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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

More Details Emerge in Letterman Sex Extortion Scandal; Jon & Kate Public Feud Gets Uglier

Aired October 6, 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, seismic developments in the David Letterman sex extortion scandal. Is this whole mess the result of a jilted lover? A source who has claims to have seen the mistress`s diary told the "New York Post" the secret journal contains bombshell including claims that this Letterman staffer was having sex with the "Late Show" legend plus still living with her CBS producer/boyfriend. That`s the same guy accused of extortion.

So was she two-timing the "48 Hours" producer? And could jealousy be the motive for this alleged blackmail? Which certainly doesn`t excuse it.

And head-spinning new details in the Haleigh Cummings case. Blockbuster new reports suggest Ron and Misty`s marriage is on the rocks, and their chain-smoking relationship could be headed to the ash tray, i.e., divorce court. The question is, why?

Misty was the last person to see little Haleigh alive, and she allegedly has not been cooperative with cops. Has Ron finally become suspicious of his teen bride?

Also disturbing insight into the mind of a suicidal killer. Cops found a letter on Ryan Jenkins` computer professing his love for his estranged wife and blaming her for his situation. The former reality show contestant killed Jasmine Fiore, then mutilated her body and stuffed it in a suitcase. We`ll talk to a cop who`s read the letter.

Plus, did Jon Gosselin drain the family bank account? His wife Kate says the reality show dad withdrew more than $200,000 from their joint account, leaving her with a mealy 1,000 bucks. Now she wants the money back, and she`s also coming after his cars. Can it get any uglier?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a growing avalanche of dirty laundry in the David Letterman sex extortion scandal. "The New York Post" cites claims Letterman`s former staffer, Stephanie Burkett, made shocking revelations in her diary about her secret love life with Dave while she was living with the man now charged with trying to blackmail the TV star. That boyfriend allegedly found her diary when she moved out recently, leading us to ask the question, "Could this all be about jealousy?"

"The Post" reports Burkett continued to have sex with her boss, David Letterman, even while she was living with her boyfriend at the time. That boyfriend, high-powered CBS producer Joe Halderman of "48 Hours." He is now charged with attempting to blackmail David Letterman, using that diary, for 2 million bucks, according to "The New York Post."

Stephanie Burkett told Joe Halderman that Letterman was, quote, "her best friend." Just her friend. But admits in the diary that they were still having an affair.

The source also claims that Letterman would drive Stephanie back to the home she shared with her "48 Hours" producer boyfriend.

ISSUES reached out to Stephanie Burkett for comment but did not hear back before a deadline. Now, Stephanie is, of course, invited on this program any time to share her side of the story. And I have to remind you, she has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

But again, could this explosive diary have driven the "48 Hours" producer to allegedly seek revenge against his perceived rival? If it`s true does it go to possible motive?

As for Letterman, an awkward apology on his CBS show last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS`S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I would just like to set the record straight. No, I`m not having sex with these women. Those episodes are in the past. So my apologies to subjecting them to that vulnerability and being a brow-beaten and humiliated. I`m terribly sorry that I put the staff in that position, inadvertently. I just wasn`t thinking ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s remind ourselves: Dave is a crime victim here. Let`s not forget that. But are his comments making matters worse for himself? Should Letterman now say, "Hey, I`m done talking about this, people. I`ve said my piece." Or is he in some kind of no-win situation: damned if he talks it, damned if he doesn`t talk about it?

Meantime, the lawyer for Letterman`s accused extortionist tells "The New York Times" he has proof that Letterman sexually harassed employees. Really?

Well, while we certainly don`t condone the actions that put Letterman and his staff into such a moral quandary, you have to wonder where are all of these women who say they`ve been victimized? Nobody has come forward. And tonight`s big issue: sex with the staff. Why, oh why, did Letterman hook up with his subordinates?

I want to hear from you, because I`ve got a theory. I want to hear yours. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to my fabulous expert panel: Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, author of "And Justice for Some" and professor at New England School of Law; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Brian Russell, attorney and forensic psychiatrist; and the one and only Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra!"

Carlos, I`m almost afraid to ask, what is the very latest on this thing?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA!": Well, you covered a lot of bases. But one thing that really, you know, steps out for me is the fact that, you know, Bob Halderman`s lawyer now says that -- or, excuse me, Joe Halderman`s lawyer says that -- that he has proof that David Letterman committed sexual harassment against one or more women and that he will prove that in court. Whether or not that`ll be admitted in court is yet to be determined. The next court date is next month.

But that is -- that is the breaking news that everyone`s looking at right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and we`re going to get to that in a second. But I have to recap and review here. Because this is something that the dirty laundry just keeps coming out, and we`ve got to fold it and put it away so that we know where we stand.

