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Drew Peterson — media star and you have to pay him now if you want to hear his story.

It is true.

He is the suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, suspect in the death of this third wife, serial fabulist who blames his wife's hormonal ebb and flow for her disappearance and thinks she's holed up in a hotel room or apartment somewhere watching all this drama unfold. But he's also such a requested media interview that he's decided he's tired of giving it away for free.

Peterson has evidently hired a Florida publicist and says he is no longer going to talk to free media, if it means he cannot sell the same information, the same quotes, to media that is willing to pay him.

I suppose we'll soon hear that he has to take this step because he's got people he has to pay — like lawyers and like the publicist he's just hired to help him sell interviews.

I've seen many strange crime stories in my three decades doing this, but the Drew Peterson story might be right up there in the top five and this is one of the reasons why:

Either we have a completely innocent man whose young and flighty wife decided to leave her kids and disappear just to make her husband look bad and maybe cause charges to be lodged against him, or we have a glib and overconfident cop who thinks he can and has outsmarted everyone in a dizzying pair of crimes against his own wives.

I must say we don't know which it is. In court, Peterson's presumption of innocence kicks in, but in the court of public opinion that bedrock concept of our legal system takes a backseat to public suspicion.

And, for the record, much as I'd like to talk to him, if he wants to be paid, we'll pass, since we do not pay for interviews here at FOX News.

And that is My Word.

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