Gaelic football star Cathal McCarron is finally opening up about that time in 2014 when he made international headlines for appearing in a gay-for-pay adult film.
In his new autobiography Out of Control, the 28-year-old soccer star writes how his gambling addiction led him to appear in the film when he was 25.
McCarron says that the producers initially told him the video would only be available on a pay-per-view basis in U.S. hotels. They offered him £3,000 (about $3600 U.S.) to be filmed having sex with another guy, first as a bottom, then as a top. Already almost £200,000 in debt from his gambling habit, McCarron agreed.
“When the filming was over I felt physically sick, disgusted that I had allowed myself to sink into such an abyss of degradation and humiliation,” he says.
Though anyone who’s seen the film would likely argue he doesn’t look “physically sick” or “disgusted.” In fact, he looks to be quite enjoying himself.
Maybe he’s just a really good actor?
Shortly after the film was released, McCarron says the press got wind of it. He quickly deleted his social media accounts and jetted off to rehab.
Today, McCarron says he’s still trying to shake the experience, though he’s accepted it as part of the fabric of his being.
“Some people will continue to form the same opinion of you. A lot of them still think I’m gay,” he says. “I still get online approaches, or some form of social media connectivity, from the gay community. It’s embarrassing when some man asks to meet you, but I don’t look on that as a negative.”
He continues: “Some gay men seem to look upon me as a kind of gay icon. That’s how I was tagged on some LGBT community websites and discussion boards.”
Gay icon? Really? OK, Cathal, we’ll humor you this one time. But only because you’re cute.
“When the video went viral, some of those forums were laced with comments from gay men about how much they wanted to have sex with me,” he recalls. “The last thing I am is gay, but I’ll take those comments above vile, vitriolic, homophobic and personal abuse any day of the week.”
Ultimately, McCarron says he’s thankful to and deeply appreciative for the gay community. While the rest of the world was laughing at him during his lowest point, gay men were cheering him on while masturbating up a storm.
“I really appreciated their messages of support when so many others wanted to bury me,” he says.