James Packer sparked worldwide concern when he sensationally quit his business earlier this year, citing mental health reasons at the time. Now, he has reportedly spoken candidly for the first time about battling “toxic” feelings over the last few years – and eventually realising he was in a “bad way”.
In an excerpt from his new biography The Price Of Fortune: The Untold Story Of Being James Packer, published by The Daily Telegraph, the billionaire, 51, opens up on his devastating split from singer Mariah Carey in 2016, admitting it came following a string of personal blows he was struggling to deal with at the time.
“By the time the Israel so-called Case 1000 had become public, the China arrests and Crown’s sale of Macau had occurred and the breakup with Mariah had happened, I had become toxic,” he reportedly says in the book, according to the news outlet.
It was claimed at the time that Mariah received a US$50million (AU$70million) ‘inconvenience fee’ after the break-up. However, Packer reportedly denied ever leaking details of their settlement to the media at the time.
Meanwhile, in a separate excerpt published by Who magazine, Packer is said to have admitted he was battling depression at the time of their split – and while he eventually ended it, he only had good things to say about his ex.
In February 2016, just a month after he proposed to Mariah, he admitted he had begun to struggle personally with a number of things including his financial concerns over his sister Gretel’s share of their late father Kerry’s estate. He reportedly explained: “I was in a bad, bad way.”
The engagement ended in October 2016, with him taking full responsibility for the decision.
The Aussie billionaire stepped down as director of Crown Resorts, which owns casinos around Australia, in March – citing personal reasons.
“We have appreciated James’ contribution to the board and respect his decision to step down from his role as director at this time,” Crown’s executive chairman John Alexander said at the time.
But a spokesman for Packer’s private investment company Consolidated Press Holdings told news outlet that Packer was taking a step back from all commitments to focus on his mental health. “Mr Packer is suffering from mental health issues,” the spokesman said.
It’s claimed he has since left rehab.
The Price of Fortune, The Untold Story of Being James Packer by Damon Kitney is available from October 22.