Today`s "New York Post" reported a bombshell about what Stephanie Burkett allegedly wrote in her diary, that she was still having sex with David Letterman, even though she was living with her Emmy-Award-winning CBS producer boyfriend Joe Halderman. No, that`s not the one giving her the Heimlich maneuver, whatever that is right there.

Prosecutors say the diary was used by Joe Halderman in the alleged extortion plot against Letterman. So did Stephanie Burkett`s revelations cause this hard-driving producer to snap?

Joe Halderman, it seems, had a mountain of problems. Listen to this one, Wendy Murphy; give me your take. "The New York Post" said his ex-wife recently relocated their two kids from Connecticut to Colorado. That was very disturbing to him. Court records show child and spousal support costs total about six grand a month. That`s got to be very disturbing to him.

According to published reports, his mortgage was close to $400,000. Plus he`d just taken out a home equity line of credit for 50 clams. And when Stephanie Burkett recently moved out, she was no longer pitching in with rent money. Wow.

Did this guy, do you think, have an emotional breakdown?

WENDY MURPHY, AUTHOR, "AND JUSTICE FOR SOME": You know, I can get a financial breakdown. I don`t know about emotional. You can already hear his lawyer making up the insanity defense claims: "Oh, it`s just not like him. It`s really a break from his normal ways of being." That`s what -- that`s what you do when your client has no defense. I mean, is there a stronger case being prosecuted right now?

So maybe, Jane, maybe there was some jealousy. But here`s a guy, who if you make me choose between jealousy as the motive and money, I think he had a much bigger money problem than a love problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or as the shrinks would say, it is multi-determined. I believe firmly that no one thing usually leads anybody to allegedly do something like this. It`s usually a multitude of factors that converge, causing one to flip over the edge.

The attorney for Letterman`s alleged blackmailer made the morning show rounds yesterday. And this is kind of ominous. Listen to what he said on NBC`s "Today."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERALD SHARGEL, ATTORNEY FOR JOE HALDERMAN: Certainly, the motive, intent and conduct of Joe Halderman is the motive, intent, and conduct of David Letterman, as well. As I said, I look forward to cross-examining David Letterman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, just what will that cross-examination look like? In a phone interview with "The New York Times" today, the accused blackmailer`s lawyer said he had evidence, as you just heard Carlo say, that Letterman engaged in sexual harassment and that he would be sharing it in a courtroom.

You know, Curtis Sliwa, people start to forget that David Letterman is the victim here. He is not the one who was accused of any crime. And yet this lawyer wants to turn the tables and embarrass him on the stand to the point where maybe he`s going to plead with the D.A., "Make a plea bargain, because I don`t want to take the stand and get drilled by this guy."

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Exactly. And this is Geraldo Shargel, who normally represents mobsters choking on their lobsters. Remember the organized crime. You don`t walk into his door unless you show the green for a retainer. So this whole idea that Halderman has no money, how did he afford Gerald Shargel?

Because the whole point of getting Gerald is to intimidate Letterman just as you said, Jane, so that he`ll say to the D.A., "Hey, look, give the guy a plea. Let him go. Maybe -- maybe he`ll be on home detention. But I don`t want to go through this, because this is going to be too embarrassing." That`s why you hire a Gerald Shargel.

MURPHY: I don`t agree with that.

SLIWA: Wait, wait.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go, Wendy.

MURPHY: Curtis, you know what? Look it, let me just say this. If I`m the judge on this case and Letterman`s got smart lawyers and a lot of money, too, he`s going to go to the judge and say, "Tell that guy to shut up." Because he can threaten -- this is another form of extortion, by the way. It`s what lawyers do. "I`m going to air some more dirty laundry about you, David, if you don`t..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Wendy, can he do it? Can he do it, Wendy?

MURPHY: No, he can`t. He cannot.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why not?

MURPHY: The judge will say -- because the judge will say, "It`s not relevant. This is an extortion case. You can`t just toss nonsense around unless it`s relevant. And you open your mouth about one ugly thing about David Letterman that isn`t relevant in this case, and I`ll throw you in jail."

That`s what I would do if I were the judge in this case.

SLIWA: But Joe -- but Joe...

MURPHY: A form of extortion what that lawyer is doing?

SLIWA: Jane, Jane, then it quietly shows up in "The New York Times."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I was about to say, Curtis, is that even Dave Letterman -- Terry Lyles, you`re the psychologist -- announced that this was phase one of the scandal. And he knew there was phase two and phase three coming as the details are leaked.

And who do you think is leaking them? Obviously, it would make sense, hypothetically, for the accused to leak up all this dirty laundry to put pressure, right?

MURPHY: Get a gag order. Get a gag order and make it enforceable. It happens; it is doable.

