Disgraced NRL player Tim Simona opens up in an interview with Phil Rothfield, confessing to taking drugs and gambling.
Disgraced NRL player Tim Simona opens up in an interview with Phil Rothfield, confessing to taking drugs and gambling. Sam Ruttyn / News Corp Australia

ASHAMED: Tim Simona's sex, drugs, gambling, charity scam

DRUGS, a poker machine addiction, gambling on matches, ripping off children's charities, deceiving his team mates and the NRL.

Disgraced Wests Tigers star Tim Simona finally confesses to it all.

The 25-year-old had confronted his sins after he was deregistered by the NRL on Friday.

His explosive confession includes first trying cocaine during Mad Monday celebrations to later blowing $300 worth in just an hour.

Despite being on $325, 000 a season with the Tigers, Simona is now broke with just a few thousand dollars to his name. His pay fed through poker machines in clubs and pubs across Sydney.

"I'd lose a grand, and then two grand on the Saturday, I'd try and chase it up and get it back on the Sunday," Simona tells The Sunday Telegraph.

In a desperate need for money, Simona admits breaching NRL player rules betting on matches - including against his own team.

But the most damning of his sins is his admission to organising to auction off signed team jerseys for charity but pocketing half the money himself.

His scheming came undone with his ex-girlfriend Jaya Taki posted about his indiscretions on Facebook. Their tumultuous relationship laid bare in more than 100 pages of text messages seized by the NRL during their investigation into Simona's match betting and exclusively obtained by The Sunday Telegraph.

"We went to the toilets, and just snort a line pretty much. That was the first time I had ever touched drugs. From then on every time I would go out, I would start using it," Simona said on his drug use.

Simona said he never feared getting caught by drug testers despite buying up to five bags of cocaine a weekend and was tested as frequently as his Tigers teammates.

"Actually I'd been tested quite a few times, and obviously I knew when to take it," he said.

"In the rep round when we had the weekend off I would take it or if there was a long turn around between games.

"I would take it on a Friday so by Monday I think it would be out of my system." Simona confessed to auctioning off at least 12 jerseys and keeping the money. He was assisted by his ex-girlfriend, Jaya Taki, who text messages show was complicit in him raising funds for a foundation in memory of her dead brother. Taki denies pocketing any of the proceeds.
"I'm so ashamed of what I've done," Simona said.

"It shows how low you'll go to get money. One jersey turned into five jerseys which turned into like eight, nine jerseys.

"There are no excuses. All I can do is give them the money when I get back on my feet."

His spiralling losses from pokies led to him asking his then girlfriend Jaya Taki set up a betting account in her name and placed 65 bets on NRL matches - several involving the Tigers.

However, he denies any type of match fixing, insisting his teammates know that he never gave less than 100 per cent whenever he played.

"I'm just embarrassed and ashamed," he said.

"It was so dumb and so stupid. Importantly the players know I'd never be involved in match-fixing."