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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Pediatrician Charged with Sexually Abusing Children
Aired December 28, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM MORET, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, unthinkable terror inside a doctor`s office. Cops say a pediatrician sexually abused and raped more than 100 children. And he videotaped the attacks. Some of the alleged victims were just 6 months old. How could a nightmare like this go on for so long?
And merry Christmas, Charlie Sheen. The Hollywood star was arrested and spent the holidays locked up in a Colorado jail. He`s accused of assaulting his wife and threatening her with a weapon. So what really happened? What`s next for the bad boy of Hollywood?
Plus, ransacked and robbed. Jon Gosselin claims his apartment was broken into, and his place was trashed. He`s pointing the finger at a jealous ex-girlfriend, but she claims Jon did it all for publicity. So who`s telling the truth here?
ISSUES starts right now.
MORET: Nothing short of horrific. Allegations being made tonight against a pediatrician trusted in his community for over a decade.
I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Cops say 56-year-old doctor Dr. Earl Bradley sexually assaulted seven children in the last year, maybe more than 100 over the past decade. Bradley is accused of committing unspeakable acts against his patients, some as young as a month old.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAU BIDEN, DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL: This defendant is currently being held in prison on $2.9 million cash bond. He is no longer a threat to our children and to our community and to this county.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That is likely little consolation to the parents of his alleged victims, who brought their children to Bradley`s Bay Bees Pediatrics medical practice in Lewes, Delaware.
These images from ABCNews.com show an office that had been described as having a carnival-like atmosphere. According to court documents obtained by ABC, the doctor would lure children away from their parents, bring them to a room filled with candy and toys, and then videotape his assaults.
Bradley is facing a tsunami of charges: 33 felony counts, including rape and sexual exploitation of a child. ISSUES reached out to Bradley`s attorney for comment on the charges. We did not hear back before this broadcast.
Ten years of alleged abuse. Undetected. How could this happen? Who is Dr. Earl Bradley? And will the scores of tiny alleged victims and their parents ever be able to trust a doctor again?
We have a lot of details and a lot of ground to cover tonight. Plus, I want to hear from you. The number is 1-800-JVM -- JVM-SAYS. That`s 1- 877-586-7297.
First, though, straight to my guests: Mark Eiglarsh, defense attorney and former prosecutor; Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, author of "And Justice for Some," and professor at New England Law School; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Dr. Kathleen London, board-certified family practice physician; and Jeremy Tucker, reporter with HLN affiliate WBOC, who joins me by phone.
Jeremy, what is the latest on the case against Dr. Bradley?
JEREMY TUCKER, REPORTER, WBOC (via phone): Delaware state police and the attorney general`s office are trying to identify victims in this case. As you know, they said last week perhaps more than 100 potential victims. They set up the hotline.
And this is something that I think has stunned so many people in this community. Unimaginable acts.
You know, he missed his court appearance last week because, apparently, he was on suicide watch. There are concerns about his mental state. He`s expected to appear again in court later on in January.
But right now they`re still looking for victims. They think there could be many of them out there.
The community has expressed a lot of outrage and just shock. The police say it`s an example of someone earning the community`s trust and then using that trust to do just awful, horrible things.
MORET: And Jeremy, is there evidence beyond allegations by patients, because we -- we heard the -- prosecutors talk about the videotape that the doctor may have taken. To your knowledge, do prosecutors or detectives have that videotape?
TUCKER: We do know they have the videotape. We know he taped several of the instances of sexual abuse and, according to court documents and the folks in the attorney general`s office, it was horrific.
One of the detectives described the attacks as the most brutal and violent they had ever seen captured on video. I won`t repeat the information in court documents, but it was pretty shocking and surprising to a lot of people. They do have that evidence. Apparently, they saw a kids (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 2-year-old, the girl went to her mom and said that the doctor had touched her and hurt her sometime earlier this year. It spiraled downhill.
MORET: Dr. Kathleen London, board-certified family practice physician. First, your take on this from the standpoint of a doctor and the trust that we as parents place in the doctor for care of our kids.
KATHLEEN LONDON, BOARD-CERTIFIED FAMILY PRACTICE PHYSICIAN: It is unimaginable to me that a physician would do this. It`s horrific. And where was the board of medicine during all of this? You know, which is a state by state thing. But I can`t imagine something going on for this amount of time in Massachusetts with the -- where our board is set up.
So it brings into question what is the board there doing? And how is it that a parent would let a child, a young child, be alone in the room with a physician? You know, the only time we ever separate small children from their -- whoever brings them in is if we`re concerned that there`s abuse in the house. And then there`s usually another adult present.
