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Tracing Jackson`s History of Drug Use

Aired July 10, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, more damming drug revelations in the Michael Jackson death probe. TMZ reports a 2003 raid at Neverland Ranch uncovered syringes, powerful narcotics and IV bags. The King of Pop reportedly used aliases to procure prescriptions for his nightly pill popping, too. So were the people in Michael Jackson`s inner circle enabling his destructive behavior? Dad, Joe Jackson, thinks so. He`s now calling foul play.

Then, big-time Jackson family bickering about to boil over. Is the family fighting over how to profit off of Michael Jackson`s remains? Just wait until you hear where the body is being kept until the feud plays out. Also, Monday`s custody hearing could decide the fate of Jackson`s kids. Is Joe Jackson throwing his hat into the ring? We`ll have a full preview.

Plus celebrity justice, NFL style. Dante Stallworth served only 24 days of his 30-day sentence for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. Angry? You should be.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking developments tonight in the death of Michael Jackson as a very, very, very troubling portrait of the super star`s drug history emerges.

A stunning new report from TMZ says deputies when they raided Neverland Ranch back in 2003 found a syringe, powerful narcotics and an IV bag that may have contained anesthesia. The deputies found a note from a doctor who seemed to be urging him to trade his Demerol for another powerful narcotic. This note allegedly read, "Buprinex is the potent narcotic I told you about last week. It is just like the D but better," end quote.

Authorities now tracking down all of Jackson`s doctors, trying to get the full story of Jackson`s total drug history. TMZ also reporting Jackson`s driver said he drove the pop star to his dermatologist Arnie Klein`s office numerous times a week in the months preceding his death, and that he spent three to four hours there and came out disoriented.

Plus, interviews with Jackson security guards in 2004, obtained by CNN, give even more startling information. The guards said the King of Pop asked employees to get prescription meds under their names. And then he went from state to state, doctor shopping and that -- are you sitting down? -- he used to take up to 40 Xanax a night! Forty Xanax a night!

Michael Jackson`s father, Joe Jackson, now says he was shocked to learn his 50-year-old son collapsed and died. He told ABC News something else may be at play.


JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I just couldn`t believe what was happening to Michael because I just couldn`t believe it, you know. And I do believe there was foul play. I do believe that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Given all of that, should he have been so shocked? And what exactly is he suggesting, that doctors were so negligent that they allowed him to O.D.? Or is Joe`s theory that somebody actually tried to kill him? If so, why?

Authorities say the death investigation could soon turn into a criminal case. Guess what, people? Why isn`t it a criminal case already?

So much to get to tonight. Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Dr. Kathleen London, a board-certified family practice physician; Jennifer Brent, a family law attorney; Bryan Monroe, CNN contributor and the last journalist to interview Michael Jackson; Ken Seeley, interventionist on A&E`s hit show "Intervention" and author of "Face it and Fix It: A Three- Step Plan to Break Free from Denial and Discovery the Life you Deserve"; and the one and only Mike Walter, assignment manager from TMZ.

Mike, TMZ breaking story after story on the Michael Jackson drug angle. I have a hard time keeping up with all your breaking news. I got it right here. What is the very latest?

MIKE WALTER, TMZ: Well, Jane, like you said, we pieced together some of the evidence from 2003 in the `05 trial of all the drugs and the stuff that they raided out of Neverland Ranch. And let me tell you, if you haven`t looked at our site with the photos, they`re unbelievable.

Let`s start with the fact that there was multiple powerful sedatives, multiple IV bags with a white milky substance sort of looking like Propofol, which you know they found in his room when he died. Needles, vials full of -- empty that were Demerol.

All these -- all this stuff with a bunch of names of employees, different doctors. All these interviews that came out of that raid of all the people that worked for him saying that Michael was addicted to Xanax, he took up to 40 pills, all this stuff coming out of there.

And remember, back then, and you were around, I think I was listening to you talk about this a few years ago.


WALTER: But remember they were focusing on the molestation and the pedophilia, and all this drug stuff came up, but now I brought it back with -- on my newsroom and we looked at it. It shows a powerful picture of these doctors and all these drugs found at Michael Jackson`s house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. And we were talking about this, Mark Eiglarsh. One of the reasons why this didn`t all become a huge scandal during the trial is that he wasn`t facing drug charges. We talked about Jesus juice, which he -- allegedly was his way of referring to wine, which he allegedly kept hidden in soda cans, because he was accused of supplying the child with alcohol.

