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Sam Burgess tell-all interview: NRL star reveals the difficulty of co-parenting with ex-wife Phoebe

Sam Burgess has given a candid interview detailing his slide into infamy – while expressing hope for a new future. 

The NRL star, 32, was honest in revealing that co-parenting his young children, daughter Poppy, 4, and son Billy, 2, with ex-wife Phoebe Burgess, 32, is ‘difficult’. 

‘It is much harder than I thought it would be,’ he told Stellar Magazine’s new issue, which published on Saturday. 

Honest: Sam Burgess has given a candid interview detailing his slide into infamy – while expressing hope for a new future. Pictured in this week’s Stellar 

‘Essentially, I still think it is the right decision for us both. I still care about Phoebe, we have two amazing kids We just didn’t work out as a married couple,’ Sam added. 

‘We should work out as parents and that, to me, is the most important thing right now. I’m trying to better myself so we can be better co-parents, which is my ultimate goal in this situation’.

After splitting from former Rabbitohs captain Sam in 2019, Phoebe and her two children had resided with her parents in Bowral, located in the Southern Highlands, before moving to her own home in the same area last month. 

Hard: The NRL star, 32, was honest in revealing that co-parenting his young children daughter, Poppy, 4, and son Billy, 2, with ex-wife Phoebe Burgess, 32, is 'difficult'. Pictured with Phoebe

Hard: The NRL star, 32, was honest in revealing that co-parenting his young children daughter, Poppy, 4, and son Billy, 2, with ex-wife Phoebe Burgess, 32, is ‘difficult’. Pictured with Phoebe

Last year, The Australian newspaper published untested claims against Sam of wild partying and domestic abuse during his marriage – which he denied.

Elsewhere in the Stellar interview, Sam again vehemently denied any allegations of violence previously levelled at him. 

‘I’ve not said anything to this day about that… I categorically deny any case of domestic violence: being aggressive towards Phoebe – or any other woman,’ he said.

Burgess and ex-wife and Phoebe split in October 2019, after four tumultuous years of marriage.   

Candid: 'It is much harder than I thought it would be,' he told Stellar Magazine. 'Essentially, I still think it is the right decision for us both. I still care about Phoebe, we have two amazing kids We just didn't work out as a married couple,' Sam added. Pictured with his children

Candid: ‘It is much harder than I thought it would be,’ he told Stellar Magazine. ‘Essentially, I still think it is the right decision for us both. I still care about Phoebe, we have two amazing kids We just didn’t work out as a married couple,’ Sam added. Pictured with his children 

They had initially separated in December 2018 – shortly after the birth of their son, Billy – but reconciled in April, only to end things for good six months later. 

Speaking to Stellar Magazine earlier this year, Phoebe said she was still ‘in a daze’ after her marriage breakdown, and says she’s experienced, ‘a lot of pain, a lot of trauma, a lot of ugly stuff’ that has changed her.     

While Phoebe recovered with her parents in Bowral, Sam was embroiled in a series of legal woes following the breakdown of his marriage.    

Moves: After splitting from former Rabbitohs captain Sam in October 2019, Phoebe and her two children had resided with her parents in Bowral, located in the Southern Highlands, before moving to her own home in the same area last month

 Moves: After splitting from former Rabbitohs captain Sam in October 2019, Phoebe and her two children had resided with her parents in Bowral, located in the Southern Highlands, before moving to her own home in the same area last month

Sam spent four weeks at Gold Coast Detox after he was caught driving with traces of cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his children in February. 

Burgess says rehab was the best decision he could have made – even if he resisted it at first. 

‘I spent 28 days in rehab. And it gave me the tools to process and manage the scars or the injuries of my life. I was really reluctant to go. To be totally honest, I didn’t think I needed to go’, he tells Stellar. 

Working: 'We should work out as parents and that, to me, is the most important thing right now. I'm trying to better myself so we can be better co-parents, which is my ultimate goal in this situation' he added. The pair split for good in October 2019

Working: ‘We should work out as parents and that, to me, is the most important thing right now. I’m trying to better myself so we can be better co-parents, which is my ultimate goal in this situation’ he added. The pair split for good in October 2019

However after a week of treatment, Sam changed his mind and opted to complete the course rather than leaving after seven days. 

‘I went back and said, ‘I’ll be here for 28 days. I’m in the right place,” the athlete admitted.  

