Gayle goes to court - Jamaican batting star retains Aussie media lawyer
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):
Embattled West Indies batting star Chris Gayle plans to sue Fairfax Media for the publication of an article alleging he indecently exposed himself in a Sydney dressing room during last year's ICC Cricket World Cup.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that the 36-year-old has retained Australian lawyer Mark O'Brien, known as a defamation specialist, to begin action against the media organisation.
"Chris Gayle has strongly denied the allegations first published by Fairfax Media that he indecently exposed himself to a woman during last year's World Cup in Sydney," Gayle's management was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Despite such denials, Fairfax Media continues to publish the false and defamatory allegations, which have received widespread republication in media throughout the world.
"As a result, Chris Gayle has retained Mark O'Brien, a leading Australian media lawyer, to immediately commence defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media."
Fairfax Media is standing by the report while Cricket Australia is said to be investigating the incident.
The alleged incident was reported after Gayle came under fire for his controversial interview with Channel TEN reporter Mel McLaughlin, where he appeared to openly flirt with the journalist, during a Big Bash game in Hobart last Monday.
"I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, that's the reason why I'm here. Just to see your eyes for the first time. It's nice," Gayle told McLaughlin following a stroke-filled 41 for Melbourne Renegades at Bellerive Oval.
He continued: "So, hopefully, we can win this game and we can have a drink after. Don't blush, baby."
BBL head Anthony Everard branded Gayle's comments as "disrespectful and simply inappropriate" while Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said the Jamaican had been "completely out of line".
Gayle apologised for the incident and was slapped with a $10,000 (US$7,000) fine.