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Major Developments in Caylee Anthony Case: Casey Questioned, Contraband Stopped on Way to Casey; Lawyer Sues Seattle Paper over Coverage of Amanda Knox Fundraiser

Aired February 2, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, major developments in the Caylee Anthony murder case. First, Caylee`s mom gets served a confrontational questionnaire with some very provocative questions for her to answer, including, "Were you involved in the death of Caylee?" Will Casey be forced to play this game of 29 questions, designed to expose her as a liar?

Also, a sneaky surprise nabbed by jail security. An eerily-worded wristband, similar to the popular Lance Armstrong bands, is discovered with Casey`s clothes. Did the defense team try to slip in a "Caylee Forever" band behind bars for Casey to wear in court? And if so, why?

We`ll have the latest details, and we`ll take your calls.


DREW PETERSON, WIFE DISAPPEARED: You`re fooling with the wrong guy. Don`t play games.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cameras roll as the infamous Drew Peterson`s latest girlfriend moves out. Drew, whose fourth wife, Stacey, mysteriously disappeared and whose third wife was murdered, is free and facing no charges in either case. Today his latest girlfriend goes on TV and drops a shocking announcement about Drew.

We`ll tell you what she said and update the investigations into the disappearance of one Peterson wife and the murder of another.

And Olympic superstar Michael Phelps could be swimming in hot water. A photograph of him taking a bong hit threatens to hit him in the pocket. How much could this hurt him?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking new twists in the Caylee Anthony murder case as a battle looms large over the proposed memorial service for little Caylee.

A date, February 10, was set by the First Baptist Church of Orlando at their 5,000-seat venue. Not so fast, said family attorney Brad Conway. Quote, "Until her remains are released, we cannot set a definite date."

My question tonight: why can`t this community hold a public tribute to this little girl? And why does everything have to become a battle of wills in this particular case? I will try to get some answers.

Meantime, security stops contraband on its way to Casey Anthony. It was a wristband similar in style to those rubber bracelets issued by so many charities. It was inscribed with "Forever in Our Hearts, Caylee Marie Anthony." It was in the pocket of the clothes Casey`s defense team left for her to wear to court last Friday.

So why would somebody try to slip that past the guards?

Also, the questionnaire for Casey Anthony in the Zenaida Gonzales defamation case is served. And some of the questions pull no punches. For example, quote, "Were you involved in the death of Caylee?"

Casey`s attorneys say they will not let her answer the 29 questions. So this issue surely headed back to the courthouse.

Finally, George Anthony, still hospitalized. What is next for little Caylee`s granddad?

Call me. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 to weigh in on all of this.

Joining me now for some expert analysis, my fantastic panel: Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; and Rozzie Franco, a reporter with WFLA 540-AM in Orlando.

Rozzie, what is the very latest?

ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA REPORTER: The latest right now is actually the questions that are going to be posed to Casey Anthony to answer in that civil suit.

A few things that I learned about those questions: definitely some questions here that her defense is going to have a problem with and could possibly file a protective order.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I want to start -- there are so many issues to go to tonight, Darren Kavinoky, but I want to start with the hard feed (ph). This is the first thing that I thought of when I heard and read that the defense team had left in the pocket of Casey Anthony that -- that gray jacket you`re seeing there that she wore to court on Friday, they had left this wristband that, presumably, they wanted her to wear to court, but the jail yanked it because no jewelry in jail.

Guess what, folks? The wording on it is "Forever in Our Hearts, Caylee Marie Anthony."

Well, didn`t they remember that the killer put a heart sticker on the duct tape that was put over the little girl`s mouth? Why would any defense attorney want to associate their defendant with the word "heart" when the killer, whoever that is, and the prosecutor believes that it`s Casey, used a heart sticker?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that heart -- if there is a heart connection here, I`m hoping that was an oversight.

I mean, first of all, look, everything that goes to a criminal defense when they`re in custody is going to be examined by the guards. So if this was an attempt on anybody`s part to sneak something in, that`s a pretty stupid move. And I`m hoping it was just an oversight of some kind, rather than some attempt to bypass that security measure.

But if they did try and do this or if the plan was for her to wear such a bracelet, the idea would be to humanize her. Because she`s already been demonized in the court of public opinion. And the idea that she would wear an object that would evoke that sentimental nature I think would be some advantage for the defense.

Although you`re right. The connection between the heart image on the duct tape and the heart on the rubber bracelet, that`s a tough one. I doubt that anybody thought it through as well as you did, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s the first thing that occurred to me.

Brian Russell, according to the Baez spokesperson, the attorney Baez`s spokesperson -- and that, by the way, Todd Black. It`s not his real name. So that`s a whole mystery that we`re going to get into at some point in this case. The clothing was provided by mother Cindy. Is this a way, perhaps, psychologically of Cindy reaching out to Casey, whom she hasn`t seen in several months now?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes, I think it could be a way of showing some solidarity. I mean, I guess the benign interpretation is that someone who believes that Casey is innocent tried to give her something that was believed she might treasure.

The more cynical interpretation, of course, is that this was an attempt to give her something that she could use to make an additional statement in the courtroom, that would tend to, you know, evoke sympathy or thoughts of innocence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, there are so many issues we`re discussing tonight. But apparently, the phones have started to light up.

Let`s go to a call. Michael in Florida, your question, sir?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering where she got the extra hair to put up in and bun, and who did her hair for her? Did they bring somebody in from outside?


KAVINOKY: Jane, are you going to throw that one to me, because I`m obviously an expert in this area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you showed up with a bun, I`d know it was a hair piece. And I`m saying the same thing for Casey Anthony, because if you look at old pictures of her, she did not have hair long enough to put in a bun of that size.

So my question to Drew Findling is, if you can`t bring in a wristband to jail, why can you bring in a bun?

DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, I`m not a hair stylist. So I haven`t been...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I`m talking about the fact that there are rules in jail...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that you have to -- let`s face it. The bun was analyzed by everybody as being sort of a metaphor for the new look and the new attitude she`s going to portray to the world and to the jury: "I`m a conservative young woman."

This is very symbolic having the hair pulled back. You talk to any trial consultant. They will tell you that that is to send a message to the jury that "I`m not what they say I am," which is a wild partier. And we have those photos, of course, of her partying while her daughter was missing and before the police were even notified that the child was missing.

FINDLING: Well, Jane, look, you`re absolutely dead on regarding the issue of image. Let`s not forget that the Baez law firm didn`t even want her to be in the court -- in court, which means they didn`t want her to be in the public eye, which means they didn`t want her to be on camera. That didn`t work, which is one issue I actually would never understand, because she needs to be in court. And she needs to start establishing who she is.

Now that we`ve gotten to that point and she is going to be in the public eye, they have to be very aware of how she`s going to look. And if that means that she`s going to change the way her hair looks and changes -- change her appearance, we may analyze it, but she has to do it. They have to advise her, because it is going to take its toll at some point in front of those 12 potential jurors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about another controversy, this whole tug of war now over when and where a memorial for little Caylee will be held.

We reached out to the First Baptist Church of Orlando, the church in the middle of this whole Casey [SIC] memorial service confusion.

The senior pastor sent us this statement. Quote, "I believe God placed First Baptist Church of Orlando here in central Florida to make a difference in this community and to love this community. We believe our purpose is to be a lighthouse, especially in difficult and dark times. One of those times is now, as we have all been saddened by the death of Caylee Anthony."

Rozzie, what is the hold-up? The family says you can`t have a service until the remains are released. Both autopsies, the state and the defense, have been completed. What`s the hold-up on releasing these remains?

FRANCO: That`s correct. The family doesn`t want to have a funeral service without the remains. There`s been a number of memorials held, and even a funeral held by Jesse Grund`s father over at Jay Blanchard Park.

But ultimately, they don`t feel like they`re going to reach closure unless Caylee`s remains are actually put underneath the ground.

Now, as far as Baez`s firm, they`re holding onto those remains because they say they don`t have all the discovery yet. I mean, they`re still awaiting toxicology reports. And they`re not going to release those remains until they get them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, as a psychologist, you realize that this entire community needs closure. My question is why can`t they have a public tribute to little Caylee even if the remains haven`t been released? You can have a private funeral later. But this...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This community needs closure. Everybody in that area has been traumatized by this.

RUSSELL: Sure. They can. And it sounds like the church is trying to work with the family and that the family`s preference is to have it be -- it seems like they`re wanting it to be an actual funeral where there is an actual body.

And I agree that it could be a while for that, because if I were the defense attorney, I would want to wait and see what the prosecution`s experts say they found in those remains in case I want to have my experts go back and take another look. So that could be a while.

And I agree with you. At some point, they may just want to go ahead and have a tribute type of service.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you know what...

FRANCO: Keep in mind -- keep in mind, Jane, they`ve had a number of tributes. They`ve had so many tributes to Caylee Anthony. They`ve had a number of memorials. This is just another one in her behalf without the remains.

