Denton question that shocked Angry
ROCKER Angry Anderson says he doesn't regret raising his son Liam to be kind, even though it was that personality trait that put him in the situation where he was killed last year.
Liam Anderson, 26, died after the altercation with Matthew Flame, 20, in Queenscliff just after 6am on the morning of November 4 last year.
Flame, who was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, allegedly killed Liam after the aspiring rapper went to his assistance.
In an emotional talk with Andrew Denton on Channel 7's Interview on Tuesday night - in which the veteran host agreed not to discuss the details of the night of Liam's death or even mention his name - the 71-year-old opened up about the last six months.
"I know that I can't use anger to express myself," he said. "I am not angry. I am just profoundly sad. The bad days are awful. Sometimes I just don't leave the house. Nothing can describe those first terrible days."
Sitting by her father's side, Liam's older sister Roxanne described her brother as "just such a beautiful soul". "He was so kind and very gentle, very similar to what dad is like with us," she said.
"He always saw the best in everything, he was positive. He had so much love to give to everyone, not just his family, complete strangers. He had amazing strength for such a young person. If he wanted something he worked hard to get it, especially around his music."
Anderson said he raised his children above all "to be kind". Asked by Denton whether he took any comfort from the knowledge that was what Liam was doing when he died, Anderson said, "I've tried, I've tried".
"I can't think about those last moments," he said.
"But one thing I did say … in the press, just to right some wrong things that were being printed, was that the way he was raised is what got him into that situation. He was looking after somebody. And so do I regret that? How could I possibly regret that? He was the man I wanted him to be."
Breaking down in tears, Anderson said, "I can't do this, I'm sorry."
That prompted Denton to change subjects from sadness to anger - and ask a question that shocked Anderson. "When you were 16, you thought openly about how to kill your own father," Denton said. "What brought you to that point?"
A taken-aback Anderson replied "desperation", adding, "I can't believe you know that. I think the only person I've told is my shrink, and they're not supposed to tell anybody. Obviously I've mentioned this before - that was a slip-up."
He continued, "But yeah, there was a desperation in our family, my father was not only a physically violent person but an emotionally violent person, which is why I understand the impact of what people can do to one another."
Anderson said he was learning "acceptance". "Believing that time heals, et cetera, they're all true. The reason they're cliches is because they're true. Time takes care of us in the most beautiful way if we allow that to happen. I've learnt that the hard way, like we all do."
Roxanne said the tragedy had brought the family closer together. "We still have happiness, regardless of something that has been so tragic for us," she said.
"If anything it's taken the love each other and the appreciation for each other to a whole other level."
The premiere of Andrew Denton's Interview can be viewed on catch-up on 7plus