So the fact that there were no drug charges means that all this stuff sort of laid dormant and didn`t come out to the degree that it`s coming out now.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Isn`t it a shame that it takes a tragedy before we finally investigate, whether it be Anna Nicole or this scenario?

The bottom line is, you either have a homicide, in that some doctors and/or people who worked for him were so grossly negligent that they need to be held accountable, or they`re going to allege it was an accidental overdose. But let me just tell you, they need to find out those who enabled him to have these pills to get into that position.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk about that. Michael Jackson`s dermatologist, Dr. Arnie Klein, spoke to Larry King about the medications he says he prescribed to Michael Jackson. Listen to his side.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: What was the strongest medication you gave him?

ARNIE KLEIN, JACKSON`S DERMATOLOGIST: I once -- on occasion gave him Demerol to sedate him, and that was about the strongest medicine I ever used.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. London, Dr. Klein says he did nothing inappropriate, but TMZ is reporting a prescription for Xanax written by Dr. Klein was found at Neverland in 2003. They`re reporting Klein still hasn`t turned over his medical records to the coroner`s office, which is demanding them.

And we`re getting reports that Jackson`s driver said in the months leading up to Michael`s death, he took Michael to Dr. Klein`s office multiple times a week. Jackson spent up to three hours inside and then appeared disoriented when he left Dr. Klein`s office.

DR. KATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN: It`s unbelievable to me. What is a dermatologist doing writing for benzodiazepene, which is the class Xanax is in. There`s no reason on the planet.

And, you know, if he`s giving him Botox, why does he need to sedate him? None of this makes sense. And there were other prescriptions found, you know, that he occasionally gave him Demerol. I bet he was doing it a lot more. I`m sorry. I don`t believe this physician at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Klein if you want to give your side of the story, you are welcome any time, indeed. But you`re getting a lot of heat.

I`ve got to wonder why he even decided to speak at this time. I mean, it`s just focusing attention on him. Let me go to...

LONDON: And the records.


LONDON: And what`s with -- what`s with the not handing all the records over? I mean, this is -- a man died. You know, who you were caring for.

WALTER: Hey, Jane, can I jump in real quick?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, go ahead.

WALTER: He also said in that interview that he never gave Michael anything addictive and also called those people that did criminals, but I know we have a specialist on the show right now. Isn`t Xanax addictive? Give me a break.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Now, let me ask you, Ken Seeley, you are the interventionist, the addiction expert. You`re in recovery. I`m also in recovery as an alcoholic with 14 years of sobriety.

Here`s the most astounding thing. Of all the tons of paper I`ve been looking at today, TMZ, CNN, CNN obtained a confidential document for 2004 prepared when Santa Barbara was preparing their criminal case, interviewing two of Michael Jackson`s former security guards.

One of them said he was concerned that Michael was taking 10 Xanax a night, and the other staffer said, quote, "Jackson was doing better, because he was down from 30 to 40 Xanax pills a night!" Huh? How do you survive that? Thirty to 40 Xanax pills? That`s like somebody who takes an overdose to kill themselves.

KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTION SPECIALIST: Exactly right. That`s what happens all the time. You see it happening constantly every single day, we have families calling us where their loved ones are going through the same exact thing. It`s like you see the signs, but you have to take action. You can`t wait until the bitter end.

I mean, this is the end result and it`s so sad for the poor family, for everybody to lose such a great artist. It`s devastating.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I jump in one second? Mike Walter, because we`re going to lose you after this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask about this report about the doctor who wrote in 2002, quote, "Buprinex is the potent narcotic I told you about last week. It is just like the D but better."

WALTER: Yes. It`s unbelievable. This doctor from Miami wrote this letter to Jackson, and it says, "Dearest M.J., tell them I got this potent narcotic, Buprinex, that you can use. It`s just like the D but better," which he`s referring to Demerol.

The next line in that letter talks about how Michael`s an icon and, according to some of the documents, people felt that this doctor was awestruck and a fan of Michaels, also that Michael lived in his garage in Miami. This is over the top, inappropriate, obviously, for a doctor, but I mean this is the sort of thing.

And then we have a note we found that Michael wrote, at least we think he did, in his arcade, that talks about the Buprinex and how he`s going to use it. So unbelievable stuff, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really is. Great work, Mike. Please come back soon.

Everybody else sit tight for more developments in the Michael Jackson drug probe.

Then, is the Jackson family fighting over what to do with the King of Pop`s remains? How long until he`ll have a final resting place?

But first, lots of outrageous reports emerging about Michael Jackson`s drug use, mentioning everything from anesthesia to narcotics. Here is just a small sampling of what`s being said about Jacko`s habits.


CHERILYN LEE, NURSE WHO CLAIMS SHE TREATED JACKSON: He asked me, he said, "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."

KLEIN: Michael at one time had an addiction. He went to England, and he withdrew that addiction in a secure setting where he went off of drugs altogether. And what I told Michael when I met him in his present situation when I was seeing him, that I had to keep reducing the dosage of what he was on, because he came to me with a huge tolerance level.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is it odd to you as a medical doctor to have an anesthesiologist with somebody on a tour?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely odd. No question. Very odd. And to have all that equipment as well. I never heard of such a thing.




KING: Did Michael tell you he used Diprivan?

KLEIN: I knew at one point he was using Diprivan when he was on tour in Germany, and so he was using it with an anesthesiologist to go to sleep at night. And I told him he was absolutely insane. I said, "You have to understand that this drug you can`t repeatedly take." Because what happens with narcotics, no matter what you do, you build a tolerance to them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You sure do. Michael Jackson`s friend and dermatologist Arnie Klein telling Larry King he warned the pop star against using anesthesia years ago, but TMZ now reporting that Jackson`s driver claims he drove the pop star to Dr. Klein`s office multiple times a week. He added that Jackson spent three to four hours inside each visit and returned very disoriented, kind of out of it. What does that mean?

Back with my fantastic expert panel. I want to go straight out to Bryan Monroe, CNN contributor, who has interviewed Michael Jackson.

I understand you have some new information on Michael Jackson`s dehydration levels?

BRYAN MONROE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, when I -- in the course of this investigation I`ve been talking to several people who have been close to Michael, including one person who is one of his health advisors during the trial, and you may remember that, even back before the trial after the Pepsi incident where he burned his scalp, and that`s when he first admitted that he was hooked on painkillers and was trying to wean himself off of it.

Well, the trial took a tremendous toll on Michael, both physically, personally and emotionally. And towards the end of it, he called Dick Gregory, who`s been one of his health advisors, looking at natural and homeopathic solutions, early in the morning and said, "Dick, I need you to come help me."

That night they ended up -- he was so worn out, so tired and so dehydrated, Dick said, "Just, you, me and your driver, we`re going to go." They got in the car. They were going to drive from Santa Barbara all the way up to San Francisco. They didn`t want anyone to know about this.

They got about 20 minutes down the road, and they decided to turn a different direction and ended up at the Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. They walked in by themselves, unannounced, Dick, Michael. They put Michael on the stretcher, hooked him up to IV about 5 p.m. that night and was told that by the next morning at 5:15, he was still on IV drip, trying to get hydrated because he was so wiped out.

And the doctor told them that it was good he brought him in at that time because, had they not, he could have been dead 12 hours later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if anybody says, and people have, that well, all this drug use was is because he was a broken man as a result of the criminal trial, the fact is that evidence coming in predates that criminal trial, because it comes from the raid that kicked off the criminal case.

TMZ reporting that -- well, actually, what I`d like to do is take a look at the footage of the infamous 2003 police raid on Neverland that Michael Jackson said left him feeling really violated. I don`t know if we have video of that raid.

Critics said there were enough cop cars, if you remember that famous raid that we saw on videotape so many times, for a terrorist take down. But TMZ now reports that the raid uncovered a whole pharmacy of syringes, powerful narcotics, IV bags, vials, sedatives, painkillers and Xanax and that Jackson self-injected Demerol, according to a doctor treating him back in 2005.

Plus, we`ve also learned -- there`s the raid I`m talking about. Literally 70 cars came in and swooped in on Neverland. According to a 2004 document, Michael Jackson took upwards of 40 Xanax a night and asked employees to get prescription meds for him under their names.

Ken Seeley, TMZ is also reporting that Michael Jackson had injection marks on his neck. Is that where addicts go when they run out of space on the rest of their body?

SEELEY: Yes. Jane, you know as a recovering addict, that`s what all addicts do is they...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I never injected anything. I`d like to make that very clear. I`m a recovering alcoholic. I wasn`t injecting anything. Go ahead.

SEELEY: We hear the stories.


SEELEY: We hear the stories all the time.


SEELEY: I also didn`t inject. But, you know, people that are injecting, they have to find an area to inject where it doesn`t continue to cause cysts and other medical conditions. So that is known.

