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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
New Evidence Released in Caylee Anthony Case; Former Hostage Warns of Dangers of Drug Cartels
Aired March 5, 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, an avalanche of shocking new information released in the Caylee Anthony murder case, providing a look into mom Casey`s troubled mind. We now know why the defense fought so hard to keep Casey`s Photobucket account out of the public eye. Sinister images of skulls and skeletons. Does all this point to an obsession with death?
And is there a rift between George and Cindy? Private investigator Jim Hoover claims each felt the other threw daughter Casey under the bus during the investigation.
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: I was in Lake County two days ago. Is there anything there?
CASEY ANTHONY, CHARGED WITH MURDER: Mom!
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And gut-wrenching new developments in the Rihanna abuse case. A crucial day for Chris Brown as he`s charged with felony assault while grisly details emerge from the police report, alleging out-of-control rage. Also, new claims that Brown abused Rihanna in the past. You won`t believe the details.
And Octomom Nadya Suleman`s outrageous 911 calls released to the media.
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: You`ve got to help me. You`ve got to help me. What if he would have -- someone came in the -- some stranger came in the -- oh, God, oh, God, I`m going to kill myself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octomom is already in front of the cameras reacting to those 911 calls. You will hear her explanation.
Plus, Californians in favor of gay marriage take to the streets in massive protests as the gay marriage ban known as Prop 8 is furiously debated in court. Will Ellen and Portia be able to stay married? I`ll have the latest details.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So much breaking news to tell you about tonight on many fronts. Just moments ago, Chris Brown, the singer, went to court in the case of his alleged pummeling of pop superstar Rihanna. He is facing two felonies. It could land him in jail for almost five years. His arraignment just moments ago postponed until April 6.
What does it all mean? We`re going to be analyzing that in just a few minutes. Big story there.
But first, we`ve got so much breaking news tonight in the Caylee Anthony murder case. Thousands of pages of really, really startling new evidence made public today in the case against Caylee`s mother, Casey Anthony. But could the defense already be fighting back?
This video posted on YouTube and apparently just located by the "Orlando Sentinel" shows a very caring mother, Casey, playing and laughing with her daughter, Caylee. Take a look at this extraordinary video just being played now for the first time. It appeared on YouTube somehow. And we`re going to try to get to the bottom of that.
Could this be a strategic move to win the PR war against the state by the defense?
One of the most alarming finds among the pages of the prosecution`s evidence released today, images posted to Casey`s Photobucket account, including -- take a look at that -- numerous morbid images of skulls along with a rather sinister image of skeletons kissing. That`s right: I said skeletons kissing. We`re going to show you that in a second. Possibly posted by Casey just days after little Caylee disappeared. It all raises the question: was death on Casey`s mind?
Also in the files, transcripts that reveal much more inside information on Casey`s parents, Cindy and George. Private eye Jim Hoover taped by the cops claiming George and Cindy said they weren`t sure if they`d be together when this was all over, because each thought the other threw their daughter, Casey, under the bus. I will show you what I think they`re talking about.
And that`s not all. We`ve got more. Private eye Jim Hoover also claimed that he was told Casey and her attorney, Jose Baez, ate from the same strand of licorice on opposite sides of the jailhouse glass. And that they got so close it looked like they might have been kissing. Is there any truth to the story? Or is this just Hoover talking trash? I think the latter.
Baez responded to the avalanche of new evidence, saying he`ll reserve comments until the discovery of some importance to the real evidence in this case. Doesn`t he have a point? Isn`t Baez the victim of unsubstantiated gossip at this point, with a story like that?
So much to talk about tonight. I`m taking your calls. But first, straight to my panel.
Rachel Kugel, criminal defense attorney; Stacy Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; plus Rebecca Rose Woodland, criminal defense attorney; as well as -- and boy, do we need one tonight -- psychiatrist Dr. Gaby Cora. And we`re also going to get to Bob Kealing, who is a reporter with CNN affiliate WESH.
Bob, so glad you`re joining us tonight. What can you tell us about the slew of new documents? And Casey apparently telling the cops that they couldn`t trick a confession out of her. This is something also pouring in along with all of this new documentation.
BOB KEALING, REPORTER, WESH: Yes, Jane. That`s some pretty interesting stuff. And that actually came from August -- I`m sorry, October the 14th. You might remember that was the day that a grand jury indicted her for first-degree murder. She goes on, basically, a wild ride through the streets of Orlando, at one point an unmarked sheriff`s detective car getting run off the road.
