Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
George Anthony Released from Hospital; Casey Anthony`s PR Firm Under Fire; Octuplets` Mother Sorting Through Book, TV Deals
Aired February 4, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, he wrote he wanted to be with his murdered granddaughter, Caylee, but an apparent suicide attempt was miraculously averted. Now George Anthony has been sent home from the hospital after an extended mental evaluation. What should George do now? How about get away from the madness?
His daughter remains in jail, charged with killing her baby girl, as controversies keep swirling around her case. Now we learn her attorney`s mysterious spokesperson is three people, all using the name Todd Black. Why? And who is the mystery family paying that PR firm?
And is there a story behind Caylee`s remains? Nobody is telling. We`ll take your calls.
Plus how many babies does it take you to get your own TV show? Apparently, eight is enough. The infamous, unemployed single mother of octuplets is reportedly getting bombarded with book and TV offers. Is this a good thing, considering the new mom`s own mother says she has an abnormal obsession with children. Oh, did I mention, she already has six children for a total of 14?
And we`ll dive into America`s fixation on Jessica Simpson`s apparent weight gain. But now Jessica is getting some unexpected backlash. I`ll tell you why some say she`s being cowardly about her curves.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dramatic new developments tonight in the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. The slain toddler`s grandfather, George Anthony, was released from the hospital last night, 11 days after he was found in a seedy motel, apparently trying to take his own life.
Wife Cindy Anthony picked him up and reportedly brought him straight back home. His lawyer says his therapy will continue on an outpatient basis, and he begs the world to give this man privacy. But will he get it? Should George really be headed back to that madness this soon? Or should he get the heck out of Dodge? We will discuss that.
Plus, the public relations firm for Casey Anthony`s defense says it`s being paid by an unidentified family. Who is this family? And could they also be paying for Casey`s high-profile defense team?
And finally, more questions about a memorial service for little Caylee. Where exactly are the remains right now, and when can we expect a proper memorial?
So much to get to tonight. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
But first, I want to bring in my fantastic panel: Sharon Liko, a family lawyer and criminal defense attorney; plus, Doctor Gaby Cora, psychiatrist; and Paul Callan, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; as well as Amy Green, a freelance journalist who has covered this case for the Associated Press.
Amy, what is the very latest?
AMY GREEN, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Well, Jane, the headline today is that George Anthony is home from the hospital. He was hospitalized 11 days after he sent text messages to family members indicating he might commit suicide.
Cindy picked him up at the hospital yesterday evening and brought him home. He`s home now. The family`s attorney says that he`s doing well and asks for privacy from the media and from the public.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we know that little Caylee`s remains were found almost two months ago, and she still has not been properly laid to rest. This leaves the big question: where exactly are the remains?
We actually wanted to put an end to that speculation. We reached out to the Anthony family lawyer to clear it all up. This is what he said, "Caylee`s remains are still at the funeral home." So that we`ve gotten cleared away.
Reports just in as we went to air that, now that George is home, he and Cindy are trying to plan the funeral. My question to psychiatrist Gaby Cora, will a funeral be the best thing for George? Will it give him the closure that he seems to desperately need?
GABY CORA, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, closure is extremely important for anyone who has gone through such a terrible and catastrophic like event. In this case, this gentleman has faced very devastating losses, not only of his grandchild but also of his daughter, and now he has to recover through this very difficult situation. So the funeral can give him some, you know, solace in all of what he`s going through right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I have to ask about this whole reason why the remains have not been released from the defense to the family for burial. And part of it, Sharon Liko, is they`re waiting for all the forensic discovery to come in from the prosecution. The defense says they want to look at that forensic discovery before they hand off the remains, because they might have to do some new tests.
But isn`t that a process that could take months, given the complexity of this case?
SHARON LIKO, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, yes and no. Once the results come back -- I mean, there`s only certain tests that they`re probably going to want to do. So it`s not going to take that long for them to make that decision. They just want to make sure that they have all of the information they`re going to need.
I think once the reports come back from the prosecution, they ought to know within a couple of weeks what other follow-up they need to do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying: a couple of weeks. I mean, the thing is, Paul Callan, that this entire community and, indeed, the nation has been so emotionally invested in this case and the tragedy of this beautiful little girl who, sadly, was found murdered with duct tape over her mouth that a lot of people are clamoring for closure in the form of a funeral and a memorial service.
There`s going to be a public memorial service. There`s going to be a private funeral. There`s a lot of controversy surrounding it. And everybody is saying it should be rushed. It should be rushed.
But think about this for a second. JonBenet Ramsey was buried five days after her body was found, according to all the reports that we checked tonight. Now, that is an unsolved case that`s perhaps the most famous unsolved case in the nation.
