Craig McLachlan to face court
Australian actor Craig McLachlan is due to face court in Melbourne on a raft of indecent assault charges, believed to stem from allegations raised by colleagues.
The 53-year-old was charged on summons in January with eight counts of indecent assault, one of common assault and attempted indecent assault. The alleged incidents are said to have occurred in 2014.
When McLachlan was charged by Victoria Police - just under a month ago - a spokesman for the screen and stage star said, "Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigorously defended".
After managing to delay the proceedings, the Gold Logie winner is scheduled to face Melbourne Magistrates Court today, which will mark his first appearance over the charges.
McLachlan is best known for his roles on Neighbours and Home And Away, making him a household name in Australia and the UK and nabbing himself a Gold Logie in 1990 for the roles. More recently, he led the Ballarat-filmed TV series Doctor Blake Mysteries.
After making his mark in musical theatre, he was accused of misconduct by three actresses from the Australian 2014 stage production of The Rocky Horror Show, in which he played Dr Frank-N-Furter.
The actor strongly denied the allegations and launched a defamation action in NSW last year, suing Fairfax Media, the ABC and former co-star Christie Whelan Browne. His former co-star is standing by her claims that he bullied and indecently assaulted her, along with two other female cast members.
Among them was model, singer, actress and television personality Erika Heynatz, who reportedly told police, "He's really calculated and very manipulate, a predator."
McLachlan is seeking $6.5 million in special damages in the defamation case, which has been delayed until after his criminal proceedings in Victoria.