Edition: U.S. | Arabic | Set Pref

 

Return to Transcripts main page

ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

More Details Emerge in Jackson Death Probe; Family of Casey Anthony Deposed in Murder Case; Jacko Death Drama; Is it Robert?

Aired August 3, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, explosive new details in the death of Michael Jackson. His own mother now saying there is no way he died of natural causes. So who does Mom think is to blame? This speculation comes as Katherine Jackson fights for Michael`s estate. Just hours ago, she was granted custody of Michael`s kids. But should she also have custody of his money?

Meantime, an avalanche of new allegations against Jackson`s personal doctor. "The New York Post" now claims sources tell them Dr. Conrad Murray was also, quote, the "feel-good doctor" to James Brown. Tragically, the Godfather of Soul is no longer with us to confirm or deny that report.

And George Anthony set to be grilled. The grandfather of Caylee Anthony is expected to face hours of brutal questioning about Caylee`s death and his daughter`s alleged involvement. This after the prosecution interrogated Cindy and Lee for more than nine hours. Will any of this lead to justice for little Caylee?

Plus, a gut-wrenching change in how police are viewing the disappearance of little Robert Manwill. After previously claiming there was no foul play, cops now say there are suspicious circumstances. And this adorable little boy may have been injured or the victim of a tragic event. This all comes as new details emerge from his mother`s troubled past, and she remains absent from the press conferences.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news out of Idaho as a body is pulled from a local canal. Reports from the scene say it`s the body of a young boy. Could it be missing 8-year-old Robert Manwill? We will have all the breaking details.

But first, shocking twists and turns in the Michael Jackson death drama. A surprise player in the custody case and stunning new developments in the manslaughter probe. More evidence appears to be stacking up against Michael Jackson`s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

"The New York Post" out with a chilling report that links Michael Jackson, Dr. Murray and none other than the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Brown died of congestive heart failure in 2006, but some published reports claim Brown was addicted to painkillers and the recreational drug PCP at the time.

A former law enforcement source tells "The New York Post" Murray was among a coterie of doctors used by celebrities in the `90s to score drugs. James Brown`s former producer told the "Post" that Brown and Michael Jackson used the same, quote, "safe doctors" and that the two were inseparable.

Here`s an eerie clip of Michael Jackson himself speaking at James Brown`s funeral.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Ever since I was a small child, no more than like 6 years old, my mother would wake me, no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, TMZ is reporting another strange development in the manslaughter probe. Yet another storage unit appears to have been rented by Dr. Murray, this one in Las Vegas. TMZ says an employee went to that unit as recently as July 30. Still a mystery: what he kept inside and whether investigators even knew about it.

Dr. Murray might now be in the cross hairs of Michael`s mom, Katherine, too. Geraldo Rivera of FOX News spoke to her on Sunday about Michael`s death.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How do you feel about the fact that this Dr. Conrad Murray is apparently taking the fall for everything that happened?

KATHERINE JACKSON, MICHAEL`S MOTHER: All I know is my son is dead and -- I don`t think he just died of natural causes of whatever. He`s too young for that, but something happened. I don`t know what it was, and I can`t say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As for Katherine, a judge signed off on that custody deal with Debbie Rowe. Katherine will raise the kids; Debbie will get visitation.

What nobody expected was Debbie`s ex-boss, Michael Jackson`s doctor, Arnie Klein, to jump into the mix. He asked to be, quote, "involved in the children`s education and medical care." But was told "unh-uh." Speculation has swirled around whether he is the biological dad. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ARNIE KLEIN, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DERMATOLOGIST: All I can tell you is, to the best of my knowledge, I am not the father of these children. I`m telling you, if push come to shove, you know, I can`t say anything about it, but to the best of my knowledge I`m not the father of these children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to your knowledge.

KLEIN: Not to my knowledge, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s an intriguing phrase, best of your knowledge.

KLEIN: I can`t answer it in any other way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a DNA test, dude, and get it over with.

So much to get to, and your calls. Straight out to my awesome expert panel: Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition"; Joe Tacopina, criminal defense attorney and former Jackson attorney; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; Bryan Monroe, CNN contributor and the last American journalist to interview Michael Jackson before he died; Stuart Backerman, Michael Jackson`s spokesperson from 2002 to 2004; and the one and only Mike Walters, assignment manager for the one and only TMZ.

