'Wolf Creek' actor John Jarratt 'relieved' after court clears him of historic rape allegation

Tom Beasley
John Jarratt participates in the "Wolf Creek" panel during the POP TV Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday, July 31, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Australian actor John Jarratt has been cleared of raping his former housemate 40 years ago and said he was “over the moon” at the verdict.

Jarratt played serial killer Mick Taylor in the 2005 horror movie Wolf Creek, as well as its sequel and TV spin-off series.

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The 66-year-old was accused of raping the woman in 1976 at the Sydney home she shared with him and his wife, Rosa Miano.

He punched his fist in the air when the New South Wales District Court jury returned their unanimous decision, according to the Australian Associated Press.

“I’m over the moon,” said Jarratt to reporters outside the court building.

He added: “I'm just so relieved. No man should have to go through what I went through.”

John Jarratt (C) arrives at Downing Centre Court on July 05, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

Jarratt, whose acting career started in the early 1970s, was charged with rape in August 2018 after the woman came forward in 2017 to report the alleged assault to police.

She told the court during the trial that she was woken at 3am by Jarratt tearing off her duvet and underwear before forcing his hand over her mouth and raping her.

The woman said she didn’t go to police earlier for fear of damaging her friendship with Miano and two friends testified they had been told about the incident in the years after it was alleged to have happened.

Jarratt admitted to having consensual sex with the woman and said there was a “seduction” after she recognised him from a movie.

John Jarratt starred as Outback serial killer Mick Taylor in the 2005 horror film 'Wolf Creek'. (Credit: Optimum Releasing)

He said he admitted the one night stand to his wife seven years later during a “truth session”.

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Over his near 50-year career, Jarratt has appeared in films including Picnic at hanging Rock and Australia, as well as showing up for a cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

He released an autobiography, entitled The B***ard From The Bush, in 2015.