King Lear Actor Says He Witnessed Rush 'Boob Squeeze' Gesture
Actor Mark Winter, who played Edgar in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of King Lear, has told Geoffrey Rush’s defamation trial he saw the Oscar winner make “a boob squeezing gesture”.
The 35-year-old told the court it happened during rehearsals.
“Geoffrey was doing a bit of a skit over EJ when she was lying on the floor of the stage. I was talking to somebody at the time, this vaguest of my recollections,” he said.
“The skit it was like a three stooges type bit. It was sort of a sequence of quick jokes and there was like an errrrrr at the end.”
Rush denies this ever happened, the 67-year-old also denies and later incident during a performance.
Winter told the court he was standing behind Rush and Norvill during the death scene when he saw him place his hand around Norvill’s breast.
“The nipple was not covered it was sort of more of a cupped position, it’s a little tricky to describe but I’d say sort of side and under.”
Winter said it was something he’d never seen before and it lasted about 5 seconds.
“The nipple wasn’t covered it was sort of the side and bottom of the breast.”
Under cross examination Winter was asked how this could have happened in full view of an audience -- and why some of the details weren’t included in his earlier outline of evidence.
“This was pre-me-too and there was a strange thing that occurred and we just went that happened and me just moved on,” he said.
Next into the witness box was famous Hollywood agent Fred Specktor.
The 83-year-old counts some of tinsel town’s biggest names as clients; Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Danny De Vito, Robert De Niro, Glenn Close and Kirk Douglas.
“All of my clients are older, all of my clients are stars. They work as much as they want and they are well paid,” he said.
Specktor was repeatedly questioned by The Daily Telegraphs barrister about whether an older actor such as Rush could command big pay packets well into his eighties and nineties.
He told the court there’s plenty of older actors who get paid 7 figures, even for minor roles.
But Specktor says even if Rush wins his defamation case it will talk at least a year for the offers to stage rolling in again. And even then he’s not sure if the man he’s been managing for 22 years will be up to the task.
“I know he is damaged as a human being because of this garbage that was in the newspaper… and that’s what concerns me about his ability to work.”
The trial continues on Friday.