'OITNB' Star Yael Stone Comes Forward with Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Geoffrey Rush

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Yael Stone and Geoffrey Rush (inset)
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage, Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Yael Stone is coming forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against screen legend Geoffrey Rush.

The Orange Is the New Black actress recently leveled her accusations in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, in which she claims Rush behaved inappropriately toward her while the two were starring in an Australian stage production of The Diary of a Mad Man in 2010 and 2011.

Stone told The Times that she was afraid to come forward with her claims, both out of concern for her career and out of fear of being sued for defamation.

Rush denied Stone's allegations, telling The Times that they "are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context."

However, the 67-year-old Oscar winner apologized for behaving in a way that upset Stone, stating, "Clearly 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."

According to Stone, Rush's alleged inappropriate behavior included sending flirtatious and sexually suggestive text messages while they worked together on the play -- when Stone was 25 and Rush was 59.

"I was so flattered that someone like that would spend their time texting me into the very early hours of the morning," Stone said. "Gradually the text messages became more sexual in nature, but always encased in this very highfalutin intellectual language."

The actress admitted that she now is "embarrassed by the ways I participated" in the exchanges.

However, she claims that the flirtation turned into something more unsettling when Rush allegedly used a mirror to spy on her in the shower at the theater.

"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," she claimed. "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."

Additionally, Stone claimed that Rush once danced "totally naked" in front of her in her dressing room in a "playful, clownish manner," after a performance, while she was removing her makeup.

The actress claims she attempted to play off the behavior with "an attitude of, 'Oh, you’re a very naughty boy.'" She said she was worried about how Rush would think of her if she admitted she was bothered by his actions.

"I didn’t want him to think I was no fun, [or] that I was one of those people who couldn’t take a joke," Stone stated.

Stone said that, at the time, she didn't even consider addressing her allegations with those in charge of the production.

"There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity," she said. "This was a huge star. What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?"

However, Stone says that she still holds the actor in high regard, and acknowledges that her accounts of his alleged behavior may seem inconsistent with how she remained amiable colleagues with Rush, whom she viewed as a mentor.

"I also understand it might be confusing and look strange that I maintained a friendship with someone for so long who treated me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable," Stone told The Times. "But there is the reality of professional influence and the reality of a complicated friendship, which ultimately was corroded by a sexual dynamic. But it was still a friendship."

Stone's allegations are among the latest in a series of claims that have surfaced against the King's Speech star. Last year, Rush denied similar accusations of sexual misconduct during an Australian stage production King Lear, and allegations made to the Sydney Theatre Company.

The actor also sued The Daily Telegraph in Australian court, claiming defamation over the news organization's publishing of the accusations against him. The Australian court -- which The Times reports adheres to much stricter and more narrowly defined libel laws than American courts -- ruled in the actor's favor in March.

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