Smith has publicly addressed his alcoholism and mental health problems on a number of occasions. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, stating "I can never go back to that point. I've made some significant changes to my life. I think to a certain degree you have to hit ground zero before you do that." Smith has attempted to justify his behaviour by citing alcoholism and suffering from bipolar disorder.
While working on A Current Affair in 1994, Smith was found to have forged the signature of Nine's corporate lawyer Jane Marquard to have a prisoner released from Mulawa Detention Centre for an interview. Smith was later charged by police and admitted forging the signature. Smith was suspended for almost a year while the criminal investigation was carried out. He was sentenced to serve two years in prison, suspended for two years. He returned to ACA as a producer, but not before he was exposed and mocked on Media Watch and in the media at large.
In the late 1990s, while working at A Current Affair, Smith attended an office farewell party for Mike Willesee Jnr. It was alleged Smith exposed himself to a number of female employees. Two of them reported the incident, demanding an apology. Reportedly it was laughed off by program management who backed Smith. The two women complained to Nine Network management before action against Smith was investigated. Smith was dismissed two weeks later. Both women left A Current Affair amid talk of sizeable payouts and non-disclosure agreements. It was quite a fall for Smith.
Smith went to China where he worked in English language radio and returned to Australia by mid 2005 to present National Nine Early News.
In 2009, Smith was suspended indefinitely from his role at the Macquarie Radio Network, following an incident at a 2GB party where he exposed himself to several women at the party, attempted to kiss a female colleague and indecently assaulted Network 10 journalist and meteorologist Magdalena Roze, after drinking for "an extended period of time". Smith admitted to misusing anti depressant medication, drinking heavily and claimed to have no recollection of the events. In December 2009 Smith was reinstated and his contract extended, despite a number of female staff voicing concerns surrounding his ongoing conduct. Smith later denied the assaults on air when questioned by a listener, asking him "where did you make these facts from?" [sic], threatening the listener to be "very careful what you read about private social events".
This was the second time Smith had engaged in sexual misconduct in the workplace, after being fired from his role as producer at Nine Network's A Current Affair for exposing himself to four women at a farewell party in the late 1990s.
In February 2011, Smith ran a competition on his afternoon show called "Smithy's Mystery" which offered listeners movie tickets, books and DVDs if they could correctly guess how many asylum seekers who died at sea would be buried in Sydney. Sponsors reacted angrily, with both BBC Worldwide and publisher Pan Macmillan, which provided the prizes, expressing their shock at the quiz, saying they would never have allowed their brands to be part of it had they been aware. The Australian Communications and Media Authority found the licensee of 2GB (Macquarie Radio Network) breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice and Guidelines 2010 requirement that material broadcast must not offend generally accepted standards of decency, stating "offensive, in very bad taste, and that it should not have been broadcast".
Smith is the father of four children: two from his first marriage to Ali Smith, and twin boys with his current wife Susie Burrell, a nutritionist.
- "I've Beaten Myself Up Over This Says Sober and Sorry Groper Chris Smith". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "2GB's Chris Smith reflects on his bad behaviour". News.com.au. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Groping 2GB Host Shris Smith Loses Job". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "GB Female Staff Worried About Groper Chris Smith's Return". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "Chris Smith gets called out on MTR, Monday 31.10.11". YouTube. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Marr, David (2009). Panic.
- "Radio Stations Funeral Quiz Asylum Question Was Poor Taste". The Australian. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- "ACMA Censures Shock Jock Chris Smith". The Australian. Retrieved 15 September 2016.