Billy Brownless spills on best mate’s betrayal
FORMER Geelong star Billy Brownless has opened up about the messy breakdown of his marriage and his wife leaving him for his best mate, Garry Lyon.
Brownless, a media star, is one of the contestants on Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! this season.
In a scene set to air in tonight's episode, Rhonda Burchmore is seemingly unaware of the scandalous affair that ruined Brownless's marriage and made national headlines in 2016.
"Your wife's OK with you coming over (to Africa)?" Burchmore unknowingly asks the former Geelong player.
"Oh, no we had a split," Brownless replies.
"We separated about four years ago. Had a big, big dust-up we did. It was public, very public."
Going into detail, Brownless told Burchmore he had been married to wife Nicky for 18 years when she left him.
"She just fell out of love," he said, "which happens.
"I didn't expect it," he continued. "You think she'll come back and all that, but she didn't. So that was a real kick in the guts."
Brownless told Burchmore that it wasn't until a year later that he discovered Nicky had "shacked up with one of my good mates".
"It's been four years now so you get through it, you know," he says. "I reckon it takes you two years when you split, when you bounce back and to be yourself."
HOW THE SCANDAL PLAYED OUT
In February 2016, Channel 9 released a statement announcing that Lyon was on indefinite leave from The Footy Show as he battled depression.
It was revealed that Lyon and Brownless had recently had a falling out when Brownless discovered Lyon was in a relationship with his estranged wife, Nicky.
A month later in March, Brownless spoke about the betrayal during an emotional interview on The Footy Show.
"I couldn't believe it," Brownless said on the Channel 9 show. "I found out three or four months ago that something was going on. I had a hunch. I did some investigation myself, sat Nicky down, and we had a chat and she told me.
"My initial feelings were, like anyone - you get angry. You're headless, you're angry.
"I shot of a couple of texts to Garry and to Nicky which you wouldn't want to repeat on this show. And then after a couple of days, you get embarrassed.
"Now I'm just disappointed," Brownless said. "Your mate wouldn't do that … Let me tell you, by law it's legal to do what they're doing, but morally it's wrong in all aspects."
Lyon, who separated from his wife Melissa in 2014, spoke about the messy situation during an interview on SEN radio in January 2017.
"It's important I apologise publicly for the hurt they've been through," Lyon said about his ex-wife Melissa and their sons.
"I was separated back in 2014. It's hard enough to deal with separation, hard enough to deal with privately let alone publicly when you throw in a new relationship that lots of people frown upon, a person who was once married to a friend," he said.
Speaking about his mental health, Lyon said: "I was battling at the end of 2015, I just got myself into a hole … I couldn't get off the couch, I didn't want to face the day, I was regretting the end of the football season because football gave me a structure.
"When you're on your own sitting in a house by yourself, my relationship had broken down and you're having these feelings about where you fit in the world.
"I couldn't pick the phone up. Every day you didn't, it got harder to do it."
In November 2017, Lyon's ex-wife Melissa claimed to the Herald Sun that the relationship between Gary and Nicky actually began in 2013.
"The truth is that five years ago she (Nicky) destroyed my marriage," Melissa said at the time.
"We coexisted for a couple of years after I first found out. Things were amicable because I thought it had all stopped.
"I thought they knew it would all be too messy and they were smart. But yeah, they chose not to stop.
"I'm not going to lie, it still upsets me every day the thought of them together."
Gary and Nicky are still together to this day.
I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight at 7.30pm on Ten