Johanna Griggs’ personal life was thrown into the spotlight in the late 1990s when her marriage to actor Gary Sweet ended and now she’s admitted the heartbreak even left her feeling like a “failure” at the time.
In an exclusive chat with The Australian Women’s Weekly, the 45-year-old explained that the difficult time led to her raising her kids as a single mum, but she has since come to appreciate that. Meanwhile, she also opened up on becoming a grandparent in her 40s and how it’s changed her and her husband Todd Huggins’ lives.
The mother-of-two explained she felt like a failure when her first marriage came to an end in 1999, but it was all for the best as it “uncomplicated” their lives.
“I loved my years as a single mum,” she told the news outlet. “There are situations where people go between parents – we really didn’t have to do that. So you’re the decision maker, they’re your little buddies. And I had a lot of support around me.”
Johanna also spoke openly about the transition from competitive swimming to TV presenting, admitting while it wasn’t the easiest of moves, she is thankful for everything it brought – good and bad.
After stepping away from swimming, the presenter joined the team at Seven Sport in 1993. She began with hosting duties at the Australian Open, followed by the networks Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games. She is also known for her role on Better Homes and Gardens and House Rules.
“Failure is the greatest lesson in the world,” she added to the publication. “The greatest opportunities in my life, the greatest lessons I’ve learnt and the greatest pivot points where you totally change direction have come from my failures. And that’s not a bad thing.”
Following her separation from Gary, Johanna went on to meet now husband Todd. The pair exchanged vows in 2006 and enjoy spending ample time with their grandson Jax, who was born last year.
Jax is the child of Johanna’s son Joe and his then partner Katie Buttel. While Johanna and Todd don’t have any children together, having been through several unsuccessful rounds of IVF, the TV presenter said having Jax in their lives is incredibly important to her partner.
Just like any doting grandparent Johanna is completely smitten with her grandson and described him as an “extraordinary little boy”.
“Both families, right from the go, said, ‘He’s going to be loved in any direction he looks in’ – and he really is. Todd says to me all the time, ‘I can’t believe you can love this way – it’s a different love that I even have for you’,” she told the mag.