A former co-star is sticking up for Michael Weatherly just days after the New York Times reported that CBS paid actress Eliza Dushku a confidential settlement of $9.5 million last year after she complained that he had sexually harassed her on the set of their show, Bull. Dushku was subsequently written off the show, in which she played Weatherly’s onscreen love interest.
Sasha Alexander, who played Special Agent Caitlin Todd alongside Weatherly on NCIS, shared a photo and a message offering her support.
— Sasha Alexander (@sashaalexander) December 15, 2018
Many NCIS fans reacted by calling Alexander a “true friend.” But the former Rizzoli & Isles actress’s gesture also sparked backlash from those who found it inappropriate, given Dushku’s claims of being subjected to talk of threesomes and “rape vans” at work.
Not cool. He admitted to gross behavior and it was caught on tape. It's great that you were never a target of his abuse, but this is totally dismissive of Ms. Dushku's experiences. I expected more of you and @PauleyP. Super disappointing.
— Franklin (@AFGNCAAP86) December 15, 2018
seriously???? ….. seems like a bad idea to tweet this after the NYT story. Disappointed that you would.
— Susanne (@SusanneB99) December 15, 2018
Yes, but does he respect women? There are 9.5 million reasons to question his behavior. A person with a great heart doesn’t harass women at work. This is so Disappointing!
— Joan (@murphreads) December 15, 2018
You were lucky then. She was not.
— Marsha Trickey (@MarshaTrickey) December 15, 2018
Weatherly issued a statement acknowledging that his behavior with Dushku was “not appropriate.”
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” he said in response to the N.Y. Times report. “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. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
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