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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Doctor Targeted in Jackson Manslaughter Probe; Video Exposes Treatment of Circus Elephants
Aired July 24, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, damaging new details emerging about the raid on Michael Jackson`s doctor, Conrad Murray. Cops reportedly confiscate a slew of pills from his office, including an appetite suppressant and a muscle relaxant.
Plus, a suspension notice from a local hospital and an IRS notice. How does all of this help their manslaughter investigation?
Also, tonight, TMZ`s stunning new claims that Dr. Arnold Klein had medical files that were actually listed under one of the aliases the singer used. Are criminal charges coming soon?
Then, we`ll pull back the curtain and show you secretly-recorded video that PETA alleges shows the traumatic abuse of Ringling Brothers` biggest draw. Images, purportedly of trainers striking helpless elephants with handles and pointed metal hooks backstage in a circus tour. Ringling Brothers fires back that its tactics are harmless and legal. You be the judge.
Then, as Gosselin reportedly bounces from party to party and girl to girl, are his kids suffering in silence? Is it time to focus on the family and shut down the reality show once and for all?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the Michael Jackson death investigation moving at the speed of light. Dr. Conrad Murray, the cardiologist with Jackson when he died, is now, quote, "the target of a manslaughter probe."
On Wednesday, the DEA, the LAPD and Houston police stormed the Houston office of Dr. Murray, looking for evidence that would support a manslaughter charge. They seized documents, computer forensics and drugs.
We`re also learning tonight about a raid, very significantly, on Dr. Murray`s storage unit. A search warrant returned an inventory, obtained by CNN, shows that among the items seized were two documents regarding incomplete charts from Doctors Hospital; one suspension notice, Doctors Hospital; and a medical board certificate which had expired. Nowhere in either inventory was Propofol mentioned. That`s that powerful surgical knockout drug at the center of this case. Could that be because authorities arrived too late?
The manager of the storage facility told ABC News that on the very day Michael Jackson died, two women, including one who worked for Dr. Murray, went into his storage unit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUE LYON, GENERAL MANAGER, WEST 16TH ST. STORAGE: They were putting a few boxes -- small boxes, you know, like paper would come in. A ream of paper? They were putting a few of those in the back of the car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As for the hospital mentioned twice in the storage unit inventory, ISSUES found that the addresses for a sleep center located approximately three miles from Dr. Murray`s office. We contacted that sleep center for comment but did not hear back before deadline.
Meantime, TMZ citing law enforcement sources who tell them Dr. Arnie Klein, Michael`s dermatologist, used one of Michael`s fake names, Omar Arnold, on some of Jackson`s medical files. But the tangled web of aliases doesn`t stop there.
So much to dissect. Straight out to my awesome expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Firpo Carr, Jackson family friend and former Jackson spokesperson; Michael Cardoza, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, who attended the Michael Jackson criminal trail; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst.
Lisa, so many developments. It`s unbelievable. Fast and furious.
There are reports that on the morning Michael died, two women went to Dr. Murray`s Houston storage facility. TMZ now claiming they arrived at 9:22 a.m. L.A. time. Now, remember the 911 call reporting Michael Jackson had collapsed came in at 12:21 p.m. L.A. time, approximately three hours after these women reportedly arrived at Dr. Murray`s Houston storage facility.
What are the possible implications?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it`s hard to say that there was foul play, I think, if they arrived three hours before Michael Jackson died. Most people think that Michael Jackson`s death was completely unanticipated.
And even if Dr. Murray did something very, very wrong, I find it hard to believe that he would have known three hours in advance to cover his tracks.
However, if he was giving Propofol to Michael Jackson, that`s the kind of thing he should have known was highly dangerous to cause great bodily injury or death. That`s the kind of thing that could be underlined as manslaughter investigation. If there were records of that Propofol, that after all he has to obtain it from somewhere, it has to be shipped to him. There has to be order forms. If there were -- was evidence of that in the storage facility, maybe he thought, "I better get rid of it because I don`t want to get in trouble for giving this to Michael Jackson."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, again, let`s ponder the significance of this. TMZ says the two women went to Dr. Murray`s storage facility, arriving at 9:22 L.A. time, and removed three to five boxes and other items. The timing is bizarre, because the 911 call was made at 12:21 a.m. L.A. time. Listen to that 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he on the floor? Where is he at right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s on the bed, sir. He`s on the bed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let`s get him on the floor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let`s get him down to the floor. I`m going to help you with CPR right now...
