CRAIG MCLACHLAN ACCUSED OF INDECENT ASSAULT

Australian TV and theatre actor Craig McLachlan has been accused of indecent assault, sexual harassment, and bullying female colleagues while performing in the 2014 musical Rocky Horror Show. McLachlan has denied the allegations.

In a joint investigation, Fairfax and the ABC are reporting that several female cast members allege they were either abused, harassed or assaulted by McLachlan, who starred as Dr Frank-N-Furter and is widely known for his role in the Doctor Blake Mysteries, Neighbours and Home and Away.  

Two women claim they reported McLachlan to the production company, the Gordon Frost Organisation, but were ignored; they have since lodged a complaint with Victoria Police.

“He’s really calculated and very manipulative, a predator,” model and actress Erika Heynatz, one of those who have gone to the police, alleged to Fairfax.

McLachlan, who is currently in Adelaide for the 2018 tour of Rocky Horror, denied the allegations, calling them “baseless” and “they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety”.

The full story is set to be explored on a special edition of 7.30 tonight.

NELLY HAD US

Nelly Yoa — a South Sudanese-Australian commentator at the centre of some controversial claims about youth crime in Melbourne — has been forced to defend himself after social media sleuths accused him of both plagiarism and lying about his purported football career.

Yoa wrote a controversial Fairfax piece on New Year’s Day about the need to tackle “Sudanese gangs” in Melbourne, a characterisation of youth crime denied by Victoria Police but unsurprisingly welcomed by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Yoa has received widespread media attention since the piece was published, and has been interviewed as a “youth mentor by the ABC.

“In 2011, I became the victim of a high-profile machete attack in Melbourne,” Yoa wrote. “It didn’t stop me. After my unsuccessful trial in England with Chelsea Football Club and Queens Park Rangers Football, earlier this year I switched codes to pursue an AFL career. I’m currently training with an AFL team.”

But Twitter users over the weekend were quick to point out a) the overt similarities between Yoa’s article and a 2015 Devex piece by Manola De Vos, and b) the apparent non-existence of Yoa’s soccer and football careers.

In a statement to the Herald Sun, Yoa has since denied claims of plagiarism and said he is considering legal action.

KING KYRGIOS

In a positive sign ahead of next week’s Australian Open, Nick Kyrgios has taken his fourth ATP title, and first on home ground, after beating American Ryan Harrison in last night’s Brisbane International final.

After taking down Harrison 6-4, 6-2 at Pat Rafter Arena, Kyrgios jumps from 21 to 17 in the world rankings and becomes the second Australian to claim the title after Lleyton Hewitt’s 2014 win.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT

“Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday ahead of the launch of Michael Wolff’s inflammatory new book.

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THE COMMENTARIAT

‘Bright, brilliant’: the modest ABC star killed by cancer at 31 — Benjamin Law and Josephine Tovey (Sydney Morning Herald): “It’s tradition that anyone who sleeps at the Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company – from Ernest Hemingway to Anais Nin – must leave the shop a short biography of their life. In 2006, a then-20-year-old Jesse Cox wrote: ‘I like telling stories and in particular I like telling other people’s stories.'”

ACT’s new freedom of information law empowers you. Start using it to improve our city — Shane Rattenbury (SMH): “Previous FOI laws allowed the government a strong hand in determining whether to release information to the public. These laws ignored the obvious conflict of interest that exists in having the government decide what the community is allowed to know. The new laws fundamentally reform the FOI framework in favour of the public’s right to information by introducing two key changes: the public-interest test and the open-access scheme.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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