So the whole story, it`s just -- how did this go on? Where were his office staff? How can six video cameras go unnoticed? It makes no sense. You know, we take an oath in med school that -- first do no harm. And fortunately, the colleagues that I`ve met in my life all feel that. And I -- that this trust was betrayed as just despicable. Absolutely.
MORET: And Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, author of "And Justice for Some." I can`t imagine you`ve seen the case of this magnitude in your practice. I mean, what is the first reaction that you got?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, my first reaction -- and I haven`t seen a case of this magnitude. I have seen doctors abusing patients and sexually abusing children. That shouldn`t shock us. It does happen. All types of people abuse children. But never to this magnitude.
And again, Jim, over the course of ten years, my first reaction was thanks a lot to the United States Supreme Court for overturning the death penalty for child rapists. And I don`t even believe in the death penalty, but I kind of want to believe in it today, if you know what I mean.
The thing that galls me the most, I think, the most is we know predators pick on the voiceless. Is there a more voiceless person than a 3-month-old?
We know that they lure children in. The guy had a merry-go-round in his office. These are red flags.
And please, let`s not blame the parents here for letting the kids go into the room with a trusted medical professional, because you can bet he waited until the slightly less aware, the less sophisticated, and the more trusting parents were there, when he probably made up some hokey story by - - about why it was medically necessary. And those parents trusted him and said, "Well, then, OK."
I hope if there`s one thing we take from this case, it`s that every parent in this country never, ever, ever let your child go alone in a room with a doctor or anybody, any professional. And if the doctor asks to be alone with your child, leave, get a new doctor and call the board of registration and medicine right away.
MORET: I have three children. I`m telling you, I cannot imagine either my wife or I not being in the room with those kids.
Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney, what -- what do you do if this man is your client? What do you do right now to start protecting him? Because this guy is facing just -- we call it a tsunami of charges. This is -- this is horrible, and there may be more to follow.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, I`m in a difficult position, because like you, I have three young children. And because of this alleged creep -- let`s say alleged because he hasn`t been convicted of anything. Let`s throw out the symbolic presumption of innocence for just one moment, even though they do have video, allegedly, of him attacking children.
I have three young children. And I was forced to have the conversation again with my 7-year-old child, and I will have it with my 6- year-old, because of people like this. Not just in a doctor`s office but out on the streets where anyone approaches you and offers you candy, you need to be careful.
Now, back to your question. Look, if I`m forced to defend this case, the answer is OK, 100 kids probably aren`t lying. So you`ve to go with some type of insanity defense, which isn`t going to work because that presupposes he did it, but he just didn`t know right from wrong.
MURPHY: How about just admitting guilt?
MORET: Wait, I know -- I want -- I want to have Curtis Sliwa jump in here. I know that we haven`t given him an opportunity yet. Curtis, founder of the Guardian Angels, WABC Radio talk show host, this has got to drive you crazy.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: We said -- right. We said don`t blame the parents? Wait a second. A 2-year-old girl dropped dime on him with his -- with her mother. Prior to that, one month before, the father brings her for a flu shot to the same degenerate.
A 2-year-old complains to the father, and the father does nothing! Doesn`t even tell the mother! Doesn`t even warn anybody! Yes, I blame the parents! Because the parent was told by a 2-year-old, and he chose to have window shades on his eyes, cotton balls in his ears, and a zipper on his mouth. I`d castrate the father and the pediatrician!
EIGLARSH: That is so harsh, Curtis.
EIGLARSH: Wait a second. As if the parents knew the children were being molested and did nothing.
SLIWA: The father was told by the daughter and did nothing.
MORET: Curtis, Curtis. Wait, wait. It is unusual -- you have to understand it`s unusual to separate a parent, certainly from a 1-, 2-year- old or in this case, the allegations of some as young as a month.
We did reach out to Dr. Bradley`s attorney. He did not respond to our requests for comment. He has spoken out about reports that his client was on suicide watch. He told ABC News. They`re bogus. Dr. Bradley is simply in isolation in the infirmary.
The attorney went on to say, quote, "I think he`s sort of in shell- shock. He`s well aware of what he`s facing at this point. We need to do a very rigorous exploration of his mental health and see if there`s any pathology. This kind of case cries out for that kind of analysis."
We`re going to come to Mark Eiglarsh after the break. We have to take a quick break. But Mark, I want you to speak to this kind of analysis. Stay tuned. More ISSUES coming right up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: ... prison on $2.9 million cash bond. He is no longer a threat to our children and to our community and to this county.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s disgusting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d be worried if I were him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney. Let`s look at this doctor`s mental condition. His own attorney says we have to look at what was going on in this doctor`s mind. We talked a couple of minutes before the break about an insanity defense. That basically says that he admits that he did something wrong and it is problematic.
Where do you go from here? What do those statements tell you?
EIGLARSH: Let me just make very clear before I get the hate mail. I`m not defending this guy. You`ve asked me to presuppose that I am. I see only -- I see only three options.
One, go to trial and allege that "All of this is manufactured and I didn`t do it." And with the videotape, that`s going to be rather challenging.
Secondly, as Wendy Murphy alluded to, just man up, accept responsibility, and take it. And go to prison and be treated in prison like the typical pedophilia, and your life will be hell.
And finally, allege that for some reason there`s a mental defect. You didn`t know right from wrong. And again, I don`t think that`s going to be successful either, because jurors don`t like to exclude conduct like this, because someone`s alleging that they didn`t know right from wrong. This guy knew right from wrong. He`s going to spend the rest of his life in prison, assuming he did this.
MORET: And Mark, in fairness to you, you`re the criminal defense attorney on the panel, so I`m asking you to take that point of view. I know that`s not necessarily your personal point of view.
Wendy Murphy, as a prosecutor, though, you`ve got to come down hard on this guy. You know, this is -- this is a town doctor. People trusted him; they took their children to him. The violation of trust is out of this world. And to think of the damage to those children, it`s just unconscionable.
MURPHY: You can`t even put words to it. You know, we`re all talking about our kids. I have five. The notion of any of the medical care providers that I`ve entrusted my children to touching my children, much less with this grotesque pig did. You know, really, I have no words that I can say on television, Jim.
Let`s be clear. I have some words, but you would pay a hefty fine important for the ones that I want to say.
You know, the thing is -- I give Mark credit, because the knee-jerk reaction of most defense attorneys is to say, "Well, I`ve got to come up with something, so I think I`ll just make up an insanity defense and I`ll go find a hired gun who, for a price, will say he was insane.
Mind you, he`s never been insane before. He just became insane when he needed a defense and he didn`t have this one. Please, I`m so sick of this. Let`s save the parents the heartache.
You know, it`s going to be hard for these kids to testify. Thank God this stuff is on tape, because the kids will probably have very little verbal ability to describe what happened. They don`t even -- even have words for the things that happened because they have no context to understand it. They know Elmo and Cookie Monster. They don`t know penises. And this is just the hardest stuff for a kid.
MORET: And let`s look at what we do know about this doctor. We know that he`s 56. He graduated Temple University Medical School in 1983. He moved his practice to Delaware in `94 and to the 1,300-person town of Lewes about ten years ago.
In a 2001 article, the "Cape Gazette" newspaper, he makes what is now being described as a chilling comment, comparing himself to a doctor in a Norman Rockwell painting. He said, quote, he "wanted to have people wonder what crazy Dr. Bradley will do next."
According to court documents, the six-foot 225 pound man is seen on a videotape with a, quote, "violently enraged expression on his face," end quote. This as he yelled to a 2-year-old patient to perform sexual acts on him. These are allegations.
Hypothetically, this guy does not fit the profile of a typical pedophile. Many people think of them as drifters or outsiders, not physicians or clergy or teachers, for example. How do you spot these people? Let`s go to Dr. Kathleen London ...
LONDON: Wait a minute. What about the whole priest thing. Are we forgetting that?
MORET: No, no, no, I understand that. But for -- Dr. London, you know, we do put -- clearly, we have priests on a different level. But our doctors, you know, we talk to these people. We trust them, not only with our lives but in this case, with...
LONDON: As you should.
MORET: As you should.
LONDON: You should be able to trust your physician. Absolutely. And this -- I find this absolutely despicable, because what it does to my profession, you know. And as someone who thinks that they have earned trust.
And I`m still just in shock at how this could go on. I -- I -- I don`t have words as -- as the other guest had said. And honestly, I think he should be castrated. I think we should castrate pedophiles. Very simple. You know, and with no anesthesia. That would, to me, be the beginning of fairness. But...
MORET: Curtis Sliwa, when we hear about these -- wait. We hear about these allegations, going on for years, more than a decade, Curtis, I know that you are blaming some of the parents and I -- it`s really not -- not fair because they didn`t do anything wrong. They may have not known. You know, you have to play devil`s advocate here and say that they trusted this guy and they separated them.
SLIWA: 1998, he is suspected of this activity. 1998. No investigation.
2008, two parents come forward and accuse him of alleged acts. Nothing is done. The Delaware State Police do absolutely jack diddlysquat, nothing.
And then as I mentioned, the father ignores the claim of the 2-year- old girl that she had been violated. It takes the mother a month later bringing her back to this doctor to listen to the 2-year-old and then come to the police. And finally this monster, this enemy of society is brought out in chains and shackles. Because of a 2-year-old! We could have had this guy in 1998.
MURPHY: You know, it`s absolutely true.
EIGLARSH: That`s not fair, Curtis.
MURPHY: We give these kind of guys way too many bites at the apple because they have the presumption of doing good, and we don`t respect children enough in this country. When a 2-year-old says something that sounds sexual, that should be very, very serious.
MORET: And on that thought, hold -- hold your thoughts, everyone. Stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on this horrific story. How could someone like this do what he allegedly did for so long?
Plus, Charlie Sheen spends Christmas in jail. What went down? What caused his wife to call police?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE MUELLER, WIFE OF CHARLIE SHEEN: My husband had me -- with a knife -- I fear for my life, and he threatened me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Are you guys separated now?
MUELLER: Yes, right now we have people that are separating us, but I have to file the report...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, are there people there? Does he still have the knife?
MUELLER: Yes, he still does.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what`s your husband`s name?
MUELLER: Charlie Sheen.
MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in tonight for Jane.
A Delaware pediatrician behind bars tonight after he allegedly committed unspeakable agents of sexual assault against his patients, some as young as a month old, say prosecutors. Delaware`s attorney general attempted to calm fears during a news conference last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: This defendant is currently being held in prison on $2.9 million cash bond. He`s no longer a threat to our children and to our community and to this county. We urge all concerned parents to contact the Delaware State Police victim services hotline at 1-800-VICTIM-1.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Meantime, a flurry of questions about how children and parents will cope with this nightmare. Whether allegations prove to be true or not, one former prosecutor says, quote, "Adults have to be careful about not compounding the crime by telling kids that their lives are ruined when it clearly isn`t."
Does this prosecutor raise a good point about turning down the volume, so to speak, in the best interests of the kid? Also, perhaps in the interest of not tainting a potential jury pool.
Let`s go to Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor. This person talks about turning down the volume because there are kids involved. You don`t want to scar them. But you do want to maintain the integrity of this case. How do you go forward?
MURPHY: Yes, but you know what? I don`t think parents have to give a damn about the integrity of the prosecution. The only thing they have to do is worry about themselves, their family and their children.
And I don`t agree that turning down the volume, whatever that really means, to that particular expert, is always the right thing. What we need to do with kids is respect them, believe them, and validate them. And that means talking openly and honestly at their level about what happened.
The worst thing you can do is sweep it under the rug, pretend it never happened and act like it`s another day in the -- in the family and nothing -- nothing bad happened. That`s the stuff that makes kids crazy. We have to help them process the information.
And the studies are very clear that when you believe children, when you support them, when you treat them like -- when bad things happen to them it matters and important people care, that`s the stuff that allows children to live relatively healthy lives.
MORET: Curtis Sliwa, we`ve got about 30 seconds.
LONDON: Can I say one thing about parents?
MORET: Wait, wait.
SLIWA: ... is such a small state. You`d be closing your eyes going from Pennsylvania to Maryland. You wake up, and you`re through Delaware. Of course Beau Biden, the son of the vice president Biden, wants you to stay hush-hush because it involves law enforcement not doing its job, prosecutors not doing its job, and the medical authorities not monitoring this pediatrician. Complaints were made since 1998.
EIGLARSH: I disagree.
SLIWA: Of course he wants to suppress it.
EIGLARSH: I disagree. I disagree, and I think, candidly, I`ve heard this now three times from Curtis. He frightens me, so I -- I`m always afraid to disagree with him. But what he`s saying is irresponsible. It presupposes that parents knew that their children being harmed, that law enforcement knew and didn`t do everything they were supposed to.
EIGLARSH: These cases are difficult to bring. And there`s no evidence that they turned their eyes away.
MURPHY: They`re not difficult. Don`t you say that. Children are the best witnesses. The only one afraid of a child taking a stand now...
EIGLARSH: Come on now.
MURPHY: ... is the predator.
EIGLARSH: We have the video tape.
MORET: ... the last word. Wendy, Wendy, you`ve got the last word. There`s clearly more to talk about. This is a great panel. I`ve got to call it right now. Thank you so much. We`re out of time.
Charlie Sheen thrown in jail. The Hollywood star was arrested for domestic abuse. I think we all know this isn`t his first rodeo with police. So what does this mean for his career? And what does this mean for his marriage? We`ve got that story coming up next on ISSUES.
MORET: Merry Christmas, Charlie Sheen. The Hollywood star was arrested and spent the holidays locked up in a Colorado jail. He`s accused of assaulting his wife and threatening her with a weapon. So what really happened? What`s next for the bad boy of Hollywood?
Plus, ransacked and robbed: Jon Gosselin claims his apartment was broken into and his place was trashed. He`s pointing the finger at a jealous ex-girlfriend but she claims Jon did it all for publicity. So who is telling the truth here?
