Orange Is the New Black star Yael Stone has accused actor Geoffrey Rush of inappropriate behavior, claiming that, among other things, he used a mirror to watch her shower and danced naked in front of her without her consent.
In an interview published Sunday in The New York Times, Stone said the incidents dated back to 2010 and 2011, when she costarred with Rush in a stage production of The Diary of a Madman in Sydney and in New York. At the time, Stone was 25; Rush was 59, and was already an Academy Award-winning actor. Stone told the New York Times that she “worshiped” Rush, with whom she shared Australian nationality, and when she was offered the role, “[i]t was the biggest break I had ever had,” she said.
But Stone claims her interactions with Rush were rife with inappropriate behavior, starting with flirtatious, “occasionally vulgar” texts she received from him. Stone also accused Rush of creating “strange intimacies in the dressing room,” like napping with her between matinee and evening performances and asking her to take off his costume. He allegedly danced “totally naked” in front of her one evening. Stone said she played along. “I didn’t want him to think I was no fun, that I was one of those people who couldn’t take a joke,” she told the Times.
Most disturbing, though, was the alleged shower incident:
The shared dressing room had two shower cubicles next to each other. After the show one evening, Ms. Stone said, “I remember I looked up to see there was a small shaving mirror over the top of the partition between the showers and he was using it to look down at my naked body. I believe that it was meant with a playful intention, but the effect was that I felt there was nowhere for me to feel safe and unobserved.”
At least one person the New York Times spoke with said they witnessed the incident, and the show’s general manager said the play’s director, Neil Armfield, “had spoken to Geoffrey about not walking in on Yael in the shower.” Stone, meanwhile, feared reporting Rush would jeopardize her career. ““There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity. This was a huge star,” she said. “What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?”
Last year, actor Eryn Jean Norvill accused Rush of acting inappropriately toward her on a 2016 set of King Lear; Rush denied the accusations and sued The Daily Telegraph, which reported them, for defamation.
Rush has similarly denied Stone’s allegations, telling the Times in a statement that they “are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.”
“[C]learly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention,” he added.