Billy reveals state of friendship with Lyon


It's been five years since Billy Brownless' world was rocked when he discovered his best mate was in love with his wife.

Brownless and fellow ex-AFL star Garry Lyon were thick as thieves for years but a decades-long friendship fell apart when Lyon ran off with Brownless' wife, Nicky, and later moved in with his kids.

The fallout was public and brutal as the sordid affair was splashed on the front pages of newspaper's in Melbourne and Geelong, where Brownless played for the Cats for 198 games.

It left the Footy Show - where both men worked - fractured after Brownless revealed he'd been told the pair were "just good friends".

"You don't touch a man's wallet; you don't touch his wife," Brownless said on live television after the split was revealed.

Deep wounds were created that are still healing, but in an appearance on Sam Newman's podcast You Cannot Be Serious, Brownless says all involved are making the best of the circumstances.

"You know I'm going to ask you this - people want to know how you and Garry Lyon are going on," Newman asked on Tuesday.


Garry Lyon and his ex-wife Melissa with Nicky and Billy Brownless at the Melbourne Cup one year.
Garry Lyon and his ex-wife Melissa with Nicky and Billy Brownless at the Melbourne Cup one year.

"At the time you go through all different emotions of course," Brownless said. "'Why me?' and a bit of hatred of course.

"But now mate, it's been four or five years, I've come around and everyone is in a good spot to be honest. Garry and Nicky are - that's fine - and the kids are (too).

"That was the other big problem (at the time). Young Maxy was about 10, Oscar was about 14, the girls (Lucy and Ruby) were 16, 17.

"It was so public that was the biggest problem. It was so public. On TV, in the papers, front page of the Geelong Addy.

"It was hard at the time because it was so public. I'd walk into a coffee shop and I'd swear everyone was looking at me and talking about it and they weren't."

Brownless admitted his relationship with Lyon wasn't what it once was. "There's no Christmas cards yet but we have spoken a couple of times," he said. "The kids live with Garry and Nicky and things like that.

"There's no problems, we're in a good space, he's in a good space, Nicky is, the kids are and so am I. But that's taken time. It has."

Brownless said he'd been told early on it would take two years for him to get over the betrayal but "two wasn't right".

They were colleagues on the Footy Show for years.
They were colleagues on the Footy Show for years.

"People have got to take sides, your friends, the in-laws, your really close friends," he said. "Which side do they go with and your kids. It's interesting times."

Brownless and Nicky were married for more than 18 years but were reportedly estranged when Lyon's relationship with her developed.

"She just fell out of love, which happens," Brownless said when he appeared on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

"I didn't expect it. You think she'll come back and all that, but she didn't. So that was a real kick in the guts."

Brownless first addressed the falling out in an emotional live interview on The Footy Show in 2016 when he suggested Lyon was no longer one of his "mates".

"I couldn't believe it," Brownless said.

"I found out three or four months ago that something was going on. I had a hunch. I did some investigation myself, sat Nicky down, and we had a chat and she told me.

"My initial feelings were, like anyone - you get angry. You're headless, you're angry.

"I shot of a couple of texts to Garry and to Nicky which you wouldn't want to repeat on this show. And then after a couple of days, you get embarrassed."

"Now I'm just disappointed," Brownless added. "Your mate wouldn't do that … Let me tell you, by law it's legal to do what they're doing, but morally it's wrong in all aspects."

Billy, Nicky, Melissa and Garry.
Billy, Nicky, Melissa and Garry.

Lyon took indefinite leave from the Footy Show before the bombshell feud became public knowledge.

The popular presenter has since apologised for the hurt his relationship with Nicky has caused.

His marriage with ex-wife Melissa also ended in 2014 before his relationship with Nicky began. However, Melissa has previously claimed Lyon and Nicky began seeing each other as early as 2013.

"It's important I apologise publicly for the hurt they've been through," Lyon said about his ex-wife Melissa and their sons.

"I was separated back in 2014. It's hard enough to deal with separation, hard enough to deal with privately let alone publicly when you throw in a new relationship that lots of people frown upon, a person who was once married to a friend," he said.


Originally published as Billy reveals state of friendship with Lyon

Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless were thick as thieves.
Garry Lyon and Billy Brownless were thick as thieves.