And I don`t buy into this. I don`t believe that it`s just going to leak no matter what David does. One leak comes out, you throw that lawyer in jail. You find out where the sources come from. You can clam this stuff up, and he`s entitled to that. Just because he`s a crime victim doesn`t mean you can throw anybody out because he`s famous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re doing it now, Wendy. They`re doing it now. The "New York Post" is reporting salacious details, and you don`t think more to come. You don`t think there`s more details about sex?

MURPHY: There should be a gag order.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There should be a gag order. I agree with you.

MURPHY: And somebody can put a tap line on the phone lines to everybody connected to this guy, Halderman, his lawyer, who`s a thug. Anybody who threatens to leak garbage when it`s not relevant should have a tap on their phone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

MURPHY: The judge should...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope that the judge is listening. Gag order, or we`re going to hear all of this dirty laundry.

More of Dave Letterman drama coming up. We`re also taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Call me with your theory.

A dramatic twist in the Haleigh Cummings case. Does Ron still believe in wife Misty?

Then Dave knows a thing or two about telling jokes. But now that he`s the center of a scandal, how is he dealing?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP))

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, poked fun at himself a few times. He was a big sport about it. You know, he`s going to take a beating, I would think, from Conan and the rest of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: The reality is that it doesn`t matter if he`s been more consenting. It doesn`t matter if they perceive this as something they wanted to participate in. The fact, Dave, you`re describing a culture with sex and those sorts of interpersonal issues are a means to advance, they are a means to manipulate, and that it is not healthy.

(END VIDE CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not healthy, and in some situations a career killer.

In any event, David Letterman attempted to do damage control last night with a big mea culpa. He also tried to diffuse the tension with humor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETTERMAN: OK, let`s look at the news. First of all, Bill Clinton said -- good news for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford because he -- how about that Eliot Spitzer? Would you take a look at...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love him. He`s brilliant, really. Whatever you have to say about him, he`s a funny guy.

Jane in Missouri, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes, my thought is I`m not particularly a fan of David Letterman`s, but I have worked out in this world, and I have seen an awful lot of women try to sleep their way to the top. And that`s possibly the reason they do not claim sexual harassment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Russell, the big issue here is that we do not have anybody coming forward and saying that they are victims in this case.

BRIAN RUSSELL, ATTORNEY AND FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Right. We don`t. I think -- I see where you`re coming from. I think that you`re right that sometimes powerful people tend to prey on the weak. But I also think that caller is right, that sometimes people try to use sex to get things from their superiors at work.

So as a psychologist, I look at this and I say, I really think that the motive is probably more about accessibility, controllability and concealability. Accessibility that they`re there at work. They work for him. He`s got some control over them. And he can -- because it`s happening at work, he can conceal it somewhat from his spouse.

Now, I personally believe that anybody who`s been with their spouse or their significant other for 20 years, I tend to doubt that they don`t have any idea what the guy is like. So it`s interesting, because I think probably the blackmailer, or the alleged blackmailer, is the one who`s probably sort of the more scorned lover between him and Mrs. Letterman. Although, of course, that doesn`t justify blackmail.

And to get to your first question earlier in evening, blackmail is never something that somebody does because they`re insane. Blackmail is a premeditated, stone-cold attempt to profit on somebody`s pain or embarrassment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like that. Now, I want to dive deeper into this whole big issue, sex with the staff, because I have a theory. Why did Dave Letterman, time after time, hook up with his subordinates? I mean, come on. He has some of the world`s most accomplished, glamorous, sexy, beautiful women as guests.

For example, the voluptuous Scarlett Johansson. Dave actually, as you see there, made physical contact with her, on camera anyway. And then there`s the beautiful former child actress, Ashley Olson. We could go on and on all night, people. Many of these women are single, like Ashley. Why didn`t Dave ask out some of the famous, rich, beautiful, accomplished female guests? Is it a psychological issue?

My opinion, and I`m going to go to a woman on this, who, Wendy Murphy, I think it`s low self-esteem. I think even powerful men have to feel more powerful than the woman they`re dating or they get insecure because of low self-esteem.

MURPHY: You know, maybe, Jane. I don`t know. I`m not a psychologist. And who knows? Maybe he did also date powerful, gorgeous women. I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he have the time?

MURPHY: The thing that bothers me -- the thing that bothers me -- well, he was a randy guy, wasn`t he? He said women. We don`t know what that number looks like now.

As much as I`ve defended him, he is an extortion victim. No matter what he did, unless he committed a crime, what happened to him is far worse in the hierarchy of bad things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

MURPHY: But what bothers me, frankly...

RUSSELL: I don`t know about that, Wendy. I`ve got to -- I don`t mean -- I don`t know about that.

