'Hurt a lot': NRL player breaks down over sex tape saga

·3-min read
Pictured here, Tyrone May chokes back tears talking about his sex tape scandal.
Tyrone May was reduced to tears discussing the toll a sex tape scandal has had on him. Pic: Channel Seven.

Penrith Panthers star Tyrone May has been brought to tears discussing the emotional toll a sex tape scandal took on him and his family.

The 24-year-old revealed earlier in the year that he almost walked away from the NRL as he waited for a decision on whether he would be jailed after he pleaded guilty of recording an intimate image without consent.

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Having pleaded guilty to the charges from March last year, it wasn't until January that May narrowly avoided going behind bars.

He was instead sentenced to a three-year community corrections order, which he is completing as a grounds keeper at a dog park in Luddenham in Sydney's west.

May missed the entire 2019 season with the Panthers, before making his long-awaited return this season.

Speaking to Channel Seven about the sorry saga, May broke down when revealing how he had to explain the situation to family members - especially his younger sister.

“To tell them when it happened was the hardest thing for me,” May said.

“For her to realise that her brother is on TV for what I was on for, that hurt a lot.

“I didn’t realise how much drama and trouble I could cause. Once it’s on the internet, it doesn’t go away.

“If I was the father of a girl and that happened to my daughter I’d be pretty filthy, so I’m honestly sorry.”

May admits that the thought of going behind bars weighed heavily on his shoulders and to eventually escape jail time was an enormous relief.

During his hearing, magistrate Robyn Denes labelled May's actions "reprehensible", with the scandal also taking its toll on his Panthers side.

May saga affected Penrith’s form in 2019

May's transgression was part of a series of sex tapes that went viral early in 2019.

The off-field sagas had a disastrous effect on Penrith's start to last season, when they lost eight of their opening 10 games.

Seen here, Tyrone May in action for the Penrith Panthers in 2020.
May made his return to the Panthers' playing squad in 2020. Pic: Getty

When they finally broke their losing stretch in May, coach Ivan Cleary admitted his side "went off a cliff" when the indiscretions were exposed.

May, who had been stood down under the league's controversial no-fault stand-down policy but trained through the entire period, considering quitting on multiple occasions.

"Yeah there were times there I was ready to quit, to be honest with you," he said.

"I put a lot of blame on me personally, last year, for how the team went.

"That was hard."

May has so far made six appearances for the Panthers this season, coming off the bench as a utility player on four occasions.

with AAP

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