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Michael Jackson Case; Sarah Palin Attacks Media and Hollywood; Octo- mom & Kids` Reality Show; Doctor Reportedly Administered Fatal Drug to Jackson; Mary Jo Buttafuoco Writes Tell-All Book

Aired July 27, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, stunning revelations in the custody battle over Michael Jackson`s kids. Mom Katherine`s lawyer says a blockbuster custody deal is in the works. But what will Debbie Rowe get out of any agreement? And where does Joe Jackson fit into the puzzle?

Meantime, the Jackson manslaughter probe takes some wild turns. We`ll analyze the latest shockers.

Then, Sarah Palin pounces on her opponents. In a rambling resignation speech the embattled governor attacks the media...

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: How about in honor of the American soldier you quit making things up?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and Hollywood.

PALIN: Hollywood needs to know we eat; therefore, we hunt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what do the troops and Hollywood and hunting have to do with her bowing out? We`ll analyze Palin`s parting words.

And Octomom is finally ready for prime time. Nadya Suleman reportedly signs a TV deal that will get each of her kids $250 a day for their reality show? The contract`s in. But we`ll tell you if the courts will sign off on it.

Plus I`ll speak to the victim in the middle of the Amy Fisher scandal. Mary Jo Buttafuoco, shot in the face by the Long Island Lolita, her husband`s high school mistress. We`ll hear some astounding details from her new tell-all book.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, an avalanche of evidence in the Michael Jackson manslaughter probe. And the toxicology report expected to be announced at any time now. And we have the breaking news just in. Very major breaking news on this case. I`m going to tell you about it in just a moment. As the investigation surges ahead, a new custody bombshell dropped just this morning.

First we`re learning more about Dr. Conrad Murray, who was with Michael Jackson at his home on the day of his death. Dr. Murray was present at the time an unidentified man called 911.


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, 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, but he`s not responding to anything, to no, no, he`s not responding to the CPR or anything, sir.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re hearing more about that storage unit Dr. Murray reportedly rented at a Houston facility. TMZ claims the two women who went to the facility to remove three -- to remove several boxes three hours, three whole hours before 911 was called, worked for Dr. Murray. The manager spoke to NBC News.


SUE LYON, GENERAL MANAGER, W. 18TH ST. STORAGE: They moved out three to five boxes. Not many. Just small boxes. Put in the trunk of a car. And then they carried a couple of things out and went and put in their Mercedes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: NBC reports that Ms. Lyon also says no one had gone to that unit for more than a month prior to that visit.

We contacted Dr. Murray`s attorney about recent reports in the press. They issued no comment, other than to stress he has been fully cooperative with the LAPD.

In the meantime, Debbie Rowe caught on video by TMZ just a couple of hours ago. TMZ says she is paying a visit to a dermatologist who works in the very same office as her ex-boss, Dr. Arnie Klein, who is a friend and doctor of Michael Jackson`s. We`ll hear exactly what Debbie says about the investigation in just moments.

But what about custody of Michael Jackson`s children? A stunning announcement on NBC`s "Today Show" by Katherine Jackson`s attorney.


L. LONDELL MCMILLAN, KATHERINE JACKSON`S ATTORNEY: We have been working on an agreement. And I want to say that the parties have been very responsible. Debbie Rowe, her lawyers, Mrs. Jackson. They`ve been very thoughtful, very caring, and very prudent. And we do believe that we`re close to reaching an agreement.

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, NBC`S "THE TODAY SHOW": Can you reach an agreement with Debbie Rowe between Debbie Rowe and Katherine Jackson before August 3?

MCMILLAN: Absolutely.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the details of that supposed deal coming up.

Finally, a secret stash of cash exposed. The mystery man known as Dr. Tohme Tohme hands over 5 1/2 million bucks to the administrators of Michael`s estate. Tohme, a former financial adviser to Michael Jackson, says the money was a secret and that Michael was going to use it to create a dream home in Las Vegas.

CNN has an exclusive look at what was possibly that very dream home, which Michael was going to call Wonderland. It has secret tunnels and passages. Just wait till you see the inside of that palatial estate.

So much to get to, including your calls. But first, straight out to my totally awesome expert panel: Michael Cardoza, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, who attended Michael Jackson`s criminal trial; Dr. Cathleen London, board certified family practice physician; Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective, president of East Coast Detectives; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; and Firpo Carr, Jackson family friend and former spokesperson.

