Andrew Johns’ ex-wife Cathrine Mahoney has revealed she burst into tears at Centrelink when she went in to change her name after their split.
The power couple were together for 13 years through the end of Johns’ legendary NRL career and have one son together: Louis.
Johns and Mahoney tied the knot in 2007 and split in 2011, but reconciled a year later before separating for good in 2014.
The brutal reality of a footy break-up: Andrew Johns’ ex-wife Cathrine Mahoney (pictured in 2012) has revealed how she once burst into tears at Centrelink after their divorce
Mahoney, a former entertainment publicist, explained what triggered her breakdown in the Centrelink office.
‘[After our divorce] I went into Centrelink to change the name on my Medicare card from Johns to Mahoney,’ she told 2DayFM radio on Thursday.
‘And having to say to a complete stranger my marriage has ended, I burst into tears. She was lovely, she opened the drawer and got me a box of tissues.’
Emotional: Mahoney, a former entertainment publicist who was with Johns for 13 years, revealed on Thursday how she once burst into tears while visiting Centrelink to change her surname on her Medicare card. (Pictured with 2Day FM radio host Erin Molan)
Mahoney also revealed to radio host Erin Molan she was looking for love online after the breakdown of a four-year relationship in late 2020.
‘I was in a relationship for four years that fell apart about one and a half years ago, so I do go on the apps as much for content as for anything,’ she said.
Coincidentally, Molan feuded with Johns when they were both NRL commentators for Channel Nine.
History: Johns and Mahoney tied the knot in 2007 before splitting in 2011, but reconciled a year later. They separated for good in 2014. (Pictured: Andrew Johns in June 2018)
Contributing to Johns’ book Two of Me, first published in 2007, Mahoney shed some light on their relationship.
Speaking about her then-husband’s bipolar disorder, she wrote in one chapter: ‘Andrew is not perfect, but who is? And there have been some hard times.
‘I’m glad he revealed his bipolar condition but, as he says, living with it is not all negative.’
In March 2009, the couple welcomed their son Louis. At the time, Johns already had a nine-year-old son from a previous marriage, Sam.
He split from his first wife Renae Chapman in 2002, two years after tying the knot.
Johns is now dating yoga instructor Kate Kendall, with whom he shares daughter Alice, born in September 2018.
Happier times: In March 2009, the couple welcomed their son Louis (left). At the time, Andrew already had a nine-year-old son from a previous marriage, Sam (right). Pictured in 2012
Moving on: Johns is now dating yoga instructor Kate Kendall (right), with whom he shares daughter Alice, born in September 2018
From crazy fan encounters to ‘Joey’s’ colorful off-field career and his battles with drugs, alcohol and mental health – Mahoney and Johns’ relationship was a rollercoaster, and was played out in the public eye.
Now the former wife of one of Australia’s greatest ever footballers has detailed her life with him in the tell-all memoir Currently Between Husbands.
Mahoney’s book is a no-holds-barred approach that explains what life in the limelight was like as the wife of one of Australia’s most recognizable sports stars.
Looking back now, it almost feels like Johns made as many headlines for his off-field exploits than he did for his wizardry on the field, particularly when he revealed in 2007 that he’d frequently used ecstasy throughout his career, and that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
Private struggles: In 2007, Andrew Johns admitted to battles with drug use and mental health
Mahoney said while it was a difficult thing to do, Johns’ decision to go public with his mental health battle was something she fully supported.
‘I don’t choose to have asthma, but I do. People who have bipolar don’t choose to, and it’s great we live in a time where it’s discussed,’ she told Daily Mail Australia last week.
‘When Andrew came out, it was still taboo and I’m really proud of the fact a huge amount of people reached out afterwards and said, “That’s helped out my son” or “I don’t feel like the only one.” It normalized it.’
In one of the most incredible sporting interviews in recent memory, Johns went on the Footy Show in 2007 to admit he had regularly taken ecstasy during his playing career and was suffering from bipolar disorder.
This was after he was very publicly arrested for possessing an ecstasy pill on the Tube in London, which Mahoney says in his book was a confession of sorts that eventually meant he ‘got the monkey off his back’.
Wedding: Mahoney and Johns got married in 2007, after his public arrest for drug possession
They were always in the limelight.
Mahoney writes about a number of fan interactions in the book; some hilarious, some weird and some downright scary.
‘My favorite fan interaction is we had a friend that worked for the RTA [the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority]and she said someone had come in and they were trying to arrange license plates that said ‘Joey’ on the front of their car and ‘Cathrine’ on the back,’ she laughed.
‘I was like ‘that is brilliant’, it always made me chuckle; but I think I’d rather Cath was at the front and Joey was at the back, thank you very much!’
Post-playing career: Johns has spent time as a coach and commentator since retiring
Unfortunately, not all the couple’s brushes with footy fans were easy to laugh about.
Mahoney details a frightening situation with a pair of sisters who stalked, threatened and harassed both herself and Johns that eventually led to an AVO and, fortunately, both women facing charges.
Stellar career: Andrew Johns played 23 State of Origin matches for NSW, including one game in 2005 that’s regarded as among his finest efforts ever
For Mahoney, the challenges of their relationship were offset by the buzz of being with a man who was simply brilliant on the field, the world’s best at something; and she says she will forever value the relationships and connections she made from rugby league.
‘I used to love Origin, I didn’t know rugby league until I met Andrew, but going up to Suncorp Stadium was so much like going to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United – it was brilliant,’ said Mahoney.
‘I loved the friendships I made in rugby, I’m still in touch and love Kirralee Hughes, her and Mark are the best couple. Amanda Gower from Origin, too, is great fun.’
The memoir is searingly honest account of what was, at the time, one of the most high-profile relationships in Australia.
It also details the very best parts of her relationship with the man she said had a ‘beautiful bottom that was probably the most famous bottom in the Southern Hemisphere’.
Mahoney wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a saucy tell-all, but something their son Louis, 13, would one day enjoy reading.
Tell-all: Cathrine Mahoney’s book Currently Between Husbands is out now
‘For me, what I loved writing about in the book is you will read just as much about me meeting him, our dates, falling in love, our mishaps, our wedding – it was lovely to write about being in love with someone, because for 13 years we were bonkers in love with each other,’ she said.
‘Andrew wrote a book when we were together, and in it he wrote a chapter about me and I wrote one about him. Our son Louis came home one day and said ‘I read Dad’s book and what he wrote about you, and he said when you walk into a room you light it up.’
‘I just thought I want, when Louis is old enough, to read we were very much in love and he is a child who has separated parents but is very loved,’ added Mahoney.
Mahoney, who previously had a high-flying PR career, now appears on two successful podcasts; one she does herself called So, I Quit my Day Job, and another with Sarah McGilvray titled Not Another Parenting Podcast.