Furious Barba screams at reporter
FORMER North Queensland Cowboys player Ben Barba has been filmed verbally abusing a TV reporter as he prepares to hand himself in to police over domestic violence allegations.
The disgraced NRL star, whose career was ended over the physical altercation with his partner Ainslie Currie on Australia Day, screamed in the face of Nine News reporter Tim Arvier.
"I will hurt you. You want me to hurt you?" Barba shouts in the Nine News footage.
Confirming he plans to hand himself into Mackay District Police on Tuesday, he said:
"I'm going to the police station tomorrow. And I'm about to be charged with nothing."
According to Nine News, Ms Currie, the mother of Barba's four daughters, has refused to file a complaint against him, so he can only be charged with public nuisance or a similar crime.
"I don't feel lucky," he bellowed. "I've lost everything!"
Barba was dismissed from the Cowboys for breach of contact before playing a single game for the team after reports emerged he was being investigated by Townsville Police over an incident at Townsville Casino that was captured on CCTV.
After viewing the video of the incident, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg confirmed there was a "physical altercation between the player and his partner" and Barba was banned from the NRL indefinitely.
"His registration with the game is no longer and I can't see a time, at any time in the future, that he'll be welcomed back," Greenberg said.
"What I am going to say is that in the jurisdiction that I uphold, there's no place for him. It's probably time for Ben to find a new vocation."
It's a stunning fall from grace for the former Bulldog and Bronco, who won the Dally M Medal for best player of the year in 2012 and the Man of Steel award for Super League player of the year in 2018, and commanded a salary of up to $500,000 a year.
Last month it was revealed Barba had started a new job as a metal worker in Mackay with a view to one day working in the mines.
According to the Queensland Times, Barba, Ms Currie and their children have moved into the housing commission home of Barba's parents, Ken and Kim.
While a successful one, the 29-year-old's career has been marred by controversy.
In 2013, pictures emerged of Ms Currie with a bloodied face, accompanied by text messages in which she described a domestic assault to a friend. She later denied it was Barba.
In 2016, Barba was fired from the Cronulla Sharks after testing positive to cocaine.
It comes amid a scandal-plagued pre-season for the NRL.
In January, Canterbury Bulldogs player Dylan Napa was embroiled in a sex tape scandal, and in the same month the entire Cronulla Sharks team was banned from a local sailing club for an alleged incident of bad behaviour.
In a recent press conference, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg called this year's preseason a "complete train wreck".
"We have run out of patience and tolerance for misbehaviour off the field."
Since the beginning of 2015, the Australian media has reported on 66 separate allegations of rugby league players behaving badly.