Police have cleared Sam Burgess of any wrongdoing after a year-long investigation sparked by allegations of domestic abuse made by his ex-wife Phoebe.
Phoebe had accused the retired NRL star of domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse during their marriage.
The allegations were published in The Australian newspaper in October last year and denied vehemently by Burgess at the time.
Having spent more than 12 months looking at the claims New South Wales Police confirmed the investigation was over in a 12-word statement.
‘Following extensive inquiries, no further police action is expected to be taken,’ a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
Burgess’s solicitor Chris Murphy first revealed police had closed its investigation into his client in a Twitter post on Wednesday afternoon.
‘Re media claims against my client Sam Burgess by ex,’ he wrote.
‘NSW Police Operational Legal Advice unit just recommended no criminal prosecution(s) be preferred against Sam Burgess in relation to these allegations.
‘That now concludes this investigation.’
Mr Murphy’s firm has acted for Burgess through a series of legal matters the former Souths captain has faced over the past 12 months.
‘Much hurt and harm has been done to Sam Burgess,’ he wrote on Twitter in a follow-up post.
‘He has been damaged. He wants the public to be made aware that allegations have been thoroughly examined and at length by NSW Police and there is nothing for him to be called to answer.’
The original reports in The Australian followed ‘a four-month investigation’ and included statements from Phoebe and her father Mitchell Hooke.
The newspaper said the reports relied upon ‘pharmaceutical records, sworn statements to NSW Police, statutory declarations and witness accounts’.
They also drew on ‘call logs, emails, text messages, bank records, WhatsApp exchanges and Uber receipts.’
The allegations cost Burgess his coaching job with South Sydney and commentary work with Fox Sports.
Defamation lawyer Mark O’Brien, acting for Burgess, said after the stories were published: ‘The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client.’
‘It is apparent sources of the false allegations are those currently in dispute with my client over various issues.’
Phoebe had made a 50-page statement containing claims about her former husband’s lifestyle and accusations about his conduct towards her.
Much of that material was published in The Australian and NSW Police subsequently launched its own investigation, issuing a brief statement at the time.
‘On Wednesday 30 September 2020, officers from The Hume Police District received a report outlining various allegations relating to the conduct of a 31-year-old man,’ it stated.
‘Police have commenced inquiries and as these inquiries are in their infancy, no further comment will be provided at this time.’
The original newspaper stories came as Burgess was facing an accusation he had intimidated Mr Hooke in a confrontation at the Hooke family’s Southern Highlands home.
Burgess’s lawyers suggested Phoebe and her father had leaked information to The Australian ahead of the intimidation charge being heard.
Both Hookes agreed they had given information to The Australian but denied they had done so to destroy Burgess’s reputation.
The premiership-wining footballer was eventually cleared of the charge of intimidation and an accompanying apprehended violence order was withdrawn.
Burgess has since been in rehabilitation and appeared on the last season of SAS Australia where he admitted drug use and infidelity during his marriage.
Sam and Phoebe married in 2015, separated in late 2018 and rekindled their relationship in early 2019.
They split permanently on October 2 that year and later divorced. They share custody of daughter Poppy, four, and Billy, two.Internet Explorer Channel Network