The West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle had sued the Fairfax Media, publishers of The Sydney Morning Herald, over a series of articles published between January 6 and January 9 last year, which he says falsely claimed that he “exposed his genitals" to a female massage therapist during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand.
Gayle emerged victorious in the legal battle and will now be awarded USD 300,000 for the damages done to his image in this case.
Last year in October, Gayle had said the allegations were “the most hurtful thing I’ve actually come across in my entire life. This is one case I have to fight. I want to clear my name.” He added that the allegations had “ruined” him.
Justice Lucy McCallum imposed the damages on Monday in a long-awaited ruling. Fairfax Media said on Monday it will "immediately" appeal the decision.
"In light of the jury's verdict I am required to assess damages on the basis that the allegation of indecent exposure was not true and that the attribution of such conduct was very damaging to Mr. Gayle's reputation."
Justice McCallum said Gayle's evidence that the articles had hurt his feelings was "surprisingly compelling." There were calls for Gayle to be banned from international cricket.
Fairfax said it would appeal because it is "concerned with the conduct of the trial. The jury was misled in a way that prejudiced Fairfax and Fairfax did not get a fair trial," a spokesman said.
Gayle had received angry backlash for his comments and was called disrespectful after he asked journalist Mel McLaughlin for a drink in a live television interview during a Big Bash League clash in Australia.