Sunday 28 May 2017

Michaella McCollum could get up to €100k for book and movie deal

'Michaella McCollum may have been a bit player, but without the courier, drugs would not make it to our streets'
'Michaella McCollum may have been a bit player, but without the courier, drugs would not make it to our streets'
Michaella McCollum has said that she was a naive young woman when caught smuggling cocaine out of Peru. Photo: AP Photo/Karel Navarro
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Convicted drug mule Michaella McCollum could stand to make a six-figure sum in the wake of her release from prison in Peru.

Celebrity agent Sonia Harris has said that the Tyrone native could easily pocket €100,000 from the sale of the exclusive rights to her book as well as follow-up promotional interviews.

"It depends where she sells the story, whether it's in the UK or Ireland, but you're easily looking at a six-figure sum for a book deal and all the fall-out afterwards in terms of interviews," she said.

"There is a huge interest in the UK in the story.

"When you looked at the Twitter feed, a lot of UK media organisations were following the story on RTE and that's a huge market over there."

However, Ms Harris said she would "hate" to see the 23-year-old cashing in on her new-found fame and any resulting profit should be put back into a drugs rehabilitation programme or a charity.

Michaella McCollum has said that she was a naive young woman when caught smuggling cocaine out of Peru. Photo: AP Photo/Karel Navarro
Michaella McCollum has said that she was a naive young woman when caught smuggling cocaine out of Peru. Photo: AP Photo/Karel Navarro

"I wouldn't want to see her popping up on something like Loose Women flogging her book. She does have a story to tell and she has told it in her own voice and there's no harm in that," she said.

"She does still have a right to redeem herself now that she has served her time, but she should put any money she makes to good use.

"I would hate to see her profiteering from fame arising from her involvement in a criminal enterprise."

The MD of Harris PR said that it appeared that the young woman had been carefully coached before her first TV interview on Sunday night on RTE, given her polished performance.

"She went for a white jacket and looked very demure and innocent in the interview, very different to the 20-year-old we saw going to prison," Ms Harris said.

"She probably hadn't had a bath or shower privately in a long time and wanted to look her best for the interview.

"But she clearly had taken advice on how to do her hair and make-up and appeared like a demure person.

"But she did do a soft interview and she would probably have benefited from answering a few hard questions.

"That would have been better for her in the long run as she will still have to face those hard questions from the media at some stage."

Herald

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