'That Cheekiness Damaged Me': Actress Tells Rush Trial Her Co-Stars Enabled Harassment

Eryn-Jean Norvill has spent a second day in the witness box being questioned about her interactions with Geoffrey Rush.

The Oscar winner is suing the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and one of its reporters over two articles and a newsagent poster that allege he behaved inappropriately during a 2015-16 production of King Lear.

Norvill told the court Rush started being inappropriate as rehearsals commenced.

“There are bullies and sexual predators it happens often and it happened in that room and I believe people knew about it but didn’t know what to do about it they were frightened.”

Geoffrey Rush arrives at the Federal Court in Sydney, Wednesday, October, 31, 2018. Rush is suing Nationwide news for defamation. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Under cross examination Geoffrey Rush’s barrister questioned whether Ms Norvill was telling the truth.

Her co-star Robyn Nevin gave evidence previously that she never witnessed anything inappropriate.

“She [Nevin] enabled that behaviour as did everyone in that room. There was a level of hierarchy that kept that level of fear and silence in place.”

“Ms Nevin has always been kind to me whether she enabled Geoffrey’s behaviour is a different matter… we’re from different generations we may have different ideas about what is culturally acceptable in the work place.” Norvill replied.

Late yesterday Norvill was grilled by Rush’s lawyer about text messages and emails the pair shared, including one where she referred to Rush as a “jersey cream-filled puff”.

She conceded some of them might been seen as ‘flirtatious’ but she said: “in no way am I inviting to be sexually harassed.”

Norvill was questioned too, about a Sydney Morning Herald review of the play where she complimented Rush and called him playful.

But she said in the end “that cheekiness damaged me.”