Newton Opens Up About Mental Illness Battle

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August 26, 2011 | 7:30am EST

Australian actor Matthew Newton has opened up about his battle with mental illness, insisting a hospitalisation helped him reflect on his issues and “saved” his life.
The Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities star checked into a private facility in Sydney last year to seek help for an undisclosed personal issue, following his alleged attack on former fiancee, Transformers actress Rachael Taylor.

Newton was arrested earlier this year for allegedly breaching an apprehended violence order (AVO) by trying to contact his ex, and his lawyer revealed to a court that the star was suffering from a psychiatric illness.

The 34 year old has now revealed the extent of his issues in a candid interview on Australian radio.

Speaking on the Kyle and Jackie O show, he explains, “It’s been an interesting year for me and a huge one for reflection. There were certain things I had to take stock of. I was all over the place… I was a bit of a lost soul in a lot of ways and I didn’t want to face that.

“I worked through it. Finding myself in hospital and being surrounded by a great group of people, the people at Northside West (facility) really saved my life… There is a lot of fear and a huge amount of stigma with mental illness and a lot of judgemental people brush it off and say, ‘Get on with your life’.

“I feel like I am in the best place that I have ever been in my life… the most important thing I realised in hospital was that my opinion of myself had to be of a certain standard. If I hurt other people in my ignorance and confusion getting to this point, that causes me great regret.”

During the chat, Newton also dismissed reports of a rift with his famous parents, Bert and Patti Newton, adding: “The only distance between me and my parents is 1,000 kilometres – I live in Sydney and they live in Melbourne. The great thing about family is they are there through all the ups and downs and they are that core group of people in your life that support you through thick and thin.”

Newton was cleared of all charges in relation to breaching the AVO.