‘True Lies’ star Eliza Dushku claimed that she was molested at 12 years old by a stuntman. Here’s why she decided to come forward with her emotional story.
“When I was 12 years old, while filming “True Lies”, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators,” Eliza Dushku said in a lengthy, emotional Facebook post detailing the account of her alleged assault. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer star then goes into detail about how he “built my and my parents’ trust” before he “lured me to his Miami hotel room” where she claims to have been molested.
“I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights,” she continued. “How he disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section. I remember what I was wearing (my favorite white denim shorts, thankfully, secured enough for me to keep on). I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me. He spoke these words: “You’re not going to sleep on me now sweetie, stop pretending you’re sleeping,” as he rubbed harder and faster against my catatonic body. When he was ‘finished’, he suggested, “I think we should be careful…,” [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36.”
Eliza, now 37, says she decided to come forward with her story 25 years after she says it took place because of the ever-growing accounts of sexual harassment and assault that women have come forward with in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. “Through the years, brave fans have regularly shared with me how some of my characters have given them the conviction to stand up to their abusers. Now it is you who give me strength and conviction. I hope that speaking out will help other victims and protect against future abuse,” Eliza said. “With every person that speaks out, every banner that drops down onto my iphone screen disclosing similar stories/truths, my resolve strengthens. Sharing these words, finally calling my abuser out… brings the start of a new calm.”
Joel Kramer has since denied these claims. “These are outlandish, manipulated lies,” Kramer told our sister site Deadline. “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. This is just crazy. I treated her like a daughter. We all looked out for her. How does a guy like me fight against something like this? I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll have to get a lawyer and file a lawsuit against her for defamation and slander.”
Eliza’s mother Judith, on the other hand, has confirmed her daughter’s account in a Facebook comment, according to Deadline. “No, it was not her career that I feared for, as that meant nothing to me. I was afraid of Joel Kramer, too. And it was years later that I finally understood fully what really happened,” she wrote. “At the time, Eliza was too scared to tell the whole story and in a way I think she protected me from knowing because she knew how frightened I was of the powerful men on the set. Her lose was the worst, but abuse can throw a wide net. I only began to understand this many years later.” Sue Booth-Forbes, Eliza’s legal guardian on the set of True Lies also told Deadline that “Eliza Dushku is telling the truth.”
UPDATE: 9:25 P.M. — James Cameron, 63, the director of True Lies, was asked about the allegations during the Television Critics Association press tour for the AMC series James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. “Eliza is very brave for speaking up. I think all the women are that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now [are brave],” he responded, via Variety. “Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy. I have three daughters. There’d really be no mercy now.”
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Eliza’s shocking claims?