FORMER Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett hopes he can salvage his reputation after a destructive night last year following a boozy Derby Day celebration.
Hackett was kicked out of his marital home by his wife Candice Alley after his now infamous rampage and an attempt at reconciliation ended in May when he broke a Logies night curfew to find himself locked out of his Melbourne apartment.
He told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes that on Logies night he slept in the stairwell of the building.
Hackett, 32, has moved back to the Gold Coast and hasn’t seen his estranged wife or his twin children in more than two months.
He said he had no problems with alcohol but as he went about wrecking walls and turning over furniture and a piano in October last year he just wanted an end to his marriage.
Hackett denied reports he had hit his wife or that he had gone about his outburst while carrying one of the twins.
“I don’t blame the alcohol,” he said.
“I was drunk, I think the alcohol exaggerated or exacerbated the emotions of that night and made it worse.
“I blame myself.”
He admitted to targeting his wife’s most prized possessions during the rampage.
He said he had never behaved like that before but his marriage was not a happy one “and I was at a point where I wanted it to be over”.
His wife had left during the meltdown, taking the children with her and then calling the police.
“I’m a big guy, I would have been intimidating and it would have been very upsetting for her,” Hackett said.
“But there’s no way I would ever hurt my wife.”
On the night of the Logies, after he found his apartment deadlocked, Hackett returned to the after-party but was soon asked to leave by a security guard.
“I was probably drunk … but I didn’t feel any worse than other people there who had been drinking,” he said.
“I went home. Well, I didn’t go home. I went into the building and slept in the stairwell which is not that much fun.”
Hackett is hoping the Australian public can forgive him for his bad behaviour.
“Is my reputation damaged forever after one mistake?” he asked.
“I will be defined by my actions moving forward and I hope people take the time to judge me on that and I’m very, very determined to turn that around.”