Last April, when Page Six reported production was suspended on actor and comedian Aziz Ansari’s directorial debut, Being Mortal, the reason was rumored to be famed actor and comedian Bill Murray’s “handsy” on-set behavior.
“He was very hands-on touchy, not in any personal areas, but put an arm around a woman, touched her hair, pulled her ponytail — but always in a comedic way,” a source told the tabloid at the time. “It is a fine line and everybody loves Bill, but while his conduct is not illegal, some women felt uncomfortable and he crossed a line.”
Now, according to a new Puck report, Murray’s alleged behavior was far from humorous, and in fact prompted not just a suspension, but a $100,000 settlement and a confidentiality agreement with an unnamed female production staffer. Sources with knowledge of the incident told Puck that the “much younger” staffer and a witness filed reports after the following transgression:
“So at one moment when the two were in close proximity near a bed that was part of the production, Murray started kissing her body and straddling her. It was perhaps an unclear bit of physical comedy, but one that was unannounced. She couldn’t move because he outweighed her, she alleged. Then, he kissed her on the mouth, although when he did so, both Murray and the woman were wearing masks, owing to Covid protocols.”
Murray, Puck reported, felt she had been “flirting” with him and the actor later claimed he was simply being “jestful.” The staffer, however, was reportedly “horrified” and interpreted the incident as “entirely sexual.”
The reports filed by the staffer and witness are said to have reached the desks of executives of Disney and Searchlight, the companies behind the production, some time later. When staffers were told of the film’s suspension, details of the incident weren’t disclosed. Production on the film has not resumed.
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Meanwhile, Murray and the staffer reached a settlement in a private mediation assisted by attorneys. She was reportedly paid “just north of” $100,000 and sources said she agreed to keep whatever transpired completely confidential. Disturbingly though, that agreement had another clause: She consented to forgo any possible legal claims against those at the helm of Being Mortal—which, of course, included Disney and Searchlight.
This isn’t the first time Murray has been accused of unsavory behavior on set. Last year, Lucy Liu alleged that he used “unacceptable” language while working on Charlie’s Angels. Anjelica Huston called him “a shit” in 2019 when she recalled being on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou set with him. Such examples, of course, are only the most recent in a storied history of similar transgressions.
Representatives for Murray did not respond to Jezebel’s request for comment.