KAYLA Boyd is standing by her husband, Darius, the Newcastle Knights fullback who is believed to have been in a Brisbane house last month when South Sydney forward Ben Te’o allegedly punched a 22-year-old woman in the face and broke her eye socket.
The incident, which is being investigated by the NRL’s new integrity unit, allegedly took place in the home of Broncos fullback Corey Norman on April 20, the day after Boyd had represented Australia in the Anzac Test against New Zealand at Canberra Stadium.
Boyd and Norman were believed to have been in the house at the time of the alleged incident but the woman, Katie Lewis, has made no assault allegations against them.
Ms Lewis said she heard Boyd saying “stop” when Te’o allegedly struck her repeatedly.
Te’o strenuously denied Ms Lewis’s version of events, saying he would co-operate with any investigation.
In an interview with Ms Lewis last night on Nine News, reporter Danny Weidler said: “Katie ended up at the home of Broncos star Corey Norman . . . This is where accounts differ but according to Katie, when Souths star Ben Te’o entered the room things got ugly.”
The Newcastle Herald spoke to Mrs Boyd earlier yesterday at her recently opened CBD fashion house business. The 25-year-old former model said she was aware of the alleged Brisbane incident but was unable to reveal any details.
“I am not worried about it and besides that I really have no comment,” said Mrs Boyd, who married the Queensland Origin and Australian Test representative in a tropical wedding ceremony at Mission Beach in Queensland last November.
In her interview with Weidler, Ms Lewis said: “Ben Te’o was at the door and I tried to get out. I had my shoe in my hand and I hit him, like, on the shoulder. He punched me in the face, on my eye, and I now have a broken eye socket.
“He made a comment that I was a slut, and I wasn’t very happy with that. After he hit me in the face, I fell down and, like, curled into a ball, and he just kept hitting me and I remember hearing Darius say, ‘Stop’, or yelling, and then I must have gone unconscious.
“Then I remember coming to, just laying in the hallway with blood everywhere, and just being scared, and there was no one there.”
Ms Lewis, who was later taken by police to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, said the three footballers agreed to leave her in the house.
“I could have been seriously hurt. I could have been dead for all they know,” said Ms Lewis, who told police at the time that she did not want to press charges but is now considering her options.
The Herald attempted to speak to Boyd yesterday but was unsuccessful. A Knights spokeswoman instead referred the Herald to a statement on the club’s website, which Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said could be attributed to him.
“Following reports earlier on Wednesday involving three NRL players during the representative weekend, the Newcastle Knights have undertaken to fully co-operate with any NRL integrity unit investigation,” the statement said.
“The Knights have not been formally advised of any complaint or allegation in relation to the alleged incident. The club has no further detail and subsequently will make no further comment at this time.”
Te’o issued a detailed statement denying Ms Lewis’s version of events.
Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said Te’o, who joined the club this year from the Broncos, had informed him of an incident on the Monday following it.
“We’re trying to be as open as we possibly can about what’s happened here, and once the investigation is completed we’ll act accordingly, and we’ll act with the NRL,” Richardson said. “Let’s see all the information, all the facts . . . and let’s find out exactly what the story is.”
Te’o said he had offered to co-operate with “the police, the NRL integrity unit, my club and other authorities to ensure that this matter is dealt with in the appropriate way”.
“On the night in question, I found myself in unfortunate circumstances that were not caused by me and I acted appropriately to deal with a difficult situation,” the Queensland forward said.
“I called the police to report the incident and have the female removed from the house. I have not pressed charges against the female and to the best of my knowledge no charges have been laid against me. I don’t wish to go into any further detail about this matter because I regard the incident as unfortunate and something I wish to leave behind me.”
Queensland police confirmed the matter was “no longer under investigation”.
“Police attended an incident but the allegation was formally withdrawn by the complainant. There was no further police action,” a spokesperson said.
An independent investigator has been enlisted to assist the NRL’s integrity unit, who will investigate the matter.
“If it turns out to be true, then clearly we will take the necessary action,” NRL CEO Dave Smith said.
Boyd and former Broncos team-mates Karmichael Hunt and Sam Thaiday were investigated over an alleged sexual incidence in a Fortitude Valley nightclub in September 2008, Boyd’s final year with the Broncos. They were not charged by police but the Broncos fined them $20,000 each for bringing the club into disrepute. It was alleged Boyd, Hunt and Thaiday engaged in sexual acts with a 24-year-old woman in a toilet cubicle in the Alhambra Lounge nightclub on September 13.
Katie Lewis. Picture courtesy Nine Network
TRAINING: Knights player Darius Boyd yesterday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll