Gayle wins defamation case on exposure

Former West Indies cricket captain Chris Gayle after winning a defamation case over newspaper articles that said he exposed himself to a female massage therapist in 2015.
Former West Indies cricket captain Chris Gayle after winning a defamation case over newspaper articles that said he exposed himself to a female massage therapist in 2015.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY • West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle has won his defamation case against Australia's Fairfax Media after a jury found a series of articles published last year which alleged he exposed his penis to a masseuse were untrue.

The jury took less than two hours to answer no to all three questions it was asked to consider, including whether he had exposed himself and indecently propositioned her.

The masseuse, Leanne Russell, gave evidence last week that it was "horrific" and she cried uncontrollably during the 2015 World Cup after the cricketer pulled his towel down to expose his penis and asked her, "Is this what you're looking for?" when she walked into the changing room at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

On Monday, Gayle embraced his barrister Bruce McClintock as they left the court.

"I'm a good man. I'm not guilty," the 103-Test veteran told reporters outside court. The 38-year-old captained his country's Test team between 2007 and 2010 and is known for his big-hitting and aggressive style of batting,

During the six-day trial in the Supreme Court, Fairfax admitted the articles published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times and The Age were defamatory but put forward the defences of truth and qualified privilege.

But the jury found Fairfax was motivated by malice. A hearing on damages will be held later.

Gayle denied the allegations, saying the journalists behind the story wanted to "destroy him".

His team-mate Dwayne Smith, who was in the changing room at the time, also denied the incident took place.

The publication of the stories followed an uproar after Gayle attempted to flirt with an Australian presenter on live TV, asking her out for a drink and telling her: "Don't blush, baby."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Gayle wins defamation case on exposure'. Print Edition | Subscribe