Geoffrey Rush steps down as Australian Academy president amid allegations of inappropriate behavior

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Actor Geoffrey Rush, an Oscar and Golden Globe winner, resigned over the weekend from his position as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts following allegations of inappropriate behavior while working on a 2015 production of "King Lear" at the Sydney Theater Company.

In a statement posted to its website, the AACTA said it accepted Rush's decision to step aside.

"We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey's rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances," the statement read.

The exact nature of the complaint against Rush has not been made immediately clear. In a statement released to the Associated Press through his attorneys, Rush said, "Certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community. It is unreasonable that my professional colleagues should be somehow associated with such allegations.

"In the circumstances, I have decided to step aside in my ambassadorial role as president of AACTA effective immediately and until these issues have been resolved. ... This decision has not been made lightly. However, in the current climate of innuendo and unjustifiable reporting, I believe the decision to make a clean break to clear the air is the best for all concerned."


Rush's resignation comes just ahead of the AACTA's awards ceremony later this week.

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