Geoffrey Rush Sues Australia’s Daily Telegraph for ‘False, Pejorative and Demeaning Claims’

Last month, the paper published an accusation of “inappropriate behavior” by Oscar-winning actor

Geoffrey Rush has filed a defamation suit against Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph for publishing what he called “false, pejorative and demeaning claims.”

“Today I have filed defamation proceedings against The Daily Telegraph in the Federal Court of Australia,” the actor said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “It is an action I am taking in order to redress the slurs, innuendo and hyperbole they have created around my standing in the entertainment industry and greater community.”

The Oscar-winning actor added, “The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims — splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages… The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts.”

Last month, Australia’s Daily Telegraph published a statement from the Sydney Theatre Company, which said it had “received a complaint alleging that Mr Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.”

The complaint came in after the production had ended, the statement said, adding, “The Company continues to work with the complainant to minimise the risk of future instances of the alleged behaviour occurring in its workplace.”

The complaint was received 21 months ago, Rush’s statement read, relating to Rush’s time on a production of “King Lear” that ran from November 2015 to January 2016. The accuser asked to remain anonymous and didn’t want Rush to be informed or involved in any investigation, according to the Telegraph.

Rush’s spokesperson insisted that the actor has always behaved professionally, and has denied any wrongdoing. Last week, the actor announced he would “step aside” as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in the wake of the unspecified accusations.

A representative for The Daily Telegraph has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment, but according to the BBC, Daily Telegraph editor Chris Dore said the newspaper would defend itself in court.

“The Daily Telegraph accurately reported the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint alleging that Mr Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behavior,” he said.