Wayne Carey insists he has apologised personally to Anthony Stevens for the extra-marital scandal that rocked the AFL.
The two North Melbourne stars were close friends, but Carey quit the club in early 2002 when it emerged he was having an affair with Stevens’ wife Kelli.
The affair killed the friendship between the two teammates and eventually ended the Stevens’ marriage.
Stevens has broken his silence about the scandal, appearing on the Fox Footy program Open Mike.
He says there has been no apology, but before Stevens’ interview aired on Monday night, Carey denied that was the case.
“That was probably the one thing – I won’t say hurt me – but I was disappointed that Anthony thought I hadn’t apologised,” Carey told the Seven Network.
“I have, certainly face-to-face on a couple of occasions.
“It’s very strong emotions, very strong feelings that are clearly still there.
“So I completely understand when you have those feelings and emotions, sometimes you don’t hear what people are actually saying to you.”
Carey said he once had Stevens and their North teammate Glenn Archer visit his apartment.
The Kangaroos great added he apologised to the whole team, including Stevens, for what he calls a massive mistake.
“I haven’t forgiven myself – I continue to do that work and have done work for a long period of time to get to where I’ve gotten to today,” he said.
“It’s been a long process and I still deal with it from day to day.
“There’s never a good time … when there’s strong feelings, strong emotions.
“So I understand that there are people still hurting.”
Carey added he could understand why Stevens felt the need to talk publicly about the scandal.
“You clearly have someone who is still emotional and still has a lot of feelings around something,” he said.
“Even though it was a long time ago, I feel sadness.
“Anthony still has strong feelings, he’s felt compelled to talk about.
“That might be a part of his healing process.”