'My life is an open wound': The Robbie confessions

Drugs, depression and a lack of love: new interview gives remarkable insight into singer's unstable world
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The Independent Online

He has riches, global fame and huge sales - but Robbie Williams has revealed how he considers himself "an open wound" and believes he has now outstayed his welcome.

The singer, 32, has said in an interview that he has no more career aspirations, expects things to go "downhill" and has never enjoyed a proper relationship. And he has no desire to be a dad because he would hate to see his child's "pain".

Williams, who has publicly battled depression and drug addiction, has racked up 47 million sales for his seven studio albums. His latest album, Rudebox, is in the top 30 and he has performed live to millions.

But now Williams says he needs a radical reinvention and wants to shrink from the spotlight. "Back home, I feel like I've overstayed my welcome a little bit," said the singer, who is largely based in Los Angeles. "I've enjoyed tremendous success for over 10 years now - far more than I should have or I ever would have dreamed I'd have. And now it's the time for Robbie to go away in people's minds. I think it's time to not be in Britain for a bit."

In the interview, published in tomorrow'sThe Big Issue, Williams says: "Everything I wanted to achieve, I achieved a long time ago. There's not one country I want to break, there's not a stadium I want to play, there's not a film I want to be in. It's all personal stuff now."

Williams has recently seen his former band Take That reform and claim a number one album and single, which his own recent efforts have failed to achieve.

Asked what is on his to-do list, he said: "I don't know if I want to be in a relationship... I don't believe that to be fulfilled... You have to have kids...What's the point of having kids? I can't guarantee that I won't father a child that won't be in pain because that kid's going to be in pain at some point in their life. I don't want to see that. It's too much."

Williams has long felt uneasy with the pressures of fame and has talked in the past of how he has taken anti-depressants.

He said he often found himself surfing the internet for negative stories about himself. "Being an addictive personality or having a mental problem of sorts - you search for the stuff that's going to tell you that what you think about yourself is true. And when you do, it's heartbreaking, because you validate your own insecurities."

Although he would like to be in a relationship, he is concentrating on his own well-being. "As human beings, we all get affected by people's interactions with us and I seem to be some kind of open wound. It's a lot better than it was, but I'd like to be able to keep other people's actions, and my own, in the right size. I'd like to keep my side of the street clean," he said.

Sad Refrain: The weary world of Williams

On Take That

"My absolute truth is... I love that I was in Take That and I love their music"

On fatherhood

"I don't believe that to be fulfilled as a human being you have to have kids"

On depression

"You search for the stuff that's going to tell you what you think about yourself is true. And when you do it's heartbreaking"

On his country

"It's time for Robbie to go away. I think it's time not to be in Britain for a bit"