Craig McLachlan denied “intentional” lies while testifying in the defamation trial, and the Australian actor told the court that it was “impossible” that he touched his star colleagues during the performance.
Mr McLachlan is suing his former filmmaker Christy Whelan Brown, ABC and Fairfax Media for libel in the New Wales Supreme Court.
The 56-year-old man claims that media companies and Ms. Whelan Brown denigrated him by publishing stories in January 2018 that he said falsely portrayed him as harassment and bullying of performers in 2014 on The Rocky Horror Show. He denies the allegations.
Mr McLachlan returned to the witness stand on Thursday, where he contradicted testimony he gave earlier this week about a conversation he had with a colleague on stage in April 2014.
On Tuesday, he denied saying he told the actor, whose ID is impossible for legal reasons, that he “could not wait for the scene in the bedroom” by going into her dressing room before the show.
However, defense attorney Michael Hodge, QC, showed Mr. McLachlan an oath under oath he signed in 2018.
In the testimony testified by Mr. McLachlan, he admitted to making a comment.
“Question 63 … April 4, 2014 or about April 4, 2014, before the show started you said, ‘I can’t wait for the bed scene tonight’?” Mr. Hodge told the court.
“Your answer was yes.”
Mr McLachlan claimed he could remember mentioning the woman to the bed scene, but said it was a joke.
“The only conversation about the scene in bed that I remember was that we were crowded on that stage,” he said.
He described the “corpse” as something the actors deliberately did to make each other laugh during the scene.
Mr McLachlan said he did not remember him “not being able to wait for the bed scene”, but rather said: “I will make you laugh in the bed scene”.
Mr Hodge claimed the 56-year-old man was trying to “promote” the evidence.
The lawyer said, “The difficulty you faced with your evidence is that you initially denied that you said you couldn’t wait for the bed scene, and you faced it, and you had to promote it.”
Earlier in the day, Mr Hodge told the artist whether he had kissed the bodies of various actors who played Janet’s character during the “bed scene”.
During the scene, Mr. McLachlan, who plays Frank-N-Ferter, disappears under the sheets.
He said in court that he was doing “air kisses” while under a sheet for a comedic effect.
Mr Hodge accused the 56-year-old of “fabrication” after he was “caught lying”.
“You’re coming up with this evidence,” Mr Hodge told Mr McLachlan on Thursday morning.
“This process lasted 4 and a half years… have you ever explained that after your head fell under the cover, you kissed air kisses?”
Mr McLachlan told the court he had never said it “by heart”.
“It’s because you made it up … you had to come up with an explanation for why your head went down and you kissed,” Mr. Hodge said.
“It’s a deliberate lie.”
Mr. McLachlan replied, “No, it’s not.”
The 56-year-old admitted to kissing Ms. Whelan Brown on the thigh when he was once hidden from viewers during a show in Melbourne.
“I released an e-cigarette and Christie saw it, so I just jokingly kissed her thigh while trying to find her,” he told the jury.
“It was a pretty funny moment.”
He again denied that he had pulled Mrs. Whelan Brown’s underwear aside and kissed her several times on the buttocks.
Mr McLachlan said it was “physically and temporarily impossible”.
“At this point in the scene, I make a sound effect, reaching for my pocket, and her back is turned towards me … Mrs. Whelan Brown is pressed there with her right buttocks on the bed,” the actor told the court.
Mr. Hodge continued to insist, “You did it, didn’t you?”
“No, I’m not,” replied Mr. McLachlan.
He also admitted that he went to Erika Heinatz’s dressing room and kissed her, while his partner remained just a few meters away from her.
Mr McLachlan told the court that he went to Mrs Heinatz’s room to comfort her about the hostility she had with Mrs Whelan Brown.
“(Ms. Heinatz) told me she can’t wait for the tour to end. She said Christie made it all unbearable, ”he told the jury.
The court was told that Ms. Whelan Brown would use derogatory titles against her co-star after she “exploded” in Perth when they were assigned dressing rooms.
Mr McLachlan told the court that Ms Whelan Brown would “mock Ms Heinatz’s appearance” and use “obscene” swearing.
Asked if he would ever call the woman “s ** t”, Mr McLachlan categorically said “no”.
However, Mr. Hodge read to the court a poem that Mr. McLachlan sent to his partners Mrs. Scammel and Mrs. Whelan Brown.
“There was once a chick who, I think, had an ob ** k, given the size of her mittens, with a lot of front, a freak was an act ** t, regardless of the shape of its parts,” Mr. Hodge read.
When he told Mr. McLachlan that the poem was about Mrs. Heinatz, the actor denied it.
“You know, Mr. McLachlan,” he urged.
The actor replied, “No, Mr. Hodge.”
“If you showed the jury a minute ago that you never used that word about Mrs. Heinatz, it was a lie,” Mr Hodge said.
Mr McLachlan said he thought the question was whether he had ever said Ms. Heinatz’s name directly.
“Oh, sorry, you thought I was asking if you ever said that in a woman’s face … I understand you would use that just behind a woman’s back?” Mr. Hodge continued.
“It’s a distinction you make, isn’t it, you don’t say it in a woman’s face, you say it just behind her back.”
Mr. McLachlan denied ever calling Ms. Heinatz, even behind her back.
“It’s a lie,” Mr. Hodge said.
“You’re once again giving false testimony to these jurors, aren’t you?”
Mr. McLachlan was adamant, “No, I’m not Mr. Hodge.”
The trial continues.