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Nick Kyrgios seeks dismissal of assault charge against ex on mental health grounds
4 October 2022, 12:44
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios will apply to have an assault charge dismissed on mental health grounds, his lawyer told an Australian court on Tuesday.
Lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith appeared on behalf of the Kyrgios in a Canberra court - the tennis star's home town - and requested an adjournment so that forensic mental health reports could be prepared.
Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned the case until February 3, when lawyers for the Wimbledon runner-up are expected to apply to have the charge dismissed under a section of the local crimes law.
Kyrgios will appear in court in person on that date, for the first time since he was charged by police in July.
Under the law, magistrates have the power to dismiss a charge if they are satisfied that an accused person is mentally impaired, and that dealing with an allegation in that way would benefit the community and the defendant.
The common assault charge, which has a potential maximum sentence of two years in prison, relates to an incident involving Kyrigos' former girlfriend in January 2021, which was reported to local police last December.
Mr Kukulies-Smith told the court that his Kyrgios' mental health history since 2015 meant the application was appropriate, referring to a number of public statements made by his client.
Kyrgios spoke about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open in February this year, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life had been “one of my darkest periods".
“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.”
The 27-year-old also made references to his mental health struggles during his runs to the Wimbledon final and the quarterfs at the US Open.
After knocking Daniil Medvedev’s out of the US Open in September to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios revealed his pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” outside of tennis.
Theakston questioned whether Kyrgios would need to appear in court for the February hearing, but Kukulies-Smith said his client wanted to attend.
Kyrgios beat Taiwan's Chun-Hsin 6-3, 6-1 at the Japan Open today, and moves on to the next round.
Speaking in Tokyo before his matter returned to court, Kyrgios said it was “not difficult at all” to focus on tennis despite the pending charge.
“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” he told reporters. “I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job.”