Amid the barrage of sexual harassment allegations over the past few months, Geoffrey Rush is the latest actor to be accused of inappropriate behavior. However, Rush denies the allegations. According to a statement made by Rush's lawyer, the accusation came from an actor with whom Rush shared the stage during a Sydney Theater Company production of King Lear. The accuser's identity currently remains undisclosed.
According to The Guardian, Rush personally spoke out about the accusation, saying:
“The moment I became aware of rumours of a complaint, I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company asking for clarification about the details of the statement. They refused to illuminate me with the details. I also asked why this information was being withheld and why, according to standard theatre practice, the issue had not been raised with me during the production via stage management, the director, my fellow actors or anyone at management level. However, no response was forthcoming.”
The statement from Rush's lawyers underlines the current wave of allegations in the entertainment industry, highlighting specificity of actions, or lack thereof, and stating, "In this current environment, ‘inappropriate behaviour’ may mean abuse, bullying or other forms of reprehensible activity." It also added, "These are matters that deserve forthright and objective levels of discussion. It must be made clear from the outset that Mr. Rush abhors any form of maltreatment of any person in any form.”
The play in question had wrapped roughly two years ago, but following the accusation, the Sydney Theater Company removed its listing on their official website. A spokeswoman from the STC reached out to the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and explained that "the company received the complaint when Mr. Rush’s engagement with the company had ended," adding, "STC has at all times been clear that this was an allegation made to (not by) STC and not a conclusion of impropriety.”
As of now, Rush vehemently denies the allegations. His lawyer added in the statement that "the STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation," adding that their decision to release information regarding the accusation to the public before informing Rush of the details "is both a denial of natural justice and is not how our society operates."
Rush will next appear in the film Storm Boy alongside Jai Courtney, though it's unclear whether or not the the film will be released as planned on account of the allegations.
Source: The Guardian