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HEART­BREAK over the col­lapse of his mar­riage and grief over his mother’s ter­mi­nal ill­ness trig­gered Brian Lake’s de­struc­tive booze ben­der in Ja­pan.

The three-time premier­ship cham­pion and Norm Smith medal­list for Hawthorn (pic­tured) ad­mits he hit “rock bot­tom” when try­ing to run from the tough­est time of his life.

Lake has re­vealed that, two days af­ter he ex­ited Aus­tralian Sur­vivor, his wife said they needed a “break”.

Faced with the break­down of the re­la­tion­ship with the mother of his three chil­dren and his own mum’s de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health, Lake said he fled to Bali, and then Ja­pan.

Chok­ing back tears, he told News Corp: “You prob­a­bly should deal with your is­sues but, I de­cided, to an ex­tent, to run away from them. I couldn’t han­dle it.

“If you’re not in the right headspace when you’re drink­ing then it’s amaz­ing when you have a few, that bad things can hap­pen.”

A late-night brawl in Osaka in July af­ter a phone ar­gu­ment with his es­tranged wife re­sulted in Lake be­ing put in soli­tary con­fine­ment in a po­lice cell.

At break­ing point af­ter six gru­elling days of con­tem­pla­tion, he was re­leased and re­turned to his Caro­line Springs home, only for his beloved mother to die af­ter long bat­tle with can­cer.

“You look at life and you think, s---, it’s not pan­ning out the way that you ex­pected,” Lake said.

“But you’ve got kids and no mat­ter how bad life gets, you’ve got other peo­ple around you.”


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