Did anybody see him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have a personal doctor here with him, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you have a doctor there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, Joe Jackson has complained that Michael was probably dead long before he was taken to the hospital. If -- and it`s a big "if" -- authorities can prove this visit three hours before the 911 call was to remove key medical files, does that raise the possibility that the 911 call was a total setup? And could that lead to conspiracy charges, given that there was the doctor, the people going to the facility...
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Whoa! Easy. Whoa. Blockbuster, bombshell. It`s too much, Jane. I can`t handle it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Handle it, dude.
EIGLARSH: One at a time. OK, well, I agree, absolutely with Lisa. She nailed it on the head. Odds are this is probably an innocuous visit to the warehouse. He`s entitled to go there. It happened before the death.
Secondly, if, however, for some reason he sent them there to discard items, knowing that there would be an investigation, potentially tampering with evidence could be a potential charge. All we have to do is bring these two ladies in, sit them down, scare the heck out of them as they`re going to do and get them to say, who sent you there and why? And they`ll have the answer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza, let me just ask you as a former prosecutor, what do you make of all this? And especially given the fact that no Propofol was found, apparently, in Dr. Murray`s Houston offices?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The fact that no Propofol was found, that doesn`t mean a whole lot to me. I mean, he orders it probably as he needs it.
I think what`s most important here, if you remember the last month or so, we`ve all been talking about what type of charges might be filed here. And a lot of prosecutors and a lot of defense attorneys have wandered into that second-degree murder. In fact, Lisa alluded to it a couple seconds ago when she talked about the acts that could be committed, wantonly and willfully in disregard for human life.
What we do know now is by the search warrant that the D.A. is looking for manslaughter. Keep in mind in California, manslaughter carries a midterm of three years, as opposed to a second-degree murder, which is 15 to life. So there`s a big difference between an involuntary manslaughter and a second-degree murder.
So now we know the most he`s going to face, if he`s convicted, is probably three years. And he only serves half of that, if they can convict him. But it`s going to be awfully difficult, I`ll tell you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I have to say that Dr. Murray`s invited on this program or his attorneys any time to explain his side of the story. He has said through his attorneys he did absolutely nothing wrong.
That being said, I wonder, Darren Kavinoky, why this raid comes now. Tomorrow, I believe, is the one-month anniversary of Michael Jackson`s tragic death. Why not do it the day after? I mean, why not do all this very, very fast? We know they didn`t declare it a crime scene, Michael Jackson`s mansion. They didn`t put police tape around it. So there`s reports that family members went in there and carted off who knows what. How can they conduct an investigation at this late date?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s like peeling away the layers of an onion. And as more information is revealed, it sends them in new directions.
And of course, in a high-profile case like this, they want to be sure that they`re doing everything right. The last thing they want is a defense lawyer getting up there and beating the drum of this being another rush to judgment in...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, no. There`s a difference between investigating and rushing to judgment. I mean, come on, guys. Help me out. You`re going to wait a month before you go to a storage locker -- all right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why don`t we go -- let`s start with Lisa again -- Lisa.
BLOOM: They went after Dr. Murray immediately, remember, because he suspiciously disappeared on the day of Michael Jackson`s demise. And so why not go into the house? You`re absolutely right. He was a 50-year-old man. That`s an unusual situation that he would die from heart failure. He was well known to be addicted to prescription drugs. He had said it himself on the air. Why not go into the house, tape it off, investigate and make sure that nobody is hiding medications to protect him? You`re absolutely right, Jane.
CARDOZA: You`ve got to remember, you just don`t get search warrants for no reason. You have to have that little thing called probable cause.
BLOOM: The death of a 50-year-old man, is that no reason?
CARDOZA: That`s not -- Lisa, no, that`s not enough. That`s not even close to enough. They have to develop probable cause.
BLOOM: How about a guy who`s got a live-in doctor?
CARDOZA: Get the -- no, no. So what? That doesn`t do it. Probable cause, they search his house. The search of the house reveals that he had the Houston storage locker.
BLOOM: Well, they`re searching now, aren`t they?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Maybe not the day after, but a month later? A month later you go to the Houston storage facility?
CARDOZA: It takes time.
BLOOM: Yes and time is of an essence in a crime investigation. Time is critical. The first 24 hours, we all know, are the most important time in an investigation. You can`t let the clock tick. You can`t let people go in and hide evidence.
EIGLARSH: Lisa, you can`t jump the gun. Now, once they -- once they found out that he prescribed this powerful anesthetic, that`s gross negligence if he`s not there administering it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know that. We don`t know that. We have to say we don`t know what he prescribed. OK, everybody, fabulous panel, stay right there. We`ll have much more in the Jackson death investigation in a moment.