MURPHY: Let me just say this. We`re talking -- we`re talking about this as if the only people who suffer harm when there is sexual harassment in the workplace are the individual women, and as long as they don`t complain, there`s no harm. That`s not true. This is systematically the way women are acquitted (ph) and objectified. And so let`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But women participate in their own victimization. That is something we have to...

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: I`m saying, David -- David has a responsibility. Because he understands it. As basically as a woman`s equality issue. I don`t care if they fall on the ground...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got it.

MURPHY: ... at his feet.

RUSSELL: I`ve got to take issue...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? No, no, I`ve got to go to the tease. Sorry about this, guys. We`re going to be back on this story. Thank you, fantastic panel.

Up next a suicide note found on reality star Ryan Jenkins` computer. What does it say about his death and his wife`s murder? And why are we just learning about it now?

Then, things take a dramatic case in the Jon & Kate divorce saga. From allegations of sex to demands of major lifestyle changes. The juicy details next.

And in my new book, "iWant," I talk about how I fought an addiction to alcohol but I finally got sober 14 years ago and I really turned my life around. Well, I sat down recently with Dr. Phil to talk about my new book. The interview airs this Thursday on his show, "Dr. Phil." Here`s a peek.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL": I think this is a real chronicle of courage and candor. I thought this took a lot of guts to write this honestly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they say you`re only as thick as your secrets.

MCGRAW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I decided it was time to get honest.

MCGRAW: Yes. Well, and why? What was the thing that pushed you over the line?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I wrote a book called "Secrets Can be Murder." And I started to realize how fatal and how toxic secrets are. And then I started to look at myself, and I realized I had a lot of secrets. And that maybe by telling my story, I might be of service to somebody out there, grappling with the same problems.

I`m dealing with so many of the same issues that people across America are dealing with: alcoholism, a consuming addiction, all of these different addictive behaviors that are really destroying our lives. And I just decided, I`m going to tell my story, and maybe somebody out there can learn something so they don`t have to go through some of the hell I went through.

MCGRAW: This started with...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I want to hear your success story. What addiction have you overcome? How`s you do it? Send your e-mail or iReport to me at CNN.com/Jane. If your story`s selected, you could win an autographed copy of my book, "iWant," and you could get a chance to meet me in New York. I want to hear your story of triumph over addiction.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," the escalating war between Jon & Kate Gosselin. This family is spiraling out of control. And these soon-to-be exes -- we can`t wait until that happens -- can`t help but spill every ugly detail in public. Shame.

The parents` latest tug-of-war is not over their eight kids or their reality show. What a shock: it`s about money. Kate`s demanding Jon return $230 grand she claims he drained from their joint account. She`s also ordering him to sell his luxury cars.

And it seems the uglier this divorce gets, the more we see these two on TV. Check out Jon on "The Insider" with HLN`s very own Nancy Grace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: You talk the talk, but you don`t walk the walk. You can`t come out with one 22-year-old after the next while she`s at home with the children and say you want to work it out.

JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: I know I was passive. I know I wasn`t an avoider (ph).

GRACE: Why is this always about you? Why are we talking about you? She asked you about your children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he`s an important part of his children.

GRACE: Can he even speak without you piping in?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy, one. Jon Gosselin, zero.

Back to my fabulous guest, former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, also the author of "And Justice for Some." Great book.

Wendy, should we expect this thing to get even uglier, if that`s possible, before it`s all said and done?

MURPHY: Well, thanks for Nancy Grace, at least being around to kind of slap these people around a little bit.

Here`s the thing. I think it`s going to be now dubbed -- if I were a headline writer for a newspaper, I`d call this one "Kate & Jon Plus Hate."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MURPHY: Not only for each other, but obviously, for their children. I`m a child of divorced parents. The one thing, thankfully, my parents understood even back then was do not denigrate the other parent in front of the children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MURPHY: I mean, I`m just waiting. Next week we`re going to hear, Jon was bad in bed. Kate picks her nose. Don`t you think it`s stupid? But the children, the children are watching their parents rip at each other on television. What is -- make me choose between Jon and Kate, I pick the kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know.

MURPHY: And they`re not being treated with any respect at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, they aren`t.

MURPHY: They`re being disrespected.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Selling your soul to reality TV. And I think this is just all very predictable.

Kate claims Jon has left his family, quote, "without the ability to" - - get this -- "put food on the table." She got very emotional on NBC`s "The Today Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: I`m sorry. The last thing I wanted was to do this show and end up not being able to pay my bills. He took $230,000 of the $231,000 that we have liquid. And I have a stack of bills in my purse I can`t drop in the mail.

When you`ve left your children and their mother unable to pay the roof -- for the roof over their head, it`s not acceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, Kate loves to cry on television.

Jon claims he only took a paycheck`s worth from the account, $22 grand. Quite a paycheck.

