Former champion surfer Jodie Cooper appeared in court on Friday and told judges she “went limp” in order to prevent fellow surfer Mark Thomson from drowning her.
Cooper, 54, was at Ballina Local Court in New South Wales, Australia and detailed the August 2018 incident that took place at Lennox Head, NSW. The two surfers were on the water in front fo a crowd when Cooper said Thomson cut her off before grabbing and holding her beneath the water in an act of rage, per the Sydney Morning Herald:
“He was dropping in on me, nearly on top of me. He was aggressively cutting back into me and felt like trying to provoke me off the wave. He had reached around and grabbed me and pushed me under the water. He just grabbed me with two hands and just forced me under the water.
“Why don’t I just pretend that I drowned? When I went limp thinking I was dead or drowned or something, that’s when he released.”
Thomson plead not guilty to one count of assault and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The case was adjourned until July 18.