A journalist accused of trying to “destroy” Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle, has told a Sydney defamation trial that the articles he published on the controversial batsman were well researched, local media reported yesterday.
Gayle, a former West Indies captain, is suing publishers Fairfax Media over a series of articles claiming that he exposed himself to massage therapist Leanne Russell at a training facility in Sydney during the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Fairfax Media journalist Chris Barrett is accused by Gayle’s lawyer of deliberately wanting to bring down his client after a later controversial incident, in 2016, where Gayle asked sports reporter Mel McLaughlin to have a drink with him during a live television interview.
Gayle was slapped with a fine of 10,000 Australian dollars (7,770 US dollars) by his team, the Melbourne Renegades, for those comments.
Barrett told the court yesterday that he sought responses to the incident involving Russell from governing bodies such as Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council, before writing the articles, according to local broadcaster ABC.
Gayle denies that he exposed himself and says that the reports “greatly injured” his business and professional reputation, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Fairfax Media is standing by the articles saying the allegations are true and were in the public interest.
The defamation case, which began on Monday, is expected to last two weeks.
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