Cricket massage therapist was ‘plainly neurotic,’ says barrister

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A female massage therapist who claimed West Indian cricket star Chris Gayle flashed her in a change room has been described in court as “plainly neurotic.”
Leanne Russell came under attack by Gayle’s barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, who described her as “mentally fragile” because of her struggle with anorexia in his closing address at a defamation trial.
Gayle is suing Fairfax over a series of articles published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times, which claimed Gayle pulled down a towel partially exposing his penis to Ms. Russell in the change room at Drummoyne Oval during a training session for the 2015 World Cup.
Ms. Russell gave evidence that she walked into the change room looking for a sandwich and saw Gayle dressed in a T-shirt and a towel. She said teammate Dwayne Smith was also in the change room.
“He said, ‘what are you looking for?’ I said, ‘a towel’. He replied ‘are you looking for this?’ and pulled his towel out and down. I proceeded to shield my eyes and I said ‘no,’ and I exited the change room,” Ms. Russell said.
Gayle denied the allegations, saying the articles were “The most hurtful thing I have actually come across in my entire life.”
Smith supported Gayle, telling the court “I think that that is something you would remember if it happened and it didn’t happen.”
Mr. McClintock told the jury the case was “not about sexual harassment.”
“It’s about whether a specific incident involving three people occurred on February 11, 2015. Two of the people said it didn’t, one person said it did.”
Mr. McClintock zeroed in on Ms. Russell’s discrepancy in her evidence that she was looking for a sandwich but told Gayle she was after a towel.
Ms. Russell had explained to the court that she had anorexia and it was a “kneejerk” reaction to avoid talking about food.
The four-person jury of three women and one man are expected to retire on Monday to deliberate. (www.dailytelegraph.com)
 

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