Eliza Dushku‘s legal guardian on the set True Lies has come forward to corroborate the actress’ claims that she was molested by stunt coordinator Joel Kramer while filming the movie when she was just 12 years old.
“Eliza Dushku is telling the truth,” Sue Booth-Forbes, who was assigned to protect the child actor when Dushku’s mother was not able to come to the action film set due to work, said in a statement to Deadline.
Booth-Forbes claimed that she reported Kramer’s inappropriate sexual behavior to someone “in authority,” but no action was taken.
“I was met with blank stares and had the sense that I wasn’t telling that person anything they didn’t already know,” she said.
In a statement to Variety, Kramer denied Dushku’s claims, calling them “absolutely not true.”
The legal guardian also explained that while she did her best to keep Dushku from Kramer, stunts required that he work closely with the actress.
“Those who knew didn’t know what to do and were far enough down the pecking order to be afraid of losing their jobs if they pressed the issue because all the power lay in the hands of those who called the shots and would stop at nothing to protect each other,” she claimed.
Booth-Forbes also recalled accompanying Dushku to the hospital after an accident involving a stunt caused the child several broken ribs, an incident Dushku recounted in her claim. Kramer denied the injury to The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “She may have gotten bruised, I don’t think she broke any ribs, I don’t remember that at all.”
Booth-Forbes said she wishes she had done more looking back, but she can not stay silent about the matter any longer.
“Joel Kramer did what Eliza said he did,” she said. “He is a pedophile, and he must face the consequences.”
Dushku, now 37, was starring in the film alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis when she met Kramer — who has worked on many of Schwarzenegger’s films including Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, Last Action Hero, Eraser, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
He was put in charge of her safety on the film, rigging her on wires and harnesses for the action movie’s then-groundbreaking stunts.
He allegedly coaxed her into his Miami hotel room under the guise of a swim trip at the stunt crew’s pool one night only to allegedly strip naked and lay on top of her, rubbing himself all over her until he climaxed.
On the taxi ride home, he allegedly grew aroused again when he put Dushku on his lap in the backseat, she claimed.
But according to Kramer, Dushku swam in the hotel pool with him and other members of the stunt crew, including Dushku’s stunt double. Afterwards, he took her to her first ever sushi meal, and then took her home.
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“Directors are historically pretty oblivious to the inter-personal things that are happening on the set, because they’re focused on what they’re doing creatively, but had I known about there would have been no mercy,” he said. “I have daughters. There really would be no mercy now.”
“Eliza is very brave for speaking up,” the 63-year-old added. “It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to her.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kramer has been dropped by Worldwide Production Agency in light of the allegations.
“WPA has elected to part ways with Joel Kramer based on the allegations of misconduct now being reported,” president Richard Caleel said. “Such behavior is unacceptable and entirely at odds with the standards of conduct we demand of ourselves, and expect from our clients.”