MELBOURNE, Australia, Friday January 8, 2016 – West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is not taking an indecent exposure allegation lying down. He has hired a lawyer and is going after the Australian media house that broke the story that a female worker at the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Sydney had accused him of exposing his genitals to her in the team dressing room.
The management agency of the 36-year-old cricketer issued a statement yesterday saying that a leading Australian media lawyer Mark O’Brien would “immediately commence defamation proceedings” against Fairfax Media.
“Cricketer Chris Gayle has strongly denied allegations first published by Fairfax Media that he indecently exposed himself to a woman during last year’s World Cup in Sydney. Despite such denial, Fairfax Media continues to publish the false and defamatory allegations which have received widespread republication in media throughout the world,” it said.
Fairfax Media says it is sticking by its story.
In the article published earlier this week, the unnamed woman who was working around the West Indies team at Cricket World Cup 2015 said that during a training session in February, she went into the dressing room, expecting that all the players were out on the field.
But she said Gayle was there wrapped in a towel, and he pulled it down to expose his genitals and asked her: “Are you looking for this?”
The report came the same day Gayle was fined AUS$10,000 (US$7,200) for flirting with Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin in a live TV interview in Hobart, after he was dismissed in Monday’s Big Bash League (BBL) match between his Melbourne Renegades and the Hobart Hurricanes.
— Caribbean360 (@Caribbean360) January 5, 2016
Renegades’ chief executive Stuart Coventry had described the timing of the woman’s allegations as “opportunistic”, but he was criticized by his employer, Cricket Victoria, whose boss Tony Donemaide said they did not condone his comments.
Media reports indicate that Gayle’s BBL future would be in jeopardy if the allegations are substantiated.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 7, 2016
Gayle has apologised for his comments to McLaughlin, but said they were just a joke and had been blown out of proportion. The journalist said she accepted his apology and wanted to “move on”.