Geofrey Rush: Yael Stone's Harassment Allegations Were Completely Out of Context

Although calling his 'Diary of a Madman' co-star's accusation against him incorrect, the 'Genius' actor states that he 'sincerely and deeply regrets' should he cause her any distress.

AceShowbiz - Geoffrey Rush has hit back at his former co-star Yael Stone's allegations that he sexually harassed her.

"Orange Is the New Black" star Stone made her explosive claims in an interview with Australian TV show 7.30, alleging that Rush sent her sexually suggestive text messages, tried to spy on her while she showered and exposed himself to her backstage as they starred in a production of "Diary of a Madman" in Sydney in 2010 and 2011.

Stone, who was 25 at the time, told the outlet that things began innocently, before the texts became more sexual in nature, adding, "I was very willing to accommodate all this behaviour, I was enthusiastically trying to keep up with this banter."

However, she claimed she became increasingly uncomfortable as the behaviour continued, with Rush, who was 59 at the time, apparently shedding his clothes and "dancing around naked" in front of her as she sat in a shared cast dressing room. He then is alleged to have attempted to catch a glimpse of her when she was in the shower.

Stone added she never complained to Rush or Neil Armfield, the director of the show, at the time.

"I was always treading that line of trying to protect myself, not quite knowing how, and never, never wanting to offend him," she said. "That was at the top of the list: 'Don't offend Geoffrey because it will affect the next performance and ultimately it will affect your career.' "

She acknowledged that Rush may well be confused about her decision to speak out about his alleged behaviour now, given that she appeared to be accepting of it at the time, but she made the call to do so in a bid to prompt change in the entertainment industry as a whole.

Stone also said she emailed Rush in December 2017, detailing the ways he had made her feel uncomfortable while they starred in the show together, but never received a reply.

When contacted by 7.30, Rush issued a statement denying Stone's allegations.

"From the outset I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context," he said. "However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work."

Adding he "sincerely and deeply regrets" if he caused her any distress, Rush added that he and Stone have "shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration" over the years.

It's not the first time Rush has been accused of sexual misconduct. He is currently in the process of suing Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper over an article published last year alleging that he harassed co-star Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.

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