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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Powerful Drug Found in Jackson`s Home
Aired July 1, 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): Controversy and sheer craziness as the world scrambles to pay tribute to Michael Jackson. Horrifying new claims by Michael Jackson`s nutritionist. A nurse who says he desperately pleaded with her for a powerful drug used in surgery to knock patients out. That even as she claims to have warned him it could be fatal.
Plus, a raging controversy over this question: who`s your daddy? Glaring headlines come with stunning claims that Michael`s longtime dermatologist is allegedly the sperm donor for Jackson`s two oldest kids. This reportedly coming from a former Jackson publicist. What`s the dermatologist at the center of this storm saying? We`ll tell you.
Then burning questions are answered as Jackson`s last known will is filed in court today. In it he nominates his mom as the guardian of his children and, shockingly, names Diana Ross as his next choice. What?
So who`s in and who is out? We`ll break down Jackson`s final wishes for you.
An extravagant memorial plans reveal, sources say, the King of Pop will wear one of his trademark costumes and a single white glove. But when it comes to the Jackson family planning all of this, will chaos and confusion reign?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, unbelievable new developments coming in fast and furious in the tragic death of Michael Jackson.
I am holding in my hand the last known will and testament of the King of Pop. We are going to dive deep into the jaw-dropping details contained in this will. Perhaps Michael`s most shocking wish. Jackson named superstar singer Diana Ross as the alternative guardian to his children if anything happened to his mom, Katherine. We have other stunning details for you in just moments.
But first the Jackson family now says there will be no public viewing at Neverland Ranch. Until just a couple of hours ago, fans around the world were booking hotel rooms. The media was converging on the sprawling remote property. As of late this afternoon, forget about it. Never mind.
This reminds me, I have to say, of the Jackson trial, which I attended. When one family spokesperson would say one thing, and then another would come out and say the exact opposite thing. It is classic Jackson family chaos and confusion.
Also tonight, unbelievable new information emerging about Michael Jackson`s alleged drug use. TMZ reporting investigators discovered Diprivan, a powerful hospital drug used to put people under before surgery, at the home where Jackson died. The drug`s potential side effects include cardiac arrest, especially if taken with other narcotics. It is so powerful, two medical professionals are required to administer it in a hospital. Could it be that this drug is responsible for Jackson`s sudden death?
Meantime, the superstar`s former nutritionist, a registered nurse, says Michael Jackson begged her for that very drug or a doctor who would supply it. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHERILYN LEE, NURSE WHO CLAIMS SHE TREATED JACKSON: He asked me, he said to me, "Can you find me a doctor? I don`t care how much money they want. I don`t care what it is they want. I want this drug."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her incredible description of a very desperate- sounding Jackson has the singer`s family questioning her motives for speaking out. But if -- if -- what she says is true, why did Jackson need this powerful medication? And when she didn`t provide it, did Jackson find another yes man to give it to him?
I want to hear from you about all of this, but straight now to my fantastic panel. First, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychologist; Michael Cardoza, former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, who attended the Jackson trial; along with it, Stacey Horowitz, Florida prosecutor; Dr. Kathleen London, a board-certified family practice doctor; and Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.
Mike, dare I ask, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, Jane, I can tell you, we`re getting a view into Michael Jackson`s world. Michael Jackson`s body was riddled with needle marks and injection sites when he died. And like you said, Propoful, this drug, is not supposed to be used anywhere outside of a hospital. They found it in his room after he passed away.
Now, needles, this drug, the track marks. Honestly, Jane, we are getting a clear view here of what might have happened to Michael Jackson, and it`s kind of closing in on us. And I think, you know, this is what no one wanted to hear. But I think some people expected it, and that`s what`s happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, the family obviously upset about this, about what the nurse said. Where are you getting your information? Because one of the things that always happens with Michael Jackson is that there`s a lot of rumor and speculation.
WALTERS: You know, it`s funny you said that. You said it earlier, the fact that the funeral, you know, we reported a lot of stuff about the funeral. And it`s Jackson`s family spokespeople. It`s going like this.
But I can tell you with the criminal stuff, the drug stuff, this is all coming from sources, obviously, that we know are telling us the truth. But, you know, when it comes to the spokesperson stuff, I don`t know. And the funeral could be anywhere at this point. There`s plans to do it in Los Angeles, Neverland. And like you said, I have no idea who`s really speaking for Michael Jackson at this point. But I can tell you for certain that law enforcement is zeroing in on several doctors, needles and drugs and these marks on his body being the key issues they`re looking into.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, apparently, the very famous publicist Ken Sunshine is taking over and speaking for the family. And that sounds like a good idea.
