Sports broadcaster Martin Devlin - the celebrity who was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour - says he sought name suppression to protect his children from embarrassment. But doing so only made things worse, he admitted yesterday.

"I sought name suppression in an effort to try and protect my children from being identified and embarrassed by my behaviour," he said in a statement to media. "Obviously the only effective way to prevent that was not to do it in the first place."

Suppression was lifted at a hearing at the Auckland District Court yesterday. The 46-year-old has been granted police diversion and he will work through that process over the next three months.

Devlin was not in court and his lawyer, Jenni Smith, asked that name suppression for her client be lifted.

Devlin was charged with disorderly behaviour after an incident on Quay St on December 29. A police officer saw the incident and Devlin was arrested and charged.

Less than an hour before the court hearing, an embargoed press release from Devlin was sent to all media.

In the statement - where he apologised for wasting court time - he admitted that he had behaved like "a right plum" after an argument with his wife.

"My wife, two young sons and I missed the 11am ferry sailing because I was watching Manchester United draw with Birmingham."

As a result, the atmosphere was "a little frosty", he said.

Devlin's wife, TVNZ media spokeswoman Andi Brotherston, dropped him at the ferry terminal and drove off, not knowing that his wallet was in the boot of the car.

"I walked across Quay St into a lane of traffic to stop the car and get my bag. Once stationary, for some inexplicable reason, I sat on the car's bonnet. I was stupid and I apologise."

He said reports suggesting the argument was a "rowdy tiff" or "blazing row" were incorrect.

"In fact, we weren't actually talking to each other."

He said he issued the statement "in an effort to set the record straight and end speculation".

He hoped the newspapers would now "go away".

The case returns to court in April.