Bill Murray reportedly paid $US100,000 (approx. $159, 460) to settle a complaint made by a woman on a film set, which alleged the actor straddled her and kissed her through a mask.
Murray, 72, in April was accused of “inappropriate behaviour” on the Being Mortal set, a film adapting Atul Gawande’s book directed by comedian Aziz Ansari in his directorial debut. Production was suspended by studio Searchlight Pictures over the complaints.
A new report from Puck News, however, has revealed new details about Murray’s alleged “inappropriate behaviour”, suggesting the actor allegedly straddled a production assistant, who is a woman and younger than him, when the two were in “close proximity” to a bed on the film’s set.
According to the report, he then allegedly kissed her on the mouth – both of them were wearing masks due to COVID-19 protocols – though Murray said he was being “jestful”, whereas the “much younger” co-worker said she interpreted his alleged actions as “entirely sexual” and was “horrified”, per the report.
The unidentified woman filed an official complaint, as did a second Being Mortal staffer who witnessed the alleged incident. Searchlight Pictures then shut down production citing the complaint, though Murray was not named, while Murray and the unidentified woman went through mediation.
Puck News‘ report suggests Murray and the younger female colleague did enter a settlement over the matter, where Murray reportedly paid her $US100,000 (approx. $159, 460), and she, in turn, agreed to confidentiality and waived any legal claims against Being Mortal producers, as well as Searchlight Pictures and the studio’s parent company, Disney.
Later in April after the allegations first emerged, Murray admitted it was his behaviour that shut down Being Mortal‘s production.
Speaking to CNBC, Murray described the alleged incident as a “difference of opinion” and declined to provide any specific details.
“I did something I thought was funny and it wasn’t taken that way,” Murray said in April. “The movie studio wanted to do the right thing so they wanted to check it all out, investigate it and so they stopped the production.”
Being Mortal has not resumed production since April, and at the time it was shut down, it was about halfway complete.
The Puck News report comes as actress Geena Davis’ memoir release sees Murray labelled “difficult” as alleged on-set behaviour is recounted.
Davis claimed while filming Quick Change in 1989, Murray “insisted” on using a massage device on her and she “knows very well the way he can behave.”
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“I said no multiple times, but he wouldn’t relent,” Davis wrote in her memoir. “I would have had to yell at him and cause a scene if I was to get him to give up trying to force me to do it; the other men in the room did nothing to make it stop. I realised with profound sadness that I didn’t yet have the ability to withstand this onslaught – or to simply walk out.”
In her memoir, Davis also claimed Murray had verbally berated her in front of crew members while her wardrobe was being adjusted on-set.
“There were easily more than 300 people there – and Murray was still screaming at me, for all to see and hear,” she claimed.
“For publicity, I saw him after we made the movie, but other than that, I haven’t seen him or spoken to him,” Davis told People earlier this week.
“I figure it’s sort of rather universally known that he could be difficult to work with. And so I don’t feel like I’m busting him in a way that will necessarily shock him. I think he knows very well the way he can behave.”
Murray has not publicly commented on the report or Davis’ allegations.
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