Mike, you`ve broken so many stories on this case. What is the very latest?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, since we just heard Arnie Klein, I think we should start with that. You know, like you said, shocking today in court. He brought Mark Vincent Kaplan, the famous attorney that was K-Fed`s attorney, to stand in for him and basically object what was going on in the petition for custody.

Now what`s interesting is you just said it. He said he`s not the father, or he doesn`t think he is. If he was and he knew he was, he could have used that in court; he did not. And the judge basically said, "Don`t let the door hit you on the way out, because you have no standing here. You`re not a parent. Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson were the parents when these kids were born, and that`s it."

So I think that was a shocker, like you said.

But the two winners in court today: Katherine got the allowance she needed to keep the house running. The kids got their allowance so they can start going to school and get back to a normal life. And everybody -- I think everybody won, because the kids are with their grandmother. Debbie`s going to get visitation, but only with a psychologist lying down the ground rules to how that will happen, how frequent.

So I think in the end, they both won, but I think a good outcome today in court after all is said and done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Jim Moret, why doesn`t he just take a DNA test and get it over with? Because this is really feeding the gossip machine, and it`s going to hurt these kids.

JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": It was so strange to be sitting in the courtroom, and then Arnie Klein`s attorney comes forward and says, "Hold on, your honor. We have an objection. We want to be heard."

And the judge looks at them and said, "Well, what`s your standing? Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe were married when these two oldest children were born. They`re the presumed parents."

And then they had a sidebar, which means that all the attorneys went up to the judge and spoke so that no one else in the courtroom could hear, and then they came back and the judge said, "Look, I`m sorry. You have no standing here."

Even if he were the biological father, unless there is some agreement to the contrary, he would have given up his parental rights. So I don`t even know what the issue is. It`s so strange. And we knew nothing strange would happen today. And yet, there it is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It always is something strange when it comes to the Michael Jackson story. We know that from having covered the criminal case. What we`re talking about is, once again, Dr. Arnie Klein, Jackson`s dermatologist, showed up in today`s custody hearing and wants some say in the education and medical care of Jackson`s two oldest kids.

The judge says, "Unh-uh." This bizarre courtroom request fueled rumors, of course, that Dr. Klein is the biological father of Paris and Prince. Now, here`s what Dr. Klein said about that on GMA last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLEIN: If they want my DNA tested, they can have my DNA. I don`t care at this point. What I want...

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Your concern is the kids.

KLEIN: My concern is these kids, because I`ve never met children like this. The brightest children I`ve ever met, the best behaved children I`ve ever met. They come over to my house. They behave wonderfully. I know how deeply he loved them and how deeply they loved him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Bryan Monroe, let`s say that it would make sense that he would be the biological father, because Debbie Rowe is the biological mother, and Debbie Rowe worked for Dr. Arnie Klein for many years. And Michael Jackson spent so much time with the two of them. Very close. They were a trio, in essence.

BRYAN MONROE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, they did have a long- standing relationship from a doctor to a patient. But I think Jim made the point earlier that`s really smart. If Dr. Klein thought he had a standing in this case, he could have been tested and brought that information forward. The judge said he didn`t have a standing and basically threw him out of court, in a nice, gentle way.

I think it`s great that Dr. Klein is concerned about the kids and wants to have a part in their live, but I think that part`s going to be limited to birthday gifts and -- and graduation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Joe Tacopina, should he take a DNA test and settle it once and for all, for the sake of the kids, who are old enough now to know all about this nonsense with one Google search? Should he get it over with?

And could this be about money more than about taking care of the kids or having any heart-felt feelings for the kids?

JOE TACOPINA, FORMER JACKSON LAWYER: Look, Jane, I`ve said from day one on this case that, you know, you have to be skeptical of anyone entering the Michael Jackson arena, be it for custody issues of, you know, "I was his last this," "I was his best friend." There were so many -- I`ll call them cretins that came out of the woodwork, in my very limited exposure with Michael that, you know, there are so many people that want to latch on. And now, of course, that he`s dead, they`ll be claims until the end of time. But of course, he should take a DNA test. Now that he`s put this -- the allure of this in the public domain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: For the sake of the kids.

TACOPINA: For the sake of the children, he has that obligation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, what about the storage locker in Las Vegas? Was it raided and if not, why not?

WALTERS: Well, yes, what`s interesting is we found out that there was a there was also a storage locker in Las Vegas, but in the warrant that everyone, you know, a lot of people in the media got a copy of, the last page did say that they raided it, and they took zero items out of it.

