Sunrise co-host David Koch has hit out at his own network for paying convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby A$2 million (NZ$2.16m) for a tell-all interview following her release from prison in Bali.
The television personality used this morning's Sunrise programme to criticise the Seven Network for securing one of the biggest chequebook journalism deals in Australian television history.
"I reckon we should have nothing to do with her as a network. Totally disagree with paying a convicted drug smuggler A$2 million," Koch said.
His co-host, Samantha Armytage, responded: "Too late for that."
Corby spent her first night on parole at a luxury resort and spa in the fashionable Seminyak district in Bali, where a crew from Seven's Sunday Night programme was also staying.
Corby was seen leaving the parole office in Bali on Monday in the company of legendary TV current affairs interrogator Mike Willesee, who does occasional stories for Sunday Night.
Willesee would not even confirm to Seven reporters in Bali if their network had secured an exclusive deal with Corby.
Koch said on air this morning that he had a "huge argument" with his wife about the interview deal.
He said his wife, Libby, thinks Corby is "innocent and she deserves the money".
"I know Indonesia's corrupt and all that sort of stuff, but you know, she's convicted so why pay the money?" Koch said.
He then urged viewers to vote in a Sunrise poll about whether they believed Corby was innocent or not.
Koch also responded to critics on Twitter, including one person who said he’d love to hear Koch explain the "moral justification for paying a convicted drug dealer [to tell] her story".
"You just did," Koch tweeted back.
Another person tweeted: "Shame on @kochie_online & channel 7 if story is true of big bucks paid to Corby's [sic]."
Koch responded: "Why me? You're obviously not watching."
- Sydney Morning Herald