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Judge Grants Control of Jackson`s Will to Executors; No Statement from Jackson Doctor on Surgical Drug

Aired July 6, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, a courtroom shocker over Michael Jackson`s will. Jackson`s mother loses control of his assets as the judge hands it over to John Branca and John McClain, the executors of his will.

And ominous developments in the death probe. Jackson`s doctor insists he did not give Jackson OxyContin or Demerol, but TMZ says his lawyer refuses to comment on whether he gave the star a powerful surgical knockout drug which cops reportedly found at the home.

Then, a full preview of tomorrow`s historic memorial service. Fewer than 20,000 lucky fans will attend as authorities scramble to squash ticket scalpers and keep millions of lookie-loos away. From Stevie Wonder to Mariah Carey to Justin Timberlake, we`ll tell you which stars could come out.

And, with thousands flocking to L.A. to celebrate the legend`s life, New York Congressman Peter King says enough already, sparking another uproar.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: This guy was a pervert. He was a child molester. He was a pedophile.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll debate his controversial remarks.

Plus, Rowe versus the `razzi. Debbie Rowe flips out on a photographer.

DEBBIE ROWE, MOTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON`S TWO OLDEST KIDS: Are you ready to get your butt kicked?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll show you the outrageous video and analyze, is the fierce custody battle wearing her down?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking news on all fronts tonight on the tragic death of Michael Jackson. As furious preparations for tomorrow`s historic memorial reach a fever pitch, a slew of stunning new developments, from drugs to court documents.

A major blow to Michael`s mom, Katherine, as a judge decisively strips the family matriarch of her power over Jackson`s estate, for now at least. Hours ago, both sides spoke out.


HOWARD WEITZMAN, ATTORNEY FOR WILL EXECUTORS: It was clear from Michael`s will that he wanted Mr. Branca and Mr. McClain to be the executors. The judge took the first step by appointing them special administrators. It`s our obligation, our duty, our responsibility, and our desire to do everything we can to carry out Michael Jackson`s wishes.

BURT LEVITCH, ATTORNEY FOR KATHERINE JACKSON: We are relatively pleased with Judge Beckloff`s ruling this morning. He`s taken the unusual step of requiring that Mrs. Jackson be kept informed of the administration of the estate in its preliminary stage.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That same attorney, however, for Katherine says irreparable damage could be done if executor John Branca is left in charge permanently.

All that as Jackson family members think there could be a more recent will that hasn`t been discovered. Could that claim be a ploy to prolong this legal battle?

Plus, on the heels of three separate warrants issued in the Jackson death investigation, a brand-new shocker. Sources tell the "L.A. Times" that at least five doctors who gave Jackson prescription meds are now under investigation. That`s right, five doctors.

Plus, a man who says he was Michael Jackson`s personal chef claims to that he saw Jackson`s doctor hauling medical equipment used for surgery. Listen to this.


DOUGLAS B. JONES, CLAIMS HE WAS MICHAEL JACKSON`S CHEF: Dr. Murray was on the property five nights -- at least five nights a week. And my understanding was that he was -- he was there all night to monitor Mr. Jackson.

There was a couple of occasions during my time of employment that I noticed Dr. Murray exiting the kitchen area through the side door to the driveway area, carrying a couple of oxygen tanks. And the security mobile unit that was located in the driveway in the back of the house area, that there was a few oxygen tanks there, as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does it mean? Well, medical experts say oxygen is used to help administer the powerful surgical knockout drug Propofol, which was reportedly found in Jackson`s home.

As for whether Propofol was provided by Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who tried to resuscitate Jackson, TMZ says his lawyer told them that Dr. Murray did not give Jackson Demerol or OxyContin, but would issue no statement about the surgical drug Propofol.

Meantime, Debbie Rowe caught on camera, hurling F-bombs at the paparazzi, who swarmed her over the weekend. Just wait until you hear exactly what she said when she flipped out on a photographer.

Finally, rampant speculation about burial plans for Michael Jackson, including talk of cremation.

So much to talk about. And I want to hear what you think about all this at home. First, straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Stacey Brown, author of "Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask"; Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition" and attorney as well; Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Dr. Kathleen London, board-certified family practice physician; and Bryan Monroe, CNN contributor and also the very last journalist to interview Michael Jackson.

Bryan, let`s start with this stunning ruling by the judge, essentially stripping Katherine of control of her son`s will. Why do you think she`s so afraid of letting these executors get what somebody called the keys to the kingdom?

