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Will Scandal Expose More of Letterman`s Personal Life?; Third Officer Suspended in Connection with Cop`s DWI

Aired October 5, 2009 - 19:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, earth-shattering allegations as the plot thickens in the David Letterman sex scandal. The lawyer for the man accused of trying to extort $2 million from the late- night legend claims there`s a lot more to this story.

Meanwhile, "The New York Post" claims Letterman had a secret bedroom inside his television studio. So is this an innocent little place to crash, or a full-blown secret sex pad?

And missing in Malibu. What happened to Mitrice Richardson? She vanished three weeks ago after being arrested for not paying a restaurant tab. Tonight, we`re going to get the family`s reaction to allegations they were given the opportunity to pick her up before she was arrested. The restaurant owner told ISSUES the family wanted to teach her a lesson. Tonight, the family says they want to set the record straight as the frantic search for this young woman stretches way beyond Malibu.

Also, the NYPD drunk-driving case now blowing up in the face of police. An off-duty cop is accused of mowing down an innocent woman while boozed up behind the wheel. Now yet another cop has been suspended. Was there a cover-up? Were cops on the scene more concerned about their boy in blue and delaying his alcohol test than they were about justice?

Plus, disturbing insight into an alleged serial stalker. A man`s been charged with videotaping Erin Andrews inside her hotel room. Police say he had eight nude videos of the sports reporter, and he followed her around the country. So how did this creep allegedly do this? We`ll have all the nasty details.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a flurry of stunning developments in the David Letterman sex extortion scandal. The Associated Press, citing a law enforcement source, is reporting that the accused extortionist, a CBS "48 Hours" producer named Joe Halderman, used pages straight from the diary of his ex-girlfriend, who is also David Letterman`s female assistant, to allegedly blackmail David Letterman for $2 million.

Over the weekend, cops raided the CBS offices of this high-powered TV producer. They were looking for the original diary and other documents detailing the rumored sexual affair between David Letterman and this woman, who until recently, lived with this CBS producer accused of extortion. But cops reportedly came up empty-handed. What a shock. Not. Come on, did they really expect to find something? I mean, hypothetically speaking, who would ever keep the most incriminating evidence of an alleged extortion in their desk at work at CBS?

Meantime, the Emmy-Award-winning producer charged with first-degree attempted grand larceny has gotten himself one of the country`s toughest criminal defense attorneys, and I mean tough, Gerald Shargel. Shargel, who got alleged organized crime boss John Gotti off the hook for murder in `91. Did the morning show tour and here is what he told ABC.


GERALDO SHARGEL, ATTORNEY FOR JOE HALDERMAN: I`m here to say not so fast. The mere fact that David Letterman got on television and gave his version, which wasn`t very complete, but gave his version of what he claims occurred, the fact that the assistant district attorney stood up in court or that the district attorney himself had a press conference, it`s not time to say turn off the sets, the case is overwhelming.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, this is getting ugly. The question is for whom? What is overwhelming, anyway?

The amount of speculation swirling around other women, also former Letterman employees alleged to have had sexual relations with the charismatic, brilliant funny man. And that begs the question what will go down tonight on "The Late Show"?

Here`s what one audience member said after today`s taping.


JEFF WATERS, MEMBER OF "LATE SHOW" AUDIENCE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) three or four occasions. The funniest was the girl from "Glee" was on, and she was saying she was surrounded by a lot of young talent. And he said, "Oh, no, not that." You know, poked fun at himself a few times. He was a good sport about it, because you know, he`s going to take a beating, I would think, coming up in the rest of it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bottom line, he apologized to his wife. Tonight`s big issue: will the exposure of David Letterman`s dirty laundry hurt or help his career? I want to know what you think about all this.

Straight out to my fantastic, and I mean fantastic, panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney, a.k.a. the Voice of Reason; Terry Lyles, psychologist; and A.J. Hammer, host of HLN`s "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

A.J., dare we ask what is the very latest?

A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST: Well, the very latest is David Letterman, you will see him on "The Late Show" tonight, if you happen to tune in, apologizing to his first long-time girlfriend, now wife, mother of his son. David apologizing to her and saying he has a lot of work cut out for him.

He said she is very angry, obviously, about what has happened, because a lot of people have been wondering what the timeline of all this was. And late last week, we did learn that any of these alleged affairs took place before Dave and Regina were married. But everybody was perhaps speculating that they had some kind of arrangement; maybe they saw other people. Now we know she`s angry. So there`s a lot to be handled as far as that is concerned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s an excerpt of what Dave said during tonight`s taping. Quote, "I just wasn`t thinking ahead." That`s the understatement of the century. "My thanks to the staff for once again putting up with something stupid I`ve gotten myself involved in. My wife Regina has been horribly hurt by my behavior." You think? "Let me tell you, folks, I got my work cut out for me."

