Derryn Hinch has admitted he’s drinking again despite having received a lifesaving liver transplant in 2011.
The revelation came via a late-night Twitter tirade by his former partner Natasha Chadwick on Sunday, who wrote: “Derryn Hinch has been back on booze 12+ months. So much for respecting organ donor’s gift of life. Fave wine, cheap Gossips. No loyalty.”
The radio host-turned-senator this morning told The Herald Sun that he occasionally enjoys a watered-down alcoholic drink on “special occasions” with the permission of his doctors.
“I’ve had the odd glass of wine, perhaps one-third wine and two-thirds water, with Natasha at birthdays and at events like Christmas,” he said.
Chadwick has not commented on the now-deleted Tweet, but The Herald Sun reports that she told friends Senator Hinch switched from non-alcoholic wine and beer to "harder stuff" following the couple's first break-up in March last year.
In a statement released to the media overnight, Senator Hinch said he once interviewed the widow of George Best, who was arrested for drink-driving within 18 months of receiving his new liver and was dead within two years.
"I have so much to achieve in the Senate, I won't be making that mistake," he wrote. "I'm sorry that a break-up has led to this, but, that's life."
Hinch suffered a life-threatening case of blood poisoning in 2006 and later suffered advanced cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by alcoholism, reports The Herald Sun.
His lifesaving liver was donated by the family of a young man to whom Hinch recently referred in his maiden senate speech.
“I have met the family of my donor, Heath Gardner. His mother, Lynda. His father, Trevor, and sisters Kimberly and Melanie," said Senator Hinch. "I want to dwell on this, because being an organ donor is so important. You can save a life. Even five or six lives. Heath Gardner saved mine.”