Deported from Bali and home at last, Schapelle Corby’s happiness is shot through with regret, heartbreak and shattered hopes.
Now her long ordeal is over, the freed drug trafficker faces an uncertain future in Australia – and the many changes that time has brought in her enforced almost-13-year absence.
Saddest of all is being torn apart from her ‘close friend’ Ben Panangian, 35, who’s been left behind in Kuta with her two little dogs Luna and May, and the reality of her adored dad’s death.
‘She is upset. Returning to Queensland has really brought it home to Schapelle that her dad is no longer here,’ confides mother Rosleigh Rose, 63, who nursed ex-husband Michael ‘Mick’ Corby through cancer until his death nine years ago.
‘That’s a sad thing for her, because they were really close. She used to take him to Currumbin Surf Club every Saturday, for a drink and for the raffles. Michael always loved a meat raffle.’
Mother-of-six Rosleigh smiles, remembering how simple life used to be before Schapelle’s arrest and conviction for smuggling 4.2kg of cannabis in her boogie board bag into Bali.
Jailed in Kerobokan Prison’s overcrowded women’s section, the former Gold Coast beauty student dreamt of freedom – growing vegies, shopping for clothes, walking on the beach or eating a bowl of her mum’s trifle.
But most important – even more vital than the big bedroom that would hopefully turn into a parents’ retreat one day – was the granny flat the 39-year-old planned to provide for her dad.
‘It will be hard for her,’ former fish and chip shop owner Rosleigh recently told New Idea.
‘Schapelle was kind of frightened to come home but hopefully she will settle back into it.
‘She is really different from the way she used to be, she is definitely not trustful of people at all, and so much has changed here while she’s been gone.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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