Paul Mescal has stopped training at an Australian gym associated with suspected crime boss Daniel Kinahan following widespread criticism.
The Normal People star was lambasted for visiting an MTK boxing gym in Sydney after the organisation tweeted a video of the actor training last week to mark his 25th birthday.
Suspected crime boss Kinahan is closely linked with boxing management company MTK Global and his association with the firm was highlighted by a BBC Panorama documentary in the same week as Paul's visit.
However, MTK insist the Irishman has no ties to the company but they confirmed to Panorama that Kinahan still advises fighters.
A spokesperson for Mescal told the Independent.ie : ‘The production was not aware of the connection between the gym and the man named by Irish courts as a crime boss. Paul is no longer training at the facility.’
Paul has been filming for the musical drama Carmen in Sydney over the past month, after his career took off thanks to his role in the BBC coming-of-age drama Normal People.
Paul Mescal (pictured) has stopped training at an Australian gym associated with suspected crime boss Daniel Kinahan following widespread criticism
The High Court in Dublin previously named Kinahan as a senior figure in the Kinahan Organised Crime Gang involved in a €1billion international drug-trafficking operations and firearm offense, according to The Times .
In MTK Global’s video, posted to Twitter, Paul was seen grinning and grimacing as he wore a chest protector while his personal trainers threw some of their best punches.
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The post read: 'Great to see @NormalPeople legend @mescal_paul celebrate his 25th birthday with the team at MTK Sydney. @bondiboxingclub.'
Neale Richmond, a Fine Gael TD, called Paul’s visit a ‘spectacular error of judgment’ on the part of the actor and his PR team.
The Normal People star (pictured left in 2020) was lambasted for visiting an MTK boxing gym in Sydney. Kinahan (pictured right) is closely linked with boxing management company MTK Global and his association with the firm was highlighted by a BBC Panorama documentary in the same week as Paul's visit
The clip of Paul prompted a furious backlash, with one person writing on social media: ‘Not a good look Paul Mescal, poor judgement.’
Another quipped: ‘That’s the sound of Ireland collectively deciding it doesn’t fancy Paul Mescal anymore.’
A statement from Paul’s agency said: ‘Goalpost Pictures and Chapter 2 are in production in Australia on a new feature film starring Paul Mescal. As part of his preparation for the film, Paul has been required to undertake boxing training.
‘The production was not aware of the connection between the gym and the man named by Irish courts as a crime boss. Paul is no longer training at the facility.’
However, MTK insist the Irishman has no ties to the company but they confirmed to Panorama that Kinahan still advises fighters. Tyson Fury (pictured) praised Kinahan last June for brokering his deal to fight Anthony Joshua in the future
It comes after Kinahan, who was once an advisor to Tyson Fury, broke his silence and confirmed he is still involved in organising ‘world record fights’ in boxing and claimed allegations against him are part of a ‘campaign’.
Who is suspected crime boss Daniel Kinahan?
Daniel Kinahan was named by the High Court in Dublin as a senior figure in an organised crime gang.
A new BBC Panorama, which aired on Monday February 1, disclosed that the suspected gangster still provides advice to a number of boxers despite news last year that he had stepped away from the sport.
Prominent promoters MTK Global announced in 2017 that Kinahan had cut ties with the company but confirmed as part of the new documentary that he still ‘provides personal advice’ to some of the company's boxers.
MTK Global told the BBC that Kinahan never owned or controlled a stake in the company and he has never been a registered employee.
Kinahan’s biggest involvement in boxing emerged last year when he was revealed as an advisor to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but according to promoter Bob Arum, the WBC heavyweight champion ended that association last year.
Criticism appeared to reduce significantly when it was revealed Kinahan was stepping away from boxing but BBC Panorama claims that no such split from boxing took place.
The courts in Ireland have claimed that the Kinahan Organised Crime Group of which they have named Kinahan as a senior figure in, is involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and gangland executions.
Kinahan moved to Dubai in 2016 and police are said to believe the Kinahan family is running the drug cartel business from there.
His legal team have continued to insist that he has no criminal convictions and that the allegations about him running a violent cartel are false. They add there is no evidential basis for the ‘wild’ allegations.
A statement from Kinahan’s lawyers to the BBC read: ‘He is proud of his record in boxing to date. He has operated on the basis of honesty and with a commitment to putting fighters’ needs first.
‘Mr Kinahan is a successful and independent advisor in the boxing industry in his own right. It is a matter of public record that he has exited the business of MTK.’
Last week, a BBC Panorama investigation said Kinahan was still involved in boxing despite outcry last year when it emerged he had helped to broker the deal between Fury and Anthony Joshua for a British heavyweight showdown.
His involvement even led to calls from the Irish government to boycott broadcasting the fight because of the ties to Kinahan, who is now based in the UAE.
In a statement given to talkSPORT , Kinahan protested his innocence and vowed to continue his boxing work.
‘I have dedicated myself to my work in boxing for over 15 years,’ he said. ‘I have started from the bottom and worked my way up. I am proud to say today that I have helped organise over a dozen major world title fights. I continue to be involved in planning multiple record-breaking and exciting world title fights.’
Kinahan criticised the Special Criminal Court, noting that it operates without a jury and claimed it 'accepts the word of police officers without question'.
He also claimed that the Panorama producers had refused to publish a statement he gave them prior to the programme being broadcast.
Kinahan was name checked by Fury in a video posted to social media last June when he announced a deal had been agreed for him to fight Joshua.
‘I was taken aback by Tyson Fury and his video and dropping in that name you mentioned,’ then Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told parliament in June in response to remarks from another party leader, Labour’s Alan Kelly, about Kinahan’s involvement in the Fury-Joshua deal.
Addressing those allegations now, Kinahan said: ‘I firmly believe that my success has led to an increase in the campaign against me. Pretty much anything can be said about me, or inferred about me, and it goes unchallenged and is sadly believed.
‘I can't be any clearer on the fundamental slur – I am not a part of a criminal gang or any conspiracy. I have no convictions. None. Not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world.’
Following the investigation, which aired earlier this month, the BBC Panorama team was informed by the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) of an unspecified threat from unnamed criminal elements, according to BBC News .
Jo Carr, the BBC’s head of current affairs, said: 'The BBC places the utmost priority on the safety of our teams, whose journalism plays a vital role in a free society.
'It is despicable and intolerable if thugs think they can muzzle a free press through intimidation. We will continue to throw light into even the murkiest of corners.'
In his statement, Kinahan said: ‘I have never threatened a reporter or journalist or asked anyone to do that for me. I never have and I never would.’
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