Australian actor Geoffrey Rush won his defamation case against the News Corp owned Sydney paper The Daily Telegraph on Thursday (11-4-19) but the win was a claytons win given Geoffrey Rush has failed to take legal action against actress Yael Stone who has made more serious allegations against Rush.
Unless Rush follows up and also sues Yael Stone, and/or the ABC’s 7.30 Report which broadcast Ms Stone’s allegations, then Geoffrey Rush will forever be looked upon by many as a sexual predator who only won a defamation case because a single judge believed him over his accuser.
If the Yael Stone allegations are left unchallenged in court then that is likely to do substantially more damage to Geoffrey Rush’s future career opportunities than anything The Daily Telegraph has published.
The Daily Telegraph allegations
The Daily Telegraph ran stories portraying Geoffrey Rush was a sexual predator because someone leaked to The Daily Telegraph a personal complaint that actress Eryn Jean Norvill had made against Rush during a theatre production of King Lear in 2015/2016. Eryn Jean Norvill has stated that she never wanted her complaint made public, she never gave an interview to The Daily Telegraph and initially refused to give evidence at the Rush defamation trial.
The reporting of The Daily Telegraph is extremely questionable especially given Eryn Jean Norvill never wanted her complaint to be made public. Be that as it may, the defamation case seems to have encouraged another actress, Yael Stone, to come forward with her own complaint against Geoffrey Rush.
Eryn Jean Norvill’s allegations against Rush were that he rubbed Norvill’s breast, rubbed her back and sent some inappropriate text messages. Only minor allegations in comparison to the multiple rape allegations Harvey Weinstein and others are facing in the US that have been exposed during the #MeToo movement. But when Eryn Jean Norvill’s allegations are put together with Yael Stone’s allegations it paints a picture of a serial pest whose actions are bordering on criminal.
Yael Stone allegations
The allegations Yael Stone made against Geoffrey Rush in a 7.30 Report interview in December 2018 are almost identical to the allegations Eryn Jean Norvill made but more extreme.
“Yael Stone, the Australian star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black, has made explosive claims about veteran actor Geoffrey Rush, alleging he exposed himself to her backstage, sent her sexually suggestive text messages, and attempted to spy on her while she was showering. In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, Mr Rush has denied any inappropriate behaviour.“
The 7.30 Report says they have seen the sexual text messages and have spoken to witnesses for both the dancing naked allegation and spying allegation which would explain why the Geoffrey Rush has not sued for defamation.
Since 1988, Geoffrey Rush has been married to actress Jane Menelaus and I don’t think she would be too happy with him.
The 7.30 Reports says:
In an extensive, 40-minute on-camera interview with 7.30 in a New York hotel room, the actor detailed her experience working with Mr Rush in 2010 and 2011.
She says she is speaking publicly to help compel change in the entertainment industry.
The allegations centre on the stage play Diary of a Madman, in which the two co-starred at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre.
Mr Rush, aged 59 at the time, was a long-established superstar of stage and screen but Stone, then 25, was a minor player in comparison. (Click here to read more or watch the interview below)
Yael Stone’s allegations aren’t going away and if he doesn’t sue, and it looks likely he isn’t going to, then the inference that many will draw is that the allegations must be true.
The judgment last Thursday by federal court judge Michael Wigney was fairly damming of actress Eryn Jean Norvill which is poor form by the judge especially given she never wanted her complaint made public. I think it would have been a whole new ball game if it had of gone before a jury and if Yael Stone and her witnesses had also given evidence.
Geoffrey Rush should never have gone to court
There is a long way to go in this story as Geoffrey Rush has been awarded $850,000 but the matter has been set down for further argument for Rush to claim lost earnings and costs which may go into the $millions.
If I was News Corp’s lawyers I would be arguing there should a very limited amount if anything awarded for lost earnings as the interview that Yael Stone gave is a lot more damaging as she is a well-known actress in the US and her allegations have gone unchallenged in court by Mr Rush. Given Justice Michael Wigney’s star-struck judgment in favour of Geoffrey Rush News Corp’s lawyers probably won’t have much luck but it’s worth a shot.
One of the only positives about Justice Wigney’s judgment is that it might force the closure of The Daily Telegraph sooner rather than later as it would be struggling to make a profit now let alone with a multi-million payment to Geoffrey Rush.
I doubt very much Geoffrey Rush will ever get his reputation back and he’ll always look back and question if it was worth suing. It’s only Geoffrey Rush, Eryn Jean Norvill and Yael Stone who know the full details. This is a complex matter for all involved.
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