Geoffrey Rush Denies Lewd Behaviour Towards Orange Is The New Black Star Yael Stone
Geoffrey Rush has denied allegations of lewd and inappropriate behaviour made by actor Yael Stone.
In an interview with The New York Times, the Orange Is The New Black star alleged that Rush exposed himself to her backstage, used a mirror to watch her while she showered, and sent her sexually-suggestive messages when the pair co-starred in a Sydney production of The Diary of A Madman in 2010 and 2011.
At the time, Rush was 59 years old and Stone was 25.
"He was obviously incredibly invested in this show, which for all intents and purposes was his show, and I would be supporting him in that," Yael told ABC's 7.30 program on Monday night.
The 33-year-old actor told The Times she was "flattered" at the thought that Rush -- an Oscar-winning actor who is a powerful figure in the Australian theatre industry -- would be "texting me into the very early hours of the morning".
She said the messages gradually became more sexual in nature.
"I didn't know how not to reply to someone who was so much my senior. It was not an option for me," she told 7.30.
Speaking of the shower allegation, Stone told The Times she saw a "small shaving mirror over the top of the partition between the showers and he was using it to look down at (her) naked body".
"I believe that it was meant with a playful intention, but the effect was I felt there was nowhere for me to feel safe and unobserved," she said.
In a statement, Rush said the allegations of inappropriate behaviour are "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," Rush said.
"I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention.
"When we performed in The Diary of a Madman 8 years ago, I believe we engaged in a journey as artistic comrades.
"Only the years we have shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration."
Rush has commenced proceedings over allegations made about his behaviour towards one of his co-stars in a separate production.
"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," he said.
Stone acknowledged the pair's relationship was complex and said she never complained to Rush, or director Neil Armfield, at the time.
"Certain behaviour has been allowed, if not encouraged along the way and suddenly, a lot of people have stood up and said, 'No, actually. No'," Stone said.
"I think anecdotally, we can look and see whenever women particularly speak up about issues like this, their career generally suffers.
"I've factored that into my calculations and if that happens, I think it's worth it," she said.
Contact the author firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image: ABC / AAP