AFL great Wayne Carey has spilled the beans on television about the scandalous affair with a former teammate's wife that overshadowed his glittering career.
Carey was caught cheating with Kelli Stevens in 2002 - the wife of North Melbourne Kangaroos teammate Anthony Stevens.
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Stevens was one of a number of players who caught his wife with Carey in a bathroom at a birthday party ahead of the 2002 season, in an incident that made headlines around the country.
North Melbourne captain at the time, Carey sat out the 2002 season before leaving the club in disgrace to join the Adelaide Crows.
The former AFL star-turned commentator - who is one of the contestants on the new series of SAS Australia on Channel 7 - described the scandal as the "biggest regret" of his life during Monday night's first episode.
“The affair, it’s the biggest regret of my life as an adult,” Carey said.
“I’ve done a lot of work, I’m trying to overcome it.
“People say people can’t change — you haven’t lived in my shoes if you say people can’t change. People can change, they evolve and I’m a perfect example of someone that’s been able to evolve.”
Carey's admission is the first time he's spoken publicly about the affair that tarnished his reputation and saw him leave the Kangaroos in disgrace.
“I slept with a teammate’s wife. It’s haunted me for 20 years," Carey said.
— SAS Australia on 7 (@sasaustralia) January 26, 2022
“My integrity will always be questioned. I’m not trying to prove anything to the public - it’s to myself.
“People can change. They evolve. Hopefully this can help me.”
Speaking about the scandal last year, North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey said it set the club back "four or five years".
Kangaroos great says scandal set AFL club back years
Harvey was just starting his AFL career in 2002, but he knew things weren't right.
“It put our football club back four or five years,” Harvey told the TAB’s Inside 50 podcast with Crawf and Quinny.
“Not in terms of just Wayne leaving, but just everything. Anthony Stevens became the captain, he didn’t need to be captain with everything going on, there was a big divide with the group.
“My initial thought was it’s not true but once you find out something happened it’s like, ‘Wow’.
“We lost not only our best player but our captain, probably one of the greatest players to ever play our game. That’s hard to digest as a young kid that’s trying to win flags and do everything.
“At the time it was huge and you look back and that was a time you probably don’t want to go through again as a football club.”
Carey mended his relationship with wife Sally after the affair, however they separated in 2006.
Stevens and wife Kelli also stayed together in the immediate aftermath before splitting in 2008.
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