NRL star forced to pay $490,000 in damages to ex-wife following controversial case

Former NRL star Michael Jennings has been ordered to pay his ex-wife nearly $500,000 in damages, with his conduct referred to police, following a civil dispute in the NSW District Court.

Wilden was seeking damages for personal injuries and made allegations that the former NRL star raped her during the time they spent together, something which Jennings vehemently denied.

Ms Wilden’s lawyer presented a series of social media posts made by Jennings’ current partner Kristin Harris following the publication of the case, with Wilden then considering defamation proceedings against Harris.

Wilden denied deleting several messages from her phone, which Jennings’ barrister Michelle Campbell described as damaging to her case.

Ms Campbell accused her of deleting the texts after being asked to produce them in a subpoena.

“I did not delete them,” Ms Wilden said.

She told the court that she had failed to produce them because her phone was “glitching” and some messages would not load properly. Wilden then went on to say that she had spent thousands of dollars to hire a specialist consultant to examine her phone in a bid to comply with the court’s request.

Though Wilden is suing Jennings, the former NRL three-quarter is not facing a criminal trial over rape accusations, despite the fact that Wilden insists that he raped her on several occasions between October 2014 and early 2016, during the course of unrelated civil proceedings in 2018.

Kirra Wilden, 32, told the court Jennings verbally and sexually abused her during their relationship which ended in May 2016. She said he would also drink and gamble heavily, and engaged in regular cocaine use.

Wilden alleged Jennings forced her to have sex on five or six occasions between October 2014 and May 2016 when the couple lived together, and that she developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the abuse.

Judge Wilson said Wilden “impressed as an honest and reliable witness … there was a consistency to her evidence which made it credible,” Stuff has reported.

On the other hand, he found Jennings’ testimony was “shown to be contradicted by the contemporaneous record” on a number of occasions, and “the manner in which he gave evidence was unimpressive”.

“He was reluctant to accept a number of propositions until they were demonstrated by the contemporaneous records to be correct,” Judge Wilson said.

“It is plain that Wilden has suffered enormous insult, humiliation, embarrassment and shame by the conduct of Jennings, and that ought to be reflected” in the award of damages, Judge Wilson said.

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