McLachlan claims woman 'straddled' him

Gus McCubbing
·2-min read

Actor Craig McLachlan says a Rocky Horror Show co-star who accused him of indecent assault straddled him with an inflatable porpoise.

The 55-year-old is charged with indecent and common law assault against four women during a run of the musical, in which McLachlan played the lead role of Dr Frank-N-Furter.

He told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday he was "stunned and flabbergasted" to learn of the allegations against him.

McLachlan said one of his accusers used to come into his dressing room uninvited and often in a "state of undress".

"She was always relaxed and playful," he said, appearing in court via video link from Sydney, on Monday.

"In our interactions she would be verbally affectionate, certainly physically affectionate - hugs, playful punches, flicks to my bottom, and she liked to call me names.

"She would come in (to the dressing room) and sit on my lap to tell a story or a joke. Usually she would be in a state of undress - just knickers and a bra."

He added the pair remained close during a rendition of the musical and that the woman at one point straddled him in his dressing room with an "inflatable porpoise".

McLachlan said she was "every bit as jokey with me" then as she had been previously.

The former TV soap star claimed another woman said he had a "perky bubble butt" during a dress rehearsal.

McLachlan claimed she said "Hey mister, that's a great arse," and "keep squatting babe, it's working for you".

He also said while he kissed some of his fellow performers, it was never sexual in "ambition or intention".

"Kissing is de rigueur - it is commonplace," he said.

"It's what we do; it's what we've always done."

Among the allegations against McLachlan is a claim he traced his finger around the outline of an actress's vagina during the performance of a "bedroom" scene.

He also allegedly kissed and forced his tongue into the mouth of a co-star when it was not in the scene.

That woman said she later told McLachlan "don't you ever do that to me again". He allegedly replied "you are nothing. I will end you".

He is accused of kissing a co-star's neck, breasts, stomach and buttocks on at least 20 occasions during performances when it wasn't part of the scene.

McLachlan faces seven charges of indecent assault and six of common law assault.

Three charges, two of indecent assault and one of common assault, were previously withdrawn.

His hearing before magistrate Belinda Wallington continues.