SYDNEY • Australian Olympic swimming great Grant Hackett has said that he will seek treatment overseas for mental health problems, after what he called "the toughest week of my life".
The 36-year-old, who went into hiding after his brief arrest last week following a family bust-up, released a statement thanking "mum and dad for helping me through the toughest week of my life".
"They have been amazing and have now stood by me through thick and thin - I can't say enough about them - I could not wish for better parents," he said in the statement released late on Tuesday.
"I know I have some mental health issues and I am seeking help here in Australia and I will be also going overseas."
Hackett's father Neville had reported the former 1,500m freestyle world-record holder missing, sparking fears for his safety.
Also the support I have received from so many people in Australia and around the world has been incredible.
'' GRANT HACKETT, two-time Olympic gold medallist and four-time world champion in the 1,500m freestyle, thanking fans for their wishes in the wake of his recent breakdown.
The retired swimmer posted a picture on social media showing himself with a black eye, and accused his brother Craig of beating him up.
But Hackett said in the statement that he had resolved those differences. "My brother and I have reconnected and love each other very much - our family has always been our priority," he said.
Police released the double Olympic 1,500m gold medallist last Wednesday without charge, just hours after his family had him arrested following a bout of heavy drinking which led to "uncontrollable rage".
In 2014, Hackett checked into a rehabilitation clinic in the United States to treat an addiction to sleeping pills.
"Also the support I have received from so many people in Australia and around the world has been incredible," he added.
"I wish I could reply to every single message or well wish I've had, as I'm so grateful for each and every one of them.
"This is a very private matter that I am going through and I am going to work my way through it. I would appreciate it if everyone would allow me and my family to do everything we need to do.
"I will not be talking to media during this time but I urge everyone to please give my family and myself the privacy and respect we need at this delicate time."