Actress Eliza Dushku, perhaps best known for the role of “Faith” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has come forward with her own #MeToo story. Sadly, Dushku’s occurred when she was just 12-years-old working on the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film True Lies. In a lengthy Facebook post, Dushku writes in no uncertain terms that leading Hollywood stunt coordinator Joel Kramer sexually molested her. She credits the movement for giving her the strength to come out with her story, which she says she has struggled with for 25 years.
Dushku goes on to recount her horrifying ordeal with Kramer, which sounds like so many others we’re heard before. After grooming her for months to build her and her parents trust, Dushku says that one day Kramer lured her to his hotel room with the promise of swimming in the stunt crew’s pool and a sushi dinner afterwards. He then drew the shades and went into the bathroom, emerging naked with a hand towel covering his midsection. As she lay on the bed, Dushku writes that he “wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me” until he “finished.”
When she later confided to an adult female friend about what had happened, the friend confronted Kramer and then later that day she writes, “by no small coincidence,” she was injured from a stunt-gone-wrong, suffering broken ribs. “Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser,” Dushku continued. She then explains why she decided to come out with her story now.
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.
Dushku hopes that speaking out will help other victims and protect against future abuse, which we’re already seeing as countless women come forward with their own stories. You can read her entire piece here.
(Via Eliza Dushku’s Facebook)