Let`s listen to what Jackson`s nurse and nutritionist, Cherilyn Lee, said about why Jackson wanted, allegedly, these heavy narcotics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: He said, "I want it -- I want it to drop. I want it IV, because I know that the first drop when I look at it, and I see the first drop hit my vein, I`m asleep. And I sleep very well, and I just need to sleep."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Kathleen London, he seemed to be fixated on getting some sleep, which makes sense, since he was getting ready for this huge tour. A lot of pressure on him. It doesn`t seem like he wanted to get high, according to this nurse. Could he have simply been suffering from severe insomnia, or could it be an addict`s rationalization, or could it be a little of both?
DR. KATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE DOCTOR: Probably both. But what -- I mean, it`s criminal that anyone has ever given it to him. The fact that he could ask for Propoful means he`d had it before. And that kind of -- a physician who would do that, that`s not just negligence. That`s actually criminal.
It`s unbelievable to me that this -- that he would even know about it. It`s used as an anesthetic agent, you know, to induce sleep for surgery, not ever to be used outside of an operating room. Ever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does it do to the body? I mean, the heart rate, consciousness, blood pressure?
LONDON: OK. So it puts you to sleep immediately. Why anesthesiologists like it is, as soon as it`s in you, you`re asleep. And it metabolizes quickly. So as soon as you stop administering it, the patient wakes up.
As to what else it does, it makes you stop breathing, especially if there`s any other narcotics on board. And, you know, we heard rumors about Demerol and other painkillers. It also lowers your heart rate and absolutely, especially combined with other medications, can cause cardiac arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... for that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t seem like some sort of pill like a Valium or something. This is serious, serious business.
LONDON: I have gone on tour with musicians. I understand the need for sleep. You know, we have agents that you can use, still under guidance, but safely for that, you know, from the benzo diazepam classes to the sleep aids like Ambien and Ipoclas (ph). Even those need to be used under guidance and shouldn`t be mixed with pain meds and everything else.
LONDON: This is absolutely criminal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oscar-winner, actor, Heath Ledger, as we all know, died from a drug overdose in 2008. Ledger overdosed on a combination of narcotics and sedatives. Some published reports have claimed Ledger mixed this deadly combination because he was overworked and tired and was desperate for a good night`s sleep. It sounds like Michael Jackson may have had the same problem, if what the nurse is saying is accurate.
So Dr. Dale Archer, we know performers are under immense pressure. Michael Jackson was preparing for this massive make-or-break tour. How common is this phenomenon, particularly in Hollywood?
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it`s very common. But we know, also, that Michael had suffered psychiatric problems before. He had depression. He had panic attacks. He had anorexia. He had anxiety. And he was treated for all of these along with the addiction problem, which he went into rehab for back in 1994 when Lisa Marie Presley convinced him that he needed help.
So it`s very common, but sleep is the blood pressure of psychiatry. That`s the No. 1 symptom that, if you don`t get that under control, you`re not going to get the individual well. So the fact that he wasn`t sleeping and he had a history of psychiatric problems leads me to wonder where were the family and the friends and the entourage and the doctors? How could they not know that this man was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you say enabler? Michael Cardoza, we both covered the Michael Jackson trial together. What dovetails, in your mind, with the Jackson trial, the information we got there and what we`re learning now?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The first thing that comes to my mind is how child-like Michael Jackson lived his life. And in this situation, I`m wondering, who was the doctor? Does Michael prescribe to himself? I mean, how many of us don`t sleep at night? Whether we`re in a jury trial or whether we`re awaiting a big television show, we don`t tell our doctor what to prescribe to us.
I am telling you, Jane, that district attorney`s office is looking at second-degree murder against this doctor if it can be proved that it was administered, the Diprivan and it was the proximate cause of his death. It`s an act that`s inherently dangerous, and it was done in willful disregard for human life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know this doctor is.
CARDOZA: True. That`s true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a mystery doctor. I want to make that very clear. But you`re making some excellent points. Michael Cardoza, stay right here, along with everything else. So much to get through.
How about you at home? Do you think the King of Pop was drugged to death: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Tell me what you think.
Plus, chaos and confusion reign over plans for a Jackson memorial. Thousands flocking to Neverland, only to find out there will be no public viewing there. Is this classic Jackson family drama, and what can we expect next? I will have the very latest.
But first, here is Jackson`s former nutritionist, a registered nurse, claiming Michael begged her for the extremely powerful drug that TMZ claims was found at the singer`s home upon his death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: He asked me, he said, "Can you find me a doctor? I don`t care how many money they want. I don`t care what it is they want. I want this drug."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN OXMAN, FORMER JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: I talked to this family about it. I warned them. I said that Michael is overmedicating and that I did not want to see this kind of a case develop, and in particular in the Anna Nicole case. I said if that`s what`s going to happen to Michael, it`s all going to break our hearts. And my worst fears are here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Oxman, former Jackson family attorney, comparing the King of Pop`s problems to Anna Nicole Smith, a celebrity struck down, as we all know, by drug addiction.
