Report: Bill Murray kissed, straddled ‘Being Mortal’ staffer


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 behavior 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 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.”

Puck published its report a day before actor Geena Davis released her memoir, “Dying of Politeness,” in which she accuses Murray of berating her on the set of their 1990 film, “Quick Change.”

“There were easily more than 300 people there — and Murray was still screaming at me, for all to see and hear,” Davis writes in her book, according to People magazine.

The “Thelma & Louise” star also alleges in her memoir that Murray “insisted” on using a massage device on her when they met for the first time in a hotel room. She claims Murray placed the device on her back “for a total of about two seconds.”

“I said no multiple times, but he wouldn’t relent,” Davis writes. “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 realized with profound sadness that I didn’t yet have the ability to withstand this onslaught — or to simply walk out.”

Times news researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.


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