Robbie Williams: I didn't leave the sofa for three years because of agoraphobia

Danny Thompson
Robbie Williams attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Robbie Williams has revealed he stayed indoors for three years due to struggling with agoraphobia.

The condition, which leaves sufferers finding it difficult to leave the house, led to the singer turning down a £15 million offer to host American Idol.

Speaking to the Sun Online, the Angels singer said: "My career had gone stratospheric and taken me to Mars, and I needed some time to get my equilibrium back and get myself back together.

“It was my body and mind telling me I shouldn’t go anywhere, that I couldn’t do anything. It was telling me to just wait, so I literally just sat and waited."

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He added: "I was agoraphobic from around 2006 to 2009. Those years were just spent wearing a cashmere kaftan, eating Kettle Chips, growing a beard and staying in."

Discussing the offer to be involved in American Idol, the singer said: “They offered me £15 million to take over from Simon Cowell, plus a big gig in the States, but I turned it down because I wasn’t leaving the sofa at the time. I just couldn’t."

Williams decided to seek help for his condition, and he eventually made a comeback, performing on X Factor in 2009.

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But the former Take That star admits he had to “re-learn” how to entertain. He said: "It wasn’t an easy process, it was like having a car crash and then learning how to walk again.”

Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams and Jason Orange of Take That pose backstage prior to performing at the National Movie Awards 2011 at Wembley arena on May 11, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Williams’ comeback was complete when he rejoined Take That for a sell-out tour in 2011, and the 45-year-old claims the decision helped him “hide in plain sight”.

He said: “If it wasn’t for Take That, and rejoining them, I don’t know if I’d have come back at all.

“Initially, I got to hide in plain sight — I could hide behind my boys. They helped an awful lot.”

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