Suspended NRL star Michael Jennings has denied verbally abusing his ex-wife despite a court hearing of text messages in which he was accused of delivering a vile verbal tirade.
The former premiership winner and NSW flyer has been accused by his former wife Kirra Michelle Wilden of abusing and raping her “five or six times” from 2010 until their divorce in 2016.
Mr Jennings, 33, has emphatically denied the allegations, has not been charged and police have confirmed they have no record of a sexual assault complaint having been made against him.
In Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday, Mr Jennings admitted to swearing at her, but denied it ever descended into abuse during the civil case.
Suspended NRL star Michael Jennings and current partner Kristin Harris leave Sydney’s Downing Centre Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dylan Coker.Source:News Corp Australia
Ms Wilden’s barrister Jeremy Morris pointed to texts read out in court in which Ms Wilden accused Mr Jennings of getting drunk, punching a car, setting fire to his legs and calling her a “f***ing c**t”.”
“Don’t call me a f***ing c**t and tell me I’m ruining your life and think it’s okay,” she said in the text message from 2013.
“Don’t message me.”
Mr Jennings replied via text at the time: “When did I say that?”
Ms Wilden continued: “Last night. I’m over it, I’m not putting up with it anymore.
“You were acting crazy, punching the car and burning your leg hair off.
“I’m not putting up with it?”
On Wednesday, Mr Morris said: “Can you think of a worse word in the English language to call someone? … Calling a woman a c**t is not only hurtful, it’s vile, it’s shameful.”
“It’s hurtful,” Mr Jennings said.
He said he couldn’t remember the conversation in which he was alleged to have made those statements and denied ever being abusive towards her.
“I’m not aggressive, I’m not an aggressive person,” Mr Jennings said.
The court heard on Wednesday that it was a source of friction in their relationship that Mr Jennings would give his number to women who added him on social media or who he met at clubs.
Asked if he ever had relationships with other women while seeing Ms Wilden, Mr Jennings said: “I had friendly relationships.”
Pressed on whether they were sexual, he said: “No.”
Kirra Michelle Wilden’s (right) texts to Michael Jennings have been heard in court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard.Source:News Corp Australia
Mr Jennings is not facing a criminal trial over the rape accusations and is being sued by his ex-wife in civil proceedings.
Ms Wilden is seeking damages for personal injuries and has also claimed that he subjected her to emotional and verbal abuse.
She first made the claim, that he raped her on several occasions between October 2014 and early 2016, when the couple were getting divorced in 2018.
In her statement of claim, she had accused him of verbally abusing her and regularly drinking excessively and taking drugs.
On Tuesday, Mr Jennings admitted in court that he had taken cocaine while partying with mates and teammates during end-of-season Mad Monday celebrations in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
They occurred while he was at the Sydney Roosters in 2013 – the year of their grand final victory over Manly – 2014 and 2015 as well as his first year at Parramatta in 2016.
Michael Jennings celebrates the Sydney Roosters’ 2013 NRL premiership victory. He this week in court admitted to taking cocaine during Mad Monday celebrations following his side’s grand final victory over Melbourne. Picture Gregg PorteousSource:News Limited
Mr Jennings also revealed that he had received a first strike under the NRL’s illicit drugs police after returning a positive result for cocaine in September 2016 following Mad Monday celebrations with Eels teammates.
Under the NRL’s policy, the first strike is kept confidential and the player is forced to undergo counselling.
In an unrelated drug matter, the former NSW and Australian centre was suspended by the NRL in October after returning a positive test for performance-enhancing substances Ibutamoren and Ligandrol.
In May he agreed to walk away from the final 18 months of his contract which was worth a reported $400,000 per year.
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