Haas lawyer slams reason for ‘gentle giant’s’ arrest
The lawyer for strife-prone Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas has slammed reports the hulking forward was involved in a domestic incident when he was arrested over the weekend, saying he's a "gentle giant" who is struggling with grief and sudden stardom.
Haas, a Kangaroos and Blues representative, was arrested at Tweed Heads on Saturday night and charged with intimidating police and using offensive language after an alleged incident with his pregnant partner, Leilani Mohenoa.
But Haas's lawyer, Campbell MacCallum, said reports of a domestic situation were "completely false".
"Payne was enjoying a night out with his wife having dinner and a few drinks," Mr MacCallum told The Courier-Mail.
"What a lot of the public don't know is that Payne's older brother (Chase, 21) passed away last year and Payne has been struggling with a huge amount of grief over this.
"The passing of his brother added to the pressure of being thrown into the limelight with his rapid rise to rugby league stardom was bubbling to the surface.
"He has a big family support system but his wife describes him as shy and the type of person who "bottles up" his emotions.
"His partner describes Payne as a gentle giant at all times at home and the reports of a domestic situation included in the situation are completely false."
Mr MacCallum said Haas and Ms Mohenoa were sitting and talking 'and Payne was upset'. "His partner was consoling him and trying to settle him down as all of his emotions spilt over," he said.
"Police were in the area and attending to a wild incident (brawl) about 20m away which had nothing to do with Payne.
"The police approached him out of the blue and started firing questions at him. Payne was in a heightened state of emotion, confused and being confronted with many police officers. "What transpired after that will be the subject of further enquiries but he is devastated, as is his partner, that inaccurate reports of a domestic situation was occurring."
Haas is due to face Tweed Heads Court next month over the incident and the Broncos and NRL Integrity Unit are investigating.
Originally published as Haas lawyer slams reason for 'gentle giant's' arrest