Smith, who plays his 100th game for the Highlanders on Friday, said a break from rugby to repair the damage done to himself and his partner and family would probably have been better than his continuing to play for the All Blacks.
After travelling home by himself from South Africa once the story broke in October Smith's form suffered badly.
Smith, who struggled on the All Blacks' November tour and was dropped for TJ Perenara for the final test against France in Paris, said he re-discovered his love for the game once that tour was over.
"It got the point where rugby was over for the year and in the summer break - I remember thinking at Christmas that I was already excited to play."
Asked if he thought his poor decision at Christchurch airport might have hindered his playing 100 matches for the Highlanders, Smith said: "No, not for the Highlanders. If anything, I was jeopardising my All Blacks career."
- This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.