Australian actor Geoffrey Rush fights back, suing Daily Telegraph for defamation
Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum
9 December 2017
Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has publicly challenged the slanderous media witch-hunt against him, announcing yesterday at a Melbourne press conference that he was suing Rupert Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph and its celebrity gossip columnist Jonathon Moran.
The Sydney tabloid last week published a series of unsubstantiated allegations from an unnamed female cast member who claimed that Rush had carried out “inappropriate” behaviour during the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production of King Lear in 2015–16. The STC failed to provide any details about Rush’s alleged behaviour and insisted that the actor remain anonymous.
Addressing a packed press conference on Friday afternoon in Melbourne, Rush denounced the Daily Telegraph’s attempts to portray him as a “pervert” and “sexual predator.” The legal action, he said, was being taken “in order to redress the slurs, innuendo and hyperbole they have created around my standing in the entertainment industry and greater community.
“The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims—splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages. 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. The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts.”
Nicholas Pullen, Rush’s lawyer, told the media that the actor would sue for aggravated damages because his “reputation as an actor has been irreparably harmed such that he is likely to be shunned by employers in…