Forget Rob Lowe’s looks. Why did Lifetime subtract 10 years from age difference?

Stacy and Drew Peterson, Kaley Cuoco and Rob Lowe

By now we’ve all seen the unintentionally hilarious trailer in which Rob Lowe utters, “I’m Untouchable, bitch” through the open garage door of his frightened neighbor. If you’ve been watching Lifetime channel or sought them out on YouTube, you’ve maybe seen a couple of the longer ads which reveal glimpses of domestic violence, a body in a bathtub and Rob Lowe’s unconvincing suburban Chicago accent. If you make your living as a movie reviewer you may have even already seen the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” which is set to air on January 21.

The movie, which is based on Joe Hosey’s book “Fatal Vows: the Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson”, has upset some people. The public wonders if the story is premature–after all, Peterson has yet to be convicted of murdering anyone and Stacy Peterson remains a missing person. Some family members are upset that they were never consulted about the film and that none of its proceeds will go to searches for Stacy or to fight domestic abuse. Peterson and his defense team are possibly the most upset at the making of the movie. A character depicting Peterson seems to be involved in some very bad things that Peterson denies ever having done and not only that, he’s not making a dime off it!

Personally, I’m on the fence. I’m glad to see attention being focused back on the lives of Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio after being overshadowed by years of Peterson’s tasteless and cruel public antics. On the other hand, since it’s a Lifetime movie, I fully expect it to be melodramatic and cheesy and maybe it is premature to make a reality-based film about a story that is yet to be resolved.

I am a bit bothered about the casting choices. It isn’t so much Rob Lowe’s good looks that I find so jarring, but rather that he is a good decade younger than Drew Peterson. Meanwhile, Kaley Cuoco, who plays Stacy Peterson, is 26–three years older than Stacy was when she disappeared. It just puzzles me why Lifetime would choose to take the impact away from a very real fact of the story. When Drew Peterson first started dating Stacy Cales, she was 17 and he was 47! If you look at the photo at the top of this story on the left you see a couple who could pass for father and daughter, while the fictionalized version on the right just looks like a couple.

There’s no denying that Peterson has a penchant for very young women and Stacy Peterson was not the only Bolingbrook teenager to catch Drew’s eye. He met Christina Raines, his on-again off-again girlfriend, when she was just 15. Diana Grandel, who carried on a romantic correspondence with Peterson in jail, went public to say that the two of them had met when she was 14 and Sergeant Peterson responded to domestic disturbance calls at her home. To some it appears that Officer Peterson used his uniform and position of authority to impress young girls and perhaps even to groom them for a sexual relationship. With facts like that, it’s surprising that the filmmakers would want to go easy on Peterson when it comes to the age difference…or maybe they just thought that Cuoco could play seventeen (I’m not convinced that she can).

But, ultimately a movie is a movie and reality is reality. The reality is that Peterson sits in jail, awaiting trial for murder of one wife, another wife has been effectively erased from the face of the earth and family, friends and the public all hope for justice.

UPDATE 1/18: Check out the snippets and links to new interviews with Joe Hosey, the author of Fatal Vows, and Mikael Salomon, the Director of Untouchable in the comments thread below.

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23 thoughts on “Forget Rob Lowe’s looks. Why did Lifetime subtract 10 years from age difference?

  1. I’m sure the defense will ask the question “Did you see the Lifetime depiction?” when questioning prospective jurors….What a way to deplete the jury pool and ask for change of venue…

    I so hope I live long enough to see justice for Kathleen and Stacy too…I just can’t see this degenerate being set free to ensnare more young women…

  2. I have not seen the Lifetime movie, so of course, I have no idea what their position really is on the Peterson/Savio issues. However, it is their decision to have written a screenplay based on Fatal Vows, not the doings of the SA of Will County. Brodsky was adamant about using the media to what he thought was his benefit, and he spent at least the first two years doing so. According to Brodsky, the “media and its influence is in the courtroom and jury room.” I personally don’t care if this movie spoils a jury pool, and Peterson rots away for years waiting for a jury to be seated. The public was subjected to his antics for all the months he was free, and now he’s cooling his jets in a jail cell, unable to be freed through what should be the legal brilliance of his large defense team.

    This movie is yet another media event. I realize there are two sides to the point of whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. But, Brodsky did everything humanly possible to use the media, and now it’s time to pay back the devil, IMO.

    The only criticism I get, and the criminal defense bar is split on this issue, is that I let my client give a total of four (4) controlled interviews, and make a number of sound bite comments on certain issues. The “rule book” in criminal cases is for the client to say nothing. This is what I call the “standard model”. I have given this a great deal of thought, and talked to many other lawyers about this, (including my excellent co-counsel, Andrew Abood of the Abood Law Firm of East Lansing Michigan, and my partner the very sharp Reem Odeh). My conclusion is (and its my decision), that the standard model does not apply in extremely high profile cases in the post O.J. world. The O.J. Simpson trial changed everything. It made and broke big time media careers, and consequentially made the media, and by extension public perception, an additional party in extreme high profile cases. Now, in these rare cases, the media and its influence is in the courtroom and jury room. Therefore, the media must be addressed and engaged in these extreme cases. Examples: (1) Scott Peterson did 3 short tv appearances (I wouldn’t call them interviews) before he was named a suspect and then he remained totally silent. He was convicted. (2) Robert Blake and Michael Jackson both did media interviews. Michael Jackson even produced a TV special on his case to counter some bad publicity, and Blake did an interview from his jail cell without his lawyer present as well as other interviews. Both these men were acquitted. I could go on for a long time on this issue, as well as spell out the problems that my clients media appearances before I came into the case created, and how our media strategy addressed these issues, (one for example which I call the white noise effect), but suffice it to say nothing we do is hap hazzard, or done for publicity or to satisfy some psychological need of my client. A good lawyer thinks like a chess player, looking 5 to 10 moves into the future for each move he does now. I am a good lawyer.

  3. Sure, having watched the movie “Untouchable” may exclude a potential juror from Drew Peterson’s trial, but I can think of a lot more things that should exclude people, too, and all because for two years Drew Peterson and his lawyer intentionally saturated the media with interviews and commentary.

    Jurors should be excluded if they…

    Ever heard:
    Drew Peterson on Mancow’s Morning Madhouse
    Drew Peterson on Steve Dahl morning show
    Drew Peterson on Geoff Pinkus’s show
    Drew Peterson on Scared Monkeys blog talk radio show
    Drew Peterson on Sherman and Tingle on Q101

    Ever read:
    Drew Peterson Exposed (pro-innocence book arranged by Peterson’s PR)
    SpeakYourMind Internet forum (Where Brodsky posted)
    Legal Pub Blog (Where Joel Brodsky posted)
    Crime Guns and Videotape Blog (Where Joel Brodsky commented and provided documents to the author)
    Michael Sneed’s column in the Sun Times (Constantly provided with letters and tidbits by Peterson’s lawyers)
    Press Releases from the Publicity Agency (Peterson’s publicist)

    Ever saw:
    Peterson on Larry King
    Peterson on Today Show
    Peterson on Good Morning America
    Drew Peterson on Dr. Phil
    Brodsky on Nancy Grace
    Drew Peterson on WGN news
    Drew Peterson on Dateline
    Attorneys Brodsky, Greenberg, Lopez or Abood discussing the case on various news shows


  4. Right! Remember, none of it was “hap hazzard,” (although I learned to spell that haphazard), and it’s all controlled to influence the courtroom and jury in this high profile case through the media. You know, “white noise.”

    I assume it was all meant to screw with the heads of potential jurors, but I could be mistaken…..

  5. So, neither Peterson nor Brodsky uttered a word about Fatal Vows, its accuracy or inaccuracy, during the time after which it was published, and only started slamming it when it was learned a made-for-tv movie was going into production based on it. Then, the stupid threats, cease and desist crap that became so common, and the book’s version of events became an issue.

    However, the icing on the cake, at least in my mind, was when Brodsky and Maksym demanded that Peterson be compensated, if nothing else, because, after all, this is “his story.”

    Mind you, Peterson is still waiting for that ISP apology too that he demanded.

    And, I assume, a public outcry for what he says are hostage-like conditions.


  6. It makes one wonder how many other young girls were victims of prey! It still has me wondering what really happened to Rachel Mellon, who went missing from her Bolingbrook home back in 1996! Especially when it was 20 degrees below zero, and she just vanished without her shoes, coat, anything!

    I am on the fence about the movie as well. I am happy that it will bring more attention to the case. Lifetime movie channel is nationwide I believe. There is so many people that haven’t even heard about the case. I have in the past, asked people if they have heard about it and there was so many people out there that never heard about it. So IMO, if anything might reach someone who might know something, or was also a victim of his abuse!

    The other side of the fence says they should of contacted the families first to even see how they felt about this movie being made to begin with. I also feel they should of waited till after the trial. I agree with Facs about the cast and age difference. Being is based on true stories they should try and make sure the facts, the story, and key things are put in there. I don’t feel they emphasizing enough about the age difference, and how it really all went down.

    I don’t know I guess we wait and see what happens this week when it airs, and see how it goes. From the trailers though I don’t think it is going to show enough of the facts about how it all really went down.

