Former Wallaby Israel Folau has finally settled his explosive legal dispute with Rugby Australia (RA).
The 30-year-old was after $14 million in compensation for wrongful termination after RA sacked him for a code of conduct breach when he said on Instagram earlier this year "hell awaits" gay people.
RA was determined to hold its ground as mediation ordered by the Federal Circuit Court began this week and a marathon 12-hour session on Monday failed to yield a result as both sides remained at loggerheads.
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However, on Wednesday afternoon, Folau and RA released a joint statement saying they had reached an agreement, settling for a confidential amount.
Folau later released a video on his website thanking his supporters. Standing alongside his wife Maria, he said: "We are extremely pleased with the settlement reached today.
"With today's acknowledgment and apology by Rugby Australia, we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family. Maria and I would like to thank God for his guidance and strength.
"We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith, to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion.
"We now look forward to the Federal Government enacting the legislation necessary to further protect and strengthen these rights for all Australians."
The joint statement released earlier said Folau "does not condone discrimination of any kind" and also reinforced RA's position that it does not agree with his views because the governing body preaches inclusivity within the sport.
Both parties apologised for any hurt the damaging saga has caused.
"Rugby Australia, NSW Rugby and Israel Folau have today settled their legal dispute following the dismissal of Israel Folau after he posted a religious message on social media," the statement read.
"The social media post reflected Mr Folau's genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post.
"Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
"Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby do not in any way agree with the content of the social media post. Inclusiveness is one of rugby's core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community.
"While it was not Rugby Australia's intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus. Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.
"Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The Parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential."
Folau posted a video to YouTube, standing alongside his wife Maria, thanking his supporters. The 30-year-old claimed he has been "vindicated" by Rugby Australia's apology.
"With today's acknowledgment and apology by Rugby Australia, we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family. Maria and I would like to thank God for his guidance and strength," Folau said.
"Thank you to our supporters for their thoughts and prayers, in particular our families, our congregation, as well as Martyn Iles from the Australian Christian Lobby."
Last week Folau lodged an updated statement of claim in the Federal Circuit Court, upping his pursuit of damages from $10 million to $14 million.
Folau justified the $4 million increase in part by saying he was in line to captain the Wallabies, which would have boosted his income. But that assertion was rubbished by former teammate David Pocock.
"I think (captain) Michael Hooper has been doing a great job and he's contracted to the next World Cup so I'm not sure where Izzy's getting that from," Pocock said on Fox Sports News last week.
"My view has been that sport is at its best when it's challenging society to be more inclusive.
"I think we can play such an important role in trying to instil values of fairness and inclusivity into kids coming through.
"I found it incredibly disappointing the way he's used his platform around this."
In June, Folau started a GoFundMe page to ask for $3 million in donations to help fund his fight against RA, claiming his religious freedoms were being infringed upon. But his page was later taken down by the website after the fullback had already raised more than $750,000.
Folau has repeatedly said his views come from a place of love and he reinforced that position again on the weekend when he released a video on his website.
"Sharing the word of God is so important to me because it's the great commission, it's what God has called each Christian to do," Folau said.
"It would be unloving for me just to keep it to myself and keep it within the four walls of my church and within my family.
"Because God wants the Gospel out there and wants people to hopefully come to the knowledge of the truth and have the peace and love that comes from him, it's our duty as a Christian to be able to go out there and share that.
"So that's why I'm so vocal about it at church, in the general public and on social media because I care about the state of people's souls, and the love that I have for mankind is what is driving me."
In his updated statement, which some speculated was a legal ploy to pressure RA into settling for more money, Folau said his contract termination will cost him $4.2 million from 2019-2022, as well as $300,000 in match payments from 2019-2021 and an additional $150,000 in match payments in 2022.
He also claimed he stood to make up to $1.5 million a season for one or two years with Rugby Australia and a Super Rugby club after 2022.
Folau suggested he would have earned up to $1.5 million a year for two-to-three years had he chosen to play overseas after his international career ended.
Estimates provided over lost sponsorship dollars and the missed revenue that comes with competing at World Cups and possibly captaining the national team were also used to justify the controversial star's $14 million demand.