FINDLING: You know, let`s not...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a church setting of 5,000 people, that would be the formal memorial or tribute that would allow people to really grieve together. There`s something that happens in that kind of setting. I`ve seen memorials for murdered children at the Crystal Cathedral where tens of thousands of people showed up, and it was unbelievably powerful. That`s what this community needs.

But stick around, everybody. We`ll analyze that further.

And don`t forget Nancy Grace is up immediately following this program at 8 p.m. She will have the very latest on the Caylee Anthony case.

And we will have much more analysis on the case, right here on ISSUES in just a moment. What do you think of Casey Anthony`s defense strategy? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Let me know.

But first, listen to Casey`s attorney insisting she`s innocent.


JOSE BAEZ, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: I anticipate it being soon, because we want to -- you know, we feel our client is innocent. And we want to have her day in court. She wants her day in court. And I know that`s a hard thing for everyone to believe here, but she is innocent.




LINDA DRANE BURDICK, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: I don`t anticipate this being ready for trial until later this year. If the case doesn`t come to trial for another year, things can change dramatically. And a venue change might not be necessary.

BAEZ: I`d like to know, A, if we`re moving somewhere and, B, be able to prepare in advance for that specific area and make the arrangements. It`s not a -- a one, two, three thing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Casey Anthony`s attorney, Jose Baez and state prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick, in court jousting over where and when the Casey Anthony murder trial might actually begin.

I am back with my fantastic panel and your calls.

Debbie in Florida, question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering was Cindy and George`s attorney asking for immunity for them based on their saying they`ll honestly answer questions? I wondered what the safety net is, what would taken away from them if they`re not honest.

Because I can think of questions, the jailhouse tapes with Cindy is asking Casey, and Cindy`s asking Casey, "What did they ask you? What did they ask you?"

And Casey says, "Don`t worry, Mom. I didn`t tell them anything."

You know, prosecutors are going to want to know, what is it that she wasn`t supposed to tell? Or in Rozzie`s interview where she says, no one can ever find out the true father of the baby. She knows who that true father is. Obviously, that doesn`t help her. So what happens if they`re not honest?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope you`re going to law school, because you`ve got some good questions there.

Darren Kavinoky, it does raise the issue of, let`s say, when this trial starts -- and as we just heard, it might not start for a year. But when this trial starts and they are forced onto the stand, how the prosecution is going to try to pressure the Anthonys, George and Cindy, to say things that could incriminate their daughter, and what defense do they have against that?

KAVINOKY: Yes, those are fantastic questions. If somebody has information that`s incriminating to themselves, then you`ve got the opportunity to seek immunity or you can take the 5th and refuse to answer questions on the grounds that -- that the answers will tend to incriminate you.

But it`s a very different thing regarding answers that can tend to incriminate the defendant. And here, just because of the relationship, unless there`s some kind of a privilege that`s sought to be protected, people can be forced to testify to things that they find very difficult, and in this particular case, these parents can be forced to testify against their own daughter.

It`s a very different situation if there`s information that would be - - that would be problematic for them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got so much to cover tonight. I want to get to the civil case that Zenaida Gonzales has filed against Casey Anthony. Basically, Zenaida says she has nothing to do with any of this, which is exactly what authorities say, but her life has been ruined, nevertheless, because her name has been mentioned repeatedly. She can`t get a job, et cetera.

Questions in the Zenaida Gonzales civil case against Casey Anthony have now been released. Here`s a pointed one about Zenaida, a.k.a. Zanny the nanny`s description: "How did you describe her to law enforcement?" Remember, this is going to be a question that they want Casey Anthony to answer behind bars. "Including, but not limited to, what you told law enforcement about her age, the kind of car she drove, the number of children she had, and the names of those children."

Drew Findling, the way you catch liars is in the details. Because Casey has claimed that she knew Zanny for a long period of time, that she was baby-sitting for Caylee for a long period of time. If she can`t answer those questions or if she makes up the story and they can`t match it with any real Zenaida Gonzales in the area, isn`t that incriminating?

FINDLING: Well, first of all, I would not let her answer any of these questions. Because as I`ve said on this show before, this civil suit is complete and total garbage. And this judge needs to have the intestinal fortitude...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? This woman`s life has been destroyed.

FINDLING: Because there are -- because there are witnesses in cases across the country right now, in communities throughout the country where there are witnesses, there are people with alibis, there are people that say somebody other than themselves is responsible for the offense. And if we open the door to lawsuits in every one of these cases, then our criminal justice system shuts down.