But, you know, as we always know, when there`s a problem like this and something like this happens, is people are looking, and there`s always going to be conflicting stories. I think if this is the case, that this was an overdose. And as you said before, this past week, you know, once an addict always an addict. It doesn`t change. If this is the case, let Michael, you know, die in vain, and let`s take this as an example to say...


SEELEY: ... we need to do something to look for these signs and help these people. Don`t...

JENNIFER BRENT, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Jane -- Jane, Jane, I`d like to jump in.



BRENT: Jane, I`d like to jump in. I wonder what happens to the children during all this time, and why didn`t some of these people that are so interested in his children come forward at that time? You know, sometimes with an addict, it takes something like taking away children to really wake them up. And maybe they could have helped him before this happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to talk about that coming up next. And could all this impact the custody issue?

Fabulous panel, stay right there. We`ve been talking about the horrors of addiction for a while in this show. In my new book, "I Want," I dive deep into my personal battle with alcoholism and my journey to sobriety. It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall, but you can preorder your copy right now. Just click on and look for the preorder section. It`s my personal story, and I`ll tell you right now, it`s got some real surprises in it.

Coming up next on ISSUES, who will get custody of Michael Jackson`s kids? Monday`s custody hearing could get ugly. We will have a full preview.

And slain NFL star Steve McNair is laid to rest in Nashville, less than a week after being shot dead by his 20-year-old mistress, who was also found dead. Cops now saying this was a murder/suicide. More and more details coming out about this case by the minute. I will have an update on this nightmarish story.



MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: I remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed to soothe the excruciating pain that I was suffering after recent reconstructive surgery on my scalp.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Michael Jackson back in `93, admitting his dependency on painkillers. Sixteen years later his dependency on drugs once again in the spotlight as investigators try to learn whether prescription drugs are responsible for his tragic and sudden death.

Jennifer Brent, you`re the family law attorney raising an excellent point: what about the kids in all this? We know two years ago, CNN`s reporting Janet Jackson tried to do an intervention, and Michael Jackson shut her and the rest of the family out and wouldn`t let the security guards let the family in.

But here`s the disturbing part. According to this report, the family later told "People" magazine in a declaration there had been no attempted intervention. Only Janet refused to sign that document. So, in essence, were they enabling him at a time when he had control of these three precious children?

BRENT: Absolutely they were enabling him, because they were only -- they were probably too embarrassed to jump in and make a spectacle of it after all the troubles that he`s been through. But these children, meanwhile, are in his care and custody, and now they act like they care about the children, which I don`t doubt that they do, but why weren`t they there before, caring about the children? Why didn`t they take those children out of his custody and force him to get some help? That`s sometimes what you need to get that type of help.

EIGLARSH: Jane, as you know, an addict is not going to make changes unless they hit rock bottom. It appears...

BRENT: I disagree. If you care about children, something precious gets taken away from you, then you may start thinking about it.

EIGLARSH: That is exactly my point, had you not interrupted. My next line would have been that he cares extremely about his children. You take the children away or you threaten to do that, then that might have been the impetus to get him into the treatment that he needs. And then everyone around him will not enable him or rather turn their backs when he suggests that he needs pills.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Bryan Monroe, I seem to recall Gloria Allred attempted that after the infamous baby dangling incident. And everybody was in an uproar who was on Michael Jackson`s side saying, "Oh, no, you can`t do that. He`s a wonderful dad."

MONROE: Well, you know, actually I got to tell you, I saw Michael and his son Blanket when we interviewed him in 2007 together. And I got to tell you, that was a genuine father/son relationship.

And knowing the brothers and sisters and the rest of the family, I don`t know, you know, what other people think. But that family structure was so important. And those kids, I`ve got to tell you, those kids I think, if anything, saved Michael`s life. Because it gave him focus, it gave him drive. He was...

LONDON: Wait...

BRENT: At the end of the day...

MONROE: Sorry.

BRENT: It didn`t end up saving his life at all. Look what happened to him as a result. I mean, so the children weren`t enough for him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ve got to say, what about being exposed to all this?

LONDON: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, Ken Seeley, for these kids, they`re now 12, 11, and 7. To have been exposed to all this drug use for years, it`s really scary.

BRENT: You have to wonder how much time he really spent with his children.

LONDON: ... inject yourself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second.

LONDON: ... injectables.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Dr. Kathleen London, take it away.