I`m going to start with Michael Cardoza. As I told our audience a second ago, this just in as we went to air. A source close to the Michael Jackson family and with knowledge of the investigation confirms to CNN that Jackson`s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, administered the powerful drug that authorities believe killed him. Your reaction to the implications of that, Michael Cardoza.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`ve got to tell you, if that`s true, he can be in some awfully big trouble. But I`d be interested -- now I`m thinking as a defense attorney. How did they get to that? What proof is there that he actually administered? But again, if he did administer it, you can bet the L.A. D.A.`s office is going to come after him for manslaughter. He`s lucky they`re not coming after him for second- degree murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Gaynor, we`re talking about how did they get to that information? And once again, we invite Dr. Murray or his lawyers on the show to tell their side of the story. We call them all the time repeatedly trying to get their reaction to all these developments. They simply say that he is cooperating fully with the investigation.

But how did they get to this? How did the source get to this conclusion? How did law enforcement, if this is true, get to that conclusion? Well, what about witnesses? Mike Gaynor, what about the unidentified person who called 911? What about the large entourage of assistants and hangers-on that Michael Jackson seemed to have around him at all times?

MIKE GAYNOR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, the police are taking their time with this case obviously. But if what you say turns out to be true, the police will identify the 911 caller and the other persons that might have been present at the time. And as Mr. Cardoza says, if it`s true, this doctor, Dr. Murray, is in serious trouble.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michael Jackson reportedly suffered from extreme insomnia, and according to witnesses and published reports, he used this powerful surgical knockout drug Propofol in order to sleep. Now, here`s what an expert told CBS`s "Early Show" about using Propofol for that purpose, insomnia.


DR. PAUL WISCHMEYER, PROFESSOR OF ANESTHESIOLOGY: It`s complete madness that anyone would use this drug outside of a very controlled operating room or hospital setting. If you make a small error in how much you give yourself, even one cc`s difference, you might go from being high to being dead.

The fact that there`s a possibility this drug was being used for sleep is madness. It`s like using a cannon to shoot a mouse.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. London, is there any legitimate explanation for ever using this powerful surgical knockout drug Propofol, also known as Diprivan, in a home setting?

CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN: Absolutely not. A hundred percent it is absolutely not to be used outside of an operating room or a procedure suite or an emergency room to do a procedure. Period. You need to be monitored. You know, just as the other physician had said on the air, you can easily -- the big side effects are that you stop breathing or that your heart rate goes too low, your blood pressure drops too low. You need to be monitored. You can`t administer it by yourself. Absolutely not.


LONDON: And if someone`s giving it to you, it needs to be monitored.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Michael.

CARDOZA: Jane, keep in mind that Dr. Murray is not an anesthesiologist, if I said that correctly. He`s a cardiologist. And here he is administering that in a home setting? As the doctor on the morning show said, complete madness. A cardiologist administering? That`s another strike against Dr. Murray.

LONDON: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Darren Kavinoky, we have to throw in the word "allegedly" there, because I`ll read the statement again: "A source close to the Michael Jackson family with knowledge of the investigation confirms to CNN Jackson`s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, administered this drug that authorities believe killed him." Authorities believe this. I mean, he, when it`s time to give his explanation, may have some other explanation for all of this.

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, certainly. And authorities believe, as you say, that this was the drug that killed him. I understand that from a forensic standpoint just proving that fact alone may be difficult, because Diprivan does clear the system very, very quickly. So it may have been already out of his system just in the time period that he was alive.

But the real question is the one that you posed at the top of the show, which is how is it that these sources are going to prove that the doctor actively administered that Diprivan? Even if there are witnesses, you`ve got a whole slew of legal problems in this area. That is, do they have the -- are they able to authenticate that what it is that was being administered was the Diprivan? Is it -- it may be hearsay if we`re talking about what`s on the label...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Michael.

CARDOZA: It might be tough to prove that. If they`ve got witnesses saying he injected him, then it sort of goes to the defense: what were you putting in his body? And if there`s not some other drug in there, then people are going to conclude or infer it was Diprivan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second, Michael. You`re assuming there`s not some other drug in there.

CARDOZA: That`s what I said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most of the experts that I`ve talked to -- and we don`t know, we`re sitting on our hands, waiting for the toxicology reports to come back. And we don`t know what those reports will say. But a lot of experts who have done many, many of these celebrity cases predict, and it`s merely a prediction, that it will be a drug cocktail.

So how, Michael, can they accuse one doctor, if there are a slew of prescriptions written by several doctors that contributed to his death?

CARDOZA: I`ll tell you -- I`ll tell you really simply. Diprivan, Propofol should not be given outside a hospital setting. And it was. If other doctors are giving him drugs, that`s one thing Dr. Murray may be able to say: "Look, I didn`t know he had other drugs."

