Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Heiress Socialite Dead at 30
Aired January 5, 2010 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the tragic tale of a billion-dollar socialite. The hard-partying heiress to a massive American fortune has been found dead. Casey Johnson grew up in the lap of luxury, but behind all the glitz and the glamour, this young woman was apparently in a lifelong battle with drugs and addiction. So what really caused Casey`s death?
Plus, daunting addictions in a fast-food nation. The winner of "The Biggest Loser" lost 214 pounds in front of America. But when the cameras stopped rolling, so did his healthy lifestyle. Erik Chopin has gained nearly all the weight back. Tonight, we`ll talk to him about his battle with obesity. And, he`s got a new show. What`s it all about?
And she`s back. The Octomom defends her doctor and jokes about having even more kids. Her doc has been accused of gross negligence. Attorneys say instead of pumping her full of embryos, doctors should have been giving her a mental evaluation. Agreed?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, tragedy strikes again as yet another young Hollywood celebrity suddenly dies. This is a classic example of the old saying, money can`t buy happiness.
The body of 30-year-old billionaire socialite Casey Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, was found yesterday in her L.A. home by her maid. TMZ reports she might have been dead for several days. Cops say reportedly no foul play, but so far there is no official cause of death.
Her short life, wow, Casey`s reputation went from debutante to wild party girl. She reportedly battled drugs and alcohol for years. She was also arrested and accused of grand theft last November. TMZ reports she had been taking anti-anxiety drugs. She was also a diabetic. TMZ says twice in the past, she`d fallen into a diabetic coma and that insulin syringes were found in her home after she died. We have no independent confirmation of any of that.
She was engaged to B-list reality star, drama queen Tila Tequila. In fact, the pair made the big announcement on the Web site YouStream. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TILA TEQUILA, REALITY TV STAR: Tonight, my beautiful girlfriend has just asked me to marry her, and check out this rock. Bam. That is a 17- karat diamond ring from my baby. Casey Johnson and Ms. Tila Tequila are now officially engaged. Woo!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. And apparently, heartbroken Tila confirmed Casey`s death via text last night, tweeting everybody, "Please pray for my wifey Casey Johnson. She has passed away," end quote.
A source told Radar Online that Tila`s first reaction to the news of Casey`s death was drug overdose, but at this point nobody knows why she died. Only an official toxicology report will confirm why Casey Johnson died so very young.
Meanwhile, you know the story is huge when both New York City tabloids plaster their covers with it. Here is "The New York Post," OK, and here is "The Daily News." So many shocking details in Casey`s life and death. I want to hear what you think about this very sad story. Give me a call: 1- 877-586-7297.
But first, straight out to my fantastic all-star expert panel: Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ. And we`re delighted to have Paula Froelich, novelist and celebrity journalist. And we`re so delighted to have Perez Hilton, founder of PerezHilton.com, and he is here via Skype. Mr. High Tech. Good to see you. And Judge Alex Ferrer, host of "Judge Alex." Plus Ken Seeley, founder of Intervention911.com, and author of "Face It and Fix It," a famous interventionist.
We`re going to begin with TMZ`s Mike Walters. We`ve got to start with you. What is the latest on this really, really sad, sad story?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, Jane, the autopsy was done today. It was actually just completed a few minutes ago.
They again deferred the cause of death. They found no signs of trauma. No foul play, it looked like, happened to her, at least in the last few days, after they found her body. And interestingly, of course, they did the toxicology because she was 30 years old. I mean, it didn`t make sense.
I know you`re talking about her lifestyle and partying. I can tell you that she definitely was a diabetic. She had been in the hospital several times for diabetic coma. They found syringes at the house. So there`s a couple of things going on here. But, you know, it`s just -- in my business, and we talked about it several times. Again, a young person, 30 years old, taken away from us. And interesting that there is no signs of what happened, and they`re going to the toxicology results, which won`t be back for a few weeks, but we`ll see what happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, Paula Froelich, we`re hearing multiple published reports that she had been in and out of rehab unsuccessfully for years. We`re hearing about tough love from her family, that they cut her off. She was the ultimate trust-fund baby, but apparently, she was having fun problems. Tell us about it.
PAULA FROELICH, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Well, I think the problem with Casey is her parents started paying attention to her, but years too late. And they cut her off years too late. If this had happened maybe when she was 18 or 19, things might have been a little bit different.
