Troubled AFL star Ben Cousins is at the ‘top of the wish list’ for SAS: Australia producers after overcoming his drug addiction
The West Coast Eagles great, 44, is ‘at the top of the wish list for the casting team’ working on next year’s season of the gruelling Channel Seven show.
TV insiders told The Herald Sun he was ‘approached for each of the previous three seasons’ of SAS Australia and they expect Seven to make another offer.
Troubled AFL star Ben Cousins (pictured in Perth on September 2) could be getting his big break in reality TV following rumours he is tipped to star in SAS Australia
It comes after the Brownlow Medallist turned his life around after overcoming an addiction to meth.
Earlier this month, Cousins attended a fan meet-and-greet in his home city of Perth.
He looked to be in the best shape of his life as he raised his arm triumphantly while posing with guests and signing autographs at popular streetwear shop Street X.
The event was held to promote Cousins’ new limited-edition clothing range featuring shirts bearing his image and the slogan ‘Prince of Perth’.
At his peak, Cousins was regarded as the best player in the AFL, but suffered a rapid demise due to his rampant drug use and a total unwillingness to rid himself of negative life influences.
The West Coast Eagles great, 44, is ‘at the top of the wish list for the casting team’ working on next year’s season of the gruelling Channel Seven show. (Pictured: SAS Australia instructors)
Cousins, who is now a demolition tradie, decided to turn his life around in 2022 after being jailed for the sixth time in 13 years.
The former Eagles captain was convicted on November 4, 2020, and sentenced to seven months jail for stalking his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff.
He was released just two weeks later from Hakea Jail in Perth due to time already served.
Buoyed by the knowledge that getting clean and healthy was the key to being a good dad to his children, son Bobby, nine, and daughter Angelique, seven, he soon started talking to Susan Backshell, a mental health support worker.
She issued him a blunt ultimatum soon after they met: ‘Give your all, or forget it entirely.’
Since then, he has volunteered at several events in and around Perth with Ms Backshell’s community group KALT Collective, acting as a beacon of hope for disadvantaged youths, addicts and reformed criminals.
Before his well-overdue epiphany, Cousins had been in and out of jail since 2010 on drug and domestic violence charges. Pictured in the depths of his drug and legal woes. He is seen here in footage from the 2010 Such Is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins documentary
He was even named as employee of the month at a Perth construction company in October 2021, in another sign he had truly turned his life around.
The flow-on effect has seen Cousins able to spend more time with his children.
Before his well-overdue epiphany, Cousins had been in and out of jail since 2010 on drug and domestic violence charges.
‘I appreciate the support of everyone and how many chances they have given me, more than I deserve and more than I would have given anyone else,’ Cousins said in September 2021, according to The West Australian.
He was named as employee of the month at a Perth construction company in October 2021, in another sign he had truly turned his life around. Cousins is pictured in February 2006 at the height of his sporting success
Cousins, who won the Brownlow Medal in 2005, made his long-awaited return to the ceremony in September last year when both the awards night and the AFL Grand Final were hosted in Perth due to Covid restrictions in Victoria.
He attended the Brownlow with WA FIFO worker Kelley Hayes as his date.
While they appeared very happy holding hands on the red carpet, it’s not known if the pair are still together today.
‘I’m just very fortunate that I got the opportunity to come to one of football’s great nights,’ he said on the red carpet.
‘It’s definitely a big night, it’s been a while since I’ve been to one of the football industry nights so I’m looking forward to it.’
Ben, who won the Brownlow Medal, made his long-awaited return to the ceremony in September last year alongside his date Kelley Hayes
THE TROUBLED LIFE AND TIMES OF AFL SUPERSTAR BEN COUSINS:
1996 – Makes AFL debut with West Coast and is named the league’s Rising Star
2001 – Named club co-captain of West Coast at age 23. Made sole captain the next year
2002 – Breaks his arm falling down a flight of stairs at a nightclub months after punching his teammate Daniel Kerr
2005 – (May) Is quizzed by police about association with underworld identities
– (September) Wins Brownlow medal as the AFL’s best and fairest player
Cousins after the 2006 AFL Grand Final
2006 – (February) Swims across a Perth river to escape a booze bus
– (September) Wins AFL premiership with the Eagles
– (December) Arrested after passing out in front of Melbourne’s Crown Casino and spends four hours in custody
2007 – (March) Suspended by West Coast after missing training session
– (April) Goes to a drug rehabilitation facility in Malibu, California
– (October) Revealed to have visited fellow Eagles legend Chris Mainwaring twice on the night he died of a drug overdose
– (October) Arrested and charged with drug offences that are later dropped
– (November) Eventually sacked by West Coast and banned from the AFL for one year
2008 – AFL re-registers Cousins and he is signed by Richmond
2010 – Retires from the AFL and releases autobiography and documentary
Cousins has been charged with drug possession and refusing a drug test in 2007, but the charges were later dropped
2015 – Arrested three times before leading police on a slow-speed car chase
2016 – (June) Spotted behaving erratically and directing traffic on a highway
– (October) In and out of court over drug offences and breaches a restraining order taken out by his ex-partner
2018 – (January) Released from jail on parole just 10 months into his sentence
Takes up a community support role with the West Coast Eagles – a requirement of his parole conditions
– (May) Reports emerge he hasn’t been seen at the club for a month
The club confirms Cousins told officials in April he no longer wanted the job
– (August) Arrested and charged with drug possession and breaching a restraining order
2019 – (February) Fined $1,750 for possessing meth and hiding it up his anus while in jail
(March) Pleads not guilty to 14 offences including breaching a family violence restraining order and a count each of aggravated stalking and threatening to injure, endanger or harm
(April) Arrested in Perth and released from jail on bail after eight months inside.
2020 – (March) Tell-all documentary Coming Clean goes to air – Cousins opens up about his meth addiction and time behind bars
(April) Arrested in Perth after allegedly being caught with 2.5 grams of methamphetamine while asleep beside his car
He is remanded in custody after pleading guilty to possessing methamphetamine and incurring a $1500 fine.
He is also charged with aggravated stalking of his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff
(October) Pleads not guilty to aggravated stalking and 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order relating to his ex-partner
(November) Convicted of stalking his ex-partner but acquitted by a Perth court of restraining order breaches. Sentenced to seven months jail, which is backdated to April
He is released from Hakea prison in late November
2021 – Returns to the footy field playing for the Queens Park Bulldogs in Perth’s Metro Football League