BRYAN MONROE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there`s a lot at stake here. You`ve got an estate that is easily worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Michael`s interests alone in the Sony ATV catalog, which they`re saying is $1 billion, $1.5 billion there.

Plus you`ve got -- there`s been a lot of revenue generated in just this last -- this past week with the sales of music, CDs, downloads from iTunes and Amazon. There is real revenue happening in the last few days.

And if you look at what`s going to be happening with the -- the footage they have from the rehearsals, AEG, the folks who were putting -- who were putting on the show, can turn that into DVDs that could be out in the stores. And there`s another revenue stream there. So there`s a lot of money at stake.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s what I don`t understand. If these executors were the ones that Michael Jackson thought were the best businessmen to do all those deals, why is the Jackson family, which would benefit from those deals, fighting them?

MONROE: You know what...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s take a look here. In the 2002 will, Michael Jackson left his entire estate, in other words, his assets and liabilities, to the Michael Jackson family`s trust. Sources tell the A.P. that it breaks down this way. Mom, Katherine, 40 percent. His three kids get 40 percent, split amongst themselves. OK, the remaining 20 percent goes to children`s charities.

So, that`s my question. Mark Eiglarsh, if in fact, John Blanca, who made the best deal ever, because John Blanca was the one who got him to buy the Sony ATV music catalogue with the Beatles, his best asset, why would the family fight them? And what do these executors get out of it? Are they going to get rich by being the executors of this estate?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I won`t say rich. They`re definitely going to get money. And that`s the same answer to your other question. Why are the Jackson family trying to get control over this whole thing? It`s all about money. There`s the short answer. There`s nothing more to it. It`s all about money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t understand this, Jim Moret. John Branca, who`s very well respected, considered a really brilliant businessman, along with these others, they all have experience with the music industry. If they`re making all these deals, and Katherine Jackson and the kids are benefiting, I still don`t understand why Katherine Jackson is so intent on robbing them of the control so that she can make the decisions when she doesn`t have the technical expertise that they do.

JIM MORET, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, in court -- first of all, when you realize how many lawyers there were, you see how much money is involved. There were so many lawyers in court today. It was truly astounding.

But I think that what we heard from Katherine Jackson`s lawyer in court -- and I was there -- was that they`re concerned about conflict of interest. So they don`t want these executors to make deals that would purportedly make money for Michael Jackson, but they`re also double dealing. That`s -- that`s what the -- that`s what the concern is.

But Jane, you`re right. Michael Jackson made it very clear in his will who he wanted to be the executor. In this case, two individuals. And they are both smart businessmen. And they`re smart in this particular area. Katherine Jackson would have to seek out expertise, because, frankly, none of us could unravel this very intricate web of businesses that Michael Jackson had interest in.

So, I think it`s really they`re worried about potential conflict of interest and self dealing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Brown, you wrote this book on Michael Jackson. We know that there is a potential for a lot of money out of this AEG footage. We saw a little clip of it. Michael Jackson, one of his final rehearsals. That was just to whet our taste buds. Now we`re all clamoring for more.

So how do the Jacksons make sure that they get some of that money, or could this all be owned by AEG?

STACEY BROWN, AUTHOR, "MICHAEL JACKSON: THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK": Well, it goes back to your original question with Katherine going against John Blanca here.

One other thing I wanted to jump in and add was that one of the things that she mentioned was the fact that Branca hadn`t been involved in any of Michael`s affairs for about seven years. In fact, they had severed ties not long after that will was done.

And three weeks or four weeks ago now, he comes back into the picture. Ironically, several other people who hadn`t been in the picture, like John McClain, like Frank DiLeo, just recently came back in.

So I think the concern there, Jane, is what are their motives? I think Katherine has a legitimate concern to ask what are the motives for these people who now, all of a sudden, coming back?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bryan Monroe, is there another will?

MONROE: Well, you know, there was talk that there was another will. But whether it was in 1997, which, of course, would have been before this 2002 will -- but you`ve got to look at Blanca and McClain. They`re not some Johnny-come-latelys here. McClain knew -- has known Michael since he was 10.

And Branca -- and Michael was the best man at Branca`s wedding in 1997. So there is a long history there.

I think at the end of the day, they`re going to be OK. The judge said that they want -- he wants to have strict communication between the parties. And they go back into court on August 3 to make sure that every step along the way, every deal that`s been done is in both Michael`s estate`s interest, the family`s interest and everyone`s interest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone, sit tight. Fabulous panel. So much more to get to.

And be sure to watch HLN`s live coverage of Michael Jackson`s memorial service tomorrow. I will be joining Robin Meade and "Showbiz Tonight`s" A.J. Hammer. The special live coverage starts tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

And then, tune in to ISSUES tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Eastern for all the latest on Michael Jackson`s death, from the memorial service to the looming legal battles, the investigation. We will have it all for you.

What`s your take on all this fighting over Jackson`s will? And what about the new information about the doctors? Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Weigh in.

Then a New York congressman says we should stop celebrating Michael Jackson`s legacy. And oh, by the way, he called the King of Pop a pedophile and a pervert. We will analyze the uproar over this man`s comment.

And Debbie Rowe goes off, and I mean off, on the paparazzi. Is the vicious custody battle taking a toll on this woman? You decide.


ROWE: Do not touch me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did. Don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.




KING: ... Michael Jackson. And let`s knock out the psychobabble. This guy is a pervert. He`s a child molester. He`s a pedophile.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, one angry politician who`s not mincing words, but is now, the eve of Jackson`s memorial service, an appropriate time to be dropping bombs like that? We will have more on this conservative Republican congressman, Peter King`s, controversial statement in just moments.

But straight out to the phone lines. They are all lit up.

We`re going to start with Darlene in Alabama. Your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, if Katherine gets custody of the kids and she passes away, what happens then? Is it up to her to who they leave the kids -- to leave the kids to take custody of?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark, you want to take a shot of that?

EIGLARSH: It`s in -- what`s in the best interest of the children. And Michael has already said the backup person is a former lead singer of the Supremes, Diana Ross, who`s in her 60s. So there`s an issue there. But the court will obviously consider what Michael has to say but ultimately make a decision as to what`s in the best interests of the children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s not leave the nanny out of this equation. She`s obviously the surrogate mom, and everybody says she`s been doing a great job. At least, that`s what I hear.

A man claiming to be Michael Jackson`s personal chef spoke to Radar Online. He says he saw Jackson`s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, carrying around oxygen tanks. Listen to how specific he was.


JONES: The security mobile unit that was located in the driveway in the back of the house area, that there was a few oxygen tanks there, as well. Oxygen tanks were waist high, from my height. The upper top portion of the tanks were green. The latter part of the tanks were silver. Heavy- duty tanks.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Kathleen London, thank you for your patience. Dr. Murray`s attorney told TMZ that this doctor did not administer Demerol or OxyContin to Jackson but would not take a stand on Propofol, telling TMZ "no statement on whether Dr. Murray prescribed or administered that drug." Nothing either way. What do you make of it?

OK, we can`t -- guess what? We can`t hear that doctor. So we`re going to go to Bryan Monroe.

You are the last person to have interviewed Michael Jackson as a journalist. We`re talking, at this point, about the fact that this chef says he saw the doctor carrying oxygen. Medical experts say oxygen is used with Propofol, whose brand name is Diprivan. This is the powerful, surgical knockout drug that Sherilyn Lee, the registered nurse, said Michael Jackson begged her for. What do you make of it?

MONROE: Well, you know, I think that`s where the investigation is focused on. We heard today that there are five more documents that the cops are looking at.

Propofol or its merchant name Diprivan is some serious, serious stuff. It is -- it`s actually administered through I.V. drip, and it`s designed to, what they call, take you down for -- and so it has a very short half life, between two to four minutes. So it`s very effective in that short window.

Once you`re given that -- let`s say you`re about to have surgery -- you`re then given a mask of the anesthesia. And that keeps you under. But the Propofol can only be administered at the care and having a doctor on your side, because it`s some dangerous stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s not supposed to be administered in the home at all, Jim Moret. And now we have the chef talking. We also had E! Online reporting that family sources have said there were needle marks on Jackson`s body, and that would be consistent with the injection of the I.V. drip.

You`ve got the nurse -- I mean, this is really mounting up to be a case for Propofol being involved. Obviously, we don`t have the toxicology test, though.

MORET: Right. But took, Jane, this is becoming a horrible situation that Brian Oxman, the family attorney said -- I believe he said it to you. I know he said it to me. He said this is going to make the Anna Nicole Smith case look like small potatoes. And so far, what he`s saying is true. We`re now talking about a potential addiction to anesthesia. Most of us have never even heard of that.

