West Indies and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener Chris Gayle revealed he was a "happy" man after New South Wales (NSW) Supreme Court ruled in his favour in the much-publicised defamation case against Fairfax Media, which wrote in 2016 that the big-hitter had exposed his genitals to a female massage therapist in the team dressing room at the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Sydney.
The four-person jury, after a week-long hearing, on Monday, October 30 found out that the Fairfax, which owns "Sydney Morning Herald", "The Age" and "Canberra Times", was motivated by "malice" while putting out a series of stories against Gayle last year. A hearing on the damages will be held at a later date, according to reports.
The news report alleged that Gayle, who was wearing only a towel, "indecently propositioned" a woman in the West Indies team dressing room.
The massage therapist, Leanne Russell, stuck to her claims while giving evidence at the court last week. She labelled the incident "horrific" and added she cried uncontrollably after the cricketer pulled down his towel to expose his penis and asked her "Is this what you are looking for" when she entered the dressing room in 2015.
'I am NOT guilty'
However, Gayle along with his West Indies teammate Dwayne Smith denied the allegations of the newspaper report, saying Fairfax wanted to "destroy him and blacken his name".
Notably, the 38-year-old was present at court venue on all days of the hearing. Gayle expressed his relief by embracing his barrister, Bruce McClintock SC outside the court on Monday and said: "I am a good man. I am not guilty".
The cricketer's friend Donovan Miller also told the court that the former had started to feel "scared, especially around females and he always feels someone is out to get him".
McClintock had told the court that the journalist who reported the dressing room episode for "The Age" knew former Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin, who was on the receiving end from Gayle during Big Bash League (BBL) last year.
Notably, Gayle had asked McLaughlin if she would be interested in going for a drink with him and then said "don't blush baby" when the reporter was visibly uncomfortable on air.