So, Paul, maybe waiting isn`t a bad idea, given that she was buried very quickly, and the case was never solved.
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, you know, Jane, I think that waiting, I mean, it`s a sad thing for the family. It`s a sad thing for the country watching this.
But bear in mind that examining the remains is very, very important for the prosecution but also for the defense, because one of the key things here is estimating time of death. Was Caylee killed in June before her mother reported her as missing?
This examination is a complex examination that has to be done by pathologists. There are also botanists involved, because they`re looking at some of the vegetation that seemed to be intermingled with the remains. It`s a complex process. And you know something?
The prosecutors don`t want the defendants to come in later on and say, "Hey, we didn`t get a chance to examine the remains and, therefore, a jury can`t trust the estimation of when the body was found."
So let`s let the experts do a thorough exam here. We`ve got a murder trial on the horizon, and we want to make sure the right person is convicted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and as far as a trial on the horizon, we heard in recent days, listening to courtroom chatter, that this trial is not expected to get underway until at least the end of this year, possibly next year, which is really a long time to wait for the ultimate closure, which is the determination of guilt or innocence of Casey Anthony.
You know, there is so much mystery still surrounding Jose Baez`s spokesman named Todd Black. I say that in quotes. Press Corps Media, his PR firm, released this statement. You`ve got to follow this very closely, because it`s all very complicated, guys.
"We assign security names for insurance and security purposes, as with `Todd Black,` a security name which has been used in rotation by three different staff members on this case."
Now, some published reports are claiming that one of the three Todd Blacks is a guy named Gil Cabot. That has not been confirmed, and I want to make that clear. Cabot, though, was convicted of attempting to extort $30,000 from a television journalist by threatening to publish nude photos of her in a magazine.
Now, Press Corps Media had this to say: "Whether Mr. Cabot also participated in that rotation makes no difference."
My question to you, Sharon Liko, is does it make a difference to the defense team`s image? If one of the three Todd Blacks is confirmed to be Gil Cabot, would it matter that an ex-con is speaking on behalf of Casey Anthony`s lawyer?
LIKO: No. Let`s remember the trial is about the murder of this girl, not about the validity of the defense team. This has gone completely wild. I mean, who cares? So what? If he was a private investigator for the defense team, yes, then you`d care, because the credibility of that person and that firm would either annihilate you or help your case. So he`s the spokesperson for Mr. Baez, Mr. Baez made a bad choice.
CALLAN: I -- I have to disagree with Sharon.
LIKO: Doesn`t matter.
CALLAN: I have to disagree with Sharon very strongly on this. You know, if Baez was putting together a good defense, the thing he`s trying to do is convince the public of the innocence of his client. You don`t...
LIKO: Why does he have to convince the public? Because it`s not a trial to the public by the media.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Paul speak.
CALLAN: Because jurors are selected from the public. The pool is a public pool. And ultimately, he`s looking to convince jurors that his client`s innocent. And you don`t do that by hiring a convicted felon to do the PR for your client. So I`d be a little careful about what PR agency I`m hiring.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, look -- let me just say this, Sharon, I agree with Paul. Now Jose Baez was asked about all this, and he said, quote, "Todd Black still works for us, and he has done, in my opinion, a very good job." He`s still referring to him as one person when we already know he`s three people. That doesn`t do a lot for Jose Baez`s credibility. And I`ve defended Jose Baez many times. On this -- he`s got a problem.
LIKO: Yes. But the case is not going to be determined as to whether the guilt or innocence was proved by the media.
CALLAN: Of course not, but if you`re going to hire -- if you`re going to hire a PR firm, let`s hire...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let`s -- OK.
LIKO: And you have a right to be executed and sacrificed by the media.
CALLAN: If you`re going to...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Let Paul have a say now.
CALLAN: If you`re going to hire a PR firm, you`re hiring them for one reason: to get a favorable message out about your client. And what`s the message that we have now? "Hey, the PR guy is a criminal." I`d say that didn`t work out very well for Baez.
So if that`s an example of how he puts together a compelling case for his client, time for a new lawyer, that`s what I say.
LIKO: This is what I have to say. In jury selection -- in jury selection, don`t you think it`s going to be relevant if the juror says, "Oh, yes, I`ve already made up my mind, because I`ve seen CNN and they convinced me that, you know..."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let CNN out of it. Everybody`s covering this story under the sun.
LIKO: It doesn`t matter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s asking for a change of venue because everybody, all the local stations down there cover this full-time.
