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19 Feb, 2022 17:34

Woman makes shock claim in court case over alleged explicit texts from cricketer

The former Australia cricket captain is accused of sending sexual texts and photos to a woman reportedly seeking $72,000 in compensation
Woman makes shock claim in court case over alleged explicit texts from cricketer

Graphic sexual texts allegedly sent by ex-Australia cricket captain Tim Paine to a former Cricket Tasmania (CT) employee were not consensual, accuser Renee Ferguson has claimed in reported legal documents as part of a federal court case.

Ashes winner Paine said that the texts, which allegedly told Ferguson to "finish me off" and included photos of his genitalia, were consensual when he resigned as Australia captain in November 2021 over the scandal, according to Yahoo.

Ferguson, who is said to be seeking $72,000 in compensation, has now reportedly said that the texts were not consensual and claimed that two other managers at CT, as well as Paine's brother-in-law, Shannon Tubb, subjected her to sexualized and inappropriate comments when she worked at the organization in 2017 where she says their behavior was accepted and part of the workplace culture.

Paine, who announced on November 26 that he would be taking a break from cricket "for the foreseeable future" after stepping down from the Australia test team captaincy a week before, allegedly texted Ferguson in the hours leading up to an Ashes match against England in Brisbane.

After Paine sent her a message that stated he couldn't rest his hands "when I'm this hard", Ferguson claims to have tried to steer the topic of conversation away from being sexual. 

In other correspondence, the 37-year-old allegedly ordered her to "finish me off with those lips then Renee", along with a winking emoji. The lengthy 18-page court document is said to show how Ferguson said she was unsure how to respond to the unsolicited texts and vowed that a woman would "never kiss and tell"

"Regardless neither of us are in a position of power... we are both f*cked if this got out," Ferguson highlighted, which then allegedly prompted Paine to offend Ferguson by sending her a photo of his penis and the caption: "True, so f***ed".

Ferguson claims that three managers subjected her to sexualized and inappropriate comments during her time at CT, with one – Stephen McMullen – failing in a bid to keep his identity private on Wednesday and denying allegations of asking intrusive questions and making graphic comments towards Ferguson.

Now coaching at a prestigious school in South Australia, Paine's brother-in-law, Shannon Tubbm was also involved, according to the documents. He is said to have texted her "I want to put my c**k between your tits" while working as CT's high-performance manager.  

In 2015, another senior member of staff allegedly made lewd comments while walking past Ferguson's desk and boasted to colleagues: "Hey everyone, [the woman] will be naked in my apartment at 11 today. Get your binoculars out and I will open the curtains."

When Ferguson raised her concerns to managers she was allegedly informed: "I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but you need to move forward".

Ferguson claims that her mental health suffered due to the "relentless and systemic" behavior at CT, which led to her struggling to take care of her children and suicidal thoughts, while also leaving her feeling deflated. 

A federal court judge ordered Ferguson and CT to go into mediation next month, with the ex-receptionist said to be demanding an apology plus $100,000 AUD ($72,000) in compensation for the hurt and humiliation she suffered in their employ.

When Paine stepped down from the captaincy, CT condemned Cricket Australia for its "appalling" treatment of the wicketkeeper.

CT's chairman, Andrew Gaggin, stated that Paine "should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry to not be a breach of the code of conduct".

Contrary to what Ferguson has reportedly put forward, Gaggin added that the messages were "a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated"

Cricket Australia did admit that it had mishandled the debacle in 2018, but its chair, Richard Freudenstein, who was not in his post at the time, said the organization "would not make the same decisions today" under the current administration in late 2021. 

After Pat Cummins replaced Paine as Australia captain, the team beat England 4-0 in a five-test Ashes series on home soil concluded in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart on January 18.