I think I have to go to the other female on the panel, Lisa Bloom. It`s hard to know what it`s like to be a woman, but to be a woman in this situation, to hear about all these trysts, alleged trysts and rumored affairs. How hard is it to be David Letterman`s wife tonight?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That`s got to be very difficult for her, and let`s not forget about the other group that he apologized to today, his staff, because frankly, what goes on between David and his wife is their business, and I don`t really care.

But I do care about the workplace issues. I care about whether he put other employees in an awkward position by appearing to give favoritism to women that he was having sex with, who were his subordinates. I think that`s really the issue here.

I mean, I`ve talked to people who were concerned that, for example, Stephanie Burkett, one of the women he`s alleged to have been involved with, was on the air week after week. Everybody wants to be on the air, and you get extra payments when you`re on the air.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you get famous, too. You get famous before you get infamous. I want to talk more about this issue of sexual harassment and discrimination. Now, here`s what Letterman had to say about the women caught up in the scandal.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS`S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would. Perhaps it would. Especially for the women.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good joke. But there`s a serious aspect to all this. A former intern of Letterman`s from the `90s told TMZ, quote, "I was madly in love with him at the time. I would have married him. He was hilarious," end quote. Proving that a good sense of humor is the best aphrodisiac of all.

Thus far, we have heard nothing in the way of complaints from Stephanie Burkett, from the woman whose diary is reportedly at the heart of this blackmail scandal.

Meantime, Worldwide Pants, "The Late Show`s" production company, says Dave is not in violation of their policy, nobody`s complained, and that it`s OK to have relationships, as long as they`re not tied to performance.

But here`s my question, Mark Eiglarsh. Title Seven of the federal law that prohibits workplace harassment and discrimination makes it unlawful to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, privileges, blah, blah, blah, based on other things including sex.



EIGLARSH: Harassment?


EIGLARSH: I`m not hearing any of those facts, Jane. Are we -- are we changing the facts to make this more juicy? He had affairs...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, let`s debate the issue. En garde, monsieur.

EIGLARSH: I`m not suggesting that it was a strong choice, like Clinton, to go where he works. I don`t advise that. However, I`m not hearing about any harassment.


EIGLARSH: I`m not hearing about discrimination.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, may I chime in as a sexual harassment lawyer on this point? Because there is strong case law that employees who are not sexually involved with the boss can raise a claim if their co-workers are sexually involved with the boss, because it creates a hostile work environment, potentially.

EIGLARSH: I didn`t say it was a good idea, Lisa. Lisa, I didn`t say it was a good idea. I`m just saying no one has filed anything.


EIGLARSH: It hasn`t happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know nobody`s filed anything but Terry Lyles, you`re the psychologist. If you`re seeing that women who have a tryst with David Letterman suddenly start appearing on the show when he does those funny segments where he goes to a deli, and we know Stephanie Burkett. We`ve seen the video of her appearing on those segments. If you`re the other woman sitting there who isn`t having the relationship with David Letterman, are you thinking, "Hmm, I`m getting you-know-whatted but not in that way?"

TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, and I think what you end up with is, you know, the whole harassment thing is about power. And we don`t really know what happened. And like we just mentioned, no one`s raised any issues yet except for the extortionist, but this isn`t over yet. So we`re assuming it was pretty innocent and it was consensual, but still a workplace.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about the feelings of the women. That`s what I`m talking about. What does it feel like to be the other woman? And I`m not talking about that kind of other woman.

LYLES: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about the woman who`s just going there and doing her job and...?

LYLES: Well, that`s it. She feels discriminated against, because she feels like she`s not having a leg up, so to speak, on the competition.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So to speak.

LYLES: That`s what happens. And as a result of that, she feels shunned, no doubt. And that`s where the workplace issue becomes an issue.

EIGLARSH: Boo-hoo.

LYLES: But Jane...


EIGLARSH: Let me say this. Let me say this. There`s no one complaining yet. I know, listen...

KAVINOKY: You`re right.

EIGLARSH: You`re a compassionate soul. Everybody is so compassionate. He chose to have a love affair with these women and chose not to have a love affair with the others.

BLOOM: OK. Think about what it takes to complain. Think about if you`re makes $10 an hour, and you have a plum job working on David Letterman`s show and you feel lousy about the fact that those who are sleeping with him appear to have gotten better treatment and made more money...

EIGLARSH: Have they been? Well, have they been?


KAVINOKY: We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know. How are we going to know that?

EIGLARSH: Are those the facts? Assumes facts not in evidence. Go ahead, Voice of Reason, let`s hear what you have to say.

