‘I’m sorry’: New twist in Burgess texting scandal affair
Exclusive: Sydney Rabbitohs chief executive Blake Solly rang a woman who complained about Sam Burgess' behaviour, saying "I'm really sorry" after her initial contact with the club was met with a barrage of missed calls allegedly made by the star forward.
Mr Solly said he misunderstood the woman's wishes in making her complaint to the club.
"It's Blake calling, I'm really sorry I've obviously misunderstood our conversation about Sam ringing you obviously I've made a mistake, so if you can give a call back and confirm that, that would be great, thank you," the voice message, on September 19, 2018, said.
The woman, who has asked for her identity to be withheld, claims she was motivated to lodge a complaint with the club after Burgess made public comments about an unrelated sexting scandal that month.
The woman had not been in contact with Burgess since their relationship ended in May of that year and did not want anything to do with the player.
However, after the woman made her complaint to the club, she was bombarded with calls and texts from the Rabbitohs captain.
The NRL integrity unit is now investigating the woman's claims, in addition to separate unsubstantiated claims of violence, substance abuse and fake medical tests made against Burgess and the club.
News Corp Australia has heard a voicemail that Mr Solly left on the woman's phone in 2018, when it was first investigating the story.
At the time Burgess was dealing with claims that he had sexted a woman he had met via Instagram.
The Melbourne woman had a relationship with Burgess when he was playing in Melbourne for the rugby league world cup in 2017.
They kept in contact for months, according to messages seen by News Corp Australia.
She was upset about the way she claims that Burgess had treated her.
The woman had contacted the club after seeing his denials about the separate sexting incident, of which he was later cleared by the NRL.
The woman spoke to Mr Solly, the club's chief executive, after calling the club switchboard.
She had asked Mr Solly for a written apology from Burgess, who was on the training track at the time.
Following that call, she received 21 missed calls on her phones, of which she had kept screen shots.
That same day, Mr Solly left the voice message on her phone at 4.56pm.
News Corp Australia has seen a list of missed calls on the woman's phones, and a text received at 4.31pm on September 19 that reads: "It's Sam. Can you call when you get chance. Thanks."
News Corp Australia contacted the woman in 2018 about the incident.
She had given details at the time as a last resort because she did not receive the support she needed from the club following her complaint.
The apology on the voicemail was to highlight that he had misunderstood that the woman did not want Burgess to call her.
Mr Solly told News Corp Australia this week that the club dealt with the Melbourne woman's complaint appropriately.
"We looked into this matter in 2018 and as part of that referred information to the NRL Integrity Unit," Mr Solly said.
"The NRL Integrity Unit did not take any action at the time and I am confident that the club dealt with the matter appropriately."
The NRL confirmed it was now looking into the Melbourne woman's complaint and that it had been contacted in 2018.
"The club informed the Integrity Unit of information it had received from a woman regarding a personal relationship she had with former NRL player Sam Burgess," the statement said.
"The information the Integrity Unit received did not include any allegations of threatening behaviour or other conduct which would breach NRL rules."
The woman declined to comment further when contacted this week.
Originally published as 'I'm sorry': New twist in Burgess texting scandal affair