settled in for Sunday lunch at the Applebee's on Hillsborough Street, and fame followed him to the table. "You didn't see them, but there were two women over there who were looking at me," he
"WRAL did a survey of the top five days of the Peterson trial," said Wolgamott
, 28."Guess who was No. 2?"
Why, Brent Wolgamott
, of course.Better known to some as "Brad from Raleigh," Wolgamott
testified in Mike Peterson's murder trial that the Durham novelist had written e-mail in September 2001 soliciting his
sexual services at $150 an hour.
Once, speaking in public about selling one's body would have caused at least embarrassment.But some in Wolgamott's generation think being on television, no matter what, is a good thing.He
sees nothing wrong with moonlighting as an escort and views his
August testimony as a highlight of his
life, rivaling his
April 2002 appearance on "The Price is Right," when he
won a 36-inch television and a dining-room set.
Other witnesses gained a measure of notice through the Peterson trial, but none as much as Wolgamott
, who has been recognized at his
bank, at his
tanning salon, in the gay bars, by the after-church lunch crowd at Applebee's.
fought the summons to the trial.
But the lawyer warned Wolgamott
, "If you are trying to get a protective order, the press is going to fight you.They're going to want to know all the more who you are," Wolgamott
braced himself and testified Aug. 11.
"To act all serious and to act a bit shy about it would give an indication to people that I was somehow embarrassed about my life and my work and everything that I had done," he
said."I was not embarrassed in the least about it, and I was not going to let anyone think that I was going to be made to feel like I had done something that would shame myself." Wolgamott
is a product of small-town Indiana.His
father is a Southern Baptist pastor, his
mother a secretary at an auto plant.Valedictorian of his
high school class, Wolgamott
homosexuality at 17.His
parents wrestled with the revelation but eventually accepted it.At 25, he joined the Army for two years and was posted at Fort Bragg.He
got into the escort business to earn money to go to college and eventually to medical school. After his testimony, Wolgamott, a columnist for the NCSU newspaper, the Technician, feared professors would refuse to write letters of recommendation for him.
said at least one person has accused him of milking his
argument is: "If I didn't talk to the news media, then things were written about me that I had no control over.If I did talk to the news media, then I was accused of wanting fame and trying to be the Kato Kaelin of the Peterson trial."
After lunch, Wolgamott
returned to his
apartment near NCSU to watch NFL football.In the spare room, he
riffled through a box of his
columns from the Technician.
testified that Mike Peterson solicited him.