Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander offered support after news broke that Eliza Dushku was paid $9.5 million by CBS after accusing Weatherly of harassment

By Maria Pasquini
December 16, 2018 06:15 PM
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Getty Images; Brian To/Variety/REX/Shutterstock; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Actresses Pauley Perrette and Sasha Alexander have spoken out on behalf of their former NCIS costar Michael Weatherly, days after news broke that Eliza Dushku was paid $9.5 million by CBS in a secret settlement after she accused the actor of harassment.

“This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW,” Perrette, who played forensic scientist Abby Sciuto for over a decade before recently leaving the CBS drama, tweeted on Saturday, alongside a shot of the pair smiling together while wearing matching smiley face stickers on their clothing.

“TWO decades of friendship and respect. The best. I love you @M_Weatherly Always and forever,” she added.

Following her departure from the series, Perrette claimed that she left the show after “multiple physical assaults,” and alleged that a “machine” worked to keep her silent.

Weatherly, who currently stars in Bull, played field agent Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS from 2003 to 2016.

Alexander, who played Special Agent Caitlin Todd on the show, also voiced her support for Weatherly.

“I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & [a heart] as big as they come,” she wrote on Saturday, hours after Perrette’s message, alongside a photo of the pair.

Reps for Perrette, Alexander and Weatherly did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

Dushku first came forward with claims against her former Bull costar following what she felt were inappropriate remarks made by the actor at the beginning of their professional relationship, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The actress, 37, joined the CBS primetime drama in March 2017, playing a character that had a major three-episode arc, with plans to be added as a series regular.

Not long after her start, however, Weatherly, 50, allegedly commented on Dushku’s appearance, brought up a threesome, and made a rape joke in front of other cast and crew members, according to the Times.

However, shortly after she allegedly confronted Weatherly about his behavior, she learned she had been written off the show. As a result, Dushku signed a confidential settlement, granting her $9.5 million — approximately the same amount she would have made as a Bull cast member for four seasons, the Times reported.

Michael Weatherly and Eliza Dushku
David M. Russell/CBS via Getty

Weatherly told the Times he regrets what he said and how he made his costar feel.

“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” Weatherly said in the statement to the publication. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”

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In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for CBS said that “the allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done.”

“The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time,” they added.

Dushku’s accusations and the settlement came to light as part of an investigation which is examining the behavior of the company’s former chief executive Leslie Moonves and the culture as a whole at CBS.