Geoffrey Rush Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Daily Telegraph Over 'Inappropriate Behavior' Claims


Academy Award victor Geoffrey Rush is taking legal action against an Australian newspaper over a story that claimed he engaged in "inappropriate behaviour" at a Sydney theatre.

Rush said the allegations were "extremely hurtful" to his wife, son and daughter as well as to many colleagues in the film, television and theatre industry.

Rush called the situation "intolerable" and concluded, "I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts".

Last week, Sydney's Daily Telegraph cited two sources from the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) as saying that Rush was allegedly accused by another actor of touching her inappropriately.

Rush did not take questions from the media. The matter will go before the Federal Court in Sydney on February 8.

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush said on Friday he had filed a defamation lawsuit against Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper after it published a report about a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct.

Daily Telegraph editor Chris Dore said: "We will defend our position in court".

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Today's press conference is Rush's first public appearance since the claims were reported.

The anonymous person also made a complaint to the STC but insisted it remain confidential and that Rush was not notified of it.

Apart from the "inappropriate behaviour" claim, no further information about the nature of the complaint or who made it was revealed. The theatre company said it complied "in the interest of the complainant's health and welfare".

Rush's decision to take legal action against the newspaper comes after he stepped down as the president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) after six years in the position, saying that he meant to "clear the air" with regards to the allegations made against him.

Rush has denied the allegations since the first article was published but the news conference on December 8 is the first time the actor has publically spoken on the issue.

The actor is best known for his movie roles in Shine, the Pirates of the Caribbean films, The King's Speech and Shakespeare in Love.