2018 has been the year of women stepping forward and speaking out against unwarranted sexual assaults and encounters that for years were overlooked. The #MeToo era has sparked a movement in Hollywood, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Orange is the New Black actress Yael Stone is now telling her story, the 33-year-old Australian native says actor Geoffrey Rush made her feel uncomfortable, touched her inappropriately and even watched her take a shower while they were working on a play together in 2010 and 2011. But who is Yael Stone?
Who is Yael Stone? Orange Is the New Black actress makes harassment claims against Geoffrey Rush
Who is Yael Stone? The actress is finally speaking out over alleged events that happened while she starred in a stage production of The Diary of a Madman with megastar Geoffrey Rush when she was 25. Stone says at first Rush acted as a “mentor” to her when they first met, she was ecstatic that one of the only dozen people to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting” (Oscar, Tony and Emmy) took an interest in her. “I was so flattered that someone like that would spend their time texting me into the very early hours of the morning,” she told the New York Times. But then their relationship got weird.
“Gradually the text messages became more sexual in nature, but always encased in this very highfalutin intellectual language,” Stone said. The Jailbirds actress also talked about the “strange intimacies” that happened while she and Rush shared a dressing room, including a time when he used a mirror to watch her shower. “I looked up and saw a small shaving mirror being held over the top of the cubicle, to be used in a way to look down at my naked body,” she told Australia’s ABC.
Yael Stone also said that Rush danced around their dressing room naked and touched her back in a “very sensual manner” at an awards show. The next day The King’s Speech actor apologized for the “unwanted and sustained” contact, saying it was “uncalled-for but had to.”
“There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity. This was a huge star,” Stone said. “What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?” The actress also said she worried about her career if she spoke out, but now she doesn’t care about the consequences. “Whenever women particularly speak about issues like this their career generally suffers. I’ve factored that into my calculations and if that happens, I think it’s worth it.”
Stone emailed Rush at the time saying the incidents made her feel uncomfortable, he did not reply. “I’ve been in that particular dressing room in Sydney on many occasions with many wonderfully talented actors and many wonderfully talented clowns,” the actress said. “And people have made me belly laugh till I couldn’t breathe. Never once has someone needed to show me their penis to do that.”
Stone is the second woman to make allegations against the 67-year-old actor. Eryn Jean Norvill has said that Rush touched her breast and lower back during a production of King Lear in 2015. Rush was also called a “pervert” and said to have engaged in “sexually predatory behavior” during the 2015 production as well.
Rush denied the claims from both women and even sued the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper for defamation for reporting on Norvill’s claims. As for Yael Stone’s accusations Rush says they are “incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.” Rush made another statement saying, “However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention.”