‘Absolutely terrified’: Thaiday on toilet sex scandal
Broncos great Sam Thaiday has laid bare the turmoil which engulfed his life after a toilet tryst during his playing days at the Broncos.
And Thaiday's wife Rachel, then his best friend but not part of a relationship, revealed in the We Are Human Podcast available on Apple podcasts and Spotify released on Wednesday, she was so angry and disappointed with Thaiday she temporarily stopped talking to him.
Broncos trio Thaiday, Karmichael Hunt and Darius Boyd were investigated but not charged for an alleged sexual assault in a Fortitude Valley nightclub in September 2008, after a big drinking session which started at lunch the day after a finals win over the Roosters in Sydney.
The players were fined $20,000 each by the Broncos for bringing the club into disrepute.
"I found myself in a consensual experience with two other players and a young lady in a toilet cubicle in a nightclub,'' Thaiday said on the podcast.
"Next morning I got a call from our team manager who said there had been allegations of sexual assault and we had to go to the club to be interviewed by police.
"I can remember being absolutely terrified. I knew I had to make phone calls to my parents and close friends. I knew it would be headline news for a month. I was so scared and terrified what was going to happen.
"I called my mum … the disappointment in her voice cut me. I called Rachel - my best friend to whom I spoke to about everything … that was probably tougher to tell Rachel than my parents.''
Rachel said even though she was not dating Sam at the time their relationship suffered.
"That put a big wedge in our friendship,'' she said.
"We were not together. It was not like he cheated on me. I did not have those feelings. I was let down and just plain and simply angry at such a stupid decision.
"I did not want to speak to him. I could not bare to see him or speak to him. … You are my best friend but at the same time I don't associate with men like you.
"I felt so sick for him because … we had been friends forever. It was kind of like opening a part to your friend and you think I would never have seen coming.''
Rachel said their friendship was patched up by a lunch at Eagle Street Pier which was "heart-wrenching'' and featured a "heavy discussion''.
Rachel and Sam were classmates at high school in Townsville and became best friends after school. They are now married and have two daughters.
Click here to listen to the We Are Human podcast
Originally published as 'Absolutely terrified': Thaiday on toilet sex scandal