We don`t really know if those drugs had been found in his home. Reports indicate they have been. If, in fact, those drugs were found in Michael Jackson`s rented mansion, you`ve got some serious problems for whoever was giving him those drugs and whoever got them for him. You could be looking at potential manslaughter charges if those drugs were found to have caused the death.

EIGLARSH: Jane, that`s correct. And one compelling piece of evidence that`s being shown on your -- on your screen right now is we look at not a frail Michael Jackson that we saw during his trial, his criminal trial, but we see a Michael Jackson a day before he passed as a healthy -- or healthy, I use that in quotations, but someone who is ready to go out on stage and perform.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, I want to jump in. I want to jump in, because Dr. Kathleen London is back with us.

Dr. London, your thoughts on the oxygen tanks?

DR. KATHLEEN LONDON, PHYSICIAN: OK. So you have to give oxygen, because Propofol puts your brain to sleep and makes you not breathe or have a normal heart rate. So you need to give oxygen to give the brain enough so that you don`t die. And it`s awfully suspicious that oxygen tanks were seen coming and going and all the things we`re hearing.

I`m quite honestly happy to hear that these doctors are being investigated. As physicians, I don`t care who my patient is. I have an obligation to help protect them for themselves. You know, that`s why you don`t do phone refills. It`s why you don`t practice medicine this way.

Everything we`ve heard about this case is just inconceivable, you know, both from the pharmacy point of view and the physician point of view. I think they all need to be held accountable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my excellent panel.

A New York congressman calls Michael Jackson a pedophile and a pervert. We will analyze the uproar over that.

Debbie Rowe`s smack to the photographer. The question is: has she snapped? Just wait until you see this one.


ROWE: Do not touch me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children, Debbie? Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Do not touch me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did. Don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, that was the boiling point in an ugly altercation between Debbie Rowe and the paparazzi yesterday. Rowe, the woman who gave birth to two of Michael Jackson`s two children, now a media magnet after her ex-husband suddenly died and left the custody of his three children possibly up for grabs. Rowe, who has not been involved in her children`s life, exploded, as you just saw this weekend, when one paparazzi photographer got just a little bit too close.

Let`s listen again to that fiery exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children, Debbie? Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Do not touch me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did. Don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. It doesn`t really lose its power. I could watch that over and over.

Rowe has just decided not to attend tomorrow`s memorial for the King of Pop. Meantime, in the custody battle, the guardian hearing rescheduled for a week from today. Debbie Rowe is supposedly trying to decide if she wants to seek legal custody. Some legal experts have even wondered if she`s using this time to try and negotiate some sort of deal with the Jacksons.

Where do we stand on the custody battle for Jackson`s three kids? Straight out to Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition" as well as an attorney.

Jim, first of all, let`s talk about this profanity-laced outburst. Is this the kind of behavior Debbie Rowe should be exhibiting if she`s even thinking about trying to get custody of young children?

MORET: Well, you know, she`s filed a police report in connection with that video you just saw. She claims that one freelance videographer grabbed her and scratched her face.

Look, I can`t even imagine the media storm around her. I really can`t. I mean, we saw it a few weeks ago with Jon and Kate, no matter where they went out. There`s paparazzi everywhere. You can only imagine what it`s like. And they`re right on top of your face. You`ve seen some of these photographers get very aggressive.

Is this mom-of-the-year material? No. But, you know, you have to put it in context. She`s being besieged by people. She can`t even walk to her car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Jim, let me say this. I mean, this is such a crucial week, where she brings all this attention on herself by saying -- talking to a Los Angeles reporter for an hour and a half, and saying, "I want my kids" and then having her lawyer come out and do a conference call and say, "Well, maybe not. We`re thinking about it. We haven`t decided."

And then she thinks she can just go to a Chinese restaurant, have dinner and nobody is going to surround that restaurant?

MORET: OK, so order takeout next time.


MORET: What can I tell you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Let`s listen once again to Michael Jackson`s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, exploding at the paparazzi this weekend after leaving a restaurant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your kids, Debbie? Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Do not touch me!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did. Don`t.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

ROWE: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don`t (EXPLETIVE DELETED) touch me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could this clip actually be played in court in a custody battle?

MORET: I know you like watching it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do. I find it very fascinating.

MORET: It`s fascinating. It is fascinating. You`ve got a number of things are going on here, really.

You`ve got a woman who had no part of her children`s life. She tried to give away her parental rights. A court later ruled she hadn`t done so. She got paid reportedly, $8.5 million for her kids. Now she says she wants them. Is it for money? We`ll have to wait and see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jim, stay right there.

