Candice Warner says SAS Australia’s focus on a 13-year-old X-rated scandal from her past is “sad” — and has pointed out the stark difference between her treatment on the show and that of her co-stars.
The former IronWoman was last night axed as a contestant on Channel 7’s extreme reality series where a group of celebrities undergo military training and endure brutal interrogations. During her time on the show, she was repeatedly grilled about her incident with Sonny Bill Williams at Sydney’s Clovelly Hotel in 2007, when the pair were photographed by a member of the public in the bathroom together.
The mum-of-three opened up in a frank interview on news.com.au’s Not Here To Make Friends podcast and addressed the big difference between her interrogations on the show and those of the other celebrities.
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“I did feel some people’s interrogations were a little bit softer than others,” she said. “They (the SAS staff) dug a lot deeper with me than some other people. And they brought up a lot more in mine than in others. So it is what it is and I was proud of the way I dealt with it, and I handled the questions the way I wanted to. But at the same time, the laptop didn’t come out for everyone.”
SAS staff were filmed reading news stories about the athlete on the internet before they grilled her with detailed questions about the bathroom incident and her cricketer husband David Warner’s ball tampering scandal. The interrogations of co-stars such as rugby player Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins and The Bachelorette’s Ali Oetjen sidestepped major scandals from their pasts.
“It’s sad when that (the bathroom incident) had to be the main focus,” she said of her time on the show. “My journey at that time … I was in a position where I almost took my own life and coming back from that, I think, is a far more important story than the storyline they were (going for).”
Earlier in the series, the mum-of-three revealed she was still haunted by her liaison with football star Williams – who was celebrating a win with his Bulldogs teammates when the pair hooked up.
“It is something I am not proud of but something I can never take back,” she said.
“I put myself in a situation where I shouldn’t have and because of that I brought embarrassment (and) shame to my family.”
The incident has followed Warner in her life. During the Australian cricket team’s ill-fated tour of South Africa in 2018, when the ball tampering scandal occurred, Candice was mocked by fans wearing Williams face masks at the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
“There were incidents in South Africa where people were trying to make fun of me, mock me. Belittle me in front of my family,” she said.
“Because of an incident that happened in the past. And they think it’s funny.”