updated 8/11/2004 9:47:28 AM ET 2004-08-11T13:47:28

Guest: Dean Johnson, Jeanine Pirro, Trent Copeland, Gloria Allred

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, we are live in Redwood City.  Scott Peterson‘s girlfriend, Amber Frey, takes the witness stand. 


ABRAMS (voice-over):  In painstaking detail, Frey recalls each and every date she had with Scott Peterson, from roses and strawberries to their intimate moments, to his comments about losing his wife. 


GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY‘S ATTORNEY:  He lied to Amber from the very beginning and then he lied again and again. 

ABRAMS:  We talk with Amber Frey‘s attorney about how Amber felt being in the same room with Peterson again. 

And the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case takes matters into her own hands—filing a civil lawsuit for damages against Bryant. 

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket:  It started with the words the people call Amber Frey.  The first day of testimony from a crucial witness in the Laci Peterson murder case—Scott Peterson‘s girlfriend, Amber.  The former lovers sat face-to-face across court for the first time since Laci went missing and watching and listening to it all, a family divided—Scott‘s relatives on one side of the aisle; Laci‘s on the other. 

Amber Frey dressed in black, a simple pants suit that could have come from a catalog devoted to—quote—“rural sheik” and she spoke softly as he revealed the most intimate details of what must have seen like a magical whirlwind romance with a man who claimed he was a bachelor.  A first date that opened with champagne and strawberries in a hotel room and ended there with sex, a swap of cell phone numbers, then a second date, hiking with her 21-month-old daughter, and a star-gazing snuggle in the bed of Scott‘s pickup truck—all before dinner, wine, and sex in her bed at home. 

And Amber described more intimacies that followed—some domestic—she gave Scott a key to her home and let him pick up her daughter at preschool.  He made her a dessert that she craved before her braces came off—a pink lady caramel apple.  And like a craving seducer from “The Bachelor”, he even bought Amber bouquets of roses and then sliced one from the stem and then in Amber Frey‘s own words—quote—“I was against the wall and he was rubbing the rose on my face.  He was rubbing on the rose on me, kissed me softly, moving down towards my chest area.  I proceeded to raise my arms to touch him.  He continued kissing me.

But days before all of the kissing, a confession of sort that Scott had been married, but lost his wife.  At the time, Laci Peterson was still alive.  Now some of this sounds more like the opening chapters of a Harlequin romance novel than testimony in a murder case, but it is critical for the prosecution to establish a motive for Scott to kill his pregnant wife, Laci, and to help prove premeditation. 

So we turn to our legal team—in the courtroom today with me former San Mateo County prosecutor, Dean Johnson.  In New York City, Westchester County New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, and in Los Angeles California criminal defense attorney Trent Copeland. 

All right Dean you were in the courtroom with me.  Look, I think she was a really good witness. 

DEAN JOHNSON, FMR. SAN MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR:  She‘s an outstanding witness.  You know one of the rules is with a witness like this you don‘t do anything except advance your theory of the case and advance the credibility of that witness.  Everything you do, including how the witness is dressed, should advance your case.  This witness did that.  She was obviously very well prepared. 

ABRAMS:  Very measured in the way...


ABRAMS:  ... she answered her questions, very thoughtful. 

JOHNSON:  Very crisp and one of the things I always look for, how does she answer the tough question if she doesn‘t know, if she doesn‘t remember, and she‘s very clear about that.  If she says—if she doesn‘t know, she says she doesn‘t know. 

ABRAMS:  She seemed more sophisticated than I expected.  I mean I...


ABRAMS:  ... I kept expecting based on everything we heard you know for her to be one of these people who had a hard time putting a sentence together.  You know I‘m not saying—I don‘t know if she‘s some intellectual or not, but she sure seemed I guess smarter than I expected.

JOHNSON:  She came across as very credible, very smart, very well prepared and very genuine, very honest. 

ABRAMS:  Jeanine Pirro, let me read you from Amber Frey talking about their first date on November 20, 2002. 

The prosecutor, Harris:  Notice if he was wearing a wedding ring? 

Frey:  He did not have a ring on.

Harris:  At any time during dinner did the defendant mention he was married?


Did he tell you he lived in Modesto?


Did he tell you he had a child on the way?


How important—I mean you know Jeanine, we are going to be debating day after day how important this is, but you know I don‘t know maybe after listening to Amber Frey, I think she‘s even more important than I thought before.  What do you make of it? 

JEANINE PIRRO, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY D.A.:  Well Dan, she is a critical witness here and based upon what I‘m hearing from you is that she was credible, that she‘s smarter and more sophisticated than you thought.  And I think that‘s curious, Dan, because it‘s a reflection of the spin that Mark Geragos has put on this woman.  And as I‘ve been saying all along, this is about what happens when the witness comes into the courtroom—is she credible? 

Does she make sense?  Will the jury believe her?  It‘s not about spin. 

At the end of the say the jury is going say, you know what, he lied to her.  But he didn‘t just lie to her to get into the sack with her.  He lied to her to continue the relationship.  He didn‘t need to say all of the things that he said to go to bed with her.  She obviously went to bed...