My question then is what in the heck are you giving him the Diprivan? Why didn`t you do some tox tests before you start administering drugs to him? You just don`t walk into his home because you`re getting 150 thou a month? Is that why you did it?

KAVINOKY: Well, wait...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It should also never be administered with any other drug of a serious nature like a Xanax, for example. Right?

CARDOZA: So Murray should have checked.

LONDON: You have to be very careful. It potentiates (ph) the drug, it can make all the side effects worse. And other medical conditions. If Michael has lupus, as has been stated before, that`s even another factor to consider. You know, one of the things is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, everybody, hang tight. Hold that thought. Hold that thought. Lots to get to. The blockbuster custody deal, the manslaughter investigation. We`re going to analyze it all right now.

Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297 to weigh in on these breaking new developments.

Then Octomom Nadya Suleman inks a TV deal that will get each of her kids $250 a day. That`s all? Is it legal? A judge will decide.

But first, Joe Jackson has accused Michael Jackson`s doctor of disappearing from the hospital the day Jackson died. The doctor says he did nothing wrong and is cooperating. But here is Joe Jackson on "LARRY KING," levying some serious charges.


JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: You want to know about foul play? If a doctor`s there that couldn`t bring you back -- and this doctor, he ran away. They had to look for him three days to find him. So what do you think that`s happening? To me that`s foul play.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what Propofol is?



ROWE: It`s a medication that`s used in anesthesia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you inject Michael with? What did you inject Michael with?

ROWE: We`ll be back in just a few minutes.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: TMZ asking Debbie Rowe just earlier today about the powerful surgical knockout drug Propofol, which is only supposed to be used in a hospital but was reportedly found in Michael Jackson`s rented mansion.

As breaking news comes in that a source close to the Jackson family with knowledge of the investigation confirms to CNN that Jackson`s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, allegedly administered the powerful drug that authorities believe killed him.

Again, we would always like to get Dr. Conrad Murray`s side of this story, and he has an open invitation along with his attorneys to appear on our show. Phone lines lighting up.

Cindy in Iowa, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: If he`s a cardiologist, why would he be trying to do CPR on a bed?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Cathleen London?

LONDON: That`s a good question. You know, that struck all of us as very odd. You know, CPR you need to have a hard surface. So the caller is correct. And the EMT on the phone actually suggested the same thing of move him to the floor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Firpo Carr, you have been patiently listening to all of this. And we thank you for hanging in there, because we had some breaking news and we wanted to get the lawyers` reaction. As a former Jackson spokesman and a Jackson family friend, what is your reaction to the pace of this investigation as we sit here waiting for the toxicology reports to be released any moment now?

FIRPO CARR, FORMER JACKSON SPOKESMAN: Well, I can appreciate that the police want to do a thorough job. Also, I am most concerned with Dr. Conrad Murray not being here. I mean, where is this guy? I mean, come on with your attorney or something. I`d certainly like to ask you a few questions. Where is he? Everyone else is surfacing. But we don`t see Dr. Murray. So I think that that is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he left to go to Houston, and that was the last we heard.

CARR: I`m sure they have -- you have studios in Houston. He can be interviewed anywhere.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza, do you think it`s a good idea? Should he actually set the record straight if he has done nothing wrong?

CARDOZA: No, no. This is -- this is not the place to get the record straight. I guarantee you that his attorneys are advising him "Be quiet, don`t talk. Our time will come." They`re hoping it doesn`t come because they`re hoping charges aren`t filed. But there is no way they`re going to allow him to go on a TV show.

CARR: That doesn`t look like -- that -- you know, they would be very -- if you wanted to say fortunate or lucky, as some would say, if that`s not going to happen. This man is already being investigated for homicide.

CARDOZA: And that`s why you don`t talk. That`s why you don`t talk.

CARR: Even before that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what?

CARDOZA: I`m telling you...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think we should all be cautious about what we say until we get the toxicology reports back. At this point he hasn`t been charged with anything.

LONDON: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let`s move on to another subject. This is fascinating. As promised, we have to give you an exclusive look inside the Las Vegas dream home Michael Jackson wanted to move into with his kids but he couldn`t afford.

CNN`s Drew Griffin got a tour of the home by his Vegas realtor. Take a look at this. I mean, this is pretty spectacular stuff. He wanted to call it Wonderland.

According to Dr. Tohme Tohme, Michael`s former financial adviser, Michael even had a secret cash stash of about 5 1/2 million bucks saved up for some dream home. We`re not sure if it`s this particular one. But we know, according to this realtor, Michael Jackson had his heart set on this.

