Phoebe Burgess has shed light on her marriage breakdown with league great Sam Burgess and the role her kids have played in helping her cope with the messy situation.
Rabbitohs legend Sam Burgess last month saw his conviction for intimidating his father-in-law quashed after a judge said there was reasonable doubt the offence occurred.
'SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ON': Storm at centre of concussion drama
'UNBELIEVABLE': Never-before-seen moment stuns league world
The legal dramas followed an ugly marriage breakdown between Sam and Phoebe in which the league player was at the centre of drug and domestic violence allegations.
He has strenuously denied the claims.
The Burgesses were married in 2015 but announced their split in 2019, weeks after the pair welcomed second child William ‘Billy’ Burgess in December, 2018.
They also share daughter Poppy, born in January 2017.
After the marriage ended, Phoebe and the kids moved to her parents Sarah and Mitchell Hooke's Bowral property in the NSW Southern Highlands, where they currently live.
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph's Stellar, the former journalist opened up about the marriage ordeal and the brutal toll it's taken on her emotionally.
Phoebe says her two kids, aged four and two, have been vital in helping her cope with "a lot of ugly stuff" that accompany her high-profile relationship breakdown.
“I have days where I want to give up and fall apart and I just want to break – I want to go to sleep and not wake up for a while, for everything to stop, but you can’t,” Phoebe told Stellar.
“It sounds awful but being trapped in motherhood and being trapped in responsibility has saved my life.”
Phoebe's mum Sarah praised her daughter's resolve after admitting that "no one should have to go through what she’s been through".
However, Phoebe says it's her two children who have given her "purpose" and the strength to overcome adversity.
“I’m really proud that through the loss and grief, they’ve (the kids) never felt it. They’ve been so loved and I don’t think they ever felt anything was taken from them.”
Burgess appeal upheld by judge
Former South Sydney premiership winner Burgess was found guilty in February of intimidating Phoebe's dad Mitchell, before successfully appealing the ruling in March.
A magistrate in February found the 32-year-old Burgess had yelled "f*** you, I'm going to get you" 20 centimetres from Mitchell Hooke's face during an expletive-riddled rage, sparked when Burgess was asked to leave the Hookes' Southern Highlands property in October 2019.
Goulburn District Court Judge Mark Williams last month upheld Burgess's appeal, saying the former league star's version of events was "at least, reasonably possible".
He found "of little relevance" the evidence of the only third-party witness, Mr Hooke's daughter and Burgess's sister-in-law Harriet, who had come upon the men arguing after the alleged threats were made.
"This was a case of the word of Burgess against the word of Hooke," the judge said.
The full interview with Phoebe Burgess can be read in the current issue of Stellar.
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.