Lying in the gutter, his bones in shards, Sam Newman’s painful relationship with women would seem to have peaked.
It was 1997 when his then wife Leonie Jones ‘accidentally’ drove over him, breaking his leg and smashing his ankle.
She had been pregnant at the time with their son Max.
Sam Newman, pictured with model Tereza Maxova, in 1996. Newman had a reputation as a ladies man – one that he believes he did not deserve
Sam Newman was seen with a bunch of flowers as he left his home in Melbourne after the death of his wife, Amanda Brown, a week ago
Sam Newman’s wife Amanda Brown (pictured on their wedding day on November 27) was found dead in their inner-city apartment aged 50
Newman was having a difficult year.
Not long before the accident with his wife, he had been attacked by a man in his own home.
Michael ‘Mick’ Hamill was jailed after driving his van through the gates of Newman’s house and literally re-arranging his face.
The barney was over Toorak socialite Melissa Skirton and left Newman requiring plastic surgery.
‘So I opened the door and he gave me a bit of seeing to. Changed my face a bit. Had to have my nose fixed… a bit of plastic surgery,’ Newman said at the time.
By then, Newman was already onto his third wife and was on the downward slide to becoming single once again.
The animosity from his ex-wife is believed to have long-lingered.
‘I’ll be 73 on his 21st birthday,’ Newman said in 2003 – the year he was rumoured to have divorced.
‘I’ll be standing there on a walking frame. His mother will probably cut my legs from under me with a scythe.’
Sam Newman’s wife Amanda Brown (left) was found dead in their apartment aged 50. She had enjoyed a wonderful day out on Port Phillip Bay with Newman in 2019
Devastated: A heartbroken Sam Newman, 74, was spotted in Melbourne on Thursday following the sudden death of his wife Amanda Brown
Sam Newman and Amanda Brown had been together for 20 years before they were married last year
On Wednesday, Newman took to his popular podcast You Cannot Be Serious to detail the tragic final moments of his fourth wife Amanda Brown.
Newman had found his 50-year old wife unresponsive on the floor of their inner-city apartment a week ago.
For more than 15 gut-wrenching minutes Newman poured his heart out in an astonishing show of raw humanity from a man who has given little insight publicly into who he actually is.
‘Never wear your heart on your sleeve for too many people,’ he had told ABC Story in 2000.
But there Newman was, crying over the loss of the ‘love of his life’.
So who was Amanda Brown?
For a woman that had been a part of one of Melbourne’s biggest celebrities for just on two decades, she remains largely an enigma.
On Wednesday, Newman publicly delved more into his relationship than ever before – and he did it on his own terms.
Few have managed to get within Sam Newman’s (right) circle of trust
Melissa Huynh and friend Amanda Brown spent good times together
Sam Newman, Mike Sheahan and Don Scott began the You Cannnot Be Serious podcast before Sheahan quit
In the years Newman met Ms Brown he had been living in St Kilda West – walking distance to St Kilda’s seedy underbelly – in a home that itself stirred controversy due to the large mural of patterned glass featuring Pamela Anderson.
‘I knew exactly where she came from and what she did and while my friends were somewhat bemused, my friends are real friends – they’re unconditional,’ he said.
Ms Brown was first spotted out with Newman at a New Year’s Eve party at the Crown Casino back in 2002 – the same year he would sell the St Kilda property.
Newman revealed Ms Brown had already been in a relationship when she decided to pursue him.
The ex-footballer, who played more than 300 games with Geelong in the VFL, had been chased by women much of his life.
His best mate Kevin King, who would be one of only a handful of friends to be present at the couple’s wedding in November last year, had spoken previously about women using Newman for sport.
‘The fairer sex have obviously played a very important part in Sam’s life,’ he said in 2000.
Amanda Brown (centre) with mates in happier times on Sam Newman’s boat
Melissa Huynh and friend Amanda Brown spent good times together on the boat
‘But I’d have to say it’s more women pursuing him. I go away with Sam playing golf and it’s always amazed me just the number of notes that left at the desk for him or phone calls that come to the room and I’ve certainly learnt the hard way not to share a room with Sam.’
Choking back tears, Newman told his podcast audience Ms Brown had been infatuated with him.
‘In her 20s Amanda’s mission in life was for me to be her man. She told the person she lived with, a boy, as much,’ he said.
‘Restlessness I ’spose. She was restless, not happy. I kept noticing her at the same place I was at and enjoyed her company. I thought it was just a coincidence. But it wasn’t. She wanted me.’
In the years that followed Newman would soar to new heights and fall to painful lows.
Those who know Newman say there are very few to break into his inner circle.
So when Ms Brown is farewelled, it is likely to be in a small and private ceremony – away from the prying eyes of the media.
When Newman let his guard down on Wednesday, it shocked and worried many of his ‘friends’ outside his direct circle of trust.
Sam Newman in 2007. While he enjoyed the spotlight, Amanda Brown remained in the shadows
Sam Newman in 2005 while at the top of his game
One of those friends who had worked alongside Newman over the journey told Daily Mail Australia Sam Newman was nothing but a character John Newman – his real name – played.
‘It was a persona fueled by Channel 9 and the Footy Show,’ he said. ‘John Newman is not the man people know as Sam.’
On Wednesday, John Newman painted a rare portrait of his quiet life behind the facade.
‘For the last 15 years we lived together and had not one verbal or physical confrontation,’ he said.
‘Some strong words occasionally for sure but she had the knack of not prolonging such rifts due to her innate nature of compromise.
‘I never felt any pressure to conform or adhere to the tacit universal rules of cohabitation and therein lies the contradiction. Put no tension on a relationship and calmness prevails.’
‘I have never been happier in the last decade and arriving home at the end of a day was such a genuinely pleasant thing I looked forward to, as there was never any harbouring angst pent up in either of us.’
With the tragic death of his wife, the Australian public ponders the rebirth of Sam Newman.