FORMER Australian rugby league captain Brad Fittler has an illegitimate son whom he has been supporting for the past decade, but has no plans to meet.
In a revealing interview, Fittler told The Sunday Telegraph about his "dark secret" and about the moment he discovered he had fathered a child during his last season at Penrith in 1995.
"I just hope that he lives in a stable environment, that's all I can hope for," he says. "You just hope that he's getting a good life."
Fittler was 23 when he had a one-night-stand with a woman he met while on holidays at Sussex Inlet, New South Wales.
More than a year later, a woman carrying a baby arrived at his home telling him; "You can hold your child. It's a boy".
A DNA test confirmed Fittler's paternity. Fittler has paid child support, backdated to the boy's birth, ever since.
"It was my fault. I should have practised safe sex," he says. "I was young ... I just dealt with it as best I could. You don't (come) equipped with those sorts of skills.
"I suppose I did what I thought was best for me at the time. I just made sure I covered all legal angles, what my commitments were. I was in no state at the time. I didn't think I was up to raising kids."
Now 33 and the father of a 16-month-old daughter, Fittler has not seen the boy since 1996 - and was upset that he had no say in the pregnancy.
"I was 23. I would have asked her to think about it maybe from my point of view," he says. "Whether that most probably would have been a selfish point of view ... it's just hard when you're never asked, never confronted."
Fittler was talking about "one of the lowest points" of his life just days before the release of his autobiography, Freddy, The Brad Fittler Story.
In the book, written with journalist Richard Sleeman, Fittler says he believes that a financial contribution to raising his boy, who is now nine, is sufficient.
He writes: "I understand it could be hard on the boy, but the mother has to shoulder much of the blame for the way she went about things."
But in a telling moment, he admits: "I do think about him".
Asked if he was prepared to ever meet his son, Fittler says: "I don't know if I want to talk about it. Because when you talk about it, do you encourage it happening? I don't want to encourage nothing. Like I said, I really hope he is in a stable environment."
Fittler also spoke about the turning point in his life when he was discovered drunk outside a police station, falling in love at first sight and his plans to marry his fiancee Marie in Greece next year.
"I think there were some real incidents in my life which were life turning or life changing," Fittler said. "Obviously the Glebe police thing; the mishap with the illegitimate child.
"I became a different person from those - I don't know about the illegitimate child, I was still a rat for a fair bit after that.
"The Glebe police thing really made me stand back ... and look at what was happening, the position I was in in society, being a football captain - and Australian captain.
Fittler credits his fiance, Marie, for helping him broaden his life outside the football world.
"I was lucky enough to dead set feel love at first sight. I just remember it being one of those feelings, quite hard to explain," he says.
The couple, who have a 16-month-old daughter, Demi, plan to marry in Greece next year.
i have 6 kids dunno the mothers. LOL just kidding but get my point?
damn please dont turn this forums into a days of our lives soap oprea.
Why can i see this being on Jerry Springer.
Originally Posted by Dragons2005
I met an old school mate at the pub in the weekend and he has 5 kids to 3 different mothers!
Further more my flatmates ex wife has 4 kids to 3 different fathers!
i read thaqt article and i was glued to the page. incredible stuff. and he doesnt even care about him. just pays his child support and lets the woman bring him up.
I just got back from Wollongong. stayed at my inlaws motel. you wanna hear about single parents geezus!@!!!!
this is part of life. just because his a footy star after all he is human. these things happen.
i do feel for the child but i guess what i am saying is if we should reconize him for his football talents not his private life.
i think all footy player screw around, but why brad fittler felt the need to put it in his book, then say he doesnt want to talk about and to keep it low key, it is pretty stupid of him if you ask me
good footy player, bit dumb though
Last edited by UpDaDragons; 23-05-2005 at 08:33 PM.