While we wait for Jackson`s official toxicology results, there is speculation, and it`s hard not to draw parallels. Smith died of a prescription drug overdose in 2007. After Anna Nicole`s untimely death, there was a fierce court battle over where she would be buried. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, PRESIDED OVER ANNA NICOLE SMITH CASE: I want you to understand that I reviewed absolutely everything. I have suffered with this. I have struggled with this. I have shed tears with your little girl and your -- and your grandchild.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could a similar battle be brewing over the final resting place of Michael Jackson or other issues associated with the case?
Back with me, my expert panel and joining us, the man who presided over Anna Nicole`s case, Judge Larry Seidlin.
Judge Seidlin, thank you so much for joining us. My first question to you, what parallel do you see between Michael Jackson`s death and Anna Nicole Smith`s death?
SEIDLIN: Well, as Yogi Berra said, deja vu all over again. The fact pattern is so similar. I think you`re going to see that Michael Jackson is going to have enough drugs in him to light up the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. And I`ve got a feeling they know those reports already. And they`re not releasing at this moment, because they want him to be placed in the ground in a peaceful setting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stacey Honowitz, you`re a Florida prosecutor. You certainly observed the Anna Nicole Smith case. We do not have the toxicology tests back. And we know that there`s a lot of speculation that always surrounds Jackson. So we have no idea what`s going to come out.
However, if it turns out to be true, if it turns out that this nurse is telling the truth and he was desperate for this powerful hospital knockout drug and that he was drugged, could the doctor or doctors who provided that medication face criminal charges, as Michael Cardoza suggested?
HONOWITZ: Absolutely. I agree 100 percent with what Michael had to say. And I think you really have to think about, they`re asking what this nurse`s motives are. Is it coincidental that she comes out and says that he begged for the drug, and then we`re hearing from sources that they bring the drug out of the house? I don`t think it`s coincidence.
Absolutely, the district attorney`s office, when the toxicology reports come out, and they might even be trying to investigate some things right now. We`ll have an opportunity to investigate. And those doctor, if, in fact, we can find out who they are, could be facing criminal charges.
The most difficult part you`re going to have here is you have the entourage and its enablers, and its handlers around him. And I don`t know who`s really going to give up the goods, who`s going to say which doctor prescribed what. That`s going to be the web that you see right now, trying to get through it to figure out who prescribed all this medication, specifically Diprivan, which should never be taken out of a hospital setting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Walters, we know that he had a $100,000 bill for a local pharmacy that he ended up settling out of court. That`s a lot of prescription drugs.
And as we know in the Anna Nicole Smith case, two of the doctors who cared for her after she died faced charges, in part because they allegedly wrote phony names on the prescriptions. What do you know about allegations of phony names on prescriptions that police sources reportedly tell you were found at Michael Jackson`s home?
WALTERS: Well, first of all, you`re right, Jane. I mean, I`m hearing the same thing, that in Michael Jackson`s case, there were several names used. In some cases the prescriptions being blank, totally blank.
Now, the $100,000, that was within a year and a half period that he had over $100,000 back pay bills that he owed to the pharmacy in Beverly Hills. I mean, it painted the picture here. I`m also hearing that these drugs, whatever they were specifically, could have mixed poorly with this other drug they found.
And remember, we`re talking about it because it was found at the house. It`s not that this is such a powerful drug and the nurse is talking about it and he wanted it. It was there. There were needles. This is a whole thing that`s coming together here. And it`s showing me exactly what this picture is going to look like in the end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just have to say that that`s according to TMZ. CNN cannot independently confirm that. Go ahead.
ARCHER: I think that the point that needs to be made here is...
HONOWITZ: I have to ask, where was the pharmacy on this?
ARCHER: ... is that this is...
HONOWITZ: The pharmacy doesn`t always know. Different prescriptions are coming in. That`s why they need a central kind of database. So they can figure out...
LONDON: If he owed...
HONOWITZ: They come in under different names.
LONDON: If he owed $100,000 from one pharmacy?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Seidlin. I`ve got one of these. I`m going to let you answer and weigh in on here.
SEIDLIN: Well, what we -- what we need to do, is if we`re going to be serious, we need to have a national registry.
SEIDLIN: All pharmacies should be reporting what drugs to what people they`re giving it to.
ARCHER: That`s already in -- that`s being done.
