Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson has slammed fellow journalist Basil Zempilas for his “beyond grubby” and “beyond demeaning” line of questioning of Ben Cousins in Sunday night’s Coming Clean documentary.
The fallout from the tell all interview has polarised the footy public, with some camps claiming they learned nothing new, while finding it difficult to watch a man whose life still appeared out of control.
One scene in particular left Wilson repulsed.
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Zempilas pulled out a photo of an apparently nude Cousins at a tanning salon, with the former West Coast premiership star explaining the premise of the shot was simply to “get a r**t”.
“Basil, the blokey nudge, the dreadful follow-up question, the assumption that this was in any way an acceptable line to pursue or a conversation to be held on prime time television,” Wilson told Footy Classified.
“Why on earth did the editors leave it in? Basil, why did you let them? Were you all so desperate for a ‘gotcha’ moment in the story of a fallen hero who is desperately seeking relevance but (is) completely lacking clarity and an inability to explain how or why all this happened?
“It was so tasteless.”
Wilson said the documentary was “strangely edited”, while also being critical of the nonsensical cameo appearances from the likes of Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe and a Home And Away actor.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for everyone, but I was as depressed as I’ve felt,” Wilson said.
“It was just so sad and so awful.
“Some of the things – the writing to the soapie star, getting him to play tennis with Nat Fyfe – is a bit of a gimmick.”