'We have spoken': Infamous AFL love affair takes curious turn

·4-min read
Pictured here, former close mates Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon.
Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon in 2013. (Photo by Graham Denholm/WireImage)

AFL icon Billy Brownless has confirmed he and Garry Lyon are back on speaking terms, despite his former good mate's affair with ex-wife Nicky.

Brownless' world was turned upside down five years ago when he found out his friend and Footy Show colleague had been having an affair with his wife, whom he had four children with.

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The AFL icons understandably didn't speak for years, with the sense of betrayal that Brownless felt too much to deal with.

To make matters worse, the sordid affair played out in the press, with details of the messy situation splashed across newspapers and in gossip columns.

Brownless and Lyon both worked together on the Footy Show when details of the affair first surfaced, causing a massive friction for all involved.

In a curious development, however, Brownless says he has been able to move on from the anger and disappointment of the whole messy saga.

Speaking on Sam Newman’s podcast You Cannot Be Serious, Brownless confirmed he was once again on speaking terms with Lyon.

Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon are pictured here with their ex-wives.
Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon were once close mates. Pic: AAP

“At the time you go through all different emotions of course,” Brownless said. “‘Why me?’ and a bit of hatred of course," Brownless said.

“But now mate, it’s been four or five years, I’ve come around and everyone is in a good spot to be honest. Garry and Nicky are — that’s fine — and the kids are (too).

“That was the other big problem (at the time). Young Maxy was about 10, Oscar was about 14, the girls (Lucy and Ruby) were 16, 17.

“It was so public that was the biggest problem. It was so public. On TV, in the papers, front page of the Geelong Addy.

“It was hard at the time because it was so public. I’d walk into a coffee shop and I’d swear everyone was looking at me and talking about it and they weren’t.”

Geelong legend Brownless admitted that his relationship with Lyon wasn't what it once was, but time has allowed them to repair the massive rift.

“There’s no Christmas cards yet but we have spoken a couple of times,” he said. “The kids live with Garry and Nicky and things like that.

“There’s no problems, we’re in a good space, he’s in a good space, Nicky is, the kids are and so am I. But that’s taken time. It has.”

Brownless and Nicky were together for 18 years before they split.

Earlier this year the Geelong legend opened up about the pain of Nicky moving on with Lyon during his stint on reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’.

“Oh, no we had a split,” Brownless said when asked by a fellow contestant about his wife.

“We separated about four years ago. Had a big, big dust-up we did. It was public, very public.

Brownless reveals toll of marriage breakdown

“She just fell out of love, which happens”. I didn’t expect it. You think she’ll come back and all that, but she didn’t. So that was a real kick in the guts.”

Brownless said it took him about two years to get back to his normal self.

“It’s been four years now so you get through it, you know,” he said.

“I reckon it takes you two years when you split, when you bounce back and to be yourself.”

Lyon’s previous marriage with ex-wife Melissa ended in 2014 before he started seeing Nicky.

Seen here, Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless at a sporting event in 2019.
Garry Lyon and Nicky Brownless together at an NBL game in 2019. Pic: Getty

However Melissa has previously claimed Lyon was seeing Nicky in 2013.

“It’s important I apologise publicly for the hurt they’ve been through,” Lyon previously said about about Melissa and their children.

“I was separated back in 2014. It’s hard enough to deal with separation, hard enough to deal with privately let alone publicly when you throw in a new relationship that lots of people frown upon, a person who was once married to a friend,” he said.

Brownless first spoke out about the dramas during a live episode of the Footy Show in 2016 after Lyon took leave.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Brownless said. “I found out three or four months ago that something was going on. I had a hunch. I did some investigation myself, sat Nicky down, and we had a chat and she told me.

“My initial feelings were, like anyone – you get angry. You’re headless, you’re angry.

“I shot of a couple of texts to Garry and to Nicky which you wouldn’t want to repeat on this show. And then after a couple of days, you get embarrassed.

“Now I’m just disappointed. Your mate wouldn’t do that … Let me tell you, by law it’s legal to do what they’re doing, but morally it’s wrong in all aspects.”

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