Free from Bali, Schapelle Corby turns to Instagram amidst Australian media frenzy

A photo posted to Schapelle Corby’s Instagram with her sister, Mercedes.
A photo posted to Schapelle Corby’s Instagram with her sister, Mercedes.

You can now follow Schapelle Corby on Instagram.

Big thank you to my Bali family, neighbours and my brother inlaw Wayan. #realtime #abouttoleavwmyhomeof3years

A post shared by Schapellecorby (@schapelle.corby) on

After completing her parole in Bali, the 39-year-old Australian has turned to the social platform to get her voice out amidst a national media obsession with her.

Since her first public post two days ago saying how much she will miss her dogs in Bali, Corby has posted footage of herself being swarmed by the media while driving, a pic of her on the plane over to Australia, and her “welcome wagon,” showing paparazzi literally falling all over themselves to get a snap of her.

Going to miss these two. My puppies #Luna&May

A post shared by Schapellecorby (@schapelle.corby) on

With her account, she’s clearly attempting to turn the camera back on the media, with another photo of what one assumes is a paparazzo giving her the bird and, most recently, a picture of William Tyrell, an Australian boy who went missing at the age of three in 2014, questioning, where’s the coverage on him?

When the media dont like their own pic taken

A post shared by Schapellecorby (@schapelle.corby) on

Where's William Tyrrell? #DontBeDistractedByTrivia #Williamicare #PushForDaniel'sLaw #Daniel'sLaw

A post shared by Schapellecorby (@schapelle.corby) on

Australians seem to be going nuts for the account, as she already has over 163k followers and each photo has hundreds of comments—both positive and negative.

While every Australian seems to unequivocally know Corby’s case, for those non-Aussies out there, Corby was arrested in 2004 with 4.2 kg of cannabis in her boogie board bag.

Corby has consistently maintained her innocence, insisting that the drugs were planted, despite being sentenced in 2005 for 20 years—a penalty that was later cut after standard remissions and an appeal to the president. After nine years behind bars, Corby was released on parole in early 2014, but had to stay in Bali for the length of her parole.

Fast forward to when that parole finished over the weekend and the media swarmed her Bali villa and even more seemed to be waiting on the ground for her in Oz.

Corby has been a national fixation in Australia, in large part because everyone seems to have an opinion on her in the “did she or didn’t she?” scenario. Was she a victim of a malicious setup and corrupt justice system or did she think she was above the law and was in it for the cash?

There are conspiracy theorists who have spent years campaigning for Corby’s freedom with videos, books, blogs, and web pages. Corby was a victim, unlucky, many argue.

But let’s not make her hero, wrote Susie O’Brien in an interesting opinion piece on Corby for the Herald Sun, last week.

O’Brien puts it quite simply: “Corby is not a hero, a martyr nor a victim. She is a convicted drug smuggler who was originally sent to jail for 20 years for trying to smuggle 4kg of marijuana into Bali in a boogie board bag.”

Moreover, “the compassion that continues to be shown for Corby has a lot to do with the woman herself,” O’Brien explains.

“Back then, conspiracy theorists fell for Corby’s piercing blue eyes and distraught feminine demeanor.

“The underlying racist assumption was that Indonesia was a corrupt place incapable of dispensing justice to this innocent Aussie beach girl.”

And let’s not forget how the Corby family has cashed in big on Schapelle’s woeful tale, dragging public interest on the case for years after with paid interviews, but then turned the tables when it suited them, O’Brien adds.

Regardless on which side of the “did she or didn’t she” coin you fall, seeing Corby—who has long dodged any sort of public attention—put herself out there so openly on Instagram, will definitely offer a unique perspective into the Aussie’s post-Bali life. 



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