SYDNEY (AP) — Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault and one count of common assault after being accused of sexual misconduct by three women who worked with him in a stage musical.

Police in Victoria state on Friday said a 53-year-old man, identified by news media as McLachlan, has been summoned to appear in court over the nine charges, and another charge of attempted indecent assault.

A spokesman for the former star of long-running Australian TV series "Neighbours" and "Home and Away" said in a brief statement that McLachlan denied all of the charges, which arose after a production of "The Rocky Horror Show" in 2014.

"Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigorously defended," the statement said.

McLachlan is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Feb. 8.

After the allegations against McLachlan first emerged last year, the actor launched a defamation suit against two Australian news organizations — Fairfax Media and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. — and against former Rocky Horror co-star Christie Whelan Browne.

He is seeking damages of $6.5 million in the Supreme Court of New South Wales state over reports he bullied and indecently assaulted Whelan Browne and two other female cast members during the stage production.

His legal team said last May that since the allegations, McLachlan has become reclusive and his acting career has been effectively destroyed.

Hearings in the defamation suit are to start Feb. 4.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

GazetteXtra.com does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

  • Keep it clean. Comments that are obscene, vulgar or sexually oriented will be removed. Creative spelling of such terms or implied use of such language is banned, also.
  • Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
  • Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person.
  • Harassing comments. If you are the subject of a harassing comment or personal attack by another user, do not respond in-kind. Use the "Report comment abuse" link below to report offensive comments.
  • Share what you know. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history.
  • Do not libel anyone. Libel is writing something false about someone that damages that person's reputation.
  • Ask questions. What more do you want to know about the story?
  • Stay focused. Keep on the story's topic.
  • Help us get it right. If you spot a factual error or misspelling, email newsroom@gazettextra.com or call 1-800-362-6712.
  • Remember, this is our site. We set the rules, and we reserve the right to remove any comments that we deem inappropriate.

Report comment abuse