West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle, a once-brash and outlandish personality, now feels “reserved” and even “scared” around women, a Sydney court has heard.
Gayle has been in the country to front court as part of an on-going defamation lawsuit the 38-year-old athlete brought against Fairfax Media, in relation to a story The Age ran that contained accusations Gayle exposed himself to a female masseuse.
Leanne Russell was employed as a massage therapist by the West Indian cricket team in Australia during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. In a series of articles published by The Age, Russell detailed accusations of how Gayle had lowered his towel in a dressing room at Sydney’s Drummoyne Oval in February 2015, with Russell claiming that Gayle then asked her “are you looking for this?” after allegedly exposing himself.
Russell approached Age reporters in early 2016 after being enraged at Gayle’s much-publicised on-air and unwelcome suggestive comments directed at then-Network Ten broadcaster Mel McLaughlin – the infamous “don’t blush, baby” incident – which drew widespread criticism and resulted in (light) sanctions placed on Gayle who presented as unrepentant, annoyed, and arrogant at the furore and investigation that followed.
In court today, Jamaican-born cricket coach Donovan Miller described Russell’s accusations as “a joke,” and asserted that Gayle’s previously-exuberant personality has suffered significantly in the months since the articles were published.
Probably unrelated: this photo Gayle posted to his personal Instagram account in June of this year.
Miller, speaking to the jury in the defamation trial, was asked if the accusations had visibly affected Gayle. He responded thusly:
At this point he’s very reserved and scared … especially with females, because he always thinks someone’s out to get him.
According to Miller, Gayle – who at various times has brushed off the media outside the courtroom by referring to himself as the “Universe Boss” – was a “big figurehead” and that “everyone loves him.”
Miller also stated that Gayle had been hurt deeply by the reports and the subsequent fallout, stating:
You can see that the incident has affected him a lot. You look in his eyes and you can see he’s really hurting about it.
Probably unrelated: This fairly obvious thirst trap posted to Gayle’s personal Instagram account a little over a month ago.
Yesterday, Russell left the courtroom in tears after giving evidence and recounting the incident. Both Gayle and fellow West Indian cricketer Dwayne Smith, who was also present in the locker room at the time of the alleged incident, have denied Gayle exposed himself. Fairfax Media, on the other hand, has stood behind their original reports 100%.
The case remains on-going.
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Image: AAP / David Moir