Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Former Survivor Producer Files for Custody of Kids; Police Search for Barefoot Bandit
Aired May 27, 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, explosive developments in the "Survivor" murder mystery. Shocking new reports say this hotshot Hollywood producer took out two life-insurance policies on his wife just one week before she was murdered. The victim`s family claims Bruce Beresford-Redman cheated on his wife, lied to police, and now this? Why is he still waltzing around Hollywood like nothing happened?
And horror in the Gulf. Nearly 1 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf every single day. It is now the worst oil spill in U.S. History. Tonight, ISSUES demands answers. I`ll talk one-on-one with outraged Hollywood movie actor Steven Baldwin as he exposes big oil`s toxic secrets in his explosive new movie.
Plus, head-spinning new revelations in the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock sex scandal. I`ll talk one-on-one with the one and only Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, the tattooed erotic dancer at the white-hot center of the sexual soap opera. Tonight, we`ll go inside her sexual relationship with the motorcycle bad boy and get her reaction to his startling accusations.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, stunning new revelations in the murder of a Hollywood producer`s wife. Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford- Redman reportedly took out two life-insurance policies. That`s right, two life insurance policies on his wife about a week before her murder in Cancun. Coincidence?
Now, we had heard that Mexican police told Bruce he was not supposed to leave the country, but you are looking at brand-new video of Bruce walking the streets of Los Angeles, and paparazzi as soon as they saw him swarmed right in. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are your kids feeling?
BRUCE BERESFORD-REDMAN, FORMER "SURVIVOR" PRODUCER: I`m sorry. I`m not going have any comments at all right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no comment on anything?
BERESFORD-REDMAN: No comment right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything to say to Monica`s family?
(END VIDE CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Monica`s body was found in a sewer outside a swanky Cancun resort last month. She had been beaten and strangled to death. Here is Monica`s devastated sister on "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANE BURGOS, MONICA BERESFORD-REDMAN`S SISTER: We want the person that murdered my sister. I want this person in jail to pay for the rest of his life for what he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mexican authorities said they told Bruce to stay in Mexico, and they took his passport. His attorney disputes that. So who is telling the truth?
Bruce`s latest move is to try to regain custody of his two young kids. Now, should a murder suspect be allowed to keep his children? A legal question tonight. We have got our hands on a very, very, very revealing e- mail that Bruce sent to Monica month before her death, reportedly. In it, he allegedly admits to lying to her.
Now, we have been hearing for weeks that Bruce`s arrest is imminent. I have to ask, what are Mexican authorities waiting for?
Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom joins us, as well as psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor. And we`re delighted to have CNN producer Alan Duke with us tonight. He`s been on top of this story. Maxine Page, senior editor of Radar Online also with us tonight.
But I want to start with Bruce`s friend and neighbor, Lori Wheeler. She joins me on the phone.
Lori, I understand that you recently, very recently saw Bruce and spoke with him. Tell us all about your interaction with Bruce.
LORI WHEELER, FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR OF BRUCE (via phone): I saw him Tuesday evening. He was in the backyard. I was in my front yard. I was going out to get the mail, and he saw me. I saw him. And we both walked towards each other to talk. And I basically just went over there to give him my condolences and to tell him, you know, that we were praying for him and his family and that we were glad he was back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now what did he say to you? Did he reveal anything about his plans? Did he say anything?
WHEELER: No. He just -- he just said thank you. He apologized for all of the paparazzi because it`s -- you know, it`s been a circus in our neighborhood and, you know, basically that was about it. If there was anything we could do for you, you know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he seem nervous or had he lost weight? Did he -- was -- is this taking a toll on him?
WHEELER: Yes. You could tell that he`s very drawn. He looked tired. He looked very sad. But he -- you know, he had his daughter in his arms, and you can tell that his little baby girl was so happy that her dad was home. And she just had his arms wrapped around him and a big smile on her face. And it was just very heart-wrenching, you know?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the babies, the children, are supposed to be with Bruce`s father, and there`s a picture of his father right there. And the courts gave him temporary custody, he and his wife.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But of course, the family of the murdered woman is very, very concerned that Bruce might take off with the kids. Did you see the father or Bruce`s mom around?
WHEELER: They`ve been in the neighborhood. They`re both very lovely people. He has a very nice, loving family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re all there? They`re all there together?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It wasn`t Bruce alone with the daughter?
WHEELER: Well, when I spoke to him it was just the two of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And the little girl seemed OK?
WHEELER: Absolutely. She was -- you could tell she was just all bubbly and happy that she was with her dad.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hang in there. I want to ask you some more questions. But here`s a stunning new development. Custody papers were filed just a short time ago. Bruce apparently wants to get back full custody of these kids, ages 5 and 4.
Now, Bruce`s parents have been temporary guardians since Monica`s death. In the documents, Bruce argues it`s not in his children`s best interest to attend this coming Sunday`s memorial service for their murdered mother. That service was organized by Monica`s sisters, who are fighting Bruce`s family for custody of the kids. The sisters doubt Bruce`s story.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. BURGOS: And I asked, "What? How come she`s missing?"
And he said, "Well, she went out yesterday morning to town to do some shopping, and she never came back."
