Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has admitted assaulting an ex-girlfriend but avoided a criminal conviction.
The 27-year-old’s guilty plea in a Canberra court came after his lawyers failed to have the charge dismissed on mental health grounds.
Mr Kyrgios pushed Chiara Passari onto the pavement during a row in Canberra in 2021, the court heard.
The magistrate called the incident “a single act of stupidity or frustration” when sparing him a criminal record.
Agreed facts tendered to the court say Mr Kyrgios pushed Ms Passari after after she stopped his car from driving away while they were arguing on 10 January 2021.
Ms Passari reported the incident to police the next month but did not make a formal complaint. The couple reconciled and resumed a relationship, but after they broke up, Ms Passari made a formal complaint in December 2021.
Lawyer Michael Kukulies-Smith argued Mr Kyrgios had been trying to de-escalate the fight by calling an Uber, and had repeatedly tried to “lawfully” move Ms Passari away from the car.
“It is in that context and the frustration that resulted, that my client reacted and the offence occurred,” he said.
“There is a relationship between the mental health and the offending – even though he no longer suffers it to the same extent today.”
Mr Kyrgios apologised the next day, showing his acceptance of responsibility to Ms Passari, Mr Kukulies-Smith added.
When sentencing Mr Kygrios, Magistrate Beth Campbell said he had been “a young man trying to extricate himself from a heighted 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.” She told Mr Kyrgios that references from family showed he had a lot of “love and support” around him.