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19 Mar 2018 8:25
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  •   Home > News > Living & Travel

    I'm not trying to escape justice: Lodge

    Matt Lodge has rejected his victims' suggestion he is trying to escape justice over his 2015 New York drunken rampage by returning to the NRL.

    Matt Lodge says he "can't be more sorry" for his drunken New York rampage in 2015 and has rejected his victims' suggestion he is trying to escape justice by returning to the NRL.

    Lodge became emotional as he gave his first insight into the steps he has taken to earn an NRL lifeline after Brisbane received criticism for signing the controversial forward on a one-year deal.

    The backlash over his return threatens to overshadow the Broncos' NRL season opener against St George Illawarra on Thursday night after CCTV footage of his infamous attack three years ago was released last week.

    Lodge avoided a 12-month jail term in the US with a plea deal but was hit with a $1.5 million damages bill.

    The victims say they have not received any payment.

    In an excerpt of an interview to be aired in full on Fox Sports' League Life on Wednesday night, Lodge said: "I don't think I'm trying to escape it.

    "I can't be more sorry to them and I'd happily say I did the wrong thing, they didn't deserve that.

    "They don't deserve any of that behaviour and I'll do anything I can to make up for it.

    "Since I got back (from US), I really have turned things around from that night."

    Lodge also detailed the work he had done off the field since his alcohol-fuelled attack.

    "I've done a lot of rehabilitation and self reflection that I probably should have done years ago when I was 18-19 coming through the game," he said.

    "I didn't get pushed to the point to have to do it and I didn't think it'd do anything for me.

    "I've probably done a couple of years' worth (self reflection).

    "I stayed in a rehab facility for six weeks and lived there with people going through addiction problems and all sorts of things.

    "I've done outpatient programs, I've done counselling.

    "It got mentioned that I hadn't done any counselling, I think I did a year and a half's worth until I had to move away from Sydney (2017) and I couldn't see my regular counsellor that I'd built trust with.

    "I still keep in contact with them and I think I'm on the right path."

    NRL officials, led by chief executive Todd Greenberg, have insisted Lodge has done his time and is ready to make a return to the game.

    But the NRL's gender advisor Catharine Lumby claimed she had been "blindsided" by the league's handling of Lodge's return and would raise her concerns with them.

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