4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Cashing In

It’s been a busy sports morning, checking the Internet for news about A-Rod and Madonna, Cynthia (Mrs. A-Rod), and Lenny (Mrs. A-Rod’s special friend). Inevitably one is drawn into the topic of cashing in.

Cynthia is cashing in and will do well. She has a husband who is a jerk, an absent father, a known philanderer, and, on the happy side of the street, a professional baseball player who recently signed a $275-million-dollar contract. This is a divorce attorney’s version of heaven. Cynthia’s prenup will be a problem, but nothing a roomful of lawyers can’t fix.

Yet the observer is not satisfied. All these people are already rich and will remain rich no matter how this plays out, so, in terms of dramatic structure, their jeopardy does not move an audience.

Cashing in is a skill very few people have. To do it right means you must betray completely, with dignity, without appearing greedy, and then have the strength to pick up your winnings and walk out of the casino. It’s not only grabbing fame and money, but after you’ve cashed in, can you handle it? Can you use ill-gotten fame and unearned money to make a better life? Sadly, almost everyone returns to the disloyal, greedy, dismal existence they had before the sky opened up and rained hundred-dollar bills.

There are exceptions. Here is my nominee for Cashing In, Best of Show, West Coast Division. Introducing, in the blue corner, Ms. Amber Frey. Remember Frey? She was Scott Peterson’s girlfriend, the Scott Peterson who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife.

Amber had no preparation, no practice. There was nothing in her past to indicate she would come out of the gate with her A game and keep playing at that level for the next three years. What she did was the hardest thing: grab the money and get off the stage.

Amber was a single mother, living in a very small guesthouse in Fresno, California. She rented space at American Bodyworks, where she worked as a massage therapist. That’s depressing. A girlfriend of Amber’s met Scott at a business conference in Anaheim and acted as matchmaker. Scott and Amber’s first date occurred on November 20, 2002. They met in the Fresno Radisson Hotel bar, then drank champagne in Scott’s room, dinner at a Japanese restaurant, went to a karaoke bar, closed the place, bought a bottle of gin at Food Maxx, returned to Scott’s hotel room, and consummated that act of physical love. That’s very depressing.

Sixteen days later the matchmaker found out Peterson was married. Six days after that, on December 14, at a Christmas party, Amber introduced Scott to friends as her boyfriend. Twelve days more, Amber and girlfriend/

matchmaker run a computer search on Peterson. Thereafter, Amber calls an acquaintance who was a Fresno cop. The next day she agreed to record her phone conversations with Peterson. Amber had known him for 37 days. They had four dates.

Sure, meeting Scott was like hitting a Lotto jackpot, but after that it was Amber…she played the hand.

Here’s the timeline: January 15, 2003- Amber and Scott’s affair became public; April 18, 2003- Peterson is arrested in La Jolla; his trial began over a year later, in June of 2004; Amber testified that August; Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances in November 2004, two years after they met.

Remember Amber’s first press conference, January of 2004? She looked like a Fresno massage therapist with scraggly, long, disheveled hair, downcast eyes, frumpy clothes. Fast-forward to her May 19 press conference introducing L.A. celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. Amber had transformed by way of bleached-blond hair, facials, tanning salon, eyelashes, new clothes, the works. This is not a knock. It is one thing to buy a redo and another thing to walk, talk, and carry yourself in front of millions of people as if you belong in that redo.

Hiring Allred was a champion’s play. Since Allred was not officially connected to the trial, she was not included in the judge’s gag order and therefore free to appear on every television show in the world, hustling her practice while scaring off the media from digging too deep into Amber’s life.

Days after the verdict was rendered and months before Peterson was sentenced, ReganBooks published Amber Frey’s ghostwritten book Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson. Amber embarked on a relentless, scorched-earth book-and-media tour that succeeded in moving Witness to number one on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

Time passes. Amber stayed in Fresno, bought a house with her winnings, opened her own spa (Escape Day Spa), and in 2006 married Robert Hernandez, a prison guard at Corcoran State Prison. Now, if she can just stay put and carry on.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Next Article

The Conservation Game: The real Tiger King

Should have the same detrimental impact on celebrity animal handlers that The Cove and Blackfish did on SeaWorld

It’s been a busy sports morning, checking the Internet for news about A-Rod and Madonna, Cynthia (Mrs. A-Rod), and Lenny (Mrs. A-Rod’s special friend). Inevitably one is drawn into the topic of cashing in.