PIRRO:  ... with him the first night and this is not easy for her Dan...

ABRAMS:  Well that‘s right...

PIRRO:  This is tough stuff. 

ABRAMS:  And that‘s right.  Trent Copeland, that‘s the issue.  I mean you know if they want to portray her as some sort of sex-starved slut, you know they may want to do that, fine, let them do it.  But the bottom line is, if the theory is that Scott Peterson was going to be extra nice to Amber in an effort to have sex with her, well, as was pointed out in court today, she admits she had sex with him the first night.  He didn‘t have to go great lengths by taking her daughter to buy a Christmas tree—giving her daughter gifts, et cetera.

TRENT COPELAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well look, Dan, you‘re absolutely right and I think Jeanine makes a very good point.  The reality is, though, this does not diminish what we‘ve been saying all along and that is that this prosecution‘s case really isn‘t that strong.  I mean the fact that we are two months into this case, 100 witnesses in, and we‘re hoping or at least many of those on the defense side—on the prosecution side of the table are hoping that Amber Frey holds this case together and keeps this case together.  I really think...

ABRAMS:  Trent, it sounds like...


ABRAMS:  ... your unwillingness...

COPELAND:  ... there‘s a problem here.

ABRAMS:  ... your unwillingness to address—Trent, your unwillingness to address today‘s testimony seems to indicate that based on what you‘ve heard, you‘re thinking, oh, boy this, is bad news for the defense. 

COPELAND:  Look Dan, it‘s not good news for the defense, but the reality is if you look very closely at the testimony we‘ve heard from Amber Frey, these are things that we‘ve heard before.  We know that he‘s a cad.  We know that he lied to her.  So, we have this information about the kind of the nine and a half weeks sort of rose against the cheek and pressing her against the wall.  These are the kinds of things that we‘re aware of.  We‘ve heard about these things before Dan...

ABRAMS:  All right.  How about...

COPELAND:  ... and although they may come as a shock value...

ABRAMS:  How about...

COPELAND:  ... they really don‘t change the character of who we know...

ABRAMS:  Trent...

COPELAND:  ... this guy to be.  Yes...

ABRAMS:  Trent, I remember in the O.J. Simpson case when they‘re cross-examining Dennis Fung they said about this Mr. Fung, and I‘m going to say how about this, Mr. Johnson, referring to testimony that just came out less than an hour ago.  They‘re talking about they had just had unprotected sex for the first time—I apologize for the nasty details, but this is relevant stuff in the case.  They had just had unprotected sex for the first time.  Amber Frey said he apologized—it wasn‘t fair that we just engaged in unprotected relations and we were talking about a few different subjects, one being birth control, and eventually Scott Peterson says for himself, with me, he didn‘t feel he needed to have a biological child. 

That if he were with me and my daughter, he would consider her his own and would raise her as his.  Did he say something in terms of what he wanted to do with regard to birth control?  Yes.  What?  A vasectomy.  I mean what guy is trying to sort of get a woman into bed and the way he does this is by telling her that he‘s going to get a vasectomy and that he wants to—her daughter to be the only one.  I don‘t know...

JOHNSON:  See, I disagree with Trent.  I think we have heard something new here.  Yes, we knew there was an affair with Amber Frey.  We didn‘t know the details and the extent.  This guy is a seducer.  You talk about premeditation—on his first date, champagne and strawberries—and he didn‘t go out to the store and buy them.  He gets her up to the hotel room, unzips his bag, and there it is. 

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to tell you...


ABRAMS:  ... I wish I...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh come on Dean...

ABRAMS:  ... I wish I knew Scott Peterson in my younger days because he could have given me...

COPELAND:  Oh come on...

ABRAMS:  ... a lot of tips. 

JOHNSON:  Wait, wait...

COPELAND:  Dean, Dean...

JOHNSON:  But let me tell you—wait Trent; let me tell you why this is important.  Because it‘s not just going to be this single isolated affair with Amber Frey.  What this jury is starting to see is that this is part of a lifestyle with Scott Peterson.

ABRAMS:  Go ahead Trent...

JOHNSON:  They see it as an ongoing...

ABRAMS:  Let Trent respond.  Go ahead Trent.

JOHNSON:  ... an ongoing scheme on his part and that‘s the motive...

COPELAND:  Look...

JOHNSON:  ... that‘s the real motive. 

COPELAND:  Dean, you know, the reality here is I think we‘ve known this before.  I mean Amber Frey is simply filling in the gaps.  I mean we knew that this guy did something to woo this woman and did something that allowed this woman to feel comfortable enough to him that she would have him take her child or pick her child up from school.  I mean we clearly know, but he‘s just filling—Amber Frey is simply filling in the gaps today. 

PIRRO:  Trent, are you saying...

COPELAND:  I mean yes, this guy...

PIRRO:  Trent, are you saying...

COPELAND:  ... this guy is a romanticist. 

PIRRO:  Trent, are you saying...


ABRAMS:  Go ahead Jeanine.

