Rugby league immortal Wally Lewis has been spotted in public for the first time hours after announcing his shock marriage split.
The Queensland Maroons legend universally known as ‘The King’ for his domination of State of Origin in the 1980s and early 90s rocked the sporting world on Monday night when he confirmed his separation from his wife and the mother of his three children.
Lewis released a statement revealing he quietly split with wife of 36 years Jacqui last year and that he’s now in another relationship as he requested privacy.
It was business as usual for the Channel Nine presenter, 61, who was back at work for the network on Tuesday, as he did a live television cross from a Brisbane Broncos NRL preseason training session at Red Hill.
Wally Lewis (pictured) looked visibly distressed while taking a photo call in Brisbane on Tuesday morning
Wally and Jacqui Lewis (pictured together in happier times at the 2018 Dally M awards) separated quietly last year after 36 years of marriage
A visibly stressed Lewis looked anxious as he rushed away to take what appeared to be a tense phone call in the car park, holding his phone to his ear in one hand and rubbing his head with the other.
Dressed in a checkered shirt and brown pants, his wedding ring was noticeably absent as Lewis anxiously paced the car park before continuing the call in his car.
His shattered estranged wife declined to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.
The bombshell comes almost three months after Lewis sold his much-loved family home in Brisbane for a reported $2.1 million after less than a week on the market.
Two of the couple’s three adult children have broken the silence with cryptic social media posts in the wake of their parents’ split making headlines.
Former Home and Away star and Logie winner Lincoln Lewis, 33 thanked friends who had reached out following the shock announcement.
‘When you have a friend who checks on and wants nothing but the best for you without motives… keep them close, such souls are rare,’ Lincoln wrote.
‘Try to be like this as much as I can but wanna show some appreciation.. lucky to have such amazing people in my life.’
Lincoln shared several other Instagram stories while spending time with mates on the Gold Coast on Monday night before the shock news became public.
Actor Lincoln Lewis (above) has broken his silence on the separation of his dad Wally and mum Jacqui
Rugby league Immortal and Channel Nine personality Wally Lewis looked tense as he takes a call on Tuesday morning at the Brisbane Broncos training at Red Hill, Brisbane
He has an older brother Mitchell, a married-father-of-three and radio presenter with Nova and a younger sister Jamie-Lee, who was born profoundly deaf and has represented Australia in several sports, including touch football and water polo.
Jamie-Lee, 30, also broke her silence by sharing the same Instagram story as her brother.
‘Would do the same for others. So incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life. Thank you,’ she captioned the story with a purple love heart emoji.
Their parents appeared to show a united front last September as the family celebrated Father’s Day.
‘Father’s Day with the fam bam,’ Lincoln posted the happy family snap with his parents, tow siblings, sister-in-law and three young nephews.
The whole family also celebrated Jamie-Lee’s 30th birthday last June.
‘It may have be my birthday, but yesterday was about my mum too, I feel in a way it’s also her special day,’ Jamie-Lee captioned photos of the sunrise hike together.
‘She brought me in the world and has done absolutely everything for myself, my two brothers, my father and our family.’
Wally confirmed the shock marriage split on Monday night.
Actor Lincoln Lewis (right) is still coming to terms with his parents’ shock separation. He’s pictured with dad Wally (left) at the 2014 Logies
Wally Lewis recently sold his Brisbane waterfront home (pictured) for more than $2.1 million
A visibly stressed Wally Lewis sits in his car after taking a tense phone call on Tuesday
The Lewis family formed a united front while celebrating Father’s Day in September
‘This is a deeply personal matter that we do not want to discuss publicly,’ Lewis said.
‘I want to acknowledge the pain and upset my family has gone through since Jacqui and I separated last year. I hope over time we can rebuild our ties and move on with life.
‘I will confirm I am now in another relationship and only ask for the media to respect our privacy.’
Lewis, 61, admitted it had been a ‘difficult time for everyone in the family’ and said the pair were still working through the details of the separation
The NRL immortal listed his waterfront family home in the Brisbane bayside suburb of Birkdale in November, which was sold within two days.
While the price wasn’t disclosed by First National Real Estate Bayside due to privacy reasons, it has surpassed the previous street record set four down when a home a few doors down sold for $2.1 million, Domain reported.
The reported price was almost four times the median house price for Birkdale.
The spacious five bedroom home overlooking the canal features an entertainers kitchen, four bathrooms, an inground swimming pool and tennis court.
Rugby league legend Wally Lewis has split from his wife of 36 years Jacqui (pictured together at the 2016 Dally M awards)
An anxious looking Wally Lewis paced around the car park when he took time out from a television live cross to take a call at Red Hill on Tuesday
Wally Lewis with his family, including wife Jacqui, actor Lincoln Lewis (left) and water polo star Jamie-Lee Lewis (also left). Eldest son Mitchell is pictured right
The aerial view of the former family home of rugby league immortal Wally Lewis before it was snapped up for more than $2.1 million in November
The swimming pool at the stunning waterfront home in Birkdale overlooks the local canal
Wally was already a well-established Australian and Origin player when he and Jacqui tied the knot at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane in November 1984.
The shock marriage split comes just weeks after the NRL Immortal revealed how his battle with depression almost saw him take his own life.
Lewis, who had brain surgery in 2007 to combat daily seizures he had kept a secret since 1980, said he considered killing himself at his home in Brisbane when his then-wife Jacqui was running errands.
‘I had suicidal thoughts (after brain surgery) and found myself crying uncontrollably, for no reason,’ Lewis wrote in his recently released autobiography My Life, according to the Courier Mail.
‘I needed someone with me at all times.’
Another time Lewis walked past the pontoon on the canal at the back of his house and considered jumping in.
Thankfully, his thoughts quickly turned to his wife and three children and the chilling moment passed.
Lincoln Lewis uploaded this Instagram post as news of his parents’ separation become public
Lewis revealed he had since moved on with another woman, but kept her identity anonymous
Lewis owned the State of Origin arena in the 1980s and early 90s (pictured in action playing for the Kangaroos in 1988)
Lewis links his dark mindset to repeated blunt force trauma to the brain, which stemmed from his footy playing days.
‘Even as a junior, he was a marked man, getting concussed all the time,’ his mother June Lewis said. ‘I used to watch him in his bed while he slept.’
Lewis burst onto the scene as a teenager with Valley in 1978, quickly establishing himself as one of the premier players in the Queensland Rugby League competition before defecting to Wynnum Manly in 1984.
When the Brisbane Broncos were invited to participate in the Australian Rugby League (ARL) competition in 1988, he was the team’s pin-up boy.
He finished his club career with the Gold Coast Seagulls a few years later.
After retiring in 1992, Lewis made a successful transition into the media as a commentator with Channel Nine.
He was named an Immortal in 1999.
Wally Lewis: A rugby league icon
Born: 1 December 1959
Nickname: The King
Playing career (1978-1992): Brisbane Valleys, Wakefield Trinity, Wynumm Manly, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Seagulls
State of Origin: (with Queensland) 31 appearances between 1980-1991
Kangaroos caps: 34 appearances between 1981-1991
Named an Immortal: 1999
This post was first published on DailyMail.