Michelle Leslie is on her way home and also on the way to selling her
story – which is getting juicier with more revelations of links with
the rich and powerful and allegations the Leslie camp tried to bribe
police.

The front page of The Oz today led with a story (Freed model chases woman behind drugs)
claiming Leslie was stopping off in Singapore en route to Australia, to
complete unfinished business with a woman knows as Siti Namira who she
apparently blames for her jail stint. The same story claims she tried
to bribe the cops with the equivalent of about $27,000 but the offer
was rejected.


The only indication of how high bidding has reached for Leslie’s story
has come from unconfirmed reports and one high-ranking television
insider. The television insider told Crikey that TV networks were being
asked for $70,000, with the latest reports talking of bidding reaching
$80,000.

The true figure? We’ll never know. Negotiations are intense
but Crikey was unable to contact Leslie’s usually-accessible spokesman
Sean Mulcahy who is with her in Singapore. What’s certain is that
Channel Ten won’t be running a Douglas Wood-style TV special on
Michelle Leslie.

Network Ten has been excluded from all media activity being
conducted by the Leslie camp. Leslie’s legal team threatened legal
action and demanded both an apology and retraction from Ten after
claiming its news program made a call to Leslie’s media spokesman Sean
Mulcahy, taped the conversation without permission, and then
misrepresented the comments.

With no apology received, Mulcahy said Ten will be excluded from any media activities
organised today by the Leslie team. “They’re out of the picture,”
he told Crikey last week.

Funny though, there’s a bit of a Ten connection in what appear to be
Leslie’s first words to the media. Despite at least one dodgy claim to
Leslie’s first media appearance, it appears to be Macquarie Radio that
has gotten to her first. Jason Morrison, the radio network’s acting news and current affairs
editor – who happens to be Ten’s former news chief-of-staff – and
Ten’s entertainment reporter Angela Bishop have a weekend program which
called Mulcahy on his mobile while he was in a vehicle with Leslie
after leaving the prison.

But Mulcahy refused to let any live interview go ahead until the clock
had passed 5pm and Ten’s evening news program had already begun
broadcasting. Here’s a transcript of Leslie’s first few words:

2GB JASON MORRISON : So Sean, where is she now?
SEAN MULCAHY : She’s in the car right next to me now
2GB JM : Can we talk to her? Can you put her on?
SM : Ah. Um. I don’t think. Probably not now. I think that we’ll …
2GB JM : Well, can you ask her a question for me? You ask her and just
pass the phone in her direction so we can hear what she says.
SM: Um .. ok.
JM : Can you ask her ‘what’s it like to be free finally’?
SM : He wants to know how you’re doing?
MICHELLE LESLIE : I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m free. I just want to clear my name.
SM : What’s the first think you want to do when you get back to Australia?
ML : I just want to clear my name. I just want to come home.
SM : Happy with that?
2GB ANGELA BISHOP : Very happy. Thank you.