An actress who is one of the stars of the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” says Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush “danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, used a mirror to watch her while she showered and sent her occasionally erotic text messages,” The New York Times reports.
The alleged incidents reportedly took place when Yael Stone, who plays Lorna Morello on the Netflix show, was 25 and starring opposite Rush, then 59, on stage in “The Diary of a Madman” in 2010 and 2011. The allegations appear in a column by Bari Weiss detailing the Australian-born Stone’s fears of running afoul of Australia’s anti-defamation laws by going public.
The piece quotes a statement by Rush in which he says Stone’s allegations “are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.” Rush’s statement adds that “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.”
The piece quotes Stone telling the author, “I know I have truth on my side,” and adding: “You can see in all of my communications with you that there’s an element of terror.”
The AP notes that Rush is currently awaiting a verdict in a defamation lawsuit he filed in Australia that’s unrelated to Stone’s allegations.
“Rush sued the Daily Telegraph’s publisher, Nationwide News, and a journalist over two articles and a newspaper poster published in 2017,” the AP reports. “They related to a report he behaved inappropriately toward a co-star during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016.”
A ruling is expected next year in that case.
Rush won an Oscar in 1997 for his lead performance in “Shine,” and has been nominated three other times for Academy Awards.