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Orange Is the New Black Star Yael Stone Accuses Geoffrey Rush of Harassment 

Orange Is the New Black Star Yael Stone Accuses Geoffrey Rush of Harassment 

Yael Stone

Yael Stone, who plays bisexual character Morello on OITNB, braved a clash with Australia's defamation laws to speak out against the Oscar winner. 

Amid Orange Is the New Black star Yael Stone's allegations that Shine Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush harassed, groped, and exposed himself to her, social media users have come out to support her, including her OITNB costar Natasha Lyonne.

Speaking with The New York Times, Stone, who is Australian, said that she was 25 and in a production of Diary of a Madman with Rush in Sydney in 2010 when he abused her. But she did not come forward for fear of not being believed. Rush allegedly exposed his penis to her, sent sexually explicit text messages to her, watched her as she napped, watched her as she showered, and groped her at an awards show.

"There was no part of my brain considering speaking to anyone in any official capacity. This was a huge star. What were they going to do? Fire Geoffrey and keep me?" Stone said.

Stone's is not the first #MeToo allegation against Rush. Last year Eryn Jean Norvill, who appeared with Rush in a 2015-2016 production of King Lear, accused the actor of harassment, according to the Times.

Rush denied those accusations, and he's also denied the allegations Stone made.

"From the outset, I must make it clear that the allegations of inappropriate behavior made by Yael Stone are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context," Rush wrote in a statement to the Times. "Clearly, Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention. When we performed in the Diary Of A Madman 8 years ago, I believe we engaged in a journey as artistic comrades."

Under Australia's defamation laws, which often favor the accused, accusers are placed in a precarious position when they choose to come forward.

"The use of defamation cases against women with sexual harassment complaints is having a huge chilling effect," said Kate Jenkins, the Australian government's sex discrimination commissioner. "Women I speak to all over the country are absolutely adamant that they cannot complain because it risks absolutely everything for them."

Stone has played the bisexual character Lorna Morello since OITNB premiered on Netflix in 2013.

Once the story broke in the Times, social media users flocked to support Stone, including Lyonne, whose OITNB character, Nicky Nichols, has been romantically tied to Morello.

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