Backstage photos have been released of Craig McLachlan and the actress he’s suing for defamation and striking “game-sexual” poses.
Craig McLachlan has been photographed touching former co-star Christie Whelan Browne’s buttocks in “game-sexual” backstage footage released by a court.
McLachlan is suing Ms Whelan Browne and two media outlets for allegedly defaming him in several January 2018 news stories.
He also claims that he was falsely portrayed as having sexually harassed and bullied other female colleagues during a 2014 musical Rocky Horror Show.
He denies the allegations.
Media outlets ABC and Fairfax have said the stories didn’t have the meaning McLachlan claimed, and if they did, those things were true.
Among the photos released by the Sydney Supreme Court on Tuesday are backstage footage taken during a 2005 production of the musical Grease.
McLachlan’s attorney Kieran Smark, SC told the court Monday that the actor met Whelan Brown during that production.
“They met and he will tell you that he became friends with her,” Smark told the jury.
Mr Smark said he submitted the backstage images to give the judges a “taste” of their relationship.
They show the couple in a hallway dressed in stage outfits, striking poses with a “game-sexual element” to them, according to Mr Smark.
“She’s standing with her hands against the wall pretending or playing with something to do with simulated sex,” he said.
He added that the glare from a camera flash made both actors appear “somewhat demonic.”
The judges were also shown onstage and backstage photos of the Rocky Horror Show production the couple made together years later.
On the witness stand on Tuesday, McLachlan said Whelan Browne had asked him to do the “quasi-porn footage.”
He said their relationship was “amazing”, full of “lots of laughs” and that the couple got along “amazingly good”.
The court was told that after a joint performance, Whelan Browne pulled McLachlan backstage and asked him to take pictures with her in “porn-like” positions.
McLachlan said the positions in the photos were Whelan Browne’s choice and he refused to pull her hair when she asked.
He said it was her sense of humor and for “personal use”.
Whelan Browne is expected to give her evidence at a later date.
The media organizations’ attorney Michael Hodge QC told the jury they would hear evidence of what she and the other defendants say, “incidents of sexual harassment, indecent exposure, indecent assault, assault and harassment that women have experienced through the Mr McLachlan”.
The defamation trial continues on Wednesday.