Conservative Republican Congressman Peter King calls Michael Jackson a pervert. We`ll talk about the outrage.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Jackson`s memorial set for tomorrow; fewer than 20,000 lucky fans will attend as authorities scramble to squash ticket scalpers and keep millions of lookie-loos away. From Stevie Wonder to Mariah Carey, to Justin Timberlake, we`ll tell you which stars could come out in our full preview of tomorrow`s historic memorial service.

And with thousands flocking to L.A. to celebrate the legend`s life, a New York Congressman says enough already, sparking an uproar. Does he have a point? We`ll debate it.

Today: a shocking turn in the battle over Michael Jackson`s estate. Katherine Jackson, Michael`s 79-year-old mom, lost control of his assets in court today. A judge handed over the reins to the "King of Pop`s" estate to the executors of his will. But could there be another more recent will out there?

Plus, as custody battle over Jackson`s three kids is set to heat up in court next Monday, his ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, lashing out at the media.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to fight for your children?

DEBBIE ROWE, EX-WIFE OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don`t [bleep] touch me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paparazzi had been tracking Rowe so closely in the last few days that she just announced she will not be attending the public memorial for Jackson tomorrow. As thousands of fans line-up to pay homage to the "King of Pop," some people not so thrilled with the praise and attention he has been getting and are wondering if we should be immortalizing a celebrity wrought with controversy.

Listen to what Republican Congressman from New York, Peter King, said just yesterday about the "King of Pop."


REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: All we hear about is Michael Jackson. And let`s knock-out the psychobabble. This guy is a pervert, he`s a child molester, he`s a pedophile.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. And he isn`t backing down. Congressman King defended his comments on WR Radio this morning.


KING: Even in the Bible, I mean, anyone who does, who causes evil or endangers children, to me that supersedes anything else. And do we as a culture really want to be defined by Michael Jackson`s singing and dancing or by the fact that he became a worldwide spectacle for abuse of children?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does this have to do with his district anyway? He`s from New York.

Is King just saying what some people are too afraid to say or is he being outrageous and inappropriate on the eve of Jackson`s memorial?

Plus that`s not all King said. He is placing the blame on us, the media.

We will have the very latest. Straight to my fabulous panel: Stacy Brown, author of "Michael Jackson: The Man behind the Mask;" Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney; and back with me Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."

Let me ask you this, Stacy Brown, you are the author of a great Jackson biography. What do you make -- what`s your reaction to the timing of Congressman King`s attacks on Michael Jackson?

STACY BROWN, AUTHOR, "MICHAEL JACKSON: THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK": Jane, it was just totally inappropriate. It was out of left field. This guy, as you said, he`s not even in his district.

But the fact is, Michael Jackson was never convicted. Hey, I`m one who believes that Michael may have molested children, but I don`t think it`s appropriate for a public and an elected official to go for it, at this time, on the eve of his burial. Allow the man to go into the ground and wait a few months.

I mean, he said what a lot of people may be thinking. However, is it appropriate? It was totally inappropriate.


New York Republican Representative Peter King laid into Michael Jackson yesterday, as we just heard, calling him a pervert and a child molester. Listen to what else he had to say.


KING: To be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think it`s too -- that we`re too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say we don`t need Michael Jackson. He died. He had some talent, fine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Jim Moret, we both covered the Jackson child molestation trial. He was found not guilty on all accounts. However, as we also reported during that time, he faced similar allegations involving another boy in the early `90s that resulted in a year-long investigation that never went to trial. The parties settled out of court. Jackson reportedly paid something like $20 million to settle that child molestation case.

It`s our obligation, isn`t it, as journalists, to include those facts as well?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well sure, it is. And did Jackson do things that brought trouble on himself? Of course, by admitting publicly that he opens his bed to children; it doesn`t matter whether he molests them or not.

It sounds weird. A lot of people may be thinking what this Congressman said.

But, you know, I agree with Stacy. I think it was totally inappropriate. He went way overboard and also the timing of it was -- it`s just in bad taste.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Bradford Cohen...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The irony of it all is that he says the media is glorifying Michael Jackson. Yet fans of Michael Jackson are furious at the media for trashing Michael Jackson. And I always say when both sides hate you that means you`re doing a pretty fair job.

COHEN: So Jane, you must be doing a great job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I said fair, fair. I mean, we cover it all.

COHEN: You are fair, very fair and impartial. The fact of the matter is and what pushes the media is what`s on TV. Everyone wants to see this. Everyone is watching TV. Everyone is looking at it. Is it a spectacle? Yes. Is it inappropriate? Absolutely.

