Aussie TV presenter opens up about drug use

Section
Celebrity,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 3 July 2018, 2:20PM

Following his Gold Logies win, Grant Denyer has opened up about how he hit rock bottom following a battle with depression and a crippling addiction to prescription pills.

He said if it weren't for his kids he "might not be here", reports the Daily Telegraph.

"It was a time where I didn't really give a s**t whether I lived or died. I felt like I had nothing to live for," he said.

TV weatherman Grant Denyer and his companion in 2004. Photo / Getty

"I reckon if I didn't have my daughter at that particular point, I might not be here."

To read the full interview with Grant Denyer go to the Daily Telegraph

His health issues and dependence on prescription pills began back in 2008 when he broke his back during a monster truck accident.

It was from this moment that Denyer's life began taking an unexpected turn.

His doctor said he needed to quit as Sunrise's weather presenter with tests showing "his organs were running at seven per cent" - but he kept going.

In his final appearance on Sunrise he appeared gaunt and fidgety.

He ummed and aahed, rambled about his wardrobe choice and joked that his daughter didn't know who her father was.

Accepting his gold gong on Sunday night, Denyer conceded that shortly after the excruciating 2013 performance, he thought he'd had his final turn in front of the camera.

In the period between Channel 7's morning show and getting the call up from Channel 10, Denyer thought he would never work again.

"I wasn't very well. I was in a bit of a hole. I was pretty sad. I was a bit lost and Family Feud came along, in fact I was very unwell at that particular time and Family Feud gave me a ladder out of that hole," he said.

During his Gold Logie acceptance speech, the former game show host broke down in tears when recalling a tough time in his life.

"I'll tell you why this is important to me and it is a very, very special achievement, because Family Feud came in my life at a time when I wasn't quite sure I'd ever work again or if I ever wanted to," Denyer said.

"I wasn't particularly in a very good place."

He said the game show "saved him", helping to bring back his mojo, confidence and courage.

"I rebuilt myself … so Family Feud thank you so much, you saved me."

Grant Denyer poses with the award for most popular presenter at the 60th Annual Logie Awards at The Star Gold Coast on July 1, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. Photo / Getty

Denyer had been suffering from serious health issues which led to his resignation as Sunrise's weatherman back in 2013.

Denyer, who had held the position on and off for 10 years, said he was leaving to spend more time with wife Cheryl and young daughter Sailor.

But the 40-year-old later opened up to news.com.au saying that after years of early mornings and long days, doctors had warned him that he was "going to die" if he didn't walk away from Sunrise.

"I just pushed too hard, too long. I did that at the toll of myself and my family. It was a juggernaut that I couldn't stop," he said, adding that he was seriously ill for almost two years and reached a point where he was sleeping for 23 hours a day.

"They'd stand me up on camera, they'd wake me up in between crosses and put me in front of the camera and count me in."

He said he didn't want to let them down.

A month earlier to quitting the show he passed out live on air during a plane ride with Red Bull stunt pilot Matt Hall.

Denyer admitted he'd made plenty of mistakes throughout his 15-year television career, in particular staying on too long as Seven's roving morning weatherman, despite tests showing "his organs were running at seven per cent".

"I didn't see the warning signs. I thought I was invincible and I f***ed up," he said.

His health issues continued when he was involved in a horror rally crash in 2017, almost ten years after he was seriously injured in a monster truck accident.

During the time Denyer was battling health issues, glossy magazine Woman's Day published an article in which is was claimed he and his wife Cheryl Rogers had been seeking treatment in rehab for a $200,000-a-year meth addiction.

Denyer publicly denied the allegations, citing "chronic fatigue brought on by exhaustion" as the reason for their visit to a rehab centre in Thailand.

In a statement to news.com.au in February 2014, Cabin Chiang Mai program director Alastair Mordey concurred with Denyer's reasoning behind the visit.

"Grant and Chezzi Denyer were both in treatment at The Cabin Chiang Mai for work exhaustion, executive burnout, anxiety, and PTSD"," Mr Mordey's statement read.

"They were both highly motivated during treatment and the episode resulted in a successful outcome."

The Denyers admitted that they did spend time at The Cabin, however strongly denied the magazine's reports that it was for drug issues in a statement released to news.com.au.

"Claims that the couple have a drug addiction and that Grant recently lost his Channel 7 contract are both false," says the joint statement from Grant and Chezzi Denyer, released by Grant's former manager Titus Day. "They are currently taking legal advice on what action can be taken against the magazine.

The statement went on to say the couple were saddened by the highly defamatory article and have been under immense stress in recent months due to Denyer's dealing with chronic fatigue.

"Chezzi has also been dealing with PTSD and anxiety issues resulting from Grant's condition."

But a year later, Denyer officially ended the bitter feud with Women's Day.

Despite threatening legal action over the defamatory article, he didn't end up suing the magazine.

Instead he said he had moved on and was no longer angry about the magazine labelling him a serious drug addict. "Life is too short to hang on to anger or resentment," Denyer said.

"Life is too short to hang on to anger or resentment.

"There's always time to heal relationships. I didn't want to live with the anger I was holding inside, to be honest. It's not a healthy emotion — it can do a lot of damage."

The damaging drugs story also came at a time when Denyer had suddenly quit the popular Seven quiz show Million Dollar Minute just months earlier.

But he bounced back, signing on to host Ten's reboot of Family Feud, a show he said has been incredible for him and his life.

"The last four years have been truly magnificent," he said after receiving the Gold Logie award.

Before taking home the big award, beating fellow talk-show hosts Carrie Bickmore, Amanda Keller, Tracy Grimshaw and Andrew Winter, he was also crowned Most Popular Presenter — even he was shocked given the show got axed two months ago.

"Wow. Really, wow. Family Feud is not even on television anymore. How awkward? You should see the faces on the 10 executives table at the moment right now," he said during his acceptance speech.

Denyer was convinced by his former boss Peter Meakin to join Network Ten to host the resurrected 1970s game show.

"This has been the most incredible four years. I appreciate this. It means the world. Survey says thank you."