Edition: U.S. | Arabic | Set Pref

 

Return to Transcripts main page

ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Travolta Testifies in Blackmail Trial; Source Claims Haleigh Cummings Died of O.D.

Aired September 24, 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 a famous father`s desperate fight to keep his son alive. Heartbreaking details from the death of Jett Travolta. Superstar John Travolta took the stand in the Bahamas and described in vivid detail how he desperately performed CPR and rushed his son to the hospital. Two people are accused of trying to extort $25 million from the Hollywood legend during his darkest hour. Will Travolta`s testimony be enough to lock them up?

And bombshell developments in the search for little Haleigh Cummings. Shocking new claims the sweet little child may have overdosed on OxyContin while at a party with Misty Croslin Cummings. There are also claims her little body was scooped up and thrown in a pond. All of this according to an alleged letter written by a family friend. Misty failed polygraph tests in the past, but is this new evidence credible?

Also, a bizarre twist in the Jaycee Dugard case. A man has come forward and claims to be Jaycee`s biological father. So is this guy for real, and could he provide us with new insight into Jaycee`s life and captivity?

Plus, let the backlash begin. Just one day after Mackenzie Phillips spilled her guts on Oprah, her stepmom firing back, calling the former sit- com star a liar. Mackenzie claims she and her father, John, the lead singer of the Mamas and the Papas, had an incestuous affair. Now Mackenzie says she had an abortion because she wasn`t sure if the baby belonged to her dad.

So who`s telling the truth here, and why did Mackenzie wait this long to write her tell-all book?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, John Travolta bears his soul and makes a shocking admission, all under oath. John Travolta, the star witness testifying against two alleged low-life extortionists in the Bahamas.

Prosecutors say a former senator, senator of the Bahamas, and a paramedic tried to squeeze 25 million bucks from the superstar in the wake of his 16-year-old son`s tragic death. Jett, whose medical condition has always been the subject of a heated debate, died of a seizure in January.

In court, John Travolta finally came right out and said it. Quote, "Yes, my son was autistic," end quote. Travolta`s first public revelation included tearful testimony about watching his son die before his eyes. Quote, "I saw him on the bathroom floor. We continued CPR, and my wife was holding his head."

In another shocker report, the secret police video exposing the alleged extortion plot. The tape shot just weeks after Jett`s death allegedly shows the paramedic, Tarino Lightbourne, and one of Travolta`s representatives facing off. The black male schemed Travolta would face millions to keep a so-called refusal-to-transport document out of the public eye.

Now, here`s how it apparently went down. Travolta`s rep said, "You know, what we`re doing is a criminal offense."

The paramedic said, "Yes."

The rep for Travolta said, "If we get caught, we`re both in trouble."

The paramedic said, "Yes."

It would stand to reason, Travolta`s rep knew a secret camera was rolling, taking down every word. When was this conspiracy hatched, anyway?

Paramedic Lightbourne, seen here on TMZ, talked to ABC`s "Good Morning America" soon after Jett`s death before we knew anything at all about any scheme.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TARINO LIGHTBOURNE, FACING BLACKMAIL CHARGES: I saw him lean over, hold his son. Kissed him, tell him he loved him and tell him, "I did everything I could." I saw love in his eyes.

He then turned to me, gave me a hug, and said, "You guys did a wonderful job."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beware of paramedics who go on TV and say what happened in the ambulance.

Tonight`s big issue: did the tragedy of Jett`s death and the pressure from this awful extortion drama send John Travolta out of denial about his son`s autism? I want to hear from you about that.

Straight out to my fantastic panel: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Thomas Ruskin, former NYPD detective, investigator and president of CMT Protective Investigative Group; Dr. Reef Karim, psychiatrist, addiction specialist, director of the Control Center Beverly Hills and assistant clinical professor at UCLA. Boy, everybody has got a lot of titles tonight. Russell Wetanson, attorney and pop culture expert with PopSquire.com.

But first, to the one and only Jean Casarez, attorney and correspondent at In Session.

Jean, tell us about the secret videotapes that cops say actually caught blackmailers right in the act.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Well, you can imagine, Jane, to have a videotape inside a trial, a prosecution of this nature. This is huge for the prosecution, and the defense is trying to get it suppressed.

But here`s what it is. You`ve got that former senator/attorney actually negotiating with John Travolta`s representative, and, you`re right, John Travolta`s representative is one that is consenting to all of this, that is a party to it. Not actually. But so criminal activity can be documented.

And then negotiating a sum, a sum that the paramedic wants to keep this document undisclosed from the public. Not only do we hear amounts bantered back and forth but we hear Travolta`s representative say, as you just showed, this is a crime. So we know knowledge of criminality is important in Bahamian law. But the end-all to this is this is critical evidence for the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Jayne Weintraub, I have to ask: if they`ve got it all on tape, why do they need anything else? Why do they need John Travolta or anybody else to get on the stand and testify? It`s on tape. Talk.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we`re not sure exactly what was on tape and how it was taped. And whenever there`s a tape recording or a videotape, the legal issues are very simple. You can`t deny what`s happening, but what you can question and research is whether or not it was entrapment, No. 1; whether or not they were predisposed to commit the crime or initiated the conversations; what exactly was said.

And, No. 2, words are taken out of context. In other words, we don`t have the videotape, the entire transcript. We don`t know what we`re looking at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what?

WEINTRAUB: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got some of the transcript, and I`m going to read it to you right now. Radar Online got a hold of transcripts of those secret police videos. Defense attorneys tried to have them suppressed, as you heard from Jean Casarez, on grounds they were illegally recorded.

Check this out, Travolta`s rep says, quote, "We`re willing to pay handsomely for the document," end quote.

The former Bahamian senator -- that`s right, a senator -- who`s also charged with extortion, speaks on behalf of the paramedic, saying, quote, "He said 25 million, as in dollars."

Travolta`s rep, "If he`s willing to negotiate, we can make him a wealthy man. I`m not buying a piece of paper. I`m buying his stylist," end quote.

The document in question is this refusal to transport paper. Travolta says, "Yes, I signed it in the heat of the moment," because he wanted to go to the airport and fly his son back to the states. But Thomas Ruskin, what doesn`t make sense is that this entire case, is that refusal transport, it`s not blackmail material. It`s a big "who cares?" Like you`d publish it in the front page of "The New York Times" and nobody would care at all.

THOMAS RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: That`s exactly right, I think. But the videotapes are going to be very telling in this court. And people love that, in the advent of CSI and "Law & Order," they love to see videotape. They love to hear audio recordings. It really makes the prosecution case, and it ties them to those tapes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I`ve got to say, Russell Wetanson, you`re the pop culture expert. But I have to call these paramedics the paramedics from hell. You know, Travolta told the jurors it took 25 to 40 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

And then somewhere along the line, they decided, "Hey, we`re going to stop and switch ambulances." And they moved this poor kid out of one ambulance and put him in another ambulance and then let the journey continue. Again, this at a moment when every single second counts.

And then, after all of this, they have the audacity, one of them, anyway, to allegedly blackmail the star.

RUSSELL WETANSON, ATTORNEY/POP CULTURE EXPERT: Yes, Jane, you know, you would think that the power of celebrity would be a good resource here. But like we saw in the Michael Jackson case, where they called 9/11 and didn`t say it was Michael Jackson. So that doesn`t seem to be helping people out these days.

You know, it is John Travolta, and you were talking about before why is testifying when there`s video? It`s because it`s John Travolta. If you can have a celebrity presence in the courtroom, it can make all the difference. And unfortunately, it didn`t make a difference that day with the way these paramedics behaved, except that it brought extortion about.

So celebrity has pros and cons, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, psychiatrist Reef Karim, is this a catharsis for John Travolta? Is it helping him heal or is it reopening the wound?

REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST: Oh, It`s absolutely reopening the wound. I mean, this is ridiculous. The mourning of a son, of an offspring is an intense grieving process.

And, you know, we`re looking here at a seizure disorder which, at least in this case, seems to be about 42 percent of the time linked to autism. It does happen. And, you know, in this case the son needed to be taken to the hospital at a very quick pace in order to see where the soleptagenic (ph) activity actually is occurring in the brain.

This is a very, very sad case, and it`s going to make it much, much harder for Mr. Travolta to deal with this stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we`re going to talk in a moment when we come back from the break about tonight`s big issue: namely, did the tragedy of Jett`s death and the pressure from this awful extortion drama snap John Travolta out of denial about his son`s autism?

We`re going to talk about that in a second, because that is a subject on everybody`s mind. More on all of this in just a moment.

We`re also taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Coming up, a man claiming to be Jaycee`s dad. That`s right, Jaycee Dugard`s dad steps into the spotlight. But why now? Why hold a news conference? How do you think Jaycee feels about that tonight?

