the industry

Jamie Lee Curtis Discusses Eliza Dushku’s Alleged Abuse: ‘All of Us Must Take Some Responsibility’

Photo: Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Funimation Entertainment

In a Huffington Post essay published this weekend, actress Jamie Lee Curtis lauded Eliza Dushku’s decision to come forward and reveal her alleged molestation at the hands of True Lies stunt coordinator Joel Kramer when she was 12. Curtis, who co-starred with Dushku in the 1994 action comedy, says she only learned about the assault fairly recent. “She had shared that story with me privately a few years ago,” the actress said in the post, entitled “Truth and Lies.” “I was shocked and saddened then and still am today.” As stomach-turning as it might be to revisit the encounter, Curtis says discussing child sexual abuse in Hollywood is a necessity. “Eliza’s story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality,” the actress wrote. “The abuse of children.”

Part of the problem, Curtis opines, might lie in the unclear relationship between a child and his or her adult co-workers. “Are we really friends? Are we work mates? Children are not mature enough to recognize that subtle difference,” she notes. Every adult on the production, Curtis says, ultimately let Dushku down. Writes the actress, “All of us must take some responsibility that the loose and relaxed camaraderie that we share with our young performers has carried with it a misguided assumption that they are adults in an adult world, capable of making adult choices.”

Of course, Curtis says, the blame ultimately falls to abusers who take advantage of an industry that fails to fully protect child workers. The solution, she suggests, may lie in creating an environment where clear boundaries and oversight actually shield children from potential predators. Says Curtis, “I hope today that what can come from all of these exposures are new guidelines and safe spaces for people — regardless of age, gender, race or job — to share their concerns and truths and that all abusers will be held accountable.”

When told about Dushku’s account, initially posted to Facebook, Joel Kramer denied he had assaulted the then-tween actress or had ever been alone with her in a hotel room. Kramer has since been let go by his representation. In a statement to Deadline, Worldwide Production Agency president Richard Caleel said of the agency’s decision, “WPA has elected to part ways with Joel Kramer based on the allegations of misconduct now being reported. Such behavior is unacceptable and entirely at odds with the standards of conduct we demand of ourselves, and expect from our clients.”

Jamie Lee Curtis Pens Essay on Eliza Dushku’s Alleged Abuse