Matthew Johns responds to sex allegation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matthew Johns responds to sex allegation

07/05/2009 09:06:51 PM Comments (0)

Former NRL star and rugby league television personality Matthew Johns has been forced to respond to an allegation of sexual misconduct while he was a player with Cronulla seven years ago.

Several Sharks players were investigated for sexual assault and cleared by police during an away trip to New Zealand in 2002.

The woman at the centre of the allegations has spoken to ABC's Four Corners program about the incident with the program to be aired Monday.

The woman says she had group sex with several Cronulla players at a Christchurch hotel and it had left her with psychological damage.

She told the ABC she felt degraded and was traumatised by the incident.

"I only remember one player definitely, it was Matthew Johns. He laughed and he joked and was very loud and boisterous," she told Four Corners.

"Every time I looked up there would be more and more people in the room and there's lots of guys in the room watching - maybe two or three were on the bed that were doing stuff to me," she said.

Johns admitted involvement in the incident but said it was consensual.

"It happened seven years ago and caused great pain to my wife and family," Johns told Nine.

"It took us a long time to get through it and it pains me that they have to go through it again."

Johns, who is an employee of the Nine Network and the face of the NRL's membership drive advertisement, will appear on the network tonight.

The allegations were initially raised in February 2002 by the woman, a staff member of the Racecourse Hotel in Riccarton, where the Sharks stayed before a pre-season match.

The woman had been socialising with the Sharks players, in Christchurch for a warm-up match against the Warriors.

After interviewing all 30 players and 12 officials who made the trip across the Tasman, New Zealand police decided not to lay any charges.

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