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Celeb News

The dramatic rise and fall of Sam and Phoebe Burgess' relationship

The couple split for good three years ago.

By Alex Lilly
Sam and Phoebe Burgess were once the darlings of the sporting world, but the former NRL player and TV journalist's marriage has been marred by scandals since their relationship breakdown in 2019.
The pair met at an Avicii concert in January 2014 and didn't go public with their romance until September that year.
In December 2015, the couple were married and tied the knot at Phoebe's parents' home in the NSW Southern Highlands.
Daughter Poppy was born in January 2017 and son William "Billy" in December 2018, but just three months before Billy's arrival, it was revealed that Sam had become embroiled in a sexting scandal. Allegations were made that South Sydney Rabbitohs players, Sam's teammates, had sent lewd, non-consensual images to a 23-year-old woman using his social media account.
At Christmas 2018, Phoebe wasn't seen at the Burgess family lunch and a few days later, photos emerged of Sam leaving his and Phoebe's family home carrying packed bags suggesting that they'd called it quits.
NRL player Sam and TV journalist Phoebe married in 2015. Getty
Speaking to Stellar in April 2019, Phoebe confirmed that she and Sam were still together.
"The main thing I'd like to say is that we're a young family and we're learning every single day," she told the publication.
"Sam and I will have good days and we'll have trying days. We'll have challenges but it's how you deal with those challenges together. Every single person on this planet who is married knows it isn't perfect. It's never going to be perfect."
She added: "I've always believed that in the end, love conquers all."
However in October 2019, the couple split for good. At the time, The Australian newspaper shared a damning report that detailed Sam's alleged episodes of drug use, domestic violence and abusive behaviour.
It was also reported that police took an AVO against Sam for the protection of his father-in-law, Mitchell Hooke.
Sam's lawyer told The Australian the claims were "false". Sam denied the allegations and hasn't been charged over the claims.
In March 2021, after he was found guilty of intimidation against Phoebe's father, that decision was later overturned in the New South Wales District Court.
Just three months before Billy's arrival, it was revealed that Sam had become embroiled in a sexting scandal. Instagram
Since splitting from Sam, Phoebe along with her two young children have moved to her parent's Bowral property in the Southern Highlands - the same place as her wedding location.
However, Phoebe told Stellar that every memory she has there is a happy one.
"Even when things have been really s**t, it's a good memory because it happened. I was very much in love on my wedding day and I'll never forget my dad walking me down the aisle. And I'll never forget how beautiful it was," she told the publication.
She now has her own property in the same area and remarked that motherhood and the responsibility saved her.
Phoebe is also keeping her married surname rather than going back to Hooke for the sake of her children.
The couple, who share children Poppy and Billy, briefly reconciled in 2019. Instagram
Sam told the same publication in August 2021 that co-parenting with Phoebe has been much harder than he thought it would be.
"Essentially, I still think it is the right decision for us both. I still care about Phoebe, we have two amazing kids. We just didn't work out as a married couple," he said.
During his appearance on the Channel 7 reality show SAS Australia, the NRL player admitted to cheating on his wife during their marriage.
"I don't think I was the greatest husband at times," he reflected. "I embarrassed my wife. I'd had an affair with a girl, a woman in Melbourne. That's true."
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