Former rugby league and union superstar Sonny Bill Williams has revealed all about his private life as an NRL star.
The book, titled: Sonny Bill Williams: You Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining, sees Williams bare all in an incredible memoir of the life of an icon.
As a rising NRL star, Williams – who also fought as a professional boxer – revealed he turned to smoking and sleeping tablets to deal with the pressure.
That pressure was especially gruelling after a 2005 drink-driving incident saw Williams being thrust into the limelight to make a public apology.
“Suddenly, I was a public figure,” he writes. “How is a shy boy supposed to cope with that? That’s not in the script either. And I had no one to guide me.
“So I found my own ways to deal with it. By having a smoke before I went out or a couple of sleeping tablets to relax me. I was trying to take the fear away.”
“One time I went on a bender that lasted from Friday night to Monday morning.
“The only reason I came home is I knew I had a surgery appointment at 11am. I don’t remember anything about the operations except waking up having my girlfriend crying next to the bed and the doc really gave it to me, telling me I had so many drugs in my system I could have died.”
Williams was also targeted later on for becoming a Muslim.
“No one had paid attention to my private life before then,” he writes. “No one cared. When I was drinking or partying hard, as long as I was always doing what they needed on the field, and it didn’t make the press.
“And even then, it was all about damage control, not about my wellbeing. Suddenly, my private life was concerning because of my religion.”