NRL great Hazem El Masri has vowed to push on with his campaign to curb domestic violence after shrugging off “preposterous” allegations made by an ex-wife.
El Masri was visibly relieved as he emerged from Bankstown Local Court on Monday, after watching prosecutors formally drop two charges of assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He had been set to face hearing after his second wife, Douah El-Cherif, made domestic violence allegations last October.
Standing on the court steps, the former Bulldogs player faced the cameras a free man.
He told reporters: “Truth just prevailed.”
“I want to urge every lady, man, child – any person out there that is subjected to any domestic violence to make sure they report it,” El Masri said.
The former international said despite the “heartache” suffered by his children, family and supporters he was anxious to put the court case behind him and get on with his good works.
The 39-year-old was stood down as an ambassador for White Ribbon, the campaign dedicated to stamping out violence against women, in the wake of the allegations.
He was also working as a youth mentor for the NRL but his responsibilities were wound back after charges were laid.
The code has indicated El Masri may be welcomed back, with a spokesman telling AAP: “The NRL is happy to have discussions with Hazem on how we can work together going forward.”
“I can’t wait to get back there and continue doing all the good work,” the one-time point-scoring record holder said as he left court.
“I want to share my life and experience with people and I want to be able to encourage them to have a better future and a better society.”
As he spoke, a passing driver tooted his support and another yelled: “Go Hazem!”
Solicitor Chris Murphy, who has always maintained his client’s innocence, said it was time for El Masri to get his life back.
“Mr El Masri has been exonerated,” Mr Murphy told reporters.
“He is a crusader against domestic violence and he finds himself in a situation where an allegation, a preposterous allegation which has been totally discredited by forensic evidence, has been out there in the public …
“The police have come to the overwhelming conclusion there is utterly no evidence of any misconduct by this man. Please give him his life back.”