Dushku, who played Curtis’ on-screen daughter in the 1994 film True Lies, has claimed that stuntman Joel Kramer molested her on the set of the film when she was 12 years old. Kramer has denied these allegations.
In her essay on Sunday, Curtis noted that “[Dushku] had shared that story with me privately a few years ago. I was shocked and saddened then and still am today.”
She also shared a photo of Kramer holding her own hand as she dangled in the air off a helicopter.
“What compounds the difficulty here is that the stunt coordinator in question was literally in charge of our lives, our safety,” Curtis wrote. “Stunts always require an enormous amount of trust and on that movie in particular we all were often suspended by a wire, holding onto the hand of the man who is now being accused of abuse.”
Curtis also explained the blurred lines when it came to child and adult relationships on the set of films.
“All of us must take some responsibility that the loose and relaxed camaraderie that we share with our young performers has carried with it a misguided assumption that they are adults in an adult world, capable of making adult choices,” she wrote. “Many of us involved in True Lies were parents. Jim [Cameron], Arnold [Schwarzenegger] and myself. Parents of daughters. What allegedly happened to Eliza, away from the safety net of all of us and our purview is a terrible, terrible thing to learn about and have to reconcile.”
The actress concluded by calling for more people to come forward, writing, “The truth will set us all free. Hopefully that freedom will bring a new ability to call out abuse and, when the abuse occurs, to have swift and consistent action, so that no one again will have to wait 25 years for their truth to be heard.”
Dushku shared her story in a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday. In a statement to Deadline, Kramer said of her claims, “These are outlandish manipulated lies. I never sexually molested her. I’m sick to my stomach. It’s not true. I think she’s making this up in her imagination. This is all lies. Lies, lies, lies. I treated her like a daughter. We all looked out for her.”
Director James Cameron also responded to Dushku's allegations over the weekend at the Television Critics Association press tour for his series, James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.
“Eliza is very brave for speaking up, and I think all the women that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now [are brave],” he said. “I know the other party, not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then, but the fact that this was happening under our noses, and we didn’t know about it. I think going forward it’s important for all industries, and certainly Hollywood, to create a safe avenue for people to speak up, that they feel safe and that anybody that might be a predator or an abuser knows that that mechanism is there, that it’s encouraged and there’s no shame around it and there will be consequences.”
For more actresses’ stories of abuse in the industry, watch the clip below.