Garry Lyon dropped a bombshell earlier this week whenever he admitted to the world that he is battling depression. But the mental struggle wasn’t his most shocking revelation.
The Herald Sun reported that Billy Brownless’s confrontation about his long-time affair with Brownless’ ex-wife, Nicky, spurred Lyon to admit his mental illness. The news of this affair has created tension and animosity in the friendship of these two colleagues.
Channel 9 issued a statement on Saturday saying that The Footy Show host is suffering from an ongoing mental condition, and that Lyon would remove himself from his postion on the show so he can deal with his mental health. It said that there was not yet a set time frame for him to return to TV.
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) February 13, 2016
Georgie Harman, CEO of Beyond Blue, would not comment on any effects that Lyon’s guilt could have on depression and mental disorders. However, he did say that Lyon deserved some privacy while struggling with the illness.
“We wish Garry Lyon a speedy recovery,” Harman said.
“We commend Channel 9 for supporting him through time off from work to recover from his mental health problems. We respect Garry’s privacy and we call on the community to do the same.”
The only thing reports say so far is that Lyon will be off the air until further notice.
Lyon first stepped into the field of media during his years playing football. He decided to continue the career after his retirement from sports in 1999.
Lyon started as a panelist on The Footy Show in 1995, and was promoted as James Brayshaw’s co-host in 2006.
— Real Footy (AFL) (@RealFooty1) February 13, 2016
People like David Prestipino, a journalist from Fairfax, think that Lyon is just using mental illness as an excuse and explanation for his infidelity. Friends and family have combated such rumors. They told reporters that, while everyone is furious with him, they are also aware that Lyon has struggled with mental issues for a long time. They also stated that the don’t believe that the depression has anything to do with Lyon igniting his affair with Nicki.
“They are not blaming his mental illness for anything,” an undisclosed source said.
“The depression has spiralled out of control during this saga — since he’s been caught out.”
Melissa Lyon, his estranged wife from whom he had reportedly been separated for about a year and a half, apparently joined the family support group for Lyon.
However, even though they defend Lyon and his mental state, they make it equally clear that they disapprove of his behavior.
“Everyone is furious with him,” another source said.
“They think he’s an idiot for having a relationship with Nicky and putting his whole career and friends at risk.”
Despite their anger, Lyon has many friends and family members that want to support him during this difficult battle.
Last year, Billy Brownless spoke in an interview about his divorce, and the impact the end of his marriage had on him. He said that it had come as a shock to him. However, he also admitted that he could have done more to improve his marriage and be a better husband to Nicki.
“Because I do think in the media we get carried away with ourselves. There’s no doubt about that. And we get very selfish or self absorbed.
“And it’s all about us, you know. And you do forget maybe your family or your wife or kids. And then later on when you think about it, you think I should have been a better dad. I should have been a better husband,” Brownless said.
The affair with his ex-wife has done irreparable damage to his friendship with Lyon, despite the mental battle his friend is fighting.
James Brayshaw will bring back The Footy Show next month, hosting the program by himself. Damian Barrett, journalist, will take the place of Lyon on the Footy Classified segment.
[Photo by Alex Coppel-Pool/Getty Images]