Take That's star Mark Owen has confessed to a decade-long drinking problem - just one day after owning up to a string of 10 affairs behind his wife's back. The pop star stunned fans on Thursday, March 11 after publicly apologizing for his infidelity, admitting to a series of drunken one-night stands while on tour with the band.
The 38-year-old singer, who has two children with his actress wife Emma Ferguson, also revealed he had carried out a relationship with accounts manager Neva Hanley. Now Owen has opened up about his secret struggle with booze, which began in 1996 after the "Back for Good" hitmakers split.
Owen approached his bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Jason Orange in early 2010 after spiraling into a deep depression and realizing he needed help for the addiction. He also turned to ex-Take That's star Robbie Williams, who has checked into rehab twice to deal with his substance abuse demons.
Owen tells Britain's The Sun, "I told the lads a few weeks ago that I am trying to deal with a drink problem. I spoke to Rob (Williams) about it, too. I've always tried not to involve anyone else, including the boys. Maybe the lads might have suspected sometimes. But they knew I was making the right moves to go forward and they respected that."
"They were all aware I got myself in a state. I admitted I had a drink problem I never knew I had ... I have had issues for a long time. I've drunk for the last ten years and it got to a bad point." But Owen, who is now undergoing therapy, insists he is not blaming his affairs on his alcoholism, "I want to make it absolutely clear I am not using the drink as an excuse. I've been living with the guilt. Maybe the drink was my way of dealing with the guilt ... My drinking is another problem I have and it hasn't helped. But I'm not blaming everything on it."