Zac Guildford, right, celebrates with Israel Dagg and Cory Jane after winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Photo/Getty
Disgraced All Black Zac Guildford says he sold his 2011 Rugby World Cup winners’ medal to fuel his gambling addiction.
In March, Guildford was convicted of stealing thousands of dollars from his grandfather and cheating on a friend even more.
The 33-year-old was living with his 77-year-old grandfather, Frank Burt, in Wairarapa when he transferred a total of $41,400 from his grandfather’s iPad to his own account between March 30 and April 9, 2021 to fuel his gambling addiction.
He was sentenced to nine months of house arrest.
In an interview on the Runners Only podcast with Dom Harvey, Guildford revealed he sold the medal from the 2011 final victory over France for $2,000.
“Thanks to my gambling addiction, I’ve sold a lot [medals]”, Guildford said. “I’m disgusted with that.
“It’s like *** path addiction got me down. Those were the moments that really hit home.
“I think it was for two grand or something. [for the Rugby World Cup medal]. I was at that point in my life where I was so caught up in addiction and saw no way out, that gambling and finding peace through addiction was the only way to go.
“…these are the scars of my past life that I have to carry. I’m healing them. I know who they[themedalsareforandIknowthey’retakencareofbutit’sthewholepost-addictiongrievingphaseI’mgoingthroughnowandIthinkhonestyisabigpartofit”[themedals’havegonetoandIknowthey’rebeingcareofbutit’sthewholegriefstagepost-addictioniswhatI’mgoingthroughnowandIthinkhonestyisabigpartofthat”[lesmédaillessontalléesetjesaisqu’ons’occuped’euxmaisc’esttoutelaphasededeuilpost-addictionquejetraversemaintenantetjepensequel’honnêtetéenestunegrandepartie”[themedals’havegonetoandIknowthey’rebeingcareofbutit’sthewholegriefstagepost-addictioniswhatI’mgoingthroughnowandIthinkhonestyisabigpartofthat”
Guildford opened up in an interview with the Weekend Herald in March about his offense and a new psychological diagnosis.
Guildford admitted he took his international rugby career to the ground and injured those close to him.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t understand what I was doing for a long time and the trauma I was causing. It started in my own head, but then I inflicted it on others while playing, making false promises and being a person. I wasn’t.”
Guildford told the Weekend Herald that he first withdrew the money out of “pure addiction”, boredom and the idea that he could get out of the hole he was in if he “just took a little, then put it back”.
LISTEN TO KATIE HARRIS’ PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH ZAC GUILDFORD
“It didn’t work out that way, as I found out the hard way – and most addicts will know it’s not just a bit.”
Guildford moved to Upper Riccarton from the Wairarapa to start a new job with a construction industry company and take a clean break in February. An introduction was arranged through his probation officer and he was recently living with his bosses, who have taken in convicted felons in the past.
His boss asked him to get tested for a neurodevelopmental disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and his diagnosis was confirmed days before sentencing.
“That’s when the questions started to make sense about how my life went and why some of the mistakes I made weren’t because I was a horrible person. , but because of some of the impulses I have towards things.”
While Guildford says his diagnosis is “no excuse” for his actions, he believes that had he been diagnosed earlier his life might have been different.
“I feel a little bit of relief, because deep down inside I was thinking, Am I just a ***? Or am I just a horrible person? Why am I doing these bad things? It didn’t matter. no sense, because I’m a good person.
“I want to make it clear that I’m not being slapped with this big court thing, and then all of a sudden coming out the week later and saying, look Zac Guildford has ADHD, another F*** excuse ***.”