Just not too recently I blogged extensively on Schapelle Corby, an Aussie girl arrested and convicted of drug smuggling into Bali. She has been sentenced to jail amidst a publicity circus where she was both a criminal and a victim.
The Indons sentenced her to prison for 20 years as a criminal while people including Australian media exploited her notoriety for publicity, TV ratings and possibly money. Corby was young, white, pretty and, as Derryn Hinch suggested, physically very well endowed. That combination was a TV producer's dream. Corby's attributes attracted both sympathisers and vultures.
Products sprang up overnight bearing her name though she wasn’t aware of those. Websites collected money for her “defence” without her knowing about it. The people surrounding her, claiming to be her white knights turned out to be black knaves instead. A second so-called white knight appeared, purportedly to champion her but was revealed (mind you, not unexpectedly) as someone who wanted the Aussie government to support his projects in Indonesia. Even the Aussie government was impelled by public opinion to overtly support her. Yes, Corby was a victim of every possible Aussie exploitation.
Now another young and pretty Aussie, Michelle Leslie, a model, faces drugs charges in the same part of Indonesia, Bali. She was caught with some ecstacy pills in her possession.
After the usual publicity and dramas with Indnesian lawyers the way Corby had experienced, she suddenly declared herself a Muslim. Just to make sure there’s no mistaking her religious affiliation, she wraps up her head with a sarong as a make-shift hijab.
Now, she’s covered from head to toe as she was led from her cell at Bali police headquarters. Her Australian solicitor, who is working with Leslie's team of five Indonesian lawyers, said Leslie was a Muslim and her hijab has been in response to the heavy media presence in Bali. But now, her spokesman added that the more correct reason is that she wanted to be comforted by God, stating "Michelle as a Muslim made a decision to wear a hijab to find solace with God, not for any other purpose." Of course not!
Mind you, prior to her arrest, when she was in front of a different set of media, the fashion kind, Leslie modelled underwear, swimwear and other clothes, and apparently appeared in little more than body paint at a modelling assignments last year. Hmmm, I wonder whether then she wore a hijab as well?