Rugby League players have a bad reputation, the code plagued by bad boys behaving badly but there was one man who didn't run with the pack - Andrew Ettingshausen. He stood out as a man who always did the right thing and the respect he earned as a decent family man was well deserved. Then he had a brain fade and had an affair with his best friend's wife.
Paul Mellor made the accusation on A Current Affair this year and said this would give ET's fans "a better understanding of who he really is." The two men played two seasons together with Cronulla before Ettingshausen retired in 2000 after becoming the club's most-capped player with 328 games and 165 tries. He also played 27 games for NSW in the State of Origin and 25 Tests for Australia.
Ettingshausen, now 46, married Monique in 1988 and the couple have four children aged 21 down to 11. Mellor is also married with children and says he confronted ET when he discovered the affair and they have not spoken since. "I'm not going to judge him or his behaviour, I think that's probably for Monique to judge him and for me to judge my wife" he said. As far as his old team mate is concerned he said "We don't have a friendship anymore, if he wants to comment about it, which he probably needs to, he can explain his behaviour."
ET has answered the call and blames his 'poor judgement' on depression and a failed business venture. He has been seeing a psychiatrist to help him with depression and low self esteem issues. He put a lot of money into a fishing lodge in the Gulf of Carpantaria and when it failed, the family was left deeply in debt.
"I have no words to explain the deep regret I feel, I have thrown away my whole life, all that I treasured, all that I was blessed to have" he told the Australian Women's Weekly. The magazine said they were approached by the couple and did not pay for the interview.
When asked if citing depression was a 'cop out' Ettingshausen said "In the end, choices were made and I take responsibility for those choices. During this period I wasn't in a good position mentally to make careful judgments. What has happened is a tragedy that never would have happened if I was in a normal, stable mind."