Casey and her attorney, Jose Baez, giving the explanation they didn`t realize it was law enforcement. They thought it was the media.
When the cops finally got her stopped, she was very cool, very calm, expecting the indictment. And, yes, she had an exchange with an Orange County detective where she told him that -- she said, "I had an interest in helping law enforcement from the very beginning. Unfortunately, my hands were literally tied, and I was put in a position where someone was trying to trick a confession out of me." And she told that detective that`s not going to happen, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the significance of that, Stacy Honowitz, as you hear that is that essentially they said, "Hey, do you want to help out law enforcement?"
And she`s like, "You`re not going to trick a confession out of me."
STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Right. I mean, you know, she said that she wanted to be cooperative. And we all saw in the beginning that she kept saying she could only cooperate when she was actually on the outside, trying to help them. And she said her hands were tied.
We certainly know that`s not the case. Because certainly even from the inside, she could have done everything in her power if, in fact, she knew what was going on with her child. But now we know what the story was.
And so anytime that she says, just in this exchange, that "they`re not going to trick a confession out of me" is really code for "I`m not helping you, and I`m not going to say a word. If you think you`ve got something on me, get me."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s an excellent analysis. That`s exactly what I took away from it.
We`ve got to take a look at this video. This video is extraordinary. It`s just in. Look at this precious child, Caylee, who now sadly is deceased, playing with her mom. Her mom looks incredibly affectionate there, hugging and kissing and playing. This just appeared on YouTube, Rebecca Rose Woodland. We don`t know exactly how it got there.
The "Orlando Sentinel" said it just appeared, and we were looking at the "Orlando Sentinel." And we went to it, and there it is, and it is there for everyone to see. It`s tragic. It`s heart-wrenching, because we look at it knowing that this poor little girl is dead, and she was found with duct tape over her mouth. So it breaks my heart. I`m sure it breaks the heart of everybody who`s looking at it.
But what do you make of it? Who is the likely source of this material?
REBECCA ROSE WOODLAND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Jane, you did say in your introduction and I have to agree, it does seem awfully coincidental that it came on the day that such poor information for the defense came out.
You know, there`s a possibility that it`s just someone interested in the case, someone who happens to have -- but who would have the video, Jane? I understand what you`re saying. Who would have this precious video that they would release it?
And you can understand if the defense did want this on YouTube. They want -- their defense has always been she does not know what happened. She left the child with someone, and then the child disappeared.
Now, we know now that that story seems very inconceivable. But in this country, innocent until proven guilty. And they, the defense, of course wants to paint her as a loving mother, a caring mother, because what loving, caring mother -- there you would never think would then do what the prosecution is alleging -- alleging -- that she has done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dr. Gaby Cora, you`re a psychiatrist. As you see this video of this happy, happy child and this joyous mother playing together, I mean, this is idyllic video. How do you reconcile that with what the prosecution alleges this mother did to her child? Remember, they`re alleging that she murdered this child.
GABY CORA, PSYCHIATRIST: There`s no way that we can align, you know, the ideal of having a loving mom playing with her little one and compare that to the -- what the prosecution is saying that she did. There`s no way of putting those together.
Now, loving moms may have, you know, sad days or difficult times with their kids, as well, but in a way, you know, the fact that someone may have disciplined their kids or may be upset with them doesn`t mean that they`re not loving on the other end also. So these are two separate things, and it`s important to see that. This really shows a very loving mom with her little one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Rachel Kugel, why was this video held so long? I mean, there`s been many days where horrible, very incriminating, very damaging information has been released about Casey Anthony. Why now? Is it that the case is getting to a crucial turning point?
RACHEL KUGEL, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that it should have been released a long time ago, and the defense should have been doing this sort of thing, because there`s no question that they have been losing the battle in the publicity war here. And that is ultimately what this case turns on at this point.
And frankly, what`s going to lose the case for the defense is all this public perception. Because as long as the jury pool is tainted with people that believe that she isn`t a loving mom or isn`t capable of that, their defense options are limited. And they`re in real trouble.
Yes. This is an all-out war, I think. Both sides fully engaged. You have this damaging information released today and then you have this really idyllic footage that appears to have just been released, showing mother and child at play. Extraordinary.
All right. Hang on. So much more to cover with these stunning developments. Do you think Casey Anthony is obsessed with death? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. And let me know.
