Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has moved to deny an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” made against him during a production of ‘King Lear’ by the Sydney Theatre Company, after they said that had received a complaint against him.

Rush’s lawyer said in a statement on Thursday (November 30th) that, both at the time the complaint was filed 21 months ago and ever since, the actor has never been informed of the nature of the allegation by the company, the Australian Daily Telegraph reported in an article that has since been taken down.

The story did not go into details about the allegation, and did not say that it was sexual in nature.

Geoffrey RushGeoffrey Rush denies all suggestions of "inappropriate behaviour"

“In this current environment, ‘inappropriate behaviour’ may mean abuse, bullying or other forms of reprehensible activity,” Rush’s lawyers’ initial statement said. “These are matters that deserve forthright and objective levels of discussion. It must be made clear from the outset that Mr Rush abhors any form of maltreatment of any person in any form.”

The 66 year old actor, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, said in his own statement: “The moment I became aware of rumours of a complaint I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company asking for clarification about the details of the statement. They refused to illuminate me with the details.”

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“I also asked why this information was being withheld and why, according to standard theatre practice, the issue had not been raised with me during the production via stage management, the director, my fellow actors or anyone at management level. However, no response was forthcoming.”

As well as his lengthy career on the stage, Rush won an Oscar for his role in Shine in 1997, starred famously in The King’s Speech alongside Colin Firth and was named Australian of the Year in 2012.

For its part, the STC said that the complainant wanted their identity withheld, and that it is working “with the complainant to minimize the risk of future instances of the alleged behaviour occurring in its workplace.”

It comes in the context of what has been called Australia’s “Weinstein moment”. Tracy Spicer, one of the journalists who uncovered the recent allegations against Nine Network’s Don Burke, says she has a dossier that names 65 people working in the Australian media and entertainment industry as the subjects of over 500 complaints. It’s not known whether Rush is one of the names.

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