Pearce opens up about Australia Day party

Mitchell Pearce says he was not affected by drugs during that controversial Australia Day party and denies he is an alcoholic.

Pearce has returned to Sydney after spending a month in rehab. He has been stripped of the captaincy of the Roosters and is awaiting further sanctions.

Pearce has denied being an alcoholic but admits he has a problem.

“Emotionally I’ve needed to grow up, I’m under no illusions about that,” he said.

“I’m not going to hide away from the fact that I love to have a beer. It’s been an ongoing part of my life since I was 18.

“But for me it hasn’t had positive effects at all. Drinking and partying has affected not only myself but my family and my club.”

In a lengthy interview with The Daily Telegraph, the NSW halfback said he as an addictive personality.

“I have always been obsessive. I have been a lot like that with footy. To be honest, I haven’t had balance in my life. I have come in and played footy since I was a kid. I have never had balance.

“It’s no secret I haven’t handled alcohol great over my career. One thing I have learnt — I am not denying I love having a good time, I always love to have a beer — but it can’t serve a place in my life for now or the near future.

“It is always going to be a challenge. Like I said, I am not an alcoholic. I hate saying that because of the label. I am a binge drinker. I haven’t learnt my lesson to this point. Alcohol has caused me a lot of embarrassment. It clearly doesn’t sit well with me.”

He also opened up about that Australia Day party.

“I had gone with a couple of people back to the house (where the incident occurred),” Pearce said.

“Once again, I was captain of the club and I should have really gone home. That’s been a bit of an issue of mine when I drink — I don’t know when to stop, which has got me in a bit of trouble.

“I was at that house for a while before (I was filmed). I am not a disrespectful person. I had been at the house before that for an hour or so. Everything was pretty friendly. My actions, the more intoxicated I got, we’re definitely disrespectful, and totally unacceptable.

“That’s got me in this position. I was pretty drunk by the time that happened. I remember most of it. My actions — it’s not me. It’s not something I am proud of what led me to doing something so stupid. I haven’t got an answer for why I did it.

“It was just immaturity and alcohol. I am disappointed (about being filmed secretly) but hopefully this could be the best thing that happened. If he didn’t do that, maybe I would be drinking still and the season would just get worse.”

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