Schapelle Corby’s interview on Sunrise this morning got off to a bumpy start as the convicted drug smuggler appeared to take offence to a question from co-host Sam Armytage.
Appearing ahead of her reality TV debut tonight on Seven’s new show SAS Australia, Corby joined Armytage and co-host David Koch live from her home on the Gold Coast.
“I covered part of your trial in Bali. If you’d said to me, fast forward 10, 15 years, I’d be interviewing you now doing a reality show, I’d have said, ‘Oh, for goodness sake’,” Armytage began, before Corby, who appeared to have difficulty hearing the question, interjected.
“If one of the what? If one of the what?” she asked.
Armytage repeated the question – but Corby cut her off mid-sentence. “Well I wouldn’t have had any clue what would be in my future,” she said.
“What do you say to people out there who are surprised you want to pursue a TV career?” Armytage continued.
“Nothing. It’s all about my own self. I did this for myself,” said a frustrated-looking Corby.
From there, Corby, 43, appeared to warm up as she spoke about the mental and physical challenges she endured filming SAS Australia, a new military-style reality show which will put a group of Australian celebrities through gruelling challenges.
“This is why I wanted to do it; I wanted to see if I was in control of my mind,” she said.
But a question from Koch prompted another terse response from Corby. He asked her “what was tougher – doing this (show), or spending those years in a Bali jail?” “Well it’s completely different, Kochie,” Corby shot back, with more dead air as the hosts waited for her to expand on her answer. Corby served nine years in Bali’s infamous Kerobokan prison after being found guilty of importing 4.2kg of marijuana to Bali in a boogie board bag.
Later on in the interview, Corby opened up about what her life has been like since returning to Australia from Bali three years ago. While she has until now shunned most media opportunities, she does have a prolific Instagram account with more than 160,000 followers. She said she spends “a lot of time by myself in my (art) studio”.
“I’m happy in my life, but I was feeling a little stuck. I wasn’t reaching out to friends or making any plans, so I needed this little exercise of SAS, and it really gave me a kick up the butt.”
As the interview wound up, the hosts asked Corby about her long distance relationship with Indonesian boyfriend Ben Panangian.
“He’s very important. He’s a huge motivator in me. Umm … yeah. He’s really encouraged … he’s a big part of my life. It works because we have video chats. It’s not just letters or normal telephone calls. We speak to each other like three, four times a day … it works for us, this long distance relationship,” she said.
Despite those insights it was a bumpy interview, with commenters on social media labelling it “painful” and “excruciating to watch.”