CBS had to pay Eliza Dushku approximately $9.5 million after her co-star, Michael Weatherly, supposedly sexually harassed her when they worked together on set. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, Eliza took a significant paycheck to avoid airing CBS and Michael’s dirty laundry for all to see.
On the 13th of December, the New York Times revealed that the 37-year-old actress, who has come out with stories of sexual misconduct before, came on the show during the first season in 2017, and was made to feel uncomfortable by the NCIS star, Michael.
Weatherly’s behavior in front of Eliza was the issue of concern. He apparently made suggestive comments about her appearence before cast and crew members. Following her confrontation with Weatherly about his behavior, Eliza was subsequently written off the show.
Initially, Glenn Gordon Caron had full intentions of introducing Eliza as a full-time cast member and series regular as part of a relationship between her and Weatherly’s characters, however, that all come to a grinding halt when she and Weatherly didn’t get along.
Following Weatherly and Dushku’s confrontation with CBS, the network agreed to a confidential agreement that was equivalent to the amount she would’ve been paid as a cast member for four seasons.
The new allegations involving CBS came out shortly after the resignation of their CEO, Les Moonves, also due to sexual misconduct allegations. One month after getting married to Peter Palandjian, Eliza said that Weatherly would say things like, “here comes legs.”
On another day, Michael joked to the cast and crew that he would bend her over his leg and spank her. And another day, Dushku made a gesture with “three fingers,” and Weatherly turned it into another sexual joke, saying that she was insinuating interest in a threesome with herself, Weatherly, and another man.
According to the interview, Dushku said she felt “disgusted and violated.” Weatherly, in response, said he wasn’t actually suggesting they do anything sexual. It was all a joke. On another day, Michael joked that he would take Eliza to his windowless van, calling it his “rape van,” adding it was filled with sex toys and lubricant.