The wild, unpredictable, sometimes confronting life of former AFL star Ben Cousins is taking another huge twist.
Cousins, 45, had a Hall of Fame-calibre career with the West Coast Eagles before his life went on a well-documented downward spiral.
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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.
While he would spend two more years with Richmond playing top-level footy, the next decade of his life was spent making headlines for all the wrong reasons, including a spate of court appearances and time behind bars.
But the former midfielder appears to have turned his life around, taking on a prominent role in Perth media in mid-2023.
Now he has signed on for the latest season of celebrity TV show Dancing With The Stars, as the Herald Sun reports.
A number of reality shows have reportedly approached Cousins over the years and it’s easy to understand why the troubled star could be ratings gold.
Cousins conceded pulling off the tango or foxtrot is a long way from his comfort zone, but he at least feels in the right place to give it a shot.
“I went through that whole electronic music time and the raves and festivals, that was probably the only time I have ever found myself on the dancefloor,” he said.
“The question (of doing Dancing With The Stars) has been asked in the past.
“I’m just in a pretty good space at the moment and am in a position to take on some new challenges and this has come along and probably for the first time in quite a while I am in a position to give it a go.
“This worked for where I was at mentally and wanting to throw myself into something.”
Cousins is being partnered with professional dancer Siobhan Power, who has appeared on the show previously with the likes of Curtly Ambrose and Jamie Durie.
Initially battling fears over such a public attempt at dancing, Cousins says he is now enjoying the challenge.
“I have no dance experience at all,” he said. “There is an element of excitement, but it is probably pretty close to fear as well, I think the fear of doing it.
“I have enjoyed it so far, the training, long sessions, long days, it hasn’t been work at all.
“I am lucky to have the partner I am dancing with. Obviously Siobhan is an amazing dancer in her own right, but she is really good at teaching and she is very patient.
“We are having a lot of fun. I am sure it will continue in that vein and if it does then I am a long way in front.”
In the past, those close to Cousins have had grave concerns over his future.
Former West Coast teammate Glen Jakovich told the Herald Sun early last year it was incredibly difficult anytime news filtered through about Cousins.
“We went through a period of time where we were sick of hearing about his lifestyle and we were waiting for the phone call that he is no longer with us,” Jakovich said.
“That is how bad it got. It was sad to witness that in an ex-teammate and great of our club.”
Cousins is now in a good place, however, and says he has regained some of the hunger that allowed him to become one of the greats of Aussie Rules footy.
“I can’t change what has happened in the past. All I can do is make the most of today,” he said.
“One of the things I have enjoyed is getting back my ambition.
“That was a big part of how I approached my life right through my footy career and I have got that back and I am enjoying being busy, having a bit on and throwing myself into different projects.”
The new season of Dancing With The Stars will air later this year.