AFL commentator Wayne Carey has hit out at the journalist who reported he “came to blows” with ex-teammate Anthony Stevens at the club’s 25-year premiership reunion last weekend.
SEN’s Sam Edmund broke the story on Monday that Carey and Stevens – whose then-wife Carey infamously cheated with back in 2002, had an altercation at the Yarraville Hotel on Saturday night.
Edmund said witnesses had told him the pair were “separated”, with fellow ex-Kangaroos left “stunned” by the verbal attack.
But on Wednesday, Carey came clean on what sparked the “firm conversation” he had with Stevens, and labelled Edmund a “dill”.
“The first story said came to blows and that’s factually incorrect. There were no blows,” he said on Triple M.
“There was a firm conversation – altercation I think is even too firm to say that occurred.
“I wanted to have a conversation about Stevo, I was worried about him. I said ‘I’m worried about you’ and he obviously took a little bit of umbrage to me saying I was worried about him.
“I said I’m worried about, I want him to look after himself like people want me to look after myself.
“To say that it was a massive altercation and it came to blows and then we left there and everyone was upset with everyone and it was a big thing is totally incorrect – that’s the disappointing thing about it.
“It wasn’t a story and still isn’t a story.
“I hope I’ve just cleared up that once again this has been blown into something it wasn’t.
“I’m not sure why it should always be talked about – it doesn’t make sense.
“(Sam’s) let himself down with this.
“You know what Sam? We all have bad days. You’ve had a shocker.”
Carey admitted it was well known he and Stevens “aren’t best mates”, but felt Edmund only reported half the story on Monday.
“What he did leave out was at the end of the night or the evening or late afternoon or whatever it was, Stevo and I actually had a couple of beers together and left together,” he said.
“We were standing out the front both waiting for our respective Ubers to leave the particular venue. He left that out.
“It sounds like we’ve had this massive blow up and an altercation and as he said we came to blows which was clearly factually incorrect.”
Carey said the fact Stevens failed to show for Sunday’s motorcade celebrations – in which 17 players including Carey and coach Denis Pagan were present at Marvel Stadium – was unrelated to the “firm conversation” as far as he knew.
“I don’t know whether Stevo was upset the next day or not, and that’s why he didn’t come to the motorcade,” Carey said.
“What I do know about that, and my understanding and I’ve spoken to Arch (Glenn Archer) and I’ve spoken to Kingy (David King) and I’ve spoken to heaps of other players that are close with Stevo and some of those players I’m close with and Stevo wasn’t well.
“He’d had a reasonable night. It would be fair to say. We all had a reasonable day. Stevo maybe bigger than others so he didn’t attend the Sunday.
“If there was a big issue and this big thing happened and it had upset all these ex-teammates of mine and everyone else, on Sunday I sat there with Darren Crocker, I sat there with Danielle Laidley, sat with Glenn Archer, sat there with Sholly (Craig Sholl), all and some of them really mutual friends of both of ours – if I’d upset the apple cart or they were really disappointed with what occurred that day then that next day would not be happening.”
Admitting the story didn’t “disappoint” him, Carey said felt for the two families involved every time the 2002 scandal – which cost Carey his North Melbourne career and saw him finish up in Adelaide – gets brought up.
“This is what really hurts every single time. So when dill’s like Sam overexaggerate something that’s happened, who it affects,” he said.
“What he doesn’t realise is it affects Stevo’s daughters, my daughters – not my son because he’s really young. It affects family members and everyone else. That’s what these types of things do.
“Who cares if Stevo and I had a firm conversation together? How is that an actual story?”
Carey had spoken earlier this year on Channel 7 about the affair that rocked North Melbourne, labelling it the “biggest regret of his adult life” and admitting it had “haunted me for over 20 years”.