Jamie Lee Curtis has responded to Eliza Dushku’s sexual molestation claims against a stunt coordinator they both worked with in the 1994 film True Lies. The Freaky Friday actress, who played Dushku’s mom in True Lies, said that she was “shocked” and “saddened.” Curtis also revealed that Dushku had shared the story with her a few years ago.
On Saturday, Dushku went to Facebook and gave her account of her alleged sexual molestation by Joel Kramer, who was, at the time, one of the leading stunt coordinators in Hollywood. According to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum, Kramer groomed her and got her parents’ trust. One day, she wrote, he lured her into his Miami hotel room.
“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.”
On Sunday, Curtis published an op-ed in the Huffington Post in which she said that Dushku’s story has “awakened” us to the “horrific” reality of the abuse of children in Hollywood. The actress looked back on her numerous experiences playing the role of on-screen mom to many of Hollywood’s most famous child actors. She lamented how, despite the strict rules imposed on the work of child actors, these things still happen.
Curtis also noted that what makes Dushku’s experience more twisted and difficult was that the alleged molester was the very person who was in charge of their lives on the set of True Lies. Because the film required numerous complicated stunts, including one in which Curtis was suspended under a helicopter and Dushku was suspended from the top of an office tower, both actresses had to put a massive amount of trust on Kramer.
In her Facebook post, Dushku also alleged that while filming True Lies, she broke her ribs in a stunt gone wrong. Coincidentally, she noted, the injury occurred on the very same day that an adult friend of hers confronted Kramer about the alleged sexual molestation.
In her HuffPost piece, Curtis called on those in the entertainment industry to take responsibility for the working and personal relationships they share with young performers. She also lamented the fact that she, True Lies director James Cameron, and co-star Tom Arnold are all parents of daughters and that what happened to Dushku was a “terrible, terrible thing” that they will now have to grapple with.
Speaking from the Television Critics Association event in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, Cameron praised Dushku for her bravery and said that he was glad that the actress had come forward with her story. According to Us Weekly, the director said that had he known about the alleged sexual assault then, “there would have been no mercy.”
Kramer has denied Dushku’s allegations. Nonetheless, his agent, Worldwide Production Agency, has confirmed that they no longer represent him.