“I freaked and planned to do it. In the middle of the night I just f**king did it. I waited until everyone was asleep and I drank hand sanitiser,” she said.
“It was disappointing because it kind of gives you … first the taste is so vile, it takes so long to get the taste out of your mouth, and then I think you get about 10 minutes of numbness, which is what I was after and then you sleep. I wish I could say it only happened once but that would not be the truth.”
While the incident was not screened on TV, I'm a Celeb producers cottoned on to what was going on with Fiona when she began slurring her speech and stumbling around camp.
Fiona ended up winning I’m A Celeb, and earning $100,000 for her chosen charity, Angel Flight, but admits she probably wasn’t in the right mental space to be taking part in the show.
“I think it was probably reckless of me [to do the show]. That is the problem with addicts, we think we do but we don’t have our own best interests at heart,” Fiona said.
Fiona has endured a long, intimate and anguished relationship with alcohol. The disease inevitably caught up with her and she suffered an ever-escalating cycle of blackouts, anxiety, agoraphobia, depression, fear and self-loathing as well as blinding hangovers.
She was forced to admit she had a problem when she fell down drunk on stage in front of 300 people at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in 2009, days before she was due to compete on Dancing With The Stars.
Embarrassed and ashamed, the Northern Territory Australian of the Year owned up to her addiction and joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
"As soon as I went public and told everyone I was an alcoholic, I thought that would solve everything," she told the Australian Women’s Weekly last year.
In the same interview, Fiona also confessed her alcoholism led the collapse of her marriage to husband Chris O’Loughlin in 2012. The couple had been together for 27 years.
"I let it go so far and so long that it ended my marriage, ultimately," she revealed.
"I almost died of shame. I woke up in bed with a stranger and I'm literally incapable of that behaviour sober."
Fiona has now been sober for almost a year, with her last relapse occurring during the filming of Channel Seven’s All New Monty: Guys & Gals, which was filmed in Sydney in December last year.
Is alcohol a problem? If it’s harming you, or someone you know, it may be time to seek advice from a professional. Call Lifeline on 131 114, visit www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/get-help-home, or call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or speak to your GP or local health service.