Nick Kyrgios avoids conviction after admitting to assaulting ex-girlfriend
Nick Kyrgios admitted to pushing his former girlfriend onto a pavement after a fight in January 2021.
Canberra: Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios admitted to assaulting ex-girlfriend Chiara Passari during a row but escaped conviction while appearing in a Canberra court on Friday. The magistrate dismissed the assault charge and called the incident “a single act of stupidity or frustration”.
Appearing in court alongside current girlfriend Costeen Hatzi, an interior designer, and mother Norlaila, last year’s Wimbledon finalist acknowledged pushing his former partner onto the pavement after she stopped his car from driving away following a fight in Canberra on 10 January 2021.
Agreed facts tendered to the court say Pasari reported the incident to the police in February 2021 but did not make a formal complaint.
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has pleaded guilty to assaulting his former girlfriend, but he’s escaped conviction.
A magistrate in Canberra dismissed the charge today, ruling the seriousness of the matter was “low-level”. #9News pic.twitter.com/o0FNaNg58L
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 3, 2023
The court heard the couple reconciled and resumed their relationship after the fracas. But after they broke up, she made a formal complaint in December 2021.
In a statement read to the court, Passari said she had been severely traumatised by the incident, experiencing severe weight loss, staying in bed day and night — unable to sleep or form new romantic relationships.
Kyrgios’ lawyers had appealed to have the charge, one count of common assault, dismissed on mental health grounds, arguing it was an isolated incident and out of character. That plea was denied last year.
Psychologist Sam Borenstein told the court Kyrgios suffered from recurring major depression, which included black periods, thoughts of self harm, insomnia, agitation and feelings of guilt.
Borenstein said the tennis star had relied on alcohol and drugs as a means of coping, but was now making progress in dealing with the issues.
“As we speak now his mental health has improved significantly,” Borenstein said.
When sentencing Kyrgios, Magistrate Beth Campbell said he had been “a young man trying to extricate himself from a heightened emotional situation”.
“You acted in the heat of the moment,” she said.
“I am dealing with you in the same way I would deal with any young man in this court. You are a young man who happens to hit a tennis ball particularly well.”
“I do not record a conviction against your name, I do not find any necessity to place you on a good behaviour bond,” Campbell said.
The magistrate also told Kyrgios that references from family showed he had a lot of “love and support” around him.
On Friday, Kyrgios hobbled into the court building with a pair of crutches and a brace on his knee after suffering a “gruesome” injury that sidelined him at last month’s Australian Open.
The case was earlier adjourned in October, as Kyrgios prepared to play the Japan Open, so experts could prepare mental health reports for the court.
“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” Kyrgios said in Tokyo at the time.
The World No 20 Kyrgios, known for his mercurial talent and on-court outbursts, has spoken publicly about his bouts with depression and the pressures of global tennis fame.
“I’m proud to say I’ve completely turned myself around and have a completely different outlook on everything, I don’t take one moment for granted,” he wrote on Instagram last year.
Kyrgios burst to fame as a 19-year-old in 2014, when he shocked the tennis world by beating Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.
Often criticised for squandering his talents, Kyrgios reached the final of last year’s Wimbledon, but was comprehensively beaten by Novak Djokovic.
(with inputs from AFP)
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