It may even be actionable. I mean, you have to show actual malice on his part. And I don`t know how you`re going to show actual malice. You`d have to do that...

MORET: And Jane...

COHEN: ...with clear and convincing evidence.

MORET: Jane...

COHEN: So I don`t know if you`re going to prove that.

MORET: ...there`s another issue here...

COHEN: But like I say, it`s very inappropriate.


MORET: Jane, there`s another issue here. And that is -- we`re talking a lot about Michael Jackson, the cause of death. Whether he was doctor shopping, whether he was addicted to, in this case, anesthesia. You`ve got millions of Americans who are abusing prescription drugs.


MORET: Are we talking about that now? Yes.


MORET: Is that a good thing to talk about?


MORET: Yes. I think that there are some very real reasons to cover this, aside from what this Congressman would consider star worship.

Was he a huge star? Of course he was. But that`s not the only reason we`re talking about him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes Bradford...

COHEN: And Jim also and also Jane, certainly holding doctors to a higher standard, which everyone is talking about, these five doctors that are under investigation. And in Florida, where they call it a pill mill, where there`s many, many, many of these pill -- everyone goes to these pill mills to get prescriptions, 300 OxyContins at a time.

That`s a huge issue right now and it`s very big in America.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right.

COHEN: And just because it`s related to this case, I think a lot of more people are taking a closer look at it.

BROWN: In his career...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. If we tried to do a story -- a special on pill mills or abuse of prescription drugs without talking about Michael Jackson or Anna Nicole Smith in the process, people wouldn`t be as receptive.

This draws them into the tent so that we can discuss this serious issue of the crisis of prescription drug abuse in this country, which is out of control.

I mean, as someone said you go into anybody`s house, you open the kitchen -- the bathroom cabinet and it looks like Elvis lives there.

COHEN: The real problem that I have with this Congressman is the way he did it, the way he came out with it. Now, it`s on YouTube. And he says I made it big. I`m on YouTube. I just don`t find it to be an appropriate forum for what -- how he did it.

If he wanted to discuss something like this or wanted to go further into it, he could have done it in a different way. And the way that he did it was the most shocking, the most inappropriate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now if we...

BROWN: And his career he should be celebrated, Jane. I mean, this guy accomplished things that no one else has ever accomplished. He mesmerized a world of people. He should -- his career -- I`m not saying his life and his drug use and the accusations -- it`s his career that we are talking about. And it`s his career, the reason why you`re going to have a star-studded audience there tomorrow, along with millions of fans.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to get into that in just a moment. But let`s listen to more from New York Republican representative, Peter King.


KING: I really think the media has disgraced itself. I think that too many people in public life have made fools of themselves by talking about Michael Jackson like he`s some kind of hero. There`s nothing good about this guy. He may have been a good singer and did some dancing.

But the bottom line is, would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room with Michael Jackson? What are we (INAUDIBLE)


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, heavy-duty stuff. And I know we`ve got a lot of callers who want to weigh in and a whole bunch of stuff all about Jackson.

Jerry, Louisiana; your question or thought, sir?

JERRY, LOUISIANA (via telephone): Yes. For years in the media, we`ve read where Michael took care of his family. How will they continue to live their lifestyle without that input?

And, second, if he was on prescription drugs for all of these years, surely the family had to be aware of that.


BROWN: Yes. That`s a good call.

Number one, Katherine got 40 percent, according to the will. That means the rest of the family is going to be taken care of. She is going to take care of them.

And B, the other part of that question, yes, his family was aware of his addictions. They tried several interventions with Michael Jackson. And they each failed. The attempts failed. So, they did all they could do.

COHEN: Well, I think at one point he even admitted that he was addict to pain killers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure he did.


COHEN: I don`t think it was a big secret.

The thing about the Diprivan is the big thing. And you know something that struck me earlier is that the doctor who was commenting about oxygen is needed and I don`t know if there was oxygen tanks actually found in the room when they served the warrant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of the problems is that they didn`t declare it a crime scene; they didn`t put yellow tape around it...

COHEN: Yes...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...and the family took-off with a bunch of stuff, truckloads.

COHEN: Huge trucks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody thanks for the analysis. Be sure to watch HLN`s live coverage of Michael Jackson`s memorial service tomorrow. I will be joining HLN`s Robin Meade and "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`S`" A.J. Hammer. The special coverage begins tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, please join us.

