Actor Craig McLachlan has left the current season of the Rocky Horror Show following multiple accusations of sexual offences against him, the show’s production company announced on Monday.
A joint investigation by the ABC and Fairfax Media revealed that three actresses had accused McLachlan of indecent assault while performing as Dr Frank-N-Furter in the production, claims the actor has denied.
Actresses Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi alleged that during the 2014 season of the show, McLachlan performed a range of indecent acts, including exposing himself to a cast member, kissing another without permission, and pulling a cast member’s underpants down and kissing her buttock during a performance.
“He’s really calculated and very manipulative, a predator,” actress Erika Heynatz told Fairfax Media.
McLachlan said the actresses’ claims are “baseless,” and “they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety.”
The producers of the Rocky Horror Show, the Gordon Frost Organisation, on Monday said they were “shocked to learn of allegations against Craig McLachlan while he was involved in the Rocky Horror Show in 2014.”
“We take these allegations very seriously, and have always endeavoured to prioritise a safe working environment,” the producers said in a statement.
“In response, we have spoken to Craig and have mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show.”
The Gordon Frost Company said they “were not aware of any details of these allegations” before they were published on Monday, after the actresses told Fairfax Media that their complaints at the time “fell on deaf ears”.
“We will be conducting a full internal investigation and will cooperate fully with authorities,” the company said.
“These events will not affect the production across Australia of the Rocky Horror Show, and our excellent cast are looking forward to continuing to bring this production to Australian audiences as per the current schedule.”
Victoria Police said in a statement that “detectives from Melbourne SOCIT (the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team) are investigating allegations of sexual offences dating back to 2014.”
The Rocky Horror Show is currently in Adelaide, and is set to open at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on January 17.