Geoffrey Rush denies accusations of “inappropriate behavior”


3:05 PM PST 11/29/2017


Pip Bulbeck

Unspecified behavior allegedly occurred during the production of the Sydney Theater Company of King Lear & # 39; in 2015 and 2016.

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has denied accusations of inappropriate behavior during his career starring in the production of the Sydney Theater Company (STC) of King Lear in 2015 and 2016, in a report deleted since then by the Daily Telegraph .

The Telegraph reported on Thursday (local time in Australia) that the STC had "received a complaint alleging that Mr. Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behavior." quoting an STC spokeswoman. The story did not detail the alleged inappropriate behavior and did not say it was badual in nature. Hours after its publication, the report was removed from the Telegraph website and deleted all tweets badociated with the story. The Hollywood Reporter contacted Daily Telegraph to comment.

Rush vehemently denied the allegation in an initial statement issued by his law firm, HWL Ebsworth. "Sir, Rush has not been contacted by the Sydney Theater Company nor by the alleged plaintiff nor by any representative of any of them on the matter you have raised," the letter reportedly says.

Citing the legal statement, the report stated that Rush said he has never been involved in any "inappropriate behavior" and that his "consideration, actions and treatment of all the people with whom he has worked has been impeccably irreproachable."

"Furthermore, he has not been informed by them of the nature of the complaint and what it implies," the statement says. "In these circumstances, if such a statement has been issued by the STC, it is irresponsible and highly damaging to say the least. Your understanding of what has happened is, with the utmost respect, simply fishing and unfounded. except that it is false and false. "

The STC said it is still working "with the plaintiff to minimize the risk of future cases of alleged behavior occurring in his workplace." The plaintiff in question asked about his identity.

Rush released a second statement on Thursday, saying: "The moment I heard rumors of a complaint, I immediately called and spoke with the senior management of the Sydney Theater Company for clarification on the details of the statement. They refused to enlighten me with the details, I also asked why this information was retained, and why, according to the standard theatrical practice, the problem was not raised during the production through the direction of the stage, the director, my fellow actors or any other person at the management level, however, there was no response. "

Rush's lawyer, Nicholas Pullen, added: "In this current environment," inappropriate behavior "can mean abuse, intimidation or other forms of reprehensible activity, these are issues that deserve direct and objective discussion levels. the principle that Mr. Rush abhors any form of mistreatment of any person in any way. "

The issue of workplace harbadment has dominated the Australian news this week as accusations of indecent badual abuse. Harbadment and intimidation against Don Burke, the presenter and producer of the old Nine Network lifestyle program, Burke & # 39; s Backyard, were detailed by former employees. In all, more than 200 women have filed complaints against Burke since Fairfax Media and Australian Broadcasting Corp reported the story earlier this week.

In what is called the "Weinstein moment" in Australia, Tracy Spicer, one of the journalists who discovered the accusations against Burke, says she has a dossier that mentions 65 people working in the Australian media and entertainment industry. as subjects of more than 500 complaints It was not revealed if Rush is one of those names.

"This is just the beginning of an investigation that will take years, until all workplaces are safe for those within their walls," said Spicer.

Updated at 5.38PM PST to reflect a new statement by Geoffrey Rush and that the Daily Telegraph had erased his story from his website.

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