Geoffrey Rush 'suffering tremendous hardship'

In December, Geoffrey Rush resigned as head of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which he had led for several years.
In December, Geoffrey Rush resigned as head of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which he had led for several years.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY • Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush is "virtually housebound" and "barely eats" after a Sydney newspaper claimed he engaged in inappropriate behaviour at a theatre, his lawyer said on Monday during a defamation case.

The 66-year-old actor is suing Sydney's Daily Telegraph after a front-page story in November reported that the Sydney Theatre Company had received a complaint about him when he was working there.

The veteran Australian star has denied any wrongdoing and his lawyer Nicholas Pullen said in an affidavit on Monday that Rush has "continued to suffer tremendous emotional and social hardship".

The legal document said he was "virtually housebound" and, in the first three months after the publication, "rarely left his home".

It added that he "feels uncomfortable when in public and will rarely attend public events", "barely eats" and "wakes up every morning with a terrible sense of dread about his future career".

The affidavit said that as a direct result of the report, which received international coverage, Rush found he was "constantly associated" locally and overseas with the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

In December, he resigned as head of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which he had led for several years.

He won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in Shine and is one of the few stars to have also won Emmy and Tony prizes.

Daily Telegraph had said previously that it had accurately reported the complaint against Rush and would defend the case in court.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'Geoffrey Rush 'suffering tremendous hardship''. Print Edition | Subscribe