This case is an opportunity for plaintiff`s lawyers to file a lawsuit like this so they can have better advertisers than they`d ever have advertising on any network.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this. Let me just say this. With the trial not expected to begin at least until the end of the year, possibly next year, that means Zenaida Gonzales has to put her own life on hold, even though it`s been destroyed, even though she can`t get a job, to wait for the slow wheels of justice. Who knows how long it`s going to take this case?

FINDLING: I cannot believe for one second that her life is destroyed. Here`s why her life is destroyed. Her life is destroyed the same way that somebody`s car that is bumped from behind can`t go to work for eight months. Because she`s looking for an opportunity, through her lawyers, to get money from somebody that doesn`t even have money.

But here`s who`s going to benefit. The lawyers will benefit, because Anthony has nothing.


FRANCO: Jane, this lady didn`t come forward for a very long time. And she lost her job, and basically, her boss told her, "Look, we`re tired of the media crews coming here, trying to get information from you. We`re tired of it. It`s just too much."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren, what are your thoughts on this? Does anybody agree with me that she has a right to at least ask some questions of this young woman who has destroyed her life?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who said that? Who said that?

KAVINOKY: She`s got the right to ask the questions, but her lawyers will never let her answer them. It`s just fundamental that those questions, as much as people may want to see answers to them, not going to happen until after this criminal case is resolved.

RUSSELL: And that`s absolutely right. It`s just like O.J. Simpson. The only reason he could be compelled to testify in the wrongful death case was because she was no longer in jeopardy criminally.

But I do agree with Jane that, if they could show that Casey was trying to pin it on this specific woman, this specific Zenaida Gonzales, then that would be, obviously defamation. Now, I don`t know...

FINDLING: How interesting we talked about O.J. Simpson, because that`s the case that we all learned that everybody can make money off a big case, including mediocre prosecutors, witnesses that might...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think you can compare Zenaida Gonzales to some of the characters in the O.J. case.

FINDLING: Well, I`ll tell you, my...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She didn`t insinuate herself into this case. She was dragged in.

FINDLING: My heart is bleeding.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, Sheree in Tennessee. A quick comment.

CALLER: Hi. Thanks for taking my call. Every time I see Casey and Baez together, it`s a strange kind of vibe. She`s very coy and flirtatious, and he seems to be bizarrely intimate with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you know what? We`re going to have to leave it right there. They have said there`s nothing inappropriate. We thank our panel. Nothing inappropriate between those two. More stunning developments in the case in just a bit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your right hand.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s pretty. She`s young. And she`s an accused killer in a twisted sex game attack. It`s a case that has captivated all of Europe.

Twenty-one-year-old Amanda Knox, a.k.a. Foxy Knoxy, on trial in Italy for the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Authorities say she was killed when she refused to take part in a bizarre sex game.

Defendant Amanda Knox has a group of supporters here in the United States. A fund-raiser was held for her last week in her home town of Seattle.

Now shocking reports that the Italian prosecutor is suing a local Seattle newspaper after it reported that somebody at the fundraiser called him mentally unstable. Wow.

To discuss all this and all the latest developments in this truly strange case, I am joined by Candace Dempsey. She`s a blogger at "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer." And not to be confused with the paper involved in this reported litigation. I want to make that clear.

Candace, thanks so much for joining us tonight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand you`re now writing a book called -- about this case called "Murder in Italy".

DEMPSEY: Yes, I am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, a book written for Italian audiences is already a monster best-seller. I want to ask you why the fascination with this case. And let me start out by asking you a question I`ve asked like five reporters so far covering this case. Nobody has given me an answer. What is the sex game that prosecutors say they were playing when this murder occurred?

DEMPSEY: Well, the prosecutor believes that -- that all three suspects participated in a game where, I guess, they were all in the house together, and they tried to initiate Meredith into the sex game. She resisted, and so they killed her (ph).

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What kind of sex game?

DEMPSEY: Well, that`s -- they`re very vague about that. And, to me, it`s never made -- sounded extremely erotic or really made a lot of sense. And I think that`s why people have a hard time answering that question that you just asked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And apparently -- yes, go ahead.

DEMPSEY: Well, there wasn`t -- I mean, there was just so little time. I mean, Meredith Kercher was on the phone with her mother at 9:30. And they believe that at 10:30, one of the suspects was seen running out of the house, which only gives you about an hour at most...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s enough time for a nasty sex game.

DEMPSEY: Well, it is if everybody is already there and they`re drinking and they`re, you know, smoking marijuana and all that kind of thing. But there`s no sign that that really happened. So the sex game is one of those things that they`re going to have to cover -- to tell us more about in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask about this Italian prosecutor suing the "West Seattle Herald," because somebody at this part said that he was mentally unstable. Why does an Italian prosecutor care what they`re saying in Seattle? And does this have any chance of flying, this lawsuit?

