Cricket superstar Chris Gayle wins Australia masseuse defamation payout
West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle Monday won a Aus$300,000 (US$221,000) payout from an Australian media group which claimed he exposed his genitals to a massage therapist.
The all-rounder was accused by Fairfax Media, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, in a series of stories in the newspapers in 2016.
They alleged he exposed his penis and indecently propositioned the woman in a dressing room at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.
Gayle strenuously denied the allegations, claiming at the time that the journalists behind the story wanted to “destroy him“.
His teammate Dwayne Smith, who was in the changing room at the time, also denied the incident took place.
He won his defamation case in October last year, with jurors finding Fairfax was motivated by malice and had failed to establish a defence of truth.
New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum said in awarding the payout that being accused of such conduct was “very damaging to Mr Gayle’s reputation“, according to a report in Fairfax newspapers.
She added that Gayle’s evidence on hurt to his feelings was “surprisingly compelling“. Fairfax said it planned to lodge an immediate appeal.
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.”
After winning the court case, Gayle tried to spark a bidding war for a tell-all interview on the case, promising that “when I break this down to y’all it will be like a movie“.
“Biding (sic) starts at US$300K for this interview! So much to say & I will!” he tweeted to his then 3.75 million followers.
There were no takers.