for those who have reality tv as their guilty pleasure
Reality Ravings | Australia's leading Reality TV blog!

Who Is Behind Matthew Newton’s Rehabilitation

Matt Newton has broken his silence on his mental illness in an interview with A Current Affair (click here if you want to watch it).

However one of the things I would like to know is who is advising him and crafting his media rehabilitation? Only a couple of days ago I read in the paper that an Underbelly producer would hire him again, and now he is giving interviews. Also there was an article in one of the gossip magazines that he had a new much younger girlfriend.

The Herald Sun reports on the interview he was happy to talk about his mental illness, apparently he is a manic depressive, and a obsessive compulsive disorder.

The article states:

MATTHEW Newton admits he was mad, bad and dangerous before he was treated for the mental illness that threatened his career.

The troubled actor broke his silence about his crippling mental health issues and self-destructive and violent behaviour in an interview with A Current Affair last night.

But he opted not to go into detail about his alleged violence towards former fiancee Rachael Taylor and another former girlfriend, Brooke Satchwell.

Nor did he offer either woman a direct apology.

“Harming anyone is horrible,” Newton said.

“It is intolerable to harm a woman, it is intolerable to harm your best friend, several of your best friends, and it is intolerable to harm yourself and I have done all those things, and I utterly regret it.”

And he would not comment on his rumoured drug use, saying: “Drugs were never a problem for me.”

Newton, who was admitted to a Sydney psychiatric clinic last August following his Rome meltdown over Taylor, has spent seven months under going treatment for manic depression and severe obssessive compulsive disorder.

“I was a bit mad, bad and dangerous to know,” he said of his pre-treatment days.

“Mental illness does not discriminate, does not discriminate male, female, black, white. People who are around you they are the ones who get hurt in the wake of these frenzied episodes.

“It is not about respect for one sex or another, I was a walking time bomb.”

Newton said he had harmed himself on numerous occasions during his manic periods.

“I would run at walls. There is an imprint of me somewhere, of my whole body, in a wall.

“It is like you want to rip your brain out of your head, put it under a tap, wash it clean and then put it back in your skull and you can’t do that and you don’t know why.

“I didn’t think I was mentally ill, as ridiculous as that sounds after what I’ve just described.”

Newton said he was in one of the happiest periods of his life when he and Taylor went to Rome.

But the trip ended in disaster, with Newton saying he had a “total meltdown”.

“I went berserk, I went nuts. I guess I wanted to kill myself.”

Not sure that mental illness is an excuse for violence against women, as it appears there was some repetitive behaviour there.

However do you think Matthew Newton should get a chance to resurrect his career?



1 Michelle Sharrock { 11.22.11 at 12:55 am }

Hi Emma,

This interview concerned me in a number of ways. One being the amount of meds he is on and another, how quickly unsettled he became when faced with questions that he didn’t like.
Having said that it was cathartic (hopefully correct spelling) for him to talk about it, he did seem to skim over certain topics such as his violent episodes, rather quickly.
I’ve been thru depression many years ago and while it can be a very dark place to be in, with the right help and support, life can return to “normal” sooner rather than later.
There are no amount of excuses for physical and mental abuse. I know he said that he realises that he did wrong but somehow I don’t think he actually get’s it.
Clearly, he has a long way to go.

2 lesleyinoz { 11.22.11 at 1:06 am }

100% he deserves a chance. I thought it was extremely brave of him to do the interview. Mental illness leaves the sufferer with incredible amounts of shame. It was brave & whilst he didn’t offer direct apologies, he did directly address the violence.

It’s not violence against women, it’s violence full stop. Grimshaw herself said “So you don’t just pick on women” AFTER he had explained an altercation with a male and had talked about his violence towards himself..

What he did was wrong. There is absolutely no denying that. He is actively addressing his issues & his mental illness. Anybody who is making a real effort to get better deserves another chance. However, that interview did very little to reduce the stigma of mental illness. If anything it sent mental health understanding back a good few years. Yeah.. nice one Grimshaw.

3 Picnic { 11.22.11 at 7:23 am }

7 months in a mental health facility is too long! Matthew deserves another chance, he is a brilliant talent

4 Vic { 11.22.11 at 8:30 am }

What would be so difficult about an unreserved apology?

The idea of stepping into the public’s eye with the message that he wants to get back to work seems to be the so self serving. All of his responses seemed to be going back to having to look after his own health first – which I agree is an critical step for anyone with mental health issues – but I would have a lot more respect if he was off our tv screens for a couple of years and then came back saying that he had completed treatment, worked on personal relationships and written during that time.

Don’t tell us, show us.

Oh – and I hope if the much younger girlfriend is true that she has people looking out for her health.

