The Seven Network is refusing to confirm reports that it has a struck a multi-million media deal for an exclusive interview with drug smuggler Schapelle Corby.
Corby was granted parole on Monday after more than nine years in an Indonesian prison for trying to smuggle more than 4kg of marijuana into Bali.
However, on Monday Corby covered herself from head to foot, in a style reminiscent of the way the late popstar Michael Jackson would shroud his children to make it difficult for them to be photographed.
It’s believed Corby went to great lengths to cover her face and body in order to protect a media deal with Seven, estimated to be worth between $1.5 and $3 million.
The agreement is believed to embrace an exclusive interview with Seven’s current affair show Sunday Night, plus a magazine photo-shoot and interview with one of the network’s affiliated magazines.
Despite several requests for Seven to confirm or deny speculation about the deal, on early Monday evening the network was still refusing to comment.
Seven seems to be both fuelling the rumours and keeping some of its own network in the dark. Seven’s Brisbane nightly news service was reporting: “There’s strong speculation Seven’s Sunday Night program has secured an exclusive interview with Schapelle Corby but that has yet to be confirmed.”
Veteran Aussie journalist Mike Willesee appears to have scored the interview for Sunday Night.
Willesee has been spotted in Bali following Corby’s every movement since her release on Monday morning.
After a frenetic few hours surrounded and chased by press following her release on Monday morning from Bali’s Kerokoban prison, Corby was taken to the luxury Sentosa Seminyak hotel.
The Nine Network will re-screen the telemovie Schapelle on Monday night, to follow a news special on Corby’s release from an Indonesian jail.
The arrest, trial and conviction were the centrepiece of the telemovie Schapelle, which aired on Sunday night and attracted more than a million viewers.
The drama had originally been scheduled to first screen on Monday, but Nine pulled it forward by a day.
Nine will broadcast the news special, Schapelle: Finally Free, at 8.40pm on Monday, and follow it at 9.40pm with a repeat of the telemovie.