Victorian MP Will Fowles has revealed he is battling “addiction” as he apologised for an early morning hotel rampage.
Mr Fowles apologised for his “appalling behaviour” on Thursday after he was led through Melbourne airport in a bloodstained shirt.
Earlier, Mr Fowles had kicked in a door at a Canberra hotel to get to his luggage after he discovered no staff were rostered on until 8am and he could not recover his bag to get to the airport.
“I unreservedly apologise to the staff at the Abode Hotel, my constituents, my Parliamentary colleagues, and my family for my appalling behaviour in Canberra earlier today,” he said.
“What happened is unacceptable. I am deeply ashamed of my actions. While there are reasons for it, there are no excuses.
“I have, for a long time, been dealing with addiction and other mental health issues. Medication I take was in my luggage, which was locked in a room that I was not able to access, as no staff were on-site.
“I will, of course, pay for all damages.
— Charlotte Grieve (@CharlotteGriev1) July 25, 2019
The MP, 40, revealed he was already in treatment for his substance abuse issues.
“I have recently undertaken a course of drug and alcohol counselling and will now get the treatment I need to become a better person,” he said.
“I have let myself down and badly let down those who have supported me.
“I know how hard I have to work to rebuild the trust people have placed in me. I will take a leave of absence to properly deal with my health issues.
“I was in Canberra to attend the first speeches in support of my Victorian colleagues and the trip was privately funded.”
— Alex Hart (@alexhart7) July 25, 2019
Earlier, photographs captured by eyewitnesses suggest extensive damage to a door.
In another stroke of bad luck, the aftermath of the incident was live-tweeted by journalist and former Life Education CEO Kellie Sloane who was first on the scene at hotel reception.
“The security guard said there was some big dude and he’s gone nuts,” she told The New Daily.
“There weren’t many staff around. That’s why he went nuts he; was trying to get his luggage.”
Ms Sloane sprang into action and started taking photographs after learning he was a member of Parliament.
So here’s the latest. A politician (I don’t know who) has gone into a rage after discovering he couldn’t access his luggage. Police say he’s now calmed down but is facing charges. pic.twitter.com/VRKu5p2s2t
— Kellie Sloane (@kelliesloane) July 24, 2019
“It’s appalling behaviour for anyone, let alone a member for Parliament,” she said.
“It’s interesting how the police changed when they realised he was a Member for Parliament.
“The first lot of police described him as “a piece of work” who wouldn’t calm down. But they now say he is calm and being very reasonable.”
A police spokesperson confirmed that “about 7.50am today ACT Policing received a report of a disturbance at a hotel in Kingston.
“Officers on patrol nearby attended and the matter was resolved.
“No charges have been laid. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident in consultation with the business owners.”
The Abode Hotel said it had no comment on the incident.
Recently elected Victorian Labor MP Will Fowles has been questioned by police over a disturbance at a Canberra hotel. Photos posted to Twitter from the hotel show a door with substantial damage. #9News
Read more: https://t.co/dYBLN3oHcy pic.twitter.com/HX0lVSIfjy
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) July 25, 2019
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Fowles continued to have his support.
“Will Fowles has behaved inappropriately. He’s apologised for that and I believe he’s sincere,” he said.
“He’s also indicated he has addiction issues. He has my full support as he gets the treatment and care that he needs.”
Mr Fowles was elected to Victorian state Parliament in 2018. Previously, one of his biggest claims to fame was being accidentally elected to the Melbourne Cricket Club committee at the age of 26, after Steve Vizard withdrew his nomination.