NRL star Jack de Belin has told his rape trial that he called the alleged victim a “little cutie” at a Wollongong nightclub where he said she was dancing in a “dramatic” and “attention seeking” fashion.
The 29-year-old took the stand after he was called by the defence to give evidence in his own trial.
Mr de Belin told jurors that from about 1:00pm on December 8, 2018, he consumed half a bottle of wine and three to four other drinks over three hours at his then-teammate Euan Aitken’s house.
He then took an Uber with his friends to the North Wollongong Hotel, where he had another four or five drinks before the group departed for Mr Crown, a nightclub, just before 11:00pm.
Mr de Belin said he had another three or four drinks at Mr Crown.
Defence barrister David Campbell SC asked Mr de Belin how intoxicated he was out of 10.
“Six to seven out of 10,” Mr de Belin said.
Mr de Belin told the court he saw the complainant on the dancefloor and she came up and gave him a “cuddle”.
“When she gave you a cuddle did you say anything?” Mr Campbell asked.
“I think I said, ‘Aren’t you a little cutie?'” Mr de Belin replied.
Mr Campbell asked the defendant if he made any observations about how the complainant was dancing.
“She was very attention seeking and her dancing was dramatic and over the top,” Mr de Belin said.
He told Mr Campbell she appeared interested in his co-accused, Callan Sinclair.
‘I can keep a secret if you can’
Mr Campbell asked Mr de Belin about what he said to Mr Sinclair after they had been dancing with the woman for a while.
“I said words of something along the lines of, ‘I think we are on here,'” Mr de Belin said.
“And after that did you then have a conversation with the complainant? Mr Campbell asked.
“Yes,” Mr de Belin replied.
“I went to her and said, ‘Me, you and Cal’, at which she responded, ‘But you have a girlfriend’, and then I said, ‘I can keep a secret if you can’, at which point she winked back and smiled.”
Mr de Belin said the woman remained in their company and made a “V” signal to him and Mr Sinclair, which he interpreted to be an allusion to oral sex.
Mr de Belin told the jury he saw the woman laugh when Mr Sinclair touched her breasts and that he also saw them kissing.
“I thought she was keen,” Mr de Belin said.
He said he spoke to the woman again before they left the nightclub.
“I asked her if she wanted to come back to the apartment with us and she replied, ‘Yes’,” Mr de Belin said.
‘F*** off and walk’
While travelling up the mall Mr de Belin said the group was “having a conversation about having sex’ before they were stopped by a group of the people who wanted to get a photo with him.
Mr de Belin said the woman took out her phone as well and he said, “something like, ‘Put your phone away, I don’t want to be on social media.'”
Mr de Belin said the woman replied by saying “oh my god, you are so famous.”
As they travelled along Keira Street Mr de Belin said he and Mr Sinclair continued to flirt with the woman and compliment on her on her breasts.
Mr de Belin said she had her arms around Mr Sinclair and at one point she grabbed his muscles and bicep.
Mr de Belin said he asked the tuk-tuk driver to take them up Gipps Street hill and “he told us to f*** off and walk”.
Mr de Belin said he gave the driver $50 for the trip.
‘Jack, someone is there’
Once they had entered the apartment Mr de Belin said he took off his clothes to have a cold shower while the complainant was in the toilet.
When he came out he said he saw the woman kissing Mr Sinclair and he joined in.
“Me and Cal were complimenting her on her breasts as well,” Mr de Belin said.
“And she took her top off for us.”
He told the court she then sat on the bed and he started kissing her again.
Mr de Belin said he took the woman’s shorts and underpants off and as he placed them at the foot of the bed.
Mr de Belin told the court the woman then said, “Jack, someone is there.”
He said he saw his cousin’s roommate, Troy Martin, standing in the doorway and got up and left the room, closing the door behind himself.
“I said something like,’ F***, sorry about that — we are just using Jakie’s room, hope we didn’t wake you up,'” Mr de Belin said.
“And Mr Martin said, ‘No worries mate.'”
He said he then returned to the bedroom, closed the door and said, “all sorted guys”.
Mr de Belin said he got back on the bed with the woman and started kissing her again.
He explained then performed an act of oral sex on her and he told the jury the woman was “enjoying it”.
Mr de Belin said the three of them began to have sex but that Mr Sinclair struggled to maintain an erection and went to the bathroom while he and the complainant continued.
Mr de Belin said he offered to “clean her up” after they had finished but the woman declined and went to the bathroom.
He said he went to have a shower and the complainant walked out to get dressed.
Mr de Belin said while he was in the ensuite he heard the woman say to Mr Sinclair, “oh my god, he has got a girlfriend”.
He said as he walked back into the bedroom he said the woman, “don’t stress it babe, we’re on the rocks anyway, it’s complicated”.
Mr de Belin said they left the apartment together and ordered an Uber and were dropped back into town and walked towards the Fever nightclub.
While they were walking, he said he was again stopped by some fans who asked for a photo.
He said the woman remarked, in a sarcastic way, “oh my god, you are so famous”.
Mr de Belin said he met some friends in the line outside the nightclub and a little later he noticed the woman had gone.
“At any point during any of the sexual activity that you have described did you ever believe the woman did not consent?’ Mr Campbell asked.
“No I did not,’ Mr de Belin replied.
The trial before Judge Andrew Haesler continues.