Ben Cousins says life ‘never been better’ after rebuilding from troubled past

Former AFL star turned media personality Ben Cousins has briefly spoken on his personal life following years of struggle with drug abuse.

In an appearance on Channel 7’s The Front Room, Cousins reflected on his early life following his father Bryan’s career before eventually becoming one of the game’s biggest names.

However, his impressive career has been followed by shadow of a number of off-field incidents that turned his life upside down.

The Brownlow Medallist and premiership player was sacked by the Eagles in 2007 after he was arrested for drug possession and handed a 12-month suspension by the AFL.

He spent time in prison after being found guilty of stalking his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff — the mother of the pair’s two children — in 2020.

Earlier, in 2018, Cousins also served 10 months of a 12-month prison sentence for stalking Tinechef.

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But now, the 45-year-old says he’s on the right path. He is now reading the news for Seven in Western Australia, and is set to appear in the latest edition of Dancing With The Stars.

The Front Room panel made it clear his appearance on the show wouldn’t be all about his past struggles, but Cousins appeared more than happy to share a snippet of his life after working hard to rebuild himself.

“I wish it hadn’t had to have taken this long, and had to run its course the way it did,” he said.

“But yeah, it’s nice to be working and busy, have some real ambition back, and, you know, just connected back in with friends, family, and even on a community level, you know. Life’s never been better, to be honest.”

Cousins also reflected on how he became a smash hit with fans in his early days with West Coast, where he would receive buckets of fan mail, even more than the established “household names” who were also in the side.

“It all happened pretty quickly a lot quicker than I thought it would, just breaking into the side, and I got more than my fair share of public scrutiny,”

“I did feel, from the beginning, it was out of whack. So I tried to keep it in perspective. I’ve been really lucky, for whatever reason, you know, the public, footy public, has been very good to us. And I’ve been very fortunate.”

Earlier this week, the AFL acknowledged Cousins’ improved circumstances, with AFL commission chair Richard Goyder hinting at a potential future induction into the sport’s Hall of Fame.

“I won’t talk about Hall of Fame. I will say it’s a joy to see Ben in the shape he’s in right now, and I’ve seen a fair bit of him in the west,” Goyder said.

“I think (Cousins’ recovery story) is fantastic … what I would say with Hall of Fame, and it’s almost my precursor to our committee discussions each year, is it’s not who’s in, it’s who’s not in.

“It’s an incredibly high bar to be a Hall of Famer in the AFL, and it’s even higher to be a Legend, so we’ll look at those things in due course.”