And then what do we know about the man who allegedly tried to profit off Jett Travolta`s death? The man who once called John friend?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Travolta knew that his son was a special child, and he nurtured the relationship. He gave him love, demonstrated publicly at all times.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MURRIO DUCILLE, BRIDGWATER`S ATTORNEY: He has to be here. He has to give evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does he have to be here?

DUCILLE: Without him, the prosecution cannot get off the ground, because he`s the complainant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is one of the defendants`, former Senator Bridgwater`s, attorney talking about John Travolta`s appearance as a star witness in this case.

Tonight`s big issue. Did the tragedy of Jett`s death and the pressure from this awful extortion drama snap John Travolta out of denial about his son`s autism?

Here`s the devoted dad talking about his son to ABC News in 2001.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN TRAVOLTA, ACTOR: I probably cried harder and heavier than I`ve ever cried in my life. You know, it`s just -- I didn`t know what I was going to do, because I`d never felt that level of love for another human being.

You know, and there it was, my baby. My son was, you know, 2 and a half. You know, I can handle death. You know, I can handle people dying, but my baby, the threat of that was just -- forget it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our heart goes out to him, obviously. John`s brother, Joey, has long been an advocate for people with autism. In fact, he runs a film camp for autistic kids. This photo is from his Web site, JoeyTee.com.

But until now John Travolta has reportedly insisted that Jett was not autistic. There was talk of a rare disease called Kawasaki Syndrome. So what finally caused him to admit it?

Dr. Reef Karim, you`re not only a psychiatrist but you`re a doctor of medicine. What caused him, you think, to do this 180 on this controversy of autism?

KARIM: Yes, you know, I`m not going to get into exactly why he didn`t talk about autism in the first place. But I can say that a lot of parents are in denial about their son`s medical illness. A lot of people don`t want to see it.

But the reality is, look, what is autism? Autism is a brain development disorder, impaired social interactions, impaired communication, repetitive behavior. Basically it means that your son is going to act out. He`s not going to be the son you want in a lot of social situations. And a lot of autistic kids do very well in other ways. And a lot of times you want to keep it quiet. You don`t want to mention it. Why should you tell people what`s going on with your son?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s one other possibility. John Travolta and Kelly Preston are well-known scientologists.

KARIM: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Their beliefs and their practices have been the subject of some controversy, especially as they relate to controversy. A former scientology minister was interviewed by CBS for "The Early Show." Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE HINES, FORMER SCIENTOLOGY MINISTER: The only reason a person can get ill is because they are, in some way connected to a suppressive person. And a suppressive person is someone, mainly someone who`s opposed to scientology.

It`s really a big deal. So how the Travoltas dealt with this, an illness, a chronic illness in the family, I`m not sure how they would have been able to explain it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, I`m a big believer in religious beliefs. I`m not going to sit here and challenge anybody`s religious beliefs. But that`s not what we`re talking about. We`re talking about, given the considerable pressure, allegedly, to keep this sort of under wraps, did Travolta take a risk by making this admission? Or, Jean Casarez, did the need to see justice done trump his religious beliefs at the end of the day?

CASAREZ: I think you`ve hit it on the head right there. I think possibly it also had privacy concerns up until this point. When you`re on the stand, even in the Bahamas, you are sworn to have to tell the truth. The question was asked. He responded and the answer.

And remember, he didn`t have to testify. He didn`t have to go to the Bahamas. So he supports this prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Leah, West Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Our daughter is also autistic and suffers from seizures. And she`s also an insulin-dependent diabetic. This child has taught us so very much about love and increased our aptitude for patience and added so very much to our lives. I can`t tell you how hurtful it is that they lost someone so special in their lives.

But these children work so hard for every little thing that they achieve, and they celebrate everything that they can possibly accomplish.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: May I ask you a question, ma`am? Did you ever have any concerns about revealing that your child was autistic?

CALLER: Her father did. He wanted her to be completely included in school. And I was very fearful that she would fall down in school, and eventually, I lost custody because I preferred -- or wanted to home school her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK.

CALLER: It`s very complicated. And I also wanted to thank you for standing out and showing the world that addicts and alcoholics are not the bizarre homeless person but many, many of us. And this whole business with Mackenzie Phillips has shined a great deal on my own personal problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I wish you the very best, ma`am. But we`re going to talk about Mackenzie Phillips coming up later in the show. So hang in there and watch, because we`ve got some interesting information.

But I thought that caller, Jean Casarez, was absolutely on the nose that these children are so wonderful. And they are really gifted in so many other ways that an average child is. Why not celebrate that from the get-go? Why keep it under wraps?

