Former NRL star Jarrod Mullen has admitted using up to three grams of cocaine a day to "suppress the demons" after he was filmed by police purchasing more than $10,000 worth of the drug.
Police surveillance captured Mullen purchasing 39 grams of cocaine over four separate occasions from a man at Cameron Park in November 2018, agreed facts tendered to Newcastle Local Court reveal.
After his once-glittering career ended, Mullen also sold cocaine for $300 per gram to finance his heavy drug habit, which left him with hearing problems and continual ringing in his ears.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine when he faced the Newcastle court on Wednesday.
Mullen used encrypted-messaging apps WhatsApp and Wickr to avoid detection and mostly sold cocaine to friends, using coded words like "a couple of beers" when referring to the drug.
"Just ever since my career finished, I spiralled out of control and was taking cocaine on a daily basis just to get through the day," he told police after being arrested in May.
"To suppress the demons, I suppose. There'd be some days where I'd have three grams to myself, which is a lot. In half a day. I was out of control. I did go through a dark stage."
Police recorded Mullen on one occasion asking the Cameron Park dealer for something to cut cocaine with after he'd purchased a batch.
Mullen was offered a knife and proceeded to cut some cocaine on the other man's dining table before snorting it.
The former halfback played 211 games for the Newcastle Knights after debuting as a teenager. He represented NSW in State of Origin in 2007.
But Mullen's rugby league career, frequently marred by injuries, was cut short when he received a four-year ban after testing positive for steroids in 2017.
He told police in May he also regularly abused prescription drugs after his football days were over but had been clean since he overdosed at his parents' house in December 2018.
Mullen is the eighth person to be charged over the alleged drug ring.
He has been bailed ahead of a scheduled sentence hearing in Wollongong on February 26.
Australian Associated Press