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Casey Anthony Case Bombshell

Aired March 17, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, bombshell allegations in the Casey Anthony trial. A source now tells WFTV that Casey`s father, George, had an affair with a woman resembling, Zanny the nanny. And that`s just the beginning. WFTV sources says George Anthony told this alleged mistress Caylee`s death was an accident, that snowballed out of control. Is any of this true? And who is this alleged mistress?

And what are you talking about, Willis? Todd Bridges, star of the "Different Strokes" opens up with shockingly candid revelations about his drug addiction. How did he go from TV star to crack addict and gun-toting dealer? Now he`s clean and sober. Tonight, Todd Bridges tells me how he desperately tried to save his famous friend, Corey Haim, but could not.

Meantime, the plot thickens in Corey Haim`s sudden death. Cops have now made an arrest in a California drug ring connected to the `80s superstar. Is there a link between this suspect and Corey`s death? All this as $75 million worth of prescription drugs were just stolen from a Connecticut warehouse.

Tonight as we confront America`s escalating prescription drug crisis, we`ll talk live to a woman who sold OxyContin on the black market.

"Issues" starts now.

Mind-blowing new rumors surrounding the Casey Anthony murder case. Was little Caylee`s death an accident? Plus, a shocking claim. Does Casey`s father, George Anthony know how his precious granddaughter actually died? WFTV reporting this woman, River Cruz, told her sister that she had a year-long affair with George Anthony. Her sister tells WFTV River claims George told her little Caylee`s death was an accident. Listen to this.


SKYE BENHAIDA, SISTER OF GEORGE ANTHONY`S ALLEGED MISTRESS: She was in love with George. She told him that I would never ask you that and in reply he said it was an accident that snowballed out of control.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: River Cruz was spotted leaving the Orange County sheriff`s office. She apparently went in to speak to cops.


RIVER CRUZ, GEORGE ANTHONY`S ALLEGED MISTRESS: I`ve sworn under and I`ve made my statement. And I`ve told the truth. That`s it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, is there any truth in what these sisters are saying? George Anthony vehemently denies it all. His attorney, Brad Conway says River Cruz and her sister had multiple aliases and cannot be trusted. So how is this woman connected to the Anthonys? Well, here is a photo of her searching for Caylee. And she was also at Caylee`s memorial. You remember the memorial. It was played on national television. We`ll take a look at that.

There`s the video. It`s hard to make out but that is River Cruz and her sister sitting right there just one row behind George, Cindy and Lee Anthony. That`s right, at Caylee`s memorial. So are these women lying? Or do the Anthonys know more about little Caylee`s death than they are admitting? I want to hear from you. Give me a phone call about this. 1- 877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom, psychologist Dr. Dale Archer, criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub, and Judge Greg Mathis. But first, WDBO radio reporter Drew Petrimoulx joining us on Skype.

Drew, how and why did River and her twin sister suddenly pop up now more than a year after little Caylee`s body was found?

DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER WDBO RADIO: Well, apparently River was questioned by the Orange County sheriff`s office about her connection to this case and her sister came forward to one of our local news stations down here and confirmed that she had a relationship with George Anthony, said that they were in love, the relationship lasted about a year. And basically spilled the beans to a TV station down here. But, again, George Anthony through his defense - through his lawyer denied everything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the attorney also said these women aren`t to be trusted. They`ve been shopping their story to the tabloids. But here`s what I don`t understand, Drew. If they were shopping their story to the tabloids, wouldn`t the story have popped up in the tabloids as opposed to the way it did pop up, which apparently detectives contacted her and she went to talk to them?

PETRIMOULX: Well, you should think. Because we`ve seen crazy things in the tabloids regarding this story. So this story seems like it has at least a little bit of foundation from the pictures and the text messages we`ve seen. So you`d have to think if they were shopping it, it would have been picked up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. WFTV reporting that River Cruz confronted George Anthony about his description of the infamous Zanny, the nanny, the mysterious and prosecutors believe fictional babysitter that Casey insisted had taken little Caylee. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, gorgeous. How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I look like hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you know something? You really need to keep your spirit high for all this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have. I haven`t been crying while I`ve been in here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What message do you want me to give to Zanny and to -- Caylee? What do you want me to tell Zanny?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That she needs to return Caylee. I forgive her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think her reasons are?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, WFTV reports River apparently thought George`s description of Zenaida Gonzalez sounded like her.


GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S FATHER: OK, I`m going to cut to your chase right now so you can get away with all of these questions. Number one is the Zanny that my daughter described to me is 24 to 25 years old, about 5`7", 125, 130 lbs.. She has straight white teeth, long brown here, OK. On a scale of one to 10. She`s a 10 supposedly.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So here she is. What do you think? And I`m not asking if you think she`s a 10, but do you think these descriptions match, Lisa Bloom?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, that`s a very strange thing George says. He says that Casey described her that way. I`ve never heard a woman describe another woman as a 10, on a one to 10. Yes, we might say long curly hair, straight white teeth, height, weight, et cetera. But that sounds to me like it`s coming from George, not like it`s coming from Casey.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And in 60 seconds we`re going to analyze another bizarre aspect to this. Rivers` twin sister`s name is Sky Benhaida, which of course rhymes with Zenaida. OK. We`re going to analyze that in 60 seconds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so complicated I actually have to read from my notes here as I came up with this idea, shortly before the show, Jayne Weintraub, OK. The sister`s name is Sky Benhaida, which sounds like Zenaida. And then there`s this alleged resemblance. So essentially what these sisters are saying is, "hey, they concocted Zenaida, Zanny the nanny, based on us. They used us as the model."

But here`s what doesn`t add up. River reportedly met George in the summer of 2008 when she volunteered to help find Caylee. Casey had already made up the Zenaida story on the very first day that she talked to cops. How could they possibly model a fictional character on somebody else when they had already used that person as - and described them before they had met these people?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it would call for a lot of speculation. Obviously the timeline is not correct. If, in fact, that`s who Zanny, the nanny is and it does seem rather strange even down to the detail of the tattoo. But the issue of whether or not these statements, you know, by George`s girlfriend can be used against Casey Anthony at trial, the answer is no. It raises questions about George.

The story about the girlfriend itself matching Zenaida matches - and raises questions about George. They`re also inconsistent statements made be George. If you believe them, when you match it against his deposition and his prior sworn statements, he knew nothing and had no knowledge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to talk a little bit about that. Will the sisters end up testifying in court or is this just hearsay and it`s really not admissible? And by the way, I want to say that I`m very sorry that I forgot to wear green today, but I do have a shamrock here and I`m going to be waving in place of my gavel because I do love to have the luck of the Irish.

All right. Sharon, Indiana, your question or thought, ma`am?

SHARON, INDIANA, CALLER: Hi. I just wanted to say that I believe George that I do not believe the two women. And George is a very handsome man, and I think he would probably go for somebody else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Oh, that`s cold.

Dr. Dale Archer, what do you make of these two women? River claims she passed a polygraph exam, but of course, George`s Attorney is saying this is just a complete lie. How are we to figure out what`s the truth?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I`ll tell you that, yes, they do have record of some violations, but they`re mostly traffic violations. On the other hand, when you look at what they say, and even more importantly at the pictures, I`m detecting real emotion there. And I`m detecting that they are telling the truth.

I`ve always had a problem with George Anthony. I`ve always felt that he wasn`t being totally forthcoming, wasn`t being helpful. He got an attorney when he wasn`t a suspect. He videotaped his deposition. And he just wasn`t, to me, a guy that was there trying to get to the bottom of things. He was being very cautious about everything he said and did. So I personally believe the women.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a lot of questions about that. We`re going to hear from the other side in a moment. Sky Benhaida, which of course rhymes with Zenaida, appeared on HLN`s "Nancy Grace" last night and Nancy asked her the question we`re all wondering. Listen to this.


NANCY GRACE, HOST OF HLN`S "NANCY GRACE": So Miss Zenaida, what I don`t understand is during the whole time she allegedly slept with George Anthony, which he denies, she never once said, what do you think happened to Caylee?

BENHAIDA: No. My sister never did ask him directly that question.


BENHAIDA: I`m not pretty sure why. You have to - I`m not - I`m not sure why she never asked him that question, but she did tell him that she wouldn`t - would never ask him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Judge Greg Mathis, the sister claims George volunteered the accident theory. Now, I personally find it hard to believe that River wouldn`t ask for more details given that she was a volunteer searcher for little Caylee, why she wouldn`t have asked, what do you think happened to your granddaughter?

