Endless controversies and a cocaine addiction: Kyle Sandilands' 'sad' life in the spotlight.


This post discusses drug addiction, and may be triggering for some readers.

On Sunday night, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson sat down with Karl Stefanovic on 60 Minutes for an exclusive interview about their 20-year working relationship.

In the days leading up to the interview, previews for 60 Minutes hinted Sandilands would open up about a mysterious “health battle”.

“There’s a condition that I’ve been diagnosed with and I haven’t spoken to anyone about,” the 48-year-old said.

The preview for 60 Minutes showed an emotional Kyle and Jackie O. Post continues below.

But when the episode aired on Sunday night, it soon became clear that Sandilands’ comments were merely part of a prank – leaving viewers fuming.

Now, speaking on The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Monday morning, Sandilands has responded to the outrage, sharing that his joke was his own way of addressing his mental health.

Although the radio host admitted that his joke was not made in the “right forum”, he shared that his tears during the interview were entirely genuine.


“The honest truth as to why I was so able to cry, like all that breakdown stuff so easy, was because inside I’m very sad,” he shared.

“I’m not joking. Inside my person, I’m very sad,” he added, tearing up.

“It was real emotion… there is a great sadness in me that I just carry around. Every day.”

During the segment, Sandilands’ co-host Henderson reminded him she was always checking in on him.


“You’re not alone – I reach out to you all the time. I know you put up this guard and you don’t want people to see that side of you,” she said.

“You do have support, you do have real people in your life who care for you, you’ve had a lot of bad eggs… you have,” she added.

“You’ve had people who have used you, and that’s probably caused a lot of the loneliness and sadness in your life.”

In recent years, Sandilands has opened up about his difficult childhood, as well as his experiences with drug and sex addiction.

Here’s what we know about the radio star’s past.

Kyle Sandilands’ childhood.

In his memoir, Scandalands, and throughout various media interviews, Sandilands has opened up about his difficult childhood.

The now 48-year-old grew up in Wynnum, Brisbane, with his parents Pam and Peter, and younger brother Chris.

For years, Pam and Peter had a relationship which Sandilands describes as “messy”.

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“I was from a broken home. There was domestic violence and alcohol in my young childhood,” he said at charity event for Sleep Under The Stars.

In an interview with Anh Do, Sandilands admitted the police were often called to his family home when his parents fought.


“Back then, it was the 70’s. I think it was quite a normal thing… husbands and wives at war with each other,” he said.

When he was just 10, Sandilands’ parents divorced. The divorce affected the radio star deeply.

In the years following the separation, Sandilands and his brother were forced to change primary schools more than 10 times, as their father continued to interfere with their lives.

A few years later, Sandilands’ mother married another man. While his step-father was not violent towards his mother, he was violent towards the young teenager and his brother.

“He was very kind to her which I loved, but he was also very strict, so the violence turned onto me and my younger brother,” he recalled at Sleep Under The Stars.

“It was pretty bad when I think about it now. But I still didn’t care because my mum wasn’t being attacked.”

kyle sandilands health 60 minutes
Kyle and Jackie O on 60 Minutes. Image: Channel Nine.

At 15, Sandilands decided to host a house party while his mother and step-father were away for the weekend. When his parents returned, he was kicked out of home.

For the first six or seven weeks, he bounced around to friend's houses, sleeping on couches. He later lived on the streets, sleeping behind a supermarket, and later in a horse float at a petrol station.

Finally at 17, after months of struggling to make ends meet, Sandilands moved in with his aunt, Jill Stevens, in Townsville.

"I felt so sorry for him," Stevens recalled in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

"He used to listen to that Tammy Wynette song 'D-I-V-O-R-C-E' and just cry and cry. He's never gotten over his parents' divorce... When he was living on the streets, he used to sit outside his father's house at night and watch the lights go out."

Kyle Sandilands' career.

While living in Townsville, Sandilands worked for a meatworks company and an electronics store, before he was offered a job driving a promotional vehicle for Townsville radio station 4TO when he was 21.


Sandilands reportedly landed the radio gig after sharing a fake resume, which claimed he'd worked at Triple M in Brisbane.