But you know, I mean, I remember covering her for many years and writing about these fights she`d have, the drugs, the rehab. Everything over and over. And nothing ever seemed to happen. And it always kind of seemed to be this sad kind of "look at me, look at me, and now you`ll pay attention to me."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, poor little rich girl, but I hate to blame the parents, Ken Seeley, because you`re an expert in addiction, and you know that there are many, many families that desperately try to help someone who has a problem. And again, we`re not saying that that`s why she died. We do not know why she died. But we do know that she has a long history of having struggled with substances, according to numerous public - - published reports.
It`s -- I don`t know. I have a problem blaming the parents. You know, so many patients try to do the right thing, and if an addict doesn`t want to get it, they don`t get it.
KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTIONIST: Yes. I somewhat agree with that Jane, because, you know, no addict is going to stop until they hit a rock bottom. But the environment around the addict could create that rock bottom.
And I don`t -- I don`t blame the parents either. I`m with you. I feel like, you know, they were trying to create that rock bottom by pulling out their inheritance, as reports are, but there are still things. If you have a loved one that`s suffering from addiction, there are things that you could be doing to raise that rock bottom, to create it so uncomfortable for that addict so they hit it and then they seek treatment. And that`s my job, is to work with them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Perez Hilton, you deal with so many celebrities. You`re there in Hollywood. Psychiatrists say it is much harder to treat a very wealthy patient, because they`re used to having their way. If they don`t like what`s going on, they`ll just go to another psychiatrist until they hear what they want to hear.
Do you think that the fact that she was so fabulously wealthy may have played a role in her dysfunction?
PEREZ HILTON, PEREZHILTON.COM: Not only the fact that she was wealthy, but also the fact that she lived in Los Angeles, where drugs are so readily available. And, as we`ve seen time and time again, doctors are more than happy to oversubscribe addicts medication.
It`s an epidemic, seriously, Jane. And she is not going to be the last one that`s going to die of an overdose, if that is what she died of. We`re still waiting the toxicology reports.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and let me tell you, we`re going to talk about that. That`s our big issue in a moment. These -- all these famous people, these wealthy people dying.
And we, again, don`t know why this particular Hollywood socialite died, but we do know she struggled with addiction in the past. And we`ve got so many people that we`ve been talking about on this show for months and years, really, who have succumbed to addiction.
In the wake of her untimely death, we`re learning about Casey Johnson`s quest for fame. This is another aspect of the story. She certainly had her fortune, but she also told an interviewer one of her secret desires and dreams in 2002. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY JOHNSON, HEIRESS SOCIALITE: The person I think of as my icon was Marilyn Monroe, when she walked in the room. I wasn`t alive when she was, of course, but when she walked in a room, everyone turned their heads and, you know, she lit up the room. And I think that didn`t come from the dress she was wearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. You know what strikes me, Judge Alex Ferrer, her icon was Marilyn Monroe. Anna Nicole Smith said the same thing. It`s almost like when your icon is Marilyn Monroe, get ready for trouble. Right?
JUDGE ALEX FERRER, "JUDGE ALEX" SHOW: I`m never going to trash Marilyn Monroe.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she died, you know, before her time, as well.
FERRER: Yes, absolutely. And we don`t know yet that she`s -- that she actually died of a drug overdose. You know, she is diabetic. She`s had diabetic comas before. The fact that there were syringes found in her home, you know, my brother was -- had juvenile diabetes, and he had syringes in the house all the time to take his insulin.
So I think we`ve got to wait and see, you know, what the circumstances are. But it wouldn`t surprise me, because let`s face it. That is a rampant epidemic that, in Hollywood and in some places across the country.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Annette, Ohio. What are your questions and thoughts, ma`am?
CALLER: Actually, you just answered one, Jane. Thank you so much for taking my call, and I love your show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: She is a juvenile -- she was a juvenile diabetic. That was the one question I had. You just answered that. The second question I had was -- do you know -- because I know you mentioned she was taking some anti anxiety medication -- was she taking Klonopin? Because also, Klonopin is slated to Michael Jackson`s death, Brittany Murphy`s death, and a lot of these other young people that are all of a sudden dying. I`m curious if she was also taking Xanax. It seems like there seems to be some kind of relation between those two drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, that`s a great question. And you know what? The only answer is, I agree with you. It`s DJ AM. It`s Michael Jackson. It`s Brittany Murphy. It`s -- could be -- we don`t know with Casey yet. But there`s -- Anna Nicole Smith, all of these people.
