Real Life

Schapelle Corby’s first interview after her release from prison

Schapelle Corby spent nine years behind bars in Bali for drug smuggling. Nine months after returning home to Australia she opens up for the first time about what it’s really like to be free.
Schapelle Corby

Meet the real woman behind the myth.

Unedited and in her own words for the first time ever, Schapelle Corby talks exclusively to Woman’s Day about her life at home in Australia after nine years in jail.

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Where is home for you now?

I’m in Logan, about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast, living with my mum [Rosleigh Rose].

So what’s a typical day for you?

Well, I’m a clean freak. I think making your bed in the morning is a good way to start the day. I just live day by day. I read. I’m working on some little projects.

My mum has a swimming pool and I don’t really work so I make sure I get outside… no excuse not to get some vitamin D!

Schapelle is hugged by her mother Roseleigh Rose in court in 2006 after she was found guilty of trying to smuggle 4.1kg (9 lb) of marijuana into Bali.

What are you watching on TV now?

I don’t really watch TV. I just like to be at home spending time with Mum and she watches MKR but it’s not really about the food, is it? It’s all about the gossip and I’m not into that, but I do like Manu and Pete.

I love cooking but cooking in Mum’s kitchen is really difficult – it’s electric so I just kind of burn everything!

Do you diet?

I did a juice diet for three weeks. Oh my goodness, I BLEW UP! I was making my own juices, but with coconut water – and it blew me up.

Why is your weight so important to you?

I’ve always struggled with my weight. If I’m active I have a fit body, but if I’m not active I have the body type that gets fat overnight. When I was mentally ill and on antipsychotics, I was huge. You want to get dressed but you have no clothes that fit you, which confuses you again when you’re already confused.

It makes another psychotic episode. When all those larger pictures came out, I was on very strong antipsychotics. I couldn’t read when I was ill. I couldn’t focus, I wasn’t able to, I could just look at pictures. I was just like a fruit loop, I didn’t know what was going on. I started to cut down on the medication after four years.

Schapelle Corby

Were you ever worried you’d become addicted?

I’m not an addictive person. I’m not into drugs. When I see comments saying, “Druggo!” it’s upsetting because I don’t use drugs. I don’t smoke marijuana.

Why do you think you have 200,000 social media followers?

People are seeing the real you? I don’t know why… I mean, I bore myself, to be honest! I look at my page and it’s just my head and I’m like, “Urgh! It bores me!”

“I’ve had dogs in the past, but with Lucille, it’s like she chose me and I chose her. I just love her so much. She’s my little baby.”

Do you realise some influencers command $2000 just for a hashtag?

Wow. That’s a lot of money. Really? I get the marketing side of it but it’s not something I’d do for a job. Well, maybe if it was travel I might think about it! I’d love to see a bit of Australia. If I like your product and you’re a small business then sure, I’ll help you out.

But I don’t expect anything in return. If I like it, I’ll share it.

Why do social media when you seem to hate that rightly or wrongly you are now famous?

It’s good for me to have it because I get to stick up for myself. When I broke my leg, obviously I had to go to hospital, and there was a paparazzi following me. Instead of him getting paid for it I could just put it online myself. I thought, “I can help myself here. I can take control.”

Is it a good feeling to have a voice?

It’s not about having a voice, it’s just about taking control for myself. I couldn’t go out of my house for three weeks before leaving Bali because my street was full of media.

Is it hard being Schapelle Corby?

I’m just happy to be alive. I’m going to cry… I’m just so happy to be alive.

Why do you think your story became such a huge media sensation?

I have no idea. It sounds cliched but maybe because of benefit of the doubt – what if you were just going on a holiday and it just happened?

I’m so tired of it, it’s just like a broken record, I know what’s real and my family knows what’s real. I don’t think it’s about the real situation, it’s about the what if.

How do you see yourself?

I feel like usually I’m a bitch! I spend a lot of time with myself, so I try not to judge people. I try not to judge myself too harshly. I just try to live. I’m so happy to be alive.

I’m already 40 but I’m just so happy to be alive. I’m happy for life. I like smiling and giving people the time of day. I’m not stuck up. I’m happy to be alive and I’m happy to watch other people live.

Tell us about adopting Lucille…

I just love her so much. It’s weird because I’ve had dogs in the past, but with Lucille, it’s like she chose me and I chose her. I could see her and she could see me and she called me. She’s my little baby. She’s my life. She’s everything to me.

We actually shower together now!

I used to wash her in the laundry tub but then she’s dry and gets dirty again, and because she sleeps with me, the other night I looked at her and said, “I’m going to wash my hair, how about you?” She was so much better in there.

How important is your bond with Mercedes?

We laugh a lot. We’ve always loved each other. She’s been so good to me.

What do you think you’ll be doing in 12 months?

I have dreams but I don’t have long-term goals. I have no idea what I’ll be doing in five years. I just need to concentrate on recovering, being with mum, living life again.

How about kids? Would you have a child on your own?

Yes, because I have a great family who would look after the child. I’m not actively trying to be pregnant, that’s off the radar.

If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s not a priority.

Would you ever freeze your eggs?

It’s not even a thought.

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