Geoffrey Rush has pulled out of a prestigious theatre production due to his on-going defamation case against a daily newspaper in Sydney.
Rush was set to play Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for a seven-week stint for the Melbourne Theatre Company, starting in November.
But he announced yesterday that he will be pulling out.
“Due to my current circumstances and medical advice, I must withdraw from the upcoming project,” Rush said in a statement.
“I know that I would not be able to provide the necessary creative spirit and the professional stamina required for the project.
“I am certain that Simon Phillips, the director, will deliver an outstanding production and I wish all involved the very best in its success.”
Rush is suing the Murdoch-owned Daily Telegraph in Australia after it published a series of articles accusing him of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ directed towards one of his co-stars during a production of King Lear for the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015.
Rush has denied the claims.
In an affidavit submitted to the Australian Federal Court in April, his lawyers claimed that his reputation is now ‘irreparably damaged’ due to the allegations, and as a result he is ‘virtually housebound’ because of anxiety, and ‘barely eats’.