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Doctor Blake Mysteries star Craig McLachlan accused of indecent assault and sexual harassment

Craig McLachlan, lead actor on popular television series The Doctor Blake Mysteries, indecently assaulted, sexually harassed and bullied female co-stars, an ongoing joint investigation by Fairfax Media and ABC has alleged.

McLachlan is the second high-profile local media personality to be accused of indecent behaviour in two months after veteran journalist Tracey Spicer launched an investigation into the Australian media industry. In late November, Don Burke was accused of sexually harassing a string of female colleagues throughout his career.

The Doctor Blake mysteries is meant to be returning to Seven this year

In response to allegations of rape and sexual assault by American TV producer Harvey Weinstein, Spicer tweeted in October that she was digging into “two long-term offenders in our media industry”.

In the latest investigation, a number of female cast members of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014 have alleged they were abused, harassed or assaulted by McLachlan. Two cast members, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi, have lodged complaints with Victorian police, who are currently investigating.

Among the allegations, McLachlan – who has worked on shows including Neighbours, Home and Away and more recently The Wrong Girl on Ten – was described as “calculated” and “manipulative” with “sinister, predatory behaviour”. He has been accused of pressing against co-stars on stage, exposing himself, touching their genitals and groping their breasts.

In 2016, McLachlan was also caught in an awkward encounter with Miranda Tapsell on stage at the 2016 TV Week Logie Awards.

McLachlan responded to Fairfax Media and the ABC saying the allegations were “all made up” and “baseless”.

“They seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he wrote in an email, according to the Fairfax story.

Just over two months ago, Seven revealed McLachlan’s television show The Doctor Blake Mysteries would air on its network in 2018.

The show had previously been axed by the ABC, which said the time was right to end the program.

“We have a fantastic final season still to come and we look forward to wrapping the series up with a satisfying movie-length finale, as we bid farewell to an Australian TV icon,” ABC’s head of scripted production, Sally Riley said at the time of the announcement.

Today, an ABC spokesperson confirmed no complaints had been made against McLachlan during the production of The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

“The ABC takes any allegation of harassment very seriously and does not condone or tolerate any inappropriate behaviour. All ABC employees are made aware of and must abide by our discrimination, bullying and harassment policy at all times.

“Doctor Blake Mysteries was produced by an independent production company, December Media, in association with Film Victoria and ABC Television and broadcast between 2013 and 2017. There have been no complaints made to the ABC involving any members of the Dr Blake cast, who are employed by December Media.”

Mumbrella understands the national broadcaster was not aware of any other complaints outside of the Dr Blake series.

It is unclear whether the production will still go ahead on Seven in 2018, or whether McLachlan will continue as acting lead. Seven had not responded to Mumbrella’s request for comment at the time of publishing.

The ABC will air its investigation into the claims tonight on 7:30.

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