/assets/images/headerlogos/WD-logo.svg
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

I'm A Celeb's Sam Dastyari opens up about Kyle Sandilands: "He saved me from rock bottom"

The former politician was put to the ultimate test.

From the House of Representatives to the South African jungle, it's safe to say Sam Dastyari has been put to the test over the last few years.
But as his competition on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! heats up, it seems the former politician is ready for anything.
He joins the show less than 12 months since resigning from office after news of a scandal involving a billionaire Chinese property developer and political donor broke.
On the show, Sam also got candid describing his "self-inflicted" downfall, which included splitting with his wife of eight years.
"Everyone here is so positive and everyone's at different stages of their careers... I'm like this unequivocal trainwreck," he said.
Sam is tackling the jungle elements head first on I'm A Celebrity this year. (Image: Network Ten)
But trainwreck or not, Sam still decided he'd give the jungle a go - and we found out why.
Sitting down with the former politician shortly before he set sail for jungle life, we discussed his mental health, the public's opinion and how Kyle Sandilands changed his life.
Keep scrolling as Sam dishes all the details!
How do you think Aussies have taken to you being in the jungle?
I think the first reactions would have been, "Oh my God, Mr Bean is way shorter in real life."
Seriously though, everybody hates politicians and I'm a former politician. [But] as much as you hate politicians I can assure you, I hate myself more.
The former politician had a "horrid" year. (Image: Getty)
Why did you sign up for the show?
Last year was horrid for me – I hit absolute rock bottom in life.
I'm looking to get away from everything… I welcome just being in the jungle, not having my phone and not being contactable for a couple of weeks.
There's definitely an element of escapism there, and just running away from everything and what truly has been a horrendous year.
You took quite the public beating. Do you feel the dust has settled in terms of Australians' view of you?
I'm not looking for redemption or resurgence. I'm just looking to honestly hate myself a little bit less. Having had everything I had come crashing down, I actually have no idea who I am any more.
WATCH: Pauline Hanson mocks Sam Dastyari's appearance following racist abuse. Post continues after video...
Where are you currently at with your mental health?
I'm coming out of it. Looking back I can say I'm the only person in Australia who was pulled out of depression by Kyle Sandilands.
When I was in a deep dark place, Kyle was the first person to give me a shot.
I said to him, "Mate, aren't I too toxic for your radio show?" And he just said, "Do you even listen?"
We have a good friendship. Our lives and ages are obviously quite different. I'd like to consider us friends, but honestly to me Kyle is just like a big brother.
You just announced your split from wife Helen. Was it difficult battling depression while your marriage was falling apart?
Helen stuck by me when it really mattered. But as I got better, it was clear there wasn't the connection there any more and I didn't have the right to hold her back.
Helen gave more to the marriage than any person should ever have to give. We've had a very amicable spilt.
Sam got candid about his struggles on I'm A Celebrity. (Image: Network Ten)
How are you coping being away from your daughters Hannah and Eloise?
This is the longest I'm ever going to be away from them. It'll be a difficult experience anyway [being in the jungle] and being away from them won't help.
They know daddy is going to Africa for a show but they have no idea what that means. To my five-year-old, going to Africa is the same as going from Sydney to Melbourne.

read more from

/assets/images/headerlogos/WD-logo.svg