Footy superstar Sonny Bill Williams reflected on the incident at Sydney’s Clovelly Hotel back in 2007 where he fooled around with Candice Warner in a toilet stall.
Speaking to Lisa Wilkinson on Monday’s The Project, the former All Black revealed how he talks about himself as a changed man who has learnt from those experiences in his off-limits autobiography, You Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining.
The 36-year-old also recalled one particular drug and alcohol bender that nearly resulted in death, admitting that he ‘didn’t know any better’ at the time.
Changed man: Footy superstar Sonny Bill Williams (pictured), 36, revealed he’s ‘not proud by any means’ of THAT infamous Candice Warner toilet tryst back in 2007 during an interview on Tuesday’s The Project
Wilkinson referenced the toilet tryst directly by remarking just how off-limits the book is.
After a lengthy pause, Williams said: ‘I guess… I talk [in the book] about how I treated a woman [in] those times… how I treated myself, abusing myself with drugs and alcohol.
‘And I’m not proud of them by any means, but I’m proud of the man I am today because I’ve learnt from those experiences.’
Infamous: The former All Black continues to make headlines over an incident at Sydney’s Clovelly Hotel in 2007 where he fooled around with Candice Warner (pictured). Williams addresses the scandal in his autobiography, You Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining
Asked how his team at the time dealt with the headlines, the NRL Canterbury Bulldogs, Williams explained how the club directed him to make a public apology.
‘At the time it was, “he’s playing good footy, he’s stuffed up, he’s made a mistake, so what we’ll do is we’ll wheel him out in front of the media and he’ll apologise and then it’s all good”,’ he said.
Asked by Wilkinson whether it was a ‘bandaid’ attempt to make ‘the headlines go away’, Williams responded with ‘essentially’.
After a lengthy pause, Williams told Lisa Wilkinson: ‘I guess… I talk [in the book] about how I treated a woman [in] those times… how I treated myself, abusing myself with drugs and alcohol. And I’m not proud of them by any means, but I’m proud of the man I am today because I’ve learnt from those experiences’
Williams also reflected on one particular drugs and alcohol bender that landed in him hospital and nearly resulted in death.
‘I partied all weekend, there was no thought of self-preservation when I played and it kind of went into how I live my life outside the field as well,’ he confessed.
‘I woke up to the doctor standing there… [a] couple of doctors standing there and my girlfriend at the time crying and I just remember copping it from the doctor.
‘And I didn’t know any better, Lisa. The way I combated that was through up-skilling myself, education-wise.’
Hard partying days: Williams also reflected on one particular drugs and alcohol bender that nearly resulted in death. ‘I partied all weekend, there was no thought of self-preservation when I played and it kind of went into how I live my life outside the field as well,’ he confessed
In his explosive autobiography, Williams revealed the ‘party hard’ culture of the game led to his womanising, binge drinking and substance abuse.
Opening up about the ‘humiliation’ he faced over the toilet tryst, he wrote: ‘Both she (Candice) 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.
Learning from his mistakes: ‘And I didn’t know any better, Lisa. The way I combated that was through up-skilling myself, education-wise,’ he said
‘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.’
Williams is now married with four kids, has starred across four sports around the world – winning World Cups, going to the Olympics, holding boxing belts and winning NRL premierships.
He married his wife Alana Raffie just four weeks after meeting her at a Sydney retail store in 2013 – despite knowing he didn’t love her at the time.
Family man: Meanwhile Williams reveals in his autobiography how he asked his now-wife Alana Raffie to marry him despite knowing they weren’t in love. The pair had a traditional Islamic courtship and now share four beautiful children (all pictured)
She refused to hand over her phone number and questioned how many other women he had flirted with that day, but after two weeks of persistence from Williams, the pair committed to a Muslim courtship.
Williams previously revealed how Alana helped him escape a life of womanising, partying and drugs.
‘When we got together, straight away we said we’re going to do it Islamically correct, so even in that first four weeks I wasn’t with her by myself, we always had a chaperone – her cousin and cousin’s husband.’ he told The Saturday Telegraph.
Their story: The pair married four weeks after meeting each other, and followed strict Islamic tradition during the ‘dating’ period. The pair were never alone together and were chaperoned by Alana’s cousin and cousin’s husband
‘It was all about respect; she has rights over me, I have rights over her, striving to be the best husband I could be, she was striving to be the best wife she could be.’
Williams said the pair eventually ‘grew to love each other’, despite not having romantic feelings to begin with.
The couple have credited their shared dedication to Islam for putting an end to the sporting star’s former wild partying days.
Williams said he chose to write the book to reveal the private things about his life that he never felt comfortable speaking about before.
Sonny Bill Williams: You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining is released October 13
A new man: The couple have have credited their shared dedication to Islam for putting an end to the sporting star’s former wild partying days