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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Did Casey`s Attorney Cry when Caylee Was Found?; Undercover Video Shows Chimp Abuse at Lab
Aired March 11, 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, one day before Casey Anthony is due in court, shocking revelations about a second jailhouse meltdown. Reports claim Casey and attorney Jose Baez are seen sobbing together the day remains were found near the Anthony home. This before those remains were identified as Caylee`s.
But a conflicting report claims only Baez was crying. Did something trigger that reaction? Or is Baez the victim of a smear campaign?
Then, new drama surrounding Chris Brown and Rihanna. Despite reports that they`re recording a love song together, there may be a rift between the two camps. Brown`s people reportedly want a picture of the two together, while Rihanna`s people want no part in that publicity stunt. Could Rihanna be having second thoughts about their reunion? Nicole Brown Simpson`s sister, Denise, will weigh in on the cycle of abuse.
And outrage as a Humane Society investigation uncovers horrific abuse of chimps in a Louisiana lab. I`ll show you the gruesome video and tell you how you can help these poor creatures.
Plus, more Octomom psycho drama. Nadya Suleman gives RadarOnline a tour of her new home, which Suleman says she bought. Where`d she get the money? And TMZ claims they have seen the infamous octobirth video. Does this mean it`s being auctioned off to the highest bidder? I`ll try to find out why anyone would actually want to see that tape.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a total shocker in the Caylee Anthony case. Reports of another jailhouse meltdown caught on tape. This time, the video captures accused murderer Casey Anthony and her lawyer, Jose Baez. Don`t they know that there are cameras everywhere in jail?
One report claims Casey and attorney Baez are seen sobbing together on the very day that remains were found near the Anthony home. This was before those remains were identified as little Caylee`s.
But there`s a conflicting report from the "Orlando Sentinel." It claims only Jose Baez was sobbing, while Casey appeared angry, her arms crossed. But both reports agree that lawyer Jose Baez was crying.
Is that how lawyers are supposed to act? Or is somebody out to smear Jose Baez by making stuff up? He acknowledges a video exists of something but calls it an unauthorized videotaping and wants to suppress it.
Also, the fall-out from Casey`s slam of prosecutors in her hand- written affidavit. She said they were angry because she refused to take a plea agreement. Today, prosecutors shot back, insisting they have no record of a formal plea offer in her case. So who is lying?
I want to hear what you think. Call me now. Give me your thoughts and your opinions.
So much to cover tonight. Let`s get right to my expert panel: Steve Kardian, former criminal investigators; Dr. Judy Kurianski, excellent clinical psychologist; Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and law professor at New England Law; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and the one and only Rozzie Franco from WFLA 540 AM in Orlando.
Wendy, we`ve got to start with you. What is your reaction to this claim that Casey`s defense attorney, Jose Baez, was crying in jail on the day the remains were found but before they were identified?
WENDY MURPHY, LAW PROFESSOR, NEW ENGLAND SCHOOL OF LAW: Well, look, we all know what the argument is going to be, that they both knew the truth, because they knew where the body was and they were crying -- either he was or they both were -- because they knew they weren`t going to win the case anymore.
But, you know, maybe Jose is taken a lesson from that cry-baby judge in the Anna Nicole Smith case. I don`t know. I don`t see why it`s so shameful if he was crying. Maybe he felt emotional.
I`ll tell you what I really think is going on here. One news account says they were both crying, and one says she was angry and not emotional the way he was. I wonder whether there isn`t a contest out there about what the real truth is so they can ramp up the price of the video that the defense will now try to sell to make more money off this court trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, no, no, no, no. They`re trying -- Darren Kavinoky, they`re trying to suppress this video.
MURPHY: So far. So far.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Jose Baez says that this is denying his client`s constitutional rights to attorney/client privilege, and he doesn`t want any more monitoring of these two when they`re in jail. He has filed this emergency motion, not just to suppress this video, but to stop anything like this from ever happening again.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, exactly, Jane. And here`s the problem in this kind of a situation. People who are in jail don`t have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so we`re allowed to eavesdrop or videotape or search them without probable cause, without a warrant. You don`t have the same rights when you`re in that kind of an environment.
But here`s the big exception. We`re talking about an interview room where attorneys are visiting with their clients. And the attorney/client relationship is entitled to the same protection that a spousal communication is or the priest/penitent privilege. These are really important privileges that are necessary for society to function properly.
And here`s the problem that I have with this. Putting aside the issue of whether or not there could be lip-readers out there that could invade that attorney/client privilege, the prosecution wants to use her reaction, the videotape of her reaction to show that she`s not reacting as an appropriately grieving innocent person would, and that`s it thing that`s really offensive. So I come down on the side of Jose Baez on this one. Keep that tape out.