SEIDLIN: We`re not foolish. It will work.
ARCHER: Jane, it`s being done right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s not use particular -- let`s not use particular names of any pharmacy.
ARCHER: Yes, but I will tell you that...
LONDON: If a pharmacy can -- if a pharmacy can know when my patient moves.
ARCHER: No, they`re starting to link up now. Over 50 percent of my practice is spent treating narcotic drug addiction. And believe me, that is one of the big pushes that we`re having right now.
And this is not only a problem for the superstars. This is -- the greatest mental health problem in America today is prescription narcotic painkiller abuse.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely.
Michael Cardoza, you wanted to weigh in.
HONOWITZ: ... clinic and they become pill pushers. That`s what happens. And in this case, it`s -- because you have a celebrity who, you know, doctors, I think, want to be around him. People want to be around celebrities, and so they`re probably at the behest.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They are people like everybody else.
HONOWITZ: So they do it.
ARCHER: Yes, but they`re doing it for the rank and file, too, for the money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza.
CARDOZA: Yes. What I was going to say, and I`m echoing in a certain level what Stacey was saying. And that`s there are a lot of enablers out there. A lot of people are little bits and pieces responsible for Michael`s death.
People want to be around stars. They want to be around the money. You and I heard that in the trial down in Santa Barbara, Jane...
CARDOZA: ... when we were there. People want to be with them. People want to get at his money, and they enable him. He`ll turn to one person. If he doesn`t get the right answer, he`ll shut them out and say, "I don`t want to talk to you for a while." He would go to someone else. People want strong enough to stand up to him for their own self-interest. They are responsible, too, for his death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fabulous panel. Excellent discussion.
Michael Jackson`s family released a statement canceling a planned public viewing of the body at Neverland. I will speak with...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An unexpected announcement today. The Jackson family says there will be no public memorial or viewing for the King of Pop at Neverland Ranch. As fans cancel their plane tickets and hotel reservations in the area, we`re left wondering how will Michael Jackson be memorialized?
Well, TMZ reporting today a heavy duty narcotic was found in the home where Jackson died. That while a nurse practitioner claims the singer begged her for that very drug. The nurse said she worked for Jackson and that she warned him the drug he was pleading for, which she would not provide him, could kill him. Did Michael Jackson find somebody else who would get him the drug? And did they kill him?
Straight to Dr. Firpo Carr, Jackson family friend and former Jackson family spokesperson.
Dr. Carr, first of all, thank you for joining us. I know this has got to be difficult for you. I know you cared for Michael very deeply.
DR. FIRPO CARR, JACKSON FAMILY FRIEND: I did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your reaction to this woman who claims that Michael begged her for a powerful anesthesia that is supposed to be used only in hospitals to knock people out for surgery?
FIRPO: Well, let me tell you something. This woman has been described as the female version of Walter Mitty. That is to say that she has -- she lives in a fantasy world, and she`s looking for her 15 minutes of fame. I get that from a very, very credible source.
And of course -- in fact, let me just read a list of things that she says she is. A physician`s assistant, registered nurse, Ph.D., nutritionist, licensed -- whether she`s an RN or not, we can find out whether her license has been updated, if she does have a license. And she has also described herself, according to this source-- these are all the sources that I know -- a holistic doctor.
Now, when you think about these things, and you think about the fact that Michael Jackson, according to her, begged her for something. Anyone who knows Michael knows that he doesn`t beg for anything. If he wants something and you have it, and you don`t give it to him, no problem. He goes to -- he goes to someone else. And I believe some of your previous guests spoke to that matter.
So my -- my point that I want to make to the entire world, anyone listening, Michael Jackson is not one to beg for anything. And once again I would seriously question her credentials and would love to face her on national television.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what? I invite both of you back on. And if she wants to come on and you want to come back on, I would love to do that.
CARR: That would be good.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re in a search for the truth here. We`re not trying to beat anybody up. We`re trying to understand something. And obviously, it`s a problem that could serve as a cautionary tale for a lot of people. But we want to get the facts right. So that`s why we have you on.
Now, you`ve been quoted as saying that you sensed something was wrong, and you weren`t surprised by the news. So what did you mean by that, doctor?
CARR: Well, because Michael and I had talked. He made a request in private away from his family, and he also mentioned some other things to me. Throughout the course of our private conversation -- and let me just mention right up front here that, in the room where Michael`s mother, his sister, Ruby, and Grace, as well as his children.
Now, this was an extenuating circumstance. That`s usually not the case. But all of us who happened to be there together for this critical situation.
Michael asked me to come to the next -- come into the next room, adjacent room. And of course, he asked his family to stay where they are and Grace to stay where she is. And he and I went in there and talked and had a private conversation.