Burgess had fled Sydney to seek help at the $1,500-a-day Queensland rehab resort, which is so secretive it does not disclose its oceanfront address. 

Split:  Last year, The Australian newspaper published untested claims against Sam of wild partying and domestic abuse during his marriage - which he denied. 'I've not said anything to this day about that... I categorically deny any case of domestic violence: being aggressive towards Phoebe – or any other woman,' he said

Split:  Last year, The Australian newspaper published untested claims against Sam of wild partying and domestic abuse during his marriage – which he denied. ‘I’ve not said anything to this day about that… I categorically deny any case of domestic violence: being aggressive towards Phoebe – or any other woman,’ he said

Gold Coast Detox and Rehab Services runs an exclusive residential program from a three-storey designer house at Currumbin which caters for only six guests at a time.

The luxury private accommodation is set in a ‘home-style residential retreat’ which includes 24-hour professional care ‘without the hospital atmosphere’.   

Sam had earlier told The Sydney Morning Herald of his rehab stay, ‘It has changed my life and I have to say that I wish I did this some time earlier.’ 

He even hopes that he could have a career resurgence, adding: ‘My next aim is to restart my professional life and I want to be involved with rugby league again.’  

Away: Sam fled Sydney to seek help at a $1,500-a-day rehab so secretive it does not disclose its address. Gold Coast Detox and Rehab (pictured) runs a residential program from a three-storey house at Currumbin which caters for only six guests at a time

Away: Sam fled Sydney to seek help at a $1,500-a-day rehab so secretive it does not disclose its address. Gold Coast Detox and Rehab (pictured) runs a residential program from a three-storey house at Currumbin which caters for only six guests at a time

Detox: Burgess says rehab was the best decision he could have made. 'I spent 28 days in rehab. And it gave me the tools to process and manage the scars or the injuries of my life. I was really reluctant to go. To be totally honest, I didn't think I needed to go', he said

Detox: Burgess says rehab was the best decision he could have made. ‘I spent 28 days in rehab. And it gave me the tools to process and manage the scars or the injuries of my life. I was really reluctant to go. To be totally honest, I didn’t think I needed to go’, he said 

The South Sydney captain retired from NRL due to a shoulder injury back in 2019. 

Burgess goes on to tell Stellar that he internalised the shock of losing his father in 2007 – a process that damaged him. 

Sam lost his dad Mark to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which is a neurological disorder that causes severe disability and even death. 

The Sydney Rabboitohs star was just 15 when his father was first diagnosed and he nursed him through the last stage of his life.

Sam even hopes that he could have a career resurgence, adding: 'My next aim is to restart my professional life and I want to be involved with rugby league again'

Sam even hopes that he could have a career resurgence, adding: ‘My next aim is to restart my professional life and I want to be involved with rugby league again’

‘The moment Dad passed away, I went to training the next day. We held the funeral a week later, I played two days after the funeral and from that day, my life became about sport. That was my escape. So I never really mourned my father,’ he says. 

‘I became obsessed with sport and being as good as I could be. I wanted to change my life – change my family’s life – forever. So that’s probably one of the deepest, biggest scars of my life’. 

Sam had earlier said in 2014: ‘I never believed he was going to die – I thought it was a myth. I thought that people can survive cancer, so my dad would survive that. 

‘My dad was my hero so I thought he would be able to beat it, but it moved fast. It’s a terrible disease. It’s an awful thing.’

Tragic: Burgess goes on to say that he internalised the shock of losing his father in 2007 - a process that damaged him. Sam lost his dad Mark (pictured) to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which is a neurological disorder that causes severe disability and even death

Tragic: Burgess goes on to say that he internalised the shock of losing his father in 2007 – a process that damaged him. Sam lost his dad Mark (pictured) to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which is a neurological disorder that causes severe disability and even death

The candid interview comes after Burgess escaped conviction for driving with cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his two young children in February. 

Burgess pleaded guilty in May to driving with traces of cocaine present in his saliva.  

Magistrate Mark Douglass said in Moss Vale Local Court that Burgess had shown remorse, contrition and insight into his behaviour.   

Mr Douglass said Burgess had undergone a ‘very arduous and rigorous’ four-week residential rehabilitation program after his offending. That program did relate specifically to drugs. 

