Geoffrey Rush Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Daily Telegraph Over 'Inappropriate Behavior' Claims

FFA Stephen Lowy

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has launched defamation proceedings against the Daily Telegraph newspaper following allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" in the Federal Court of Australia.

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

Reading from a prepared statement at his lawyer's office, Rush told a packed press conference on Friday that he had filed defamation proceedings against paper, which published a story about the claims.

The newspaper published allegations last month that Rush had engaged in "inappropriate behaviour" during a Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production of King Lear. The STC however confirmed to the paper that a complaint had been made but gave no details on it. Rush then asked the STC about the complaint but the company refused to inform him of its details as well.

"We will defend our position in court".

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Comment has been sought from the Daily Telegraph.

The story was picked up by media outlets worldwide, and shortly afterwards Rush stepped down as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, saying in a statement that "certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community". The theatre company said it complied "in the interest of the complainant's health and welfare".

It comes after the Oscar victor stood down from his role as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in light of the allegations. He was absent from Wednesday's televised event in Sydney, where stars dodged questions from reporters about the allegations.

Geoffrey went on to say that the claims were "extremely hurtful" to his wife and kids and that he needed to take action in order to defend himself.

Rush won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in Shine and is one of the few actors to have also won a primetime Emmy and a Tony Award.