The NRL’s off-season summer of shame
It has been an off-season to forget for the NRL with players making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
More than a dozens of players have been in and out of court since the 2018 season wrapped up as they deal with alleged off-field indiscretions ranging from aggravated sexual assault to drink driving.
Some players have been slapped with major fines for bringing their clubs into disrepute, are dealing with leaked sex tapes or have simply behaved in ways that have disappointed fans and raised eyebrows.
These are the players who have drawn unwanted attention this summer.
A 77-year-old man known as "the Chich" has confirmed he was snorting cocaine in a leaked video which includes St George Illawarra recruit Corey Norman, Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale and Sydney publican Stu Laundy. In 2016 Norman was sanctioned over a sex tape as well as the same white powder video, the existence of which was known at the time but was only this week published on the internet. The Chich was the only participant in the cocaine snorting.
On November 19 Hayne was charged with aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm following an incident in Newcastle on grand final night. It has been alleged the former Parramatta star had sex with a 26-year old woman without her consent. Police also allege the woman was left bleeding due to bite wounds. Hayne entered a plea of not guilty and the matter will next be heard at Newcastle Local Court in February.
On December 6 Walker was arrested and charged at his northern beaches home after allegedly assaulting his fiance. The Manly centre was charged with common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Walker's partner, Alexandra Ivkovic, has since expressed her intention to recant her statement but police will continue to pursue the charges and an AVO. Walker will maintain his not guilty plea when a hearing is held next month.
Just hours after he was named Australian captain on October 2nd, Inglis was charged with speeding and drink driving after he was clocked at 99km/h in an 80 zone on the Great Western Highway. He was stripped of the captaincy and banned for two matches by the NRL. Inglis pleaded guilty in December and was placed on a good behaviour bond without a conviction earlier this month.
Zane Musgrove was charged with assault with act of indecency, aggravated indecent assault (offender in company), and common assault following an incident at the Coogee Bay Hotel in November. He was granted conditional bail by police to appear in court later this month.
The son of South Sydney champion Craig Coleman was charged alongside Wests Tigers forward Zane Musgrove for allegedly indecently assaulting a 22-year woman at the Coogee Bay Hotel in November. Detectives charged Coleman with assault with an act of indecency, and aggravated indecent assault (offender in company). He was granted conditional bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on January 23.
JACK DE BELIN
Dragons and New South Wales backrower De Belin was charged with aggravated sexual assault in company on December 13 following allegations he and another man sexually assaulted a 19-year old woman after a night out in Wollongong. De Belin was granted conditional bail to appear in court in February.
Bolton was arrested and charged in May for allegedly assaulting a woman during a night out in Bondi. Prosecutors dropped an indecent assault charge in January after the Cowboys veteran pleaded guilty to common assault and apologised for drunkenly touching the stranger's upper thigh. The 31-year-old was sentenced to a 12-month conditional release order, but escaped conviction.
The Rabbitohs big man and his former magazine writer wife Phoebe Burgess announced their split in January, just three weeks after the birth of their second child. It comes after Burgess was embroiled in a sexting scandal last year in which photos of a naked man were sent to a woman from his Facebook account. Burgess was later cleared of any wrongdoing by South Sydney.
Salmon was charged with low range drink driving following a car crash in October. Police allege the Parramatta Eels rookie hit three parked cars in Miranda before his vehicle rolled onto its roof, stopping southbound traffic. Salmon is due to face court today.
ADAM ELLIOT AND ASIPELI FINE
The Bulldogs duo were charged with wilful and obscene exposure after they were photographed nude at Canterbury's Mad Monday celebrations. Both men were slapped with fines of $320,000 and pleaded guilty in court to the charges. They received good behaviour bonds with no fine or criminal convictions recorded.
The Raiders fullback was hit with nine charges following a brawl in Canberra in February. In June, Wighton pleaded guilty to six of the charges, including two charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, three counts of common assault and one charge of public urination. In November he was given a good-behaviour bond, a two-month suspended jail sentence and fined $3500.
Jacob Saifiti has been slapped with a fine the equivalent of 25 per cent of his salary, under tough new sanctions imposed by the Knights for bringing the club into disrepute. Saifiti did so when he was involved in an altercation with Boyd Cordner's brother Dane outside the Greenroof Hotel in Hamilton in December. The 22-year-old prop was knocked out in the fight and suffered a broken leg but was not charged by police over the fight.
MICHAEL CHEE KAM
Wests Tigers player Michael Chee Kam was charged in January with assaulting a rideshare driver through the car window during a night out in Bondi Beach. Chee Kam and an 18-year-old man, believed to be a relative, were allegedly standing on Campbell Pde on December 30, when a driver beeped at them in an attempt to get them to move. The men were arrested and both served with a Field Court Attendance Notice for the offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. They are due to appear at Waverley Local Court next month.
Penrith recruit Tyrell Fuimaono has pleaded not guilty to charges of hindering or resisting police and is due to appear in court today.