Lover In Laci Case Will Testify

May 20, 2003

(CBS) The woman who revealed she was Scott Peterson's lover during the last months of his wife's life is prepared to testify at his trial on charges of killing his pregnant wife and their unborn child.

Amber Frey, 28, the massage therapist who disclosed she had a relationship with Peterson beginning last November, said she will be a willing prosecution witness.

Her lawyer called her "a victim of Scott's deception."

Frey appeared at a news conference on Monday with her lawyer, Gloria Allred and said Allred would be speaking for her from now on. The celebrity attorney known for activism on women's issues, said Frey has been hounded by news media and tabloids offering money for her story ever since she came forward about a month after Laci Peterson disappeared.

Frey said she has turned down all offers and will continue to do so.

"She has been offered money for interviews and she has refused and will continue to refuse those offers," Allred said. "We are committed to protecting the integrity of the prosecution and we will not allow her testimony to be contaminated by offers of money for her story."

Allred is the second media-savvy lawyer to join the case, reports CBS News Correspondent Hattie Kauffman. Mark Geragos is defending Scott Peterson; he has also defended actress Winona Ryder on shoplifting charges. Allred's past clients include Brenda Van Dam, whose daughter Danielle was kidnapped and murdered, and Denise Brown, the sister of O.J. Simpson's murdered wife Nicole.

Allred said Frey will be a willing witness and needs a lawyer to represent her.

"In addition to being a witness," Allred said, "Amber is also a victim of Scott's deception. Victims are entitled to attorneys, as are witnesses."

Frey, of Fresno, has said she did not know Peterson was married when she met him in November.

Scott Peterson was arrested last month after the bodies of his wife and baby washed ashore on the Richmond shoreline of San Francisco Bay, a few miles from where he says he was fishing when his wife disappeared from their Modesto home in December. Divers searched the bay for a fourth straight day Monday for more evidence.

Frey declined to answer questions at the news conference and said she would refer all inquiries to Allred.

"I don't think it's appropriate to talk about what might be contained in my testimony prior to my being called to the witness stand," she said.

"Until that time I just want to lead a normal life and regain my privacy. I hope that everyone will understand and respect my wishes," she said.

Why would Frey need a high-powered attorney?

"Amber is a victim as well as a witness. She is a victim of Scott Peterson's deception," Allred said Tuesday on the CBS News Early Show. "Victims are entitled to attorneys, as are witnesses. And, of course, it's not unusual in high profile cases for witnesses to have attorneys to advise them and to help to explain the criminal justice system to them."

Allred said she expects the defense to attack Frey's credibility.

"Defense attorneys are often attack dogs," the attorney said. "Whatever it is we will be ready to defend Ms. Frey, for whom we have a great deal of respect."

Allred said that to her knowledge police never considered Frey a suspect and that when she testifies "it will be clear a thousand times over that she has been an innocent victim."

Allred said her client wants her privacy back.

"She held a press conference in order for everyone to know that she does now have an attorney, that she asked the press to please leave her alone now, to let them know that she is not going to do any interviews, paid or unpaid," Allred told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm.