The rugby star Kurtley Beale told his rape accuser he “misread the situation” and profusely apologised to the woman in a secretly taped phone call, a court has heard.
The 35-year-old is facing a New South Wales district court trial charged with one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching related to an alleged assault at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel in December 2022.
The former Wallabies playmaker has pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his lawyer arguing the sexual interaction at the Sydney pub was consensual.
In a phone call Beale did not know was being recorded by police, he told the woman he was under the impression she was interested in him and expressed concerns that she would go public.
“I was super fucking pissed, but no excuses in that regard,” Beale said in the call, which was played to a jury on Tuesday.
“I’m so sorry I made you feel like this. I misjudged the whole situation. Now I’m fucking nervous.”
During her first day of evidence on Monday, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, detailed allegations that Beale touched her bottom and forced her to perform oral sex in a toilet cubicle.
The recorded phone call took place between the pair on 19 January, 2023 – about a month after the alleged rape occurred.
Beale initially told the woman he did not remember seeing her on the night but later suggested “we hooked up”.
“We didn’t really hook up,” the woman replied in the taped call.
The woman earlier told the jury a “heavily intoxicated” Beale touched the bare skin of her bottom in a main bar area, and later grabbed her head and thrust his penis forcefully into her mouth inside a locked cubicle in the men’s toilet.
“We went to the men’s bathroom and then I thought for some reason it was on,” Beale said in the call.
“You got your dick out,” the woman tells him.
“Yeah I remember, I remember,” Beale replied.
The woman asked Beale why he thought she was interested in him when she kept telling him “no”.
“Maybe it’s just … blurred vision and kind of not understanding the situation,” Beale replied.
The rugby player’s barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, earlier told the jury there was no force involved in the alleged rape and the defence case was that the complainant consented.
Beale also said during the call that he remembered touching the woman on the bottom, an act he described as “inappropriate”.
“Fuck, sorry about that,” he said. “It was not OK at all, I’m just kind of recollecting now.”
The woman had not previously met the rugby player but had followed him on Instagram, the court heard previously.
During the phone call, Beale repeatedly expressed concerns the incident could become public and damage his reputation.
“How do I know you’re not going to take things further?” Beale asked. “Because of my profile and stuff.
“Can we deal with it in a civil way or a way that’s kind of protecting both of us.”
Cunneen urged the jury to consider the woman’s honesty and reliability when giving evidence.
In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732)