Rush Whispered In My Ear: Accuser Norvill

Eryn Jean Norvill says Geoffrey Rush got uncomfortably close to her and whispered in her ear at a party on the closing night of one of her plays, some months before they performed together in King Lear.

The young actor was giving evidence in the NSW Federal Court on Tuesday at Rush's defamation trial against Nationwide News -- the publisher of the Daily Telegraph -- and journalist Jonathon Moran.

She said Rush stood close to her during drinks in a Sydney Opera House green room in March 2015 and she remembered feeling uncomfortable and thinking it was different and strange.

"I'd never felt him... stand so close before and he was whispering in my ear," she said.

"I remember feeling a little claustrophobic and I decided I just needed to get some space, so I went downstairs and outside with some of my castmates to get a cigarette."

Actor Eryn Jean Norvill (centre) arrives the Federal Court prior to giving evidence in the Geoffrey Rush defamation case in Sydney, Tuesday, October, 30, 2018. Rush is suing Nationwide News for defamation. (AAP Image/Petter Rae)

The Telegraph last year published articles about an allegation Rush behaved inappropriately toward a co-star -- later revealed to be Norvill -- during a Sydney Theatre Company Theatre production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016.

The Oscar-winner denies the claim and argues the newspaper portrayed him as a pervert and a sexual predator.

Nationwide News and Moran are pleading a defence of truth in the judge-alone trial after Norvill -- who didn't speak to Moran for his articles -- agreed in July to give evidence.

The trial before Justice Michael Wigney continues.