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Eliza Dushku Accuses 'True Lies' Stunt Coordinator of Molesting Her at Age 12

Eliza Dushku Accuses 'True Lies' Stunt Coordinator of Molesting Her at Age 12

Eliza Dushku is speaking out in an open letter with allegations of being sexually assaulted by True Lies stunt coordinator Joel Kramer when she was just 12-years-old.

The actress, now 37, played the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s daughter in the 1994 movie.

“When I was 12 years old, while filming True Lies, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators,” Eliza began her open letter. “Ever since, I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever. At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.”

“I am grateful to the women and men who have gone before me in recent months. 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,” she continued.

Eliza went on to describe in detail what happened when Kramer, who was 36 at the time, lured her to his hotel room and rubbed all over her with his naked body. She also alleges that after an adult friend of hers confronted him, that she was injured on a stunt he oversaw the next day.

Eliza says that she gained the conviction to stand up to her abusers from all the fans who tell her that her characters give them strength as well.

Most recently, Kramer has worked as the stunt coordinator on films like Blade Runner 2049, The Conjuring 2, and the television series Westworld and Star Trek: Discovery.

Click inside to read the full open letter…

Eliza Dushku’s Full Open Letter

When I was 12 years old, while filming “True Lies”, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators.

Ever since, I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever. At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.

I am grateful to the women and men who have gone before me in recent months. 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.

I remember, so clearly 25 years later, how Joel Kramer made me feel special, how he methodically built my and my parents’ trust, for months grooming me; exactly how he lured me to his Miami hotel room with a promise to my parent that he would take me for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool and for my first sushi meal thereafter. 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, what movie he put on the television (Coneheads); how he disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section. I remember what I was wearing (my favorite white denim shorts, thankfully, secured enough for me to keep on). I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me. He spoke these words: “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. When he was ‘finished’, he suggested, “I think we should be careful…,” [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36.

I remember how afterwards, the taxi driver stared at me in the rear view mirror when Joel Kramer put me on his lap in the backseat and clutched me and grew aroused again; and how my eyes never left the driver’s eyes during that long ride over a Miami bridge, back to my hotel and parent. I remember how Joel Kramer grew cold with me in the ensuing weeks, how everything felt different on the set.

And I remember how soon-after, when my tough adult female friend (in whom I had confided my terrible secret on the condition of a trade that she let me drive her car around the Hollywood Hills) 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. To be clear, over the course of those months rehearsing and filming True Lies, it was Joel Kramer who was responsible for my safety on a film 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. 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.

Why speak out now? I was 12, he was 36. It is incomprehensible. Why didn’t an adult on the set find his predatory advances strange – that over-the-top special attention he gave me. Fairly early on he nicknamed me “Jailbait” and brazenly called me by this name in a sick flirty way in front of others (at the time, I remember asking one of my older brothers what it meant). Sure, I’ve come to understand the terrible power dynamics that play into whistle-blowing by “subordinates” against persons in power, how difficult it can be for someone to speak up. But I was a child. Over the years I’ve really struggled as I’ve wondered how my life might have been different if someone, any one grown-up who witnessed his sick ways, had spoken up before he lured me to that hotel room.

Years ago, I had heard second hand that Joel Kramer was “found out” and forced to leave the business. I learned recently that in fact he still works at the top of the industry. And a few weeks ago, I found an internet photo of Joel Kramer hugging a young girl. That image has haunted me near nonstop since. I can no longer hide what happened.

Hollywood has been very good to me in many ways. Nevertheless, Hollywood also failed to protect me, a child actress. I like to think of myself as a tough Boston chick, in many ways I suppose not unlike Faith, Missy, or Echo. Through the years, brave fans have regularly shared with me how some of my characters have given them the conviction to stand up to their abusers. Now it is you who give me strength and conviction. I hope that speaking out will help other victims and protect against future abuse.

With every person that speaks out, every banner that drops down onto my iphone screen disclosing similar stories/truths, my resolve strengthens. Sharing these words, finally calling my abuser out publicly by name, brings the start of a new calm.

Eliza Dushku

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Eliza Dushku, Joel Kramer

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  • gwen

    This is one detailed fact filled story. I believe it 100%

  • wearing

    This makes me cry. I hope someone hurts him bad.

  • wearing

    In case anyone wants to ask him something: Contact Information.
    I may be reached by either contact my agent, service number, or email. Thank You.

    Joshua Schechter

    Email: josh@ipglm.com
    Phone 310 402 5155

    Joel Kramer

    Email: jjkramer1@mac.com
    Service Number 323 462 2301

  • Will

    Brave woman, these bastards can’t hide any longer.

  • j.

    How horrifying. I believe her

  • ShellBell

    When she was on Buffy and doing interviews around 99-03 , she said a few times she hated and feared doing love scenes partly because she was mormon but more because of horrible experiences she went through when she was younger and refused to do a lot of stuff because of it. If what she said is true, and as you say, it is very detailed, that would be part of the reason.

  • Teresa


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  • DNA(splicer)

    She could be lying, just saying, why wait so long and only after all these harrasment witch Hunt happened. I swear guys touch someone’s knee they yell rape.

    “OMG he touched my knee rape rape kill the rapist”

    Or a guy tried to get his girl to give him head and after they break up all of a sudden it’s sexual assault or harrasment. Like with James Franco. Just cuz ur man tries to get head is not assault or sexual harrasment. Unless he pins you down and tries to shove it in your mouth or butt it’s not rape or assault

  • Deb Valentine

    Have you read her letter? I’m guessing not.

  • DNA(splicer)

    There is no need to be rude?!?!?!?

  • persononhere

    so so brave. only 25 years of waiting to be so so brave. all hail eliza and the people who helped her hide away her deep dark secret

  • dee

    GOOD FOR HER! **CLAPPING THIS SHIT OUT** really glad she came forward, and shes right i just google joel kramer and he is hugging a young girl…. it made me feel insanely uncomfortable knowing all of this and hearing other allegations. and i seriously wish someone had called him out when he was going around calling her jailbait?? wtf is that??? she was 12 for fucks sakes….

  • Deb Valentine

    Sorry I didn’t mean to sound rude, is just that everyone seems so quick to judge the person who’s telling the story and in this particular case she was so specific you could almost see it in your head, a pretty dark thought :/