Part of that conversation, and I`ve stated this before, and I`ll go on record as stating it again, was that he wanted his children to be raised in the same religion that he was raised in, although he`s not officially a part of that religion now. Namely, the religion of Jehovah`s Witnesses. But I`ll tell you more about it on the other side. OK?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Hang on. We`re going to be right back, because we want to get to the bottom of this -- shocking and controversial claims. What`s true? What`s fiction?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Burning questions are answered as Jackson`s last known will is filed in court today. In it he nominates his mom as guardian of his kids. And shockingly names Diana Ross as his next choice. What? Who is in and who is out? We`ll break down Jackson`s final wishes for you.
And extravagant memorial plans revealed. Sources say the "King of Pop" will wear one of his trademark costumes and a single white glove. But with the Jackson family planning all this, does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?
Michael Jackson`s shocking final wishes revealed tonight in his last known will written seven years ago. And I`ve got it hear, I`m going to show it to you in a second -- I got it here somewhere. Burning questions now being answered over who the "King of Pop" left in charge, who he left out and who he specifically cut out.
Michael nominated his mom, Katherine, as guardian of his three kids but he made absolutely no mention of his father Joe; Joe who admits to having whipped his children. In fact check this out -- the "King of Pop" selected his close friend and mentor superstar Diana Ross as Plan B, if Katherine is quote, "unable and unwilling to care for the kids."
Diana Ross? The "Queen of Pop" not without her own issues. Remember this footage from a police car dashboard camera as Ross is pulled over and arrested for DUI in December of 2002.
So, what about Debbie Rowe who`s on record as the biological mom of the two oldest kids? The only mention of Debbie in Jackson`s will is this, quote, "I have intentionally omitted to provide for my wife Deborah Jeanne Rowe Jackson" end quote.
Wow, nothing like being direct.
So much to discuss, straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney; Judy Kuriansky -- Dr. Judy, clinical psychologist; and A.J. Hammer host of HLN "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT;" and Natalie Thomas, deputy news director of "Us Weekly."
But first I want to finish with Dr. Firpo Carr, a former Jackson spokesperson and Jackson family friend. Dr. Carr, you were trying to make a point sir? And what was the point you were trying to make? Because my question to you was you had said that you thought that something was amiss in the Jackson household and that you weren`t surprised -- that`s how you were quoted -- to hear that he had passed away. Why were you not surprised?
DR. FIRPO CARR, FORMER JACKSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Because Jackson, Michael Jackson in private conversation told me that in so many words, not explicitly but implicitly, like he may not be around forever. He did not plan to grow old in the system. I shouldn`t say plan. I should say that, he didn`t think he would grow old. And as we`ve put it or as those who are -- who are in his religion puts it, Jehovah`s Witness which once was his religion, he said that he didn`t plan to live until the end of this old system of things. That`s what he said in so many words and witnessed by...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How long ago was this?
CARR: This was during trial actually.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, well...
CARR: And in fact -- in fact -- I`m sorry, go ahead.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But when was the last time you saw him?
CARR: I have been -- oh I`ve seen him recently but I`ve been asked not to give specifics.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But how did he look? Ok.
CARR: Very frail. Very frail, oh no doubt about it; there`s no argument there. In fact let me just tell you a little more about this nurse. She is...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`ve essentially said that you feel the nurse is not credible and I understand that.
CARR: Ok. All right, that`s good enough.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me just ask you the last final question and I would love you to come back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please come back. We want to have your input on this.
All this talk of needle marks, that`s from the former Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman that we have claims from various sources...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...that they`ve got prescriptions with all sorts of different names on them. You say you saw Michael Jackson, did he look drugged out?
CARR: Drugged out, I wouldn`t say that. I would just say he looked very frail. And as far as Brian Oxman is concerned, I`m not about to contradict him. Because he, too, is a very close family friend and what he says is pretty credible and in fact very creditable. He`s advised me on certain things in the past relative to the Jackson case.
But I will say this that I`m not saying that Michael Jackson perhaps didn`t over medicate. I`m not saying that at all. I`m just saying that begging for drugs to a nurse that he got from south central L.A., where I`m from as well, in his effort to try to help him -- help individuals he remembered his roots.
I`m just saying that that is very questionable as far as begging is concerned.
CARR: But insofar as his condition is concerned, from what I`ve seen and from talking to him, he was very lucid. He knew what was going on.
CARR: Did he have a drug problem? Probably.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, doctor and I appreciate your time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back soon.
CARR: I will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, turning to the will issue, A.J. Hammer, set the record straight for us with this will. Because I read it, I`ve heard everybody reporting, oh the children are beneficiaries. But I didn`t see that in the will itself.
