UPDATE: Geoffrey Rush has responded to Orange is the New Black actress Yael Stone’s claims of misconduct saying, “From the outset I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.”
In a statement Rush gave to the New York Times, the Academy Award-winning actor continued: “However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention.”
“When we performed in The Diary Of A Madman 8 years ago, I believe we engaged in a journey as artistic comrades,” he added. “Over the years we have shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration. As I have said in the past, I abhor any behaviour that might be considered as harassment or intimidation to anyone – whether in the workplace or any other environment.”
PREVIOUS: Orange is the New Black star Yael Stone has come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior against Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, who was accused last year in another case of misconduct.
Stone said that she has been afraid to talk about her experiences with Rush, with whom she starred in a stage production of The Diary of a Madman in 2010 and 2011. According to an interview with The New York Times, she said that he danced naked in front of her, used a mirror to watch her shower and sent erotic text messages. At the time, Stone was 25 and Rush was 59.
In her interview, Stone said she did not come forward with the allegations because she was worried that Australia’s defamation laws would bring her into legal and financial problems because of its stringent libel laws.
In an interview with Leigh Sales on Australia’s ABC 7.30, Stone alleged that Rush’s behavior made her uncomfortable and made her hate acting. “Whenever women particularly speak about issues like this their career generally suffers,” said Stone. “I’ve factored that into my calculations and if that happens, I think it’s worth it.”
Last year, Rush denied inappropriate behavior during an Australian stage production of the Shakespeare play King Lear. The Sydney Theatre Company said it received a complaint of alleged misconduct that occurred for months during the production, which ended in January 2016. Court documents filed claimed that actor Rush behaved like a “pervert” and engaged in “sexually predatory behaviour” during a 2015 theater production. Geoffrey Rush denied those allegations but has since stepped down as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).
Rush filed defamation proceedings last year in Australia’s federal court, seeking damages from The Daily Telegraph which published the allegations. In March, Australia federal court struck out large parts of News Corp’s truth defense in the defamation case, claiming it lacked detail.