During an intense interrogation on SAS Australia, retired NRL star Sam Burgess has confessed he was previously unfaithful to his former wife Phoebe Burgess during their four-year marriage.
The 32-year-old who shares Billy, two and Poppy, four, with his ex-wife was unable to hide his emotions as he spoke about his past.
"I don't think I was the greatest husband at times," he said.
"I embarrassed my wife. I'd had an affair with a girl, a woman in Melbourne. That's true," he confessed.
"I was away on tour and regretful that it happened. It would've been a tough place for Phoebe to be."
The couple tied the knot in December 2015 in a lavish wedding at Phoebe's parents' home in the NSW Southern Highlands.
By Christmas 2018, rumours began to swirl that the couple called it quits when photos emerged of Sam leaving the family home with packed bags.
During an interview with Stellar in 2019, Phoebe set the record straight that they were still together, but in 2019 they split up for good.
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 February 2021, after he was found guilty of intimidation against Phoebe's father, that decision was later overturned in the New South Wales District Court.
During the breakdown of their marriage, Sam was forced to retire from the NRL due to a shoulder injury, which he admits was hard for him to accept.
"It was a bit of a knife to the heart," he revealed on SAS.
"I couldn't accept it. I knew two games in I couldn't do my job anymore, so I retired. It was s**t."
When chief instructor Ant Middleton asked Sam if the end of his career and marriage caused him to go down a "path of destruction," he replied, "I didn't know how to manage it. I'm not great with managing emotions."
He continued to explain that while he could handle the stress of sportsmanship when it came to his personal life, it wasn't easy for him.
"When it became emotional stuff with losing my kids, not seeing my kids every day, my marriage breakdown and that put pressure on my ex-wife... I didn't like that."
"I hated that I'd caused pain for other people I couldn't manage."
During the rest of his confession, Sam addressed his drug and alcohol struggles.
In May 2021, the former Rabbitohs player pleaded guilty to three driving charges after he tested positive for cocaine at a police traffic stop – however, he was able to avoid conviction.
"I turned to drinking, taking drugs - I thought I could manage that. Then got pulled [up on a] DUI with drugs in my system, which was all over the press again, which stopped me seeing my kids again. I just checked myself into rehab," reflected Sam.
After the ordeal, he entered a four-week long rehab clinic which he said, "saved his life."
Finally, Sam shared he has stopped drinking completely and has found solace in coaching the Orara Valley's Axemen rugby league team on the NSW north coast.
"The last 18 months, I felt like a loser. My marriage broke down. I'd just retired from sport. My ex father-in-law had taken an AVO against me."
"The last 18 months have been crazy. Everything I touched turned to s--t. Decided to get back on my feet, I started coaching again. We started doing well. I got given the head coaching role," the father of two explained.
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