JUDGE GREG MATHIS, "JUDGE MATHIS": Certainly. When you`re having pillow talk, all questions are asked, quite frankly. Particular questions like this. You know, I think this is absurd and I think that if you look at facts in the past that we`ve heard, we get a little insight. It`s all speculation, however, but when we look back and see that at first, the mother said she smelled death in the car and they seemed like they were on the fence as to whether to support their daughter, and then the daughter we see was on the internet looking at medications that are used to put people to sleep.

There are speculations that she may have used that to put her daughter to sleep while she`s going to hang out at night and, indeed -


MATHIS: - it became an accident when the daughter passed from that prescription.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. You`re talking bout the chloroform found in the syringe.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Traces of chloroform here and there. All right. Are these two sisters going to end up testifying in court? And we`re taking your calls. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, we will talk live with this woman, a recovering addict who says she sold oxycontin on the black market as we confront America`s prescription drug abuse crisis with new development from Hollywood to Connecticut.

And more on the Casey Anthony case. George Anthony`s alleged and we say alleged mistress in a moment.



GEORGE ANTHONY: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George Anthony got extremely upset when reporters asked him in the past if Caylee`s death might have been an accident. You just saw his reaction right there. Tonight, he is denying a woman`s claim that he had a year-long affair with her and confided that Caylee`s death was an accident that spiraled out of control.

Now, we want to show you - here`s the evidence. There`s a photo with River, the woman, and George. And there`s one other piece of evidence that apparently has been offered or that police have analyzed. And that is a text message in which George purportedly says to this woman, "just thinking about you. I need you in my life." We`re going to show you that text message in just a second.

Now, cops apparently analyzed River Cruz`s camera and phone, possibly to get those and other alleged text messages, but, again, George Anthony and his attorney are saying it never happened. He never had an affair with this woman. He never told her that it was an accident. Skye, Pennsylvania, your question or thought.

SKYE, PENNSYLVANIA, CALLER: Hi, Miss Jane. Good evening.


SKYE, PENNSYLVANIA, CALLER: I was just curious if this woman`s story is true, that she claims that she did have an affair with Mr. Anthony, what took her so long to come forward?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look, Lisa Bloom, again, they`re saying that the cops knocked on her door this month, February actually, last month, less than a month ago, and basically said, "hey, we want to talk to you." And then took her phone and her camera. Does that indicate that the prosecution`s case is perhaps weak, that they`re still out there trying to dig up dirt at this late stage?

BLOOM: No, I don`t think so. I think the police want to make sure that every "I" is dotted and every "T" is crossed. And if they get some information, this woman might have a comment from George Anthony that`s relevant. They`re going to track it down. But I think, by the way, the attacks on George Anthony and Cindy Anthony have been terribly cruel. These are two people who are not accused of any crime, who are just ordinary people caught up in this enormous media storm.

I personally don`t care whether he had an affair or not. If he`s got information that`s relevant to the case, so be it, but this is a former law enforcement officer who cooperated with the police from the beginning, who testified against his own daughter in front of the grand jury. And I don`t think any of us can really imagine what this man is going through. And to, you know, be casting judgments on him, I just think it`s unfair.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I do, too. And I`m not casting judgments on him.

BLOOM: Not you. Not you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This woman came forward and he`s denying it and she says she`s got some proof. Let`s take a look at the text already. OK. There it is. This is a text. Drew Petrimoulx, it says "Inbox from George Anthony, just thinking about you. I need you in my life." December 16, 4:22 p.m.. Little Caylee`s body was found December 11th, so this is just a couple of days after the body was found. Where did this text come from?

PETRIMOULX: Well, apparently it came from her cell phone. That was a picture taken of her cell phone. We have no way of confirming that that was the George Anthony that is Casey Anthony`s father that sent that, but I will say this, I do think it is an indictment on him if these claims are true. I mean, if he`s telling another woman that he needs her in his life just days after Caylee was found and also admitted her and told her that the death was an accident while at the same time he was urging people to go out and search for her, I mean, if those statements are true, that`s a pretty big indictment on George Anthony.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. I got to get my shamrock. One at a time. One at a time, please.

Do we know when he made this comment to her allegedly? Was it at the time of the search or was it later?

PETRIMOULX: It was November 2008 allegedly, so it would have been a month before the body was found. So, if he`s at the same time telling her that it was an accident while he`s urging people to go out and find her and they`re not doing enough to search for her, then that`s one thing. Of course, we don`t know what this -

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to ask a quick question. Jayne Weintraub, is this a yes or no, not a speech. Are these women going to testify, do you think?

