Sydney: Cricket star Chris Gayle has given evidence on the first day of his defamation action against an Australian media organization, denying allegations that he indecently exposed himself to a woman in a team dressing room after a practice session in Sydney during the 2015 World Cup.
The lurid accusations were made by Fairfax Media newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times in a series of stories in January last year.
They claimed the all-rounder exposed himself to a female masseuse in a dressing room at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney and "indecently propositioned" her.
The ex-West Indies captain is taking the legal action against Fairfax Media, which published the story in January 2016 in three of its newspapers. On the opening day of his defamation action, Gayle's barrister told the NSW Supreme Court the allegations were "quite foul" and "quite wrong". "They intended to blacken his name. They want to destroy him," Bruce McClintock said, the Sydney Morning Herald reported from the courtroom.
Fairfax said it was defending the articles on the basis the allegations were substantially true and in the public interest. Their publication followed an uproar after Gayle attempted to flirt with an Australian presenter on live TV, asking her out for a drink and telling her: "Don't blush, baby."
Giving evidence Monday in the New South Wales state Supreme Court, Gayle said the allegations were "the most hurtful thing I've come across in my entire life." Gayle said he had to defend himself against the allegations because "I want to clear my name." "I strongly believe you stand for something or you fall for anything," he said. The 2015 World Cup was co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The hearing is expected to run for up to two weeks.