Schwarzenegger & Tom Arnold would have ‘done something’ about Dushku’s assault

elizadushku
I’ve had a tough time since the news broke about Weinstein, because like so many women I have a #metoo story. (I didn’t even realize this was what was wrong until I noticed how much I was stress eating in the mornings while I was working.) My story is similar to Eliza Dushku’s, which she just revealed happened to her at age 12 while working on True Lies, in that I was 13 and I minimized it and internalized it in my memories until I recently understood how bad it was. It took me 30 years and months of hearing similar stories to tell someone. I told my mom and she was so upset and appalled. She told me she would have taken action, and I said it would have been useless because nothing would have happened to the man, who was 31 at the time. It would have changed my life irreparably and if it managed to put a dent in his career it would be surprising. This is why women and victims don’t speak out, because we bear the brunt of suspicion and consequences.

I bring this up because Eliza’s story hit home for me and because I completely understand why she kept quiet, why she minimized the story when she told it to a few people, and why the people close to her are now promising they would have helped her. Maybe they would have, maybe they would have tried and it wouldn’t have worked, but when you hear about it decades later you feel helpless and like you would have saved the person. Another reason I’m mentioning this is because my initial reaction, as a writer, is to tell people, particularly men, to shut it and that it’s not about them. (I wanted to respond like this to James Cameron yesterday but I didn’t.) I get it though, they feel for Eliza and wish they could have helped. This is all lead-up to the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold, who were in True Lies with Eliza, promise they would have done something. Again, I’m not sure how else they could have responded. As we reported yesterday, Jamie Lee Curtis has responded with a thoughtful essay on The Huffington Post. Here’s what Arnold and Schwarzenegger tweeted.

I kind of said everything I needed to about this story. It’s just sad although I have hope that more of these monsters will be outed, shamed and rejected by their industries and peers. I have hope that more people in power will understand how prevalent this is, and that they will take even minor reports seriously, because they are likely only hearing a sliver of the story.

Incidentally, the stunt coordinator who abused Eliza (I’m not even using “allegedly” after how he attacked her after this story came out), Joel Kramer, continued working in the industry for decades and most recently was the stunt coordinator on Blade Runner 2049. As we heard yesterday, he was dropped by his agency and claims that he’s considering suing Eliza. You know that’s not going to happen, particularly since two additional women have come out with stories about Kramer’s abuse.

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60 Responses to “Schwarzenegger & Tom Arnold would have ‘done something’ about Dushku’s assault”

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  1. What's Inside says:

    I look at pictures of her at that age and think the man who called that little bitty girl “jailbait” needs a frontal lobotomy.

  2. Hh says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, Celebtichy. But thanks for sharing. Was yours a repressed memory? Or you always knew something was wrong but didn’t have the words? Sorry to pry. I ask because every time I hear stories of sexual abuse towards children, I get a visceral emotional reaction. It’s overwhelming. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m very sensitive or if I’m repressing something.

    I’m not gonna fault Tom and Arnold for their responses. They phrased their “I would have done something” in less of a self serving way, but more of a “we believe and support Eliza” way. They were uplifting her voice in the best way they knew how.

    • Celebitchy says:

      It was not repressed, I actively tried to forget about it and I minimized what happened. I would remember it occasionally. The idea of repressed memories is a controversial one for good reason.

      • HH says:

        I appreciate you clarifying. And yes, I agree. I’ve read plenty about the skepticism/controversy of repressed memories. While I don’t outright dismiss the concept, I don’t put too much stock in it either. I thought it was worth it to check. Thanks again.

      • FLORC says:

        Celebitchy
        Appreciate you sharing this! You’ve read our comments. You have support here. Even if you choose to never speak of it again. What’s important is processing it and moving forward. I hope you find equal support in your day to day life as well.
        HUGS

      • lucy2 says:

        Same here – I was 13, and though what happened to me was minor compared to most, I tried to forget it, and actually did for a while. Then a few years ago out of the blue I remembered it again. Of course then I was SO angry with myself that I didn’t do something at the time, because surely I wasn’t the only one this guy targeted. It’s taken some time to get past that, but honestly, hearing others share their stories too has helped a great deal.

