Presenter Hayley Holt has opened up about her alcohol relapse, infamous relationship with Richie McCaw and losing her son Frankie Tai.
Speaking at home to Miriama Kamo on TVNZ’s Sunday, the 1News presenter shared her journey, which she recounts in her book Second Chances, out in April.
The ballroom champion and Olympic snowboarder referred to her career on the dance floor as “front” and the dancing scene as being an opener to her drinking problems, and her persona that came with it, “Hard out Holt”.
Recalling her relationship with All Black Richie McCaw, she recalls a funny moment on a train in London when he was tapped on the shoulder by a woman who recognised Holt, instead of McCaw, from her time on Strictly Come Dancing.
Speaking on her ex and ex-All Black captain, Holt recalled just how authentic he was, “I think it’s why he’s so respected, it’s because he is authentically this good guy.”
But years after the breakup, Holt wasn’t sure if she would ever get her happily ever after, that was until one night “a miracle” happened after a date with friend Josh Tito.
“I was 39 and I was like man, I gotta do this. I was trying to date so I could meet the man. The timing was terrible. One night we went out on a weird is-this-a-date-is-this-not-a-date ... we went home and a miracle happened.”
But after announcing she was pregnant on air, scans soon revealed an issue at 20 weeks, which led to weeks of scans that ultimately found Frankie’s life would have resulted in a life of seizures and hardship. Two days later they lost Frankie at 29 weeks when a scan found he no longer had a heartbeat.
Days later Holt gave birth in a “strangely beautiful” moment on Anzac Day, she said of the moment, “I just loved him and I just sat there holding him for so long.”
Frankie’s ashes now lie in the library of the family home.
Holt also revealed she lost another baby - miscarrying at 10 weeks - before she “fell off the wagon” on what would have been Frankie’s first birthday.
“I didn’t want to face my feelings on Frankie’s birthday,” she said. “I just didn’t want to face it and I knew the answer. I knew how I was going to do it, and that was blacking out.”
Holt and Tito now have their 8-month-old son Raven, who Holt says brought, “happiness I hadn’t felt in many years, not just after Frankie.”
“He’s just pure joy.”
- For more on Hayley’s story as well as Frankie’s final gift, look out for the Herald’s interview with Hayley in tomorrow’s paper and listen to the One Day You’ll Thank Me podcast tomorrow morning for an exclusive chat with Hayley Holt. You can follow the podcast at iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
- If you think you may be having a miscarriage, contact your lead maternity carer - this may be a midwife or your GP. Alternatively, call Healthline free on 0800 611 116, or visit your local Urgent Medical Centre or hospital
- Visit the Miscarriage Support website or join the Facebook group.
- Visit the Sands website. Sands supports parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby.
- Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.