Australian actress Christie Whelan Browne was one of a number of former co-stars of Craig McLachlan, to come forward and accuse him of sexual harassment and indecent assault on the set of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014.
But while the accusations – which he strongly denies – have only came to light today, Whelan Browne has been engaging in the #metoo conversation for months in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and Don Burke scandals.
The 35-year-old shared an emotional Twitter post in October last year where she described feeling ‘violated’ by a perpetrator and ‘scared to speak out’ against them.
“This hashtag, though years after my experience, has triggered in me a pain and sadness that I had pushed down so low,” she wrote.
“It’s hard and scary to speak out. You second guess yourself.
“My experience was unreported. And when I was later asked to report it, the fear of opening the can of worms stopped me. And the fear of dragging back all the pain.”
The actress also referenced the fear of speaking out that victims often hold in a Twitter thread questioning the validity of accusations against comedian Louis CK.
Responding to comments that CK and others are being judged in a ‘trial by social media’, Whelan Browne defended the women who had come forward writing, “Also, speaking out is terrifying and you don't do it just to blow up on twitter or ruin someone's life.
“You do it because it happened… and because whoever did it wasn't held accountable at the time because you were too afraid.”
Also, speaking out is terrifying and you don't do it just to blow up on twitter or ruin someone's life. You do it because it happened— Christie Whelan (@Christie_Whelan) November 10, 2017
It is unclear who Whelan Browne is referring to in her comments, and they may or may not be connected to McLachlan.
McLachlan has vehemently denied all accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, saying they are “baseless” and “seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety”.
He has stepped down from his role in the current production of The Rocky Horror Show pending investigations, with the production company issuing a statement that they were not aware of the allegations.
“We take these allegations very seriously, and have always endeavoured to prioritise a safe working environment,” the statement from Gordon Frost Organisation said.
“We can also confirm that our records show the claimants at no time made any complaint - formal or informal - to the company manager or executive producer of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014.
“Furthermore no one at GFO recalls any verbal discussion of this nature. It would be distressing to us if anyone within our company was dismissive of sexual assault allegations, and this will form a part of our internal investigation.”
Describing one alleged encounter with the Gold Logie winner while performing a live show in 2014, Whelan Browne told the ABC, “I had to be on stage with him in a bed, an upright bed, and I was wearing just bra, undies and garter and… he was pretending to go down on me, that was the scene.”
"But he was directed to kiss down my neck, down my arm and then go down, out of sight. But he would always kiss down my breasts and continue to kiss all the way down until I would have to sort of move and wriggle away.
"I had to turn facing away from him and one night he pulled my underpants to the side so that my right butt cheek was out and he was kissing all around it.”
Actresses Erika Heynatz, and Angela Scundi, who both starred in the same production of The Rocky Horror Show, also came forward and lay accusations against 52-year-old McLachlan.
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