Australian court awards USD 220k as damages to Chris Gayle in defamation case

Team SoOLEGAL 4 Dec 2018 5:18pm

Australian court awards USD 220k as damages to Chris Gayle in defamation case

An Australian court in New South Wales has ordered Fairfax Media to pay Aus$300,000 (1.55 crore) in damages to West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, for publishing a defamatory article against the cricket icon.

Fairfax Media has published several articles, in January 2016, across a variety of Australian news outlets that alleged that the West Indies cricket star had exposed himself to a female massage therapist at a training session in Sydney during the 2015 ICC World Cup.

However, Gayle strenuously denied the allegations levelled against him, claiming at the time that the journalists behind the story wanted to “destroy him”. In fact, his teammate Dwayne Smith, who was in the changing room at that time, also denied the incident took place.

Chris Gayle won his defamation case in October last year, after jurors found that Fairfax was motivated by malice and had failed to establish a defence of truth.

The payout was awarded to the cricket star by New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum, who said that being accused of such conduct was “very damaging to Mr Gayle’s reputation”.

Justice McCallum further added Gayle’s evidence on hurt to his feelings was “surprisingly compelling”.

Fairfax said it would lodge an immediate appeal, challenging the award, saying that “The jury was misled in a way that prejudiced Fairfax, and Fairfax did not get a fair trial.”

The damages award merely confirms the appalling burden of defamation laws in this country,” a company spokesperson was further quoted as saying.

Tagged: Chris Gayle   Defamation Case   Fairfax Media   2015 ICC World   Australian Court   New South Wales Supreme Court   New South Wales  
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