Anthony Seibold reveals shock source of 'disgusting' rumours

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Anthony Seibold, pictured here speaking to Channel Nine about the 'disgusting' rumours.
Anthony Seibold has opened up about the 'disgusting' rumours. Image: Channel Nine/Getty

Anthony Seibold has claimed an employee of NSW Rugby League is part of an online campaign spreading ‘disgusting’ rumours about himself and his family.

In an explosive interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night, the former Brisbane Broncos coach opened up about the damage the rumours have caused his family, while also claiming a NSWRL employee has been identified as a culprit.

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Seibold was forced to step down as Broncos coach in August after a vile campaign of online rumours and innuendo against him.

He opted to take legal action and hired European cybercrime experts to help him track down the source of the rumours.

And speaking to 60 Minutes on Sunday, Seibold said an employee of NSWRL is part of the campaign, but can’t be named for legal reasons.

“There’s someone who makes a living from our game, who is part of this conversation,” Seibold said.

“(They’ve) added to the rumours, and then forwarded on through messages on social media platforms, on Facebook.

“This particular person has got some very high-profile friends from within our game.

“That’s what so ironic about all of this. I can’t sit here and tell you these names because you know essentially 60 Minutes could be charged.”

Seibold said he’s handed the cybercrime experts’ report to police, however there’s not much that can be done.

Seibold said he wants the police to be given greater powers to take action against online trolls.

“It’s vicious. It’s disgusting. As I said, there’s no accountability that I can see in and around the social media platforms,” he said.

“If going forward there is some legislation change and there is some further accountability in and around using identification to social media accounts, then I think that’s a fantastic legacy to leave.”

Anthony Seibold, pictured here speaking to the media after stepping down as Brisbane Broncos coach.
Anthony Seibold speaks to the media after stepping down as Brisbane Broncos coach. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Anthony Seibold reveals family pain

The 45-year-old said the last few months have been particularly difficult for his family.

“It’s been hurtful to myself. It’s been hurtful to others. It’s been hurtful to people close to me,” he said.

“It’s been pretty tough, particularly the last couple of months. In some ways it’s like the Wild West out there.

“My situation went viral on social media ... my reputation was ruined in a lot of respects.

“The very last message on social media was the one that probably upset me the most, because it spoke about my daughter.

“It was hard for everyone to see those messages … they obviously want to hurt myself and the others who were named in some way, shape or form.

“I went through some pretty dark times a few weeks back, because the amount of hate and defamatory comments that was spread.

“And people were happy to spread. It was crazy really. And that’s not the Australia that I grew up in.”

In August, Seibold’s lawyer revealed a “prominent name” was in the spotlight over the rumours.

“It’s quite unexpected. It’s not just random trolls,” Dave Garratt told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“There is a lot of activity online at the moment so the guys are watching that.”

Garratt later told The Australian the “person of prominence” had “blacked out” their social media accounts when news of the investigation became public.

“The minute it came out that there was cyber-people involved, someone shut down their account straight away - all their social media went pretty much black,” he said.

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