Retired cross-code rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has lifted the lid on one of Sydney’s biggest celebrity scandals, revealing he “was a slave to my lusts and desires” before converting to Islam.
Williams, the one-time NRL wunderkind who had the world at his feet, has opened up in his upcoming autobiography You Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining, exploring his past as a womaniser who liked to party.
The now retired dual code rugby star and boxer says “nobody” paid attention to his drinking issues early in his career, leading him to spiral.
“I was selfish and I had no one to answer to. Like so many young people in today’s society, I had no boundaries and I was struggling to put some up on my own. It was up to me, but I didn’t know what to do about it or how to do that,” he writes.
“The party culture, the money, the access to drugs and alcohol. I was wrestling with it but I wasn’t saying no.”
Camera IconSonny Bill Williams returned to the NRL to finish his career with the Roosters. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/ AAPIMAGE
Williams famously walked out on his Canterbury teammates to take up a lucrative rugby offer in France in one of the competition’s biggest PR disasters.
But it was his infamous meet with former Ironwoman Candice Warner (nee Falzon) that made the biggest headlines.
Camera IconCandice Warner, right, supports her husband David after the Cape Town ball tampering scandal. Credit: BEN RUSHTON/ AAPIMAGE
“There were other moments when, caught up in the party hard culture after a game, I drank too much, took drugs and let myself down,” Williams says.
“And then there was an incident in a nightclub in 2007, when I fooled around with a woman in a toilet stall.
“Both she and I will have to live with that mistake for the rest of our lives. It made headlines around a good part of the world. It was embarrassing, and not just for myself. There’s the woman involved, of course, though she was a single adult woman and so it really was no one else’s business what she did.
“But I had a girlfriend at home who was publicly humiliated as well as suffering the pain of being cheated on. She surely did not deserve to be at the centre of a media storm.”
The moment of Sydney infamy continues to follow both Williams and Warner, with her now Australian cricket husband David Warner cruelly trolled by South African fans on a recent tour that ended in Cape Town’s sandpaper disgrace.
Williams’ book is set for release next week.Internet Explorer Channel Network