In a new development in the Geoffrey Rush defamation case, the actor who made the original complaint about Rush to Sydney Theatre Company – alleging “inappropriate behaviour” by Rush, who has denied any wrong-doing – has provided a statement in defence of The Daily Telegraph, reported.

Rush is suing the publisher of The Daily Telegraph, Nationwide News Pty Ltd, as well as journalist Jonathon Moran, over a series of articles relating to a complaint about “inappropriate behaviour” by Rush during STC’s 2015/2016 King Lear.

Rush’s King Lear co-star Eryn Jean Norvill, who made the complaint to STC, requested at the time that the complaint be dealt with confidentially and did not want Rush notified or involved in any investigation.

The Federal Court was told a new statement provided by Norvill – commenting on the case for the first time – will be used in an application by The Daily Telegraph to amend its defence to include the truth defence.

Justice Michael Wigney threw out Nationwide News’s original truth defence in March, describing it as “plainly deficient”. Rush’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou has called this new application “too little, too late” but Wigney described it as a “significant application” and will hear Nationwide News’s application to amend its defence on Thursday. Wigney said he would not release the statement publicly at this time, saying he did not want a “trial by media”.

Rush, who has consistently denied any wrong-doing, recently withdrew from Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Twelfth Night citing “current circumstances and medical advice”.