Phoebe Burgess and her family gathered for a barbecue just hours after a messy court hearing where she admitted to giving damaging documents about her ex-husband Sam to a newspaper.
Most of the family attended the dinner on Monday night following the hearing at Moss Vale Court, where NRL star Sam is defending charges of assault and intimidation against Phoebe’s father Mitchell Hooke.
Phoebe looked relaxed in a long blue dress and no shoes, and even smiled as her mother Sarah filmed the dinner.
The family appeared to be in high spirits as they sat down for the meal while the sun began to set.
Phoebe Burgess and her family gathered for a barbecue just hours after the messy court hearing where she admitted to giving damaging documents about her ex-husband Sam to a newspaper
The family appeared to be in high spirits as they sat down for the meal as the sun began to set
Phoebe’s sister Harriet and brother-in-law Gene Fairbanks were spotted at the table in the footage, which was posted to Instagram.
Family patriarch Mr Hooke can be seen at the head of the table, enjoying the night’s festivities.
Children can be seen playing on the grass and bouncing on the trampoline in the footage which was captioned ‘Friends and family’.
The dinner marked the end to a long day in Moss Vale Court, where Phoebe was questioned over why she handed over the damaging documents to The Australian newspaper, which were used in a report accusing Burgess of domestic violence and wild partying.
Phillip Boulten SC asked if she had done so to help destroy her husband’s reputation.
Phoebe: ‘No, I don’t agree with that.’
Phoebe looked relaxed, wearing a long blue dress and no shoes, and even smiled as her mother Sarah filmed the dinner
Phoebe’s sister Harriet (pictured) and brother-in-law Gene Fairbanks can be spotted at the table in the footage which was posted to Instagram
The mother-of-two said she was contacted by The Australian ‘about certain matters, certain rumours that had been circulating’ about her husband.
She had cooperated with the paper, leading to the bombshell October 2 article.
‘Instead of covering up, which is so typical of the system that I was a part of, instead of working alongside that systemic cover up that I believe is toxic within the NRL,’ Phoebe told the court
‘I gave it to what I thought was a trustworthy publication so that I was not covering up a system that I believe failed myself… and failed Sam Burgess.’
Mr Boulten asked if Phoebe had known giving documents to The Australian would cause ‘significant damage’ to Burgess’s reputation.
‘If that was the consequence of truth being told then I understand that that would have been a by-product of these events,’ she said.
The court heard that Sam’s ex-wife Phoebe and her father Mitchell Hooke had leaked evidence to The Australian ahead of the pending court date
Sam Burgess (left), his mum Julie (back) and solicitor Bryan Wrench (right) leave Moss Vale Local Court on Monday after a lengthy day of hearing into assault charges against the ex-NRL star
The court heard that Sam’s ex-wife Phoebe and her father Mitchell Hooke had leaked evidence to The Australian ahead of the pending court date
The revelation came during the hearing over two charges of assault which were laid against Sam Burgess following an alleged confrontation with her father Mitchell Hooke in October 2019.
The English-born rugby league legend is being supported in court by his mum Julie and a team of top legal representatives, while his ex-wife and her parents are also in court.
Mr Hooke was also called to give evidence and denied setting out to destroy the footballer’s career after the breakdown of his marriage to wife Phoebe during questioning on Monday.
He did however admit to also talking to The Australian.
Mr Hooke said one of the authors of the article in The Australian, journalist Sharri Markson, had once been Phoebe’s editor at a magazine.
He had previously had professional dealings with Markson, having been interviewed by her upon his retirement.
Sarah, Harriet and Mitchell Hooke leave Moss Vale Local Court on Monday after supporting Phoebe
The NRL star’s ex-wife smiled as she walked out of court with a policeman. Inside court she said she handed over the statements to prevent a ‘toxic’ cover-up of Burgess’s behaviour by the league
Sam’s ex-wife Phoebe leaves court after admitting to giving damaging documents about her ex-husband Sam to The Australian newspaper, but she denied she did so to destroy his reputation
He had also offered her advice before she appeared as part of a panel on a television program.
Markson had texted her to ask for an interview about the allegations against Burgess and he had agreed.