PIRRO:  ... that the prosecution should not put this witness on the stand and establish for the jury that this guy is a bald-faced liar?  That he will say whatever he needs to say.  But even go beyond that—he prophetizes his wife‘s death.  He cries on demand.  He comes into this hotel room sure with a bottle of champagne and strawberries.  You know what?  That‘s not so devastating.  But what‘s devastating is the fact that they‘re actually hearing it from a witness who seems to sound...

ABRAMS:  Let me take a quick break...

PIRRO:  ... credible, believable, and honest. 

ABRAMS:  ... quick break here.  Dean, Jeanine, Trent, stick around. 

When we come back, we get to some of the details—more details of the dates with Scott Peterson.  The lies he told her from day one.  Plus, we‘ll talk when Amber‘s attorney, Gloria Allred.

And the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case files a lawsuit against Bryant in civil court today accusing him of rape and suing him for damages.  What will that mean? 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, more Amber Frey taking the witness stand in the Scott Peterson case from sex on the first date to Scott Peterson lying about losing his wife, tells the jury about their relationship date-by-date and I was there.  We‘ll talk about it in a minute.



AMBER FREY, SCOTT PETERSON‘S FORMER GIRLFRIEND:  I met Scott Peterson November 20, 2002. I was introduced to him.  Scott told he was not married.  We did have a romantic relationship.


ABRAMS:  Well Amber Frey‘s been saying a lot more inside the courtroom testifying day one.  With her on the witness stand, prosecutors hoping that she can help prove that Peterson had a motive to kill his wife and with regard to premeditation.  That she was—that he was talking about his wife being gone, that they‘d be able to spend more time by the end of January.

I‘m back with my legal team.  Let me read one more quote again.  We‘re going to keep reading these from court and this is Amber Frey answering questions about her daughter—it‘s number 12 by the way—about taking a hike with her daughter saying on December 2, 2002 she says Ayiana, her daughter, didn‘t want to walk.  She was tired.

Prosecutor Harris:  Did you pick her up?

Frey:  Yes.

And then? 

Frey:  I became a little winded, so Scott Peterson started carrying my daughter up the trail, up hill, maybe a half-hour walk.

Let me go to number 14 here.  He also talked about having a present for her daughter—that Peterson brought her a present.

Harris says did you finish dinner?  Did you ask Scott a question about your daughter? 

Frey:  Yes.

Harris:  What was that? 

Frey:  Well he‘d stepped outside, had said something behind his back, stated he didn‘t psychology of children, had gotten something for her and he asked my permission to give it to her. 

Harris:  Did he produce something? 

Frey:  Yes, it was a wrapped, wrapped book.  That‘s what it was.

You know Trent Copeland, this stuff to me is just as damaging as some of the more specific testimony about him saying he lost his wife, et cetera.  The fact that he is going out of his way to assert himself into this child‘s life at the least makes him cruel, but at the worst you know means that it doesn‘t sound like he‘s just looking for a little bit of action.

COPELAND:  Look, I agree with you, Dan, and I think these are dark days for the defense.  Make no mistake about it, Mark Geragos and Scott Peterson should be squirming.  These are the times—these are the events.  These are the sequence of days over the course for the next couple of weeks where Mark Geragos and the defense really will be on their heels.

I mean the fact is the jury is not going like what they‘re hearing and much of this they‘ve heard before through opening statements.  Some of this I‘m sure they‘ve anticipated.  But they probably did not anticipate that he had so endeared himself to Amber Frey‘s child.  And I think that really will rub a number of these jurors the wrong way.  So this is a tough day for the defense and I think it will continue to be tough days down the line. 

But, again, Dan, it does not go to the ultimate issue today as to whether or not all of the links, all of the things that would have made this case a stronger case for the prosecution became stronger today simply because Amber Frey is taking the stand.  And that‘s why I disagree with Jeanine.

ABRAMS:  See, Jeanine, I don‘t know...


ABRAMS:  I mean—go ahead Jeanine.

PIRRO:  What this does when she talks about his carrying her daughter on that hiking trip, when she talks about the book that he gave his daughter what she‘s doing is she‘s even establishing more of her own credibility because she had every reason to trust him.  She had every reason to believe him.  This is the conniving, devious guy who‘s got a plan. 

And whether or not the plan is so that he can be with Amber or so that he can be with any one of a number of other women he knows that he‘s been with, it explains why she was so committed to him and why she was close to him.  She had every reason to believe him.  He seemed like a nice guy.

Look, we don‘t have a crystal ball to figure out whether someone‘s married or not.  But the key here, Dan, is that when these tapes come out, that will bring her to another level of credibility that what she‘s been saying all along is true as will be evidenced by his own voice in that courtroom.

ABRAMS:  Again, let me read more from what happened today in court, talking about the very issue—we don‘t have that?  OK, we don‘t have that -- all right, anyway...

COPELAND:  Well Dan, let me respond, answer Jeanine, if I can...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead...

COPELAND:  ... quickly.

ABRAMS:  Go ahead. 

