Revealed: Staggs’ biggest fear from sex tape scandal
Brisbane Broncos star Kotoni Staggs has broken his silence on the sex tape scandal which rocked his blossoming career, revealing he was left "embarrassed" by the ordeal.
Staggs was on Wednesday crowned Brisbane's best back of 2020, bringing some joy to a year in which he endured the spotlight of a sex video drama and a bad knee injury.
Staggs, 21, produced moments of brilliance in 14 games for the Broncos this year and was on track to be named in the NSW State of Origin squad before his knee buckled in the final match of the season.
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But it was the embarrassment of a leaked sex tape in August which left him shattered and a Brisbane woman facing criminal charges.
"It wasn't my fault (the video leaked), but I was still involved," Staggs told The Courier-Mail.
"I was embarrassed it came out. I didn't want my family to see it, that was the one thing that I was worried about. I didn't really want to tell them but I had to.
"They actually took it really well. They stuck by my side. They had my back through it all. I was surprised by how well they took it and that made me feel a bit better.
"There's always ups and downs. You learn from your mistakes."
Staggs has also been the victim of online "catfishing" this year after fake social media profiles were created in his name.
He made a complaint to police when the sex video began circling by mobile phone and internet and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the NRL's Integrity Unit.
McKenzie Lorraine Robinson, 18, has indicated she will plead guilty to one count of distributing a prohibited video recording when she appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court on October 16.
Staggs said the matter was now in the hands of the courts and he was ready to move on.
"She is doing what she has to do now and is facing court," he said.
"Whatever happens, happens."
Staggs was set to put the disappointment of Brisbane's wooden spoon season behind him by being named in NSW's Origin squad for the first time.
But the knee injury he sustained in the Broncos' last-round loss to North Queensland on September 24 was so severe he is still yet to undergo surgery because of the swelling.
"I knew straight away it was bad but I didn't want to believe it until I got scans," Staggs said. "It turned out to be pretty bad.
"I was playing to be selected in Origin. That was one of the goals I wanted to achieve.
"There is always next time. It's something to work for next year, it will make me play good footy. It will be there in my mind for next year to be there.
"It wasn't the way I wanted to finish the season but that's what comes with playing footy. I've got to recover and come back next year stronger."
Staggs is facing a nine-month recovery which will sideline him until around the halfway mark of the 2021 season.
Originally published as Revealed: Staggs' biggest fear from sex tape scandal