Re­lieved Gayle wins defama­tion case against Fair­fax Me­dia

Stabroek News - - SPORT -

SYD­NEY, Aus­tralia, CMC – A Syd­ney court yes­ter­day ruled in favour of West Indies star Chris Gayle, in a widely pub­li­cised defama­tion case in­volv­ing lead­ing Aus­tralia me­dia com­pany, Fair­fax Me­dia.

Fol­low­ing the six-day trial, a four-mem­ber jury com­pris­ing one man and three women con­cluded in less than two hours that Fair­fax Me­dia had failed to prove that a se­ries of ar­ti­cles it pub­lished about Gayle last year were true. The court will de­cide on dam­ages to­day. “I’m happy with the de­ci­sion the jury has made. They ac­tu­ally made the right de­ci­sion. I came this far, all the way from Ja­maica, to de­fend my­self and de­fend my name and my char­ac­ter as well,” Gayle told re­porters af­ter­wards. “At the end of the day I am very, very happy it has come to a close now. I’m glad the pub­lic ac­tu­ally got a chance to read into things and they could’ve heard what tran­spired in the court­room as well. I am very thank­ful.

He added: “This is a se­ri­ous thing and th­ese things do hap­pen around the world and to sports­peo­ple as well.”

Fair­fax Me­dia, pub­lisher of the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald, the Can­berra Times and the Age, had re­ported that dur­ing the 2015 World Cup here, Gayle ex­posed his pe­nis to team masseuse, Leanne Rus­sell, on an oc­ca­sion when she walked into the West Indies dress­ing room.

“Is this what you’re look­ing for?” Gayle was al­leged to have asked Rus­sell in the dress­ing room at Drum­moyne Oval while drop­ping his towel to re­veal his pe­nis.

Rus­sell had given a tear­ful tes­ti­mony dur­ing the trial, say­ing she was forced to shield her eyes when Gayle dropped his towel to ex­pose him­self, be­fore walk­ing out abruptly. Gayle main­tained the in­ci­dent never oc­curred and was sup­ported by for­mer Windies team­mate, Bar­ba­dian Dwayne Smith, who tes­ti­fied dur­ing the trial.

Gayle’s le­gal coun­sel, Bruce McClin­tock, slammed Rus­sell dur­ing the trial as “plainly neu­rotic”, “bit­ter and venge­ful”.

In a state­ment, Fair­fax Me­dia said it did not re­ceive a fair trial and was con­sid­er­ing an ap­peal. The lurid story broke on the heels of Gayle’s now in­fa­mous “don’t blush baby” scan­dal which saw him ap­pear to propo­si­tion Chan­nel 10 re­porter, Mel McLaugh­lin, in an in­ter­view dur­ing a Big Bash game in Jan­uary, 2016.

His com­ments were con­demned by the Big Bash League as “dis­re­spect­ful and in­ap­pro­pri­ate” and he was sub­se­quently slapped with a $10 000 fine.

West Indies su­per­star Chris Gayle won his defama­tion case against Aus­tralian com­pany Fair­fax Me­dia.

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