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Chris Gayle wins his defamation suit against Fairfax Media

Cricketer Chris Gayle sued Fairfax Media over a series of articles he says falsely accuse him of indecent exposure.

Cricketer Chris Gayle sued Fairfax Media over a series of articles he says falsely accuse him of indecent exposure. Photo: AAP

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has won his defamation case against Fairfax Media, which published articles claiming he exposed himself to a female masseuse two years ago.

Gayle and his supporters congratulated each other in court as the jury of four announced their unanimous verdict after deliberating for two hours at Sydney’s King Street court complex.

The star all-rounder sued the company after it published a series of articles claiming he had exposed himself to a woman working “around” the West Indies team in Sydney in 2015.

The woman, team masseuse Leanne Russell, stood by the allegations in her evidence to the court but Gayle insisted it never happened.

It will cost Fairfax ‘a lot of money’

Outside court, Fairfax Media’s lawyer Matthew Collins QC said he was “shocked and disappointed” at the decision.

“It will cost the company a lot of money unless we can reverse it on appeal,” he said.

During the hearing, Ms Russell told the court that Gayle lowered his towel, partially exposing himself, in the changerooms at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval during a training session in February 2015.

She said she was “very upset” and cried uncontrollably after leaving the room.

Ms Russell said she contacted The Age newspaper last year because she was angered by a live TV interview in which Gayle told a reporter: “Don’t blush baby”.

Gayle and his teammate Dwayne Smith, who was also in the change room, deny the incident took place but Fairfax has stood by the story.

Gayle’s lawyer said in court that one of the journalists behind the story wanted to “destroy” the cricketer.

“They knew what they were doing. It was a vicious and savage and false attack,” Bruce McClintock SC told the trial.

“He comes to court to prove to you and the whole world the allegation is wrong. It’s false.”

– ABC

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