Geoffrey Rush 'virtually housebound' in defamation case

Geoffrey Rush said he abhorred''any form of maltreatment of any person in any form

Geoffrey Rush said he abhorred''any form of maltreatment of any person in any form

Rush called the allegations in the article "spurious claims with bombastic titles" that made him seem like a "pervert" and a "sexual predator" who had "committed sexual assault".

Lawyers for Geoffrey Rush say the Oscar-winner is "virtually housebound" with anxiety, barely eating or sleeping, after an Australian newspaper accused him of "inappropriately touching" a fellow actor during a production of King Lear - an accusation he firmly denies.

Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph's publisher Nationwide News and journalist Jonathon Moran for defamation over the articles alleging the Oscar victor behaved inappropriately towards a female co-star during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015.

Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph's publisher Nationwide News and journalist Jonathon Moran for defamation over the articles alleging the Oscar victor behaved inappropriately towards a female co-star during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015.

Rush - who has performed in the STC for 35 years - has already completed work on his next film, an adaption of the beloved book Storm Boy, which is due for release later this year.

"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", according to the affidavit.

The Federal Court yesterday heard the Telegraph and Moran have applied to bring a cross-claim against the STC that would see it become another defendant in Rush's lawsuit.

"Because the particulars provided no meaningful details of the alleged touching, and how and why the touching made the actress feel uncomfortable, it could not be concluded that they were capable of proving the substantial truth of the statements that Mr Rush engaged in "scandalously inappropriate" behavior or "inappropriately touched" the actress".


Rush's barrister Sue Chrysanthou said the cross-claim was "very unusual indeed" and "doomed to fail".

The Daily Telegraph has chosen to name one the confidential sources it used to confirm its front-page story on Rush.

"Mr Moran telephoned the STC and asked the STC to provide an official comment".

"The respondents are treating this litigation like a game", Rush's lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou, said.

Rush has denied the allegation. "The Sydney Theatre Company complied with that request and now it is being sued".

The claims are contained in an affidavit as part of his legal action against the newspaper being heard in the Federal Court in Sydney.

The matter will be back in court on Friday and is likely to go to trial in December.

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