ACTRESS ELIZA DUSHKU JOINS THE ARMY OF HOLLYWOOD STARS WHO HAVE SPOKEN OUT ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE TV & FILM INDUSTRY
Actress Eliza Dushku has joined the army of brave actors and actresses who have decided to speak out about their personal experience with abuse and harassment that is taking place in Hollywood.
For those who thought that we had heard and seen the last of the Hollywood abuse scandal when we left 2017, well it would appear that everything that has come to light right now may just be the tip of the iceberg and that 2018 may be filled with many more allegations, accusations and victims coming forward to reveal the abuse that has been happening over the years in Hollywood.
Eliza Dushku has decided to speak out about alleged abuse that she was subjected to by Hollywood stunt man Joel Kramer. Eliza alleges that in 1994 while she was working as a child actress on the Movie set of ‘True Lies’, Mr Kramer groomed and developed a friendship with Dushku and her parents. Eliza then alleges that Joel Kramer during a trip to his hotel, sexually assaulted and raped her when she was just 12 years old.
Here is Miss Dushku’s original FaceBook status disclosing the abuse she says she was subject to:
In case the FaceBook post is removed or deleted for any reason, we have also copied and pasted it word for word below:
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.
We did originally publish the image of Joel Kramer that upset Eliza Dushku, we published the image as we felt it was important to show that Mr Kramer still had access to young children and was in close proximity to young girls even though a serious allegation has been made against him. As mentioned above, this image showed Joel with his arm around a young girl, representatives of this young girl and her family reached out to Free and Fearless and requested we remove the image.
They stated that the image was causing them a great deal of stress and as such to protect the young girl and her family we removed the image. The parents also noted that Joel was not left alone with the young girl and at the time of this photo nobody had any idea about the allegations surrounding Mr Kramer.
Reached by phone Saturday morning, Kramer said he did not know of the post. But after TheWrap read him the post from beginning to end over the phone he said:
“Wow. That’s news to me. I never sexually assaulted her. She’s a sweet girl. We all looked out for her, that’s surprising. I’m just shocked, I don’t know why she would say that. We took her out to dinner and we took her to our hotel for a swim at the pool. These are absolute lies, She said I took her home in a cab? I was the one who was driving the car. There were four or five of us in the car. I’m absolutely floored, I don’t know what to say. I Never took her to my hotel room. I never took off her clothes.”
“I liked Eliza We took care of her. Nobody every called her ‘jailbait.’”
At one point Kramer scoffed at the details of the story, saying: “That’s a pretty good memory. She could ruin my career.”
Only time will tell what will become of this case, if the allegations are true, it’s not unreasonable to imagine that there may have been more victims. Afterall, Mr Kramer’s career in the TV and Film industry has spanned over several decades and he is no doubt well connected and respected in Hollywood, hopefully if there are many more victims, Eliza’s courage at speaking out will maybe inspire others to come forward and tell their story, it wouldn’t be the first time the courage of one victim has opened the floodgates giving others the courage and willpower to share their own personal accounts of sexual assault.
One thing is for sure, Hollywood has been shaken and there doesn’t appear to be any sign of these revelations slowing down or coming to an end.
2018 may just be the year where many more victims find their voice and finally get the justice they so deserve.