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No small Frey: Amber media blitz begins. Anna Nicole claims judges were "paid off." Martha loses prison contest.

By Salon Staff
January 3, 2005 4:05PM (UTC)
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Turn On:
You've seen the commercials, you've read the reviews (some good, some not so good). Monday night at 10 p.m. ET, you can watch the premiere of NBC's "Medium," in which Patricia Arquette plays a woman who sees dead people, and come to your own conclusions. And if you can stomach it, tonight at 8 p.m. ET Fox airs its controversial adoption-focused reality TV show, "Who's Your Daddy?" -- unless you happen to live in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., where the local Fox affiliate will air an "enlightening and heartwarming" documentary, "I Have Roots and Branches: Personal Reflections on Adoption," instead.

Morning Briefing:
Amber alert: Get ready for an Amber Frey media blitz. Scott Peterson's former mistress is set to promote her new book, "Witness for the Prosecution of Scott Peterson," due out Tuesday. In an interview with Matt Lauer airing tomorrow night on "Dateline NBC," for instance, Frey discusses her motive for going public about her affair with Peterson. "I was so angry that Scott was being supported by these people that loved him so much, and talked about this perfect marriage that they had, knowing that there was me, and the information, and what I knew, and what he was telling me," she says in the interview. "I would see the family and friends . . . talk about their support for Scott. And I'd just get so frustrated, because they didn't know the truth. [But] I was thankful there was me. Because if there wasn't me . . . then people wouldn't see, I guess, the real Scott, the Scott that nobody knew about." And as for the jury's recommendation that Peterson be put to death by lethal injection, she says, "I just felt very sad. But I felt there had been justice. There isn't any truth that comes out of this man's mouth." As for Frey's memoir, a supermarket in Modesto, Calif., apparently sold a few copies prior to its release date by mistake; excerpts have made their way into the Modesto Bee. And? Frey reports that about the time Laci Peterson disappeared, her lover's murdered wife came to her in a dream -- laughing hysterically as a brown-haired man strangles Frey's daughter. "I don't believe I've ever felt that kind of fear in my life," Frey says. The book also features numerous Scriptural references and chapters titles including "Can I trust you with my heart?", "Oh my God! Laci's baby is due on my birthday!" and "Isn't that a little twisted, Scott?" (New York Post, Modesto Bee)


Anna Nicole's take: Did anyone out there actually think that Anna Nicole Smith would be totally cool with Thursday's decision by a panel of appeal judges that she is not entitled to the $88 million the court had awarded her from her late husband J. Howard Marshall II's estate? Probably not. But Smith has voiced a surprising theory as to why the appeals court reached its decision. "The judges were so paid off," Smith tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Her lawyer, who did not back up Smith's allegations about the court, says he's willing to challenge the appeal panel's decision wherever he can -- including in the Supreme Court. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Martha's world: Right on cue comes news of how Martha Stewart spent New Year's Day in the clink: "Wearing a decidedly glum expression, she spent the first day of 2005 strolling the grounds of the lockup in Alderson, W.Va., with her visitors," reports the New York Daily News. "And her holiday finery was frumpy jailhouse togs: shapeless khakis and a baggy gray sweatshirt, accented by an ID card on a lanyard around her neck ... The only vestige of her once-glamorous life was stylish eyeglass frames. Unfortunately for Stewart, however, the lenses weren't rose-colored." Aww, poor Martha. Other sad news from Alderson? The domestic diva reportedly led a team of fellow prisoners into embarrassing defeat in a holiday decorating contest. Stewart's team's contribution to the contest, in which prisoners were to create holiday cheer around a "Peace on Earth" theme using $25 worth of supplies, was a batch of paper cranes. They were bested by a small Nativity scene. (N.Y. Daily News)

Also: Brad Grey, manager of stars including Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, is said to be in final negotiations to replace Sherry Lansing as the head of Paramount Pictures. (Los Angeles Times) ... Former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, who was appointed to lead the EPA under President Bush early in his first term, reportedly rips into Bush's conservative policies in her forthcoming book, "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America," which is set to hit stores during inauguration week. (Washington Post via Drudge) ... Columnist and humorist Dave Barry says he's finished writing columns on a regular basis, though he may weigh in "from time to time if something really important happens, such as a cow exploding in a boat toilet." He signs off by thanking readers for giving him a "wonderful career," saying "I am very grateful. And I'm not making that up." (Associated Press) ... Dan Rather says he plans to continue to write his syndicated newspaper column after he vacates his CBS anchor chair in March. (Editor & Publisher via N.Y. Post) ... Jerry Orbach's friends and colleagues sent him off in style at a funeral held Friday on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The veteran actor died of prostate cancer on Tuesday. (E! Online)


Money Quote:
Harvey Fierstein, refuting talk that stepping into the role Tevye in the current Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" will be a bigger stretch for him than playing Edna Turnblad in "Hairspray": "I have far more in common with Tevye than with Edna. I'm not a heterosexual woman." (N.Y. Daily News)

-- Amy Reiter

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