LONG before the cameras start rolling on the Schapelle Corby movie, the film has already left the convicted drug trafficker's family and supporters aghast. Not even talk of Hollywood A-lister Abbie Cornish taking on the central character has managed to impress the Corby clan, chiefly sister Mercedes.
''They are furious, absolutely furious that the film is being made … it is based on a book they say paints Schapelle in the wrong light,'' a confidant of the family told PS this week. That book is Sins of the Father: The Untold Story Behind Schapelle Corby's Ill-fated Drug Run, written by Fairfax Media investigative journalist Eamonn Duff.
Private Sydney: for richer or poorer
While Schapelle Corby's supporters are up in arms over Channel Nine's plan for a telemovie, former soap star, Rowena Wallace is set to sell her Gold Logie for cash, and a $300,000 Harry Winston ring is up for auction.
Channel Nine has commissioned a telemovie based on the book, due to air next year. PS hears a sizeable chunk of the budget has been set aside to hire a marquee actor to take on the role of Schapelle.
Corby's supporters have already started to mobilise, just days after the film was announced, with a Facebook support group calling for viewers to list major advertisers on Nine and to lobby them to refuse to advertise if the film proceeds.
Duff's is the third book about the Corby case to have been published, and the most critical. Over the eight years Corby has been in a Bali cell, more than $4 million worth of magazine, newspaper, television and book publishing deals have been generated out of her plight.
The Corbys have been a very profitable cash cow for biographer and journalist Kathryn Bonella, the former 60 Minutes producer and author of many magazine articles and books on the case.
In 2009, the Queensland Supreme Court ruled the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions had no claim on an advance and royalties of $280,000 from Pan Macmillan deposited in the Indonesian bank account of Corby's brother-in-law, Wayan Widiartha.
The DPP applied to claim the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act, but the Bali payment was deemed beyond the court's reach.
The DPP had already seized $128,000 in literary payments from the book My Story, written by Bonella.
Pan Macmillan paid $350,000 for the rights to the book, then The Australian Women's Weekly paid $110,000 for extracts.
In 2008, Mercedes Corby reached a confidential settlement, believed to be as high as $2 million, with Channel Seven after suing for defamation. Corby, who later earned $50,000 to strip for the men's magazine Ralph, had sued Seven after it aired what she said were ''disgusting allegations'' made by her former best friend Jodie Power that she had been involved in drug use.
Ironically, Power had also been paid for her story, to the tune of $120,000.
A fish out of water
WHAT is up with Eamon Sullivan?
This week his name was linked to a police investigation after a pensioner's scooter was ''borrowed'', resulting in Sullivan being reported by police for assault and disorderly behaviour.
But PS has heard of other stories involving the swimmer, such as an incident involving a golf buggy on Hamilton Island in August.
Sullivan was offered a lift on the already crowded buggy filled with revellers from a local bar returning to their resort. With six people crammed on the buggy, the passengers had to get out and push the vehicle after it failed to ascend a steep hill, though Sullivan initially refused to help.
What the swimmer didn't realise was that on board was a crew of influential media executives, who were shocked when Sullivan became verbally abusive towards the female driver.
It was Sullivan who went on a self-imposed booze ban following a drunken night in Kings Cross that ended in a police investigation for taxi fare evasion.
At the time Sullivan said: ''I think the main thing for me to do is apologise and admit that I did something wrong.''
PS has also heard reports about the swimmer failing to make a positive impression at a post races party in Melbourne last year.
The latest incident is alleged to have taken place in Adelaide during a buck's party on October 18 for an AFL footballer.
Pensioner John Guppy told the Nine Network that one of the men at the buck's party asked for a spin on his motorised scooter.
Nine reported Sullivan and a footballer took the scooter onto the footpath and crashed into a table outside the pub injuring two people. Sullivan's management were quick to point out that no charges had been laid this week, nor had it been established if Sullivan was responsible for the incident.
Sullivan, 27, is now due to appear before the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on a date to be fixed to face two charges of assault and one of disorderly behaviour.
And the Gold Logie goes to ...
IN HER day she was the undisputed queen of Australian television, but it was a much less regal Rowena Wallace who appeared on screens this week.
Wallace, best known as ''Pat the Rat'' from '80s soap opera Sons and Daughters, has yet again fallen on hard times, prompting her to put her 1984 Gold Logie up for sale, hoping for about $15,000 for the slightly tarnished trophy.
Having previously declared herself bankrupt, lonely, homeless and guilty of Centrelink fraud, Wallace has yet again fallen on hard times.
She is not alone; several of her television peers are also struggling to make ends meet.
Wallace has been a regular on tabloid television shows bemoaning her lot, her latest outing earning her about $5,000 to appear on A Current Affair to flog her Logie.
But times have been lean for the once indomitable actor, who most recently appeared as the gangland matriarch Judy Moran in the Foxtel series Deadly Women. Though friends report the gig was only paying her $500 a day, and consisted of about two days of work.
Wallace told A Current Affair she was moving from Wonthaggi in Victoria to Queensland, and that she no longer needed the Gold Logie.
''I don't actually need the object to remind me,'' she declared.
With sales of DVDs and constant reruns of shows such as Sons and Daughters, Prisoner and Skippy potentially generating windfalls for the show's producers, many of the stars who brought the characters to life have long complained about being cut out of the picture.
''I think it stinks,'' Leila Hayes, best known as Beryl Palmer from Sons and Daughters, previously told PS in the midst of a battle with the show's producers, Grundys, and her union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, to get residual payments.
Tony Bonner of Skippy fame has also previously chimed in on the issue, telling PS: ''I think it's a morality issue; they are still making plenty of money out of me but I have not received a cent.''
His students have included the managing partner at Alinda Capital Partners Hedge Fund New York, Chris Beale, the CSIRO chief executive, Megan Clarke, Justice of the Supreme Court New York, Ellen Gesmer, the executive director of Morgan Stanley New York, Greg McRae, Professor of Economics, climate change adviser and former ambassador to China, Ross Garnaut, and the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia Robert French, AC - so it was only fitting that Sydney University would throw a party on Tuesday to mark 90-year-old Harry Messel's contribution to learning and mark the 50th anniversary of the International Science School, open to the high school science pupils in the land. About 500 movers and shakers gathered in the Grand Hall to hear addresses by the Governor, Marie Bashir, French (ISS 1964) and McRae (ISS 1965).
Australian actor Liam Hemsworth is yet to walk down the aisle with his US pop star fiancee Miley Cyrus, left, at any one of their three planned weddings, however it appears wedding bells are not too far off. US magazine Life & Style is reporting the supposed details on how the lovebirds plan to divvy up their collective $US150 million ($143.8 million) net worth if their union comes to an end. Apparently the main reason for the prenup is not the moolah, but ensuring Cyrus retains ''custody'' of her six dogs, which she calls her ''babies'', and a pet pig.
Just in time for Christmas, Sotheby's is holding one of its largest ''important jewellery'' auctions in Sydney next week with more than $3 million worth of diamonds, pearls, gold and rubies going under the hammer. Included in the auction is a consignment of 50 pieces of Paspaley pearl jewellery, including earrings and necklaces, which belong to a mystery private collector. Jewels from some of the world's most famous houses including Cartier, Boucheron, left, Harry Winston and Bulgari will be auctioned, including a diamond tiara, which is practically a steal at an estimated $16,000. There is also a Harry Winston round brilliant cut 4.02 carat diamond ring, Flanked either side by tapered baguette cut diamonds, which will set you back about $300,000. The auction is due to take place at the Intercontinental Hotel on December 4 at 5pm.