Nine Publishing, earlier Fairfax Media, has lost its appeal today (Tuesday) against an Aus$300,000 ($211,000) defamation payout to star West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle, who was wrongly accused of exposing himself to a female massage therapist during the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.
Gayle had won his defamation suit against The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers (then owned by Fairfax). The parties had gone into appeal.
Gayle had asked for better compensation, while the publications pleaded they were denied fair trial and the judge should have discharged the jury after Gayle’s barrister attacked the credibility of the massage therapist.
The court of appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal from Nine Publishing as well as the cross-appeal from Gayle.
While filing his defamation case, Gayle had vigorously denied the allegations against him, asserting the journalists behind the series of stories published in 2016 were out to “destroy him”.
He won the defamation case in October last year after jurors found Fairfax was motivated by malice and had failed to establish a defence of truth. Gayle caused a stir in Australia in 2016 prior to the Fairfax stories being published when he attempted to flirt with a presenter on live TV, asking her out for a drink and telling her: “Don’t blush, baby.”
After winning his court case last year, he tried to spark a bidding war for a tell-all interview, promising that “when I break this down to y’all it will be like a movie”.
“Biding (sic) starts at US$300K for this interview! So much to say & I will!” he tweeted to his then 3.75 million followers.