Actor Bill Murray, 72, kissed, straddled 'much younger' woman on movie set: report


By AGENCY

In an April interview with CNBC, Bill Murray deemed the situation a 'difference of opinion' with a woman on set and was 'optimistic' that he and his accuser could 'make peace with each other'. Photo: TNS

Bill Murray reportedly kissed and straddled a "much younger" female crew member on the set of the film Being Mortal, which was shut down in April following a complaint against the movie star.

According to a Monday report from Puck's Eriq Gardner, the 72-year-old actor and a production staffer with whom he was "particularly friendly" were in close proximity near a bed that was part of the production when Murray began kissing and straddling the woman's body.

The unidentified woman reportedly said she could not move against the weight of Murray, who also allegedly kissed her on the mouth while they were both wearing masks in accordance with Covid-19 protocols. After the incident, the woman reportedly filed a complaint against Murray — as did another staffer who witnessed the alleged assault.

Puck reports that, contrary to speculation, the woman was not cast member Keke Palmer.

Though Gardner described Murray's behaviour as "perhaps an unclear bit of physical comedy" — albeit "one that was unannounced" — the woman was reportedly "horrified" and "interpreted his actions as entirely sexual". After parent studio Disney reviewed the complaint, Searchlight Pictures reportedly informed the cast and crew that production on Being Mortal was being suspended without disclosing what transpired.

According to Puck, Murray and his accuser eventually reached a settlement in which the Ghostbusters star paid the woman more than $100,000 and the woman agreed not to pursue any legal claims against the producers of Being Mortal, including Disney and Searchlight.

Reps for Murray and Searchlight did not immediately respond Tuesday to the Los Angeles Times' requests for comment.

In an April interview with CNBC, Murray deemed the situation a "difference of opinion" with a woman on set and was "optimistic" that he and his accuser could "make peace with each other".

"I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn't taken that way," Murray told CNBC. "The movie studio wanted to do the right thing, so they wanted to ... investigate it, and so they stopped the production.

"We're both professionals," he added. "We like each other's work. We like each other, I think, and if you can't really get along and trust each other, there's no point in going further working together or making a movie as well. ... So we're talking about it."

Murray was set to star opposite Palmer, Seth Rogen and Aziz Ansari in Being Mortal. The screen adaptation of Atul Gawande's nonfiction book Being Mortal: Medicine And What Matters In The End was supposed to be comedian and actor Ansari's feature directorial debut.

Though Searchlight initially expressed hope that production on Being Mortal would resume, Disney has reportedly permitted Ansari to shop the movie to other studios, which have yet to make any offers. The movie was originally slated for a 2023 theatrical release.

"It's been quite an education for me," Murray said of the Being Mortal fallout in April.

"What I always thought was funny as a little kid isn't necessarily the same as what's funny now. Things change and the times change, so it's important for me to figure it out. And I think the most important thing is that it's best for the other person. I thought about it, and if it's not best for the other person, doesn't matter what happens for me." – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

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