Eliza Dushku says she was sexually assaulted as child during filming

Eliza Dushku spoke in Boston in September 2016.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Eliza Dushku spoke in Boston in September 2016.

Hollywood actress and Watertown native Eliza Dushku shared a harrowing memory on Facebook Saturday morning, describing a sexual assault she said she experienced while filming “True Lies” when she was 12.

Dushku, 37, said the film’s stunt coodinator, Joel Kramer, built up trust with the actress and her parents for months before undressing himself and assaulting her on a hotel bed in Miami.

Neither Dushku nor Kramer responded to e-mails from the Globe on Saturday.


Richard Caleel, an attorney for Worldwide Production Agency, which represents Kramer, said in an e-mail that the firm was “aware of Ms. Dushku’s serious allegations.”

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“We are carefully monitoring the situation for corroboration and/or more facts before commenting further,” Caleel said.

Several news outlets reported that they had reached Kramer and that he had denied the allegations, expressing shock that Dushku had accused him.

Dushku, known for her performances in TV shows including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse” and films including “Bring it On,” wrote that she has been uncertain how to reveal what happened but was heartened by others coming forward with their stories.

“I am grateful to the women and men who have gone before me in recent months,” she wrote. “The ever-growing list of sexual abuse and harassment victims who have spoken out with their truths have finally given me the ability to speak out. It has been indescribably exhausting, bottling this up inside me for all of these years.”


In Dushku’s description of the assault, she said Kramer, then 36, lay down with her on the hotel bed and “rubbed all over me.”

Dushku said Kramer told her, “ ‘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.”

The Facebook post generated thousands of statements of support for Dushku, as well as comments from women sharing their own experiences of sexual assault and rape.

As the stunt coordinator for “True Lies,” Dushku wrote, Kramer was responsible for her safety during the filming of the movie “that at the time broke new ground for action films.”

“On a daily basis he rigged wires and harnesses on my 12 year old body,” she continued. “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. Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser.”


But, she wrote, on the day that an adult friend confronted him about the alleged sexual assault, she was injured in an accident on the set, sustaining broken ribs.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Kenneth Singletary can be reached at