LONDON: So, you know, these kids were looking at needles and injectables. That means somebody wrote for all of that, and they think it`s normal. That`s a tragedy. And yes, they didn`t save his life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They did not. I want to thank my excellent panel.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Big-time Jackson family bickering about to boil over. Is the family fighting over how to profit off Michael Jackson`s remains? Also, Monday`s big custody hearing could decide the fate of the Jackson kids. We`ll have a full preview.

Plus, celebrity justice NFL style, Donte Stallworth served only 24 days of his 30-day sentence for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. Angry? You should be.

Tonight, jaw-dropping, pill-popping revelations about Michael Jackson emerging just days before what could be an explosive court battle over custody of Michael`s three young children. Who should raise Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket? Grandfather Joe Jackson had an answer to that question on ABC this morning.


JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FATHER: Their grandmother, Katherine, and I. Yes, there`s no one else to do what we can do for them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is Joe hurting Katherine`s chances by shoe- horning himself in with Katherine, even though they live in two different states? Remember, Joe is infamous for whipping Michael Jackson as a child.

Could Debbie Rowe use Joe`s own words and actions to further her claims on the kids? And will Debbie`s former boss, Dr. Arnie Klein, who some say could be the biological dad of the two oldest kids, have a say in any of this?


DR. ARNOLD KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DERMATOLOGIST: I worry about the Jackson family only because I worry slightly about the father.


KLEIN: That he was very difficult to deal with Michael.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what about the children`s wishes as for their future? Will their voices be heard on Monday in court when Katherine Jackson, who Michael named as guardian, faces off against Debbie Rowe?

And by the way could this hurt Debbie? Look.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody touched you here.

ROWE: You just did.

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

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



Meantime the New York Post reporting a bitter Jackson family feud over where to bury Michael`s body. Joe Jackson and brother Jermaine want him at Neverland, but Katherine and most of the siblings want to honor Michael`s wish never to return to Neverland which he felt had been tainted in the wake of the infamous police raid that we`ve been talking about and the criminal trial.

For now the bronze slated casket has reportedly been stashed at Berry Gordy`s crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery. So much bickering and bitterness; how will all of this affect the children?

Out to my fantastic panel still with me: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Dr. Cathleen London, board certified family practice physician; Jennifer Brant, family law attorney; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychologist; Bryan Monroe, CNN contributor and the last journalist to conduct an interview with Michael Jackson.

Bryan could Joe Jackson by insinuating himself and attaching himself to Katherine, even though they`re separated and live in two states -- he lives in Vegas she lives in Encino -- mess up Katherine`s chances of getting these kids for good because he has admitted that he whipped Michael when Michael was a child?

BRYAN MONROE, CONDUCTED LAST INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, you know, I think at the end of the day, the hearings that will be coming up, the judge should apply some basic common sense to look at where those kids belong. And whether Joe will be key in the picture or not, Katherine is center in the conversation.

She`s up there, she`s 79 years old, but she has a very supportive family. And remember, nine brothers and sisters, Randy, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and then the three sisters, Rebbie, Latoya and Janet, and Rebbie will play a strong role on that too. And of course, Grace, the nanny who`s been in the kids` lives all their lives.

I think that combination, in addition with the cousins, who are their age and who they play around with a lot, is far stronger than anything Debbie Rowe can offer. Because remember, she has been out of their lives for so long, especially after she got paid with $8 million in that settlement to leave Michael.


MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane the answer to your question is...

BRAND: I think Katherine...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Mark, Mark, go.

EIGLARSH: Jane, to answer your question, the answer is definitely yes. Joe Jackson, by not distancing himself from his wife, without question, adversely affects his wife`s chances of getting the children.

No question she`s up there in age, but perhaps she`s the right person to take care of the children. Joe Jackson represents someone who has not been the strongest example of a parent, period, end of story.

So anything he does -- that was a nice way of saying it.

BRAND: I think...


EIGLARSH: Anything he does to put himself on the scene is not a good idea.

BRAND: I disagree, I think it`s up to Katherine to come forward and say that she -- and present herself as providing a stable home life for these children because that is what the judge is really going and want to hear.

EIGLARSH: I don`t disagree with you but why should Joe be on the scene?

BRAND: Yes but Katherine -- it`s not just Joe though, Katherine needs to distance herself from the rest of family as well because you hear about this infighting in the family and some bizarre things that go on with the rest of the brothers and sisters.

So I think for her to win the day, she really needs to present herself as a stable force in these children`s lives and that they will have a stable home environment with the nanny that they`ve known forever.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well you know what...

EIGLARSH: Well, of course.