Now why do these two still have a joint account anyway? They`re getting divorced.

Wendy, what do you think? Why do they have a joint account?

MURPHY: Oh, oh, I`m sorry. You know what, Jane? The funny thing is I was thinking that very question. You`d think the first thing they would have done is figure out how to deal with the assets.

But you know, I`m very suspicious about Jon. Again, I don`t like either of them. But here is Jon: "Oh, I think the children shouldn`t be on the show any longer, because I really care about their well-being." Oh, but he needs $200,000.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Head-spinning new details In the Haleigh Cummings case. Blockbuster new reports suggest Ron and Misty`s marriage is on the rocks, and their chain-smoking relationship could be headed to the ash tray, i.e., divorce court. The question is, why? Has Ron finally become suspicious of his teen bride?

Plus, disturbing insight into the mind of a suicidal killer: cops found a letter on Ryan Jenkins` computer professing his love for his estranged wife and blaming her for his situation. What led to this hideous murder?

The world was stunned when Ronald Cummings married his teenage girlfriend Misty Croslin just weeks after his daughter Haleigh went missing on her watch. After all, his precious daughter vanished -- I have to say it again -- on Misty`s watch. And then he marries her.

And now another head spinner is Ron divorcing Misty? New reports tonight, Ron`s attorney says their whirlwind marriage is about to be finished, kaput, over, done. Misty was the last person to see Haleigh alive. Is Ron finally becoming suspicious of his blushing teenage bride?

He defended their mind-boggling decision to wed on "The Today Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` FATHER: I don`t know. I think that my little girl would have wanted it. I would have rather have her to have been there. So obviously when we get her back and we will, a much larger and better wedding.

But we`re just -- still drawing the focus off of Haleigh. We need to be focused on Haleigh. And not what I`m doing in my personal life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Misty hiding something? The Gainesville Sun reports the Putnam County sheriff`s office is now calling Misty the key person in this case saying her account and the physical evidence just don`t match up and we do not know what she was doing that night.

Straight out too to my expert panel: and also joining us criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub and David Schwartz.

I`m going to start with Jayne. It`s been eight months; the spotlight has been on Misty whole time. What is the significance in your opinion of this announcement of an impending divorce?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that it`s probably Ron`s way of breaking all ties publicly with her. And maybe in his mind he knows that it will break the marital privilege if there was any communications during the course of that marriage. That would bear on this but I can`t imagine that`s the case. I think he`s just done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I thought that whole marital privilege thing did not apply in this case. That there`s like a Florida law that says if it involves the safety of a child that gets thrown out the window.

WEINTRAUB: Excuse me. That`s not completely true. And we don`t know what the crime against a child would be here. Because so far we don`t have a body...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s missing. She`s missing.

WEINTRAUB: But she`s not a suspect or a defendant. That`s number one. But number two is that -- that in Florida, it wouldn`t apply anyway because the communications when she was missing, first and foremost, those first couple of weeks, they weren`t married.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s exactly what I`m saying the spousal privilege would not apply in this case.

DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, it wouldn`t apply in any case. The bottom line is that the communications were not made at the time of the -- at the time that they were married.

You know the bottom line here is we have no idea what ramifications this divorce has on any of this. He blames her because his daughter Haleigh was missing under his watch -- under her watch. So we have no idea. We still don`t even know if a crime took place here on the part of the family members. It certainly looks like Misty is involved somehow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brian Russell, you`re the psychologist. Let me just ask you this question. Ron, the husband has been quoted as saying, when asked, why did you marry the woman who lost your daughter essentially? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

There`s also reports that he`s been overheard asking her to lie and then say well I wanted to see if she`s a good liar and that way I could judge if she`s lying to me. Do you think that essentially he tried to get information out of her by marrying her and then when she stonewalled like when she stonewalled the cops and everybody else he finally threw his hands up and said I`m not getting out of this, good-bye.

BRIAN RUSSELL, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think that anything is possible. As a psychologist I can tell you that going through a tragedy like a missing child, that puts a strain on relationships with even the most solid of foundations and this certainly didn`t look to me like that.

And as a lawyer, I do tend to think that perhaps these two believed, mistakenly, that getting married would create some kind of privilege and have now learned from us and everybody else in the (INAUDIBLE) that it isn`t true. So, if that were one of the reasons, then obviously why keep it going?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Wendy.

WEINTRAUB: Jane, look at that picture of her Jane. Look at how young she is. I mean she`s so young, she was probably scared, confused. I mean, it`s just pathetic. She`s a baby. She`s 17 years old there. And she`s caught up and she doesn`t even know what so she`s running away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please.