LIKO: OK. I`m not picking on CNN.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Just -- let`s hang on. Let`s take a deep breath. Stay right there. we have so much to talk about here.
Don`t forget: Nancy Grace will have the very latest from the Caylee Anthony case. She is up immediately following this program at 8 p.m. Eastern.
And of course, we will have much more on the Caylee Anthony case right here on ISSUES. What`s your take on all of this? Give me a holler: 1-877- JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297, and let me know what you think of the mysterious Todd Black alias.
Also, a little bit later, we`re going to have more fallout from Christian Bale`s on-set outburst. Here is a small sample of the rage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: I want you off the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) set, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry.
BALE: No, don`t just be sorry. Think for one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) second! What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are you doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s so sad, what they`ve been through. That was George Anthony blowing up at reporters and protesters last year, a sign of the stress that would ultimately cause him to contemplate suicide less than two short weeks ago.
We have to have so much compassion for him. And his attorney tonight is asking for privacy. Leave this man alone is what he`s saying.
I want to hear from you. Now that George is released, should he move away from the madness in Orlando, go on vacation, somewhere exotic? Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Does he have to wait until he gets closure? And the funeral, does he have to wait for the funeral before he gets anywhere?
Wow, so much to talk about. We`re back with the fantastic panel that we have tonight. And the phone lines lighting up.
Jackie from Minnesota, question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: I have a question for you, Jane. Is this whole suicide attempt thing possibly a way for the defense to come up with some sort of, maybe, psycho defense for Casey, like insanity as a defense for Casey?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re making the connection between the father`s apparent attempted -- Casey`s father`s apparent attempted suicide and Casey`s mental state? Essentially, I think that`s what the caller was doing.
Paul Callan, do you want to take a shot at that?
CALLAN: No. That -- I mean, that`s a real stretch. I think what you`re saying is the jury is going to think she`s got a good insanity defense because her father has a mental problem. And that wouldn`t fly and wouldn`t even be admissible at the time of trial. So I really don`t think it has anything to do with that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There has been a lot of talk. "People" magazine did a whole story alleging dysfunctionality in the home, that everybody was at each other`s throats, that Cindy and George were fighting, that they had separated, that Casey and Cindy were fighting and that there was a huge fight between Cindy and Casey the day before the little child goes missing.
Amy Green, what do you know about the tension within the family?
GREEN: We know from court documents that there -- there were tensions within the family long before Caylee disappeared, even. We know that there was a rivalry between Cindy and Casey involving Caylee. We know that there were -- there was conflict between Casey and George. This was a family with a lot of conflict.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Cora, as a psychiatrist, would you recommend that he get away? And of course the caveat to that is that he`s kind of stuck there waiting for this funeral that obviously he`s so desperate to attend. But put that aside for a second. Should -- even for three or four days, shouldn`t he get away? Should he be at that house right now, which has been sort of at the center of this terrible storm?
CORA: Well, anybody who has gone through involuntarily hospitalization, followed by voluntary hospitalization, followed by a discharge, needs to have time to recover. And unfortunately, anybody who`s gone through depression or a suicide attempt, it won`t take one day or two to recover.
Obviously, having all this attention on him and his family and everything that`s going on won`t help. But at the same time, going away on vacation or going somewhere else won`t really allow him to heal through this process that he really needs to go through.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what should -- what should be done? Is it therapy? Is it perhaps drugs, what?
CORA: In general, when someone has gone through a suicidal attempt and/or is dealing with depression and/or other things, a good evaluation needs to be in place. And there may need to be a combination of things. Maybe psychotherapy and/or psychopharmacology, medication therapy, depending on each case. And here may need to be a lot of support for him, too, so that he can, you know, move on. And there may need to be some family therapy, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think so. I think that would be the understatement of the year. Family therapy needs to go on here.
Now, let`s talk about this other very strange aspect of this case. And one of the reasons why this case is so fascinating to the nation is that everything seems to be just a little bit strange about this case.
Let`s take the relationship between Jose Baez and this PR firm that has come under fire lately. In a statement, Press Corps Media seeks to clear up some confusion. Quote, "Press Corps Media is paid by a family who took an interest in this case and is not paid by Mr. Baez. Our services are of no major consequence to this case. We simply answer media calls, provide information, and/or arrange interviews."
Well, that to me is pretty consequential. But what`s up with this mystery family, who Jose Baez`s attorney says is a Connecticut family who is sympathetic to the plight of Ms. Anthony and her family?
First of all, Amy Green, have you heard anything about this mystery Connecticut family that has been picking up some bills here?
