Burgess lawyer’s ‘retaliation’ claims against Phoebe


Sam Burgess' lawyer has accused his client's ex-partner and her father of leaking "orchestrated propaganda" of drug abuse and domestic violence to the media.

The former NRL superstar did not attend Moss Vale Local Court on Wednesday on one charge of assault and one charge of intimidation against Phoebe Burgess' father Mitch Hooke.

The ex-South Sydney captain has pleaded not guilty to intimidation and indicated a not guilty plea to the assault charge.

Police charged Burgess after an argument escalated between the two at the Hooke family's $2 million Bowral property on October 19, 2019. Burgess was visiting his two children before he was asked to leave by his father-in-law.

Sam and Phoebe Burgess. Picture: Ryan Pierse
Sam and Phoebe Burgess. Picture: Ryan Pierse

His daughter Phoebe Burgess handed a 50-page affidavit to officers at Southern Highlands Police station last Wednesday alleging her ex-husband had drug benders and was domestically violent.

Burgess' solicitor Bryan Wrench told the court on Wednesday Burgess attended a separate court for an unrelated matter and "filed something" on September 24, which he said prompted the "retaliation".

"Six days later she made a 50-page statement to police," Mr Wrench told the court.

"It has been given to the Australian Newspaper."

Mr Wrench said he had not seen the affidavit and would be filing an application for contempt of court.

"That statement has not been filed. We only discovered this by way of publication. Six or seven times there is a reference to that statement," he said.

"(We ask) police to disclose any witnesses of proceedings".

Phoebe with her father Mitch Hooke.
Phoebe with her father Mitch Hooke.


Phoebe and Sam split three years after their wedding. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Phoebe and Sam split three years after their wedding. Picture. Phil Hillyard

When asked who was in contempt by Magistrate Ian Cheetam, Mr Wrench replied: "Ms Phoebe Burgess or Mitchell Hooke."

"Our position is quite bluntly … It appears this is born out of malice or retaliation. Orchestrated propaganda. We categorically deny those allegations."

Mr Wrench said outside court he would likely file the application on Wednesday.

The matter was adjourned to October 21. The hearing for Burgess' intimidation charge is November 16.

In the last week NSW Police set up a strike force to investigate shocking allegations of domestic violence and drug abuse by Burgess set out in Phoebe Burgess' affidavit.

The police and the NRL will both investigate allegations the Souths covered up Burgess' alleged drug abuse before he was promoted to captain of the club.

Burgess stepped down from his coaching role with the club after The Australian exposed the allegations on Thursday.

Burgess has strongly denied these allegations.

Phoebe and Sam split three years after they wed at Mr Hooke's Bowral property in January 2019.

Originally published as Burgess lawyer's 'retaliation' claims against Phoebe