Gayle demands more money in defamation lawsuit against Australian media house

By Sports Desk February 13, 2019
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle. West Indies batsman Chris Gayle.

Windies star batsman Chris Gayle has appealed against what has been deemed inadequate compensation, in a case against Australia Media entity Fairfax Media that was decided in his favour a little over a year ago.

In the much-publicized case, the 39-year-old batsman took the media house to court following its publication of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him by former West Indies massage therapist Leanne Russell. 

Russell had claimed Gayle intentionally exposed his penis to her, while on a visit to the team locker room while making an indecent proposition.  Her version of events was printed by multiple tabloids.

The court, however, ruled that the publishers failed to establish a defence of truth regarding the allegations at the heart of the case.  In a judgment made in December last year, Justice Lucy McCallum awarded Gayle a total of $325,112 for the stories, including interest. The amount did not include Aggravated damages and fell at the lower end of the statutory cap on such rulings.

Fairfax, who has since launched an appeal, has since sought to delay the payment.  In filing a counter-appeal late last month, however, Gayle’s legal team has argued that the damages awarded were "manifestly inadequate" and Justice McCallum "erred in failing to award aggravated damages".

 In the original ruling, the jury had found that the publisher acted with malice, meaning the articles were published for an improper purpose.

Related items

  • How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals How Trevor Bayliss kept England focused for World Cup finals
  • Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k Australia paper loses appeal against Gayle - must pay Windies star $200k

    An Australia court has thrown out an appeal by media group Fairfax, which would have annulled damages owed to Windies star Chris Gayle who won a defamation suit against the entity last year.

    Gayle took the publishers to court after allegations that he exposed himself to a female masseuse during the 2015 World Cup came out in several of its publications.  More specifically, it was alleged that the batsman exposed his penis and indecently propositioned the woman in a dressing room during the tournament.

    The jury sided with the player, who strongly denied the allegations, in finding that the publishers acted with malice and accorded the cricketer damages amounting to US$211,000.  In its appeal, however, Fairfax argued that the jury should have been discharged after Gayle’s attorney attacked the credibility of the masseuse.  In response, the player’s legal team had appealed to increase the size of the payout to the West Indian star. Both appeals were dismissed.

     Fairfax newspapers are now owned by commercial broadcaster Nine Entertainment, which purchased the media company last year.

  • James O'Connor rejoins Reds to revive Wallabies World Cup dream James O'Connor rejoins Reds to revive Wallabies World Cup dream

    James O'Connor has rejoined the Reds, signing a two-year contract with Queensland and Australian Rugby that makes him eligible for his country's World Cup campaign.

    Versatile back O'Connor, 29, was released from his contract with English club Sale Sharks earlier this month, in order to pursue his ambitions of representing the Wallabies at the World Cup in Japan later this year.

    He has now returned to Queensland, where he spent a solitary season in 2015, eager to demonstrate how he has matured after off-field troubles marred his previous time in Australia, which included stints with the Western Force and the Rebels.

    "I'm a Queenslander. I was born there. I started playing rugby there. It's where the dream began. I think a big part as well is that I owe Queensland the best version of myself," said O'Connor, who has 44 Test caps.

    "I came back last time and I wasn't in the best place mentally, but also physically I was quite broken, so I couldn't produce and perform the rugby I wanted to for the team.

    "I'm finally ready to return and make amends. I want to do right by the team and the fans, and I intend to deliver the very best of my energy. If I can help the team get back to the top of the sport and if we can bring success back to Queensland, that would be a dream for me."

    O'Connor could now make an immediate return to Australia's squad for the Rugby Championship.

    Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO David Hanham said: "In our discussions with James, he's been very open with us around the opportunity he had in northern England to reassess areas of his life and to re-evaluate his approach to professional rugby.

    "The feedback from Sale is that he's been a strong contributor both on and off the field and we believe that he's a different person to the player that left Ballymore in 2015."

    Rugby Australia's director of rugby, Scott Johnson, added: "James has immense talent. He started his career in Queensland and this is a chance for him to show his full potential for his home state. 

    "Now is the time for James' rugby to do the talking. He's come home for the right reasons to play rugby and to help develop our rugby programs. He's matured and understands the leadership roles both on and off the field. He's been honest and transparent throughout this whole process.

    "We want to back the man to be the player we know he can be."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.