Plus, Jon Gosselin continues to live out his midlife crisis in the media spotlight. But are his eight kids the ones paying the price for it? I`ll show you new shocking reports of agony within his brood.
But first, here is Joe Jackson sharing his theory about the death of his son, the superstar, on "LARRY KING LIVE."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: You don`t take a doctor and stick him in the room, Larry, and the doctor give him something to make him rest and then he don`t wake up no more. Something is wrong there.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Are you implying, then, that the doctor committed foul play?
JOE JACKSON: Something went wrong. Something went wrong, Larry, because when they tried to bring Michael back, he was dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jackson`s parents called him and said that Michael wasn`t well, can he come and help him? A few days before the trial ended, Dick Gregory told me that he went back to Neverland with Michael Jackson, that Jackson hugged him and said, quote, "Please don`t leave me. They`re trying to kill me."
Gregory says he asked Jackson when the last time he ate was, because he didn`t look well, and that Jackson told him, quote, "They`re trying to poison me." He asked him when he last drank water. He said Jackson told him, again, quote, "They`re trying to kill me."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Randi Kaye telling Anderson Cooper what Jackson`s friend, the famous comedian Dick Gregory, had to say about Michael Jackson`s state of mind and general health just days before his molestation trial ended. And as you heard, there, he was reportedly paranoid that somebody was trying to kill him.
Now, at the time of his death, he seemed fit and energetic, as we saw from the rehearsal. A lot of people said he seemed better than he had in a while.
Firpo Carr, you`ve been listening to all the lawyers wrangling over the significance of these raids on the office and the storage facility. What do you make of all of it? What do you make of the fact that authorities seized pamphlets on a sleep center? That there`s a sleep center not too far away from Dr. Murray`s Houston office? When, given the fact that Propofol is the powerful knockout drug at the center of this case?
FIRPO CARR, FORMER JACKSON SPOKESMAN: Well, I think in isolation, these items might appear innocuous. But in the totality, I think we have a problem here. We see a pattern here. At least I do. The family does, too.
This behavior, the doctor not being there. And I understand his reasoning, well, I had to go here to Houston and do this and do that. But if I`m a doctor and I`m Michael Jackson`s friend, I`m going to go to his family and say, "I am so sorry for your loss. I did everything I possibly could to revive him. Here`s what happened." This man went in the opposite direction. So that is more than suspicious to me, and the family sees that as something that is very telling.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael Cardoza, in Dr. Murray`s defense, there are reports that he did not disappear. What he did was he went and got some lawyers, which you`d think might be a smart thing to do if somebody as famous as Michael Jackson dies on your watch.
CARDOZA: Absolutely. I mean, he has every right to do that. We all do things that at times is perceived to be wrong. I mean, for example, when people slip and fall, some people laugh. Why would we laugh at something like that? It`s a reaction.
He decided, "I better get lawyers. This is Michael Jackson. They`re going to be looking at me. I`m here." I think that`s perfectly appropriate. One of...
CARR: I wouldn`t...
CARDOZA: I`ve got to tell you...
CARR: I wouldn`t take a defensive move like that. That`s a defensive...
CARDOZA: Well, that`s you. That`s you.
CARR: That implies guilt to me.
CARDOZA: No, it doesn`t. No, you can`t do that.
CARR: Yes, you can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa, you were going to say?
BLOOM: Yes, I think Firpo, you would, if law enforcement was investigating you for manslaughter and immediately focusing in on you.
CARR: You know they`re going to do that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go -- let`s go to the issue of the Propofol. From the documents it appears no Propofol was found in Dr. Murray`s Houston office. Obviously, that would be something they`d be looking for.
Last night, Nancy Grace asked Nurse Cherilyn Lee whether she was surprised about that. Listen to her answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHERILYN LEE, CLAIMS SHE TREATED MICHAEL JACKSON: He wanted this Diprivan. He was emphatic about wanting to have it. And in noticing his behavior, even the behavior, even when it came to simple things, even nutritional supplements, he always wanted to have a large quantity. And he wanted a large quantity at his house. He said, "You know the way the economy is going and things are happening. I want to make sure that I have everything at my disposal." So I`m not surprised they didn`t find it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Mark Eiglarsh, I mean, her basic point is that Michael Jackson was a collector. He liked to have a lot of things. Hypothetically, you could collect and hoard this Propofol, and perhaps Michael Jackson was stockpiling this stuff in his house. That`s why it wasn`t found anywhere else.
EIGLARSH: Well, that`s possible. I mean, the question is, did this doctor prescribe it? If the doctor, his personal physician making $150,000 a month, which by the way, to the average juror and certainly to your average cop, raises some big, red flags.