But the issue was whether Joe hurts their chances? No question she needs to show that she`s stable. The question that Jane asked, though, is does Joe hurt the chances?

BRAND: But Joe has nothing to do with this. But Joe has -- Joe is only playing this out in the media.

EIGLARSH: Listen to what he`s saying...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love to use my gavel.

EIGLARSH: Joe is saying "we."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- because I think that there`s another issue here that intersects with Joe.

With a custody battle looming for Michael Jackson`s two oldest kids, Joe Jackson was asked on ABC News who he thought should raise the kids. Listen to this.


JACKSON: Their grandmother, Katherine and I. Yes. There`s no one else to do what we can do for them. And we should keep them all together and make them happy and feed them like you`re supposed to be fed. Let them get dressed (INAUDIBLE) and grow up to be strong Jacksons.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, as a psychiatrist, to me, weigh in. I`m not the psychiatrist, you are, it sounds like Joe is ready to take over.

But remember, he was excluded from Michael`s will. Katherine was made the temporary guardian, but it sounds like he`s just ready to jump in here and take over with these kids.

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: He`s absolutely ready. And Katherine has not come out and made one statement trying to distance herself from him at all.

I agree completely with Mark on this. I think it really hurts her chances. And this is a guy that not only did he whip and abuse Michael when he was young but he`s also trying to figure out a way to profit from Michael`s death. And that`s going to be tremendously harmful as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you raised a very important point.

EIGLARSH: Promoting his record label -- promoting his record label while he`s supposed to be grieving. I thought that was grossly inappropriate.

And then talking about burying him at Neverland against Michael`s wishes. So I mean, he`s going against Michael`s wishes and wants to bury him at Neverland.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He might be also trying to put these kids into money making machines.

BRAND: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Jackson was asked if he saw Michael`s kids becoming performers. Listen to what he told ABC`s "Good Morning America" about this.


JACKSON: I keep watching Paris. She maybe wants to do something, you know. They said Blanket, he can really dance. That`s what they`re saying, he can really dance.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Brand, as a family law attorney, do you find that frightening. It`s almost like he`s looking at another generation of Jacksons and going hmm, I can get my hands on them and make some money.

BRAND: Absolutely Jane, right, I think through all of this we`ve seen Joe come out as being very money-hungry. That`s how he`s been in appearing in the media. So as I go back to my original point, Katherine is going to be the one in court. She needs to present to the judge that Joe is not going to be involved in these children`s life on a day-to-day basis.

We live separately, we lead separate lives and that he`s not going to be influencing them. Otherwise, Debbie Rowe can come in and say look at Joe Jackson, look what he did, what he reportedly did to Michael. And look how he`s acting in the media and these children don`t belong with the Jackson clan at all.

"Katherine is not stepping up to the plate and therefore I am the more stable influence for these children. I`m the biological mother and I should have them." I think that`s where she`s going to get her opening.

ARCHER: But the big argument there is the fact, it always best to keep the kids together. So that`s going to be Katherine -- the big problem is the fact that the kids would not be together because she`s only the mom of two of them.

BRAND: Yes I agree.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know I think Janet Jackson would be the best. I vote for Janet Jackson.


ARCHER: Interesting vote.

EIGLARSH: Oh. That is nasty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I silenced everybody, my gosh. I`ll say it again, Katherine Jackson, everybody gets silent. Bryan what do you think? I think she would be great. She was hugging...

MONROE: Well, I think Jennifer made a good point that Katherine`s role right now, is first to be the grandmother to these kids and then to -- with her lawyers -- prepare their case for court in her only constituency she needs to worry about are the kids and the judge.

BRAND: Right.

MONROE: She doesn`t need to release a statement in the media. Enough of playing this out in the media; it`s about the kids and in the courtroom...


MONROE: ...showing that that is the right home for those kids, period.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark, I want to ask you about another issue.

Take a look at the cover of "The New York Post" today, "Jacko`s Creepy Crypt," and essentially they`re saying that they tracked down the star`s body and he is being temporarily kept in a crypt owned by Motown founder Berry Gordy as the family fights over final resting place and they`re saying money is at the root of that fight.

EIGLARSH: Well, I wouldn`t disagree. I don`t know how many people are really looking out for his best interests throughout his entire life, even after death. I`ve said now numerous times, that I think that money is what drives these folks for the most part. It`s really, really sad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really is.

And let me ask you this, Bryan Monroe, in terms of the battle, Jermaine wants Neverland, Katherine doesn`t want Neverland, saying it`s been tainted.

