Cousins in rehab after 'missing in LA' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins in rehab after 'missing in LA'

By Nicolas Perpitch, Peter Mitchell and Liza Kappelle 02/11/2007 07:16:37 AM Comments (0)

"Where in the world is Ben Cousins?" a top Hollywood celebrity gossip website demanded to know.

In rehab, the troubled AFL star's upset father finally revealed.

The saga that is Ben Cousins' life took another bizarre turn following reports the sacked West Coast Eagles star had gone missing on the mean streets of Los Angeles after failing to check in to an exclusive rehab centre.

Wild rumours followed, including speculation 29-year-old Cousins had met up with actress Cameron Diaz at an LA gym.

Cousins' whereabouts even bumped Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan off gossip website Perezhilton.com, which said: "If you see Ben, tell him to get his ass to rehab. He's probably hanging out at Britney Spears' house!"

In fact, according to father Bryan Cousins, the fallen AFL star is already back in rehab, although not yet at the exclusive $3,000 a day Summit Medical Centre in Malibu where he spent time earlier this year.

Mr Cousins made a rare appearance in Perth to accuse the media of fabricating stories about his son being missing, potentially hampering his drug rehabilitation treatment.

"As a parent, I am disappointed that it is necessary for me to make a statement today about Ben's welfare due to the ongoing fabricated stories and blatant untruths that have appeared in the media today," Mr Cousins said, choking back tears.

"The facts are these: Ben is not missing and has not been missing at any time whilst in the US.

"He is currently receiving treatment in Los Angeles at an appropriate facility, and he will be attending The Summit Medical Centre in the next few days," said the former Geelong AFL great.

"Finally, I would like to add that I have learned that rehabilitation is a complex and arduous process that requires continual review and is best dealt with in private.

"The ill-informed comments and the harassment by the media and others will not assist his rehabilitation."

Cousins, who is said to be battling addiction to cocaine as well as methamphetamines, arrived in the US for drug treatment on Saturday.

Speculation the Brownlow Medallist was missing after failing to turn up at the Summit medical centre was fuelled by photographs of him being greeted at LA by two mystery blondes.

But friend and Brownlow medallist Brad Hardie said Cousins just wanted some anonymity and would soon rejoin his "network" in the US.

Hardie said people should stop worrying.

"He's had a harrowing year, there's no two ways about that and I just think (he wants) a little bit of Ben time, little bit of down time," he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"There's no doubt there's been some erratic behaviour from Ben over this year and the past couple of years.

"Just give the bloke, cut him a little slack, just give him a couple of weeks to sort himself out and let's just see how he comes back to Australia."

Cousins was sacked by the West Coast Eagles after a string of off-field incidents, the final straw being a drug related arrest in Perth two weeks ago.

A charge of drug possession was later dropped, but Cousins still faces a charge of refusing to take a driver drug test, after being pulled over in Perth for allegedly driving erratically in a club sponsor's car.

One of the top 10 earners in the AFL, Cousins' sacking has deregistered him as an AFL player and threatens his footballing career.

Cousins is seeking advice about whether he can sue over the events leading to his sacking.

When he flew out for the US last week, the midfielder was still hoping to resume his AFL career.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said today reports he might soon return to football were "fanciful".

However AFL Players Association head Brendon Gale said Cousins should be given yet another chance.

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