GREEN: I just know from court documents and from interviews with Todd Black that this is a family in Connecticut that took an interest in the case, perhaps by watching it on CNN or perhaps, you know, seeing it in other media outlets.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that is fascinating to me, Sharon Liko. Have you ever heard of a family in Connecticut somewhere out there deciding, "Well, you know what? I`m going to pay for the public relations firm of the attorney representing this defendant"?
LIKO: I have not heard that. But I have heard that everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame. And whether you can...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But they`re anonymous.
LIKO: You can get that by your name on the front lines or you can be doing it behind the scenes, but your friends know that you`re doing it behind the scenes. I mean, things are going on in this case that are completely ridiculous, that wouldn`t go on in any other case if it was just John Q. Public who had no money, who had nothing that was celebratory. I mean, you wouldn`t hear anything about it. You wouldn`t be -- people wouldn`t be marching up to the front lines and taking their shots.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Let me ask you this, Paul. Considering that this unidentified Connecticut family is paying for that, could they also be paying for this very high profile defense team?
CALLAN: Well, they could be, but I think it`s as unlikely. My bet is that this PR firm is too embarrassed to admit that they`re just doing this for free because they want the publicity, so it`s very easy to have an unnamed Connecticut family that`s funding you.
So I`d like to see who the Connecticut family is and whether they really exist or not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well...
CALLAN: Everybody wants to jump on the case, as Sharon said, to get the free publicity. And this is -- it was good publicity for the PR firm, maybe not so much anymore.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very good insights, all of you. Thank you so much, Sharon, Gaby, Paul, Amy. We will have more on the Casey Anthony case later in the program.
Plus did Jessica Simpson put on some weight or is it just a bad pair of jeans? I`m going to be taking your calls on this obsession.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOANN KILLEEN, PUBLICIST FOR OCTUPLET MOM: I`m looking through every single proposal, and I`m going to sit down with my client this week and say, "Here are the pros and cons. Where do you want to go? How do you feel most comfortable? And, you know, which one of these media do you want to go to and tell your major story?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the publicist for octuplet mom Nadya Suleman, telling CNN`s Larry King that media offers are on the table. This after the grandmother of the octuplets said, "Enough." The grandmother has now revealed that her daughter conceived all 14 of her kids through in vitro fertilization. She is not married, and she has been obsessed with having kids ever since she was a teenager.
My guest tonight, Pete Demetriou from KFWB News, 980 in Los Angeles.
Pete, great to see you again. You have been following this story since it broke. What is the very latest?
PETE DEMETRIOU, KFEB NEWS 980: You have all eight kids are gaining weight. They`re doing just fine. They`re feeding; they`re breathing on their own. That in itself is a medical miracle. And that`s what makes part of this story so fascinating, because if you look back 15 or 20 years ago, this wouldn`t have happened. You probably would have lost half of these children at this stage of the -- this stage of their lives.
But the fact that all eight of these kids are alive, breathing, doing well, feeding, no major medical problems for any of them. Again, that in itself is just simply fascinating. That`s the word from the hospital.
And of course, you`ve got a lot of people throwing a lot of things the hospital`s way. More flowers than you want to believe. Plus, you also have the idea of people offering everything from advice to sets of eight pairs of stockings or whatever or clothes or things like that. The hospital is putting these aside.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get into this. The publicist for the octuplet mom, Nadya Suleman, appeared on "LARRY KING LIVE" last night and spoke about how Mom will support her 14 kids. Let`s listen.
DEMETRIOU: Well, yes, that`s going to be a real interesting point, because the two...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KILLEEN: ... six children on her own, prior to being pregnant with eight children. She was a health-care professional before, you know, these new ones came. She wants everybody to know that she`s not on welfare, has no plans on being a welfare mom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. She`s not on welfare, Pete, but she is living with her parents who reportedly declared bankruptcy not so long ago. And she is a health-care worker by trade. Obviously, she is not working now. She just gave birth to eight children. How is she going to support these children without turning them into commodities? That`s my concern.
I mean, obviously, she could...
DEMETRIOU: I don`t think it`s possible. I think it`s basically impossible at this point, when you`re talking about the cost of raising 14 kids.
This thing has turned basically, Jane, from the miraculous birth and everything else. In eight days it`s turned into a morality media ethics marketing and money madhouse. When you consider what it`s going to take to raise eight kids, let alone 14, money is always an object. I`m also laughing. When I heard the spokesperson saying that money is not the issue here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, right, come on.
DEMETRIOU: Well, guess what. Come on, you need the money to do it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If money is not the issue, you know what you do? When you get better, you hold a news conference. You let the entire world there, and you tell your story for free. I think that there are huge ethical issues here. Do we know anything about the fertility doctor who allowed this to happen because specialists are saying it`s completely irresponsible?