Welcome back to ISSUES. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane Velez-Mitchell.
It is a good thing Charlie Sheen`s twin sons are too young to remember their first Christmas. Their dad spent most of the day in jail. Sheen was arrested after an alleged fight with his wife, Brooke Mueller. She made this 911 call from their home in Aspen, Colorado.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BROOKE MUELLER, CHARLIE SHEEN`S WIFE: My husband me with a knife. And I fear for my life and he threatened me.
911 OPERATOR: Ok, are you guys separated right now?
MUELLER: Yes, right now we have people that are separating us but I have to file the report.
911 OPERATOR: Ok, are there people there? Does he still have the knife?
MUELLER: Yes he still does.
911 OPERATOR: What`s your name?
911 OPERATOR: And what`s your husband`s name?
MUELLER: Charlie Sheen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: TMZ is reporting Mueller later tried to recant her story and she said she was drunk when she called the police. Sheen is accused of second-degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief.
Sheen`s attorney released a statement urging people not to jump to conclusions. Rumors are now flying about a troubled marriage and possible trips to rehab for both Sheen and his wife.
Sheen is certain no stranger to scandal. Will he manage to bounce back yet again?
We welcome our guest panel: criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh; psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman; and my friend Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra".
Carlos, first to you, what`s the latest?
CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Well, Jim, the latest is this 911 tape. And if we learned anything from the whole Tiger Woods scandal, it is once you have audio and proof with audio of something, that`s when it takes on a whole new air of validity. That`s what`s going on right now.
People that are hearing this 911 tape in Hollywood, here in Hollywood and across the country are hearing a woman who is, obviously, frightened, who -- and it basically gives kind of a personality to this whole thing.
You know, a lot of people were shocked to hear Charlie Sheen after some past troubles seems to now be back, you know, on the booze and having the problems again. But when you hear this 911 tape, you hear Brooke Mueller in a way that we have not heard her ever before, and that`s scared. And that is something Charlie Sheen`s camp did not want to happen.
MORET: Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist, medical doctor. I think that part of what Carlos says is certainly right on. However, she was, according to police, drunk at the time. She`s making allegations. She was not taken to the hospital for medical treatment. So isn`t it possible that she`s simply making allegations out of anger?
CAROL LIEBERMAN, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. I -- I think that -- I have a totally different take on the 911 tape. I`ve listened to the whole tape. She keeps repeating during the tape, "I have to make this report. I want to make this report." She doesn`t sound that scared to me.
But what it sounds like is that she`s making this report because she`s planning on divorcing him. And she wants to make sure that she`s in the driver`s seat in terms of getting a lot of money. Perhaps his team is going to try to get her to recant and she`ll make some sort of deal.
Obviously he should not have been drunk. She was a lot drunker, a mother of 9-month-old children, having a 0.13 alcohol level. I mean, of course, they have nannies but that`s not the point. You know it`s not -- she shouldn`t be doing this kind of partying with 9-month-old babies.
I think he is being set up. Yes, he is impulsive. Yes he has this history. But I don`t think we should judge him just from his past history.
MORET: Just to make it very clear, no charges have been filed. The D.A. is reviewing the case. It is supposed to come up before the court in February.
This is not Charlie Sheen`s first domestic problem which made national news. Back in 1997, he pleaded guilty to attacking girlfriend Britney Ashfield (ph) at his home. He got two years probation.
Sheen had a nasty split from his second wife, actress Denise Richards. That came to a head in June 2008 when she released an expletive- laced voice message from him.
And of course, who could forget Sheen`s so-called business relationship with Heidi Fleiss, the so-called Hollywood madam? In 1995 Sheen testified that he ordered prostitutes from Fleiss at least 27 times.
Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney, we`ve heard two different views of this same tape. Dr. Lieberman says she suspects that there was no fear, that perhaps this is just setting the groundwork for a case. As a defense attorney, how do you hear that tape?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I see it both ways. And I think that a good defense lawyer should be able to see it both -- from both perspectives. I think that then you go to the corroborating evidence.
What you have, as a matter of fact is that she`s 50 percent over the legal limit. That doesn`t mean that this didn`t happen. It just means that is a factor. Alcohol will absolutely impair one`s ability to perceive events, to recollect, adequately describe those events. Those are facts.
You have that she recanted; you have that she recanted the recantation. They`re supposed to be getting divorced. Then they`re not getting divorced. You know what? I think this one probably goes away. I think prosecutors probably want to bring charges because after O.J. Simpson, they absolutely want to bring charges in cases like this.
However, you know if she doesn`t want to cooperate they don`t have much.
