Eliza Dushku accuses 'True Lies' stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of abuse
UPI News Service, 01/14/2018
Eliza Dushku said Joel Kramer, stunt coordinator of her 1994 blockbuster "True Lies," sexually abused her when she was 12.
Dushku wrote in a lengthy Facebook post Saturday that Kramer, then 36, acted kindly to her on the film's set, then took her to a hotel, supposedly to swim in its pool, where he assaulted her.
"I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me," she recalled.
"When he was 'finished', he suggested, 'I think we should be careful...,' [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36."
Kramer spoke to Variety about the 37-year-old actress' allegations and said they are "absolutely not true."
In her post, Dushku went on to say she told an older friend about the incident and she "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," the actress said.
"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."
Dushku said she also told her parents and other people about the incident, but "no one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I."
She was inspired to come forward after seeing other women share stories in recent months about how they were sexually abused or harassed.
"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," she wrote.
Kramer -- who recently worked on "Blade Runner 2049" and "Furious 7" -- told Variety he took Dushku swimming and out for a sushi dinner, but "never molested her" and was "never nude in front of her."
"This whole talk of luring her to my room, on top of her, getting off, holding her in the car and calling her jailbait is just outright hyperbole and lies," he said.
"I did kiss her on the cheek once to say goodnight to her, gave her a hug," he said. "We treated her like family, she was part of our crew."
But Sue Booth-Forbes, who was Dushku's legal guardian on the set of the film, told Deadline, "Eliza Dushku is telling the truth."
Booth-Forbes said she reported Kramer's alleged misconduct at the time "to a person in authority," but nothing happened as far as she knew.
"Joel Kramer did what Eliza said he did," Booth-Forbes said in her statement to Deadline. "He is a pedophile, and he must face the consequences."
The film's director, James Cameron, said he hadn't been aware of the allegations until he was promoting a new project Saturday.
"It's just heartbreaking that it happened to her," Cameron said during a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
"I know the other party, not well, he hasn't worked for me since then," Cameron said, "but the fact that this was happening under our noses, and we didn't know about it. I think going forward it's important for all industries, and certainly Hollywood, to create a safe avenue for people to speak up, that they feel safe and that anybody that might be a predator or an abuser knows that that mechanism is there, that it's encouraged and there's no shame around it and there will be consequences."
Copyright 2018 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.