Ronnie O'Sullivan has hit out at Barry Hearn
A snarling Rocket reached the second round of the Betfred World Championship with a 10-7 win over former taxi driver Gary Wilson at the Crucible.
But then O’Sullivan launched into a blistering defence of his media work-to-rule in place since the Masters in January.
At Alexandra Palace a withering blast at referee Terry Camilleri and a photographer earned the five-time world champion a letter threatening charges.
And though they have been withdrawn, O’Sullivan claims he was “bullied” and “intimidated” by World Snooker and the WPBSA and decided to get the lawyers involved.
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He said: “I phoned Barry Hearn four weeks ago and said I’m done with it, you and your board of people. I have a good friend who said, ‘let my lawyers deal with it’ and I’m not being bullied any more and having people do that to me ever again.
“I want to play and have fun. I like Barry but I am not being intimidated any more. I got a letter after the Masters and it ruined three or four tournaments for me.
“I have no problem with the Press but sometimes I say things I shouldn’t, I get in bother and get letters a day before an event saying I have to respond in 14 days.
“I have had it for five, six seven years and I’m done with it and this was fighting off something I didn’t think I should have to. They pushed me too far.
“If I say something about the refs, about the players, about the venue, it’s too much. I don’t think I’ve done a lot wrong in my career. I don’t want it to happen again, I have some good lawyers dealing with it making sure I’m OK.
“I have tried being open and it gets me in trouble and I have to be in the right frame of mind to at least have a chance here. My fans want to see do really well so I’m coming to do a job, stay focused and keep out of trouble. I need to be in the right frame of mind.”
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