So what`s interesting is, you know, the operating theory we`re hearing here at TMZ is that some of the drugs which could have been in Michael Jackson`s house, which they got out of the house. He admitted that he administered Propofol to Michael Jackson. The operating theory, we`re told, of law enforcement is that some of this stuff could have been stored in lockers just like this one.

And what`s really interesting about the Las Vegas storage unit is that Stacey Howe, that name that came up in Houston several times, about correspondence and e-mails that they wanted to look at, her name was on the list of people that can go and come from this storage locker in Vegas. So I think we`re just scratching the surface when it comes to what all of this means and why he had all this stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, yes or no. I want to make sure I got this right. Was the storage locker of Dr. Conrad Murray`s raided by cops or not?

WALTERS: Yes, the same day as his office and house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, it was raided. OK, we`re going to analyze that when we come right back.

Mike, always great to have you on.

WALTERS: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More Jackson drama straight ahead. Who will prevail in the battle for the King of Pop`s estate? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297. Sound off.

Then, this is just a heart-wrenching story. A male body, a young male body reportedly found in the Boise, Idaho area, the very same area where precious 8-year-old Robert Manwill has been missing for more than a week. Are the family`s worst fears confirmed? We certainly hope not.

But first, Michael Jackson`s mom suspects foul play in the singer`s death. She is the very latest family member to raise that suspicion. Here was dad Joe last month.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL: You want to know about foul play? If a doctor 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 is, that`s happening? To me, that`s foul play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:

ERIC GEORGE, DEBBIE ROWE`S ATTORNEY: Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitch Beckloff approved an agreement making Katherine Jackson the children`s guardian and preserving Debbie Rowe`s parental rights, giving her meaningful visitation with the children.

I want to applaud Debbie Rowe. She`s faced difficulties and pressures none of us know. And today`s agreement shows that she responded with heart, integrity and selflessness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debbie Rowe`s attorney clearly pleased with today`s outcome, and his client. It would seem the matter of custody of Jackson`s children is settled. But what about Dr. Arnie Klein? For his part, the one-time Jackson doctor has hinted he`s concerned about Katherine Jackson raising the children. Listen to why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KLEIN: I worry about the Jackson family only because I worry slightly about the father -- about the father.

KING: In what way?

KLEIN: He was very difficult to deal with, with Michael. They announced his new record label at the memorial, you`ll remember. And he seems more and more interested in making money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will Joe exert pressure on Katherine to allow him to turn the children into the Jackson 3? What do we know about how the custody agreement will work out.

Stuart Backerman, you were Michael Jackson`s spokesman for -- from 2000 to 2004. There is speculation, even published reports that Rebbie will actually be the one raising these children. Rebbie, the Jackson daughter who is considered to be the normal Jackson, who`s raised her own children and who doesn`t seem to have the kind of show-business eccentricities that some of the other family members had -- Stuart.

STUART BACKERMAN, FORMER MICHAEL JACKSON SPOKESMAN (via phone): I think, really, what will happen is probably it will be an extended family type of support system, with Katherine, of course, being a fulcrum there and being in control of the situation in general.

But I`ll tell you something about this whole custody situation, Jane. I don`t think the public and media really understood, or even perhaps now, understood Debbie Rowe`s motivations from the beginning.

Like I said from the first, she would never, ever cross Michael and cause hardship for their children or disrupt the continuity of, you know, staying with the Jacksons and having the kind of stable family life. She didn`t really want to raise the kids. So she never would have contested custody, really, and risk an ugly affair.

What she really wanted was she wanted her visitation rights enshrined, and she didn`t want Joe Jackson to have any sway over the kids` life for obvious reasons.

And finally, with the changes to the estate, she wanted her spousal support payments continued as per her agreement with Michael Jackson from the very, very beginning. So there wasn`t any...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The reports were that there was nothing in writing about that spousal agreement. I can`t confirm those reports. But that there was nothing in writing. It was like she said, "Oh, yes, I was getting X, Y, Z from Michael. I want this to continue."

And originally, they didn`t want to give it to her, and then they finally said, "Well, let`s make her go away."

BACKERMAN: No, no. What happened was that, in two instances that she`d kind of, like, been in Michael`s face, so to speak, in 2003 after she heard of the Nation of Islam kind of getting control of the situation. That really concerned her. And she got her lawyer in there.

And then secondly, in terms of money, in 2006 after the trial when -- 2005, 2006 when Michael left without even, you know, letting anybody know to Bahrain. And she didn`t know where the children was, et cetera, et cetera. When he came back, she wanted to make sure that those spousal payments were continued, as per their original agreement, that were extended in 2006.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But OK. I hear what you`re saying, Stuart, and thank you for explaining all that. But Brenda, there are some who`d say it`s not about the money, but it is about the money. At the end of the day, if there`s money involved, which is a continuation of spousal support, whatever amount that is...

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you can be sure...

WADE: No question that there`s money involved here. And I have felt, as have so many people, that from the beginning, these children have been essentially pawns with their mother. And I put that in quotes.

And I think it`s very important to recognize that any person, be it an adult, but especially a child who`s gone through a sudden change in circumstances, needs three things that these children need very badly. They need stability and a chance to come back to center. They need reassurance that they`re going to be safe and not passed around from person to person. And above all, they need emotional support.

Now, the difficulty with Katherine Jackson having the children from my perspective is that she`s 79 years old. It is important that there`s Rebbie or maybe even Debbie Rowe that she`s capable of raising the children. God forbid anything should happen to Mrs. Jackson, but she`s not a young person.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Jim Moret, the kids signed off on a custody agreement. How did that play out in court? Were they actually there?

MORET: No, they weren`t. And through one of the attorneys, the attorney indicated that both Paris and Prince Michael I signed off. Didn`t indicate what exactly they wanted with respect to who would take care of them.

You know, Stuart Backerman knows these players. I suspect that he`s right in Debbie Rowe probably got two out of three of the conditions that she wanted. She wanted the continuation of the support, and she wanted some visitation rights.

There`s no indication, however, that there`s any restriction on Joe Jackson whatsoever. Katherine indicated on a television show last night that she and her husband are still married. They live separately, but it doesn`t appear there`s any restriction on how he is able to interact with the -- his grandchildren.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, these are strong-willed kids. And if they don`t want to be part of the Jackson 3, I have a feeling they`ll tell Joe, you know, "Buzz off. We don`t want to play with you."

WADE: We can only hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Brenda, Stuart, thank you so much. Everyone else, stay right there. Coming up next on ISSUES, George Anthony all set to give his depo. Lee and Cindy have already been interrogated for nine hours. What did they tell investigators?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, George and Cindy Anthony back in the hot seat. What exactly are prosecutors trying to get out of the Anthony family? Casey`s father, George, is up next in this deposition derby. But last week it was mom Cindy and brother Lee who were grilled by prosecutors.

Lee has made conflicting statements to investigators in the past. Then there was this cryptic moment at Caylee`s memorial last February. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEE ANTHONY, BROTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: C-M-A. C-M-A, each day you continue to teach me about life, about the way it should be lived. Each day you give me the ability to be strong or to be weak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Turns out that he was referring to Cindy, Casey and Caylee, reportedly. According to his attorney, Lee Anthony, quote, "spilled it all" to prosecutors last week. What does that mean? What is there to spill?

Well, let`s go straight to the source. We`re delighted to have Lee`s attorney, Thomas Luka.

Great to see you, Tom. First of all, you apparently said you`re done representing Lee, and if so why? And what can you tell us about being quoted as saying Lee spilled it all? What does that mean?

THOMAS LUKA, ATTORNEY FOR LEE ANTHONY: Well, I don`t think I actually said he spilled it all. And to answer your first question, as far as the criminal case, in regards to the criminal case, I am no longer -- Mr. Anthony is no longer involved correctly. He`s not threatened with any criminal charges. So really, my representation of him is no longer necessary. There`s still...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He just got deposed and grilled by prosecutors. Doesn`t he need a lawyer to handle something like that? How does he feel about being a witness for the state in a case against his own sister?

LUKA: Well, again, he is going to -- he testified in deposition as truthfully as he could to what he saw, heard or observed. And that`s -- he answered all the prosecutor`s questions in detail, at length, in more detail and gave sometimes more detail than was actually necessary. But he still gave them everything he knew about a particular situation or a particular event they were asking about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what kind of witnesses will Casey`s family make during the trial? If the depositions for the civil case were any indication, this could get very ugly on the witness stand. Listen to George back in April.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY: I have not heard my granddaughter`s voice since June 16, 2008. Do not ask me that again, sir, because I will walk out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

G. ANTHONY: Do not do that to me again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I don`t want to make it hard on you.