THE BURGESS’S AND THE HOOKES:
2014: Sam Burgess and Phoebe Hooke meet at a concert for leading DJ Avicii
2015: The pair are married at Hooke’s family estate outside Bowral, south of Sydney
2017: Phoebe and Sam welcome their first child, daughter Poppy
2018: Little over a year later, Phoebe gives birth to a son Billy
– The couple split just before Christmas
2019: On October 19, Sam is involved in an alleged altercation with father-in-law Mitchell Hooke. He is subsequently charged with two counts of assault
2020: The Australian publishes an article about Burgess’s life and marriage on October 2
– He denies the allegations made in the article, with his lawyers claiming both his ex-wife and her father had leaked to the paper
– Details of the bitter fall out between the once happy couple is now playing out in Moss Vale Local Court
That interview had later been put into the form of a statutory declaration which Mr Hooke gave to police.
Burgess’s lawyer put it to him that he had told Burgess: ‘I’m going to destroy you if it’s the last thing I do. I’m going to destroy you and your career.’
‘You have taken steps to destroy his reputation as best as you can humanly do it,’ Phillip Boulten SC said to Mr Hooke.
Mr Hooke, who denied that suggestion, said he was left in ‘absolute terror’ after a confrontation in which he claimed Burgess threatened to hit him in his own home.
The revelation came during a hearing in Moss Vale Local Court over two charges of assault which were laid against Burgess following the alleged confrontation back in October 2019.
Mr Hooke took to the witness stand and told the court on Monday that Burgess had initially seemed normal while visiting the house until told it was time to go.
‘Sam said, “Nuh, no way.” I said, “Sorry?” He said, “Nuh, this is f***ing inhumane”. He said, “This is f***ing inhumane and you know it”.’
Mr Hooke said Burgess had then stood up and walked across the room.
‘I said to him, “You can’t abuse me like that in my own home”,’ Mr Hooke told the court. ‘In a place where we’ve provided you love and support and afforded you sanctuary.’
Mr Hooke said he did not recall Burgess telling him, ‘You’re a bad person. You’re a bad person inside and you’re bad outside. You’ve got a bad heart.’
He also denied telling Burgess, ‘You run away from everything in your life’, ‘No one loves you’ and ‘Your family don’t even love you.’
Mr Hooke further denied saying to Burgess about his property, Daffodil Downs: ‘What have you done, Sam? All this could have been yours.’
Mr Hooke said Burgess responded by saying, ‘F*** you, you’re a piece of s***. You’re just like your daughter. Your’e a piece of s***.’
‘I was taken aback because I had never seen that behaviour directed at me by Sam before,’ Mr Hooke said.
Sam Burgess arrives at Moss Vale Local Court on Monday ahead of a much-anticipated hearing on charges of intimidation and common assault
The retired NRL star was supported by his fiercely protective mother Julie (left) and armed with top Sydney silk Phillip Boulten SC as well as leading young solicitor Bryan Wrench (right)
‘He said, “F*** you, you’re a piece of s***”. I said, “Sam, you’ve got to go”.
‘He came straight over, right in my face. He said, “F*** you. I’m going to get you. You’ve set all of this up.” He was wild. He was yelling.
‘I’m standing there, there’s a six foot five, 118 kilo bloke threatening to beat me, threatening to hit me. I’ve never felt fear like it.
‘I said, “You’re going to hit a 64-year-old man?” And he said, “I’m going to get you, I’m going to f***ing get you.” I said, “They’re going to put you away Sam”.’
Asked what he thought was going to happen next, Mr Hooke said: ‘I was resigned to being hit. I had absolutely no doubt.’
Mr Hooke said Burgess’s eyes were ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’.
Dressed in a navy blue suit and carrying a black folder, a staunch looking Burgess walks into court alongside his mother Julie (left)
Mr Hooke (pictured with wife Sarah) was also called to give evidence and denied setting out to destroy the footballer’s career after the breakdown of his marriage to wife Phoebe during questioning on Monday.
Mr Hooke told the court that while at his property visiting his children, Burgess had initially seemed normal while visiting the house until told it was time to go
‘I had never been threatened like that in my life. And I had never had fear like that in my life.’
‘He was swearing at me, “You’re a piece of s***. Everybody who knows you, everybody I talk to says you’re a f***ing piece of shit.’
Mr Hooke said he tried to reason with Burgess and calm him down.
‘You’re fighting with the NRL. You’re fighting with your club. You’re fighting with everybody,’ he told him.
Mr Hooke said when he spoke to his daughter about the incident she said, ‘Dad, you don’t know what he’s like, you don’t know what he’s capable of.’
Mr Hooke gave evidence of an earlier visit on October 16 at which Burgess spoke to him in a machinery shed about the breakdown of his marriage to Phoebe.
‘It was calm, it was considered,’ he said. ‘It was awkward. Sam was very emotional.
‘He opened up by saying he was unhappy. The reason the marriage had failed was because it was unhappy.’
