Amber Frey Recalls First Date with Peterson

Amber Frey Recalls First Date with Peterson
Paul Sakuma/REUTERS/Landov

updated 08/10/2004 at 01:00 PM EDT

originally published 08/10/2004 01:00PM

Massage therapist Amber Frey, the former mistress of double-murder suspect Scott Peterson, began her testimony in his trial Tuesday by describing their first date together, saying it included dinner at a Japanese restaurant and karaoke, and ended with them being "intimate."

In her long-awaited turn on the stand, the prosecution's star witness, wearing a prim black suit, said her first date with Peterson was at the Elephant Bar in Fresno, Calif., on Nov. 20, 2002, in a meeting arranged by a mutual acquaintance – one month before Laci went missing.

On the night they met, Frey, 29, said Peterson told her he hadn't yet checked into his hotel, and they went to a Radisson Hotel for him to freshen up. After showering and changing his clothes, Peterson brought out strawberries and champagne, she said.

They then went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant, where he told her a fabricated story about his life – that he lived in Sacramento and had a condominium in San Diego, she testified. She said she did not know he was married and had a child on the way.

He also said, according to Frey's testimony, that he never wanted to have children and planned to undergo a vasectomy. Frey, who has a child named Ayanna, testified: "He said he didn't need a biological child, and he would raise my daughter as his own."

Continuing her testimony, she said that after dinner she and Scott went next door to a karaoke bar, where he encouraged her to sing. She said they kissed once, and then she later agreed to return to his hotel. Frey acknowledged that they were "intimate."

"He was easygoing, easy to talk to," she said. "He made me feel comfortable."

One week after Laci Peterson went missing, on New Year's Eve, according to Frey's testimony, Scott called her and pretended to be in Paris, following a visit to family in Maine. The taped phone conversation was played in the courtroom.

Prosecutors have pointed to Frey as the motivation for Scott's alleged killing of his pregnant wife, Laci. Peterson, 31, has pleaded not guilty.

Frey, whose testimony is expected to last more than a week, arrived at the Redwood City, Calif., courthouse Tuesday holding a black bag in front of her face to block the cameras as she was driven into a parking garage.

Most legal experts found Frey to be a credible witness. Peterson's defense has questioned Frey's motives and the timing of her communications with police, but Allred told reporters Tuesday, "She is a victim of Scott Peterson's deception."

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