Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has issued a statement denying that he engaged in “inappropriate behavior” during the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of “King Lear.”
Early on Wednesday, Australia’s Daily Telegraph published a statement from the Sydney Theatre Company, which said it “received a complaint alleging that Mr Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.” “The Company received the complaint when Mr Rush’s engagement with the Company had ended,” the statement continued. “The Company continues to work with the complainant to minimise the risk of future instances of the alleged behaviour occurring in its workplace.”
Neither the Sydney Theatre Company nor Rush’s statement through his lawyers at HWL Ebsworth detailed the nature of the allegation. Rush’s statement maintains that the complaint was made 21 months ago, and says that Rush “abhors any form of maltreatment of any person in any form.”
“Mr. Rush has not been approached by the Sydney Theatre Company and the alleged complainant nor any representative of either of them concerning the matter you have raised,” the strongly worded letter, obtained by Variety, reads. “In other words, there has been no provision of any details, circumstances, allegations or events that can be meaningfully responded to.”
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“It is a great disappointment to Mr. Rush the STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation in this way,” the statement continues. “Not to afford a person their right to know what has been alleged against them let alone not inform them of it but release such information to the public is both a denial of natural justice and is not how our society operates.”
In a personal statement in the letter, Rush said he called senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company once he learned about the complaint, which the company allegedly “refused” to illuminate.
Rush starred in the local “King Lear” production from November 2015 to January 2016.