Veteran NRL journo Danny Weidler has accused Cameron Smith of using a false rumour about an affair with Yvonne Sampson to garner publicity for his new book.
Smith released his new autobiography ‘The Storm Within’ this week, in which he addressed the nasty rumour about Fox Sports host Sampson.
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In response, Sampson also broke her silence about the rumours, with Smith and Sampson both slamming them as completely false.
However the saga took an extraordinary turn on Tuesday when Weidler took aim at Smith for bringing the rumours back into the spotlight.
“I’m finding it very hard to cop a lot of what Smith is saying,” Weidler said on Triple M radio.
“I didn’t think it had to be part of his book, he obviously did. That’s his decision, that’s fine.
“Where I find it difficult to comprehend is he can bring that up, but won’t deal with the genuine story which is his fallout with Cooper Cronk.
“I don’t know him well enough (to comment on his character), he doesn’t talk to me. He hasn’t talked to me since I started to question his behaviour in the aftermath of the Alex McKinnon incident.
“I reached out to him to try get him to explain it to me, haven’t heard from him. I’ve tried numerous times.
“I don’t have a personal thing with Cameron Smith, (but) some of his behaviour hasn’t impressed me.”
Weidler was referring to Smith’s supposed falling out with former teammate Cooper Cronk, with the journo revealing on Tuesday the “very rude” text that may have sparked it.
Weidler claimed Smith simply replied “No” when Cronk texted him to try and get an RSVP for his wedding with Tara Rushton.
“Where it all went wrong… was the very rude response that Cameron Smith and his family gave to Cooper Cronk and his family when he was invited to Cooper’s wedding,” Weidler said.
“It was a terse reply to a wedding invitation.”
NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent said the former Melbourne Storm teammates no longer have a relationship and the one-word text was the “last contact they ever privately shared”.
Smith and Sampson break silence on affair rumour
The false rumours about Smith and Sampson first surfaced in 2018, however they refused to address them for nearly three years in the hope they would go away.
But Smith decided to address them in his new book, revealing the toll they took on his wife Barbara.
“Honestly, if I was going to have an affair – which I never would – why would I do it with someone with a profile as big as hers? And in my own sport?” Smith wrote.
“It was just cruel… rumours that were completely untrue. When I told (wife) Barb she was shattered. It floored her.
“I could handle it but I was concerned for her and Yvonne, who had been around our game for a long time and we all know how well-respected she is.
“She (Yvonne) was just about to get married and it was just so sad. The first time I did an interview with her after it I felt for her.”
On Sunday, Sampson also broke her silence to slam the “malicious” rumours.
“My husband and I were made aware of these absurd and baseless rumours when they surfaced three years ago,” Sampson told News Corp.
“They are utterly false. This malicious gossip has no bearing on my life, career as a journalist or love of rugby league.’’
Sampson, who married Channel Nine reporter Chris O’Keefe in October 2018, said she reached out to Smith’s wife Barbara when the rumours first started circulating.
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