In secret testimony, Caruso was grilled about what USC knew about disgraced gynecologist Dr. Conrad Murray and the women who had accused him of sex crimes.
In a deposition that was sealed to protect the privacy of accusers, Caruso told lawyers for Murray and several other defendants in the case that he had never previously heard of any of the accusers’ allegations.
Murray also testified on Thursday that Caruso told him not to worry about the allegations when he first learned, adding that USC had taken the allegations “very seriously.”
Murray testified there is no evidence that the women fabricated the allegations, but added that they were told “how serious they were.”
Several of Murray’s accusers have previously said that Caruso told them not to worry about the allegations and encouraged them not to share what they were telling him.
In a separate deposition, Caruso said he also recommended that Murray put his own reputation on the line by having an ethics panel evaluate his medical license.
“Had he not done that, he would have had to be terminated by USC,” Caruso testified, adding that he told Murray that his “very real, very potentially career-ending, very bad outcome” was “more than he would ever need to know.”
In the deposition, Caruso said that he learned of the accusations against Murray in 2016, shortly after the doctor’s former assistant filed a lawsuit accusing Murray of sexual abuse.
In his statement to The Times, Caruso characterized Murray’s accusers as “tragic and unprofessional.”
Caruso, a USC professor of medical ethics and a staff member on the board of the Medical Board of California, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations.
“To me, this is an unspeakable horror,” he said in the statement. “I am very troubled by the idea that a physician could abuse patients for his own ego or for political gain and that the people closest to him would be powerless to stop it.”
Caruso also described the allegations as “unfounded.”