Tonight on SAS Australia, convicted drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury relived her Columbian prison hell and shared her desire to leave the “Cocaine Cassie” moniker behind,
The 14 new celebrity recruits were sandblasted by a hovering Black Hawk helicopter on arrival before being buried alive for 45 minutes, triggering a traumatic reminder of prison life for Cassie, who tried to stay calm by repeating the phrase: “you’re not in prison.”
“This is all so similar to jail,” said Cassie in tears as the reality of base camp hit home. Sensing her distress, the DS called her in for questioning.
“I spent three years in a Columbian jail, and it’s all just very triggering,” explained Cassie. “I’m trying to deal with it as it comes. But it’s not easy. I feel like I’ve entered back into one of the yards there. Even the way that we eat food, the way we sleep. The guards there are very much the same. They yell at us, we’re a number.”
After recounting her days at Colombia’s El Buen Pastor prison, Cassie shared her dreams of a new life with the DS, saying she wanted to leave the “Cocaine Cassie” moniker behind.
“I finished my sentence; I did my time. I paid the price. And I’m trying to move on with my life. I’m not the same person I was nearly seven years ago. I’m not Cocaine Cassie. I’m just Cassie.”
In their first task, paired recruits boarded a moving train to recover a mission-essential item hidden inside a military cache. Once secured, they escaped the train to a designated extraction point. To pass the task, all had to be completed within three minutes.
As the recruits recovered from day one on the course, AFL hall of famer Jason asked to see chief medic Doctor Dan, complaining of pain in his foot. After a thorough examination, Dr Dan said there was nothing he could see that warranted a medical discharge. Without a medical discharge, Jason was left with only one option and voluntarily withdrew from the course.
“I’ve got out exactly what I would hope to get out of it. I didn’t leave injured, ah, that injured. I’m a bit sore but not that injured. And I don’t need to come on a course like this and prove anything else to anyone else”.
Actor Craig McLachlan was next to take his place in the mirror room for interrogation. DS Ant Middleton and Jay Morton questioned the actor over the 16 criminal charges laid against him in 2014 for his role as Dr Frankenfurter in the Rocky Horror Show.
After describing the “fetishy” nature of the stage show, Craig told the DS: “As a performer, when you sign on for that show, you’re signing up for the fetish nature of it, the comedy. During the rehearsal process, you’re in close quarters, you’re trying out new gags, you’re touching each other, not inappropriately, not within the parameters of what that show is.”
“I was found not guilty of any wrongful behaviour. It’s because I was f*cking innocent,” yelled the actor before being urged by DS Ant to calm down. “I’ve been profoundly hurt. So, you know there’s always going to be some residual anger,” he continued.
“People who only months before looked me in the eye and said ‘you create the most wonderful work environments imaginable’…abandonment, total abandonment. A tiny handful of courageous people I’ve had friendships with over thirty years were always there, but the vast majority, gone.”