Former Dragons player Andrew Frew has been charged with attempting to blackmail a Lane Cove man for more than $100,000.
And court documents reveal that in June the 37-year-old former winger and fullback was caught with half a gram of the drug ''ice'' hidden on his person when police raided an inner-city hotel room.
Frew played for Manly, Parramatta and St George Illawarra between 1997 and 2004.
Frew and Louise Temple, 38, are facing three charges of blackmail and one charge of demanding money with menace from 58-year-old Wayne Belgre between June 16 and September 7. They allegedly went to the Lane Cove home Mr Belgre shares with his 94-year-old father on ''numerous occasions'' to demand money.
Mr Belgre was also allegedly driven to several ATMs by the pair and forced to withdraw thousands of dollars.
Frew and Ms Temple were arrested last Friday and charged at Lane Cove police station.
During an application for bail in Central Local Court yesterday, the police prosecutor said the two accused had known Mr Belgre for some time, but did not specify the nature of their relationship.
The prosecutor also said that, shortly after his arrest, Frew had attempted to tamper with a mobile phone in a bid to destroy evidence in the case.
Court documents revealed that on June 18, two days after the first alleged blackmail attempt, Frew was found in possession of 400 milligrams of ice hidden in his anal cavity when police raided a room at the Vulcan Hotel in Ultimo.
Police went to the Vulcan in response to a call from a hotel manager expressing concern that the credit card used by Ms Temple, who was with Frew, may have been fake.
When officers knocked on the door of the room and identified themselves they heard someone rush into a room and the sound of the toilet flushing.
A search of Frew revealed the hidden drugs, and he later pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre local court to possession of methamphetamine.
Frew pleaded not guilty yesterday to the blackmailing charges.
His lawyer, Glen Porter, told the magistrate, Clare Farnan, that the blackmail charges were simply his client's word against that of Mr Belgre, and that the latter had waited three months before calling police.
He said his client had ''very close ties to the community'' in the form of his parents, whom he lived with at Mt Pritchard.
Magistrate Farnan granted Frew conditional bail and the matter will come before the same court on September 25.