WEINTRAUB: Not against Casey Anthony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? OK. Does anybody disagree with that?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`re going to get back here -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think either side is going to call them.

MATHIS: And it`s prohibitive evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We`ll debate this in just a moment right after the break.

Breaking news tonight. An arrest has been made in a California drug ring in connection with teen heartthrob, Corey Haim. Is there a link between the ring and his death?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Such heart-breaking video. Could that precious child`s death have been an accident? Her mom, Casey, charged with her murder. Tonight, her dad, George Anthony, fighting rumors that he had a year-long affair with a woman and told her details about Caylee`s death, namely that it was accidental. He and his attorney are denying all of it. Denying the affair, denying saying it was an accident, but we are analyzing it. Tonight, how it might impact the case. Barbara, Minnesota, your question or thought, ma`am?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, how are you doing? Happy St. Paddy`s day.

BARBARA, MINNESOTA, CALLER: Same to you. I was just wondering when all this started they had all the reporters and everything outside their house, you know, and follow them everywhere. I was wondering, how would he have time to go out and have an affair without being seen?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that`s a good question. Drew, aren`t there reports that there are documents - there are documentation of his visits to her gated community? Again, I have no independent confirmation of that, but I`ve been hearing that report published.

PETRIMOULX: I haven`t seen that. I saw the picture of the sofa and I saw the picture of them two together, but I do agree with the caller. I mean, there were reporters waiting outside their house 24 hours a day. It would have been hard for him to slip out and go somewhere unnoticed. But for that time during a search, he was around search groups and handing out fliers and meeting people and trying to get the word out pretty much 24/7. So he was out in the public, but there were cameras around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, there`s been tension between George and Cindy ever since Caylee went missing. It`s understandable, but listen to this.




CINDY ANTHONY: No, I`m not shutting up. Tell me I can`t pray.

GEORGE ANTHONY: I didn`t say that.

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes, you did. You went on TV and said I shouldn`t be praying.

GEORGE ANTHONY: shut the door, please. We`re out of here.

CINDY ANTHONY: I can`t stomach the man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did it go in there today?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Dr. Dale Archer, there is conflict between these two. And it`s understandable. They lost their granddaughter, their daughter is on trial for murder, their house is facing foreclosure. How much more can these two take? Now rumors of infidelity?

ARCHER: Yes. It`s totally normal to expect there to be tension after everything that they`ve been through, but I think that when you look at George Anthony - and I rarely disagree with Lisa, but I got to disagree with here and from a psychological perspective, looking at everything that he said and everything that he`s done, something doesn`t ring true as the concerned grandfather that`s lost a grandchild wanting to do everything in their power to get to the bottom of it. You don`t get that feel with this guy. That`s what I`m saying. There`s something that is amiss with him.


MATHIS: You don`t speak to attorneys, either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, judge.

MATHIS: You don`t speak through attorneys, either. Particularly if you`re not a suspect.

ARCHER: If you`re not a suspect -

MATHIS: My question is whether he has taken a lie-detector test? He could clear all of this up if he does that. So I`m a little suspicious of him myself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I got to ask Lisa Bloom, why don`t you think these two sisters will testify? If they`ve got the documentation, the text message, the photograph, why not bring them on the stand?

BLOOM: I`ll tell you why. Because the statement they attribute to George is that Caylee died an accidental death. That`s not a theory propounded by either side in this case.


BLOOM: The prosecution says it was an intentional first-degree murder. The defense says she didn`t do it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Which side -


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd Bridges up next. Star of "Different Strokes."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is he talking about, Willis? Todd Bridges, star of the hit TV series "Different Strokes" opens up with shockingly candid revelations about his drug addiction and how he finally got clean. How did he go from TV star to crack addict and gun-toting drug dealer?

Meantime, the plot thickens in Corey Haim`s sudden death. Cops have now made an arrest in a California drug ring connected to this `80s superstar. Is there a link between the suspect and Corey`s death?

And as we confront America`s escalating drug crisis, we`ll talk live with a woman who sold Oxycontin on the black market.

Tonight: a troubled child star`s spiral into drug addiction and climb out. Todd Bridges starred alongside Gary Coleman as Willis Jackson on "Different Strokes". He was the star who made this line famous.


