Geoffrey Rush quits industry job after inappropriate behaviour claim

Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, 66, resigned as head of an Australian film industry body on Saturday after allegations surfaced against him of "inappropriate behaviour".

The Australian, who has denied any wrongdoing, stepped down as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, which he had led for years, the organisation said in a statement.

Rush took the step after the Sydney Theatre Company revealed last week it had received a complaint alleging he had engaged in "inappropriate behaviour" when working with it.

Australian media reports said the allegations relate to Rush's time playing King Lear for the company in 2015 and 2016.

Rush told public broadcaster ABC that he is unaware of the details of the allegations.

"The moment I became aware of rumours of a complaint, I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company... They refused to illuminate me with the details," he said.

His lawyer said it is "a great disappointment" the company "has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation in this way". - AFP