        We all like to think we’d fight back, go to the police, come out victorious, but it rarely happens. So these guys right now saying they would have done something…would they have? I believe they are angry for her and would do something now, but then…I just don’t know.

      • blogdis says:

        Celebitchy
        Thank you so much for this I can relate it’s not really repressed memory but a more denial and a pretense that this never happened that you try to stuff down inside you somewhere and keeps popping up until you are forced to reconcile and put a name to it yeh abuse , I was abused

        Much Love and support here

      • Milla says:

        I did the same until few years ago i started shouting at my mum. And she had no idea what happened, but when i told her it was easier.

        The worst part is the quilt and just not saying anything. And at that time, i really thought it was me. And i felt gross . Im literally frowning while writing this.

      • Sadezilla says:

        Chiming in to say thanks for sharing, CB. Thanks for what you do here.

      • FLORC says:

        There’s no shame is actively forgetting or ignoring something painful. It’s survival. I’ll always applaud the survivors that carry on. It’s more traumatizing than many could imagine.

    • Fleur says:

      I’m so sorry for your trauma, Celebitchy. It was incredibly brave to share it in this forum.

  3. Bridget says:

    “Would” have done something? There’s still PLENTY for you guys to do right now. Kramer worked for many, many years on many productions with children – including specificially with Arnold. This isn’t going to just be Eliza.

    • Sam the pink says:

      But other than refusing to work with him again, how can individuals really punish Kramer? Eliza can’t really pursue him legally. Coming forward is a major step and hopefully will empower more women this guy victimized, but part of the anger here is that, ultimately, there isn’t much that can really offer a remedy here.

      • Bridget says:

        Reaching out to the young girls who worked with him is a start (looking at his IMDB, it would appear that Kramer and Schwarzzenegger worked together for a long time). And actively working to change the culture that has long allowed predators to hide in plain sight in that industry. They may not be able to fix what happened to Eliza, but there’s a ton they could do. There are likely a lot of other victims out there, when you look at his IMDB and how many of his productions worked with young ladies. Legal punishment, while it would be incredibly satisfying, is far from the only angle in this story.

      • Sam the pink says:

        Bridget, I’m not sure there is much to do. Like I said, legal recourse is probably outside the realm of possibility, sadly. And I’m not sure I agree with going back through the history to try to “id” victims. I believe in giving people the space to come forward IF They wish to. I think people can make cleat their support for victims without hounding or hunting anyone. Eliza has done the heavy work of helping others come forward. Some may want to speak, others may not – and that is their right. But I can’t support anything that could be perceived as hounding or pursuing potential victims.

      • Bridget says:

        You’re extremely stuck on the concept of legal resource being the only thing victims of childhood abuse need. Kramer was likely a serial child molester, with extensive access to young women – who may have been afraid to come forward, or who may have succumbed to demons in order to try to blot out the affects of his abuse. This might amaze you, but there’s a middle ground between not saying anything at all and publicizing victims – it turns out that people can privately reach out. And there’s a good chance that these women many need that.

      • Flaming Oh says:

        This is at the heart of it for me.
        It’s shocking that the statute of limitations is not waived for these serious crimes involving such marked age/power imbalance.
        The perpetrators exploit this to escape justice. For timesup to become a reality this must change.
        Sorry for your pain CB & gratitude for bravely sharing.

    • V4Real says:

      It’s happening, his agency dropped him and he’s losing work.

  4. PPP says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Dylan Farrow is the one who hit me the hardest because her story is my story. I am also really going through something hearing this stuff everywhere and all the time. As much as I’ve been commenting, I can’t imagine it being my job to engage in it. That takes real strength.

  5. Sam the pink says:

    Truthfully, knowing my dad would have “done something ” was a reason why I held off telling him about my ex for a long time. My dad, bless him, would have stormed my ex’s house, kicked his ass and gotten himself arrested for his trouble. I appreciate that good men can want to help, to react, but sometimes I think a lot of victims keep quiet simply because they fear the consequences, no matter how well intentioned a reaction may be.