Phoebe Burgess (right) arrives at Moss Vale Local Court alongside her mother Sarah (left)
While his wife and daughter entered through the front doors of the court, Mitchell Hooke went into court alone
‘I said: “Sam, you’ve got to learn to love yourself before you can love others. I you love somebody you’ll die for them”.’
Phoebe’s younger sister Harriet was also three that day and said she saw Burgess standing over her father in a ‘menacing stance’ pointing his right finger at Mr Hooke.
‘He said, “What kind of grandfather are you? Everyone that knows you hates you. I’m going to get you”,’ Ms Hooke said.
‘I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen because his behaviour was so erratic, he was so angry.’
Mr Hooke appeared to be in a state of shock after the incident.
‘Normally Dad’s very strong and talks a lot,’ Ms Hooke said. ‘That’s just his personality.
‘But this time he could barely put a sentence together. His voice was wavering. He was still shaky.’
In happier times: Burgess’s lawyers have accused either his estranged wife Phoebe, his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke or both of leaking damaging claims about Burgess to the media. The three are pictured together
The court was also played a recording of Triple Zero call made by Phoebe after the alleged incident.
In the call Phoebe told police: ‘It’s Sam Burgess but it can’t be made public’.
In the Triple Zero call, Phoebe said she wanted to ‘report’ the incident but admitted they ‘did not need’ immediate police assistance.
But before making the call, the court heard Phoebe tried to ring Brisbane QC Sydney Williams, a family friend, and spoke to her solicitor Carly Middleton.
‘Hi there,’ Phoebe said in the call. ‘I’m just reporting something that’s just happened at my home.
‘I don’t need to have anyone here, I just need to report something.
‘My husband and I are going through a bit of a separation at the moment.’
Sam Burgess married Phoebe Hooke at her family home just outside Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands in December 2015. The couple had two children and split late last year
Burgess has pleaded not guilty to charges of intimidation and common assault after an alleged confrontation with his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke at the Hooke family home (pictured)
Phoebe then goes on to explain certain arrangements she had with Burgess in relation to their children.
‘He has threatened and abused my father, who’s the children’s grandfather,’ she says.
‘It’s Sam Burgess but it can’t be made public. He’s done this to me too.’
Phoebe assures police no one is physically injured and says there is no AVO in place against Burgess.
‘We’re all fine,’ she says.
Burgess’s father-in-law Mitchell Hooke was shaking and looked like he was having a panic attack after the confrontation with the NRL legend, the court heard.
Phoebe said she spoke to her father on the phone shortly after Burgess had left the family’s home after visiting their children.
Mitchell Hooke ran the Minerals Council of Australia where he led the charge against prime minister Kevin Rudd’s failed mining tax. He is pictured with daughters Phoebe (centre) and Harriet. Mr Hooke was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2016 (pictured)
On October 2 a report in The Australian newspaper made untested allegations of domestic violence by Burgess towards his wife, as well as claims of wild partying including drug use. Burgess and Phoebe are pictured
Phoebe had not been at the house because she did not want to see Burgess.
‘It wasn’t the call I was expecting to be honest,’ Phoebe told Moss Vale Local Court on Monday.
‘He was emotional and shakey. He wasn’t making a lot of sense.’
Phoebe said when she returned to the family home her father told her Burgess had stood over him in a threatening manner.
‘I asked Dad what happened,’ she said. ‘His mouth was dry. He was visibly shakey.
‘I’d actually never seen my father quite like that before.
‘He just kept saying: “It’s OK. He just went at me, he just went at me”.
‘He looked at me like he was having a bit of an anxiety attack.’
Burgess’s solicitor Bryan Wrench has suggested Phoebe or her father might have committed contempt of court by co-operating with the media in the preparation of a damaging story
Englishman Burgess was lured to the Rabbitohs by club part-owner and Hollywood star Russell Crowe and helped guide them to the 2014 premiership. Burgess is pictured with estranged wife Phoebe
‘Dad said that Sam went off, that he started storming around the house.
‘He then said Sam stood over him and he told him that he was going to get him.’
Phoebe said her father told her that when Burgess got into his car to leave he yelled through the window: ‘Oh, you’re so successful’.
‘Everyone who knows you hates you,’ Burgess allegedly said to Mr Hooke. ‘Everyone who’s met you hates you.’
Phoebe told the court: ‘At that point I decided I was going to call the police.’
Phoebe and Sam married at the Hooke family estate just outside Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands in December 2015.
Mr Hooke has denied bragging to Burgess that as CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia he had ended the prime ministership of Kevin Rudd.
