CRIMINAL THAT I AM by Jennifer Ridha


A Memoir
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Defending the son of a famous actor, a defense attorney finds herself entangled in the case emotionally as well as legally.

Ridha’s defense of Cameron Douglas, son of Michael, came at a unique, distinct point in her career as a defense attorney. She had been in practice long enough to understand the risks inherent in defending a charming, handsome addict in a federal trafficking case. At the same time, she had not been in practice long enough to be able to have that understanding inform her every action; she wasn’t inured to the possibility that she could go down the wrong path and not stop. Cameron was the third actor in the family, after grandfather Kirk and father Michael, and his family pressed to have him moved somewhere safer than the maximum security prison in which he awaited trial. They reasoned that since he was cooperating with the investigation, he was in danger; if that news spread, his fellow inmates would likely tear him apart. He was also being denied medication deemed essential by his psychiatrist. During the case, Ridha realized that she was becoming emotionally involved, but she was not able to resist crossing the line when the system was being unjust. Feeling that she was protecting her client, she smuggled his medication into the prison. As the title of the book makes clear, Ridha was caught and prosecuted. Her hindsight provides some stinging and insightful commentary on how she allowed this to unfold (“the law has no basis in science, it does not fully correspond to even the most basic moral code”), though the prose occasionally veers into hyperbole when she writes about how she fell for Cameron.

Acknowledging the balance between her heart and head, Ridha amply demonstrates what can happen when the balance is upset.

Pub Date: May 12th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4767-8572-1
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015


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