CASAREZ: I think it has to do with the religion, as you said, and I think it`s a personal decision. And remember, he was still basically a little boy. And maybe the family had just not made the decision yet to go forward with it. Maybe to protect him.

KARIM: Yes, and Jane, also with autistic kids, a lot of them have incredible talents that are not seen. They`re not evident unless they`re able to be expressed, which is why it`s so important that autistic kids are being trained, supervised, educated to express their talents, their specific talents that aren`t necessarily day-to-day talents that the average kid has.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, I`ve got to say this. I think Jean Casarez hit the nail on the head when she said, it`s a court of law. You have to tell the truth. So when he was asked what does your -- what did your son suffer from, he had to say it.

RUSKIN: I think it also -- Jane...

WEINTRAUB: But Jane, I want to say how much John Travolta should be applauded for voluntarily going to the Bahamas to testify, because Jean is also correct. He couldn`t be forced or compelled to go to the Bahamas, another country.

But also, it says something for the celebrities to stand up and fight back. And not to be exploited or have their families` privacy exploited. I think what happened to him is reprehensible, if, in fact, it was -- the allegations are true. And I applaud Jon Travolta fighting back and saying...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And our hearts go out to him. Thomas Ruskin, final words?

RUSKIN: Jane, I think that also John Travolta wanted to bring autism to the forefront, and I applaud him for doing that. I think it will also help the parents of autism children not hide it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, OK. Russell, five seconds.

WETANSON: Yes, what I was going to say is I think it`s the exact opposite. He had all of these years to bring life to it, like Jenny McCarthy has. This could have been a real educational moment all these years. A celebrity getting behind a cause is important, and he never did that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. People -- yes, but people get to where they get to when they get to it.

Up next, another strange twist in the Jaycee Dugard case. Who is this man claiming to be her biological father?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight in the Haleigh Cummings, did the little girl accidentally overdose on OxyContin? We`ve got a copy of a letter that places Misty Cummings and little Haleigh at a wild, drug-fueled party the very night she disappeared. Here`s what a friend of Misty`s wrote from jail.

Quote, "Haleigh got a hold of some OxyContin and died. We supposedly freaked out and put her in a black bag in my car and we took her to a pond," end quote.

The author of the letter says she`s just paraphrasing a theory police got from somebody else. The writer of the letter essentially claims the whole story is a big lie.

As for the pond in question, police drained a pond last weekend and say they didn`t find any evidence.

Meantime, ISSUES has just learned that a nationwide warrant has been issued for Misty`s mom, of all people. Lisa Croslin is wanted now on forgery charges in Tennessee. This is just unbelievable. Seems like everybody in this case is in trouble with the law.

Welcome back, Jayne Weintraub, attorney. Let`s talk about this letter. Is it all part of cops putting the squeeze on Misty to finally come clean?

WEINTRAUB: Well, that`s what it appears to be. I mean, it is mind- blowing that the police didn`t know this before, because they had telephone records. And I don`t understand why they couldn`t have seen that Ron, the father, was calling the house 20 times and that the brother said that Misty wasn`t there. And he went over there.

I mean...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody`s thought for a long time that she wasn`t there, quite possibly. But it was -- the question was, where was she and with whom?

Now, this party theory is in sharp contrast, of course, with what Misty claims happened that very night. Listen to what she says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MISTY CROSLIN CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S STEPMOM: I put her to bed.

And then at 8 p.m., and I woke up and she was gone. And that`s the last time I seen her, was in bed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were ya`ll in the same bed?

CUMMINGS: No, she was in her bed in front of the TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, she`s lying there. She deserves some kind of an acting award. That`s quite a performance.

WEINTRAUB: And on the other hand, the proponent, the writer of the letter, that`s the kind of person that I cross-examine every day in court. That`s the person that`s looking for a benefit of a bargain. There isn`t the little girl. We don`t have the body to compare. We don`t know if she`s dead. Is she did die, what`s the autopsy going to reveal? Is OxyContin there or not? It`s going to take a while to pay out, if ever.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the thing. If she died at a party, wouldn`t it have come out already? A party. A party. These people.

WEINTRAUB: These people in jail that write letters to police, wanting to get a benefit, and that`s all there is. And they`re just striking up controversy and I don`t believe it, just based on the letter, at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s certainly a theory, and something had to happen. More than what they`re saying now.

WEINTRAUB: They searched the pond.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a lot of ponds down there in Florida. I know. I used to live down there. There`s a pond every couple blocks. So who knows what pond?

