Michael Weatherly’s former co-stars on NCIS have praised him after news broke that CBS paid actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 million to settle a sexual harassment claim against the actor, Deadline reports
“This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” wrote Pauly Perrette on Twitter. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly Always and forever.”
Pauley Perrette used to play Abby on the hit CBS show. As Vanity Fair reported back in May, Perrette inisnuated that there was more to her departure from the show she had been on since its first season.
“Telling the story, THE TRUTH. I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs and so many people. But at what cost? I don’t know. Just know, I’m trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn’t the right thinabout crime. I’m… Just…?”
In subsequent tweets, she mentioned “multiple physical assaults” and “a very rich, very powerful publicity ‘machine.'”
“There is a ‘machine’ keeping me silent, and feeding FALSE stories about me,” Perrette wrote. “A very rich, very powerful publicity ‘machine’. No morals, no obligation to truth, and I’m just left here, reading the lies, trying to protect my crew. Trying to remain calm. He did it.”
Perrette never revealed the identity of the “he” she was speaking about.
Some of her Twitter followers applauded her defense of Michael Weatherly, while others criticized her for it. The critics pointed out that Perrette’s friendship with the actor does not discredit Eliza Dushku’s claims of sexual harassment.
“Doesn’t mean he never acted inappropriately towards others,” one Twitter user wrote. “Wake up!”
Actress Sasha Alexander, who was a series regular during NCIS‘s first two seasons also praised Weatherly with a post on Twitter.
“I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & as big as they come,” she tweeted on Saturday.
As USA Today reports, news of the sexual harassment lawsuit went public on Thursday via a report by the New York Times. Dushku had claimed that Weatherly made sexually inapporiate jokes in front of the cast and crew when they worked together on Bull. Dushku said that Weatherly voiced a desire to spank her and have a threesome. She said that he also named a windowless van a “rape van.” Dushku alleged that she was written off the show because she confronted Weatherly about what he said to her.
In mediation sessions with CBS, outtakes from the show supported her story about the harassment, USA Today notes.