MELBOURNE football broadcaster Rex Hunt yesterday told of his shame and sorrow after revealing to his family that he paid women for sex.Hunt was actually blackmailed - he paid $50,000 hush money to one of the women:
"It was an arrangement for money for sexual favours and as far as I'm concerned that was it," he said. "I am deeply ashamed and sorry that I have hurt my wife and children and close friends. The fact is, Lynne and I love each other very, very much ... and I stuffed up. The buck stops with me."
Melbourne's top football broadcaster sat with his wife of 34 years and told the Herald Sun of the sex-for-money "arrangements" involving three women going back to the early 1990s.
Of the most recent arrangement, involving a Melbourne beautician, Hunt said: "I had a confidential arrangement with a woman whereby I paid her money in exchange for sexual favours." He said he had agreed to end the relationship, which started in 1997, with a cash payment to protect Lynne.But that didn't stop the noble men and women of the Fouth Estate:
Hunt... would not reveal how much, but the Herald Sun believes it was $50,000 cash. "I paid money thinking that I would get confidentiality so that I could protect my wife from my wrongdoings," he said. "The arrangement was mutually and satisfactorily finalised between my wife and myself with the woman 14 months ago. The finalisation included a confidentiality clause and a final payment to say that the arrangement is over. I signed that agreement through my stupidity, on the love of my wife and children."
Hunt said he thought then that he and Lynne had "dealt with this problem and moved on".
But rumours have been circulating about Hunt's activities, and in response to an investigation by the Herald Sun he decided to confirm he had led a secret life.Hunt is contrite and open:
"I'm a man. I'm a family man. You reckon I'm proud of this? No, I'm not. "You reckon I love my wife? Yes, I do."But the crux of the story is hinted at in paragraph six:
"For private reasons between Lynne and I, I was desperate for physical contact," he said.and revealed for those who read far enough down this long sorry (for the media) tale:
Hunt also spoke of the dark times of his wife's battle with bi-polar depression.Teen onset bi-polar disorder turns ordinary people into monsters and their unsuspecting partners into despairing creatures who yearn for the simple human comfort of a loving embrace - or even something vaguely approximating it - without the risk of it suddenly turning into a nightlong horror of abuse and yelling.
"I tell you what, I sit there when my wife is at her lowest. I cuddle her and I stop her from crying and I bloody well look after her. And when she's well, I get out there to the Brownlow (medal count) and we are fantastic."
...Hunt met Lynne in 1968, when she was 18. He was 19 and about to start his second season with the Tigers. They married four years later.
I should know. But, for me, it was a lifetime (and another marriage) ago.
For Rex Hunt, it is his life today as it was yesterday and the day before and, God bless him, he is a good man, in spite of and revealed by his own words...
"Did I commit a moral atrocity? My bloody oath I did. But I've always faced the problems that I've had. And we're not bad people. I'm a bad person. My wife is the most beautiful person and I won't hurt her any more. This has come back to haunt us."...and inordinately patient too for hanging in and, after near 40 years, still being able to see the woman he loves behind the creature she becomes.
Update: My hush money analysis of the first story is confirmed: As part of the deal, the woman handed over two notes and a tape of a telephone conversation.