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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Sam Burgess: Ex-wife Phoebe enjoys family dinner after giving evidence

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A relaxed Phoebe Burgess has enjoyed a family dinner just hours after she told a court why she leaked damaging documents about her ex-husband.

A relaxed Phoebe Burgess has enjoyed a family barbecue just hours after admitting in court she gave damaging documents about her ex-husband to a newspaper.

In a video posted to Instagram, most of the family can be seen gathering for dinner on Monday night after a tense day of evidence at Moss Vale Local Court.

Former NRL star Sam Burgess has pleaded not guilty to one count of intimidation, and a back-up charge of common assault, relating to an alleged verbal altercation with Ms Burgess’s dad Mitchell Hooke.

Ms Burgess seemed relaxed at the family dinner and smiled as she was filmed while wearing a long blue dress and no shoes.

Mr Hooke was spotted sitting at the head of the table as the family gathered for dinner in high spirits as the sun set.

Ms Burgess’s sister Harriet and brother-in-law Gene Fairbanks were also at the dinner.

The video, which was captioned “Friends and family” also showed children bouncing on a trampoline and playing on the grass.

Earlier in the day, Ms Burgess had been questioned over why she gave documents to The Australian detailing unrelated domestic violence and drug allegations against her former husband.

The allegations – which Mr Burgess has denied – and parts of Ms Burgess’s statement were subsequently published in The Australian last month.

Ms Burgess said that she didn’t want to be part of a “cover-up” when asked in court by Mr Burgess’s barrister, Phillip Boulten SC, why she went public with her allegations.

“The Australian publication approached me about certain matters, rumours that had been circulating,” Ms Burgess told the court on Monday.

“Instead of covering up, which is so typical of the system that I was part of, which I believe is toxic in the NRL, I decided to hand over the documents that I had prepared for my lawyers, prepared over time … I gave it to what I felt like was a trustworthy publication and not covering up and contributing to a system that I believe failed myself … and failed Sam Burgess.”

The hearing before Magistrate Robert Rabbidge will conclude in January.

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