Lockyer 'could sue over CCTV claims' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer 'could sue over CCTV claims'

By Laine Clark 18/09/2008 07:28:02 PM Comments (0)

Legal action may be considered by the Broncos after a Brisbane venue released CCTV footage claiming it showed captain Darren Lockyer tackling their bar manager.

A leading lawyer said Lockyer would have grounds to sue if the allegations against him could not be substantiated.

ABC TV aired security footage from the Casablanca bar at Paddington, in inner-city Brisbane, from September 6, claiming it showed Lockyer tackling the venue's manager Terry De Gunten.

The fresh controversy comes after Brisbane detectives interviewed fellow Broncos Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday and Darius Boyd over the alleged sexual assault of a 24-year-old woman in a Brisbane nightclub toilet last weekend.

But unlike the sexual assault allegations, the Broncos will not launch an international investigation into the CCTV controversy despite Cullen admitting he can identify "a couple" of players in the footage.

For the first time since the allegations broke, Cullen on Thursday fronted the media to back his skipper.

"I am very upset about the accusations against Darren when clearly there is a lot of confusion about who was there," Cullen told reporters.

"And clearly (there is) no evidence that Darren was there."

Lockyer denied the accusations on Thursday night.

"I don't want to justify it anymore by making any further comment," he told Channel Nine.

But when asked if he was in the footage, Lockyer said: "I don't believe it is."

Cullen not only ruled out Lockyer appearing in the grainy footage, he denied that the bar manager was even tackled.

"It's not a tackle, it's something you could describe as a bit of a hug," he said.

Asked if he could name the players he recognised in the footage, Cullen said: "I'm not prepared to say".

Lawyer and Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O'Gorman said if the allegations against Lockyer could not be substantiated, the Broncos captain would have grounds to sue media organisations.

"If Lockyer was not in fact involved in the physical altercation and if in fact he is not shown in the CCTV that's been released by the publican then he has a strong case for defamation," he told AAP.

"And unlike most people, Lockyer's got the money to run it."

Cullen believed the venue had broken the law by releasing the CCTV footage.

"We have been advised that we shouldn't be looking at it unless we are in the company of police or the licensing commission," he told ABC Radio.

"We were asked about it yesterday and the legal advice that we got was that that vision should only be made available for the licensing commission or the police.

"So we are not too sure about the legality of it being handed over in the first instance."

Cullen only addressed the CCTV footage at his doorstop but earlier foreshadowed an off-season review of how alcohol was managed by Broncos players.

"This will be part of an end-of-year review, as we do every year. That will come under heavy review," Cullen told 4BC radio.

"Our structure at the moment is that we haven't got an alcohol ban."

Cullen also backed the recent call by NRL boss David Gallop for clubs to end the "see you on Monday" mentality.

Gallop urged clubs to remove temptation and end unsupervised, lengthy breaks for players especially after Friday night games.

"David has come up with a point. Particularly the Friday night game that leads into a Sunday game and there's a nine-day break and the guys feel it's an opportunity to let their hair down a little bit," Cullen said.

"Unfortunately at times, that has led to misbehaviour with players from other clubs - again, I'm not talking about our incident."

The Casablanca bar is yet to officially complain to police.

But Casablanca's manager De Gunten told ABC Radio that Broncos players were loud, drunk and scaring other patrons on the night of September 6.

He said he intervened when one of the players took bottles of alcohol from the club onto the street.

He urged other venues to report any NRL player who causes trouble.

However, Brisbane nightclub Uber has lifted its ban on high-profile players after just one day.

The club will on Thursday night host a party for surf brand Surf Dive N Ski that had "several Broncos players" on its guest list, according to Fairfax.

But a Broncos spokesman said no players would attend.

Meanwhile, Broncos major sponsor WOW Sight and Sound released a statement saying it supported the police investigation of the sexual assault allegations.

It did not say whether WOW was reviewing its sponsorship but would make an informed decision once the facts were clear.

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