Then catch ISSUES at 7:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night for all the latest on Michael Jackson`s memorial and the looming legal battles. You don`t want to miss it.

But first, we preview the frenzy as millions of fans flock to L.A. to catch a glimpse of Jacko`s historic memorial service. How will the authorities keep everything under control? How many will actually show up? What big names will show up?

We will preview which stars are expected to come out and which stars will stay home.

Your take on the memorial madness, 1-877-JVM-SAYS; give me a holler, 1-877-586-7297. Sound off.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Millions expected to show for Michael Jackson`s memorial. But only a few thousand will get in. We will preview the logistical challenges.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A beloved NFL star brutally murdered. But was it murder-suicide? Thirty-six year old Steve McNair and his 20-year-old girlfriend were found shot dead in a Nashville apartment Saturday. Cops have ruled McNair`s death a homicide, but have not reached a conclusion on the girlfriend`s death. Also there was no sign of forced entry fueling rampant speculation that McNair, who was married, was killed by his girlfriend before she killed herself.

Now in a stunning twist, cops say the gun recovered at the scene was recently bought by that very same girlfriend. But they are staying mum on the murder-suicide theory. McNair, who was a local hero in Nashville for his charity work, retired from the NFL in 2007 after playing 13 seasons.

That is tonight`s "Top of the Block".

Turning now to the mad and massive to put together a memorial fit for the "King of Pop" as Jackson chaos consumes Los Angeles. Some are reporting that the City of Angels is quaking over the fear of a flood of more than a million adoring Michael Jackson fans. More than 1.6 million fans registered online for free tickets with only 8,750 winners getting two tickets each.

Authorities are now bracing themselves for a possible onslaught of the empty-handed while the lucky winners celebrate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just can`t stop crying, and I never won anything in my life. And I won the tickets. And it`s like so surreal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m overwhelmed with emotion. I burst into tears. I can`t believe it`s so final but it`s so beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He will be forever loved and missed by everyone. So, yes, we are going, baby.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, flurry of conflicting reports of whether Jackson will be buried or cremated. The Jackson family will now have a private gathering at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles ahead of the public memorial but still no confirmation if Jackson will be buried there.

Some reports suggest the pop star could be cremated with his ashes scattered at Neverland ranch. But is anybody asking what do the fans want? Plus, with California broke -- and I mean broke -- some lawmakers say the Jackson family needs to cough up some moolah for security. The acting mayor of L.A. tells CBS`s "The Early Show" bring it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard from the Jacksons or AEG about chipping into this event?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like to?

PERRY: I would love it. Love it, love it, love it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Love it, love it, love it.

Officials say, "No ticket, do not come." So will Jackson fans heed the warnings and stay away or will throngs in the thousands try to say a final farewell to their beloved pop icon?

Straight to my fantastic expert panel: back with me Jim Moret, chief correspondent for "Inside Edition" and attorney; and joining us, Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and live from the Staples Center, Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent.

Ted, I don`t know if you can see, I`m holding up the New York Post here. The front page headline says "Jacko Chaos, L.A. quaking over fear of million fans." Is this a "New York Post" exaggeration or is there a possibility that something like this could actually happen?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s a little scary. I think it`s somewhat of an exaggeration as the "Post" is famous for, but bottom line is the police are bracing for that possibility. And they`ve come up with a fairly extraordinary plan to block off an entire block area around the Staples Center, starting at midnight tonight.

Right now, there are people being allowed in. But even now, where the streets are open, they`re restricting the flow, the pedestrian flow outside the Staples Center.

Is it possible that it will be difficult? Absolutely. For the police, but they say that they have the resources in place. And as you mentioned before, that taxpayers will be paying for those resources, but they said they have them in place for tomorrow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda Wade, you`re the psychologist. You see people saying they`re crying because they got tickets. All of us, Ted, Jim Moret and I were covering the Jackson case. We saw the intensity of the fans.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is it about Michael Jackson that creates this intense devotion?

WADE: You know, Jane, I really think everyone has struggled with issues, whether it was food, anger, drinking, drugs, prescription drugs, shopping. Everyone knows what it means to struggle.

And as I thought about Michael Jackson, I couldn`t help but thinking about Princess Diana. What made her such an icon? It wasn`t just that she was a fairytale princess. It`s that she was a woman who struggled with issues.