COPELAND:  You know Jeanine, the fact that what she says on those tapes and Mark Geragos can‘t cross-examine those tapes, but importunately, some of the more important details about some of those—quote—unquote -- “quasi admissions” regarding whether or not Scott said—he‘d expected they‘d been together later on.  He expected there would be a change in the character of their relationship at the end of January.  Those things are not on the tape and that‘s where her credibility will become an issue.  The things that are on the tape Mark Geragos can‘t cross-examine, so I think her credibility...


COPELAND:  ... will become an issue at some point in this examination.

ABRAMS:  All right.  I want to ask Dean Johnson a question.  It sounded to me like the prosecutors were preparing for a possible cross-examination about whether Amber Frey is a bad mother.  I mean it sounded like they were going out of their way to explain why she would have allowed him to have a key to the house, pick up her daughter after she‘d only really met him effectively one time before.  It seems—I mean is that something Mark Geragos really might do? 

JOHNSON:  Well sure.  He‘s going do everything he can to attack her credibility and also to suggest that she found Scott Peterson endearing, trustworthy and so on.  Part of what the prosecution needs to do, which they have not done in this trial thus far, is steal the thunder from Mark Geragos‘ cross-examination.  They‘re doing some of that, but for the first time, they‘re not doing it to the detriment of their own witness‘ testimony...

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to tell you, this guy—Harris, the D.A. here, has to be helped by the judge—the judge has to tell him—what date are we talking about?  What time—he has to re-ask a lot of the questions because his questions are unintelligible.

JOHNSON:  True.  He‘s not the best direct examiner and one thing we‘re getting here is we‘re seeing the lawyer, Harris, dance with the witness.  The witness is actually helping him...

ABRAMS:  She‘s leading the dance, yes...

JOHNSON:  Yes, she‘s leading, very well put, yes.

ABRAMS:  Dean, Jeanine and Trent, we‘re going to have more with you coming up in a minute.

But up next, we talk with Amber Frey‘s attorney, Gloria Allred, been with Amber all day, so how did Amber feel about being in the same room with Scott Peterson again and having to point him out as the defendant? 

And a big development in the Kobe Bryant case—lawyer for the alleged victim told us exclusively last week that she would likely file a civil case against him.  Well, today, she did.  Be right back.


ABRAMS:  Continuing now with our coverage of Scott Peterson‘s girlfriend, Amber Frey on the witness stand, telling the court and telling the jurors all of the gory and graphic details of each and every one of her dates with Scott Peterson clearly trying to make it clear that this was not some sort of fling, that this was a relationship that she had with Scott Peterson.

I‘m joined now by Amber Frey‘s attorney, Gloria Allred, who‘s been inside the courtroom listening.  Gloria, thanks very much for coming.  Appreciate it. 

ALLRED:  Thanks Dan.

ABRAMS:  How‘s she holding up?  I mean what is she saying to you?  She seemed a little bit nervous at the beginning and yet seemed to relax as time went on.

ALLRED:  Thank you for asking Dan.  I think she‘s holding up just fine and I‘m very, very proud of her.  It is a stressful situation.  As I‘ve said, who among us would want to trade places with Amber Frey and be sitting on that witness stand as a witness in a high-profile double murder case knowing that millions of people are going to be analyzing every word...


ALLRED:  ... watching what she says...

ABRAMS:  But she‘s also describing...

ALLRED:  ... and what she‘s wearing...

ABRAMS:  ... these graphic details of each and every one of her dates of all the sort of moves that Scott Peterson put on her.  I‘ve got to believe that‘s got to be uncomfortable.

ALLRED:  Of course, because when this was happening, these were private moments, some of them were intimate moments, and she had no idea then that she would have to be sitting in a court of law talking about the details of rose ceremonies and champagnes and keeping corks as mementos. 

ABRAMS:  Is she embarrassed? 

ALLRED:  Well she understands that this is what she has to do.  When she is asked a question, she needs to answer it, and I think she‘s being very forthright.  I think she comes across as extremely credible and I‘m really proud of her.  It is a very stressful situation because also, you know during the break this morning, I mean a lot of the witnesses during the break would just you know go and have a drink and just take it easy—you know a refreshment...


ALLRED:  ... she went back and she‘s breast feeding her baby and she‘s changing the baby‘s diaper because the baby is only 3 ½ months old, Justin, and you know she‘s not going to stop breast feeding because suddenly she‘s subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal case.  So, she‘s a really good loving, committed mother, and you know she gets up in the middle of the night with her baby even though she‘s going to have to testify all day, so I really admire her.

ABRAMS:  It sounds like there was a lot of talk about her other child in court today...


ABRAMS:  ... a lot of focus on the fact that Scott Peterson ended up spending some time with her other child who‘s now 3 years old or so? 

ALLRED:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yes and at that time she was—I think the baby—well, Ayiana was between a year and 2 years old and Scott Peterson was worming his way into Scott—into Amber‘s heart and into her life even through her child and a lot of single parents...

ABRAMS:  Picking her up at school, going to buy Christmas trees, getting her gifts.

ALLRED:  Exactly.  A lot of single parents you know would be very happy when a guy that they‘re dating, with whom they‘re having a relationship, take an interest in their little child.  I mean I think that‘s very heartwarming and comforting to a mom.  And, yes, and the fact that she testified that Scott and she even went out to buy a Christmas tree...


ALLRED:  ... with Ayiana, that they went and had a little picnic with Ayiana and went on a hike with Ayiana.  That he changed her little bandages, you know, when she had some boo-boos and stitches.  That you know showed the extent of the way in which Scott was...


ALLRED:  ... engrasheating (ph) himself to her and involving himself in her life.

ABRAMS:  And I‘ve said before that you know this guy is a piece of work.  I mean you know regardless of what you think about this case, the whole—you know the roses and the apples and the star gazing you know - anyway...

ALLRED:  And into her family and with her friends because...

ABRAMS:  All right...

ALLRED:  ... of the testimony about the party as well.

ABRAMS:  ... so she loved Scott Peterson.  I mean she‘s admitted that she had fallen in love with this guy based on his wooing of her.  This is the first time she‘s gotten to see him face-to-face since before Laci went missing.  How was that for her? 

ALLRED:  I haven‘t discussed that with her.  I think that‘s something that she probably would like to keep to herself at this moment...

ABRAMS:  She had to point at him in court at one point.

ALLRED:  The only time she really had to look at Scott Peterson this morning, you‘re right Dan, is when the deputy district attorney asked her to identify Scott Peterson as the person—was he the person sitting at the counsel table?  Did she see him at the courtroom and what was he wearing?  And she did I.D. him.

ABRAMS:  She‘s ready for the cross-examination?  Ready to get beat up by Mark Geragos? 

ALLRED:  Yes.  I think the cross-examination is a little bit away...


ALLRED:  ... may not come until next week, for example...


ALLRED:  But I think she‘ll be ready when it comes.  I mean it‘s not going to be easy, you know, to be a lamb having to go into a lion‘s den with somebody like Mark Geragos who may try to humiliate her...


ALLRED:  ... discredit her, but I think he‘s going to have a hard time because obviously she‘s telling the truth and the tapes are going to corroborate what she says.

ABRAMS:  We shall see.  Gloria Allred, thanks very much.

ALLRED:  Thank you Dan.

ABRAMS:  Appreciate it.

ALLRED:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, our legal team is back with more on Amber‘s testimony. We still haven‘t talked about some of the details of some of these dates.  And we‘ll get a late-breaking report on what she just said moments ago.

And the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case takes matters into her own hands doing what her lawyers told us they expected her to do, file a civil lawsuit for damages against Bryant.

And your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  I‘ll read them at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, more on Amber Frey‘s fist day on the witness stand.  Plus, Kobe Bryant‘s accuser files a civil suit seeking damages, but first the headlines. 



SCOTT PETERSON, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER:  Yes, I had romantic relationship that was inappropriate and unfair to a lot of people.  And I apologize to everyone involved in that—to all the families.  It had nothing to do with Laci‘s disappearance.  I had nothing to do with Laci‘s disappearance.


ABRAMS:  Or so he said.  Prosecutors say he did and that Amber Frey may have been the motive and that Amber Frey may establish premeditation in the sense that he‘s talking in early December about his wife being gone—talking about being able to see her more at the end of January.  Of course, she goes—she‘s reported missing on December the 24th

Back with my legal team, but let me—this is one of my favorite moments from court today, is another sort of classic Peterson move, one of his various sort of, you know, Casanova like you know strawberry and champagne moves.  But this is the one with the rose.  He has just brought Amber three dozen pink roses, OK, and then the prosecutor, Harris says, did the defendant still have one rose left? 

Amber Frey says yes. 

Harris:  What then?

Frey?  He had laid a single rose on the table and I asked him what the rose is for.  He said he was glad I asked.  He said he had a story to tell me.

Harris:  He starts to tell you a story about a rose.  Does he start to do something with the rose?


Harris:  What?

He asked me if I had a candle and some scissors.  He cut the stem off the rose.  At that point the lights were out.  There was a candle and he had me at some point I was against the wall and he was rubbing the rose on my face and said he didn‘t know what a rose was like being rubbed on himself but felt he was rubbing the rose on me, kissed me softly, moving down my chest area.  I proceeded to raise my arms to touch him.  He continued kissing me...

Look, the bottom line is this you know—I don‘t even want to go—it didn‘t get much more graphic than that.  But, you know, I don‘t know.  Jeanine...


ABRAMS:  ... are the women...


ABRAMS:  Look—Jeanine, look, women are tougher on women, OK, and there are, what is it Dean, six women on the jury? 

PIRRO:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Six of women—half of them are women.  Do you think that they‘re going to hear that and they‘re going to say this guy is the biggest jerk ever, or are they going to say, well, she should have known better.  She—what was she doing sleeping with him on the first date or whatever? 

PIRRO:  You know what?  I think that the jurors—women and men alike are going to say, look, here‘s a woman who was single, she had one child.  She was clearly looking for a relationship.  She said that she was—she found out here‘s a guy who‘s looking for a relationship and you know apparently she fell in love with this guy.  I mean I don‘t even want to comment on the rose. 

