Peterson 'Concerned' About Wrongful Death Lawsuit

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: There's big news tonight for Sergeant Drew Peterson, but it's not good news. Just a short time ago a judge ruled that the estate of Peterson's wife number three, Kathleen Savio, is reopened. This means a wrongful death action can be filed against Drew Peterson.

Because of the news that just broke in the Savio, we wanted Drew Peterson to respond. He agreed, provided we did not ask him about his timeline for the day Stacy Peterson, wife number four, disappeared. He will only talk about wife number three. Since that is the news of the day, we agreed.

Joining us live in Chicago is Drew Peterson and his lawyer Joel Brodsky. Welcome to both of you gentlemen. Drew, your reaction to the decision to reopen the estate of Kathleen Savio?

DREW PETERSON: Hi, Greta, how you been?

VAN SUSTEREN: Good, thanks.

Watch Drew Peterson's interview

PETERSON: In reaction to it, I'm concerned about it. But I have Mr. Brodsky looking out for me, so I'm not really that worried.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can you elaborate more?

PETERSON: Anytime you are opened up to any type of civil or criminal litigation, it causes anybody concern while it's pending. So I'm sure we'll emerge victorious out of it when it's all over, but I'm concerned while it's pending.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joel, your thoughts to it's being open?

JOEL BRODSKY, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: We believe that the judge was--it's really a double-edged sword. There's good and bad in it. Obviously, we're disappointed in the judge's decision and we've decided to file an appeal. We don't believe there was a newly discovered asset, or even an asset.

But on the good side, and we really thank Mr. Kelly for this, what he has given us by filing a civil lawsuit is he's given us subpoena power. And what we'll be able to do with that subpoena power is subpoena all the evidence that we've been denied up to now.

For example, we'll be able to subpoena the pathologist's report, we'll be able to subpoena Dr. Baden's report. We'll be able to depose witnesses, all things which we were unable to do--

VAN SUSTEREN: Joel, Joel, cut that.

BRODSKY: That's true.

VAN SUSTEREN: You can subpoena them, but don't try to kid me. It also means the guy sitting next to you, your client, is going to be subpoenaed. He's going to have to answer interrogatories, depositions.

BRODSKY: No, he won't. He'll take the fifth.

VAN SUSTEREN: That always looks good.

BRODSKY: Under Illinois law in a civil case when you're also the subject of a criminal case, not only can you take the fifth, but in taking the fifth that's not counted against you as long as there's a pending criminal investigation. So it really won't hurt him at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: Drew, are you going to take the fifth?

PETERSON: I'll listen to the advice of my attorney, and what he directs me to do, I'll do.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you're willing to answer questions if Joel doesn't tell you not to, right?

PETERSON: Correct. I always have been.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's the story with your uncle as being the executor? Why was he chosen?

PETERSON: He was chosen because myself and Kathleen didn't really trust anybody else. Kathleen didn't trust any of her family to do it, and he was somebody that was close to both of us, and we figured he was the most honorable and respected person that we knew to handle the issue for us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Drew, did you read the coroner's jury's report when they had the first round after Kathleen Savio died?

PETERSON: No. I was just advised of certain things, that there was an accidental death and a drowning. That's basically all we were told, and that's all the information that I have.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you ever suspicious it was anything more than just a drowning?

PETERSON: No, not at that time. None whatsoever.

VAN SUSTEREN: You say "not at that time." Did something change that made you suspicious that it wasn't an accidental drowning?

PETERSON: The new information that Dr. Baden has come out with has got me a little concerned that there was something different. I'm more reliant on the first autopsy than I would be the second one that is several years later.

So, until we get to look at all the evidence and examine these coroner's reports, I'm still under the belief that she died accidentally in the bathtub.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you have some reason to be suspicious based on the new information from Dr. Baden?

PETERSON: I'm concerned that all of a sudden we have these people with fancy titles coming in and saying it was a homicide. So let's look at it and see what really happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: If that is, indeed, true, why in the world would you let your lawyer fight the reopening of the case if you yourself have concern?

BRODSKY: We also--

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait a second, Joel. You fought reopening the estate. Your client just says that he has reason to pause, that's my word, based on the new round of autopsies, including that done by Dr. Baden. But you fought it.

BRODSKY: Right. And they're accusing him, and what you need to understand is why we don't want Henry Savio and Anna Doman involved in this, and Drew can probably talk about that. Go ahead, Drew.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is why?

PETERSON: Here's two people that are coming in under the flag of doing this for the good of the children. Here's a couple of people who have really no concern about my children whatsoever, and I'm talking specifically about Tom and Chris.

Henry Savio, the grandfather, met his grandchildren one time, and that was at Kathleen's funeral. He looked at them, nodded, and kind of dismissed them. And they haven't had any contact or concern of them since Kathleen died whatsoever.

Henry Savio, the father hasn't had any contact or concern with these children whatsoever. He didn't even show up at Kathleen and my wedding. And now all of a sudden this man's coming forward and wanting to take charge of Kathleen's affairs when, really, he dismissed Kathleen when she was a child.

So here's a guy that has all this interest because there's money involved, not because he's concerned about the well-being of the kids.

VAN SUSTEREN: Drew, what do you make of the reverend's statement that Stacy said, essentially, that you killed Kathleen Savio?

PETERSON: I really can't even guess on the validity of those. Here's a guy who states that Stacy come up and I told him that I did something to Kathleen. And then he tells her to go home and make things right as a wife.

As a police officer, if a woman came up to me and told me that her husband was involved in a homicide, I would immediately take that woman into some sort of protective custody, her and the kid, and open up an investigation immediately.

All of a sudden this guy is coming forward after Stacy disappears with this information. Why is he waiting so long? I have some serious problems with everything Mr. Schori is saying or the validity of what he's saying. I have question is Stacy even said that. and if she did say it, what were her motives? Because, of course, none of that happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: Drew, Joel, I hope you both come back. I hope that you had a fair opportunity to answer all the questions.

BRODSKY: Maybe another day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed. I want to get that timeline question answered.

PETERSON: I'll bet you do. We'll talk to you later.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm waiting.

PETERSON: Greta, you owe Lacy a tea party.

VAN SUSTEREN: All you have to do is answer a question, where were you October 28? Joel, I'll give you that picture you want.


VAN SUSTEREN: I'll let the viewers try to guess what that one is.

Thank you both, and the timeline question you're also welcome to come back and answer.

PETERSON: Thanks Greta.

BRODSKY: Thank you Greta.

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