Drew Peterson: 'I'm a Celebrity Everywhere in the World'

Drew Peterson says his kids are fine, and the ladies still like him.

ByJIM AVILA and the ABC News Law & Justice Unit via via logo
February 26, 2009, 8:25 PM

Jan. 25, 2008 — -- Drew Peterson looked at pictures of his wedding to Stacy Peterson six years ago, when she was 19 and he was 49, and said those were good times for the couple.

"I think of the happier times all the time, some good memories," Peterson told ABC News' Jim Avila in an exclusive interview. "But it's kind of painful, so I don't really spend a lot of time walking down memory lane."

Stacy Peterson vanished Oct. 28, and Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant, was named a suspect. He has not been charged, and he has consistently denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Peterson believes his fourth wife ran off with another man, and he told Avila that he is angry with Stacy.

"Very much so, without a doubt," Peterson said. "She left for somebody else, and there's been several affairs discovered. So yeah, I'm pretty mad."

Peterson maintains he is a victim of narrow-mindedness by police, who he said refuse to investigate any of the leads he has provided, including a text message he said he found on a phone Stacy gave to one of their sons.

"I was clowning around with it one day and I found this racy text message, and I realize it's a message for Stacy," Peterson said.

He also played a message left on his attorney's answering machine from an unnamed woman who claimed to have seen Stacy recently in Peoria, Ill.

"I'd just like you to know I did see Stacy again on January second," the message said.

Peterson said the police should be looking into these and other leads. "I think they should be exploring all avenues rather than just on me," he said.

Stacy would have turned 24 this past week, but there was no celebration at the Peterson home where the couple's four children were told to act like it was any other day.

"We didn't celebrate. We kind of like didn't want to remind the children that she was gone," Peterson said.

The two youngest children have been told their mom is on vacation, Peterson said.

"It's a little harder on the little girl," he said. "You know once in a while she'll ask, you know, 'I want my mommy or where's mommy.' And that's hard."

Peterson said that overall, though, the children are holding up well and don't need counseling.

Stacy's family did celebrate her birthday this week, holding a vigil at her hometown church.

"The day will come where Drew will be arrested. That's our family, we strongly believe that," said Kerry Simmons, Stacy's step-sister.

In the meantime, Drew Peterson seems to be enjoying the notoriety that has come with Stacy's disappearance.

"I'm a celebrity everywhere in the world," Peterson told Avila.

And somehow, Peterson said, he is still popular with women. He joked on a local radio show about participating in a dating game.

"I find it totally strange," he told Avila. "I'll be out somewhere, and I'll get phone numbers put in my hand."

Peterson said he hasn't called any of those numbers, but added, "I'm keeping my options open."

That is a statement that infuriates Stacy's family.

"He's worried about his love life instead of the mental stability of his children. He should be worrying about that, not worrying about his next girlfriend," Simmons said.

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