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Geoffrey Rush to sue over behaviour claims

08 December 2017

Actor Geoffrey Rush is suing Sydney's Daily Telegraph for defamation over claims of alleged inappropriate behaviour with female actor in a Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production.

His lawyer Nicholas Pullen, of HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, said the proceedings were only filed on Friday.

Actor Geoffrey Rush has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Daily Telegraph, after the News Corp publication ran a story detailing allegations of inappropriate behaviour from Rush during his stint performing in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of King Lear throughout 2015-16. Rush asserted that the situation was "intolerable" and that the paper had made "false, pejorative, and demeaning claims" against him.

In a short statement to media today, Rush described the allegations as "slurs, innuendo and hyperbole", and said they had caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation, as well as hurt to his family.

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"Today I have filed defamation proceedings against The Daily Telegraph in the Federal Court of Australia", the Academy Award victor said.

"They have splashed spurious claims with bombastic titles on their front pages", he said.

"They were only filed today and I think this is the first that the Daily Telegraph has heard of this".

Soon after the allegations were reported, Rush stepped down as the president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, just days before the organisation's seventh ceremony.

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The 66-year-old denied any wrongdoing after Sydney's Daily Telegraph ran a front-page story last month reporting that the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint about him when he was working with them.

"This is an action against only the Daily Telegraph", he said.

When asked about the claims being leveled against Rush, Australian actress Rachel Griffiths said the actor "is not Harvey Weinstein" - referencing the Hollywood mogul who faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Rush won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in Shine and is one of the few actors to have also won a primetime Emmy and a Tony Award.

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Geoffrey Rush to sue over behaviour claims