WEINTRAUB: Well, they searched the pond, apparently, that the letter referred to near the house. And all I can say is, I just wouldn`t go with this credibility so fast. And I`d also like to know what the person is in jail for. I mean, what is she looking for? And how did she know? How long has she been in custody? What does she know and why is she talking now? I mean (UNINTELLIGIBLE) get the motive...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say this. I think that everybody in this case who knows Misty is being used as a pawn. Her friends, her family. They`re all being locked up, one after the other, to put the squeeze on little old Misty and to try to break her.

Thank you very much, Jayne.

Up next, is the man claiming to be Jaycee Dugard`s biological dad telling the truth?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A bizarre twist in the Jaycee Dugard case. A man has come forward and claims to be Jaycee`s biological father. So is this guy for real? Why is he coming out of the woodwork now? And could he provide us with new insight into Jaycee`s life in captivity?

Plus let the backlash begin. Just one day after Mackenzie Phillips spilled her guts on Oprah, her stepmom is firing back, calling the former sitcom star a liar. Mackenzie now claims that she had an abortion because she wasn`t sure if the baby belonged to her father with whom she insists she had an incestuous affair. Who is telling the truth here?

Tonight, another emotional jolt to Jaycee Dugard`s fragile new life just weeks after she was released from 18 long years of captivity. A 63- year-old man claims he is her biological father.

Listen to this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN SLAYTON, CLAIMS HE`S JAYCEE DUGARD`S FATHER: We understand and respect that she and the children have suffered greatly and may need time before we are reunited. However, we are reaching out today and hoping and praying that she will hear us and take the first step in helping confirm that she is my daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ken Slayton claims that she and Jaycee`s mom had a brief relationship in 1979. He says Probyn told him she was pregnant and then disappeared. No one in the Dugard family has responded to Slayton`s paternity claims.

If this guy really is her father, why go public at this very sensitive time for Jaycee? The Dugards` attorney says they haven`t heard from him privately. Why not?

Slayton could barely get through his statement. He was so emotional. But think of how emotional this bombshell was for Jaycee.

We`re also learning that Jaycee plans to testify against her alleged rapist and captor Phillip Garrido. Is Jaycee finally coming to grips with the terrible existence she and her daughters endured?

And tonight`s big issue: a new law enforcement incompetence shocker. Reports that Phillip Garrido -- are you sitting down -- didn`t register as a sex offender in California until 1999 even though he was convicted of rape and kidnap in 1977. Why wasn`t this glaring omission caught?

Back with my expert panel. Let`s start with this man who says he`s Jaycee`s dad. Dr. Reef Karim, is it a loving thing to do to drop a bombshell like this on Jaycee Dugard now telling her, "Hey, I`m your dad," when she`s dealing with enough trauma for several lifetimes already?

DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes. How much more can this poor girl endure? This is all about reality testing. It`s about reintegrating into society. She basically had societal deprivation.

Everything that she knew was different than what`s going on in reality. So trust, getting back into society, learning just how to live a life and get past all of this emotional trauma that is going to take a ton of therapy to do is all standing in front of her. And now you get this whole thing and it`s going to just confuse -- it`s confusing us. Can you imagine what it`s doing to her?

I mean, this is absolutely confusing and it absolutely will stand in the way of good therapeutic work that she`s probably going to endure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have to ask what is next for this poor girl.

Go ahead, Jayne.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, this is just so absurd. This guy can`t be a father. He might be or have her blood in him but I can tell you something, Jane, no father, as you were saying, would put on their daughter right now any more stress or any more emotional drama to have to go through.

And I`ll tell you something, this is a guy who absolutely absconded responsibility and didn`t want anything to do with it. She was a child...

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait, wait, wait. We weren`t there way back in 1979. We don`t know what happened. And, you know, these kinds of things happen all the time. I don`t think we need to demonize him. And I just think we have to question his timing. Isn`t that the theme of tonight`s ISSUES show?

WEINTRAUB: I question his motive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The question of timing and motive. You know Slayton`s attorney, who I`m a big fan of, Gloria Allred, said that he`s considering legal action if he is refused the opportunity to take a paternity test to prove his theory.

WEINTRAUB: She`s 29 years old. We`re not talking about a child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to this for a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SLAYTON: Even though my friend indicated that Susan didn`t want me in her life, I did make an effort to contact her but was not successful.

I`ve had many nightmares over the years wondering if I could have done more to help Susan and the baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, look, Thomas Ruskin, I`m not a scientist but it seems obvious that to determine whether he`s really the daddy, he would need the cooperation of Jaycee or the children. Would it be wise do you think for them to cooperate at this juncture or to say, "No. Go ahead and take legal action against me?"

TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYC POLICE DETECTIVE INVESTIGATOR: What`s the purpose? I mean, if I was representing the do you Dugard family, I would say no. You know, why do you want to come into my life so you can write a book or something?

I don`t understand it and I don`t understand why he`s coming out at this point in time. It seems like too little to late

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s talk about another big issue. Jaycee is apparently prepared to help put her alleged kidnappers behind bars. Her attorney says yes she will testify at the trial. Here`s what he told the CBS "Early Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGREGOR SCOTT, ATTORNEY FOR JAYCEE DUGARD: I think she very clearly understands that some very bad and terrible things were done to her and the people that committed those crimes need to be held accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is amazing. I mean, she was obviously traumatized originally. She was sort of almost defending Garrido saying that she hadn`t been touched in years by him et cetera, et cetera. Now it seems like the brainwashing is wearing off and she`s coming to terms with this horror that was inflicted on her and maybe getting a little bit angry, we hope.

Dr. Reef.

KARIM: Yes. The -- some people are talking about Stockholm syndrome here. Stockholm syndrome essentially is where you start bonding with your captures. You idealize your captures because they are kind of taking care of you. It ends up with having a perceived threat that they might hurt you; a perceived sense of lack of escape in a situation and random acts of kindness that they give you.

So you`re in this bubble where your sense of survival -- as sick as this is -- is idealized by your captors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s rubbing off now it seems.

KARIM: Exactly.

(CROSS TALK)

KARIM: So you get yourself out of that situation and slowly with therapy, with help, with reintegration, with reality, with the troops, you slowly, slowly get out of that mental state. This is a sign of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, one other thing. It just drove me crazy when I saw it. It appears -- this is Mercury News -- it appears Garrido didn`t register as a sex offender in California until 1999, despite his 1977 convictions in Nevada for kidnapping and rape. Can you believe that?

WEINTRAUB: I think that`s where the problem is. In the `70s, I don`t think that there was a registration law in California that was in place. I know that it wasn`t in place in Florida at that time. So I`m sure it wasn`t a matter of just falling through the cracks at that point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not talking about the `70s. They had that house since 1991. At least in 1991 somebody should have done some kind of calculation to see there`s a registered sex offender living there. Let`s register him in California`s registry and then we would have known to look for him maybe when those kids disappeared or after those kids disappeared.

WEINTRAUB: It is a one -- it`s a domino affect from the probation department through corrections in California. But the registration issue, it`s a whole other bag of worms that we haven`t even begun to deal with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, whatever.

It`s just one more piece of incompetence in this mess, physically and in other ways.

Up next, the convicted killer, mental patient who was on the run for three days tell us now on camera why his escape was just another la-di-dah adventure in his life.

Then, the daughter of a rock legend says she had sexual relationships with her dad. You do not want to miss her bone chilling story. It gets stranger and stranger. We`re taking your calls on this incest story, 1- 877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Do you believe her?

Meantime, we have a very, very exciting addition to our primetime line up coming your way next week. THE JOY BEHAR SHOW will air every single night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on HLN.

Here`s just a little taste of what you`re going to be getting. It`s her "Moment of Joy" commentary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST, "THE JOY BEHAR SHOW": This week we`ve got the season premier of "Dancing with the Stars." Right from the start it was fabulous. Macy Gray, Michael Irvin, Donnie Osmond, even Marie Osmond returned to the scene of the crime to support her brother Donnie.

And who was sitting with Marie? Jermaine Jackson. The man is everywhere. He`s like smog.

My favorite contestant this year on "Dancing with the Stars" is the hammer Tom DeLay, the former house majority leader who soon may be dancing behind bars. Tom was wearing a tiny vest with glitter. He looked like one of the flying monkeys from the "Wizard of Oz."

At the beginning of this show he seemed uncomfortable sitting there with all of those Russian immigrants and gay men. He had that, "What? Am I the only one here under federal indictment," look on his face.

But once the competition started, he loosened right up. In fact, I don`t think a Republican had that much fun tapping his toes since Larry Craig worked the men`s room in the Minneapolis Airport. I thought Tom danced ok even if the judges were a little rough.

Wait until he gets up in front of a real judge. I hope that Tom sticks around all season. I just can`t wait for little Bruno to nail the Hammer.