And I`m thinking about what Perez said about Los Angeles and drugs. The street drugs aren`t what`s killing people right now. These young starlets are dying from prescription medications, specifically anti-anxiety medication and painkillers. This is what`s taking these people`s lives, and that`s a really great point to bring up.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And again, we don`t know why Casey died. The autopsy is complete. We don`t know the details yet. But we do know -- I think we can all agree -- there is a drug crisis in America right now, and it`s not illegal drugs as much as it is legal prescription drugs that are being used as mood alterers to self-medicate.
And while we, the taxpayers, are spending billions of dollars fighting this so-called war on drugs and locking up more people than any other country in the world, the same high is being achieved by the misuse of legal prescription drugs. What are we going to do about it, people? I want everybody on my panel and at home to think about that. Give me a holler.
Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on Casey Johnson`s tragic death. And we`re taking your calls on all of this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, the war on women targeting the elderly. A man in Texas is raping older women and burglarizing their homes. Tonight we`re going to talk to an investigator as cops hunt down this monster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s being very cautious and probably a little suspicious of anybody that comes around. Since this happened, if I`m in the house watching TV at night, I make sure the front door is locked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I understand it, Casey had aspirations of becoming a movie star, as well?
A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes, she did. And it`s really nothing that ever materialized for her. She did have a few bit parts over the year. She wanted more of a leading role.
But she had told "Vanity Fair" magazine back in 2006 -- I found this very interesting -- her biggest regret in her career was not taking up her friend Paris Hilton`s invitation to co-star with her on the show, "A Simple Life." I thought that was very interesting. But Casey said she kicked her butt every day because she thought that was really the thing that would have jump started her career.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The part that went to Nicole Richie.
Perez Hilton, tell us about Casey`s quest for fame. What was she doing out there in Hollywood?
HILTON: She was trying to sleep her way to the top, actually.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What her way?
HILTON: Sleep her way to the top.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what, I can`t -- I have to say, let me just say, I mean, she`s not here to defend herself. She`s tragically passed away, and we don`t know. But I want to point that out.
HILTON: She`s been engaged in various high-profile relationships which many people question their authenticity, most recently the one with Tila Tequila. A lot of people doubted that they were truly engaged. Many of those close to Casey, whom I know and met many times, thought that they were both using each other for publicity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s talk a little bit about Casey`s fiancee, B-list reality TV queen Tila Tequila. We have covered her drama here on ISSUES in the past. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I find very bizarre about this whole thing, if she, in fact, is allergic with alcohol, why is she so obsessed with it? Why is her name Tila Tequila? Why does she talk about a "Shot at Love"? Why is every piece of video we`re seeing here about alcohol consumption?
TEQUILA: Are you guys ready to party?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Take a look at this. We`ve got some crazy Tila Tequila action going on. I don`t know if it`s Tila, but her peeps are -- are definitely -- her peeps are definitely doing some shooters and some strange stuff.
Paula, what`s the whole Tila Tequila connection? Give us some insight into that.
FROELICH: I think at the end of the day, Casey was just really lonely. And I think that this should be brought up, that she was a lonely girl. She needed love. She needed affection, and she wanted attention. Because that was the way that she thought love was gained.
And she fell in with a really bad crowd in that search for it, because her New York friends kind of washed her hands of it. She moved to L.A. where there`s just this crowd of fame whores, kind of. And one after the other, they just decide, "Casey, you`re too much." Or she just goes over the top, like she did with Jasmine Leonard, a girl who she allegedly broke into her house and stole a bunch of stuff and left a used vibrator on her bed.
And a lot of this is just -- it`s just sad.
But by the way, when you were talking about the fact that we don`t know what killed her, yes, we do. It`s a systematic abuse of her body over the years. Juvenile diabetes people are not supposed to drink. They`re not supposed to do drugs. They`re not supposed to do certain things, and she`s done these for a very long time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we will see if the toxicology report backs that up, but certainly you`re right. I mean, she was out there gaining infamy for substance abuse, but we don`t know for a fact whether that contributed to her death. We just don`t know.
