Few words, if any, from Schapelle Corby

Last updated 15:16 02/03/2014
Schapelle Corby pictured in a Sunday Night exclusive
Seven Network
ON THE BEACH:Schapelle Corby pictured in a Sunday Night exclusive at Seminyak beach for her first swim since her release from prison.

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Knowing as we do Schapelle Corby's first words on release from prison – "I feel like a crab" – what else is there to say?

Not much, judging by Channel Seven's much-hyped exclusive with the parolled drug smuggler.

It's the interview you have when you're not having an interview. As revealing as a conversation with a circus mime. Seven's Sunday Night program has paid dearly, in dollars or sense, for exclusive footage of Corby, 36, saying very little indeed.

There she is being shunted into the back of a black car, apparently like a crustacean. There she is giggling inside a luxury Balinese villa. She smiles. She swims, fully dressed, in the sea.

Indonesian authorities banned Corby from giving an interview, lest it cause "restlessness" in the community and breach parole regulations. It is not known how much, if anything, Corby has to say. Indonesian officials say they will be watching closely when the program goes to air tonight.

Instead, TV viewers must settle for the garrulous Mercedes Corby revealing how she force-fed her sister during her depressive years in prison. "There were times where I was allowed inside her room and I would bathe her," she tells reporter Mike Willessee.

"For months I would have to hand feed her and stick her medicine on my finger down her throat, hold the straw to her mouth so she could drink. It was really hard."

Corby has been changed (kind of) by spending almost 10 years in Kerobokan prison, her sister says. "You still see how she was before but a lot of her happiness, her strength...it's gone. No, I can't say her strength has gone because she has endured 10 years of that. She's happy she's out."

Corby's good cheer on being freed is evident in the program. She jumps and giggles like a girl on entering the luxury Sentosa Seminyak villa, after her release on February 10.

Earlier, cameras capture her evading non-preferred media inside a big black car. Dressed like a beekeeper, with netting covering her face, she sits in the back seat and utters: "I feel like a ... I feel like a crab."

Perhaps this refers to having to scuttle out of prison amid a slavering media pack. Perhaps she is hungry for a seafood platter. Corby, of course, does not say.

Sunday Night negotiated exclusive access to her first days of freedom, including footage of her swimming at Seminyak beach.

The Corby family pleaded unsuccessfully with authorities to be allowed to conduct the interview, saying it was for Schapelle's mental wellbeing, and promising it would not be paid for.

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We do know that Corby, on being released, enjoyed a beer with her brother – that photograph was published by Woman's Day online, after the magazine reportedly paid $20,000 for the pleasure.

Exactly how much, if anything, Seven has paid for a mute Corby is unknown. "There's no interview with Schapelle, and no payment was made," says a Sunday Night spokeswoman.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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