The cricketer Chris Gayle has won his defamation case against Fairfax Media after a jury found a series of articles published in 2016 which alleged he exposed his penis to a masseuse were untrue.
The jury at the supreme court in Sydney 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 in 2015 after the West Indies cricketer pulled his towel down to expose his penis and asked her, “Is this what you’re looking for?” when she walked into the change room at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.
Gayle, who captained the West Indies Test team between 2007 and 2010 and is known for his big-hitting and aggressive style of batting, sued Fairfax for the articles which he said were untrue and had damaged his reputation.
Chris Gayle scared around women since claim he exposed himself, court told
On Monday Gayle embraced his barrister Bruce McClintock as they left the court. “I’m a good man. I’m not guilty,” Gayle told reporters outside court.
Gayle said he was “very happy” and thanked his legal team who he said did a great job. He said it was never about the money and if Fairfax appealed he would fight it again.
During the six-day defamation 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.
The four-person jury made up of one man and three women retired before lunch on Monday to consider their verdict after Justice Lucy McCallum explained their task was to consider the evidence at hand and nothing else.
The jury had to consider three questions. The first was whether Gayle “intentionally exposed” his genitals to Russell in the West Indies team dressing room during a training session for the 2015 World Cup.