12 Jan 2019

Australian actor Craig McLachlan charged with sex offences

9:00 am on 12 January 2019

Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been charged with assault and sex offences by Victoria Police.

Craig McLachlan (C) plays the part of Billy Flynn during the final rehearsal of the hit musical 'Chicago' in Sydney on May 14, 2009. Known for its acclaimed score and sensational choreography, 'Chicago' is a story of murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery.

Craig McLachlan pictured during rehearsal for the musical "Chicago" in Sydney in 2009. Photo: AFP

Victoria Police confirmed to the ABC that sex crime detectives charged a 53-year-old New South Wales man with one count of common law assault, eight counts of indecent assault, and one count of attempted indecent assault.

Mr McLachlan was charged on summons to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 8 February.

The charges coincide with the actor's time working on The Rocky Horror Show musical in Melbourne in 2014.

Mr McLachlan played the lead role of Dr Frank-N-Furter.

In a second statement, Victoria Police said: "We are receiving a large number of enquiries about a man who has been charged by Victoria Police with sexual assault offences."

Mr McLachlan lives in New South Wales and will have to travel to Melbourne for the court appearance.

A spokesman for the well-known Australian actor said Mr McLachlan would fight the charges.

"Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigourously defended," the spokesman said.

Last year, a joint ABC/Fairfax investigation revealed three of Mr McLachlan's female co-stars accused him of bullying and sexual misconduct during the 2014 tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

He denies the allegations and is suing the ABC, Fairfax and one of the actresses for defamation in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

The civil court hearing is listed to start on 4 February.

The actor has been a prominent face on stages and screens in Australia, and his career has spanned decades.

Mr McLachlan got his big break in 1987 when he starred in Australian soap opera Neighbours as the brother of Kylie Minogue's character, Charlene.

He appeared in more than 800 episodes and won the Gold Logie for most popular personality on Australian TV in 1990.

He has also acted in Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters, and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.