The ex-wife of a leading tennis player is standing by claims she was the victim of assault.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, who is ranked No. 27 in the world, was charged with violence against Neli Dorokashvili last month following a disagreement, according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.
Basilashvili was released on a bail of 100,000 Georgian Lari ($31,300) and is due to return to court on July 16 for the next hearing. An investigation into the criminal case is ongoing.
In a statement on Basilashvili’s Facebook page posted after he posted bail, his legal representatives said the allegations are “false and totally unsubstantiated.” The couple, who have a five-year-old son together, divorced last year.
“We would like to ensure Nikoloz Basilashvili’s fans that video footage already submitted to the court evidences our client’s position and fully discharges him from the abovementioned untrue allegations,” a statement from the lawyers said.
However, Dorokashvili’s lawyer says there is evidence to support her claims.
“There are people who are witness to their relationship. There are some video records and audio records. There also some transcripts, there are dialogues of phone text messages and so forth,” Ana Abashidze told CNN.
“Unfortunately, the media covered the issue unfairly and the vast majority of the population of Georgia supported Basilashvili, not because of the aspects of the case, just because of Basilashvili’s reputation and because of his sex.
“But we are still trying to do our best to defend a young lady who is morally judged by the Georgian community.”
Basilashvili became the first Georgian to win an ATP Tour title with victory in Hamburg, Germany, in 2018.
He has gone on to win two more titles, including a defense of his crown in Hamburg last year.
“Nikoloz Basilashvili is deeply saddened by the false allegations and the ordeal he had to go through during the last few days; he also regrets the inconvenience for all friends and family members who have gotten involved,” the statement from his lawyers continued.
“At the same time, he would like to express his gratitude towards the general public for their unconditional support, and he will prove his complete innocence and allowing the whole truth to prevail.”
When contacted for comment, Basilashvili’s attorney Irma Chkadua pointed CNN to her Facebook page where she is providing regular updates on the case.
“We would like to state that (the) Georgian Tennis Federation has always condemned any form of violence,” said a statement from the sport’s national governing body.
“The incident involving Nikoloz Basilashvili is currently under police investigation and GFT will refrain from either announcing its position on the matter or making any comments until such investigation is completed.”
The ATP did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNN.
The Tour is currently suspended through to July 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic.