As reported on B&T yesterday, West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has won his defamation case against Fairfax Media after it had alleged in a series of newspaper articles that the 38-year-old had exposed himself to a Sydney masseuse in 2015.
Yesterday, in the NSW Supreme Court the three women, one man jury found unanimously in favour of Gayle saying the allegations were false and were published out of malice to discredit his reputation.
Gayle was present in court yesterday to hear the verdict, however, the judge is yet to rule on any actual damages that could likely tally into several hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.
Immediately following the verdict, Fairfax Media tweeted a statement saying it believed that the jury in the case had been “misled” and that “prejudiced Fairfax” who were “seriously considering its appeal rights”.
Outside the courtroom yesterday, Fairfax Media’s lawyer Matthew Collins QC said he was “shocked and disappointed” by the decision.
“It will cost the company a lot of money unless we can reverse it on appeal,” Collins said.
During the trial, the masseuse that made the allegation to The Age newspaper, Leanne Russell, was portrayed in court as emotional and an unreliable witness.
Following the verdict Gayle told waiting reporters outside the court: “It was very emotional to be criticised in such a manner. This was the first time I had been in a court as well. I’m glad the public actually get a chance to read into things and they can hear what actually transpired.”
When asked if the decision was better than scoring a century in a game of cricket, Gayle replied: “Yes, definitely.”