Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has resigned as the president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts following allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”
“We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey’s rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances,” the Academy said in a statement.
The accusation against the Oscar-winning actor, whose biggest roles include films such as Shine, Shakespeare in Love, and The King’s Speech, was revealed by the Sydney Theatre Company on Wednesday, claiming that he had been accused of engaging in “inappropriate behavior” during a 2015 production of King Lear. The nature of the complaint is so far unclear, and the actor has denied the claim.
“In this current environment, ‘inappropriate behavior’ may mean abuse, bullying or other forms of reprehensible activity,” his lawyer said following the allegation. “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.”
“There has been no provision of any details, circumstances, allegations or events that can be meaningfully responded to,” the rep said in a statement. “It is a great disappointment to Mr Rush that STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation.”
“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,” they continued.