KAVINOKY: Thank you. Listen, I hate to interrupt the other "Y" chromosome on the show. You know, it`s good to have this brotherly support.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, come on.

KAVINOKY: And clearly, David Letterman is the SCUD missile in what you`ve identified, Jane, as this war on women that apparently was launched. And I guess the rest of us men, we just didn`t necessarily get the memo.

But it`s been recorded in several reputable news organizations that "The Late Show" is actually a great place for women to work, as compared with, say, "48 Hours," which is where the extortionist came from.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, until...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, hold on. We`ve got to go to break. But boy, I don`t think -- it`s easy for you guys to make fun of it, because you haven`t been in that situation. I`ve seen it in action. Anybody who`s been in the news business 30 years, I know what it`s like to look at the girl over there and say, "I know what she`s doing with the boss." All right? I`ve been there.

KAVINOKY: We`re just double agents in this war, Jane.

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

Coming up, a police officer connected to the alleged DWI cop killer investigation suspended.

But first, is Dave Letterman getting a fair public trial? Are we being tough enough on this guy, who I happen to love. He`s very funny, very talented. Or are we being too tough on him? What do you say?


LEWIS BLACK, COMEDIAN: My take on Letterman is simple. All it does, any way, shape or form, you show how immature this country is when it comes to our sexuality.




JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC`S "THE VIEW": A lot of it is about public relations, too, Barbara. So a lot of women out there could be identifying with this particular woman and not think it`s so great to watch Letterman. I mean, it`s possible that he`s hurt himself, but -- in the industry a little bit.

Plus the fact that, if he goes down, so does his whole staff. In a way, that`s the end of the show. It`s very reckless behavior. That`s all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the fabulous Joy Behar on ABC`s "The View" this morning. Of course, Joy, the host of her own show right here at HLN. And you can be sure she`s going to be talking about the scandal right here at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Meantime, more from Joe Halderman`s attorney, Gerald Shargel, this from NBC`s "Today." Listen to this one.


SHARGEL: I believe what he wanted the public to know, he wanted to get out ahead of the story, and that`s exactly what he did. He`s a master at manipulating audiences. That`s what he does for a living. So to think that David Letterman gave the entire story, and there`s nothing more to be said, is simply wrong.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, what other possible part of the story could there be? What other possible part of the story? He`s like you haven`t heard the whole story. What other possible side of the story could there be?

EIGLARSH: Oh, I don`t know, like a defense or something, which he didn`t say during his -- his going on every television show.

Listen, I respect what he`s trying to do. He wants the public to know don`t judge the case like we normally do. There`s more to it. But why don`t you give us a little bit more. Was this a "48 Hours" undercover investigation that he was doing on his own? Tell us what this defense is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a good defense. That`s a very good defense.

EIGLARSH: We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t -- no, he -- apparently, what it could boil down to, Lisa Bloom, is that he would say, "Well, I was just trying to sell a screenplay; I wasn`t trying to blackmail him."

BLOOM: Give me a break.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "I had a great screenplay idea, and I thought, `Hey, he`s going to pay for it`."

BLOOM: Give me a break. First of all, David Letterman is not in the business of buying screenplays, and he definitely doesn`t buy screenplays from someone who leaves threatening packages in the back seat of his car at 6 a.m. and demands payment within two hours.

I mean, look, Gerry Shargel is a terrific lawyer. He`s got to explain this $2 million check. And what he says so far is basically, "My client wouldn`t be so dumb as to have gotten an extortionist payment by check."

The problem he is -- has is a lot of smart people do stupid things. See Martha Stewart, for example.

KAVINOKY: Yes. Yes, and...

BLOOM: So his client obviously lost his head, lost his girlfriend. He lost the money to pay for his child support and his alimony. He was in over his head. He did something stupid. And until the defense gives us something to work with, I`m going to assume that the facts are as Letterman says they are.


KAVINOKY: Yes, but Shargel is doing a smart thing. Shargel is doing a smart thing by keeping those cards close to his vest, because it really doesn`t make a lot of sense to try this case in the court of public opinion. You better do it in front of 12 people who can really make the real decision in a court of law.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me see the panel.

HAMMER: Isn`t he doing more harm than good by not coming on air and saying, "My client didn`t do this?" I mean, he`s done a lot of damage since then.

BLOOM: He`s got to stall for time, try to think of a story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Listen, let me go to another comment by this attorney, Gerald Shargel. It`s sort of ominous. It was a declaration on NBC today. Listen.


SHARGEL: Probably the motive, intent and conduct of Joe Halderman. It`s the motive, intent and conduct of David Letterman, as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He has a reputation for a searing cross-examination. So my question, A.J. Hammer, even if David Letterman`s the victim here, could he end up going down on a cross-examination where this attorney brings up all the embarrassing details of these sexual trysts?

