The woman sticking by Jarryd Hayne: Why the footy star’s wife of 55 days will face the biggest test of all as she faces bringing up their little girl alone
- Jarryd Hayne’s guilty verdict today has meant he will likely face jail time
- It means his wife will now be forced to raise their four-year-old daughter alone
- The couple have only been married for 55 days as she has stood by him at court
Jarryd Hayne’s wife of 55 days will soon have to raise their daughter alone when he is jailed for raping a young woman in her home.
Ms Bonnici, who met Hayne on Instagram, arrived and left hand-in-hand with her husband on every day of the week-long trial in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.
Hayne was on Monday found guilty of two counts of rape by a jury after three days of deliberation, and warned he will ‘inevitably’ be sent to jail.
Jarryd Hayne posted this photo to announce his engagement with Amellia Bonnici on Christmas Day in 2020
Ms Bonnici was seen consistently holding Hayne’s hand and publicly showing support for her husband
Hayne will be sentenced on May 6 and faces up to 14 years’ jail.
He was found not guilty of more serious alternative charges of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent inflicting actual bodily harm, which would have carried an even longer sentence.
The rugby league icon bowed his head when the first guilty verdict was delivered. Hayne and Ms Bonnici hugged afterwards. She looked shell-shocked. One of his lawyers patted him on the arm.
‘I’d rather go to jail knowing I spoke the truth rather than be a free man living a lie,’ the footballer said following the verdict on Monday.
Hayne, 33, appeared to have been crying while waiting to be released on bail, with a relative coughing up an additional $50,000 in surety to secure his liberty.
Ms Bonnici also stood by him when Hayne was sued in civil court for allegedly raping another woman at his apartment in California in 2015. The case was settled in 2019.
As Hayne now faces a lengthy prison sentence his wife is faced with the massive task of raising their four-year-old daughter Beliviah Ivy on her own.
Hayne and Ms Bonnici met over Instagram in 2016 shortly after Hayne returned from the US where he played for San Francisco 49ers in a failed attempt at an NFL career.
The couple had only been married for 55 days when the jury returned a guilty ruling on Hayne on two counts of sexual assault
Hayne leaving the Downing Centre Court after being found guilty on two counts of sexual assault
Shortly after they met, she got pregnant and gave birth in 2017, looking after their daughter in Sydney while Hayne played NRL for the Gold Coast Titans.
At the end of 2017 he was granted a release to play for the Parramatta Eels and was reunited with Ms Bonnici and his daughter.
On Christmas Day in 2020 Hayne posted on Instagram to announce his engagement with Ms Bonnici showing a photo of him and her flashing the engagement ring.
Their engagement lasted a month before they tied the knot on January 26.
The couple was married at the Pullman Magenta Shores resort on the Central Coast of NSW, in a small ceremony with just 50 guests.
Hayne’s wife of 55 days was publicly showing her support by holding his hand on their way into court today
Again Hayne posted a photo of the couple kissing on their wedding day to make the announcement.
The post was captioned with a message of thanks to those who attended the wedding.
‘We met on 26th of Jan 5 years ago. Thank God for sorting us out and realising we meant to be.’ Hayne wrote.
‘Thank you to our Families & Friends who attended yesterday. We had a unbelievable day with you all.’
Throughout this year’s trial Ms Bonnici has attended court and has publicly shown immense support and has consistently held Hayne’s hand as they left court.
Hayne leaving Downing Centre Court on Monday March 22
Hayne returned to the Parramatta Eels in 2018 to be reunited with his wife and daughter