I got an
email from Robbie
It was to apologise for
the time he shared a picture
of me and my kid to his
2.59m followers on Twitter.
He had written “Simon Sweetman:
Baby Eater” (in the tweet, not in the
apology-email; that would be a rank
apology-email, nearly as bad as some
of his music…nearly…)
It was a saga for a bit. And I still get
asked about it a lot.
And basically Robbie Williams
was rather upset that someone didn’t
like his show – you would think he’d
be used to it or wouldn’t care.
He made bank after that gig. Big time
no doubt. I had to wait 6 weeks for
about $60 to trickle into my account (after
tax) for the review that got him so
And yet, a year later he was still thinking
about it. He was still getting asked questions
about it. Interviews for his new album were
being taken up with questions about his ‘beef’
with the (beefy) Kiwi blogger…
And so I reckon his label or management – or
both – got annoyed and told him he had
to try to make amends…
So, one night, late, after midnight
even, I get this random Facebook
message from a person that worked
for his label in the UK.
She asked me for an email address.
Told me that RW would be making
Sure. I said. And fired off my
And waited. Although wasn’t really
waiting…was just living…getting on
and then a day or two later, an email from
a manager, saying that he would be
forwarding a sincere apology from RW to
Forwarding because RW did not want
to be entering into a dialogue.
“Okay”, I replied.
And so a day or two after that the email
Robbie Williams wrote that he was
sorry, he said he’d read a piece I had
written about the impacts his tweet had
had on my family – (there was, for a bit,
international media interest. And I knew it
would die down in a day or two – and it
did. Well, it took a week I spose…)
And so the email said that his heart sank and
he wanted to speak, “From one dad to another”,
because in that moment, that’s what we were you
see. Just two dads. Not a thin-skinned millionaire
pop star and an underpaid freelancer.
We were two dads, mate. Just doing the do, mate.
We were so similar, you know. We both had kids, like.
And that meant we were both on the level.
His tweet had been a bad move, that’s what he said.
It was, he told me, “just like when I have too much
Ambien and decide to go shopping on Amazon” – you
know, mate, a bad move. A bit of a dick-move, like.
A silly thing to have gone through with, ya know…
I read it. Thought about hitting delete. Thought
about hitting ‘forward’ and sending it to whoever…
(But who, actually? Who could fucking really care, right?)
So I left it. (It’s probably in my in-box still).
A day later the manager sent me another message.
Did I get the message.
I said that yes I did. I wrote, in fact; “Yeah, got it. Ta.”
And that ended up, another year on,
in the Robbie Williams memoir. His second.
I’m named. My wife is named. My son is named.
We’re there over a page or two (or three).
I bet his advance didn’t take six weeks to trickle
I bet it was worth more than $60. (Taxed or otherwise).
His ghost-writer reckoned I was a real tough nut.
A bad guy. Staunch. Tough. Hard to crack.
A jerk of some kind.
(Hey. I’m not saying he’s wrong).
I know all this because someone who has recently
unfriended me on Facebook
sent me photos of the pages of the memoir
as he was reading it.
I am almost through with freelancing.
There’s not a lot of protection. Or
love and affection.
Here we go…(again…)