Fairfax media loses appeal in Chris Gayle defamation case
Australian media group Fairfax on Tuesday lost an appeal of AUS$ 300,000 (USD 211,000) defamation payout to West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle who was wrongly accused of exposing himself to a female massage therapist in 2015.
The court unanimously dismissed the appeal from the Fairfax media group as well as a cross-appeal from Gayle wanting to increase the amount of compensation for defamation.
In October 2017, a NSW Supreme Court jury ruled in favor of Gayle, who sued Fairfax Media for defamation after publishing articles in The Sydney Morning Herald and Age claiming he exposed himself to Leanne Russell.
The newspapers alleged that the Caribbean star indecently exposed himself to a team masseur in the dressing room of a suburban oval in Sydney during the 2015 World Cup.
But after the hearing, the jury put trust on Gayle, who said the masseur had fabricated the allegation.
Gayle and his teammate Dwayne Smith, who was in the dressing room when the alleged incident occurred, gave evidence in the supreme court before justice Lucy McCallum in 2017.
The publisher expressed dejection saying they failed to receive a judgement because Gayle’s barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, had launched a “pretty full-throttled attack” on the credibility of masseur Leanne Russell’s statements.
Leanne, therefore, during the trial alleged that Gayle had partially exposed himself to her in a dressing room, leaving her “very upset”.
She had contacted Fairfax Media – then the owner of the three newspapers.
Gayle recently reversed his retirement plan from international cricket saying he will be available to play Test cricket once again.