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Geoffrey Rush to sue the Daily Telegraph for defamation

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has filed for defamation against the Daily Telegraph over allegations regarding “inappropriate behaviour” while performing in King Lear during the Sydney Theatre Company’s 2015-16 season.

The actor faced the press for the first time since the allegations at his lawyer’s building in Melbourne this afternoon, where he told the media he had filed proceedings against the News Corp-owned newspaper in the Federal Court.

“Today I have filed defamation proceedings against the Daily Telegraph in the Federal Court of Australia. It is an action I am taking in order to address the slurs, innuendo and hyperbole they have created around my standing in the entertainment industry and in the greater community,” Rush told the press conference.

“The Daily Telegraph has made false, pejorative and demeaning claims splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages.

“This has created irreparable damage to my reputation has been extremely hurtful to my wife, my daughter and my son and to my extended family as well as to many colleagues in the film televisions and theatre industry.

“The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts.

“I thank you for your kind attention.”

Rush’s solicitor, Nicholas Pullen, added: “They’ve only been filed today [the court documents] and I think this will be the first the Daily Telegraph has ever heard of this.”

The Daily Telegraph’s editor, Chris Dore, told Mumbrella the newspaper would be defending its position.

“The Daily Telegraph accurately reported the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint alleging that Mr Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behaviour. We will defend our position in court,” he said in a statement.

Rush, who has denied the accusations since they were first raised last week, stepped down from his role as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts on Saturday.

Rush did not make an appearance at Wednesday’s AACTA awards.

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