Darren Jolly's happy ending: How the troubled Block star found love and became a father again after his bitter custody battle with ex-wife Deanne left him suicidal.  (Pictured with his girlfriend Lucy Porter and their daughter Olive last month)

The Block: How Darren Jolly was saved by a new girlfriend and a baby after a nasty split

troubled elder AFL player Darren Jolly has completely changed his life.

The Block candidate, whose personal struggles have been well-documented over the past three years, just announced the birth of his first child with girlfriend Lucy Porter, a daughter named Olive.

It marked a happy ending for the two-time Prime Minister star, 40, whose life spiraled out of control following his split from wife of 15 years, Deanne Jolly, in 2019.

After their split, the exes were locked in a bitter custody battle and Darren even contemplated taking his own life – but things finally seem to be looking up for him.

Daily Mail Australia examines how the former Collingwood and Sydney Swans footballer changed his life for the better with the help of his new girlfriend.

Darren Jolly’s happy ending: How the troubled Block star found love and became a father again after his bitter custody battle with ex-wife Deanne left him suicidal. (Pictured with his girlfriend Lucy Porter and their daughter Olive last month)

baby joy

Darren announced the birth of his daughter Olive on Instagram last month, posting a photo gallery of him and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital.

‘Welcome to the beautiful world of Olive Rita Porter Jolly. You are such a special gift and we love you so much!! ❤️,” he captioned the post.

Darren watched every square inch of the doting dad as he cradled the newborn.

In another image, Lucy held the child close to her chest moments after giving birth.

Baby joy: Darren announced the birth of his daughter Olive on Instagram last month, posting a photo gallery of him and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital

Baby joy: Darren announced the birth of his daughter Olive on Instagram last month, posting a photo gallery of him and Lucy cuddling their bundle of joy in the hospital

Overjoyed: 'Welcome to the world of beautiful Olive Rita Porter Jolly.  You are such a special gift and we love you so much!!  ❤️', the former AFL star captioned the post

Overjoyed: ‘Welcome to the world of beautiful Olive Rita Porter Jolly. You are such a special gift and we love you so much!! ❤️’, the former AFL star captioned the post

Precious moment: Lucy cradled her baby moments after giving birth

Precious moment: Lucy cradled her baby moments after giving birth

Support after his suicide attempt

Darren’s life fell apart when he split from ex-wife Deanne in September 2019, ending 15 years of marriage.

He went public with his new girlfriend Lucy in November 2020 when he posted a beloved Instagram selfie of the couple on vacation, which coincided with their birthday.

New love: Darren went public with new girlfriend Lucy in November 2020 when he posted this beloved Instagram selfie of the couple on vacation, which coincided with their birthday

New love: Darren went public with new girlfriend Lucy in November 2020 when he posted this beloved Instagram selfie of the couple on vacation, which coincided with their birthday

Praise: Darren’s mum praised Lucy (left and right) for her ‘concerted efforts’ to help after he shared a disturbing Instagram post in October 2020 saying he couldn’t ‘go on much longer’

A month earlier, Darren had sent shockwaves through the AFL community when he shared a disturbing Instagram post in which he said he couldn’t “go on much longer.”

Several people called Victoria Police asking for a wellness check.

After spending hours trying to contact him, his manager Paul Connors said the former Collingwood premiership player was found safe and sound at around 8.30pm that evening – nearly two hours after the relevant message.

He thanked everyone for their help in sharing pleas for help in finding him.

As Darren’s footballers and family rushed to support him, Lucy was also among those helping, whom Darren’s mother praised for her “concerted efforts” to help him.

In a better state of mind: The former Sydney Swans and Collingwood player appeared in good spirits when he and Lucy took a holiday in South West Victoria in November 2020

In a better state of mind: The former Sydney Swans and Collingwood player appeared in good spirits when he and Lucy took a holiday in South West Victoria in November 2020

“First of all, we want to thank Lucy’s concerted efforts,” Jacinta Jolly wrote in an emotional Facebook post.

“As parents, this has been the most terrifying 24 hours we have ever had to endure. “He is safe and receiving the best care he needs right now.”

Bitter Guard Stoush

Darren and Deanne were popular contestants on The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the final season.

In a statement to the Herald Sun in 2019, Deanne confirmed the couple’s acrimonious split and said Darren was the one who caused it.

“This is a very difficult time for me and my daughters. We have been caught off guard and devastated by Darren’s action. But my focus is on my two daughters, who are my number one priority,” she said. at the time.

Marriage breakdown: Darren split from ex-wife Deanne (right) in September 2019, ending 15 years of marriage

Marriage breakdown: Darren split from ex-wife Deanne (right) in September 2019, ending 15 years of marriage

Darren claimed on Instagram in October 2020 that he hadn’t been in contact with his two daughters, Scarlett and Lily, since his split from Deanne.

“I’m done, the unbearable pain of not seeing my beautiful daughters…is too much to handle,” he wrote.

“Looking back through these photos broke what little I have left of my heart as it showed how much my daughters love me.

‘To my parents, my family, my friends, Lucy, I love you. To my girls, I’m sorry. My love will always be in your heart. I love daddy xx.’

Reality bites: Darren and Deanne were popular contestants on Channel Nine's makeover series The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the final season

Reality bites: Darren and Deanne were popular contestants on Channel Nine’s makeover series The Block, appearing twice in 2014 and 2015, and winning the final season

Things were looking up two weeks later when Darren publicly credited Lucy with helping him out of his depression.

“Camping on the sand with no soul in sight,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long and couldn’t have picked a better weekend and a better company to do it with.”

“There was something spectacular about our surroundings, as the rugged coastline and aggressive waves made the place we were and who I shared it with memorable.”

Family: Darren claimed in October 2020 that he had not been in contact with his two daughters Scarlett and Lily (pictured in January 2017) since his split from Deanne in September 2019

Family: Darren claimed in October 2020 that he had not been in contact with his two daughters Scarlett and Lily (pictured in January 2017) since his split from Deanne in September 2019

Fight against depression

In February 2020, Darren spoke candidly at the Collingwood Annual General Meeting about his business issues and the breakdown of his marriage.

“Spending three weeks in a mental institution to deal with depression. Leaving my 15 year marriage because I fell in love and wanted a happier life,” he said.

He told his former teammates that his mental health got so bad around this time that he “almost did something stupid and he was done”. [his] life’.

Football career: Darren played a total of 237 games for Melbourne, Sydney and Collingwood, including winning a premiership in 2010. (Pictured playing for Swans June 4, 2005)

Football career: Darren played a total of 237 games for Melbourne, Sydney and Collingwood, including winning a premiership in 2010. (Pictured playing for Swans June 4, 2005)

“Everything was too much to handle and I lost control. I lost my desire to carry on, I lost my purpose in life, I lost my direction and I lost my way. I thought it was easier to go there,” he admitted.

In the depths of his struggle, Darren admitted himself to hospital and described it as the “best thing [he] could have done’.

For confidential assistance, contact safety rope on 13 11 14 or beyond the blue at 1300 22 4636

Mental health battle: In February 2020, Darren spoke at Collingwood's annual general meeting about his business issues and the breakdown of his marriage.  He said his mental health got so bad around this time that he had

Mental health battle: In February 2020, Darren spoke at Collingwood’s annual general meeting about his business issues and the breakdown of his marriage. He said his mental health got so bad around this time that he “almost did something stupid and ended up [his] life’

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