Ex-NRL star admits using cocaine during Mad Monday celebrations

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Ex-NRL star Michael Jennings took cocaine on four occasions during Mad Monday celebrations including following the Sydney Roosters’ 2013 grand final win, a court has heard.

The former Origin flyer and NRL premiership-winner told the NSW District Court on Tuesday that he had taken the drugs while partying during end-of-season celebrations in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

The 33-year-old made the revelations as he fights back against his former wife who is seeking damage for personal injuries and accused him of raping her during their relationship.

Mr Jennings is defending the civil proceedings and during his testimony over the last day-and-a-half has denied accusations that he raped Kirra Michelle Wilden “five or six times” before they separated in March 2016.

In her statement of claim, she also accused him of verbally abusing her and regularly drinking excessively and taking drugs.

The court heard that Ms Wilden had alleged that she found small plastic containers with the residue of white powder in his trousers while doing his washing throughout their relationship.

He denied the allegation that he was a recreational drug user but told Judge David Wilson that he did cocaine on four occasions – all of which occurred on Mad Monday following his side’s last game of the season.

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.

Asked by his barrister the circumstances in which he consumed drugs, Mr Jennings said: “On four occasions during the relationship, in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and under the circumstances it was the last game of the season and it was on a Mad Monday celebration.”

He admitted to consuming cocaine but said he never purchased the drugs.

“At the party that we were celebrating at, mates usually or someone provided it at the party,” he told the court.

Mr Jennings denied that he drank excessively during his relationship with Ms Wilden which began in 2010, saying he would go through long periods of abstinence in the NRL pre-season, and during the season he would sometimes drink after games.

He has been accused of raping Ms Wilden “five or six times” between October 2014 and early 2016.

Mr Jennings has denied raping Ms Wilden and has never been charged by police.

During his evidence he maintained that the sexual assaults “never occurred”.

The court heard on Monday that Ms Wilden first made the claims of rape while speaking to a psychiatrist at the urging of her then lawyer in 2018.

Mr Jennings recalled that he was at training in March 2019 when he was informed about the rape allegations after Ms Wilden’s lawyer rang his solicitor.

“It was the first time I had heard of any sexual allegations against me,” Mr Jennings said.

He said that after learning of the allegation he wanted to speak to police and did so later in 2020.

Asked about the details of his complaint to police about Ms Wilden, he said: “Extortion.”

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.

He agreed in May to walk away from the final 18 months of his contract which was worth a reported $400,000 per year.

The hearing continues.

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