'There would’ve been no mercy': James Cameron responds to Eliza Dushku's claim she was molested on set of his film True Lies aged 12
- Director commended the 37-year-old for her bravery, adding that had he known about the incident at the time 'there would’ve been no mercy'
- Dushku accused one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators, Joel Kramer, of sexually molesting her 25 years ago
- The actress wrote a lengthy, detailed Facebook post on Saturday
- She alleges that Kramer took her to a hotel room in Miami when she was just 12 years old and ‘rubbed all over’ her body until he was ‘finished’
- At the time, Dushku was starring in one of her first breakout roles alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1994 action flick True Lies
- Kramer has worked either as a stunt double for Schwarzenegger or a stunt coordinator on a number of his films
- Kramer has denied the allegations
James Cameron has responded to Eliza Dusku's claims she was molested by a stuntman while working on his film, True Lies.
In an open letter on Saturday, the actress accused stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of sexually assaulting her when she was just 12.
Speaking at the Winter TCA's, the film's director commended the 37-year-old for her bravery, adding that had he known about the incident at the time 'there would’ve been no mercy.'
'There would’ve been no mercy': James Cameron has responded to Eliza Dusku's claims she was molested by a stuntman while working on his film, True Lies
'I just heard about it. I haven’t given a lot of thought to the specific situation today — I just heard about it, but obviously Eliza is very brave for speaking up,' Cameron said, according to EW.
'It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to her. I know the other party — not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then,' he continued. 'The fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about it, going forward, it’s important for all industries, certainly Hollywood, to create a safe avenue for people to speak up, that they feel safe, and that anybody who might be a predator or an abuser knows that that mechanism is there, that it’s encouraged, and that there’s no shame around it, and that there will be consequences.'
Dusku wrote a lengthy, detailed Facebook post on Saturday in which she alleges that Kramer took her to a hotel room in Miami when she was just 12 years old and ‘rubbed all over’ her body until he was ‘finished.’
At the time, Dushku was starring in one of her first breakout roles as the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the 1994 action flick.
Grim: Dusku wrote a lengthy, detailed Facebook post on Saturday in which she alleges that Kramer took her to a hotel room in Miami when she was just 12 years old and ‘rubbed all over’ her body until he was ‘finished.’
Kramer has denied the allegations.
In his response, Cameron claimed the issue went way beyond just Hollywood, but that Hollywood was in the unique position of actually shining a spotlight on it.
'I think all the women are that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now,' he said. 'I think this has been endemic throughout human systems, not just Hollywood, but because Hollywood deals with— women who were victims 10, 15, 20 years ago are famous today, so they get to have a louder voice when they come forward, so bravo for them for doing it. And I’m glad Eliza did that.'
In a lengthy statement, he said the TimesUp movement was a great moment in history, but unfortunately one based on personal tragedy.
'This is not a reckoning for Hollywood, this is not a reckoning for America, this is a reckoning for the human race. This sh*t has been going on since Day one.
'So whenever there’s a male in a position of power, and he’s got a piece missing and doesn’t understand the consequences of what he’s doing — and maybe out of this can come some education that can pull some man who would otherwise go down that path back from the brink as well. Because I think a lot of it has to come from some kind of lack of empathy, they’re clearly not feeling what this is going to mean for this person further down the line.
Oblivious: Speaking at the Winter TCA's, the film's director commended the 37-year-old for her bravery, adding that had he known about the incident at the time 'there would’ve been no mercy.'
'Hopefully we’ll be making films about this stuff and we’ll put something in place as industry practice to do it as much as we can to prevent it. Because this is happening right now.'
He also said the directors were 'historically pretty oblivious' to interpersonal things going on on-set, because they are so focused creatively — admitting to it himself.
'But had I known about it, there would’ve been no mercy,' he said. 'Now, especially that I have daughters, there’s really no mercy.'
In her statement, Dusku wrote that she told her parents, one of her brothers, and two adult friends about what happened, but ‘no one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.’
