Former NRL boss’s wife reveals how her desperate battle with alcoholism saw her husband and kids walk out on her and left her suicidal
- Todd Greenberg’s wife, Lisa, had a crippling alcohol addiction for years
- She sought help after her husband and children walked out of the family home
- Ms Greenberg felt ‘broken and suicidal’ prior to seeking help from professionals
- She was drinking two bottles of wine a day – often hidden in coffee mugs
The wife of former NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg was left ‘broken and suicidal’ after a private alcohol addiction drove her husband and children to walk out of the family home.
Lisa Greenberg revealed her dependence drove her marriage to breaking point in 2018 when her husband packed up their two adult children and moved out after she refused to stop drinking.
The fitness consultant said her habit – drinking two bottles of wine a day – was only made worse when her husband took on the role of the head of the NRL.
The job was ‘all consuming’, Todd admitted in an interview with Body and Soul, and he missed the early warning signs that his wife was struggling.
Ms Greenberg tried to hide her addiction by pouring the wine into coffee mugs and takeaway cups.
The fitness consultant said her habit – drinking two bottles of wine a day – was only made worse when her husband took on the role of the head of the NRL. Pictured at the opening night of Jersey Boys at the Capitol Theatre in 2018
‘Whether it was Todd’s star rising and mine falling, in my own mind, I just needed more and more alcohol to function,’ she admitted.
‘I am such a perfectionist that I wanted to be the perfect wife. In my eyes I was failing dismally.’
She started to fear that her addiction would impact Todd’s career, but that worry was overridden by her concern that ‘sobriety would be boring’.
It wasn’t until her husband and children walked out on her and she hit ‘rock bottom’ that she realised she needed to turn her life around.
‘I was given an ultimatum by my family. They said if you’re going to drink again we are going to leave. I promised them I wouldn’t. And I meant it. But they came home and I was drinking, so they packed up and left,’ she said.
Ms Greenberg attended a recovery meeting on June 30, 2018, after lying alone on the floor of her waterfront mansion feeling ‘broken, defeated and suicidal’.
Lisa Greenberg revealed her dependence drove her marriage to breaking point in 2018 when her husband packed up their two adult children and moved out after she refused to stop drinking. Pictured at the 2018 Australian Open
Her family had walked out, she’d broken a promise to them and was willing to do whatever it took to get them back.
She has been sober from that day forward and will reach her three-year milestone later in 2021.
The couple are still together, and Todd says he couldn’t be prouder of Lisa for how far she’s come.
‘Our story could have gone a number of different ways, but now Lisa is in the best phase of her life and it’s definitely brought us closer,’ he said.
The couple chose to speak out about their private battle to help steer the conversation about alcoholism in the right direction and break down the stigma associated with the disease.
The couple are still together, and Todd says he couldn’t be prouder of Lisa for how far she’s come. Pictured at the 2019 Dally M awards
They met when Todd was just 21 years old, while he was studying sports science at the University of New South Wales.
Within four years, they’d married and started a family.
The wedding was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground as they both came from separate religions and wanted to ‘meet in the middle’.
Todd, who has often said ‘cricket was his first love’ said the wedding was ‘magical’ and that there is ‘no place that’s closer to God than the SCG’.
Next week, Todd will take on his new role as chief executive officer of the Australian Cricketers Association.