Joanna Burgess (née King) has been criticised after publicly commenting on her brother-in-law Sam’s split from wife Phoebe.
The WAG, who is the wife of Sam’s brother George Burgess, shared a surprisingly candid Instagram post last week revealing that Phoebe had ‘never joined the Burgess’ side of the family’ for Christmas in the past.
Joanna’s revelation prompted one of her social media followers to say she had displayed a ‘lack of compassion and humility’.
The interior design student subsequently turned off all comments on her Instagram.
‘You have no care in the world for your sister-in-law!’ Joanna Burgess (left) has been accused of ‘lacking compassion’ after publicly commenting on Phoebe (right) and Sam’s marriage split
One critic wrote: ‘You made a comment as though you had no care in the world for your sister-in-law.
‘It was the inability to show compassion and humility that caught the attention of your followers because however close you might be now with your husband and his family, another in a very similar circumstances was suffering [sic].’
They concluded: ‘Compassion and looking outside your circumstances is the real test of character and that post demonstrates you have neither.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Joanna Burgess for comment.
Backlash: Joanna’s revelation that Phoebe ‘never attended’ the Burgess family’s annual Christmas lunches prompted one of her social media followers (above) to say she had displayed a ‘lack of compassion and humility’
The purpose of Joanna’s original post about the Burgess family’s annual Christmas lunch was to shut down speculation that she had taken a ‘swipe’ at Phoebe.
In a post shared to Instagram late last year, Joanna had claimed the most recent get-together, which took place at a restaurant in Watson’s Bay, ‘was the best one yet’.
Phoebe wasn’t pictured in the Christmas family photo, leading fans to wonder whether Joanna’s post was a thinly-veiled swipe at her sister-in-law.
Breaking her silence: Last week, Joanna – who is the wife of Sam’s brother George – shared a surprisingly candid Instagram post revealing that Phoebe had ‘never joined the Burgess’ side of the family’ for Christmas in the past. Pictured: Sam and Phoebe Burgess
But Joanna clarified last week: ‘It is not in my nature to take a dig at someone.
‘Phoebe has never joined the Burgess side for previous Christmas festivities. Therefore it couldn’t possibly be aimed at her!’
She continued: ‘My last year’s Christmas upload I used a similar caption as it was our son’s first Christmas. This year we had our daughter join the three of us, hence it being the “best one yet”‘.
Joanna later deleted the post.
Married couple: Joanna is pictured with her husband George, who is Sam’s brother and teammate on the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team
‘It is not my nature’: The purpose of Joanna’s original post about the Burgess family’s annual Christmas lunch (above) was to shut down speculation that she had taken a ‘swipe’ at Phoebe
It comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed that Phoebe had unfollowed Joanna and George Burgess on Instagram last Thursday.
Shortly afterwards, Joanna likewise unfollowed Phoebe.
Meanwhile, reports surfaced last week describing Phoebe and Sam’s marriage split as ‘pretty messy’.
Taking a swipe? In this post shared to Instagram late last year, Joanna had claimed the Burgess family’s most recent get-together ‘was the best one yet’. Phoebe wasn’t pictured in the photo, leading fans to wonder whether Joanna’s post was a thinly-veiled swipe at her sister-in-law
A close friend of the former couple told The Daily Telegraph that ‘things have been bad for a while’.
The insider explained that the break-up was particularly hard on Phoebe because Sam’s mother Julie was standing by her son.
‘It would have been hard for Phoebe because Julie would have completely stuck by Sam… and there’s talk she didn’t offer Phoebe much support,’ they claimed.
It’s over! It was revealed last week that Sam and Phoebe separated shortly before Christmas, just weeks after the birth of their second child. Pictured on September 28, 2016 in Sydney
It was revealed last week that Sam and Phoebe separated shortly before Christmas, just weeks after the birth of their second child, son William ‘Billy’ Burgess.
Fans soon began rallying behind the glamorous journalist on Instagram after news of the split made headlines.
‘I’m very sorry to hear what has happened. Sending all of my love during this difficult time,’ one person commented.
‘You’re doing an awesome job as a mum’: Fans began rallying behind Phoebe (pictured while pregnant last year) on Instagram after news of her split from Sam made headlines
Other comments included: ‘My heart is breaking for you’ and ‘You’re doing an awesome job as a mum to a toddler and a newborn and you’ve got this.’
Last week, Sam disabled comments on some of his Instagram photos where he was pictured with Phoebe due to trolling.
Sam and Phoebe first met at an Avicii concert in Sydney in January 2014.
They kept their fledgling relationship a secret for eight months, before making their debut as a couple at the Dally M Awards in Sydney in September that year.
Their relationship progressed quickly and just a month later, in October 2014, Phoebe relocated to England to support her boyfriend after he signed with a rugby union team in Bath, Somerset.
Support: Fans have been rallying behind the glamorous journalist on Instagram after news of the split made headlines. Pictured: Sam and Phoebe on February 11, 2016 in Sydney
By June 2015, they were engaged following a romantic holiday in Greece.
The couple returned to Sydney in November 2015, after Sam re-signed with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and they married a month later in December 2015 at Phoebe’s parents’ home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
In January 2017, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Poppy Alice, who will soon turn two.
Their second child, son William ‘Billy’ Mark, was born only last month.
Hard times: Despite welcoming their son Billy just last month, there’s no denying 2018 was a difficult year for the couple
But despite what should have been one of the happiest times of their lives, a difficult few months clearly took a toll on the NRL’s ‘golden couple’.
Sam and Phoebe started 2018 with what appeared to be a fairytale marriage.
In a May 2018 interview with Stellar magazine, Phoebe praised her husband, calling him quite simply ‘a good man’.
‘The moment he had a daughter, he had this amazing new appreciation for the other 50 per cent of the population,’ she said.
‘He doesn’t skirt his responsibilities as a father. He never takes off and goes out with the boys instead of being a dad.
‘He always makes the right choice – which I’ve never bullied him to do! He’s just a good man. And it’s sexy.’
Fairytale romance: Sam and Phoebe married in December 2015 at Phoebe’s parents’ home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales
However, he was involved in an NRL ‘sexting’ scandal in September 2018 when it emerged his verified Facebook account was used to solicit a nude video chat with a 23-year-old woman in May.
He was later cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team.
He also clarified on Twitter at the time, ‘I have not sexted anyone’.
Making a move: Their relationship progressed quickly, with Phoebe relocating to England to support her boyfriend after he signed with a rugby union team in Bath, Somerset in late 2014