Video: Frey's father speaks

updated 8/19/2004 4:55:16 PM ET 2004-08-19T20:55:16

A week of revealing testimony from Amber Frey about her relationship with Scott Peterson continues to shock not only the court, but those watching the trial as well. Hours of recorded phone conversations between the two former lovers have been played in court. 

In a recent turn of events, the judge sent the jury home the day Frey was supposed to get cross examined by the defense saying that there has been “a potential development that has to be checked out.” 

Frey received a brief break to rest from her trying testimony and Deborah Norville spoke to her father, Ron Frey and his attorney, Barry Rekoon to see the effect this trial has had on such a private person.

On Amber's Testimony
DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST, and ‘DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT':  Mr. Frey, do you know anything about why this delay took place today?

RON FREY, AMBER FREY‘S FATHER: There are a lot of speculations.  Probably the strongest would be that Mr. Geragos is pleading with James Brazelton to make a plea bargain.

After Amber and those tapes come on, he'd be foolish not to.

NORVILLE:  How devastating do you think the taped testimony your daughter was able to provide is to the case? Mr. Rekoon, how hurtful is those tapes to the defense's case, in your opinion?

BARRY REKOON, RON FREY‘S ATTORNEY:  I think they're very hurtful.  The only problem is if the prosecution overplays it, plays too many of them and numbs the jury to them. But if they play their cards right, the tapes could be used to convict Mr. Peterson.

NORVILLE:  Mr. Frey, as a father hearing some of those private moments of your daughter's life being played in open court and on national television, how has it impacted you?

FREY:  Some days are very painful to listen to the tapes.  Yesterday, I was absolutely crying when I heard the tapes.

NORVILLE:  Which parts got you in particular yesterday, when it was all coming to a climax and Amber was about to call it quits with Scott?

FREY:  Oh, no.  No.  That's the good part, when she's calling it quits.  But he always wanting to see her and all the lies and just the fear we had all the time that he might bring harm to her.

NORVILLE:  When did you first hear about Scott Peterson?

FREY:  I would say January 2; two days after Amber came forward.

NORVILLE:  She had not called you before she had that press conference?

FREY:  The press conference was January 29.

NORVILLE: What did Amber say about him?  I imagine it was your daughter who informed you about this fellow.

FREY:  Well, it wasn't even Amber that said it.  Other family members told me about it.  Amber was very, very involved the first few days with helping the police.

NORVILLE:  What was your interaction with Amber during that time? 

FREY:  Well, we always had a fear for her.  You know, with Laci Peterson being missing, we didn't know what Scott Peterson was capable of, so we kept constant surveillance on Amber.

NORVILLE:  Did you always have someone with her?

FREY:  No we used surveillance, private detectives. 

On Amber and Scott's relationship       
NORVILLE:  When you heard your daughter trying to get information out of Scott Peterson, what did you think about your daughter's abilities?

FREY:  I always knew she'd be strong, very, very brave woman ever since childhood, very strong.

NORVILLE: We've heard so much about her life.  How has she dealt with the loss of privacy?

FREY:  Well, it's been difficult.  For the last few months, she stays in her house most of the time.  She doesn't go out.  She wears disguises to get around town.  It's been very difficult for her.

NORVILLE:  And what about the rest of you in the family?  How are you guys dealing with it?

FREY:  Well, it's been an inconvenience for us.  The big problem is when we think about the Rocha family and the loss of their daughter and grandson, it just tears us apart. 

NORVILLE:  Mr. Frey, when did you know that Amber was suspicious of what, for all intents and purposes, seemed like a great new guy in her life?

FREY:  Early in December, Amber shared her conversations with me about Scott and their activities, and was just beaming with love.  She was so in love with him.  I couldn't even wait to meet him.  But then too soon, it comes to an end.

NORVILLE:  What did she tell you about him?  Why was she so ecstatic that she met this new fellow?

FREY:  She told me these things before the tapes were played.  He had businesses.  He was successful; physically fit, liked her daughter, liked to go hiking, and shared the common thoughts about many things.  They did fun things, went dancing.  They entertained, dining.  But here again, it was all a lie.