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I don`t find that offensive at all that the prosecution would be using her reaction as a way to show that she could potentially be guilty.
MURPHY: Jane, I think the problem...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen. Dr. Judy just raised a point. Obviously, prosecutors want to use this tape and the other tape that apparently was also shot on the same day, where they take her into the medical facility at the jail, and she sees the breaking news on TV that they found remains near the Anthony home. And she reportedly begins hyperventilating and doubles over, convulsing, basically becomes hysterical. They think this is consciousness of guilt, and they probably want to show it to a jury. I mean, Wendy...
KAVINOKY: Of course, of course. But -- I`m sorry. Dr. Judy may be an expert at reading body language and making these kinds of interpretations.
KURIANSKY: Yes, thank you. Right.
KAVINOKY: But here`s the problem. There are multiple inferences that can be drawn from whatever her reaction was in...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hello. That`s...
KURIANSKY: There are multiple ones and you put them all together. You put together the fact that she`s -- she gets angry when the normal reaction and the regular reaction would be horror, denial, shock instead of anger, which for a person who lost a child, who lost a child, would come way after that.
Folding your arms, which is a way to protect yourself, and put yourself away from the situation. And hysteria, which can happen, but different kinds of hysteria. Anybody who`s watching knows those are different kinds of reactions from...
MURPHY: Can I join this -- we all remember...
KAVINOKY: Dr. Judy, I love you. I love you, but I`m exercising my first challenge. I`m getting you off that jury if I have a chance.
KURIANSKY: Yes, OK.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s not the juror. She`s the expert, the psychiatric expert who is going to analyze all of this perhaps.
Let`s move on for a second, because here`s -- this is a related issue. Obviously, Casey Anthony and her attorney, Jose Baez, have a very close relationship. In court together, Casey smiled at Baez, and they`ve exchanged looks of support. That`s certainly not unusual between lawyer and client.
And then, of course, there`s that famous video of Jose Baez protecting Casey from the elements and, of course, from the media, as well, as she was bailed out of jail. And reports are Orange County jail officials once reprimanded Baez for hugging Casey. And now we have these other reports about them sobbing together.
Rozzie Franco, you just got off the phone with Jose Baez. What is he saying about this latest breaking news?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA: Well, I`ll tell you. Right now there`s a number of conflicting reports. As you said, I mean, we`ve got Casey, who allegedly was, you know, in a defensive stance, holding her arms together. And we`ve got attorney Jose Baez, allegedly sobbing. Then we`ve got the two trying to hug and sob together.
Basically, what Marty McKenzie said from Jose Baez`s P.R. firm was all of these reports are absolutely 100 percent untrue. And whenever you read these articles, each time it says reporters have learned, but did reporters actually see the tape? We don`t know that. Who`s actually seeing the tape and who are the sources that are actually saying this?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Steve Kardian, you`re a former criminal investigator. Why is he filing an emergency motion to suppress this video if there`s nothing significant on it?
STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Well, it`s -- it`s just for that reason, Jane, is that he doesn`t want it revealed. And here`s another -- another aspect from a law enforcement perspective.
I`ve seen clients with their attorneys interacting, and when they were displeased with the -- the reaction, the action of their attorney, they take that stance if, in fact, that did occur: folding their arms and saying come on, you`re supposed to be the strong one here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is there a campaign out to get Jose Baez? Because, let`s face it: there are leaks. And these leaks are not flattering to Jose Baez. And is that dirty pool, Wendy Murphy? You`re a former prosecutor.
MURPHY: No one should try to smear anybody, either the defendant or the lawyer, period. But, you know, Jose has a P.R. firm and seven other lawyers working with him. He really isn`t in a position to whine about what`s getting out there.
In terms of public spin, the spin from day one has been predominantly coming from the defense. He complains we don`t want that video out there showing that she might have had a weird reaction.
Who got how many hundreds of thousands of dollars for photographs of Casey hugging little Caylee to try to manipulate public opinion and infect the jury pool? That`s OK with Jose. But he doesn`t like a little negative press.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case has been marked by just a slew of leaks. Is that...
MURPHY: From the defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not necessarily. These leaks aren`t coming from the defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re obviously are coming not from the defense when it puts Jose Baez in a bad light, Darren.
MURPHY: P.R. leaks.
KAVINOKY: He`s not putting himself out there in a bad light. And, of course, one of the missions of the defense lawyer -- and I would submit for the prosecution, as well -- is when you`ve got a case that`s inviting this kind of scrutiny, you want to, as an advocate, do things in advance that`s going to shape the court of public opinion, because that`s where you`re going to be drawing your jurors from.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone, stick around. So much more to get to.
What do you think of this strange attorney/client relationship between Casey and Jose Baez? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. And let me know.
