Culture&Arts

Geoffrey Rush files defamation suit against Daily Telegraph over 'inappropriate behaviour' claims

Geoffrey Rush files defamation suit against Daily Telegraph over 'inappropriate behaviour' claims

The Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has launched defamation proceedings against the Sydney Daily Telegraph, accusing the paper of splashing "spurious claims with bombastic titles on their front pages".

In a short statement to media today, Rush described the allegations as "slurs, innuendo and hyperbole", and said they had caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation, as well as hurt to his family.

The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts.

"The Daily Telegraph accurately reported the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint alleging that Mr Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behaviour", he told SBS News in an emailed statement.

One reporter asked if Rush had sought a retraction or apology from the Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph published the story under the front-page headline of "King Leer".

Daily Telegraph editor Chris Dore said: "We will defend our position in court".

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The actor resigned from his role as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in the wake of the printed story and did not attend the body's awards last week.

Rush has denied all allegations against him, which date back to a Sydney Theatre Performance of King Lear from 2015.

The legal action comes just months after Hollywood actor Rebel Wilson won Aus$4.5 million (U.S.$3.4 million) - the largest defamation payout in Australian history - after successfully suing Bauer Media.

Rush's lawyer Nicholas Pullen has called a press conference for 3pm (AEDT) on Friday at the offices of HWL Ebsworth in Melbourne where he is a partner, stating that Mr Rush will be present.

He has previously said that he had not been informed of the existence or nature of any complaint.

The STC has not disclosed details of the allegation, but did say an allegation had been made.


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