Novak Djokovic may sue as Tennis Australia denies paying legal bills

Calls for Novak Djokovic to SUE Australia for $6MILLION over ‘ill treatment’ after being booted out of the country – as Tennis Australia DENIES paying for his legal bills

  • Novak Djokovic in talks with lawyers over plans to sue Australian government
  • May sue for more than $6 million (£3.2million) for ‘ill treatment’ while detained
  • Tennis Australia denies paying for Djokovic’s legal bills, says claims ‘all untrue’

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is reportedly preparing to launch legal action against the Australian government over his deportation.

The world number one was booted from the country on the eve of the Australian Open following a 11-day long visa battle with authorities.

Now back home in Serbia, the 20-time grand slam champion is reportedly in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for more than $6 million (£3.2million) for ‘ill treatment’, The Sun reported.

The claims come as Tennis Australia denied it paid Djokovic’s legal bills during his battle to stay in the country, telling radio station 2GB the claims are ‘all untrue’. 

Novak Djokovic (pictured) is weighing up his legal options after be deported from Australia

The estimated figure for damages includes the prize money Djokovic would have won had the defending Australian Open champion won his 10th title in Melbourne

‘It’s well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne,’ a close source told The Sun.

‘His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner.’

Lawyer Toma Fila added: ‘He was subjected to humiliating treatment. He should sue.’ 

AHWC Immigration Law principal lawyer Maggie Taaffe warned earlier this month Djokovic could sue if he was deported. 

‘It’s possible he could certainly make a claim for compensation for being detained unlawfully because that was what the decision ultimately came to – the decision was procedurally unfair, it was unlawful,’ she told Herald Sun. 

Djokovic was detained in an immigration detention hotel for at least half of his 11-day stay in Melbourne before he was deported over the visa and vaccine exemption saga.

Tennis Australia has denied claims it footed the legal bill for Novak Djokovic during his unsuccessful bid to stay in Australia. Pictured is Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley (left) with the world number one (right)

Meanwhile, Tennis Australia has denied bombshell allegations it ‘paid for all legal fees’ for Djokovic during his fight to stay in Australia. 

It was among a series of allegations were made by powerful Melbourne figure John Locco on Sam Newman’s podcast, You Cannot Be Serious.

2GB breakfast show Ben Fordham told listeners on Thursday he’d been chasing answers from Tennis Australia since Tuesday in relation to the claims.

‘They gave us an answer yesterday that was an non-answer so we followed it up again and said can you give us a clear answer,’ Fordham said.

‘They now say ‘all untrue’. All untrue.’

‘So we have written back saying ‘are you categorially saying Tennis Australia did not pay for any legal fees for Novak.’

‘We’re yet to hear back but based on the answer they’ve given us, they’re saying they didn’t pick up the tab.’

Novak Djokovic (pictured with wife Jelena) could sue over alleged ‘ill treatment’ in Australia

Djokovic required three of Australia’s most senior judges to hear his matter on a Sunday after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial powers to cancel the tennis ace’s visa on Friday.

It’s not yet clear what the costs will be, but initial reports after his first hearing – which the government was ordered to pay – suggested they could total $500,000.

The Federal Court is expected to reveal its reasoning behind the Djokovic decision later on Thursday.

Bombshell in Novak Djokovic case as it’s claimed Tennis Australia is paying for the Serbian superstar’s legal fees – meaning YOU are paying up big

By Brittany Chain for Daily Mail Australia 

Tennis Australia is footing the bill for Novak Djokovic’s astronomical legal fees, multiple sources have claimed.

The Australian Open organisers – who are showered in millions of dollars in taxpayer funds each year – are understood to have agreed to pay for the deported Serbian star’s legal bills as part of an agreement to fight for him to stay in Melbourne and compete.

Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, left Australia on Sunday after an 11-day-long legal wrangle over his Covid vaccine exemption.

He hired a top team of lawyers to represent him in two court stoushes as he desperately tried to stay and defend his title. 

Tennis Australia has not denied the allegation it paid the fees, which a source close to TA leaked to Daily Mail Australia, and which was separately alleged by powerful Melbourne figure John Locco on Sam Newman’s podcast, You Cannot Be Serious.

It comes despite reports the organisation refused to provide legal help to Czech tennis player Renata Voracova, who was deported from Australia after enduring similar visa issues. 

Tennis Australia will reportedly foot the fees for Novak Djokovic’s legal battle over recent visa issues (pictured, the star practicing in Melbourne Park on January 14 before he was booted out)

CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley (pictured on Wednesday) was spotted watching the men’s single match on Wednesday as reports surfaced about the taxpayer-funded company

Djokovic required three of Australia’s most senior judges to hear his matter on a Sunday after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial powers to cancel the tennis ace’s visa late on Friday afternoon. 

It’s not yet clear what the costs will be, but initial reports after his first hearing – which the government was ordered to pay – suggested they could total $500,000.  

The case would have been a lose-lose for taxpayers – who would have also footed the bill if the government were ordered to pay.

Justin Quill, a partner at Thomson Geer Lawyers, quickly counted the numbers before the final appeal when estimating the cost to the government, noting it already totalled close to half a million dollars. 

‘$250,000 to the government lawyers, probably a couple of hundred thousand to Novak to pay his legal fees. We’re getting close to half a million and that’s just if there’s no appeal.’

There’s no reason that wouldn’t be the same amount – if not more – now that Djokovic is required to cover costs.

A source close to Tennis Australia said all profits and earnings the business makes are supposed to be poured back into the sport and community.

‘The biggest thing people don’t know is that Tennis Australia are paying his legal bills… Not Novak himself,’ the source said.

‘They get government funding for the event [Australian Open], so ultimately the tax payer will pay his legal fees even though he lost.’

Djokovic and CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley appear to have a professional friendship with several photos together dating back almost a decade. 

Djokovic was ordered to leave Australia on Sunday night after failing in his final bid to stay and compete following more than a week of visa dramas.

Djokovic was spotted at Melbourne Airport under Australian Federal Police escort at 8.30pm on Sunday having left his detention hotel without detection ahead of a flight to Dubai with Emirates at 10.30pm

He was spotted at Melbourne Airport under Australian Federal Police escort at 8.30pm on Sunday, less than three hours after the judges made the unanimous ruling, having left his detention hotel without detection ahead of a flight to Dubai with Emirates at 10.30pm.

Walking through the busy airport in a face mask flanked by his team, Djokovic held his head high as walked past baffled members of the public.

Djokovic released a statement minutes after the ruling was handed down, acknowledging his disappointment with the outcome, which will prevent him from competing in his favourite Grand Slam.

‘I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,’ he said.

Djokovic said he was ‘uncomfortable’ with the attention he has received since beginning the visa saga and wishes to ‘focus on the game and tournament I love’ (pictured with his wife in London)

‘I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.’ 

He thanked his family, friends, fans and fellow Serbians for their unwavering support throughout his legal proceedings. 

Earlier in the week, Tennis Australia released a statement saying it ‘deeply regrets’ the impact of recent distractions, without mentioning Djokovic by name.  

‘As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players,’ the statement read.

‘There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year. That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies.

‘Australia has a strong and proud tennis tradition, and it has been fantastic to see the crowds out cheering for the world’s best players in the lead up to and over the opening days of the Australian Open.

‘We, like the players, and all tennis fans here and around the world, are keen for the focus to now be on the game we are all so passionate about.’

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