In other shocking news tonight, is there friction between Rihanna and Chris Brown, even though they`re reportedly doing a love song together. How sick is that? I`ll have the very latest.
But first, new reports bring the focus back to Casey Anthony`s jailhouse meltdown. She hasn`t shown much sadness behind bars, but here`s one time she did. And notice how it`s all about her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, CHARGED WITH MURDERING DAUGHTER: Being as strong as I can, considering the situation. It`s hard. It`s just very hard. God, I just want to go home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY: Let me speak for a second. Dad, I let everybody talk.
GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY: OK.
CASEY ANTHONY: They`re not releasing it, well I hope not. I`ll keep saying whatever I have to about the police.
G. ANTHONY: OK, here`s mom.
CASEY ANTHONY: They don`t want to go. Can someone let me -- come on!
CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down, baby.
CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody is letting me speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An emotional Casey Anthony last August in prison. We are now hearing of a new video of Casey and her attorney, Jose Baez, in jail sobbing and hugging the day Caylee`s remains were found but before they were identified. Baez, by the way, denies that he was crying. There`s no crying in baseball, and there`s no crying in the legal profession either, I think, last time I checked.
Tracy, Ohio, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane.
CALLER: I was thinking -- I was sitting here watching and -- watching everything that was going on, and really, don`t you think that Jose Baez is just really in it for himself, that he`s not really interested in helping Casey at all?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s bring in the shrink. Judy?
KURIANSKY: Well, sure. I mean, lawyers are actors, and they`re meant to say and do whatever is going to be good. And I`ll tell you something. Casey Anthony should be sitting in jail now, blessing him for crying because he needs to get those jurors to cry for her. Not for the little girl, as we all would, who has died. But let`s have sympathy -- he`s going to want to bleed those jurors for the sympathy. And his crying is a good way to model that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating. Kathy, Virginia, your question or thought?
CALLER: Hi, Jane. How you doing?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How you doing?
CALLER: I`m doing good. I just want to make a comment. I do understand with the lawyer being so sympathetic with, you know, with his client. I think, you know, with this and watching it for the last ten months that it`s been on -- and I was crying. So I can really sympathize with the lawyer, you know, crying with her. I really can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it`s pretty -- pretty interesting, Wendy Murphy, that a lot of people seem to be sympathetic toward Jose Baez and understand that, hey, it was an emotional, high-pressure time and maybe he shed a few tears. Again, I say there`s no crying in baseball or the law. But apparently, people are willing to forgive.
MURPHY: Well, look -- look. Bu you know, I got a message for Jose. I`m sure he`s watching. Real men cry, Jose. It`s OK. So to characterize -- to characterize this film as smearing him because he cried, are you kidding me?
I once worked on a murder trial. I was the prosecutor, and when the jury said guilty, I cried. I got news for you, Jane. Lawyers do cry. We`re actors, but of course we`re invested emotionally in these cases. I don`t think it`s shameful at all.
I don`t believe it until I see it, because this case makes me cry sometimes from laughing so hard about the nonsense. I`d like to see the tape, but I don`t feel bad about Jose one way or the other.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I wonder if...
KAVINOKY: You know what, I`m sorry, Jane, but for just a moment there, it seemed like Wendy and I were actually agreeing about something. Because yes, it is OK to cry and, of course, lawyers do get emotionally invested in the case and -- and foster close relationships with their client. Especially in a case like this, which requires so much focus, living, breathing, eating, and sleeping that case. But then, of course, Wendy veered left on me there and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t believe all you guys think it`s OK to cry. I thought you would have had the exact opposite reaction. I personally -- if I have an attorney, I want some tough guy. I don`t want somebody who`s a blubbering, crying mess. But, again...
MURPHY: Wait, I cry -- I cry and kick the butt of my opponent. Let`s be clear.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very briefly, Judy, is he a drama queen, Jose Baez? Because here he is saying, "I didn`t cry in this video." Yet he`s going to great lengths to suppress the video. If there`s nothing on it, why bring us all into this conversation?
KURIANSKY: Because it`s all about getting attention. And that`s the goal here in this particular case. And even for his own career. And so he could cry, and he could be tough and he can manipulate, and he can look like he`s supporting his client and he`ll do anything he can...
KURIANSKY: ... to get attention.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just spell my name right? Is that the bottom line here? Because I think this is bad attention. I don`t think this really helps him or Casey.
FRANCO: There`s a common theme throughout this entire discussion, and that`s Jose Baez`s agenda. And what we haven`t talked about is his motion that he`s filing to actually have the prosecution go before -- ask them to stop the hearing for them to ask how he`s getting paid. He does not want this to come out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes.