Now TMZ reports Casey was known to use anti-anxiety drugs. I have no independent confirmation of that. We, again, won`t know what caused her death until the official tox report comes back.
But here`s my big issue tonight. We`ve been talking about it. Prescription for disaster. Has young Hollywood become lethally addicted to prescription meds? Now DJ and reality star DJ AM, he died last August. You remember that. Just 36. He O.D.`d on a combination of illegal and prescription drugs, including crack and OxyContin.
Brittany Murphy, 32, died recently, cause of death has yet to be released, but several bottles of prescription meds were found in her home. And we`ve got Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith, all dead before their time, all tied to using and mixing massive quantities of prescription drugs.
Ken Seeley, is it time for a national intervention on prescription drugs?
SEELEY: You know, Jane, there`s so many different avenues that we need to address this on. It`s about, you know, holding the medical community and the physicians accountable for over-prescribing, is one. Giving the families the red flags to look for and the appropriate actions to take is No. 2.
I mean, there`s -- we`ve just got to help educate the people. Instead of fighting this war on drugs, like you said earlier, people are going to get the drugs. The prescriptions are coming in. Let`s help people understand that they could do something to save their loved ones` life.
There`s no reason that we have to continue going down this path. Every time one of these people die, I say, don`t let them die in vain. Let`s do something about this one.
And like you said, we don`t know how she died, if it was drug related. But there was dysfunctional behaviors that have been demonstrated. And that`s what we could intervene on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when we come back, I want to ask Judge Alex Ferrer, the host of "Judge Alex," about this whole issue of fighting a war on drug on one hand, and on the other hand, basically having a prescription drug crisis that the government encourages, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Another person that I sort of think of as my icon is Marilyn Monroe. When she walked in a room -- I wasn`t alive when she was, of course, but when she walked into a room, everyone turned their heads. And, you know, she lit up the room. And I think that didn`t come from the dress she was wearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beautiful young woman had everything in the world, wealth, fame, pretty. She`s dead tonight. Casey Johnson, celebrity socialite and heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, dead at the age of 30. We don`t know why she died, but it`s been reported many, many times in published reports that she battled substances.
And we`ve been talking about the prescription drug crisis in America. Judge Alex Ferrer, people who have a craving for drugs are going to get them. And yet, we had this war on drugs. We`re spending billions of dollars. We`re locking up millions of people.
And yet, people are using prescription drugs that are legal that they`re getting their -- from their doctors in order to get high. And sometimes, and I`m not saying in this case, but quite often in many cases OD`ing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s crazy.
FERRER: It used to be we kept our kids away from illegal drugs and everything was fine. And you know, now you take a look at some of these illegal drugs out there are actually safer than some of the prescription drugs that the kids are getting their hands on or even grownups are getting their hands on.
And it seems like an entire mindset has changed. You know, doctors nowadays get lobbied by pharmaceutical companies to hand out the drug of the day. They get -- they get trips. They get money. They get benefits. They get commercials on television telling you, if you can`t sleep, if you`ve got depression, we`ve got this cure for you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Restless leg.
FERRER: Right. We have desensitized America to what is a very serious step: putting some chemical drug in your body that has to be regulated. And, you know, frankly, you can educate people. I mean, you know, obviously with little children...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to change everything. We`ve got to change the entire government system and take all the money we`ve been spending trying to wage a war on an addiction, which is a crazy concept, and put that into prevention and treatment. It`s so obvious to me, and yet we don`t seem to -- the powers that be can`t see the obvious. You can`t wipe out an addiction with a war.
I want to go to a phone call we`ve got: Ann in Alabama, waiting patiently. Your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: You covered a lot of what I was going to say. I mean, I`ve been an alcoholic and a prescription drug addict since my husband died of cancer in 2000. Everything went -- there were so many illnesses that were undiagnosed. And I went through breast cancer right after he died.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I mean, basically, what are you saying about the...
CALLER: Well, the point is it`s very easy to get those drugs and get them without it having to be over. But the big point I wanted to bring up was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. I want to -- I want to focus a little bit on what you just said. Perez Hilton, you brought this up. I mean, you`re in Hollywood. Listen, I lived there for 18 years. People are popping pills left and right. Come on.
HILTON: Yes, and you know what also is interesting? You mentioned Anna Nicole Smith and Casey both idolized Marilyn Monroe. Somebody who has also name-checked Marilyn as her icon is Lindsay Lohan.