And another totally shocking news. Chris Brown hauled into court and charged with felony assault against pop superstar Rihanna. His arraignment postponed until April 6 just moments ago. I will have the horrific, and I mean horrific, details.
But first, how will Casey Anthony`s defense contain the fall-out from the release of these disturbing pictures? Here is Jose Baez`s take on the skull image.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S LAWYER: I don`t think that these images are related to the case in any way. These irrelevant images should stay as they are, private and irrelevant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s cool. I didn`t know you could do that with that with that.
CASEY ANTHONY: Look into the camera.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m recording.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We had our first look at this video just moments before going to air. We`re basically both seeing it at the same time. A seemingly caring Casey Anthony plays with her beautiful daughter, Caylee. This is a new video just posted, apparently, on YouTube.
Our question: is the defense fighting back after the state today releases thousands of pages of evidence against the mother charged with her daughter`s death? We are back discussing this and all the shocking developments in this case with our fantastic panel. We have the phones lighting up.
But first, Bob Kealing, I understand you have information on this video.
KEALING: Yes, Jane. Just before air time, I actually followed the link on YouTube from that video. And it`s posted by someone named Momtective. And looking at that site, it looks to be -- or that video channel on YouTube, it appears to be some sort of memorial site to Caylee that also includes video I`ve never seen of Caylee with her grandfather, George; Caylee on her first birthday. There were three or four pages of comments about these videos.
But it really is unusual that, right at this time, when all of these documents are coming out, the video is also surfacing for the first time. Again, it`s supposedly by someone named Momtective on her own video channel there on YouTube. Where she got the video from, I have no idea.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s pretty obvious, but "Mom" and "tective" is like "mom detective," it sounds like, right? Momtective. So you have to wonder. And we certainly should put a call in to see if that Momtective is Casey [SIC] Anthony. Maybe it is -- Cindy Anthon, Casey`s mother. Maybe it is; maybe it isn`t. But we should find out whether the Anthony family released this.
Certainly, it`s their right. I mean, this is footage -- if they have it, it`s theirs. It`s their right to release it.
KEALING: And yes. It has to be obviously someone very close to the family who has these videos that, you know, during the course of covering this story, it`s apparent that videos like this can be very valuable to certain outlets who want this access to this type of video.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, it sheds a new light, you might say, on the case.
Toni, Ohio, your question or thought?
CALLER: Hi, Jane. I love your show. Watch it every night.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: Yesterday I seen George Anthony`s attorney and they were talking about George. And he said George is great, you know. So I was wondering does that now mean that he is able to take his deposition?
And one more really quick thing. When Lee had his deposition, he said that Casey told him Zanny took Caylee because she was punishing her. Why would Zanny punishing her then?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, Stacy, why don`t you take the first one, certainly?
HONOWITZ: Well, we know that the last time they went into court the judge was giving them a stay, basically, from taking the deposition, because his feeling was that the fragile state that George was in would not allow him to completely answer the questions to the best of his recollection or his knowledge.
And now they`re going to go back into court. And certainly, the caller is right. They`re going to go back into court. They`re going to hear all these things and ask what the update is on George, what his mental condition is. And if the judge finds that, based on either counseling or whatever he`s done in these last couple of weeks to get himself back into that state where he could sit through a deposition, then the judge will order that they go ahead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, earlier this week, Jose Baez fought tooth and nail to try and stop those Photobucket images from going public. Now we may know why he was fighting so had. Among the Photobucket images released today, as we said, numerous skulls.
But take a look. The symbols of death did not stop here. In addition to these skulls, a couple of pictures of skeletons kissing -- you can see it right there -- were also posted. Now, it`s possible that these eerie photos were actually posted just a few days after Caylee went missing. The date listed is June 26.
Of course, this is all speculation in the sense that we don`t know for sure. This is obviously discovery being released. It has to be -- has to go through the trial process, if it can even get admitted.
Dr. Cora, as a psychiatrist, what do these images tell you if, in fact, they were posted by Casey after here daughter went missing?
CORA: Well, many people are fascinated with death and skulls. So the fact that they are fascinated with that and that it`s become very fashionable needs to be taken into consideration and not out of context.
But on the other end, if she knew that her child was -- was not alive and she did not know about her whereabouts, then it could really mean that she was thinking about death-related issues. So that could be a coincidence, so to speak.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How does, Rachel Kugel, the prosecution introduce this in a way that makes sense? Because I`ve covered trials where there`s evidence that could be potentially incriminating, but it`s just sort of put out there, and the jurors have to connect the dots.