HAMMER: Well, listen, I think big part of why Letterman wanted to get in front of the story, as that attorney put it, was so he could have the upper hand.

Yes, of course there could be a cross-examination, but the fact is, you know, Letterman will probably end up surviving this in any event. I still see that -- you know, I flash forward to a year from now, two years from now. This will be a footnote in David Letterman`s Wikipedia entry. I do not think this will be the defining moment in his career, even though it appears that way right now.

EIGLARSH: Jane, let me tell you...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Mark.

EIGLARSH: ... let me tell you the significance of the embarrassing details. When they come to David Letterman, the prosecutors, in an attempt to resolve this case with a fair plea bargain, his folks will be more likely to give in a bit, because he doesn`t want to have to go through blistering cross-examination, where all this stuff can come out.

KAVINOKY: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you something.

KAVINOKY: I think it would be a better plea bargain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If a diary is detailed, you know, and it`s about sex, you know that there`s got to be a lot more embarrassing details there. We can all use our imagination, but it`s not just sex.

EIGLARSH: Do we have to? Bloom, Bloom, what do we do?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a whole lot of things that you could talk about. Enough said. All right. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Coming up, it`s been almost three weeks since Mitrice Richardson disappeared. What do we know about her final hours? And why are her parents not buying it?

Then new details in a possible cover-up involving an alleged drunk- driving cop who fatally hit a woman with his car. Don`t want to miss this one.

In my new book, "I Want," I talk about how I fought an addiction to alcohol and got sober 14 years ago and turned my life around. Now I want to hear your success story. What addiction have you overcome? How did you do it? Send your e-mail or iReport to me at If your story is selected, you could win an autographed copy of my book, "I Want," and get a chance to meet me in New York. I would love to meet you. I want to hear your story of overcoming addiction.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Outrage over the botched blood alcohol testing of an NYPD cop has sparked a firestorm of accusations. Was this a police cover- up?

Officer Andrew Kelly was allegedly drunk when he hit and killed an innocent woman more than seven hours. Seven hours and 20 minutes actually passed before his blood alcohol was tested. It came back 0.00, meaning zero alcohol in his system. He`s now been suspended, and so is his cop buddy who was riding shotgun as a passenger that night.

Now the NYPD has suspended a third officer. Robert McGinn allegedly slipped Kelly a stick of gum and two bottles of water at the scene and a fourth cop is under fire, "The New York Daily News" reports the latest cop on the hot seat is a female sergeant.

The big question: did she help the officers stall and delay the test between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.? Is all of this blowing up in the NYPD`s face?

One person seemingly happy about this bungled blood test is Officer Kelly`s own lawyer. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us the status of the Andrew Kelly case?

ARTHUR AIDALA, ANDREW KELLY`S ATTORNEY: Oh, look what you`re doing. You love to do that.


AIDALA: At this point, we`re -- for us, the case is brand new. We`re investigating everything. We`re not surprised. We knew what the blood alcohol results were going to be, because we knew what he did that night or what he didn`t do that night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That response to me is gross. A woman is dead here. A woman is dead here.

Here`s Officer Kelly in court, this photo from "The New York Daily News." They report the cop`s attorney passed a sympathy note to the victim`s family. Whatever.

A grand jury begins hearing testimony on this case next week.

Straight out to attorney Darren Kavinoky.

Darren, so many twists in this case. First of all, your reaction to that attorney and his little dance.

KAVINOKY: Yes, I`m thinking of that Ron Burgundy line, you know, "Stay classy, San Diego," and unfortunately, this guy didn`t. I mean, that -- it`s a horrible, it`s a horrible commentary. As much as the lawyer`s job is to look out for his client at all costs, it doesn`t need to be done in that way. So that was...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he was relishing this moment, "Oh, my gosh. Have I got a juicy case and guess what? It all came back 0.0, so we`re going to skate." That`s what I got out of that.

KAVINOKY: Well, you know, it certainly doesn`t look good. You know, I think of that football analogy. It never -- it never looks good to spike the football in the end zone. When you are fortunate enough to make it to the end zone, you want to act like you`ve been there before.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to -- I want to ask about this. It`s important. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly originally said, "Don`t worry about the seven-hour delay." He said, "There`s a special formula we use to figure out this cop`s blood alcohol content." You want to hear what he has to say? Let`s listen for a second.


COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: There is a formula used in the analysis to make a determination as to what the state of intoxication was at the time of the event.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? He`s wrong. When it`s zero, you can`t do that.