Cynthia is cashing in and will do well. She has a husband who is a jerk, an absent father, a known philanderer, and, on the happy side of the street, a professional baseball player who recently signed a $275-million-dollar contract. This is a divorce attorney’s version of heaven. Cynthia’s prenup will be a problem, but nothing a roomful of lawyers can’t fix.

Yet the observer is not satisfied. All these people are already rich and will remain rich no matter how this plays out, so, in terms of dramatic structure, their jeopardy does not move an audience.

Cashing in is a skill very few people have. To do it right means you must betray completely, with dignity, without appearing greedy, and then have the strength to pick up your winnings and walk out of the casino. It’s not only grabbing fame and money, but after you’ve cashed in, can you handle it? Can you use ill-gotten fame and unearned money to make a better life? Sadly, almost everyone returns to the disloyal, greedy, dismal existence they had before the sky opened up and rained hundred-dollar bills.

There are exceptions. Here is my nominee for Cashing In, Best of Show, West Coast Division. Introducing, in the blue corner, Ms. Amber Frey. Remember Frey? She was Scott Peterson’s girlfriend, the Scott Peterson who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife.

Amber had no preparation, no practice. There was nothing in her past to indicate she would come out of the gate with her A game and keep playing at that level for the next three years. What she did was the hardest thing: grab the money and get off the stage.

Amber was a single mother, living in a very small guesthouse in Fresno, California. She rented space at American Bodyworks, where she worked as a massage therapist. That’s depressing. A girlfriend of Amber’s met Scott at a business conference in Anaheim and acted as matchmaker. Scott and Amber’s first date occurred on November 20, 2002. They met in the Fresno Radisson Hotel bar, then drank champagne in Scott’s room, dinner at a Japanese restaurant, went to a karaoke bar, closed the place, bought a bottle of gin at Food Maxx, returned to Scott’s hotel room, and consummated that act of physical love. That’s very depressing.

Sixteen days later the matchmaker found out Peterson was married. Six days after that, on December 14, at a Christmas party, Amber introduced Scott to friends as her boyfriend. Twelve days more, Amber and girlfriend/

matchmaker run a computer search on Peterson. Thereafter, Amber calls an acquaintance who was a Fresno cop. The next day she agreed to record her phone conversations with Peterson. Amber had known him for 37 days. They had four dates.

Sure, meeting Scott was like hitting a Lotto jackpot, but after that it was Amber…she played the hand.

Here’s the timeline: January 15, 2003- Amber and Scott’s affair became public; April 18, 2003- Peterson is arrested in La Jolla; his trial began over a year later, in June of 2004; Amber testified that August; Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances in November 2004, two years after they met.

Remember Amber’s first press conference, January of 2004? She looked like a Fresno massage therapist with scraggly, long, disheveled hair, downcast eyes, frumpy clothes. Fast-forward to her May 19 press conference introducing L.A. celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. Amber had transformed by way of bleached-blond hair, facials, tanning salon, eyelashes, new clothes, the works. This is not a knock. It is one thing to buy a redo and another thing to walk, talk, and carry yourself in front of millions of people as if you belong in that redo.

Hiring Allred was a champion’s play. Since Allred was not officially connected to the trial, she was not included in the judge’s gag order and therefore free to appear on every television show in the world, hustling her practice while scaring off the media from digging too deep into Amber’s life.

Days after the verdict was rendered and months before Peterson was sentenced, ReganBooks published Amber Frey’s ghostwritten book Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson. Amber embarked on a relentless, scorched-earth book-and-media tour that succeeded in moving Witness to number one on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

Time passes. Amber stayed in Fresno, bought a house with her winnings, opened her own spa (Escape Day Spa), and in 2006 married Robert Hernandez, a prison guard at Corcoran State Prison. Now, if she can just stay put and carry on.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Padres player scandals, city council caves to John Moores, farm manager Russ Nixon tells history

1995 season-long strike, handicapped fans tell how it is for them, who really owns the team?
Next Article

MCRD gets bad Covid review

Todd Gloria staffer's family ties to Oklahoma casinos
Comments
1

Whenever I forget why I'm bewitched, bothered and bewildered, TSB (The Sporting Box) reminds me.

July 13, 2008

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close