EMBATTLED AUSTRALIAN PLAYER-MANAGER Ricky Nixon has announced that he will take “an indefinite break” from his AFL agency in order to seek help for a substance problem.
In a statement released via e-mail last night, the 47-year-old super-agent announced that he will “seek treatment for a substance problem that has impacted on my life and my decision-making, particularly over the last eight weeks”.
Over the weekend, Nixon returned home to Australia having spent the last two weeks in Britain and Ireland. Though it was originally thought that Nixon’s trip was planned to coincide with Saturday’s Sigerson Cup final, last night’s statement indicates that he took the “opportunity” presented by the break “to seek help for my personal issues.”
I believe it is the right time for me to seek help, counselling and appropriate treatment.
This is a significant challenge and one that I am committed to get through and coming out a better person. I would like to sincerely apologise to everyone for the impact caused by these recent events.
Nixon is well-known on these shores as the agent at the centre of the AFL’s controversial attempts to court GAA stars over the past few years.
He currently represents former Kerry star Tommy Walsh, while Niall McKeever, Jamie O’Reilly and Conor Meredith have all recently relocated to Australia after impressing Nixon during one of his Irish training camps.
Announcing his decision to step down from his position as the head of the Flying Start agency, Nixon thanked his clients for their support during his recent troubles.
I am so lucky to have the support of my employees and the players that I manage and while I know this time has not been easy for them I think it is important for both staff and players at Flying Start that I immediately relinquish all responsibilities and activities a player manager would normally undertake.
I have full faith in the staff at Flying Start to operate as usual without my involvement.
As reported here on Friday, Melbourne lawyer David Galbally QC has commenced his investigation into the claims surrounding Nixon on behalf of the AFL Players Association.
Last month, the teenager at the centre of the St Kilda nude photo scandal told journalists that she had an “affair” with Nixon, producing a number of video tapes which she claimed supported her story.
Galbally has examined four recordings which the teenager is said to have made, one of which appears to show Nixon in his underwear kneeling on a bed. He is expected to conduct further interviews with other “football identities”, as well as with representatives for the teenage girl.
Nixon confirmed in last night’s statement that he will continue to assist in the ongoing investigation.
While overseas, I have been in contact with the AFLPA and have stated that I will cooperate fully with the investigation currently being undertaken by David Galbally QC. I stand by my original statement in relation to this matter.
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old girl at the centre of these allegations has spoken publicly to Australian TV network Channel 9, telling her side of the story.
The interview was broadcast on prime-time current affairs show 60 Minutes yesterday evening.
Last night’s interview suggests that Nixon continued to contact the girl in recent weeks. Screenshots of an e-mail claimed to have been sent from Nixon on 24 February – after he had apparently fled the country – contained details of a statement which he wished her to release to the media, clarifying that they had not had sex or taken drugs.
The programme also showed an excerpt of a text message, again alleged to have been sent by Nixon to the girl on 25 February.
… we will need to plan our relationship carefully but I will definitely give it a go so long as we don’t film or tape each other and u [sic] have amazing sex at least twice a day.
The network has come under fire from certain sections of the media for naming the girl and showing her face.
Speaking last night, Nine executive producer Hamish Thomson denied that the station had controvened any laws, while today’s Sydney Morning Herald understands that the court suppression order on her name actually ended on January 26.