In a New York Times article published Sunday, “Orange Is the New Black” actress Yael Stone alleged that Geoffrey Rush harassed her numerous times while they both worked on a theater production in 2010. She said he exposed himself to her, sent her sexually suggestive text messages, and used a mirror to spy on her while she showered.
Rush has issued a statement denying Stone’s allegations.
“From the outset I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context,” the statement read. “However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention.”
“When we performed in The Diary Of A Madman 8 years ago, I believe we engaged in a journey as artistic comrades. Over the years we have shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration,” it continued. “As I have said in the past, I abhor any behaviour that might be considered as harassment or intimidation to anyone – whether in the workplace or any other environment.”
In his native Australia, Rush is a prominent figure in theater and was president of the country’s equivalent to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Another woman, Eryn Jean Norvill, who starred with Rush in a 2015 play, has also accused him of sexual harassment. Norvill said he touched her inappropriately on stage and sent her suggestive texts as well.
Neither of the actresses said they wanted to speak out, although Stone said that she felt “a responsibility to speak.”
“Not all #MeToo stories are the same. Each dynamic is different. For some, a criminal process is essential,” she said. “In my case, I’m not interested in punishment. I am looking to change my industry and to work toward healing and growth.”