G. ANTHONY: Yes, you are. Yes, you are. I`ve already answered everything about this lady right here, and I`ve done it in the best possible way that I can. And I told you, this is not related to my daughter described to me. We can end this right now. This is all -- all you are is fishing, sir. You`re fishing for information for a criminal investigation that you have nothing to do with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom, what about these reports that Cindy, George and Lee are refusing to take polygraphs? Is that true? And if so, why?

LUKA: I have heard none of that. I have -- from the beginning my client has maintained that he would be happy to take a polygraph examination, as long as we...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he hasn`t taken one.

LUKA: He has not taken one yet, but obviously, we`d have to approve the polygraph examiner. There are only, really, a few in the country that are reputable enough for that both sides would probably be able to agree on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last question: is he just sick over the fact that he`s going to have to possibly take the stand in a case against his own sister?

LUKA: Well, again, as any person is, probably he is. But he will do his civic duty, and he will testify to the best -- to the best of his ability.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Tom.

More of the Michael Jackson case in a moment. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explosive new details in the death of Michael Jackson: his own mother Katherine now saying there is no way he died of natural causes. So who does mom think is to blame?

Plus, a gut-wrenching change: now police are viewing the disappearance of little Robert Manwill; after previously claiming there was no foul play, cops now say there are suspicious circumstances. This all comes as his mother continues to remain absent from the police news conferences.

Breaking news -- a gruesome twist -- just in: a body pulled from a canal in Idaho. Reports from the scene say it`s a young boy. Could it be missing 8-year-old Robert Manwill? I`ll have the very latest breaking details in just a moment.

But first, shocking twists and turns in the Michael Jackson death drama. A surprise player in the custody claims and stunning new developments in the manslaughter probe.

What everybody expected, a judge seals the deal between Katherine Jackson and Debbie Rowe. Katherine will raise the kids -- at least officially; Debbie will get visitation. And not for nothing, Debbie will continue to receive her spousal support payments.

Here is Debbie`s lawyer speaking outside court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC GEORGE, DEBBIE ROWE`S ATTORNEY: I want to applaud Debbie Rowe. She`s faced difficulties and pressures none of us know. And today`s agreement shows that she responded with heart, integrity and selflessness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, nobody expected motion by Dr. Arnie Klein, Michael Jackson`s doctor and Debbie`s ex-boss, he asked to be, quote, "involved in the children`s education and medical care. His motion was denied. But why did he ask for that.

Also tonight, we hear from Katherine Jackson for the first time since her son`s death. She spoke to Geraldo Rivera of Fox News over the weekend.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How do you feel about the fact that this Dr. Conrad Murray is apparently taking the fall for everything that happened?

KATHERINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S MOTHER: All I know that my son is dead and I don`t think he just died of natural causes or whatever. He`s too young for that but something happened. I don`t know what it was and I can`t say.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am back with my fantastic panel: Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition;" Joe Tacopina, criminal defense attorney; Brian Monroe, CNN contributor and the last American journalist to interview Michael Jackson before his death.

But first, Art Harris, investigative journalist and founder of artharris.com; Art, you have a fascinating report on your Web site -- it is something CNN has not confirmed. A stunning revelation about Michael Jackson around the time of his 2005 molestation trial -- tell us about that.

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, I think you are referring to a staffer who told me he had been going around traveling with Michael. And that he would occasionally go into what appeared to be a drugged state so badly that he had to remove him from meetings, make excuses for him and then take him back to his room where he would wait with him until his breathing got normal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, we were both covering the trial together. We saw sometimes Michael Jackson did appear very out of it as he went into court. But other times he was surprisingly lucid and we`d seen him there before court starts and he`d be talking to the clerk at the court and he`d seemed very sharp.

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, he even went to the hospital a couple of times. I talked to his then defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, who told me that during that trial, Michael was in extreme pain. And we now know that that pain -- well, he had pain in his back, he had pain in his leg and obviously we now know about pain in his head or to his head from that fire in `84.

But you know, when you saw Michael Jackson, he did seem out of it at times. But not to the extent necessarily that Art is describing. But Art was there with us and he witnessed very much the same thing we did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there is out of it and then there`s being totally out of it, meaning under anesthesia. And that`s what we`re talking about in this case is the idea that he had anesthesia every night to help him with insomnia.

Phone lines lighting up. Linda, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am?

LINDA, TEXAS (via telephone): Yes. Hi Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

LINDA: My question is this, the day that Michael died and it`s pretty much been presumed now that he did die early on or even before the paramedics got there. If Michael was already dead, why then was not the coroner called out where they could examine the body?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Monroe, there are a lot of suspicious circumstances surrounding Michael`s death and the report that there were calls made by Dr. Conrad Murray at 9:30 in the morning even though the 911 call didn`t happen until 12:22.

