Celebrity News

Hackett flies to US but denies rehab statement

Hackett off to US rehab for stillnox abuse

Olympic gold medalist Grant Hackett is on his way to a US rehab clinic for addiction to sleeping pill Stillnox after a family intervention, his spokesperson told media yesterday.

Hackett’s manager Chris White yesterday told the Herald Sun the 33-year-old was “currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to Stilnox medication”.

But Hackett has denied the statement when he ran into reporters at Los Angeles Airport, saying he is just going to “take a break”.

“No, I’m not calling this rehab whatsoever,” Hackett told reporters.

“This is a retreat to get away for a while to recharge the batteries which I’ve been needing for some time.”

The decision was made by the family after Hackett was spotted wandering nearly-naked around Melbourne’s crown casino on Saturday morning after losing his son Jagger, 4.

“His family and friends are enormously proud of his courage in pursuing this course of action,” Mr White said.

The troubled Olympian had guests at Melbourne’s packed Crown Casino looking on in shock as he emerged from his room early on Saturday morning, with only a singlet wrapped around his nether regions, to search for his missing toddler.

Jagger was found with the help of casino security and taken back to his room, where he was staying with his dad and twin sister, Charlize.

Hackett later released a statement saying his “adventurous” son had gone walkabout and in his haste to go search for him he neglected to get dressed.

Hackett was treated for an addiction to the anxiety and sleeping drug Stillnox towards the end of his swimming career, telling the Daily Telegraph he had overused it. “At one point they scared me. They’re evil,” Hackett said in 2012. Stillnox has been known to be highly addictive, cause strange behaviour, hallucinations, impaired judgement and delusions.

Related stories