South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold admits being blindsided by the club’s investigation into a lewd video scandal that has rocked their NRL finals series.
One day before their NRL semi-final against St George Illawarra, the Rabbitohs are looking into accusations two stars exposed their private parts without consent in a video chat in May.
An NRL spokesman told AAP that the organisation were still waiting on more information from South Sydney.
News Corp reported a 23-year-old woman emailed the club about the incident in May following the club’s win over the Warriors in New Zealand.
But Seibold said he was only informed about the situation on Thursday, while the NRL were only made aware this week.
“I was briefed on the story yesterday and the accusations yesterday. Obviously the club’s just put out a statement this morning, which I’ve just been briefed on,” Seibold said on Friday.
“Our club treat the accusations seriously, as do the NRL integrity unit. In consultation between the integrity unit and the club, my understanding is our investigation’s ongoing.”
At one point, Seibold threatened to walk out of the press conference in the wake of intense questioning regarding the matter.
“No, I’m not going to answer any further there, they’re accusations at the moment, I said I’m not going to make any comment. If we continue down the route I’m gonna walk away,” Seibold said.
“I’m not obliged to talk about that this morning, I’m obliged to talk about the game tomorrow night and that’s what I’ll talk about going forward.”
The report said the woman emailed the club the day after the alleged incident as a “funny” FaceTime chat became explicit, leaving her feeling “violated and disgusted”.
The woman is believed to own screen shots of one player pulling down his pants to expose his genitals, while the other showed his backside.
After a club spokesperson replied assuring the woman the matter was being taken “seriously”, she decided to go public after follow-up emails to South Sydney went unreturned.
There are suggestions the follow-up correspondence was inadvertently tagged as spam.
Seibold confirmed independent contractors are investigating the email trail, while the club said on Thursday it had only received the woman’s contact details on Thursday.
They have since attempted to make contact.
Seibold said he hadn’t seen any photos and was unsure about the players’ mindset as he had yet to address the group about the matter.
“It’s a little bit of chaos thrown in front of us,” Seibold said.
“It’s not ideal that these accusations come out and they’re front page news. It’s not what anybody wants. It’s not what I want. It’s not what our game needs or wants either.”
Seibold believed the club has acted professionally over the incident.
“I think the club has handled it professionally from what I’ve seen and what I’ve been briefed on,” he said.