'Pirates of the Caribbean' actor Geoffrey Rush denies "inappropriate behaviour" allegations

Calvin Saunders
December 1, 2017

Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has denied allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear, after the company said it had received a complaint about him.

The Oscar-winner's lawyer issued a statement on Thursday claiming the actor had not been informed of any complaint by the theatre company.

The Sydney Theatre Company says it received a complaint from a staffer a little under two years ago relating to Rush's time on the production that ran from November 2015 to January 2016, The Daily Telegraph reported.

When contacted by the publication about the claim, Rush's lawyers at HWL Ebsworth said in a statement that the actor had never been involved in any "inappropriate behaviour" and that his "regard, actions and treatment of all the people he has worked with has been impeccable beyond reproach". It also added, "These are matters that deserve forthright and objective levels of discussion".

The widely released document says it is understood that the STC's own statement concerns a complaint made to it more than 21 months ago.

"The company received the complaint when Mr Rush's engagement with the company had ended", she said.

It also clarified the anonymous nature of the alleged complainant, who had "requested the matter be dealt with confidentially, and did not want Mr Rush notified".

The STC said it is still working "with the complainant to minimize the risk of future instances of the alleged behavior occurring in its workplace".

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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. However, no response was forthcoming", Rush said in a statement.

"An accusation that has been made by someone about Geoffery Rush's behaviour".

Rush's statement said he abhorred "any form of maltreatment of any person in any form".

Rising young actor Meyne Raoul Wyatt, who appeared in King Lear, said he believed his castmate's version of events.

It's the latest in a run of celebrity outings as more women come forward with sexual harassment allegations against high profiles in the entertainment industry.

Rush's lawyers said the lack of detail about what the alleged complaint contained was worse "in this current climate". In 1996, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as David Helfgott in the film Shine.

For 35 years, Academy-award victor Geoffrey Rush has regularly performed at the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) in Australia. At this stage, Mr Rush can only reiterate his statement that he denies having been involved in any "inappropriate behavior" whatsoever.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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