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Eliza Dushku Accuses Stunt Coordinator Joel Kramer of Sexually Assaulting Her When She Was 12

Eliza Dushku at the UNICEF Children’s Champion Award Dinner in June, 2016.
Eliza Dushku at the UNICEF Children’s Champion Award Dinner in June, 2016.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images for UNICEF

In a horrific Facebook post early Saturday morning, actress Eliza Dushku accused stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of sexually assaulting her during the filming of True Lies, when she was 12 years old and Kramer was 36. Kramer immediately denied Dushku’s allegations. Here’s Dushku’s account of the alleged assault:

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.

As an added horror, Dushku explains that, as the stunt coordinator, Kramer was responsible for her safety in life-and-death matters, writing that “on a daily basis, he rigged wires and harnesses on my 12 year old body … he hung me in the open air, from a tower crane, atop an office tower, 25+ stories high.” Adding to her general sense that Kramer was a threat, Dushku says that she broke several ribs in an on-set stunt mishap hours after a “tough adult female friend” confronted him over the alleged abuse.

Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Kramer called Dushku’s claims “outrageous lies,” saying he’d never been alone with her. “We took care of her like she was our kid. … ‘Luring’ her up to my hotel room is just crazy.” He said he had no memory of Dushku being seriously injured on set, but that “she may have gotten bruised.” Kramer also said that an on-set assistant had told him during the filming of True Lies that Dushku had a crush on him. “I don’t know what goes through a young girl’s mind. … Something set her off somewhere,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. Kramer also said that he was considering his legal options:

I’m not even angry, I’m just so hurt. I’m probably going to have to talk to an attorney at some point, that will cost me thousands of dollars to get to the bottom of this, but why would I want to countersue and ruin her life? It’s a lose-lose for everybody.

Dushku wrote that she felt empowered to speak out at last because of the post-Weinstein flood of women coming forward to confront their abusers.

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.

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.

Here is Eliza Dushku’s complete Facebook post:

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