Woman says league star bashed her

Auckland-born Ben Te'o denies striking Katie Lewis and says she attacked him.

Katie Lewis claims she was bashed by South Sydney forward Ben Te'o. Photo / 9 News
Katie Lewis claims she was bashed by South Sydney forward Ben Te'o. Photo / 9 News

An Australian woman has accused Auckland-born NRL star Ben Te'o of punching her in the face at the home of a former teammate.

Police say they aren't investigating - at Katie Lewis' request.

But she appeared on TV last night.

In an interview on Australia's Channel 9, the 22-year-old Ms Lewis said: "I was laying in the hallway with blood everywhere ... I could have been dead for all they know."

The incident allegedly occurred about 4.30am on Sunday, April 21, when Te'o and Queensland teammate Darius Boyd visited the home of their former Brisbane Broncos teammate Corey Norman.

Ms Lewis said she was at the house - where Te'o lived during his time with the Broncos - and was sitting on a bed with Boyd when the New Zealander entered the room, called her "a slut" and blocked her from leaving.

"I tried to get out and I had my shoe in my hand and hit him on the shoulder.

He hit me on the face and I now have a broken eye socket.

"He kept hitting me ... and I must have gone unconscious and then I came to with blood lying everywhere and I was scared and no one was there."

Channel 9 reported that Norman made an emergency call but all the players went outside "to wait for police". Ms Lewis was taken to hospital for treatment.

Te'o denies the allegations and said Ms Lewis attacked him and he did not strike her.

"On the night in question, I found myself in unfortunate circumstances that were not caused by me and I acted appropriately to deal with a difficult situation.

"I called the police to report the incident and have the female removed from the house. I have not pressed charges against the female and to the best of my knowledge no charges have been laid against me."

Ms Lewis said she chose to speak out to warn others.

"I don't want to ruin his career. I just feel as though he should be held accountable for his actions because if he was to do it to someone else thinking it was okay, they might not be like me; they might not wake up."

She said she spoke with police but was yet to lodge a formal complaint.

A Queensland police media spokeswoman told the Herald police attended an incident but it was no longer under investigation.

"There was a report of an incident to us and we did go out and attend it, but on the request of the complainant the matter is no longer under investigation."

NRL chief executive Dave Smith said an independent investigation into the alleged incident has been set up by the league, ABC News reported.

Earlier this season, South Sydney cleared Te'o of any wrongdoing after Fijian rapper and body building MC Fortafy alleged on Twitter he had been assaulted by the league star.

Samuel Ratumaitavuki alleged he was "jumped" by Te'o, the footballer's brother Sam and another man.

That accusation followed an incident in Brisbane in 2011 that saw Ratumaitavuki and James Soeli Kisina - drug smuggler Schapelle Corby's half-brother - convicted of breaking into Te'o's flat and assaulting his two younger brothers.

Ratumaitavuki's former girlfriend had told him she was pregnant and believed Ratumaitavuki to be the father; however she also claimed to have had sexual relations with several other men, including Te'o.

Ratumaitavuki was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, while Kasina was ordered to serve at least three months of a six-month sentence in prison for breaching a 2006 suspended sentence for a second time.

Benjamin Te'o

* Born Auckland, January 27, 1987 (age 26).

* Played for Hibiscus Coast Raiders, New Zealand Under 16s (2003) and Junior Kiwis (2003).

* Moved to Brisbane as a teenager to take up a contract with the Broncos. Plays for South Sydney.

* Played one State of Origin game for Queensland and one test for Samoa.

* Tipped for Queensland selection in Origin series.

- staff reporters

- NZ Herald

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