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Police investigating accusations against Craig McLachlan

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UPDATED | Victoria Police have confirmed they’re investigating allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour by Gold Logie-winning actor Craig McLachlan, who was reprising his role as Frank N Furter for the Adelaide season of a new production of The Rocky Horror Show.

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Three cast members of the 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Show have told a Fairfax Media/ABC investigation that McLachlan, 52, inappropriately touched them or exposed himself to them.

McLachlan has described the allegations by Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi as “baseless”.

“They seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he was quoted as writing.

“These allegations are ALL made up.”

But Victoria Police has confirmed it’s investigating.

“Detectives from Melbourne SOCIT (Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team) are investigating allegations of sexual offences dating back to 2014,” it said in a statement on Monday.

“As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

The actor had been starring in a new production of The Rocky Horror Show in Adelaide, with performances scheduled to continue at the Festival Theatre until January 13. However, producer the Gordon Frost Organisation released a statement saying it and the actor had “mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show”.

The organisation said it was shocked to learn of the allegations against McLachlan while he was involved in The Rocky Horror Show in 2014, claiming it was not aware of the details of the accusations until they were published in the media. “We take these allegations very seriously, and have always endeavoured to prioritise a safe working environment.”

McLachlan is also set to star in the return of the popular Doctor Blake Mysteries on Channel Seven later this year, and the network has been contacted for comment.

He is the latest high-profile man in the entertainment and media industry to be accused following the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the US.

Whelan Browne also appeared in the Channel Ten program The Wrong Girl alongside McLachlan in 2016 and 2017.

She told the ABC she was dismayed when she learned he had been cast but felt she had to continue to have a civil relationship with him for the sake of her career.

She said his behaviour towards her on that program was appropriate.

But she said during Rocky Horror that McLachlan, who played the transvestite Frank N Furter to her Janet, said he indecently assaulted her on stage during a sex scene.

Scundi said McLachlan kissed her passionately onstage even after she had asked that it not be done.

She said when she confronted him about the unwanted kiss, he abused and threatened her.

“I said, ‘Don’t you kiss me. Don’t you do that ever again and he turned. I haven’t felt that terrified ever in my life, or ever again,” she told the ABC.

“He was just a different person. He said, ‘You are nothing. Don’t you dare talk to me like that. I will end you.’ And in that moment, I believed him.”

McLachlan said Rocky Horror was a “confrontational musical oozing with sexuality”.

“As such, as part of the musical the actors have to perform certain actions, all of which follow from the show itself — and indeed ‘make’ the show.”

The three women said they had asked the production company, GFO, for an independent investigation into their claims, but that fell through.

– AAP

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