Naked Aussie Rules footballers' pics go viral

MEGAN LEVY
Last updated 12:23 21/12/2010
St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt.
Getty Images
POSTED: A naked photo of St Kilda captain, Nick Riewoldt, was posted on Facebook yesterday.

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Nick Riewoldt says he has "no association" with the teenage girl who posted a naked photograph of him on Facebook yesterday.

The St Kilda captain today expressed his shock and disappointment over the image, which he says was taken by teammate Sam Gilbert on a trip to Miami 12 months ago.

The image was posted on Facebook by a teenage girl who claims she was "treated with disrespect by the AFL and St Kilda".

The photograph shows Riewoldt posing naked next to teammate Zac Dawson who is wearing jeans and is holding out what appears to be a condom packet.

The club was rocked yesterday when the 17-year-old girl published the explicit photographs of Riewoldt and Nick Dal Santo on her Facebook account, and today vowed to release more images, saying: "Who's going to stop me?"

But Riewoldt today savaged the girl's claims, saying he had never met the teenager and suggestions that he had posed nude for her were "absolute garbage".

"To infer that I would stand there and pose for a photograph naked knowing that it was going to be kept is just absolute garbage and offensive," he said.

Riewoldt, who addressed the media at 9.15am, said he was "bitterly disappointed" that Gilbert did not delete the image from his computer, but there was no fracture in his professional relationship with the Queenslander, and he would continue to work with Gilbert at St Kilda.

He said the photograph was taken after he got out of bed, and he asked Gilbert to delete the photograph immediately.

"I was on holiday in Miami and I sleep with my clothes off like most people do I would assume, and got out of bed and the photo was taken," Riewoldt said.

"I was aware of it being taken at the time and asked for the photo to be deleted and I assumed that it had been deleted."

Riewoldt, who said he was not affected by alcohol at the time, said he was unaware that the photo still existed until a few weeks ago, and he had not seen it until yesterday.

"I assumed it had been deleted," Riewoldt said, alleging the photograph had been obtained illegally.

"I don't know why someone I don't know would want to denigrate me like this."

The image, along with another naked photograph of Riewoldt's teammate Nick Dal Santo, was circulated on social media sites yesterday and despite court orders, had gone viral on the internet.

Previously, the teenager responsible for posting the images had attempted to sell the images to media outlets.

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St Kilda coach Ross Lyon said the club was determined "not to be a victim" to the situation.

According to the teenage girl who posted them online yesterday, the St Kilda footballers at the centre of a nude photo scandal posed for the explicit pictures and had been worried for months that they would be made public.

He said the photograph was taken by a teammate Sam Gilbert on a holiday to Miami more than a year ago.

The other photograph shows Dal Santo in a more explicit pose.

"Merry Christmas courtesy of the St Kilda schoolgirl" is written across the photographs.

The teenager, who The Age has opted not to name, was the subject of an AFL investigation this year when she said she fell pregnant to a separate St Kilda player when she was a schoolgirl.

Last night, a Federal Court judge ordered that the teenager and Facebook remove the images, as St Kilda CEO Michael Nettlefold said the club believed the images were removed from a player's laptop illegally.

However the teenager told ABC radio this morning that she took the photographs at a Melbourne home and a hotel.

She said the players "didn't exactly say yes" to having the photographs taken.

"I said 'I'm taking a photo' and they posed for it and they didn't tell me to delete it afterwards so if you call that permission then, yeah," she told ABC radio, adding that she was fully clothed at the time.

Yesterday the girl told The Age that the players had told her to take the photos, and had then asked her to delete them.

She said she had not attempted to sell the photographs, but had shown them to several media outlets recently.

"I just wanted to get back at them basically because just the way I was treated from the AFL, it just wasn't right. I don't know, it's sort of a complicated situation," she said.

"I haven't really been in contact with any AFL players since probably August.

"They knew that I had them [the photographs] because I've had them since April and they've sort of been a bit worried, especially the AFL manager."

Asked if she was intending to release more, she said: "Yeah definitely, once I make a new Facebook page ...Who's going to stop me?"

She said she was staying in Queensland with her parents, who were not talking to her.

"I've got a lawyer and I'm having a meeting with a hopefully new manager today," she said.

- The Age

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