Joel Tomkins has opened his heart for the first time about the video nasty which led to him being fined and banned by Wigan Warriors.
Tomkins contacted the Wigan Observer to issue a public, whole-hearted apology to his colleagues, fans and those involved.
The former dual-code England international says he feels “deeply ashamed” after footage of him abusing bar staff in Fifteens pub, in Standish - which was recorded five weeks earlier - went viral last Saturday night.
Tomkins confessed he was so drunk he didn’t remember the incident the following day.
He also revealed there is another video, which has not surfaced, recorded moments later which also shows him acting “unacceptably”.
Tomkins, 31, wrote: “My hope is that the people who I have met in the past or meet in future will realise that my actions in the video were totally out of character, largely driven by alcohol, and do not reflect the person I am.”
He has been banned by his club for four games and fined £10,000 while the club investigates. His brother Sam was hit with a £5,000 fine as he was also involved, but to a lesser extent.
Joel Tomkins’ full statement, issued exclusively to the Wigan Observer, reads:
I would like to publicly apologise to anyone affected by my behaviour which was filmed and appeared on social media on Saturday evening.
I take full responsibility for my actions and I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed by the whole situation.
The incident happened five weeks ago.
On that day I had drank excessive amounts of alcohol which is totally wrong and while it is not an excuse it was the main factor for my behaviour that night.
The following morning I immediately set about trying to personally apologise to the people involved.
When I saw two videos of my actions, I couldn’t even remember the situation, which I am ashamed to admit.
I met with the bar owner and both bar staff and told them how sorry I was for my actions.
My apology was accepted.
Worried about what might happen next, and as a gesture of my genuine remorse, an agreement was reached to delete the video.
As far as I’m aware, at no point did anyone from Wigan Warriors see the video – they only found about it when everyone else did last Saturday evening.
I am unaware if there are copies of the second video which was taken a minute later, but it shows me displaying the same kind of shameful behaviour which is unacceptable no matter what the circumstances.
It is somewhat of a relief that the footage has now been made public as it has been extremely difficult over the last five weeks to live with the worry that the videos may be released.
It is a situation I will learn from and a position I will never put myself in again.
It’s a mistake which I will have to pay for and obviously talks will take place with Wigan about my future.
I’m sure the video footage is enough for many people to form an opinion on my character and I can only accept that fact.
I may never change those opinions.
My hope is that the people who I have met in the past or meet in future will realise that my actions in the video were totally out of character, largely driven by alcohol, and do not reflect the person I am.
As well as being sorry to everyone involved, I am also sorry to my family and friends who I have let down.
My aim now is to earn back your respect with my future actions.
Finally, I would like to apologise to my teammates, coaches, staff and fans of Wigan Warriors.
– Joel Tomkins
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