On Monday (October 30), The New South Wales Supreme Court’s jury cleared West Indies opener Chris Gayle from charges of him “exposing” himself to a masseuse during the 2015 World Cup in Sydney. The masseuse, Leanne Russell, testified last week about the ‘horrific’ experience and how she cried incessantly in 2015 after the Windies cricketer pulled his towel down to expose himself and said: “Is this what you’re looking for?”
Gayle, along with teammate Dwayne Smith, testified that the claims were untrue and such an incident never took place. Dwayne Smith was also alleged to have sent a text to Russell saying “sexy” while she was giving him a massage.
The jury considered three questions that were listed out for them to answer and all of them had ‘no’ as an answer. The first one being whether Gayle “intentionally exposed” himself in the Windies dressing room during the 2015 World Cup. The second one was whether he “indecently propositioned” Russell and the final one with regard to Gayle “exposing” himself in front of Russell. The jury considered the evidence at hand and cleared Gayle of any wrongdoing. The verdict also mentioned that Fairfax Media had been malicious in their representation of the news report in January 2016 and did not base it on facts and truth. The court will come together to decide upon the damages on Tuesday.
The story shocked everyone after Russell, working as a sports administrator, had made her story public by contacting the sports editor of The Age. Russell said, “I was sick of being treated that way. I was someone who had forged my career in sport. I would never be as successful as I would be if I was a man.”
Gayle’s lawyer Bruce McClintock called Russell’s comments as “bitter” & “vengeful”. Gayle and his lawyer were seen embracing each other after the verdict. A relieved Gayle told the reporters outside the court, “I’m a good man, I’m not guilty”.