On Saturday, Eliza Dushku wrote a lengthy Facebook post saying that stunt coordinator Joel Kramer “sexually molested” her on the set of True Lies when she was 12. And now Jamie Lee Curtis, who played Dushku’s mother in True Lies, wrote a letter in response looking at how the entertainment industry has treated young performers.
In a column for HuffPost, Curtis said that Dushku told her about what happened in private a few years before Dushku wrote about her experience online. Curtis was “shocked and saddened” at the time—and still is now—and described how Dushku’s story shed a light on a different aspect of abuse in the entertainment industry.
“Eliza’s story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality,” she wrote. “The abuse of children.”
Curtis has had plenty of experience working with young actors, and although there have been protections set in place for those actors, not every adult adheres to those rules. And like Dushku, Curtis noted that as a stunt coordinator, their life was in Kramer’s hands.
According to Dushku, Kramer took her to his hotel room after he told her parents he was taking her to swim at the stunt crew’s pool and out for sushi and “rubbed all over” her with his naked body, later telling her not to tell anybody. After she confided in her “tough adult female friend” about what happened and the friend had confronted Kramer, Dushku broke several ribs in a stunt that had gone wrong. (Dushku’s legal guardian on the set of True Lies, Sue Booth Forbes, said that she reported Kramer’s behavior but was “met with blank stares.”)
Kramer has denied allegations of molestation, calling them “untrue.”
“We took care of her like she was our kid,” Kramer told the Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t ever remember being alone with her. ‘Luring’ her up to my hotel room is just crazy.”
Curtis hopes that Dushku’s story will help change how children are treated on set.
“The truth will set us all free,” Curtis wrote. “Hopefully that freedom will bring a new ability to call out abuse and, when that abuse occurs, to have swift and consistent action, so that no one again will have to wait 25 years for their truth to be heard.”
You can read the entire column at HuffPost.