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Interview With Gloria Allred

Aired June 6, 2003 - 20:10   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It has been ruled a homicide, but the exact cause of death undetermined. CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who we were talking just a moment ago, said this could be significant, could be used by the defense, certainly not a good signal by the prosecution that the exact cause of death was unknown at the time they filled out this certificate of death, same for Laci Peterson's Connor, and for Scott Peterson's son, Connor. But again, no cause of death listed for the unborn child, and just undetermined listed for Laci Peterson, though it has been ruled a homicide.
Now, it was a busy day in the court, as Jeff Toobin was talking about, clearly the rift between the two families, the Peterson family, the Rocha family very clear there. And a lot of motions, a lot of filings. The judge ruled that the gag order -- he has not ruled yet on the gag order. He did rule that the autopsy report would not be released.

I want to focus now a little bit on this gag order. We're joined by Gloria Allred. She's an attorney for Amber Frey. We often talk to Gloria. Gloria, good to see you. Why are you concerned about a possible gag order? You've argued against it. You do not want a gag order. You want your client, Amber Frey, free to speak. Why is that?

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: I was concerned when the judge at an earlier hearing said that today he would consider whether to impose a protective order, also known as a gag order, on not only the prosecution and the defense and the attorneys, but in addition on witnesses. And since Amber Frey, my client, is a potential witness, I was concerned, because she has the right to free speech, and she is not presenting any danger whatsoever to the fair trial rights of Mr. Peterson. She has indicated time and again that she is not going to be doing any interviews about her testimony. She will give the facts as she knows them on the witness stand, in a court of law, under oath, and she will not be doing interviews before that. And she's not taking a position on the merits of the case, as to whether Mr. Peterson is guilty or is innocent of the crimes of which he's being charged.

COOPER: So she's not doing all these things, Gloria, if she's not doing all these things, then why does she need to be able to talk? I mean if she's not giving interviews, if she's not ...

ALLRED: Well, there's a presumption of free speech. But she needs to be able to protect her reputation. This is a young woman who's come forward voluntarily to law enforcement, provided information that may be relevant to this criminal murder investigation, double murder. And now she is being assailed by some people who have an agenda other than the truth, in the press. Unfair, inaccurate assaults on her reputation are being sometimes leveled at her, and she needs to have the ability to respond to set the record straight, to have accurate information out there, because it does take a lifetime to build a reputation, it only takes a few moments for somebody who wants to destroy it.

And we want to make sure that people know who she really is and have truthful information out there about her. And she doesn't want to be gagged. She wants to be able to respond where it's appropriate.

COOPER: So I know the judge has not ruled on this. He's still trying to figure it out. I know you spoke to him today. What did you say to him?

ALLRED: Well, I argued that what the legal test is, and it's a three-prong test. And also, you know, suggested to the judge that Amber really has acted in a way that is one that is deserving of credit, because even before the judge even discussed the possible imposition of any gag order, Amber has conducted herself in a model way, that is, that she didn't give interviews about her testimony. She has only been there to respond to untruths, and that was at the original press conference, where some people thought she knew that Scott Peterson was married when she was having a relationship with him, and she didn't. She indicated that she had been told by him that he was unmarried.

And then the only other time she's spoken is the press conference with me announcing that I will be her attorney and asking the press to please not bother her and not try to keep coming to her workplace or her home, because she's not going to be doing interviews and that's it, she's not going to do it for pay, she's not going to do it for free, she'll be just a witness in a court of law. That's all she intends to be if she's called.

COOPER: Gloria Allred, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.


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