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“Double Attack” on Dr. Blake’s McLachlan District News


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Defense attorneys noted “Dr. Blake’s Secrets,” one of Craig McLachlan’s most famous roles, where he was filmed in Balarat, as important to a major defamation case. The court heard that McLachlan suffered a “double attack” by Fairfax Media and ABC on allegations of misconduct, including in the 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show. McLachlan is suing both media outlets and actress Christy Whelan Brown for libel in the New South Wales Supreme Court over allegations in 2018 of assault, indecent assault, harassment and that he exposed himself to cast members. composition. The Gold Logie winner is also being sued over claims of his conduct in the workplace outside of The Rocky Horror Show. On Monday, McLachlan’s lawyer Kieran Smark SC described the lawsuit as very important to his client, saying it was a “double attack on him by two powerful media organizations.” In his opening remarks to the jury, Mr Smark said hundreds of thousands of people in Australia had seen a strong attack on McLachlan through the ABC 730 program and on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as online. The lawyer told the court that McLachlan was a successful theater and television actor before playing Frank N. Förtter in 2014’s The Rocky Horror Show in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. He had known roles in the soap operas “Home and Away” and “Neighbors” before performing in 2005 at Grease Stadium with Whelan Brown. McLachlan later starred in the ABC TV series Dr. Blake’s Mysteries, which the court said would also be important in the case. Mr Smark presented to the court three “staged” photographs from the 2005 production of Grease, showing McLachlan in a rockabilly costume and Whelan Brown in a cheerleader’s outfit. The lawyer said one of them showed the couple “in a rage” and the other, he said, showed them “clearly imitating” sex. The jury was also shown a short promotional video from the 2014 Rocky Horror Show, as well as excerpts from important parts of the show “on stage”, including the opening scene of the second act, called “Janet’s Bed Scene”. “It’s a sex story, comedically told,” Mr. Smark said. The court also reported photos from the production – related to cross-dressing and sexual themes – of McLachlan in “women’s clothing”, such as high-heeled shoes, fishnet stockings, women’s underwear, a garter belt and a corset. Whelan Brown, as shown in the photos, sometimes performed in a white suit, white bra and white headband, and sometimes “undressed” in a red and black suit with a feather boa, the court said. “That’s how the show was,” Mr Smark said, describing the production as “high energy” and its costumes as “meager” and “risky”. He said McLachlan would have evidence of how he got along with Whelan Brown and other participants in the musical, which he said unfolded every night in the same way according to rehearsals and choreography. Also on Monday, the court showed a 12-minute “roller coil” made by the ABC production department before the 2014 season of “Dr. Blake’s Secrets”, which, according to Mr. Smark, was a carrot sticking out of McLachlan’s pants. The lawyer said it was “clearly intended” for a comic effect, saying McLachlan would testify about the “atmosphere on set” on the show. He said he expects McLachlan to testify about the “company” in the show and how the actors coped with the stress, different from other jobs. McLachlan is expected to testify on Tuesday. AAP



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