So let me get this straight, Firpo Carr. Michael Jackson lost control of Neverland due to financial difficulties, and yet he wanted to recreate that same lavish lifestyle in Las Vegas, dreaming of buying a home worth an estimated 22 to 25 million dollars and name it Wonderland instead of Neverland when he was already about half a billion dollars in debt?

CARR: Well, first of all, Michael Jackson has always been enamored with Las Vegas. You will recall that even during the -- his trial, or investigation there that he would drive -- he drove down Las Vegas Boulevard and was told that "Hey, listen, you`re not wanted in any of the hotels here," because he was trying to find a room there. His sister is there. Rebbie lives in Las Vegas. The other Jackson home is in Las Vegas. He has always loved Las Vegas. And this makes sense, because he stated himself that "I will never land again in Neverland."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Darren Kavinoky, give me an insight into the custody battle. I want to cover that. We`ve got the big hearing coming up August 3. And we understand that everything`s amicable and that both sides are talking, and it`s all looking good.

KAVINOKY: Yes, that`s shocking news. Although the irony of this Las Vegas place being called Wonderland when there`s a rehab that bears the same name right here in Los Angeles...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right.

KAVINOKY: Somehow, that just strikes me as ironic.

CARR: That`s just coincidental. That`s just coincidental. Come on. That`s all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is quite a coincidence. All right.

KAVINOKY: But it is shocking news that everybody`s getting along here with this child custody matter. That -- that...

CARR: That`s good news.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Mike Gaynor, Dr. London, everybody. Stay right there.

Addiction is a chronic illness in America. In my new book "I Want," I lay out my personal battle with the disease and my road to sobriety. It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall. You can preorder your copy right now. Click on Look for the preorder section. It`s my very personal story. And it has some stuff in there that will definitely surprise you.

Up next on ISSUES, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, shot in the face by her husband`s high school lover. She is here next to drop some bombshells from her outrageous tell-all book.

And we`re also going to talk Sarah Palin, who`s lashing out at Hollywood, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the Long Island woman who survived a gunshot to the face at the hands of her husband`s 16-year-old lover, Amy Fisher.


AMY FISHER, SHOT MARY JO BUTTAFUOCO: I had an affair with a married man. It`s also the truth that Joey knew of my intentions towards his wife, and he encouraged me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This story became a national obsession. Today, 17 years later, Mary Jo finally tells her side of the story in a new tell-all book.

After believing husband Joey Buttafuoco`s lies that he had nothing to do with the so-called Long Island Lolita, Mary Jo stayed with him for more than a decade while she struggled with her injuries from being shot by said Lolita.

Today she says she now sees the truth. In her brand-new book she calls her husband a sociopath and a liar. Tonight, I`m very delighted to be joined by Mary Jo Buttafuoco, author of "Getting It Through my Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know."

Mary Jo, how did you finally come to the realization that, in your mind, your husband was a sociopath?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, how are you doing?

M. BUTTAFUOCO: Good. Good, good, good. It was actually -- it came about with a revelation that I had in a conversation with my son about two years ago when we were talking about his latest antics with Amy Fisher, and I just said, "Why does he keep doing this?"

And my son looked at me matter-of-factly and said, "Mom, he`s a sociopath. He`s never going to get it, and he`s never going to change."

And I -- I dismissed that. I thought sociopaths were crazy, murdering people. And I went and I looked it up on the Internet, because it disturbed me so much to hear it. And I read the list of traits, and the bell went off in my head, and I went oh, my God. This is what I have been living with all of these years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you were in denial up until that point, in your opinion.

Now, back when this incident occurred your husband, Joey, said he still loved you. Listen to this, if you can stomach it.


JOEY BUTTAFUOCO, MARY JO`S EX-HUSBAND: Eighteen years ago in my high school yearbook if you look it up it says "I love Mary Jo." That`s it. I didn`t put any credits there, what I did, the whole deal. "I love Mary Jo." I`ve been in love with her for 18 years. And I still am.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Now you call him a liar and a sociopath. By the way, Joey has responded to this, saying he`d like to be diagnosed by a doctor instead of his ex-wife, and says he`s now going to write his own book, due to some alleged inaccuracies in yours. How do you respond to that?

M. BUTTAFUOCO: I respond to that by saying sociopathy is a behavior. It`s not something that can be diagnosed. It`s not something that can be fixed. It`s not something that you can take a pill for. It is a behavior. It`s a disorder in the brain. That is just what it is.

And as the years go by, more and more I just have seen the lying and the deception. And they believe their own lies. That`s the insidiousness of it. They believe their lies. They have no consciences. They have no abilities to feel remorse. It`s behavior. It`s a mental disorder that is very difficult to diagnose. And that`s why sociopaths get away with what they get away with for as lodge as they get away with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you regret not coming to this conclusion sooner?

