Over the weekend True Lies star Eliza Dushku publicly detailed a sexual assault allegation against stuntman/stunt coordinator Joel Kramer; Kramer was stunt coordinator for such films as Terminator 2, Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time, Terminator Genisys (also second unit/first unit director), Predator, Commando, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, Twins and True Lies.
The alleged assault took place in Miami during the filming of True Lies, when Miss Dushku was aged just 12 years old and Joel Kramer was 36. The details of the assault are shocking and deeply disturbing.
Eliza’s Dushku’s Legal Guardian for the filming of True Lies; Sue Booth-Forbes and Eliza’s agent (at that time) JoAnne Colonna, as well as numerous other sources are supporting Eliza’s account of the assault.
Colonna had states that she had reported the issues/inappropriate behavior to Executive Producer of True Lies Rae Sanchini who apparently took no action whatsoever…
“I’d called Rae multiple times because there was such inappropriateness going on the set,” Colonna told Deadline. “There was sexual talk to and at her at various occasions. She was a very feisty, precocious 12-year-old, a tomboy, they may have felt she was one of the boys but it was really inappropriate from the top.”
Producer, Rae Sanchini denies any knowledge of what was reported to her and claims to have only found out about the incident in the last few days.
Eliza’s statement suggests that her safety was purposely put in jeopardy by Mr. Kramer prior to telling her parents, her guardian and her agent of the incident which was followed by her being involved in an ‘accident’ on set in one of True Lies stunts in which Eliza was hanging from a Harrier Jet (Joel Kramer was responsible for her safety/harness) which apparently resulted in her having broken ribs.
Sue Booth-Forbes Statement (Eliza’s Legal Guardian on True Lies):
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.
Support for Eliza has also come from members of the cast and crew of True Lies, including; James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold.
James Cameron stated the following at the TCA…
“I know the other party — not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then. The fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about it, I think 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 … and that there will be consequences. I think we all collectively, just as a human race, have to do that. I don’t think this is a Hollywood problem.”
Cameron discussed moving forward with these types of issues and insisted he knew nothing of what took place…
Cameron told reporters Saturday that he hopes the current climate will yield films “about this stuff and we’ll put something in place as an industry practice to do as much as we can to prevent it. Directors are historically pretty oblivious to interpersonal things that are happening on their set because they’re focused and are the worst offenders at being focused on ‘what I am doing creatively?’”
On if he had known what was going on…
“Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy. Now, especially. I have daughters. There’s really no mercy now.”
Leading Lady of the movie True Lies; Jamie Lee Curtis, then went on to write an article titled ‘Truth and Lies’ for The Huffington Post in which she said the following…
“Eliza’s story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality. The abuse of children.”
True Lies supporting actor Tom Arnold tweeted Arnold the following…
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) January 14, 2018
Arnold responded to Tom Arnold’s tweet…
Tom, you bet your ass all of us would have done something. I’m shocked and saddened for Eliza but I am also proud of her – beyond being a great talent and an amazing woman, she is so courageous. https://t.co/EJJbkdior2
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) January 16, 2018
Mr. Kramer has denied the assault took place via Facebook:
Regarding Eliza Dushku.
Early this morning Eliza Dushku made a accusation against me on her Facebook page. This statement by Ms. Dushku has devastated my family and me. These accusations are entirely untrue. While filming “True Lies” I treated Ms. Dushku with respect and was protective of her safety and welfare as is appropriate to my position as a stunt coordinator. A film crew is like a family, and Eliza was always treated and protected as a member of the family. I never behaved in any way inappropriately with her. I was never in a position where I was alone with her and even while working with her on set her female stunt double was always there to help her into her harness, offer support and ensure her well being. While it is true that Ms. Dushku did come swimming with several of the stunt crew at our hotel and afterwards had sushi with us, again we were not alone and I did not “Lure her to my hotel room”. We as a “family” were including Ms. Dushku in our group to make her feel welcome and included. These allegations are a well-crafted fabrication by Ms. Dushku. I do not understand what motivated Ms. Dushku to make this statement and I hope that she can find it in her conscious to correct this injustice and return my good name to me. I understand the culture in Hollywood has been historically unfair to women and I applaud and support women who are standing up and pointing out these injustices. It is unfortunate, however that this new culture allows a person to destroy the life and livelihood of a person with false accusations. This false accusation has subjected my family and me to death treats and will devastate my livelihood even when proven to be false. In truth, innocence in fact is not enough to clear a person’s name in the minds on the world. This action can also only undermine the suffering of women who have had to deal with unjust treatment.
Since the news broke of the alleged assault, two more women have accused Mr. Kramer of sexual assault (forced oral sex) and sexual misconduct (the latter involving a sixteen year old girl on a set visit to 1999’s Virus, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and produced by Gale Anne Hurd).
TheTerminatorFans.com have received a few emails asking us why we did not celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the honest answer is that we didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate a TV show that had heavy involvement/participation of Joel Kramer (as stunt coordinator and second unit director on the show) on the same day the sexual abuse claims emerged, the same day as the 10th Anniversary). A day that should have been a point of celebration for the Terminator franchise; in our eyes was definitely not a day to celebrate.