KAVINOKY: Yes, that`s exactly what I was going to say, Jane. This is called retrograde extrapolation, where you look at somebody`s alcohol level at a given point in time and, using certain scientific theories, you`re able to look backwards and make certain conclusions about what it would have been at the critical time, which is the time that they were actually behind the wheel.

Except the problem is, you can`t do retrograde extrapolation back when there...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s no alcohol.

KAVINOKY: Exactly. Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, Darren Kavinoky.

What do we know about missing California woman Mitrice Richardson? We`re going to examine this huge controversy next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The NYPD drunk driving case, now blowing up in the face of police. An off-duty cop accused of mowing down an innocent woman while boozed up behind the wheel. Now, yet another cop has been suspended. Was there a cover-up?

Plus, disturbing insight into an alleged serial stalker: a man`s been charged with videotaping Erin Andrews inside her hotel room. Police say he had eight nude videos of the sports reporter and he followed her all around the country. We`ll have all the nasty details.

Tonight, new shocking allegations in that mystery in Malibu: it has been two and a half weeks -- something like 17 days -- since Mitrice Richardson vanished following her arrest at a swanky restaurant where she could not pay her tab. Police released the 24-year-old in the dead of night, about 1:25 in the morning, alone. She had no car, no phone, no ride, and she has not been seen since.

Last week, the restaurant owner told ISSUES Mitrice`s mother wanted her to get arrested so she could learn a lesson. Listen to what the restaurant owner had to say.


JEFF, PETERSON, OWNER, GEOFFREY`S RESTAURANT: The mother said she`s been hanging out with the wrong people and needs to be arrested. This would be good for her. She`s not saying that now and of course I wouldn`t say it now because her daughter`s missing.

We haven`t talked about that because I don`t want to be hurtful in this moment but if they`re going to throw bombs at the sheriff and then throw bombs at us, the truth needs to be out there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mitrice`s family is here today to respond to those comments. Then, there are the family`s own accusations against police. They insist investigators are simply not doing their job.


LATRICE SUTTON, MOTHER OF MITRICE RICHARDSON: This is my daughter, Mitrice Richardson. My daughter, a citizen, was failed by the authorities. They failed her. She is suffering somewhere because we believe she is still alive, but they`re not doing enough to search for her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We called both the L.A. County Sheriff`s Department and the LAPD. They would not come on the show. But they told us there were no developments in the case. No leads. No new police searches.

Why is that? Are police really doing everything they can to find this woman? Or is there some kind of bad blood here?

Now to my guests: criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh and we also have Michael Richardson -- we`re delighted to have Michael Richardson`s father; and the family`s attorney, Leo Terrell.

Leo, what is your response to the comments you just heard from the restaurant owner and he also said that his staff offered to wait all night if the family would pick her up.

LEO TERRELL, LAWYER FOR RICHARDSON FAMILY: False, false and I got proof. First of all, the owner was not there, Jane. Secondly, I have the police report. I have the only comments made by the restaurant employees on tape.

There is not a single shred of fact relating to that person`s statement. The owner is not telling the truth at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I just say one thing? Can I just say, he never said he was there? He said he was on the phone and that he was talking to his staff. So he was not there. He was talking to his staff. Now, how do you know what conversations would have occurred between his staff and Mitrice`s mom? That would not have been taped at that point because this was not a missing person`s case at that point.

TERRELL: Jane, you would expect that those comments, if what he is saying is true, would somehow pop up in the police report. Somewhere, because the police officers interviewed the employees at the Geoffrey`s restaurant; not a single shred of statements like that at all. It`s funny how he`s made these comments 14 days later.

I`ll tell you why. Because it`s bad PR that he has received at Geoffrey`s because other individuals who rang up thousands of dollars of food costs and bills unpaid, they don`t get the sheriff`s department over there calling them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say something. I have to say we invite that gentleman who is the owner of Geoffrey`s back on to respond to these comments. We are trying to be fair. We are just trying to find out what happened to Mitrice. That`s what we`re primarily trying to do.

But again, I`m sure he has some response so he can come back and tell us what his response is to your response to what he said.

But let me ask this question of the father and Michael -- Mr. Richardson, I understand that this is very tough for you and I really appreciate you coming on this broadcast, because I know this has got to be very painful.

But we`re trying to get to the bottom of this; and my question to you is couldn`t a friend or acquaintance of Mitrice`s be involved in her disappearance? Her mother insists she was not the kind of person that gets into trouble on her own so let`s listen to what her mom said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The restaurant says Mitrice`s mom was worried about her hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Michael, you have been quoted in published reports as saying Mitrice has a shady friend who has been supplying her with marijuana. There was some small amount of marijuana that was allegedly found in her car. Was she hanging out with a bad crowd? Was she in crisis?