GARY COLEMAN, TV STAR, "DIFFERENT STROKES": What are you talking about, Willis?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: After the hit show`s eight-year run, Todd Bridges fell out of the spotlight and into a serious drug addiction. In his new book "Killing Willis", Todd courageously writes about how he became a crack addict, a drug dealer, and even contemplated suicide.

The good news, Todd finally got sober and he has been clean now for 16 years. Way to go, Todd. Todd also says he tried to reach out to fellow `80s child star Corey Haim who tragically died from a possible drug overdose, but Todd says Corey was not ready to stop.


COREY FELDMAN, ACTOR: I was sober by the time I was 18 years old.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": And when you stopped, you stopped?


KING: Never looked back? You it was longer, right?

COREY HAIM, ACTOR: I was what would you have called back then probably a chronic relapser for the rest of my life.

FELDMAN: Not the rest of your life.

HAIM: Not for the rest of my life, but I like to have a great support group around me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd Bridges, thank you so much for joining us; and congratulations on your sobriety and also congratulations on this fabulous new book.

TODD BRIDGES, AUTHOR, "KILLING WILLIS": Thank you. Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In your book, you described how you went through something very similar to Corey Haim --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- in and out of rehab, chronic relapsing. Tell us how bad did it get? What was your low?

BRIDGES: Well, the low for me, I guess, was when I was one day sitting at a motel room door with no shoes on, no shirt on, and, you know, I couldn`t -- I got locked out of my room. I couldn`t figure out how I got there. And I had no money in my pocket. I couldn`t find my wallet; couldn`t find the keys to my car. I realized that something had to change. I just didn`t know how to do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You knew Corey Haim --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- who just recently died tragically. Now the cause of death isn`t back yet, but we all know he had a long-running battle with drugs.

In fact, Corey`s ex-fiance told us on ISSUES Corey had at one point been drowning himself in pills. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The time when I knew him, you know, he was ingesting 40-some-odd pills a day.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Forty, fifty Vicodin, Valium?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of them combined. The specialist would prescribe absurd things and I`m going, "Well, how is this helping you? Get off of this."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Todd, you say you reached out to try and help Corey Haim. When exactly did you see him? How recently? And what did you see in terms of his behavior?

BRIDGES: It was a couple of months ago. But what happened was, I was on the show "The Two Coreys". And Corey Feldman asked me to come back so that I could talk with him because he was in trouble and he felt Haim needed some help.

And then we went to Vegas, we did a show in Vegas. And then Haim disappeared for three days. And when we finally found him -- and I just tried to -- you know, and I tried communication with him. I tried to get him to realize that he`s got to figure something out before it`s too late.

Because you know what happens to us, it`s either jails, institutions or death. For me it`s either death or institutions. Unfortunately, Corey caught the other bad side of it and ended up dying.

But we don`t know whether it was drugs or not until the toxicology report comes, but I believe that it may have probably had something to do with it.

And it`s sad and it`s unfortunate that, you know, he wasn`t ready to find recovery. Because it`s a very difficult thing to find and it`s a very difficult thing to keep, as most of us know.

Recovery is something that you have to work on every single day. It`s something that you have to live with for the rest of your life. And it`s something that you have to don`t care what people think about you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And they say the slip always happens long before the first drink or the first shot of drugs. It`s really when you stop working your program of recovery. So well-put.

BRIDGES: And they always say a slip is underneath that dress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we had Corey Haim`s agent here on ISSUES. And this is really fascinating. I want you to analyze this.

He talked about how Corey was being, quote-unquote, "weaned off drugs by taking other prescription meds". Listen to this.


MARK HEASLIP, COREY HAIM`S AGENT: I actually brought Corey on about a year and a half ago after he filmed the movie "Crank 2: High Voltage". And my agreement with Corey is I want him to remain clean. Otherwise I`m not going to represent him as an agent.

And Corey the whole time I had him -- we got him a great doctor. He got on to a program with the doctor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did the doctor give him meds as part of his sobriety treatment?

HEASLIP: The doctor weaned him off of meds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: With other meds?

HEASLIP: Less dosages.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Todd. I`m in recovery just like you are. In fact you have a year more of recovery than I do. I think we both know that aside from perhaps that initial detoxing, an addict cannot be weaned off drugs --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and that any mood-altering meds is really being part of the addiction and it triggers a worse addiction.

BRIDGES: Exactly. What would happen is you would just start taking those more and more is what you would end up doing. You wouldn`t wean yourself off. You would figure out that one or two are not working any longer.