I still can‘t figure out what the candle had to do with it.  But you know you have someone who is—you know, he‘s got a real line—a line of crap and she bought it.  But then again, you know a lot of people are vulnerable and a lot of people want to trust and she wanted to trust.  And he gave her every reason to trust.  He built her trust day-by-day.  He was very devious and very cunning. 

ABRAMS:  You know...

PIRRO:  But are the women going to say she slept with him, therefore she‘s a slut?  I think at the end of the day, it‘s not going to matter.  Because what she says and what he says on those tapes is probative of his intent...

ABRAMS:  And...

PIRRO:  ... and that she had the wool pulled over her eyes. 

ABRAMS:  And let me read again—this is from their first date.  All right, they haven‘t even met yet, all right, and he comes armed in his bag with a bottle of champagne and strawberries so he can go change and shower back at his house and he just pulls out the champagne and strawberries—they literally just met moments ago. 

Harris says at some point in time does he pull something out of a bag?

Frey:  Yes, he pulls a bottle of champagne.

Harris:  See where it came from?

Frey:  His bag.

Harris:  Did he pour a drink for you?

Frey:  Yes.

Harris:  Is he behaving as a gentleman?

Frey:  Yes.

Did he leave the room?


What happens? 

He pulled out a little box of strawberries for the champagne, puts one in each of our glasses.  I remember eating one.  They were a little bit sour.

It appears that he didn‘t go to the farmer‘s market that morning.  But, you know, Dean, the defense party line on this is just because he‘s a liar doesn‘t make him a killer.  But can the jurors infer that if he‘s such a big liar, that maybe he‘s more likely a killer or are they not supposed to do that?

JOHNSON:  Well, they can certainly do that.  I mean they can look at his character.  They can look at the systematic lies, the planning, the premeditation that went into this entire lifestyle and they can say eventually, look, if this guy is not just an adulterer, he‘s not just having a fling, he‘s adopting an entire lifestyle here.  And Laci becomes a barrier to that lifestyle or more importantly the imminent birth of Conner becomes a barrier to that lifestyle, then in their minds it becomes a motive...

ABRAMS:  And...

JOHNSON:  ... for murder.

ABRAMS:  ... it‘s right around the same time in early December that he is confronted about being married.  That‘s around the same time he starts looking in the computer...


ABRAMS:  ... at the tidal currents and...


ABRAMS:  ... right?

JOHNSON:  That‘s the other point.  Time and tide are what‘s ultimately going to convict Scott Peterson and...

ABRAMS:  If he gets convicted. 

JOHNSON:  ... if he gets convicted...

ABRAMS:  ... I don‘t even think you think he‘s going to get convicted...

JOHNSON:  If he gets convicted, this is what‘s going do it.  It‘s time and tide.  And the timelines that the prosecution is starting to establish are very interesting.  Scott is confronted by Shawn Sibley about the fact that he‘s married on December 6.  On December 7 and 8, the very next day, he starts researching tides and looking for a used boat. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  All right.  Dean—you know Trent I figured I‘d save you another round of harassment and beating up on you.  So, we‘re going take a break here.  Trent Copeland, Dean Johnson—oh are—is everyone sticking around?  I don‘t know.  Dean‘s gone—Dean, thank you—appreciate it.  And Trent and Jeanine are sticking with us.

All right, court is still going on.  Amber is still on the stand.  We‘re going to get a live report coming up later in the program as to exactly what just happened.  And my observations from inside the courtroom.  It was both awkward and fascinating.  It‘s coming up later. 

And also coming up next, Kobe Bryant‘s accuser files a civil suit in federal court seeking damages.  Coming up. 



LIN WOOD, BRYANT ACCUSER‘S ATTORNEY:  I‘m of the mind that she‘s only going be treated fairly in a civil case where the playing field is level and Mr. Bryant‘s life will be scrutinized.  He will be cross-examined just like she‘s had to live through the scrutiny publicly in the last year. 


ABRAMS:  That was my interview with Lin Wood, one of the attorneys for Kobe Bryant‘s accuser.  well now it‘s happened.  The alleged victim has brought the case to another forum—filing papers today in Denver to Kobe Bryant in a civil trial.  She‘s seeking undisclosed damages and the suit claims—quote—“as a direct and proximate result of the sexual assault and rape perpetrated by the defendant Bryant upon her.  Plaintiff has been subjected to public scorn, hatred, and ridicule and has suffered threats against her life and physical safety.” 

So, will the suit have any impact on the criminal case?  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) women say they are frustrated now with the new gag order imposed upon them.  They argued earlier that even Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was treated more fairly than the woman in this case.

My take—knowing that this lawsuit could be used against her in the criminal case scheduled to begin in two weeks, I have to believe this means the criminal case is not going to happen.  But let‘s see if my guests agree with me. 

Back with me Jeanine Pirro and Trent Copeland.  Jeanine, do you agree with me? 

PIRRO:  You know I don‘t have any information, Dan, that isn‘t out there and isn‘t already in the public.  But based upon the things that have been said, that she‘s lost faith in the judge, she‘s lost faith in the criminal justice system, and she justifiably has lost faith based upon the release of her name, defense statements, and all of the other things that have been detrimental only to her—no accidents detrimental to the defendant—and the filing of the civil lawsuit—it makes it somewhat probable that she would probably not want to testify.  This woman has been the victim of death threats; there are people who have ridiculed her.  She‘s moved out of her home.


