Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been accused of “inappropriate touching” and entering the women’s bathroom during a Sydney Theater Company production of “King Lear” in 2015 and 2016, according to court documents released this week.
Details of the sexual-misconduct allegations that have dogged Rush since November finally emerged as part of a defamation case brought by the Oscar-winning actor against newspaper publishing company Nationwide News, which is part of News Corp. Australia’s Sunday Telegraph had reported that allegations of inappropriate behavior were made against Rush, but the paper published few details at the time. This week a judge cleared publication of documents that had previously been suppressed.
The newly released documents show that an actress with Rush in “King Lear” says he touched her inappropriately, on four or five occasions, while carrying her on stage. Rush is also alleged to have entered the women’s changing room at the Roslyn Packer theater and stood outside a cubicle while the actress was inside. The documents show that the woman complained to the theater company, and it resolved in 2016 not to work with Rush again.
Rush denies allegations of misconduct..
When the allegations first emerged last November, Rush said that he did not know of any complaint against him. But he resigned as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in December, shortly before the academy handed out its annual awards.
“Certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community. It is unreasonable that my professional colleagues should be somehow associated with such allegations,” Rush said through lawyers at the time.
One of the world’s best-known performers, Rush has credits that include “The King’s Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Shakespeare in Love.” He won the Best Actor Oscar for “Shine.”
The defamation case continues.