  6. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    So glad Schwarzenegger has no history of assaulting women.

    • Mia4s says:

      Ahh yes, sarcasm (I hope).

      I keep wondering if those stories will come back. Perhaps not as I’m sure payouts were made long ago. (And to be clear the stories were about groping, not rape or young girls) These days we do have to clarify.

      There is no making any of this right. This monster is 60. That’s almost a full career. Do better going forward, that’s the only good that can come of this.

      • Bridget says:

        He worked with Kramer for YEARS. And on productions that involved children. This isn’t sitting right with me.

      • Gaby says:

        Bridget,
        Jamie Lee Curtis also worked with him after True Lies. And abusers work very hard to not be outed, to have people who will stand by them and vouch for their “trustworthiness”.
        I do believe that not everybody that works or lives with abusers are aware of their crimes. After all many abusers prey on family and friends.
        Arnold is not a saint, but unless you have actual proof of him abusing or assalting, I don’t think you should insinuate he knew about it or did something like that.

      • Bridget says:

        You’re right, and I get that. But think about how often it goes from “I had no clue!” to “well, I did see *this*”. Like Sandusky and Penn State. And while JLC worked with him, it was still a different dynamic as at that point Schwarzenegger was arguably the most powerful actor in Hollywood all through the 90s.

        And I could be totally and completely wrong. Not to mention, I am not accusing Arnold himself of being a child molester. But I just have a gut feeling that something isn’t right.

      • Surely Wolfbeak says:

        Sarcasm is my preferred coping mechanism.

      • Nick says:

        @Bridget if you’re going that way than you don’t believe Oprah, Streep, or Lawerence when they said they had no idea about Weinstein

    • Taxi says:

      Arnold’s treatment of women during his CA governorship was hardly exemplary. Did the family’s long-time housekeeper who had a child by him enter into that association entirely of her own volition? With all the finger-pointers coming out of the woodwork now, I think Arnold’s time in the hot-seat will come.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Yikes. So far I haven’t heard anything beyond the cheating.

  7. Deets says:

    It’s very brave if you to share that cb, and I’m glad you finally were able to talk about it with your loved ones.

    I also am sick of what people would have done. Unlike CB I’m not feeling charitable.
    I don’t care what these people would have done. They didn’t create an atmosphere where a child felt safe sharing. What are they doing now to make sure it never happens again.

    I want to hear what they are doing to change this. Not their actionless remorse.

    • gabbie says:

      “They didn’t create an atmosphere where a child felt safe sharing.” the world hadn’t created an atmosphere where a child felt safe sharing, the weight of that world doesn’t and didn’t rest on the shoulders of two individual men. who knows how they would have reacted at the time? their response to it now is fine, they’re offering support and love and expressing their shame that they hadn’t known. ‘if i’d known, i would have-’ is a common way of dealing with the surprise and anger.

      • Deets says:

        That’s nice. I’m glad they are processing, but it doesn’t help Eliza and it doesn’t help other victims.

        I’m still waiting for how they will do better.
        What are they doing the next time someone uses the term jailbait. Or is creepy around young kids?

        The culture needs to shift and that requires action from a lot of people.

    • Purplehazeforever says:

      I think they just feel hopeless and angry to know someone they cared about was molested during the filming and they didn’t see it. They might be trying to go back and ask themselves if they missed something or if they should have done something.

    • Bridget says:

      As you can see, I feel the same way.

  8. Sansa says:

    This happened to me at age 7 – 11 my grandfather lived with us and would sneak around drunk and use to masterbation / oral sex once a month for years. I couldn’t tell anyone as he threatened me and I was scared. This really changed my life in negative ways but I still got over it to have a nice career and marriage. I understand the damage and I just want you to know this story really reaches me and your readers love you and support you always.

    • Deets says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that Sansa, but thank you for being brave enough to share. I’m glad to hear you’ve found your happiness.

