Phoebe Burgess comes under fire for keeping her ex-husband Sam’s surname after their divorce – as the retired NRL star faces bombshell allegations about their marriage
Former NRL WAG Phoebe Burgess has come under fire for keeping her ex-husband’s surname following their acrimonious divorce.
Phoebe, who was quoted in a recent article by The Australian which detailed disturbing allegations about Sam’s behaviour during their marriage, still goes by her former married name instead of her maiden name, Hooke.
Taking to Instagram after a 10-day absence on Sunday, the mother of two thanked her followers for their support – but it didn’t take long for the comments section to descent into a heated debate over her choice of surname.
‘Change your surname’ WAG Phoebe Burgess comes under fire from fans for keeping her NRL star ex’s family name after her divorce amid bombshell allegations about their marriage. Pictured: Sam and Phoebe at a David Jones launch in 2018 in Sydney
‘Finding joy in the little things and my little people,’ the former journalist wrote, alongside two photos taken at her parents’ Southern Highlands estate.
‘Simply because I was silent doesn’t mean I didn’t hear you, thank you for your kindness. Means the world to us,’ she added.
A vocal group of fans soon began criticising Phoebe for going by Sam’s surname, and several asked why she hadn’t changed back to Hooke.
Controversial: ‘You need to change your surname – a man who disrespected you so much – you need to be you again’ Phoebe seen here at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2019
‘You need to change your surname – a man who disrespected you so much – you need to be you again,’ one follower wrote.
‘You’re a trooper… But change your Mrs status … you’re not his Mrs… you belong to you,’ another added.
But most of Phoebe’s fans were less concerned about her surname, and instead offered their support following the allegations made about her marriage to Sam.
Going there: A number of Phoebe’s fans encouraged her to change her name, presumably back to her maiden name of ‘Hooke’
‘Handled with class and respect for your babies each and every time. Stay strong,’ one supporter wrote.
‘Even your post here is truly dignified,’ another added, while a third commented: ‘Incredible courage and strength you are showing for all women, so much admiration for you.’
Phoebe shares daughter Poppy, three, and son Billy, one, with her ex-husband. She and Sam finalised their divorce in April this year.
Support: Phoebe also enjoyed overwhelming support from her followers, many praising the mother-of-two for her stoicism attention on her marriage
At the time, The Daily Telegraph reported that Phoebe had walked away with 70 per cent of the former couple’s marital wealth.
She also took ownership of a white SDVA Range Rover valued at $100,000, as well as Sam’s F45 gym in Bowral, which she subsequently sold for a $250,000 profit.
On October 2, Sam was formally stood down from his coaching role at the South Sydney Rabbitohs after claims about his marriage and wild lifestyle were published in The Australian.
Profile: Phoebe is known to attended a number of high-profile events around Sydney. Seen here at the Dally M Awards in September, 2017
The NRL and NSW Police have both launched investigations into the allegations.
The lawyer acting for Sam Burgess, Mark O’Brien, has strongly denied all allegations.
‘The allegations are false and constitute an indefensible defamation against my client,’ Mr O’Brien said.
The article included text messages Phoebe allegedly sent to Hollywood star Russell Crowe, who part-owns the Rabbitohs NRL club, in November 2018.
Speaking out: Phoebe’s return to the spotlight comes after revelations regarding Sam’s personal life. Pictured: Sam and Phoebe in happier times
Rabbitohs staff members have also been accused of covering up Sam’s alleged indiscretions. It is not alleged that Russell was involved in any cover-up.
‘I thought we had the world at our feet together,’ Phoebe allegedly wrote to the actor. ‘He might need a good friend because he is just not our Sam.’
The article also included text messages Sam allegedly sent to Phoebe, after her initial conversation with the club owner came to light.
‘Phoebe why did you message RC saying everything,’ Sam allegedly wrote. ‘What are you trying to solve here?’
In the wake of the initial article, more bombshell claims about the 31-year-old footballer have come to light.
Sam was staying with his brother Luke at The Establishment, in Sydney’s CBD, on November 5, 2018, following a farewell BBQ for Souths player Jason Clark, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Phoebe was reportedly at home while her husband continued to stretch the festivities over a day.
According to the report, Sam returned home when his mother Julie – known to NRL fans as ‘Mrs B’ – descended on the swanky hotel in the early hours of the evening.
Explosive claims: On October 2, Sam was stood down from his coaching role at the South Sydney Rabbitohs after claims about his marriage and wild lifestyle were published in The Australian
Julie allegedly asked hotel staff for the number of her son’s hotel room and after an hour of convincing, she moved Sam and Luke into a car.
‘Julie virtually had to drag Sam and Luke to her car by their ears, but somehow she got them out of that room and into her car,’ a source claimed.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the league has launched an investigation into the claims made by The Australian, but they will not take action based off allegations.
Denial: The lawyer acting for Burgess, Mark O’Brien, has strongly denied all allegations
‘The action we have taken is to initiate the investigation,’ he said last Friday.
‘Because these are allegations, we don’t have the facts before us, we’re not going to be taking any further action until we have the information needed to do that.
‘However, I believe that Sam Burgess has stood himself down from South Sydney Rabbitohs duties this weekend. And I also believe that he has stood down from Fox Sports as well.’
Texts: The article included texts Phoebe allegedly sent to Hollywood star Russell Crowe (right), who part owns the Rabbitohs NRL club. Rabbitohs staff have also been accused of covering up Sam’s alleged indiscretions. It is not alleged that Russell was involved in any cover-up
Mr Abdo said the claims against Burgess were ‘very serious allegations’.
‘We will look to work with the club to find out what happened and to get to the bottom of the facts,’ he said.
‘We will also co-operate with the NSW Police, who have also begun an investigation into the matter. If these allegations are proven, we will take the strongest possible action that we can.’
More headlines: In the wake of the initial article, more bombshell claims about the 31-year-old footballer have come to light. One newspaper article alleged that his mother, Julie, dragged him and brother Luke home from a night of partying
NSW Police said they would be conducting their own investigation.
South Sydney released a statement saying the allegations were ‘very concerning’ and they would be treated with the ‘utmost seriousness’.
‘There is no place in our society for violence, harassment or abuse against women. If anyone is found guilty of allegations of this nature, the club will take the strongest possible action,’ a Rabbitohs spokesperson said.
Investigations: NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the league had launched an investigation into the claims made by The Australian. Meanwhile, South Sydney released a statement saying the allegations were very concerning and they would be treated with the ‘utmost seriousness’
Last year, an apprehended violence order against Sam Burgess was taken out by police to protect Phoebe’s father, Mitchell Hooke.
The AVO came after an alleged domestic violence incident at Mr Hooke’s property in Glenquarry, in the NSW Southern Highlands, on October 19.
Burgess was charged with domestic violence-related intimidation. He has pleaded not guilty. The matter is due in court in November.
AVO matter: Last year, an apprehended violence order against Sam Burgess was taken out by police to protect Phoebe’s father Mitchell Hooke (left)