The son of former Geelong player Bryan Cousins, Ben proved himself to be a valuable asset to the sport in 1996 when he made his debut for West Coast.
After winning a Club Champion award in 2001, and finishing fifth in the Brownlow Medal, by 2005 he was at his peak.
He went on to win the Brownlow that year and added a fourth Club Champion award and a fifth All-Australian selection.
Things took a turn in 2006 when, 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. 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.
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.
It was downhill from there, with arrests for possession of cannabis and 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.
Between then and 2019 he had multiple stints behind bars.
The documentary includes Fremantle champion and fellow Brownlow Medal winner, Nat Fyfe, meeting with Cousins and discussing his time behind bars and his ongoing recovery.
The pair met up at a local tennis court in Perth, where Cousins explained how tennis helped him while he was behind bars, but many of his responses recalled more difficult times memories from his recent past.
“I didn’t think anything he could say would surprise me, but even I was shocked. It’s explosive, compelling and emotional," said Nat Fyfe.
Ben Cousins – Coming Clean, a 7NEWS Documentary, airs Sunday, March 29 at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus