Schapelle ‘I’d rather stay in Bali’ ’

Schapelle con­fesses With just days un­til her home­com­ing, scared Schapelle is heart­bro­ken about giv­ing up the life she knows in Bali

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Schapelle Corby is strug­gling with the daunt­ing prospect of fi­nally com­ing home and leav­ing her boyfriend and beloved pet dogs be­hind in Bali.

While many would as­sume she’d never want to set foot on the re­sort is­land again af­ter spend­ing a large chunk of her life in ap­palling con­di­tions in no­to­ri­ous Ker­obokan Prison, Schapelle, 39, is up­set that she may never be al­lowed to re­turn af­ter she is de­ported on May 27.

She will be banned for at least six months, but it could be for much longer – sep­a­rat­ing her from Ba­li­nese pad­dle­boarder Ben Panan­gian, who she met and fell in love with in jail. She’ll also be leav­ing be­hind her two best friends, dogs Luna and May.

Schapelle is say­ing good­bye to ev­ery­thing she knows to re­turn to an un­cer­tain fu­ture on the Gold Coast. She is also aware that she will al­ways be a tar­get for the me­dia,, has few j job p prospectsp and,, de­spite ru­mours of hid­den mil­lions, is vir­tu­ally pen­ni­less.

“We don’t talk about what“ba­si­cally,will once y hap­pen when Schapelleonce,is­fi­nal­ly­once you’ve d home,” her de­voted olderit­twice­sisterand you rea Mercedes tells Woman’sor the Day. act­sheof mar­ryi has been busy fix­ing up­doa withbed­roomthe­suc­cess for Schapelle in the same mod­est house at Tu­gun on the Gold Coast from which she set out for Bali in Oc­to­ber 2004.

Her mum Rosleigh Rose says she can’t wait to take her daugh­ter back to the beach where she spent so many days dur­ing her child­hood. She plans to lav­ish Schapelle with love while she ad­justs to life back home.

“I’d like to take her to the beach, to have a surf, to have the sand be­tween her toes,” Rosleigh says.

But she ad­mits the change will be hard for her daugh­ter. She fears Schapelle will strug­gle to ad­just to life in Queens­land – it might be her home, but it’s changed so much in the 13 years she’s been gone.

“I don’t like think­ing about it, it will be hard for her,”, Rosleighg said

‘It will be hard for her... I think she’s fright­ened’

re­cently of her daugh­ter’s home­com­ing. “I think she’s kind of fright­ened.

“I wouldn’t even ask if she wants to come home, be­cause there’s no use in ask­ing. It’s not a choice. It has to hap­pen.” you’ve done­so­manyit things have changed done since Schapelle last set foot in alise that aus­tralia, mar­riage, likeRos leigh sell­ing the ng, has fish noth­ing shop to her daugh­ter once s worked in years ago. The most heart­break­ing ad­just­ment will be liv­ing in the house she once shared with her dad Michael, who sadly passed away from can­cer in 2008.

“Re­turn­ing to Queens­land will re­ally bring it home to Schapelle that her dad is no longer here, and that’s a sad thing for her be­cause they were re­ally close,” Rosleigh re­vealed re­cently.

Of course, it’s not just her home that is dif­fer­ent. A friend re­cently said that the one-time Gold Coast beau­ti­cian, who was just 27 when she was jailed, is a changed woman.

“It’s been very hard for her – she be­came very spir­i­tual,” re­veals the friend. “She’s not the same per­son she went in as.”

Her men­tal health is­sues have been well doc­u­mented, and Mercedes says her sis­ter’s health is still a con­cern and that she and the rest of the fam­ily are mak­ing few plans be­cause they don’t want to put any pres­sure on an al­ready-frag­ile Schapelle.

“What­ever she does, it will be her de­ci­sion and no one else’s,” Mercedes says. “We’re just go­ing to take it one day at a time.”

In the count­down to free­dom, Schapelle has had in­creas­ingly mixed feel­ings about her long-awaited home­com­ing, break­ing down in tears when meet­ing with Bali cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers about her sched­uled de­por­ta­tion later this month.

She has been qui­etly liv­ing with her brother Michael in a rented house in Kuta, spend­ing time with Ben, sun­bak­ing, snorkelling and walk­ing Luna and May on the beaches near her tem­po­raryte po a y home.o e.

Her fam­ily knowow it will be in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cul­tult for her to ad­just – no­tot just to free­dom but also to life back in Aus­tralia. They plan to mark the oc­ca­sion with a small cel­e­bra­tionn at Tu­gun with ex­tended fam­ily y and a hand­ful of f close friends.

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