Beattie refuses Dragons demand to issue apology to de Belin

The letter stated Beattie’s comments have “a real tendency to interfere with the administration of justice” and demanded he “cease and desist in this campaign against Mr de Belin”.

It also claims Beattie’s conduct “imputes that Mr de Belin is guilty of rape”.

The letter goes on to demand that Beattie issue the following public statement to rectify the damage: “I have given a number of interviews over the last seven days and made public statements about SGI rugby league player Jack de Belin. I need to clarify something very important: Jack is innocent until proven guilty.

“Neither I, nor the ARLC or NRL, are in possession of any evidence that enables us to form a view on this matter. Jack is entitled to have this matter determined by the courts and that process should not be interfered with.

“I apologise to Jack if my conduct over the last seven days has led people to believe that I have formed a view about the allegations against him. I have not.”

The ARLC responded via its lawyer, Tony O’Reilly, refuting any suggestion that it had defamed de Belin or prejudiced his criminal matter. The request to publish the statement was declined. Suggestions of interference with contractual matters were also refuted.

Further court documents released show that de Belin’s current three-year contract was worth $500,000 in 2018, $545,000 this season and $595,000 in 2020. There were no third-party agreements listed in the deal.

De Belin remains on full pay until the criminal proceedings are concluded. That prompted Alan Sullivan, appearing for the ARLC during the Federal Court hearing to quip: “It would be hard for a player being stood down on $500,000 to plead hardship.”

If de Belin receives a favourable verdict in his case against the NRL, he could return to the Dragons line-up in time to take on Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium next Sunday.


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