West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has won a defamation case against an Australian publisher over articles that said he exposed himself to a female massage therapist
A jury in Sydney ruled today (Mon) that the claims by Fairfax Media were not true.
The masseuse, Leanne Russell, gave evidence last week that it was “horrific” and she cried uncontrollably in 2015 after the West Indies cricketer pulled his towel down to expose his penis and asked her, “Is this what you’re looking for?” when she walked into the change room at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.
Gayle, who captained the West Indies Test team between 2007 and 2010 and is known for his big-hitting and aggressive style of batting, sued Fairfax for the articles which he said were untrue and had damaged his reputation. It is unclear how much he will seek in damages.
Outside court, Gayle, who flew from Jamaica to defend himself, said the trial had taken a toll on him.
“It was very emotional to be criticised in such a manner,” he said.
“This was the first time I had been in a court as well. I’m glad the public actually get a chance to read into things and they can hear what actually transpired.”
When asked if the decision was better than scoring a century, Gayle replied: “Yes, definitely.”
Gayle said he was “very happy” and thanked his legal team who he said had done a great job. He embraced his barrister, Bruce McClintock, as they left the court. “I’m a good man. I’m not guilty,” Gayle told reporters outside court.
He said it was never about the money and if Fairfax appealed he would fight it again. He wanted to put the “emotional” case behind him and get on with his life.
Fairfax said it believes the jury was misled and it did not get a fair trial.
“Fairfax Media is concerned with the conduct of the trial to the extent that, on Friday, it sought an order that the jury be discharged and a new trial ordered,” a spokesman said. “The judge accepted that the jury had been misled in a way that prejudiced Fairfax but declined to discharge the jury. Fairfax believes that it did not get a fair trial. It is seriously considering its appeal rights.”