FRANCO: I mean, we`ve learned that he`s been under scrutiny after sources say that he got paid from ABC $200,000, and now sources are saying that he`s going to get another $750,000 after the trial. I mean, the prosecutor is saying does he have...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to jump in here and say, A, I would love to have Jose Baez on the show, if you`re watching, to explain your side of the story. And I know that he has said he`s even hired a lawyer who specializes in ethics, that he has done absolutely nothing untoward, and he doesn`t have any kind of deal to sell Casey`s rights. So I want to make that clear. That`s his side of the story.
What you`re talking about is scuttlebutt that`s out there, but I have no independent confirmation about that.
Listen, I want to take a look at these sworn affidavits in Jose Baez trial, where Casey slams prosecutors in a hand-written note. And she says, quote, "I believe that Mr. Ashton," the prosecutor, "is angry because I`ve refused to take a plea agreement for a crime that I did not commit," end quote.
Now, Wendy Murphy, this suggests a plea deal was on the table. Casey didn`t take it. The state attorney`s office shot back today, saying they have no record of a formal plea offer in this case. Who is lying?
MURPHY: Well, look, it either was or wasn`t made. Where is Jose on this one? If there was a formal plea offer made, he would know about it.
This is one of the things that bugs me about the criminal justice system. The defendant can lie with impunity even in a court of law, put this affidavit out there. It can be an out-right lie, and nothing will happen to her. She won`t get punished. She won`t go to jail. She won`t be held in contempt. If the prosecutor lies, the case gets dismissed. The prosecutor goes to jail. So I believe the prosecutor.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was there a plea deal, do you think, or not, Darren?
KAVINOKY: Well, not sure. But let`s remember, criminal law -- and one of the hallmarks of criminal law is there`s a certain kind of informality. You know, in civil cases, anytime a phone call happens, there`s a memorializing letter that gets generated.
KAVINOKY: Not so here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I asked a yes or no. I didn`t get it, so I guess it`s an "I don`t know."
I want to thank my panel for their insights. We`re going to have more on this case a bit later in the program.
On to another outrage, as the Octomom drama heats up. Nadya Suleman gives a tour of her new home. TMZ has seen the infamous octobirth video.
And I`m going to deal with that tragic chimp attack. As a Human Society investigation uncovers horrific abuse. We will take you there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a big fan of Angelina?
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: No, I`m not a big fan of anybody. I don`t put people on pedestals. Thank you. I`m not a celebrity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octomom Nadya Suleman claims she is not a celebrity. But she`s sure acting like a star. The exclusive tour of her new home is coming right up. But first, tonight`s "Spotlight."
The victim of a near-fatal chimpanzee mauling, 55-year-old Charla Nash, remains in critical condition, fighting for her life. Her attacker, Travis the chimp, had been kept as a pet by his human companion before he finally lashed out at the best friend.
It took that horrific event to do what animal advocates have wanted for years: usher in legislation that puts an end to the interstate trafficking of primates.
Meantime, a new scandal tonight, this one at one of the biggest laboratories in the entire country, where an undercover investigator from the Humane Society videotaped what critics describe as rampant and violent abuse of primates at that research facility that goes well beyond rough handling.
Joining me with the gruesome details, Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States.
And just a word of caution: some of the video in this segment, probably inappropriate for young children. In fact, it`s so disturbing, we can`t show you the worst of it.
Mark, your undercover investigator came in as an employee wearing a hidden camera. What were some of the worst things that he saw?
MICHAEL MARKARIAN, EVP, HUMAN SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Jane, the investigator from the Humane Society of the United States spent nine months undercover at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, one of the largest primate research labs in the country.
And she witnessed physical abuse of primates, monkeys being hit, struck on their teeth, and sedated while they were on high perches so they fell to the hard concrete.
What was perhaps the worst was seeing animals driven to self- mutilation. The psychological abuse that these animals go through, being in isolation and small cages. Many of them were tearing at their skin and their flesh with their hands. They had gaping wounds in their arms and legs, and it was just terrible to see them literally driven mad.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. And we`re going to be showing you Web sites and e-mails where you -- if you`re upset about this, there`s a place you can write, National Institute of Health. And we`re going to put up those e- mails so you can write to your government, because it`s your tax dollars here, people. Your tax dollars.
Here`s an example of the brutal treatment of the primates in the New Iberia Research Center. And another reminder: this video, very graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When protocol says you can`t use sedation, the monkeys are yanked out of their cage and forced into a restraint chair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. What do you want to happen? I know National Institutes of Health is investigating. What should be done here? Should people be fired? Should there be new procedures put in place?
