Ex-Sharks boss fronts media over cocaine charges

Damian Keogh said it had been a distressing time for his family. Picture: John Grainger
Damian Keogh said it had been a distressing time for his family. Picture: John Grainger

Distressed former Cronulla Sharks chairman Damian Keogh denied having a drug problem this morning, as he fronted media for the first time since his arrest over cocaine charges on Friday night. 

"No I don't have a drug problem, people who know me know this isn't me, it's not what I'm about," he said.

"I'm very fortunate to have great family who are very supportive … they know who I am and what I stand for."

The 55-year-old was allegedly stopped by Kings Cross Police in the Bells Hotel at Woolloomooloo on a drug dog sweep across the city and charged with possessing a prohibited drug, believed to be cocaine.

"It's obviously been a very distressing time personally and for the family; just been bunkering down and trying to register things," Keogh said.

"I've stood down as chairman of the Sharks to try and distance myself from that at this stage.

"The club's in great shape and they'll move forward, just see how things go.

"It's been a very challenging weekend but it gives me a greater appreciation of what a lot of our players go through when they have issues."

CCTV surfaced appearing to show the moment Keogh was stopped by police inside The Bells Hotel on Friday evening after a long lunch with friends but he refused to elaborate on events that followed.

"I'm having discussions with lawyers, I can't discuss them directly at this stage," he said.

The Sharks will make a permanent decision on Keogh's future once the charges are heared in court in June.

Keogh amassed his own glittering basketball career before going into business, making three Australian Boomers teams for consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 and entering the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

He married fellow former pro basketballer Maree White and they have four children and a stunning home overlooking the water at Lilli Pilli, near Cronulla.

He ascended through the entertainment and marketing industries through the Seven Network and cinema advertising firm Val Morgan after retiring from basketball in 1995.

He became president and CEO of cinema giant Hoyts Group in 2014, the year after he was named chairman at Cronulla.

His social media page declared Keogh was still Hoyts boss yesterday but the company has refused to answer questions about his arrest.

Topics:  charges cocaine editors picks

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