Hard: 'The moment Dad passed away, I went to training the next day... I became obsessed with sport and being as good as I could be. I wanted to change my life – change my family's life – forever. So that's probably one of the deepest, biggest scars of my life' Sam said. Pictured with his father and brothers as a child

Hard: ‘The moment Dad passed away, I went to training the next day… I became obsessed with sport and being as good as I could be. I wanted to change my life – change my family’s life – forever. So that’s probably one of the deepest, biggest scars of my life’ Sam said. Pictured with his father and brothers as a child 

Solicitor Bryan Wrench said his client had attended a residential program and had returned clean drug tests since the offence.

Mr Douglass placed Burgess on a nine-month conditional release order in relation to the drug matter and fined him $581 for each of two traffic offences. 

Burgess has also pleaded guilty to driving without a NSW licence and driving while unregistered.

Court: It comes after Burgess escaped conviction for driving with cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his two young children in February. Burgess pleaded guilty in May to driving with traces of cocaine present in his saliva

Court: It comes after Burgess escaped conviction for driving with cocaine in his system while on his way to pick up his two young children in February. Burgess pleaded guilty in May to driving with traces of cocaine present in his saliva 

He was not accused of driving under the influence of cocaine, only with the less serious offence of having the drug present in his system when he was behind the wheel. 

Sam was subjected to a random roadside drug test after being pulled over by highway patrol officers in the Southern Highlands about 1.30pm on Monday, February 22.

Burgess had been on his way to collect daughter Poppy and son Billy from Bowral, about 8km away, when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar.

Charges: The 32-year-old was subjected to a random roadside drug test after being pulled over by highway patrol officers in the Southern Highlands about 1.30pm on Monday, February 22. Burgess had been on his way to collect four-year-old daughter Poppy and two-year-old son Billy from Bowral when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar

Charges: The 32-year-old was subjected to a random roadside drug test after being pulled over by highway patrol officers in the Southern Highlands about 1.30pm on Monday, February 22. Burgess had been on his way to collect four-year-old daughter Poppy and two-year-old son Billy from Bowral when police stopped his BMW X5 on the Hume Highway at Braemar

A preliminary test detected signs of cocaine in his saliva and Burgess was taken to Southern Highlands police station where a secondary oral fluid test was undertaken.

That test returned positive to cocaine. 

Burgess had celebrated his older brother Luke’s 34th birthday in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier.

Test: Burgess was surprised by the initial positive test and was concerned by any suggestion his driving could have been inhibited. He had celebrated his older brother Luke's 34th birthday in Sydney's eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier

Test: Burgess was surprised by the initial positive test and was concerned by any suggestion his driving could have been inhibited. He had celebrated his older brother Luke’s 34th birthday in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at Coogee beachside restaurant Marrah two nights earlier

Burgess was pulled over three weeks after he was found guilty of intimidating his father-in-law Mitchell Hooke during a heated clash while visiting his two children at the Hooke family home near Bowral in October 2019.    

That conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal. Burgess has no criminal record in Australia or the United Kingdom.  

Sam has been filming the second season of SAS Australia, the top-rating TV series which puts contestants through a modified special-forces selection regime.

TV: Sam has been filming the second season of SAS Australia, the top-rating Channel Seven TV series which puts contestants through a modified special-forces selection regime

TV: Sam has been filming the second season of SAS Australia, the top-rating Channel Seven TV series which puts contestants through a modified special-forces selection regime 

Pain: In a trailer for the new season, the athlete admits during an interrogation he 'lost respect' for himself when his marriage fell apart. 'I lost my career, my kids and my marriage. I've lost it all. I obviously lost respect for myself,' he tells the Directing Staff

Pain: In a trailer for the new season, the athlete admits during an interrogation he ‘lost respect’ for himself when his marriage fell apart. ‘I lost my career, my kids and my marriage. I’ve lost it all. I obviously lost respect for myself,’ he tells the Directing Staff 

He will discuss his divorce from ex-wife Phoebe in the upcoming season of  the Channel reality show. 

In a trailer for the new season, the athlete admits during an interrogation he ‘lost respect’ for himself when his marriage fell apart.

‘I lost my career, my kids and my marriage. I’ve lost it all. I obviously lost respect for myself,’ he admitted. 

Read more: In this week's issue of Stellar with Sam Burgess on the cover

Read more: In this week’s issue of Stellar with Sam Burgess on the cover 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk