Former Newcastle Knights star Jarrod Mullen has opened up about spiraling into a life of ‘hardcore drugs’ and a cocaine bender so severe it left him ‘unresponsive, grey’ and ‘choking’.
The 32-year-old was one line away from being completely deaf in December 2018 after inhaling so much cocaine he damaged his cochlear nerve – connecting the ear to the brain.
The now father-of-one was at the time maintaining a daily routine of snorting three grams of cocaine alone in his one-bedroom apartment at Newcastle.
He said he had to be as ‘high as anything’ just to get out of the house to combat the fame which came with being an NRL star.
The now father of one to daughter Stevie (pictured with partner Tamara Chessell) admitted to maintaining a daily routine of snorting three grams of cocaine alone in his one-bedroom apartment at Newcastle
Former Newcastle Knights star Jarrod Mullen (pictured) was one line away from being completely deaf in December 2018 after inhaling so much cocaine he damaged his cochlear nerve – connecting the ear to the brain
‘I always thought people recognised me or were talking about me. And that was before I even took anything. What do you do when you don’t care about your life? Drink, party, gamble, get on it. That was my routine,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mullen debuted for the Newcastle Knights while in high school, did an Origin debut for NSW at 20 years old and put on the Knights’ No. 7 jersey in 2007.
His career then came to a screeching halt when he tested positive to anabolic steroid drostanolone in November 2016, and found himself dealing cocaine to finance his habit.
Mullen knew he had to make a change when he woke up in the intensive care unit at John Hunter Hospital after taking an almost lethal dose of OxyContin and Xanax as his parents were coming home from a weekend away.
Mullen said his parents had no idea he was using and that he ‘still didn’t think I had a problem’, despite knowing ‘I was taking hardcore drugs’.
Jarrod Mullen (pictured with partner Tam Chessell), 32, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine when he faced Newcastle Local Court earlier this month
Former Newcastle Knights NRL player Jarrod Mullen leaves Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday, December 4
‘When mum and dad got home four hours later I was unresponsive, grey, choking. If I was living by myself, I’d be dead,’ he said.
‘They dragged me off the lounge and called the ambulance. For my parents to have to see their son like that still kills me. And it kills them. They still won’t let me sit on that part of the lounge.’
His admission follows Mullen pleading guilty to supplying cocaine when he faced Newcastle Local Court earlier this month.
Police surveillance captured Mullen purchasing 39 grams of cocaine over four separate occasions from a home in the Newcastle suburb of Cameron Park in November 2018, agreed facts tendered to the court revealed.
After his once-glittering NRL career ended, Mullen also sold cocaine for $300 per gram to finance his heavy drug habit, which left him with hearing problems when his habit damaged the nerve between his nose and his ear.
‘Just ever since my career finished, I spiralled out of control and was taking cocaine on a daily basis just to get through the day,’ he told police after being arrested in May.
Mullen, a former halfback, played 211 games for the Newcastle Knights after debuting as a teenager. He represented NSW in State of Origin in 2007
Mullen (pictured with partner) allegedly became a cocaine addict and drug-dealer snorting ‘three grams in half-a-day’ to cope with the end of his NRL career
‘To suppress the demons, I suppose. There’d be some days where I’d have three grams to myself, which is a lot in half a day. I was out of control. I did go through a dark stage.’
According to the documents, Mullen learnt about dealing cocaine from alleged drug syndicate leader Matthew Pearce, The Daily Telegraph reported.
‘What I do with all the boys is … everyone knows it costs me, ah, $100 a gram …,’ Pearce was allegedly recorded telling Mullen in November 2018.
‘And most sell it for [$]300 or a bit more, that’s your choice if you want to cut it down.’
Mullen responded: ‘No, I don’t want to cut it down.’
Mullen (pictured with partner) told police in May he also regularly abused prescription drugs after his football days were over but had been clean since he overdosed at his parents’ house in December 2018
‘Just ever since my career finished, I spiralled out of control and was taking cocaine on a daily basis just to get through the day,’ Mullen (pictured) told police after being arrested in May
Pearce has been charged but is yet to enter a plea.
Mullen, a former halfback, played 211 games for the Newcastle Knights after debuting as a teenager. He represented NSW in State of Origin in 2007.
But Mullen’s rugby league career, frequently marred by injuries, was cut short when he received a four-year ban after testing positive for steroids in 2017.
He told police in May he also regularly abused prescription drugs after his football days were over but had been clean since he overdosed at his parents’ house in December 2018.
Mullen is the eighth person to be charged over the alleged drug ring.
He has been bailed ahead of a scheduled sentencing hearing in Wollongong on February 26.