Geoffrey Rush steps down as AACTA president ahead of awards on Wednesday

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has voluntarily left his post as the president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) ahead of the industry body’s awards on Wednesday.

The news comes after allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” during Rush’s time with the Sydney Theatre Company (STC)

The Oscar winner has been involved in various STC productions over the years, however his most recent engagement with the company was between November 2015 and January 2016 during Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Rush denied the allegations, initially saying he had not been informed of the nature of the complaint.

The Daily Telegraph has since revealed the allegations include the inappropriate touching of a female actor.

News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph originally revealed the allegations against Rush on their front page on Thursday 30 November. The original digital article – Geoffrey Rush accused of inappropriate behaviour  – appears to have been removed.

The message which meets readers if they click on the original Daily Telegraph article revealing the allegations against Rush

The article is now headed ‘Geoffrey Rush denies accusations of inappropriate behaviour’ and remains online behind The Daily Telegraph’s paywall.

It is understood Rush will no longer be involved in the AACTA Awards in Sydney on Wednesday evening and won’t attend the ceremony.

The full statement from AACTA:

AACTA acknowledges the decision today of Geoffrey Rush to voluntarily step aside as President of AACTA and accepts and respects his decision to do so.

We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey’s rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances.

We will not be making any further comment at this time.


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