Gayle wins defamation case against Fairfax Media
Windies batsman Chris Gayle has won a defamation lawsuit against Australia media entity Fairfax Media.
A four-member jury of three women and one man took less than two hours to decide that based on the evidence presented the player did not expose his penis to masseuse Leanne Russell in a changing room during the 2015 World Cup in Australia.
The jury also found that Fairfax and its affiliates had acted with malice when it published a series of articles that carried the allegations made against the Windies cricketer last year. The articles were published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times.
Throughout the course of the week, a New South Wales court had heard testimony from Russell, who claimed that she had been left in tears after she encountered Gayle in a locker room during a training session at the tournament.
According to Russel’s account, she had entered the changing room looking for a sandwich where Gayle pulled down his towel to expose his genitals, asking her, “Are you looking for this.” Gayle had vehemently denied the claims, which he called “hurtful”. His teammate Dwayne Smith, who was also in the locker room at the time, denied Gayle had exposed himself to Russell.
Gayle’s barrister Bruce McClintock accused Russell of making the story up and Fairfax Media of deliberately attempting to tarnish the player’s reputation. Fairfax had defended the articles on two bases. One that the allegations were true and were defensible under qualified privilege. The jury rejected both