Matt Willis opens up about alcohol and cocaine abuse in documentary Fighting Addiction and 'gaslighting' Emma Willis

Virgin Radio

17 May 2023, 10:16

Matt Willis opens up about alcohol and cocaine abuse in documentary Fighting Addiction and 'gaslighting' Emma Willis

Credit: BBC / Getty

Busted star Matt Willis fights back tears and speaks candidly over his alcohol and drug abuse in new BBC One documentary Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction.

The now-sober singer, 40, has opened up about his ongoing battle with cocaine and alcohol since becoming famous aged 19.

The dad-of-three — who was in rehab three times before he was 25 — is married to presenter Emma Willis, 47, and lives in fear he will relapse. In 2017, the singer said he 'was doing six grams (of cocaine) on my own every day and not coming home until three in the morning' during the Busted reunion tour.

Matt Willis

In the BBC One documentary, he said: "I think the conversation about addiction is sometimes so focused on the addict and I think the affect it can have on the people that love you is so huge.

"I am terrified of relapse. If I do that again, everything will end. I want to find what's working for people because there is no one size fits all for everybody, and whether or not I am destined to be this forever."

The star previously told Radio Times: "Addicts are very good at hiding everything. I’m yet to meet a stupid addict. They’re conniving and manipulative. It’s not rock ‘n’ roll. It wasn’t glamorous, it was really sad."

Matt Willis

Talking about the trauma his addiction has had on wife Emma, who he shares three children with — Isabelle, 13, Ace, 11, and Trixie, six, he said: "It was hard for me to see how much that fear was still prevalent for her."

He admitted: "[Part of the recovery process] is you make amends to people you've hurt. I never did that with Emma; I don't think I ever can. I think the way I choose to do it is to be this guy, every day.

He told Giovanna Fletcher previously on her Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast: "When Isabelle was born, I stayed clean for a while, and then I relapsed again when she was about six months old.

"I missed Emma's birthday. She was in Birmingham and I was doing a TV show at the time.

"It was the wrap party and I had a glass of champagne and I was off to the races that night; I turned up at her parent's house at four in the morning like it was nothing, off my head."

"When she notices something, I take it on board and listen, and I don't argue. I go: 'You feel that way; that means that I am doing something, that's not in your head.' Because I was the mastermind at gaslighting, making her think she was crazy. I'm so ashamed of that, and I never want her to feel like that again."

He continued: "It was the worst. The next morning, I knew what I'd done. Emma told me that I missed Isabelle crawling.  

Matt and Emma Willis

Credit: Instagram

"You know, she kind of bum shuffled and stuff. But I never, she never crawled - and she crawled that night for the first time, and I was in a pub with strangers.

"You know, I missed that, and it really dawned on me that I was a terrible father.

"It kind of - it really hit me. I saw everything, that cycle of s**t repeating, and it hit me like a tonne of bricks."

Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction airs on Wednesday 17 May at 9pm.

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