Craig McLachlan, the former Neighbours star, has been charged with multiple counts of indecent assault, believed to be connected to his role in an Australian stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
Police in the state of Victoria said detectives from a sexual offences and child abuse investigation team had charged a 53-year-old man from New South Wales with one count of common law assault, eight counts of indecent assault, and one count of attempted indecent assault. He is due to appear at a magistrates court in Melbourne on February 8.
McLachlan insisted he was innocent.
“Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigorously defended,” a spokesman told Fairfax Media.
McLachlan gain prominence in the late 1980s for his role in Neighbours as Henry Ramsay, the brother of Charlene – who was played by Kylie Minogue – and went on to become one of Australia’s most popular television stars.
He appeared in Home and Away and numerous other series, and won the Gold Logie award, an annual award for the most popular personality on Australian television. He had hit songs in Australia and Britain and played Danny Zuko in a West End version of the musical Grease.
He won accolades for his role as Dr Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show before allegations of sexual assault surfaced last year. Several female co-stars accused him of indecent behaviour in 2014.
Christie Whelan Browne, a well-known performer who starred in the musical in the lead role of Janet, told police that she was indecently assaulted by McLachlan during the show. She claimed he inappropriately touched her behind a bed sheet.
A second performer claimed he kissed her on the neck on a couch backstage, and a third claimed he exposed himself to her and separately hugged her closely while wearing only boxer shorts.
Several women reportedly went to police with the claims, prompting an investigation.
Whelan Browne said on social media last year: “I blamed myself for a long time and I thought I was alone. But when I found out I wasn’t, I knew it was important to try and take a stand.”
McLachlan has denied the claims and launched defamation action against Fairfax Media, the ABC and Whelan Browne.