KUGEL: I mean, I think there`s two ways. And it sort of depends on how the defense attacks it and what their defense is. I mean, one is to suggest that it is, as the doctor has talked about -- has something to do with her mental state in the time after her daughter disappeared.
But probably the better, easier, cleaner way to get it in is to -- instead use it to establish a timeline of what she was doing when she knew at the very least that her daughter was missing, and that is simply that she was posting photos.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rebecca, let`s cover one other issue that this private eye, Jim Hoover, claims that he heard from Cindy and George that they might not be together after this is over, because each one things the other threw Casey under the bus. Thoughts?
KUGEL: Yes. Hearsay. You know, this is really hearsay. Where did he hear this? When did he hear this? When did they say this? As a defense attorney, clearly you would not allow him to testify as to this. He would object vehemently to any sort of -- any sort of introduction of this testimony. Where did he hear this? I mean, they threw their daughter under the bus? How did they do that?
The whole thing sounds much worse to a jury than it could have been if it`s taken out of context. So as a defense attorney, you do not want statements like that introduced at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I want to apologize, because we had so many calls stacked up, but with all the breaking news, Chris Brown as well as these videos, these extraordinary videos that just came in as we went to air, we had to get it all in. And we didn`t even get half of it in. We`re going to keep on top of it. Thanks to my panel.
Octomom Nadya Suleman speaks to the media about her outrageous 911 calls.
And breaking developments in the Rihanna abuse case. Chris Brown in court.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just moments ago -- there you see it -- Chris Brown leaving court or at court. He has just left moments ago with his very well-known attorney, Mark Geragos. Geragos managed to get Chris Brown`s arraignment postponed until April 6.
This, of course, all revolving around Brown`s alleged pummeling of pop superstar Rihanna. So much going on in that case. We`re going to get to it in just moments. Hang in there.
But first, want to tell you about a new warning. The Justice Department has just issued a warning to spring break travelers to steer clear of some south-of-the-border locales, increased drug violence being the primary reason for that dire warning. It is a warning I`m sure will be reinforced by my next guest, who miraculously survived violence and years of captivity at the hands of drug lords. Keith Stansell, co- author of "Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 days in the Colombian Jungle."
Keith, first of all, congratulations for getting out of there alive. I`m glad to see that you`re well. Tell us some of the worst that you endured during your five years in captivity. What did they do to you?
KEITH STANSELL, SURVIVED BEING TAKEN HOSTAGE: You know, I guess some of the worst is now every morning I wake up, and I look around and my neck right here, and these scars are on my neck. A human being that was chained up like a dog for the last two years. Deprivation, starvation, torture, death marches, things that are very difficult for a person to go through. And, you know, I just count myself fortunate to be alive and be home with my family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you were on some kind of a drug mission, were you not, an anti-drug mission when your plane crashed and suddenly you were captured by rebels?
STANSELL: Well, we were counter-narcotics platform. We collected intelligence against, you know, narcotics targets in support of Columbia. And unfortunately, we crashed in the middle of a few hundred guerillas who were some of our primary targets, people that we worked against on a regular basis.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then they put you in cages and kept you for five years. How the heck did you get out of there?
STANSELL: You know what? We all have families. We all have kids. I`m a father. And my only thought was to live for each day. I didn`t think about the future. I just wanted to return home and be with my family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, how did you get out of there?
STANSELL: We were rescued on July 2 in an incredible operation with -- you know, by the Colombian military backed up by, obviously, U.S. intelligence. A group of Colombians that were in the military risked their lives to go in unarmed, disguised as humanitarian aid workers to mix with the guerillas under the cloak that they were going to transfer us to the guerilla bosses. Incredible what they did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s amazing. Let me ask you, because obviously this is all the drugs. Is the drug war working? Because personally, I think it`s a huge failure.
STANSELL: No, no, it has -- no, no, it is working. Listen to me. I will tell you this. And I promise you this five and a half years of ground truth and a guy spent nine years there working. We are winning this. And it is slow and it is painful.
But right now, what has been able to happen to the FARC, the group that has us, the revolutionaries in Columbia, armed revolutionary force of Columbia, are in the worst state ever in 45 years. And we should not let off right now. And what we see going on with the border in Mexico is the next step. It`s something that relates directly to Columbia, and we need to confront this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Keith, I want to thank you. I will say that I lived in Mexico for an entire year. I have to say that there was a huge difference between the vacation resorts that millions of Americans visit and remain generally very safe at and some of these very dangerous areas.
