Gayle $28 mil­lion richer from defama­tion suit

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS - SYD­NEY, AUS­TRALIA (CMC):

Windies su­per­star Chris Gayle has been awarded a AUS$300,000 (roughly J$28 mil­lion) pay­out in dam­ages by a New South Wales court, stem­ming from a suc­cess­ful law­suit he brought against Fair­fax Me­dia for defama­tion. The 39-year-old Ja­maican, a vir­tual le­gend of the game, sued the Aus­tralian me­dia com­pany af­ter it pub­lished ar­ti­cles in 2016 al­leg­ing he had ex­posed him­self to a fe­male mas­sage ther­a­pist the pre­vi­ous year dur­ing the World Cup in Aus­tralia. Last year, the court had ruled in Gayle’s favour, de­ter­min­ing that Fair­fax had acted ma­li­ciously to­wards Gayle. In award­ing dam­ages yesterday, Jus­tice Lucy McCal­lum said Gayle had been in­jured by the pub­lished ar­ti­cles, not­ing that “The im­pu­ta­tions had par­tic­u­lar res­o­nance in crick­et­ing cir­cles, among fans, coaches, of­fi­cials and play­ers”, and adding that the al­le­ga­tion “gained some cur­rency around the world”.

“Hav­ing re­gard to his high pro­file and pop­u­lar­ity as an in­ter­na­tional crick­eter, the na­ture of the al­le­ga­tion and the fas­ci­na­tion of hu­mankind with all things sala­cious, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to peo­ple of some celebrity, I ac­cept that it prob­a­bly did,” Jus­tice MacCal­lum said.

Gayle was not in court but his spokesman, Grant Van­den­berg, said the for­mer Windies Test cap­tain was ready to put the in­ci­dent be­hind him.

“All he wants to do is play cricket and he’d re­ally, re­ally love to come back to Aus­tralia - a coun­try that he loves as much as any­where - and play in the Big Bash,” Van­den­berg said.

In a state­ment, a Fair­fax spokesper­son said the pub­lisher planned to ap­peal.

“Fair­fax re­mains con­cerned with the con­duct of the trial. The jury was mis­led in a way that prej­u­diced Fair­fax, and Fair­fax did not get a fair trial.”

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