Australian actor Yael Stone, best-known internationally for her recent work on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, has come forward with a series of explosive allegations about inappropriate behaviour by actor Geoffrey Rush during their time working together on a production of The Diary of a Madman in 2010 and 2011, in The New York Times and the ABC. The production played at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre before moving to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Rush has strongly denied the allegations.
Geoffrey Rush and Yael Stone in The Diary of a Madman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. Photo © Stephanie Berger
In an article by Bari Weiss, published in The New York Times’ Opinion section, Stone alleged that the then 59-year-old Rush sent erotic text messages to her (she was 25 at the time), danced naked in front of her in their shared dressing room and used a mirror to look into her shower. “I looked up to see there was a small shaving mirror over the top of the partition between the showers and he was using it to look down at my naked body,” she told The New York Times.
“From the outset I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context,” Rush said in a statement (read the full statement below).
The article, which also touches on Australia’s unique defamation laws, includes comments from the production’s director Neil Armfield, who was recently a witness for Rush in his defamation proceedings against Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph over articles alleging inappropriate behaviour by Rush during Sydney Theatre Company’s King Lear (allegations which Rush has vehemently denied).
“Geoffrey was working within the boundaries of what he felt was playful. The fact of the matter is, the behaviour was very inappropriate at times and did make me feel uncomfortable and compromised,” Stone told the ABC’s Leigh Sales in an interview that will air on 7.30 tonight. “Whenever women particularly speak about issues like this their career generally suffers. I’ve factored that into my calculations and if that happens, I think it’s worth it.”
“I have a very young baby girl and I want to say to her one day it was hard, but I did it anyway,” she said.
Statement from Geoffrey Rush
From the outset I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.
However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work.
I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention.
When we performed in The Diary Of A Madman 8 years ago, I believe we engaged in a journey as artistic comrades.
Over the years we have shared correspondence that always contained a mutual respect and admiration.
As I have said in the past, I abhor any behaviour that might be considered as harassment or intimidation to anyone – whether in the workplace or any other environment.