Disgraced rugby league star Joe Westerman has been rebuilding his life by enjoying a loving relationship with the wife of a former friend, MailOnline can reveal.
Mr Westerman was dumped by his wife after being caught on camera performing a lewd sex act with a woman in an alleyway behind a Greggs in his hometown.
The embarrassing headlines last February, sparked by the footage that went viral on social media, also landed the 33-year-old player in hot water with his Super League club Castleford Tigers.
But six months on Mr Westerman appears to have found happiness with local estate agent Alison Hopkinson, 34.
Speaking from her family home in Castleford, Ms Hopkinson confirmed she was in a relationship with Mr Westerman.
Shamed rugby star Joe Westerman has shared images of himself with new girlfriend Alison Hopkinson on social media – including one snap at the Pontefract Races
Westerman, 33, shared another photo of himself laughing with new love Alison Hopkinson, captioning the picture: ‘Sumet tickled us’ with a smiling emoji
Joe Westerman with wife Louise in happier times
Joe Westerman pictured earlier this year after video footage surfaced of him performing a sex act on a woman behind a Greggs
Westerman was filmed in a compromising position in a graphic video that was then widely circulated on social media in February
Asked about their relationship she said ‘yes that’s right but I don’t want to say anything further thanks.’
The rugby star went public with the relationship six weeks ago when he posted a photo of them on his Instagram account laughing and sitting close together.
Friends commented ‘Awww cuties’ and ‘looking happy pal.’
Then a week ago Mr Westerman, a father-of-three, posted another picture on social media of him posing with his attractive blonde companion at Pontefract races and put a love heart emoji next to her name.
It prompted Sue Robinson to comment: ‘You look so happy I’m so pleased for you xx.’
Ms Hopkinson has two young children of her own. She is understood to be estranged from her husband Carl, 35.
And judging by the loving photos of the couple any hopes of Mr Westerman repairing his marriage to primary school teacher wife Lauren, 33, appear to be over.
The drunken 6ft 4in forward was filmed performing a sex act on a ‘friend’s wife’ after a night out in Pontefract town centre. He was then left humiliated when a graphic seven second clip showing him with his trousers down appeared on social media.
Joe Westerman pictured playing for England in a Combined Nations All Stars match in June 2021. He has played top-flight rugby for 13 years
Westerman was booed by fans as he returned to the pitch days after video of his illicit encounter was posted on social media – but he appeared to be in high spirits
The rugby player is currently signed to boyhood team Castleford Tigers, where he plays as a loose forward
He issued a grovelling apology in which he vowed to ‘work on my decision-making around alcohol’ and was fined and ordered to do community work by his club.
But that was nothing compared to the fury he faced from his wife Lauren back home.
In texts to his wife he claimed not to remember anything about what happened.
He texted: ‘Words will never ever explain how sorry I am. I can’t explain what happened cos I physically can’t remember. It’s disgusting and I now have to live with it forever. Losing you and the kids is heart-breaking Lauren, you deserve so much better.’
Adding: ‘You always said alcohol would f*** me up. Story of my life. I miss you like crazy. U was perfect. I need you to know I can’t remember anything about that night. I look like a zombie.’
But his grovelling didn’t work and he was thrown out by his furious wife who was unable to stop her 14-year-old daughter seeing the video.
Speaking about the woman in the video, Ms Westerman told the Sun: ‘It’s the children I feel for. Our children and her children.
‘She’ll never live it down. She’s lost her job and there are memes of her sweeping the internet, her children are going to see that.’
Ms Westerman had said she would ‘never be able to get it out of my mind’ after telling friends her marriage is ‘one trillion per cent finished’.
She said: ‘What kind of example would I be setting to my children – particularly my girls – if I were to give it another go?
‘I want them to know that this is not alright, that it isn’t acceptable behaviour in a relationship and that we all have self-worth.
‘I now have to think about my children and begin rebuilding our future together. It’s daunting, but he’s got no one to blame but himself.’
She said: ‘Truth is, he only told me because it was on social media. But I’m glad it was found because the thought of kissing him after that just makes me feel sick.’
The angry wife said the video caused irreparable harm to her and their three children but she said she was ‘glad’ she had seen it.
Joe Westerman with wife Lauren before he was kicked out of the marital home
Lauren Westerman pictured earlier this year after video footage emerged of her husband performing a sex act on another woman behind a branch of Greggs. She told friends the marriage was ‘one trillion per cent finished’
Text messages sent from Joe Westerman to wife Lauren as he sought her forgiveness
Mr Westerman, who has played twice for England during a 13-year career in the top flight, married Lauren in 2014.
Ms Westerman added that she hoped he could conquer his drink problem and be a good co-parenting father to his children given time.
And family snaps he has posted on Instagram suggest he is doing just that.
Since the February scandal Mr Westerman has kept a low-profile and has continued playing for Castleford Tigers.
He has made no further comment about the incident or what has happened since.