DEMPSEY: I don`t think it has any chance of flying, because all the reporter did was to repeat what somebody else said at the press conference. So as far as American libel laws, that doesn`t cross any line of any kind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you about Foxy Knoxy`s history.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because apparently, the book that`s a best-seller in Italy is chock full of sexual details. Who is this young woman?

DEMPSEY: Well, Amanda Knox is a Seattle girl. She`s a soccer player. She doesn`t really have a history of orgies. And if you read her diaries, there`s no indication that she was interested in having group sex with anyone. She seems like a -- to her family, at least, seems like a very sweet, loving girl.

And I actually did meet the author, though, of that book when I was in Italy recently. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, listen, I want you to come back as this case continues. Candace, thanks so much.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew Peterson, suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Stacey. Now his new fiance dumps him on national TV, saying it was a sham.



JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY ATTORNEY: I think that you guys are paying so much attention to it, it really goes back to some of my objections. It`s irrelevant what she`s wearing, what her nails look like, and that has nothing to do with her guilt or innocence.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: That was Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez, mad as all heck saying Casey`s new look in court last Friday had nothing to do with this case. Some of us disagree.

I`m back with my fantastic guests: Drew Findling, Atlanta criminal defense attorney; Rozzie Franco, a reporter with WFLA 540 AM in Orlando.

Drew, let me ask you this question. There wouldn`t be trial consultants if outfits had nothing to do with the outcome of a case. We`ve seen it many times before, whether its Phil Spector going from hair that`s out to here to a page boy.

There is a makeover that occurs with defendants in high-profile cases. And it`s a legitimate issue to discuss, is it not?

DREW FINDLING, ATLANTA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, absolutely. If you study the history of trying cases, you know, decades ago, even criminal defense attorneys would call their clients the defendant. And we don`t do that anymore.

We humanize our client by calling their name and putting our hand on their shoulder. And it doesn`t mean that an attorney is having a relationship with their client like the last caller suggested. It`s just humanizing the client. The same way, I should add, that the prosecutor in a rape case, in an assault case or even in a murder case, will humanize the victim in a case.

As far as getting somebody ready, that happens on both sides. Trust me, in a rape case, the victim before they testify, they work with -- with people in the district attorney`s office or state attorney`s office or U.S. attorney`s office; getting them properly dressed to be appealing to the jury and the community. The same thing happens with the criminally accused.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I dare say that Jose Baez`s obsession with questioning our right to talk about this has only drawn more attention to the issue of what Casey Anthony wears in court.

Now, let`s get back to this whole civil case filed by Zenaida Gonzales. Here`s another question in the Zenaida Gonzales civil case against Casey Anthony quote, "Before you told law enforcement officers that Caylee was with Zenaida Gonzales the last time you saw here, were you aware that Zenaida Gonzales`s name appeared on an applicants form at Sawgrass Apartments? If so, how did you become aware of that information?"

Now, Rozzie, this gets to the heart of one of the big mysteries of this case. Did Casey Anthony pull that name out of a hat and then just coincidentally it turns out that at the very location where she claims she had dropped little Caylee off the last time she saw her, which we know is a lie, it turns out that a woman named Zenaida Gonzales had filled out an application at the Sawgrass Apartments. That`s why she is the who`s been targeted by the media?

ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA 540 AM, ORLANDO, FLORIDA: That`s correct and this is a very important question, obviously for the reasons that you`d just mentioned. When police went back to that very same apartment, it was vacant and they learned that that apartment had been vacant for months.

Now, the Zenaida Fernandez Gonzales that is involved in this particular suit is the one that filled out the application. Now, the link between this one and Casey Anthony, no one can find out where these two linked up, if they even did.

In fact, law enforcement showed Casey Anthony a picture of this Zenaida Fernandez Gonzales, and she didn`t know her. Zenaida Fernandez Gonzales said she didn`t know Casey Anthony, so hopefully we can get some answers if she in fact will be able to answer these questions.

FINDLING: Well, hopefully -- and hopefully there`s been enough investigation by law enforcement and the state attorney`s office, if they`re looking into that and we don`t need a civil case to try to do the investigation for the state attorney`s office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one thing, I`d like to get to the bottom of it, because the story that Casey Anthony gave just keeps changing. When it turned out that it was not the case that that was the last time she saw her little daughter, because there`s video of her several days later with her great-grandfather. Then she changed her story again and said, well, Zanny the Nanny took her to the park. According to the bounty hunter, that`s the story.

