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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Gloria Allred

Aired June 17, 2003 - 19:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Jeff. Stand by for a little bit, because we're going to be talking about the Peterson case. I want to bring you in on that, as well.
We've got a lot more to talk about in terms of the Peterson case. In California the attorney for Scott Peterson wants the attorney for Peterson's onetime girlfriend, Amber Frey, to stop talking.

Peterson is accused, of course, of killing his wife, Laci, and the couple's unborn child.

Now the trial judge issued a gag order restricting comments on the case. You all know that. Peterson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, says Gloria Allred should be cited for contempt for violating the gag order, in his opinion. The two faced off in court papers in Los Angeles.

One of them, Gloria Allred, joins us now.

Gloria, thanks very much. You've suddenly become the center of this in the past couple of days. You have been steadfastly saying you are not violating the gag order? Do you still stand by that?

GLORIA ALLRED, AMBER FREY'S ATTORNEY: Absolutely. And hi, Anderson and hi, Jeffrey.

And of course, I think what's most important is Laci and Connor. They should be the center of what this is all about.

But certainly Mark Geragos knows that the protective order makes no reference to me, because he has a copy of the protective order. And this argument is totally without merit. And I will be filing the -- my opposition to his motion very, very shortly.

COOPER: Let me jump in here. Let me just put on the screen something that Mark Geragos has said in a filing, in a motion he filed in court. I'm going to put it on the screen. It says, "Neither Mr. Peterson nor the prosecution has the ability to intelligently respond to the blatant misinformation being bandied about [and Gloria Allred's actions] should be considered by this court as nothing short of brazen contempt."

Your comments, Gloria.

ALLRED: Well, Mark Geragos needs to reread and this time very carefully the order of the court as to who is covered by the protective order. And the protective order says "it's the order of this court that no attorney connected with this case as prosecutor or defense counsel, nor any other attorney working in those offices, nor their agent, staff or experts, nor any judicial officer..."

COOPER: It doesn't name you, right?

ALLRED: All of those categories. No, I'm not any of the above. It does name witnesses, those who are subpoenaed or expected to testify. That would include my client, but it doesn't include me.

And the court knew that I was before the court arguing because the court was kind enough to permit me to argue. In fact Jeffrey Toobin was sitting next to me the day that I argued. And the court knew that I represented Amber Frey, and yet in carefully carved out language did not state that I was covered.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Gloria, but doesn't Mark Geragos have a point when he says, "Look, there are people like Gloria Allred, like a lot of talking heads on television, saying my client is guilty, saying terrible things about my client and here I am prohibited from speaking on his behalf?"

Isn't that a fair argument to make, that someone should be allowed to speak on Scott Peterson's behalf in public?

ALLRED: Well, you know, there are two issues. One is whether I've violated the order, which I did not.

TOOBIN: OK. Put aside that issue.

ALLRED: And secondly is the issue of whether there should be any protective order on the prosecution and defense. That's a totally different issues.

Mr. Geragos is not happy with the court's decision that there should be a protective order, gag order, against both the prosecution and the defense, so basically he's asking for a reconsideration of that order.

TOOBIN: But do you think he's got a point?

ALLRED: Well, I mean, I'm a person who generally thinks that it's important to have, you know, the public be able to know what's happening in courtrooms. And not to have protective orders.

But, on the other hand, the judge is trying to ensure that there is a fair trial for both the people and for Mr. Peterson. And this is the way he thinks it's going to be accomplished. He's concerned about leaks.

COOPER: Gloria, very briefly, if it's possible, do you think the judge is going to amend his decision?

ALLRED: I never predict what judges will do. I've been practicing law for 27 years and I don't know what the judge will do. I do know what he stated. It didn't include me. TOOBIN: Gloria Allred will not be breaking rocks in the hot sun. She will not be found in contempt. As for whether the protective order is changed, I don't know. I think it's a tough call. He certainly won't change it yet. He just entered it a week ago.

COOPER: All right. We'll follow it very closely. Gloria Allred, thanks for joining us. Jeff, thanks again.

ALLRED: Thank you.

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