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Stunning new court twist emerges in Tim Paine sexting scandal

Seen here, Tim Paine is reduced to tears after stepped down as Australia's Test cricket captain over a sexting scandal.
Tim Paine stepped down as Australia's Test cricket captain in November 2021 after details of a previous sexting scandal were made public. Pic: AAP

Former Australian cricket captain Tim Paine could be called to give evidence over sexual text messages he allegedly sent to a woman if the matter goes to trial.

Paine, 37, has been accused of sending lewd messages, including an unsolicited picture of his genitals, to Renee Ferguson, a former Cricket Tasmania employee, in 2017, according to documents filed to the Federal Court.

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Ferguson has also accused Shannon Tubb, then Cricket Tasmania's high performance manager, of sending her unsolicited sexual messages in the same year, and says she found the messages from both men offensive and unwelcome.

She said the alleged sexual harassment was "relentless and systemic" and that nobody did anything about it.

Ferguson's barrister, Mark McKenney, on Wednesday told Justice Mordy Bromberg that mediation talks between the two parties had not resolved the matter.

Bruce McTaggart SC, representing Cricket Tasmania, later said four individuals from the organisation who allegedly sexually harassed Ms Ferguson between 2015 and 2017 - including Tubb and Paine - could be called as witnesses if the matter went to trial.

Seen here, former Australia cricket captain Tim Paine speaks to the media.
Tim Paine resigned as captain of the Australian men's cricket team in the wake of the sexting scandal. Pic: Getty

Mr McTaggart said the possible witness list could also include four other Cricket Tasmania staff members Ms Ferguson claims to have reported the matter to and that a contested hearing could involve "complex medical questions".

"It sounds like a big and expensive trial," Justice Bromberg responded.

Tim Paine accuser seeking financial compensation

Paine is alleged to have sent Ferguson an unsolicited picture of his penis on the morning before he played for Australia - but not as captain - in an Ashes Test match at Brisbane in November 2017.

Ferguson was suspended from Cricket Tasmania the following month, following an investigation into missing money.

The 48-year-old has been charged with stealing but has denied the allegations in a separate matter before Hobart Magistrates Court.

She resigned from Cricket Tasmania immediately after being suspended and in court documents claims the alleged sexual harassment left her with suicidal thoughts.

Ferguson says she is now unable to work or look after her children and is seeking financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

The matter will return to the Federal Court on May 10.

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