Oscar victor Geoffrey Rush is suing The Daily Telegraph for defamation

Nicole Kidman Cate Blanchett Geoffrey Rush and Toni Collette at Tropfest in 2012

Geoffrey Rush will face the media for the first time since allegations of inappropriate behaviour were made against him.

"Today I have filed defamation proceedings against The Daily Telegraph in the Federal Court of Australia", the Academy Award victor said.

In a short statement to media today, Rush described the allegations as "slurs, innuendo and hyperbole", and said they had caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation, as well as hurt to his family.

On Friday, Rush said the Daily Telegraph had made "false, pejorative and demeaning claims - splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages".

"The situation is intolerable and I must now seek vindication of my good name through the courts in Australia".

Those claims surfaced at the end of November, accusing Rush of inappropriate behaviou during a 2015 production of King Lear.

The Daily Telegraph published the story under the front-page headline of "King Leer".

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The Daily Telegraph's editor Chris Dore said they would defend themselves in court over the matter.

Rush's lawyer Nicholas Pullen called the press conference for 3pm on Friday at the offices of HWL Ebsworth in Melbourne where he is a partner.

Rush denied the allegations on that day, saying he had not been informed by the STC of the existence, or the nature, of the complaint.

Rush later announced he was stepping down as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) ahead of the academy's annual awards last week.

A company spokesperson said the complainant requested the allegation be dealt with confidentially, and did not want Rush notified or involved in any investigation.

Rush won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1997 for his role in "Shine" and is one of the few actors to have also won a primetime Emmy and a Tony Award.

He has regularly returned to Australia for film and theatre work.

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