By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSTERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 7th December 2018)-This week, West Indies Cricket star and Captain of the St.Kitts and Nevis Patriots 39-year-old Chris Gayle received a court payout of $300,000 Australian dollars (equivalent to US$221,000 or £173,000) from Fairfax Media in a defamation suit concerning a series of published news articles which claimed he indecently exposed himself to female massage therapist Leanne Russell.
New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum made the award as a follow-up to Gayle winning his defamation case in October 2017. A four-member jury (three females and one male) had determined that the accusations were not true following a deliberation which lasted less than two hours.
The jury also found that the claims were motivated by “malice” which complemented Gayle’s denial in the matter on the grounds that the journalists of Fairfax Media wanted “destroy him”.
Gayle had a witness in the person of his teammate Dwayne Smith who also denied the claims made by Russell.
Russell said she went to the room looking for a towel on the day in question. Allegations made by her in the matter claimed Gayle asked what she was looking for and thereafter moved his towel and she saw “the top half of Chris’ penis.”
Information gleaned from The Daily TeleGraph indicates that at the October 2017 hearing, Gayle’s lawyer Bruce McClintock zeroed in on Russell’s discrepancy in her evidence that she was looking for a sandwich but told Gayle she was after a towel.
It was reported that Russell had explained to the court that she had anorexia and it was a “kneejerk” reaction to avoid talking about food.
Justice McCallum at this week’s court session addressed the damage to Gayle’s reputation.
“In light of the jury’s verdict, I am required to assess damages on the basis that the allegation of indecent exposure was not true and that the attribution of such conduct was very damaging to Mr. Gayle’s reputation,” she said in part according to media reports coming out of Sydney, Australia.
In 2016, three newspapers published by Fairfax Media-The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times- between 6th and 9th of January accused Gayle of the indecent wrong-doing according to claims made by Russell that he showed his genitals in a dressing room during a training session at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney, Australia at the World Cup in February 2015.
Gayle told a court that such articles were “the most hurtful thing I have actually come across in my entire life.”
Fairfax Media intends to immediately appeal the case because of its position that the trial was not conducted fairly.
As gathered, Gayle and Russell have known each other for ten (10) years.
The 2016 Fairfax articles came about one year after Gayle’s controversial live sideline TV interview with Australian reporter Mel McLaughlin in which he told her “Don’t blush, baby” after asking her out for a drink; an interaction which angered media workers, athletes and other critics resulting in public commenting on the matter.
In response to that matter, Gayle apologised saying in part: “There wasn’t anything at all meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel and if she felt that way I’m really sorry for that. There wasn’t any harm meant in that particular way to any particular person like that. It was a simple joke, the game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things do happen.
Gayle was fined $10,000 by his franchise Melbourne Renegades.
The cricket star’s lawyer argued at the October 2017 trial that Russell went public with her allegations the following year after seeing Gayle in that sideline interview.
The Daily TeleGraph reported that McClintock noted Russell’s mental illness to the jury describing her as “mentally fragile”, “plainly neurotic” and “bitter and vengeful”.