Sydney radio broadcaster Ray Hadley has broken down in front of media following the news that his son Daniel was arrested for possession of cocaine.
On Saturday, news broke that Hadley’s police officer son had caught with the illegal substance at the Australian Hotel and Brewery, in the Rouse Hill area of Sydney. Hadley didn’t front his radio show on Saturday, with replacement host Hark Levy apologising on his behalf and sighting “family matters”.
Hadley has now spoken publicly about his son’s arrest and revealed the devastation it’s had on him as a father. Fronting media on Saturday afternoon, Hadley broke down in tears.
“When I was first told, I was both angry and perplexed,” he began. “I had no idea my son, a respected police officer, would be involved in such a matter.”
The radio host explained he brought his 28-year-old son home, where his initial anger turned to shock and sadness.
“My son, during long conversations during late in the night, early in the morning, revealed he’s been battling mental health issues for quite some time,” the 63-year-old said. “He’s also been away from work for months, having dislocated his knee and waiting for an operation on a hernia.”
He revealed his son had been seeing the family GP about his mental health issues. The problems had been so severe that Daniel had been admitted to a clinic on Saturday for treatment, with Hadley describing it as a “serious problem”.
“His family, his mum, myself, his sisters, his aunties, uncles, we are all very concerned,” the 2GB presenter continued. “We’re hopeful and we pray that with expert medical advice, he can recover from where he is now.”
Hadley said the criminal charges were a matter for the courts and police, but asked people to consider the things his son has dealt with over the past seven years, noting being a police officer has had an impact on him. Hadley said the most difficult part was that neither he or Daniel’s colleagues thought he was coping.
“In fairness, I don’t think anyone has let Daniel down,” Hadley said. “Daniel accepts responsibility for his behaviour but unfortunately, he’s not in control of his mental health. I now know how many parents feel when they think things are okay, but they’re not.
“I feel particularly inadequate as a father and as a spokesman for RUOK Day [a day about raising awareness about mental health], when in fact, my own son is not okay.”
Hadley said he would be making no further public comments on the matter. He said it would be a long and slow process for Daniel, that he loved him dearly and that he wished he’d come to him for help sooner.
If you’re depressed or need someone to talk to, there are many 24/7 support lines available, including Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, MensLineAustralia on 1300 789 978 and Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.