But the story keeps shifting. And that`s one of the reasons why this case is so fascinating.

I want to thank both of you for your insights. And we`re going to be back tomorrow with more insights. So please join us very soon. Thank you, Rozzie, thank you Drew.

All right, for the very latest on the Caylee Anthony case, be sure to tune into Nancy Grace at 8:00 p.m. Eastern immediately following this program.

Now, I want to turn to another huge headline that illustrates even our heroes are human and they make mistakes. British tabloids "News of the World" posted a photo on their Website of Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps smoking what I can only assume is marijuana from a bong at a party last November.

Phelps acted quickly to salvage his reputation by releasing this statement. Quote, "I am 23-years-old, and despite the successes I`ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."

But will the companies offering him multi-million-dollar endorsement deals be satisfied with that statement? And do those obscenely rich endorsement deals even make any sense to begin with?

I`m joined now by Fraser Seitel, public relations consultant and crisis manager, as well as author of "The Practice of Public Relations." Plus, I`m thrilled to have with me tonight Dana Devon, "Extra" correspondent. Dana, good to see you again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good I`m doing great.

Dana, this isn`t his first run-in with the law, let`s face it. He was arrested for DUI back in 2004. And you`re in Hollywood, is Hollywood chalking this up to youthful indiscretion or is his image permanently tainted?

DEVON: Well, that`s a really good question and I was online all day today reading some blogs and different postings and things like that. And actually, Rosanne Barr had a blog today and she said, "Get over it. What`s the problem? This is no big deal."

And some of the surveys, I actually read 70 percent of people were saying this is no big deal. And it`s like only 20 something of people would say, "Yes, I`m really shocked by this."

I think he`s going to be fine. I think actually he took a big step and he said, "Look, I`ve messed up, I screwed up. I`m young. I won`t do it again. I`m sorry." And I think that goes a long way and making things go away. And he didn`t deny it and say that wasn`t me or I didn`t inhale, if you know what I mean.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say a Fraser Seitel, the thing that bugs me about this whole story is, one, why we have to turn these young athletes into role models. Just because somebody is a really good swimmer doesn`t mean they`re a beacon of moral virtue, for one.

And why do we have to bestow these massive endorsement checks on them. It doesn`t make any sense to me because, if he endorses a watch and I wear it, it`s not going to make me a good swimmer. There`s actually no connection between his accomplishments and the products that he endorses unless he`s been eating them all his life, let`s say, if he -- beneath a certain cereal all his life, when he was a kid I say, all right, I might eat that cereal because he`s endorsed it.

FRASER SEITEL, CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXPERT: Well, now that`s a very good point Jane and unfortunately in our society, companies sponsor people who they think people want to emulate. And in this case, I agree with Dana, I don`t think this is an endorsement killer. This is this guy`s second offense. And I think these companies will give him three strikes.

But Mastercard and HSBC and Kellogg`s and Mazda, they don`t care that much about Rosanne Barr. They care about their images. And I think that Michael Phelps with this classic damage control, he came out as you said quickly. He`s got to keep himself squeaky clean or he`s in for strike three.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Phelps recently has become seen as a big partier. In fact TMZ released this footage of Phelps in Las Vegas. I think we`ve seen it there. Isn`t this to be expected, Dana? I mean, why is it that we try to turn all these athletes into these perfect role models?

Eventually it`s going to set them up for failure. He has been forced to lead an extraordinarily disciplined life. He`s been put in a pressure cooker with the eyes of the world upon him. He has performed and excelled beyond any of our wildest dreams. And then they give him a lot of money and then they tell him, be a monk on top of it all.

Dana, it`s a formula for disaster.

DEVON: You know, it really is, Jane. Actually, the other thing, too, is Michael Phelps was an unbelievably trained swimmer. He said all I did was I`d eat, I`d sleep, I`d swim. I`d eat, I`d sleep and I`d swim.

So all of those years of social development you get in high school and college where you learn from your mistakes, they`re not necessarily a party to -- excuse the expression or privy to.

So I think that he missed out on that social development as well. So now he`s 23-years-old and he`s learning some very hard lessons right in front of people. And he`s an elite athlete, one of the most famous probably of all times and he`s learning a very, very ugly lesson in front of all of us.

But I do think actually he`s going to be ok. I do think he does need to keep his nose clean from here on out, like Fraser said. But I think he`s going to survive this relatively unscathed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fraser, we`ve got a couple of seconds. But what about the whole pot issue? I mean, almost a third of all Americans have tried pot. Isn`t there a bit of hypocrisy here?

