The Footy Show was forced to bare its soul -or possibly its dirty laundry- last night when Billy Brownless was interviewed by James Brayshaw and Sam Newman following recent news events co-star Garry Lyon had an affair with his ex-wife.
Brownless was close to tears as he answered uncomfortable questions from his colleagues at the top of the AFL show.
“It has (been tough). Very difficult,” Brownless conceded.
“I couldn’t believe it. I found out three or four months ago that something was going on. I had a hunch. I did some investigation myself, sat Nicky down and we had a chat and she told me.
“My initial feelings were, like anyone. You get angry. You’re headless, you’re angry.
“I shot off a couple of texts to Garry and to Nicky which you wouldn’t want to repeat on this show let me tell you. And then after a couple of days, you get embarrassed.
“I took a deep breath, stepped back and now I’m just disappointed because a good mate wouldn’t do that.”
It was the first time Nine had addressed reports that an affair had split the long-term friendship of its Footy Show stars. Until now it had only conceded Lyon was taking time off to battle depression , referring only to the affair as “a personal and private matter.”
Last night Brayshaw and Newman admitted if it were anyone else in AFL it would be discussed on the show, so they gave Brownless a chance to respond to media reports.
The former Geelong player was shattered by the events which had repercussions on family and friends. He said he was upset by lies. When Newman asked if divorced and separated adults had acted independently, Brownless was blunt.
“There’s a bit of lying gone on there, a bit of behind-the-back stuff and that’s what hurts you the most.
“I asked Garry and Nicky early on and ‘Oh nothing we’re just good friends’ and all that.
“You don’t touch a man’s wallet. You don’t touch his wife,” he said.
“Let me tell you, by law it’s legal to do what they’re doing, but morally it’s wrong in all aspects.”
Brownless also said he would not have attended last night’s show if Lyon had been present, before offering a glimmer of reconciliation.
“It’d be bloody hard. I wouldn’t know what to say to him. What do you say?” he said.
“When the time’s right, we’ll sit down and have a couple of beers.”
He vehemently rejected other rumours, including that Lyon had been in contact with his 20 year old daughter and hit out at journalists contacting family members.
Newman said Lyon was still battling depression.
“But he is in a very dark place. We do wish him well and I actually feel sure that this will repair itself. Time will be the great healer and we will all be back together again.”