me; once, he leaned into my body and inhaled, smelling me in a dramatic swoon," she added, referring to the tapes viewed by her and CBS's legal teams. "As was caught on tape, after I flubbed a line, he shouted in my face, 'I will take you over my knee and spank you like a little girl.'"

Dushku wrote that she was fired without warning from the show shortly after she confronted Weatherly about the discomfort she felt over his comments. 

Weatherly in a statement to the Times last week claimed that most of these exchanges were "jokes." 

"During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” Weatherly told the Times. “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 ... I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”

CBS in a statement to the Times said that Dushku's experiences show "our work is far from done."

Dushku came to a settlement of $9.5 million with CBS after mediation this year. 

"I really struggled with this and still do," Dushku wrote in the Globe article. "How was I to get paid? I have worked in this industry for close to 30 years. I faced a wrongful termination, the prospect of a three-to-five year lawsuit, and million-dollar legal fees for a war with a massive corporation."

"According to the fine print in my contract with CBS, I was required to submit to a 'confidential' arbitration," Dushku added. 

Dushku wrote that, before she left the show, Weatherly circulated a "memo" telling the cast and crew of "Bull" to avoid commenting on her appearance.

"The boys’ club remains in full force at CBS," Dushku wrote.

CBS has been under increasing scrutiny for its history of settlements and sexual harassment, documented in multiple investigative reports over the past several months.