Yvonne Sampson breaks silence on Cameron Smith affair rumour

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Cameron Smith, pictured here with his wife and children.
Yvonne Sampson has addressed rumours about Cameron Smith. Image: Getty

Yvonne Sampson has broken her silence on salacious rumours of an affair with NRL champion Cameron Smith.

The false rumours have been swirling since 2018, however Smith and Fox Sports host Sampson refused to address them for nearly three years in the hope they would go away.

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However Smith has opened up on the saga in his new autobiography, describing the toll the nasty rumours took on his marriage.

“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 in an excerpt of the new book.

“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.

Smith also revealed how he was offered the chance to address the rumours on a Fox Sports program in 2018, but declined as to not give them any more oxygen.

Yvonne Sampson, pictured here at the Logie Awards in 2016.
Yvonne Sampson at the Logie Awards in 2016. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Smith opens up on NRL gift controversy

In the tell-all book, Smith also opens up about the nasty controversy surrounding the expensive gifts given to him and his wife by then NRL CEO Todd Greenberg ahead of his 400th game.

Fans erupted after it was revealed the NRL had gifted Barbara a ring worth tens of thousand of dollars, with many believing the money would have been better spent on junior rugby league.

“It was claimed the money could have been better spent on grassroots football,” Smith wrote.

“I could not believe what our game had become. This had overstepped the mark. And Barb was devastated.

“What was worse we were blamed for taking money away from where it should be spent – as if we were stealing money from junior clubs.

Cameron Smith, pictured here with wife Barbara and Todd Greenberg in 2019.
Cameron Smith with wife Barbara and Todd Greenberg in 2019. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

“Things were getting out of control and it forced me, at the end of the 2019 season, to ask myself some serious questions.

“Should I walk away from the game? Or keep playing and put my family through this unwanted scrutiny.”

Smith said his wife wanted to give the ring back, but eventually kept it and wore it to the 2020 grand final.

Meanwhile, Smith insists he still hasn’t made a decision about retirement despite widespread speculation.

The 37-year-old has made a record 430 NRL appearances, but appeared to claim in his book he was no closer to knowing whether it was the right time or not.

He pointed to NRL greats such as Billy Slater, Jonathan Thurston and Paul Gallen and their insistence they knew when it was the right time.

But Smith claimed he has not had that moment where he has woken up and said “I just can’t do it”.

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