Curtis Scott is relieved to be free of anxiety attacks and sleepless nights after fearing the Raiders would sacked him over charges of assaulting a police officer, which have been dropped.
Scott had all seven charges brought against him by NSW Police dismissed this week after his Australia Day arrest - in which he was pepper-sprayed and Tasered - was declared "unlawful".
He returned to Raiders HQ on Friday to continue his recovery from a leg injury and for the first time in nine months, can focus on recapturing NRL form without his career hanging in the balance.
Scott walked out of court on Thursday when what he described as "traumatic" footage of his treatment by police was shown.
Having only arrived from Melbourne over the summer, coach Ricky Stuart confirmed Scott "knew he would be sacked from the club if he had assaulted a police officer" before he even played a game for the Green Machine.
The 22-year-old centre said that prospect as well as heavy media scrutiny had taken a toll throughout a 2020 campaign in which he has struggled to hold his first grade spot at times.
Stuart: a huge weight lifted off Curtis’ shoulders
"I'd be lying to say it wasn't [tough]," Scott said on Friday.
"I've been putting on a brave face, but knowing that I'm at such a great club that's supported me through it all, and it's such a great playing group, it's just made it much easier to come in.
"But always laying down in bed at night thinking 'if one of these charges stick I could be out in the workforce every day'. That's pretty scary so I'm pretty grateful…
"I'm just happy I can get a full eight hours sleep at night and not wake up in an anxiety attack."
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Asked about the released police bodycam footage that showed Scott being pepper-sprayed and Tasered, he replied: "I don't want to go back and look at it. It's been pretty traumatic for me.
"But then again I know I put myself in that situation. I'm just happy that it's behind me now and I can look forward to the future.
"It's made me a better a person. It's made me mature and take into account that one night out can take everything you've walked for since I was a four-year-old, it can take it all away."
Scott gave thanks to Stuart and his Raiders teammates for their support throughout the court case, as well as club CEO Don Furner and welfare officer Andrew Bishop, who he has "kept in a job for the last nine months" with daily conversations.
He also apologised for putting himself in the situation in the first place after a night of excessive drinking.
Stuart said the allegations had undoubtedly taken a toll on Scott, who dropped out of Canberra's backline midway through the year as he struggled for confidence and was targeted in defence.
It's been a real tough nine months for him," Stuart said.
"It's always been very difficult when we can only go off people who have seen the vision ... now you see the vision I feel for Curtis in regards with what he's had to put up with.
"I believe it has affected his football - his training and now there's a huge weight lifted off his shoulders.
"Seeing what I'm seeing I can totally understand how it has affected his thinking and preparation towards football," he said.
"I believe he has a lot to offer."
Scott's lawyer Sam Macedone has indicated legal costs against the police will be pursued, with magistrate Jennifer Giles to rule on that matter on September 25.