Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has begun legal proceedings against the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper. The filing, for defamation, was made Friday in an Australian federal court.
The paper last month led with allegations that Rush had engaged in “inappropriate behavior” two years ago, while he was engaged in performances of “King Lear” by the Sydney Theatre Company. The STC provided the paper with a statement saying that a complaint had been made, but it did not detail the allegations and said that the complainant had asked for the matter to be dealt with confidentially.
Rush held a press conference in Melbourne on Friday to announce the lawsuit. “It is an action I am taking in order to redress the slurs, innuendo, and hyperbole they have created around my standing in the entertainment industry and greater community. The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative, and demeaning claims — splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages,” he said.
“This has created irreparable damage to my reputation, been extremely hurtful to my wife, my daughter and my son; to my extended family,” he added. “The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts.”
Rush has consistently denied the Telegraph story and made two statements through his lawyers. But after the recent series of high-profile sexual harassment cases in the entertainment business, the clamor around Rush did not die down. Last Saturday he resigned as president of the Australian Academy of Film and Television Arts, just days before the organization handed out its annual awards.
Watch the press conference below.