M. BUTTAFUOCO: Well, regret is a very heavy word. I wished I had known. That`s why I`m writing this book. I want to help other people not go through what I had to go through. Maybe let them recognize that they have a sociopath in their life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary Jo, thank you so much. Come back soon.

M. BUTTAFUOCO: Thanks, hon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lots of stunning news in the Michael Jackson death probe. We are going to sort through it all. Next, stunners.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Sarah Palin pounces on her opponents. In a rambling resignation speech the embattled governor attacks the media and Hollywood. But what do they have to do with her resignation? We`ll analyze Palin`s parting words.

And octo-mom is finally ready for prime time. Nadya Suleman reportedly signs a TV deal that will get each of her 14 kids $250 a day for their reality show. We`ll tell you if the courts will sign off on it.

Tonight an avalanche of evidence in the Michael Jackson manslaughter probe and a toxicology report expected at any time now. As the two-track investigation surges ahead new custody bombshells dropped just this morning by the attorney for Katherine Jackson.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you reach an agreement with Debbie Rowe, between Debbie Rowe and Katherine Jackson before August 3rd?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back with Firpo Carr, Mike Gaynor, and Michael Cardoza.

Firpo Carr, you are the former Jackson spokesperson and a Jackson family friend so I want to hit you with this one. John Branca and John McClain, the temporary administrators of the estate, had spelled out several deals that they are reportedly in the process of finishing up, which they expect to generate many millions of dollars in revenue.

According to published reports, one of them is a reprint of Michael Jackson`s 1988 autobiography "Moonwalk," which I know is going to be a huge seller because the other day went to the bookstore to try to get some books on Michael Jackson and they were all sold out.

Can you give us an idea of what some of the other deals might be that are going to generate these tens of millions to erase his estimated half a billion dollars in debt?

FIRPO CARR, JACKSON FAMILY FRIEND: Well, first of all, they`re being very close-lipped about that sort of thing. And just because I`m a family friend doesn`t mean they run their finances by me.

But I`ll tell you this much. As far as Katherine Jackson wanting a seat at the table, I think that that`s only fair, and that`s a thing that should happen because that`s what Michael would want. He took care of his mother, and he wants to make sure that she has a piece of the pie, as it were.

And as far as this debt is concerned, it is said that he may have been cash poor but his assets far exceed his debts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let me ask you this question, Michael Cardoza, because what we`ve heard over and over again is that he is approximately half a billion dollars in debt. Yes, he has a lot of assets, but he has his debts -- he owes money to people, he has to pay them.

Now, Katherine Jackson has of course said, "I live off my social security. We need some allowances so we can pay for these three kids and I can support myself while this whole estate thing is ironed out."

But don`t creditors have to be paid first? Isn`t that how the law goes?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`m not a bankruptcy attorney. But it`s my understanding if they put a claim in to the estate then yes, they will be paid first.

But keep in mind, this sort of begs the question to me about Neverland. Should they allow Michael Jackson to be buried at Neverland? Should the county of Santa Barbara do that? They`re going to make money in taxes. I think that`s a win-win for everybody.

If I were a creditor, I`d be in court saying let them bury him at Neverland and then pay us off because you know Graceland made the type of money they made. Can you just begin to imagine the amounts of money? It would be in the billions of dollars in about ten years that that place, Neverland, will make.

CARR: You sound like Jermaine -- it sounds like Jermaine has put you up to that because that`s pretty much how he feels as well.

CARDOZA: He hasn`t.

CARR: But I`ll tell you this much. Keep in mind that Michael never wanted to be back there. That`s why you have Wonderland. He didn`t want to go back there. And many of the family members are thinking that hey, listen, we need to go ahead and adhere to his wishes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It could either be a fantastic money maker, it could be a money pit. You and I have both driven to Neverland and we know how far it is. We know how remote it is, Michael Cardoza.

CARDOZA: Jane, are the books off the shelf? Of course the books are off the shelf. You were with me down in Santa Maria during the trial. Look at the fans that were there. You don`t think those same fans and friends from around the world...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those are small portion of the hardcore -- I think Las Vegas would be a much better place to put a permanent memorial for Michael Jackson.

CARDOZA: I disagree. I think Neverland is where he was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why don`t we let Mike Gaynor jump in here for a second?

MIKE GAYNOR, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: I think as a fan of Michael Jackson it`s easy enough to say -- and I think everyone will agree with me -- everything Michael Jackson will sell -- you saw what happened to Elvis Presley after he died.