And Lindsay has commented on the death of Casey Johnson. Lindsay took to her Twitter and said that she`s tired of people dying. And Lindsay herself has also battled substances in the past and is reported to still be battling substances, though that`s not to be confirmed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Perez and the entire gang, great conversation. Please come back. We`re not going to let this go.
He was a great success story, and now he`s TV`s "Biggest Loser." You`re going to meet Erik Chopin, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, daunting addictions in a fast food nation. The winner of "The Biggest Loser" lost 214 pounds in front of America. But when the cameras stopped rolling, so did his healthy lifestyle. How many pounds has he now put back on? Tonight, I`ll talk to Erik Chopin and his newest show.
Plus, she`s back. The octo-mom defends her doctor and jokes about having more kids. Her doc has been accused of gross negligence. Attorneys say instead of pumping her full of embryos, doctors should have been giving her a mental evaluation. Agreed?
In tonight`s "Spotlight" the new season of "The Biggest Loser" is set to premier tonight. The runaway reality hit follows people who have lost a ton of weight -- I mean a ton.
Season 3 winner, Erik Chopin went from 407 pounds way down to 193. Take a look at him there. All right.
Here`s Erik on "The Biggest Loser" finale on NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lost 214 pounds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, he looked great, huh? Well, guess what, everybody. Erik gained nearly all his weight back and now he`s on a new Discover Health show called "Confessions of a Reality Show Loser".
So how did it happen?
Well, we`ve got Ken Seeley back with us. We`ve got clinical psychologist Brenda Wade. And I`m really delighted to welcome Erik Chopin.
Erik I have to tell you; very courageous for you to come back and talk about this. There`s a lot of people who would just sort of, you know, say "Hey, I don`t want to put the spotlight on myself for failing at something." And it takes a lot of courage to do the opposite. So I congratulate you on that.
ERIK CHOPIN, "BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: Thank you very much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We all struggle with our weight. I struggle with my weight. It`s a constant battle. As you get older, it`s harder. But what caused you to put all this weight back on?
CHOPIN: Well, I think, you know, after the show ended. I lost 214 pounds and I said, you know, that`s never going to happen. I would see interviews of myself talking about the fact that I`ll never go back to that. And I really believed that.
I spent about a year and a half maintaining the weight loss. And I think -- I was in the industry. I was out speaking to people. I was doing public speaking. I was doing health and wellness tours and I was kind of accountable to people and to myself. And those gigs and those dates faded. And I had less and less.
And now I had to just kind of just get a regular job. I went to the want ads and I found a job. I didn`t have a purpose.
I just felt depressed. I got sad and I started feeling sorry for myself unfortunately. And I started going back to eating the bad foods, skipping the workouts. And I kept saying I`m not going to do this again tomorrow. But then I would do it tomorrow and the day after that.
And string those days into weeks and months and you gain a lot of weight back. I was in denial for a while, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think you`re a food addict?
CHOPIN: I do. I do. I admitted that. I think that I have an addiction. Food is my drug of choice.
I feel down -- when I`m feeling depressed and I, you know, I think wow, if I have this pizza with all the toppings and afterwards eat a pint of ice cream while I watch TV, I`m going to have that little bit of a high for a minute.
But it`s just like drugs because afterwards you have a regret and depressed feeling about it. It keeps perpetuating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. You know, I have to bring in Ken Seeley. This is a cycle. As a recovering alcoholic, myself, I`ve experienced it so many times. You have a craving, then you binge, go overboard, then you experience terrible remorse then you kind of like the feeling wears off and you get the craving again.
Yes, ok, yes. "Discovery Health" is documenting Erik`s journey back to a healthy way. "Confessions of a Reality Show Loser" premiers tomorrow; let`s check out this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When my dad was on the show, he got so skinny.
CHOPIN: Even girls think -- you know my wife didn`t like that so much but you know, "You look hot." I never heard "hot" until I had some hot stuff going on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We both kind of thought he was like our neighbor or something. We were like who is that?
MICHELLE CHOPIN, ERIK`S WIFE: And he was just a good looking guy. I mean, it was just amazing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so proud of him.