DEMETRIOU: Well, it may be irresponsible, but it is perfectly legal. Again, there are only general guidelines for the implanting of what actually happened in the implanted embryos into this woman.
Again, you can call it irresponsible, condemn it, what you want. It`s still legal. And again, it`s a question here of money. If you have money from one source or another, either your own cash or insurance, they will do it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll leave it right there. Thank you so much.
Jessica Simpson putting on weight, they say. Let`s check it out next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Anthony sent home from the hospital, Casey`s behind bars and her defense team, smack in the middle of controversy again. A mystery family said to be paying for Jose Baez`s spokesman, who it turns out is three people. Huh? We`ll have the latest.
And fuller-figure-fatigue in America, why is this country fixated on Jessica Simpson`s alleged weight gain. And why is a Simpson source insisting that is just unflattering outfit. Do you buy it? What does all of this say about our struggles with weight in America?
Before we get to the ups and downs of Jessica Simpson`s weight loss, I want to round out our conversation on all the latest twists and turns of the Caylee Anthony murder investigation. As we know the grandfather of Caylee, George Anthony has now been released from the hospital after a suicide scare less than two weeks ago.
Brad Conway sets the record straight on Caylee`s remains. I am back with Amy Green, an Orlando based freelance journalist and Dr. Gaby Cora, a psychiatrist.
And the phone lines are lighting up. Judy in Louisiana, your question or thought ma`am?
JUDY IN LOUISIANA: Hi.
JUDY: Yes, George Anthony seems to be the only one with maybe even a need to tell the truth. And I do believe he is very stressed but could this be possibly to be a big ploy to get out of that deposition?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, interesting question.
Amy Green, we know that he has a deposition along with Cindy scheduled for I believe that`s February 26th -- it`s certainly later this month. That deposition is involved in the case of Zenaida Gonzalez, she is suing Casey Anthony, essentially saying that Casey ruined her life when she said a woman named Zenaida Gonzalez abducted the child. And for various reasons she is the one that has been associated with that, even though police have cleared her.
So the question of the viewer is that do you think that the Anthony family would go to that length to get out of that deposition? I would say no, because I don`t even think that deposition was scheduled at the time that that initial attempted -- apparent attempted suicide occurred, correct?
AMY GREEN, ORLANDO JOURNALIST: I think viewers will just have to draw -- make their own judgment, the facts are that George was found in a motel room in Daytona Beach. He was found with two empty bottles of pills and alcohol.
They took him to the hospital. He told nurses at the hospital that he had not taken pills. Authorities who were with him that night said that he seemed despondent; clearly the family is suffering, going through something a lot of us never could imagine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely and our hearts always go out to them. And I will say that George`s attorney says leave him alone.
So he is now at home, I think it`s incumbent upon everybody to give that family some space around their house as they try to get it together to bury the granddaughter, little Caylee. And the word we just got tonight was that they are now making plans finally for that funeral.
Final word, Gaby, his journey back, he`s apparently feeling good, receptive. What does he need to do to stay sane in all of this?
GABY CORA, PSYCHIATRIST: He needs to really focus on getting better and try to avoid the fact that some people may still think that he may have schemed all this, but at the same time, it will be very important that people realize that it does take time for people to recover, more so when there have been so many losses in his life.
So the process is going to take some time. He needs our empathy and he needs to really work hard on recovering as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He does. I`ll give you that final word, Gaby, Amy, thank you so much, come back soon.
And quick reminder, Nancy Grace is up next at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Nancy will have the latest shockers in the Caylee Anthony case. You do not want to miss it.
Turning now to the fallout from Batman actor Christian Bale`s onset meltdown; some are now saying that Bale`s outburst shines a light on his dark side. The stunning audio that surfaced on TMZ.com reveals Bale going ballistic during the filming of his most recent Terminator movie -- "Terminator: Salvation."
Now, Bale`s former assistant tells Britain`s Daily Newspaper that the actor had a hair trigger temper and that his family coddles him because, quote, "He was the meal ticket." That is one person`s claim. Here is what we know for sure.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: I want you off the [bleep] set you [bleep]!
BALE: No, don`t just be sorry! Think for one [bleep] second! What the [bleep] are you doing? Are you professional or not?
HURLBUT: Yes, I am.
BALE: Do I [bleep] walk around and rip down, now shut the [bleep] up Bruce! Do I -- no! No! Don`t shut me up!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: For some, this taped tirade was proof that the so- called method actor who was arrested last July for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister had anger issues. Do you think? It`s important to note that those charges were dropped.