  7. Lifetime’s ‘Untouchable’ throws the book at Drew Peterson

    Steve Johnson
    Tribune reporter
    3:49 p.m. CST, January 16, 2012

    It’s rare that you can say a piece of television is inevitable. But throughout the media circus following the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, the notion that there would be a Drew Peterson Lifetime movie was about as close to a sure thing as you could get.

    And now, while the ex-Bolingbrook cop awaits trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, that movie is here, premiering on the female-focused cable channel Saturday (7 p.m. CDT).

    There are surprises in “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” beginning with the choice of Rob Lowe to play the man. Peterson evoked many emotions during his odd and troubling run in the public eye between fourth wife Stacy Peterson’s disappearance in October 2007 and his arrest in May 2009, but comparisons to an almost blindlingly handsome actor were not among them.

    What’s also surprising, given the pending court case and our litigious society, is how strongly the movie suggests Peterson’s complicity in both cases.

    Based on former Joliet Herald-News reporter Joseph Hosey’s 2008 nonfiction book “Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sgt. Drew Peterson,” the film gives us, as accepted and damning facts, many of what are presumed to be the key pieces of evidence against Peterson. Although it never shows the cop committing a crime, it does have him smile knowingly on the porch, for instance, while he waits for Savio’s body to be discovered.

    But what’s perhaps most surprising is that if you take it on its own, very limited terms, the movie kind of works. You come to this prepared to laugh, because of Lowe, because of Lifetime, because of what our public reaction to Peterson came to be. But despite a lurid trailer that made the rounds, this is no piece of inadvertent high camp.

    What was horrible about the Peterson saga was the way the man’s public buffoonery — the fifth fiancee, the proposed radio-show dating contest, the
    Blagojevich-like need to appear on TV — threatened to obliterate the memories of two women. Peterson pulled on clown shoes, and the absent mothers of four children slid into the background…

    MORE AT:,0,5446460.column

  8. An intelligent, thought provoking review of what Peterson is really all about, for a change.

    Yeah, Peterson, with the blessing of his lead attorney, did put on his clown shoes, and if this movie even slightly portrays what he is all about, then he has no one to blame but himself, not the messengers.

  9. What’s also surprising, given the pending court case and our litigious society, is how strongly the movie suggests Peterson’s complicity in both cases.

    That’s probably because the facts strongly suggest Peterson’s complicity in both cases.

    I mean, isn’t that why he’s in jail with a $2 million bail?

  10. I don’t imagine the Lifetime people took liberties with creating false information to make Peterson look especially guilty for this movie. Everything they needed was public, either in Joe Hosey’s book, the print media, or the gazillion videos of the clown online. My gosh, you couldn’t make up half this stuff. To think, it’s all factual and real!

    Think about it. Peterson was raising two teens who’s mom died suddenly and left a terrible void in their lives. His two tots lost their mom suddenly when, according to him, she left them to go on a permanent vacation. Yet, it didn’t resonate well with his oldest teen, no matter how silly Peterson tried to make the situation.

    …He stops short of calling his father a role model.

    I wouldn’t say role model, with the things he's been involved with, but he’s definitely a large … presence,” Peterson said….

    “…Him going away was very disappointing, but I feel like if he came back I’d have to have a stern talk with him about the things that he’s doing because he’s really kind of lost in his ego, I want to say. I’m not going to lie,” Peterson said. “‘Dad, you do not need to talk to these people right now. You need to stay home and take care of your family.’

    As far as being a “litigious society,” yeah, boy, that’s Brodsky. He froths at the mouth to come out against someone to sue. Hasn’t missed a beat yet to threaten someone or other. He’s like a big mouth bully who doesn’t know how to play nice with the other kids, and squawks constantly.

  11. It was bound to happen. The Chigoist has invented a drinking game to play while watching “Untouchable”:

    The Undrinkable

    Drink 3 to make Rob Lowe look like Rob Lowe again.
    Drink 2 just for that terrible mustache.
    Drink 1 for each commercial featuring a feminine hygiene product.
    Drink 1 for each unnecessarily dramatic musical crescendo.
    Drink 1 for each mischievous laugh.
    Drink 1 when any actor tries not to laugh while delivering an absurd line.
    Drink 1 each time it’s obvious the movie wasn’t filmed in Chicago (i.e. palm trees).
    Drink 1 for any stock shot of Chicago.
    Drink 1 for each terrible Chicago accent.
    Drink 1 when someone with an accent stops using it.
    Drink 1 every time Rob Lowe says “literally,” then try to pretend he’s Chris Traeger.
    Drink when there’s a “walk and talk” a la the West Wing.
    Chug when someone calls him “Big Daddy.”
    Chug when Rob Lowe is naked.
    Take a shot when he says those three little words, “I’m untouchable, bitch.”

