Michaella McCollum: Where is Ibiza Drug Mule Now?

At 19, Michaella McCollum felt like she had her whole life to explore the world and took a one-way ticket to Ibiza, Spain. But what happened in the days that followed forever changed her life. Netflix’s ‘High: Confessions of an Ibiza Drug Mule’ is a four-part docuseries that delves into Michaella getting mixed up with a drug smuggling ring, ultimately being arrested in Peru for trying to move several kilos of cocaine into Europe. So, if you’re wondering how her life has changed since then, here’s what we know.

Who is Michaella McCollum?

Michaella McCollum grew up in Northern Ireland in a large family, but she said her childhood was difficult. Apart from rampant drugs, gambling, and threats against her family, she contended with an abusive boyfriend. She hoped to get away from everything when she bought a one-way ticket to Ibiza. Michaella said, “I didn’t know much about the island. I was having problems at home and just wanted to escape, but didn’t know where to. I’d worked in bars before and did like partying, so when I saw people on Facebook saying they were going there, I got the idea. I thought I’d have a really good summer.”

Once in Ibiza, Michaella spent most of her time partying. To sustain herself, she worked as a dancer and a waitress. While working as a waitress, Michaella remembered serving drugs along with alcohol in a bar and how it was a casual occurrence. During her time on the island, she befriended Davey, a drug dealer who offered her a job. When Michaella was high on LSD, he offered to pay her £5,000 if she would travel to Barcelona, Spain, to pick up a package.

Michaella accepted, primarily focussing on the money. The following morning, she realized she was going to Mallorca, Spain instead. At the time, Michaella assumed she would be transporting drugs but did not know how much. Once in Mallorca, she met Melissa Reid, who would become her partner in everything that followed. After a few days, they were put on separate flights to Lima, Peru, where they would be picking up cocaine.

At the time, Michaella didn’t know she was going to South America. She said, “I didn’t really know where Peru was, but I didn’t think it was in South America. I’d never heard of it before. Because I was first told I was going to Barcelona and then Mallorca, I thought that Peru was going to be somewhere in Spain too. I know it’s so stupid, but I just really didn’t know. I hadn’t traveled.”

In Lima, she met up with Melissa, and the two pretended to be tourists before they received a drug delivery the night before they were leaving. Soon, Michaella realized it was not just a package or two but a lot more. The cocaine was concealed in porridge and jelly packets, and the duo had to smuggle about 11 kilos. However, when they were about to check in at the airport in Lima one day in August 2013, the two were surrounded by authorities and eventually arrested. Initially, Michaella and Melissa maintained they were kidnapped by drug lords in Ibiza and forced to smuggle the drugs. But later on, they told the police the truth in hopes of a lesser sentence.

Where is Michaella McCollum Today?

Michaella and Melissa were ultimately sentenced to serve six years and eight months in prison in Peru. They were sent to the Ancon 2 jail over there. Inside, Michaella took a while to adjust to her reality and struggled with the conditions. She talked about being attacked by another inmate with a knife for changing the TV channel. Over time, Michaella learned Spanish and began working at the beauty salon.

After a change in early release laws in Peru in 2015, Michaella was released on parole in March 2016 but could only return home in August that year. After coming back, she wrote a book titled ‘You’ll Never See Daylight Again,’ where she talked about her prison experience and everything that happened leading up to her arrest. Over the years, Michaella’s personal life has been the subject of speculation and tabloid attention.

In August 2017, it was reported that Michaella was offered a lucrative deal to present a TV show about drug dealers and unsolved criminal cases. Since then, she has stayed away from drugs and said, “When people ask how I feel about it now, it feels like I’m thinking about a different person – I can’t relate to that person now.” Michaella currently lives in Northern Ireland and is a mother to twin sons, Raphael Genie and Rio Addison.

Apart from that, Michaella talked about struggling to stay at one job for too long because of the attention she received. She initially wanted to study criminology but is currently studying International Business at Belfast University, Ireland, along with Spanish and Mandarin. Michaella loves traveling, having visited France and Germany with her sons, now about four years old. She hoped to raise awareness about the consequences of drug smuggling and has spoken publicly at events. Finally, Michaella talked about eventually settling down in Spain.

Read More: Where is Melissa Reid Now?