If he, in fact, prescribed that drug and was not there to administer it, there`s not a prosecutor in this country at this point with this climate who wouldn`t charge this as being grossly negligent and thus involuntary manslaughter.
BLOOM: He wasn`t a collector. It wasn`t because of the economy. It`s because he was addicted to prescription drugs. That`s why he wanted large amounts around.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just ask you this. Darren Kavinoky, let me jump in. I don`t know that it`s actually accurate to say prescribing Diprivan, because Diprivan is not something like a pill that you prescribe and you get in a little bottle.
CARR: Good point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a surgical knockout drug used in hospitals. And some have told me that that`s one of the reasons why it`s harder to track. Because if you`ve got a pill, you`ve got the patient`s name and the doctor`s name right on it. But with Diprivan, apparently, it doesn`t work that way. It`s harder to track.
KAVINOKY: Well, ultimately, what it`s going to come down to -- hang on one second. If I could just please finish one answer here. What it`s going to come down to, if they`re looking at manslaughter charges, it requires something that`s more than ordinary negligence. It requires an indifference to human life. It`s a criminal negligence, a gross negligence without regard to the consequences.
If this drug is being administered in a hospital-like setting, even if it`s in Michael Jackson`s house, I think the prosecution is going to have some challenges in terms of meeting that -- that hurdle. So it`s not a slam dunk.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everybody, stay right there. We just touched the surface. We`re going to be back with more.
Addiction is a chronic illness in America. And in my new book, "I Want," I lay out my own personal battle with the disease and my long road to sobriety. It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall. But you can preorder your copy right now. Just click on CNN.com/Jane and look for the preorder section. It`s my very personal story. And there are some things in there that will definitely surprise you.
A shocking abuse caught on tape. Newly-released video allegedly shows the cruel beating of elephants at the circus. Ringling Brothers says its tactics are safe and legal. We will let you be the judge.
And disgraced NFL star Michael Vick could be on the verge of being reinstated to the NFL. He may have served his time for breaking the law, but if he`s not truly rehabilitated, does he deserve a second chance at professional football?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, alleged abuse under the big top. People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals. shocking undercover video showing what they claim is the abuse of elephants by handlers at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Take a look for yourself.
PETA goes on the claim that the handlers used hooks, four to eight pound hook rods to strike these majestic animals on their heads, legs and body.
The circus says there is no abuse and the handlers are in compliance with federal and local regulation. So what do you think? There`s the video.
Joining me now, Lisa Lange, senior vice president of communications for PETA.
Lisa, how did you obtain this video? And what do you believe it shows?
LISA LANGE, SVP OF COMMUNICATIONS, PETA: We had an undercover investigator who was working with the circus for several months. And what we believe it shows is illegal activity on the part of elephant handlers. Some of these are managers. They`re all -- one of them is a superintendent of animal handling for the circus.
And what we saw was routine beatings. Night after night, these elephants are being hit with what is known as a bull hook. And it`s what you see here. It`s like a fireplace hook with a very sharp end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me see that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. There you go. All right.
LANGE: It`s -- what it`s used for, as you see in the videotape, is the elephants are hit in their -- around their ears, between their toes, on their faces.
You know, an elephant`s skin is very thin. It`s very, very sensitive. They can feel a bug bite. And so you see these people whipping them, hitting them with this bull hook over and over and over again. It`s just to remind these animals who`s boss. It keeps them fearful. It keeps them intimidated.
And to answer the second part of your question, we believe it`s illegal. We believe that it`s in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act. And therefore, we filed a complaint with the USDA.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
LANGE: We also feel it`s a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus for comment. Here`s what they said. Quote, "While it is no surprise that PETA would once again release this information about Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers is making a thorough review of the recent video produced and distributed by PETA. Ringling Brothers also believes the video is questionable in its context, regarding a portrayal of an animal handlers."
They went on to say, "Ringling Brothers is a licensed traveling exhibitor. And from January through June of this year, the alleged time covered in the video, this particular unit was found to be in compliance with federal, state and local regulations. The elephants and all the animals at Ringling Brothers are cared for by a team of accredited veterinarians and animal care staff that ensures the animal`s needs are met and that they are in a safe and secure environment."
By the way, Ringling Brothers, you want to come on and debate this subject? You are invited here on ISSUES.
Lisa, how do you respond to their response?
LANGE: It`s ludicrous. We`ve had reports from whistleblowers for years. People who have worked behind the scenes for years, saying that these animals are beaten constantly.