MICHAEL RICHARDSON, FATHER OF MITRICE RICHARDSON: Well, I personally don`t want to speculate. When those reports first came out my job as a father was to reach out and (INAUDIBLE) every one. But once I calmed down and got a level head and started getting the facts and started doing my own detective work and my own research, I can`t honestly say that. I cannot honestly point the finger.

I can follow up with Geoffrey`s when I spoke to the manager that was on duty that night, and I spoke to him at least eight times, and never did John tell me at Geoffrey`s that her mother told her this. The owner is just now getting involved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can I ask you this question? Ok, this all happened, you know, in the evening I guess maybe 8:30, 9:00, something like that. She was released at 1:30 in the morning. And again, I`m saying this to try to solve this so we can move on to try to find out where she is.

Why wouldn`t the family pick her up at some point between when this whole not being able to pay the bill came up and 1:30 in the morning as opposed to calling at 4:30?

TERRELL: I can answer that question because we have the tapes in which the mother called the station and said she will pick her up if you`re going to let her -- if you`re going to release her early in the morning. If you`re going to keep her overnight, I`ll pick her up in the morning. That`s on tape, Jane.

And she said -- she kept calling and she said, "I don`t want her walking out there." That`s all on tape. So there was a sincere effort by the mother to pick up Mitrice Richardson if they were going to let her out.

I have the tapes and we played them last Thursday. There`s a clear interest in the mother to pick her up, not to let her wander.

RICHARDSON: That`s documented about five times, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mark Eiglarsh, what do you make of this? Obviously this is a he said/she said except it involves a missing woman. This is a tragedy potentially. We don`t know what happened to this woman.

You`re hearing two totally different stories, one from -- actually, three. The sheriff, then the restaurant, and now you`re hearing this family.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is tragic and my heart does go out to this family. Even if she`s found ok, the fact that you`re without your loved one, I feel for you. But with all due respect, I think your anger might be a bit misplaced.

Jails are not responsible for people once they let them leave. In fact, had they kept her there, against her will, because they deemed it wasn`t safe to let her out when she was demanding to leave, then they would be outraged. How dare you hold her?

TERRELL: You`re absolutely wrong. Absolutely wrong. You ever heard of 5150? Have you ever heard of a 5150, sir?

EIGLARSH: Are you running a 5150 on this?

TERRELL: Have you ever heard of that, sir? If you don`t, you don`t know what you`re saying and shame on you to say that on national television.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Let me just say this. What they`re referring to is that she had been speaking gibberish, according to some people, and acting strangely, and the family believes that she should have been kept on an involuntary hold.

I want to say we`re going to stay on top of this story. We`re not going to let this go. I believe we`re out of time on this one, right, director? Yes. I`m sorry. Because I want to continue on this story. Will you please come back?

EIGLARSH: I hope they find her, bottom line.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please come back.

TERRELL: Definitely. And Jane, I know we`re out of time, but I just want everyone to know this Saturday, we`ll be in front of Lost Hills protesting. We want Geoffrey`s out there. We want Steve Whitmore out there so you can get the facts of what`s going on. Saturday, we`ll be out there protesting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. I hope we find your daughter.

Up next, reality TV mom Kate Gosselin slams Jon for allegedly stealing from their eight kids. What?

Then, should the man accused of stalking and secretly videotaping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews get bail? He did. I want to hear from you on this - - he`s out on the streets now -- 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bail for the man accused of stalking ESPN`s Erin Andrews? I`ll be taking your calls on that but first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A jaw-dropping development in the Jon and Kate divorce saga -- we mean jaw-dropping. Reality TV star Kate Gosselin tells "The Today Show" that her soon-to-be ex Jon emptied their bank account, leaving her just a few thousand dollars to pay bills.

TMZ reports that Kate`s lawyers were in court today to get the $230,000 back and filed a contempt citation against Jon. So what about the couple`s eight kids? We have heard Jon say they want to quit the show, but Kate claims they wailed and sobbed when filming halted.

It`s a game of he said/she said -- seems to be a theme tonight -- which isn`t anything new between these two. ISSUES will, of course, keep you up-to-date on the very latest as these poor kids grow up in the harsh spotlight.

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

Shocking new details about that man suspected of stalking and videotaping sports anchor Erin Andrews. Police believe they`ve got their man and his name is Michael David Barrett.

He was arrested at Chicago`s O`Hare airport on Friday. Police think he is the one who stalked this beautiful woman, Erin Andrews, but listen to how he allegedly did it.

He found out her work schedule and followed her around the country. He would stay in a hotel room next to hers and secretly videotape her. How does this happen? You would think somebody would notice this creepy guy but his neighbors didn`t seem to have a clue.


