Australian actor Craig MacLachlan attempted suicide after allegations of sexual harassment against female cast members were made public in 2018.
Craig McLachlan’s case was settled in court, with another friend testifying that the actor told him he “attempted suicide” after allegations of sexual harassment of female actresses were made public.
Mr McLachlan is suing his former co-star Christy Whelan Brown, ABC and Fairfax Media for defamation in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
The 56-year-old claims media companies and Ms. Whelan Brown defamed him by publishing stories in January 2018 that he says falsely portrayed him as harassing and intimidating female performers on The Rocky Horror Picture Show. in 2014.
He denies the allegations.
Mr. McLachlan’s friend and colleague, Daniel Thompson, showed up via AVL from the United States on the final day of the actor’s hearing on Thursday.
Mr. Thompson, also known by his stage name Danny Tesla, told the court that he first met Mr. McLachlan during the Grease show in 1998 and worked with him and Ms. Whelan Brown on the same show in 2005.
He told the court that he had witnessed Mr. McLachlan and Ms. Whelan Brown taking the “quasi-porn-style” photographs mentioned at the beginning of the hearing.
“Christy asked if she could take a picture with Craig, then she leaned over and they started taking pictures,” Thompson told the court.
“She asked him to grab her by the ponytail or by the hair… it was very similar to Grease playing horny teenagers.”
Mr Thompson told jurors he was “worried” about Mr McLachlan when the allegations were aired in 2018 because the actor was “a very sensitive soul.”
“I told my mother that it would destroy him and that he might try to kill himself,” Thompson said.
“He confirmed my worst fears when he told me over the phone, ‘I have to tell you a funny story about a suicide attempt.’
Defense Counsel Michael Hodge QC questioned Mr Thompson about his ongoing public support for Mr MacLachlan.
He sued Mr. Thompson for posting multiple tweets “demeaning” women who spoke out against the actor.
“I did not publicly insult anyone in the sense that I named people,” Mr. Thompson told the court.
One of the tweets read: “I worked with the producers and with Craig. Craig never used his position to tell producers like John Frost what to do. This is an insult to the professionalism of both the producers and Craig. BEFORE the accusations were made, the “victims” were NOT asked to return to work on 2017’s Rocky.”
“You wrote this to denigrate them and stated that the reason they made allegations was because they were not invited to the show,” Mr. Hodge insisted.
Mr Thompson said he was “trying to understand why women do things the way they do.”
“The best thing I had was that they could be jaded because they weren’t invited to the show,” Mr. Thompson told the court.
“I’m saying that’s one of the reasons they made up lies.
Mr Hodge told the court he was “concerned” about the relevance of the evidence and how it would humiliate Ms Whelan Brown.
Plaintiff’s case is closed and the defense will begin their arguments on Friday.
The trial continues.