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Ronnie O’Sullivan claims he was once strip-searched by police after falsely being accused of kidnapping as a teenager. The snooker icon admitted to the bizarre tale when asked about his ‘closest brush with the law’.
The Rocket is known for his incredible tally of seven World Snooker Championships, a joint-record he holds with Stephen Hendry. But life away from the table has not been all that easy for the 47-year-old.
O’Sullivan says he was ‘17 or 18’ when he was falsely accused of kidnapping. He conceded that the scenario was ‘scary’ and alleges he and a friend were separated, strip-searched and put in a white paper suit for forensics.
In a quick-fire question, O’Sullivan was asked about his closest brush with the law. And the answer has surprised snooker fans.
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He told the Guardian: “I got falsely accused of kidnapping when I was 17 or 18. It was scary: they took me and my mate in separately, strip-searched me, took my car away for forensics, and put me in a white paper suit. I was like: “What’s going on here?”
In the interview, O’Sullivan gave typically candid answers about his childhood, mental health and addiction. He claims he wishes he could return to the age of 14 and tell himself to stick to his ‘own way’ of playing snooker, insisting it would have made him the perfect player during his professional career.
“I would go back to when I was 14 and keep to my own style of playing snooker,” O’Sullivan said. “I was perfect, but I didn’t think I was, so I started playing like everybody else and created bad habits.
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“With a little more time, I could have been the ultimate player. I look at my career and I probably got 75 per cent out of it instead of 100 per cent.”
O’Sullivan has often opened up about his mental health battles and admits he has an addictive personality. Despite a glittering, trophy-laden career, he insists his greatest achievement is remaining on the ‘straight and narrow’.
The World No 1 responded to a question about his best achievement by saying: “Staying on the straight and narrow. I know I am an addict – I’ve got an addictive personality – but as long as it’s not affecting my life or people around me then I think it’s OK.”
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