But is there some sort of push to maybe have a shrine like Graceland in Vegas as well?

MONROE: Well, there has been a lot of conversations about very different memorials or shrines or ultimately where he would be buried. Jermaine early on said Neverland was the right place to go. But the other members of the family aren`t so sure yet. I don`t think it`s a done deal.

Certainly you also have the logistics with the State of California and Santa Barbara County. But remember even remember, James Brown, his body wasn`t buried for two months after he died. So we`ve got some time here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I think it`s going to be absolutely fascinating to see where Michael Jackson ends up.

Fabulous panel, don`t go anywhere, more custody clash drama in a minute.

Does Joe Jackson really think he has a chance to win custody?

And NFL star, Steve McNair, killed by his mistress before she turned the gun on herself. Family, friends and fans packed into a national church to remember him. I will have an update on the memorial.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The fight over Michael Jackson`s kids heats up. I will preview Monday`s custody hearing.

But first "Top of the Block tonight."

It`s a busy week to the NFL`s public relations department and that`s never a good thing. A crowded memorial was held for slain NFL star Steve McNair yesterday in Nashville. Cops said McNair was killed by his 20-year- old mistress before she turned the gun on herself. McNair played 13 seasons in the NFL and did charitable work with thousands of under- privileged kids.

Yet, as one NFL star is laid to rest, another finishes a very, very, very, very quick sentence. In Miami, Donte Stallworth in jail for DUI manslaughter, was released today after only serving 24 days of his 30-day sentence. Let me reiterate, this guy killed a pedestrian while driving drunk and served less than one month behind bars. A slap on the wrist for Stallworth but a slap in the face for the justice system; guess it`s celebrity justice NFL style.

That`s tonight`s "Top of the block."

Returning now to the battles brewing over Michael Jackson`s remains and the custody of his children, I`m back with my fantastic panel and we are talking custody.

My question to the panel, could the drug scandal affect the custody case because as I think about it -- Jennifer Brand, family law attorney -- the Jacksons had to know if they were trying intervention and they knew that Michael was in charge of these three precious children and apparently they didn`t do enough about it.

JENNIFER Brand, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: The problem is that here, Jane, is that I think Debbie Rowe also, she stated in the press that she sort of knew that he was getting into drugs as well. So if they both knew about it, then what do you do? Put the children with a third party? I mean that`s the problem that we have.

Were they enabling him and to the extent all these people knew about it, shouldn`t someone have stepped in earlier to try to take these children out of the mix? That`s the problem that we have.



DR. CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN: When you look at addicts, the family of origin has so much to do with their becoming addicts that, you know, we focus a lot on Joe because we know about the abuse he did but is Katherine totally exempt here too?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Katherine would be exempt -- I mean, Katherine would not be exempt because she at no time stepped up and tried to stop Joe from the abusive behavior that he was doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that`s going to -- that has to go against her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We talk of apples and oranges here, people. Did this family do enough to protect these kids if Michael Jackson, in fact, was the raging drug addict that it now appears that he was?


ARCHER: Let me respond to that. They were saying that they tried to do the interventions but would not even be allowed on the premises so the question would be, how much and how bad was his condition and how much did they know about that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What should they have done?

EIGLARSH: When we`re at 40 Xanax a night to put yourself to sleep, we`re at Code Red. And the answer is, nobody did enough.

And if anything, thank you for having this topic, because families who are watching this, even if their children who are at risk can`t do the moonwalk, addicts are addicts are addicts. They are powerless to control their addiction. You must step in. They don`t answer the call; you go there and you do something before somebody dies.

ARCHER: That`s so much easier said than done...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jane, we also have to look at Katherine`s actions.

ARCHER: It`s not easy.

EIGLARSH: Yes, it`s easier said than done is what it is but...


EIGLARSH: You can`t just barge in on somebody`s house and say you`re going to treat them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if they have kids you can. You could call the Department of Children and Family Services and you can say there`s a problem in that house and I want somebody to go in there and take those kids out of there.

ARCHER: Yes. All you can do is get...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Brand.

BRANT: What I think we should be concerned about, is Katherine`s actions all through Michael`s life. I mean, If he was being abused at the hands of his father wasn`t that something -- she should have done something then to stop the abuse. And then he was a drug addict...


LONDON: Now you`re going to end up with three more in the same position.

BRANT: Exactly. She`s going to put the -- three more children are going to be there with her. Do we really think she is the best person to raise these children? There`s no doubt that she`s loving, but did she do anything really to protect her children? That`s what I think we need to look at. And I think that`s what the court needs to look at on Monday.

