Ex-star’s fury as daughter wrongly linked to sex tape
RUGBY league great Mark Geyer has vowed to launch legal action to clear the tarnished name of his daughter, who was wrongly linked to the Penrith Panthers' sex tape scandal.
In what could be a landmark case a furious Geyer, known as a firebrand during his career, is now gunning for online trolls and a Facebook group with 300,000 followers.
On Monday evening NRL Memes posted to Facebook incorrect claims that Geyer's daughter, Montanna, was the woman involved in a sex tape with Panthers player Tyrone May.
"I just want my daughter's name cleared, like any father would want," Geyer told The Daily Telegraph. "It's all bullshit - it's not my daughter."
Penrith Panthers player May, 22, fronted Penrith Police Station at 9am Tuesday where he was charged with twice recording intimate acts with women and disseminating the footage without their knowledge.
The videos - filmed at Coffs Harbour in February 2018 and in Western Sydney three months later - surfaced on social media last week, and the two women went to police on the weekend.
A screenshot of a woman in one of the videos with May was posted, along with that of another woman, who the NRL Memes page claimed was Montanna.
Geyer was at his western Sydney home on Monday evening talking to family about the sex tape scandals when he heard Montanna's cries from upstairs.
"It was my daughter, she had 1000 friend requests on Instagram because they think it's her in the sex tape," Geyer said. "She came down hysterical. I asked her what's wrong and she showed me.
"Then I got onto his page and told him to take it down because it's defamatory. It was still there an hour later. He had 300,000 people who like his page so you could image how viral it's gone.
"These f … ers (trolls) who live in anonymity have gotten away with too much for too long."
Geyer, a former Penrith, NSW and Australian forward, has engaged Brydens Lawyers to immediately start legal action against the administrator of NRL Memes.
While the Panthers have indicated May would deny the charges, the 22-year-old will now wait to see whether NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg stops him from playing as part of the game's new 'no-fault' stand-down policy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australia's sporting codes to overhaul their culture and help stamp out violence against women.
"The zero tolerance approach is what should be expected and that's what should be done. Sport can be a real positive to help change the culture. They've got to change their culture to actually carry that message," he said.
When asked whether zero tolerance should include keeping a player accused of a sexual crime off the field, Mr Morrison said "I think you've put it pretty well".
Nepean police commander detective superintendent Brett McFadden said innocent parties were being implicated online.
"There are a number of other individuals in the community who through social media trolling, have been innocently and unreasonably implicated in these matters," Insp McFadden said.
He said intimate acts in the video were consensual but alleged the recording and sharing of the footage were a serious violation.
"There's no doubt that what's (allegedly) taken place is a serious breach of trust, a violation of the rights of these women," Supt McFadden said.
"What is recorded on the video is immaterial. The fact is that an intimate act … by consenting parties has [allegedly] then been recorded without the knowledge, without the consent of at least one person involved in that, being the victim."
May declined an interview with police and was charged with two counts of recording intimate image without consent and two counts of disseminate image without consent. He was released on bail to appear at Penrith Local Court on April 1.
Geyer said his family was furious.
"I have today engaged Brydens lawyers to act on behalf of my daughter, Montanna for the purpose of taking action against those who have published false and defamatory material which has caused incredible distress for my family," Geyer said.
If the matter proceeds to court, it could become a landmark case in rugby league.
When he initially read the post, an enraged Geyer immediately commented in the Facebook status bar, posting: "Can someone tell me where/who runs this page and where they operate from?? NOW!!"
With Montanna having just started a new job at Sydney Olympic Park, Geyer was on the rampage.
"You don't want to see you child in pain and at time, especially when it comes from key board warriors like this. (Brydens) said it was a slam-dunk defamation case," Geyer said.
"Enough is enough. I think society has had enough of trolls. It's time that someone holds them accountable. There were three or four people who have shared that post so they defamed my daughter as well.
"I'm rattled. She (Montanna) has just started a new job - she is beside herself, she is hysterical. Thankfully the people at her new job are fine. I don't read any comments on twitter. I refuse to. Eighty-per cent just give it to me."
Geyer wasn't at work on his Sydney radio show last night.
Panthers supremo Phil Gould took to Twitter in support of Geyer on Tuesday night, taking aim at NRL Memes and vowing "the thoughtless and gutless coward who tried to spread this most scurrilous rumour will be exposed".
"Your daughter Montanna is one of the sweetest young ladies I've ever met. She has the most beautiful soul," Gould wrote.
"Rest easy big fella. Give Monny a hug from all at Panthers."