The South Sydney Rabbitohs provide the following update regarding the investigation into claims made in today's media:
- The Club's general enquiry email address received emails from an anonymous email address on 27 and 31 May 2018 about alleged lewd behaviour by a player over social media. The emails did not identify the player allegedly involved, nor did they identify the person making the complaint.
- On 1 June, the Club replied through Football Operations and Player Wellbeing Manager Brock Schaefer confirming it would investigate the complaint, requesting further information regarding the alleged incident and asking for contact details for the person making the complaint.
- The Daily Telegraph contacted the Club on the afternoon of Thursday, 13 September stating the Club had failed to respond to emails dated 5 June and 31 August regarding alleged lewd player behaviour.
- Upon receipt of the information from The Daily Telegraph, the Club engaged an independent contractor to conduct an email system audit regarding the emails sent to Mr Schaefer on 5 June and 31 August. These emails, sent again from an anonymous address, were tagged as spam due to the sender's unique email address. As per the Club's junk email filter, these emails were subsequently routed to a junk mail folder and were not received or seen by Mr Schaefer.
- Upon discovery and review of the emails on 13 September, the Club attempted to contact the complainant via an international phone number provided in these emails, but it was no longer in service. Again, the emails did not identify the player allegedly involved, nor did they identify the person making the complaint.
- The Club contacted the person making the complaint again by email on 14 September 2018 and was provided with updated contact details by her.
- Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly has had a discussion with the person making the complaint this afternoon. Mr Solly gave her a commitment that the Club would undertake its investigation of the complaint with the utmost confidentiality and respect. The Club will deal with the complaint thoroughly and will move as quickly as it possibly can to conclude the investigation.
- The Rabbitohs have appointed a panel of Commissioner Lea Drake (Independent), Karyn Murphy (NRL Integrity Unit) Nick Pappas (Rabbitohs Chairman), Emily Grant (Rabbitohs Head of Operations, People and Culture) and Mr Solly to investigate the complaint. Drake is the current Law Enforcement Conduct Commissioner for Integrity.
- The above investigation will be undertaken in conjunction and co-operation with the NRL Integrity Unit.
- The findings of the investigation will be thorough and transparent.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are also aware of an incident involving player Zane Musgrove that occurred on 8 July 2018.
- Following the incident, police charges of common assault, common assault domestic violence related, and intentionally or recklessly destroy/damage property were laid.
- The Rabbitohs were made aware of the incident and immediately informed the NRL's Integrity Unit.
- Musgrove was immediately stood down from playing duties but has since been reinstated following his plea of not guilty to the charges when facing court on 11 July 2018. This course of conduct was supported and endorsed by the NRL's Integrity Unit.
- Musgrove is scheduled to again appear in court on 19 September 2018.
- The South Sydney Football Club takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously and will take decisive action should the charges be proven. The Rabbitohs will be making no further comment on this issue until after the court proceedings.