BY SHAWN COHEN • SPCOHEN@LOHUD.COM • OCTOBER 14, 2010
VALHALLA — Anything for attention.
Jesse Lee Davis and Amanda Conner have been relishing their newfound celebrity at the Westchester County jail after guards and cellmates learned the Tennessee couple had just starred on “The Jerry Springer Show.”
“The whole B Block was screaming, ‘Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!’ ” Conner said. “I love those girls, but they’re crazy. I tell you, I love the attention.”
The duo, who faked fuming at each other during Monday’s taping in Stamford, Conn., were arrested later that day in a real-life drama on the tarmac at the Westchester County Airport. The on-again, off-again lovers were accused of stealing jewelry from a woman sitting behind them on a flight bound for Charlotte, N.C.
Davis and Conner were ushered off the flight, handcuffed and whisked away in patrol cars.
During a jailhouse interview Wednesday, both professed their innocence, saying they didn’t steal anything. In colorful language befitting the Springer show, Conner also accused the arresting officers of borderline abuse, saying they overaggressively frisked her and bruised her by zealously slapping on handcuffs.
“Do you see these bruises on my arms?” she said, displaying black-and-blue marks on her wrists. “They were so mean to me. It’s bull-(expletive).”
The 20-year-old also claimed she was never read her Miranda rights.
“They’re (expletive) rude,” she said. “They didn’t Mirandize me. They just put handcuffs on and pushed me into the car. All the (officer) kept saying was, ‘You know why you’re being arrested. Get in the car!’ They were so mean to me.”
County police spokesman Kieran O’Leary replied: “I do know that Ms. Conner was unhappy to see the county police board the plane, recover the stolen jewelry and place her and Mr. Davis under arrest. If she’s unhappy about anything else, she is free to file a complaint and it will be investigated. We tried to show her as much northern hospitality as the circumstances would allow.”
The day began with the couple’s advance taping of Springer’s Halloween special, which included a vampire stripper and a midget dressed in a cat costume. It also featured Conner throwing punches at her “best friend” after discovering she had slept with Davis.
Davis and Conner said they were paid (they wouldn’t say how much) for the appearance, which was based mostly on lies encouraged by the show’s producers.
Explaining the story line, she said, “In the show, me and Jesse, we were together for six years and got into a fight in the last two months. So I moved to Florida and I was married and divorced within a month to a man who’d drink, hit me, busted my nose and pulled my hair.
So I moved back to Tennessee and got back with Jesse. Then I came to find out he slept with my best friend. They brought her onto the show and we fought.”
Conner said it’s true that she was married for a month to an abusive man. But the rest is fiction.
One lie: that Davis and Conner had been together for six years. Actually, they had dated, on and off, for 18 months, she said. A second: that Davis had sex with the friend.
“She’s not really my best friend, but she was for the show,” Conner said, claiming that “Jerry and the producers” told her to make it up.
“It was all for acting,” she said.
Davis, 21, said he had never even met the “other” woman until last week. “So I definitely didn’t have sex with her,” he said. “I’m not that fast.”
Still, they said they happily went along with the ruse, seeing it as their big break.
Gary Rosen, a spokesman for the show, said the couple’s account to The Journal
News is “fabricated,” though he did not detail what was untrue.
“All the guests sign a release that they are telling the truth, as did these people,” he said.
He claimed Springer had no contact with them before they walked onto the stage.
He said that the two were paid only a “modest stipend to cover lost wages and travel expenses, as most guests on television shows are.”
Both Davis and Conner aspire to be actors, or at least to be famous.
“I don’t know why. I just like people to focus on me,” said Conner, a resident of Signal Mountain, Tenn., who was making her second TV appearance.
In 2008, she and a pregnant friend were featured on the MTV series “16 and Pregnant.”
Conner said she is studying to be a dental assistant, “But I would drop school or anything to be on TV, just to act or model. That’s why I came all the way down here.”
Davis, a high school dropout living with his aunt in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., works at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, leading people to their seats in the train cars.
But he, too, aspires to get into “acting, modeling, whatever I could do,” he said.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be an actor,” he said. “Just to have people see me and look up to me. It’s going to be a whole lot easier, especially now that I am on Springer.”
Each is being held on $1,000 bail, pending an appearances in Rye Town Court next week.
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