Actor Geoffrey Rush has denied an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour”, following a complaint made to the a Sydney Theatre Company, regarding an incident that allegedly took place when he was starring in a production of ‘King Lear’.
Rush’s time in the Shakespeare production spanned from November 2015 to January 2016, and the exact details of the alleged incident - including whether it is a complaint about sexually inappropriate behavior - have not been revealed.
In a statement issued to the Guardian, Rush’s lawyer stated that the actor is also unaware of exactly what he stands accused of, saying: “In this current environment, ‘inappropriate behaviour’ may mean abuse, bullying or other forms of reprehensible activity.
“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 66-year-old actor added: “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.”
On Wednesday (29 November), the STC confirmed the complaint, stating that they told a journalist the truth when asked about the matter earlier this month.
“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,” they said (via the Sydney Morning Herald). “STC complied, acting in the interest of the complainant’s health and welfare.”
Over the past 35 years, Rush has performed in a number of STC productions. His film credits include ‘Shakespeare In Love’, ‘Quills’ and ‘Shine’, which saw him win an Oscar for Best Actor.
He also played Captain Barbossa in Disney’s ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ franchise and provided the voice for Nigel the pelican in ‘Finding Nemo’.