How Ben Cousins ‘broke out’ of rehab after being texted by Andrew Johns to come to his wild family Christmas party – rocking up in a limo and not leaving until the next day
AFL great Ben Cousins is in the best place of his life after overcoming drug addiction and legal woes.
But NRL star Cooper Johns has recalled how Cousins broke out of rehab back in 2012 to attend his family’s Christmas party.
The sports player revealed on KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O show on Wednesday his famous uncle, Andrew Johns, had texted him and invited the troubled AFL great to the event.
‘It was Christmas 2012 and we had a party at our house and I was at the front kicking the footy out and a limousine pulled up and [Cousins] came out of,’ he explained.
‘He broke out of rebab and booked a limousine which dropped him off to our house.’
Cousins knocked on the door and asked if ‘Horse of the East’ was there. saying to Cooper, ‘tell him the Horse of the West is here’.
The family’s nickname for Andrew Johns was ‘Horse’ because of his long face. The pair apparently called each other the same name.
Andrew Johns texted his mate Ben Cousins in rehab in 2012 and told him to come party
Matthew Johns’ NRL star son Cooper revealed how Bens Cousins broke out of rehab to attend his family’s Christmas party
Cooper said Cousins didn’t leave their house till the next morning.
At his peak, Cousins was regarded as the best player in the AFL, but suffered a rapid demise due to drug use and a total unwillingness to rid himself of negative life influences.
Andrew Johns also also previously discussed his long-term struggles with drugs and alcohol, and his battles with depression.
‘I took them throughout my career, mainly in the off-season,’ Johns said.
‘At times it was like playing Russian roulette when I took them during the season.
‘When we’d play Friday night, we wouldn’t train until Monday. I took them then. Hopefully (the drug) would be gone by Monday.’
In 2020, Cousins decided to turn his life around 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 former 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.’
The sports player revealed on KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O show on Wednesday, his cousin had invited the troubled AFL great to the event and he broke out of rebab to attend
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.
He was even named as employee of the month at a Perth construction company in October 2021, in another sign he has 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.
At his peak, Cousins was regarded as the best player in the AFL, but suffered a rapid demise due to drug use and a total unwillingness to rid himself of negative life influences