A FORMER boyfriend of drugs mule Michaella McCollum Connolly has claimed her party girl public image is not a true reflection of her character.
Part-time English DJ Brad Houston enjoyed a fling with the Northern Ireland woman in Ibiza shortly before she was arrested trying to smuggle €1.7m of cocaine out of Peru.
"She's a 20-year-old girl, like anyone's normal daughter. She's not a drug dealer," he said.
The web developer from Salisbury also said he believed Michaella (pictured) was innocent because she had no story to account for her week-long disappearance that sparked an internet appeal.
He told RTE: "If she was going to do a big drug deal or be a mule, the last thing she would do would (be to) get an international search for a missing person while she was doing that.
"She would have had a cover story. But out of nowhere she just disappeared."
Mr Houston said he never saw McCollum take drugs in Ibiza, and did not believe she was involved with crime gangs.
Last week Michaella (20), from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and co-accused Melissa Reid, (20) from Glasgow, pleaded guilty to drug smuggling when they appeared before a judge.
They had hoped the admission would be enough to secure a shorter sentence, but prosecutors demanded more information before accepting their admissions of guilt.
However, yesterday it emerged that the young women may have a chance of freedom by Christmas – if they help bring down the drugs gang that flew them to Peru.