An award-winning Australian actress claims she has been sexual harassed throughout her career but has been “too frightened” to report it.
Theatre, film and television actress Amanda Muggleton, known for her role in TV drama Prisoner, said she did not speak up because she feared she would not work again.
“I’m not talking about a pat on the bum or anything like that, I’m talking about verbally and physically being touched where I shouldn’t have been touched,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“I’m from a generation where you didn’t speak out, you couldn’t speak out for fear of losing your job.”
The Helpmann Award winner recalled one time she was harassed just before going on stage.
“Things have happened to me in the wings in the darkness of theatres, and always just before I was going to walk onstage,” she said.
“[It’s] very, very scary, [but] what can you do? You can’t slap someone.
“I pushed this particular person and I grabbed him somewhere where I shouldn’t have and I squeezed very, very tight and said very quietly, ‘Don’t ever do that again’, and then I had to go onstage and be a certain character.
“That’s one instance that I will never forget, but there has been many.”
McLachlan has strenuously denied all the allegations.
Victoria Police have confirmed they are investigating reports of sexual offences from two of the women.
Sexual harassment in the film and theatre industry has been in the global spotlight in recent times.
‘People thought I was fair game’
Muggleton, who reprises her role of renowned soprano Maria Callas in Melbourne Theatre’s Company’s Masterclass this month, said sexual harassment was still going on in Australia’s theatre world.
“It is going to stop but I would say there are plenty of men in this country who are quaking in their shoes at the moment for fear of what will come out.”
She said she believed people “took advantage” of her after she appeared in plays which required her to perform nude scenes.
“I think people seem to see that as a cue that I was fair game. Terrible,” she said.
“Then you start getting a reputation for … she’s easy game because she takes her clothes off.
“No. No, never.”
Bound by fear
Muggleton said she was still worried about coming forward and praised those people in the industry who had spoken out already.
“I think these women who have come out are so brave, they’re much braver than me,” she said.
“There’s something in me that wants to stand up and be counted with them, and maybe I will, I don’t know.
“It’s a very big step to take and I don’t particularly want that kind of publicity … I don’t want that notoriety.
“Because I am the age that I am … I am still completely bound up in that fear of you’ll never work again.”