Grant Hackett tells all about black eye and life dramas
GRANT Hackett has bared his soul in the wake of a string of controversies that have tarnished the Olympic champion's reputation.
Hackett was arrested in February at his parents' home after his mother Margaret, father Nev and brother Craig feared for their safety when the former long distance swimmer's behaviour became dangerous and erratic.
His family then pleaded with the public's help in finding Hackett after he reportedly went missing soon after, before being found on the Gold Coast.
It was another sad chapter in Hackett's life and followed a bizarre incident on a flight in 2016 when he was accused of giving another passenger a "nipple cripple".
Hackett also uploaded a photo of himself with a black eye to Instagram earlier this year, claiming his badly damaged face was the result of an altercation with his older brother, who he said "beat the s***" out of him.
Speaking on KIIS 1065's Kyle and Jackie O on Tuesday, Hackett explained the truth behind his injuries.
"I didn't get any punches in there as you could see from the results," Hackett said. "I think it shocked him.
"I wasn't in a good space for a couple of months and he came over to my house and I was refusing that help, I didn't want him to come in and when I get in that state of mind I get quite reclusive.
"He wanted to come in, I didn't want him to come in … I was trying to push him out and we got into a push-and-shove and he whacked me with his weak arm, so I'd hate to see him with his strong arm. We were both very regretful of the situation.
"I was very upset with my brother, he was very upset with me … I didn't drink through that period but it all became too much."
Hackett also opened up on his arrest in February.
"Obviously it was pretty shocking from my end and to look back on that footage is quite agonising," he said. "I was in a bad place, I suffer from pretty bad anxiety and ended up drinking. I drank too much at my parents' house and got into an argument with my dad.
"I went into their guest house and locked myself in there but they didn't know that ... I woke up to two police officers, I was shocked.
"It was quite terrifying.
"Once I was released with that I didn't know where I was at with my family and I just went to a hotel for four or five days."
The swimming champion says he has trouble knowing who to trust when it comes to getting help because of his public profile, and said he hit "rock bottom" after his arrest in February.
"I wasn't in a good space, I was deep down in that ditch and hit rock bottom," he said.
"When I got arrested I thought, 'This is it, I've had enough of this' (it's time to get help).
"I get anxiety, I haven't handled the past few years very well in bits and pieces … ever since I went thought that divorce and all the publicity that followed."
Hackett's life started to unravel when his relationship with ex-wife Candice Alley broke down. He says he just wanted to sleep to avoid dealing with his personal troubles, which led him to seek out medication that would help him do just that. He says he wasn't an alcoholic who craved a drink every day.
Hackett made headlines in 2012 for his bizarre meltdown at Melbourne's Crown Casino, when he destroyed his apartment. He says he went on the rampage because he wanted his marriage to end.
"I smashed up the place because I wanted the marriage to end at that time. The piano was tipped on its side, I did that," he said.
"It was so public, you get in this depressed state and you're just looking for something to numb it. I just wanted to sleep."
Last year after Olympic trials for the Rio Games Hackett was accused of giving a passenger on his flight from Adelaide to Melbourne a "nipple cripple".
He admits he was drunk but says the media speculation over the incident led to lies about what actually happened.
"I finished Olympic trials where I didn't have the success I wanted, I was in a dark place, I drank before that flight - there was one gentleman sitting in front of me - I was drunk for sure.
"I tapped him on the shoulder just to ask to put his seat up a little bit … if I touched his nipple, I didn't mean to. I didn't mean to grab anyone inappropriately.
"The next minute in the media I'm being confrontational, I'm swearing … I didn't do anything like that. I even asked him again if he was OK but he was really upset."
Hackett says the misinformation around what he has and hasn't done is frustrating to deal with, but it's impossible to fight every battle, particularly when you consider the toll legal cases take on a person.
"I had three court cases running at the same time. If they get off on a technicality, it's literally millions of dollars down the drain," he said.
"What about for your mental health too? It drives you insane."
Hackett said he checked himself into a rehabilitation facility in Malibu after his arrest and is now focused on staying sober.