Eliza Dushku is one of the more recent celebrities who has opened up about the abuse they’ve sustained at the hands of powerful Hollywood figures. In a powerful essay shared on her Facebook page, Eliza Dushku names her abuser. She opens her essay: “When I was 12 years old while filming True Lies, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators.”
Dushku goes on to explain that Kramer began “grooming” her by making her feel special in order to foster trust with the child and her parents. According to forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner, the process of grooming, which involves targeting and gaining trust, is a tool that sex predators employ in order to more easily capture their prey.
In her essay, she writes, “I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights; how he cranked up the air-conditioning to what felt like freezing levels, where exactly he placed me on one of the two hotel room beds.” She then launches into the disturbing and graphic account of her abuse.
Dushku also suggests that she may have suffered an injury from the punishment inflicted by Kramer as a consequence of confiding in a trusted adult friend. She writes, “…When my tough adult female friend came out to the set to visit and face him, later that very same day, by no small coincidence, I was injured from a stunt-gone-wrong on the Harrier jet. With broken ribs, I spent the evening in the hospital.” Employed as the stunt coordinator for that same film, it was Kramer’s duty to ensure the physical safety of the actors on set.
She adds, “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.”
Although Dushku opened up to her parents about what was going on at the time, she said that the taboos regarding child sexual abuse prevented her family from taking action. According to Dushku, she is choosing to open up about her harrowing experience now because Kramer still has a job in Hollywood. His most recent employment includes working on the films Blade Runner 2049 and Furious 7.
Furthermore, Dushku adds, “…A few weeks ago, I found an internet photo of Joel Kramer hugging a young girl. That image has haunted me nonstop since.” She shares that through the years, many fans have thanked her for giving them the courage and conviction to stand up to their abusers. She hopes that by speaking out, it will help others who are in a similar situation.
In response to these allegations, Joel Kramer’s agent Richard Caleel has released a statement stating, “We are aware of Ms. Dushku’s serious allegations. We are carefully monitoring the situation for corroboration and/or more facts before commenting further or taking action.”
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