Ben Cousins and Chris Judd after the Eagles’ 2006 premiership. Photo: Getty Images
Two-time Brownlow medallist Chris Judd has detailed his recent interactions with fallen ex-teammate Ben Cousins, telling breakfast program Today the former Eagles star is “doing well”.
Judd, who retired from the AFL mid-season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, is on the promotional trail for his new book Inside.
While Judd went on to more personal accolades after leaving West Coast in 2007 – and a second Brownlow win with Carlton in 2010 – Cousins struggled with drug addiction, being deregistered from the game for a year before a two-year comeback at Richmond.
Cousins eventually retired himself in 2010 after 270 games but his issues have continued post-career.
At his most recent court appearance in July, Cousins’ lawyer said he was working as a fencer in Collie as he tackled ongoing mental health issues.
“I’ve had a little bit of contact with him [Cousins] recently and he’s going really well,” Judd said on Friday morning.
“Let’s hope that good health continues.
“So much is spoken about his drug addiction. But whoever you are, you are so much more than your worst habit.
“For so much of our time back then Ben was a really powerful force for good. Unfortunately he went off the rails a bit.”
In his book, Judd writes frankly about his time at the Eagles, including a 2004 Brownlow Medal win that “ended his privacy”, in part because of his now-wife Rebecca’s plunging red dress.
Earlier this week he spoke to Melbourne radio station 3AW about Cousins’ drug battle, suggesting media coverage of the situation had not helped with the recovery.
In a more light-hearted moment, Judd told Today retirement meant the opportunity to enjoy guilt-free fish and chips, stubbies and Chinese food.