The always funny Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald has opened up about his dark past in an emotional new interview.
Speaking in an episode of Fox Footy show Bob, Fitzy dished on life after leaving his AFL sports career. Fitzy made the revelation that he struggled to make ends meet due to a gambling habit.
The Fitzy and Wippa star revealed: ‘Those four years that I had in the AFL, I punted a lot of my money up the wall. My old man was devastated by that, because he hates gambling.’
Admitting it was one of the lowest points of his life, he went on to express his struggles with money: ‘I left AFL with a mortgage, I had a house, I even got to the point where I pulled mum aside one day — it was full on — I said to mum, "I’m struggling to pay the mortgage".'
'I told her I’m going to get some of my mates just to start frickin’ growing weed for me, just to get by.'
He added: ‘Mum broke down and I remember I grabbed her hand and I was just shattered and I said, "I’m so sorry".'
But things took a surprising turn when a friend game him some life-changing advice.
Fitzgerald shared: ‘I did my knee again when I went back to South Adelaide and I was halfway through my rehab again coming back from my third knee reco and my mate said to me, “Why don’t you try out for Big Brother, that reality show?”’
Since his time on Big Brother Fitzy has gone on to become one of Australia's favourite radio and TV personalities.
On our Who Are You podcast, Pete Timbs goes one-on-one with Australia’s favourite celebrities to reveal fascinating stories you’ve never heard before. In the second episode, Timbs chats with Roxy Jacenko about balancing her career with family and how a drunken night ended in a $27,000 splurge on veneers.