You know, the elephants live in chains. Ninety percent of their lives they`re in chains. Fifty weeks out of the year they`re carted from town to town. The tigers live in their transport cages except for when they`re in the ring. And we`ve got footage on our Web site at PETA.org that shows during rehearsals the tigers were being beaten, as well.
This is the standard for the circus. We`ve known about this with Ringling Brothers for a very long time. Now we have the video, and we think it`s up to people to understand, to watch the video and decide for yourself.
LANGE: Most people go to the circus because they love animals. They just don`t know this is happening.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. Just watch the video, and you decide for yourself. And again, Barnum and Bailey, you want to come on? We`ll have you any time.
Thank you, Lisa.
Michael Jackson`s doctor, Conrad Murray, the focus of his death probe. We`ll be back with more in a second.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, damaging new details emerging about the raid on Michael Jackson`s doctor, Conrad Murray. Cops reportedly confiscate a slew of pills from his office. How does all this help their manslaughter investigation?
TMZ`s stunning new claims that Dr. Arnold Klein had medical files for Michael that were actually listed under one of the aliases the singer used? Are criminal charges coming soon?
As Jon Gosselin reportedly bounces from party to party and girl to girl, are his kids suffering in silence? Is it time to focus on the family and shut down the reality show once and for all?
Tonight, the Michael Jackson death investigation is heating up; his personal doctor, Conrad Murray, the target of a manslaughter probe.
Just days ago the DEA, LAPD and Houston police ambushed his Houston office. What were they looking for? Evidence of foul play perhaps? Cops seized documents, computer forensics and drugs.
It has been almost a month since the "King of Pop" died. Could have that allowed for time for important evidence to fall through the cracks? According to reports two women who worked for Murray were seen removing boxes from his storage unit the very day Jackson died.
Meantime, TMZ is reporting that Jackson pal Dr. Arnold Klein, his dermatologist, actually used Michael`s aliases on some of his medical file. What`s that all about? And by the way, both doctors say they have done absolutely nothing wrong.
Straight out to my outstanding panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Firpo Carr, Jackson family friend; Michael Cardoza, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst.
Lisa, could these two women who were reportedly, allegedly, purportedly removing potential evidence from Michael`s -- from Dr. Murray`s storage locker face criminal charges if it`s determined that they were, in fact, removing evidence?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, sure. Absolutely. That is a crime. That`s a felony in every state. Removing evidence and hiding evidence of a crime. They could also be looking at conspiracy charges.
But, I want to point out, we might be getting way ahead of ourselves. They might have had a legitimate reason for being there and we just don`t know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It could have been coincidence, Mark Eiglarsh, that they were there purportedly arriving three hours before the 911 call. Won`t time of death be absolutely crucial to this case? We should get that, shouldn`t we, when we hear the final autopsy report?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We should. I do agree that when he died and when they went to the warehouse is going to be key.
Here`s one thing that`s not open for debate. If there were prescriptions, powerful pain medications in other people`s names and were given to Michael Jackson, there`s no question that someone needs to be held criminally responsible. The argument that, "Well, I was one of Michael Jackson`s handlers or runners and I didn`t know," no defense.
The -- let`s see, the doctors claiming that the paparazzi would be all over it if we did it in his name, not a defense. There absolutely, I suspect, will be people who`ll be held criminal responsible and should be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Michael Cardoza, would we be able to get the exact time of death? Based on your experience, I know you`re not a pathologist, but you`ve covered many, many trials. Given the condition of his body, how he was found, the fact he was 50 years old, there was not a lot of deterioration. Could we get the exact time of death or pretty close to it?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. You`re going to get the best medical estimate that they could give. But it would be interesting if that estimate puts it long before the 911 call, because then that would make it interesting what went on with those two women. You know, Lisa -- not Lisa, but Jane.
What I`m most interested in is what does the AMA say about the administration of the Propofol? Can you give it to people in this particular instance or is it supposed to be just used as an anesthetic in surgery? And then with Dr. Murray being there; what were the conditions that it was administered under if the AMA says it`s okay to administer in those particular conditions?
Again, it was mentioned earlier about the doctor getting $150,000 a month to attend to Michael Jackson. I`m telling you that will be one of the biggest emotional push buttons if this gets to jury. Because jurors will look at that and say doctor, you were bought to give him anything he wanted, whether it was legal or illegal. I`m telling you, that`s how a jury will think.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Darren Kavinoky, there are reports -- Darren, there are reports that he had financial troubles. A 1992 bankruptcy, according to published reports and several tax (INAUDIBLE).
