A Sydney court has been told that actor Craig McLachlan threatened a fellow cast member that she would “never work in the industry again” after she confronted him about an onstage kiss.
- Fellow actor Brendan Irving described the atmosphere on set as “touchy”
- He described an incident where actor Christie Whelan Browne shared images of her faeces
- A friend of McLachlan said the actor was a “shell of his former self” since the allegations against him were aired
Mr McLachlan is suing the ABC, Nine newspapers and actor Christie Whelan Browne for defamation over several reports in 2018 alleging that he had indecently assaulted, bullied, harassed and exposed himself to female cast members during the 2014 tour of The Rocky Horror Show.
The judge in the NSW Supreme Court heard from several witnesses, including actor Brendan Irving, who played the character of Rocky during the tour.
Michael Hodge QC — the barrister representing the media organisations and Ms Whelan Browne — quizzed Mr Irving about a 2014 meeting he had with fellow cast member Angela Scundi.
The court was told that, during the meeting, Ms Scundi told him she had confronted Mr McLachlan about an onstage kiss, telling him not to do it again, to which he responded: “You will never work in this industry again.”
Mr Irving described the atmosphere on set as “touchy” and noted that cast members were often affectionate with each other, which included “hugging, kissing and sitting on one another’s lap”.
He told the court of an incident where Ms Whelan Browne shared images of her faeces with other cast members.
“She was going through a phase of taking photos of her poo and showing it to the cast,” Mr Irving said.
“Her humour wasn’t in line with mine.”
The court also heard from Mr McLachlan’s close friend, Kellie Chandler, who described Mr McLachlan as being “very fragile” after reports of the allegations against him were aired in 2018.
“He wouldn’t come down from his bedroom and that broke my heart,” Ms Chandler said.
“He’s a shell of his former self.
“He’s not the Craig that I know and love.”
The case is centred around two reports aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program, as well as an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2018, which the actor has claimed damaged his reputation.
Mr McLachlan denies all claims of sexual harassment and bullying that were aired in the reports.
During the defamation trial, 11 women are due to give evidence, alleging Mr McLachlan behaved inappropriately during theatre and television productions.
About 30 to 40 witnesses are expected to be called during the trial, which is likely to continue for another four weeks.
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