And now let`s get to my fabulous panel: for the buzz inside Hollywood Kim Serafin, senior. editor of "In Touch Weekly" and HLN`s very own A.J. Hammer, host of "Showbiz Tonight."
A.J. I`m thrilled that you`re with me tonight.
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": This is a good thing Jane, I`m happy to be here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a treat. Thank you, Transformer director Michael Bay is now speaking out and saying, hey, tirades happen, but this one went on too long. The director should have cleared the set. Do you agree with that, A.J.?
HAMMER: I think I do, how long was the clip you just played Jane, maybe about 30 seconds? The thing to keep in mind here, that has lost some people who`ve just been hearing this short clips, this went on for almost four minutes.
Now it is not uncommon when an actor is intensely involved in a scene that they can get frustrated or if they get distracted they might lose their cool. And it`s happened to all of us in any line of work, certainly.
HAMMER: I can`t put myself in Christian Bale`s shoes as an actor, but certainly I`ve been on live sets, I`ve been taping our show when something very similar has happened. I don`t like people in my sight line either. And if something does happen, when we cut to a break, I`ll suggest to somebody, in my own polite way, maybe if you could avoid doing that, it would be helpful to me.
I can understand if people lost his top even lost his cool but for four minutes no. And that`s something that really hopefully was addressed after that tape ended.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t like covering this story in the sense that I don`t like to pass judgment or point fingers. Who among us has never lost it once in our lifetime? And were we happy that nobody was rolling tape when we had our meltdown?
However this man is famous, it was taped, it was leaked and we`ve got to cover this because it is a story that everybody`s talking about and it has social implications. Here is more of Christian Bale going ballistic on the set of "Terminator: Salvation."
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BALE: I`m going to [bleep] kick your [bleep] ass if you don`t` shut up for a second, alright?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Christian, Christian -- just hold it.
BALE: I`m going to go. Do you want me to go [bleep] trash your lights? Do you want me to [bleep] trash them? Then why are you trashing my scene?
HURLBUT: I`m not trying to trash.
BALE: You are trashing my scene!
BALE: You do it one more [bleep] time, I am not walking on the set if you`re still hired! I`m [bleep] serious! You`re a nice guy! You`re a nice guy!
But I don`t [bleep] cut it when you (bleep) around like this on set!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In this clip, Kim, he`s actually making a threat. Is that where it crosses the line?
KIM SERAFIN, SR. EDITOR, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: I think probably for a lot of people who hear this, that`s what they think. They think, you know, it`s one thing to get angry, something happened, it`s been explained and there`s any people that have come to Christian`s defense by the way.
The assistant director saying it was an isolated incident. Harry Noels on "Ain`t It Cool" news has an explanation saying this DP (ph) likes to tweak the lights in the middle of takes and that`s what sort of set him off. But yes, I think if somebody hears that and then they hear the threats in it. That sort of takes it a step further because again, it didn`t go off for 30 seconds. It went on for four minutes and the DP obviously apologized, obviously was saying you know look, I`m sorry I didn`t mean to do this.
But at the end of the day, Christian Bale puts moviegoers in seats and he makes money. I mean, "Dark Knight" was one of the highest earning movies of all time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was indeed and he`s a great actor. Again, nobody is having fun covering this, it`s sad.
SERAFIN: Well, I have to say people are having fun because have you heard the remix?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to play it in a second. I`m not saying that people are having fun and you`re right. What I`m saying is that for me personally it is agonizing because he is a great actor and you don`t like to beat up on somebody who is obviously got to be experiencing incomprehensible demoralization at this moment.
Let`s listen though, to some more of Christian Bale`s meltdown after the director of photography crossed his eye line as A.J. mentioned while they were shooting a scene on the set of "Terminator: Salvation."
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BALE: McG, you got [bleep] something to say to this [bleep]?
MCG (THE DIRECTOR): I didn`t see it happen!
BALE: Well, somebody should be [bleep] watching and keeping an eye on him!
MCG: Fair enough.
BALE: It`s the second time that he doesn`t give a [bleep] about what is going on in front of the camera! All right?
I`m trying to [bleep] do a scene here and I`m going, "Why the [bleep] is Shane walking in there? What is he doing there?" Do you understand my mind is not in the scene if you`re doing that?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A.J., MCG is the director of the movie, --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it seems like Christian Bale is running the show.
HAMMER: Well, yes and this is nothing new in Hollywood. Kim, also you well know this, this has been going on I think as long as films have been getting made. This tape, unfortunately for Christian Bale, got out.
But I`m sure if you really dug through some outtake archives, you would find plenty of this type of behavior. And you would find people basically in essence sort of rewarding what I think is bad behavior because he won`t get punished for this.