MURPHY: That`s what kids do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s not a baby.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Wait, wait, wait -- there`s only one baby. There`s a baby in this story and it`s Haleigh. That`s the one we should be feeling bad for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Wendy.

MURPHY: She was an adult.

And you know the one thing I want to say about this, look, it is clear to me that the marriage was intended to create a certain evidentiary benefit to one or both or the other. Now that that`s no longer part of whatever their game plan, is the divorce is going to facilitate some other advantage. Perhaps pitting them up against each other is going to ramp up the pressure.

But I say this, two of them know something. She really seems to know a lot, and she has been inconsistent and she failed a lie detector.

WEINTRAUB: We don`t know what the lie detector test was, Wendy.

(CROSS TALK)

MURPHY: Oh, no, she failed several lie detectors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on let me see the panel. Okay, David?

SCHWARTZ: Bottom line, do we have the proper resources investigating this case? I`m seeing that there`s one assigned detective, there`s another homicide detective. We`ve got 100 leads a day. Isn`t this the type of case where we need to put a lot of resources in to find Haleigh instead of some these other nonsensations...

WEINTRAUB: David, they`ve got enough resources for the squeeze play. I mean these cops...

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: People, I want to move on because there`s a key, key piece of the puzzle here, possibly. There`s this mysterious letter floating around allegedly written by Misty`s friend Nene. The letter says that a friend was talking to investigators and allegedly said, "Haleigh`s got a-hold of some Oxycontin and died. We supposedly freaked out. And dash, put her in a black bag, in my car and took her to the pond." Dash is apparently another friend. We`re not naming, obviously. Again we have absolutely no proof this letter is valid.

The cops say it`s bogus. But they did, David Schwartz, search a pond in the area. The Putnam County sheriff`s office said a possibility that they would find physical evidence in the water. They found nothing.

What is your take on this Oxycontin story that this child OD`d?

SCHWARTZ: Well, it seems like it`s a dead-end because the letter also states that the body was put -- Haleigh was put in this pond and that seems to be false. It`s an unfounded letter.

Obviously the police investigated this one thoroughly and they found no relevance to it whatsoever. These are a lot of dead-ends in this case and hopefully something will break soon.

MURPHY: You can`t say that. How do you get off saying it`s a dead- end when it hasn`t been thoroughly explored? Look kids are drugged...

SCHWARTZ: They drained the pond.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Wendy finish.

SCHWARTZ: They drained the pond.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Wendy finish.

SCHWARTZ: They drained the pond.

MURPHY: We know the children are given drugs for certain things, nefarious things, often it`s tied to pornography. The child may not have even been in the trailer on the night -- at the time she was given those drugs. If there was a reason she was removed and brought elsewhere whether there was a drug debt or some interesting...

WEINTRAUB: Wendy, you`re making it up.

SCHWARTZ: Wendy makes everything up.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go to the next piece of the puzzle. Misty originally said she was home sleeping when she woke up and Haleigh was nowhere to be found. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MISTY CROSLIN, RON CUMMING`S WIFE: I got up because I had to use the bathroom but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I turned the kitchen light on and I walked in the kitchen and the back door is wide open. And I didn`t notice about Haleigh then until I had seen the back door open. Then I go in the room and she`s gone. And that`s all I know is when I woke up. When I went to sleep she was there and then when I woke up she was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to tell you if this girl`s lying she deserves an academy award for that performance. Now our affiliate WESH reports that Misty`s brother -- and we have a mug shot for him, there he is -- told police that nobody could reach Misty on the night little Haleigh went missing. And I believe he went there and to the trailer on 9:45, he knocked, hello, hello, anybody home? And nobody answered.

What do you make of that? Ah, Jayne Weintraub, I`m going to throw it out to you.

WEINTRAUB: Well, first of all, we don`t that is true or not true either because we did not hear about that until months and months later until after he was arrested and there was a squeeze play by the cops on him.

So what we have is him saying now later that he knocked on the door and there was no answer. First of all, she could had been inside, didn`t want to see him. Maybe he was on drugs, or on drugs. We don`t know. We`re just assuming facts.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I am going to give Brian Russell the final word because he`s the shrink. What do you make the divorce? Ten seconds.

RUSSELL: I think it means that the relationship is strained. It`s not serving the purpose that it was started for, whatever that was. And I`m not surprised at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, anybody here surprised by the divorce? Why don`t we just put up the panel and see if anybody raises their hand before we go to break. Let`s see, anybody...

SCHWARTZ: I`m surprised they got married in the first place.

WEINTRAUB: I actually am surprised. I`m surprised of the timing of it. I don`t know why he did it except he`s looking for her and he`s making a statement.

SCHWARTZ: How could he marry her in the first place? That`s shocking that he`d even done that.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the most shocking part. I`m not shocked by the divorce I was shocked by the marriage.