And I am so glad you`re alive. I`m so glad that you made it out. And please join us again soon.
Dramatic 911 calls from Octomom, Nadya Suleman, released to the media. She says she`s going to kill herself in front of her kids. What?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chris Brown charged with felony assault as shocking details emerge from the police report alleging out-of-control rage directed at Rihanna. And I`ll have an update on new claims that Brown abused her in the past.
Then, octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, outrageous 911 calls released to the media. Now she`s in front of the cameras reacting to those calls.
Plus, massive protests in California by those in favor of gay marriage, as the gay marriage ban known as Prop 8 is furiously debated in court. Will Ellen and Portia be able to stay married? I`ll have the latest details.
Rihanna, octo-mom and Prop 8 in just minutes.
First, back to the stunning new developments in the Caylee Anthony murder case. The state attorney has released thousands of pages of new evidence in the case against Casey, including eerie photos of skulls from her Photo Bucket account.
And a new video of a very happy Casey playing with a very delighted daughter, Caylee, emerges on YouTube and it`s a heart-breaker. It`s a heart-breaker because that little girl is now dead. Could the defense be fighting back?
I`m back discussing this and all the other shockers coming out with the new documents. Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, and Bob Kealing with our affiliate WESH and two of the most patient people in America standing by.
Let`s first go to Faith in New Jersey. Your question or thought, ma`am? Faith, are you still there?
FAITH IN NEW JERSEY: Yes, I`m here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you doing? And thanks for keeping faith that we would get to you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your question or thought, ma`am?
FAITH: I had a question. I wanted to know if she got off or offered a reasonable doubt, would the state pay her any money? And also I wanted to know because I`ve been trying to get a hold of you for four months.
FAITH: Do you think that Lee could be the father of this baby? I know we`re living in a sick world.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you know what, I -- ma`am, with all due respect, I don`t even want to go there. I think that that`s a very inappropriate question.
But I think the first question made a lot of sense. So why don`t we tackle that one, Stacey.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Yes, that`s a very good question. And a lot of people often ask that question. When someone is taken to trial and they`re found not guilty, does that person then have a right to go back and sue the state? And it`s been very, very rare circumstances that a case for malicious prosecution can be met.
They really have to show that the state acted in very bad faith, maliciously prosecuted this person. You`re not going have that here. Certainly they`re proceeding in good faith. There`s probable cause to believe. She was indicted. There`s evidence that`s mounting and mounting and mounting.
And if they go to trial and she`s found not guilty, that`s the bottom line.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey, while I have you, what do you think the impact of this video will be?
HONOWITZ: You know, Jane, I think that honestly the defense finally decided that that it`s time to put some things out there and certainly we know that George and Cindy appear to be at this point backing her.
And so I think they were very instrumental in doing this. And what it does is it shows the general public that she was loving towards this child. That`s the only thing that we can see. Now we did see pictures in the past of her with her child smiling and laughing.
So I don`t think it`s anything new. I just think that because every single day we`ve been getting new evidence and very damning evidence that finally the defense has said, we need to show her in a good light.
And so now either they`ve gotten someone on the PR wagon. They`ve decided we need to start injecting this into the public.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it`s new in the sense that we may have seen a lot of photos of them, but this video is really extraordinary because --
HONOWITZ: Yes, I mean, it`s very important for them to show this video because it shows the interaction. You`re exactly right. Those still photos show her with the child, but this is the actual interaction that she has and the emotions and the feelings that she has for this child, at least at that point in time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bob, you`ve covered this for a long time, what is your reaction to the release of this videotape at this time? Your analysis of why -- who, what, when, where, why, how?
BOB KEALING, WESH, ORLANDO, FLORIDA: Yes, Jane, it`s very compelling video and no doubt. But I actually just got off the phone with the Anthony family`s former spokeswoman, Michelle Barton. And she said that this video along with several others was actually posted on Casey`s very own MySpace and Facebook pages as far back as July.
And according to Michelle, there were a number of people who had access to her accounts and, indeed, she says it`s very plausible this was someone pulling off those videos, putting together their very own Caylee memorial Website. So as interesting as it is that these videos have surfaced tonight, they appear to be coming from someone who is just very interested in making sure that Caylee is remembered.
HONOWITZ: And I`m sure the defense is thrilled to death that whoever is doing it is doing it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. It`s fascinating stuff.
And again, with this case, every day it seems that there is an amazing twist and turn. This is just another example. Stacey and Bob thanks. Please come back soon. Great to have you.
