Gareth Thomas: I hated myself after my wife left me when I came out as gay
Rugby star Gareth Thomas has spoken about making several suicide attempts as his wife left him because he came out as gay.
In an interview with the Times the former Wales team captain said he made the attempts after he came out to his wife Jemma in 2006.
On the night she left him, at the end of their five-year marriage, he said he dressed in his best grey suit, and went to the swimming pool of their home to drown himself.
In a new memoir, Thomas said he had fought to get bigger, and play harder, in order to convince people he was straight, despite knowing he was gay from the age of 16.
“It was like, ‘I’m going to make it hard for you to ever imagine, because I’m going to be a beast of a man and I am going to be… good at rugby, which is everything that society is telling me I shouldn’t be.’ ”
Despite being “so in love with” Jemma, he decided to come out as gay.
Thomas now works for a teaching company, as he retired from rugby in 2011.
His memoir ‘Proud’ talks about his journey towards coming out as gay.
He wrote: “A form of madness gripped me that first night after Jemma left. I needed her presence, so I invented it. I climbed into her wardrobe, and sprayed her favourite perfume, Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, around the interior.
“I pulled her clothes off the hangers and shelves, and buried myself in them. In my warped state of mind, it was my only way of getting her back. I sensed her spirit, savoured her scent. I was in her space, her sphere.
“I missed her so badly, and hated myself for what I had inflicted on her.”
Thomas says there are no hard feelings between he and his ex-wife.