Thank you, fantastic panel. Always a lively debate.

Up next, what happened when the accused killer of Yale student Annie Le appeared in court today?

And then does a suicide note found on Ryan Jenkins` computer reveal why he reportedly killed his swimsuit model/ex-wife? Will we ever know what led to Jasmine Fiore death? A gruesome one at that?

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy Lynn from Newport Richey, Florida is brave enough to tell us her story. She was addicted to Xanax. She says her 6-year-old son would spend hours sitting on the bed with her crying and literally begging her not to die. Amy Lynn found the strength to flush all of her pills down the toilet.

But here`s the heartbreaking part of the story. Her son, now 21, and just last night she had to take him to rehab. We wish him the very best and hope he gets sober.

Amy Lynn, for sharing your courageous story you`ll be getting an autographed copy of my new book "I Want" plus a chance to win a trip to New York and visit me on the set of ISSUES. I wish you the best.

And now "Top of the Block" tonight: an update in the tragic death of Yale student Annie Le. Former Yale university lab techie Raymond Clark III appeared in court today but he did not enter a plea to murder. Instead the judge scheduled another hearing for October 20th when each side may or may not present evidence and co-witnesses, whatever.

Police still have not told us what they know about a possible motive. Other than saying it was a case of workplace violence. If and when that finally changes, ISSUES will of course bring you that major development, ASAP.

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

Turning now to the motive behind a model`s grizzly, and I mean grizzly murder. Police have discovered a suicide note on Ryan Jenkins` computer. He is the reality TV star, police say hanged himself after murdering his gorgeous wife Jasmine Fiore.

Her naked body found in August stuffed inside a suitcase and tossed in a trash bin near L.A. And this is the most gross part, Fiore`s fingertips and her teeth had been removed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. FRANK NUNES, BUENA PARK POLICE DEPT: One thing is for certain, she was killed either in that car or in that hotel room, somewhere in between. And Mr. Jenkins took her body and dumped it here at Buena Park.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s a shot of the couple from TMZ. Police say days after Jenkins murdered Fiore he wrote a letter on his computer describing his love for her. But his words also drip with jealousy over her past relationships.

In the letter he apologized to his family for the bad publicity -- that`s what he apologized for. But he never acknowledged Fiore`s brutal death. Three days after writing that, Jenkins hanged himself in a motel closet.

Let me welcome back Jayne Weintraub and David Schwartz, attorneys; also joining me Jim Moret also an attorney as well as chief correspondent for "Inside Edition;" and we`re delighted to have Sgt. William Kohanek of the Buena Park Police Department.

Sergeant, I understand that you`ve actually seen Jenkins` letter. What can you tell us about this letter -- describe it?

SGT. WILLIAM KOHANEK, BUENA PARK POLICE DEPT: It was roughly a two- page letter. It was supplied to us by the World Canadian Authority. After their investigation was complete they assisted us in closing -- or assisting in closing our case. They supplied us with a mirrored copy of his computer that was known to be left at the motel room.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was in the letter? What did he say?

It was called a love/hate letter, why?

KOHANEK: We described that because he both -- he both professed his extreme love for his wife, Jasmine, and on the other side his distrust, his anger toward her lifestyle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Jim Moret, you know what is so horrifying about this is that this guy was actually a reality TV star. And in the wake of this horror, I understand it has shaken the industry -- you`re in Hollywood -- that literally they are rethinking the entire genre as a result of this horrific murder/suicide.

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, INSIDE EDITION: Well, they`re certainly, Jane, rethinking the issue of background checks. I mean this certainly underscores the importance of background checks because in this case Ryan Jenkins had something in his background which would have prevented him from being on "Megan Wants to Marry a Millionaire."

And it`s also causing at least one network to put on hold any of these contests, like these love relationship contests. And I don`t think for a second though that reality TV is going away.

I think that you`re going to see a pulling back a bit but I think that that genre, frankly, is here to stay. It`s inexpensive. It does very well. And where there`s money you`re going to see more of it. You`re simply going to see more safeguards.

SCHWARTZ: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

SCHWARTZ: Jane, what is the connection between reality television and this murder? I don`t even know why any network would pull it back at all. It makes no sense.

MORET: The connection is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let Jim answer question.

MORET: The connection is that if you see something in somebody`s background where there`s a violent history that person should not be a contestant but there`s nothing about reality TV, you`re right, that creates this behavior. It`s simply coincidental. But in this case there was no effective background check and had there been one, Ryan Jenkins wouldn`t be a reality TV star. We wouldn`t even know who he is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fiore was reportedly reconnecting with an ex- boyfriend by the name of Robert Hasman in the days before her murder. Hasman said Fiore planned to leave Ryan Jenkins. She was actually packing for a trip to Las Vegas to visit her ex when she was murdered. Hasman was there when police announced they had found Fiore`s mutilated body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT HASMAN, JASMINE FIORE`S EX-BOYFRIEND: Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to Jasmine is unspeakable. It`s just not right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I always hate when they compare horrific murders to animals. Animals are innocent creatures; they don`t run around doing this kind of sick, sadistic stuff.

