‘Traumatic’: Fifita addresses jail stint
DAVID Fifita says he's "learnt a big lesson" after arriving safely in Brisbane following a three-day stint in a Bali jail.
The Brisbane NRL star arrived in Brisbane early on Tuesday and was greeted by his mother Gwen and club CEO Paul White before giving a short statement to media.
Facing more than two years in jail for assault, White confirmed that Fifita had to pay compensation out of his own pocket to reach a peace settlement with the complainant, a security guard he allegedly punched early on Saturday morning.
Fifita was holidaying in Bali with Brisbane teammate Payne Haas when the alleged incident occurred.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has worked to help me get home," Fifita said. "I'd like to thank Walshy, Payne and my lawyers over in Bali and everyone at the Brisbane Broncos.
"There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I am really grateful for that.
"It is a great feeling being back to see my family. I have learnt a big lesson from what I've been through over the past few days."
White addressed reporters before Fifita, saying the rising star had endured a "traumatic" experience.
"We don't condone that he made a poor decision, putting himself in that nightclub precinct at that hour of the morning," White said.
"I suppose nothing good happens after midnight.
"What's played out, the story that has been played out within the media over the last few days, Dave will have a different version of events to that.
"That will be up to the NRL Integrity Unit to validate that independently of ourselves and we look forward to that opportunity.
"We are just happy to have him out of that cell in Kuta. He had been there for three days and for a young man, we understand it was quite a harrowing experience.
"He was in custody for three days and the conditions, as you can imagine, in the cell over there are very different to what you would experience if you were in custody in this country.
"So that in itself is a fairly traumatic experience and we knew the longer that went on we became concerned for his mental health and concerned for what his family, and in particular his mother, was going through."
The NRL Integrity Unit will investigate the incident, which took place at the same nightspot where Melbourne's Nelson Asofa- Solomona was involved in a wild brawl a month ago, which resulted in a three-game ban and a suspended $15,000 fine.
"David was respectful of Indonesian law and co-operated fully with local law enforcement throughout his incarceration," a statement from the Broncos on Monday night read.
"The Broncos have been working closely with the NRL integrity unit, and David will outline his version of events to the unit in coming days."
Fifita is set to enter the final year of his NRL contract with Brisbane and is widely considered the hottest free agent available for the 2021 season. He has been linked with a number of NRL clubs on deals worth a reported $1 million a season.