In his first “clean” interview, Australian actor Matthew Newton has spoken about the erratic and violent behaviour – namely the assault of two former girlfriends – that has thrust him into the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
“I haven’t come with an agenda. I have come with an agenda before – I mean, this is the first time I’ve spoken really to anyone not on some medication of some kind,” he said in an interview with 60 Minutes’ Liz Hayes.
Newton explained his violent outbursts are provoked by waves of “terror” and “hopelessness” caused by his mental illness. This is further compounded by “the feeling that I’m about to die”. “That’s when I end up running out of options, feeling like I don’t know what to do,” he says.
Newton, 36, was charged with the assault of his former girlfriend, actress Brooke Satchwell, in 2007 but managed to have the conviction overturned.
In 2010, Newton’s then-fiancee, actress Rachael Taylor, allegedly sustained concussion, a sprained jaw and bruising when Newton assaulted her in the lobby of a Rome hotel.
Of these abhorrent and widely condemned attacks, Newton said in the interview, “I’m completely at fault for any harm that I’ve ever done – a family member, a friend, or a lover.
“I have to take that responsibility … That is my daily existence now. I must take responsibility for everything.”
The controversy surrounding Newton doesn’t end at domestic violence. In 2011, he was charged with the assault of a taxi driver in Sydney, and in April 2012 he was arrested twice in Miami, USA for offences including battery.
He has repeatedly avoided conviction on the grounds of mental health, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.