One of the women at the centre of the Tyrone May sex tapes scandal has engaged a prominent law firm with a view to taking civil action against the Penrith playmaker.
May narrowly avoided jail after pleading guilty to four counts of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent. The matter appeared finalised at Parramatta Local Court in January 2020 when Magistrate Robyn Denes sentenced May to 300 hours of community service for an offence she described as “reprehensible” and “right on the cusp of a custodial sentence”.
However, The Sun-Herald can reveal one of the female victims is poised to commence civil proceedings against May in the form of defamation or a breach of privacy suit. The matter is in the hands of an eminent barrister for final review. A statement of claim is being prepared and is expected to be officially lodged shortly. The woman will be seeking a six-figure damages payout.
May was one of the first players suspended under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy after he was charged by police in March 2019. The Panthers later conceded the fallout from the sex tapes scandal played a significant role in their poor performance that season as they missed the top eight.
After being fined a quarter of his 2019 salary by the NRL and completing a year-long suspension, May returned to the field in round eight last year and was part of Penrith’s storied run to the grand final.
However, the repercussions from the incident continue.
Montanna Geyer, the daughter of league legend Mark Geyer, was awarded $125,000 in damages after she was wrongly identified on a Facebook memes page as the woman in May’s sex tape. In awarding damages to Geyer in her case against Fouad Ghosn, NSW District Court Judge Judith Gibson described the victim as a “vulnerable girl who had been crushed by these events.”
During May’s sentencing in 2020, Magistrate Denes chided the Penrith utility for not entering a guilty plea earlier in proceedings and questioned whether the footballer had shown an appropriate level of contrition.
May’s barrister, Richard Pontello, SC, pointed to a text message his client had sent to one of the victims once the video became public.