MARKARIAN: Well, Jane, several federal agencies have an intersection here. The U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces the Animal Welfare Act. We found through our investigation what we believe were 338 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. And agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that they are conducting an immediate and thorough investigation. We`re very pleased. They`re taking this seriously. But the NIH...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
MARKARIAN: ... has a policy that bans the breeding of chimps.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We can`t get into that tonight, but they`re saying they did nothing wrong. You know what? You have eyes. You judge for yourself, America.
Michael, thank you so much.
Another horrible story, a young model murdered in Tennessee. I will have the terrible details, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rifts emerge between Rihanna and Chris Brown. Brown`s people reportedly want a picture of the two together while Rihanna`s people want no part in that publicity stunt. Could Rihanna be having second thoughts about their reunion?
Plus, octo-mom insanity -- Nadya Suleman shows off her new home which she claims she bought. I`ll try to find out where octo-mom got the bucks to pay for it.
We`re back talking about the latest twists in the Caylee Anthony murder case. Today, the attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez a.k.a. Zanny, filed a new motion in the defamation case against Casey Anthony. He wants Lee Anthony, Casey`s brother, to respond to the two questions that he left unanswered in last month`s deposition.
Gonzalez, of course, claiming her life was ruined when Casey tried to tie her name to little Caylee`s disappearance.
Back with me, the one and only Rozzie Franco from WFLA 540 AM, in Orlando. Rozzie, what were the two questions that Lee did not answer?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA 540 AM, ORLANDO, FL: Morgan asked Lee Anthony who was the father of Caylee Anthony and if he believed, in fact, that Casey killed her own daughter. Now, I -- I talked to Thomas Luka, which is Lee Anthony`s attorney, today, and he`s filing a motion to strike tomorrow because he feels that those questions are immaterial to the civil suit filed against Casey.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
And tomorrow, a very, very big day in the Casey Anthony murder case. She is going to be back in court. And we`re going hear a whole slew of motions. So we`re going to be on top of that and bring you the very latest on that tomorrow.
Rozzie thank you so much.
Now, another woman in her early 20s grabbing headlines -- Rihanna. It`s the picture seen around the world, the image posted by TMZ of pop star Rihanna badly beaten, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Chris Brown. But reports that the two have already gotten back together and are even recording some sort of love song have sparked a new scandal.
The uproar has turned Rihanna into the poster child for battered women`s syndrome. And tonight, TMZ says tensions are escalating between those two camps. Rihanna was caught out partying last night at about 4:00 in the morning, a belated celebration of her 21st birthday. Chris Brown nowhere to be seen.
Rihanna`s handlers reportedly think it will be a disaster for her to be photograph with her alleged attacker -- I totally agree with them. But Chris Brown`s people are reportedly desperate for a photo of the two stars together.
As Chris Brown grapples with worldwide condemnation, we learned that he has withdrawn his name from Nickelodeon`s Kid`s Choice Awards. Finally, is he finally showing appropriate shame?
Joining me now, Mike Walters, assignment manager at TMZ. Mike, your cameras captured Rihanna leaving that party alone at 4:00 a.m. What do you know?
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ ASSIGNMENT MANAGER: Right. I don`t know what the PR spin here is, Jane, yet. I mean it`s interesting but yes, we got Rihanna out last night at a place called "Coco de Ville" a hot spot doing a belated birthday party with a few of her friends, some bodyguards, obviously.
But they were drinking grey goose vodka. They`re drinking Jack Daniels, champagne. They`ve got a cupcake tower for the birthday, basically having a good time. She seemed in good spirits, relaxed, you know, that kind of thing. 4:00 a.m., they left the club. We got some video when they left.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where was Chris?
WALTERS: Well, Chris wasn`t there, but that segues into the most interesting part of this whole thing, which you brought up before, is these two actually have been together, we talked about before. But they`ve recorded music, which I was so blown away when I heard that. I was like, "What are you talking about?"
Basically these two have met up late at night at a recording studio last weekend and have recorded a song together about relationships and their ups and downs and basically, you know, the overall feel is true love. And I`m thinking to myself, what is going on here right now? Like these two are actually together in a music studio?
Like you would think at all do they even talk? And what we`re told is they`re actually sitting together, playfully touching each other and having this really heated emotional recording session about relationships, which I just can`t believe it. But that`s what`s going on right now, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the only thing that I`ve heard that makes any sense is that after being nominated for two Nickelodeon Kid`s Choice Awards, a spokesperson for Chris Brown has announced that he will withdraw his name from consideration.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think that certainly is the only sensible thing. But apparently, Mike, aren`t Rihanna`s friends trying to convince her to cut this guy off?
WALTERS: I don`t know. I mean, the word that we`re getting is that these two actually are back together. They`re in love and they`re all trying to figure out how to segue back into public life and into the media without it being bad for either of them, which --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s not going to happen.
