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Geoffrey Rush exits stage production following defamation case

Washington D.C. [USA], July 10 : Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has pulled out of a Shakespeare stage production after he sued a Sydney newspaper for defamation in federal court.

"I received a statement from the 67-year-old actor on Monday withdrawing from the role of Malvolio in a seven-week season of Twelfth Night," The Hollywood Reporter quoted Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director's statement.

The 'Pirates of Caribbean' star is suing the newspaper for defamation over articles published in December that accused him of inappropriate behaviour toward actress Eryn Jean Norvill during the Sydney Theatre Company's production in 2015.

Earlier, a lawyer accused Oscar-winning actor in court for touching Jean inappropriately on a Sydney stage.

Rush has performed with the Sydney Theatre Company for 35 years. He also won the 1997 best actor Oscar for Shine and has three other Academy Award nominations.

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