“It’s been hard for her”: Israel Folau breaks silence as he praises wife Maria
Disgraced ex-rugby star Israel Folau has praised his wife Maria during his first television interview since his $4 million Rugby Australia contract was terminated.
Folau also revealed that RA had offered a substantial amount of money for him to remove the post, but the athlete refused as sharing the bible was part of his duty as a Christian.
Rugby Australia has denied the “completely untrue” claims.
Folau sat with conservative commentators Alan Jones and Peta Credlin on Thursday evening to have a discussion about freedom of speech in Australia, and his sacking over his homophobic views.
Despite standing by his original Instagram post which claimed, “homosexuals go to hell”, Folau said the entire incident has been tough on his family.
“It’s been a very tough time for myself, Maria and our families … but we’re holding up really strong from the support,” he said on Sky News.
“It’s [faith] the most important thing to me. My identity is found in what’s written in that book.
“The Bible and what I believe comes out of that is very important to me.”
He also credited his wife Maria for staying “strong” throughout the entire ordeal.
“Look it’s been extremely hard for her, she’s been dragged into this situation unexpectedly,” he said.
“It’s been very frustrating for her but I’m very lucky she’s a strong woman, she’s [the] same as me, convicted by her faith.
“She’s continued to march on and stay strong.”
Mr Jones then asked Folau what his motivation is to keep fighting to which he responded saying his faith was his number one priority.
“[I’m] driven by my faith – being number one – and my wife … my family and my friends,” he said.
Discussing the specific verse that started the war in the first place, the 30-year-old said, “It’s nothing personal” – but a message he must convey due to his duty as a Christian.
“I’m trying to share in love and that’s the way I look at it in terms of sharing the Bible,” he said.