Catalans Dragons star Mitchell Pearce opens up on alcohol addiction and controversial past

Catalans Dragons star Mitchell Pearce has taken to the south of France like a duck to water.

The halfback made the off-season move from the Newcastle Knights after being caught in a scandal that led to the breakdown of his soon-to-be marriage.

Pearce was forced to cancel is his own wedding after text messages were found to a female employee that caused a scandal at the club and the Dragons star has had a history of controversies.

He was suspended for one match in 2014 and fined $20,000 after an incident at a nightclub which ended any hopes of a Blues Origin call-up whilst the Sydney Roosters ordered Pearce to take alcohol counselling.

That was followed by another incident in 2016 when the halfback was caught simulating a sex act with a dog at a party. A $125,000 fine followed with an eight-game suspension.

And then of course the texting scandal at the end of 2020, but Pearce is loving life in France and knows that he needed to get help.

“At times I’ve felt suffocated, I came to football young; the expectations to succeed … it’s easier to manage that stuff by abusing alcohol and self-sabotaging with women or anything,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“I don’t want to be like this. I’ve been to rehab (2016) … Alcohol gives you that feelgood factor but it’s not the answer.

“I’m riding a wave in France, I’m loving Europe, I’m single, the women are beautiful – meeting people from different cultures has helped open my mind and made me realise Australia isn’t always right – different cultures see things differently.

“I’ve worked on myself, I’ve had counselling to deal with my anxiety and used to self-sabotage a lot because I didn’t think I deserved anything good,” Pearce continued.

“When it builds up and you keep things in, you make some misjudgements and turn to alcohol, I’m still not perfect and I’m not teetotal but I’ve got better at managing things.”

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