Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne is back in the spotlight today and comes on trial to defend two charges of aggravated sexual assault.
Hayne, 32, arrived with his girlfriend Amellia Bonnici as he walked past a pack of cameras in a dark blue suit.
Hayne’s relationship with Bonnici has been puzzling since a reported agreement in 2018 to keep her personal life out of the headlines.
Bonnici and Hayne celebrated the birth of daughter Beliviah Ivy Hayne in December 2016, and the 29-year-old has continued to support the former NFL star despite allegations made against him.
Hayne looked calm and went straight to the door of the courthouse after being dropped off by a car in front of the building.
The ex-Parramatta eel-back has pleaded guilty not to have committed two cases of aggravated sexual assault that actually cause bodily harm.
The indictment is based on an incident on the night of Jan.. September 2018, in which he allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 26-year-old woman in a house near Newcastle without her consent.
Hayne, the son of Fijian NRL player Manoa Thompson, was raised by his mother Jodie on a housing commission in western Sydney.
Hayne followed in his absent father’s footsteps and made his NRL debut at the age of 18. A sensation for the Parramatta eels, he won the Dally M medal for best player in the league at the age of 21 while leading his team to the 2009 grand final.
The one-time full-back was also a star at the home state level and was named NSW’s Best Player for ending an eight-year drought in 2014, the same year he won his second Dally M..
The following year, he stunned the competition by announcing that he would be pursuing an NFL career in America, where he defied odds by securing a squad spot with the San Francisco 49ers and in after a brilliant preseason eight years ago games emerged as running back and punt returner.
The successful transition in the US brought Haynes fame to unprecedented levels, but at 27, his days as an elite athlete also ended.
He left the NFL after the 49ers switched coaches and turned to a third code, Rugby Sevens. After making his debut for the world’s best Fijian team, he failed to make the cut for the island nation’s Olympic squad, which later won a gold medal.
Hayne returned to the NRL in 2016 on the richest deal in league history when the Gold Coast Titans paid him a reported US dollar. 2 million per season. But he never regained his previous form and after forcing his way back to Parramatta he was no longer under contract at the end of the 2018 season when he was charged by police.
Jarryd Hayne, National Rugby League, Amellia Bonnici, Parramatta Eels
World News – AU – Hayne comes to the rape trial
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– Jarryd Hayne in defense of Sexual assault charges
– Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne defends sex assault charges