Stuart MacGill has opened up on his traumatic kidnapping earlier this year and the toll it has taken on him, while maintaining the story he told the police is true.
The former Australian Test cricketer was allegedly stripped, assaulted, and threatened at gunpoint for an hour in April.
In MacGill’s police statement, the retired spin bowler claims he was kidnapped near his home in Cremorne on Sydney’s north shore on April 14, strip-searched for wires and punched about eight times to his face and the back of his head.
Now MacGill has spoken publicly about the ordeal for the first time.
In an extended interview with A Current Affair, the 50-year-old said he has been left very shaken by the experience.
“I’ve thought about it probably 20 hours a day ever since,” MacGill said.
“I’ve thought maybe I could have done something different, but then I wouldn’t probably be sitting here talking to you.
“I found myself in a position I couldn’t do much about.
“I was in situation that’s foreign to me and I was physically and mentally intimidated.
“I couldn’t have done anything differently, I don’t think.”
MacGill said he was shocked during the kidnapping and didn’t know what would happen to him.
“I just didn’t really know what was going to happen, that’s all,” he said.
“I sort of talk to myself all the … I was just running different scenarios through in my head.”
When asked if he feared for his at all during the kidnapping, MacGill replied: “I don’t really know whether or not I’m prepared to talk about that sort of thing at the moment, to be honest.”
MacGill was visibly distressed during an at-times fiery exchange with reporter Simon Bouda.
The former leg-spinner appeared angry when Bouda asked: “Have you been totally truthful all the way along?”
“I’m not even going to bother answering that and I’m disappointed that you’d ask the question,” he responded.
Four men have been charged over the alleged kidnapping plot, and it has been reported one of the men charged is the brother of MacGill’s partner O’Meagher.
O’Meagher owned the Neutral Bay restaurant Aristotle where MacGill worked as manager since 2018.
The restaurant was forced to close earlier this month after the landlord seized the premises.
“For me it was everything. Maria — it was her baby, she created it, all the recipes were hers, the feel, the look, everything was hers, but we don’t have that now,” he said.
“We consider ourselves to be, you know, the innocent parties in this one,” MacGill said.
“To be honest, I mean I know that I’ve done nothing wrong, Maria’s done nothing wrong.”
MacGill also explained why it took him a week to inform police about the kidnapping.
“I was in pain, and also just the way it fell, it fell over the weekend, so couldn’t get any advice from either the police or lawyers until that time and, as you’re free to read in the statement that’s been quite readily thrown about,” he said.
“I wasn’t thinking particularly clearly in those first couple of days.
“If people choose to think something contrary to what’s presented by both myself and the police, then that’s up to them.”
New evidence has surfaced with police now in possession of CCTV footage of two potential additional suspects.
“The CCTV captures them going into a Bunnings a couple of hours before the incident occurred,” Detective Superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis, from the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, told Channel 9.
“They bought some items that we believe is associated with the incident, so we are very keen on identifying and speaking with those two males.”
“What we allege he’s gone through is just horrific circumstances,” Detective Superintendent Koutsoufis said.
“I feel for him (MacGill) and his family now that’s all dragged out into the media as well, being a public figure that he is.”
MacGill’s statement alleges the altercation happened a week after he introduced Marino Sotiropoulos (the brother of MacGill’s partner, Marie O’Meagher) to a drug dealer named Sonny, a regular customer at Aristotle, the restaurant run by MacGill and O’Meagher.
The television program also revealed new evidence regarding Sonny.
“‘Sonny’, also known as Zak … we’re still continuing our inquiries, attempting to identify and confirm his identification and locate him,” Detective Superintendent Koutsoufis said.
“He is described as a Middle Eastern male, mid-thirties, chubby appearance, full face beard, brown eyes.”
MacGill said he only introduced Sonny to Marino and he did not have anything to do with any alleged drug deal.
“Part of hospitality is making sure the room works. We introduce people to other people all the time,” he explained.
“I have no interest in talking to people like that anyway and I never have, to be honest.”
“There is nothing to suggest he’s connected in any way other than introducing the two people involved in the matter,” Detective Superintendent Koutsoufis said.
MacGill also revealed that friends have been targeted for defending him.
“We’ve been let down by friends… significantly,” he said.
“We’ve lost friends, we’ve lost family, particularly Maria, who, you know, you must feel very, very sorry for.
“They’ve even found impacts on their lives as a consequence of helping me out directly.”
His comments have sparked massive reaction online with social media users asking questions about the bizarre alleged incident.
MacGill represented Australia in 44 Test matches between 1998 and 2008, and is best known for serving as Shane Warne’s understudy for most of his international career.
He claimed 208 Test wickets at an average of 29.03, including 12 five-wicket hauls.
MacGill took 328 Sheffield Shield wickets for New South Wales, placing him equal third on the all-time list behind Geoff Lawson and Greg Matthews.
He announced his retirement from international cricket in 2008.
He married former Neighbours star Rachel Friend in 2000. They have two children together — Penny and Alex — but were divorced in 2013.