Nigel Owens, international Rugby Union referee
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Rugby Union's Nigel Owens: 'I went to a very dark place'

Nigel Owens, the first openly gay man to referee rugby at the highest level has told BBC HARDtalk about how hard he tried to hide who he really was.

He described how he became addicted to steroids, suffered from eating disorders and depression, before attempting to take his own life.

"I went to a very dark place," he said.

The challenge of being the referee at the Rugby World Cup final with millions of people watching at home, was nothing compared to the challenge he faced accepting who he was, said Mr Owens.

Watch more clips at HARDtalk's website

You can see the interview in full at these times on BBC World News and in the UK on BBC iPlayer.

If you have been affected by the issues in this story you can find support online at or

  • 12 Nov 2015
Go to next video: The day Owens went to Gowerton