During the great #MeToo reckoning, The Daily Telegraph published an account by a woman from the Sydney Theater Company who accused Geoffrey Rush of “inappropriate behavior” by a woman from the Sydney Theater Company. Just like that, Geoffrey’s reputation was giving off some serious Cassanova Frankenstein vibes, something he didn’t like. He filed a defamation suit against The Daily Telegraph. Geoffrey claimed the allegations killed his career and forced him to hide in his house.
Geoffrey might have been exaggerating a little when he said that nobody wants to give him a job, because he landed the role of Malvolio in Melbourne Theater Company’s production of Twelfth Night. Geoffrey recently quit Twelfth Night and blamed it on those allegations.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that the artistic director of the Melbourne Theatre Company Brett Sheehy announced today that Geoffrey left the production. The seven-week production was set to begin on November 12th. Geoffrey reportedly blamed his decision to exit on “current circumstances and medical advice.”
Geoffrey’s still deep in the middle of his defamation lawsuit against The Daily Telegraph. We know a little more about that lawsuit now too. The allegations were made by an Australian actress named Eryn Jean Norvill. Eryn played Cordelia in a 2015 Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear (Geoffrey played her father, King Lear). She alleges that he touched her on five different occasions in a way that made her feel ultra-gross. All of the touching reportedly happened in a scene where he carried her lifeless body. Eryn claims she confronted Geoffrey after the first incident, adding that it was not scripted, directed, or necessary for his character.
Eryn also claims that Geoffrey followed her around so often (once into a women’s bathroom), that she eventually had to tell him to “fuck off” at the cast party.
The Telegraph reported that Geoffrey’s alleged behavior caused the Sydney Theatre Company to decide not to work with Geoffrey again. In Geoffrey’s defense, he claimed that Eryn never had a conversation with him about the alleged touching.
So that’s what Geoffrey is dealing with. He quit the show because he obviously doesn’t want to look out into the audience on opening night and see everyone staring back awkwardly as he gets handsy with that human skull for his first monologue. I know the skull bit is from Hamlet. But at least if his hands are busy holding a prop skull, there’s no chance of them wandering to any of his cast mates.