Tom Meighan says he accepts losing career after assaulting partner and talks mental health in emotional post
29 September 2021, 14:34 | Updated: 29 September 2021, 14:48
The former Kasabian frontman has shared a heartfelt and emotional post about rehab, mental health and the events surrounding the assault on his now wife Vikki Ager.
Tom Meighan has opened up about his "totally unacceptable" assault on his now-wife Vikki Ager and his mental health and alcohol addiction.
In July 2020, the former Kasabian frontman was charged with assault and sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid labour.
Shortly before the hearing, the Leicester rockers parted ways with Meighan, later explaining that they couldn't "condone" the conviction as "domestic violence is something that can never be excused"
Meighan has shared a fresh post this week, which sheds light on some of the events which led up to his horrific assault, shares his mental health struggles and discusses his road to recovery.
In a post shared on Medium on Tuesday (28 September) titled: Check Your Soul: Why it’s never too late, the 40-year-old began: "I had all the bravado that you need as a lead singer of a rock band. On stage, I felt like a Jedi Knight — tuned in and let loose. But underneath it all, I was a ticking time bomb."
He added: "I’ve always struggled with my mental health; it’s no secret. I’ve also suffered from anxiety since I was a kid. It’s actually my nervous energy that you see onstage, not cocky swagger. But the lifestyle made me worse. I was pushing everything down with drink and drugs — suppressing my feelings. I ignored every red flag.
"For a long time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong in my head. But I didn’t check myself. That’s until I hit a rock bottom. Last year, in April 2020, I did something I will never forgive myself for: I physically assaulted my now wife Vikki in a row fulled by alcohol. It was totally unacceptable. In fact, it makes me feel sick every time I think about it."
Meighan went on to explain how lockdown, a loss to his routine and a failure to deal with his own mental health issues led him to drink heavily and become suicidal, but describes the event as a "turning point which shocked him to the core" but also saved his life.
"I didn’t realise I was unwell, but Vikki saw what I couldn’t," he added. "She’d rung the police repeatedly to say I was suicidal, but nobody knew what to do. It was a perfect storm. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment that got me there, but it’s just not that simple.I can, however, identify the turning point.
"Being arrested that night changed everything. It was the wake-up call I needed to get help. It was as bad as it could get for me. I was in a police cell, not knowing what had happened because I’d drunk so much alcohol. Having to watch the video revealing the reality of what I’d done repulsed me. I pleaded guilty straight away to everything. The shock set in. I was shaken to the core.
"But it saved my life — it’s that simple. That night, I rightly lost everything: my home, my job, and people around me. I was sacked and shunned."
The Leicester rocker also revealed that the aftermath and the "deep shame" and loneliness he felt almost saw him take his own life.
However, it was his probation officer, rehab, therapy and an ADHD diagnosis which helped turn his life around and allowed him to get on the right course of anti-anxiety medication.
"My probation officer got me the help I needed to access the right organisations and take practical steps forward," he revealed. "She gave me the hope that there was a way through it all to a better place. Looking back, I realise that although I was in a deep black hole, I didn’t really want to die. I just didn’t want to live the life I had.
"I went to rehab for alcoholism — I’d tried rehab before, maybe I wasn’t ready for it earlier, but this time it clicked. I got sober. With the support of my family and friends, every day clean and sober is a victory.
"In therapy, I was diagnosed with ADHD. I’ve always had a lot of energy and it’s hard for me to focus. I can be intense about one thing in particular and obsess over it. For so long, it was singing and music I’d fixate on. The ADHD diagnosis made sense of my way of thinking. It was a relief to know what had been wrong with me. I also got the right medication for my anxiety."
Though Meighan said he was "conflicted about cancel culture", he stressed his believe in "consequence culture," adding: "It’s important to suffer consequences because of your actions. To be given the chance to look deep within yourself and learn how to make changes and to become a better person for yourself and your family has to be a good thing."
Meighan has also accepted that he has lost his career over the assault, but says he wants to spend the rest of his life making it up to his wife and hopes his story can inspire others struggling with alcohol abuse and mental health issues.
"I’m a father to four amazing girls and Viks and I are married now," he says. "My priority is working on myself and my relationships. I am responsible for my actions and I will spend the rest of my life making it up to her. I’m so lucky she’s stuck with me, and we are both so excited about our future together.
"Music is like a form of therapy for me now. For the first time, I’m writing songs. They’re about my life, and they’re songs I want to sing. I’ll probably be terrified if I ever go back to performing — but my head is back in the place it was when I started out in music. Music feels fresh again, and now I know how to focus my energy on the right things."
He concluded: "It’s a journey; it’s not just about reinventing yourself. Sometimes, it can feel like a daily battle to confront issues. It takes hard work. I stay sober a day at a time. But it’s worth it. Just make sure to ask yourself, honesty — are you alright? And if you’re not, reach out for help.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, please reach out to the following organisations:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Tel: 0807 2000 247
Living Without Abuse
Tel: 0808 80 200 28
Tel: 0808 2000 247
Tel: 0808168 9111
Tel: 116 123
Tel: 0300 123 3393