CHOPIN: I never thought I would gain that weight back. But there was always this little part of me that thought, what if you do? It might happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, diets don`t work, people. We all know this. A UCLA study found one-third to two-thirds of dieters gained back more weight than they lost within four to five years. Diets are just not the fix.
What`s needed, Brenda Wade is a lifestyle change.
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s more than a lifestyle change here, Jane because if you`re a food addict like all addicts, you really do belong in a 12-step program. The gym isn`t going to do it. Just changing what you eat won`t do it because there are emotional, mental, even spiritual reasons that people are trying to fill up the emptiness.
Erik did a beautiful discussion of what the cycle of addiction is about. He felt sad, he felt empty and he started trying to fill it. Research shows that the best cure for any addiction is a 12-step program because you get emotional support, mental support, other people`s experience, strength and hope and you get the spiritual component if you really work the program.
Now there are two for food addicts. There`s Overeaters Anonymous and there`s FA or Food Addicts Anonymous.
And for his wife, remember, the partner always plays a role. She needs to go to the partner`s program so she is part of the solution, not part of the problem. We need both people working on this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Brenda.
Erik, have you tried any of that?
CHOPIN: We`ve talked about it. My wife and I -- you`ll see on the show, we went to couple`s therapy and we felt we that needed to get to a third party and have a discussion about this because this is disruptive.
With my marriage and my family, I`m 407 pounds, I lose all this weight, I`m on top of the world and then, you know, I`m back being depressed again. I`m gaining weight, not engaging with them. I`m trying to avoid social engagements.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to tell you, you`re a handsome guy when you`re trim. You`re a good looking man. Ok.
CHOPIN: Thank you. I appreciate that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s no -- absolutely no shame in going to get help. This is, if you -- whereas you are an addiction, an addict, a food addict, wherefore you can`t do it yourself. You need a spiritual program of recovery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Right Ken?
WADE: And therapy works with 12-step programs really well Jane. So I`m glad they`re going to couples work, because they have to work together. But he needs, absolutely, Erik, please go to Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts Anonymous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Clearly the weight gain didn`t happen overnight. And your family watched it pound by pound.
Here`s another clip from Discovery Health`s "Confessions of a Reality Show Loser". check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
I`m very close to what I weighed when I started the show, which is 407.
I`m the one who should be crying.
Why are you crying? I should be crying. I have to carry this weight.
M. CHOPIN: I know but I`ve watched you and I know it`s something you didn`t want. I can`t do this again. I can`t. I know when you lost all the weight, you said you felt like you were going to wake up 400 pounds again. Erik I`m sorry, I feel bad for you.
E. CHOPIN: Don`t worry about it. I did it to myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erik, clearly your wife is heart broken over you gaining the weight back.
E. CHOPIN: My wife -- she is my best friend and we support each other. She said in the past, not to say that I`m this dictator -- in my household it`s kind of like I`m the captain of the ship. If I steer us off course, we all start eating bad. We all start -- even the kids. My wife - - she`ll finally look at me and say Erik, that`s enough. What`s going on? What are we doing? What are you doing for us?
And she`ll pull in the reins. But for a little while she`s go along with the whole thing. It`s challenging.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Ken Seeley, the family is affected by any addiction, even food addiction. Tell us about that.
KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTIONIST: Yes, you know, I love what your other guest said. It`s because the family is watching all the behaviors happen here. And not stepping in and saying no, this isn`t acceptable because for -- I also, you know, have addiction and I also suffer from food addiction.
And certain foods are just like crystal meth and alcohol to me. I can`t have those. And if I do, they kill me. And I end up like Erik. So, you know, thank you, Erik for coming out and spreading this message. 12-steps and recovery help.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Recovery. I love it. Thank you, Erik. Come back. We want to track your case.
E. CHOPIN: Yes. Absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ken, Brenda, thank you so much. Good luck to all of you.
Octo-mom to the rescue? Nadya Suleman defends her doctor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, OCTO-MOM: He should never have been reprimanded because based upon my past reproductive history, he did nothing different. Nothing wrong, nothing different than when I had twins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was octo-mom talking to "Good Morning America". But that`s just the beginning. Just wait -- just wait until you hear what she says about having more kids. It will blow your mind.
And I`m taking your calls on this. 1-877-JVM-SAYS -- let me say that again, 1-877-586-7297 on octo-mom. I`m sure you`ve got an opinion.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight: "Top of the Block."
