At 40 years old, Willis has been sober for more than five years. He is the subject of a new BBC One documentary titled Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction.
The documentary, which airs on Wednesday night (17 May), will see Willis open up about his struggles with addiction. Also set to appear in the programme is Emma.
Portions of Fighting Addiction explore how Willis’s drug addiction, which was so severe that he was once ingesting six grams of cocaine a day, impacted his family. He and Emma share three children: Isabelle, 14, Ace, 10, and Trixie, six.
In the documentary, Willis said that reflecting on how his addiction affected Emma has, at times, left him “in pieces”.
He said: “She was so focused on keeping me clean that she neglected her care, and I did too.”
Speaking about his children, Willis stated that he was nervous to show his eldest child, Isabelle, the documentary.
“It’s going to be really hard to see her dad like that and what her mum had to deal with,” Willis said, adding that he wants to show Isabelle the documentary in order to be “honest”.
He said: “But I think nothing should be swept under the carpet. We have to be as honest and open as possible.”
In the documentary, Emma recalled nights in which she would drive to local pubs trying to find Willis after he did not return home.
The TV presenter said that her anxiety spiked at times when living with Willis, adding that she had feared he might die. “It’s not easy,” she said. “It’s been incredibly heavy at the time.”
The couple met in 2004 when Emma interviewed Busted – famous for hits such as “What I Go To School For” and “Year 3000” – for MTV.
Emma said that she noticed Willis’s issues with alcohol and drugs before they got married in 2008, divulging that the musician was in rehab just five weeks before their wedding day.
Willis has been to rehab four times, telling cameras that he especially struggled with substance abuse when on tour. “The fun had gone for a long time,” he said.
Busted are due to go back on tour in September, but Willis said he is confident that he will remain clean on the road. “I’ve been really honest with the band and everyone knows what I’m dealing with. Everyone wants to help,” he said.
If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.
In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.