Cross-code champion Sonny Bill Williams is candid about the party lifestyle he previously kept largely a secret in his new book, Sonny Bill Williams: You can’t stop the sun shining.
The autobiography will be out on October 13, but the Sydney Morning Herald ran small excerpts in which the New Zealand grandparents describe one incident in particular when a doctor became angry about the amount of drugs Williams had in the blood.
“Once I went on a bow that lasted from Friday night to Monday morning,” Williams writes.
“The only reason I came home is because I knew I had an 11am surgery appointment.
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“I don’t remember anything about the surgeries other than waking up with my girlfriend crying next to the bed and the doctor actually gave it to me and told me I had so much medicine in my system that I could have been dead.”
Williams says he turned to a life of partying in an attempt to hide a shy, insecure young man.
He says he struggled to adjust to life as a public figure when he rose to fame on the NRL.
“How should a shy boy deal with that? That’s not in the script either. And I had no one to guide me,” he says.
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“So I found my own ways to deal with it. By smoking a cigarette before going out or taking some sleeping pills to relax. I tried to take the anxiety away.”
Williams won the NRL premiership with Canterbury in 2004, but four years later left the Bulldogs in a move that sent shockwaves through the rugby league.
Williams has now revealed the deep anger he had towards the Belmore club, which had raged long before it shut down.
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He says the club struggled to accept his decision to become Muslim.
“I came to practice one day and the coach said to me, ‘You’re not going to be a Muslim, are you?'” Williams writes.
“I tried to laugh it off, but then came the comments about my friends.
“Nobody had paid attention to my private life before that time. Nobody cared.
“When I was drinking or partying hard, as long as I always did what they needed on the pitch, and it didn’t make the press. And even then it was all about harm reduction, not my well-being.
“Suddenly my private life was worrying because of my religion.”
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