Woman’s Day (Australia)

Grant Hackett Family heartbreak

Olympian Grant Hackett’s f family open up about the demons behind their famous son’s torment

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Swimming champion Grant Hackett was reeling from a series of personal crises including the breakdown of his most recent love affair, but it was the heartache of being separated from his children that sent him out of control last week.

Grant, 36, returned to his home on the Gold Coast after failing to see the twins, downcast, angry and disappoint­ed, and turned to the bottle for solace – which ultimately saw him taken out of his parents’ house in handcuffs last Wednesday.

He was arrested around midday after reports he’d flown into a violent rage and was seen stabbing a knife into a chopping block in the kitchen of his “terrified” parents, Nev and Margie, who felt they had no option but to call the police.

A devastated Nev, who rarely speaks to the media, later revealed Grant “had a mental breakdown” after drinking heavily, while Grant’s older brother Craig went even further, admitting the family now feel that Grant is “dangerous”.

“We’ve reached the end of the road. He’s there in person but he’s not there in mind, soul or spirit, and it’s to the point now where, at times, he’s dangerous,” Craig warns.

“He’s a danger to himself, he’s a danger to the community, and poor Mum and Dad have tried to look after him so much. I’m concerned for his welfare.

“We’ll do anything to help him. Anything at all – but it’s hard for people with this sort of problem.”

Grant had spent the previous weekend in Melbourne “on a bender” after being unable to see seven-year-olds Jagger and Charlize, who he has with his ex-wife Candice Alley.

“It was this separation from the twins that set him off,” reveals one family friend.

“It breaks my heart how much

Grant loves those kids. But we have all run out of excuses for his behaviour – we all have problems, but to just lose it like that is simply unacceptab­le. He needs help, because those kids deserve better than this.”

Grant was released without charge on Wednesday night and reportedly taken to a private hospital for treatment, but rather than apologisin­g to his family, he fired back at his brother, posting a shot of himself with a black eye on social media and claiming Craig “beat the s**t out of me.”

Friends say Grant’s breakdown had been building up in recent weeks, particular­ly after his latest love, former law student Maggie Keating, ended their relationsh­ip shortly before Valentine’s Day, leaving him shattered. He had removed photograph­s of her from his social media accounts two weeks earlier.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidenc­e he unravelled the day after they split,” another family friend says.

“He’d been in knots over his kids, he knew he’d stuffed up his TV career, and then he found himself single – again.

“But the people I feel sorrier for are Nev and Margie. Their lives have been turned upside down and I think they just felt they’d run out of options this time.”

‘Mum and Dad have tried to look after him so much’

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