Yet another celebrity has come forward with a story of sexual abuse she suffered while working in the entertainment industry.
How tragic is it that we’re no longer shocked by stories like these?
For the past several months now, people have been speaking out against their abusers — there have been so many horrific stories revealed that we’ve lost count.
Which, honestly, is a tragedy all on its own.
But this weekend, we’re hearing a new story, one that is particularly hard to hear.
Because in this story, the victim was only 12 years old at the time of the abuse.
Eliza Dushku, an actress best known for her roles in TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, shared a lengthy post to her Facebook account on Saturday morning.
“When I was 12 years old,” she wrote, “while filming True Lies, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators.”
She said that since then, she’s told her parents, one of her brothers, and two friends, but she hasn’t felt comfortable to share her story publicly.
Until now, that is.
“I remember, so clearly 25 years later, how Joel Kramer made me feel special,” Eliza wrote, “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.”
She recounted “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.”
She added that “When he was ‘finished,’ he suggested ‘I think we should be careful…,’ [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36.”
After that, she said that he took her home in a taxi — he sat in the backseat and put her on his lap.
When they went back to work on the film, she said that he became cold towards her, and that soon after the horrible incident she described, she confided in an adult what had happened.
The friend confronted Kramer, and Eliza wrote that “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.”
She explained how throughout the filming of the movie, her life was “literally in his hands,” as he hung her from a harness 25 stories high.
As for why she’s speaking out now?
She’d been under the impression that Kramer was no longer working in the industry, but she said that she recently found out that was false, and she came across a photo of him hugging a young girl.
“Hollywood has been very good to me in many ways,” she acknowledged. “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,” she said. “I hope that speaking out will help other victims and protect against future abuse.”
It really is just a horrific story — and, not surprisingly, Kramer has already denied it all.
In a statement to Variety, he called Eliza’s story “outright hyperbole and lies,” and he insisted that it was “absolutely not true.”
But the woman who acted as Eliza’s legal guardian on the set of True Lies, Sue Booth-Forbes, confirmed Eliza’s version of events, saying that she even reported Kramer’s behavior “to a person in authority” back then.
“I was met with blank stares and had the sense that I wasn’t telling that person anything they didn’t already know,” she recounted.
We’re proud of Eliza for sharing her story, and here’s hoping that she feels at least a little bit better for doing so.