Geoffrey Rush files defamation proceedings against The Daily Telegraph

Joann Johnston
December 8, 2017

Geoffrey Rush has launched a defamation lawsuit against the Daily Telegraph newspaper over allegations of inappropriate conduct.

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.

The first article airing claims that Rush behaved inappropriately during a 2015 production of King Lear was published by the Daily Telegraph on November 30.

Earlier this week, the ABC's Media Watch suggested that the Telegraph may have left itself open to defamation proceedings by running a front page story based on a single, unspecified complaint.

"Mr Rush has not been approached by the Sydney Theatre Company and the alleged complainant nor any representative of either of them concerning the matter you have raised", Nine News reports the letter saying.

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

'They have splashed spurious claims with bombastic titles on their front pages.

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"This has created irreparable damage to my reputation, been extremely hurtful to my wife, my daughter and my son; to my extended family - and to many colleagues in the film, television and theatre industry".

Apart from the "inappropriate behaviour" claim, no further information about the nature of the complaint or who made it was revealed.

"We will defend our position in court".

Rush later announced he was stepping down as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) ahead of the academy's annual awards last week.

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

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.

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