Turning now to the octo-mom`s frantic 911 call from last October that is causing an uproar; at the time she was still pregnant with octuplets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPERATOR: 911 emergency.
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: Help me.
OPERATOR: Hi, what`s going on?
SULEMAN: Help me. My son is missing, I`m going crazy.
Where`s my son?
OPERATOR: What`s his name?
SULEMAN: Joshua Jacob. Help me.
OPERATOR: How long has it been since you`ve seen him?
SULEMAN: About half an hour -- about an hour ago. What if he, what if someone came in the car, some stranger kidnapped him? Oh God, Oh God, I`m going to kill myself.
OPERATOR: Hey, don`t say that in front of your other child, ok?
SULEMAN: He went on a walk and he came back by himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Now here`s what Nadya Suleman told Radar Online about why she sounded so panicked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: Oh that was a bad call, though. I was -- I was like I have to rationalize for a minute. I was pregnant, hormonal, and my son was missing in my mind. So I was like I actually got sick. I was so upset. I was so worried. And I was pregnant.
Now, you multiply the hormones of one pregnancy times eight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A bad case of hormones or a case of bad parenting? Let`s get right to my guests. Chris Myers, executive senior news editor for Radar Online and Lisa Bloom, anchor on the Legal Network "In Session."
Lisa, Nadya chalks up her hysteria to hormones. Now, you`re a mom. Do you buy it?
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR OF "IN SESSION": Give me a break, absolutely not. Now, that was a nice little edited piece you did there. And in the longer version, she says over and over again in front of her little children, "I`m going to kill myself. I`m going to kill myself."
Until finally the stranger on the line, the 911 operator says, "Don`t say that in front of your other children." That`s a terribly damaging thing to say.
Think about it from the kids` point of view. She`s the only parent that they have. And when she flips out, over a kid being missing she`s threatening to kill herself, and let me add this kid apparently has been missing for an hour. He`s 5 years old.
And now she calls 911? I frankly do not have any sympathy for her. She`s over her head. She can`t react well in a crisis. Maybe that`s why it was a bad idea to have eight more children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really is. This was when she had six; now 14. Oh, my gosh.
Octo-mom didn`t know that her 911 call had been posted by TMZ until a reporter from Radar online told her. Watch her squirm as he plays the tape and listen to her amazing response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: Oh, my God.
OPERATOR: Where was he an hour ago?
SULEMAN: I don`t know. He`s gone. This can`t be happening.
OPERATOR: What -- [ inaudible ]
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your reaction?
SULEMAN: Well, if I were not pregnant, I know I don`t react like that. And I remember that that pregnancy affected me more. And I was just more worried about the kids than usual, I think, you know. I just was really afraid. They never leave my sight. If they`re in the front, I`m in the front.
And I do have to say that when the police got there, they arrived, they told me that they would have done the same exact thing. It was warranted (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, I have to say to Chris Myers, the executive senior news editor for Radar Online and kudos for these amazing scoops day after day. I`m curious how long your deal with Nadya is going to last.
Are we going to be watching her react to her own unfolding drama until her kids turn 18?
CHRIS MYERS, RADARONLINE: Right Jane. Just when you think you`re octoed (ph) out, this story takes another bizarre twist, another strange turn with the 911 calls that were released yesterday.
And clearly on that phone call, you hear a hysterical mother. Most mothers would become, you know, hysterical if they thought their child was gone, but it certainly raises another red flag. Another warning shot to America that, can this woman really handle this situation?
And Nadya wanted to invite our camera in to kind of let, you know, to set the record straight and to -- to let America know that, "Hey, I can handle this," and to sway public opinion. And I got to tell you, that some of the things we have seen over the past week really haven`t swayed public opinion.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, let me say that there are actually two 911 calls that were made public. And the second one is really fascinating. We`re going to play it for you now. It was placed three days before she gave birth to octuplets.
The calls not from Nadya -- in fact, one of her kids dialed 911 and then hangs up and then the operator calls her back. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPERATOR: Hello. This is the Whittier Police Department someone dialed 911 do you have an emergency?
CHILD: No I think that was my baby brother.
OPERATOR: Ok, are you the adult in the house?
OPERATOR: Are you the adult in the house?
OPERATOR: Do you have a mom or a dad that`s home?
CHILD: No. I`m in charge right now.
OPERATOR: How old are you?
