Radio host Ray Hadley has criticized former NRL star Brett Finch and the child sex abuse scandal he became embroiled in, making it clear what he was like as a 2GB co-worker.
Finch pleaded guilty to one charge of using a carriage service to relay, publicize or promote child abuse and will be sentenced next month after admitting he sharing child sexual abuse material in an attempt to obtain cocaine.
On his 2GB radio show on Tuesday morning, Hadley, who had so far kept quiet about his ex-workmate, criticized the former Melbourne Storm player and his debilitating cocaine addiction.
“At the height of his addiction, he would be taking 12 to 25 grams of cocaine a week and going on five-day showers radar,” Hadley said, telling the testimony Finch gave the court.
Finch worked for 2GB, Channel Nine and Foxtel before retiring from the NRL in 2013, with the former footy star and Hadley often crossing paths at work for footy commentary.
2GB radio host Ray Hadley denounced the actions of former NRL star Brett Finch, saying the shame he brought on himself and his family was ‘almost unforgivable’
But Hadley said the “good young guy” he hired at 2GB quickly became an employee he couldn’t count on.
“When he started working for me, he was a good young fellow, a bit of a scoundrel. He unfortunately became very unreliable and basically told me a plethora of lies, week after week,” Hadley said.
“After a few months, it became untenable because people told me that his behavior was not related to his mental health, but to his drug use.
‘He didn’t show up for work, he always had a last minute excuse. In fact, he would call me from the side of the road and say, “I can’t handle it, I can’t come and we’d have shorthands.” Mental health one thing, drug use another.’
Hadley said that when he worked alongside Brett Finch (pictured) as part of 2GB’s continuous on-call team, his position became “untenable” as he was the “most unreliable” and always had an excuse
Hadley said he didn’t have to fire Finch from 2GB.
“I didn’t really have to fire Brett Finch, he fired himself. He stopped showing up and I confirmed to management that his services were no longer needed,” he said.
While Hadley said he was “conflicted” and wanted to be “careful” with what he said, he reprimanded Finch for disgracing his family.
“Everyone, including me, makes mistakes, but even his closest friends bailed when the issue of child abuse came up,” Hadley said.
“Obviously Brett Finch has an addiction problem, many have, but they don’t take the road he went.
“The shame he has brought on himself and especially on his parents and family is almost unforgivable.”
Former NRL star Brett Finch says he tried to buy cocaine when he left messages of child abuse on a gay hotline during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Finch is ready to learn his fate for sharing child sexual abuse material. He will be pictured in court on Monday
Monday at Downing Center Court in Sydney, Finch said he “loathed” himself for sharing child sexual abuse material in an attempt to get cocaine while his drug addiction was “getting out of control”.
The 41-year-old told the court he left “twisted” phone messages on FastMeet – a service for gay men – because he thought “hypersexualized” users could be a last resort to get drugs.
“I was disgusted by myself that I would leave these messages in the hope of getting drugs,” Finch told the court.
Those words should never have come out of my mouth. I regret it now. It’s making me sick now.’
Finch said his sole purpose for leaving those messages was to obtain cocaine, revealing that he had been introduced to the service by his drug dealers.
He said dealers were off the streets during the Covid-19 pandemic and that he had tried every dealer he knew before turning to FastMeet in a desperate last-ditch effort to get his fix.
Defense attorney Mike Smith asked Finch, “Have you ever had a sexual interest in children?”
Finch said, “Never.”
The retired footballer told the court he stopped using the line in early 2021 after a reply from a user “who wanted to record me” and called “granddaughters”.
Finch can be seen above during his arrest by detectives at his home in December 2021
The response made Finch realize that his behavior could be contributing to pedophilia.
“It made me sick to death, it disgusted me,” he told the court.
“I immediately told him that he was a sick bastard and that he should fuck off. I just wanted to strangle that guy over the phone.’
Finch said he was ashamed and disgusted that he had left the messages in an attempt to obtain cocaine.
“During that time, I really got out of hand with my drug use,” he said.
“I understand why no one wants to come near me.
“I can’t blame anyone but myself…it hurt so many other people and I’m sorry.”
The court heard earlier that there are psychological problems with Finch. Pictured above with his wife Elli
When asked if he accepted that his behavior was an “inaccurate” way to get drugs, Finch said: “It was a terrible method and I am deeply ashamed.”
Psychologist Chris Lennings, in his evidence, told the court that Finch’s offense was not sexually motivated, but that it was critical that the ex-footballer be subjected to “biological drug testing” such as hair follicle tests in the future.
“In my assessment, he does not present himself as having a sexual deviance,” said Dr Lennings via an audiovisual link.
Late Monday, two family friends of Finch testified, describing him as a loyal, kind and caring man whose abusive behavior was not in his character.
Judge Phillip Mahony reserved his sentence until November.
Finch played three State of Origins for NSW and won a premiership in 2009 with Melbourne Storm.
His crowning moment came in the 2006 Origin opener when he kicked a match-winning field goal for the Blues.
In his post-football life, Finch has had mental health issues and has spoken publicly about his battles with substance abuse.