Two more people contact police over Craig McLachlan’s behaviour in light of allegations

At least two more people have contacted police about the behaviour of Gold Logie award-winning actor Craig McLachlan.

It comes in the wake of revelations by Fairfax Media and the ABC, which revealed that three cast members of the 2014Rocky Horror Showallege they were abused, indecently assaulted, bullied and intimidated by the well-known entertainment personality.

Victoria Police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of indecent assault and inappropriate behaviour involving McLachlan, who will not continue in the 2018 tour ofRocky Horrorin the lead role of Dr Frank-N-Furter.

Craig McLachlan playing the role of Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show in June 2015. Photo: Pat Scala

A statement from producersThe Gordon Frost Organisation said the company was “shocked” to learn of the allegations against its star.It is unclear who will fill McLachlan’s role for the remainder of the season.

“We have spoken to Craig and have mutually agreed it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show,” the statement read.

“We will be conducting a full internal investigation and will cooperate fully with authorities.”

Actresses AngelaScundi,ErikaHeynatzand Christie Whelan Browne have alleged that, duringthe 2014 tour ofRocky Horror, female cast members were abused, harassed or indecently assaulted by McLachlan, 52.

Some of the allegations suggest that, while female cast members were performing, McLachlan was touching their genitals out of the audiences’ view.

Christie Whelan-Browne has accused Craig McLachlan of inappropriate behaviour towards her during their time performing together in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Photo: Louise Kennerley

He is also alleged to have exposed himself in a dressing room, as well as making numerous unwanted sexual advances off stage.

In December,ScundiandHeynatzlodged complaints with Victoria Police alleging that a number of actresses in the show were subjected to McLachlan touching their genitals, groping their breasts, exposing himself and pressing his penis against them.

Erika Heynatz, an actress and model, described Craig McLachlan as “a predator”. Photo: Louise Kennerley

“He’s really calculated and very manipulative, a predator,” said Heynatz, an actress and model.

McLachlan has strongly denied the allegations. In an email, he said:”These allegations are ALL made up …I have NEVER done anything like this …I am, and have been at all relevant times, in a stable relationship with my long-term partner.”

He said theallegations “seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety”.

Angela Scundi has accused Craig McLachlan of inappropriate behaviour towards her during their time performing together in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Photo: Janie Barrett

McLachlan claimed thatRocky Horrorwas “a confrontational musical oozing with sexuality” and that, to “make” the show, “actors have to perform certain actions, all of which flow from the show itself”.

​”It’s the most fun you can have in public without getting arrested,” he said only last week about his reprisal of the lead role as the raunchy transvestite Dr Frank-N-Furter in the 2018 tour.

In an interview last November,Rocky Horror’s creator paid tribute to McLachlan’s raunchy performance “but admits they occasionally have to rein him in”.

Richard O’Brien, who wrote the successful musical more than 40 years ago, told Melbourne’sHerald Sun: “Craig steps out far beyond what most other performers can do … he pushes the boundaries of both good and bad taste to the extremes, and wins.

Craig McLachlan in Rocky Horror Show. Richard O’Brien, who wrote the successful musical, said McLachlan “steps out far beyond what most other performers can do”. Photo: Supplied

“If most people went to the lengths Craig does, it would be offensive, but it never is with him. Of course, we have to rein him in occasionally.

“When a performer knows they’ve got freedom to almost do anything they want, which Craig does, sometimes you have to say: ‘Less is more’.

“It’s like playing tennis and the audience is on the other side of the net. You send out your performance, your jokes and your energy.

“The audience reacts … and gives you encouragement to go further. If you’re not careful, that encouragement might take you a little too far.”

Before the three actresses went public with their claims, they asked The Gordon Frost Organisation to investigate their claims before the show opened in Adelaide. The women said they were fearful that the current female cast members might have to endure what they did.

However, GFO declined to act and instead threatened the women, through their lawyers, that the company might sue them for defamation.

‘The cycle must stop now’Chloe Dallimore, the head of Equity, the n union body for actors, said employers and producers can no longer disregard reports of harassment and bullying.

“For decades, it has been the case that even when harassment is reported to the appropriate people, it gets shoved under the carpet, or it doesn’t get reported due to fear of job loss,” she said.

“Employers and producers must have official guidelines and these must be shared and upheld. The cycle must stop now.”

On Monday, Victoria Police released a statement saying:”Detectives from MelbourneSOCIT[Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team]are investigating allegations of sexual offences dating back to 2014.

“As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

Production on holdMcLachlan was also famousfor his starring roles inTheDoctor Blake Mysteries,NeighboursandHome and Away.

Last year, the Seven network picked up the rights to theDoctor Blake series –after the ABC axed the show in March, despite it pulling in about one million viewers per episode.

Craig McLachlan as Lucien Blake in The Doctor Blake Mysteries. Photo: Supplied

The popular series – which ran for five seasons on the ABC, wrapping up in November – was set to debut on Seven in 2018. In a statement, the network said: “TheDoctor Blake Mysteries, [is] produced by December Media and is in early pre-production funded by Seven and other parties. Seven has sought an urgent update from the producers.”

An ABC spokesperson said therehad been “no complaints made to the ABC involving any members of theDoctor Blakecast, who are employed by December Media”.

A Ten spokesperson said the network had not received any complaints about McLachlan’s behaviour during his stint onThe Wrong Girl, where heplayed sleazy breakfast TV host Eric Albrectson​ for two seasons since 2016.

“If we had been, we would have acted swiftly and decisively,” the spokesperson said in a statement, adding the network “will not tolerate bullying, harassment or any form of discrimination, and we expect our business partners to have the same zero tolerance approach.”

Production of the Doctor Blake series has now been put on hold in light of the allegations. Photo: Supplied

On Monday night, December Media, issued a statement saying itwill temporarily hold production preparations for the new series “to allow due process” in lightof theallegations.

“Throughout the six years of production ofDoctor Blakeit has not only been an enormously popular show on air but popular with cast and crew who come back to work on the series year after year,” the statement said.

“Craig has been central to this success both in front of camera and on set. It is not appropriate for December to respond to the allegationsabout Craig McLachlan’s behaviour in relation to another production he has appeared in.

“We do not tolerate any form of behaviour, which makes anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable for whatever reason in the workplace.”

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