Geoffrey Rush Pulls Out of Stage Production Due to Defamation Case

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Geoffrey Rush

The Australian actor is suing The Daily Telegraph newspaper over articles accusing him of inappropriate behavior toward actress Eryn Jean Norvill.

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has pulled out of a Shakespeare stage production in Australia as he sues a Sydney newspaper for defamation.

Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director Brett Sheehy said Tuesday that he had received a statement from the 67-year-old actor on Monday withdrawing from the role of Malvolio in a seven-week season of Twelfth Night, which is set to begin Nov. 12.

"Due to my current circumstances and medical advice, I must withdraw from the upcoming project," Rush reportedly said.

The Australian actor is suing The Daily Telegraph for defamation over articles published in December that accused him of inappropriate behavior toward actress Eryn Jean Norvill during the Sydney Theatre Company's production of King Lear in 2015.

Rush has denied the allegation.