A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Not directly in the will, not in the direct language. This was actually Jane -- and I`m sure you had the same surprise that I did when I saw it -- a pretty simple straightforward document.
HAMMER: I`ve seen wills of people who had very little means and just have some basic possessions to their name and they were about as long as this will was. He did what I -- I`d suspect was a very smart and well thought out thing in naming the trust as ultimately where the assets will be allocated to, which is essentially what this will says.
That way, essentially, unless it gets leaked-out in the case of Michael Jackson well, there`s a pretty good chance that it will. But essentially that can keep things private. It`s not as if he had to go through and line by line, itemize every single item, I want this -- particular animal to go to this particular child. It`s not like that at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, but it`s a trust. And we all know that in a trust, you have to figure out who the beneficiaries are. And what was really fascinating to me, Bradford Cohen, is that looking at this document -- I finally found it in my papers here -- you don`t see the beneficiaries. Everybody is saying -- oh the kids are the beneficiaries. How do we know?
BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, you don`t know. Everyone is speculating, really. There`s this obviously -- there`s a separate trust document. And like A.J. said, it was very smart on behalf of people that have a lot of money in it.
It`s not just smart because they want to keep it private, it`s also smart because there`s so many assets, there`s so many things that he could list in there. The document would be huge. So what he did was and what he was advised to do was take all the assets and put it into a trust and have a trustee in charge of that trust and with directives.
So that trustee, most likely his mother, I think they named that his mother was the trustee, would then fill-out those directives in terms of providing for the children, in terms of providing for whatever charities he had.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me tell you something. His mother isn`t the trustee named in here. She`s named as the guardian. And that`s a different thing, a guardian of the kids. So I think...
BRADFORD: Yes, well I knew that she was listed as the guardian of the kids but I also thought she was the trustee of the trust that Michael Jackson...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it doesn`t say it here in the will. That`s all I`m saying.
BRADFORD: Got it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me ask you this question, A.J., there was this big battle today. There`s three co-executors of the will. Two of them went into court and said we should be in charge of the estate at this point. What happened there?
HAMMER: You know what Jane, at this point, you probably have more information about those specifics than I do. I`m sort of running around and trying to keep track...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure we all are -- I am trying to get it.
HAMMER: ...of everything as it comes in.
But we do know that Michael Jackson wasn`t necessarily as in close contact lately as he was with all three of these individuals who were named in that document.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I know they`re going to have a hearing on Monday and I think it`s fascinating that two of these guys went to court and said, "We should be in charge of the estate, not Katherine Jackson."
Katherine Jackson was reportedly afraid of the estate being looted. That`s why she wanted to be named temporary administrator. I think we`re going to see some fireworks Monday. And I don`t think it`s also quite cut and dried; that oh yes, the kids are the beneficiaries and everything is hunky-dory. I think we`re going to see some curves and surprises.
Michael Jackson`s naming of Diana Ross as guardian of his three kids in the event that his mother was unable to do the job some thought was pretty shocking, especially in light of some of the controversy that`s swirled around Diana Ross.
I mean, take a look at this footage, shot by a police car dashboard camera during a 2002 traffic stop; Diana Ross pulled over and arrested for DUI. She was convicted and sentenced to two days in jail and then one year of unsupervised probation. She`s also an amazing singer, a superstar, somebody who is obviously incredibly talented and charismatic.
But Dr. Judy, the question is why Diana Ross over another family member?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I`m not at all surprised, Jane, that Diana Ross was named because there were rumors swirling for quite a long time that Michael Jackson through all his plastic surgeries wanted to look like Diana Ross.
And so it`s obvious that she was an extremely important person in his life. And that`s what wills do. Who I am surprised was left out, though she is elderly, but so is his mom, is Elizabeth Taylor. You even have showed a picture of him with Elizabeth Taylor. And we know how important Elizabeth Taylor was to him in his life and yet she doesn`t appear at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Natalie Thomas, you`re the deputy news director for "Us Weekly." Now, we`ve been showing this headline, this is the "New York Post," let`s see, "Who`s your Daddy?"
Ok, there`s controversy over the parentage of these children, the three children of Michael Jackson left. Tell us about it.
NATALIE THOMAS, DEPUTY NEWS DIRECTOR, "US WEEKLY": Absolutely Jane, multiple sources are telling us that the biological father of Michael`s oldest two children, Prince Michael I and Paris is actually not Michael as he claimed it was but it is his longtime dermatologist, Arnold Klein who coincidentally is also Debbie Rowe`s former boss.
