Eliza Dushku Opens about Heartbreaking Sexual Harassment incident from stunt coordinators Joel Kramer while filming True Lies
Stories of sexual assault and Hollywood seems to have an unending relation, it's surprising that people committed to playing role in opening people's eyes and planting ideas seems surrounded by sick people.
Eliza Dushku recently opened up about being sexually molested at the age of 12 by stunt coordinator Joel Kramer via a lengthy Facebook post where she has shared how the actress was "lured" into a hotel room and assaulted by Kramer while working stunt coordinators Joel Kramer in 1994's action movie "True Lies."
Dushku alleged the stunt coordinators and said she decided to come forward with her story on seeing the stunt coordinator hugging a young girl in an online portal.
"True Lies" the name seems relevant after all these years because the Eliza Dushku is finally speaking her feelings. Her co-actress Jamie Lee Curtis even wrote an essay on Huffington Post Truth and Lies us from our denial slumber" which praises Dushku's strength and courage that seriously would transform her into a strong fighter who will make people aware about the shocking reality about children's suffering in the city of lights behind cameras.
Here is the post:
When I was 12 years old, while filming “True Lies”, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators.
Ever since, I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever. At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.
I am grateful to the women and men who have gone before me in recent months. The ever-growing list of sexual abuse and harassment victims who have spoken out with their truths have finally given me the ability to speak out. It has been indescribably exhausting, bottling this up inside me for all of these years.
I remember, so clearly 25 years later, how Joel Kramer made me feel special, how he methodically built my and my parents’ trust, for months grooming me; exactly how he lured me to his Miami hotel room with a promise to my parent that he would take me for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool and for my first sushi meal thereafter.
I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights; how he cranked up the air-conditioning to what felt like freezing levels, where exactly he placed me on one of the two hotel room beds, what movie he put on the television (Coneheads); 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.
I remember how afterwards, the taxi driver stared at me in the rear view mirror when Joel Kramer put me on his lap in the backseat and clutched me and grew aroused again; and how my eyes never left the driver’s eyes during that long ride over a Miami bridge, back to my hotel and parent. I remember how Joel Kramer grew cold with me in the ensuing weeks, how everything felt different on the set.
And I remember how soon-after, when my tough adult female friend (in whom I had confided my terrible secret on the condition of a trade that she let me drive her car around the Hollywood Hills) came out to the set to visit and face him, later that very same day, by no small coincidence, I was injured from a stunt-gone-wrong on the Harrier jet.
With broken ribs, I spent the evening in the hospital. To be clear, over the course of those months rehearsing and filming True Lies, it was Joel Kramer who was responsible for my safety on a film that at the time broke new ground for action films. On a daily basis he rigged wires and harnesses on my 12 year old body. My life was literally in his hands: he hung me in the open air, from a tower crane, atop an office tower, 25+ stories high. Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser.
Why speak out now? I was 12, he was 36. It is incomprehensible. Why didn’t an adult on the set find his predatory advances strange — that over-the-top special attention he gave me. Fairly early on he nicknamed me “Jailbait” and brazenly called me by this name in a sick flirty way in front of others (at the time, I remember asking one of my older brothers what it meant). Sure, I’ve come to understand the terrible power dynamics that play into whistle-blowing by “subordinates” against persons in power, how difficult it can be for someone to speak up. But I was a child. Over the years I’ve really struggled as I’ve wondered how my life might have been different if someone, any one grown-up who witnessed his sick ways, had spoken up before he lured me to that hotel room.
Years ago, I had heard second hand that Joel Kramer was “found out” and forced to leave the business. I learned recently that in fact he still works at the top of the industry. And a few weeks ago, I found an internet photo of Joel Kramer hugging a young girl. That image has haunted me near nonstop since. I can no longer hide what happened.
Hollywood has been very good to me in many ways. Nevertheless, Hollywood also failed to protect me, a child actress. I like to think of myself as a tough Boston chick, in many ways I suppose not unlike Faith, Missy, or Echo. 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.
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 publicly by name, brings the start of a new calm.
Curtis wrote that she was "shocked and saddened" when Dushku told her about the alleged incident "a few years ago."
James Cameron the director of "True Lies" also spoke out about Dushku's story at Television Critics Association event and called Dushku "brave" for speaking out, here is what he said according to US Weekly:
"Eliza is very brave for speaking up and I think all the women who are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now, I think that has been an endemic through human systems, not just Hollywood, but because Hollywood deals with women who are victims 10, 15, 20 years ago who are famous today, so they get to have a louder voice when they come forward. So bravo to them for doing it. And I am glad Eliza did that. But had I known about there would have been no mercy".
Another "True Lies" star Tom Arnold took on the twitter and said:
I have daughters. There really would be no mercy now." Dushku's took to Twitter to voice offer his support.