    • Annabelle Bronstein says:

      Thank you, and CB, for sharing. Love/hugs to you both

    • Burdzeyeview says:

      Sansa – that is horrendous. I hope we get to a place where no-one feels powerless in situations like this and that they will feel able to speak up, be believed and that th perpetrators are punished.

  9. blogdis says:

    I believe Eliza and of all the abuse stories the ones involving children are the hardest for me , a A 12 yo is a child, defenseless who acts and sees and rationalizes the world Is a CHILD and is abused by an. ADULT three time her age
    And not just any adult , a stunt director who is asenior person on her job and the set and who literally and figuratively has her life in his hands ( did you read where he purposefully hurt her on a stunt as if to send her a message !!)

    I am not gonna lie whilst I know we can care about more than one thing at time I was Kinna irked how Elizas story seemed to being sidelined or not get the same outrage or attention as the one involving ” Grace ” and Aziz even here the latter story got like almost 3 times the comments as Eliza’s
    A 12 yo is practically helpless esp in that situation and does not have the mental capacity , agency and free will of a 22/23 yo and so yes it really bugs me when adults who are in a position to advocate for themselves even with creeps like Aziz do not do so

    PS I always though Eliza was such a badass in Bring it on , it goes to show you never really know , I wish her all the happiness and healing and I hope they can find a case with Kramer that does not exceed the state of limitations as he deserves to be in prson

  10. z says:

    Wasn’t Schwarzenegger once accused of sexual misconduct as well?

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    In reading your byline CB, I want to say thank you, and I’m so thankful you rose to your memories and swallowed hard. Eliza’s admission had the same result with me. I don’t know if it was the pointed information recall, the fact my husband and I always liked her movies, including True Lies (we really loved it) or the way she simply tried to forget all these years. After reading it, I finally admitted out loud to my husband (I’ve known him for many, many years) that my first husband (we were married only five years and I had my oldest with him in the middle of those years) raped me towards the end of our marriage. It happened more than once, and I never told anyone because we were married, and I figured I’d be swept out with the daily dirt. I left him. The divorce was amicable. I then made sure I drove halfway to him every two weeks, about 150 miles, for more than a decade to have a father-son relationship. My husband remembers how volatile his phone messages were and how tenuous meeting him every two weeks was in the beginning couple of years. I never said anything to anyone about what’s been burrying me for so long. I still won’t confront my ex. He knows. His son knows how he is… hell he recently remarried a girl younger than our son. So there ya go. I finally said the words lol. How stupid I am.

    • Deets says:

      Mabs, you are definitely not stupid. I’d say brave, to share something so personal. You are just processing, and you don’t owe anyone doing anything. You do what you need to do to heal.
      I’m so sorry someone you loved did such horrid things to you, it’s a huge violation of trust, and it’s no wonder it took you some time to come to terms.
      You’ve already been strong, you’ve already survived. Now is the time to be kind to yourself.

  12. Sparkly says:

    That’s very brave of you to share your personal experience with us. I hope you’re able to find peace. I find this stuff particularly triggering (though I was older myself), and so I’ve held off sharing for the most part. I’m glad women are finding their voices — and that the world is finally listening.

  13. Cheeky Squirrel says:

    As a survivor, I feel everyone when they say how difficult it is to process what happened to you as time goes on. Confronting those feelings are damn hard and messy when you tried to minimize and move on. It hurts. It creeps up in other places in your life and steals your joy. My vile abuser was a family member. For every person here who says that other adults didn’t make Eliza feel comfortable enough to tell… you’re running a big chance of being very wrong. Abusers can hold a terrifying power over you as a child. Not only fear for yourself, but your family. Then you worry about how your parents will take it, friends, etc… Something that is way beyond the realm for a young kid to process, and what gives these abusers the insidious power over you. I can tell you that I was very well loved and my abuser knew how to hide in plain sight. They’re cancer. They’re destroying you, but it’s not something that comes up in a scan, a blood test, or other outward signs.