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think the $150,000 a month, it may sound like a big number, but remember we`re talking about Michael Jackson. It is a big number, but look, it`s Michael Jackson we`re talking about. It`s about this doctor devoting as much energy to Michael Jackson as Michael Jackson demanded. So in the grand scheme of things, I don`t think that`s going to be the big -- the big factor in determining whether or not this doctor is guilty.
I`ve got to chime in. I`ve got to chime in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Chime in.
KAVINOKY: On this time of death thing, yes, there`s going to be a range, but it`s not going to be a three-hour range. One of the things that the paramedics undoubtedly did was take Michael Jackson`s body temperature and that`s going to be very, very telling regarding time of death.
These women taking boxes out of the warehouse, it`s -- it would be one thing if that was the next day. Then we might be able to ascribe a sinister motive. We`re really, really stretching it to say that to say three hours beforehand, he was cooling already, not going to happen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, Joe Jackson is the one who said, Firpo, that he felt his son had died long before he was taken to the hospital.
FIRPO CARR, JACKSON FAMILY FRIEND: Absolutely. And that`s a very important element.
We`re overlooking something here that I think we definitely need to consider. That is this. What if, just what if, it may be a stretch, that this was planned? That it was a murder? What if, what if?
BLOOM: Why though? What would the motive be?
CARR: Michael called me, just like he told Dick Gregory, he called me and said, listen, they`re after my Beatles collection.
BLOOM: Who`s they? Who?
CARR: Whoever they are.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, conspiracy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, ok. I`ve got to use my gavel. Lisa, we`ll start back with you.
BLOOM: Jane, did you notice, by the way, the fake name that supposedly Michael Jackson was using to get medication?
Omar. Same name as the alleged love child who showed up at the funeral. When people come up with fake names they usually pick a family member. Omar is an unusual name, isn`t it?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it is. But he also used Jack London, who was the famous author of "Call of the Wild." And I don`t know if you could find any significance.
CARR: Check this out. Here`s something that I think we may be overlooking as well. It`s not a crime, the last time I checked, anyway. It`s not a crime to be addicted to something. It is a crime if you are a doctor and you were there in the room and see your patient die and do nothing about it or if you administered something that caused the death. Let`s just make that delineation.
Not a crime to be addicted. It is a crime if you watch someone die.
KAVINOKY: But let`s get back to that whole bit about the motive and about Beatles collection here. All of that`s going to be dealt with in his estate planning, the idea somebody might be killing him to grab that Beatles collection. That part doesn`t really resonate as authentic because it`s not like it`s a diamond they can grab from him. It`s something that`s going to be dealt with as one of his assets in the estate.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, you know with the death of any famous superstar legend of this caliber, whether it`s Marilyn Monroe or Elvis, you`re going to have a conspiracy theory. That`s part of this sort of -- it comes with the territory when you`re talking about somebody this famous. Remember Marilyn Monroe?
EIGLARSH: Of course. And thanks to your guests, they`ll be talking about it all weekend. I mean, it started here on your show. Everybody`s going to be talking it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t believe the conspiracy theory. I`d like to say that. Michael Cardoza...
CARR: Let me say this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, Michael Cardoza.
CARDOZA: It`s not a crime to be addicted to a drug or alcohol. But it is a crime to buy those drugs, to buy a doctor that`s going to administer those drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get to this next point, then.
CARDOZA: Above all, the person that`s responsible for this death really is Michael Jackson.
CARR: Oh no.
CARDOZA: Sure it is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Let me go to this sound bite from -- ok. Let me go to nutritionist Cherilyn Lee, treated Michael Jackson between January and April. The L.A. County coroner paid a visit to her office to serve a subpoena for medical records related to Michael Jackson.
TMZ also caught up with her. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to know, to what extent was Michael using Propofol?
CHERILYN LEE, NURSE WHO CLAIMS SHE TREATED JACKSON: I don`t know to what extent. All I know is he asked me for it and I didn`t give it to him. To what extent I really don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, couldn`t Dr. Murray argue, "Hey, I didn`t give it to him." That`s why he was going to Cherilyn Lee and asking for it.
BLOOM: That`s the central issue in this case. We talk about conspiracy and all these wild theories. No one wants to hold celebrities accountable for their own behavior in our culture.
Michael Jackson acknowledged that he was an addict. Cherilyn Lee has acknowledged that he was begging her for these very potent medications that was bad for him. Isn`t it possible that Michael Jackson was responsible for the drugs?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s only one problem with that theory, Lisa. The problem is that you can`t administer Diprivan to yourself.
CARR: Thank you. Thank you for saying that.
BLOOM: I understand that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Who wants to talk? Let me see. Eenie, Meenie, Mini mo.
EIGLARSH: Thank you. Thanks for picking me, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re welcome.
