Eliza Dushku Says She's 'Healing' After Sexual Harassment Settlement
By Antoinette Bueno
Eliza Dushku is taking a step back from Hollywood -- but on her own terms.
The 38-year-old actress opens up to Time in a new interview about her life following the news that broke in December that CBS paid her a secret $9.5 million settlement after she accused her former Bull co-star, Michael Weatherly, of harassment. Dushku is now living in Boston and studying holistic psychology at Lesley University. Although it's a definite change from her three decades of working in Hollywood, she makes it clear that she wasn't exiled after her settlement became public.
“I need the distance to recalibrate and start a family,” Dushku, who's currently pregnant with her first child with husband Peter Palandjian, explains. “But I don’t want people to think coming forward means ending your career. I could be acting. I could be in L.A. I just need to be here right now.”
She also doesn't regret her settlement being out in the open.
“Humans need a cohesive narrative for who they are,” she says. “And we’re as sick as our secrets. So naming our secrets -- that’s a part of healing.”
Dushku isn't allowed to discuss her settlement because she agreed to sign a nondisclosure agreement, which she firmly speaks out against.
“We’re talking in code. NDAs revictimize people," she says. "They give more power to the powerful. And as the less powerful person, you have to live in someone else’s f**ked-up version of reality.”
According to a New York Times report about Dushku's settlement that was published in December, the actress was written off CBS' Bull after she confronted Weatherly about his behavior -- which allegedly included him constantly calling her names, playing provocative songs when she was working and proposing a threesome in front of others. According to the outlet, when she appeared on Bull in 2017 for three episodes, there were "well-developed plans" to make her a full-time cast member, but those plans allegedly ended after she came forward with allegations against Weatherly. After Dushku entered mediation with CBS, the network agreed this year to pay Dushku a confidential settlement of $9.5 million, roughly the amount she would have earned as a series regular.
Weatherly told the Times that he immediately apologized to Dushku when she confronted him, and that he realizes some of his language and attempts at humor were not appropriate. He denied asking for her removal from the show.
“I guess what makes me angry is people knew," Dushku claims of the harassment she says she experienced. "Important people knew. They could have done something. And they didn’t.”