James Cameron, director of the 1994 film True Lies, told a Television Critics Association audience Saturday that he would have personally shown “no mercy” if he had known that actress Eliza Dushku was allegedly molested by a veteran crew member while the film was shot.
Dushku, who was just 12 years old at the time of the alleged act, told her fans Friday via Facebook that stunt coordinator Joel Kramer lured the young actress into his hotel room and sexually molested her. Cameron, troubled by the allegations, mentioned the growing #MeToo movement along with Dushku’s bravery. “I just heard about it, but obviously Eliza is very brave for speaking up, and I think all the women are that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now,” Cameron said, according to Deadline. “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 who are famous today, 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. It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to her.”
The Canadian filmmaker assured the audience that had he known, he would have made an effort to ensure that Kramer would have faced severe consequences. “Directors are historically pretty oblivious to the interpersonal things that are happening on their sets,” Cameron said. “Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy. Now especially that I have daughters there would really have been no mercy.” Cameron was promoting his upcoming AMC Visionaries project James Cameron’s Stories of Science Fiction, set for April 30.
“I know the other party,” Cameron, referring to the accused stunt director, said before adding, “not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then.” The Titanic director then added words about how society should shift as a whole to be safer: “I think going forward it’s important for all industries, and certainly Hollywood, to create a safe avenue for people to speak up, that they feel safe and that anybody that might be a predator or an abuser knows that that mechanism is there, that it’s encouraged and there’s no shame around it and, there will be consequences.”
Kramer has denied the actress’ allegations. “Wow. That’s news to me. I never sexually assaulted her. She’s a sweet girl. We all looked out for her, that’s surprising,” he told The Wrap, after he saw Dushku’s Facebook post.