Walker breaks silence on kick video
SOUTH Sydney star Cody Walker has broken his silence on his involvement in an incident in December 2019 after the video at the centre of a blackmail scandal surfaced.
The Rabbitohs' playmaker met with the NRL's integrity unit on Monday after he reported an incident to NSW Police, claiming he was being blackmailed.
Widespread reports claim the NRL star had informed police that he had been asked for $20,000 to stop video footage of him kicking a man in the chest from going public.
The Rabbitohs have since confirmed Walker was involved in an alleged incident.
The video that emerged on Monday allegedly shows the 30-year-old running in from out of frame before appearing to lash out at another man with a wild kick.
Speaking on Channel Nine News, Walker revealed the tragic cause of the incident.
"I was trying to protect a family member after the loss of one of my first cousins who we lost through suicide - she was 24 years of age and we were greiving her," he said. "Seeing her brother who is my first cousin, the first thing that popped into my head was I just needed to stop it.
"It was a very emotional time for myself and the family leading into that week and it was not a true reflection of my character and who I am as a person."
Walker said he let South Sydney know about the incident straight away and didn't have a recollection that there was a video.
He said his manager got the call and wanted $20,000 before going to Mascot police.
He also said he wouldn't appeal any punishment from the game, the club or police and expressed his remorse for the incident.
Walker was apparently recovering from shoulder surgery at the time and was unable to use his arms as he attempted to separate two men in the middle of an alleged dispute.
It also reported the police were investigating both the blackmail and the alleged December 1 brawl at the centre of the incident.
"An investigation is underway after threats were made against a 30-year-old man over the phone, about 7.45pm on Saturday," a police statement said.
"The matter was reported to police about 1pm yesterday and officers from South Sydney Police Area Command have commenced an investigation.
"Subsequently, detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation into an affray in Casino on 1 December 2019.
"Police have been told a group of males were involved in a brawl on a street in Casino, which was defused a short time later."
It follows revelations Walker's management was unaware of the existence of the video.
Walker's agent Matt Rose only became aware of the alleged incident on Saturday when Walker is reported to have received a phone call as part of an alleged extortion plot.
The Rabbitohs said in an initial statement Walker's involvement in the alleged incident was never the subject of a police investigation until the star came forward to reveal the alleged blackmail plot.
"The South Sydney Rabbitohs are aware of an incident involving player Cody Walker which took place in northern New South Wales in October 2019," the club statement read.
"The NRL's integrity unit have been informed.
"At no stage has Cody Walker been the subject of a police enquiry in relation to this incident."
The Rabbitohs said that the enquiry had been instigated by Walker himself. The NRL has confirmed that integrity unit has been informed.