Robbie Williams reveals agoraphobia meant he 'couldn't leave the sofa' for THREE years
14 July 2019, 08:54 | Updated: 14 July 2019, 10:31
The Angels hitmaker once turned down £15million and the chance to host American Idol because he "couldn't face the public"
Robbie Williams has opened up about his crippling battle with agoraphobia, revealing it left him housebound for three years as he "couldn't face the public".
The British superstar, 45, admitted he was unable to "leave the sofa" due to the debilitating disorder, which even caused him to turn down a whopping £15million to host hit show American Idol because his mind was telling him he "shouldn't go anywhere".
Speaking about his condition to The Sun, he said: “My career had gone stratospheric and taken me to Mars, and I needed some time to get my equilibrium back and get myself back together."
He added: “It was my body and mind telling me I shouldn’t go anywhere, that I couldn’t do anything. It was telling me to just wait — so I literally just sat and waited.
“I was agoraphobic from around 2006 to 2009. Those years were just spent wearing a cashmere kaftan, eating Kettle Chips, growing a beard and staying in.
“I remember they offered me £15million to take over from Simon Cowell on American Idol, plus a big gig in the States, but I turned it down because I wasn’t leaving the sofa at the time. I just couldn’t.”
The father-of-three, who quit the X Factor judging panel earlier this year alongside wife Ayda Field, explained his turning point came when he heard the song Human by The Killers on the radio.
It was the lyrics – “And sometimes I get nervous, when I see an open door” – that made Robbie realise he needed to seek help.
He explained: “I remember listening to that Killers song and something in that moment made me think, ‘I had better get my a**e in gear, put an album together and tour’."
With the help of therapy sessions and support, the former Take That star began tackling his anxiety disorder and made his comeback performance on The X Factor in October 2009.
Despite not being the easiest gig due to technical malfunctions and some negative press, Robbie continued fighting against his agoraphobia and finally made his full return to the spotlight when Take That asked the Stoke-born star to join the band for what turned out to be a record-breaking reunion album and tour.
He said performing "felt so unnatural" as he "didn't know what the f*** I was doing," but Rob worked hard to 're-learn' how to entertain the crowds and face the stage once more.
He said: "It wasn’t an easy process, it was like having a car crash and then learning how to walk again.
“If it wasn’t for Take That, and rejoining them, I don’t know if I’d have come back at all.
“Initially, I got to hide in plain sight — I could hide behind my boys. They helped an awful lot.”