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Australian actor John Jarratt has called for changes to the laws surrounding identifying alleged perpetrators of crimes, following his 20-month ordeal after being accused of rape.
Speaking exclusively to 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, Jarratt revealed not only the destruction the widely reported case had caused to his career, but the damage to his mental health and the well-being of his extended family.
You get up every morning and it's there. You can't do anything about it, he told Brown.
I call it media death row. You're just stuck in it, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Last week, Jarratt was found not guilty of rape.
60 Minutes cameras were granted unprecedented access to the Jarratt rape trial; they captured the�highs and lows of a case that could have seen Jarratt sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in jail.
In 2017, Jarratt was accused of raping his former flatmate more than four decades earlier, in 1976. The accuser who has automatic anonymity under the law � shared a house with then-23-year-old Jarratt and his wife of two years, Rosa Miano, in Sydneys Randwick.
Jarratt told Brown he learned of the allegation when the complaint was initially made - �to the media, not the police. It immediately shook him and devastated his devoted wife.
The shock sets in, Ms Miano told Brown of the moment they received the phone call informing them of the accusation.
Its very traumatic and you just know that its going to be so public and its such a personal thing.
Jarratt told 60 Minutes the details of the damning allegation made against him.
She [the accuser] says I came into the house drunk at 3am. I smashed the door open and woke her up by ripping the sheet and blanket off the bed, followed by ripping her underpants and her t-shirt off in one foul swoop.
And then without undressing, Id gone on top of this woman held her hands, arms down, held her legs down and then held my hand over her mouth and somehow raped her, fully clothed and then got off. And she didnt make a sound and thats how she described it, which is absolutely ludicrous.
Jarratt has vehemently denied the allegation of rape, however revealed to Brown, with some shame, that night in 1976 he was unfaithful in his marriage.
Its really stupid. I was only 23. Its dumb immaturity, Jarratt said.
What was I thinking? My wife was in another room. It was a pretty dumb thing to do.
Jarratt claimed he had consensual sex, a one night fling, with his former flatmate while his wife was asleep in a nearby bedroom.
She started saying how exciting it must be to be in movies and shes found me attractive, which is sort of seductive, he told Brown.
I weakened to that, and one thing led to another and I had consensual sex with the person, and then I went back to my wife. And I felt guilt and remorse and Id just made a huge mistake.
Eight years after the infidelity took place, Jarratt told his wife the mother of their two daughters - not under threat of a rape allegation, but rather to bring honesty to their then troubled marriage.�
It is shocking to know that a friend has betrayed you, Ms Miano said.
Its shocking to know that your husband has betrayed you. But weve been able to work through it.
Jarratt told Brown the allegation made at the peak of his acting career, when he was starring as Mick Taylor in the Wolf Creek television series came at the worst time.
The allegation was made in the year that the Me Too movement was going crazy, he said.
When I received the phone call, I was in Wolf Creek series two, 65 years old and the top of my profession, having worked my bum off for 40 odd years.
I feel that this person has looked at all that and thought - this guy's doing all right. That's my opinion that I think that she thought, pick on John Jarratt because he's playing a psychopathic serial killer.
Jarratt claims the damning allegation all but destroyed his career and he was unemployed for the 20-month-long wait until his day in court. An interminable time to live with the stench of being a suspected rapist.
Jarratts trial began on Monday the July 1, when his accuser gave her account to the court via video-link.
With no physical evidence, and the alleged attack so long ago, the jury could only judge one word against anothers a classic he said, she said.
Under cross examination, the version presented by the complainant was often contradictory.
She admitted, despite the attack, to a long ongoing friendship with Jarratt and his wife, including sharing breakfast with the couple the morning after she was supposedly raped, and going on holidays with his wife.
In court, the woman claimed, years later, she told Ms Miano shed been raped by her husband.
Ms Miano told 60 Minutes while she remembered the call, there was no mention of rape.
It was only a one night stand, and nothing... but, What a bastard. What a cheat. He cheated on you with me', she told Brown.
It was sex. It was an infidelity.
On Friday July 5, the jury retired to consider the evidence presented in the case against Jarratt. After just 15 minutes of deliberation, they reached a unanimous verdict: not guilty.
While Jarratt told 60 Minutes he and his extended family are elated with the verdict, he believes the damage that has been done to his reputation is still deep, caused largely by the initial media attention he attracted at the time of the unchallenged accusation.
Jarratt is now calling for the law to be changed, so neither party is identified unless someone is convicted.
I happen to be well known which makes it a million times worse, he told Brown.
The person who is the perpetrator of an evil lie walks away scot-free with a suppression order. Thats wrong.