Tennis star Nick Kyrgios pleads guilty to assault but has conviction dismissed

CANBERRA, Australia — Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios pleaded guilty to assaulting his former girlfriend on Friday, but the conviction was dismissed shortly after by the court.

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According to The New York Times, Kyrgios, 27, the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up, pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court. He was accused of assaulting Chiara Passari during an argument in his hometown of Canberra in January 2021, the newspaper reported.

Kyrgios faced a maximum penalty of two years in prison for shoving Passari, but argued for dismissal, citing his history of mental health issues, the Times reported. He withdrew that defense after the court heard evidence that he was not suffering from a significant bout of depression, according to the newspaper.

Magistrate Jane Campbell called the incident “a single act of stupidity or frustration,” the BBC reported. She added that the offense was “low-level” and said she did not believe Kyrgios would commit the same offense again.

“I respect today’s ruling and am grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction,” Kyrgios said. “I was not in a good place when this took place and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way I deeply regret. I know it wasn’t OK and I’m sincerely sorry for the hurt I caused.

“Mental health is tough. Life can seem overwhelming. But I’ve found that getting help and working on myself has helped me to feel better and to be better.”

According to testimony, Kyrgios pushed Passari after she stopped him from leaving in an Uber while they were arguing on Jan. 10, 2021, the BBC reported.

Passari, a model from Australia, reported the incident to the police but did not file a formal complaint at the time, the news organization reported.

The couple reconciled and resumed their relationship, but Passari filed a formal complaint in December 2021 after they broke up, according to the BBC.

Last month, Kyrgios withdrew from the Australian Open less than 24 hours before his first scheduled match because of a knee injury, the Times reported. He needed surgery and appeared at Friday’s hearing on crutches, according to the newspaper.

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