First a fiancée and now a reality show?
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is unfolding the chapters of his post-prison life on a Facebook page that features a photograph of him snuggling with his fiancée, Trina Grimes Scott.
The latest installment is a possible reality show on his personal life, including his engagement to Scott, who is in her 30s. Scott would be Edwards’ third wife.
Edwards recently posted on Facebook that he and Scott are in talks for a reality show.
“We have received a lot of questions but have no answers at this time. Thanks for all the interest and we will try to keep you posted!” Edwards wrote in an update Monday.
Edwards, who was released from federal prison in January, lists his residence as Gonzales.
He said he and Scott are working with producer Shaun Sanghani of SSS Entertainment.
Like Scott, Sanghani has ties to Alexandria.
One of his latest works is “Girls, Guns and Gators,” which follows a 25-year-old girl’s management of her family sporting goods store in Bastrop. The show is scheduled to air on the Travel Channel.
Leo Honeycutt, who wrote Edwards’ authorized biography, said Edwards is waiting to see what the content of the show would be and how much he would be paid.
“He gives me the impression that he’d like to be a little more private,” Honeycutt said.
He said Edwards wants to go on a book tour and then travel privately. “He’s not in a hurry,” Honeycutt said.
Sanghani said by email Monday that Edwards’ reality show still is just a possibility at this point.
“I want to stress that we are in the very early stages of the development process for Edwin’s show and we haven’t taken it out (to) any networks yet,” he said.
Should the show become a reality, Sanghani promises viewers will see a new side of the four-term governor.
“At 84, he is as strong as ever and still in colorful form. We hope to capture that same charisma and charm in his personal life as he re-enters society after a lengthy prison sentence,” he said.
Sanghani added that his company “looks forward to developing this project alongside (Edwards) and his new family.”
He did not detail how he knows Edwards.
Bob Mann, who worked as an aide to former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, said Edwards might be a little dull for today’s reality television fans.
“Perhaps if he shoots gators and makes specialty cakes on the side, my kids would be persuaded to watch it,” said Mann, now a communications professor at LSU.
“A show about Edwards might seem like something from PBS, by comparison. That, of course, might limit his audience. So, I’m back to thinking that he needs to shoot some gators,” Mann added.
Sanghani characterized Edwards as an animated political leader.
“His four terms as Louisiana’s governor demonstrate his tremendous appeal to the masses, while his more dubious distinction as the Feds’ most targeted governor in United States’ history cements his legacy as an underdog,” he said.
On Facebook, at least, Edwards is at no shortage for fans. He has more than 4,500 Facebook friends, with several hundred added Monday alone.
Edwards went to prison in 2002 following a conviction on racketeering charges related to the awarding of state licenses for gambling casinos. He was released in January to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement. His release date is July 6.
The former governor went to work for Buddy Leach, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Louisiana. Edwards worked as a business consultant, researching law for Leach’s land and oil company.
Edwards reportedly met Scott when she wrote to him in prison about his authorized biography.
The 546-page book traces Edwards’ life from his birth into a poor farming family to his first week in federal prison.
On his Facebook page, Edwards says he went from “a sharecropper’s farm in the depression days of the 30’s to the halls of congress and the governor’s mansion in Louisiana.”
He said he plans to travel the state soon to sign copies of the book.
“I have been to the depths and risen to the heights as the only four-term governor of our state. I am now retired,” Edwards posted.
Mark Ballard of The Advocate’s Capitol news bureau contributed to this report.