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Crusaders player Richie Mo'unga accused of inappropriate touching, spitting beer at woman

A Cape Town woman is alleging that Crusaders player Richie Mo'unga spat beer at her and her friends before inappropriately touching her at a bar last Saturday.

The fresh allegations come as members of the rugby team are accused by other Cape Town locals of threatening and homophobic behaviour following their Super Rugby game on Saturday night.

On Saturday 11 May, the woman and her friends were at Arcade bar in Cape Town when she said the incident took place.

"We got there and we noticed, I was actually telling my friends, these guys they look like New Zealanders, they look like either All Blacks or something.

"My friends and I were just standing, talking and then we just had... a lot of beer being spat at us and we looked and then my friend and I were shocked at what was happening, I told the guy 'look here, that's not okay, you don't do that' and he just flat out ignored us and walked away, he looked at us with a dead stare and just walked away."

A friend of the player who spat at the group came over and the woman told him what the player had done was not okay.

"He says, 'no, we're sorry, it won't happen again'."

She said she and her group of friends continued to dance.

"And then I noticed the guy behind me, and then he like pinched me on my bum and then as I was going to retaliate, my friend was like 'no don't, it's not worth it', leaving him and he just also had that like dead look on his face, he had no reaction...carried on partying, everything."

The group left Arcade early because the woman said, "we were over it".

"They clearly had no respect for anyone at that place, normally Arcade's the place where we go to unwind and have fun with one another, but that was the worst experience so far."

It was the following day, while looking at an interview with the Sport Science Institute of South Africa, that she realised who the man at the bar the night before was Crusaders player Richie Mo'unga.

"I noticed this guy look really familiar, because it was an interview, and I told my friends 'look... this guy's from Arcade'."

Her friend agreed it was the man from the bar the night before.

"It is this guy because he has the exact same haircut, anyone can tell me yes it was dark, no I will never forget that face, I will never forget that face."

The woman messaged Mo'unga via Instagram to call him out for spitting on her and her friends.

A screenshot of a message between the accuser and Crusaders player Richie Mo'unga. Source: Supplied

A screenshot of a message exchange on Instagram suggests Mo'unga replied and apologised to the woman, saying he should have gone home long before this happened.

"I'm really sorry for that I'm not aware that I did that. Obviously was intoxicated and should've gone home long before that stage, I'm sorry to you and your friends and want to assure you I don't condone that behaviour and am sorry about that."

The woman says it was the worst experience she's had and she will never forget Mo'unga's face.

"I've never been in such a position, I've never been violated, so for me it's a first and I don't know what to do."

She said she decided to speak out after hearing allegations from other Cape Town residents about the team.

"I'm not letting this slide because you can do this to me now and I let it slide, he goes to New Zealand and does something way worse...I just want to present it while I have a chance to."

The woman said she is trying to get security footage from the bar.

She also emailed the Crusaders management team but has not yet heard back from them, she says.

"I just feel like something needs to be done because, like I said, this is something small thing, it might be miniscule thing but then he does it again and he's drunk and he does it again and it's something way worse and that person maybe actually commits suicide or does something way worse than what I did, and then it's another story.

"We always say 'cut the bad while you can'."

Meanwhile, Crusaders managers will meet players today to discuss allegations of homophobic behaviour alleged by another man in Cape Town.

Accuser Alex Paterimos and his friend Jeremy say they were laughed at, threatened and mocked by a group of men using homophobic slurs, high voices and limp-wrist gestures while at a McDonald's restaurant in Capetown.

The claims are vehemently denied by the Crusaders.

Sarah Murphy

rnz.co.nz

Richie Mo'unga Source: Photosport


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