The "War on Women" escalating in Texas: cops say a serial rapist is targeting elderly women. These poor victims are guilty of nothing more than living alone. This monster has been connected to at least 12 rapes in just the past year alone. His victims range in age from 65 to 91 years old.
The suspect is described as a young dark-skinned male between 5`6 inches and six feet tall. Cops say this guy has a very distinct MO. He gets into the house, he rapes the women, he burglarizes the home. Now investigators are hoping a stolen clock can help track this guy.
Joining me on the phone now with the very latest, investigator James Lewing from the Bell County sheriff`s office. Thank you for joining us investigator. What about this clock, how might it help?
JAMES LEWING, BELL COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE (via telephone): Well, we`re hoping that somebody will recognize it. If a person has it in his home or is given to somebody and hopefully we`ll come up with a connection with the clock and whoever has it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he stole it from one of his victims?
LEWING: Yes, ma`am.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, why don`t we have a more clear-cut description? Why don`t we have some kind of artist`s sketch? If he has attacked all of these women, why...
LEWING: People have to consider, one, the age of the victims and the time that these are occurring. Everybody knows when you wake up early in the morning, 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, your vision is not going to be that great.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is he wearing a mask or is he just...
LEWING: No, ma`am. No, it`s dark, no red skins are very dark.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a horror story. What`s the area specifically that he is targeting? And what are you urging women in that area to do?
LEWING: Well, it`s a large area, it`s very expanded it goes from Centerville, Texas through (INAUDIBLE) area down all the way to down towards the San Antonio area.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And your DNA has connected all of these attacks at one person?
LEWING: They`ve attached some of them.
LEWING: Not every one of them but there has been a link...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is my argument for having cameras on every light pole in America. Because if you had cameras at every light pole in America, you could see what vehicle was common to all these location and probably make an arrest.
I mean, it`s -- there`s a "War on women" out there, really there is and we`ve got to do something about it. And that`s why we say here on ISSUES, we are not taking this as business as usual. This is a crisis. This is a real crisis.
And have you been able to take this DNA and see whether it`s related to any past cases, in other words, maybe this guy has a record? Probably does. Probably has a rap sheet and there`s probably information on him if you could match his DNA up with some kind of a DNA database.
LEWING: Yes, the Texas Department Public safety`s lab has put a high priority on this and they`re working very well with all the agencies involved in this investigation. And we`ve brought in not only the local agencies that are involved in the investigation; the FBI, the Texas Rangers and the State Troopers are also involved and the U.S. Marshals.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but if they don`t have a description.
LEWING: Well, yes. We`re hoping that in most -- lot of cases are solved by tips from citizens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, well...
LEWING: And we`re hoping we`ll come up with.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: People in Texas, if you`re watching this, I don`t know though, there`s no vehicle description, there`s no -- what are they supposed to make a link out of if there`s no vehicle description and there`s no description? I mean, how are the -- how`s the public supposed to help?
LEWING: Well, we`re hoping maybe the clock. Maybe somebody`s seen it or maybe...
LEWING: ... you know, something that they`ve seen or heard from a person, that somebody said something that they didn`t think too much about until they hear about this and they put a link between the two.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well, I want to thank you investigator.
Yes, if you know something, please step forward before this man strikes again. And we`ll stay on top of this case. Thank you, sir.
LEWING: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, moving on, tonight, the octo-mom`s fertility doctor is under fire. Check out this clip from an hour-long documentary that aired on Fox. Should the man responsible for all this have his license yanked? I say yes. And guess what, the Medical Board of California agrees with me.
They accuse Nadya Suleman`s doctor of gross negligence. They say the infamous mom of 14 needed a mental evaluation, not a boat load of babies. The medical board also alleges that Dr. Michael Kamrava implanted way more embryos in Nadya than is ever, ever, ever recommended. You think?
Plus, head-spinning new details: the octo-mom allegedly has an entire army of embryos on ice. Yes, we`re talking fertilized eggs that could potentially become more octo-kids. And guess what? She just might use them.
Listen, listen to what Nadya told RadarOnline when she found out her doctor might lose his license.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, REALITY TV STAR: I hope not. Because he did nothing wrong. He did absolutely nothing wrong. Plus, what am I going to do if I ever in the future want to go back. Really, what am I going to do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That laugh is frightening.
