Olympic boxing medallist Harry Garside says he will defend a charge of domestic abuse and has "nothing to hide" after being arrested on his return to Australia from filming 'I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' The Aussie boxer was taken into custody at Sydney International Airport after police launched an investigation into reports of an alleged incident on March 1 at Bellevue Hill in Sydney's east, a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP.
"The conduct of police in the presence of the media at Sydney International Airport yesterday took me completely by surprise," Garside told AAP in a statement. "I categorically deny the allegations of violence and dispute the account given to police.
"I have nothing to hide and will defend myself against this charge. The police have not been provided with all of the facts and I am confident that my reputation will be vindicated through the legal process.
"Because the matter is before the courts, I won't be saying anything further."
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Garside was arrested and taken to Mascot Police Station, where was assisting police with their enquiries on Tuesday. The boxer was later charged with common assault (DV), before being released. He is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on May 24.
The news came just hours after reports emerged that Garside could be facing the prospect of legal action over comments he made about his former team on the reality TV show. The Aussie boxer finished second on the Channel 10 show behind netball legend Liz Ellis.
The Olympic bronze medallist raised eyebrows earlier this year when he split with legendary trainer Johnny Lewis over a difference of opinion regarding Garside's appearance on the reality show. Lewis wanted Garside to take up a fight instead of going into the jungle, but Garside decided to commit to 'I'm A Celeb.'
Garside won gold at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, before claiming a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 - both as an amateur. He then turned professional and won his first three fights.
But speaking to his fellow contestants on 'I'm A Celeb', the boxer said he thought his team only wanted him to go professional for the money. “I hated turning professional, just people around me who wanted me because I was a potential cash cow,” he said.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Garside's former manager Peter Mitrevski Jr has taken offence to the comments and is considering legal action due to defamation and breach of contract. Mitrevski is said to have taken steps to launch action against Network Ten and Garside.
Harry Garside dumped by trainer Johnny Lewis
Mitrevski is also reportedly claiming that Garside has broken his management contract and a deal with the 'No Limit Boxing' promotion company. 'No Limit', who have top Aussie boxers such as Tim and Nikita Tszyu on their books, had been hoping that Garside would headline a main event in Melbourne in March.
But Garside opted to appear on 'I'm A Celeb' instead, leading to Lewis' decision to stop working with him. “The ingredients for being a world champion are hard work and commitment,” Lewis told the Daily Telegraph in February. “You can’t keep knocking back fights. There are no shortcuts in the fight game.
“All my great fighters from over the years were 100 per cent disciplined and dedicated to boxing. We’d been talking to Harry about world titles and greatness. I’m actually really disappointed but I genuinely wish him well although I’m not sure that he’s choosing the right path.”
However Garside is forging his own path and has always done things a bit differently. He was nominated for the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2022, wearing a kilt to the awards and painting his nails in the past.
“I genuinely believe that as a society we should be supporting individuality and uniqueness and the herd supporting that rather than the herd supporting people who feel they need to conform and be like everyone else," he said at the time. “There is just some super negative trolls that hang around, but then there’s also the ones who genuinely ask me questions around ‘what impact are you having on young people’. I mean here I am wearing a skirt and am I confusing young people?”
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