CHILD: Well, I`m six and my babysitter is watching me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say what you will about how octo-mom lost her cool, but that 6-year-old was rather articulate with the operator.
BLOOM: It`s true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me say this, Lisa Bloom, we have been very critical of octo-mom for a lot of good reasons. But isn`t the proof in the pudding? I mean, these older kids seem to be turning out relatively well-balanced.
BLOOM: Well, I don`t know about that, Jane. That`s a lot to conclude from one little phone call. Somebody called 911 and hung up. And when the police called back this child says, well, my babysitter is here, but you can`t talk to the babysitter because she`s cooking.
And then, it turns out grandma ultimately comes on the phone. The child says to the 911 operator, my parents are out at a party when it turns out she doesn`t have a dad, she only has a mom. And mom is actually in the hospital.
So there`s a lot of confusion, I think, in that household. And I wonder why some kid called 911 to begin with.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well I think you make some good points; touche. Chris thanks. Lisa thanks.
Chris Brown dragged in the court today and charged with felony assault. I`m going to have the gruesome details in a second.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chris Brown charged with felony assault in the Rihanna beating. I will have the truly horrific details.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
Gay marriage supporters taking to the streets in California as the Prop 8 debate raged in the state supreme court today. Prop 8, a measure banning same-sex marriage, passed with 52 percent of the vote in November. That after the California Supreme Court ruled last May that same-sex marriage was legal.
So what will happen to the 18,000 couples that were married before Prop 8 passed? Unfortunately, we won`t know for another 90 days as the court deliberates.
And of course, I will bring you that decision when it happens. That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Breaking news tonight in the assault case against pop superstar Rihanna; she is the victim of that assault, moments ago, her boyfriend singer Chris Brown in court to be arraigned on two felony counts -- assault and making a criminal threat. The judge granting his attorney, Mark Geragos, a continuance -- the new arraignment date for Chris Brown set for April 6th.
Tonight, I will read from the police affidavit exactly what Rihanna told cops about how she ended up in this horrific condition.
You will not believe -- you will not believe what led up to this shocking photo. And now the big question is will Rihanna tell her story in open court?
So much to cover tonight. I want to get right to my fantastic panel: Lisa Bloom, anchor for the Legal Network "In Session;" Heidi Banks, psychotherapist; and Mike Walters, assignment manager from TMZ.
Mike, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ.COM: Jane, the most interesting thing, Chris Brown was in his arraignment today. It was live. Everybody saw it. The thing that was the most interesting to me was the reconciliation between Rihanna and Chris Brown was there right there in open court.
The judge asked a lawyer, Donald Etra, who represented Snoop was there representing Rihanna whether or not he wanted a stay-away order, a no-contact order for Rihanna with Chris Brown and he said no. And I think -- right there stamps that Rihanna basically, legally said that Chris Brown can contact her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And it was absolutely very significant. And we want to talk about the significance of this arraignment being postponed as well until April.
But first, I just have to read this. And I want to get our psychotherapist`s reaction.
We have a copy of the affidavit recounting a horrific detail the night of the alleged assault. Rihanna`s real name, Robyn Fenty, she told cops and argument started when she read a text message to Brown from an old flame, some had described that text as a booty call.
This is what happened next according to Robyn F., a.k.a. Rihanna. I`ve got to read this, he took his right hand -- and this is alleged by the way. He took his right hand and shoved her head against the passenger window of the vehicle. Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand.
He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault causes Robyn F.`s mouth to fill with blood and blood spatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.
Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated I am going to beat the bleep out of you when we get home you wait and see. Robyn F. picked up her cellular phone and called her assistant. Robyn F. pretended to talk to her and stated I`m on my way home. And make sure the cops are there when I get there.
Robyn F. faked the call, Brown looked at her and stated you just did the stupidest thing ever. Now I`m really going to kill you. Brown resumed punching Robyn F. On and on and on it goes, Heidi Banks, what do you make of it?
HEIDI BANKS, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I think the saddest thing is what we`ve just said is that there isn`t a restraining order against him seeing her. There are reports that they were back together.
Look, at the point that he picked up a hand to her is the point that domestic violence started, whether they`re together or not. And it`s a warning to every woman out there. It is so great. It`s public. We`re seeing it. We`re seeing the pictures. It`s coming to light.
And delay or not, this man is going to end up in jail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, does the arraignment postponement until April signal that a plea deal could be in the works?