WALTERS: Yes, exactly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s going to be bad for both of them. And it`s a crazy, upside-down world that this beautiful, talented, rich and famous young woman feels the need to go back to a guy --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- who allegedly beat her to a pulp.
Mike, thank you so much. It seems like the whole world is up in arms over Rihanna`s forgive and forget attitude toward her alleged batterer, Chris Brown.
Some of America`s most powerful women, including Oprah, have warned her against this. And Oprah is not alone.
Ellen just spoke out telling girls this is the wrong message. And Joy Behar on "Larry King Live" last night spoke to domestic violence survivor, Robin Givens, along with Denise Brown, the sister of murder victim Nicole Brown.
And I am very delighted and honored that Denise Brown is joining me tonight. She is also Chair of the Nicole Brown Foundation, which works to stop domestic violence and joined with her, Gary Johnson, founder of ezmod123.com. His website very generously gives 10 percent of what it makes to the Nicole Brown foundation.
I`m very happy to have both of you.
DENISE BROWN, SISTER OF NICOLE BROWN: It`s good to be here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Denise, a decade and a half ago, you lost somebody you loved to what you called, and I think it`s a brilliant description, the ultimate act of domestic violence, murder. Has society learned anything in those 15 years or are we actually going backwards?
BROWN: Well, right now I think what people need to understand is that there`s a cycle of violence. And I think that that`s not spoken about enough. It`s about power and control of one human being over another.
It`s the verbal, emotional, psychological abuse, the put-downs; it`s the chipping away of one`s self esteem. "You`re stupid, you`re ugly, you`re worthless, and nobody is going to want you." And that escalates into the physical, the kicking, the hitting, the punching, the throwing up against walls.
And then there`s the honeymoon phase. "Oh, baby, I`m so sorry," the gifts, the flowers, the excuses.
Well, it`s that cycle of violence that everybody needs to be educated on. Because statistics show the victims of domestic violence go back to the abusive relationships between seven and 10 times.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Denise, you just rang a lot of bells when you we`re just saying what you said because Chris Brown reportedly bought Rihanna a $50,000 ring and now they`re recording a duet together. Is that -- do you see commonalities between what Rihanna is going through and what your sister tragically went through?
BROWN: Well, you know after reading Nicole`s notes and diaries, the sad thing is that I remember seeing -- Nicole always had these beautiful bouquets of flowers in her house. They were absolutely gorgeous. And then when I learned about the cycle of violence after her death, after reading her diaries.
Because I remember, I was the first one to come out and say, "No, Nicole is not a battered woman," because we were so close. And there was no way that Nicole was not going to talk to me about that. But, yes, it`s the dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about.
And the three things that I`ve learned from victims, hope, shame, and fear. The hope that things are going to get better, the way it used to be at the beginning of their relationship. the shame of not wanting anybody to know, not their best friend, not a family member. And then the fear; the fear of the unknown and what am I going to do?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to Rihanna if she, and perhaps she is, listening right now?
BROWN: I would say to -- not just Rihanna but every other Rihanna and Nicole out there -- any victim of domestic violence, teen violence. If they hit you once, they`re going to hit you again, just like what Oprah said.
I would take it even one step further. If they ever threaten to kill you, eventually one day they will.
Call the 800 hotline number; 1-800-799-safe. Put a safety plan together. There are people out here to help you and don`t be ashamed. Just because there are many, many, many people, victims of domestic violence out there; and we`re here to help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely, and I think the work --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- that you and Gary are doing is absolutely astounding.
GARY JOHNSON, FOUNDER OF EZMOD123.COM: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Denise, last night you were on "Larry King Live" with Robin Givens, the former wife of Mike Tyson.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to what she had to say for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN GIVENS, DOMESTIC ABUSE VICTIM: What`s amazing is that I find that my story is their story; their story is my story down to the details. He dragged me down the hall by my hair. He pulled me out of bed by my panties; he would like to choke me. He would kick -- you kind of go, hey, that`s me, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s kind of --
BROWN: I hear these stories all the time. I go to shelters. Whenever I travel around the country and I speak, I like to visit the shelters because I like to talk. I like to see. I like to hear. I like to inspire and give hope to these women that are in the shelters that, you know what, if -- it can -- you can get out. There is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say one thing. I think something very positive is happening in the midst of this horrible saga with Rihanna. Powerful women such as yourself, such as Oprah, such as Ellen, such as Joy Behar, such as the women on "The View" all speaking out and we are in positions of more power than women were 15 years ago --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and we are coalescing around this issue.
Gary, don`t you think that that could be a turning point, a sort of a new feminism where we come out and say, no more business as usual when it comes to violence against women?
JOHNSON: I agree 100 percent. And part of our Website ezmod123.com is what we`re doing out there is we`re saving people thousands and thousands of dollars. Because that`s where it`s all starting is -- is from their house and on down.