He is not -- people have even called into "Showbiz Tonight" saying I`m going to boycott Warner Brothers, the studio making the film. I`m going to boycott any film made by Christian Bale and that`s terrific and in people`s prerogative if they choose to not reward bad behavior.
But the truth is, on the grand scale it`s not going to have really any impact.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree with you and in fact it might be perversely good publicity for the movie.
HAMMER: Are you kidding me. Nobody else has been talking about this movie yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly, we have to leave it sadly right there, I could talk about this with you guys all night, Kim and A.J. especially, both of you. But A.J. thanks for coming on the show, I really appreciate it.
And don`t forget you can catch A.J. Hammer on "Showbiz Tonight" at 11:00 p.m. Eastern where he will have more fallout from Batman`s outburst.
Coming up on "ISSUES," did Jessica Simpson put on a couple of pounds or was it just a bad pair of jeans or was it more than a couple of pounds? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297 and let me know what you think about America`s obsession with Hollywood bodies.
But first, I`ll send you out with my favorite thing about the Christian Bale freak out the dance remix from DJ Revolution.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stop the presses: Jessica Simpson gained weight. In a minute, I`ll analyze our nation`s obsession with stars` bodies.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: a shameful story out of Kentucky. Twenty-three-year-old Shanita Murdock left her three children ages 5, 3 and 1 alone for 12 hours. Murdock fed her kids breakfast and apparently left, bye-bye. After 12 hours with no food and no mom, her 5- year-old daughter amazingly calls 911. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 DISPATCHER: Hello?
CHILD: Who are you?
911 DISPATCHER: This is 911. Do you have an emergency?
CHILD: Yes, I need my mama back. She`s not here.
911 DISPATCHER: What address are you at?
CHILD: When you see a purple bike in the yard, that`s my house.
911 DISPATCHER: And you`re home alone?
911 DISPATCHER: You`re home alone?
CHILD: I`m home with my sister and brother. We need our mama.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a heroic kid! That kid should get a medal. But mom? Not so much. Murdock faces three counts of wanton endangerment and three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. Moral? Moms, don`t leave your kids home alone.
Controversy still swirling over Jessica Simpson and her apparent weight gain; her family is reportedly now in the mix and may be making matters worse. Sources say that instead of letting the dust settle, they`re pointing fingers blaming the stylist and a bad camera angle.
It`s true, those high-waisted mom jeans, not so good, right? But come on, take a look at this before and after. There is no denying that she has put on a few pounds. Haven`t most of us at one time or another.
So much to discuss that I want to hear from you; give me a holler -- 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297.
Let`s get right to my expert panel: Dale Atkins, psychologist -- there you are; Kim Serafin back with us, she`s the senior editor of "In Touch Weekly" magazine; and my dear friend, Rory Freedman, author of the wild bestseller, "Skinny Bitch."
Let me start with you, Kim. There`s "Skinny Bitch." Kim, sources are saying that Jessica`s family is essentially denying the weight gain. Is that really the way to go to fight this PR problem? I mean, by denying something most of us can see like comparing the before and after pictures?
KIM SERAFIN, SR. EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, look. Here`s the thing. She clearly shouldn`t have worn that outfit. But I think a lot of people can agree with that.
And -- but I think, here`s the thing about Jessica Simpson, she has been in this business long enough. Her family certainly understands this business long enough. And I think she`s handling it in the right way.
I mean, go back to all of these problems she`s had in the media before, she`s turned them into positive things, back with the buffalo chicken wing controversy. It turned out to be a good thing for her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not for the chicken wings but for her perhaps.
SERAFIN: I think that she will take this and show that she`s handling it in a responsible way. She`s not running away from it, she`s addressing the controversy and she`s made some great remarks at a lot of her concerts about it. And there are so many people standing up for her and speaking out for her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We shall see, we shall see, Kim. I can hear you`re passionate about this.
You talk about controversy, Jessica has put herself in the center of controversy over her diet in the past. She appeared in a t-shirt that said real girls eat meat; that provoked a scolding from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA has also joined the fray. You know, just the other day, PETA`s Super Bowl commercial which I think we`re going to show you right now, was rejected for being way too sexy. But its message was very simple. If you want to look great, eat more fruits and vegetables.
Rory, your book is called "Skinny Bitch." It sold well over a million copies. It`s helped a lot of women lose weight. What advice would you give to Jessica right now?
RORY FREEDMAN, AUTHOR, "SKINNY BITCH": You know, I have to say, I think Jessica is a beautiful girl. I think she has a gorgeous body, curves or no curves. And I feel sorry for her that she`s having to hear about her body. Nobody wants to be scrutinized.
