Allegations against Sam Burgess ‘orchestrated’ by his ex-wife, court hears

The lawyer for Sam Burgess has labelled allegations of drug use and domestic violence against his client as "orchestrated propaganda" and "retaliation" by the former Souths skipper's former wife Phoebe Burgess.

Lawyer Bryan Wrench told Moss Vale Local Court on Wednesday the serious allegations made in The Australian last week had been “sprung” on Mr Burgess’ legal team.

Lawyers for Sam Burgess say the allegations against the former Souths skipper is “orchestrated propaganda”.Credit:Getty Images

Mr Wrench said Ms Burgess handed a 50-page affidavit over to police six days after Mr Burgess made an application to the Family Court, believed to be in relation to the couple's children.

"Our position quite bluntly is this appears to be born out of malice or retaliation," he said.

Mr Wrench said he would also most likely be filing an application to have both Ms Burgess and her father, Mitchell Hooke, held in contempt of court.

He said the pair are believed to have leaked Ms Burgess' statement to The Australian newspaper, with Mr Wrench telling the court the father and daughter had been engaged in "long conversations" with the paper.

Sam and Phoebe Burgess at the 2014 Dally M awards.Credit:Getty Images

Mr Wrench said his client "categorically denied" all the allegations made against him in the media reports and that his legal team had "not even seen" the 50-page affidavit in question.

Mr Burgess' legal team was at court on Wednesday for an intimidation charge levelled against his client last year, after a clash with Mr Hooke on October 19.

During the incident, it is alleged that Mr Burgess went to the home to visit his children and was asked to leave after tensions escalated between the pair. Ms Burgess called the police and Mr Burgess was charged with domestic violence related intimidation.

Police also took out an AVO on Mr Hooke's behalf against Mr Burgess which is still in place.



The incident took place shortly after Mr Burgess announced his retirement from the game.

Wednesday's court appearance follows last Thursday's report in The Australian newspaper of serious allegations of drug use and domestic violence against Mr Burgess.

The report alleged that he received medical attention from a club doctor during a drug-fuelled episode in 2018 and was allegedly injected with liquid tranquilliser.

The doctor, Dr Andrew McDonald, was accused of obtaining the tranquilliser through a prescription written in Mitchell Hooke's name.

NSW Police and the NRL integrity unit have launched separate investigations into the allegations. Mr Burgess has stood down from his role as a coaching assistant with the Rabbitohs while the investigations are ongoing.

During an early court date over the matter, Mr Wrench requested that Ms Burgess be cross-examined by his lawyers and police over the altercation.

The matter has been adjourned until October 21.

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