The same thing is going to happen and probably to a greater extent to Michael Jackson.

CARR: Right.

GAYNOR: Everything. His music is going to come back, new music. Things that they have in the boxes they haven`t shown yet. There`ll Michael Jackson books and dolls and stories. And Katherine Jackson will get money for the children to live on in the meantime. That`s for sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is really, really tragic about this, and I read it in a national news magazine, it said flatly, Michael Jackson is worth a lot more dead than alive.

CARDOZA: Unfortunately yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I thought that was heart-wrenching.

CARR: That`s the reality, period. That`s with anyone.

GAYNOR: That`s probably true, unfortunately.

CARR: It is.

That`s a very sad reality.

CARDOZA: And that`s why...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Michael.

CARDOZA: That`s why Neverland or in Vegas, either place. I would think Neverland would be better because that`s in fact where he spent his time. I think people want to see Neverland.

CARR: But he was so hurt by that. He would have -- Neverland was violated by cops. And he said, "That was my sanctity and you violated it. I don`t ever want to go back there again."


CARDOZA: Well, that`s where he was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gentlemen, I think we have to agree to disagree. Thank you, fantastic panel, for a vigorous debate. Come back soon.

Now, turning to perhaps the most polarizing figure in American politics today; she rose from relative obscurity last year after she was selected as John McCain`s vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party. Today she is a household name whose words and actions draw great praise from some and great criticism from others.

In what some political analysts called a mind-boggling move, Sarah Palin made the stunning announcement that she would step down as Alaska`s governor before her term was over. As she said good-bye to her constituents yesterday, Palin took the opportunity to take some jabs at her favorite punching bag, the media.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: You represent what could and should be a respected, honest profession that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you. And that is why - - that`s why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier you quit making things up?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Palin also took a shot at Hollywood and Hollywood starlets, particularly skinny ones, for trampling on her second amendment rights. What is next for Sarah Palin? Is she retiring from politics altogether? Is this just the beginning of a very long campaign for president in 2012? Or perhaps a TV show?

Straight to Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra" and Michael Musto, entertainment columnist for "The Village Voice."

Michael, I`ve got to start with you. You`re a member of the media who`s been critical of Sarah Palin. What was she getting at by attacking the media and attacking these skinny Hollywood starlets all in the same speech?

MICHAEL MUSTO, ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST, "THE VILLAGE VOICE": And Jane, I feel the press-on nail marks all over my body as a member of the media. She keeps attacking us.

I don`t know what she was getting at. I don`t think she knows what she was getting at. Sarah Palin, as you know Jane, likes to play victim. Remember, she was mad at a late-night comic for making fun of her exploding family values. Be mad at your own family values.

Look at the man in the mirror to quote a Michael Jackson song.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re melding various stories.

MUSTO: We`re melding. I`ll bring in Mary Jo Buttafuoco soon too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, work on that.

MUSTO: Jane, she should not make fun of Hollywood. That`s the land of illusion. That`s where she belongs. At the very least, Sarah Palin should be on the home shopping club selling applique blouses. I`m pretty sure that`s where she`s heading.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sarah Palin a big-time hunter -- there you see her with a big weapon right there -- managed to take a shot at Hollywood while garnering support for her right to hunt animals. Listen to this.


PALIN: You`re going to see anti-hunting, anti-second amendment circuses from Hollywood. And here`s how they do it. They use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets. They use Alaska as a fund-raising tool for their anti-second amendment cause. By the way, Hollywood needs to know we eat therefore we hunt.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I think you all know I`m an animal rights advocate and my fellow animal rights advocates and I have been very offended by this one particular thing. This is a PSA which outlines the problem from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

Ashley Judd was a part of this, all to combat Palin`s support for the aerial killing of wolves. Sarah Palin put a $150 bounty on the wolves and said if you come in with a freshly killed wolf`s paw she`d give you 150 bucks.

Now, Carlos Diaz, she said we eat, therefore we hunt. Last time I checked we don`t eat wolves.

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Yes, it`s true. And she`s ripping on Hollywood. And their next step, of course, is she`s going to be doing, you know, speaking engagements all over the country. But that`s going to soon run out.

What`s after that for Sarah Palin? Perhaps her own talk show. So be careful who you rip on there, Sarah, because real soon you might have to be kind of having lunch with these very same Hollywood people that you`re putting down right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Sarah Palin, of course relatively unknown until she was thrust into the national spotlight after John McCain chose her as running mate. She did the media rounds.

Here`s one of the memorable ones, the interview with Katie Couric in which she was asked about Supreme Court cases she disagreed with other than Roe V. Wade.