But let me ask you this question, Jayne Weintraub. Is Jayne Weintraub there? Yes, she is. How do we put a cap on this? Because this man`s dead; he did not acknowledge in the letter that he murdered this woman. He only apologized to his family for the bad publicity which says a lot about him. But how does this family get closure, and will this letter help?

WEINTRAUB: I`ll tell you something Jane, the letter only emphasize what`s this guy was. And he was so sick and so psychotic, it makes us all wonder and be tuned up.

Were there other ways that he, you know, exhibited his symptoms of being so psychotic? Was he crazy? Did he do horrible things and nobody noticed? Was this something, you know, that teachers should have seen or family members should have seen or even people on the set? I mean, was this something preventable? Maybe we should take time and look at each other.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say this, when we come back, we`re going to talk about this connection to the war on women and how this guy -- and we`re going to talk to the sergeant about this -- actually had the audacity to blame her in his letter for what happened to her. And that is a classic hallmark of the war on women.

Everybody stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on this hideous Ryan Jenkins case right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. ROGER POWELL, BUENA PARK, CA POLICE DEPARTMENT: It would appear a violent struggle did occur in the vehicle on the right front passenger`s side. The blood loss appears to be more significant in the back seat area.

So it would appear that the injuries that we had originally seen Ms. Fiore sustain are consistent with the blood loss that would have been in that vehicle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In plain English she was so badly mangled they had to identify her by her breast implants. That was Buena Park police describing the horrific final moments of Jasmine Fiore`s life.

You know, the war on women is partially fueled by men blaming women for their own reprehensible behavior. Ryan Jenkins is a prime example of that. Following his murderous rage he had the audacity to blame Jasmine for fueling his jealousy.

This, from a guy who was on a reality dating show. Here he is on VH1`S "Megan Wants a Millionaire."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN JENKINS, REALITY TV STAR: A time with Megan alone was enough to let her get in touch with my deeper side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sergeant, in this letter that police found, is it true that Jenkins takes no responsibility, expresses no remorse and he doesn`t even -- I think we lost the sergeant.

But Jim Moret, he doesn`t even acknowledge Jasmine Fiore`s death. That`s the most horrifying part of all this.

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, INSIDE EDITION: Right. His apology is really to his family, as you said a few minutes ago, for the bad press, the bad press that they were getting and that he caused.

He blamed her. He said he was jealous of her for sleeping with ex- boyfriends. He professed his love for her. But it sounds like he was just blaming her and saying -- and look, let`s be serious about this, Jane. This wasn`t just a murder. He cut-off her fingertips...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MORET: ...and took her teeth out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

MORET: ...and when you talk about being identified by breast implants, that`s the only way she could be identified. This was a horrific crime. And he never really enables the victim`s family to get closure because he never apologizes or even acknowledges the crime.

SCHWARTZ: Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

SCHWARTZ: Jane, this is a horrific murder. But I must say, there is no war on women...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, there is. Don`t tell me there isn`t.

SCHWARTZ: There is not, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is. Let me tell you something.

If you switched the tables for one day and you had on the local news, women being arrested for raping and killing men...

SCHWARTZ: ...there are millions of normal, healthy relationships between men and women...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, there are.

SCHWARTZ: ...we highlight the most horrific event that we could even think of in this case, but the bottom line is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, David. Women are afraid to go out at night. Women are -- in America are living in psychological burqas. I don`t care whether it`s me walking my dogs...

SCHWARTZ: I`ve handled a lot of cases.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...or Jayne Weintraub walking down the street at night in Florida. We live in fear. And we don`t live in fear of other women. We live in fear of violent men.

SCHWARTZ: I`ll tell you, I`ve handled a lot of cases and I`m sure...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stats show that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by men and women are mostly victims, they are not mostly perpetrators. Jayne Weintraub, help me out with this.

WEINTRAUB: And she was just chopped up like, I hate to say meat to you, Jane. But chopped up like dirt, like meat. And what`s so sad to me is this guy was so sick and so violent that somebody missed the boat. Anybody near him or having interactions didn`t see something to help him...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She tried to get away from it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She tried to have the marriage annulled, and he lured her back.

SCHWARTZ: I agree but to generalize it as a war on women in this country...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a war on women.

SCHWARTZ: I think it`s a fiction.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think it is. I think it`s a sad fact that we don`t want to face because we`re in denial.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.

END

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