Police fine Nathan Cleary after virus 'lies' come to light

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Nathan Cleary (pictured left in the middle) performing a TikTok and playing for the Penrith Panthers. (Getty Images)

NSW police have hit Nathan Cleary with a $1000 fine on top of his NRL punishment after he was found to have been untruthful about the extent of his virus breach.

The Penrith Panthers star was originally cleared by police of breaking coronavirus restrictions when he was photographed with five women at his home - although the women received $1000 fines for breaching protocols on non-essential travel.

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Police re-opened their investigation of the incident on Wednesday after a report alleged that Cleary had been out of his home for much of that day and had travelled to pick them up.

Their fine followed within hours.

“Following information received and further inquiries, the man was issued a $1000 penalty infringement notice for non-essential travel via email about 2pm today,” a police statement read.

A remorseful Cleary described his actions as “irresponsible, selfish and pretty stupid” and vowed to grow from his brush with the law after the NRL integrity unit came down hard on the Penrith star.

Cleary, as well as teammate Tyrone May, on Tuesday accepted their two-game NRL ban for social distancing breaches.

The halfback was also slapped with a hefty $30,000 fine for being "untruthful" in dealings with the league's integrity unit.

Cleary’s ban to start with NRL restart

The bans are set to start when the NRL competition resumes on May 28.

It’s the end to a sorry saga for the State of Origin star, who originally received only an NRL fine of $10,000, 60 per cent suspended, and a suspended one-match ban after claiming the women had only dropped by his house for 10 minutes on Anzac Day while waiting for a Uber.

Things went from bad to worse when a video emerged of Cleary in TikTok videos with the group of women and the NRL investigated again, finding he had misled them and imposing the two-game ban and $30,000 fine.

May, Cleary's Panthers teammate and housemate, was fined $15,000 by the NRL for his role during the league's investigation.

Nathan Cleary and the five women were clearly breaching virus restrictions. Image: Nine News

Penrith had hoped they’d put the matter behind them on Tuesday after accepting the NRL punishments for both players.

Coach Ivan Cleary, Nathan's father, said it was out of character for his son, who has had an unblemished record off the field since his debut in 2016.

“He is very remorseful and he's paying the price,” Cleary told the club's website.

“I actually think it could be the making of him, I really do. He's still a young man.

“He knows he's done the wrong thing and he's hurt people.

“In my experience, sometimes the best leadership lessons are done through practising the hard way.”

With AAP