I think Michael has been that kind of up and down, uneven personality for everyone also. And people relate to him, not just as the big star, but as this very fragile human being who lived out on a public stage his struggles, in front of all of us. And we can relate to those struggles. Everyone has them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the fact that he`s so flawed or was so flawed that actually makes us relate to him.

WADE: Yes. The tragic hero.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a brilliant analysis.

There`s an absence of details about what`s going to happen at tomorrow`s memorial service. Reports suggest Mariah Carey is going to sing and she may be joined by Jennifer Hudson and other possible guests touted to be in attendance include basketball stars past and present, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson. And then we`re also talking about singers like John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Usher, and Stevie Wonder also supposed to be present.

Who knows who`s going to sing, who`s going to speak. But boy, is it going to be star-studded: Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Aretha Franklin, long-time friends Liza Minnelli and Brooke Shields.

There is one person though, Jim Moret, who is not attending. Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson`s long-time friend and defender -- she was reportedly asked to read a eulogy, but declined saying she doesn`t want to be part of all the hoopla. What do you make of it?

MORET: Well, I mean, if you listen to the producer of this event who has produced the Grammys, Ken Ehrlich, he says this is a memorial. It`s not a tribute concert. It`s not an entertainment event. There will be those in the future, I`m sure.

But this is a somber event to pay respect to this man for his artistry and for his humanitarianism and for the person. So, I can understand that. I think Quincy Jones even said something similarly that he just doesn`t want to go to this funeral, it`s too difficult for him.

And this is a somber event. It`s not -- I know that this one woman you had on there felt like she won something, almost the lottery to go to this. But it`s not really for the purpose of entertainment, even though we`re all going to be glued to our TV sets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ted Rowlands, you hear a lot of the stars that are going to arrive and yet there are a lot of names that come to mind that are not going to be there. Elizabeth Taylor is only one of them.

Do you think the controversy over how he died and some of the issues surrounding Michael Jackson may be putting a damper and that more celebrities would be showing up were it not for this investigation by the DEA, et cetera?

ROWLANDS: Absolutely. That`s a good fair point. The other thing is that, you know, a lot of people like Elizabeth Taylor sort of alluded to it in her press release, in her Twitter account, is people are disgusted. The real die-hard fans of Michael Jackson are disgusted with sort of the media`s obsessiveness with how he died and all the drugs. So there`s a lot of different feelings going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More in a second.



EARL PAYSINGER, ASST. CHIEF, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: If you do not have a ticket, if you are not credentialed, not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allow in this area.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Officials say, "No ticket, stay home." Watch it on TV. We`re going to be covering it here live on HLN. We hope you`ll join us.

Will Jackson fans heed the warning and stay away; watch it from the comfort of their home.

I`m back with my fantastic expert panelists. We were talking to Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent who is at the scene outside of the Staples Center about how the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson`s life could affect the turnout and the type of celebrities -- the celebrities -- who show up tomorrow for the memorial service?

ROWLANDS: Yes, Jane, you know, I think the bottom line here is which you mentioned is absolutely true. Michael Jackson elicits a lot of different feelings from different people and there`s a huge segment of the population, quite frankly, where Peter King`s (ph) the leader right now -- that elicits bad feelings.

So I think you`re absolutely right that that could play a part in who comes and who stays away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But yet, there`s a huge list of very, very famous names. Stevie wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Brooke Shields, Magic Johnson, who are coming. We`re going to have to see tomorrow exactly how it plays out.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Kelly, Utah, your question or thought?

KELLY, UTAH (via telephone): Does anybody know the Michael`s children will be there at the memorial?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok Ted, take us through what`s going to happen tomorrow?

ROWLANDS: Tomorrow at 8:00 Pacific time, there`s a family gathering at Forest Lawn Cemetery. The children absolutely would be expected to be there. From there, the California Highway Patrol is going to escort those members of the Jackson family in attendance that want to come here to the Staples Center to take part in the public memorial.

Will the children be a part of the public memorial? That`s a great question. We don`t know. One would think, though, given the history of the way Michael Jackson at least treated his children, keeping him out of the limelight as much as possible, I doubt they would take part in this part of the ceremony. But it remains to be seen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds, Brenda Wade, thoughts on tomorrow.

WADE: You know, I think it`s important for the children to be able to play a role, Jane. Children can`t do abstract thinking. At the very least, they need to be able to say good-bye to their father, write a letter, do something so they can have closure in a way children can understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fabulous panel.

Be sure to join us tomorrow. You are watching HLN.

We`re going to have special live coverage tomorrow beginning at 12:30 eastern.