BRIAN MONROE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know there were reports that they got - - for instance, TMZ reported that Dr. Murray would come in late at evening, stay with Michael overnight and then leave the next day. That was sort of the pattern.

And in fact that morning, it was reported that Michael didn`t like people coming in to his room so Michael would actually go to Dr. Murray`s room to get whatever treatments or, in this case perhaps the Propofol. And that could have been where he passed on. But it took a long time between 9:30 in the morning until the call came. And because Dr. Murray was a physician, he had to sign off on the death certificate at the scene and he chose not to. Instead, had them transport him, had the declaration of death happen at the hospital rather than at the scene.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I don`t understand Joe Tacopina is, if Dr. Murray in fact admitted to cops that he gave Michael Jackson Propofol -- that has been reported -- why not just say where you got it. In other words, if you`d gone that far, why not just spill the beans?

JOE TACOPINA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is one thing to admit you are administering a narcotic to a patient because that`s what Michael was to Dr. Murray and claim maybe it`s for therapeutic reason. Here is where Dr. Murray may or may not have problems, was this administered for non-therapeutic reasons? If it wasn`t then he`s got some real criminal problems.

But to say where it came from, he could be -- obviously there could be other people he could implicate and he could implicate himself as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s move on to this fascinating aspect; the James Brown story. Michael Jackson spoke about his life-long love for James Brown at Brown`s funeral. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Ever since I was a small child, no more than like 6 years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was. If I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing to watch the television to see the master at work.

And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I have never seen a performer perform like James Brown. And right then and there, I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Today the "New York Post" is reporting Michael Jackson and James Brown were once inseparable and the "Post" claims both used the same doctors who would, quote, "get them anything they wanted," end quote.

Brown`s long-time assistant also told the "Post" that Dr. Conrad Murray was one of Brown`s personal doctors. So that is a shocking alleged link between the "King of Pop" and the "Godfather of soul."

Sadly Jim Moret, James Brown is no longer with us to confirm or deny that report. But do we know how Michael Jackson met Dr. Conrad Murray? How long they`ve known each other?

MORET: Well, it`s my understanding that Dr. Murray treated Michael Jackson`s children some years ago in Las Vegas. But we don`t exactly know how he met. It is possible and certainly investigators want to look into this connection to see whether or not Dr. Murray has a history that is darker than we thought.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean -- go ahead.

HARRIS: There`s another thing, the timing of Dr. Murray coming in and purportedly administering the Propofol comes a month after Michael Jackson reaches out to a former doctor, Beverly Hills rheumatologist Allan Metzger.

His lawyer tells me that he actually asked Dr. Metzger to give him Propofol in April. He said, "Hey, this is really dangerous." He`d been complaining about all the pain, finally invited Metzger to his house. After a long schism in their relationship, suddenly he reaches out to him.

My question is, was this the first doc who was giving him Propofol or was he trying to set up other docs in case he needed them?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we invited Dr. Metzger`s attorney, Harlan Braun, who was somebody I`ve worked with many times in the past -- a wonderful attorney on our show -- and he declined, saying that he doesn`t really want to give fuel to this fire because he believe his client did absolutely nothing wrong.

And let`s face it this case could take down a lot of doctors who may have simply gotten a phone call from Michael Jackson and said, "No, I`m not going to give you that" but their name ends up in a search warrant.

Joe Tacopina, what I don`t understand is again, he apparently Dr. Murray, has admitted administering -- reportedly administering Propofol to Michael Jackson. So in a sense, doesn`t that just really open the door to everything? I mean how much more documentation do they need if they`ve got the toxicology reports and that admission?

TACOPINA: Well, it`s going to really hinge on, Jane, whether or not he has admitted it. I`m sure he`s admitted it saying there`s nothing wrong, this is for therapeutic reasons. He needed this for certain pain this was my therapy to him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a knock-out drug to use as anesthesia for surgery.

TACOPINA: But wait, we are not doctors. And I will tell you, I have represented tons of doctors. And doctors, as long as they can come up with a plausible explanation to defend their actions -- look I`m not saying this is going to pass the straight face test, he may lose his license. He may be charged with a crime. But as long as he has a reason why he believed he did it and could back it up medically, he is going to give that answer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ll have to see.

Thank you, excellent panel.

