The explosive and no doubt rare television interview will look back at the 41-year-old's tumultuous life, with the fallen West Coast Eagles star agreeing that no topic of conversation is off-limits.
Expectedly, Ben— who shares son, Bobby, and daughter, Angelique, with his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff— will speak about his sudden fall from grace, erratic off-field antics, drug usage and time in jail, while also unveiling how he finally turned his life around and what he plans to do next.
"I’m close to the Ben Cousins' story and have been for a long time now. I didn’t think anything he could say would surprise me, but even I was shocked. It’s explosive, compelling and emotional," said Basil Zempilas— the 7 News journalist who spent an extensive period of time with Ben while filming the documentary.
"With everything we’ve seen and read the natural inclination is to write Ben off, but despite his struggles, he remains remarkably resilient. It’s a battle but I wouldn't bet against him," he added.
Below, is everything you need to know about the resilient Brownlow medallist's demise.
Ben's lengthy AFL career
Arguably one of the most talented AFL player's Australia has ever produced, the son of former Geelong player Bryan Cousins proved himself to be a valuable asset to the sport in 1996 when he made his debut for West Coast. He quickly became a permanent fixture on the team, later winning that year's AFL Rising Star award.
After forging an impressive reputation in the years following, Ben won the Club Champion award in 2001, while also finishing fifth in the Brownlow Medal. In 2005, Ben was at the peak of his footy career, making his 200th AFL appearance and earning maximum Brownlow votes in a big win over Brisbane at Subiaco. He went on to win the Brownlow by a single vote and added a fourth Club Champion award and a fifth All-Australian selection.
In 2006, right before the season started, he was stripped of his captaincy after he ran from a booze bus after driving home from a friend's wedding. While he was still focused on the field, in 2007 the club announced he was suspended indefinitely due to a substance abuse issue. While he returned to AFL, in October he was sacked by the club after being arrested on drug possession charges. He was subsequently registered for 12 months by the AFL.
After a stint in rehab, he announced his return to the AFL after the ban was lifted and began playing for Richmond. He played 32 games in two seasons before retiring.
Crime, legal issues, arrests and jail time
While Ben was one of the most revered and respected athletes on the field, after dozens of run-ins with the law, his career came to a very sudden halt in 2011 with his manager confirming he had "lost direction" amid a number of serious scandals he was embroiled in.
A little over a year later, Ben was arrested by police at Esperance Airport on suspicion of possession of drugs. He was immediately strip-searched and was found to have hidden methamphetamine in his anus. While he was only ordered to pay an $800 fine, less than a year later he was arrested and charged again for possession of cannabis and a smoking implement.
Then, in 2015, he was arrested for leading police on a slow-speed car chase along with breaching a violence restraining order and possessing methamphetamine. He was also detained by police after he scaled a roof to avoid being handcuffed.
While he was no doubt struggling with some serious mental health issues at the time, he hit rock bottom in February 2017 when he was charged with offences related to drugs, violence and stalking and was ordered to spend 12 months behind bars— six months for seven breaches of a violence restraining order and six months for aggravated stalking.
After his parole was denied and he was released from prison in January 2018, he was arrested again and charged with multiple offences including aggravated stalking and threatening to injure, endanger or harm.
In July 2019, he was sent back to jail for failing a court-ordered drug test. He was released on bail in April 2019.
In 2007, after the footy star was sacked by West Coast and deregistered by the AFL, Ben was committed to a mental health hospital as a result of prolonged psychosis. He spent a little over a month in a rehabilitation centre in Malibu, California, and after flying back to Perth, he released an official apology.
"As you are aware I have been at an overseas rehabilitation centre for the past month undergoing treatment for a number of personal issues, including illness as the result of substance use... I apologise to the West Coast Eagles Football Club, sponsors, the AFL and the community for my actions... I know that in order to play football again I will have to be accepted back by the players and staff of the West Coast Eagles and the AFL and I'm willing to fulfil any obligations imposed on me. At the present time I don't know when I'll play again. My priority is to regain my health, my life and my standing."
Ben Cousins – Coming Clean airs Sunday 29 March at 7pm on 7 and 7plus