UPDATED with Sue Booth-Forbes’s full statement: Actress Eliza Dushku earlier today accused famed stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of sexually molesting her when she was 12 years old during filming of True Lies. Her claims, denied by Kramer, are being confirmed by Sue Booth-Forbes, who was Dushku’s legal guardian on the set of the film.
Dushku’s mother, Judith Ann Rasmussen, also confirmed Dushku’s story in a Facebook post. A political science professor, her job prevented her from accompanying her daughter. Dushku’s brother, Aaron Dushku, told Deadline, “I support my sister and believe it all to be true.”
In True Lies, Dushku played the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis’ characters.
Booth-Forbes, now Director of Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat, provided her account to Deadline that backs Dushku’s accusations against Kramer. “Eliza Dushku is telling the truth,” said Booth-Forbes who added that she was on the set of True Lies for three weeks and reported Kramer’s misconduct but nothing happened. She also said that she unsuccessfully tried to keep Kramer away from the young actress on a set ruled by “misogyny” and that she accompanied Dushku to the hospital after a stunt accident had left her with broken ribs.
In her post, former Dollhouse star Dushku claims that, soon after Kramer had assaulted her in a hotel room, she suffered broken ribs in a stunt gone wrong under Kramer’s supervision. He alleges that the mishap had only left the actress a “little bruised.”
Booth-Forbes hails her former charge for speaking out and becoming part of the force behind Hollywood’s reckoning on sexual misconduct.
“May Eliza be believed and supported and may her courage in telling her truth make a contribution to the sea change that is in progress,” Booth-Forbes said.
Booth-Forbes has since expanded on her comments. She shared with Deadline that she is concerned about what impact her statement exposing “unscrupulous, powerful, narcissistic, men without boundaries” would have on her, her reputation, and her business.
“But this time I am refusing to allow myself to be intimidated,” Booth-Forbes said. “Joel Kramer did what Eliza said he did. He is a pedophile, and he must face the consequences.”
In her emotional post, Buffy The Vampire alumna Dushku details the alleged sexual assault by Kramer and talks about the impact it has had on her and the role played by the people in power who could’ve prevented it but didn’t. “Hollywood has been very good to me in many ways,” she wrote. “Nevertheless, Hollywood also failed to protect me, a child actress.”
Eliza Dushku is telling the truth.
I was her legal guardian and took seriously my need to have her in my sight at all times, which was often difficult to do. I was on the True Lies set for 3 weeks and reported Joel Kramer’s inappropriate sexual behavior towards 12-year-old Eliza to a person in authority. I was met with blank stares and had the sense that I wasn’t telling that person anything they didn’t already know.
I was at the hospital and can verify that she was hurt and in pain with breaks/cracks to her ribs. Surely they have medical records somewhere to prove that.
I tried to keep Joel away from her as did others working on the set, but because of all the stunts she had to do, he was constantly involved with her and her body. 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.
It has been 25 years, and I am grateful for the current efforts to stop this madness. I am so proud of Eliza for writing her eloquent, accurately detailed account of the trauma she suffered at his hands. So much about her journey since then can be explained by her feeling powerless to protect herself and prevent his abusing her. He creeped me out and sexualized everything; in fact that was the atmosphere of the set the entire time I was there. I did the only thing I knew to do then — report his behavior to someone with some clout, and that went nowhere. I look back now and realize that Eliza’s natural, adorable feistiness had taken on a patina of defensiveness/protectiveness for good cause.
As I look back on the experience, there should never have been a child on that set because of the misogyny, sexual language and attitudes of the crowd of immature white men who made up the vast majority of the crew. She was treated like one of the boys, not a 12-year-old girl. I also look back wishing I had done more but forgiving myself a bit because there was really nothing I could do given the power structure of the movie industry. Everyone one involved has to turn a blind eye to such things in order to keep their jobs and not get in the way of the movie being made. Lord have mercy if something stopped the moneymaking wheels from turning.
That was years ago when that power structure was the norm, and the bullies were in charge. Only now does it appear that women and men know what to do and are doing it. May Eliza be believed and supported and may her courage in telling her truth make a contribution to the sea change that is in progress.
As I write this, I can feel a bit of the paranoia caused by associating my name, hence my business, with this volatile subject. No wonder people over time haven’t told their truth. Such unscrupulous, powerful, narcissistic, men without boundaries will do anything they have to to protect themselves, their reputations, each other, and most significantly their money. I have to wonder what could they do to me, my reputation, and my business.
But this time I am refusing to allow myself to be intimidated. Joel Kramer did what Eliza said he did. He is a pedophile, and he must face the consequences.