It`s not just Michael Jackson; millions of people across America are grappling with addiction and I`m one of them. In my new book, "I Want," I reveal details of my own personal battle with alcoholism and how I finally got sober more than 14 years ago. It is a recovery memoir due out this fall.

You can preorder your copy right now. Click on cnn.com/jane. Look for the preorder section.

This book is also about how everything in my life changed after I got sober including my relationships and the new addictions that popped up like sugar. I`m going to tell you how I kicked that too. There`s more than a few shockers.

This book can help you with your issues or someone you love with their issues.

Up next on, ISSUES: O.J. Simpson, a free man? He was sentenced to 33 years in prison, his lawyer now fighting to have him bailed out. Could the "Juice" be soon on the loose?

And massive developments in the Robert Manwill search. Cops now say suspicious circumstances surround his disappearance as a male body reported found just miles from the boy`s home.

I want to hear from you. Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eight-year-old Robert Manwill, missing for more than a week. Today a male body reportedly found miles from the boy`s home. We will analyze this breaking news development.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: shocking news in the O.J. Simpson robbery and kidnapping case. Lawyers for the disgraced football player want Las Vegas`s highest court to let O.J. out on bail while they work on his appeal which may not happen for at least a year. Simpson is currently serving a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon in that 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Based on past cases, it is pretty darn rare for the state`s highest court to even hear oral arguments on bond and even more rare to grant a release. We will update you when a decision is made.

And from one disgraced football player to another, Michael Vick, need I say more? Well, listen to this one. The former NFL star`s home town is hosting a celebration day for him this Saturday. Now I`m not trying to be a party-pooper, but come on, does this guy deserve a homecoming party?

The event is being sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which says Vick will deliver a speech to promote Martin Luther King Jr.`s teachings on non-violence. Fascinating considering Vick was jailed for grotesque violence against animals. He was recently reinstated by the NFL which means we could see him on the field before the end of the year.

And that`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."

Turning now to gut-wrenching development in the frantic search for an 8- year-old Idaho boy, Robert Manwill; published reports say the body of a young male has just been pulled from a Boise, Idaho canal just miles from where little Robert vanished. The canal runs less than half a mile south of the apartment complex where the little boy was last seen the night of July 24th.

Local officials are working furiously to identify the body while family members gather at Boise police headquarters; understandably anxious, in agony as they wait to hear news from investigators. Could this be the major break in the case; the kind that no one of course wants?

What do you think? Give me a call.

Straight out to my amazing expert panel: Tom Ruskin, former New York City police investigator and president of C&P Protective and Investigative Group; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; and Kiersten Throndsen, reporter with CNN affiliate KBCI in Boise.

Kiersten, what is the very latest?

KIERSTEN THRONDSEN, REPORTER, KBCI, BOISE, IDAHO: The body was pulled here from the canal behind me about 2:30 mountain time; so several hours ago. We have confirmed just recently with the coroner`s office that the body does belong to a young boy.

Now, we`re still waiting to get a positive ID in terms of the name of this boy and the exact age of the boy, as well as what the boy was wearing that was pulled from the canal. You may recall that Robert was last seen wearing a dark blue shirt with a stated "Superman" logo.

Some reports -- initial reports indicated that the boy`s body in the canal was also seen wearing a dark blue shirt. That is something we are trying to confirm with the Ada County coroner`s office right now. I did also talk with the sheriff`s office and the police department, they tell me as of now there are no other known missing people or missing children cases here locally aside from little Robert Manwill.

To give you an idea of how far away we are from where Robert was last seen at his mother`s apartment complex more than a week ago, it`s about 15-20 miles out in -- more of the rural parts of this area here in Ada County.

So again, the body of a small boy has been recovered from a canal. We are still waiting to learn if this has any connection to missing Robert Manwill`s investigation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, reports suggest the body plucked from the Boise Canal was close to a home that was searched over the weekend. The owner`s truck was also checked out. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are pretty devastated that my truck is being you know considered as part of this. Whatever lead helps, I mean, I have complete cooperation with them because yes, it`s a little boy and he needs to be found.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, authorities dug up this man`s backyard as well. Cops are not calling him a suspect.

But this is what I have heard, Kiersten and straighten this out. He says that blood hounds picks up a scent on the Suburban which he owns. But he had said that that Suburban was stolen two days before Robert vanished.

So if that`s true, that could mean whoever stole the truck could have been the person responsible for something untoward being done to the little boy.

