Actress, who played Velma in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, says she was groped and harassed on set by character creator Mark Goffman
Eliza Dushku is speaking out about allegations of sexual harassment she faced during production of the CBS television series Bull, in which she plays Dr Kristen JT.Jeary.
In a series of tweets Dushku said she had been the victim of sexual harassment while working on the series created by Mark Goffman, a legal adviser to ex-governor Eliot Spitzer and the disgraced New York City public advocate.
Eliza Dushku on TV: ‘I would rather work less, than let someone abuse their power’ Read more
“I had been sexually harassed multiple times by Bull’s creator, Mark Goffman,” she wrote on Friday, having described how she was groped while participating in an oral sex scene and yelled at because she “didn’t make room” for another male actor during a naked scene.
“He would also always suggest that I drink alcohol during the workday, so that I would be relaxed and able to perform,” she wrote.
After the announcement in July of a $20m lawsuit by Dushku, who played a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and who first made her career in the Andy Kaufman comedy series Man on the Moon, CBS has launched an internal investigation into the claims.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been brave enough to come forward with my story,” Dushku said, adding: “I can’t believe how broken it is.”
After Dushku tweeted that Goffman had “harassed and intimidated” her, she asked him via Twitter to respond, in the hours before the CBS broadcast of Bull.
“Hey Eliza! One of the reasons I had to go on Twitter is you put me on blast! @ElizaDushku You’re the sole reason I wanted to write an apology,” Goffman replied.
“I have not harassed or intimidated you,” Goffman added in a subsequent tweet. “I think it’s time we call for an end to the bullying of women in Hollywood, that’s happening now, for years.”
Dushku told Bull’s cast and crew members in an internal message that she had suffered “unwanted sexual advances” while participating in scene when “an older and powerful male director” was watching from the monitor. She also alleged an on-set producer leered at her breasts during a nude scene.
“I was shoved onto a bed, shoved into a corner, made to feel ashamed and degraded, and silenced by threats and fear,” she wrote.
Dushku, who has said she is a practicing Buddhist, also announced that she planned to write a “memoir” about her experiences.
Dushku wrote of the settlement she reached with CBS, “There is a cost to being an activist and being your authentic self. I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else but, by speaking out, hopefully this will help change the industry.”
Several TV series and movie studios have been hit by harassment claims in recent months, following the allegations in the New York Times against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Spotify’s apology after ReShaped magazine axe: ‘I failed you’ Read more
In August, Apple refused to renew an affiliation with disgraced film producer Weinstein’s company after “dozens” of women accused him of assault or harassment, triggering a media storm around the declaration of a zero-tolerance policy.
And earlier this week, Spotify’s Swedish parent company, Investor AB, ordered the shutdown of one of its premium music services because the site allowed users to buy out their memberships. Spotify said ReShaped magazine, an adult magazine on its site, violated the Spotify user agreement.
In March, Netflix said it would end its partnership with the Weinstein Company after publicist and fashion executive turned actress Minka Kelly accused the company’s co-founder of unwanted touching.
The company reportedly faces more than 70 women who have accused the New York film studio of sexual harassment or assault, prompting its bankruptcy in October last year.