So lots of shocking outrage there -- a lot of people speculated for years that he maybe wasn`t the father. But to have this come out and named out there is pretty shocking.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, first of all, he has declined to comment on this and saying he`s grieving for Jackson`s loss.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why now? Why now, I mean, why, why -- wouldn`t this have come out a long time ago?
THOMAS: I think the interest has obviously peaked now. Obviously everyone is coming out of the woodwork; we`re seeing people fight left and right having contradictory comments. And everyone wants their piece of the spotlight. He wasn`t really so much on the radar, sad to say, in the past few years after the scandal died down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But A.J. Hammer, does anybody really know for sure and should a DNA test be done to...
HAMMER: No, why? To what end, Jane? What end other than potentially hurting the kids? And if the kids aren`t being so isolated that they`re not watching all the reports, they`re already aware that all of this is playing out.
This is something that was rumored for a very long time. There is no reason -- first of all, the way Michael Jackson handled his affairs, if nothing he was very, very smart. And we see it as evidenced in his will and the allocation of the trust, how everything, every t was crossed, every i was dotted.
So there will be no official confirmation on the legal standpoint, I don`t think, about these allegations or reports that this guy is actually the biological father. And in the end it doesn`t matter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
KURIANSKY: There`s always an interest in who is the daddy. And the kids will be asking that question themselves for a long time. So we do need to know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we`ve got to leave it right there. I want to thank my fantastic panel. And you`ve got to all come back soon.
More Jackson controversy, we`re talking about the public viewing. It`s now not going to be at Neverland according to the latest report. What do we know? We`ve got the very latest breaking news from Neverland in just moments. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: With a plan of a public viewing at Neverland ranch now nixed by the Jackson family, when and where will the "King of Pop" be laid to rest? We will have answers in just moments.
But first, tonight`s "Top of the Block."
And it`s all about Michael Jackson, who will likely top the pop charts this week with his record sales skyrocketing in the wake of his death; final numbers not due until tomorrow. But three of the singer`s albums have sold more than 100,000 copies in the past week.
"Thriller," his album of number ones and the essential Michael Jackson expected to fill the top three spots with Jackson`s other records on pace to fill out all ten of billboard`s top ten pop albums. I myself want to download it all but I haven`t had time because I`m covering this entire story top to bottom.
But when I get a second, you know I`m going to download all of these on my iTunes.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Chaos and a bit of craziness -- maybe more than a bit of craziness -- take hold as the world descends on Neverland ranch, Michael Jackson`s beloved former home. A flurry of sometimes conflicting reports suggested an extravagant public memorial was planned there for Friday.
The "New York Post" even reported that the "King of Pop" would wear one of his trademark costumes and a single white glove, that he would be ferried through the Neverland ground in a horse drawn carriage and publicly lie in state in a gold-colored coffin.
Well, get this, gang, it isn`t happening. The Jackson family announces there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland. I for one I`m not surprised. This is par for the course with this family.
Remember the Jackson trial? Somebody would come out and say one thing. And then fifteen minutes, somebody else would come out and contradict that person.
What the heck has happened in this case? Did the holding company that has a stake in Neverland big foot the viewing plans? E News is reporting Jackson`s body will be buried at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles. But guess what? Forest Lawn is saying, "We don`t know anything about that."
So it`s just unbelievable. Would the body make the trek to Neverland and back? Was that considered just not practical?
Joining me; Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition" and attorney, and Kara Finnstrom, CNN correspondent who is at Neverland ranch right now, as we speak.
Kara, you`ve been out there all day. I`ve been seeing you navigate those satellite trucks. What the heck is going on out there?
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know it really has been a crazy couple of days. It was just about 24 hours ago Jane, that a law enforcement source told us everything was in the works. Plans had been drawn up for this 30 plus motorcade to bring Jackson`s body from the Los Angeles area up here to Neverland ranch. And then we heard nothing as far as official confirmation from the family or specific details.
But we started hearing with local and state officials speaking up about all the problems they would have logistically with making this happen. And then local -- locals here started talking about how they didn`t want this invasion of their privacy. They didn`t want this to become a tourist attraction.
And so as you mentioned a little earlier today, a new spokesperson for the Jackson family coming out and saying, no, none of this is going to happen this weekend.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Jim Moret, you covered the Jackson trial. We stood next to each other. This is just par for the course.
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": I thought the entire idea of going in Neverland was insanity. Jane, you and I have been on that road; it`s a narrow two-lane road for about the last 10 miles. It`s windy, nothing was taken into consideration for traffic, for parking, how do you shuttle people in and out, how do you deal with security, how do you deal with heat, how do you deal with medical.