SEITEL: Well, a little hypocrisy of course, but some people say this helps this guy because everybody thought he was a dweeb. And now he`s got a little Allan Iverson in him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes right, exactly.

SEITEL: But I think the point is he`s got very limited celebrity shelf life as a swimmer, so if he`s going to keep himself clean, he better do it over the next year, so he can make as much money as he can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you`ve said it all. Dana and Fraser, thank you so much for joining. And please come back soon, I love to have you on again.

And be sure to tune in to "Showbiz Tonight" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, I will be there debating this fall-out from the Michael Phelps party boy picture.

And coming up, a far more serious subject right now, an update on Drew Peterson, suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.

His soon-to-be fifth wife has dumped him, saying it was a stunt for the cameras. What?

So what do you think of this mess? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297 to sound off of on this cookie, cookie story.

But first, here`s Drew Peterson`s ironic take on the media.


DREW PETERSON, SUSPECT IN 4TH WIFE`S DISAPPEARANCE: What do you get when you crossed the media with a pig? What do you get? You get nothing because there are some things a pig won`t do.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew Peterson in a sham engagement for the cameras? I`ll have an update on the shady character and the ongoing search for his wife, Stacy.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

That was Oscar-winner --




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! That`s fantastic. That was Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson`s rousing rendition of the National Anthem, kicking off last night`s super bowl. It was her first high-profile appearance since the killings of her mother, brother, and seven-year-old nephew in October.

Okay, she lip-synched, but who cares? Holding back tears, it was an emotional bright spot in a truly horrific winter for Hudson. So happy for her that she can make it back.

Later this week, William Balfour, the man charged in the murders, will be moving from Illinois state prison to Cook County jail. The judge granted the defense`s motion to have Balfour transferred to give him better access to his attorney. Balfour has entered a not guilty plea. And is due in court February 23rd; we`ll be there.

Drew Peterson, the 55-year-old serial groom and suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, has been dumped by his latest girlfriend. It all went down in a matter days and it went down on national television, all of it.

Thursday, the camera-loving Peterson boasted to ABC News about his deceptive and adulterous ways. This news didn`t sit well with his current flame, Christina Raines. This morning, that 24-year-old woman who was to become his fifth bride told CBS she said she never loved Drew. As for their engagement, it was a sham.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you become engaged to him? When did you become engaged to him?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was it then?

RAINES: It was more like a stunt.




RAINES: On drew so he could be in the media.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know it was a stunt when --

RAINES: Well, he had told me that his lawyer had wanted him to be in the media and wanted to propose to someone at a restaurant.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. There is much more to this twisted tale, and I`m taking your calls. They`re already lighting up. 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297.

But first, let`s go straight out to my fantastic guests: Beatty Cohan, psychotherapist and Lisa Bloom, anchor of "In Session" who has served as an adviser to Christina`s dad, Ernest Raines.

Lisa, this is a strange twist on an already strange story. Talk us through this weird relationship and then this weird break up.

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Well, Christina Raines is young, 24 years old, she`s a local waitress. She met drew Peterson at a bar. She`d already known him since she was 15 years old. Her father had known Drew and Stacy Peterson, the missing fourth wife.

Bottom line is she moved in with him about 3 1/2 weeks ago along with her two children, ages 4 and 5. Last week her father appeared on "The Dr. Phil Show" along with me and expressed great concern -- as any father would, I think, under the circumstances about his daughter living with a man who is a suspect in the killing of two women. Dr. Phil and I both advised him to stay close to his daughter, to monitor the situation, not to make threats, not to be angry but to stay close, to be present, to get into that house and to get along with the grandchildren, even get along with Drew.

Do whatever was necessary so that she would not be isolated from her children. The good news is, that worked and she left. She`s now with her dad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that dovetails with this next piece of video from CBS which is truly astonishing. Watch and listen closely as Christina`s father, Ernie, confronts Drew Peterson right at his own front door, demanding that he return his daughter`s belongings. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Ernie Raines approaches, Drew Peterson is barely visible.

ERNEST RAINES, CHRISTINA`S FATHER: Hey, Drew. Yes, I come to get my daughter`s stuff. Her dad. No, I want to do it now. No, I want her stuff out now, Drew. Don`t play games, okay? You`re fooling with the wrong guy. Don`t play games Drew.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christina watches from the car.

E. RAINES: I want her stuff out of here. I`ll bring the police. I`m calling 911.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. I love it. Christina`s dad followed through on that threat. The cops arrived. Ernie got Christina`s things out of the house. The dad, as Lisa had mentioned, terrified the whole time his daughter was living with Drew.

