Underbelly star: 'I was a walking time bomb'

Underbelly star Matthew Newton says he's looking forward to returning to acting after getting treatment for mental illness. Photo / Supplied
Underbelly star Matthew Newton says he's looking forward to returning to acting after getting treatment for mental illness. Photo / Supplied

Australian actor Matthew Newton, who has spent most of the year being treated for mental illness, says he was a "walking time bomb".

Newton, 35, speaking on the Nine Network's A Current Affair, said he had wanted to kill himself as he struggled with post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar depression.

He was forced to seek treatment after a blow-up with his former girlfriend and actress Rachael Taylor in a Rome hotel room led to legal action.

Newton, who was treated for his illness at Sydney's Northside West Clinic, said he had thrown himself at floors and walls as he went through therapy as well as dislocating his jaw and putting a fist through a window, doing damage that required micro surgery.

He said he went through a complete breakdown.

"I was a walking time bomb," he said. "It is intolerable to harm women, it is intolerable to harm your best friends and it is intolerable to harm yourself."

Newton, the son of showbusiness couple Bert and Patti Newton, said his biggest mistake was not knowing that he needed treatment.

"I needed to be forced and I'm very grateful to the people who forced me to get that treatment because it probably saved my life. It did save my life," he said.

After his meltdown in Rome, Newton went through the court system where it was revealed that Ms Taylor suffered 12 months of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of the actor.

Newton, who starred in the second season of hit Oz crime show Underbelly, would not go into the legal aspects of his story, but said he was ashamed of the way he had behaved.

"You have to be respectful, that's all I want to say about it," he said.

Newtown says he is now well on the road to recovery and wants to act again.

"I don't want anything in the way of the person I'm going to be, the person I want to be," he said.

- AAP

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