They have worked together for 15 years, they were best mates, their wives were friends and their families holidayed together. Until an affair got in the way. Now it’s a ‘tragedy’ according to one of their mutual friends.
The Age reported over the weekend that two major names in AFL, Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon, best friends for some twenty years, have fallen out over an affair Lyon had with Brownless’s former wife Nicky.
Some say the affair began after Nicky and Billy separated last year. But Brownless apparently suspects the affair had been going on for a few years.
He spoke frankly last year about how their marital breakdown ‘blindsided’ him. “I didn’t see it coming, so that hurt,” he said in an interview.
Lyon, a former star of the game, who is a Channel Nine presenter and a host with Triple M split up with his wife Melissa amicably a year and a half ago. Brownless, also a former player, co-hosts the Footy Show on Fox Sports.
Lyon has stepped down from all media commitments for the time being and is reportedly suffering with depression. According to various reports friends and family are furious that he would jeopardise his family and his career but are supporting him.
Channel Nine confirmed his absence in a statement.
‘For several months The Footy Show and Footy Classified co-host has been suffering from a serious mental health condition and he will take time out from all media roles to recover,’ the statement said. ‘There is no set time frame as to when he will return to television.’
It is understood Brownless confronted Lyon about the possible relationship in December and has been shattered ever since. His friendship with Lyon reportedly ceased immediately. It seems he is on closer terms with his own family and former wife though.
Earlier today the Daily Mail reported that Brownless was seen dropping his ex-wife Nicky and their two teenage daughters Ruby and Lucy off at their home today after collecting coffee.
Pretty much sums up yesterday ???? A photo posted by Ruby Brownless (@rubybrownless) on Oct 4, 2015 at 2:25am PDT
Ruby and Lucy, aged 18 and 19 respectively, are mini Instagram stars with a combined following of more then 22K people between them. Neither have shown any visible sign of the family stress they’re in the middle of.
But it’s hard to imagine this isn’t a pretty tricky time for everyone involved.
Affairs happen, marriages breakdown, friends fall out, mental illness takes hold. All of these are unfortunate facts of life but when they all collide? It is something of an unmitigated disaster. For both families, here’s hoping they can ride it out.
For everyone else? A cautionary tale. Starting an affair with your husband or wife’s best friend probably isn’t going to end well.