Posted May 18, 2018 12:32:41
Actor Craig McLachlan has become "reclusive" and "rarely leaves home" since the ABC and Fairfax published stories accusing him of misconduct, a court has been told.
Mr McLachlan claims he was defamed by articles and reports alleging sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying and indecent assault against three female cast members during a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show.
He commenced legal action in February and the media companies and Ms Browne were ordered to file a defence by May 4.
They still have not done so and today in the Supreme Court in Sydney sought to have the matter relisted in June.
Mr McLachlan's legal team submitted an affidavit from his solicitor Mark O'Brien stating that when the actor heard that the defence wanted more time he said: "I cannot believe they still need to look for witnesses five months after ruining my life."
The affidavit then says Mr McLachlan was too distressed to continue the conversation.
It also said Mr McLachlan had suffered severe mental anxiety and distress.
It said he "rarely leaves home" and has "virtually no contact with friends, relatives or former entertainment colleagues".
Defence barrister Lyndelle Barnett said the preparation of the defences had been delayed, in part, because since the first hearing of McLachlan's defamation action against the ABC, Fairfax Media and actress Christie Whelan Browne more alleged victims had come forward speaking about other incidents dating back to the 1990s.
Justice Lucy McCallum said it was "alarming" and troubling to hear that the defendants were proposing to introduce the allegations, saying such evidence may go well beyond the limited scope of what was published in the articles in January.
Justice McCallum ordered that the media companies and Ms Whelan Browne to file a defence by next Thursday.