'That worries me': Ben Cousins' 'brutal' response to drug question

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Ben Cousins has sat down with Channel 7 for a tell-all interview. Image: Channel 7

A sneak peek at Channel 7’s upcoming interview with Ben Cousins has revealed his ‘worrying’ response to a question about whether or not he’s still using drugs.

The interview with Basil Zempilas, airing on Sunday night, is the former AFL premiership hero’s first in 10 years.

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In Ben Cousins: Coming Clean, the former West Coast and Richmond player opens up about his troubled past.

But one response to a question from Zempilas has left onlookers concerned.

“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 asks.

Cousins: “No, um… no but it’s something that umm…”

Zempilas: “But it’s a pretty simple question Ben - have you used drugs, yes or no, in the five days that we’ve been together?”

Cousins: “No, no… but you know I umm… no.”

Zempilas also pushes Cousins about his continued drug use after the death of former teammate and close friend Chris Mainwaring in 2007.

Zempilas: “I’ve got to ask you this. Why didn’t what happened to Mainy shock you straight?”

Cousins: “Well it did, I think. Yeah, it did.”

Zempilas: “But you used drugs again after his death.”

Cousins: “Mmm … ahh.”

Ben Cousins couldn't give Basil Zempilas a straight answer. Image: Channel 7

Ben Cousins’ ‘worrying’ answers

Discussing the sneak peek on Channel 7 on Thursday, entertainment reporter Peter Ford described Cousins’ responses as ‘worrying’.

“It worries me that the body language, that he is not looking at Basil when he answers the question, and also the hesitation in answering the question,” Ford said.

“Normally people who are addicts, who are getting off drugs or booze or whatever it is, they’re proud of that fact and they’re happy to tell you, ‘I have been clean for a week,’ or whatever it is.”

Channel 7 also described Cousins’ response as ‘concerning’, while Fox Sports said it was ‘brutal’ to watch.

Ford also revealed Channel 7 had paid for the interview, but insisted the money would not go to Cousins straight away.

“There was payment involved, but the payment has gone to Ben’s lawyer and it will be drip fed to him for his living expenses moving forward,” Ford said.

“So the last thing you want to do when you’re dealing with an addict is give them a whole bunch of cash. That is not what is happening.”

Ben Cousins in action for West Coast in 2004. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Shocking extent of Cousins' drug addiction revealed in court

Cousins was fined $1750 for possessing meth when he was last arrested in 2018.

The 41-year-old was arrested at a Canning Vale house in August 2018, and was charged with 18 offences including aggravated stalking and possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply.

About 13g of meth was found in Cousins’ anus, while some was also found in a capsule, clip seal bags and syringes.

Defence lawyer Michael Tudori said Cousins’ usage was so high that the amount of drugs would only last him three or four days, and there was no intention to sell or supply the drugs.

“The more you take, the less effect it has,” Mr Tudori said.

The former Brownlow medallist was released from Acacia prison in January 2018, about two months shy of his one-year sentence for stalking ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff.

with AAP