MORET: Mark, there`s something, though, that`s on the tape that I found interesting. That is that -- when the -- when the operator says -- is your husband separated from you? She said, "Yes. There`s people keeping us apart." That implies that somebody witnessed something. So I`m suspecting that police have done a series or are doing a series of interviews. So if, in fact, something played out before other people, you do have potential witnesses.
EIGLARSH: That`s a very good point. And what did they say? That`s the first question. Secondly, are they going to continue to say those things? Are they cooperating? It is very easy if a defense lawyer wants him to play ball, for them to suggest well, perhaps I didn`t see it that way. You know. Come game day -- lot of these cases, evidence seems to fizzle. It has so much to do with what the victim wants.
LIEBERMAN: You know, the problem is, that Charlie Sheen is too much like his character on "Two-and-a-half Men", Charlie Harper.
MORET: And that leads in a sense to this...
MORET: I want to play clip right now.
Charlie Sheen, as you say Dr. Lieberman, plays a womanizing party animal, Charlie Harper on the hit show "Two-and-a-half Men". Check out this clip from the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about Celeste?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uncle Charlie said my life shouldn`t stop just because she isn`t around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you`re encouraging my son to cheat on his girlfriend.
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: Come on, there`s no cheating going on. Are you cheating?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not sure.
SHEEN: You`re not cheating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes he is. How would you feel if Celeste was somewhere right now flirting with some other guy?
SHEEN: How do you not she`s not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s with her mom.
SHEEN: And you are with your dad but that`s not stopping you, is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. It is a lousy point. Relationships are built on trust and mutual respect.
SHEEN: Oh, grow up. Relationships are built on diamond earrings and Viagra.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Sheen is currently the top paid sitcom actor according to TV Guide; he makes more than $800,000 per episode.
Dr. Lieberman, you -- you made an interesting point. You said he`s too much like his character. But that shouldn`t damn him. That shouldn`t convict him necessarily.
LIEBERMAN: No. My point is -- right. My point is that in -- on the show, he a commitment phobe. I think what happens to him is that he marries these Barbie Doll girls, impulsively. And then he finds out a couple of years later that these aren`t the kind of relationships he wants to be in.
DIAZ: Hold on. Hold on. Have you spent -- have you ever spent ten seconds with Brooke Mueller ever in your life? And you`re calling her a Barbie Doll. Get serious.
Brooke Mueller actually did some work for "Extra". She is a very, very intelligent -- very -- you know she`s a ...
LIEBERMAN: Have you read about the reports where she was telling people that she wanted to go out and party and Charlie wanted to stay home and she was thinking even before she got pregnant that she wanted to have a divorce? There are these reports out there.
EIGLARSH: She might be very bright...
DIAZ: Because she wants to party she`s a Barbie girl? I mean, come on. Bottom line here is Brooke was against all type that Charlie has been attracted to in the past. She`s very intelligent. She`s very motherly and she`s very responsible and that`s something that...
LIEBERMAN: Really? Motherly? Motherly -- having 0.13 when she has 9-month-old babies? I don`t think so.
MORET: In fairness, though, they -- look, they were at a party. Sometimes people drink too much. There`s no allegation she was driving. She was at a party.
But Carlos, to you, we know that in Hollywood image is so critical. How much damage can this scandal do to Charlie Sheen`s career? We have to remind our audience Charlie Sheen has not yet been charged with any crime and he may not be charged with a crime.
DIAZ: Well, the one thing that Charlie Sheen has got going in his favor is he is the most honest actor in Hollywood. When you want -- the honest truth as far as great sound bite, you go to Charlie Sheen because he will give it you. He is not one of those guys who tries to throw out a public image that`s against type.
He will tell you what he thinks at all times but he does have a contract that is coming up in the next year as far as his contract with "Two and a half Men". And as you said, he`s the most -- highest paid sitcom star out there right now. So this is not something that he needs as he goes into a big contract year.
MORET: Great guests; thank you all so much for covering this topic. There`s another one, not going away.
Susan Powell vanished three weeks ago with her four young sons having to spend Christmas without their mother. How is her family doing? And are cops any closer to finding this woman?
Plus more drama for Jon Gosselin and this time it has nothing to do with Kate. His apartment was apparently ransacked. So was this a lovers` quarrel or a publicity stunt?
I want to hear from you, give us a call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1- 877-586-7297.
MORET: Welcome back, I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" sitting in for Jane.
Jon Gosselin is back in the spotlight, he claims his apartment was ransacked but his so-called former soul mate says Jon did it all for publicity. Does anyone find that hard to believe? That`s next.
But first, tonight`s "Top of the Block."
