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Geoffrey Rush 'housebound'

  • Geoffrey Rush 'housebound'

Struggling to eat

Geoffrey Rush has become virtually housebound and struggles to eat following the publication of allegations of inappropriate behaviour, according to his lawyers.

The King's Speech star, 66, is suing Nationwide News, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, and journalist Jonathon Moran for defamation over two articles which appeared in Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper alleging he touched a colleague inappropriately during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015.

According to Stuff.co.nz, Rush's lawyers filed an affidavit on Monday, which stated he has suffered "tremendous emotional and social hardship" since the publication of the articles last year, and now rarely leaves his home due to anxiety as he fears his reputation and career are "irreparably damaged". He alleges the Daily Telegraph's stories falsely portrayed him as a sexual predator.

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News Corp chiefs deny the articles, one of which was headlined 'King Leer', made Rush out to be a pervert and a predator.

Lawyers for the company have now submitted an application which would make Sydney Theatre Company bosses a co-defendant in Rush's lawsuit.

The cross-claim application, which will be heard on Friday, states that theatre company officials provided statements relating to a complaint against Rush knowing that they would likely be published by the tabloid newspaper.

Rush's lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou, called News Corp's application a "spurious" attempt to delay proceedings, adding that the application had no merit as there was no suggestion theatre company sources had instigated the story, but had merely complied with requests to comment.

Defence documents revealed in court last month showed that Rush's co-star Eryn Jean Norvill accused him of having "touched her genitals during the production of King Lear without her consent" during one scene.

It is alleged that after this happened, Norvill approached him to object, but he is accused of repeating the inappropriate touching on four other occasions. The documents also state that after an investigation, Sydney Theatre Company chiefs decided they would no longer work with Rush.

The Oscar winner has denied the claims and is seeking damages from Nationwide News. The presiding Judge Michael Wigney said it was likely the case would go to trial in December.