The doctor is not there to watch you take them so you will start taking more and more and more. And eventually you`ll be hooked on those like you were hooked on whatever other -- whatever other your first choice was.

I remember that happening to me back -- a long time ago when I was -- remember when I tried quick cocaine and I smoked pot to quick cocaine but for some reason you always kept going back or I`d stop drinking a lot and then I`d do the pot and then go back to the cocaine. You just -- cross-addiction is all it is.

You`re just moving it around and around in circles. And eventually you always go back the same fate that you end up doing. That`s why in my book "Killing Willis" I explain for me the proper ways how I got of drugs and alcohol and the way that people out there can get somebody off of it or even get yourself off of it by just --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you finally turn it around? What was that moment of clarity where you said, "I`m doing this"?

BRIDGES: For me the moment of clarity was I went to treatment for the sixth time. I got mad at all the treatment people there and I wanted to attack all of them with a pole. I pulled this pole off the -- shower rod off the showers and I went after all of them.

Then they came -- this big, giant, huge black guy came in and he said, "It`s going to be hard or easy." And I was like, "Ok, it`s going to be easy." Because I got a moment of clarity there; I was like, "Ok, I`m not going to fight this big guy."

So they went and strapped me down on all fours. And I remember sitting there for three days in a big diaper, having to go to the restroom in a big diaper and I realized that something had to change. This was a far cry from Willis Drummond and I`m no longer Willis Drummond, I am some sick drug addict sitting here in four points like I`m a crazy man.

I realized by all the amount of drugs that I was doing I was crazy at the time, but I knew something had to change. And for me, like I said, writing this book "Killing Willis" really has helped me really see even how insane I really was with the things that I was doing.

I am so blessed by God, the Lord, my caller Jesus Christ to be alive to be able write this book. That`s why I know this book is there to help people and it`s there to give clarity to people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when I was looking at this book, what really occurred to me is that you`re a pioneer.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were one of the first African-American child stars to appear to appear on shows like "Little House on the Prairie", "The Waltons", "Roots", and of course, your biggest hit, "Different Strokes". Now when you think about it that`s a pretty important role in history that you broke some significant barriers leading the way for other people of color to follow. And yet it seems like it was very hard for you to give yourself props for everything that you accomplished.

BRIDGES: Yes. Well, that was also true, but it`s also because of what happened to me growing up. It was detailed in "Killing Willis". The things that happened to me when I was 12 years old --


BRIDGES: I was sexually molested by my publicist. What made it really bad was my father took the publicist`s side. And I guess he informed my father that I guessed he realized I was going to tell on him.

I was very uncomfortable with the situation. The fourth time he came over to my house, I attacked him. My mother knew right away. My mother was grabbing the butcher knife and she was going to stab him. And my dad stopped my mom and goes, "Todd is lying. Robert told me that he was going to say this and Todd is lying."

And I was like, "Oh, my God." I cannot believe this guy just said that. He actually said that I was lying. And my dad took his side and believed him. And my dad told the man he can come over any time he wanted to. He can come to the house.

And I was furious. And my mom was furious. And then that`s when it broke my heart. I realized that my dad, who was supposed to be the protection, who was supposed to be the leader, did not protect me right then and there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you told -- in your book you write that he`s jealous of you. Your father was jealous of you even though you were a child because you were making the money.

BRIDGES: Yes. He didn`t like that very much so at all. And I really -- and you know, but also what I really also believe is like I said, I have forgiven my father for that because if I didn`t learn to forgive him, then I couldn`t accept forgiveness for myself. And, you know, I don`t know why my dad had those issues.

Because I even asked my uncle -- one time I asked my uncle. I said, "Why was my dad so mean?" And my uncle says, "I don`t know. He was the favorite kid. I don`t know why he was so mean."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to ask you this question. A lot of these child stars, yourself included, end up having money problems. Corey Haim died destitute. Gary Coleman has had his set of money problems. And in fact, he accused relatives and a former manager of messing with his trust fund.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is there a greater likelihood if you`re a child actor that you`re going to be ripped off by the people who supposedly care about you?

BRIDGES: No, because it`s happening to everybody. It`s not just children it`s happening to, it`s happening to adults.

I think what happens is that we get so caught up in working that we`re not really paying attention to our finances.

But let me tell you, I`m starting to get my money again and I`ll be darned if I let anybody go to the bank but me. That`s how it`s going to be, I`m going to the bank myself. I don`t trust anybody anymore.

But I trust you as far as I can throw you. But the thing I`ve -- the thing I`ve learned is that, you know, I -- I love everybody. I treat everybody with the same amount of respect, but when it comes to my money now, I`ll take it to the bank myself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well --

BRIDGES: That way I have no problem anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd, we want to have you back. Will you be part of our panels --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- in the future to talk about addiction? I love it.

BRIDGES: I may -- I will definitely do that. But remember buy "Killing Willis". Did you read this yet? You better read this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Killing Willis"; right here, dude.

BRIDGES: Read it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a great book. And if you`ve got any kind of sobriety issue, if you`re trying to get sober, if you got a friend who`s trying to get sober --

BRIDGES: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- this will help.

BRIDGES: And if you also want a good read, read "Killing Willis".


BRIDGES: And I tell you it will really give you a chance to find out who I am and what life is really about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd, it takes a lot of courage --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A Hollywood-style heist nets millions of prescription pills. That`s next.

But first, "Top of the Block".

Women living in fear: two women speak out after traumatic events that have changed their lives forever. There is Candice Moncayo. She lived to tell about her alleged encounter with murder suspect and convicted sex offender John Gardner. He allegedly attacked her in a San Diego park. She talked to Larry King about how she managed to get away.


CANDICE MONCAYO, ALLEGEDLY ATTACKED BY SEX-OFFENDER: I managed to get my hand on the ground, my left hand. And I took my right elbow and I bashed him in the nose. And he grabbed his face and turned away from me and yelled some things. And I got out and I ran faster than I think I`ve ever run in my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good for her, congratulations.

Gardner is also the suspect in the murder of 17-year-old jogger Chelsea King. He`s also being looked at for the death of 14-year-old Amber Dubois. No charges in that case yet. We`re staying on top of this story in the war on women.

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

Fast breaking developments in the illegal prescription drug ring investigation linked to dead actor Corey Haim. Tonight, California`s attorney general confirms there has been an arrest, but just who is the suspect? A drug dealer? A doctor?

Corey had pulmonary congestion when he died a week ago, but we will not know an official cause of death until the toxicology tests come back. The L.A. coroner has not ruled out a drug overdose with good reason.

California`s attorney general says Haim obtained, quote, "massive amounts of prescription drugs" and then Haim`s most recent prescription was for Vicodin filled just five days before he died.

Meantime, the heart-breaking 911 call made by Corey`s mom, it has been released and it`s quite disturbing.


COREY`S MOTHER: Hey listen, he`s not breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, are you with him right now?



COREY`S MOTHER: He`s 38 year-old. I don`t know what`s going on. He had a fever this morning -- and cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, is he awake right now?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Our hearts go out to her. But we also have to ask was she in denial over her son`s downward spiral? Remember, Corey`s mom reportedly said Corey was taking drugs as part of his recovery program from drugs.

Now, that`s a recovery method that has left a whole lot of addiction experts scratching their heads.

Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic. Tonight, we`re learning about a daring drug test. Thieves stole $75 million worth of antidepressants from a Connecticut warehouse on Sunday. Just wait until you hear how this was so well-planned.

And give me a holler on this epidemic. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877- 586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Judge Greg Mathis, host of the syndicated court show, "Judge Mathis"; Alan Duke, CNN producer extraordinaire; Carl Sferrazza, Chief of Police in Enfield, Connecticut.

Plus an ISSUES Exclusive: we will call her Nikki, not her real name. She is a recovering prescription pill addict and she`s there in shadow to protect her identity.

Nikki says she sold prescription pills on the black market. She will tell us exactly how she did it in a moment.

Alan, let`s start with you. What is the very latest in the Corey Haim investigation?

ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, because it`s still an ongoing investigation, the California attorney general`s office isn`t telling us an awful lot. In fact, it`s striking what they`re not telling us. They won`t tell us what city this person was arrested in, who they are or what they`re charged with.

But that it`s part of this investigation that actually began well before Haim`s death last week: that massive drug ring, that fraud where they obtained the prescription pads using identity stolen from real doctors and then issuing or writing out prescriptions that were then taken to a pharmacy and turned into narcotics. But they`re not telling us much. And I believe that`s because they are trying to arrest more people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Let`s hope they clean up on this. And we have to say that this is part of America`s prescription drug abuse crisis. It`s rampant.

And you know it`s no shocker. Let`s face it. Prescription drug use has become recreational. Have you ever heard of V and v? Well, it`s all the rage. Yes, it`s a popular party combo. You pop a Vicodin and then you do a shot of vodka. It`s called the V and V or Valium. V and V, it could be Vicodin or a Valium.

Now, Nikki, I want to go to you. You are a recovering prescription pill addict and I applaud you for having the courage to talk even though you want to protect your identity. You not only used prescription pills to get high, but you also sold them.

Tell us how it works. Because we`re trying to figure out, ok, these pills are stolen or they`re -- they come from a phony scrip, but how do people make money off them? How did you do it?

NIKKI, SOLD PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ILLEGALLY: Well, you can`t talk about prescription pill abuse without talking about the new phrase that`s in our vocabulary which is doctor shopping. And that`s pretty much what I did. I had a legitimate injury. And I knew what to ask for. And I went to four different four doctors and got whatever medication I wanted, mostly Oxycontin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Percocets.

After taking what I wanted for myself, I was also able to trade prescriptions for an ounce of cocaine which then I could sell to somebody else for thousands of dollars

So it`s a very powerful thing to be able to hold Oxycontin in your possession.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Ok. Everyone, stay right where you are. We`re just getting started.

More on Corey Haim`s death probe right after the break. And we`re going to hear more from this anonymous woman who sold prescription pills on the black market.



FELDMAN: We all are aware of the fact that Corey Haim has had a long and detailed drug history and battled addiction for many, many years. I know it better than anybody because I`ve been the guy stuffing charcoal down his throat when he was OD`ing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Out of respect for Corey Haim`s family, who did not want a media frenzy at the funeral, Corey Feldman did not attend the funeral. He did issue an emotional open letter, quote, "My mission in life became saving yours. I never gave up. I walked away. But I always came back."

Jamie, Illinois, your question or thought, ma`am.

JAMIE, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Yes. I just -- Todd Bridges really struck me because I was telling the other guy that I grew up with all these child actors, you know, on television. And I`m so happy to talk to you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, thank you.

JAMIE: I watch your show every night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you. And what`s your question or thought?

JAMIE: Well, my thought is -- is that when he said that he was molested by his publicist and his father turned around and took the publicist`s side --


JAMIE: I went through the same exact thing with a stepfather where my mother -- for four years he was molesting me and she took his side.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you have a prescription pill problem?

JAMIE: No. Never.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re lucky. Because it`s very true and Nikki, I want to go back to you. Those who do get hooked on drugs obviously, or alcohol, we`re stuffing. We`re stuffing pain and often trauma and sometimes it`s molestation.

And in your case you were using the pills legitimately for pain reasons, but then it kind of veered off into addiction. Tell us briefly how that happened.

NIKKI: Well, somehow, you know, you`re in pain, and the fear of pain is devastating as well. But once you get hooked on the opiates, the line between physical pain and emotional pain somewhere gets lost. And the only thing that you can do is to just not feel. Because everything you feel is just too much.

So the best way to do it is to just relax, or what you think is relaxing, making your body correct. Opiates is a devastating, devastating addiction in that way because it makes you feel that that`s the only way your body can relax.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Ok. Let`s turn to that huge prescription drug heist that went down in Connecticut over the weekend. The wholesale value of the stolen goods: $75 million.


CHIEF CARL SFERRAZZA, ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT POLICE: This did not appear to be one or two individuals that committed this burglary. This appears to be a very organized operation and a very large-scale operation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got the chief with us tonight. Chief, $75 million? Now, all of these drugs -- these are mostly anti-depressants like Prozac -- are going to end up on the black market?

SFERRAZZA: You know, Jane, that`s the surprising thing, that these drugs -- if there`s a fortune component to this, it`s that the drugs that were stolen were not pain addictive, abusive potential drugs. They were predominantly psychiatric meds as well as cancer medications --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you could get hooked on anything.

SFERRAZZA: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think if it`s sold on the black market.

Alan Duke, CNN producer, I`m going to give you the last word. I mean, how much of a crisis are we in, in this country?

DUKE: Well, I`m not sure I can answer that. But governor -- or would-be Governor Jerry Brown is basing his campaign for governor, I think, on this issue. It`s something he`s been speaking out about since after Anna Nicole`s death. And as attorney general he now is basing his campaign --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, but I`ve got to hand it to him. He`s the only one who`s actually talking about it. You`re watching ISSUES.