In that role Mr Hooke had won a brutal fight over what was sometimes known as Mr Rudd’s proposed resources super profits tax.
‘You told (Burgess) how you brought down Kevin Rudd,’ Mr Boulten said.
‘You spoke to him and people in his presence more than once during your relationship with him about how you brought down Kevin Rudd.’
Magistrate Ian Cheetham ruled Burgess’s lawyers could have access to any communications between Phoebe, Mr Hooke and The Australian before the publication of an article accusing Burgess of domestic violence. Phoebe and Mr Hooke are pictured
Sam and Phoebe Burgess separated in late 2018 before rekindling their relationship. They split again in October last year. Sam is pictured arriving at the marital home at Maroubra in Sydney’s south-east in January 2019 and leaving half an hour later with three packed bags
Mr Hooke denied ever telling Burgess that and said he did not have a framed story about himself in his office.
Mr Boulten: ‘You do regard yourself and present yourself as a hard man, do you not?’
Mr Hooke: ‘No, I do not.’
Mr Boulten: ‘Is it true that you abide by a principle, a football saying, “If you’re going to hit me, make sure I stay down because if I don’t stay down I’m going to come after you”.’
Mr Hooke: ‘In public policy advocacy.’
Burgess’s off-field reputation has taken a battering in the media since his retirement with allegations of excessive partying and domestic violence during his marriage.
This is his first opportunity to publicly defend himself after his image has been repeatedly hammered outside the legal system.
Burgess has been waiting more than 12 months for this case to go to hearing, having insisted through his lawyers from the start he was not guilty of committing any offence.
He has never been required to attend court until today but has been legally represented at repeated mentions of the matter at Moss Vale and Picton courts.
Mr Hooke and his daughter have also not needed to attend court until today and in recent weeks have been pummeled by Burgess’s lawyers in their absence.
Burgess is accused of assaulting Mr Hooke at the sprawling Hooke family home, although no actual physical violence has been alleged against him.
Mitchell Harry Hooke had a distinguished career in public policy advocacy, notably as the chief executive officer of the Minerals Council of Australia, from which he retired in 2013. He is pictured at the family farm in October on a day Burgess’s charges were mentioned in court
Police have also taken out an interim apprehended violence order to protect Mr Hooke from Burgess, who has had no contact with his father-in-law for more than a year.
The charges and the AVO stem from an incident at the multi million-dollar Hooke estate outside Bowral, where Burgess and Phoebe were married in December 2015.
Police were called to the Glenquarry property, known as Daffodil Downs, on October 19 last year.
Burgess was at the house for an arranged visit with his two young children who had been staying there with their mother since their parents split.
Mr Hooke reportedly asked the English-born dual code international to leave the property, which Burgess did, but police were called about 5pm.
‘Police from The Hume Police District attended and an apprehended domestic violence order was applied for on behalf of a 63-year-old man,’ a police statement said at the time.
‘Following further inquiries, on Wednesday 30 October 2019, a 30-year-old man was charged with the offence of Intimidation (DV related). It’s alleged the man intimidated the older man during the incident.’
On October 2 a report in The Australian newspaper made untested allegations of domestic violence by Burgess towards his wife, as well as claims of wild partying including drug use.
A recording of a phone call made by Phoebe to Triple Zero on the afternoon of the October 2019 incident was played in full in Moss Vale Local Court on Monday
The level of animosity between Burgess, 31, and the Phoebe Hooke’s family is finally set to be laid bare in one of the most anticipated Australian celebrity court battles in years
Phoebe Burgess has her temperature checked as part of COVID-19 protocols as she enters the courthouse on Monday
That report drew on a 50-page police statement Phoebe had made to police in late September and included quotes from Mr Hooke.
The Burgesses married at Phoebes parents home in December 2015 and have two children, Poppy, who turns four in January, and Billy, who turns two in December.
The couple separated in late 2018 before rekindling their relationship by April 2019. They split again in October last year.
Burgess, one of four footballing brothers, was lured to the Rabbitohs by club part-owner and Hollywood star Russell Crowe, and helped guide them to the 2014 premiership.
He quit rugby league on October 30 last year due to a chronic left shoulder injury.
Phoebe Burgess is a French-speaking brand ambassador and keen tennis player who makes occasional appearances on morning television.
She grew up in Bowral and went to the all-girls Frensham School before spending a couple of years writing for Cleo and Dolly magazines and working as a producer at Channel 7’s Sunrise program.
Mitchell Hooke had a distinguished career in public policy advocacy, notably as the chief executive officer of the Minerals Council of Australia, from which he retired in 2013.
