by JONATHON MORAN
THE star of one of Australia's most harrowing horror films has been accused of sexual assault in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has engulfed Hollywood.
Wolf Creek's John Jarratt yesterday strongly denied allegations of sexual assault made by a woman who claimed the incident occurred in the 1970s.
The woman made a statement to Shoalhaven police in NSW about a week ago, with the matter now being investigated.
The incident is alleged to have occurred while the woman was working in the entertainment industry.
"Police are investigating an allegation of a historical sexual assault on Sydney's eastern beaches," a police spokesman told The Saturday Telegraph.
"The allegations were reported to police earlier this month and relate to a matter from the 1970s."
Jarratt, 65, has worked as an actor since 1975, when he broke through with his role as Albert Crundall in Peter Weir's acclaimed Picnic At Hanging Rock.
"John emphatically and completely denies the allegations of sexual assault," Jarratt's management representative at Ignite Elite Artists said in a statement.
"These allegations are completely unfounded and untrue."
Playing serial killer Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek is perhaps Jarratt's most recognised role in a career that has spanned more than four decades and included appearances in other big films including Australia, We Of The Never Never and Little Boy Lost.
Jarratt has also been a stalwart of Australian television - appearing in favourites such as A Country Practice, Blue Heelers, McLeod's Daughters and Blue Murder.
He was a longtime presenter on the lifestyle program Better Homes and Gardens.
The allegations emerged just days before Jarratt's planned red-carpet appearance at the new Palace Cinema Central on Broadway, in Sydney CBD, for the premiere of Stan's season two of the Wolf Creek television series spin-off.
Jarratt has two sons from his first marriage, to actor Noni Hazlehurst. He remarried but later separated from Cody Jarratt.
In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, television journalist Tracey Spicer launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse, bullying and assault in the Australian entertainment industry, in a mission to expose those she claims have perpetrated indecent acts on colleagues.
Spicer has previously vowed to expose more than 40 "household names" uncovered in her investigations, and claims there is an "absolute tsunami of sexual assault, intimidation and abuse" attested to by hundreds of women and men who have contacted her.
Star Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's career seems to have been virtually destroyed after a series of sex assault and harassment claims surfaced in recent months.
Those accusing Weinstein include American actors Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, and former Italian actor Asia Argento.
The scandal surrounding the powerbroker swiftly spread throughout the industry, leading to allegations against other US personalities, most notably actor Kevin Spacey and stand-up comedian Louis CK.