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Matthew Newton talks about assaulting his ex girlfriends.

Matthew Newton

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 with Brooke Satchwell

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.

Newton with Rachael Taylor

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.

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When asked about one of his offences in Miami – in which he assaulted a hotel clerk – Newton said: “I don’t know why I did that. Maybe one day I’ll be able to work out what was going through my mind that night.”

On looking back at the footage of the incident, he said: “I look at that man (myself) and I feel sorry for him because I am looking at a different person. I look at that and I feel sad and I’m looking at a man I don’t know anymore.”

On his relationship with his family, he said:  “I would be lucky to be as successful. I’d be lucky to be as good a man was my father is. I’ve completely embraced my family. In a way, I think when you don’t know who you are and you’re confused and frightened it’s very hard to be a good son, a good friend, a good colleague to work with. It’s really difficult because it’s a tap dance all the time. I’m just constantly, like, keep moving cause if I don’t, you know, if I stop moving they can pin me down and then they’ll find out that I’m nothing.”

In the end, Matthew Newton says he’s worked through his issues with medication – he said he’d never been addicted to illicit drugs or alcohol, just reliant on prescription medication. He says he desperately wants to return to acting and that offers of work are reemerging. He said he wants to be a parent one day. And finally, Newton says he’s done everything in his power to assure the past has not duplicated the future.

Did you watch the interview? What did you think?

You can watch the snippets of the interview here:

NOTE: Some disagree that the media should even interview Matthew Newton or write about him.  Last year, MM’s publisher Mia Freedman spoke to Dr Michael Carr Greg who has expressed this view. You can read his thoughts here.

We’ve chosen to publish this post however because our filter is ‘what everyone’s talking about’ and whatever way you look at it, this story is that. He claims to be ‘clean’ and has sought out this interview to address misconceptions and issues he believes are unresolved.

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