Drew Peterson and Christina Raines made headlines when they got engaged and again when they broke up two weeks ago. Raines insisted that her engagement with the former Bolingbrook police sergeant had been a publicity stunt.
Now, on Friday the 13th, the eve of Valentine's Day, the two showed their love to the country during an exclusive interview on NBC's "Today" show.
Peterson is under suspicion for the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and is the sole suspect in the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
"And a lot of people think, why would you put yourself in the situation of becoming potentially his fifth wife?" Robach asked the 24-year-old fiancée.
"Well, first, I don't believe that he did anything wrong," Raines smiled. "And, well, I love him. I have a lot of fun."
When asked to describe the man she knows versus the man portrayed by the media, she said, "Very kind and loving. Very nice." She looked fondly at Peterson.
"He makes me laugh."
Raines' mood changed a bit though as she rolled her eyes a bit and sighed heavily when Robach asked Peterson, "What makes Chrissy different from wives 1, 2, 3, and 4?"
"It's a feeling," he responded. "I mean, she's not an heiress. She doesn't have millions I'm after. I mean, she's, y'know, a simple girl, and she's, uh, got a couple kids, and all I want from her is her love."
The couple lives in the same house that Peterson shared with his fourth wife, Stacy. Her pictures are still on the walls.
Robach noted this, asking, "Chrissy, is that hard for you to see her presence everywhere?"
The young woman shifted her weight nervously in her chair and remained silent, declining to answer.
Fifty-five-year-old Peterson said he has never had trouble dating, despite the allegations and media frenzy. "I think people are attracted to my personality," he conjectured.
Raines said that she too was attracted to Peterson's personality and not to the "danger" his name has been associated with in the media. She explained that she had known him since long before Stacy had disappeared.
"I felt bad for her. I thought she had been, like, kidnapped or something. That's it," she smiled nervously. "I didn't think that he did anything to her."
Robach continued, "What do you say to those people [who think Peterson is guilty]?"
"I'm running the other way," Raines laughed. "I'm just joking. I just don't believe it. ...I don't believe he'll hurt anyone. ...He's nice. He has a good heart, very caring. I don't think he'll hurt me or anyone else."
When asked if she had anyone who supported her decision to be with Peterson, Raines quickly said, "No."
Peterson corrected her. "Your mom."
"My mom," said Raines. "I mean, she's not out there, like, saying it, but ..."
"I'm gonna be okay. Nothing's going to happen to me," she insisted.
Raines' father, Ernie Raines, is afraid for his daughter's life and has twice appeared at Peterson's home with a camera crew. He also appeared on CBS' "The Early Show" with his daughter when she said the whole relationship had been a hoax. "He's called you [Peterson] the devil," said Robach.
Peterson laughed. "It looks like the devil actually won this round."
The two still plan on getting married, though Peterson must first divorce Stacy, whom he says he believes is still alive. While Raines hopes to have her family attend the wedding (in "June or July" she said), she knows that's not likely to happen. Peterson said they do not plan on having children.
"No, I think we have enough children," said Peterson. "Between us, we have eight and one grandchild coming so, it's like, I think that's enough."
Raines smiled. "Maybe one more."
Peterson continues to deny involvement in the homicide of his third wife and the disappearance of his fourth. He has said he will continue to appear on TV and do whatever it takes to "tell his story."