Weeks after rugby player Keegan Hirst came out, his wife Sara has spoken publicly
for the first time on the issue, admitting that "at one point I wanted to rip his head off and kill him.”
Keegan came out to the press in an interview on August 16, and quickly drew praise for his courage from fans and high-profile names including Sir Elton John
and Emma Watson
. The 27-year-old Batley Bulldogs star had a wife and two young children, and in a new interview with the Sunday Mirror
, Sara says when her husband first told her he had a secret to reveal, she assumed that he had got another woman pregnant.
“He was umming and ahhing and I was preparing myself for the worst,” she said. “But when he told me he was gay I was stunned.”
“It was hard to know what to say because we were both crying. I was just like ‘right, it is what it is’ and I said to him ‘we’ll get through it. I’ll support you’.
However, Sara says that her initial show of support soon turned to anger as she began to question their entire marriage.
Sara says: “I was never angry because he was gay. I’ve got gay friends. It was thinking ‘was it all a lie? Why have you strung me along? Was our marriage all a sham? Have you been with a man? Have you cheated on me? Is that why you’re telling me?’ It all just chipped away at me.”
In the days that followed, the pair had a series of blazing rows on the telephone in which Sara "hung up on [Keegan] so many times," and an in-person confrontation that even turned physical.
"I drove to his house, stormed in and shouted, ‘This is what you’ve made me. Are you happy? You’ve had years to get your head round this. I haven’t.’
“I picked up his wallet and threw it at him, then I threw the kitchen utensil pot thinking, ‘I need something that’s really gonna hurt him!’ But he’s so big it bounced off him.
“I felt he was being so blase. He said ‘you’ve gotta get your head round it’, like it was ‘life goes on’. I said ‘yeah, for you maybe. I’m left dealing with all this and trying to be strong for the kids. At that point I hated him. I wanted to rip his head off and kill him.”
When Keegan told Sara he was thinking of going public with his secret, she forced him to promise not to do it, but she says that hours before the story ran he told her he had decided to go ahead.
Sara says: “I phoned Mum and Dad and told them ‘my life’s out there.’ I was devastated.”
Despite this, Sara says she's looking to the future - and she's proud of her husband.
“I’m still not 100 per cent and I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I am. I’ve been in a dark horrible place, but now I’m coming through the other side.
“I’m able to say now ‘Yeah, this is my husband – at least for the moment. I’m proud of him and I can support him.”
Related: Keegan Hirst to do first and only gay press interview/shoot in Attitude