Breakout O.J. expert Kristin Jeannette-Meyers

By EW Staff
Updated May 05, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Growing up in a tiny rural New Hampshire town, Court TV’s Kristin Jeannette-Meyers never watched TV. Instead, at age 12, she read F. Lee Bailey’s The Defense Never Rests. ”It was such a cool book, I just wanted to be a trial lawyer right there,” she says. ”I was a weird kid.”

Today, Jeannette-Meyers — who, at 27, is practically still a kid — is in fact a lawyer but no longer a stranger to TV. Covering the O.J. Simpson trial for Court TV and CBS This Morning, the telegenic reporter appears to be climbing the same cable-obscurity-to-network-glory ladder forged by ABC’s Cynthia McFadden. And now Jeannette-Meyers’ favorite author is there to inspire her in person. ”He laughed when I told him the influence he’s had on me,” she says. ”No one can live up to your expectations, but he does.”

Since graduating from New York University law school and signing with Court TV in 1991, she’s covered such legal soap operas as the trials of William Kennedy Smith and Lorena Bobbitt. What surprises her most about her current case? ”This won’t make me popular, but I’m surprised at the way [Judge Lance] Ito entertains stars of the media, like Larry King.”

Jeannette-Meyers is equally candid on camera. ”I said the stupidest thing on Court TV — ‘When I first saw Kato, he appeared shorter than I expected.’ The anchor just laughed. But that’s the great thing about 24-hour, live TV.”

The bad thing is that 24-hour part. Since August, Meyers has been living, breathing, and — for those fleeting hours before her 2 a.m. alarm — even dreaming O.J. ”At the end of the week, it’s all I can do to crawl back into bed,” she says. ”I can’t even change my clothes. It’s like finals.” Looks like she’s making the grade.