TOM DAY, NEIGHBOR: I have actually never seen him here, you know. I spend a lot of time outdoors walking the dog and so...


DAY: Wouldn`t know him if I saw him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most shocking detail of all, he was released on bail today. Dan Albertstone, you are Erin Andrews` attorney and you`re with us along with the panel. We`re delighted to have you.

What do you make of the fact that this guy was released? Here on ISSUES we talk about this thing called the war on women and to me, this is a perfect example of the war on women.

This man was released on a very low bail, he`s allowed to go back to work, he just has to come home after work and then wear an electronic monitoring device. The prosecutor said that he was a danger to other women. Why is this guy out on the street, sir?

DAN ALBERTSTONE, ATTORNEY FOR ERIN ANDREWS: Well, that`s a good question. Obviously, we would have liked him to remain incarcerated but on the other hand, I think Erin is comforted by the fact that he is basically confined to the northern district of Illinois and can`t travel out of that area. So between the electric monitoring, the curfew and the travel restriction, I think we`re comforted by that fact and Erin is as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m glad you`re comforted but as a woman -- and I`ll go to Lisa Bloom on this -- I am concerned. I think this is a typical example, Lisa, of minimizing a crime against a woman.


Shame on our justice system for releasing this man who`s accused of making eight illegal peephole videos of Erin Andrews, calling 14 hotels in Milwaukee to find out where she is and having videos of other women on his computer.

EIGLARSH: I disagree.

BLOOM: Are you kidding me? Look, I know we can`t afford...


EIGLARSH: I disagree.

BLOOM: I know he`s wearing electronic monitoring to save money but this is exactly the kind of person who`s a dangerous predator potentially who needs to be locked up until he faces the music.

EIGLARSH: See, I disagree, Jane. Let me tell you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can we debate the issue?


EIGLARSH: Jane? Let me first say...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Mark. Wait, wait, wait. Mark.

KAVINOKY: Mark, hang on here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me see the panel. Ok. First, Mark. First, Mark. First, Mark. Then Darren.

EIGLARSH: Darren, she`s letting me go -- Darren, my bald friend, she`s letting me go first. Ok. First, he`s a creep. We can all agree on that.

However, people don`t understand, this isn`t the plea bargain. This isn`t the sentencing. It`s to determine whether he can come back to court. And obviously, with full disclosure, the judge along with again, the government assistant, they look at everything and they determine...

BLOOM: Dangerousness is a factor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go...

EIGLARSH: Obviously his lack of priors won out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren Kavinoky, it`s your turn.

KAVINOKY: It has nothing to do with this being part of the war on women. If he had been videotaping the devastatingly handsome Mark Eiglarsh, it would have been the same result. There`s got to be a sense of proportionality here.

Yes, the guy is a creep but what we`re concerned with, with bail is whether he`s a flight risk, danger to community.

EIGLARSH: That`s it.

BLOOM: Dangerousness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hello. Anybody who goes to this extent to tape a woman nude is a danger to society. He hasn`t been convicted and I don`t want to convict him here but he`s accused of this hideous crime.

And Dan Albertstone, tell me exactly, we don`t want to show the videotape. We did a sketch because obviously, we don`t want to violate your client again. But how exactly, to what lengths did he go to get into that peephole to see your client naked?

ALBERTSTONE: Well, based on what I know, and based on what`s in the criminal complaint and affidavit, he went to great lengths. I mean, besides the fact calling around and calling around to hotels and locating where Miss Andrews was, and then asking for a room right next to her, he basically manipulated the peephole, basically taking it out, hacking it in half in order to make it easily removable when he wanted to take out the peephole, so he could put his camera.

BLOOM: And Jane...

EIGLARSH: Jane, if those are the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. One second. I want to go to the caller who`s been waiting a long time. Bob, Kentucky, your question or thought, sir?

BOB, KENTUCKY (via telephone): I don`t understand how they can say he`s not a flight risk.

BLOOM: Thank you.

BOB: he has the ability and he has the contacts. I mean, lot of the people he used to work for live in other countries now. I mean, his job details him going around the country to different motels week in and week out. I just don`t understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back -- quickly, Lisa. I want to go back to Dan.

BLOOM: Very important point. Shame on the hotel for disclosing that she was staying there and booking him a room right next to her, an alcove away from everybody else. Don`t they care about the safety and privacy of women staying in their hotel?

EIGLARSH: Hold on, Lisa. He`s not the first one who ...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: let me see the panel.

I want to go back to Dan Albertstone. Dan Albertstone, you`re Erin Andrews` attorney. How did he manage to do that? How is that in the complaint alleged?

