On May 16, Channel Seven aired its Craig McLachlan “tell-all” interview, Spotlight: Horror Show, which marked the actor’s first media interview since his acquittal, where he was found not guilty of all charges. The allegations were brought forward by four actresses from the 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show, where the actor played the part of Frank-n-Furter, who accused him of misconduct.
The interview was swiftly met with backlash online, with many viewers taking to Twitter to share frustrations that the network attempted to make McLachlan the victim and gave him a 90-minute platform to speak negatively about his accusers. In the documentary, the actor claimed he was made out to look like “some dirty pedophile” and said in a “post-Weinstein hashtag #MeToo world I can’t win.”
The 55-year-old is also suing media and a former colleague for defamation for the 2018 reports that alleged he indecently assaulted, harassed, and bullied his fellow castmates, charges he has since been found not guilty of by the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Below, a breakdown of the Craig McLachlan allegations and acquittal.
January 2018, Three Actresses Accuse McLachlan Of Indecent Assault And Sexual Harassment.
In 2018, a joint Fairfax Media/ABC investigation alleged three cast members of The Rocky Horror Show musical—Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz, and Angela Scundi—had come forward with allegations that McLachlan performed a series of indecent acts on and off stage while the show was in production in 2014.
At the time, Browne told Fairfax that the 51-year-old indecently assaulted her in a scene when she and McLachlan disappeared under sheets on stage.
In an email to the ABC following the release of the investigation, McLachlan denied all allegations against him. “Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he said. “In either event, they are to the best of my knowledge utterly and entirely false.”
2019-2020, McLachlan Is Charged By Victorian Police And Later Found Not Guilty.
In January 2019, Victorian police confirmed that McLachlan had been charged with one count of common law assault, eight counts of indecent assault, and one count of attempted indecent assault, all believed to be connected to The Rocky Horror Show.
The charges related to allegations McLachlan touched a costar’s genitals while she was performing in a scene and he was hidden from the audience, while another allegation claimed he forcefully pushed her face in another scene.
In December 2020, the actor was found not guilty of all charges.
May 2021, McLachlan’s Channel Seven Documentary Airs And Fresh Allegations Surface.
A day prior to Channel Seven’s documentary airing, fresh allegations against the actor were published, which included actor Tim Maddren claiming he had been bullied on the set of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014, according to ABC. The allegations form part of the media group’s defense against McLachlan, who is suing various media for defamation.
The NSW Supreme Court document, which was released to the publication prior to the documentary’s release, also included fresh claims against the actor from actress Tamzen Hayes and Anna Samson, who played opposite McLachlan in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, and Teagan Wouters, who played Janet in The Rocky Horror Show.
According to the ABC, the defence document alleges: “During one of her scenes with McLachlan, Samson [who played the role of Wendy Smith in the third season of The Doctor Blake Mysteries in 2014] and McLachlan were required to stand close together facing each other and engage in dialogue. Samson’s character was asking McLachlan’s character about her husband’s recent murder.
“The scene started normally, however, when the camera moved in to film a close-up of Samson and McLachlan’s faces (that is, their bodies and hands could not be seen on screen) McLachlan placed his hand on one of Samson’s buttocks and performed the remainder of the close-up scene with Samson with his hand on one of her buttocks. This was not scripted or directed.
“Samson was so surprised by the incident… that she forgot her lines. The scene was shot again and McLachlan again placed his hand on one of her buttocks while she filmed the close-up portion of the scene.”
McLachlan’s case against the ABC was first raised in 2018 and was later put on hold during his criminal trial. A revised hearing date has not yet been set.
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