Schapelle Corby’s extreme lengths to avoid the media frenzy on Australian soil have, ironically, generated a lot of media attention.
The 39-year-old convicted drug smuggler touched down in Brisbane after switching flights at the last minute to throw journalists off the scent. After flying business class from Bali, Corby was met by a presidential-like convoy of black SUVs.
Her decision to carry a bag with an image of William Tyrrell taped to the front sparked outrage from the missing boy's family—and the rest of Australia.
Photographers also captured extraordinary scenes of a man wearing a frightening Halloween mask at Corby’s mothers home in Loganlea, south of Brisbane.
The mastermind behind Corby’s bait and switch? Eleanor Whitman, a female ex-army officer turned security professional, 9News reports.
But what promoted Corby’s complicated plan—and drastic measures to avoid the media?
The Today Show host Karl Stefanovic hit back at coverage of Corby’s arrival in Brisbane, suggesting perhaps she wants the “mayhem”.
“Schapelle Corby — rightly or wrongly — has been convicted of drug smuggling,” he said. “She’s done her time and has the right to live her life in relative peace — if that’s what she wants. Maybe she wants mayhem. Whatever. I don’t care.”
Despite attempting to avoid the media furore in Brisbane, Corby has begun documenting her new life on a public Instagram page with almost 150k followers.
Journalist Chris O’Keefe suggested Corby could have curbed media attention by releasing a simple statement after touching down on home soil, news.com.au reports.
“I think Australia deserves to hear from her. She could have just ripped the band-aid off, she could’ve come out when she landed in Brisbane, put her hand up and said ‘Thank you for all your support, I’m happy I’m home.’ It’s cat and mouse,” he suggested in an interview on Hit 105 Breakfast.
“She’s saying she’s paranoid and sick of cameras - what’s going on with the Instagram then?”
Lawyer Christian Juebner told news.com.au that although Corby would not be able to profit from her crime, she would be courted by media outlets to tell her story.
“Schapelle Corby can’t make money as a result of her notoriety ... arising from her offending but other people can,” he said.
“She will be invited to go on I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! She will be invited to go on all sorts of weird and wonderful programs.”