Eliza Dushku "hadn't known" about Charisma Carpenter's experiences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The 40-year-old star has offered her support to her friend and co-star after the actress accused show creator Joss Whedon of creating a "toxic" atmosphere on set and "abusing his power" earlier this week.
Dushku played Faith in Buffy and the spin-off Angel, and worked with Whedon again on the sci-fi series Dollhouse, which ran from 2009 to 2010. She is no stranger to toxic workplace scandals. In 2018, she was paid US$9.5 million (S$2.6 mil) to settle sexual harassment claims on the set of Bull involving the show's Michael Weatherly. Earlier that year, she accused a stuntman of sexual assault on True Lies when she was 12.
Dushku wrote in a statement on Instagram: "CC, my heart aches for you and I'm so sorry you have held this for so long. Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we'll collectively never un-see or un-know. Thank you. I hadn't known it and I won't forget it.
"I frequently think of the saying, 'we are as sick as our secrets," Dushku continued. "Our secrets indeed make and keep us sick. What I'm learning more and more — and have personally found most valuable — is that profound healing can only come from naming and disclosing what actually happened, the necessary first step (once someone's ready) to freeing ourselves from our secrets, untold truths which have kept us isolated, ashamed, and held hostage.(sic)"
Dushku thinks it is important for people to speak out in order to bring down "abusive systems".
She continued: "Neglecting to 'name' the "power/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic in the entertainment industry (and for that matter society in general) enables the abusers and only emboldens and ultimately fortifies abusive systems.
"May you and countless others feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long. From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you."
Meanwhile, another Buffy alum, Anthony Head, who played Rupert Giles, has admitted he was "gutted" to have been unaware of Carpenter's experience on the show and admitted he's been kept awake worrying about the fact he had no idea.
He said: "I have been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, 'What did I miss?'
"This is not a man saying, 'I didn't see it so it didn't happen.'
"I am gutted. I'm seriously gutted because one of my memories — my fondest memory — was the fact that it was so empowering. Not just with the words in the script, but the family feel of the show.
"I am really sad that if people went through these experiences."
Carpenter — who played Cordelia Chase in the supernatural drama series — has accused Whedon of making "ongoing, passive-aggressive threats" to fire her and causing tension by "playing favourites" on set.
She wrote on Instagram: "He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.
"Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreaks havoc on a young actor's self-esteem. And callously calling me "fat" to colleagues when I was four months pregnant, weighing 126lbs. He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval. (sic)"
Whedon, 56, has yet to respond to the allegations. — BANG
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos