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Missing Boy Feared Dead; Suspect in Vicious Home Invasion Appears in Court

Aired January 19, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Fast breaking, disturbing developments in the desperate search for this adorable boy, Aveion Lewis. Police now say they believe the little boy is dead and that he was never abducted in the first place. Cops are now shifting their attention to the stepfather. Tonight, we will have the very latest in this fast-breaking, fast-changing case.

Also, reliving a nightmare, hoping for justice. An entire family tied up in the middle of the night, a mother and her two young daughters viciously raped and brutally murdered. The house then set on fire. The father, the only survivor. Now these suspects face justice. Could they be put to death?

Also, late-night madness. Conan and Leno battling it out for "The Tonight Show," and it`s spilling out into the streets. That`s right. Bizarre protests from L.A. to New York. Meanwhile, CBS is dealing with madness of a different sort. What`s the latest on the Letterman extortion trial?

Plus, front-page denial in an addict nation. Heidi Montag says she is not addicted to plastic surgery. The reality TV star had at least 10 surgeries in a single day, and she allegedly wants a size "H" -- "H" as in "Heidi" -- breast. I didn`t even know they had size "H." Montag admits to being obsessed with plastic surgery. So how is that different from addiction?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, heartbreaking developments, and I mean heartbreaking, in the case of this missing 2-year-old Virginia boy. Police now believe little Aveion Lewis is dead.

Police say his step-dad confessed that the boy was already dead and that the kidnapping story, he said, was a lie. Police are now scouring the Roanoke area for this precious little child`s body.

The step-dad, Brandon Lockett, is in custody, but he has not been charged with the death at this point. Police think the little boy was dead even before Lockett called 911 to report an abduction on Thursday.

Now, the step-dad initially said three men burst into his home, knocked him unconscious, bound and gagged a 4-year-old girl and then kidnapped little Aveion. Listen to this.


BRANDON LOCKETT, STEPFATHER OF ABDUCTED TODDLER: There was a knock at the door. I went to the back door. All I remember was, boom. That`s all I remember. When I came -- when I came to, my wife was standing over me. My son was -- he was crying, and my daughter, she was gagged upstairs in her room. And that`s all I remember.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, right. Aveion`s step-dad claimed kidnappers took a medical bill from the home and wrote a ransom note on it, demanding 10 grand. Our panelists on last night`s show said his story did not add up. Here it is.


JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, TV & RADIO LEGAL COMMENTATOR: It`s very suspicious. There`s something rotten in Denmark. They leave other children. They take a little baby, which takes much more care to take care of than the other children. It seems to me, Jane, that there`s some either family or extended family that`s probably involved in this, and that`s where the investigation are going.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: There is something about the stepfather`s demeanor that doesn`t ring true. There`s a flatness in his voice. He doesn`t seem to be panicked. It seems like he`s rehearsed some of what he`s saying.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Such a tragedy. I want to take your calls on this. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

And now straight out to my awesome expert panel. Former criminal investigator John Lucich, who also was suspicious last night. We are delighted, really delighted, to have the one and only Judge Marilyn Milian from "The People`s Court."

Thank you for joining us tonight, Judge.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And "In Session" legal contributor and criminal defense attorney Midwin Charles.

Thanks for joining us, as well.

And we begin with Amanda Codispoti -- I hope I pronounced that right - - a reporter from the "Roanoke Times." She is joining us via Skype for the very latest on this fast-breaking story.

Amanda, what is the latest?

AMANDA CODISPOTI, REPORTER, "ROANOKE TIMES": Well, as you`ve already said, police told us tonight that Aveion is dead. His stepfather told police as much and that he was dead before the family even called 911. Right now, police are focused on trying to find the little boy`s body. They did an expanded search of the area around his house today and will continue doing so tomorrow.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`d think, if he`s going to admit, according to the police that, "Hey, the kid wasn`t kidnapped as I said. The three men that I said came in there, and I gave these ornate descriptions, all that was made up," Judge Marilyn Milian, you`d think he would also say, "Well, here`s where the body is."

MILIAN: Well, you know, sometimes that takes -- that information takes a little bit of time to develop.

And I think that your panel yesterday, it was pretty clear to anybody who listened to this that this was a little bit suspicious and that this didn`t hold true.

And unfortunately, we see this time and time again, where parents or husbands make this impassioned plea. And the first thing you`re thinking as you`re hearing them and looking at them with a jaundiced eye, and then by the next day, things start to develop. This is very late breaking. I think the police are probably getting this kind of information out of him even as we speak right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right, because he is in custody. He hasn`t been charged yet, but he`s in custody, and they`re interviewing him.

Midwin Charles, what is next for this guy? What will he likely be charged with? And if he does lead authorities to the body, would that bode well for him getting some kind of consideration, depending, of course, how this poor little child died, whether it might have been an accidental death and then a cover-up or something more sinister?

MIDWIN CHARLES, "IN SESSION": Well, I hardly think he`ll get any consideration, should he lead police authorities to this child.

But one of the charges he could be looking at is clearly filing a false police department is one, and two, murder or manslaughter, depending on, you know, when the child is found and how the child died. There could also potentially be aggravating factors in a lot of jurisdictions, if someone kills a minor under the age of 16. That`s an aggravating factor, which can carry a higher -- a stiffer penalty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When are people going to realize you cant make up some cockamamie story and expect the entire world to believe it. I mean, only a professional, sophisticated liar could get away with something like this. And yet, time and time again, we see people really insulting our intelligence with ridiculous stories and then, well, they`re caught, obviously, in their inconsistencies.

Now, police say Aveion was already dead by the time his step-dad called 911. That means this beautiful precious little boy was dead before step-dad Brandon Lockett made these comments. Listen and look at his body language as you listen. It`s fascinating.


LOCKETT: I seen some guys earlier that morning, but as far as right here when it happened, I don`t -- I don`t recall no faces. I just remember black. And I seen just black. That`s all I remember. But I remember some guys I had seen some guys that morning, on the side of my house, and also I seen some guys over here in the Food Lion parking lot, standing right out here in Food Lion`s parking lot. And I remember those guys, but other than that, I don`t recall anything else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, as soon as I saw that video, I said, "Unh-uh." He`s looking down, and he`s got this hat way over his face like almost over his eyes, which to me is like when you`re not telling the truth, you look down. You`re afraid to make eye contact. Isn`t that -- isn`t that the case, Judge Milian? Isn`t that what you normally find?

MILIAN: Yes. I mean, once you -- when you start with that kind of body language where you`re shading your eye, that`s a clue. When you`re talking about this like you`re ordering yesterday`s lunch, and you`re describing what you ordered for lunch, that`s a clue.

This is not a man who is frantic, upset, and trying to find the child. This is a man who is just -- who stupidly, and this is the part that I find astounding, because it`s not just he gives a cockamamie story to the police. He`s giving it to the media. That`s how cocky he is. He`s giving it to the media.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I never understand why these men always come out and talk to the media. Sometimes...

MILIAN: "The Today Show," Scott Peterson on the -- "Today." It just shows -- it shows a certain level of arrogance that is amazing to me. Because then it doesn`t very long to unravel thereafter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: and there are so many questions, but I want to get to a caller. Beverly, New York, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I love your show.


CALLER: And keep up the good work.


CALLER: I was calling about the step-dad. When he`s talking there with that hat pulled down. He says he was knocked out and then his wife was standing over him when he came to. Has anybody followed up with her to see if that was a true story?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent question. Amanda from the "Roanoke Times," what about the mother? Could she be facing charges? She -- she reportedly was not in the house when he was allegedly originally subjected to this kidnapping.

CODISPOTI: That`s right. The mother actually told us that she had just gotten home from work when she found her husband on the floor, and police have told us that they have questioned the mother. She`s not been detained at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, there`s the 4-year-old child, John Lucich, who could be the key. Because the step-dad said, wait, these kidnappers tied up my 4-year-old child. Well, she may have talked to the police and said, "There were no three men there tying me up. My daddy tied me up."

JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Like you said last night, Jane, remember Balloon Boy that gave it away? I`m sure that little girl has already provided enough information.

And this is a guy who took so long to even call the police after the so-called abduction. He comes up with a note that`s written on a bill inside. There`s just so much that was suspicious right from the start. And all that stuff adds up to the fact that this guy may have done something. The only thing left to do now is to determine what happens to this little boy, how he died, an it will be very sad if the coroner`s report shows that this guy actually died from exposure because he thought he was dead and left him outside.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh -- oh, what a horrible thought.

All right. More on little Aveion and the stomach-churning developments with my fantastic panel in just a moment.

And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, unspeakable horror. A mother, her two daughter, tied up, raped, left to die in a burning house. The details from this Connecticut massacre are absolutely horrifying. Now the suspects finally face justice.

But first, what happened to little Aveion? Cops have a lead. The child is dead and was never abducted in the first place. And now police are focusing on the step-dad who called 911.



LOCKETT: I just want everything to be OK. I hope he`s all right. That`s all I hope, because he can`t hold his -- his own body temperature. He has a lot of medical problems.


LOCKETT: He has malrotation, which means he can eat, but -- eat and eat, but his body won`t absorb the fats that he needs to. He don`t have the enzymes that he needs. So I mean, he has medical problems. I mean, if you got him, make sure you keep him warm.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that turns my stomach. Keep him warm; he`s got medical problems.

By the time little Aveion Lewis` step-dad made those comments, he knew the 2-year-old boy was already dead. Police say Brandon Lockett made that admission today four days after he called 911 to report the boy was abducted.

Back to my panel and calls. Melanie, Ohio, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Yes, Jane. Is it known if children services had ever been to this home before? Or the police, like any type of domestic dispute or anything? Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for that question. Amanda from the "Roanoke Times," there`s been talk, and we`re going to get to the uncle in a second. The uncle had said that there was problems in this home. What do you know?

CODISPOTI: I -- I don`t know anything along those lines. I did look up this man`s criminal record in Roanoke and didn`t come up with anything significant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anything significant. I mean, what are you talking about? A parking ticket? Or...

CODISPOTI: I mean, there were some traffic infractions, but -- but nothing that raised my eyebrows.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s weird. Well, you know, Aveion`s uncle had doubts about this kidnapping story from the start. He was especially suspicious about the ransom note, which was written on his sister`s hospital bill. So a piece of paper from inside the home. Listen to this.


CHRIS WADE, UNCLE OF ABDUCTED TODDLER: On the other side of the note, it had my sister`s name circled. And it was like, "It`s nothing personal. It`s just business. We`ll contact you." I find it hard to believe they came in here, tied my niece up, grabbed my nephew, and still had time to write a note with two different handwritings on it and got out without nobody seeing them.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, let`s assume that the step-dad is going to be charged. Won`t the fake ransom note and the phony abduction story, Midwin Charles, make this a very difficult case to defend?

CHARLES: It would make it a very difficult case to defend, because he went through so many levels and such a level to try to elude police. And I think one of the things we`re going to have to see is exactly what happened to the child and what condition is the child`s body in? And that`s really going to determine what kind of charges are going to be levied against him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Was Aveion an innocent pawn in his family`s dysfunctional, possible criminal dysfunction? We don`t know yet. But it always seems to be the helpless, powerless child who bears the brunt of a family`s dysfunction. Whatever was going on in that home, we don`t know. We`ve heard drugs, rage, debt, but we don`t know for sure. It appears that Aveion paid the ultimate price, Judge Milian.

MILIAN: Yes. You know, I -- I was wondering the very same thing that you mentioned earlier about the 4-year-old child. Why this child? Why not any -- there were four children in there. And one of them, 4 enough -- 4 years old is old enough to be reporting the inconsistencies that are in his story. And that`s probably what ended up trapping him.

You know, I suspect that by the time that we`re actually airing right now that the police have enough to charge him and, in all likelihood, it will be with first-degree murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, we`re going to stay on top of this story. And tomorrow, if that`s the case or even later in this broadcast, we`ll bring you that development.

Amanda, of the kids in the house, this was a stepchild. The others, at least one of them, I think the 4-year-old girl was actually the child or of the step-dad. Is that correct?

CODISPOTI: I`m not sure about that. I did talk to Aveion`s uncle today. He told me that the 4-year-old and Aveion were the step-children. The other two children who were not harmed were actually the stepfather`s children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So John Lucich, we often have problems between step- children and stepparents. There`s sort of an inherent friction that can develop there that can lead to problems.

LUCICH: Absolutely. In fact, you see a lot of times in child custody cases and cases of abuse when there`s that -- not that bond there. And sometimes that just leads them to not pay more attention to these kids.

You know, one of the other things I think the cops need to look into is the mitigating circumstances. How did his face get like that? Everybody said it looked like he was punched in the face. There could be charges to third parties if somebody else helped him made his face look like that, by punching him for him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. The complexity of his lie is so astounding. He had detailed descriptions of three men, down to their hats and their coats and their car and all of this stuff.

And of course, the first thing we thought of is, if you were knocked unconscious as soon as they walked in, how do you have these descriptions? So he claimed, "Well, I saw them lurking in the hall." Isn`t it true, Judge Milian, that people back themselves into a corner, the more complex their lie gets?

MILIAN: You know, I think that people always ask in court, how do you figure out who -- you know, which person is lying to you? And I don`t think it`s rocket science. It becomes pretty transparent.

If you are telling a story, and it is natural to tell it, maybe, slightly differently, but not to have these kinds of major inconsistencies that he had in his story.

His affect was completely off. The story was off. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that that 4-year-old had information that was contradicting what he was saying. You know, that`s what ends up happening.

And then when you have the hubris to turn around and not just talk to the police but talk to the media and give your story a fourth or fifth or sixth time, that`s when you`re going to end up trapping yourself. It happens all the time. It`s happened again in this case. And it`s gotten to the point where, when you hear the impassioned plea of the parent, you`re already suspicious. I never rule out the parents or the husband or the wife.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s what they call, in the money business, a contrarian indicator. It`s almost like, if they go on camera and start crying the big tears and talking about, oh, the poor child has a health problem, that`s a contrarian indicator pointing to them. That`s how bad it`s gotten.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Moving on to one of the most gruesome crimes that`s ever covered here on ISSUES. A family tied up, the women raped, murdered. The house burned to the ground. Now the suspects could finally face justice. Could they be put to death?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re asking that their be no death penalty. And in having no death penalty, what kind of deterrent do we have for crime in this country?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," a random crime so unbelievably vicious it shocked the nation. Now a husband and father comes face to face with the man accused of raping and killing his wife and daughters.

Jury selection today for Steven Hayes. He and a second suspect are accused in the horrific home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut, back in July 2007. The husband and father, Dr. William Petit, barely survived after being severely beaten. He now wants justice. This story strikes fear in the heart of every homeowner.

Joining me now, "In Session`s" Beth Caras.

Beth, dare we ask, what happened in court today?

BETH CARAS, "IN SESSION": Well, today was day one of jury selection, which is expected to last months. In fact, the judge hasn`t scheduled testimony in the case to begin until September 13. Probably not much will happen over the summer. They should get a jury sometime in the months to come in the case of Steven Hayes, the older of the two, the bald-headed defendant.

He is accused, along with his accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, as you just mentioned, capital murder, assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, arson. It was a brutal crime, and they were caught, Jane, red-handed as they were fleeing from the house. The police caught them right there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is one of the most absolutely horrifying stories. And we cover so many on ISSUES. But this one, the viciousness of it, and the randomness of is so scary.

Now, Dr. Petit comes to court for every hearing. His family frustrated it`s taking so long for this case to go to trial. It happened back in 2007. Here he is back in July.


WILLIAM PETIT, HUSBAND AND FATHER OF VICTIMS: Mr. Olman (ph) appeared to be making a speech and blaming the D.A. and us for not taking a plea bargain when it was his client who helped kill three innocent people.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s it like for this family in court? How many of them have shown up? And it must be just brutal to have them experience, re-experience this again.

CARAS: Well, on this first day, Dr. Petit was in the courtroom, along with up to two dozen family and friends there to support him. I suspect that they`re not going to all be there every single day, because it`s going to be months before a jury of 12 and eight alternates are seated.

However, they were there to show their solidarity and their support for this case going forward. The state of Connecticut was close to repealing capital punishment. The governor vetoed it, and the governor vetoed it recently, actually, in the past year, based on the pleas of Dr. Petit, because of capital punishment, he claimed, isn`t appropriate in this case, then where is it appropriate? They did not abolish it in California.

And even staunch anti-death penalty folks in Connecticut, I am told, are for it in this case, because it was so heinous. And they were caught red-handed. There was no question that they are the culprits. The question is, is death appropriate or should they get life without parole?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And was the mother, I understand, quite courageous in her efforts to try to save her family in the wake of this horrific home invasion?

CARAS: Jane, this family lived seven hours of terror, all right? These two men broke into the home at 3 a.m. in the morning on July 23, 2007. Steven Hayes went out, allegedly bought four gallons of gasoline, took four empty gasoline -- four empty containers of anti-freeze to fill up with gasoline. That`s what they used to set the fire afterwards around the bodies.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got to leave it there. Beth, I`ve got to tell you, we`re going to stay on top of this one. Thank you so much. Come back soon.

Switching gears, late-show craziness. We`re going to tell you all about it, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Late night madness: Conan and Leno battle it for "The Tonight Show" and it`s spilling out into the streets. Bizarre protests from L.A. to New York.

Meanwhile, CBS is dealing with madness of a different sort. So what`s the latest on the Letterman extortion trial?

Plus, front page denial in an addict nation. Heidi Montag says she`s not addicted to plastic surgery. However, the reality TV star allegedly wants size H breasts. What? I didn`t even know there was such a thing as size H breasts. Go figure.

Tonight, the late night drama has officially crossed the line into total madness. Conan versus Leno versus NBC, and then there`s the Letterman sex extortion scandal. Add street demonstrations, the result -- a full-on convergence of crazy.

All three late night funnymen have engaged in a high stakes war of snarky monologues. Jay Leno tanked at 10:00 on NBC, so he and Conan fought over the coveted 11:30 slot.

Well, TMZ reporting the war is over; Conan walking away with a staggering payout -- are you sitting down at home -- over $32 million. Hey, nice consolation prize, dude.

But it`s a very sad day for Conan fans. Those fans now taking to the streets at Universal Studios in Hollywood and they`re going cuckoo.

Check this out from TMZ.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so funny. Conan`s (INAUDIBLE) trombonist "La Bamba" paraded about in a pope mobile as chaos ensues in the rain. Conan supporters also turned out in New York and Chicago. Seriously, people? Really?

Meanwhile, bad news for Joe Halderman, the CBS news magazine "48 Hour" producer, charged with trying to shakedown David Letterman for $2 million. Joe allegedly threatened to expose Dave`s naughty sexual exploits with staffers.

Joe`s lawyer had tried the so-called Tiger Woods defense. The thinking, well, if Tiger paid his mistress and he wasn`t charged then Joe Halderman`s proposition to David Letterman wasn`t a crime either. But the judge said the trial will go forward.

Straight out to my amazing guests: I`m so delighted to have back the one and only Judge Marilyn Milian, host of the long-running show "The People`s Court". there she is, handing down justice. We love you, Marilyn Milian. And also joining me the one and only Harvey Levin, executive producer of TMZ; so happy to have both of you together on the show.

Harvey, I`m almost afraid to ask, what is the latest on the Conan front?

HARVEY LEVIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, TMZ: Well, Jane, let me just slightly modify one thing. We did not say the war is over. The war is not over. It is on. And they are still fighting.

It is close, but they have agreed on the amount, at least that Letterman (SIC) is going to get. They also agreed that Letterman (SIC) will have to sit it out until September before taking a new job.

And it looks like -- I mean, I can tell you, I know that Fox is interested, because they are telling their general managers to do research to find out if they can make a financial go of this. So they`re interested but no deal with Fox has been signed yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to talk about this mayhem in 3 cities as Conan O`Brien fans literally take to the streets. Even Conan himself turned out at Universal Studios in Hollywood. And all of this happening in the pouring rain. You have to see it to believe it.

TMZ captured Conan waving to adoring supporters from high atop some castle-like structure. Come on, he looks like Evita here -- "Don`t cry for me, I`m getting $32 million."

Here`s my big issue. There`s the bear -- the naughty bear.

My big issues is, really? Seriously? Are these people nuts? I mean God forbid they take to the streets, Judge Milian to protest against violent crime or sex trafficking or global warming. No...

JUDGE MARILYN MILIAN, "THE PEOPLE`S COURT": They`re just having fun.

You know what I love? You know what I truly love about this is? It`s that late night talk show hosts make a living out of the looking at the news and then ridiculing whoever is in the news and now they are the ones who are in the news. So they`re all cross ridiculing each other. I love watching this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I just find it a real sad commentary, Harvey, on our culture today that there are serious problems out there. We`re in the midst of this horrific crisis in Haiti. We have a whole bunch of serious problems.

Look at violent crime we`ve been covering on this show tonight. People don`t take to the streets about that. You can`t even get them to return sometimes a cell phone call or make a text, although the people of America have been very generous when it comes to Haiti. But really, why do they take to the streets over this?

LEVIN: Ok, well, I can answer that. Because I think that there has been a really big outpouring of support for Haiti. And just because, Jane, they`re not in the streets doesn`t mean that people aren`t supporting the relief effort in Haiti.

That said, I will talk now as a victim of the late night wars, because if Conan goes to Fox, some of the TMZ runs, which are on now between 11:00 and 12:00 could get displaced. So even as a victim, Jane, I can say that I understand the passion people have, because these are people that this audience connects with.

MILIAN: Have a lot of times on their hands today?

LEVIN: Well, it was a Martin Luther King holiday. I mean people weren`t home. And I think the fact that they came out in the rain was awesome. And this bear and you won`t even say the word, Jane, but the bear, we got the bear in all its glory yesterday so all is good with the world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I saw it and we can`t show it here, but the bear is known to be very naughty. It does something that I`m sure you can all figure out. And he was doing it on top of some truck or something in the middle of the street. We can`t show it to you, it`s that graphic.

Here`s a clip from NBC last night as Jay Leno describes how he was told about his move to 10:00 p.m. It`s fascinating.


JAY LENO, NBC HOST: Let`s start in 2004. 2004, I`m sitting in my office, an NBC executive comes in and says to me listen, Conan O`Brien has gotten offers from other networks and we don`t want him to go so we`re going to give him "The Tonight Show".

I said, "Well, you know I`ve been number one for 12 years." They say, "We know that, but we don`t think you can sustain that."

I said, "Ok, how about until I fall to number two, then you fire me?" "No, we`ve made this decision." I said that`s fine.

Don`t blame Conan O`Brien. Nice guy, good family guy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Milian, you`re the star of a high profile show. Have you ever seen any -- this sort way out there, in the front, attacking your own bosses?

MILIAN: Well, I think that what he was trying to do was take some of the mystery out of it and explain it. Look, you know what happened -- this is all a business decision, all right?

Five years ago, someone at NBC said Conan is the wave of the future, you can`t sustain these numbers, you`re aging, you`re out. And then now they`re saying no, we want to keep Jay so now we`re going to hand you $32 million to stay on the beach for the next -- and the non-compete is just for a year, right, Harvey?

That $32 million buys you a year? How long? Well, it buys no lawsuits; buys them out of the contract.

LEVIN: Two and a half years, but here`s the thing. If he takes another job, the amount that NBC has to pay is reduced by the salary he makes at the new network. It`s called in the law mitigation of damages, bet you never heard that, Marilyn. And that`s what`s going to happen here.

MILIAN: Oh, get a work on your tan. Work on your tan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s talk about bosses. By the way, Harvey used to be my boss and is my dear friend, but I used to work for him at "Celebrity Justice". A great boss, by the way.

Now let`s talk about the big boss at NBC; Jeff Zucker has taken heat from the late night hosts and media critics over this "Tonight Show" debacle. He defended himself on Charlie Rose last night. Listen.


JEFF ZUCKER, PRESIDENT & CEO, NBC UNIVERSAL: We tried to keep both of our talents in house.

CHARLIE ROSE, PBS HOST: But that was a failure.

ZUCKER: Well, the 10:00 -- the move of Jay at 10:00 ultimately did not...

ROSE: Well, the move of Conan to 11:30 did not work.

ZUCKERS: Ultimately the decisions of each of those moves did not pan out. I think it`s the sign of a leader to step up and say when something is not working to have the guts to reverse it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, poor Zucker is getting death threats, a sign that this is so over the top. But I want to get predictions. We have about 10 seconds. What`s going to happen to Mr. Zucker?

Let`s start with Judge Marilyn.

MILIAN: Oh, I`m on NBC on numerous stations throughout the country. I have no intention of guessing on that. Look, you read tea leaves. You do your best to read the tea leaves. And then somebody else now is reading the tea leaves and making the prediction of what`s right now.

Who know if they`re going to be right.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Harvey, do you dare?

LEVIN: Oh, you are so political. This is so not you. Ok, I`ll say it. I`ll say it. I mean, Jeff Zucker is toast. I mean, he`s been able to survive so much, and the network is just destroyed.

But once the dust settles here, I mean, there`s a whole thing going on with Comcast, but this is it. I mean, everybody is a loser this thing. This has dismantled a big portion of the network. They took this cash cow and they turned it into this mess and Jeff Zucker is going to be history.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank both of you for coming on. You are two of my favorite people. Come back soon. Thank you again.

MILIAN: Thanks you.

LEVIN: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, Heidi Montag denies her addiction to plastic surgery. The reality star says she`s simply obsessed. So what`s the difference between being addicted and obsessed? And does she really want size H as in Heidi breasts? I am taking your calls on this -- 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s remember that there`s risk to any surgical procedure.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if she`s having it done for frivolous reasons to get on the cover of "People" magazine, it`s really not very smart of her to do it and it`s a terrible message.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Star Heidi Montag says she is not -- I repeat not -- addicted to plastic surgery even though she had ten procedures in one day. You won`t believe what she`s saying now about going under the knife.

But first, "Top of the Block."

In my book "I Want" I go into detail about my journey from addiction and over-consumption to a simpler, honest life. So I wanted to hear from you about how you`re overcoming your addictions.

Your e-mails and iReports came in by the thousands. In the end we could only choose two of our favorites.

And I am thrilled tonight to introduce you to our second grand prize winner. Here in New York tonight, all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan. We`ve got Amy Bouman. Hey, Amy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy shared her story with us on She says, she was addicted to alcohol, pills, crack; anything to numb the pain. At one point doctors gave her 72 hours to either get clean or die. After placing her addiction before everything else for 22 years, she finally got into recovery and has stayed sober for more than a year now.

Amy, way to go congrats for winning our "Overcoming Addiction" contest. You have been clean for more than a year now. If you had one piece of advice, what would you say to those who are at home watching now still struggling with their addictions?

BOUMAN: Well, Jane, I think it`s important for anybody who`s struggling with an addiction in any form to know that they`re not alone. When they`re ready to take the step to get help, help is available; that there is a better way of life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve got to tell you, I`m very, very proud of you. We`re going to have some coffee after the show and you`re going to have some fun in New York. And you deserve it. You`re a winner.

And for those of you at home, if you`re battling alcohol, drugs, food, whatever it is. Or you know somebody who is, check out my recovery memoir "I Want" at

Now, we`re going to move on to a shocking transformation. Tabloids were baffled when reality TV queen, Heidi Montag vanished from the Hollywood scene. The MTV star known for never turning down a photo op, she wasn`t spotted for weeks. Turns out she was recovering from a whopping ten plastic surgeries done on one day.

Now, this isn`t the very first time Heidi has gone under the knife and she says it won`t be the last. Listen to this from "Extra".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re already saying you know you want to have boobs to be bigger. You`ve they`re at "F" correct?

HEIDI MONTAG, REALITY TV STAR: Triple-D, F; I like the "F" I actually want "H" for Heidi.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heidi, I`m out of it, I didn`t know there was an "H". Honestly, I thought breast ending with double "D" I don`t see them on the racks, "H"? I`m a "B".

Heidi revealed her new face and body on the cover of "People" magazine, telling the mag, "I am absolutely beyond obsessed with plastic surgery."

But Heidi, who is just 23 years old, insists I`m not an addict. Here she is defending herself on "Good Morning America".


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people are saying, well, she`s an addict. She`s addicted to fame; she`s addicted to plastic surgery. How do you respond?

MONTAG: I would say that none of those people know me at all and that`s just a judgment. I`m not addicted. If I were addicted, I would have had ten plastic surgeries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did have 10 plastic surgeries?

MONTAG: Well, I mean, ten times. I really had two different surgeries. I had one three years ago and then I had one that I had several procedures done weeks ago. If you`re addicted to something, you have to do it all the time, not once every couple years, if even.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at this video from MTV`s "The Hills" this is from the very first season. Look at Heidi -- she`s adorable; really cute. Still, Heidi says she felt pressures because she`s in the limelight.

Look, I get it. Full disclosure, I had a facelift about ten years ago, but it was one procedure. And let me show you it was just like a pullback right here, just a pullback here, here see. I just pulled it back a little bit.

But when does an obsession with looking good become an addiction? Straight out to my fabulous expert panel: addiction specialist, Howard Samuels; plastic surgery enthusiast Jenny Lee who can also be seen on JennyLee.TV, she has had 47 plastic surgeries; and plastic surgeon Robert Freund.

But we begin with "Extra" correspondent, Carlos Diaz. You actually talked to Heidi. What is the very latest, dude, on this?

CARLOS DIAZ, EXTRA CORRESPONDENT: Well, the very latest is that Jane Velez-Mitchell is a "B" cup. I just learned that.

I`m sorry, now here`s the thing and it`s alarming. This is very alarming. I mean, Heidi, what does she do to top herself now after ten plastic surgery procedures? And we`re not talking about small procedures like botox or a small face lift, she had part of her chin removed.

I mean, these are major plastic surgery procedures that she has done at the age of 23. And her and Spencer are known for constantly trying to top each other and go even further and further past the line and push the envelope even further and further.

But what happens when you`re 26, when you`re 29? God forbid when you`re 32. This is a very alarming thing that she has done and I`m very concerned for her safety and her health.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and here`s my big ISSUE: surgery binge? I mean, Heidi got her nose down, a brow lift, her ears is pinned, fat injected into her cheeks, her lips bigger, her breasts bigger, her chin smaller, botox, liposuction, cheek implants. I mean, she justifies it saying "Hey, you know, I am not an addict."

But I have to ask you, Jenny Lee, you`ve had 47 plastic surgeries. How can you say that is not addiction?

JENNY LEE, WWW.JENNYLEE.TV: Well, I`ve had -- like Heidi, I`ve had 47 plastic surgery procedures or cosmetic procedures. They haven`t all been surgeries. And, you know, I`m reading the article right here, right now about what she`s saying in here.

And basically, you know, when you go in and you do multiple things at one time, you know, you end up with one recovery. I see what her point was in doing this, but you`re going to have to maintain this.

I`ve had four nose jobs, that counts as four of my 47.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has it affected you`re nose? I mean, do you have a problem with your nose?

LEE: Yes, it`s a lot slimmer. I can`t blow my nose like regular people can, nor do I want to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You cannot blow your nose?

LEE: No, it would be unsuccessful. It would get stuck.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that doesn`t bother you?

LEE: No, no. I use q-tips and sometimes nasal spray, and I have allergies and things like that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excuse me. Sorry. Go ahead.

LEE: Yes, you know, there was one time when I could, and it was good, but that`s not the way it is now and I`m pleased with it.

She`s obviously done a lot of stuff and she has her reasoning for it. I`m confused about a lot of things that she says in the article.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to try to undo that confusion in a moment. Back with more Heidi.



BEHAR: But you know what? A lot of people don`t like you, for some reason. They hate you. Why? Could it be anything other than your famous for no apparent reason? Maybe that`s why they don`t like you.

SPENCER PRATT, HEIDI MONTAG`S HUSBAND: You know I think it`s jealousy. When you look this good, people want to look good, you know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Heidi`s husband Spencer, appearing right here on HLN`s "JOY BEHAR SHOW".

Now we want to play you this. You`ve got to see this.

Heidi, of course, has ambitions to sing. She`s just put out a new album titled "Superficial". Wow. But this is her first music video. Check this out.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you know Dr. Robert Freund, she looks fabulous there and that was before her plastic surgeries, her ten in one day. Is it safe to do ten in one day? Or with all that blood and all the skin being cut, does it increase the chance that something horrible will happen like your eye will end up like here or something?

DR. ROBERT FREUND, PLASTIC SURGEON: Well, first of all, let`s look at time, four hours or more and the risks go way up. So if she took ten hours of surgery she`s putting herself in serious danger.

And for the doctor to agree to that he should understand once word and the word is "no". Stop at 4 hours. She wanted to do it quickly. She should have decided that you do steps, one at a time.

And the fact that she did ten surgeries at 23 years old, that`s another question. I`m not sure if it was an amoral publicity stunt or an obsession, but either way, it was wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is the difference, Howard Samuels, between an obsession and addiction? You`re the addiction specialist.

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, to me obsession is addiction, and the denial here, Jane, is unbelievable. I mean, this is a woman who obviously has body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is with somebody who`s 23 years old, when they actually think that they`re unattractive or that they`re ugly, that they have to go to such insane lengths to change the way they look, is a level of insanity.

I mean, I used to shoot heroin. When I was shooting heroin, I was crazy. Now, because I got sober and I`m in recovery now 25 years, I don`t think that way.

For her to be able to do these kinds of things based on the way that she looks because she thinks that she`s unattractive is crazy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jay in Illinois, a quick question or thought, ma`am.

JAY, ILLINOIS (via telephone): first thing, I want to agree with the gentleman that was speaking. I do believe Heidi has an addiction. I want to compliment you on your near 15 years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, ma`am.

You know, we`re almost out of time, so I have to end with Carlos Diaz. I`m going to give you the last word, Carlos.

You`re a guy. Do you think she was cuter before or after? I personally think she was really beautiful before.

DIAZ: You have to look at looks in more than just physical appearance. I think she was more attractive physically before and more attractive mentally before.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does that mean?

DIAZ: That means that if someone at 23 is going to have that much plastic surgery, something has got to be -- not too much going on upstairs, if you ask me. And you know what? She said that she`s also -- she was an insecure child. Those insecurities can spell doom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it.