Best Actor Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush claims that a false #MeToo allegation destroyed his career and he is suing the Daily Telegraph for “false and spurious” claims, according to Deadline.
Last December, the veteran actor stepped down in disgrace as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts after allegations of inappropriate behavior during a production of King Lear surfaced in media reports.
According to Deadline, the complaints came from the Sydney Theatre Company that said “it received a complaint of alleged misconduct that occurred for months during the production, which ended in January 2016.”
Rush denied any wrongdoing and said that he was not told of the complaint at the time. “I asked why the 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,” Rush said. “However, no response was forthcoming.”
The theater company refused to offer any details because the person who lodged the complaint requested anonymity. This, of course, made it impossible for Rush to defend himself.
Apparently, the story leaked from the theater company to the Telegraph.
In Rush’s suit, which was filed in Australia, he claims that the scandal has forced him to endure “tremendous emotional and social hardship.”
“The applicant has found that as a direct result of the publications he has been constantly associated in Australia and internationally with the #MeToo movement,” Rush’s lawyer said. This includes a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and anxiety.
The Telegraph, which is owned by Nationwide News, which is part of News Corp, says it did nothing wrong and has filed a cross-claim against the Sydney Theater Company, its likely source for the story.
Deadline reports, that the cross-claim “application says the [theater company] was responsible for providing statements relating to a complaint alleging inappropriate behavior by Rush knowing they would, or would likely, be re-published by the Telegraph.”
For whatever reason, Rush is fighting the cross-claim and intends to focus his ire on the newspaper.