Convicted Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been paid “less than 20k” for her first media interview since returning home to Queensland from Bali.
The figure was confirmed to The New Daily by a PR spokeswoman for Woman’s Day, which published a seven-page feature on a bikini-clad Ms Corby in its March 12 edition (published March 5).
Asked whether the payment might be subject to seizure under proceeds of crime laws, the spokeswoman said: “From my understanding, amongst other things the story is about her life now, her social media following and what’s ahead for her.
“It’s not about her past.”
In the story, Ms Corby, 40, fielded just one question about her time in Kerobokan prison.
She spent nine years there after being convicted in May 2005 of the importation of 4.2 kilograms of cannabis into Bali. Ms Corby was released on parole in February 2014, but was required by her bail conditions to remain in Bali until last May.
Asked if reports were true that she “had a beauty salon” in prison, Ms Corby said: “I think it was a guard who said that. No. It’s not something I want to do. Too much human contact.”
These days, she said, “I don’t hug. It’s too much body contact. What I’ve gone through, I’ve changed in that sense.”
She flicked at her time in jail without directly referencing it by talking about past weight gain: “When I was mentally ill and on antipsychotics, I was huge. I started to cut down on the medication after four years.”
Ms Corby said she was never worried she would become addicted.
“I’m not an addictive person. I’m not into drugs. I don’t smoke marijuana.”
Nicholas Pullen, Melbourne-based partner with HWL Ebsworth and a specialist in media and defamation law, spoke to The New Daily about whether the fee contravenes proceeds of crime laws.
“There’s still a question to answer there, that’s for sure,” Mr Pullen said.
The Proceeds of Crime Act was established to prevent criminals from profiting from the exploitation of their life of crime.
“Does any story that she gets paid for now mean that it’s subject to the proceeds of crime, or does the story have to include details of her past for the proceeds of crime legislation to take hold?” Mr Pullen said.
He said Ms Corby may not be allowed to keep the money if the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions decides the legislation still holds even though there is no mention of her criminal past in the story by Woman’s Day.
Despite her distaste for bodily contact, Ms Corby said she hoped to become a mother.
“Yes, because I have a great family who would look after the child.
“I’m not actively trying to get pregnant, that’s off the radar. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
In the interview, Ms Corby discussed at length her diet (“I’m into juicing”), her Instagram account and her home life in Logan, north of the Gold Coast, with mother Rosleigh Rose.
Anyone hoping for a juicy tell-all will have to make do with the news that Ms Corby clenches her teeth when she sleeps, hasn’t had botox and craved blueberries when she was in Bali, but found them “overrated” when she came home.
A “clean freak”, Ms Corby outlined her daily routine, which kicks off with making her bed, doing sit-ups and brushing her teeth.
“I just live day by day,” she said.
“I read. I’m working on some little projects. My mum has a swimming pool and I don’t really work so I make sure I get outside.”
Other snippets: She has her driver’s licence back which means she’s “so excited to have my independence”, doesn’t watch TV and finds it hard to cook in her mum’s kitchen.
“It’s electric so I just kind of burn everything.”
As to when negotiations between Ms Corby and Woman’s Day began: “They’ve actually been in touch, talking, since last year,” the spokesperson said.
Were there any provisos from either side? “That’s probably something I can’t answer.”
The spokeswoman could also not say why Woman’s Day wanted an interview with Ms Corby.
While the former beauty therapies student has more than 200,000 Instagram followers and gets recognised in public, she said: “I don’t feel like a celebrity at all. I bore myself, to be honest.”
Asked her long-term plans, she said she wanted to drive down Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
“I’m so happy to be alive,” Ms Corby said. “I’m happy for life. I like smiling and giving people the time of day.”
Before the interview, Ms Corby’s last public offering was a song she collaborated on called Palm Trees, which was released on Instagram in January.
#Repost @nat_zelz : So it's taken me a little while to upload it but this is mine and @schapelle.corby's song Palm Trees. I wrote this in Cairns for a bit of a laugh and then took it into the studio to produce it and lay down our vocals. So much fun. 🤣☺️🌴😂 x #palmtrees #schapellecorby #music #studio #producer #musician #musicianlife #remix #queensland #iminqueensland #thisisqueensland @nat_zelz
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