After almost 10 years behind bars, this is how Schapelle Corby chose to celebrate her freedom, knocking back a beer with her brother Michael Jnr.
With the bizarre scarf she used to protect a multi-million dollar media deal finally removed from her face, Schapelle’s joy and relief at being released could be finally be seen.
Schapelle is still tucked away in the five-star spa resort Sentosa Seminyak waiting to do an exclusive interview with Mike Willessee said to be worth up to $3 million.
The 4.1kg of high-grade marijuana carefully packed into Schapelle boogie board bag was only worth about $AU80,000.
Now, she looks set to earn more than 25 times that amount from just one exclusive media interview.
The 36-year-old former beauty school student from the Gold Coast is understood to have signed a deal with Channel Seven worth more than $AU3 million, or $AU300,000 for every year she spent in Kerobokan jail.
And many legal experts suggest that, despite Australia having proceeds of crime legislation, she’ll be able to keep every penny as long as she keeps the cash in Indonesia and in someone else’s name.
There is growing public disquiet about Seven’s deal with the convicted drug mule. Even one of the network’s biggest stars, Sunrise host David Koch, has voiced his outrage, calling for his bosses to boycott the Corbys.
“I reckon we should have nothing to do with her as a network,” he said on air this morning.
“I totally disagree with paying a convicted drug smuggler $3 million. I know Indonesia is corrupt and all that sort of stuff, but she is convicted.”
Network stablemate sports presenter Jim Wilson also weighed in on Twitter, suggesting Schapelle should have ditched the “ridiculous” scarf over her face and made a statement before giving any interview.
Upon her release Schapelle was escorted by private security guards, hired by Seven, to a five-star resort along with current affairs veteran Mike Willesee and his crew.
While some experts are suggesting Schapelle will find it difficult to keep all the money from the deal, which some say could be worth up to $3 million, others say Australia’s current diplomatic woes with Indonesia will work in Schapelle’s favour.
That’s because Australian authorities can seize money and assets brought or transferred into Australia and can freeze bank accounts held in Australia, but would need Indonesia’s help getting access to Indonesian accounts.
Given the diplomatic tensions between the two countries, Jakarta may be reluctant to assist with any request from Australian authorities.
As part of her parole conditions, Schapelle must remain in Indonesia until 2017.
Senior law enforcement lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Hugh McDermott, told news.com.au that, “If Corby’s smart… she won’t profit directly from this money’’.
“The money will go to her family or a separate trust.
“There’s millions of dollars to be made here and I imagine they’ll structure it in a way to keep it out of the hands of law enforcers.”
Realted video: Kochie slams his own network over multi million dollar Schapelle interview.