Sonny Bill Williams has opened up in candid detail about his sordid past and revealed the time his excessive drinking landed him in hospital.
In his upcoming autobiography 'You Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining', Williams touches on a range of topics from his drug and alcohol-fuelled early days, to his partying and "womanising" and the famous split from the Bulldogs in the NRL.
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In recent excerpts published from the book, Williams touched on the infamous 2007 toilet tryst with Candice Warner (nee Falzon), when she was a single ironwoman and he was an NRL star playing for the Bulldogs.
The 36-year-old admitted that it was a toxic partying culture of drinking and drugs that forced him to leave the Bulldogs and pursue a career in rugby union overseas.
In an interview on Channel 10’s The Project, Williams has now revealed that his alcohol abuse got so bad at one point that he ended up in hospital.
“I had partied all weekend, there was no thought of self-preservation when I played, and it kind of went into how I lived my life outside the field as well,” Williams told Lisa Wilkinson.
“I woke up to the doctors standing there, a couple of doctors standing there, my girlfriend at the time crying and just remember copping it from the doctor.
“I didn’t know any better.”
Williams converted to Islam and has credited his religion with helping him get his life on track.
He eventually married Alana Raffie and the couple have four children together after tying the knot eight years ago.
While the footy superstar admits there is no escaping his sordid past, he views it as a learning experience that's helped him grow into the man he is today.
“I’m not proud of it by any means, but I’m proud of the man I am today because I’ve learnt from those experiences,” he explained.
“For so long I got manufactured highs from drugs, abuse, womanising, and then the next day I would wake up and I would have such a disgusting feeling in myself and feel like, man, so empty, you know, soulless.”
“But now when I do good things, it is a different type of high,” he said.
“It’s such a great high, when you visit the sick in hospital, when you give your time for the less fortunate or you make a young kid’s day, because the wake-up, the next day, it is of empowerment."
Sonny Bill Williams had to escape toxic culture
In an extract from his book that was published over the weekend, Williams talked about the drinking problems that preceded his bombshell departure from the Bulldogs and the scandalous incident involving Candice Warner, the now-wife of Australian cricketer, David.
Williams conceded that his drinking was the "symptom of a much bigger issue" that was not addressed at the time and said he needed to get out of a toxic party culture of booze and drugs.
“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.”
Candice Warner (then Candice Falzon before she was married) and Williams met at the Clovelly hotel in 2007 and were filmed by a member of the public in a toilet cubicle.
Candice, 22, was an elite ironwoman at the time and a 21-year-old Williams (who was in a relationship) was at the start of his NRL career with the Bulldogs.
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