The loved-up couple met in January through social media. Todd says he helped Susie “deal with the negative publicity” she received while she was on MAFS. The Brisbane nurse was labelled a show villain for her treatment of her ‘husband’ Billy Vincent.
“While the show was on, it was a difficult time for Susie, but it did make us stronger, and since then everything’s been going really well,” he explains.
Of course, Todd has had to weather his own storm of bad press and has written about his many ups and equally as many downs in his brutally honest book, Hard Truth.
An exceptionally talented and hard-working rugby league player as a teen, Todd went on to win numerous ‘player of the year’ awards and represented NSW and Australia.
“One thing no-one could ever take away from me was I prided myself on the way I trained,” Todd reflects. “Not many 16-year-olds get to train full-time with the [Canberra] Raiders.”
But a rap sheet of alcohol-related scandals plagued Todd until his NRL career was effectively ruined in 2014 by the notorious ‘bubbler’ incident.
“The book was about owning up to my mistakes,” he says. “And that was one of them.”
It ended up costing Todd his NRL career. The incident centred on a photo taken at a urinal, which seemed to show him urinating into his own mouth. It was an optical illusion, but the damage was done and his contract was torn up.
Todd, who devotes a chapter to ‘the bubbler’, admits the incident has “defined my career”. “That’s all anyone seems to think of when my name is mentioned,” he concedes.
“I’m not happy with it – it’s quite sad that my career will be defined that way. But it is what it is and I’ve dealt with it.”
Barely a month later, Todd again found himself in hot water, this time over a photo in Bali with convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and her sister Mercedes Corby. The photo itself was innocent enough and Todd doesn’t regret taking it.
“I’m not ashamed of the photo,” he says. “I don’t have a personal connection with Mercedes and Schapelle, and if Isaw them today, I’d say hello. They didn’t do wrong by me.”
However, he does concede the “timing” of the photo, so soon after the ‘bubbler’ incident, didn’t do him any favours.
While in Bali, Todd also met two members of the ‘Bali Nine’, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. As they were big rugby league fans, Todd took them training shirts and books.
“It was refreshing knowing you’d touched other people’s lives,” he says.
Chan and Sukumaran were executed the following year.
These days, Todd lives in Byron Bay, where he is captain-coach of the local Red Devils rugby league club.
He acknowledges he’s “rubbed people the wrong way” throughout his league career, but he’s grateful for those who have stuck by him, especially his mother Leanne and his sisters.
“While I’ve done stupid stuff, I’m not a bad person,” he says. “I’d like to be remembered as the rugby league player who corrected his wrongs and moved on.”
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