Cameron Smith says vicious rumours about his relationship with former teammates and his wife’s spat with another WAG ‘crossed the line’ and rocked his family.
The Melbourne Storm star addressed the 2018 headlines that he fell out with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater in his book, The Storm Within.
The unwanted media attention came after Cronk moved to Sydney to marry Fox presenter Tara Rushton in December 2017. Cronk parted ways with Storm and joined the Roosters for the 2018 season.
But Smith said he was ‘stunned’ when his wife and the mother of his three children, Barb, was dragged into the mess amid claims of a bitter feud with Slater’s wife.
Cameron Smith is pictured with his wife Bard in 2019. The couple have three children together
Billy Slater is pictured with his wife Nicole in January this year. Smith addressed rumours his wife Barb fell out with the WAG
‘Barb was brought into it, again, when stories went around about a spat between her and Billy’s wife, Nic, which never happened,’ Smith wrote in the book.
‘They’re good friends to this day. We were stunned. ”Where is this s**t coming from?” we asked ourselves.
‘What was clear was that the stories were being fabricated to fit a narrative: Cameron Smith does not get on with his teammates, and vice versa.
‘It couldn’t have been any further from the truth, but the more it was written and talked about, the more people seemed to believe it.’
Smith said the couple ‘had enough’, and recalled a particular incident that set him over the edge.
He was preparing to take on the Warriors in New Zealand in July 2018 when his high school sweetheart was approached by a reporter while unloading groceries.
Pictured: Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk of Storm pose with the trophy during the lap of honour after winning the 2012 NRL Grand Final
The journalist questioned Barb about Smith’s ‘relationship with his teammates’.
‘Barb told him to p**s off – but even so, the episode rocked her,’ Smith said.
‘Barb was shocked. Why was a reporter approaching her for comment about anything, especially on our property? How did he even know where we lived?
‘If I’d been there, I would’ve given that bloke a mouthful. He had invaded her privacy – her personal space – and in that space were our three children, all of whom felt upset after seeing their mum get rattled.
Smith wrote that things were starting to ‘get out of hand’.
‘Barb and I live a simple life. We’re down-to-earth people doing the best we can. It just so happens that my job has a high profile,’ he wrote.
‘Away from footy, we just enjoy hanging out at home and being as far from the public eye as possible. This had crossed the line.’
The Melbourne Storm star addressed the 2018 headlines that he had fallen out with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater in his book, The Storm Within
The Melbourne Storm captain launched his much-anticipated autobiography The Storm Within at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Monday.
The book has sparked widespread anger and bewilderment as it addresses ‘cruel’ and ‘completely untrue’ rumours about having an affair with Fox Sports presenter Yvonne Sampson.
Smith’s PR team warned media to avoid the hot topic and to also sidestep questions about his family and wife Barbara, Courier Mail reported.
The book has gotten off to a rocky start with Smith cancelling 30 pre-planned interviews, because of family concerns, on Tuesday.
NRL superstar Cameron Smith refused to talk about his rumoured affair with Yvonne Sampson at his book launch despite writing about it in his autobiography
The book has sparked widespread anger and bewilderment as it addresses ‘cruel’ and ‘completely untrue’ rumours about having an affair with popular Fox sports presenter Ms Sampson
Channel Nine and Sydney Morning Herald journalist Danny Weidler has since slammed the $49.99 book, claiming it contains misinformation.
‘I’m finding it very hard to cop a lot of what Smith is saying,’ Weidler said on radio station Triple M on Tuesday.
‘Cameron Smith dipped into the sewer of rugby league to dredge out a rumour that was false about himself and Yvonne Sampson in order to get publicity for his book, that’s how I see it.
‘I didn’t think it had to be part of his book, he obviously did. That’s his decision, that’s fine.
‘Where I find it difficult to comprehend is he can bring that up, but won’t deal with the genuine story which is his fallout with Cooper Cronk.
‘I don’t have a personal thing with Cameron Smith, [but] some of his behaviour hasn’t impressed me.’
Smith ignited more controversy following the release of his new autobiography. He’s pictured with wife Barb at the 2018 Dally M awards
Ms Sampson was forced to respond to the false affair rumours last week after they were dredged up by Smith in the days leading to the autobiography’s release.
‘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,’ she told News Corp.
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.
False rumours of an affair with Ms Sampson began to circulate on social media ahead of the 2018 Grand Final.
Yvonne Sampson (pictured with her husband, reporter Chris O’Keefe) was forced to respond to false rumours of an affair after Smith dredged up the ‘cruel’ and ‘completely untrue’ claims while promoting his book
In his book, Smith said the rumours were ‘cruel’ and ‘completely untrue’ as he addressed the devastating impact the rumours had on his shattered wife.
‘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?’ he wrote.
Smith also revealed Ms Sampson asked him to deny the rumours alongside her on air when he appeared on her show, but he refused to do so.
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 marry later that year.
The champion hooker revealed his wife and Ms Sampson exchanged text messages in the aftermath of the rumours – checking on each other’s welfare.
How a one-word text message ended Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk’s friendship after fateful decision by the halfback left Smith so furious he wouldn’t pass him the ball on the field
BY CHARLIE COE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
A one-word text message between former NRL teammates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk reportedly marked the demise of their friendship.
The pair’s ongoing rift since Cronk left the Melbourne Storm at the end of the 2017 season to join the Sydney Roosters has been under the spotlight following the launch of Smith’s autobiography this week.
Speculation has grown the feud began when Smith turned down an invitation for him and his wife Barb to attend Cronk’s wedding in the months after the controversial career move.
The relationship between Smith and Cronk is believed to have soured in the build-up to the Roosters star’s wedding to wife Tara Rushton.
Relations soured between Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk (pictured right) after Cronk left the Melbourne Storm at the end of the 2017 season to be closer to wife Tara Rushton (left)
Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith (pictured after the Storm’s grand final win in 2017) were once close mates but relations became strained after Cronk left the club
The ex-teammates are believed to have kept their distance during the 2017 World Cup – with Smith even ignoring Cronk’s calls to be given the ball during games.
When Cronk contacted Smith because he hadn’t received a reply to the wedding RSVP, the Storm legend is believed to have turned the invitation down with a very curt reply.
Smith simply sent the word ‘no’ in a text message and the two have not spoken privately since, veteran rugby league journalist Paul Kent wrote in a column for The Daily Telegraph.
Their former teammates won’t shed any further light on the matter besides claiming Cronk was angered by the ‘abrupt no-show’.
Smith’s fractured relationship with Cronk and Storm teammate Billy Slater became public in 2018 when it was reported his wife Barb had a falling out with Slater’s wife, Nicole.
Their fractured friendship was seemingly laid bare for everyone to see when Cronk took on his old club in Roosters colours for the first time in mid 2018.
Tensions escalated in the 2018 NRL Grand Final when Cronk famously placed Smith in a chokehold (pictured) after taking exception to a crunching tackle
He warmly embraced all of his former teammates but offered only a brief handshake and minimal eye contact with Smith following the match.
Tensions spilled over on the field a few months later in the grand final when Cronk famously placed Smith in a chokehold after taking exception to a crunching tackle during the Roosters’ victory.
The former best mates then avoided each other after the match with reports Cronk abruptly changed direction to avoid coming face to face with his former captain.
Adding fuel to the fire, the pair both snubbed each other in post-match interviews and speeches.
Cronk (pictured with wife Tara Rushton) maintains there is no bad blood ‘from my end of the bargain’ in his relationship with Smith
Source: Daily Mail AU