In the years that followed, Sandilands moved around to various radio gigs, including a role at Triple M in Brisbane.

Kyle Sandilands sex addiction
Image: Facebook.

In 1999, he joined 2DayFM as a host of the Hot30 Countdown, before taking over the 2DayFM Breakfast Show alongside Jackie 'O' Henderson in 2004.


He has also served as a judge on Australian Idol, Australia's Got Talent, and The X Factor, and previously hosted Big Brother alongside Henderson.

Since 2014, The Kyle and Jackie O Show has aired on weekdays on rival station KIIS 106.5.

Over the years, the radio duo have faced multiple controversies.

In 2009, the duo put a 14-year-old listener through a lie-detector test on air and got her mother to quiz her about her sex life, which led to the teen admitting she had been raped when she was 12. The incident led Sandilands to be sacked from Australian Idol.

"There's no way I would do that now. If someone suggested that as a segment, I would know, no, we're not putting a young girl on a lie-detector test," Henderson said on 60 Minutes.

Most recently, in September 2019, Kyle and Jackie O took a week off air after Sandilands made offensive comments about the Virgin Mary.

Despite apologising for the comments, protestors called for the radio host to be sacked.


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A post shared by Kyle and Jackie O (@kyleandjackieo) on


Drug addiction.

In 2018, Sandilands opened up on-air, admitting that he had an addiction to cocaine for several years.

"Back in the day, bad drug addiction," he shared. "Migraines, I was self medicating on my own illegal narcotics."

"My life wasn't great back then so I buried my face into a big pile of cocaine to try and get over it. It didn't work," he added.

"I was a bit depressed. Well, I didn't even know if I was depressed or not. I just was self-medicating, bumping back dozens of lines."

The radio host added that the drug addiction lasted several years in the late 2000s, before he began self-medicating with marijuana in an attempt to overcome his cocaine addiction.

"The blood pressure, that's what could have killed me," he said, recalling his cocaine addiction.


"They said, 'Listen, your blood pressure is so high continuously that at any stage you could just die.' I was like, 'Whatever'. I didn't care if I lived or died."

Kyle Sandilands' relationships.

Throughout his career, Sandilands has had a number of high profile relationships.

In 2008, Sandilands married his long-term girlfriend, Tamara Jaber, who he met at an audition for season two of Popstars.

The pair were together for 10 years, and married for just two, before they separated in 2010.

kyle sandiland tamara jaber
Kyle Sandilands and Tamara Jaber in 2007. Image: Getty.

In a 2016 interview with Woman's Day, Jaber spoke fondly of the radio shock jock, despite having once described their two-year marriage as 'miserable'.

"I've never regretted marrying Kyle, not in a million years. I know a lot of people might think I do but I don’t regret it at all," she said.

"People assume he’s a prick but he's kind of sensitive."

In 2018, Sandilands opened up about his sex addiction following his divorce in 2010.

"I think that part of the reason why I was a sex addict was I wanted to prove to myself I was still a man… and still desired. And I could still desire women and treat them well," he said.

"Plus I was addicted to drugs as well. I wasn't just depressed but I was confused and I was sort of in a weird hole."

Kyle Sandilands and Imogen Anthony. Image: Getty.

In 2011, he began dating model Imogen Anthony after meeting her at his 40th birthday party.

They had a 20-year age gap, but according to the radio host, age was not a factor they ever worried about.

"I don't see any age difference between us," he said in 2013. "She is not a super-young 22-year-old and I am not a super-old 41-year-old.

In November 2019, the pair confirmed the end of their relationship.

"We haven't been living together for a few months, quite a few months, unfortunately, it’s run its course," he said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show at the time.

Kyle Sandiland Tegan Kynaston
Kyle Sandilands and Tegan Kynaston. Image: Instagram.

Now, Sandilands is dating Tegan Kynaston, who was previously his personal assistant. It's believed the pair have been dating since December 2019.

Feature Image: Channel Nine.

For more on this topic:

If this post brought up any issues for you, you can contact Drug Aware, Australia's 24hr alcohol and drug support line. You can reach them on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

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