Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby cannot cash in on the nine years she spent imprisoned in Bali but her family can, a Melbourne lawyer says.
But if the family is paid for media interviews when Corby returns to Australia almost 13 years after her arrest at Denpasar Airport, authorities will keep a close eye on the money trail, proceeds of crime expert Christian Juebner told AAP.
“Schapelle Corby can’t make money as a result of her notoriety … arising from her offending but other people can,” he said.
“If, ultimately, it’s proved that the money flowed back to Schapelle Corby or she received some benefit – it doesn’t have to be actual money, just some commercial benefit – then the restraining order [on the funds] could be made.”
Media outlets will have an “enormous appetite” for the Corby story, publicist and celebrity booker Max Markson said.
“There is not a newspaper, magazine, radio station or website in Australia who won’t want to sit down with her, talk to her,” 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.”
But Mr Markson said it was unclear what price a Corby exclusive would fetch.
“I don’t think there are millions of dollars around in the media to pay for a one-off story,” he said.
Media outlets can pay for criminals’ stories, Mr Juebner said.
“They’ll just be careful to ensure that the paperwork which they create for that records the benefit not going to the person who’s alleged to have committed the offence,” he said.
In 2006, Corby co-wrote My Story, an account of her life in Kerobokan Prison published by Pan Macmillian.
Her family pocketed $270,000 but the Commonwealth recovered about $128,000 in proceeds in 2009.
“This order related to benefits derived by Ms Corby from the publication of her biography My Story by Pan Macmillan, and from an article published in the New Idea magazine,” the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions said in a statement.
Corby was in 2005 sentenced to 20 years jail for smuggling 4.1kg of marijuana into Denpasar Airport the previous year.
She was released on parole in 2014 and was deported to Australia on Sunday.
Corby has always maintained her innocence.
Nine Network’s 60 Minutes would not comment on whether it was in talks with the Corby family about an interview.
The Ten and Seven networks and Seven’s Pacific Magazines arm, which owns New Idea, were also contacted for comment.
Schapelle’s mother Rosleigh Rose said last week no deal had been done for her daughter’s return, although she left open the option for later on.
But on Sunday, there were reports that Nine had set up an interview with Corby who has not been seen since she landed.