Geoffrey Rush, the Academy award-winning actor, on Monday faced fresh allegations of inappropriate behaviour by an actress, amid his defamation battle with an Australian newspaper over separate claims.
Australian actress Yael Stone, who stars in Netflix hit "Orange is the New Black", said that Rush had danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, when she starred opposite him in the theatre production "The Diary of a Madman" in 2010 and 2011.
The 33-year-old said he used a mirror to watch her as she showered.
"I believe that it was meant with a playful intention, but the effect was that I felt there was nowhere for me to feel safe and unobserved," Stone told The New York Times.
She also accused him of sending her erotic text messages.
"Gradually the text messages became more sexual in nature, but always encased in this very highfalutin intellectual language," she told the newspaper.
“I’m embarrassed by the ways I participated. I certainly wouldn’t engage as the person I am now in the way I did when I was 25.”
Rush said in a statement published by the US newspaper that Stone’s allegations were "incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context".
"However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work," the Australian actor added.
"I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention."
Rush, 67, is suing Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper after a front-page story in November last year reported that the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint about him when he was working there.
The allegations by Stone were published in a Times opinion column about the legal challenges of going public in Australia amid the global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
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Stone told the ABC that she did not complain at that time, wanting to protect her budding career.
“Geoffrey was working within the boundaries of what he felt was playful. The fact of the matter is, the behaviour was very inappropriate at times and did make me feel uncomfortable and compromised," Stone said in an interview to aired on Monday night.
“Whenever women particularly speak about issues like this their career generally suffers. I’ve factored that into my calculations and if that happens, I think it’s worth it," she said.
She said while she had been uncomfortable with Rush’s behaviour, she rarely chided him and played a "court jester" role instead.
"(I was) very inexperienced, he was this person who is an internationally lauded star, he’s pretty much won every award you can win," she said.
"I was just there to serve him, and I think I probably took that too far and too literally."
Rush won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in "Shine" and is one of the few stars to have also won a primetime Emmy and a Tony Award.
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