PALIN: Going through the history of America, there would be others, but...

KATIE COURIC, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Can you think of any?

PALIN: I would think of any, again, that could best be dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as a mayor and then as a governor and even as a vice president if I`m so privileged to serve I would be in a position of changing those things. But in supporting the law of the land as it reads today...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michael Musto, she`s attacking the media for asking legitimate questions.

MUSTO: And she doesn`t seem to know much. She gives all these vague answers. Apparently she`s mad about the Supreme Court decision that bulimic actresses were okay also the Supreme Court decision that everyone`s not running out killing mooses.

She has a certain blood lust, Jane. I mean, I eat meat. I don`t want to be a hypocrite. But I don`t have this blood lust where I just can`t wait to run out and kill animals for sport. It seems like that`s what she does. And the media is just her latest animal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we have to wrap it up, Carlos. But is this a smart thing to do if she`s going to remain in the national spotlight -- attack the media?

DIAZ: No. And I`m just thankful, though, as a media member that she`s now going to be joining us because now we can all learn from her and we can learn how to be great media members if Sarah Palin comes into our profession.

Thank you, God. Thank you so much for Sarah Palin.

MUSTO: And we`re not going to come down for her. We are not stepping down.

DIAZ: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A controversial new colleague. Thank you both.

Carlos, stay right there.

An adorable 8-year-old boy missing after leaving his house Friday night; now the family`s pleading for his return.

Then octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, ready for prime time. She has reportedly signed a TV deal that will net her brood 250 bucks a day? What?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo-mom Nadya Suleman ready for the big-time, reportedly inking a reality TV show deal. We will find out when she`ll be come to TV screen near you.

But first, a very sad "Top of the Block" tonight: an adorable 8-year-old boy is missing. Robert Manwill was last seen leaving his Boise home Friday night. According to his dad, Robert wanted to go to a birthday party but his mom said no.

Cops think Robert may have left the home headed to that party. Police, FBI and dozens of local volunteers searched over the weekend. Sadly they came up empty-handed. At a press conference today Robert`s family begged for his return.


TRISH BURRILL, MISSING BOY`S AUNT: We just wanted to say that all we want to do is bring Robert home. So please, if you know anything or if you`ve seen anything, contact the police department and help us find Robert.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a nightmare. The good news, cops still believe Robert is safe somewhere out there. We`re going to stay on top of that story for any leads.

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

Turning now to fast-breaking developments in the never-ending octo-mom saga as a California judge appoints a financial guardian for the octuplets. This as mother of 14 Nadya Suleman believes her kids are ready for prime time. Suleman has reportedly inked a TV deal that will net each of her 14 kids $250 -- just $250 a day? As stars in their own reality show?

The contract filed Friday in L.A. superior court, require a judge`s approval. But wait, didn`t octo-mom have a different take on the wisdom of doing a reality show with her burgeoning brood just back in February?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you`re going to start a reality show when...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... your kids are all like grown up?

SULEMAN: No. I think that`s exploitation of my kids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She thought it was exploitation. What changed? Some say it`s the money.

But tonight: a big question. Why so little money? On the one hand, you could say, well, the kids will collectively earn up to $250,000 for about 71 days of shooting over three years. But on the other hand, $250 bucks a day for starring in a reality show? That ain`t much.

Are these kids being shortchanged literally? With filming slated to start September 1st, we are set to debate it tonight. And I want to hear what you think. Give me a holler.

Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: still with me, Carlos Diaz, correspondent with "Extra" and joining us, Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and a very special guest, Paul Petersen, who was a child actor on "The Donna Reed Show." Remember that great show? Maybe you don`t. I do. Ouch.

And he is now an advocate for child actors as president and founder of A Minor Consideration. Paul, you should be very proud of being on that show. I`m just kidding around.

PAUL PETERSEN, FOUNDER, A MINOR CONSIDERATION: Well, thank you. But you think -- you say ouch. Imagine what I say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you say ouch.

PETERSEN: Big-time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got some breaking news here. Octo-mom and Web site RadarOnline had faced down allegations of labor abuses in court today. You, Paul, set that lawsuit in motion as a result of video taken of the children.

So big news. What happened in court today?

PETERSEN: Well, a guardian has been assigned to guard the financial interests of these children. And I think your audience needs to know that the California Department of labor has already cited and fined RadarOnline for their violations of the law I wrote.

I wrote that law and spent nights sleeping in a parking garage to make sure the legislators didn`t let it go. This is important. We have come to this place where we think bad employment practices should be visited on premature infants. And this has got to change.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I want to say, RadarOnline, you are invited anytime on this show to discuss the videos that you shot and your reaction to today`s court decision, anything else associated with this case.