The actress wrote that before the alleged incident Kramer ‘made me feel special’ and ‘methodically built my and my parents’ trust’ by ‘grooming me’ for months.
‘[H]e lured me to his Miami hotel room with a promise to my parent that he would take me for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool and for my first sushi meal thereafter,’ she wrots.
Groomed: The actress wrote that before the alleged incident Kramer ‘made me feel special’ and ‘methodically built my and my parents’ trust’ by ‘grooming me’ for months
Kramer then ‘disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section,’ according to Dushku.
‘I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me,’ she wrote.
‘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.’
Dushku also alleges that after the alleged incident in the hotel Kramer ‘put me on his lap’ and ‘clutched me’ while they were both in the backseat of a taxicab.
She writes that the cab driver ‘stared at me in the rear view mirror’ and that ‘my eyes never left the driver’s eyes during that long ride’ in Miami.
Dushku also alleges that after the alleged assault Kramer ‘grew cold with me in the ensuing weeks.’
She wrote that after an adult female friend of hers in whom she confided confronted Kramer about his behavior, Dushku was injured in a ‘stunt-gone-wrong’.
Dushku wrote that it was ‘no small coincidence’ that she suffered broken ribs as a result of the accident given that it was Kramer who was ‘responsible for my safety on a film that broke new ground for action films.’
‘My life was literally in his hands: he hung me in the open air, from a tower crane, atop an office tower, 25+ stories high,’ Dushku wrote.
‘Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser.’
Dushku also wrote that Kramer had given her ‘over-the-top special attention’ by nicknaming her ‘Jailbait’ – doing so in a ‘sick flirty way in front of others’.
On set: At the time, Dushku was starring in one of her first breakout roles alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1994 action flick True Lies
Nobody on the set of the movie thought it was necessary to speak up, Dushku wrote.
The actress wrote that she decided to come forward after learning recently that Kramer ‘still works at the top of the industry.’
‘And a few weeks ago, I found an internet photo of Joel Kramer hugging a young girl,’ she wrote.
‘That image has haunted me near nonstop since. I can no longer hide what happened.’
Kramer has worked either as a stunt double for Schwarzenegger or a stunt coordinator on a number of his films, including Commando, Predator, Raw Deal, Total Recall, Last Action Hero, and the Terminator movies, according to IMBD.
Kramer told Variety on Saturday that Dushku’s allegations were 'absolutely not true.'
He claims 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.
Kramer told Variety he was 'taken aback' and 'floored' by the allegations.
He claims he 'never molested her' and was 'never nude in front of her.'
'This whole talk of luring her to my room, on top of her, getting off, holding her in the car and calling her jailbait is just outright hyperbole and lies,' he said.
Kramer told Variety that another person on the set told him that Dushku was 'always asking questions' about him.
He said that led him to believe he needed to 'handle her with kid gloves.'
'I did kiss her on the cheek once to say goodnight to her, gave her a hug,' he said.
'We treated her like family, she was part of our crew.'
Kramer insisted the allegations were 'absurd' and said that it would not have made any sense for him to do the things he is accused of.
'Who in their right mind would do something like that, when you’re a high-profile coordinator on a shoot like that with months left of shooting?' he said.
One Facebook user wrote: 'I'm so sorry but as a parent it was your parent's responsibility to do something...They allowed you to go back to work knowing your life was in his hands'
Judith Dushku, Eliza's mother, agreed with the criticism
On Facebook, Dushku's mother writes that she accepts criticism from people who say that she should have done more to either protect her daughter or confront Kramer.
One Facebook user wrote: 'I'm so sorry but as a parent it was your parent's responsibility to do something...They allowed you to go back to work knowing your life was in his hands.
'And even after the incident they said nothing.'
Judith Dushku, Eliza's mother, agreed with the criticism.
'I accept your condemnation as Eliza's mother,' she wrote. 'I was afraid of Joel Kramer, too. And it was years later that I finally understood fully what really happened.'
'At the time, Eliza was too scared to tell the whole story and in a way I think she protected me from knowing because she knew how frightened I was of the powerful men on the set.'
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