ARCHER: The question would be can she overrule Joe when it comes down to making decisions because it seems to me that he is still ruling that family with an iron fist and she may be totally under his control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Apparently she cant`.

EIGLARSH: It comes back to Jane`s question, should he stay in the background when Katherine tries to get the children? The answer is absolutely, yes.

ARCHER: He should, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it comes back to...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Wait. Wait. One at a time.

BRANT: I think it comes back to Jane`s point that Janet may be the best person because she seems like she was the one who wanted to step in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Funny, during the break, somebody said to me, oh you know, you said Janet, like I had made a typo or mistake. I said no, I meant Janet. Janet Jackson should be the custodial parent here.

BRANT: That is not a bad idea.


Because she lovingly hugged his child after he spoke?

MONROE: No, no, no.

EIGLARSH: What do we know about her?

MONROE: I`ll tell you a few things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bryan Monroe, she`s the one who tried to do the intervention on Michael Jackson. She`s the one who refused to sign the document where all the family said there was no attempted intervention, everything is great. She`s the one who`s been real?

MONROE: Look, if you dismiss Janet Jackson you do that at your own peril. She is a strong, powerful sister who has been there both for Michael and for those kids. And even though she is the -- been the one that`s been most successful outside of the brothers, she is very much part of their lives.

And, you know, don`t misread that gesture on the stage when Paris put her head against her arm. She`s there for those kids.

EIGLARSH: There`s two problems...

MONROE: I wouldn`t dismiss her out of hand. I really won`t.


EIGLARSH: Jane, two problems with Janet.

Number one, children need a loving parent in the home on a daily basis. She has her own career.

Second question is does she want the children? Has she ever stated publicly that she wants the children?

MONROE: She`d never said it.

BRANT: That`s the big question.

But was Michael really in the home for them? I mean, if you look at it, if he was doing drugs some of the time and entertaining other times, was he around?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know who was taking care of these kids? Grace the nanny.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grace the nanny; we`re going to talk about her in just a moment.

MONROE: And Grace was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody stay right there. The custody battle on Monday; it`s coming. We`re analyzing it. What will happen?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was contacted like the people.

NADYA SULEMAN: He was not contacted by anyone. It just so happened he was contacted by them now that this is on the media. Come on now.

I wouldn`t believe anything unless you heard it from him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You might be confused. Why is octo-mom suddenly on the screen? Well, that`s octo-mom saying not true to RadarOnline. The question a British tabloid claims Michael Jackson once approached octo- mom`s publicist about adopting her eight babies. But apparently, she said she doesn`t think that`s true. He never contacted her directly.

Just the idea that those two were in the same story makes my head want to explode.

Back to my fantastic panel.

The big custody hearing coming up on Monday; I want to get -- round table -- everybody`s prediction. Starting with Dr. Dale Archer; will Debbie Rowe officially seek custody?

ARCHER: I think Debbie will say that she`s going to seek custody. I think they will settle that out of court for a large monetary settlement and Debbie will drop by the wayside.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer Brand?

BRANT: I think that Katherine is going to be successful. I don`t think Debbie is going to intervene. But I think she should see the children in the future. She is their mom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Cathleen London?

LONDON: You know, I think Katherine is going to get it. I think Debbie is going for the money. And we`ll see where that goes.


EIGLARSH: If it helps the ratings, I think octo-mom will get them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She does not need another.

ARCHER: When octo-mom is the voice of reason, we know we`re in trouble, right?


Bryan Monroe, why don`t you be the voice of reason on this? What do you think is going to happen Monday?

MONROE: As you know, those kids belong with Katherine and the brothers and sisters in that part of the family. Having Debbie in the mix or not, if she`s there to love the kids, there`s never too much love in any children`s lives.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to ask one last question about Grace Rwaramba. Dr. Dale archer, she`s the one who was the de facto parent taking care of these kids, apparently, while Michael Jackson was off doing God only knows what. Shouldn`t she have a role?

ARCHER: She should have a role, but where is she. I just wonder if the family has totally pushed her aside. We never see or we never hear anything about her. You have to wonder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think that would be the ultimate heartbreak.

MONROE: I`m told she`s in Encino right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh good. Let`s pray she`s got contact with these kids. Thank you, fabulous panel, for joining me tonight.

Remember to click on and pre-order your copy of my recovery memoir, "I want" talking about how I kicked alcohol and it is a journey filled with surprises.

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