A number of the girls who allege Craig McLachlan harassed them on the set of the hit ABC TV present The Physician Blake Mysteries could possibly give proof on the actor’s upcoming defamation trial in any case, a court docket has heard.
McLachlan is suing actor Christie Whelan Browne, Fairfax Media and the ABC for defamation within the NSW Supreme Court docket over claims that he indecently assaulted and sexually harassed solid members throughout a 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Present musical.
The 53-year-old strongly denies the allegations and has filed two separate lawsuits: one in opposition to Fairfax Media (since purchased out and renamed 9) and Whelan Browne, and one in opposition to Whelan Browne and the ABC. The defendants will argue a defence of reality.
In a call handed down on Tuesday afternoon, Justice Lucy McCallum dominated that Whelan Browne and the 2 media organisations can amend their defences so as to add in an imputation of “contextual reality” – a posh defence to defamation that’s completely different from an everyday reality defence.
She allowed Fairfax so as to add to its defence the imputation that McLachlan “is a sexual predator in that he has indecently assaulted, uncovered himself to and sexually harassed feminine colleagues within the office”, and allowed the ABC to argue the identical, excluding the “uncovered himself to” half.
The choice opens up the opportunity of the defamation trial listening to from girls who acted alongside McLachlan in The Physician Blake Mysteries.
The media organisations had sought so as to add three actors from the present – Anna Samson, Cate Wolfe and Tamzen Hayes – to the defence earlier this month, however the testimony was dominated out in one other pre-trial determination.
McCallum stated it appeared that the change to the defence would see Samson’s proof allowed in and Wolfe’s nonetheless excluded, however stated “for an abundance of warning” she would hear arguments on the problem on Wednesday afternoon.
Samson alleges McLachlan positioned his hand on her buttock throughout the filming of a scene of The Physician Blake Mysteries in 2014, the court docket has beforehand heard.
The jury trial is scheduled to start on February four and final for 4 weeks, leaving little time at this stage for additional pre-trial purposes and hearings.
On Tuesday McCallum additionally granted an utility for actor Angela Scundi to provide proof through video hyperlink.
Scundi, a key witness who accused McLachlan of misconduct within the publications on the centre of the lawsuit, is pregnant and can’t journey on physician’s orders, the court docket heard.
McLachlan has additionally utilized for 2 of his witnesses – Kristian Lavercombe, who performed Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Present, and choreographer Nathan Wright – to seem through video hyperlink from London.
McCallum requested McLachlan’s barrister Matthew Richardson to offer a short abstract of the proof every man is predicted to provide earlier than she guidelines on the appliance.
McLachlan is looking for $6.5 million in particular damages for financial loss within the lawsuit.
The matter is again in court docket on Wednesday afternoon.