This woman needs serious help for what I think is her baby addiction. We have brand-new details about the insane treatments Nadya went through to get pregnant. She has been poked and prodded by this fertility doctor for more than ten years.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Perez Hilton, I have to start with you, dare I ask what is the very latest on this? Perez, can you hear me? Ok, well, we don`t have Perez.
So I guess, I just told you the very latest on all of this.
And I can tell you what. Here`s the thing, she claims ok, Brenda Wade, that she doesn`t have any more embryos. She told RadarOnline, I believe, various published reports that, "No, I used up all my frozen embryos." But were hearing published reports that in fact -- they stockpiled -- the doctor`s stockpiled a whole bunch of frozen embryos.
So whereas she believes that frozen embryos should always be used -- she said that publicly --- and whereas there are allegedly the stockpile of frozen embryos, wherefore, I wouldn`t put it past her to try to get pregnant again.
WADE: Jane, it`s scary. It`s just frightening to me because this woman is so immature and narcissistic. She never stops to say, "What is best for my children? Can I really be an adequate parent to 14 children? I`m a single woman. I`m parenting alone."
And how on earth does she think these children`s needs can be met? It takes a lot of concentrated effort to be a good parent. She can`t concentrate on 14 children. It`s just not possible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But a quick yes or no, do you think she actually has the chutzpa to go out and try to get impregnated?
WADE: She is narcissistic enough that I wouldn`t put it past her, Jane. Because by definition -- remember, the narcissist is only thinking about themselves, not thinking about anybody else`s feelings or anybody else`s needs including, in this case, her children`s needs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on octo drama in a moment when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: You know what the problem is? Oh no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was octo mom parading her kids in front of the cameras in a one-hour documentary special that aired on Fox. Nadya Suleman says she relies on reality deals to pay her bills. And tonight, we`re asking, does she want even more kids?
Camille in Colorado, your question or thought, ma`am?
CAMILLE, COLORADO (via telephone): Yes, thank you so much, Jane, I`m thrilled to get to finally say thank you for all your fabulous topics and insight, knowledge you pass on to all your viewers. And I love your new hairstyle. It looks so great.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. What`s your question, ma`am?
CAMILLE: My question is -- you know, in vitro, it is such an expensive procedure. This is a woman who has been on -- on Medicaid -- whatever, welfare. And it makes me wonder, if he doesn`t do some kind of funny cutting a deal or -- that`s why he`s bypassing these -- or almost preying upon women that aren`t -- are not mentally stable and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, once again, if he is -- if these accusations by the California Medical Board are proven, he could lose his medical license.
You know, my big issue tonight is, are we possibly addicted to babies? Is that a new addiction? The 13-page accusation filed against Dr. Kamrava paints a very disturbing picture and Nadya tells RadarOnline her doctor did absolutely nothing wrong.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have known Dr. Kamrava for quite a while.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s done all of your...
SULEMAN: The IVF procedures for over -- oh, my gosh -- like ten years. Right.
You know he did absolutely nothing wrong. I don`t see how they`ll find him at fault on being negligent in any way whatsoever. I mean, it was pretty much -- the same pattern, you know, based upon my past reproductive history so -- hopefully they`ll investigate it and realize that there`s ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ken Seeley could she be addicted to having babies? She`s talked about the fact that she was very traumatized by being an only child and this could be her way of stuffing that pain.
SEELEY: Yes Jane, I really do, I think that this could be an addiction, that she`s addicted to having these kids and, you know, not seeing -- just like an addict being blinded by not seeing the fault in the doctor`s participation in this.
It`s the same exact thing that you see with a drug addict that is getting medication from their physician. They`re not seeing the physician`s fault. Why are they still prescribing? This is the same exact behaviors that are being demonstrated. So absolutely I think that she could be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to give Judge Alex Ferrer the last word. In Europe, some governments prohibit implanting more than xyz number of embryos. Do we need to take the same action?
FERRER: That might not be a bad approach. It might take a few attempts but it might not be a bad approach to limit that amount so you don`t get anything like this in the future.
However, what I think, is this doctor -- if this doctor had amputated somebody`s leg incorrectly, by medical malpractice laws, he would be compensating the victim. I think that before we spend $1 raising these children for her, the doctor should be kicking in some money for the situation he created.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We got to leave it right there fantastic panel.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.