Aussie Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe hopes his revealing new autobiography will finally set the record straight about his sexuality as well as other personal details which have the subject of rampant media speculation.
Promoting "This Is Me," Thorpe tells Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Leigh Sales that his frustration with the persistent gay rumors has noting to do with his thoughts on homosexuality in general.
"Yeah, look, the thing that I find hurtful about it is that people are questioning kind of my integrity and what I say," Thorpe said. "That's the only part that I find hurtful. Like is that, you know, this is something that I would be embarrassed about, that I would hide or whatever else."
He also clarified, "I don't want to offend anyone that, you know, whether they're people [who] have friends that are gay or whatever else, I don't want to offend them by...getting angry about it, getting frustrated about it. The only part that I'm frustrated with is that people think that I'm lying."
In the interview, the 30-year-old athlete also came clean about about battles with depression and alcohol.
"There was a period where, for me, [alcohol] was my solution...I would drink and then basically wake up the next day and feel even worse for having drunk, done nothing about the depression and still have to go on like everything's normal," he recalled.
With three gold and two silver medals, Thorpe was the most successful athlete at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, but failed to make the team in 2012 after competing at Australia's Olympic trials. With five Olympic gold medals under his belt, though, the swimmer also known as "The Thorpedo" holds the record for the most won by any Australian.