Orange Is The New Black star Yael Stone has alleged that Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush sexually harassed her on multiple occasions while they worked on a theatre production of The Diary of a Madman in 2010.
In an interview with The New York Times, Stone said Rush sent her sexually suggestive messages, spied on her while she was taking a shower and exposed himself to her.
The Australian actor said it was conflicting for her to come out against Rush, whom she considered a mentor and friend but said things were “weird” from the beginning of the rehearsals.
She claims there were many “strange intimacies in the dressing room” that ranged from the then 59-year-old Rush asking her to remove his contact lenses, asking for help to remove his costume at intermission and joining her uninvited while she napped between the matinee and evening performances.
Stone also alleges Rush danced naked in front of her. In another incident, Stone told the Times that Rush held a mirror above the shower cubicle while she was showering.
“I remember I looked up to see there was a small shaving mirror over the top of the partition between the showers and he was using it to look down at my naked body,” Stone said.
Stone and Rush also texted a great deal, and that they gradually “became more sexual in nature.”
The actor said she always tried to tread a delicate line as she did not want to offend Rush. “There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity. This was a huge star. What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?,” she said.
Rush, in a statement to NYT, said Stone’s allegations of sexual misconduct are “incorrect” and “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. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention,” he added.
Rush, a big name in Australian acting, has filed a defamation suit against the publishers of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper for publishing an article last year, alleging that he sexually harassed his King Lear co-star, later revealed to be Eryn Jean Norvill in 2015 and 2016.
Norvill has alleged that Rush made lewd gestures in her direction, regularly made sexually suggestive jokes and touched her breasts in the middle of a stage performance.
Rush has denied the allegations.