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Brett Seymour: my battle with the booze

Warriors player Brett Seymour has vowed to keep fighting his alcohol demons for the sake of his wife and their unborn child.

Brett, who was last week convicted of drink-driving, says he made a mistake when he went out drinking following his wedding and his exit from the New Zealand Warriors – and an even bigger mistake deciding to drive home, when he could have walked from the Auckland bar he was in, just 500m from his house.

In an exclusive interview with New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, the 27-year-old Australian reveals that he’s an alcoholic.

“Alcoholism is a disease and it’s something any alcoholic to work on. Before I came here to play for the Warriors, I sat down with my manager and decided to stop drinking. There had been a string of incidents and I wanted to change,” he says.

Brett and his new wife Roseanne (30) enjoyed a fairytale pink wedding three weeks ago, which featured a pink Vera Wang dress, her miniature chihuahua Pinky as chief bridesmaid, and a yellow Hummer for the bridal party.

The couple had been on a high following their fabulous day and were excited about their looming departure for England, where Brett is taking up a three-year contract with rugby league club, Hull.

But that excitement came crashing down following Brett’s arrest and conviction for drink- driving less than two weeks after their big day. Brett was driving with twice the legal alcohol limit and lost his licence for seven months – a penalty which will also apply in England.

“I had 10 beers in the afternoon with a couple of mates, which is a pretty fair consumption. It was a silly mistake, thinking I could just drive up the road. I don’t condone it. I should have walked home.

“When the police stopped me, I told them it was going to affect a lot of things in my life, but they handled the situation well,” Brett says.

“I made an error in judgement to think that I could let my hair down for a week or two. Now I’ve put a lot of stress on Roseanne and the pregnancy.”

Roseanne, who’s revealed that she’s 15 weeks pregnant, had previously praised Brett for keeping out of trouble and was upset when she heard about his arrest.

“I was very disappointed in Brett’s actions. But in saying that, I stand by my husband. Everybody makes mistakes. I do think what Brett’s done is very wrong and I don’t agree with it. I was really p****d off with him, to be honest.

“It’s hard to understand, but there’s no quick fix for alcoholism. It’s something that’s always there,” says Roseanne who is social drinker, but has now stopped because of her pregnancy.

Prior to their wedding, the couple had pre-marital counselling with their pastor, who warned them all marriages have their ups and downs.

“This hiccup two weeks into our marriage is an example of that,” Roseanne says. “But we’ve got to stick together. We’ve been through a lot in our 10 years together and we’re going to get through this.”

Brett’s ongoing battle with alcohol has been difficult, and he has sympathy for embattled All Black, Zac Guildford.

“I feel for a guy like him. It’s only early days for him, but I can see what he’s going through and how he’ll get through it.”

Brett himself was just 17 when was signed with the Brisbane Broncos and started socialising with the other players.

“It’s a drinking culture. From the day he signed, the bigger guys were asking him to come out [drinking],” Roseanne recalls.

“But Brett has grown as a person. He hasn’t put a foot wrong for the two years we’ve been here. He made a mistake, and if he could take it back, he would.

“The sad thing is that I’ve beaten murderers and fraudsters to the front page of the paper,” sighs Brett. “But it’s something I have to deal with.”

Ideally, Brett would like to give up drinking for the next three years while he’s playing for Hull.

“That’s something between myself and the club to map out a plan to deal with my problem. I’m going there to play football, and that’s what I get paid for,” he says. “The best thing I can do is give the drink away for Roseanne and my baby.”

The newlyweds are leaving New Zealand in two weeks with their two dogs Pinky and Michael Jackson. The furniture in their one Tree Hill house has already been shipped overseas. They’ve loved their time in New Zealand, but are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives.

“It’s a sad way to go, but the thing that makes it bad is that I’ve tarnished the Warriors. They put themselves out for me and now this happens. We’ve had a good time and it’s a sad way to leave,” Brett says.

“But I’ve made some friends for life in New Zealand – that’s something to be thankful for.”

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