But that`s just me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. THE JOY BEHAR SHOW premiers on HLN next Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. But you can check it out right now, cnn.com/joy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shock and disgust: the daughter of a rock legend reveals her dark and very secret past with her alleged rapist dad. But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A criminally insane killer who escaped from a county fair last week is laughing about the whole thing. Convicted and hospitalized more than 20 years ago for killing a woman, Phillip Paul says he`s sorry for taking off during a mental hospital field trip.

Listen as Paul tells our affiliate KHQ why he decided to run off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP PAUL: You know they`re going to catch up with you but when, where and whether they`re going to kill you or what. It`s kind of -- I`ve always been a (INAUDIBLE) person. I`ve been in Japan, I worked in Alaska the long summer before I got sick. And I had the (INAUDIBLE) so it was really tough to be -- to live in a mental institution all these years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tough. Tough for you? What about the woman you killed? And the people at the county fair terrified by your little stunt. Look at the kids there.

Thankfully, Paul was captured three days later without incidents. His escape prompted the resignation of a very embarrassed hospital CEO. Good.

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

Revolting bombshell secrets revealed by former TV star Mackenzie Phillips. She says she had sex with her own dad. Mackenzie tells Oprah, she passed out and woke up to her father John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas raping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACKENZIE PHILLIPS, FORMER TV STAR: I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father. Your father is supposed to protect not (BLEEP) you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mackenzie says it became a consensual sexual relationship. She tells Oprah it only ended after a horrifying discovery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: I came up pregnant and I did not know who the father was. The implications the reality of that, I had an abortion. And I never let him touch me again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Today two of her dad`s ex-wives say, "You lie." Michelle Phillips, also a member of the Mamas and the Papas tells "Us Weekly" "Take with a grain of salt anything said by someone who has had a needle in their arm for 35 years."

So is this disgusting story the truth? My key question, is Mackenzie sober right now? She said she is. If she`s sober, I don`t think she`d make this up. If she`s using, I think she could make something like this up.

Straight out to my expert panel: also joining us, Ian Drew, senior editor of US Weekly. But first, we have to begin with the addiction specialist, Dr. Reef Karim.

Does Mackenzie seem sober to you in that interview?

KARIM: Yes, Jane. I think you nailed it. I`m impressed with your insight there. That was my question. The first time I heard this, I`m like ok, she has a history of relapsing. She has -- we know addiction is a chronic relapsing illness and the constant battle in an addict is if you`ve got your brain -- you`ve got your frontal lobe of your brain and you have this deeper limbic inside area.

Your frontal lobe says, what`s right, what`s wrong? Let`s solve have some problems. Let`s figure stuff out. And your limbic side says, give me drugs, give me drugs, give me drugs.

You have this constant battle. And if you`re not sober and you`re not really in recovery, you`re limbic side is saying, get me drugs, get me stuff, get me anything. You`ll lie, you`ll cheat, you`ll steal, you`ll say whatever you need to say. And your frontal lobe battles that out all of the time.

So if she`s not totally sober, if she`s still going through all of this stuff, any of the stuff could be made up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely.

KARIM: Or she could be sober and it should be fine.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen if she`s sober, it`s only about a year because it was just over a year ago that she was arrested, Ian Drew, senior editor of "Us Weekly" on charges of very serious drug possession, cocaine and heroin.

IAN DREW, SENIOR EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": Exactly. And you know, the family is really divided. I interviewed Chynna for our issue, who`s her half sister and she said she completely believes her because why would anyone make this up and call her and, you know, this was something that she revealed to certain family members way earlier.

But I`m hearing from inside sources now that Bijou Phillips who has remained silent doesn`t believe her. Michelle Phillips told us she doesn`t believe her. So everyone is pretty divided because she has had this rocky road and she is on and off all the time, just as the doctor said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, as you`ve just said, these claims have really polarized her extended family. Stepmom Michelle Phillips tells a Hollywood reporter Mackenzie told her this happened a while back and then called back and allegedly said, "Oh, I was just joking."

But Michelle`s daughter, Mackenzie`s sister, musician Chynna Phillips says, "I do believe her." And as you just heard, Chynna is telling "Us Weekly" she knows it`s true.

Mackenzie adamantly told Oprah she was their dad`s only victim. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: I know for fact that I`m the only daughter that this happened to and I don`t know why he chose me to visit his demons upon me. I don`t know that. I wish that he were here still alive.

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": Would you have told the story if he were alive?

PHILLIPS: That I don`t know about. Probably.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chynna and Mackenzie will now appear together on tomorrow`s Oprah.

I have to say Russell Wetanson, as a pop culture expert, are you watching this train wreck with horror? This is a family being torn apart and spilling on television what I personally think should be dealt with in a group family therapy session.

