The Rabbitohs have joined forces with the NRL to probe claims two Rabbitohs stars exposed their private parts in a video chat with a woman.
South Sydney have been plunged into a lewd video chat scandal on the eve of their semi-final against St George Illawarra, with the salacious claims referred to the NRL’s Integrity Unit.
The Rabbitohs have enlisted the NRL to probe accusations published in the Daily Telegraph that two high-profile players exposed their private parts without consent in a video chat call with a woman on May 26.
“The South Sydney Rabbitohs will investigate claims in today’s media regarding alleged player behaviour in May this year,” a club statement said.
“A thorough investigation will be undertaken in conjunction, and in close co-operation, with the NRL’s Integrity Unit.”
The 23-year-old woman emailed the NRL club the day after the alleged incident as a “funny” FaceTime chat became explicit, leaving her feeling “violated and disgusted”.
It is alleged one player pulled down his pants to expose his genitals while the other showed his backside.
The woman reportedly has screen shots of the stars engaging in the lewd act.
After a club spokeswoman replied assuring the woman the matter was being taken “seriously”, she decided to go public after follow-up emails to South Sydney went unreturned.
Coach Anthony Seibold was briefed on the allegations on Thursday afternoon, admitting it was an off-field distraction in the lead-up to Saturday night’s must-win clash at ANZ Stadium.
“It’s a little bit of chaos thrown in front of us,” Seibold told reporters.
“We’ve got the players in here this morning. We’ve got our last practice just before a semi-final game.
“It’s not ideal that these accusations come out and they’re front page news. It’s not what anybody wants. It’s not what I want. It’s not what our game needs or wants either.”
The Rabbitohs are attempting to reach out to the woman.
“Since receiving contact details last night for the female involved, Rabbitohs officials have attempted to make contact via phone and email,” the statement said.
“The Rabbitohs take any allegations of player misbehaviour very seriously.”
The club believes the emails may have inadvertently been tagged as spam and has hired an independent contractor to confirm the theory, a spokeswoman said.