UPDATE: Craig McLachlan has revealed that he is dropping his lawsuit against former co-star Christie Whelan Browne, the ABC and Fairfax Media because of the “strain” it has put on his family.
‘The strain that this case has put on me and, more importantly, my family, has been utterly overwhelming,” he said in a statement.
“I cannot continue to place my family under that strain, and my own mental health will not withstand the continuing pressure.”
Original story continues below:
Craig McLachlan has dropped his defamation suit against a former co-star and two media outlets on the same day that the first of eleven women were expected to give evidence against him.
Content Warning: This article discusses sexual harassment. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
McLachlan was suing former co-star Christie Whelan Browne, the ABC and Fairfax Media over claims that Browne defamed him by publishing stories “falsely portraying” him as having harassed and bullied female performers in hit musical The Rocky Horror Show. McLachlan and Browne worked together on Channel 10 series The Wrong Girl from 2016 to 2017.
Love Film & TV?
Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
The trial was on it’s ninth day this morning when the notice was given that it would be dropped by McLachlan was dropping it. “We’ve just been given notice that Mr McLachlan is applying for leave to discontinue the proceedings,” defence barrister Michael Hodge QC said. Court charges are currently being calculated against McLachlan.
Earlier this week, the court heard that McLachlan admitted to sending videos to Ms Whelan Browne where he “purported to be masturbating”.
“You would send her videos in which you purported to be masturbating in the toilet?” defence barrister Michael Hodge QC asked McLachlan.
The court heard that the actor admitted to sending videos of himself pretending to masturbate fully clothed but “not in a toilet”.
In 2018, Victorian police charged McLachlan with seven counts of indecent assault and six counts of common law assault against four women on the set of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014. However, McLachlan was later acquitted on all charges after a hearing in December 2020. Following his acquittal, McLaughlan sued the press for the aforementioned defamation case.
At the height of his career, McLachlan won a Gold Logie in 1990 for his role in Neighbours and the same year he recorded a debut album with his band, ‘Check 1–2’ which went on to gain a No. 2 in the UK and No. 3 in Australia.
For more on this topic, follow the Film and TV Observer.