'Cocaine Cassie' shocks SAS Australia viewers with brutal confession

Fans labelled Cassie Sainsbury’s comments as ‘heartbreaking’.

SAS Australia viewers were left shocked during Monday night’s premiere when convicted drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury, also known as ‘Cocaine Cassie’, opened up about her traumatic experience in Colombia's notorious El Buen Pastor prison.

The 28-year-old was sentenced to six years behind bars in 2017 when she was caught with 5.8kgs of cocaine hidden in her luggage at Bogota Airport. She was released three years into her sentence due to good behaviour and spent a further two years and nine months on parole in Colombia.

SAS Australia's Cassie Sainsbury and Ant Middleton.
Cassie Sainsbury spoke candidly about her experience in prison during Monday night’s premiere of SAS Australia. Photos: Channel Seven

Cassie, who is one of the 14 Aussie personalities appearing on SAS Australia’s fourth season, admitted during an interrogation that she was finding the military reality show to be “so similar” to her time in prison.

“I spent three years in a Columbian jail, and it's just all very triggering,” Cassie told chief instructor Ant Middleton through tears. “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.”


Cassie went on to say that the prison guards treated the inmates like “dog s**t” and claimed they would hit and gas them “with guns that sent the gas tins through with pepper gas”.

“They were really nasty,” she added.


While her casting on SAS Australia was initially met with outrage, fans took to social media following her interrogation to share their sympathy for Cassie.

“That was heartbreaking what she went through!” one person wrote, while another added, “Absolutely moving stuff Cassie, excited to see your growth on the show”.

“Well done Cassie just get on with it you’ll be right mate,” a third commented. “Good on you for being brave going on national TV!”

“You can do it Cass,” someone else shared, followed by a different user who said, “You've done your time... Do this course and let it go sweetheart.. and good luck”.


Monday night’s premiere comes shortly after the salaries for this year’s SAS Australia contestants leaked online.

According to New Idea, most of this year’s cast members were paid up to $30,000 for their appearances on the reality show.

However, Cassie is reportedly one of the “highest paid of the cast this year” with a six-figure salary.

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