I have to ask you, you`re the shrink, why would any -- any young woman with any sense at all move in with this guy given the track record of his ex-wives?

BEATTY COHAN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, Jane, like so many people, A, she had no idea, of course, what ingredients could possibly go into a healthy relationship. And he was a celebrity. Look, we talk about him. People these days either want to be celebrities or they want to surround themselves with celebrities. He was on television. I`m sure that he was her fantasy man for the moment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, God. That is so sick.

COHAN: Right. It is sick.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. The phone lines are lighting up. Sheba, Illinois, question or comment, ma`am?

SHEBA, ILLINOIS: I`ve got a question, Jane. Thank you for taking my call. My question is, her father should get kudos because she could have been the next one that turned up missing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, uh-huh.

And your question? All right. Well, yeah. You know, Lisa, he does deserve an award for being a good dad and for getting involved the right way at the right time.

BLOOM: Absolutely. This is a story about the power of love. As he says, I beat back the devil like the old Johnny Cash song says.

He did it the right way. He stayed close to his daughter. You can`t alienate a 24-year-old girl by being hostile and angry. It`s only going to drive her into the arms of the man you`re trying to keep here away from. And when she was ready to go, he was right there. He was there to help her get her stuff out of there, to love and protect his own daughter.

They were on my show on "In Session" this morning. Embracing, saying I love you to each other. It was really an amazing thing to behold.

And I`ll just say to everybody, don`t judge her. We`ve all been young. We`ve all made stupid decisions. Most of the stupid things we did didn`t play out on national television.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank God! Thank God, Lisa.

BLOOM: She came to her senses and she got out of there and let`s not be so hard on this young woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I always say that. Whether we`re talking about the Michael Phelps` story or this story, people are so judgmental. And the hypocrisy is astounding because should there be that kind of penalty for misjudgment at that age when we`ve all done it?

BLOOM: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like ever to remember what they were like when they were 23 and 24 years old and what they were doing. I am certainly glad there wasn`t a camera following me around 24/7.

BLOOM: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That would have been a real nightmare. Guys, stay right there. We`re going to be back with more on the Peterson case in just a moment.



DREW PETERSON, SUSPECT IN FOURTH WIFE`S DISAPPEARANCE: I was in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for a total of about five years. You basically spent your day working in a can. And you were getting people to believe that you were something other than what you were and it was fun.


PETERSON: Yes I thought it was funny that you were able to get people to believe that you were something other than what you really were.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Drew Peterson talking to "Nightline`s" Martin Bashir about why he loved working undercover and confusing people.

Back with my fantastic panel. Beatty, you`re the psychotherapist, how would you define this guy or diagnose him psychologically?

COHAN: Well, he is clearly, Jane, he has a psychopathic personality disorder. He absolutely I think believes everything he`s saying. He`s having a great time. He has absolutely no conscious whatsoever.

He loves the cameras and we`ve seen over the months, no worrying. No remorse. I mean this man is having the time of his life, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joanne, Connecticut, question or thought, ma`am?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, how are you doing?

JOANNE: good. I want to -- hats off to you and Nancy. I think you`re the bomb.


JOANNE: And also I want to say I don`t know if you know but Dr. -- Christina`s dad was on Dr. Phil the other day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, Lisa Bloom was just talking about that.

JOANNE: You know what I called before that, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Okay, well, what`s your question anyway.

JOANNE: okay, okay, I was going to say do you think that the father`s involved in some kind of conspiracy or something? Because that father`s all shifty-eyed and stuff and I don`t know. I think Drew Peterson eye don`t know I just think he`s look for celebrity status.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa bloom, that`s actually what the attorney for Drew Peterson claimed that the engagement wasn`t a sham and claimed that the father was looking for publicity. What possible motive would he have to look for this?

BLOOM: Let me tell you he`s got zero motive. When he agreed to come on CBS`s "Early Show," a show for which I`m a legal analyst, they did not get paid for that interview. They were offered interviews where they would get paid and they turned them down because they wanted to appear on a classy mainstream media network, like CBS. Okay so these people did not get anything out of doing the interview except the opportunity to tell their side of the story.

You know Drew Peterson is out there making jokes, making all kinds of slams and remarks against them. They came out, they told their story. They have gone back home and believe me, these are very decent and honorable people, at least based on my knowing them for the last week and having a lot of conversations with them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And in the meantime, we have to leave it right there. The search for Stacy Peterson continues and they have looked in the past of a mysterious blue bin that everybody was looking for that never found. Let`s hope they find Stacy Peterson.

Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Beatty.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, and you are watching "ISSUES" on HLN.