Schapelle’s SAS stint ‘could raise issue’
Viewers may have been gutted by the exit of unlikely fan favourite Schapelle Corby from Channel 7's SAS Australia, but she could potentially risk legal action if she was paid for her short-lived appearance.
Corby, who came to infamy when she was convicted of drug smuggling in Indonesia in 2005, said she went on the gruelling reality show as "part as her healing".
The 43-year-old bowed out of the challenge in last night's episode.
While it is unclear whether Corby was paid by Channel 7 for her time on the show, a lawyer has warned she could have her earnings confiscated if she did.
That's because of Australia's strict proceeds of crime laws, which prohibit people from making a profit off their notoriety.
"If there was a payment to appear on the show then this could be a breach of the proceeds of crime laws," Alison Barrett, a principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, told news.com.au.
"The law says that if a person derives a 'benefit' from the commercial exploitation of their notoriety which has resulted from them committing a certain type of serious crime, then they are likely to find themselves under scrutiny.
"The crime committed by Schapelle Corby in Bali is arguably of a serious enough nature for the law to apply."
And if charges were laid and the law was found to be breached, proceeds from the crime could be confiscated.
"Often it is the person who has benefited from the crime that needs to prove it is not tainted by crime," Ms Barrett said.
"If a person is found to have breached the proceeds of crime law then all or part of any benefit received may be recoverable."
Channel 7 would not confirm whether Corby had been paid to appear on SAS Australia when questioned by news.com.au.
"We do not disclose the terms of our agreements with any people, from any of our shows," a Seven spokesperson said.
Schapelle Corby has been contacted for comment.
In August, Nine Newspapers reported the starting salary for contestants on SAS Australia was believed to be $150,000.
Corby, who spent nine years in Bali's Kerobokan Prison before returning to Australia in 2017, has been challenged on the issue of proceeds of crime laws in the past.
Last year, she had an awkward on-air exchange with former Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley who pressed Corby about profits made from her 2006 autobiography My Story amid its re-release.
At the time, Corby said the book was not about the money but something she needed to do.
"Well, it is not about money. It is about me finishing my story. It is about going back and being cathartic to myself and my supporters, to let them know what really happened," she said.
Corby opted to leave SAS Australia in Tuesday night's episode after she was forced to sprint in the mud as a punishment for Underbelly actor Firass Dirani talking back to soldiers.
In Monday night's premiere, viewers watched as former Bali inmate Corby was interrogated by tough chief instructor Ant Middleton.
"Take me back to the moment you thought this was a good idea," one of the soldiers barked at her after playing footage of her sentencing.
"I didn't," she said.
"I went to Bali for a holiday. And then in Bali airport, I picked up my boogie board, and the handle had been cut."
The soldiers continued: "You didn't know someone had cut your boogie board up? Is that what you're trying to say? How come a court of law can prove you guilty? And then you're saying, 'It wasn't me'. What, it just magically turned up in your boogie board and you thought, 'Ugh, don't know how that happened'?"
As tears rolled down her cheeks she made an extraordinary revelation: "I suffered. I started to have mental illness really bad in 2008. And I lived in psychosis for four years."
The 43-year-old explained that her father's death in 2008 was the underlying trigger for her psychosis.
"So mid-2008 I started losing my mind … Hallucinating. I couldn't eat. I don't eat meat anymore because my hallucinations were so vivid I thought I was eating my dad's human flesh."
"I am not fully recovered from it. (My dad) used to come to visit me a lot. I didn't think that he would die and I didn't understand that would be the last time that I would see him," she said.
Speaking to Stellar earlier this month, she said her experience on the show was worth it to "put herself out there" again.
"There is a lot of hate towards me, I get that," she said.
"But it's not about what people think of me. I'm not trying to change their perceptions or give them more to hate. I really don't care what people think of me. I'm at that point of my life now where I am not hurting anybody. This was about whether I could get control of my mind. It was for myself, and I'm so proud I did it."
- with Bella Fowler.
Originally published as Schapelle's SAS stint 'could raise issue'