Tennis star Nick Kyrigios’ claim that a Wimbleton spectator was “drunk out of her mind” has resulted in a case of mistaken identity in the sense that the spectator was neither a drunk, nor unready for a real case – specifically a claim for defamation.
Anna Palus is a 32 year old Polish medical lawyer who said after the tournament that although she was “not litigious”, Kyrgios had “made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me” and she had “no alternative” but to sue him for defamation to clear her name.
“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”, she said.
Kyrgios’ complaint came in the third set of his final against Novak Djokovic, when he singled out Ms Palus for “distracting me when I’m serving in a Wimbledon final”.
“There’s no other bigger occasion, you didn’t believe me and then she did it again. It nearly cost me the game”, he told the umpire. “Why is she still here? She’s drunk out of her mind and speaking to me in the middle of a game. What’s acceptable?”
Now Kyrgios has settled that lawsuit by making a £20,000 charitable donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, a charity chosen by Ms Palus”, he said.