Days after an exposé revealed CBS paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 million after being repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment from Michael Weatherly on the set of Bull, Weatherly’s former co-stars on NCIS — a show he starred on for 13 seasons — are choosing to defend him. As compiled by Deadline, fan-favorite Pauley Perrette tweeted in support of Weatherly with a short message and selfie from their NCIS days. “This man. I love, respect, trust, and I know,” she wrote. “Two decades of friendship and respect. The best. I love you @M_Weatherly. Always and forever.” Sasha Alexander, a mainstay from the show’s early years, also added with a separate selfie: “I have been in trenches with my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend, and as big as they come.”
It was reported, and later confirmed by CBS, that the network awarded Dushku with a $9.5 million settlement after Weatherly made numerous rape jokes and propositioned the actress for sex. He also verbally harassed Dushku about her physical appearance. Weatherly denied he had malicious intent with these comments, saying they were attempted jokes that misfired. While Dushku originally planned to join Bull as a regular cast member, she was ultimately written out after three episodes in the first season — this was because she allegedly confronted Weatherly about his behavior, which prompted him to request network executives to have her dismissed.