Geoffrey Rush has described his relationship with actress Eryn-Jean Norvill during a production of King Lear as “cordial.”
In his defamation case today against Nationwide News he told a Federal Court in Sydney he had not touched her on the breasts.
Rush played the title character in the play and Eryn-Jean Norvill playing Lear’s daughter Cordelia, including carrying her offstage after a death scene.
“No one came up and said I think you’re getting on Eryn-Jean’s nerves, nothing at all. It felt congenial and collegiate, they’re the only words I can express.”
The Telegraph says that during rehearsals of the scene Rush had at various stages hovered his hands above Norvill’s torso “pretending to stroke or caress her upper torso”.
McClintock asked Rush if he had ever touched Norvill on the breasts?
McClintock: Did you make groping gestures in the air to simulate groping her breasts?
Rush: No. I didn’t do that.
McClintock: Did you make comments about her body?
McClintock: Did you make comments of sexual innuendo?
Rush also said he was asked to stand down from his role at the AACTA Awards because of a row in the boardroom that had left “blood on the walls”. He said he had been told by AACTA chief executive Damien Trewhella that there had been a “massive fight” within the film organisation following the articles, because of concerns the awards night broadcasters would “pull the plug”.
“By Sunday [the board] had issued a kind of document to me saying we want you to resign or we will ask you to resign,” he said.
“I do feel as if my identity, my sense of self, my career has been under such pejorative media coverage,” he added.
“Everything that has happened is reported as fact.”
The trial continues.
TV Tonight is a partner of the AACTA Awards.