You know, with the octo-14 seemingly coming to a TV screen near you, octo- mom has not been shy about slamming other reality TV show stars. Listen to what she told RadarOnline.


SULEMAN: I just want it to be very not like "Jon & Kate plus 8," where I feel they made a mistake allowing it to be more exploitative and invasive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Carlos Diaz, that sparked a feud with "Jon & Kate plus 8." but has she come up with a less intrusive show? Apparently, it`s just about 71 days of shooting over three years. That`s not a lot. I mean, it`s certainly better than 365.

DIAZ: Yes. And by the way, real quick, Paul and I disagreed in the past. I`ve told Paul that I did not agree with the way he thought about kids and reality shows needing to be supported.

Paul, I want to say right now, I completely changed my stance. Thank you so much. Really, it was great -- a law that you wrote and a great job that you did in court today. I truly believe that these kids need the support that you have.

So Paul, great job today. I applaud you for that.

PETERSEN: Thank you, Carlos. It takes a man to stand up to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What changed your mind, Carlos?

DIAZ: You know what changed my mind? I`ll tell you what changed my mind. The fact that Jon and Kate now are going to be going through a messy divorce and these kids are going to be on TV. And now all the money that they made in the last five years could conceivably go to lawyers, you know?

So where do the kids -- where can the kids say, "Hey, excuse me, I helped make that money. Just because you guys can`t get along anymore doesn`t mean I don`t need that money."

I`m so happy that the kids in the octo-mom case are being looked after. I think Pennsylvania law needs to be changed in the Jon and Kate divorce right now and those kids...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychologist, Brenda Wade, are you pleased a judge has decided to appoint a guardian to oversee the estate of Nadya Suleman`s octuplets?

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know Jane, I can`t blame Nadya for wanting to pay the bills. Everybody in America is worrying about paying the bills right now with the economy.

But she has to learn a lesson from Jon and Kate, from the Osbournes; from all those TV families who have had so much issues and gotten love and money all tangled up.

Number one, she has to teach her kids they are not commodities to be bought and sold, but they need to grow up to be good people...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there.

WADE: ... who give more than they take.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More octo-mom drama and TV deals in just a moment. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think you`re going to start a reality show when your kids are all grown up?

SULEMAN: No, I think that`s exploitation of my kids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Somebody asking, how does octo-mom Nadya Suleman define exploitation because she`s signing a TV deal that would net each of her 14 kids $250 a day to star in their own reality show. Is that star money?

I`m back with my fantastic panel.

Taking your calls. Megan, Maryland. Your question or thought, ma`am?

MEGAN, MARYLAND (via telephone): I think the octo mom needs to think about how this television show is going to affect not only the octuplets but also the six children that she already has.

PETERSEN: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paul Petersen, weigh in on that, please.

PETERSEN: Interesting thing, celebrity often destroys family relationships.

WADE: Right.

PETERSEN: Older siblings who will not have the same level of notoriety of their octo baby brothers and sisters end up being resentful.

But I want to address just quickly this issue of money. Let`s say $250,000 split 14 ways. Let me tell you what it`s like to be a working kid. You pay 36 percent to the federal government in tax money. You pay 10 percent to the state of California, 10 percent for social security on the first $105,000, 10 percent to the mandatory ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I get your point. Let me ask you a follow up question Paul. According to the Coogan law, 15 percent of gross earnings go into the Coogan trust account. Is that included in the $250,000?

PETERSEN: No, what will come out of the $250,000 is $37,500 split eight ways.


PETERSEN: Do you see, this is chomp change.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question.

Carlos Diaz, why don`t we know how many money she`s getting and why don`t we know what network this is going to air on?

DIAZ: You don`t know her contract of course, because she doesn`t have to disclose that. I`ve always been in favor though of her getting a reality show -- I`m not trying to be funny here. We need to keep an eye on her. We need to find out whether she`s being a good mom, you know?

PETERSEN: Carlos, that`s my job, that`s my job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda, I`m going to give you the last word. Final words, 20 seconds.

WADE: The most important thing, Jane. With celebrity comes responsibility. She`s obsessed with looking like Angelina Jolie. I want her to act like Angelina and make a difference in the world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if she did that, she would have adopted some children because Angelina Jolie has adopted children.

WADE: And she also stands for causes that mean something in the world. I don`t want her kids to get confused about love and money. I want her to teach them to be good people who contribute to the world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, fabulous panel. Come back soon.

Remember, click on; pre-order your copy of my new book, "I Want".

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