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France centre Bastareaud reveals suicide attempt, depression and bulimia

The Toulon star lifts the lid on a difficult period in his life in a new autobiography.

Bastareaud is set to star at the Rugby World Cup with France.
Bastareaud is set to star at the Rugby World Cup with France.
Image: Christophe Ena

FRANCE RUGBY INTERNATIONAL Mathieu Bastareaud opens up about his off-the-field struggles in a new autobiography.

In Head High: Confessions of an Enfant Terrible of Rugby, the Toulon centre, on the books at Stade Francais at the time, admits trying to kill himself while suffering from depression in 2009 and goes into detail in the book, according to the Telegraph.

When you hear everywhere all day long that you are just a loser, that you don’t deserve to be there,” he wrote. “You try to keep a cool attitude but you begin to believe what people say. I smiled in public but, as soon as I came back home, I was alone.”

The suicide attempt took place shortly after a well-publicised incident during a summer tour to New Zealand with France. Bastareaud claimed he had been assaulted by a group of men in Wellington, before it emerged that he had fabricated the story to cover up the fact that he had injured himself in a drunken fall.

“Wanting to take off my clothes, I lose my balance,” he recalls. “I stagger and, awkwardly, I collapse on the floor with all my weight. In my fall, I smash the room’s night table. The shock is terrible. I bleed a bit. It hurts. My left cheekbone is exploded. But overall, I panic.”

Bastareaud, who has been included in France’s World Cup squad, also revealed that he suffered from bulimia as a child.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, please contact one of the following helplines:

  • Samaritans 116123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634
  • Console 1800 201 890
  • Aware 1890 303 302
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66

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Ben Blake

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