Mike Ashley's testimony in High Court case was a "cry for help", says psychotherapist

Helen Cahill
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Sports Direct Boss Mike Ashley Attends High Court Over Alleged £15m Banker Deal
The Sports Direct boss has been answering a claim from investment banker Jeffrey Blue (Source: Getty)

Mike Ashley's testimony in his High Court case was a "clear cry for help", a psychotherapist has said.

The Sports Direct boss gave evidence in the High Court earlier this month in a bid to discredit a £14m claim made against him by investment banker Jeffrey Blue.

Seeking to disprove Blue's assertion that Ashley promised to pay him £15m, the retail tycoon told the court he was a "power drinker" and that he was too inebriated to make a binding business decision in the pub.

Read more: Mike Ashley wins court case disputing alleged £15m promise made in a pub

Michael Garnham, registered psychotherapist and head of admissions at UK Addiction Treatment Centres, said Ashley's admissions to the court were "immensely worrying".

"They mirror that of someone in complete denial over their potential addiction to alcohol," Garnham said.

"Mike Ashley's admission to 'binge drinking to get drunk' rather than drinking regularly are classic clinical signs of denial."

Giving evidence, Ashley also joked that he was "as fat as a barrel" and that he was "clearly going to die".

Garnham said these comments were a sign that the Sports Direct boss was reaching out, adding that many other top City bosses were near "breaking point".

“Across our rehabilitation treatment centres, we regularly admit people in such powerful professions and high-stress jobs because they have, unfortunately, reached breaking point," Garnham said.

"It's a particular problem in the City especially with bankers and the high stakes environment they operate within."

Read more: Ashley tells court he's a "power drinker" in bid to discredit £14m claim

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