Witnesses bearing the consequences of being dishonest to court often end up in legal soup along with the parties involved the dispute on many occasions.
Windies cricketer Dwayne Smith now possibly finds himself in a similar position after he got accused of lying to the court about his team-mate Chris Gayle’s interaction with team masseuse, Leanne Russell.
Barrister Matthew Collins, who was speaking on behalf of Fairfax Media which is currently fighting against the defamation case filed by Chris Gayle, asked Smith if he had witnessed Gayle expose himself to Russell in the change room at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney during the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Smith admitted being present in the changing room but denied Gayle was pulling up his towel and expose his private part in front of Russell. He also refused that Gayle asked her “Is this what you are looking for” when she entered the change room looking for a towel.
“That did not happen,” Smith said. “That is something I would remember if it happened.”
“I suggest to you that the evidence you gave about the observation Gayle partially exposed his penis was false evidence, what do you say?” Collins asked.
“No,” said Smith.
Smith also stated he did not see the email sent by team manager Richie Richardson informing all players that Russell had been made to feel “uncomfortable” by some of the team members.
The sports editor of the Age, Chloe Saltau, the journalist who first wrote about the stories, told she received information that Gayle was involved in incidents where he misbehaved with women involved in the sport. It happened after the infamous on-field comments made by Gayle during an interview with TV presenter Mel McLaughlin in January 2016.
Saltau revealed she received the information from a woman through a Facebook message. The woman who approached Saltau later turned out to be Russell who knew Saltau. She discussed Gayle’s behaviour towards her in 2015 with Saltau.
Russell confessed to Saltau that the McLaughlin incident made her physically sick and made her bring her story to light. However, Russell didn’t want to be identified by name or by profession, Saltau informed the court.
During the cross-examination from Gayle’s barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, Saltau got questioned whether didn’t she think Russell was a “fabulist.”
She replied that she trusted Russell as a source.
Her colleague in Sydney, Steve Barrett, also approached the Windies team manager and media manager for comment, she said.