BLOOM: It sure does, and I don`t like it. This is Mark Geragos` typical tactic. He`s a high-profile attorney; he lost the Scott Peterson case. He lost the Winona Ryder case. He has lost a lot of other cases in a high profile that he may have done well in, but the one thing he always does is delays --delay, delay, delay. Get as many continuances as possible.
And why? Because delay always favors the defense. You get a witness on the stand and the case is one year or two years and were out and all of a sudden the memory is not as good. Statements change. They can send their investigators out and get information, dig up dirt on any of the witnesses.
So delay always helps the defense. And that`s what we`re seeing today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Mike Walters, what worries me is that he`s shown a bit of arrogance, allegedly, by jet skiing in Miami Beach and having a lot of fun just days before appearing here in court.
WALTERS: Yes, exactly.
Some photos came out about this reconciliation. Rihanna and Chris Brown spent time at Diddy`s house in Miami. And some pictures came out of Chris Brown riding a jet ski and smiling and like flexing at the camera at one point.
And also like I told you before, they flew back on a plane from Los Angeles together. So, I mean, arrogance maybe, but definitely, you know, Chris is saying, you know, go to court, do what you`ve got to do. But it`s interesting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heidi, Heidi --
BANKS: Jane, Jane, it`s so interesting you`re bringing this up.
I spoke to a friend who actually in December showed Rihanna and Chris the house to buy together and her comment was, "I`ve never seen a more gracious couple than these two that walked in my house."
She says when this news hit I was shocked and I went don`t be, domestic violence does not have a face. Domestic violence can be the nice guy -- the not nice guy. He could be the murderer. There are so many different faces and I think this is the important thing to get out there right now.
Don`t be fooled by looking at a picture of him smiling or -- it`s done. The affidavit, she said it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, he`s 19 years old and I`m going to be very provocative. You can think about this over the break, but is there a way for him to redeem himself in any way, shape or form?
I don`t condone what he did. I think it`s horrific, but I also think it`s happening all over America and perhaps there`s an opportunity here.
Stay right there. More on the absolutely shocking development to this case next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Brown, you are ordered not to annoy, harass, molest, threaten or use force and violence against anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chris Brown arraigned moments ago. I`m back with my expert panel talking about these latest developments.
Okay, Lisa Bloom, here is the way I see it. Okay, he could plead want guilty and assume he`s going to get away with it because it appears Rihanna is back in his pocket and may not take the stand or will not take the stand and testify.
He could plead not guilty and end up getting convicted, ruin his entire life, he`s a 19-year-old guy and go to jail for up to five years.
Or he could cut some kind of deal where he admits and agrees to serve some time and decides not only to get therapy counseling and anger management but really devote his life to making amends for what he`s done and become a poster child for a reformed and repentant batterer.
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSON": Well, you put that very well, Jane. I`m going to give you a J.D. right here on the spot. If he pleads guilty and actually serves the time for the crime that he appears to have committed, I don`t agree that that ruins his entire life.
I think he`s accepting the responsibility for the consequences of his action. And while we`re focusing on him and that`s fine, what about Rihanna whose career has been at a standstill for the last month?
She`s a spokesperson and a top model for Cover girl cosmetics. All of those appearances have been off. She didn`t get to appear at the Grammys, sure one of the big of the days of the year for her. Nor was she there and she was nominated for a Grammy and she`s been completely out of the picture for the last month.
I think he should man up, frankly. And if he did this and it sure looks like he did, he shouldn`t be hiding behind legal loopholes like if she doesn`t testify he can get away with it. Why doesn`t he accept responsibility as a role model? Admit what he did, do the time for the crime and then we`ll have some sympathy for him.
BANKS: When you talk about redemption it`s a very hard road and we all know when we`re looking at the celebrity culture that a weekend in rehab does not cure a drug addition and an anger management course does not help somebody who is a batterer at this level.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I also know, though, that we`re locking up people all over --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- we lock up more people in this country than any other country in the world.
BLOOM: But this is the kind of guy who should be locked up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.
BLOOM: This isn`t just a drug possession crime or low-level white collar crime. If this guy shouldn`t be locked up, who should be?
BANKS: More importantly, he needs counseling. He needs to know. We`ve gotten rid of shame in our culture because it`s become -- he should be ashamed --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He should be ashamed. That`s what I find the most disturbing is that he doesn`t seem to be because he was out jet skiing just a couple of days ago.
Yes, it breaks my heart that a 19-year-old -- it`s also horrible. I`ve got to leave it right there, but I`m sure we`ll talk more about it.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thank you, panel.