NORVILLE:  But he also seemed to be awfully solicitous of your little granddaughter, Amber's daughter.  They went Christmas tree shopping together.  He seemed ready to embrace not only your daughter but her family.

FREY:  My granddaughter is a very special little girl.  Amber has brought her up on her own and she's done a magnificent job with her.  I don't blame Scott for liking the little girl, and I don't blame him for falling in love with Amber.  It wasn't a one-way street.  They were in love with each other, and I'm not so sure Scott still isn't in love with her.

NORVILLE:  What makes you say that?

FREY:  Watch him in court.  Where I stay, there's probably 40 reporters in and out on a daily basis, and they tell me what's going on in court. The reporters tell me that they look in his eyes when he looks at her.

NORVILLE:  Have you ever met Scott Peterson, sir?

FREY:  No, not at all.

NORVILLE:  Do you have any opinion as to his guilt or innocence in this case?

FREY:  Well, in the very beginning, I didn't want to formulate an opinion.  I didn't want to be unfair.  But as the closer it got to the trial, I had to make myself search my brain, my heart, my soul and look at the evidence.  And based upon the evidence, he's guilty.

NORVILLE: Mr. Frey, when you see the clips of your daughter walking in and out of court, she seems to me stoic but almost wooden, just very, very stiff, obviously just trying to bear up under all the scrutiny that she's under.  When you look at your little girl, what do you see?

FREY:  I see some serious strength there.  When you look into her eyes, she's dedicated to tell the truth.

NORVILLE:  What are your own personal feelings about the fact that she's now in the center of this national spectacle?

FREY:  It would be best it never happened.  This is almost surreal.  It's not even like it's real.  Amber had made that comment once.  You wake up one day, and the next day you don't even believe it's real.

NORVILLE:  She went on and had conversations, and we heard them in court, Mr. Frey, about the fact that when she confronted Scott and he said that Laci Peterson was OK with the fact that there was another woman in his life, what did you think when you heard that part of the phone conversation played?

FREY:  I didn't believe that for a minute.  Who's to say he told Laci Peterson anything?  This is his words.  That's not Laci's.  But if Laci really heard those words, there probably would have been a fight or confrontation.

When Amber was younger, she'd been deceived, and that's why she trying to be so very careful never to get deceived again.  But little did she know she was just making it easier for Scott to move in on her because she said what she didn't want to have happen.  She told him the answers. 

He lied to her.  And we all know the rest of the story.  Then it turned into a romance for her.

NORVILLE:  Is she still in love with him, you think?

FREY:  No.  She might be in love with the memory of that short time, but she's not in love with Scott.

NORVILLE:  What lessons do you think she has learned through this entire experience?

FREY:  Well, the experience isn't over.  Now, the majority of the media's been very, very fair to her.  They like her.  They respect her. 

On Amber's life after the trial   
NORVILLE:  Do you think she will take advantage of what I'm sure will be an opportunity later on for her to tell her story in the form of a book or something else?

FREY:  A month ago, I said, "Amber, we hear people talking about book deals, movie deals.  We ought to talk."  I said, "Amber, if you do honest testimony, which should be enough for life.   And as far as any moneys or any rewards for this, you know, that's not even importan"t.  She said, "Well, I agree, Dad.  I'm going back to work.  So that isn't her thoughts, to do movies or books." 

NORVILLE:  Right.  Now, you, I know, are not going to court, and I know Amber and Ms. Allred have asked you not to because they didn't want you to be a distraction because it's got to be very difficult for a father.  When's the last time you spoke to her?

FREY:  Before Amber come up to testify, her and I talked for an hour.  Gloria and I talked for an hour.  They didn't even have to ask me.  I said I will be close by.  And if you need me, just call.  I'll be there. 

NORVILLE:  How do you look at your daughter's comportment, both on the stand and as you've listened to her on those tapes?

FREY:  I always knew she'd be honest and give credible testimony and I knew she wouldn't fold.  Now, I don't think it's pleasant for anyone to have to be cross-examined, and Mr. Garages has a reputation that he can be tough.  Hopefully, it comes and goes quick. 

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