Geoffrey Rush would ‘look at me and lick his lips’: actor

Rush’s co-star Robyn Nevin denies telling actress: ‘Oh, I thought Geoffrey had stopped that’

Rush’s co-star Robyn Nevin denies telling actress: ‘Oh, I thought Geoffrey had stopped that’

Award-winning actress Judy Davis has told a court that she had heard talk in the film industry that Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush's career was finished after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour toward a female co-star in a Sydney stage play.

The young actor was giving evidence in the NSW Federal Court on Tuesday at Rush's defamation trial against Nationwide News - the publisher of the Daily Telegraph - and journalist Jonathon Moran.

"It didn't feel like an accident", she said, adding that his behavior made her feel humiliated, belittled and put her on "high alert" around Rush whom she had previously idolized.

Under the headline "KING LEER", and in later articles, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper said past year that the actor, in the title role, had been accused by a co-star of unspecified inappropriate conduct.

'There are many stories not just mine, ' Norvill said in another text to Nevin. I didn't ask for any of this.

"I'm frightened", Ms Norvill replied in the text message tendered to the court.

"But I'm fairly alone right now". But here I am, in the eye of the storm.

Eryn Jean Norvill says Geoffrey Rush got uncomfortably close to her and whispered in her ear at a party on the closing night of one of her plays, some months before they performed together in King Lear.

Rush has previously told the court that the Telegraph's stories implied he was a major pervert, or guilty of major depravity, and did not fit his recollection of the production.

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She did not confront him at the time, she said, because she "was at the bottom of the rung in terms of hierarchy and Geoffrey was definitely at the top and that was in play".

"It is just appalling that you would put those words in my mouth", Ms Nevin snapped at Mr Blackburn.

Nevin, who starred in King Lear with Rush and Norvill, initiated a text exchange with the younger actor after the Telegraph story broke by asking 'Oh dear girl, are you OK??'

Nevin, 76, said Norvill became tearful during a mid-2016 conversation she had with the actress during a production of All My Sons, in which they were both appearing.

She said it hadn't happened before, with Rush usually touching her face and sometimes her head, shoulder and arm during the scene. "It's nasty, I hope you'll be protected, I'm sure you will be".

"Which I took to be the trouble she was having with Cordelia, the struggles, she was very unhappy in the role".

Ms Nevin denied that text messages she exchanged with Ms Norvill indicated she thought the allegations might be true.

She said "no" repeatedly when asked if Rush had acted inappropriately towards Norvill during the production.

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