Craig McLachlan accused of assault

Australian actor Craig McLachlan has appeared in court after allegedly indecently assaulting four female actors during a 2014 stage show.

The Neighbours and Home and Away star allegedly assaulted a female actor in front of an audience with an unscripted kiss, followed by verbal abuse backstage. The actor has also been accused of repetitively kissing another female actor at least 20 times over her body and tracing a finger around her genital area in a scene where he was covered by a bedsheet, yet the actresses face was on display.

McLachlan has pleaded not guilty to 16 charges and explained if there was contact in some instances, it was consensual.

The hearing is set to run for three weeks but will be closed to the public while magistrate Belinda Wallington hears the four complainants give evidence.