Dec. 2 (UPI) — The Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts confirmed actor Geoffrey Rush has stepped down as president amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.
Rush, 66, has been in the position since 2011.
“AACTA acknowledges the decision today of Geoffrey Rush to voluntarily step aside as president of AACTA and accepts and respects his decision to do so,” the group said in a statement Saturday. “We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey’s rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances. We will not be making any further comment at this time.”
Best known or his work in “The King’s Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Shine,” Rush has denied any wrongdoing after a report was published Wednesday saying the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint about Rush after he appeared in its production of “King Lear” two years ago, Variety reported.
No details regarding the alleged misconduct have been reported.
“Certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community. It is unreasonable that my professional colleagues should be somehow associated with such allegations,” Rush said through his lawyer in a statement to Deadline.com.
“In the circumstances, I have decided to step aside in my ambassadorial role as president of AACTA effective immediately and until these issues have been resolved. This decision has not been made lightly. However, in the current climate of innuendo and unjustifiable reporting, I believe the decision to make a clean break to clear the air is the best for all concerned.”