It has been an extremely sad Christmas for the family of Susan Powell. It`s impossible to imagine what this poor family is going through. The Utah mother vanished three weeks ago and there is still no sign of her. Susan`s mother and father spent Christmas with her two young sons. One person that was notably absent from the family get-together was Susan`s husband.
Josh Powell has been called a person of interest in the case. He claims that the last time he saw Susan he was heading out on a midnight camping trip in the dead of winter with his two young sons by his side. No arrests have been made in the case.
ISSUES is of course all over the story; we`ll bring you any developments as they occur.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Turning now to Jon Gosselin`s war at home and I`m not talking about his failed marriage to Kate. The former TLC reality star says his New York apartment was completely trashed. Jon spent Christmas in Pennsylvania with his eight kids.
He returned to find his apartment ransacked. Electronics were stolen. Whoever did it left a note and used a knife to stick it to Jon`s bedroom dresser. The note calls him a cheater. It`s allegedly signed Hailey Glassman, Jon`s ex-girlfriend.
They lived in the apartment together until their recent breakup. Police have already questioned Hailey. Jon`s attorney says quote, "Hailey`s going to jail. It`s a simple as that." He also added, quote, "Jon feels like he was raped."
Hailey`s attorney claims the break-in is a publicity stunt. He says Hailey is being framed. Is Jon capable of ransacking his own home, filing a false police report just to get the attention?
I want to welcome back my panel. Carlos, let`s start with you. What is the latest on this investigation? Because right now it`s a pretty dramatic he said/she said.
DIAZ: Yes and you know, Jon Gosselin has spent most of the year of 2009 falling from grace. We began the year feeling sorry for this guy. We end the year thinking the guy -- it couldn`t get any worse than now.
These allegations that this whole thing was a hoax, there was a poll on People.com where 72 percent of the people polled by People.com, 72 percent say that this was a hoax. That this was a big publicity stunt put on by Jon Gosselin.
The question I have for you is why in the world would you put out a press release that says that your apartment was ransacked? You called the cops, you have an investigation. There is nothing to be gained by put this out in the public eye.
MORET: Wow, I mean, Carlos you and I have covered this story. And even through this separation with Kate Gosselin and through much of Jon`s travails, he`s put out press releases all the time alleging this and that.
Mark Eiglarsh, if, in fact, this was a hoax, there are criminal penalties for filing a false police report, aren`t there?
EIGLARSH: Absolutely and further reasons for me to despise this guy. He has done nothing for humanity by the way but he`s getting two segments tonight on this show. And so if it was a hoax, there he is going. He`s getting another -- what -- about six or seven minutes added to his 15.
So, again, he`s probably promoting something. And again if this was a hoax and he`s using valuable resources like balloon boy`s dad did, then he should go to jail.
MORET: Dr. Carole Lieberman, as a doctor and as a woman, when you hear Jon Gosselin`s attorney said that his client feels raped by this ransacking doesn`t that just make your blood boil?
LIEBERMAN: Yes, it`s a little bit of a sensational way of saying it. But this is kind of a tough case. Because Hailey does have reason to feel -- well, both of them are very impulsive and very media hungry. And Hailey does have reason to feel very angry.
She discovered during the TLC depositions that in fact he did cheat with Kate Majors from "Star" and of course, that would make her angry. Not to mention the $90,000 that she lent him that she doesn`t have a hope of getting back. So you could see that she would have a reason for doing this.
And also on the other hand, Jon who yes, does want publicity and would send out a press release to say he is crossing the street, would he really want to slash all of his belongings when he is really in very difficult financial straits? Would he want to cut up his designer shirts and his supposedly valuable Ming vase? Would he do that to himself? I mean, there are lots of ways to get publicity. So would he do that? I don`t know I think this one is a tough one.
MORET: Hailey Glassman attorney claims that there was no real break- in. And here is what he told us, "It appears to me" -- the attorney is speaking -- "that my client is being framed into this. My client did not take anything from that apartment she was not told to take. Jon told my client since he`s behind in his payments he`s likely to be evicted therefore, quote, `take whatever you want to take.` My client responded, she would like to take the TV, the coffeemaker, et cetera. So that`s the stuff that she took.
It`s a secure building. There are cameras from there and yes, she took the TV. That does not mean she burglarized the apartment or stole anything from the apartment. Hailey lived there, her fingerprints will be all over the place." So wouldn`t the security cameras tell the real story, Mark?
EIGLARSH: Well, for sure it`ll show her taking the stuff out. The question is it sounds like they`re agreeing on the facts. She took all this stuff. The only thing that`s missing is -- well, how the letter with the butcher knife get there? And that`s something the video cameras won`t show.
