In a New York Times article published Sunday, actress Yael Stone comes forward with allegations of sexual misconduct she experienced while starring across from Geoffrey Rush in a 2010 Sydney production of The Diary of a Madman. Among numerous “strange intimacies in the dressing room,” the Orange Is the New Black star alleges Rush sent her sexual texts, asked her to perform tasks like removing his costume, danced naked in their dressing room, joined her uninvited as she napped, touched her in a “very sexual manner” at an awards show and, in one incident, used a mirror to watch her shower. “There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity. This was a huge star,” Stone explains. “What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?”
Earlier this year, Rush sued for defamation after Australia’s Daily Telegraph published allegations made by a different actress about the actor’s inappropriate behavior during a 2015 Sydney Theater Company production of King Lear. According to the Times, the country’s strict libel laws can discourage would-be accusers from coming forward. After the initial wave of #MeToo began last fall, Stone says she emailed Rush explaining how uncomfortable he had made her feel while working together. The actor allegedly did not reply.
“I’ve been in that particular dressing room in Sydney on many occasions with many wonderfully talented actors and many wonderfully talented clowns,” the actress says of working with Rush. “And people have made me belly laugh till I couldn’t breathe. Never once has someone needed to show me their penis to do that.”
In a statement, Rush replied that Stone’s allegations are “incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context,” but apologized for upsetting her nonetheless. “I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused he any distress,” the statement reads in part. “This, most certainly, has never been my intention.”