RUSSELL WETANSON, POP CULTURE EXPERT: Well, I`m definitely watching. And Mackenzie better not (INAUDIBLE) history because if she`s not telling the truth, you just go back to James Fray (ph) and when he came on Oprah told a little big lie about his book, Mackenzie better be telling the truth because Oprah would not have it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely. We all remember how furious -- how furious she was to get duped in that instance that you`ve just mentioned.

WETANSON: Yes, and I`m really glad she`s going out...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But here`s the problem. Here`s the problem. You can`t tell whether she`s telling the truth because the man she`s talking about has been dead for 8 long years and has a song once said nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.

DREW: Well...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So let`s leave it right there for a moment. When we come back we`re going to talk about this some more.

You know, Mackenzie Phillips talks about her father`s well-documented drug abuse. Children of addicts and alcoholics often inherit their parent`s addiction. It doesn`t have to be that way.

This is national recovery month, a great time to get sober.

In my new book "I Want" I talk about my own father`s alcoholism and how it influenced me to drink excessively. I finally got sober more than 14 years ago.

You can order my recovery memoir out now in bookstores. Just click on CNN.com/Jane and look for the order section. If you`re struggling with booze or drugs my story can help you.

And we`re going to be back with the Mackenzie Phillips bombshell in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: I went to my father and I said, look, we need to talk about how you raped me. And my dad said, "Raped you? Don`t you mean when we made love?" And in that moment I thought, well, I`m really on my own here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mackenzie Phillips on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." by the way at about 5:00 I went on amazon.com, "High on Arrival," Mackenzie`s book, anybody want to take a guess where it is on the Amazon best-seller list? Any guesses?

DREW: Number one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Number three.

DREW: Oh, I was close.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s pretty high up. Ian, do you think this would be playing out any differently if John Phillips were alive?

IAN: Who knows? I mean it depends on where their relationship was at this point and where he was. I mean he was a full-blown addict as we know too. So if he was really under the influence, he might have actually enjoyed this. He might have liked it and from the relationship the way she describes it, I wouldn`t be so surprised by that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do think drugs is at the heart of this whole story. Because when somebody does drugs, they become capable of incomprehensible things. So we`re more likely to believe a claim like this because we all know that he had a serious drug problem.

Mackenzie`s book "High on Arrival" doesn`t just talk about sex with dad. She made more revelations about his drug use. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: I was probably 16 or 17. And my father shot me up for the first time.

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST OF "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": Yes.

PHILLIPS: And I remember going into my room. And so I was sort of crouched on the floor. I was trying to...

WINFREY: You said tie me off or something like that.

PHILLIPS: Yes, he tied me off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Reef Karim, I mean, we all hear in recovery such horrifying stories but this one is right up there.

KARIM: Oh, yes, this is awful.

I mean, if this is true, dad is functioning as a role model of how to be an addict, functioning as an enabler, and functioning as the dealer and functioning as someone who`s taking advantage of her. I mean, come on. This is -- this is crazy.

And it just shows you how -- how deep and how bad addiction can penetrate a family and an individual`s life and how it can totally take somebody down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, Russell...

KARIM: This is really sad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What kills me is that I love The Mamas and The Papas. I love listening to their music and I`ll never be able to listen to it the same way again. I will always think of this story.

WETANSON: Yes. That`s the problem here. I mean, he`s not alive to defend himself and you absolutely will connect him and his music with this situation.

But here`s the thing, Jane, given the loose household and the loose nature of all of the stuff that was going on I find that hard to believe that there aren`t some witnesses, there aren`t some people out there thinking, back this story up, at least many aspects of this. Because I don`t think that two people on drugs like they were for many years were able to keep this such a secret.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, Ian Drew...

DREW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... come on, we know in Hollywood, the strangest things happen and we know so many stories...

DREW: Well did you know we have one witness.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that we can`t report...

DREW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... because we just don`t have that final verification, but we know it`s true.

DREW: Well, we have one witness who`s alive, Mick Jagger. She talks about that in the book, how he was there, he was part of this whole group with her and he seduced her and said he`d been wanting to do this since she was 10 years old. So where is Mick Jagger?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So has he talked? Has he talked?

DREW: He has not talked yet, but this just came out, remember, two days ago. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me tell you, don`t mess with Mick Jagger.

DREW: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because he could come out in a big way slamming the hammer down on Mackenzie. Thank you, fabulous panel.

DREW: Watch out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re watching ISSUES.

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.