    If my dad and brother were to find out… even today… they’d kill him or leave him close to death. Then they would be in jail, and then even more guilt and shame would pile on me. It’s tough for a kid. It’s tough for their families (my mom’s heart broke when I told her years later, and she felt felt similar to CB’s mom). There’s RAGE. My mom felt rage because she allowed this person to be under our roof, that she didn’t see, etc. I don’t think that minimizes my pain at all.

    I hope all us survivors find our hard earned peace one day. It’s a hell of a fight.

  14. Chingona says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Celebitchy. I, as I have shared before was sold by my mother to be molested and raped. I ended up pregnant at 17 after being raped. I ended up deciding to keep the baby. While I didn’t repress my life I had tricked myself into believing that I had moved on and was fine. I had found help and was even helping other rape and molestation survivors. I was that annoying overly perfect mom who was now that I look back on it trying so hard to be the absolute opposite of my mother. Well this August when my daughter was starting school for the first time I had a complete breakdown in the school parking lot. I had never let her out of my sight due to the fear of something happening to her. I started having panic attacks and spacing out while driving. I finally have started seeing a therapist again and this has helped me tremendously. I tried to pretend everything was fine when it wasn’t. I don’t know that I will ever be “normal” but I am learning to just take one day at a time and to not repress my feelings.

    • Deets says:

      Chigona, thank you for sharing. I’m sorry that happened to you, and so glad to see you’re carving out a life, and joy, for yourself. You sound like a wonderful mom.

  15. Her Higness says:

    its gross what men are allowed to do/be among other grown men!

  16. Pandy says:

    I can’t imagine how difficult it is for survivors to keep hearing the torrent of stories … I can only hope it’s helpful in some small way. :(

  17. Emily says:

    I’ve been reading articles on this site for years but never commented, and this article really struck me. I was sexually abused by an ex in a relationship that ended in April of last year. I also work in the news industry and have had to write a fair amount of articles on the rampant sexual assault in Hollywood, which was horribly stressful with my PTSD—couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t function. (I am in therapy now and taking medicine as well, which has helped tremendously) The point of this being, it takes a lot to read and write news like this, day after day, and I really appreciate your consideration and wish all of you healing. Thank you to Celebitchy and everyone who shared their stories!

  18. sza says:

    I hope he is not another one who is asleep in woke clothes…I know there are good men out there. Right??

    • Cheeky squirrel says:

      There are good ones out there. I am lucky enough to have one by my side for almost 20 years. He played a key role in my recovery and trust issues. I have male friends who absolutely rock and my hope is that this particular generation starts to kill of of all these disgusting behaviors by raising better men and elevating women.

  19. Maddy says:

    “but when you hear about it decades later you feel helpless and like you would have saved the person”

    I wanted to comment on this in particular. I was sexually abused by my stepfather from the age of 6 to 16, when I left home at the first opportunity. It messed me up but for the most part I’ve managed to move beyond to the point where it doesn’t have as much power over me anymore. However part of that process was telling my mother (who disbelieved me) and, many years later, my brothers (one was about to become a father and I was terrified they would unwittingly leave their child with our parents). My mother’s betrayal hurt unbelievably, but I rationalised it as it was what she needed to do for her own mental health (she had an abusive upbringing as well), what was many times worse was finding out that both my brothers had been sexually abused as well. The guilt was overwhelming, I questioned whether me leaving home had left them more vulnerable. As the eldest I felt I should have protected them, that I was (once again) responsible for everyone’s safety and well being, even though I’m fairly sure the abuse was happening concurrently and I was having enough trouble coping myself.

    It’s taken me a long time to get some peace of mind. I still find things like the scent of his aftershave upsetting and I still find it hard to not feel terrible guilt over my brothers, although I know rationally that there was little to nothing I could have done.

  20. Burdzeyeview says:

    Maddy it wasnt your fault, it was your abuser’s. Your mothers reaction must’ ve been devastating. I hope one day u find healing and peace within as u were a victim and should feel no guilt. We can only hope that now people will feel able to speak up, be believed and that perpetrators are brought to justice.