PIRRO:  She‘s moved out of town.  Why would she go forward at this point? 

ABRAMS:  Trent Copeland, what do you make of it? 

COPELAND:  You know Dan, I think it‘s very clear that it‘s a precursor to something.  The question is what is that something?  Is it the prosecution withdrawing from the criminal case and simply not going forward with it or is it simply her withdrawing as a willing victim and a willing witness?  And I think it clearly signals that it‘s probably the latter. 

I think the prosecution will have to think long and hard about whether or not they want to proceed with a witness who‘s filed a civil lawsuit.  Remember, you know in a case that MSNBC covered and you covered very extensively, Dan, the Sean “P. Diddy” Combs case, you know it was very much like this.  You know every single one of those witnesses who testified against Sean Combs had a civil lawsuit against him and every one of those witnesses was destroyed on cross-examination.  I can‘t image why these lawyers would have chosen this tact knowing full well that she‘ll become a lightning rod for criticism and clearly she‘ll expose herself to just ruthless cross-examination. 


COPELAND:  So I just—I‘m just not certain where they‘re going with this. 

ABRAMS:  Go ahead Jeanine.

COPELAND:  This prosecution...

PIRRO:  Trent...

ABRAMS:  Hang on Trent.  Let Jeanine in.  Go ahead Jeanine.

PIRRO:  Trent, in light of that, though, you have to realize that she has never sold her story.  That, you know, in spite of all of the offers that have been made to her, she has never profited from any of this.  She clearly...

ABRAMS:  On that note...

PIRRO:  ... has lost faith...

ABRAMS:  ... let me just...

PIRRO:  Go ahead. 

ABRAMS:  Let me just let Lin Wood speak on this issue because I asked him straight out.  I said Lin if you file a lawsuit, everyone is going say it was all about the money.  It was all about the money.  Here‘s what he said to me in response. 


WOOD:  It‘s not about money.  It‘s about establishing truth and it‘s about accountability.  The fact that the justice system in a civil case puts accountability as financial compensation doesn‘t make this young girl a gold digger.  It makes this young girl determined to pursue truth. 


ABRAMS:  All right, Trent Copeland, go ahead, respond to that. 

COPELAND:  You know look Dan, I think your question was well put and you know when you hear a lot of times that it‘s not about the money, it‘s typically about the money.  And you know I‘ve got to say, particularly pursuant to this gag order, this sweeping gag order that Judge Ruckriegel expanded, the reality is this is one way to circumvent that gag order. 

This document will be read throughout the country.  And they know full well that this recites and this states what her position is in a way that doesn‘t allow them to violate the gag order, but at the same time it certainly does get their message out. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Let me read from some of the civil lawsuit here.  When defendant Bryant began touching plaintiff‘s breasts and groping her, plaintiff immediately asked him to stop and informed him that she needed to leave the hotel room.  Defendant Bryant refused to allow plaintiff to leave the room and stood between her and the room door. 

You know Jeanine, the problem with filing a civil lawsuit, you want to talk about invasion of your privacy, well she‘s not going have the sort of protections that she would have in a criminal case about retaining her anonymity and some of these other things that an alleged victim of sexual assault is entitled to in the context of a criminal case doesn‘t apply in a civil case.

PIRRO:  But clearly, given the fact that her identity has been released so many times by the court, by the Web site, by the defense attorney without any admonishment by the judge, she must be thinking, I‘ve got nothing to lose at this point.  Let me take this to a forum where at least there is some honesty and some credibility.  She has suffered so much here, Dan, that for her to pursue a civil action, which is clearly her right and there‘s nothing that says that she can‘t, so she‘s got nothing to lose based upon the fact that she‘s already lost in the criminal case. 

ABRAMS:  All right. 

COPELAND:  I can‘t believe what I‘m hearing...


ABRAMS:  Go ahead...

COPELAND:  I can‘t believe what I‘m hearing, Dan.  That Jeanine would suggest there isn‘t some credibility and integrity in this criminal judicial system in Colorado.  That‘s a first. 

PIRRO:  No.  The fact, Trent, is that it was the court‘s Web site that released closed-door hearings that only benefited the defense by a defense expert...


PIRRO:  ... who said that she had sex with someone based upon...


PIRRO:  ... DNA...

ABRAMS:  I‘ve got to wrap it up.  But I‘ve got the tell you, I mean I don‘t buy the argument that somehow just because her name was on the Web site that that somehow means the criminal case can‘t be fair and they can‘t find jurors.  I‘ve always found in these high-profile cases that it‘s amazing how many people you can find who haven‘t been following these cases.  Jeanine and Trent, thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

Coming up, got a live report on what just happened in the last few minutes in the Scott Peterson trial while I‘ve been sitting in this chair. 

Plus, my courtroom observations of Amber Frey‘s fascinating and yet awkward testimony today.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, my observations of Amber Frey after watching her in court today.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”.