And what we do -- with a fraction of cost to it -- these people are paying $3,000 to $8,000 to modify their homes. They can go to my website, do it themselves. We empower, we educate. And show as to how money you can simply do it yourself.
JOHNSON: I think that`s a start right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gary, I want to thank you. And I know that you give money from your Website to this great cause. Denise, please come back and join us again. We love your insights.
BROWN: Thank you.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.
We`re turning next to octo-mom, Nadya Suleman`s guided tour of her new home. I want to know where she got the money to pay for all of this. Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297, let me know your theories, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo-mom has a new digs and she is showing them off for the cameras, I will have the latest details.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
The search for a beautiful young swimsuit model ends in tragedy. This is another horror story. Sadly, police found this beautiful woman, Lisa Renee Davis`s body in a field in Tennessee yesterday afternoon.
Davis first reported missing by co-workers Sunday. Friends and police went to her home and walked into a frightening scene; pools of blood, no signs of Davis. Authorities quickly had a suspect but as they arrived to question Austin Agee yesterday, he took his own life.
Police say his suicide note led them to Davis` body. Agee`s mother works for a real estate company that was selling Davis`s home; currently the only clue linking these two.
Another hideous story, America; when will the violence stop? How are we going to stop it? We cannot accept this as business as usual any longer.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Devastating news today for octo mom, Nadya Suleman that could rock her world to its core. Social workers have deemed her home unfit for her precious preemies. That`s right, unfit. Today, reports that social workers did a walk-through. They walked through her new four-bedroom home and Suleman was nowhere to be found.
Officials were not happy. They say the house is unsafe and needs a complete overhaul; everything from replacing the stairs to rearranging the bunk beds.
Suleman gave radaronline.com an exclusive tour of her $500,000 digs and hopes to move into it within the week. But when will the babies follow? That`s up to the social workers who are now demanding Suleman show up tomorrow for another inspection.
Of course, I`m going to be taking your calls on this.
But first, let`s introduce my expert panel: Ashleigh Banfield, anchor for the legal network "In Session;" Brooke Anderson, co-host for "Showbiz Tonight;" and Mike Walters, assignment manager at TMZ.
Mike, I want to talk to you about the birth video. Octo mom is rumored to be shopped around, in just a second. But I want to start with Ashleigh. You have some new information about the investigation that might be in the works here. Tell us about it.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": Typically what happens if a complaint is filed, Jane, within 24 hours usually an investigation will begin. We do know that a complaint, at least one from Gloria Allred was filed in the case against Nadya Suleman. We also now, as your reporting says -- we also now know that social workers have taken a look at the home. That`s not surprising.
I can go over the list for you of all the things that CPS wants to know about if they`re doing an investigation. But it`s not short. There are a lot of things on it.
I got to tell you, Brooke Anderson, we`ve just gotten some new information in as we speak being reported by "Extra" that Angels in Waiting is short of cash and doesn`t have the $135,000 a month that it needs to provide the key neonatal care for the preemies when they come home. What do you make of it?
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": It`s very worrisome, Jane. I actually spoke with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred today. She actually brokered that deal between Nadya Suleman and Angels in Waiting.
And, yes, it is very, very pricey -- $135,000 a month. And I asked Gloria, do they have the resources; do they have the finances to do this? And she said, well, they are soliciting donations via Website. If they don`t receive those d donations, they will not be able to follow through with the offer.
I think a lot of people are concerned if they make donations, how will that money be spent? And Allred was clear that the money will go specifically to the babies, to their care, and for them to train everyone who cares for those octuplets and the six other children. They`re included as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely, Brooke.
And this brings us to the money issue. Mike Walters, assignment manager at TMZ, Dr. Phil asked octo mom about whether she was shopping around the video of her giving birth to the eight newborns and she said something to the effect of not certain. Well, what do you know?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Yes, not certain. Well, I can tell you for sure it is being shopped around. It was around the $1 million mark. We have seen the video here at TMZ.
But I think when you`re talking about money with octo mom, you have to always go back to the fact that the media -- certain media outlets are paying her. And we broke the story that she`s getting this house.
Remember, Jane, we talked about this, me and you and I said, "What is the deal?" I said, "Well, hopefully Dr. Phil gets her a house and Oprah buys her a car."
Well, Dr. Phil is facilitating her getting a house. There`s people there today re-doing the floors, you know, doing work on the house that say we`re here -- we`re part of the deal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s fascinating because according to radaronline.com, social workers found, as we just said, many problems with the home. She needs all lighting moved up on to the ceiling, safety guards for the fireplace, the stairs rebuilt, hypo-allergenic air filters installed, the bunk beds moved away from the windows, cordless blinds, blah, blah, blah, blah. What you`re saying, Mike, is that this is being done for her by whom?
