Geoffrey Rush denied allegations of “inappropriate behavior” against him and accused Sydney Theater Company (STC) of attempting to “smear his name.”
Rush, 66, said in a statement to Fox News Thursday through his lawyers at HWL Ebsworth that the actor “denies” being involved in “inappropriate behavior” when he was in the STC production of “King Lear” in 2015.
“It is a great disappointment to Mr. Rush the STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation in this way,” Rush’s lawyers said. "Not to afford a person their right to know what has been alleged against them, let alone not inform them of it but release such information to the public is both a denial of natural justice and is not how our society operates.”
The allegations surfaced when The Daily Telegraph said in a now-deleted article STC received a complaint against the Oscar-winning actor. STC said in a statement to Fox News on Thursday there was “an allegation made to (not by) STC and not a conclusion of impropriety.”
"STC responded truthfully that it had received such a complaint," the theater company said. "At the time the complaint was made, the complainant requested that the matter be dealt with confidentially, and did not want Mr. Rush notified or involved in any investigation. STC complied, acting in the interest of the complainant's health and welfare."
The company added it received the complaint after Rush left the "King Lear" production.
Rush said in his personal statement, released by his lawyers, that he “immediately” contacted STC when he was made aware of the allegation and asked “for clarification about the details of the statement.”
“They refused to illuminate me with the details,” the actor said. "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."
His lawyers reiterated that Rush “denies having been involved in any 'inappropriate behavior' whatsoever.”
“Until there is the decency afforded to Mr. Rush of what the 'inappropriate behavior' actually is then there is nothing more that can be said at this stage,” his statement read.