Geoffrey Rush Withdraws from Melbourne Theatre Company's TWELFTH NIGHT Because of Defamation Case

Geoffrey Rush Withdraws from Melbourne Theatre Company's TWELFTH NIGHT Because of Defamation Case

As BroadwayWorld reported in April, Tony winner Geoffrey Rush recently filed defamation proceedings in Australia's federal court against The Daily Telegraph. The Oscar winner is seeking damages after the news publication reported allegations that the actor behaved inappropriately towards a female cast member during a 2015 production of KING LEAR.

In a brief press conference held in Melbourne, Rush stated:

The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims - splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages. This has created irreparable damage to my reputation, been extremely hurtful to my wife, my daughter and my son; to my extended family - and to many colleagues in the Film, Television and Theatre industry.

Despite denying the allegations, Rush voluntarily stepped down as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. Now according to ABC, the actor has withdrawn from the Melbourne Theatre Company's upcoming production of Twelfth Night, in which he was slated to play Malvolio.

MTC released a statement from Rush:

"Due to my current circumstances and medical advice, I must withdraw from the upcoming project of Twelfth Night. I do so with the greatest regret. I know that I would not be able to provide the necessary creative spirit and the professional stamina required for the project.

Rush starred on Broadway in the 2009 revival of EXIT THE KING, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Play.

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