Eight years ago, Geoff Huegill's life changed in an instant.
In 2014, the champion swimmer and his then-wife Sara Hills attended an event for the Autumn Racing Carnival at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
After the couple were spotted exiting the disabled toilets together on CCTV cameras, police searched them and found they were in possession of a small amount of cocaine. They were both arrested for drug possession. Both Huegill and his wife pleaded guilty and were given six-month good behaviour bonds.
Listen to Geoff Huegill on Mamamia's No Filter podcast. Post continues below.
"Basically, in the blink of an eye, our life got turned upside down," the former swimmer, 43, said in the season premiere of SAS Australia earlier this year. "I was carrying a lot of shame and a lot of guilt that I put my family through that process, and it led me to get to a point where I had to make the call to leave my family."
"It was a wake-up call that I needed to change my life and lifestyle," he told Mia Freedman in Mamamia's No Filter podcast. "Life is all about choices. Some days we make really good choices and move forward. Some days we make some poor choices and it puts your life on hold for a few years."
In 2018, four years after the incident, Huegill and Hills - who share two daughters, Gigi, nine, and Mila, seven - announced their separation.
"It's with a heavy heart that after 13 years together, Sara and I have made the decision to amicably separate," Huegill wrote in an Instagram post. "We continue to remain friends as our focus will always be on providing a positive, loving and beautiful future for our girls."
The separation followed a difficult year for the couple, after Hills was arrested for allegedly stealing a pair of leather pants from a boutique in Byron Bay.
"For me, it was about going through the journey. Still to this… it took a lot of time to heal," Huegill said on No Filter. "It took a hell of a lot of time to heal. We got to a time where, like all relationships, we look at where are we at, what are we doing, and what’s the most important things to us and how do we do it."