THRONDSEN: That is the report that we heard not only from the owner of the car but also from neighbors I`ve spoke with out in that neighborhood on Friday night. But again, the owner had reported that Suburban -- reported that Suburban stolen and then it showed up several days later. So that is information that we`re still trying to connect.

Again, investigators are being very tight-lipped about all these new developments, the latest one out here at the canal where a body of a young boy was pulled.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Tom Ruskin, what do you make of that? They hit on this -- the bloodhounds hit on that Suburban. The owner of the Suburban says, "My Suburban was stolen two days before this boy disappeared." And he has knowledge of this family, he knows this family.

TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, I mean, obviously investigators are looking and trying to eliminate any possibility that this guy is the reason (ph) involved in this. The fact that they`ve dug up his backyard makes me believe that they are really looking at him as a possible target and his property as a possible grave site.

Now that they may have found the body, if it is Robert, in the canal, they`ll move to there and start digging up the forensic evidence that exists around the scene.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes but if -- he is not considered a suspect. I want to make that clear. And if his Suburban was stolen, he might have actually nothing to do with it. He`s the victim of a car theft. And whoever stole that car is the person responsible.

Think about that. We`re going to go to a break. Kiersten, thank you so much. Tom, stay right there.

Much more on the disappearance of this child. What a horrifying story.

We`ll be back in a second with more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRISH BURRILL, MISSING BOY`S AUNT: As a family and as a whole, we want everyone not to give up hope, to continue on everything that we have done, the searching, the looking. Please help us to bring Robert home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gut-wrenching developments in the frantic search for 8- year-old Idaho boy Robert Manwill as the body of a young male has now been pulled from a Boise, Idaho canal just miles from where little Robert vanished.

And we are being told a news conference will be held in about 20 minutes, by authorities, which could have some new developments.

It`s a heart-wrenching, heart-wrenching time for this family, even though the mother has not shown up at the last couple of news conferences and she does have a history of injuring another child who ended up with a fractured skull. This family is in total agony tonight.

Let`s go straight to the phone lines. Terry, North Carolina, your question or thoughts?

TERRY, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Jane, I just want to know why the mother is not saying anything and why she`s not showing up for the press conferences.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Dale Archer?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I`m concerned about that too.

And I think Jane, the number of cases that you`ve covered with missing children over the past several months and the parents get on TV and plead and beg and please help me get my baby back. I do not understand why this mother is not taking a more active role. That`s concerning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, we know that she has this -- this history which we`ve all been discussing. And I`m not saying there`s any connection to this case. But it may simply be that she`s ashamed after this history became public. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child after an incident last October that fractured her infant son`s skull.

Now, the court records say that she did willfully inflict injury by, quote, "Striking the child`s head on a surface, causing a fracture to the child`s skull."

RUSKIN: Except now, Jane, except now she`s missing a child. So you would expect her to come forward, say, "Listen that was then, this is now, I want my child back. Please help me find my child."

That`s what a normal parent does. People have bad histories in their past. That doesn`t make them guilty in this crime. And you want them to come forward and you want them to plead with the public, "Please help us."

ARCHER: Yes I agree. It makes her look bad in the court of public opinion. But just what mother would not be out there doing everything in their power trying to get their child back? That`s what`s so hard to understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, mom`s apartment was the focus of a police search late Thursday. At yesterday`s news conference, Robert`s family stood united. But for the third day in a row, mom was absent, as Robert`s aunt once again begged for help. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURRILL: Please pray and continue to think about Robert so we may bring him home, so that we can share him with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say they know where the boy`s mother is but they won`t disclose her location.

And Dr. Dale Archer, her boyfriend also has a troubled history, a criminal record. And this seems to be sort of a -- a hot bed of family dysfunctionality, this entire family.

ARCHER: Well Jane, as we talked about before, like attracts like. So what would be normal for you or I would not be normal for them. So it`s not unusual for these types of individuals to end up in relationships together.

But, again, you`re right, he does have a history. And he had a court order saying that he could not be with one of the children alone and we don`t know why. So there are a lot of unanswered questions with both of them.

But again I think that the bottom line is they should be out on the air, asking for help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we will know more in about 20 minutes. It`s a gut- wrenching story. We pray that this boy is ok.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.

Thank you

END

Home  |  Asia  |  Europe  |  U.S.  |  World  |  World Business  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  World Sport  |  Travel
Podcasts  |  Blogs  |  CNN Mobile  |  RSS Feeds  |  Email Alerts  |  CNN Radio  |  Site Map
© 2009 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.