Former Neighbours star charged with indecent assault

Craig McLachlan. Photo: Getty
Craig McLachlan. Photo: Getty
Former Neighbours star Craig McLachlan has been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault.

The 53-year-old New South Wales man was charged on summons on Friday and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court in February on eight counts of indecent assault, common law assault and attempted indecent assault, Victoria Police said.

McLachlan faced allegations of misconduct by fellow cast members while starring in the Rocky Horror Show in 2014.

He strongly denies the allegations and has launched defamation action in NSW.

McLachlan is a veteran of the Australian entertainment industry, having won Australia's top television award - the Gold Logie - and starred in programmes including Neighbours, Home and Away and the Doctor Blake Mysteries.

The actor is suing Fairfax Media, the ABC and former co-star Christie Whelan Browne in the NSW Supreme Court, over articles and reports claiming he bullied and indecently assaulted her and two other female cast members during the stage production.

Since the publications, McLachlan has become reclusive and his acting career has been effectively destroyed, his legal team said in May.

McLachlan is seeking $6.5 million in special damages, and his defamation hearing is set down for four weeks from February 4.

In December, he had a minor win in his defamation case, after a judge rejected a bid to include three new complaints about his time on TV series The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

His defamation hearing was told in November McLachlan declined to be interviewed by Victorian police about assault and indecent assault allegations against the actor.

Trent Glover, for the police commissioner, told the court the refusal was one reason why he was abandoning a bid to preclude access to certain documents, produced in response to subpoenas, on grounds of public interest immunity.

McLachlan is due to face a magistrate in Melbourne on February 8.

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