Actor Craig McLachlan is set to resume defamation action against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and the ABC following being found not guilty of all charges of indecent assault of four women.
As reported on the SMH, McLachlan pleaded not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and six of common assault of four women during the 2014 stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
Now the criminal case is complete, the defamation proceedings are set to resume.
In February 2018, McLachlan filed defamation proceedings against the ABC and then-Fairfax Media following their joint-investigation that alleged he sexually harassed several former colleagues.
The request was heard by a Sydney court, with the figure of $6.5 million first given during a pre-trial hearing.
The ABC, SMH and The Age all published reports that detailed the 55-year-old had sexually harassed female colleagues from the 2014 stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
The actor is also suing Whelan Browne, who spoke to the organisations and performed the lead role of Janet in the show.
The $6.5 million claim followed news three more women had come forward claiming the actor had “inappropriately touched” and “kissed” them.
The women said McLachlan had harassed them during the filming of ABC’s production of the Doctor Blake Mysteries.
In January 2019, McLachlan delayed his defamation case against criminal proceedings against were completed. His lawyer argued at the time the charges against him would impact the trial.
Speaking on the charges and the need for a delay, at the time McLachlan’s lawyer Stuart Littlemore said: “The reality is the entirety of the defence to the civil case is that it is true the applicant is guilty of the indent assaults.”
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