  12. 🙄

    Well, well, well, for all the levity, Bolingbrook accent jabs, mustache jokes and Rob Lowe zings, that ought to work out okay for the murder defendant. It’ll take the attention away from the circumstances surrounding the death of one wife, and the mysterious disappearance and presumed death of the other, and make for one big knee-slappin’ good time.

  13. Joe Hosey does the fact-checking thing with “Untouchable”:

    Fact-checking “Drew Peterson: Untouchable”
    The man who wrote the book on Drew Peterson takes a close look at Lifetime’s made-for-TV movie.
    By Jake Malooley

    Lifetime’s version
    Former Brat Packer Rob Lowe stars as Drew.
    Hosey says
    “Even after nine hours of makeup, Lowe’s still too handsome. Drew’s not a good-looking guy at all.”

    Lifetime’s version
    While still married to Savio, Drew meets Stacy when he heroically responds to a 911 call at the hotel where she works.
    Hosey says
    “Drew’s partner was trying to get with another employee of the hotel—and Stacy was extra incentive to go.”

    Lifetime’s version
    At the urging of his editor, Hosey starts covering the Peterson case.
    Hosey says
    “My editor didn’t care. On a number of occasions, he tried to take me off so I could go cover, like, village board meetings.”

    Lifetime’s version
    Drew is lovingly making eggs for his kids when Hosey first enters Drew’s house for an interview.
    Hosey says
    “I’d say he had total disregard for [his kids] and their feelings. He’d call them in to talk to me, usually to bolster his alibis. Meanwhile, Fox News would be on the living-room TV with Geraldo saying, ‘That murderer!’ and showing pictures of Kathleen and Stacy.”


  14. Lifetime’s version Hosey and Drew pal around at a bar. “He’s an arrogant, misogynistic asshole,” the reporter says in the movie, “but I have fun around him.”
    Hosey says “Drew would always say, ‘Let’s go out!’ But I didn’t want to be seen having beers with him. So this never happened. But what can you do? It’s showbiz, man.

    Okay, I confess, I had to look up the word misogynistic. Now I’m really ready to watch the movie.


  15. Glad that Joe showed better judgment than Amy Jacobson. At least I don’t think he took a dip in the Peterson pool wearing a bikini.
    We’ll have to ask Sharon B to be sure. She’s the one with the cameras.

  16. AND an interview with Mikael Salomon, the Director of “Untouchable”:

    Had you followed the Drew Peterson case?
    Just like everybody else, you know, casually. I thought, “What a creep this guy is.” You know how it is, in your private life, you make your own judgment, which of course you can’t in a medium without getting in trouble.

    The original title of this TV movie was “Ladykiller.” Why the change?
    Legal felt that even though it was a pun, it implied that the guy was guilty. We’ve been very careful not to imply that. We let people draw their own conclusions from the facts, as we call them. Of course, the bias is the guy is not a good guy. Whether he’s guilty or not, I cannot say.

    What about him makes you think he’s a bad guy?
    I’m basing it mainly on his TV appearances, what he managed to say and how he could stick his foot in his mouth so publicly and in such an obnoxious fashion. He’s obviously a chauvinistic pig.

    It’s interesting that the final reveal of the movie is a blue bin his brother helps him carry out of his house. Doesn’t that suggest Peterson’s guilt?
    Of course it does in a way, but only if there’s a body in that bin. We’re never saying that there was a body in the bin. All we did was present the facts as his stepbrother told to the police, or actually, on TV. I mean … I’m not drawing any conclusions, let’s put it that way.


  17. More proof (if you needed any) that sometimes women disappear because bad things were done to them. Sometimes the truth comes out…even if it takes 12 years.

    Bones Found At Hammond Demolition Site Identified As Missing Woman
    January 19, 2012 1:50 PM

    HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) – Police have identified bones found at the site of a former bait shop in Hammond, Ind., as a 38-year-old woman who has been missing since 1999.

    The bones were found on Oct. 5, 2011, at the Great Lakes Bait and Tackle building, at 1718 Indianapolis Blvd. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller said DNA evidence has confirmed the remains belonged to Francine Carlson, who was reported missing in nearby Whiting in June 1999…

  18. Thanks, I just saw it and was about to post it myself. Bad things do happen to women who mysteriously disappear, and contrary to Peterson’s mouthpiece, unfortunately, it’s not always a happy ending.

    Stacy’s mom disappeared, and it’s crappy that Brodsky keeps repeating that she ran off, as Stacy did, without knowing what really happened to her. Maybe that’s why he finally STFU. He realizes he’s full of hot air, or someone helped him figure that out. 🙂

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