It would have been a logistical nightmare. Not to mention the fact that it`s also a holiday weekend and people would be traveling, you`d have to shut-down areas of the highway. The whole thing made no sense. But I really suspect what you have here, because I think there were members of the Jackson family who really wanted this to happen.
But now that you`ve got executors, you`ve got a will, you`ve also got a financial consideration and not just what the family wants. But who`s going to pay for everything? Because there`s now an estate, you`ve got to pay for all of these things. You couldn`t expect the State of California which has money troubles of it`s own to just pony up the money for all of those security and the transportation itself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and apparently some of the taxpayers that were surveyed were like we don`t want taxpayer dollars going to this. But I`m sure that plenty of others would love to see a tribute.
Now, let me ask you this, Kara, there is a holding company, Colony Capital LLC, that is in charge of Neverland, even though Michael Jackson had still some stake. They issued a warning to Santa Barbara residents, watch out for the impending madness and essentially said, "hey, people are going to come here whether we like it or not." That sounds very negative.
Could they have put the kibosh on this? Of thinking wow, the liability, the potential for lawsuits if somebody gets hurt during all of this?
FINNSTROM: You know it`s not clear the role they play, we did contact them very early on. And essentially what they told us, was hey, at this point it`s premature to talk about any plans for Neverland ranch. We`re going to value or respect the wishes rather of the family and their privacy. We`re not going to talk about it right now.
But they`re the ones that have been out here manicuring and maintaining this property. There has been some talk here amongst locals that perhaps they would have benefited from people coming in.
So exactly the opposite of what you`re -- what you`re suggesting there may have been the case. We just don`t really know but that`s -- that`s all the talk around town is what role did they play. Did they try to encourage...
FINNSTROM: You know this high profile attention-grabber here at Neverland or were they discouraging it? We just don`t know.
VELEZ-MITHCELL: Its looks like a mad sea there. A couple of seconds, Jim Moret; Staples Center, L.A. Coliseum, all of these venues now being mentioned as possible sites for some kind of a memorial.
MORET: Yes, but there`s no surprise in what I`m about to tell you. If you talk to folks at the coliseum, I just read one report someone with the coliseum says no one has contacted them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and I`m sure Staples Center is booked.
All right. Everyone stay right there; the "King of Pop" dead at 50 back with some more information on this breaking story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. ERIK RANEY, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: At this point the Sheriff`s Department has not been approached by anybody from the Jackson family or any representatives. There are no plans in place for any memorial service in Santa Barbara County at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the Santa Barbara Sheriff`s Department earlier today just hours before the Jackson family statement nixing a public viewing of the "King of Pop`s" remains at Neverland. The family says there will be a public memorial; the question, when and where.
Phone lines lighting up -- a very, very patient Terry from Nevada. What is your question or thought?
TERRY FROM NEVADA: My question is, if Michael Jackson had all these doctors and nurses around him and they thought he had cardiac problems, why didn`t they have a defibrillator in the home so they could shock him if they thought he was going to go in the cardiac arrest? They have them at malls, they have it in Disneyland. They have them everywhere now, why wasn`t there one in the home?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Jim Moret, I do understand that authorities have removed medical equipment from the home, correct?
MORET: Well and the caller makes a really good point. And we don`t know that there wasn`t a defibrillator. I`ll tell you one thing that`s really strange when you talk about something not being at the home and that as we heard the doctors say that he didn`t call 911 for half an hour because there wasn`t a land line in the room.
How about a phone, if there`s no phone, it doesn`t surprise me there is no defibrillator necessarily handy but you know, I think there`s so many question and the caller is absolutely right. If people knew he had a heart problem, why wasn`t this available but the bigger question is why was he given so many drugs if in fact that`s what killed him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did people exploit him?
So Kara, I understand that there could be an attempt to have some sort of money-making operation at a ranch near Neverland charging $40 a pop for some sort of impromptu or unofficial memorial?
FINNSTROM: Yes. They were tying that to the tributes that were supposed to take place here this weekend. And they were passing out flyers to the media and to the fans that had started to gather here.
So I don`t know what exactly will become of that. But yes, they were trying to organize something.
And for that matter, businesses in town, restaurants, hotels, were starting to kind of gear things up hoping to make an extra dollar out of all of these crowds.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well Jim Moret, where could the funeral occur? Forest Lawn, which was named, says they don`t know anything about Michael Jackson coming there.
MORET: Right. And so far we don`t know anything. I suspect we`re not going to find out anything until next week. This has taken on such a bizarre turn, this case. I mean, you would think that this was a state funeral, which it is not. But it`s sort of feels like a celebrity version of Princess Di`s death, doesn`t it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sure does. And I was in London covering that and I have to say there are a lot of parallels.
Thank you fabulous panel, you`re watching ISSUES.