Rabbitohs star Cody Walker says he will accept whatever punishment the NRL has in store for him after explaining the tragic family situation behind an ugly video that has emerged of him on social media.
NSW Police on Monday confirmed they are investigating the alleged incident after a bizarre video emerged online showing the NRL star kicking a man in the chest in a Casino street last year.
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Detectives from Richmond Police District have commenced an investigation into a brawl in Casino in December, with the high-profile South Sydney player alleging footage from the incident has been used in a blackmail attempt against him for $20,000.
The original incident was not reported to police.
While South Sydney claimed in a statement the incident occurred in October last year, police say the altercation took place on December 1.
In the video, two men are facing off in the street when a shirtless Walker charges into the frame, kicking one man in the chest and sending him stumbling backwards.
The NSW State of Origin half is later seen being ushered away from the scene by an unknown person when a second confrontation sparks up and is eventually defused.
Walker revealed to Channel Nine on Monday that he had been mourning the loss of a family member and drinking alcohol, before the incident took place.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) May 18, 2020
“I was trying to protect a family member after the loss of one of my first cousins who we lost through suicide,” Walker said on Channel Nine News.
“She was 24 years of age and we were grieving her. Seeing her brother who is my first cousin, seeing him fight the first thing that popped into my head was I just need to stop it.
“It was a very emotional time for myself and the family leading into that week,” Walker explained.
“It was not a true reflection of my character and who I am as a person.
“I let the club know straight away after the incident.
“I had no recollection that there was a video. The video came out and I let Souths now.
Walker says he will accept whatever sanction the club or the NRL hands down over the incident.
"I will not be appealing. I'm very, very sorry. I've let a lot of people down, my family, the club, the fans, the members, the game,” Walker said.
Walker contacted police after extortion attempt
The Rabbitohs and Walker both confirmed that he contacted NSW Police over claims he was being blackmailed.
It's understood Walker was contacted by an unknown person on Saturday night and asked for money or the video would be sold to media outlets.
In a statement given to AAP, NSW Police confirmed they are investigating both the incident and an extortion attempt reported by Walker on Sunday afternoon.
With the season set to kick off on May 28, both the club and NRL are eager to resolve the issue.
The Rabbitohs are due to play arch-rivals Sydney Roosters in a highly anticipated clash on May 29, with Walker now in doubt to play pending the outcome of the integrity unit.
Any suspension handed down to Walker would be a massive blow for the Rabbitohs, who are already without star centre James Roberts who has entered a rehabilitation facility for mental health help.