WALTERS: Absolutely. There`s actually -- look, Dr. Phil was facilitating at the time with Gloria Allred and right now as we speak, there`s people at the house working on it. One being a flooring company we spoke to that said, yes, this isn`t for Nadya. This is for her kids. We`re donating the new flooring.
But what`s funny is the best part of today, what happened with octo mom is, when she walked in the house, there`s a video posted online where they ask her, how do you feel now and she said, I`m relieved. She goes, I earned this house.
And I thought, "earned"? She did what? What are you talking about? It was blowing me away today.
BANFIELD: You know what, Jane?
WALTERS: It was blowing me away today. I just couldn`t believe that. I was like, okay.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What, Ashleigh?
BANFIELD: Beautiful house. I`m -- you know Mike, I love these pictures. We`re all seeing them and it`s a stunning house. But CPS doesn`t necessarily care how pretty your house is. That one issue is covered under six different principals they`re going be looking at.
Your safety of your environment; clearly they might be working on the safety right now. But there`s a whole lot more that this woman has to provide.
BANFIELD: Number one, her support system, her kids, her family -- can they help her in raising these kids?
WALTERS: You`re correct.
BANFIELD: Number two, they all need safe places to sleep and they all have to have at least a bed that`s safe enough for them. Not necessarily they could share but that they`re safe when they sleep.
Number three, her mental capacity has to be up to snuff. That is an investigation on its own.
BANFIELD: Resources to provide for the basic care of these kids. And proof that there has never, ever been any kind of physical or mental assault on these kids in the past.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So, so much to go through; it`s a roller- coaster ride.
And the phone lines are lighting up. We`re going to go to those phones in just a moment.
Sit tight, guys. I`m going to have more cookie, crazy, ridiculous octo mom details when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s okay. Yes, 14 cookies and 14 glasses of milk to bring up and say, welcome to the neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just going to be a madhouse, that`s all I initially thought. I think that she should have picked a better -- a different neighborhood to move in to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo mom`s new neighbors speaking out about their 15 new neighbors. I don`t think I would want to live that block for some reason.
Phone lines; let`s get to them. Ella in Colorado, question or thought, ma`am.
ELLA FROM COLORADO: I think it is wonderful that Nadya has accepted the help of Angels in Waiting. But I also am concerned about them saying that they`re going to need donations if Nadya is truly shopping everything around and making all these deals. She should be paying for their help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Brooke, what are your thoughts on that?
ANDERSON: Well, that`s a great point. And you know it could be a conflict of interest. But Angels in Waiting and Gloria Allred are very clear that they are separate from anything else Nadya is doing, whether she`s shopping around for a reality show. She`s actually said, she thinks reality shows would exploit the children but that she`s open for a documentary-style reality show.
So it`s a great point. And it does raise, I guess, some moral and ethical questions.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Mike Walters, last we talked to you 30 seconds ago, she was shopping this tape around for something like a million bucks. Has she gotten any takers? Who would want to see this video? I certainly don`t want to see it. You`d have to pay me a million dollars. I`ve said it before and I`ll say it again.
WALTERS: Yes. No, I actually paid $100 so that I didn`t have to see it. But you know what, the keyword here real quick is, shopping. You`re talking about shopping a tape. You know what`s funny is we`re just discussing how she`s going to have to need all this money so that she can fix everything in her house so that the octuplets at least can move in.
Talk about shopping. Nadya was over at Nordstrom`s over the weekend, buying a $228 top, some $200 custom lady`s flats from whatever company.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We get the idea.
WALTERS: And that`s what she -- yes, that`s what she wore on Dr. Phil.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s sad.
WALTERS: If you look at the tape and it`s like -- if they`re going to give her money and they`re going to fix the house, we have to watch, or they do at least, what she`s doing with the money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to watch everything.
I want to get one more call, Mekha, New Mexico.
MEKHA FROM NEW MEXICO: Yes, hi, Jane. Love you. Love your tenacity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
MEKHA: one of the things I`m concerned about is that she, of course - - it`s been said that she looks like Angelina Jolie and apparently she had a great deal of plastic surgery. I would like to know who paid for all of that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Ashleigh, I will give you the last word.
BANFIELD: I think that she might have paid for it but just to talk about the money in general, whatever it`s going to cost for these home renovations and et cetera, it`s going to cost her about $4 million to raise all 14 of these kids until the age of 18.
I think, still, people do need to help in the name these kids. It`s not about Nadya; in the name of the kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ll leave it there. Brooke, Ashleigh, Mike, thanks so much. Come back soon.
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you`re watching "ISSUES" on HLN.