South Sydney's Sam Burgess fronts the media after allegations were made of him exposing himself on social media. Picture: Brett Costello
South Sydney's Sam Burgess fronts the media after allegations were made of him exposing himself on social media. Picture: Brett Costello

NRL speaks to woman in Sam Burgess sext case

THE woman at the centre of the Souths sexting scandal has spoken to NRL Integrity Unit investigators about exchanges involving Sam Burgess's social media accounts.

The Daily Telegraph understands the woman, 23, has briefed the NRL on the email complaint she made to the club the day after the May 26 incident.

The Telegraph can also reveal that NRL officials have also spoken to a handful of Rabbitohs players, and their version of events is that the social media exchanges were consensual.

 


At a press conference on Thursday, NRL boss Todd Greenberg said the investigation would be conducted thoroughly and would not be rushed.

It is not expected that the investigation will conclude before Souths' preliminary final against arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium tomorrow night.

"We won't make decisions on the run," Greenberg said.

"I'm not going to comment specifically on who's being interviewed and who's not," he said.

"But I will say to you, for us to be able to land at a conclusion and complete the investigation, it requires us to try our very hardest to talk to as many people as possible. And that's what the integrity unit are doing at the moment."

 

The exchanges were found to involve a social media account belongong to Sam Burgess. Picture: Brett Costello
The exchanges were found to involve a social media account belongong to Sam Burgess. Picture: Brett Costello

It is understood investigators interviewed the England international on Tuesday night.

The woman involved spoke to investigators from South Africa, where she is currently travelling.

She told them she sticks by claims made in emails sent to the Rabbitohs following the May 26 sexting incident using the star player's mobile phone.

In an email sent to the Rabbitohs in May, the woman complained she was left feeling violated and disgusted by the social media exchange.

Phoebe Burgess’ first Instagram post after the sexting revelations involving her husband Sam.
Phoebe Burgess’ first Instagram post after the sexting revelations involving her husband Sam.

Integrity unit officials have also reportedly quizzed up to nine South Sydney players about the night in Auckland following the Rabbitohs' 30-10 win against the Warriors in round 12.

The woman initially complained to the club she was left "violated and disgusted" after a "funny FaceTime" chat turned lewd without her consent - with two stars exposing their private parts.

She writes in the first email sent the following day: "It started off as a funny FaceTime with the group of boys and because I am a huge NRL fan I was on quite a high.

"However after the 5th 6th and 7th call coming from one of the players by himself in his room, I began to feel violated and disgusted as a result of it."

 

 

An image from the exchange.
An image from the exchange.

 

An image from the exchange.
An image from the exchange.

The players had been celebrating the team's win in Auckland against the Warriors.

In screenshots taken by the girl, one of the players pulls his pants down to show off his genitalia while in another a player bares his backside.

The woman made contact with one of the players through Instagram.

She says phone records show one player repeatedly called her, even after she had made it clear she wanted to be left alone.

 

One of the offending images.
One of the offending images.

 

One of the offending images.
One of the offending images.

 

The woman contacted The Daily Telegraph after she said repeated follow-up emails to the club demanding action fell on deaf ears.

After questions from The Daily Telegraph, a Rabbitohs spokesman confirmed that the woman's initial email was received by the club's football operations manager Brock Schafer on June 1 stating the matter was being taken "seriously" and the club "will work to understand what has occurred".

 

 

An image from one of the Facetime exchanges.
An image from one of the Facetime exchanges.

 

An image from one of the Facetime exchanges.
An image from one of the Facetime exchanges.

 

 

However subsequent emails from the woman on June 5 and August 31 were never responded to.

A spokesman said the club had hired an "independent contractor" to unearth follow up emails that "were tagged as spam" and routed to a junk mail folder.

Souths launched an investigation that included Karyn Murphy from the NRL Integrity Unit and Lea Drake from the law Enforcement Conduct Commission on Friday night.

The NRL Integrity Unit is conducting its own investigation and has the power to enforce further sanctions if it feels the club hasn't dealt with the matter adequately.



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