Director Backs Rush: 'Impossible To Do Without His Hand Touching Her Breast'

The King Lear scene with Geoffrey Rush and a female co-star, that's at the heart of a defamation trial, was shown to a Sydney court on Thursday.

The Hollywood actor denies ever being inappropriate towards co-star Eryn-Jean Norvill during a 2015-16 production of King Lear at the Sydney Theatre Company.

On Friday his director backed him, telling the court he never saw anything inappropriate and never told Rush to stop being ‘creepy’.

King Lear Director Neil Armfield describes it as the scene people remember --the death of Lear’s favourite daughter Cordelia. But now the Shakespeare act is being recalled for all the wrong reasons.

The Oscar winner is suing over a series of newspaper articles that claimed he touched co-star Eryn-Jean Norvill – who played Cordelia – inappropriately.

Geoffrey Rush and Eryn Jean Norvill rehearse for the Sydney Theatre Company's production of King Lear.

"To ask someone to pick up a torso and hold it against his head as I asked Geoffrey to do… I suspect it would have been impossible to do without his hand touching her breast,” Armfield told the court.

READ MORE: Rush Denies Licking Lips And Calling Actress 'Scrumptious'

The director told the court the death scene is one of the most primal and shattering moments of theatre.

“I certainly never saw any gratuitous action outside of what was necessary for the manipulation of her body in that scene.” he added.

Asked if he could have missed something Armfield said that wasn’t possible.

Director Niel Armfield. IMAGE: Getty Images

“When the previews were on where you paying attention?” Rush’s barrister Bruce McClintock SC asked.

“I was watching like a hawk,” he replied.

The director says if he had seen anything inappropriate he would have stopped it.

READ MORE: Rush Chokes Up In Court As He Relives ‘That’ Scene

Armfield is one of a string of theatre identities to give evidence about Rush at the trial today.

The hearing continues.

Contact the author lmarambio@networkten.com.au

Featured image: Getty Images