Australia star Kurtley Beale has been stood down by the ARU as they investigate text message allegations.
It has been publicly revealed that Beale sent some inconsiderate text messages and photos comparing Wallabies business manager Di Patston to an overweight nude woman, and accidentally sending the texts to Patston herself.
The content of the texts has been revealed. Beale sent a photo of an overweight, nude woman labelled “Di”. Further texts said: “Di, who wants a go f*****g this?”. It is alleged Beale meant to send the texts to teammates but also sent them to Patston in error.
Patston is believed to have replied directly saying: “I am sitting here in the team room doing my job and I can’t stop crying. What did I do to you? You have barely known me a day. I can’t stop crying I am so humiliated by this. Don’t you think my job is hard enough without this? This is how the only female staff member is treated?”
Beale then allegedly wrote back apologising: “I was layin' on my bed I didn’t send it to anyone I sent it to myself. You've done nothing wrong you've been so good to me & your such a lovely lady. We all see how hard you work for us. I just do stupid things for no reason.”
It is alleged that Patston promised to keep the situation under wraps in return for certain, unrevealed agreements being kept.
Australian head coach Ewen Mckenzie claims he had heard nothing of the exchange between Beale and Patston until the two were involved in an argument on a plane.
Since the incident, Patston has quit her job and is said to be on heavy medication, according to Mckenzie.
“She did an outstanding job for me over a long period of time and made a massive contribution and now suddenly she’s out there on the outer and under massive pressure, as I said, heavily medicated and under a fair bit of media scrutiny which is … I find it incredible, the depths of that."
Beale is set to face a disciplinary hearing later this week in regard to the text message allegations, and has the full backing of his teammates. Wallabies vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper has spoken of his support for his friend.
Support for Beale
“It’s been a tough week for him,” said Ashley-Cooper. “But I have spoken to Kurtley a number of times and he’s hanging in there. He’s doing well and he’s staying positive, which pleases me. I’m feeling for Kurtley. I’m feeling for a mate. I’m feeling for a teammate and I share those feelings on behalf of the rest of the team.”
The Wallabies have come under intense scrutiny of late due to a string of poor performances under Mackenzie, but the return from injury of Quade Cooper and Christian Leali'ifano to the back line for this weekend's Bledisloe Cup could turn the Wallabies' fortunes around.