However, if we are talking about a healthy diet, I don`t think Jessica should be giving any diet advice by saying real girls eat meat. Unfortunately meat is definitely not something you want to be eating if you want to be skinny. It`s got lots of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol. People who are vegetarians have lower incidents of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and these are our nation`s top killers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what should she do. What should she eat?
FREEDMAN: Well, plant foods are definitely the healthiest thing you want to do. I do have to emphasize staying away from meat is a really important thing, because women who eat a lot of meat have almost double the instances of breast cancer. So we really need to stay away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me add this. We have many stars who are battling this before and after, before and after. Remember Britney Spears? Take a look at her meltdown and then her attempted come back at the Video Music Awards last fall.
Britney was blasted, not just for a rocky performance, but for her belly kind of protruding there. And now, if you take a look at her now, she`s looking fabulous.
Dale Atkins, Isn`t it true if you rebound and get back in shape, everybody forgets about your fat period?
DALE ATKINS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well you know, they really do, Jane. But I think what we need to do is understand that all of us have this kind of bouncing back and forth. But we have our stars under such scrutiny and how can a person continue to feel good about themselves when they know that every person is going to look at every inch and every pound and judge them as a valuable person or not a valuable person or a talented person or not talented person by whether they have gained some weight or not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But listen, Kim, let`s be real, she`s not known for her acting ability. She became famous because of her fabulous bod where she was wearing her daisy dukes as "Daisy Duke" on "The Dukes of Hazard." That`s her claim to fame. That`s why she`s being so harshly judged.
Meryl Streep -- nobody talks about her body.
KIM SERAFIN, SR. EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Here`s the thing. That is true. It`s a double-edged sword that she got her body, I guess, in such perfect condition for the "daisy dukes." But the fact is right now she`s really focusing on her goals, she`s focusing on her career. I haven`t had --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hey, hold that thought.
We`ll be right back in a second with more Jessica Simpson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMPSON: I am having a blast again. I have to stay extra days because I`m having so much fun. Everything that surrounds me is just so beautiful and fun and everything`s exaggerated and it`s kind of my personality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Jessica Simpson at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007; there to promote a new movie, "Private Valentine." We just learned it bombed at the box office, it has gone straight to DVD.
Let`s get back to our fascinating discussion. The phone lines lighting up.
Diane in Michigan, question or thought, ma`am?
DIANE, FROM MICHIGAN: I have a comment. First of all I love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
DIANE: I think if Jessica Simpson, if she`s okay with her body, then everyone else should be okay with it she has got to live in that body. And also that Hollywood, if it were left up to them, everybody would walk around anorexic with a permanent feeding tube attached to their body.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Diane, I hear you. But Rory, let me ask you this question. One of the reasons why we`re obsessed with this is that we are suffering an obesity crisis in this country. Everybody is battling their weight. I`m battling my weight.
It`s a crisis -- two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese and it`s about to overtake smoking as the nation`s number one killer. Your book is a runaway best seller for precisely that reason.
RORY FREEDMAN, AUTHOR, "SKINNY BITCH": You know it is true. It`s an epidemic proportion that we`re seeing now with obesity. And we`re now even seeing kids are overweight. One out of three kids is overweight. It`s not going to stop any time soon.
If we`re all so hung up on our appearances, we can see by the crisis that we`re having, everybody`s overweight. People care about how they look; it`s not making a difference. So you`ve got to get another motivator to help you lose that weight. And unfortunately, how you look is not going to be enough. You`ve got to care about your health.
And I think another excellent thing to point was the PETA ad -- compassion. If you care about animals and how they`re being treated, that`s going to usually be enough to get you going to get off the meat which is fattening, full of cholesterol and saturated fat.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kim, let me ask you about that.
I mean, why is America so obsessed with this when we are all struggling. I certainly struggle with my weight. I don`t know about you. You look very skinny but it is a struggle. I try to eats fruits and vegetables and nuts and grains to stay in shape.
SERAFIN: I think that`s exactly why people are obsessed with Jessica Simpson for example, because in a way, we look at someone who`s so perfect. And I think in a way, people like to see a little bit of themselves. They want to see that this perfect star who seems to have everything maybe has the same struggles as all of us.
So I think that`s one of the reasons that people continue to talk about this. But again, Jessica Simpson is not trying to be a Victoria`s Secret model. I mean, she`s really focusing on her singing career. I was saying before I own a pair of Jessica Simpson shoes. I mean, just go out and buy it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a funny way to end this story. Thank you so much ladies.
You are watching "ISSUES" on HLN.