Sydney (AFP) – Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush is “virtually housebound” and “barely eats” after a Sydney newspaper claimed he engaged in inappropriate behaviour at a theatre, his lawyer said Monday during a defamation case.
The 66-year-old actor is suing Sydney’s Daily Telegraph after a front-page story in November reported that the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint about him when he was working there.
The veteran Australian star has denied any wrongdoing and his lawyer Nicholas Pullen said in an affidavit Monday that Rush has “continued to suffer tremendous emotional and social hardship”.
The legal document said he was “virtually housebound” and in the first three months after the publication “rarely left his home”.
It added that he “feels uncomfortable when in public and will rarely attend public events”, “barely eats” and “wakes up every morning with a terrible sense of dread about his future career”.
The affidavit said that as a direct result of the report, which received international coverage, Rush found he was “constantly associated” locally and overseas with the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
Rush in December resigned as head of film industry body the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which he had led for several years.
He won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in “Shine” and is one of the few stars to have also won a primetime Emmy and a Tony Award.
The Telegraph has said previously it had accurately reported the alleged complaint against Rush and would defend the case in court.