"I felt completely powerless." The uncomfortable viewing of Ben Cousins' new documentary.

At the peak of his career, Ben Cousins was considered to be one of the greatest players to ever wear the West Coast jersey.

The Brownlow Medal winner, who was also a six-time All Australian, played 238 games for the West Coast Eagles.

But in 2007, the now 41-year-old was axed from the AFL team after he was arrested on drug-related charges.

Watch the trailer for Channel Seven’s Ben Cousins: Coming Clean below. Post continues after video.

Now, in his first interview with the media in 10 years, the retired AFL player has opened up about his fall from grace in Channel Seven’s Ben Cousins: Coming Clean.

In the interview, which has since been described by viewers as “uncomfortable” and “appalling”, Cousins opened up about his drug use, expressing remorse for his role in creating a drug culture within the West Coast Eagles club.

“I am sorry, I am remorseful,” he said.

“And the fallout from that has been pretty significant on the club,” he added.

“So, it has taken a while since that time for the club to find itself back in a position like it is today.”

In a surprising admission, Cousins later added that he counts himself as “one of the luckiest people I know”.

When asked if he “almost has it all,” Cousins responded: “Almost, yeah. Enough to know that a lot of good things have happened to me up until this point in my life”.

“It’s important for me to remember and remind myself of that because I am one of the lucky people,” he added.


Speaking to Channel Seven journalist Basil Zempilas, Cousins shared that he felt “completely powerless” after returning to prison for the second time.

The 41-year-old was released from prison on bail in April 2019 after being charged with several offences, including drug possession, making threats and breaking a violence restraining order.

Cousins was previously imprisoned for 12 months in February 2017. after being charged with offences related to drugs, stalking and violence.

“It was probably the first time in a long time where, you know, you feel completely powerless over the situation that you’re in and you can’t control, manipulate, change the predicament that you’re in,” Cousins said, recalling his most recent stint in prison.

“There’s an element of [embarrassment]. Yeah, I’m certainly not proud,” he added.

“No matter what I did. I was going to be forced to go through it and suck it up and, you know, that scared me.”

When presenter Basil Zempilas asked Cousins whether he had been using drugs amid filming the documentary, Cousins’ response was uncomfortable.

“We’ve been with you for about five days now filming this documentary, can you tell us categorically Ben, have you used drugs in this time?” Zempilas asked.

“No, um… no, but it’s something that um,” Cousins responded.


Cousins’ response left viewers of the documentary feeling concerned.

“I felt he was taken advantage of badly and the whole thing was just sad. Say what you want of him, but I really hope he gets the help he desperately needs,” former Wallaby Matt Giteau wrote on Twitter.

“Fingers crossed he surrounds himself with the right people and gets on track,” sports presenter Adam McGrath added.

Ben Cousins’ fall from grace.

Ben Cousins’ difficulties with drug addiction first became public when the West Coast player fled a Perth roadside breath test on foot in 2006, leaving his then-girlfriend Samantha Druce in his car in the middle of the Canning Highway in Perth.

To elude police, Cousins even jumped into the nearby Swan River.

Eventually, he was arrested and charged, which cost him the captaincy of the Eagles and $900 plus court costs. He was fined an additional $5000 by West Coast.

In late 2006, Cousins was arrested for public intoxication after passing out in front of Crown Casino in Melbourne.

At the time, the West Coast Eagles announced they would not discipline Cousins. In March 2007, however, Cousins was suspended indefinitely from the team after failing to attend three training sessions.


“We always said we would suspend players if they re-offended and Ben has re-offended by missing training, and we have been very consistent with that,” West Coast club chairman Dalton Gooding said at the time.

“We believe he’s breached his contract and acted unprofessionally and that’s why he’s been suspended and that’s why we’re giving him every opportunity to fix up his personal and private issues.”

After being suspended from the club on March 20, 2007, Cousins was admitted to drug rehabilitation on March 21, 2007, at Summit Center in Malibu, California.

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The AFL player spent just a few weeks at the facility before returning to Perth.

It wasn’t long before Cousins’ name returned to the spotlight.

In October 2007, Cousins was arrested after being pulled over because of “the manner of his driving”.

After his vehicle was searched, Cousins was charged with possession of a prohibited drug, after police found quantities of a number of prescription drugs in his vehicle.

The day after his arrest, Cousins was completely sacked by the West Coast Eagles.

In 2008, Cousins was picked up by Richmond for a final two-year chapter in his tumultuous playing career. And through it all his addiction managed to avoid detection by the AFL, officially speaking; he never once failed a mandatory drug test.

But once he retired in September 2010, Cousins found himself without the structure of his playing days, without the support of a club, and without a solid job.

As he struggled to find focus, Cousins’ addiction spiraled.

In March 2012, Cousins was arrested at Western Australia’s Esperance Airport with methamphetamine secreted in his anus. He was convicted of possession. The following month, another arrest and charge, this time for possession of cannabis and a smoking implement.

In 2015, he was taken into custody three times in a single fortnight – for leading Perth police on a low-speed car chase, then for trespassing on an Special Air Service’s base, and lastly for driving erratically in a “bizarre incident” outside a Sikh temple.

In 2016, Cousins later crashed his car head-on into a truck while under the influence of drugs.

ben cousins interview
Ben Cousins in 2010. Image: Getty.

Behind closed doors, the breakdown of Cousins' relationship with his former partner, Maylea Elizabeth Tinecheff, led to even more alarming incidents.

In 2017, Cousins hounded Tinecheff with 2000 text messages and phone calls in just two months. He also approached her physically on several occasions at her home and her children's school.

As a result, Cousins was sentenced to 12 months in Western Australia's Acacia prison for stalking his former partner and repeatedly breaching a violence restraining order.

In 2018, Cousins faced court again over a slew of drug, stalking and burglary charges.

Armadale Magistrate's Court heard allegations that, on one occasion, Cousins climbed into Tinecheff’s car clutching a screwdriver and said: "I can’t wait to use it".

He later allegedly threatened: "I’m going to kill you. I’m going to take your life and your freedom and the things you love the most".

Cousins served time in prison as a result. He was released in April 2019.

Ben Cousins' relationship with Samantha Druce.

For most of his AFL career, Ben Cousins was dating Samantha Druce.


The pair were together for 13 years, after meeting when Druce was just 16 years old.

But when the couple split in 2007, Druce faced hoards of paparazzi and media staked outside her door.

samantha druce
Samantha Druce and Ben Cousins. Image: Getty.

"Four Corners have been chasing me. New Idea have offered me huge sums of money. I am not interested in being paid to talk about the details of my relationship – to dish up the dirt. This is what I'm prepared to say: This is the final interview and I'm washing my hands of the whole thing," she told The Advertiser at the time.

"People break up all the time. This is happening every single day in the world. It's ridiculous how people are focusing on us. I certainly didn't sign on for that. When you have a tiff, you don't really expect the whole world to know about it," she added.

"I'm a shy person and just want to go back to being no one."

— With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty / Channel Seven.

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