Craig McLachlan blasts Neighbours for excluding him from finale

Craig McLachlan accuses Neighbours of buckling to ‘cancel culture’ by excluding him from the finale – after the actor was cleared of indecent assault charges

Former Neighbours star Craig McLachlan believes ‘cancel culture’ is the reason why he wasn’t invited to appear in Thursday night’s finale.

McLachlan, 56, who played heart-throb Henry Ramsay in the ’80s, was cleared of indecent assault charges two years ago, yet believes he was snubbed from the finale due to his unfairly tarnished reputation.

Meanwhile, McLachlan’s on-screen sister Charlene (Kylie Minogue) and stepfather Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) will return for the finale, as will his character’s mother Madge (Anne Charleston), who died on the show but will appear as a ghost.

Craig McLachlan (pictured) has accused Neighbours of buckling to ‘cancel culture’ by excluding him from the finale, two years after he was cleared of indecent assault charges

‘Henry’s dead mother is being reincarnated for the final episode – but cancel culture won’t allow her son Henry to appear or even be acknowledged,’ a spokesperson for McLachlan told The Sun on Wednesday. 

‘What Craig and his partner [Vanessa Scammell] have endured over the past four-and-a-half years – only to come out the other side and be confronted by, among other things, the attempted permanent erasing of his part in Neighbours history – is devastating,’ they continued. 

‘Craig was not invited to take part in the closing episode or indeed to contribute in any way to the end of Neighbours.’ 

McLachlan, 56, who played heart-throb Henry Ramsay in the ’80s (pictured on the show), was cleared of indecent assault charges two years ago, yet believes he was snubbed from the finale due to his unfairly tarnished reputation 

McLachlan (second left) was shunned from the finale, but his on-screen sister Charlene (Kylie Minogue, left) and stepfather Harold Bishop (Ian Smith, right) will return, as will his character’s mother Madge (Anne Charleston, centre), who died on the show but will appear as a ghost

McLachlan portrayed Henry between 1987 to 1989 and won three Logie Awards for the role, including the gong for Most Popular Actor. 

The Neighbours finale would have been McLachlan’s his first acting gig since he was found not guilty of indecently assaulting actors during the running of The Rocky Horror Show musical in 2014.

McLachlan had maintained his alleged offending while working on the production was no more inappropriate than a cricketer giving a teammate a pat on the bum. 

‘What Craig and his partner [Vanessa Scammell] have endured over the past four-and-a-half years – only to come out the other side and be confronted by, among other things, the attempted permanent erasing of his part in Neighbours history – is devastating,’ a spokesperson for McLachlan told The Sun. (Pictured with partner Vanessa Scammell)

In a 105-page decision, Melbourne Magistrate Belinda Wallington found McLachlan not guilty of all charges.

Ms Wallington said it was McLachlan’s ‘egotistical self entitled sense of humour’ that led him to believe others would either not mind or find his behaviour funny.

‘I want it noted the following: The four complainants were brave and honest witnesses. I was not persuaded that there was evidence of collusion between the complainants,’ Ms Wallington said. 

‘Craig was not invited to take part in the closing episode or indeed to contribute in any way to the end of Neighbours,’ the rep said. (McLachlan is pictured as Henry Ramsay on Neighbours)

‘I was not persuaded that there was evidence of motive, or that the complaints were made for reason of career ambition or any other such reason.’ 

During the case, McLachlan endured months of scrutiny which saw him and his partner Vanessa Scammell  forced to make their way through media packs outside of a Melbourne court.

McLachlan subsequently sued the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and actor Christie Whelan Browne for defamation in relation to publishing claims he’d touched, kissed and groped actresses without permission in the Rocky Horror stage production, Neighbours, City Homicide, and The Doctor Blake Mysteries. 

In December 2020, McLachlan was found not guilty of indecently assaulting actors during the running of The Rocky Horror Show musical in 2014 (pictured on stage as Frank N Furter)

He dropped the defamation suit in May this year on the day the first of 11 women were due to give evidence, citing the toll it had taken on his mental health and family as the reason.

It is understood McLachlan has racked up legal bills of more than $3million.

The Neighbours finale will air Thursday, July 28, at 7.30pm on Channel 10 and 10Peach in Australia

McLachlan had maintained his alleged offending while working on the production was no more inappropriate than a cricketer giving a teammate a pat on the bum 

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