Actor drops defamation lawsuit in ‘extraordinary turn of events’

In what has been described as “an extraordinary turn of events,” actor Craig McLachlan has closed the curtain on his defamation lawsuit against the ABC, Nine newspapers and a former co-star.

McLachlan said he dropped the lawsuit to ease the pressure on him and his family.

The two media organizations published allegations of sexual harassment from his appearance in the 2014 musical The Rocky Horror Show four years ago.

Craig McLachlan. (A current affair)

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But now questions have been raised as to whether the pressure on his family is the only reason he dropped the costly lawsuit.

“On the day our first of the eleven witnesses was to be called, he pulled out tree stumps,” Sydney Morning Herald investigative reporter Kate McClymont told: A current matter.

“It was revealed yesterday that there were 4,000 messages, many of which were text messages, that were withheld, as if not disclosed to the court.”

Sydney Morning Herald Investigative Reporter Kate McClymont. (A current affair)

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McClymont broke the original story.

“‘We’ll never know how uncomfortable that would have been for him, but the fact that he withheld them is completely disapproved of by the court and I think it may have had something to do with it, pulling out the stump and leaving the case,” she said.

Justin Quill is an expert defamation attorney and partner of the law firm Thomson Geer.

Attorney Justin Quill. (A current affair)

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“It would be grueling to go through all that with your family,” he said.

“For the most part,[it]would definitely put a strain on you, your family and relationships, so I have no doubts about that and have no doubts that along with his thoughts on his likely chances of success are the reasons why he is pursuing this case.” dropped.”

McLachlan sued Nine, the ABC and actor Christie Whelan-Browne for defamation.

The 56-year-old claimed the media companies and Whelan-Browne defamed him in published stories.

The ABC and Nine. (A current affair)

The former actor said he was falsely portrayed as harassing and bullying female performers over the course of 2014 The Rocky Horror Show

McLachlan denied the allegations.

The trial was postponed for four weeks and 11 women had to testify against the former Neighbors star.

Among them were the actors who accused McLachlan of being rocky horror roll way too far.

Christie Whelan-Browne’s attorney Marina Olsen spoke out of court on behalf of her client.

Attorney, Marina Olsen. (A current affair)

“The past four and a half years have traumatized me and the other brave women who have spoken out then and since,” Olsen said on behalf of Whelan-Browne.

“I have received multiple threats and constant abuse and it continues to this day.”

“As Craig said when we first presented these allegations to him in 2018, he said, ‘These women were just after money and fame,'” McClymont said.

“Anyone who thinks you would do that it takes so much courage to do this and you get criticized, you get scolded and sometimes it can be very damaging to your career and I commend them for being on track.” stayed.”

Statement by Craig McLachlan. (A current affair)

In a statement, McLachlan said: “I cannot continue to put my family under that pressure, my own mental health will not withstand the continued pressure”.

“He is not a victim, there were 11 women who made similar accusations,” McClymont said in a response.

While the actor may have already paid a hefty emotional price, the legal costs will be eye-watering.

“I estimate this whole thing cost him about $2 million…maybe a little more, could go up to $3 million,” Quill said.

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