sport news Manly NRL legend Brett Stewart seeks mental health help after false accusation ... trends now
It's been 12 years since he sobbed in court when he was cleared of a false accusation that he raped a 17-year-old girl but Brett Stewart has only just decided reach out to mental health professionals as he tackles the shocking effect the incident had on his life.
A jury took less than two hours to find the champion ex-Manly fullback not guilty of one charge of sexual assault and two charges of indecent assault in September 2010, with the emotion of the occasion leaving Stewart in tears.
The premiership-winning Sea Eagles icon was subject to intense scrutiny after the girl alleged he attacked her in Manly on March 6, 2009 - an accusation he always strenuously denied.
He and his brother Glenn, a fellow Manly star, were incensed by the coverage of the incident and then-NRL boss David Gallop's decision to ban him for four matches despite the fact the allegations had not been heard in court.
Stewart has maintained a very low profile ever since, especially for a player of his stature, and rarely breaks his silence on the matter - but made an exception on Sunday.
Stewart (pictured leaving court in Manly on an unrelated matter on May 3) had his life torn apart by the false accusation, which left him reluctant to trust people
At the time he was was first accused in 2009,