Hayne wife’s 100-day marriage hell
After 100 days of marriage hell, Jarryd Hayne's wife, Amellia Bonnici, is still standing by her man as she confronts the reality of life without her partner.
Their private relationship will now face its greatest test after the former NRL star was on Thursday sentenced to at least three years and eight months in jail after being found guilty of sexual assault.
It leaves Bonnici alone to raise their four-year-old daughter, Beliviah Ivy, born in December, 2016.
Bonnici was among Hayne's supporters inside the Newcastle District Court on Thursday and watched on as her husband's victim, 26-years-old at the time of the offence, deliver a victim impact statement in which she detailed how the assault had fundamentally changed her life, saying the assault left her feeling "dirty and violated".
The NRL superstar was in March found guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent after three days of jury deliberation, and Bonnici was again there beside Hayne.
The 33-year-old was also supported by Bonnici throughout his seven-day retrial in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court after his first trial in Newcastle last year ended in a hung jury.
Bonnici has made a concerted effort to show public support for her husband, repeatedly attending court and regularly holding hands with her partner in front of photographers as they exited.
The couple have been through enough to push any marriage to breaking point after a turbulent start to their relationship and a period of living apart.
Hayne and Bonnici met in 2016 after he returned from a stint in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers to join the NRL again with the Titans.
Bonnici quickly fell pregnant, and Hayne immediately moved her to his Gold Coast residence, but the couple ultimately ended up living apart when she returned to Sydney before Hayne returned to the Parramatta Eels for the 2018 NRL season, motivated by his desire to be near Bonnici and their daughter.
Their relationship earlier survived Hayne's civil rape lawsuit, settled in 2019.
Hayne was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his apartment in California in 2015 after meeting her at a bar while he was playing for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.
Hayne vigorously denied the allegations and the US District Court announced that the lawsuit had been "voluntarily dismissed" following a private settlement.
Hayne was charged with fresh offences in 2020, and Hayne and Bonnici have remained together since, celebrating their engagement on Boxing Day.
Their whirlwind engagement lasted just four weeks before the couple announced their marriage during a glamorous ceremony on January 26, exactly 100 days ago.
Hayne announced their happy news in an Instagram post with a bible verse in the caption.
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favour from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22 NKJV," Hayne wrote with the picture of Bonnici showing off her engagement ring.
"It's been a rollercoaster. But I'm thankful for God and what the Holy Spirit has done through us. It's only by the grace of God we are here and were excited moving forward as Husband n Wife (sic)," he added with a love heart emoji.
The pair were married in secret, but the news of their nuptials leaked soon after the couple's first kiss as a married couple during their January wedding at the Pullman Magenta Shores resort on the Central Coast of NSW, in front of just 50 guests.
The location was kept a secret until the last minute.
Hayne wore a cream suit and white shirt while Bonnici, 29, wore a classical white dress.
"We met on 26th of Jan five years ago. Thank God for sorting us out and realising we meant to be," Hayne posted.
"Thank you to our Families & Friends who attended yesterday. We had an unbelievable day with you all.
"It was unfortunate to not have the honour to announce this ourselves."
Less than 15 weeks later, Hayne learned his fate.
What has Jarryd Hayne been doing the last three years?
Hayne hasn't played in the NRL since 2018.
After the NSW Sex Crimes Squad's investigation into the incident in Newcastle first became public, Hayne took a holiday to the Middle East with Parramatta teammates Tim Mannah and Michael Jennings.
He handed himself in at Ryde Police Station in Sydney after returning to Australia and was charged by police before being released on strict bail conditions.
He was allowed to travel to Western Australia in mid-2019, to attend a six-month missionary course at the Youth With A Mission centre.
Hayne stayed in a dormitory-style accommodation near the evangelical Christian centre's training campus with other men and was required to attend lectures and not drink alcohol.
He returned briefly to Newcastle in July that year to formally enter a plea of not guilty and spoke to media for the first time as he exited court.
"I want to make it very clear, I'm innocent of these charges," Hayne said. "It's been a very hard time for my family … but justice will be served."
After moving back to NSW from Perth late last year Hayne has been spotted occasionally playing basketball in Marrickville in Sydney's inner-west and working out with former Eels teammates in Merrylands.
He's also provided sporadic commentary on sports via his Twitter page, including The Last Dance documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, the NFL and his beloved Eels.
Originally published as Hayne wife's 100-day marriage hell