Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush is denying accusations of unspecified “inappropriate behavior” during a 2015 production of “King Lear” by the Sydney Theatre Company in his native Australia.
“The moment I became aware of rumours of a complaint I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company asking for clarification about the details of the statement,” the actor said in statement. “They refused to illuminate me with the details. I also asked why this 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. However, no response was forthcoming.”
Earlier on Wednesday, 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 the production 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.
“His treatment of fellow colleagues and everyone he has worked with is always conducted with respect and utmost propriety,” the rep said. “Whether on a film set or in the theatre, Mr Rush has always adhered to the finest professional principles in pursuit of his craft.”
The statement added, “To date, Mr Rush or any of his representatives have not received any representations from the STC or the complainant. In other words, there has been no provision of any details, circumstances, allegations or events that can be meaningfully responded to. It is a great disappointment to Mr Rush that STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation.”
Lastly, the letter read, “Mr Rush can only reiterate his statement that he denies having been involved in any ‘inappropriate behaviour’ whatsoever. Until there is the decency afforded to Mr Rush of what the ‘inappropriate behaviour’ actually is then there is nothing more that can be said at this stage.”
The Sydney Theatre Company has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment, but on November 3, the company released a statement that it stands “together to say that sexual harassment and abuse in any form is unacceptable.”