Grim cost of golden couple’s split
Just one year ago Sam and Phoebe Burgess were Australia's golden couple.
The successful TV presenter and her hunky NRL superstar husband dominated glitzy showbiz events, walking red carpets together at events, arm in arm, setting the bar high. It seemed the pair had the perfect relationship, the world entirely at their feet.
But just a few weeks ago, it was revealed the Burgess' almost four year marriage was over. The pair had called time on their relationship for the second time in 10 months.
Since then, things have begun to unravel at an alarming rate.
This week Sam was forced into early retirement after being plagued by a "chronic left shoulder condition" and he was charged with domestic violence-related intimidation after a reported dispute with his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke.
Police had filed an interim Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO) following an incident at Phoebe's parents home in Bowral earlier in October, this week serving his lawyers with notice of the criminal offence charge.
The 30-year-old is expected to appear at Moss Vale Local Court on 18 December.
Despite his apparent troubles, Sam hasn't appeared to have been letting his change in luck get to him - heading to Mexico to enjoy a getaway with mates.
While there, he's been lapping up the sunshine and a few drinks on a luxury boat, where social media footage showed things getting a little wild as women in bikinis climbed on his and his mates shoulders.
At the same time, reports emerged back home the footy star was sending "flirty" text messages to Married At First Sight alum Jessika Power - something the reality star shut down when contacted by news.com.au.
"Honestly, when I heard about his situation I wished him well and we had a small conversation. That's it. He never offered to fly me anywhere either," she said.
All this drama has unfolded as his estranged wife retreated to her family home with their kids, Poppy, two, and Billy, 10 months.
Phoebe has remained tight-lipped about their troubles, but her Instagram shows an idyllic family life, her doting on the two kids.
A photo shared at the start of the week shows the mum sitting on a trampoline in the back yard, little Billy beside her and Poppy leaning in for a kiss.
"No where I'd rather be," she captioned the snap.
Another photo shows Phoebe is still working, sharing a snap of the kids in the bath and tagging it as a "paid sponsorship" with Johnsons Baby Australia. She also currently has roles with vitamin brand Ostelin and coffee company Nespresso.
View this post on Instagram
With a 10 month old & a 2.5 year old, they enjoy almost everything differently 👶🏼👧🏼, including bath time 🛁 whether we’re all in the tub together🧖🏼♀️ or Billy’s thrown in the sink at the farm (yes he still fits. Just. ) or Pops is all about the bubbles and play 💚one thing is consistent : we NEVER miss it !! The latest and greatest, and our personal favourite, to come out of the @johnsonsbabyau lab 👩🏼🔬🔬is their new Cottontouch range 🍃🌾🌿 (created with REAL cotton fibres) 🧺. It’s the perfect PH balance for newborns’ sensitive skin🧼, leaves no residue, feels as smooth as a baby’s bum 🧸and smells like heaven 🍏(it is also my Billy’s smell as I have used it on him since his very first bath 👶🏼) which is why I now hijack the kids’ bath time 🧖🏼♀️.... #Cottontouch #PBpartner #imajohnsonsmum #ChooseGentle
The couple called it quits for the second time this month after a desperate last-ditch attempt to save their marriage following a high-profile sexting scandal. They previously broke up in December 2018, just weeks after their son Billy was born, and reunited a few months later.
THE FIRST BREAK-UP
In January, just three weeks after the couple welcomed their newborn son William, who goes by the nickname Billy, shock reports emerged claiming they had split.
Once again, things began to unravel at an alarming rate for the former lovebirds, with the rumour mill going into overdrive - including claims of a bitter family divide.
Sam's mum Julie and his sister-in-law Johanna appeared to snub Phoebe when they appeared to unfollow her on Instagram. Julie also removed a feature photo from the couple's lavish wedding from her Facebook account, replacing it with a snap of her grandkids.
By March though, there were claims the pair were "back on track" after Phoebe was pictured supporting hubby Sam as he trained for a big Rabbitohs game.
THE SEXTING SCANDAL
Speculation that things weren't going well had begun months before Sam was snapped moving his belongings out of their Eastern Suburbs home in January, when the pair were rocked by a sexting scandal.
A woman claimed she was exposed to lewd images of Rabbitohs players sent from Sam's social media account.
The 30-year-old league player was embroiled in the controversy in September 2018, though Sam was later officially cleared of any wrongdoing by the Souths.
In emails to the club, the 23-year-old woman claimed she felt violated in her online interaction with the players, who she claimed exposed themselves to her in a video chat.
The dad-of-two later admitted the media attention had taken a devastating toll on his family, saying it pained him to see the upset the whole ordeal had caused Phoebe, who was six months pregnant at the time.
"I'm not angry. What hurts me the most is seeing my wife upset about what's out there," he told reporters, adding he was hoping the situation would be "resolved quickly".
"I just want to protect my family in this whole thing.
"I've got a wife. I've got a daughter. My wife's heavily pregnant. I just want them to be safe and happy. In my current situation at home there's just no chance of that."
The strain on their relationship must have been monumental, though you wouldn't have known it looking at Phoebe's blissfully happy family snaps on her social media at the time.
THEIR WHIRLWIND ROMANCE
After meeting at an Avicii concert in Sydney back in 2014, the pair had a secret long distance relationship for eight months before going public at the Dally M's.
When Sam relocated to Bath in the UK to play with Bath Rugby for three years, Phoebe didn't hesitate to follow him, cementing their romance.
"As much as Sam will probably cringe at this, when you love someone, you know where you're supposed to be," she told a British paper at the time.
Eight months later, Phoebe was flashing a large diamond ring on her engagement finger following a romantic holiday to Greece, sparking rumours the pair had become engaged.
The happy news was later confirmed by Samantha Armytage who wished the then Phoebe Hooke her sincerest congratulations on social media, accidentally letting the cat out of the bag.
Just six months later, the loved-up couple tied the knot in Bowral, surrounded by their friends and family. The stylish wedding was held at her family home, with Sam telling the world it was the "most amazing day of my life".
NOT OVER YET
While things between Phoebe and Sam have gone pretty quiet at the moment with the pair in different countries, if the drama of the last few weeks is anything to go by, the Burgess break-up saga is only just beginning.