AFL star Jonathon Patton has sensationally walked away the sport after a recent stint in hospital for ‘mental health treatment’.
It followed a string of women coming forward to accuse the Hawthorn forward of sending ‘dirty messages’ on social media.
‘I have made the difficult decision to retire from football to focus on my health, wellbeing, and future outside of the game,’ Patton said on the Hawthorn website on Friday.
‘The constant battle to overcome injuries since I entered the AFL 10 years ago has been relentless and, on many occasions, overwhelming. Whilst I have loved every minute of playing on the AFL stage, my enjoyment of the game has ultimately diminished.
AFL star Jonathon Patton has quit the sport after a decade with GWS Giants and Hawthorn
The 27-year-old Hawthorn Hawks forward has stated his behaviour towards multiple women was ‘completely unacceptable’
‘As such, I will not play football at any level this year.
‘I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for my inappropriate behaviour towards women. Over the past few months, I have taken time to reflect on my mistakes.
‘My actions were completely unacceptable, and I am truly sorry for any distress I have caused. I am committed to continuing to learn from my mistakes and actively make the necessary changes.
‘I have very much appreciated the opportunities I have been given by both Hawthorn and the (GWS) Giants and for the continued support I have received from countless teammates, staff and fans from both clubs.’
It comes after Patton checked into a mental health facility in January this year after a string of women came forward to claim that he bombarded them with lewd and sexually explicit messages and phone calls.
The forward was stood down by the club indefinitely as an internal investigation into the women’s claims is conducted.
One woman came forward to say that Patton became pushy and ‘unrelenting’ after they met on a night out in Sydney in 2016.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Patton initially appeared friendly and wooed her.
After having breakfast together, she slept with him, but has since admitted it was ‘something she came to regret’.
She said from that moment, Patton began calling her on FaceTime, sending Snapchats, texting and messaging on Facebook.
‘They were constant, unrelenting and of an explicit sexual nature,’ the woman explained.
The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Patton initially appeared friendly and wooed her in the coming weeks. After having breakfast together, she slept with him, but has since admitted it was ‘something she came to regret’
She recalled on one occasion answering a FaceTime from him while at a work lunch and was horrified when she realised that he was naked. She said her colleagues were stunned that ‘somebody would actually do that’.
The alleged ordeal made the woman scared to answer her phone, she claims. She also said that while hitting on her, he was ‘trying the same tactics’ with at least two of her friends.
In Facebook messages seen by Daily Mail Australia, an account in Patton’s name repeatedly sent the woman messages – most of which went unanswered – over the span of three years.
Messages ranged from small talk to inviting her over to his house and one which read: ‘Want you to ride me right now’.
The woman also claimed that while he was still playing for Greater Western Sydney Giants and under a club-wide alcohol ban, he ‘invited himself’ to an event she was at.
She said after she refused to go home with him that night, he ‘abused my friend and I saying that we’d led him on, potentially ruined his career and that he would be fined for drinking’.
The woman alleged Patton began calling her on FaceTime, sending Snapchats, texting and messaging on Facebook (pictured). ‘They were constant, unrelenting and of an explicit sexual nature,’ the woman explained
Jacqueline Kearton (left) and Elle Coonan (right) both came forward to claim Patton sent them unwanted and inappropriate messages
In a short blog post written and published by the Hawks, the players were asked about their off the field goals for 2020. While Sam Frost simply wanted to wear more sunscreen and Ollie Hanrahan vowed to dress better, Patton explained that he was hoping to land a girlfriend
Two other women have provided screenshots of Patton allegedly trying to catch up with them throughout 2020 while he was on the hunt for a girlfriend.
In a short blog post written and published by the Hawks, the players were asked about their off the field goals for 2020.
The club vowed to ‘keep tabs on how these ones pan out’ as they shared a list of the best answers among players.
While Sam Frost simply wanted to wear more sunscreen and Ollie Hanrahan vowed to dress better, Patton explained that he was hoping to land a girlfriend.
The Covid pandemic and subsequent creation of an AFL hub to keep the game alive dampened his efforts, forcing him into a quarantine which lasted a good chunk of the year.
Another woman has come forward to say Jonathon Patton sent her inappropriate messages, like the one above
Patton has been admitted to hospital for mental health treatment amid the fallout from the bombshell accusations
Ms Coonan shared these screenshots of a conversation she had with Patton in July 2020
But according to allegations made by Elle Coonan, 22, and another anonymous woman, Patton was still making an effort to meet women while in the hub.
Ms Coonan, from Brisbane, claims Patton offered to fly her out to Sydney while he was staying there, and messages which appear to be sent from his account ask her if she’d be interested in visiting him in Melbourne.
Meanwhile a woman he had a fling with in Sydney prior to moving to the Hawks alleged he reached out to her after returning to Sydney for the hub.
In two separate messages, Patton allegedly asked the woman ‘what she was up to’, which she interpreted as an invitation.
Since coming forward, Ms Coonan (left) said there have been several messages from trolls that have repeatedly come up that particularly irk her. She shared a screenshot of Patton allegedly trying to FaceTime her (right)
The most recent communication the woman claims to have had with Patton was in July 2020, when he and his club were flown to Sydney and placed into a mandatory quarantine hub, which was established to ensure the AFL could run during the Covid pandemic
Patton was later admitted to hospital amid the fallout from the bombshell accusations.
‘We can confirm that Jonathon Patton has been admitted to hospital to assist in the management of his ongoing mental health. We hope that Jonathon’s privacy be respected at this time,’ Connor Sports Management said.
‘We hope that Jonathon’s privacy is respected at this time.’
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said in a statement that the club is ensuring Patton ‘receives the support he requires during this period’.
‘We take this matter very seriously and our Integrity Committee is working in conjunction with the AFL’s Integrity Unit to undertake the investigation into these complaints within the framework of the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility Policy.
‘We anticipate this process will take some time and we will provide a further update when more information is available.’
Patton’s latest accuser said the embattled AFL star would FaceTime her ‘at all hours while naked’ after the pair went on a few dates