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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Daughter of Governor of Florida Appears in Court

Aired July 19, 2002 - 14:02   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to take you to Orlando, Florida, a status hearing is taking place on Noelle Bush. You'll remember that the governor's daughter, seen here, Jeb Bush's daughter, has got out of jail two days after being locked up for violating the terms of her drug treatment program. Noelle Bush is now hearing what the judge has to say.

(IN PROGRESS)

JUDGE REGINALD WHITEHEAD: You are very intelligent. You have the support there. You just need to work on the decisions that you are making, and I know that you can do it. If you have any problems or concerns, let the people know that I have told you about this now. You see me every two weeks. If you have any concerns, that's what the purpose of these status hearings is for, for you to discuss those with me and to be open with me about that, because I'm here to help you. Yes, sanctions punishes you, too, but it also kind of directs you in the right path to make sure you're going in the right direction.

Do you have any concerns or questions you have for me today, ma'am?

NOELLE BUSH: No, not at this time, I don't.

WHITEHEAD: OK. Well, I'll see you in two weeks. Your next court date will be August 2 at 2:00.

N. BUSH: OK. Thank you.

WHITEHEAD: Have a good day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All rise. This court is in recess.

PHILLIPS: All right, receiving a kiss from her brother, George P. Bush. That was Noelle Bush, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, his only daughter. She is out of jail two days after being locked up for violating the terms of her drug treatment program. The purpose of these status hearings are to check in with the judge and basically update him on how she is doing.

And she was met by a worker from her drug treatment center at the Orange County Jail earlier this morning and brought into this status hearing.

Our John Zarrella is reporting -- is he live with us? There he is. He is live with us. All right, John, I just got the last part of that hearing, so why don't you tell us about this status hearing, what exactly happened and what does this mean for Noelle?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the bottom line on it was that it was a regularly-scheduled status hearing. She was going to be at this hearing all along. It wasn't something that was directly related to the fact that she had been sentenced by Judge Reginald Whitehead to the three days in jail. And that, of course, was for violating the terms of her agreement, which she entered into back last January or February. And that was when she had been found to have a phony prescription of Xanax she put in for a prescription, falsified, it was caught falsifying that prescription for Xanax, was arrested, and part of her plea agreement was that she would take this drug counseling, drug treatment.

Now, we have some of George P., her brother, George P. Bush is talking right now in the courtroom.

((JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE P. BUSH, NOELLE BUSH'S BROTHER: ... is learning her lesson. And so as a brother, more than anything else, right now I am here to support her and encourage her to make the right decisions.

QUESTION: I know you love her and care about her. Did you ask her, why did you do it? What can we do to help? What kind of conversations, could you share some of that with us?

G. BUSH: Sure. I mean, it's really an honest dialogue at this point and very candid. We basically have shown tough love. That basically there are consequences for your actions. That she is going to receive equal treatment under the law. And that if she continues down a certain path, then there are going to be certain ramifications. So we provide support, but at this point, it really is all about being honest and opening the dialogue, the channel, so that we can move forward.

QUESTION: And with that honesty, what was it she trying to get from the nurse's station? Can you share that with us?

G. BUSH: I'm not all together certain as to the details and the incident, but really my capacity here today is just supporting her in a brotherly role.

QUESTION: Look, this is not the first time that your sister has been in a facility like this. Why would this be any different?

G. BUSH: Well, if you ask anything who has experience with substance abuse, there is certainly no way to apply any formula. There are no guarantees. All you can really do as a family member is support her. No recovery is ever pain free or error free. There's always going to be bumps in the road when one seeks to recover from substance abuse. But you know, all we can really do is hope for the best, but we're also going to be realistic and support her each step of the way.

QUESTION: (speaking in Spanish)

G. BUSH: (speaking in Spanish)

ZARRELLA: Now, the bottom line here, Kyra, is that the judge, Judge Whitehead, has said to her, I hope you have learned your lesson from these three days that you spent in jail. Now, you can go back to this drug treatment program and continue on with the program until it's finished. So again, it could be several months that she's in there, and of course, the family has maintained right along this is a very private matter.

But again, as you heard from George P. Bush, her older brother, the bottom line is that the family has been showing Noelle Bush tough love. And it's a very, very difficult situation, Kyra, of course, but this family -- any family has to deal with any kind of a substance abuse or a drug addiction -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: That's true. She's lucky to have that tough love. John Zarrella, thank you.

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