Grant Hackett is in denial about the extent of his problems and is need of a stint in rehab, his father says.
Neville Hackett confirmed on Wednesday that the Olympian had travelled to the US for rehab after his manager said Hackett was seeking treatment for an addiction to the sleeping medication Stilnox.
But when Hackett touched down in the US on Wednesday he said he was just having a break.
When asked by reporters if he was going to a rehab centre he said “no, not as such”.
“I’m obviously just going away to have a break.
“I’ve had an extended period of, I guess, stress and lots of other things taking place in my life so … just looking forward to having a little bit of rest and recovery and time off and recharging the batteries.”
Neville Hackett says his son isn’t facing up to reality.
“I think Grant is a little bit in denial, he thinks he just needs a bit of a recharge and a rest,” he told Sydney radio station Triple M.
“I’d say rehab is certainly something that’s needed there.”
His son wouldn’t be able to “fool the experts for long”, he added.
Neville Hackett said the family sought help recently after becoming aware there was a problem.
He said friends and family met with experts who recommended treatment in the US and planned an intervention that was brought forward to Friday night.
He couldn’t confirm whether Hackett was addicted to Stilnox but said a prescription drug was the issue.
“I would suspect Stilnox but I can’t be a 100 per cent sure.”
He said after Hackett’s split from wife Candice Alley in May 2012 his son had had “two years of hell living by himself”.
The latest development comes after Hackett was photographed partially nude in the early hours of Saturday morning at Melbourne’s Crown hotel, searching for his four-year-old son.
News Limited websites report another witness to Hackett’s unusual behaviour has come forward, claiming he was seen in a state of semi-undress with a small child, either his son Jagger or Jagger’s twin sister Charlize, some hours before the previously-reported incident.
“Grant is currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to Stilnox medication,” his manager Chris White told the Herald Sun newspaper.
“His family and friends are enormously proud of his courage in pursuing this course of action.”