Following allegations by three women that he indecently assaulted and sexually harassed them on and off stage during the 2014 Gordon Frost Organisation production of The Rocky Horror Show, Craig McLachlan will no longer be performing in the current production, which is in Adelaide at the moment and then touring to Brisbane and Perth.
McLachlan has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances, inappropriately touching female co-stars and exposing himself in a series of detailed allegations by cast mates Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi according to a joint investigation by the ABC and Fairfax Media.
McLachlan, who is 52 years old and well known for his roles in Home and Away, Neighbours and The Doctor Blake Mysteries has denied the allegations, calling into question the motives of his accusers, two of whom have made complaints to the Victorian police.
“Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he said in an email to the ABC. “In either event, they are to the best of my knowledge utterly and entirely false.”
“He’s really calculated and very manipulative, a predator,” Heynatz told Fairfax.
Whelan Browne reported speaking to a senior member of the production staff about McLachlan’s aggressive behaviour during the production as well as managing director of the Gordon Frost Organisation John Frost.
The Gordon Frost Organisation has released a statement, which appears in full below:
The Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO) was shocked to learn of allegations against Craig McLachlan while he was involved in the Rocky Horror Show in 2014. We take these allegations very seriously, and have always endeavoured to prioritise a safe working environment.
In response, we have spoken to Craig and have mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show. We will be conducting a full internal investigation and will cooperate fully with authorities.
While we clearly cannot comment on the details of this particular case, sexual assault in any form is unacceptable, and we will work diligently within this industry to support the right of all people to be protected in the workplace, and stand by those who are victims of inappropriate behaviour.
In order to clarify media reports, we wish to state that we were not aware of any details of these allegations until they were published in the media today. We received correspondence from a law firm shortly before Christmas however this contained no details of the claims or the claimants. The response from our lawyers was based on this lack of information and was not in any way directed at the women who have come forward and made these allegations.
We can also confirm that our records show the claimants at no time made any complaint – formal or informal – to the company manager or executive producer of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014. Furthermore no one at GFO recalls any verbal discussion of this nature. It would be distressing to us if anyone within our company was dismissive of sexual assault allegations, and this will form a part of our internal investigation.
GFO has rigorous rules, guidelines, and procedures in place regarding all work-related issues, including for grievances and OHS generally, and requires all staff, casts and contractors to follow such. GFO places the safety and well-being of its staff, casts, contractors and members of the public as its highest priority at all times, and we trust that our longevity in this industry shows this.
These events will not affect the production across Australia of the Rocky Horror Show, and our excellent cast are looking forward to continuing to bring this production to Australian audiences as per the current schedule.