AceShowbiz - The actress accusing Geoffrey Rush of inappropriate behaviour while they appeared together on stage denied she is lying in a tense courtroom cross-examination on Wednesday, October 31.
"The King's Speech" star is suing Nationwide News, an Australian subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, and journalist Jonathon Moran over two Sydney Daily Telegraph articles based on a complaint from actress Eryn Jean Norvill about his behaviour during a 2015 Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production of "King Lear".
Giving evidence during the trial in Sydney on Tuesday, Norvill, who was playing Cordelia, the daughter of Rush's Lear, claimed the Australian actor "deliberately" drew his right hand across part of her right breast while she was playing dead during the play's final scene.
According to The Guardian, cross-examining her on Wednesday, Rush's lawyer Bruce McClintock accused her of telling "lies" about the Oscar-winning star in a bid to "blacken and smear" his reputation.
Norvill responded by telling the judge, Justice Michael Wigney: "Your honour, I'm not lying."
She was also questioned about whether the audience or other cast members would have seen the alleged inappropriate touching occur. The actress said some of the cast may have witnessed the alleged incident, but that the audience would have likely been too focused on Rush giving Lear's closing speech to notice anything untoward.
"I was a corpse on stage," she said. "I wasn't moving. I was a dead body. So no, I don't think I would have been that interesting."
Another line of questioning focused on what she told STC casting manager Annelies Crowe about the incident, after which Crowe sent an email to staff referencing the allegations, in which she claimed Norvill had told the actor to "stop" his behaviour. McClintock accused the actress of feeding the manager "disgusting lies" - a claim she also denied.
During Wednesday's testimony, Norvill also accused senior cast members, including Robyn Nevin, who gave evidence last week stating she hadn't witnessed any inappropriate behaviour by Rush, of "enabling" his alleged actions due to a culture of "bullying and harassment".
The 67-year-old acting legend claims the articles, one of which was headlined 'King Leer', defamed him by portraying him as a "pervert" and "sexual predator".
The trial continues.