The matter has been adjourned until January 2021.
A TRANSCRIPT OF PHOEBE’S CALL TO TRIPLE ZERO IN OCTOBER 2019
Phoebe: Oh look I don’t, I’m just reporting something that’s happened in my home, um.
Operator: Yes. What’s your address there?
Um we’re at (address suppressed).
Yeah I don’t need anyone here, I just need to report something.
Yeah that’s OK, let me just get up the address, how do you spell your street?
Um, (address suppressed)
Yep, so (address suppressed)
No, no, sorry, the street is (address suppressed)
Yep and sorry and the town?
Yep, is that at Daffodil Downs?
Yeah that’s that.
OK and your nearest corner street there?
Look I’m just a bit shaken up, I’m just going through, uh, my husband and I are going through a bit of a separation at the moment.
Um, and I’ve left him with the children and I’ve come home and he, um, he was supposed to have left when I arrived home and I repeatedly told him I didn’t want to see him, so he has threatened and abused my father, who is the children’s grandfather who was supervising the visit (begins to cry).
Yeah, OK, alrighty, what’s your husband’s name?
It’s Sam Burgess, so it can’t be made public but I just need to report it cause he’s still in the area and he’s really angry (crying).
Yeah, OK, is there any weapons on him?
Oh, I don’t imagine so.
OK, and is your dad or the kids, or no ones injured?
No, everyone’s OK.
We don’t need an ambulance?
No, no, no, no.
And have you guys got AVOs?
No, I didn’t want to do that, but his just um…
OK, and how many kids have you got there?
He’s done this to me, too, he’s done this to me.
OK, and are the kids with you or with him?
No, they were with him.
Where are the kids now?
Yep, yeah, my mums putting my son now and my daughter is with my sister.
OK, is he likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Yeah, normally, that’s what we’ve been going through (crying).
Yeah, OK, alrighty.
I trusted him!
What was your name?
My name’s Phoebe Burgess, I trusted him… (crying).
And I have to report this because he is not supposed to behave like this on someone else’s property (crying).
Yeah, Phoebe, it definitely sounds like a hard situation for everyone, what I’m going to do, I’m going to send the police to see you.
Oh, is it necessary, do you reckon?
Yeah, look, it is.
We just have a duty of care, we want to make sure that you’re OK and just help you work out the best way we are going to deal with this, what was your date of birth?
Um, 18th of April, 1989, I promise we’re all fine, I just know that, I got, I got lawyers for this exact reason, um, and I…
Yeah that’s OK, so Phoebe, we want to come and check on you because we do have a duty of care, I know you say you’re fine, but we’ll come down just to have a chat and then we’ll go from there. What time was it that he abused, um verbally abused his dad?
Hm, he’s only just left and I blocked his calls.
Alrighty and what sort of car does he drive?
Um, his in a white BMW and obviously, and I’m just saying this, I don’t want this to be public for him, I just, he’s in a white BMW, I just know he’s angry, and I know he’s alone and he’s just acting like a f***ing idiot.
Yeah, alrighty. what we’ll do Phoebe, we’ll get someone down there to help you at (address suppressed).
…if he comes back and there’s any further drama before we get there, call Triple Zero immediately, ok?
I don’t think he will, I think he’s gone now.
Do you know his date of birth at all?
His date of birth?
Yeah, it’s the 14th of December ’88.
Mkay, alrighty, no problem and your dad is definitely not injured?
No, no, he’s 60 years old and it’s just, he’s just shaken up (Phoebe starts crying).
He’s a great man, I just can’t believe he’d do that to my 60-year-old father (Crying).
Yeah, for sure I totally understand, we’ll come down and have a chat and help you out. Any mental health conditions for him or anyone in the house?
No we’re all fine, Sam’s not fine, he’s going through a lot of things.
Is it Sam or Dan?
Sam, Sam Burgess.
Sam, alright sorry, it’s a bit of a bad line Phoebe.
That’s ok, and your best phone number?
(Phone number suppressed)
No worries, alright Phoebe I’m really sorry everyone’s been through that, we will come down and have a chat to you.
I appreciate you being so understanding, thank you.
Yeah, look’s it’s definitely a tough situation, but we will come down and have a chat to you, OK? Like I said…
He’s just, he’s just done it to me so many times, and I didn’t ever realise it was bad and, and my dad said that’s just horrific.
Yeah, I, uh, imagine that it probably is, if he turns up, Like I said Phoebe before we get there, just call us.
Alright thank you. Bye.
No problems Phoebe, we will be there as soon as we can.
We’re OK, yep, we’re all right.