Thursday, 26 October 2017 - 12:38
Chris Gayle accused of exposing himself to a female massage therapist


A massage therapist said she “cried uncontrollably” after star West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle allegedly exposed himself to her, telling a Sydney court it left her “very upset”.
Gayle is suing Fairfax Media newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times over a series of stories in January last year detailing the lurid accusations.
On the opening day of his defamation action Monday, he denied the allegations and claimed the media group was out to “destroy” him.
His teammate Dwayne Smith, who was present at the time, has also denied the incident.
The newspapers said the all-rounder exposed himself to masseuse Leanne Russell — who was working for the West Indies team — in a dressing room at the 2015 World Cup in Sydney and “indecently propositioned” her.
She told the NSW Supreme Court she went to the changing room to look for a towel and came across Gayle. Gayle asked her: “What are you looking for?” the court heard, according to the Herald.
“I said, 'a towel',” she replied, and he “pulled his towel out and down”.
“I saw the top half of Chris' penis — I apologize. I thereafter shielded my view. I said no and walked out.”
Russell said she told the West Indies team's physiotherapist about the incident immediately and was “very upset” and “crying uncontrollably. I was crying like a child”.
On Tuesday, Smith admitted he sent a text to Russell that simply said “sexy” after she massaged him the day before the Gayle incident.
Russell said she was “sick of being treated this way” and had spoken out to get other women to realize “this happens all the time and nobody has the guts to speak out and they should”, according to the Herald.
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.”
The hearing is scheduled to run for 10 days.
Meanwhile, during today's (26) hearing it was disclosed that Chris Gayle became "very reserved and scared" in public around women after Fairfax published those reports.
Gayle's long-time friend, UK-based cricket coach Donovan Miller, gave character evidence for the cricketer today.
He said that since Fairfax had published the articles Gayle had become "very reserved and scared" in public places such as bars, "especially [around] females".
Miller said Gayle "always feels like someone is out to get him".
"You can see that the incident has affected him a lot," he said.
"You look in his eyes and you can see he's really hurting about it."
Earlier today, New Zealand massage therapist Julie Bland gave evidence that she met Ms Russell in March 2015 at a cricket match at Wellington Stadium.
"We crossed paths in the players' tunnel," Ms Bland said.
She said Ms Russell told her "she'd had an incident with Chris Gayle in the changing room. He'd had a towel around him and he'd dropped his towel and said 'is this what you're looking for?'"
Ms Bland said she was "pretty shocked; I probably said holy bejeebus."
The evidence in the trial concluded today and Fairfax Media's barrister, Matthew Collins, QC, delivered his closing address to the jury.
The jury is expected to begin their deliberations tomorrow.

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