Mitchell Pearce has confirmed that his wedding has been scrapped days before it was set to go ahead after a "private" matter that is being played out very publicly.
Pearce and his girlfriend Kristin Scott were set to tie the knot in Byron Bay on Tuesday, before those plans were shelved amid an alleged texting scandal involving the player.
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The Daily Telegraph reported that some of the 150 guests expected at the wedding were notified as late as Christmas Eve that it had been called off.
The same report alleges Pearce told teammates he had been caught sending an inappropriate series of flirty text messages to a female staff member at the Newcastle club.
It's understood Pearce's fiancee and the boyfriend of the Knights staffer have both seen the messages.
Pearce told the Daily Telegraph that wedding had not been cancelled but rather “postponed” and said he was “filthy about people spreading rumours”.
“It’s COVID mate … and it’s private,” Pearce said.
“We’re sorting things out. It’s a really stressful time for us. It’s our business, no-one else’s.”
Knights media manager Frank Barrett refused to give further details about the situation to the Daily Telegraph, insisting it was a "private matter".
“The Newcastle Knights are aware of the issue but it’s a private matter that stays between the two individuals.”
Pearce hoping to extend stay at Newcastle
The off-contract Pearce has declared he wants to stay at the Knights beyond the end of next season, with negotiations ongoing with the club.
The 31-year-old premiership-winning halfback had hoped a deal would be finalised before Christmas.
"The process is underway, I'm happy where it's all at. I'm having open conversation with the club," he said earlier in December.
"I love it here (in Newcastle).
"There's obviously a process you've got to go through to work out where everything ends up but I love the club here and I want to stay here."
The Knights are also eager to lock up their star half who has spent the past three seasons with the club after a switch from the Sydney Roosters.
After coming on the open market on November 1, Pearce has been linked with a return to the Roosters, with other NRL rivals also interested.
However, his preference is to stay in Newcastle and lead the club to an elusive premiership after a disappointing finish to the 2020 season.
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