EIGLARSH: It`s not difficult.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re not Dan Albertstone. Dan Albertstone.

How did he manage to get a room next to your client? Allegedly?

ALBERTSTONE: Well, the way we understand it --

EIGLARSH: He asked.

ALBERTSTONE: He called her -- that`s right. He called around, he asked if ESPN or Miss Andrews were staying at the hotel. He called all the area hotels. He had one hotel where an employee unfortunately gave out this private and confidential information and then asked -- specifically requested a room next to hers, which obviously is very disturbing.

EIGLARSH: If they gave out private and confidential information that`s troubling. However, this wouldn`t be the first guy to find out, let`s say, where LeBron James is staying so when he comes out of his hotel room you`re right next door and you have him sign a basketball. Obviously it`s a different fact here.

BLOOM: That`s not how it happened, though.

EIGLARSH: I understand.

BLOOM: That`s not how it happened. He specifically asked is she staying at the hotel?

KAVINOKY: Right well, these would be great entities to join in a civil lawsuit so that some justice can be done if in fact these facts prove that to be true.

EIGLARSH: Correct, if those are the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me just say one thing. There are people who are very good at this. I mean, in the news business we used to have someone called the nudge (ph) and she could call and find out where anybody was having a wedding or blah, blah, blah. She had voices; she was this, that and the other. So we have to also realize that there are some people who can manipulate brilliantly.

Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on Erin Andrews` stalker in a moment.



RICK BEUKE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He`s a great friend. That`s what I can tell you. And I`ve gotten calls from 30 of his friends in the last ten hours all willing to give their support to him if anything`s needed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is the defense attorney for the suspected stalker, Michael Barrett, who says this simply isn`t true, he didn`t do it. But you know, there is sometimes a pattern. And the pattern is that the absolutely normal people are sometimes accused of crimes.

Neighbors of this alleged stalker said he was a very quiet guy. He had a very normal, ordinary job, never got as much as a speeding ticket.

And take a look at another person that was in the news recently. George Sodini and he`s the one who shot up L.A. Fitness. He seemed extremely normal, had a very steady job, but he was a social recluse.

The suspect in the Erin Andrews video stalking case, an insurance job, middle-aged, divorced with children, just another typical guy next door. But like Sodini, do we have to ask when somebody is considered absolutely normal, Terry Lyles, psychologist? When somebody is considered absolutely normal and their neighbors always say I never noticed him, he didn`t speak, he had a tendency to keep to himself but he was absolutely normal, can that be a red flag?

TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it can be. But I mean, it`s like we`re all normal until proven guilty. I mean, everybody`s got some kind of weird in them, you know. So I think what scares me is that everyone looks normal.

I say normal is what you see in the mirror in the morning. All of us are a little weird. But when it crosses the lines, impedes on other people`s space like this crazy pervert peeping in holes -- I mean, I stay in hotels every week. It`s like, what is going on here?

So of course we all look normal to some degree. But everybody has skeletons.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. If Michael Barrett is convicted of being a sick peeping tom -- and remember, he hasn`t been convicted yet, just accused. He had a lot of help from hotels.

LYLES: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve been talking about lax hotel security. It`s nothing new.

Take a look at the alleged Craigslist killer. He used hotel rooms to carry out his brutal crimes and even in my own neighborhood New York a hotel was a site of a horrible murderer, a fancy hotel.

And now Erin Andrews, somebody at a hotel apparently told Barrett where to find Andrews and unbelievably got a hotel room right next to her.

Dan Albertstone, you`re Erin Andrews` attorney. Are you going to file any kind of a lawsuit against the hotels involved?

ALBERTSTONE: Well, at this point Erin is singularly focused on prosecuting, or having this -- the accused prosecuted and brought to justice. Right now at this point in time she isn`t really thinking about pursuing any civil action at this point.

EIGLARSH: Sounds like a yes to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you one other question, Dan. How is she reacting to the fact that this guy, he was -- he`s accused -- again, he hasn`t been convicted but he`s caught, now he`s released on bail.

You don`t seem concerned, but boy, I was stalked once, and I tell you something, it`s terrifying. It`s really terrifying.

ALBERTSTONE: Right. You need to understand, when this came to light two or three months ago, Erin really believed, as we all did, that this was going to take a long time, if ever this person was going to be caught.

And so we really need to give a shout out to the federal law enforcement officials, the U.S. Attorney Wes Shue (ph) and the special agents from the FBI in the Los Angeles office, who worked tirelessly in a very short period of time to locate this person.

I mean, this person was caught videotaping in Nashville, Tennessee, all right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right...

ALBERTSTONE: And somehow they figured out where this was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to leave it right there. Yes, we praise law enforcement when they do good work, as they have on this case.

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