An Australian tennis player Kyrgios has been hit with a defamation suit over his Wimbledon comments
What’s the only thing snobbier than going to a tennis tournament at Wimbledon stadium in London? Well, it’s suing over what someone said about you at a tennis tournament at Wimbledon stadium in London, of course!
So back in July, when the men’s final was going on at Wimbledon stadium, Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios complained to the umpire that a woman in the stands was drunk and distracting during the match. When the umpire said he didn’t know who Nick was talking about, Kyrgios said the woman was “drunk out of her mind" and that “she’s had about 700 drinks." (*insert aggressive Australian accent here)
The woman was Anna Palus, a Polish lawyer, and she was escorted away from her seat, given some water and then allowed to return. Well, now, Palus is launching a lawsuit against Kyrgios for defamation. She said she’d only had two drinks at the final she was attending with her mother and that his comments brought her a lot of bad attention.
“Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena," said Palus, “but Mr Kyrgios’s false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress."
This kind of case is particularly effective in the UK. See, where the US tends to give a lot more leeway to people’s right to free speech, the UK tends to be more apt to protect people’s reputations. So instead of Palus having to prove that defamation did happen, it’ll be up to Kyrgios to prove that it didn’t.
There’s no real telling how this case will go in the end, but Kyrgios isn’t exactly known for being a sympathetic soul, having a reputation as someone with a bad temper, especially in-game. He’s also in the middle of a court battle over allegations that he assaulted his former girlfriend.
“I hope that Mr Kyrgios will reflect on the harm he has caused me and my family and offer a prompt resolution to this matter," said Palus. “However, if he is unwilling to do this, I am committed to obtaining vindication in the High Court."