But questions are now being asked about his motives, how genuine he really is, and especially about what wasn't said in the interview.
When images of Grant Hackett’s ruined apartment emerged, there were ramifications all round, and last night team Hackett went into damage control.
So has the PR-preened effort cleaned up the ugliness, or has it backfired?More stories from Today Tonight
“There are a lot of people saying that it was a PR stunt by Grant Hackett's management,” domestic violence campaigner Phil Cleary said after the interview.
And lie detector expert Steve Van Aparen is equally negative. “He was contrite, but there was no ‘sorry’,” Van Aparen said.
‘Contrite’ is also a long way from Channel 9 backing Hackett when he first smashed up the family home, upending his wife’s piano and destroying whatever took his angry eye after a Derby Day bender.
At the time he said there’d been “a lot of speculation of what took place that night. Candice is 100 per cent okay, our apartment is 100 per cent okay and so are our twins. So it’s all a bit of an unfortunate misunderstanding.”
Now there were tears and a completely different story in a well-manicured interview on 60 Minutes last night.
We asked Van Aperen and body language specialist Dr Louise Mahler for their professional assessment.
When he answers some allegations, Hackett looks down to the right and almost closes his eyes.
“He's accessing his feelings when he looks down to that area, flicking from his auditory access and his internal voices, flicking between them as he gets more concerned about the questions,” Dr Mahler said.
“I notice when he wanted the marriage to be ended that he said that clearly, then the question on whether anyone was pushed or children were involved, and he starts gulping, eyes start moving in different directions, which shows some concern,” Dr Mahler added.
If going public was to salvage his reputation, Twitter comments spelt sink.
Derryn Hinch wrote "Tara Brown asked Grant Hackett did he have a problem with alcohol. No. Unasked follow-up question: any other substances?"
Mamamia wrote "Grant Hackett speaks to 60 Minutes - he's embarrassed but is he sorry?"
And Steve Molk wrote "Grant's very determined to get to London and call the Olympics for Ch9, thus this 60Mins interview."
“I exploded that night. Candice was not harmed on that night … by no means did I hurt anybody and was anybody hurt on that night,” Hackett said in his 60 Minute interview.
Hackett continually repeated the words ‘on that night, on that night’, so was there any further meaning to that?
“They’re qualifying statements, and red flags always go up when someone needs to qualify something before they say it,” Van Aspen said.
“There was no ‘sorry’ and I think he's accessing a story he has, and words he's gone over and over again, and the concerning thing for me is again the gulp - perhaps there's some inconsistency,” Dr Mahler agreed.
As Cleary saw it, “I was happy for him to go on television and make an apology, the problem was he didn't.”
Cleary sees this Gold Medal Olympian as tarnished.
“I think the sad reality is that many people are wondering why he waited so long, and why he's giving conflicting stories and accounts,” he said.
In his own words, Hackett said last night, “we all have our breaking points and I certainly saw mine, and it's tough to digest.”What do you think of Hackett's confession?
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