‘NCIS’ stars defend Michael Weatherly after sexual harassment scandal: ‘I KNOW’ this man,’ Pauley Perrette says

Michael Weatherly’s former co-stars on “NCIS” expressed their support for the embattled “Bull” star following the news this week that CBS paid $9.5 million to actress Eliza Dushku to settle a sexual harassment claim against the actor.

“This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” Pauley Perrette (Abby) wrote, sharing a photo of her and Weatherly. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly. Always and forever.”

Sasha Alexander (Caitlin) added: “I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & [a heart] as big as they come.”

CBS agreed to pay Dushku a multimillion-dollar settlement in January following her complaint that she was written off the drama “Bull” after she confronted series star Michael Weatherly about multiple instances of inappropriate behavior.

On Thursday, the company issued a statement regarding the settlement:”The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done. The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.”

Women’s activist group Ultraviolet called for CBS to fire Weatherly. “CBS must immediately move to fire Michael Weatherly and send a clear example that sexual harassment and abuse will not be tolerated by anyone at the network – including both CEO’s and star actors’ alike,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet said in a statement.

Weatherly starred on “NCIS” from 2003 to 2016.