Criminal That I Am is a young lawyer's account of crime's unexpected consequences and the criminal justice system as seen through the prism of a particular case: her own.
Jennifer Ridha was enlisted to defend Cameron Douglas, the son of film actor Michael Douglas, in a federal drug-trafficking case. Beyond his celebrity, Cameron's case was complicated by the fact that he suffered from anxiety. As media scrutiny and the pressures of his case mounted, Cameron's anxiety worsened. When Jennifer's efforts to alleviate his condition through the proper channels fell flat, she agreed to illicitly smuggle in the antianxiety medication that the prison refused to dispense. When her transgression was discovered, her criminal case began.
A compelling trip from professional self-destruction through tabloid scandal to redemption, Criminal That I Am chronicles Ridha's tumultuous journey, beginning with her decision to commit a crime on behalf of a man she loved to the ultimately transformative consequences that came after. This is a compelling, twisted love story that contemplates what we make of crime and punishment...and what it makes of us.
"[Jennifer's] spirit, fortitude, and candor will stay with you long after the last page is turned." (Margaux Fragoso, author of Tiger, Tiger)
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I LOVE true stories about addiction and incarceration, and this was both. I also am a New Yorker and so appreciate when an author's "voice" feels familiar because of the way they write and sound when they are also from the NYC area. I found this book to be really enjoyable... although, for the author's sake, it is truly unfortunate that she had reason to write this. I hope she writes other books in the future. I will for sure watch for her.
Reflective, serious and funny simultaneously