Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Court told Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush inappropriately touched actress

Court told Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush inappropriately touched actress Court told Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush inappropriately touched actress
Patty Aguilar | 21 February, 2018, 02:24

Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been accused in court of repeatedly touching an actress inappropriately while on stage.

Rush is suing Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Federal Court for defamation over articles past year which alleged inappropriate behavior and touching during the Sydney Theatre Company production in 2015.

The court has lifted a gag order on the paper's defense document, rejecting an application by Rush's lawyer Richard McHugh to stop the details being made public.

On Tuesday the federal court in Australia published a previously suppressed document filed by Nationwide News - a subsidiary of News Corp - in its defence of defamation proceedings brought by Rush against the newspaper publisher.

Blackburn said for the purposes of the defense it wasn't important where Rush touched the actress, but the fact she allegedly asked him to stop - and he didn't stop - made it inappropriate.

Justice Michael Wigney delayed his decision on that request to a later date.

It is alleged that after this happened once, Norvill approached Rush following the performance and told him to stop, but he is accused of repeating the inappropriate touching on four other occasions.

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The Sydney Theatre Company said the allegations were made after the production of King Lear closed, and the actress had not wanted Rush to be informed of her complaint.

In its defence, the Daily Telegraph claims the woman was "visibly upset" after the alleged incident.

News also refers to a 2015 article in the Sydney Morning Herald in which Rush describes having a "stage-door-Johnny crush" on the woman, a term that refers "to a man who frequents a theatre for the objective of courting an actress or chorus girl".

The defence documents allege that during an end-of-show party for the cast, Rush went into the women's toilets and "stood outside a cubicle" that was occupied by Norvill. Rush claims the paper engaged in "hyperbole, lies and spurious claims".

He said the behaviour supposedly occurred when Rush and his co-star were required to touch on stage. "Not just unclear, it's completely opaque", McHugh said.

Mr McHugh said the tabloid's sources for the articles, as described in the defence, included three confidential sources, someone from the Sydney Theatre Company, someone living in the United States, social media posts and an email which appeared to be anonymous.

The Oscar-winning actor wasn't in court for the hearing. He says that in connecting him with Harvey Weinstein, the newspaper has caused irreparable harm to "his standing in the entertainment industry and the greater community".

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