Phil Gould says Panthers were unaware of pay-off claims against Bryce Cartwright

Panthers general manager of football, Phil Gould.

Panthers general manager of football, Phil Gould.

Penrith were unaware of allegations that Bryce Cartwright had paid a woman $50,000 to have an abortion, according to Panthers general manager of football Phil Gould.

"We've had no contact from this young lady at all – she's never called us or written to us," Gould said during a press conference in Penrith on Monday afternoon.

"There's never been a complaint. The first we knew about these allegations were on the weekend. If at any time she feels a need or wants to come discuss the matter she can come see me at any time if that's going to help her in any way.

"I have great respect and want to make sure she is OK. But up until this point in time, the club had no involvement in this or knowledge of what has transpired."

The Panthers launched their own investigation into the allegations after reports of the pay-off for the woman to have an abortion were made public on Sunday.

The club hasn't taken any action against Cartwright and while Gould wouldn't delve into details, the general manager believes the back-rower acted in a respectful and supportive manner.

"I've had a couple of discussions with Bryce over the weekend," Gould said.

"We'll deal with the going forward and for Bryce's welfare. I think for me personally and knowing Bryce as I have for a long time, it was important to me that in dealing with the facts of this matter that I was satisfied that he'd acted in a respectful manner and a supportive manner. I'm satisfied in this respect. Bryce has done as well as any young man could in the same situation."

Cartwright was unaware of the story that was about to surface when he played for the Panthers in the loss to the Dragons on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers are standing by the forward and are looking after his welfare with a decision over his playing future to be made by the club's welfare officers and coach.

"We're giving Bryce all the support we can give him ... and from his perspective he thought this was all settled a long time ago so what happened on the weekend has hit him like a bolt of lightning," Gould said.

Gould said the club was respectful and aware of the role of women in the sport and constantly educate players.

"Everyone here at Panthers is part of the family and we have the utmost respect for women in the workplace," Gould said.

"Our players are taught that and we're very vigilant about that education process. I don't want anyone thinking we were backing away from this particular reporting, think we weren't addressing the issue or we had some sort of failing in our attitude towards women at all."

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