Australian authorities have launched an investigation into allegations that actor Craig McLachlan, who has appeared in shows such as CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, sexually assaulted a number of women in 2014.

McLachlan has been accused by three women of sexually assaulting them during a stage performance of the Rocky Horror Show. The three actresses – Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi – made the allegations in a report published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Fairfax Media. McLachlan was playing Dr Frank N. Furter in the performance and, following the allegations, has stepped down from the 2018 run of the show, which opened in Adelaide on New Year’s Eve.

The Victoria Police confirmed that detectives from Melbourne’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team are investigating the allegations.

McLachlan, who is best known for his daytime soap roles including in Neighbours and in Home and Away, has denied the allegations. In a statement to the ABC, he said: “Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety. In either event, they are to the best of my knowledge utterly and entirely false.”

Gordon Frost Organisation, the production company behind the stage performance as well as performances of live events such as The Book of Mormon and The Wizard of Oz, said in a statement: “We have spoken to Craig and have mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show.”