EIGLARSH: What I did want to say was -- there`s no question that an addict has to accept responsibility for their own actions. But those around him who knew for years that he was popping as much as 40 Xanax a night to put himself to sleep, bear responsibility for the condition that he was in prior to his death.
Listen, you`ve got to do something. They didn`t do it. Allegedly they tried and intervention...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They tried tough love, it didn`t work.
EIGLARSH: One person did, not the family members.
CARR: One thing solves it right away. Why don`t we find Michael`s body and charge him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On that note, which I assume was facetious, thank you fantastic panel for this really vigorous debate tonight.
Meantime, the NFL reportedly on the verge of reinstating Michael Vick; he served his sentence for running a dog fighting ring. But now he has to face the court of public opinion. Should he be allowed to play ball again?
And as Jon Gosselin gallivants around the world with what seems like a different girl every week, are his kids suffering in silence?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reality stars Jon and Kate Gosselin have been getting a whole lot of attention lately. But guess who isn`t -- their brood of eight. Have their kids` concerns gotten lost in their new celebrity madness?
First, "Top of the Block." Could Michael Vick be reinstated into the NFL? It`s looking like he might be. And that decision could be made as early as next week.
Vick sat down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and an agent to discuss the possibility of his returning to professional football.
Vick became a free man Monday after serving 23 months for running a cruel and brutal dog-fighting operation. An NFL spokesman says they`re engaged in a careful and thoughtful process with Vick. Some sources say he may be allowed back but suspended for the first few games.
It has not even been a week since he`s been free. Does Vick deserve a second chance so very quickly? As far as I can see, he hasn`t done anything yet to convince the public he`s truly a changed man. To me, that`s a more important obligation than figuring out how to play professional football once again.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
More dramarama tonight in the lives of reality TV`s most infamous soon to be exes, Jon and Kate Gosselin: whether its Jon Gosselin gallivanting the globe with a 22-year-old gal pal or Kate`s latest haircut?
Jon and Kate`s eight appear to be the least of anyone`s concerns. "US Weekly" dropping a stunning article this weekend claiming the sextuplets and twins are in agony about their parent`s divorce and how it`s playing out in public.
The adorable brood understandably distraught about the split but haven`t had a lot of time to cope. They`ve reportedly been working this summer, being dragged to photo shoots hundreds of miles away from home. Is anybody paying attention to the kids?
Meantime, "In Touch Weekly" is all over Jon`s dramatic love life which also continues to play out in the public eye. His reported 22-year-old gal pal Hailey Glassman is said to be heartbroken and teary-eyed of the new claims made a blond reporter that she is actually the one dating the father of eight.
Jon reportedly says her, meaning the reporter`s, claims are untrue. But that reporter, Kate Major has now resigned from her job citing a conflict of interest. And now new reports that Kate Major has a partying history and loves being in the limelight which is good, because his kids sure don`t.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist and Kim Serafin, senior editor at "In Touch Weekly."
Wow, I have my scorecard here; I`ve been trying to keep track of all of this. It`s really, really out there.
I want to start with you Dr. Dale. So much focus on Jon and his love life while Kate spends her time taking the kids to the doctors and concerts and photo shoots.
Do you think these children may start to really resent their dad for not being as present with them as Kate?
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, you know, I joked last night about Jon`s antics making Kate look like a great mom. But Kate is being a great mom right now. She`s spending time with the kids. She`s taking them to concerts. And she`s been what a mom...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale is she really being a great mom...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... she`s keeping them in the spotlight, shooting this show when the family is going through a divorce. And according to one report, the kids are moody and cranky and sad because they see their father through a pane glass window waving bye, if love you?
ARCHER: Well, ok, here`s the deal Jane. Kids in America face divorce every single day. And in a small to medium-sized town, everybody knows what dad is up to if he`s out cutting around with younger women. And the ids know it too.
It`s traumatic for kids to go through a divorce but that doesn`t mean that automatically they`re scarred for life and have to go through a long- term psychological treatment.
You have to be honest with them and you have to deal with them. The dad is being very immature right now, not a doubt about it. Most cases like this the father eventually realizes that he has to keep his reputation up in order to be a good role model for his kids and they come around and start focusing on the family again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kim Serafin...
ARCHER: We have to hope that Jon will do that and understand that the name of his reality show is not "The Bachelor," but is about his kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe they should rename it the "Bachelor Plus 8" or the "Bachelor Minus 8."
Kim Serafin, what have you got? What is "In Touch Weekly" reporting?
KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Yes, well it`s true any kids dealing with divorce are definitely going to be exposed to fighting. But what`s happening now is that -- you know a source is telling "In Touch" that Jon and Kate are not even talking and the kids have to kind of see this.
They, for example, did an on-set promo last week for this show and Jon and Kate couldn`t even be together in the room. They were really -- didn`t like each other. They were having trouble getting this promo done. They were ignoring the kids according to this on-set source.
So I think the kids kind of -- figure out what`s going on. On one hand they know their parents aren`t talking. On the other hand, when the camera`s on, their parents are talking.
ARCHER: But that`s no different than...
SERAFIN: But "In Touch" is also -- "In Touch" is also reporting that the kids are kind of confused by the script. They have to shoot something where it looks like Kate had her suitcase and was going away for a vacation but then she was there filming with them.
So I think the kids are very confused and of course that`s what we`re reporting.
ARCHER: Yes but that`s no different than any child going through a divorce.
SERAFIN: Yes, it is.
ARCHER: No, no, no.
SERAFIN: Come on it`s the...
ARCHER: I am you that there are -- there are parents that do not...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What child is going through divorced in a TV show within a reality TV show? That`s not really acknowledging, I don`t think, all of the ramifications. I mean, is this show going to show Jon Gosselin out with Kate Major, this reporter?
ARCHER: Jane, you have to understand that in a small or medium-sized town, the kids know what`s going on. Everybody knows what`s going on.
So for the reality of the kids, there is no difference if they live in a medium-sized town and everyone is talking about their dad or if it`s a reality show and they see it that way. Kids are more resilient than we think.
And of course it`s traumatic to go through a divorce. No doubt about it. But I will tell you, I`ve worked with numerous couples going through a divorce who do not speak to each other. That`s not some weird thing that oh, the parents aren`t speaking to each other and poor kids. That is very common in many divorces.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but not many divorces have it set in a TV show that is not necessarily acknowledging all aspects of what this particular divorce entails.
I would think it would make the kids very confused about what is reality, what isn`t reality? And what is my role?
Everybody, healthy debate. We`ll be back with more Jon and Kate drama in just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": We are living our lives like a normal family. Cameras come in and film us and that to the world to the public makes us celebrities. I do not like that word. I am not a celebrity.
I am a mom and a wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes you are a celebrity. Girlfriend. Reality star Kate Gosselin claiming she`s not one when all indications are that she and her soon to be ex-husband are very much celebrities. The whole world is talking about them.
The Gosselin family -- the focus is so much attention. But are the kids getting the attention they need from their own parents?
We`re back discussing the very latest. And Kim Serafin, to add insult to injury, you`re reporting about an engagement?
SERAFIN: Yes. A source tells "In Touch" that Jon popped the question to Hailey Glassman. Of course this is his 22-year-old -- the daughter of Kate`s plastic surgeon. And the jeweler did confirm to "In Touch" that he sold Jon this engagement ring that she apparently is telling people that she`s excited to be a stepmom.
A friend tells "In Touch" that she`s looking forward to it. She is thinking that she`s going to be kind of like a big sister to the kids and kind of the fun, cool step-mom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now where does this leave Kate Major who is the reporter for "Star Magazine" who resigned from her job after claiming that she was an item with Jon? And so Jon is reportedly saying that`s false.
But why would you resign from your job because you were friends with Jon Gosselin? That doesn`t make any sense.
SERAFIN: Yes. I have no idea. I mean I guess you have to look at Jon and what we`re seeing about him now, you know, I think we might be seeing sort of the tide shifting. I think for a while Kate was getting a lot of the bad rap.
And now I think people are kind of taking a second look at Jon. And he was the one that in that final episode that we saw. He was saying he was excited about this new phase in his life and you know, meanwhile, Kate seems upset. Kate seems to be the one that`s really spending time with the kids. And this might be sort of a change that we`re seeing. We`re kind of seeing Jon in a whole new light.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The two older kids are 8 years old, Dr. Dale, certainly old enough to understand that their parents are breaking up. And I think it`s a "lose-lose" with this TV show either way. If they don`t include this, then essentially they are hiding it from the public even though we all know it already.
So it kind of ruins the idea of reality. If they do include it, it`s almost like they are torturing the kids with -- with what`s going on in their lives by throwing it in their face.
ARCHER: Well, I don`t think it`s torturing the kids. I think the key for a child to do well in a divorce is very simply, you have to be honest with them. And if they`re sitting down with the children and telling them this is what`s going on. This is what`s happening with mom and dad. Kids will do very, very well. So that`s the key.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just think the fact is that the reality show angle changes everything.
We`ve got to go. You`re watching HLN.