Glamorous TV presenter reveals the TRUTH about her rumoured affair with NRL legend Cameron Smith after he sensationally broke his long-held silence to open up on the toll it took on his family
- Sports presenter Yvonne Sampson addressed rumours of Cameron Smith affair
- She said the ‘malicious gossip’ was ‘utterly false’ and it would not affect her
- Cameron Smith dredged-up affair rumours with Fox Footy presenter on Friday
- The rumours began on social media in 2017 and were publicly ignored by both
- Smith confirmed gossip was not only false but had ‘shattered’ his wife Barbara
Glamorous sports presenter Yvonne Sampson has revealed the truth about unfounded rumours she had an affair with rugby league superstar Cameron Smith.
Ms Sampson, a respected former Wide World of Sports presenter and current Fox League host, responded to the rumours on Friday after they were dredged-up by Smith in promoting his new autobiography.
‘My husband and I were made aware of these absurd and baseless rumours when they surfaced three years ago. They are utterly false. This malicious gossip has no bearing on my life, career as a journalist or love of rugby league,’ the 40-year-old told News Corp.
Glamorous sports presenter Yvonne Sampson (pictured) has revealed the truth about unfounded rumours she had an affair with rugby league superstar Cameron Smith
Smith (pictured with wife Barbara) brought up the rumours which began in 2017 in promoting his autobiography this week
Cameron Smith (pictured) with wife Barbara has said rumours of an affair with sports presenter Yvonne Sampson are untrue and hurtful
Smith, 37, said when he was first informed of the unfounded gossip being spread on social media, he was so surprised he burst out laughing.
But the NRL star, who has been married to his wife Barbara for almost ten years, quickly realised the gravity of situation.
‘It was just cruel … rumours that were completely untrue. When I told Barb she was shattered. It floored her,’ Smith told QWeekend.
Smith, who has released a new autobiography, said the rumours were false and while he felt he could handle them, his concern was for both his wife and Ms Sampson.
Ms Sampson is a long serving and well respected rugby league presenter, having worked for Wide World of Sports and Fox League.
Smith said on the first occasion he did an interview with Ms Sampson after the rumours surfaced he felt deeply concerned for her and her fiance, who were getting ready to tie-the-knot later that year.
‘Honestly, if I was going to have an affair – which I never would – why would I do it with someone with a profile as big as hers? And in my own sport?’
Smith revealed his wife and Ms Sampson exchanged text messages in the aftermath of the rumours – checking on each other’s welfare.
The idea of publicly quashing the gossip on a scheduled appearance by Smith on Fox Sport’s League Life in 2018 was also brought up but in the end Smith decided it would be better not to fan the flames.
Yvonne Sampson announced her engagement to her Channel Nine news reporter boyfriend Chris O’Keefe in 2017
Smith revealed his wife and Ms Sampson exchanged text messages in the aftermath of the rumours – checking on each other’s welfare
Smith’s book, The Storm Within, also addresses some other events in the career of the former Melbourne and Australian captain.
The book reveals he was so affected when he and his wife were portrayed as ‘greedy’ for accepting a diamond ring worth $15,000 from the NRL for his 400th game that he considered leaving the sport.
The gift received criticism online from footy fans who questioned why Smith’s wife had received the expensive gift.
‘Why did you buy Cameron Smith’s wife a ring? Is it because he runs the game?’ one person wrote to the NRL’s Twitter account after the 2019 presentation.
‘Instead of buying Cameron Smith’s wife a $15,000 diamond ring, (Todd) Greenberg could send 10 TVs over to Papua New Guinea and footballs for the PNG kids to kick around!’ wrote another.
Cameron Smith and wife Barbara at the 2018 Dally M Awards a year after the rumours surfaced
Former Queensland Maroons captain Cameron Smith (right) stands with his family ahead of Game 3 of the 2018 State of Origin series between the NSW Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
The Storm star was quick to hit back saying his wife had no knowledge of the gift until it was presented to her and she should not be targeted.
‘Criticism is part of the game. I signed up to be an NRL player. To bring in personal attacks and family, that’s not on. I’m not just saying that about myself. That’s any athlete’s family. I just think that’s off-limits,’ Smith said.
Todd Greenberg, the then chief executive of the NRL, defended the present to Mrs Smith, saying the wives of rugby stars play a vital supporting role for players.
Greenberg was replaced in the role earlier this year after the dire financial state of the NRL was exposed when coronavirus restrictions disrupted the 2020 season.
Cameron Smith is pictured with his wife Barbara as he leaves the field after becoming the first player to reach 400 matches
Smith also revealed he still bitterly views Melbourne’s treatment in the salary cap scandal that stripped the club of two premierships as unfair.
Officials found the club had breached the salary cap rules by keeping a second set of financial books which hid a total of $3.78million in secret payments to players between 2006 and 2010.
The Storm’s titles between those years were revoked and the league fined the club more than $1million which was distributed among the other 15 clubs.
Smith maintains his club’s punishment was far more severe than other clubs who later broke the rules.
Smith (pictured centre) celebrates with fellow Melbourne Storm teammates after winning the 2020 Grand Final in October
As for his will-he-or-won’t-he retirement moment, which has been shrouded in speculation, Smith is still leaving that a mystery.
He explained the contracts started dropping for the 2021 season this week and he has not received one but maintains he is still playing as well as he ever has and his body is not asking him to stop.
The record holder for the most games ever played in the NRL could have one more season in him yet.