Ex-swim star Hackett hopes to save reputation

Australian swimming great Grant Hackett says he is working to salvage his reputation after trashing his apartment in an alcohol-fuelled rampage last year that saw his wife leave him.

Hackett, who won the 1,500m freestyle at both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics and dominated the event for a decade, had not spoken publicly since the incident in October last year, but broke his silence on Sunday.

"Is my reputation damaged forever after one mistake?" asked Hackett in an interview with Channel Nine, ahead of a stint as a commentator at the London Olympics.

"I will be defined by my actions moving forward and I hope people take the time to judge me on that and I'm very, very determined to turn that around."

He denied reports he hit his wife or was carrying one of his young twin children during his outburst.

"I don't blame the alcohol," he told Channel Nine.

"I was drunk, I think the alcohol exaggerated or exacerbated the emotions of that night and made it worse. But I don't blame that, I blame myself."

He admitted to targeting his wife Candice Alley's most prized possessions during the rampage, during which she called the police.

"I'm a big guy, I would have been intimidating and it would have been very upsetting for her," Hackett, 32, said.

"But there's no way I would ever hurt my wife."

Hackett and his wife tried to reconcile but he has not seen her or his children in more than two months and the couple last month officially announced their separation after five years of marriage.

Photographs recently published of Hackett's Melbourne penthouse showed holes smashed in the walls, furniture overturned and a destroyed bedroom door.

He has since been dumped as an ambassador for a children's anti-violence charity.

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