Ac­tor charged with as­sault

Kingston Whig-Standard - - ENTERTAINMENT -

SYD­NEY, Aus­tralia — Australian ac­tor Craig McLach­lan has been charged with eight counts of in­de­cent as­sault and one count of com­mon as­sault af­ter be­ing ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct by three women who worked with him in a stage mu­si­cal.

Po­lice in Vic­to­ria state on Fri­day said a 53-year-old man, iden­ti­fied by news me­dia as McLach­lan, has been sum­moned to ap­pear in court over the nine charges, and an­other charge of at­tempted in­de­cent as­sault.

A spokesper­son for the for­mer star of long-run­ning Australian TV se­ries Neigh­bours and Home and Away said McLach­lan has de­nied all of the charges, which arose af­ter a pro­duc­tion of The Rocky Hor­ror Show in 2014.

“Craig is in­no­cent of these charges which will be vig­or­ously de­fended,” the state­ment said.

McLach­lan is due to ap­pear in Mel­bourne Mag­is­trates Court on Feb. 8.

Af­ter the al­le­ga­tions against McLach­lan first emerged last year, the ac­tor launched a defama­tion suit against two Australian news or­ga­ni­za­tions — Fair­fax Me­dia and the Australian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion — and against for­mer Rocky Hor­ror co-star Christie Whe­lan Browne.

He is seek­ing dam­ages of $6.5 mil­lion in the Supreme Court of New South Wales state over re­ports he bul­lied and in­de­cently as­saulted Whe­lan Browne and two other fe­male cast mem­bers dur­ing the stage pro­duc­tion.

His le­gal team said last May that since the al­le­ga­tions, McLach­lan has be­come reclu­sive and his act­ing ca­reer has been ef­fec­tively de­stroyed.

Hear­ings in the defama­tion suit are to start Feb. 4.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILES

Australian ac­tor Craig McLach­lan has been charged with eight counts of in­de­cent as­sault and one count of com­mon as­sault. He de­nies the charges.

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