Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios pleads guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend and avoids sentencing
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios pleaded guilty on Friday and apologized for pushing former girlfriend Chiara Passari to the ground after a heated argument.
But the Wimbledon runner-up’s conviction was thrown out because the offense was at the lowest level of simple assault, was not premeditated and he had no criminal record.
The assault happened when Kyrgios tried to leave Passari during an argument in January 2021 outside his flat in Canberra.
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Kyrgios called an Uber, but Passari stopped him from closing the car door. The driver did not leave with the door open. At one point, Kyrgios pushed Passari’s shoulders, knocking her to the pavement and brushing her knee, according to the facts of the case read in court.
“I respect today’s decision and am grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction,” Kyrgios said. “I was not in a good position when it happened, and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way that I deeply regret. I know it was not OK and I am sincerely sorry for the harm. that I caused.
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“Mental health is tough. Life can feel overwhelming. But I’ve found that getting help and working on myself has helped me feel better and be better,” said Kyrgios said in a statement released by a management company.
Magistrate Beth Campbell described the stampede as an act of “foolishness” and “frustration”. She also mentioned that Kyrgios’ fame did not help him escape conviction.
“You are a young man who strikes the tennis ball particularly well, and your name is widely recognized outside of this courtroom,” Campbell told Kyrgrios. “I treat you exactly the same as any young man in this court,” Campbell said.
Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, testified that Kyrgios had suffered from major depressive episodes at the time of the assault. He added that the tennis star’s mental health had an impact on his behavior.
He also recently suffered a knee injury and was using crutches.
“He’s doing great,” Borenstein said. “His mental health has improved significantly.”
“Given the history, he is always vulnerable to recurring bouts of depression depending on life circumstances,” Borenstein added.
Kyrgios’ lawyers attempted to have the charge dismissed on mental health grounds. Passari signed a police statement alleging the assault 11 months later, after she and Kyrgios broke up.
In court, the magistrate asked Kyrgios if he could rise to enter a plea.
“Yes, no worries, your honor,” he said, rising to plead guilty.
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Kyrgios withdrew from this year’s Australian Open due to a knee injury, which required arthroscopic surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.