It’s a picture-perfect family scene. A dad having a kick of the footy in a suburban park with his kid, while mum watches on.
But behind the seemingly friendly family outing involving fallen former footballer Ben Cousins and his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff lies a well-known troubled history, which is still hanging over both their heads.
The Brownlow medallist was photographed on Monday enjoying time with his children and their mother near his parents’ home in Bicton.
But Cousins’ lawyer Michael Tudori told The West Australian yesterday Cousins had not breached a court order by meeting with Ms Tinecheff, adding he was permitted contact with her in relation to their children and that he was “not concerned” by them being photographed together.
Cousins appeared to be a doting dad in good spirits, seemingly cheerful as his young son and daughter happily played for more than half an hour. His children happily called out “Dad” and he was seen affectionately ruffling his son Bobby’s hair.
Cousins, 41, will face trial on September 12 over charges alleging he repeatedly stalked and threatened Ms Tinecheff. Police allege he breached a violence restraining order taken out by Ms Tinecheff a dozen times and threatened to kill her, bury her alive in a park and take their children to the spot “where you will be able to hear them but not be able to get to them”.
Police revealed yesterday they were investigating whether Cousins had breached his bail or a family violence restraining order by meeting with Ms Tinecheff but said there were circumstances in which the former couple could legally meet.
Since he was released on bail in April, Cousins has been visited by his children every weekend and during the school holidays.
When approached by Daily Mail Australia on Monday, Cousins said: “I’m good, mate, really good. I’m just enjoying a nice day with my kids.”
A few hours later, Cousins enjoyed dinner with brothel madam and friend Mary-Anne Kenworthy at Asian restaurant Pachi Pachi in Victoria Park.
She posted a picture of Cousins enjoying the meet-up on Twitter with the caption: “Had a lovely meal at Pachi Pachi tonight with Ben Cousins.
“He is looking great, a healthy appetite. We discussed social media and learning together to move forward positively and wisely.”
Last year, Ms Kenworthy allowed Cousins to live in her unit attached to the Langtrees brothel until his drug use spiralled out of control.
Neighbours painted a picture of a fallen superstar desperately trying to reclaim his life from drugs.
They said he could be seen playing football in the two nearby parks. During school holidays they were around at least three days a week.
“He’s always around, he’s polite, the kids are polite,” one neighbour told Daily Mail Australia.
“This weekend he gave us ahoy because the boy kicked a football over the fence into our garden. He asked politely if they could have it back. The little boy said thanks very much.”
The neighbour said Cousins always seemed happy, cheerful — and always said hello.
“He seems to be trying very hard to get his life straighten out and he’s certainly great with the kids,” the neighbour said.