NRL star Mitchell Pearce has deleted his Instagram account in the wake of cancelling his wedding to fiancee Kristin Scott.
Scott, a classically trained ballet dancer, returned to Newcastle as the former Knights captain admitted he hurt the people closest to him after sending ‘flirty’ text messages to a young club staffer.
The 31-year-old halfback stood down as captain of the NRL team after it came to light he sent the text messages just days before he was due to marry Scott.
The couple were scheduled to marry in Byron Bay on December 29 in front of 150 guests but it was called off at the last minute.
Mitchell Pearce’s fiancee Kristin Scott was pictured at her gym, Barre Effect, in Newcastle on Thursday
Despite Pearce disabling his Instagram, him and Scott’s Barre Effect gym account still followers his sisters Tatum and Hannah, and mother Terri
Pearce has insisted the ceremony has not been cancelled for good but was just postponed.
The Instagram page for Barre Effect – which is co-owned by Pearce and Scott – still follows his sisters Tatum and Hannah, and mother Terri, potentially hinting at hope for the couple.
Ms Scott was pictured arriving at Barre Effect in Newcastle on Thursday morning amid the fallout.
She refused to comment on the status of the pair’s wedding.
The glamorous classically trained ballet dancer was dressed in a white shirt, with a black jacket and wore her hair in a bun as she attempted to open her studio for the day.
The sighting came as Pearce fronted the media over the text message scandal.
The NRL star is reportedly stepping down to spend more time mending his relationship with his fiancee.
‘For me it’s been a traumatic few weeks for my personal life and those I love,’ Pearce said at a media conference on Thursday.
Footy star Mitchell Pearce has quit as captain of the Newcastle Knights, capping off a tumultuous few weeks for the halfback. He and fiancee Kristin Scott (pictured together) recently postponed their wedding
The sighting came as Pearce fronted the media over the text message scandal. ‘For me it’s been a traumatic few weeks for my personal life and those I love,’ Pearce said at a media conference on Thursday
‘Unfortunately my actions have impacted the team and more importantly the people I have closest to me, Kristin and my family.
‘I’m taking steps now to address these issues and I feel it would be in the best interests of the club for me to step down as captain this season.’
He fought back tears as he voiced his love for the Newcastle team and vowed to overcome the embarrassing public incident, which has caused a major rift among teammates and his family.
‘I love this club and I love my family and I’m committed to working as hard as I can to be the best man I can be both on and off the field,’ he said.
Knights general manager of football Danny Buderus said Pearce’s main priority was fixing his relationship with Ms Scott.
Pearce was found to have sent the ‘flirty’ text messages to a female staffer, which were discovered by the staffer’s partner and became known to his fiancee.
He had told the Daily Telegraph the wedding had not been cancelled, only postponed, and that Covid-related restrictions were to blame.
Pearce (pictured with his fiancee) has maintained the wedding had not been cancelled, only postponed, and that Covid-related restrictions were to blame
Knights coach Adam O’Brien said Pearce’s off-field saga was ‘not an ideal situation’ for a club desperate for success after making the finals for the first time in seven seasons in 2020, only to be bundled out in week one.
O’Brien said the decision to step down was Pearce’s own call and dismissed any speculation of a rift within the playing group, with senior players understood to be close friends with the long-term partner of the Knights staffer involved in the scandal.
‘It is a private matter and their welfare is the number one priority before football but … the group is not divided,’ O’Brien told reporters.
‘If anything, Tuesday served to probably galvanise them a little bit.
‘They understand that the team is like a family. They understand that family members make mistakes.
‘If we’re a good family, you don’t turn your back on family members, you support them.’
Mitchell Pearce and Kristin Scott are pictured here at the Knights 2020 presentation night. Pearce is reportedly relinquishing the captaincy to spend more time mending his relationship with his fiancee
The latest controversy comes at the worst possible time for Pearce, who is in negotiations with the Knights to extend his contract beyond the end of this season.
Money is believed to be a sticking point but his latest indiscretion will not do him any favours during the bargaining process.
Pearce was understood to have found stability at Newcastle with Scott after several controversies with the Sydney Roosters.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Pearce told the Newcastle Herald he was looking forward to the wedding.
‘It will be the best time of our life and I can’t wait,’ he said.
Many people at the Knights credited Ms Scott with helping ‘wild child’ Pearce finally find maturity and stability off the field.
Pearce’s show-stopping dramas away from the footy field
2014 – Kings Cross, Sydney – Then on the books of the Sydney Roosters, the halfback was arrested and issued with an infringement notice for failing to leave a licensed premises. Later revealed he made advances to a woman in a ‘yellow dress’ who declined to take the matter further. Fined $20,000 by his club, banned for one match
2016 – Australia Day – filmed simulating a sex act with a dog in another person’s apartment before declaring he ‘didn’t have’ a sexuality. Fined a whopping $125,000 by the NRL and suspended for eight games
2020 – December – Pearce’s wedding to fiancee Kristin Scott is called off after the footy star is caught sending racy messages to a female staff member at the Newcastle Knights
2021 – January: The halfback stands down as club captain