Legal dispute in Nikoloz Basilashvili’s life arises strong public interest. The most famous Georgian tennis player’s success in ATP intensified the talks in international society about his ongoing court case. Mr. Basilashvili is blamed for domestic violence against his former wife – Neka Dorokashvili.
No one can doubt that domestic violence against women is an everyday occurrence in today’s world. But It is highly regrettable that the scandals around intra-familial abuse and incidents have place in the current sport life. However, the absence of action and silence in the current topic can be considered as alarming. For that reason, media has given significant attention to the allegations against Number 37 male tennis player – Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Mr. Basilashvili has been accused by his former wife Neka Dorokashvili for repeated domestic violence during their relationship and afterwards.
The couple had been in relationship for more than 8 years. For the time of their official marriage in 2013, Mr. Basilashvili was taking first steps in his professional career. As stated by Mr. Basilashvili in the interview for newspaper Magazine Hello! Georgia in 2016 , throughout his stressful professional career his wife Ms. Dorokashvili was a great support for him and taking care of their family. “Everyone around me compromises a lot , giving back to me […] one of the most important compromises between us was abandoning her career.” , he mentioned while talking about his wife.
According to the statements released to the public, the deterioration of their relationship has started after constant abuses from the side of Georgian tennis player and his family members towards his former wife. Domestic violence has been forming as a consistent pattern which made Ms. Dorokashvili protect herself by court appeal, claims victim side.
This case came to light because of great public interest in Georgian society which has been splitting up recently into opposing sides. On the one hand, one part of society including mainly tennis fans and supporters try to protect their idol on social media not taking much attention to the details of ongoing dispute. Bullying, hate speech and cyber aggression against Ms. Dorokashvili became the casual protecting methods from above mentioned side.
On the other hand, there is a group of society which cannot forgive Mr. Basilashvili the claims about domestic violence against his former wife. This side of society question the honours and merits of a famous sportsman imposing a big responsibility to his international name and considering domestic violence unjustifiable.
The complex character of the case lays in several possible abuses making the case history too large. Actually, this legal dispute contains 12 chapters analysing different episodes from their lives blaming Mr. Basilashvili in physical, psychological and financial abuse. Official statements talk about 5 evidence-based episodes concerning to physical abuse.
As stated in official declarations, the latest disputed episode took place on the 21st of May in 2020 after the divorce of the couple. As a result of this incident, 6 restraining orders were made by police to protect Ms. Dorokashvili and her son from being physically and psychologically abused by Mr. Basilashvili and his family members. Consequently, on the same day Mr. Basilashvili was detained in police for a time.
This case contains a systemic domestic abuses and its evidences that is why it is considered as a serious legal dispute.
Mr. Basilashvili is accused of violating Criminal code of Georgia (Article126.1, 126.2.b). These articles determine the punishments in case of violence, regular insult, blackmail, humiliation by one family member against another family member, which has resulted in physical pain or anguish. The same acts committed in the presence of a minor against his/her family member , can aggravate the sentence of an accused . Consequently, in regard to above-mentioned articles, Mr. Basilashvili can be punished with imprisonment for a term of one to three years.
What is more, concerning to legal aspects of financial abuse, Mr. Basilashvili is also accused in non-implementation of child maintenance obligations issued by court and is not providing alimony and child support for a long period of time.
Here is the question if Nikoloz Basilashvili’s worldwide reputation conceal or disguise scandalous judicial affairs around him? The different NGO’s who fight for women’s human rights in Georgia, back Ms.Dorokashvili in this legal dispute. According to Partnership for Human Rights ( PHR) oganization protecting women’s rights, Nikoloz Basilashvili has been committing systematic acts of gender-based psychological and economic violence for years, as a result of which Neli Dorokashvili has experienced severe psychological harm and suffering. PHR talks about the accusations made by Prosecutor’s Office against Mr.Basilashvili including 4 episodes of physical violence against Ms.Dorokashvili on various reasons for multiple times. These episodes include systematic physical, psychological as well as economic acts of violence.
Women right’s defenders talk about evidence-based circumstances and consider the violence unforgivable. Sapari – NGO for protecting the victims of family violence – also supports Ms. Dorokashvili. Human rights defender Baia Pataraia talks about the gravity of the charges of Georgian tennis player. While criminal proceedings are initiating against Mr. Basilashvili, administrative court has already decided to impose penalties on him. It is interesting to know, how famous Georgian tennis player can respond to criminal charges against him and if his success and international status can conceal the allegations of violence and abuse in family?!
In tennis world Mr. Basilashvili’s case is not the only one giving rise to strong public interest. German professional tennis player Alexander Zverev has also been accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova. According to the guardian, there is the question asked of sporting organisations in these moments, whether they are more concerned with protecting their brand or ensuring the wellbeing of the people and families within the sport?!
No one knows if Mr. Basilashvili’s international reputation can protect him from criminal and administrative penalties during this juridical dispute , but one thing is for sure, in spite of media coverage mostly focusing on his professional success, it cannot conceal serious allegations against Mr. Basilashvili.