Lucky Diamond Wealthy was on the high of his sport in 2007. Travelling the globe, making “ridiculous” cash doing circus performances and simply topped probably the most tattooed man on the earth by Guinness World Records. By 2017 he was homeless, dwelling in a storage facility, hooked on crystal meth and slipping into psychosis.
Again in 1987, when Wealthy was 16, he bought his first tattoo, a small juggling bat on his hip. He made positive it was simple to cover, afraid his mom would disapprove.
Wealthy was born Gregory McClaren, and again then he was an oddball teenager from a dysfunctional household in Brisbane who joined the circus to keep away from falling into a lifetime of crime.
“I used to be immediately drawn to tattoos,” he says. “Any cash I might get from performing, I might make investments it again into getting tattooed,” he says. “I already felt totally different from a younger age, so to look totally different too? I by no means second-guessed it.”
The extra tattoos he bought, the extra in style he turned, and he was in a position to stay comfortably flying from nation to nation, incomes cash as a road performer and partying each evening until daybreak.
With a view to change into the world’s most tattooed man, Wealthy lined every little thing from his eyelids to his gums to his genitals.
“I’m greater than 100% lined,” he says. “I’ve had tattoos over tattoos over tattoos.”
Individuals would stare, however Wealthy didn’t thoughts. As a substitute, he simply felt sorry for these dwelling the drudgery of a nine-to-five life.
“In London, after I got here out of the Covent Backyard station, there was this road sweeper man who would at all times be whistling and singing. And I keep in mind taking a look at him and I had a bizarre resentment, this anger,” he says.
“Additional down the monitor, I realised that the explanation why I used to be indignant was as a result of that man had one thing that I didn’t – an inner happiness.
“I used to be making ridiculous quantities of cash. Anybody would assume that I might be the happiest man on the planet, however I used to be fairly unhappy. Profitable however empty.”
Partying was a staple of Wealthy’s 30-year profession, however what began as just a few drinks shortly turned strains of cocaine, and finally become an dependancy to crystal meth.
“That was the drug that introduced me to my knees,” he says.
He would get clear for years at a time however at all times slip again into outdated habits. “You understand, you’re probably the most tattooed man on the earth and persons are wanting to indicate you a very good time.”
Wealthy at all times lived a nomadic life-style, however when he began utilizing too typically to even carry out, homelessness stopped being a selection and have become an unavoidable actuality.
“I had all my stuff within the storage unit already, and I simply began sleeping there,” he says.
“I began shedding my thoughts. I assumed there was an entire bunch of stuff happening that wasn’t … I used to be at all times getting in hassle with the police. Mainly, for the primary time in my life, I felt most likely as loopy as I appeared,” he says. “I used to be taking a look at demise, institutionalisation or jail.
“A pal of mine who labored in a rehab in Sydney referred to as and requested me how I used to be doing. And I made a decision to let him know that I wasn’t doing that nice.”
Wealthy’s pal informed him there was a mattress for him if needed it, he simply wanted to fly to New South Wales.
“The day I bought the cash to purchase the ticket, a drug seller turned up in entrance of me … I had this second the place I used to be like: do I would like my life again or do I would like this drug?
“I assumed: this could possibly be the one alternative that I get. So I purchased the ticket, and lo and behold I’m three-and-a-half years clear.”
At 49 Wealthy is now constructing a brand new life, full with an house, two canines and his loving associate, Megan.
“It’s like evening and day in case you have a look at my life three years in the past and now,” he says.
Wealthy knew he would by no means keep clear whereas nonetheless within the performing scene, so took a job with a development firm.
“I’ve by no means had a boss earlier than, I’ve by no means actually been informed what to do earlier than,” he says with amusing. “I’ve a routine: I make my lunch for the following day. I am going procuring. I’ve a mattress … I’ve lots of people that love me and look after me and help me. I’ve by no means had that earlier than.
“I used to look down at folks dwelling the way in which I do. I assume they’re having the final snicker now.”
Wealthy remains to be probably the most tattooed man on the planet, however now he will get recognised on the grocery store relatively than on stage. He says he doesn’t thoughts the stares.
“Tattoos, performing and the humanities actually saved my life, . I actually really feel like I owe it to the position of being ‘probably the most tattooed man on the earth’ to be respectful.
“I get guys on the constructing website saying, ‘My son would really like it in case you might signal his 2020 Guinness World Document e book’ and it’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to have the ability to be that individual.”
Generally, when he’s out strolling his canine or watching TV together with his girlfriend, Wealthy thinks again to his days in London and the comfortable road sweeper he as soon as hated a lot.
“All through my restoration, I type of at all times strived to be that man, ,” he says. “I can truthfully say right this moment that I’m.”