He’s the millionaire bad-boy of radio, known for his controversial on-air stunts and offensive comments. But it turns out, Kyle Sandilands is a vulnerable human being, just like the rest of us.
Well, maybe not exactly like the rest of us.
In this surprising interview with Meshel Laurie – one that she’s sure she will “get a lot of blowback for” – Kyle reveals some very interesting life details:
You can listen to Kyle telling Meshel about his childhood, here. The full interview is at the bottom of this story. (Post continues after audio.)
Details like that he has imposter syndrome and really just wants to go to bed early.
Details like, he grew up in a household he describes as “toxic”, where his father hit his mother.
And details about how he has used sex as a way to chase away heartbreak.
There is certain level of cautiousness and carefulness that quavers in Sandilands’ voice as he speaks about a childhood involving “alcohol and two parents who weren’t in love with one another.”
For most of us, the environment we grow up in effects the kind of adult we later become. For Sandilands, this is reflected in specific decisions he makes. Like the fact that he doesn’t drink alcohol.
“In my mind…from being a child, around that alcoholism, I thought, that might be the poison, like if that’s in me, then maybe I could be that devil. So I just always avoided alcohol, and obviously that’s a weird issue. Plenty of people drink and they don’t get violent…but my mum was a victim of that sort of behaviour…” he says.
Sandilands and Jackie O. (Image: Instagram.)
As Laurie says during the interview "when [his behaviour] is newsworthy, it's usually because it's hideous. But there is much, much more to Kyle Sandilands than that."
And one example of that is the courageous selflessness he displayed when he forgave his father. For everything.
"No one ever discussed what went on when I was a kid....I was out of home when I was a teenager for a while, then bitter towards my parents...I had a pretend relationship with them for years, it was only the last five or 10 years that I have forgiven them" he explains.
One fragment of how he came to forgive them was a level of empathy he developed later in his life, for what they were going through while he was growing up. They were 23 when he came into the world, and his mother was suffering from post-natal depression.
"They didn't know what post natal depression was back then, and dad...got on the booze, and listened to Johnny O'Keefe and [went] rampaging around the house. I think I blamed them... I held them accountable for their actions... without no one ever discussing it, without them ever knowing what they were going through back then. But no excuse for his behaviour."
And after forgiving them, Sandilands began to develop a stronger relationship with his father.
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There are times in our lives, where a momentous occurrence forces us, both physically and mentally, to stop and take stock and reflect. For Sandilands, right now is that time. Because his father passed away recently.
"My dad died two months ago, and some days I just feel ill, and I miss him, and I just don't want to go into work and laugh. No one feels more slack than me, but some days, I'm not saying it's depression or anything, I'm just saying, I think about him every day, and we didn't have a great relationship, and that's probably my fault, a lot of that, and there might be some regret there... I probably have to get that sorted out by speaking to someone or doing something, because it is starting to impact on my daily life." he explains.
Sandilands and his girlfriend, Imogen Anthony. (Image: Instagram)
Maybe it is hard being Kyle Sandilands. Maybe there is much more to the shock jock than what makes headlines.
"When my dad passed away a couple of months ago, everything was great....I told him about all the filth I had been involved with...and he was laughing, but horrified, but also I could see a glint in his eye, like 'you lucky bastard.'
"It's not until he's gone, that you're like 'Oh, I wasted all those years', being angry about something that we should have probably talked about much, much earlier," he says.
In the interview, Kyle also opens up about what happened when he first met Jackie O and how he subsequently engineered them to be the nation's most powerful radio duo. Plus, of course, there are tales of sex, drugs, rock 'n roll... and farm animals. Listen to the whole episode, here: