Olympic boxer’s girlfriend charged over ‘intimate’ photo in wig

Olympic boxer’s girlfriend charged over 'intimate' photo in wig


The ex-girlfriend of Olympic boxer Harry Garside has been charged with distributing an intimate photo of him posing with a purple wig.

Ashley Alsione Ruscoe was represented by her lawyer Bryan Wrench in Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday after she was charged with four domestic violence offences.

The 35-year-old was arrested at her Bellevue Hill home in July and charged with assaulting and intimidating her former partner.

A month later, the boxing coach and wellness guru was charged with two fresh offences of intentionally distributing intimate images of Mr. Garside without his consent.

The boxer gave permission to be identified as the alleged victim through his legal team.

Harry Garside (L) attends the 2022 GQ Men Of The Year Awards at Crown Sydney on November 23, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.
Ashley Alsione Ruscoe has been charged with distributing an intimate photo of him posing with a purple wig.
Getty Images

Ms. Ruscoe is accused of sending messages containing the intimate photos on the afternoon of March 27 and the evening of June 1.

However, her lawyer railed against the classification of the image as intimate.

He claimed that Mr. Garside had given Ms. Ruscoe a photo of himself involving a brightly coloured wig that had been displayed in her living room.

“He basically gifted my client with a photo of himself … posing with a purple wig,” Mr. Wrench said.

“It’s definitely not an intimate image.”

The court was told the photo had been used as a bookend in the living room, where it had been “prominently” displayed.

He said witnesses would be called to attest to the nature and display of the image in question.

On Wednesday, Ms. Ruscoe formally entered not guilty pleas to the two charges of distributing an intimate image without consent.

She had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges of common assault and stalking or intimidating her former partner.

Mr. Wrench asked for an adjournment so he could obtain “exculpatory” information from his client’s phone, which is being held by police.

He noted that he had also not been provided with data from Mr. Garside’s phone despite the boxer’s reassurances the material would be provided to the defence.

A police officer estimated it would take more than two months for police to obtain detailed reports about the data contained on both devices.

Harry Garside attends the WBO Global and Asia Pacific Super Welterweight title bout between Tim Tszyu and Takeshi Inoue at Qudos Bank Arena on November 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
The 35-year-old was arrested at her Bellevue Hill home in July and charged with assaulting and intimidating her former partner.
Getty Images

The police prosecutor noted some of the material may need to be redacted.

Ms. Ruscoe’s matter was adjourned until November 8 to allow for all the evidence to be served and assessed.

The court was told an interim apprehended violence order would remain in place until the next court date.

Despite the ongoing legal proceedings, Mr. Wrench claimed the boxer had previously “turned up unannounced to (Ms. Ruscoe’s) workplace”.

He also took issue with an interview with the sportsman published in The Australian earlier this week in which he discussed the domestic violence allegations.

“It is totally and grossly improper,” Mr. Wrench said strongly.

Mr. Garside was initially charged over an alleged domestic violence incident at the couple’s Bellevue Hill home on March 1.

He was arrested at the airport on May 2 immediately upon his return from filming I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! in South Africa.

The Olympic boxer steadfastly maintained his innocence, and the charges against him were dropped by police.

His legal team told a Sydney court that a video previously not seen by police showed Ms. Ruscoe was the alleged aggressor.

Harry Garside showcases designs on the catwalk during The Iconic 'Runway X' Show on November 02, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.
Garside won a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympics.

Weeks later, the martial arts instructor was arrested and charged over the alleged altercation.

Mr. Wrench previously told a Sydney court that he was “surprised” his client had been charged over the alleged incident.

He said he was “concerned” about Mr. Garside’s “motivation” in coming forward with the allegations against his ex-girlfriend.

The lawyer said in court he would rely on the evidence of witnesses who would reveal the boxer “has a history of domestic violence”.

Mr. Garside and Ms. Ruscoe dated for 18 months before they split earlier this year.

The couple were often snapped by the paparazzi together and made several high-profile appearances, such as at the GQ awards in November last year.