Geoffrey Rush is denying claims that he sexually harassed Orange Is The New Black actress Yael Stone during a theatre production in 2010.
Stone said in an interview with The New York Times that Rush had danced naked in front of her, used a mirror to watch her while she showered, and touched her in a ‘very sensual manner’.
She also claims that Rush sent her ‘erotic’ text messages while the two of them starred in a stage production of The Diary of a Madman in Sydney.
“I was so flattered that someone like that would spend their time texting me into the very early hours of the morning,” she told the Times.
“Gradually the text messages became more sexual in nature, but always encased in this very highfalutin intellectual language.
“I’m embarrassed by the ways I participated. I certainly wouldn’t engage as the person I am now in the way I did when I was 25.”
In a statement, Rush called the claims ‘incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context’.
“However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work,” he added.
“I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention. Over the years we have shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration.
“As I have said in the past, I abhor any behaviour that might be considered as harassment or intimidation to anyone – whether in the workplace or any other environment.”
But Stone has said: “I know I have truth on my side. You can see in all of my communications with you that there’s an element of terror.”
She claims that Rush, with whom she had an adjoining dressing room during the production, held a mirror above her cubicle while she showered, and on another occasion, danced naked in front of her in a ‘playful, clownish manner’ while she took off her make up after a performance.
“I didn’t want him to think I was no fun, that I was one of those people who couldn’t take a joke,” Ms. Stone said.
Rush is currently at the centre of a defamation case in Australia, where he is suing the Daily Telegraph over accusations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ during a production of King Lear with the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015 and 2016.