By: Tony Wilson
One of Schapelle Corby's former supporters, Jodie Power, made a name for herself on Channel 7 last night. Bulletin reporter Tony Wilson throws a different light on the ex-friend's comments
Photo: Channel Seven
FORMER Corby supporter Jodie Power emerged very early in the Schapelle Corby saga and initially came across as a firm friend and ally.
I first had dealings with her in late November, 2004, after she returned from Bali, having spent 37 days there.
In an article published in the Gold Coast Bulletin on November 26, 2004, Jodie told me: "I think of her in that cell every day and, having just spent 37 days with her in Bali when I saw her almost every day . . ."
Jodie had been Mercedes Corby's closest friend for 11 years until the pair fell out in July, 2005. They have not communicated with each other since.
She claimed Schapelle's sister smoked marijuana and Mercedes has told me she has tried it years ago and didn't like it. Her claims that Mercedes was taking small amounts of cannabis into Bali and selling over many years seems unlikely to me as it does not fit with the woman I have come to know.
I have spent weeks in the company of the Mercedes and other family members and I have only seen Mercedes drink on a few occasions and I have never seen her badly affected by alcohol or anything else and yet during this period she was under the most intense pressure of her life.
When I went to Bali in 2005, I was told that Jodie, who spent a total of about eight weeks in Bali with her sons Sasha and Kalani,visited Schapelle about once a week, not the daily visits she claimed again last night on Seven's Today Tonight show.
Jodie's friendship with Mercedes came to a head in July, 2005, when the family and I gathered in Bali for Schapelle's birthday on July 11 (her birthday is July 10 but we couldn't see her on that day as it was a Sunday).
Jodie had also been flown over by Woman's Day and they had a pile of presents sent in by the magazine's readers. The plan was for Jodie to give Schapelle the presents in Kerobokan Prison and then do a story for the magazine about it.
But when Jodie arrived at the prison, Schapelle refused to come out to see her.
As Schapelle explained to me later that day, why would she come and see someone who had a dispute with her sister.
"There's enough happening to me, I just don't need that," she told me.
A furious Jodie rang Mercedes on her mobile and roundly abused her, and I could hear her as Mercedes held up the phone, as she said she would just take Schapelle's quotes from the Gold Coast Bulletin.
In a later article in Woman's Day titled: `Schapelle's best friend : I feel betrayed', Jodie's grip on veracity is again shaky.
Yet ironically, she admits in this article that she `didn't get to see Schapelle face to face' for her birthday, which makes a mockery of the earlier story.
She talks in the article of `daily visits and dealing with legal matters' which is not accurate at all.
And she claimed not to know why the Corbys had `frozen' her out. Yet Mercedes had told her that she could not cope with hearing about Jodie's marital problems as well as looking after her two children along with her own at that time in 2005 when Jodie spent several nights out and about in Bali, leaving her supposed friend babysitting.