John is depressed but he won't admit it, claims O'Connor
SINEAD O'Connor has defended John Waters after he said he "didn't believe in depression".
The controversial columnist came in for a backlash after revealing his thoughts on mental illness in an interview.
Denying he had become depressed as a result of the Pantigate scandal, he said: "There's no such thing. It's an invention. It's bulls**t. It's a cop-out."
Saying how the whole saga had taken its poll on his physical health, he said he lost a stone in weight and will not go out in Dublin city centre at night.
"When you have that kind of toxicity generated out of nothing, what are you going to do? It's not worth it. I was walking down the street and a guy on a bicycle shouted 'you f***ing homophobe' at me before cycling on," he said.
Yet his former partner O'Connor, with whom he has a child, has come out and said she believes he is depressed – and needs to admit it.
"I am worried for John now. Me and John have a child together, we get on very well. We wouldn't be each other's best friends by a long shot. However, I'm getting concerned about John now because I think he probably is a bit depressed – that's understandable.
"We have all done and said things in our lives that we didn't think through, we've all changed our views."
And she told Today FM's Anton Savage that while she agrees with very little of what the writer has to say, he is still entitled to express himself.
O'Connor also reckons his comments were "taken out of context" and he was saying he didn't believe in depression when it comes to himself.
"I don't agree with his views on homosexual marriage, on homosexual adoption, I don't believe in the view he expressed about depression, but I don't believe it's a view John really holds – he was talking about himself," she said.
"Irish men often don't believe in depression, they're not allowed to be weak. He's having a hard time admitting perhaps that he is depressed."
She also said that the high rate of suicide among young Irish men needs to be urgently addressed.
READ EAMON KEANE ON PAGE 14