But it sounds to me that he`s conceding that she was in the apartment. Now, if it wasn`t her they need to go to the next layer of people and those are the ones who don`t like Jon Gosselin. So if they keep interviewing those people...
EIGLARSH: ... they should have the case cracked in 30 years.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, it`s true. Because maybe somebody else managed to get into the apartment and do that because there are so many people who are angry at him for all his cheating and especially with these eight children who he`s really betrayed in so many different ways.
DIAZ: And the bottom line is...
MORET: Well, how bad -- I guess the question is how bad are Jon`s financial problems? Hailey says he was behind on the rent and about to be evicted. He has to pay monthly child support for his eight kids, reportedly a five-figure amount not to mention his pretty steep attorney`s fees.
Is Jon broke, will he be forced to get a real job and I guess Carlos Diaz, the question is, can he get a real job in entertainment? If entertainment is a real job, I don`t even know what it is.
DIAZ: Well, he was -- yes, exactly. I mean, what is entertaining about him? He was pitching a show with Lindsay Lohan`s dad, called "The Divorced Dads Club", if you will. This can`t help.
I mean, you know more controversy -- it`s not going to help that situation. The bottom line is, Hailey is mad about Jon allegedly cheating. Hailey, he was with you while he was still legally married to Kate. How can you be mad about him cheating on you? The bottom line is, Jon keeps slipping further and further from the public love and further and further into the public hate.
MORET: We`re not done yet. Wait -- everybody stay right where you are. We have to take a break. We`re going to have more on Jon Gosselin and the mystery of his ransacked apartment. Who is telling the truth here? Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Is he a good father?
KATE GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": He is.
KING: Why the pause?
GOSSELIN: His decisions right now are not ones that I would necessarily make, but down deep in his heart I know that he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That was of course Kate Gosselin talking about her ex-husband. When she made that interview in August, Jon was dating Hailey Glassman. They have since broken up.
Jon`s attorney claims, Hailey trashed his Manhattan apartment, stole some electronics and left a nasty note, calling him a cheater. Hailey`s attorney calls the break-in a publicity stunt.
Now back to my guests.
Dr. Carole Lieberman, it`s late in the show to ask this question. Why are we still talking about Jon Gosselin? Why do we care about Jon Gosselin?
EIGLARSH: I know.
LIEBERMAN: The real answer is because it`s much easier and less scary to talk about Jon Gosselin than about the terrorists getting on the airplanes. But you know, what we can learn from this is that there are more victims -- road kill victims of reality TV.
If Kate hadn`t been so critical and emasculating on the show, the he wouldn`t have felt the need to go out -- and I`m not blaming Kate -- I`m just explaining a little sequence here that made him feel like he had to prove he was a big man and go out and have all of these women, who really wouldn`t have given him the time of day were it not that he was famous.
I mean Hailey Glassman wouldn`t have been with him in a million years if it was not to get her 15 minutes of fame. So it really is a sad story and reality TV does strange things to people. If they hadn`t done that show, yes they would be living a more modest lifestyle but they would still be together.
MORET: And Mark Eiglarsh, do you think that criminal charges can result from this if it`s a hoax or if it`s a break-in?
EIGLARSH: I think that they can and I think that they should. I think that any time someone uses precious valuable police resources -- again there`s only so much to go around. And if he is having them investigate an offense that he manufactured for his own selfishness to promote his own career -- and we don`t know whether that`s true or not, but if he did then sure, he should go directly to jail. Send a message, "You can`t do that."
MORET: Carlos Diaz from "Extra". It sounds like Hailey Glassman is saying, "Look Jon Gosselin couldn`t pay his rent. He was going to be evicted. He told me to take my stuff. I did. Maybe I left it as a mess." But you know, that`s as far as it goes. And Jon is saying, "She ransacked my place."
MORET: But -- I guess the big but is -- there is a police report now filed and a press release.
DIAZ: Yes, the police report and a press release. But let`s look at past history here. Hailey has always been the one who has said, "I like Jon for Jon and I really don`t need the press. I don`t the pub (ph)." Jon is the one who has proven in the past that he needs the attention, that he needs the press. So that would lend -- I mean, if you had to go one way or the other -- that would lend it to being a publicity stunt. And as I said, know one knows for sure so far.
But I disagree though. Real quick, I think that Jon Gosselin is not a distraction from the terrorist. I think Jon Gosselin a true mirror to the way marriage is today. And we all have those friends who we feel sorry for in a marriage and then when a marriage ends, we find out it`s not really, you know it`s not really...
MORET: And you ended this on a profound thought. We have to leave it at that.
Thank you to our terrific panel for joining me tonight.
I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition".
Please check out my new inspiration book; it`s called "The Last Day of My Life" available now online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and of course, bookstores everywhere.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN. Have a great night.