Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has filed defamation proceedings against Sydney's Daily Telegraph, seeking damages and "vindication" for defamation over an anonymous and unverified allegation the paper has been covering.
Rush said the newspaper, published by News Corp Australia, had "splashed spurious claims with bombastic titles on their front page".
The statement of claim lodged by Rush's lawyers takes aim at a series of articles, headlines and social media.
"It is an action I am taking in order to redress the slurs, innuendo and hyperbole that they have created around my standing in the entertainment industry and in the greater community", Rush said reading from a prepared statement on Friday, Dec.8.
After the Hollywood heavyweight announced his plans to sue The Daily Telegraph for defamation, his fans have offered the Pirates of the Caribbean star their support.
"We will defend our position in court".
Since its "world exclusive" last Thursday, the Murdoch-owned newspaper has been pushing the story of an "inappropriate behavior" complaint made against Rush to the Sydney Theatre Company following a 2015 production of King Lear, covering the story in print at least nine times in print.
The anonymous person also made a complaint to the STC but insisted it remain confidential and that Rush was not notified of it. The theatre company said it complied "in the interest of the complainant's health and welfare".
The first complaint is about the newspaper's billboard on November 30, a poster usually seen on the outside of newsagents, which said: "WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Geoffrey Rush in scandal claims, theatre company confirms "inappropriate behaviour".
The veteran actor received acclaim for his breakthrough performance in the 1996 film Shine, which earnt him an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA.
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