CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual harassment.
Lauded Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been accused of sexual misconduct by three actresses who starred alongside him in the 2014 stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
In a massive new exposé, the Gold Logie-winning former Neighbours and Home And Away actor has been accused of unwanted sexual contact, forcefully kissing actresses, and physical intimidation.
Christie Whelan Browne, who portrayed Janet in the production, stated some of McLachlan’s alleged misconduct occurred on stage.
She stated that during a scene where her body below her shoulders was hidden from the audience, McLachlan would kiss down her neck and arm – as directed in the script – but would also continue downwards.
Whelan Browne said “it gradually moved to the breasts and down the stomach,” before one performance where “he turned me around, he pulled my undies up so my bum cheek was out and he was kissing my bum.”
McLachlan then allegedly groped and made comments about her vagina.
Angela Scundi alleged that McLachlan made inappropriate comments about her breasts, before inviting her to his changing room and exposing himself. She also states McLachlan once hugged her while only wearing boxers, and “pushed his pelvis into me and moved around so I could feel his penis against my body.”
Erika Heynatz said a “really calculated and very manipulative” McLachlan once professed his feelings for her, then grabbed her face and kissed her. “I was almost paralysed,” Heynatz said. Later, as Heynatz sat on a couch backstage at the Melbourne Comedy Theatre, McLachlan allegedly “straddled” her and kissed her neck.
“You want to work with these people. You don’t want to be touched by them, kissed by them, you don’t want them to be sexualising you,” Heynatz said.
Responding to the joint Fairfax Media and ABC report on the allegations, McLachlan has denied the claims made against him. He said the claims were invented “perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety. In either event, they are to the best of my knowledge utterly and entirely false.”
Regardless, Whelan Browne, Scundi, and Heynatz have sought legal representation. They have presented a request to the production company Gordon Frost Organisation to investigate the claims made against McLachlan.
“I hope that in coming forward, which is something that is very difficult and something I’ve tried to avoid, I hope that it makes a change,” said Whelan Browne.
You can read the full report HERE.
This article discusses sexual assault & harassment. If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Don Arnold / Getty