A visibly shattered Billy Brownless has broken his silence on the “morally wrong” relationship between his ex-wife Nicky Brownless and former close friend Garry Lyon.
Speaking on The Footy Show on Thursday night, Brownless revealed he was “disappointed” and “angry” when he found out about the affair, after he “did some investigating myself” three or four months ago.
He said he sat his ex-wife down and questioned her about his suspicions and she admitted to having a relationship with Lyon, who is suffering depression.
The affair between Lyon and Ms Brownless was made public in early February.
“So my initial feelings were like anybody out there, you get angry and want to do something,” Brownless told fellow The Footy Show cast members Sam Newman and James Brayshaw.
“You want to say something. You want to say something and you are angry.
“And then, it’s fair to say, I went home that night, shot off some text messages to Nicki and Garry which you wouldn’t want to repeat on this show, I can tell you.
“And after some days you get embarrassed. It is hard to talk about and us blokes are not good talking about it.”
Watch Brownless talk about the support he’s received:
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Brownless said he believed the relationship only lasted three or four months and that it had now finished.
“We have been good mates for a long time and that’s what hurt you the most. There is a bit of lying and behind-the-back stuff, which is what hurts the most.
“I had asked Garry and Nicky earlier on what is going on and they said they were just good friends. That’s what hurts the most.”
He said he had not spoken to Lyon since he found out about the relationship.
“When the time is right we [Lyon and Brownless] will sit down and have some beers,” he said.
“What I would say [to Garry], I would say that we have been friends for a long time and we will sit down when the time is right. We will sort it out. I know he is doing it tough, by the way. He is in a bad place. We all wish him a speedy recovery.”
Lyon announced he would step down from his media commitments due to a battle with depression shortly after news of the affair broke.
Brownless’ marriage broke down in 2015.
Lyon and his wife Melissa had an amicable spilt about 18 months ago.
Lyon and Brownless have worked together in the media for at least 15 years. They have known each other through football for more than 30 years.
“Morally it is wrong on all aspects,” Brownless said. “All aspects. We know how right from wrong.
“You know it, Jim knows. It is just wrong, mate. You don’t touch a man’s wallet, you don’t touch his wife.”
Lyon played 226 games for the Melbourne Demons and also captained Victoria in State of Origin.
Brownless was a star forward for Geelong, playing 198 games. He became a much-loved media figure after his career, playing the larrikin in his roles.
Lyon worked with Brownless on The Footy Show and occasionally on Melbourne radio station Triple M.
Children ‘dragged through the mud’
Brownless broke down when speaking about the saga’s effect on his three children.
“It has been tough on them,” he said. “My son just turned 16. That was when all this was happening. We could not have a birthday party.
“He could not get any presents. There were photographers outside.”
Brownless also spoke about how he and Lyon’s ex-wife Melissa had been helping each other through the ordeal.
“She has been forgotten in this. She has been good to talk to because she is in the same boat,” he said.
“I can bounce things off her and we know what we are going through.”
Brownless said that he had been overwhelmed by the support he had received from the public and those close to him.