Chris Smith on TNT: Radio host contemplated suicide after Sky News party and losing 2GB, TV job


Chris Smith claims he “arranged” to take his own life before his young daughter intervened and stopped him after finding out about the way he behaved at the Sky News Christmas party.

Smith hosted her first segment with an independent broadcaster Radio T.N.T. on Tuesday afternoon as he tries to restart his media career after being sacked from Sky News and 2GB following his humiliating behavior at the former’s Christmas party in December.

The 60-year-old man was fired from both stations after he made offensive comments to a young colleague about her vacation photos and pinched another one at the bottom during the network’s end-of-year celebrations in Sydney.

He began his return to radio by being candid about his suicidal thoughts and how he had long dealt with the “indescribable heartache” of alcoholism.

Smith said he considered taking his own life and even “made arrangements” after hearing about his treatment of the two women, but still said it was “not the worst of crimes.”

Former Sky News presenter Chris Smith (above) told TNT Radio listeners he was “suicidal” in the days after he drunkenly offended two colleagues at the company’s Christmas party.

“Now when they told me what happened at that event the next day, I took a deep dive, I was in shock,” he said.

‘I was devastated. I instantly knew of the endless humiliating coverage that was to come. I instantly knew the pain that would befall my family, my children, myself.

“Immediately knew the pain, shame and loss that I had just incurred and I became suicidal.

“That Sunday morning, around 10:30 a.m., I made preparations to take my own life, and if it weren’t for the intervention of my 19-year-old daughter, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Smith said he was subjected to “eight days of harsh, endless media coverage” which he previously claimed was worse than what wife-killer Chris Dawson faced.

“Even though I was rushed to a mental health ward, it was open season for me,” he said.

“In my case, the media did not take mental health into account, perhaps because my condition was self-induced.

‘The vitriol, if I had read or heard or seen it, and I didn’t, it would have pushed me over the edge.

“I think everyone in the media, myself included, needs to think about that the next time we cover a story involving a human looking down.”

Smith said she grew up seeing the negative effects of alcohol and lived in a home where it was “used and abused.”

“It led to destruction and untold pain, but that didn’t stop me from abusing alcohol,” he said.

You could argue “well wait, didn’t you see it yourself? You should have stayed away.”

I should have, I didn’t. I’ve had a problem with it for most of my adult life.

He explained that his alcoholism did not make him an all-day drinker, but rather meant that he would get drunk every chance he got.

Smith said the bipolar medication he was taking at the time of the Christmas party caused “blackouts” when mixed with excessive alcohol consumption.

Smith (pictured with his wife Susie Burrell) said he fell into a deep depression after hearing that he had made inappropriate comments on a co-worker's vacation photos and touched another at the bottom.

Smith (pictured with his wife Susie Burrell) said he fell into a deep depression after hearing that he had made inappropriate comments on a co-worker’s vacation photos and touched another at the bottom.

Smith said he was suffering from alcoholism at the time of the party, adding that

Smith said he was suffering from alcoholism at the time of the party, adding that he “apologised personally” to his two former colleagues.

“At the Christmas party in Sydney late last year, I was determined to show up for the first time in five years and prove to myself that I could control this behaviour,” he said.

“But I collapsed again, drank too much, hit that black wall, pinched a colleague in the back, and commented to another woman on how revealing her vacation photos were.

I contacted the two colleagues involved to apologize personally, but as a result I lost my TV show, my job of 22 years at the radio station, my role as a contributor to Channel Nine and a great deal of money.

I’m not sugarcoating it, I’m not embellishing it, I’m just telling the truth. My inability to control the drinking accident hit me again and I am human.

Smith said he never would have acted the way he did at the party if he had been sober and scrutinized “the media” for insulting him.

‘I have no recollection of these events. Now that doesn’t excuse me, but it’s not what I do in a conscious sober state. Only heavy drinkers who are listening would understand,” he said.

Alcoholism, even of this kind, is a disease. That’s a medical fact, but for whatever reason, some commentators think they know better.

‘To think that someone like me would be evil and deliberately do what I did… It’s not me and only those who know me well would understand what I’m saying.

I’m not evil. None of this was deliberate. I suffer from a disease that I could not control.

Smith (above) said he has been sober for more than 70 days and vowed to

Smith (above) said he is more than 70 days sober, vowing that “the real me, the sober me, the clean me, is worth supporting.”

He ended the segment by saying that he was able to overcome his alcoholism while in a private rehab center “with the help of two psychiatrists, an excellent psychologist and his staff.”

“It had to finish and I had to get help to finish it,” he said.

I have started the exorcism. I am 79 days sober today. I never thought that was possible.

‘Of course it hasn’t come without blood, sweat and tears. The first 30 days were a nightmare.

“Only now that I’ve hit rock bottom, I wish I had done it 20 years earlier.”

He then thanked his fans who stood by him through his scandal and recovery and vowed to keep improving.

‘I’m human. I have made some serious mistakes. I don’t think you can kick me much more,” she said.

‘But the real me is worth supporting, the sober me, the clean me and can be trusted. I won’t let you down like that anymore.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the Alcohol and Drug Foundation helpline on 1300 858 584 or Life line on 13 11 14