Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is representing the young woman whose photograph was taken by a Richmond footballer on Grand Final night in private circumstances wearing his premiership medallion.
There has been enormous media and public speculation about the situation in which the photograph was taken, the majority of which is not true and is unfair to our client who has done nothing wrong.
She has not received any money or other compensation from the player, the Richmond Football Club or the AFL.
We can confirm that the woman knew the player prior to the 2017 Grand Final and believed there was a level of trust between them. She maintains that she insisted he delete the photo from his mobile phone as soon as it was taken, and that he assured her it had been.
She was shocked and extremely confused when she saw the photo on social media the night after the Grand Final. She approached the player and football club for help to getting it removed from the Internet, but it soon became apparent that the image had gone “viral”.
Her motivation for approaching police was for assistance in getting the image deleted from wherever it had been uploaded, rather than pursuing a criminal investigation into the player’s conduct. The latter was never her intention.
The young woman’s decision not to proceed with the police investigation was motivated by her desire to protect her identity and avoid any further attention and distress. Her main focus has been protecting her privacy, welfare and dignity as she tries to come to terms with what has happened.
The unauthorised distribution of her photograph and the subsequent attention it has received has had a devastating impact on the young woman’s wellbeing. She is desperate to maintain her anonymity as she tries to get on with her life as best she can.
For that reason, we ask the media and public to immediately cease speculating about what happened, and urge everyone to respect the young woman and her family’s privacy.
We remind everyone that any further distribution and/or publication of the image could constitute a criminal offence. Similarly, identifying the young woman exposes them to the risk of civil legal action.
Our client does not wish to make any further comments.