5 smauge { 11.22.11 at 8:56 am }

The selfish side of me would love to see him acting again. I think he has talent.
As someone who deals with a range mental disorders on a daily basis I know it’s hard to understand if you haven’t personally experienced it. It’s easy to write off his interview as a cynical, self promoting stunt, but I’d like to see him get another chance. Black listing him is not going to help his recovery.
I don’t excuse his appalling behaviour in his previous relationships, but it does fit the pattern of bipolar disorder, rather than someone who is simply an abusive person all the time.
It’s up to him now to prove to the public that he is dealing with his illness appropriately through his actions and behaviours and I hope he can be a positive role model for those who deal with these disorders.

6 Mrs T { 11.22.11 at 9:24 am }

Like any person with a mental illness he deserves to be able to return to work if possible. The fact that his work is in TV / Acting etc. is somewhat irrellevant. If anything it makes it harder because people will be judging everything he does.
It’s really so frustrating to read stories and comments about him, people saying depression is no excuse for bad behaviour, he has manic depression FFS! His behaviour & actions were awful, and i really do hope that his victims have been able to move on with their lives, just as he needs to work on his rehabilitation to be able to move on with his. I just hope that he realises that his rehab will be a continual life long effort.

7 Paul { 11.22.11 at 9:41 am }

Matthew has been using drugs since he was 15 years old.

For him to say that they have never been a problem for him means he still hasn’t come to grips with the realities of his situation.

8 AJ { 11.22.11 at 9:45 am }

IMHO, repeated domestic violence against women is not a mental illness. And it shouldn’t be “sold” as such in order to revive the career of an actor.

9 Georgie { 11.22.11 at 10:31 am }

If Matthew has been using drugs, then there is the catalyst for his bi-polar disorder. When someone is a pre-disposed to mental illness, drug use from a young age will bring it on.

Not everyone who uses drugs will develop a mental illness, just as not everyone who drinks alcohol will become an alcoholic and not everyone who gambles will become a problem gambler. It’s the genetic pre-disposition that turns the behaviour into an aberration.

I hope he can find his way out of the black room – plenty of people do. How they do it is dependant on the individual and the support they have available.

10 Wurstsemmel { 11.22.11 at 11:41 am }

Smauge, as often is the case, as a fellow mental health worker, you said everything I was going to say.

11 Matt Newton { 11.22.11 at 4:16 pm }

Celebrity Apprentice here I comes…

12 Laura { 11.22.11 at 10:54 pm }

I was a big fan of Matt until I heard his interview with Kyle and Jackie O post-Rome incident where he complained that everything had been “blown out of proportion” and that he was “fine”. I still respect him as an actor but I no longer defend him as a person.

I think Matt is a very talented actor and I don’t think his personal life should affect his career, as long as he is good at his job.

That said, I don’t think he has come to terms with the awful things he has done and he doesn’t seem to be sorry at all. He seems to blame his illness for his actions and absolve himself of responsibility. Although his illness clearly influences his actions, he still has choices, even in a manic state, and he chose to be violent towards his girlfriend. I don’t think that necessarily makes him a bad person, considering his mental health issues, but it would not take much for him to apologise, sincerely and publicly, for the hurt he caused.

13 patricia { 11.23.11 at 12:52 am }

“Michelle” states she went through depression many years ago. I am pleased for her that she is now well. I have bipolar and severe depression which I had for many years, and I can tell you that without medication I would not be able to lead a normal life. I too like Matthew Newton was totally out of control for many years and caused so much hurt to my loved ones. Not a day goes by that I dont regret or feel ashamed I what I have done. But this is reality and you have to accept the past as part of who you are. Thank you Matthew for having the courage to speak publicly about bipolar. Only my family and closest friend know that I am bipolar. Not that I am ashamed of who I am now but the fact that I would not be able to keep my job. Sure there is supposed legislation to protect people who have mental illness but I have found the majority of employers will not have a bar of them. And there are always jokes in the workplace or in social circles about bipolar people. Yes that is the real world. So I applaud and thank Matthew and wish him all the best.

14 MAP { 04.24.12 at 5:04 pm }

Brave girl Patricia, for speaking out. I believe you are right about discrimination in the workplace. The negative comments above are testimony to the ignorance about this form of mental illness in the community.
I am not BP, but have a close family member who is, and who exhibits the erratic violent behaviour that Matthew does. She has been under treatment all her life, but no medication is a cure or has a long lasting effect. Some have a psychotic effect, many have awful side effects on other parts of her body, eg speech, mobility. The best we can do is love and support her and put aside the hurt she causes knowing it is the illness, and not the essential ‘her’. Between psychotic episodes she’s the loving, kind person she always was, but many people only remember the violence.
It’s hard for families to help, as the medical profession’s code of ethics do not allow them to share with us their diagnosis and treatment so we often don’t know if there’s a change in treatment or medication, or if they’re not taking their medication.

I hope Matthew ‘s family and friends continue to support his struggle for health and that his medical team find an effective program for him.