Craig McLachlan steps down from Rocky Horror show after improper conduct allegations

Craig McLachlan, who previously starred in Neighbours and Home and Away, agreed to step down from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Australian actor Craig McLachlan and the production company behind the Rocky Horror Picture Show have "mutually agreed" it was not appropriate for him to continue in the musical after he was forced to deny allegations of improper conduct.

Production company The Gordon Frost Organisation said in a statement that they were “shocked” to learn of the allegations and that they were taking them “very seriously”.

In response to the allegations, they said they had come to a mutual agreement with McLachlan that it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the current run of the show.

He played the lead role of transvestite Frank-N-Furter.

“We will be conducting a full internal investigation and will cooperate fully with authorities,” they stated.

“While we clearly cannot comment on the details of this particular case, sexual assault in any form is unacceptable, and we will work diligently within this industry to support the right of all people to be protected in the workplace, and stand by those who are victims of inappropriate behaviour.”

The company spokesperson declared that they had not been aware of the allegations until media reports were published on Monday, and that the GFO’s records indicated no formal or informal complaint was made by the claimants to the company manager or executive producer of The Rocky Horror Show in 2014.

“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,” they said.

“GFO has rigorous rules, guidelines, and procedures in place regarding all work-related issues, including for grievances and OHS generally, and requires all staff, casts and contractors to follow such. GFO places the safety and well-being of its staff, casts, contractors and members of the public as its highest priority at all times, and we trust that our longevity in this industry shows this.

“These events will not affect the production across Australia of the Rocky Horror Show, and our excellent cast [is] looking forward to continuing to bring this production to Australian audiences as per the current schedule.”

Actor Craig McLachlan performing as Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Source: AAP

Three cast members of the 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Picture Show told a Fairfax Media/ABC investigation the 52-year-old inappropriately touched them or exposed himself to them.

McLachlan has denied the allegations by Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi, and described them 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."

The Seven Network, which airs the television programme The Doctor Blake Mysteries in which McLachlan stars, said it was “aware of the allegations, which it takes seriously” but that the company did not feel it was appropriate to comment “as this is a police matter”.

“Concerning the upcoming series of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, this is produced by December Media and is in early pre-production funded by Seven and other parties. Seven has sought an urgent update from the producers.”

SBS News has contacted December Media for comment.

Published 8 January 2018 at 5:42pm, updated 9 January 2018 at 7:11am
Source: SBS News