Former rugby league player Paul Gallen has finally commented on the injuries he suffered during a pub brawl that was captured on video. Gallen was seen leaving his home in Sydney with his family, showing visible wounds including a cut above his right eye, marks on his forehead and cheek, and abrasions on his left elbow. The 42-year-old State of Origin legend, accompanied by his wife and four children, quickly put on sunglasses upon realizing he was being photographed. When approached for comment, Gallen responded with, "What do you want?"
Gallen's wife, Anne Gallen, defended him, stating that he "didn't do anything." The brawl took place at the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel on the NSW south coast, where Gallen was restrained by several men. Initially denying any knowledge of the incident, Gallen later issued a statement acknowledging his involvement but denying the use of any punches. He claimed that the video footage did not accurately depict the entire situation, which included him being struck first.
When asked to provide further details not captured in the video, Gallen refused to comment, stating that he had already said what he needed to say. He declined to comment on his colleague Mark Levy's involvement in the incident. Witnesses reported that the fight broke out after Gallen lost a pool game and a cue was broken over a table. Several sources confirmed that Gallen was bleeding from the face after being punched.
Despite the video evidence showing Gallen being restrained by multiple individuals, no police were called to the scene. Gallen and Levy, who had arrived at the pub together, returned to their accommodation via the hotel's courtesy bus. The management of the hotel declined to comment on the brawl.
Paul Gallen, renowned for his rugby league career with the Cronulla Sharks, has been involved in controversial incidents in the past. In 2014, he admitted to unintentionally using a banned peptide, resulting in a reduced ban. Since retiring from the NRL in 2018, Gallen has pursued a boxing career and has also worked as a television and radio commentator.
As of now, Gallen has provided no further comment on the incident.