ABRAMS:  Court has just adjourned for the day in the Scott Peterson case.  Amber Frey, his girlfriend, is still on the witness stand.  They played an audiotape just a few moments ago that is really unbelievable.  December 31, 2002, Laci has been missing now for six days. 

Scott Peterson is pretending he‘s in Paris for Amber Frey because he told her he was going to be going to Europe.  Peterson is saying—this is Peterson.  He‘s not in Paris, all right.  I‘m near the Eiffel Tower and the New Year celebration is unreal.  The crowd is huge.  Frey says the crowd is huge? 

He says yes, I‘m here.  I‘m here.  And he goes on.  And he says yes, it‘s pretty awesome.  Fireworks there at the Eiffel Tower.  Massive people all playing American pop songs.  Making all of it up. 

Jennifer London was inside the courtroom.  So Jennifer bring us up to date as to where we are with regard to the tapes.

JENNIFER LONDON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well Dan, it‘s important to note that this tape was on December 31.  This is the time that the entire community of Modesto was holing a candlelight vigil for Laci and the prosecutors have said that Scott wasn‘t up there on the stage with his family because he was calling and speaking to Amber and this is the tape that proves that, so that was a pretty powerful moment.

They played another tape of a voicemail that Scott left her.  And I think it‘s important to note that we‘ve seen throughout the day of Amber‘s testimony, the prosecution bringing it full circle from their very first date and now Amber has turned against him.  She is working with police recording their conversations. 

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, what do the voices sound like on the tape?

LONDON:  Well it‘s hard to tell.  It‘s really muffled.  The quality is awful.  But you could tell with the conversations from Peterson, when he was in Paris that he was trying...

ABRAMS:  In Paris? 

LONDON:  Yes, in Paris. 

ABRAMS:  Quote—unquote.

LONDON:  ... that he was trying to almost make it seem like it was an international call.  That maybe the quality of the line wasn‘t so good.  He kept saying Amber, Amber, can you hear me?  It‘s crazy here.  These people are insane.  And I think it‘s worth noting that Amber, I—my observation of Amber was she just seemed sad Dan. 


LONDON:  She seemed sad when she was talking about the pictures they showed.  Her face looked sad.  She seemed sad when she heard the audiotapes. 

ABRAMS:  And that‘s what I‘m going to talk about in a moment.  Jennifer London, thank you so much.  Hopefully we‘ll do this again tomorrow. 

LONDON:  Will do. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  My “Closing Argument”—my observations inside the courtroom during the testimony of Scott Peterson‘s girlfriend Amber Frey.  It was as fascinating as it was awkward.  Fascinating in the way a sort of tawdry soap opera or a friend‘s vivid description of a date can be where you keep asking and then what happened?  Every detail of her dates from what foods Scott Peterson brought to picnics, baby carrots and almonds, to whether they used protection when they had sex, most of the time, to his painstaking efforts to romance, roses, champagne, strawberries, and promises of a grand future, all of it offered up and under oath. 

In a confident, yet formal and stunted courtroom appropriate manner, Frey referred to sex only as—quote—“being intimate.”  Any time she could answer a question with a yes or no answer, she seemed briefly relieved.  Her answers measured and seemingly thoughtful.  But with Laci‘s family sitting only yards away, there was a lingering sense of discomfort, that queasy feeling that they shouldn‘t hear every nuance of their son-in-law‘s extra-marital dalliance.  That the rest us had no right to hear any of it at all. 

Laci‘s family had to be picturing Laci on December 14, 10 days before she was reported missing when Amber described a romantic sexual evening with Scott that night.  As they prepared to attend a formal party, Scott told her to leave him alone in the kitchen.  After a few minutes, he emerged with a culinary surprise.  He had whipped up a pink lady caramel apple.  Why?  Because Amber had always wanted one. 

On that same night, Laci was at a party alone, nursing her swelling belly and returning home to an empty bed.  At one point when Amber described a meal Scott cooked for her, Laci‘s mother whispered furiously to her husband as if to say that was my recipe or that‘s what he cooked for my Laci.  And of course, it was also awkward for Amber in addition to discussing her most intimate moments, she had to identify in court the man who she loved,, who she thought loved her by the color of his tie and suit pointing at him with a casual, yet disdainful gesture to complete the formality. 

Peterson listened intently, sometimes taking notes, sometimes conferring with his attorneys.  At one point, even laughing.  One thing is perfectly clear.  Scott Peterson was too good to be true.  A good-looking seemingly successful single romantic, using every obvious, but effective romantic tool to woo this wounded single mother. 

His actions as described by Amber were those of a man who just might have killed to be with her.  But if he didn‘t, he was the least a cruel sexual predator willing to inject himself into every aspect of Amber‘s life and soul just for sex that she offered up willingly after their first date.  If Peterson is innocent, then he is just an awful human being.  At least today, it was difficult not to feel sorry for Amber Frey. 

That does it for us today in Redwood City.  We‘ll be back tomorrow. 

Day two of Amber Frey on the witness stand. 

Don‘t forget, your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) it is hot out here.  Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. 

Thanks for watching.  We‘ll see you tomorrow for more Amber.


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