AFL Grand Final: Ben Cousins asked divisive question by Natalie Barr on Sunrise

Natalie Barr has surprised recovering AFL player Ben Cousins with a tough question during a live TV interview.

The Sunrise host on Friday morning repeatedly asked the former West Coast Eagles star about his health following his very public battle with an addiction to illegal substances.

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Cousins on Monday night made an important return to the Brownlow Medal in Melbourne for the first time since he won the award in 2005.

Cousins stepped out on the red carpet alongside his sister Melanie, as the siblings looked delighted to be there.

The 45-year-old’s big return comes after he took up the job to read the morning sports bulletin on 7News in Perth — another symbolic step in his ongoing journey to turn his life around.

It’s why Barr’s questions about his health has been met with a wide range of comments about its appropriateness in a live TV situation.

Barr’s first question to the former AFL premiership player was: “Tell us how you are going?”

Cousins responded: “Yeah, really well actually. Life’s good. And super stoked to be in Melbourne.

“I really enjoyed my time here, but particularly grand final week. It’s an amazing time of the year.”

Barr asked a second question about Cousins’ health later in the interview.

“Are you well? Because we have obviously seen lots about you. I know you don’t want to get into it. People have been worried about you.”

Cousins responded: “It’s been a long road, it really has.

“I wish it hadn’t needed to run its course like it did, but life’s great at the moment. When you strip everything back and assess your life, for anybody, it really is in its simplest form, goes back to what makes you happy and for a long time I wasn’t. But, you know, I very much am these days.”

Barr said: “As a fellow Western Australian particularly, I know your friend, your family and a lot of fans here today are glad to hear that.”

Cousins had a troubled end to his football career, resigning his captaincy at West Coast in 2006 after fleeing an RBT before it was revealed he had a substance abuse problem.

Cousins spent time in rehab in the same year before he was arrested for drug possession the following year.

He was delisted and banned from the AFL for 12 months, ending his time at West Coast after a Brownlow Medal in 2005, the 2006 premiership, six All-Australian selections and 238 games.

In 2009, Cousins did return to the AFL, playing the final two seasons of his career at Richmond.

After his career, Cousins’ life spiralled out of control, leading to a public battle with drugs and legal issues, including serving a 12-month prison sentence in 2017 for stalking the mother of his children Maylea Tinecheff.

But in more recent times, Cousins appeared fit and healthy. He has also been open about his recovery from drug addiction.

Cousins also returned to the Eagles for the first time in 16 years in March, playing in an exhibition legend’s game at Optus Stadium before the Eagles’ clash with GWS in round two.

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