CONTENT WARNING: This story discusses allegations of sexual assault
In a lengthy and heartbreaking post to Facebook over the weekend, actress Eliza Dushku has accused Hollywood stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of sexually abusing her on the set of the film True Lies, when she was aged 12 and he was 36.
The actress said that she has “struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever”, adding that “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.”
Thanking the abuse and harassment victims who have come forward with their own stories in recent months, Dushku said that she was finally ready to tell her own, and that it has been “indescribably exhausting, bottling this up inside me for all of these years.”
In the post, Eliza Dushku claimed that Kramer “methodically” built trust with her and her parents over a matter of months, making her feel “special” before eventually inviting her back to his Miami hotel room with the promise of a swim in the pool followed by a trip out for sushi.
She claims that he drew the curtains in his room, turned down the air conditioning and disappeared into the bathroom before emerging in just a “flimsy towel”, then lay on the bed, rubbing her and saying “you’re not going to sleep on me now sweetie, stop pretending you’re sleeping.”
She said that after the incident, Kramer, who nicknamed her “jailbait” on set, became “cold” around her. She went on to say:
“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.”
She said she now finds it “incomprehensible” that an adult on the set of the film did not react to his “predatory advances”, adding that:
“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.”
She ended her post by saying she hopes that her speaking out will help other victims to do so and protect against future abuse, declaring:
“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.”
You can read the full post on the actress’ Facebook.
Eliza Dushku has appeared in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse and movies including Bring It On. True Lies, which was directed by James Cameron and released in 1994, also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Joel Kramer’s IMDB lists Blade Runner 2049, Star Trek Discovery and Westworld among his recent work.Image: Getty Images / Taylor Hill