Australian actor Craig McLachlan has denied accusations of sexually inappropriate behaviour and bullying by several female former colleagues.
Three cast members of the 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Picture Show have told a Fairfax Media/ABC investigation that the 52-year-old inappropriately touched them or exposed himself to them.
McLachlan has described the allegations by Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi as “baseless”.
“They seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he was quoted as writing. “These allegations are ALL made up.”
McLachlan – who came to fame on the soap opera Neighbours playing Henry Ramsay, the brother of Kylie Minogue’s character Charlene – is now starring in another production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Adelaide.
He’s the latest high-profile man in the entertainment and media industry to be accused following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Whelan Browne also appeared in the Channel Ten program The Wrong Girl alongside McLachlan in 2016 and 2017.
She told the ABC she was dismayed when she learned he had been cast but felt she had to continue to have a civil relationship with him for the sake of her career. She said his behaviour towards her on that program was appropriate.
But she said during Rocky Horror McLachlan, who played the character Frank N Furter to her Janet, said he indecently assaulted her on stage during a sex scene.
Scundi said McLachlan kissed her passionately onstage even after she had asked that it not be done.
She said when she confronted him about the unwanted kiss, he abused and threatened her.
“I said, ‘Don’t you kiss me. Don’t you do that ever again and he turned. I haven’t felt that terrified ever in my life, or ever again,” she told the ABC. “He was just a different person. He said, ‘You are nothing. Don’t you dare talk to me like that. I will end you.’ And in that moment, I believed him.”
McLachlan said Rocky Horror was a “confrontational musical oozing with sexuality”.
“As such, as part of the musical the actors have to perform certain actions, all of which follow from the show itself – and indeed ‘make’ the show.”
The three women said they had asked the production company, GFO, for an independent investigation into their claims, but that fell through.
In a statement, GFO said its managing director, John Frost, was not available for an interview and the company declined to make any comment on the record.