And I said, "What? Where are the kids?"
"Oh, the kids are with me." My sister would never leave the kids with him for a whole day. Ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, how good are Bruce`s chances of regaining full custody of these kids as he reportedly remains a suspect in his wife`s murder?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Jane, his chances are excellent. A biological parent is presumed to be the custodian of the children unless somebody can show that he`s unfit.
Right now he has not been charged with a crime. He`s not on trial. He`s presumed innocent. So unless the family members can show that he`s an unfit parent for some reason -- he`s negligent, he`s careless, he`s abusive with those children -- he`s going get custody of his children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a bizarre situation because ABC News is reporting Bruce took out two life-insurance policies on his wife, Monica, a week before she died a violent death on their vacation in Cancun. The beneficiaries are their two children, ages 4 and 5. One of the policies paid out $50,000 in case of Monica`s accidental death while traveling. The other policy reportedly was for half a million dollars.
Now, I`ve got to ask you Maxine Page, Radar Online has been doing a lot of reporting on all of this. What`s the very latest with the custody issue?
MAXINE PAGE, RADAR ONLINE: Well, the latest, as you said, Bruce is trying to regain custody of the children, and it looks like it`s going to happen. Obviously, Monica`s sisters are terrified about this, because understandably they`re scared that he`s going flee the country with the children, and they`ll never see the children again.
I mean, he`s already come through the border without a passport. And so it seems he`s able to travel without a passport. So what`s to stop him just escaping the country?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let`s remind our viewers that Mexican authorities consider him a suspect because he was the last person to see her alive. He reportedly had scratch marks on his body. He reportedly had an argument with his wife that was witnessed by others, and because the room key was used numerous times on the very night she disappeared.
Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, do you think it would be bad for these little children, ages 4 and 5, to go to their mother`s memorial service this Sunday, as Bruce is arguing?
JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: I don`t think it would be bad at all. You know what? I think the truth is always right, and the more that these young children can honor their mother and really remember and understand the fact that she`s gone, the better.
I mean, they went on a trip with her and came back without her. Clearly, her absence was being felt, and it needs to be acknowledged to let them mourn, and when they`re older they can look back and say, "You know what? We remembered her, and we prayed and we cried."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now we`re hearing that Bruce`s family may have told the children a story that is at odds with what really happened to their mother.
Everybody stay right where you are. How is this guy still strolling around Hollywood? We are taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297.
Plus, explosive inside information on the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock sex scandal. Tonight, I will talk one-on-one with the one and only Michelle "Bombshell" McGee.
But first, one murdered wife, two life-insurance policies. Mounting evidence in the "Survivor" murder mystery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Remember, he is the one who suggested going down to Mexico to try to patch things up. Well, here is a message from Erica. If you were involved in infidelity, you don`t want to go to a foreign country, an exotic resort, to patch up a raw emotional situation in your life. You need to be on home turf and address it with family, friends, and hopefully a trained therapist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. BURGOS: She was saying everything was fine, but I could feel she wasn`t happy at all.
CARLA BURGOS, MONICA`S SISTER: I had a last conversation with her, and she was not saying that everything was fine. She was extremely sad. I was reinforcing with her, you can not have a relationship with this man because there`s no trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Will Hollywood producer Bruce Beresford-Redman be arrested for his wife`s murder, and if so when? Mexican police have called him their only suspect. So why was he able to return to Los Angeles and, presumably, resume his normal life?
Let`s go to Alan Duke, CNN producer. What about this whole story we`re hearing that the kids have been told a phony story about what happened to their mom?
ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, it`s part of a sworn statement that Carla Burgos, and Jeane, her sister, filed with the court recently, saying that the grandmother told them this story, that their mother was killed in a car crash, taken to a hospital. Nobody recognized her there because nobody in Mexico knew her, and that`s why it took a day or two to find her. And then the sister said she then told the children simply that their mother had become an angel.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Four- and 5-year-old, Janet Taylor, briefly, is that good to be telling them phony, made-up stories?
TAYLOR: Well, of course it`s not good. I mean, again, you want to tell the truth. Children are only going to listen at the level and age that they are. So telling them that their mother died, you don`t have to be too graphic but not to make it up. I mean, it`s going to hurt the kids in the end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kathy -- Kathy, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: I`m just wondering why you`re surprised that this guy is walking around so smugly? I mean, we do nothing but hoard these type of people. Charlie Sheen gets double the salary. Michael Vick gets put back on the team and given a reality show. What do they have to worry about? Any PR is good PR.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you 100 percent.
Lisa Bloom, if this had been an ordinary guy down there in Mexico, his wife turns up dead, naked in a sewer, beaten up, strangled, do you think he`d be walking up and down in Hollywood doing the town?
BLOOM: Boy, I applaud that caller. She`s absolutely right. And this is a guy who was ordered, as far as we know, to stay in Mexico. They took his passport.
And by the way, if he was innocent, wouldn`t he want to stay in Mexico to find the real killer? What`s he doing walking around the streets of Hollywood? Is that where he thinks the real killer is?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Bruce admitted, by the way, to having an affair with a co-worker in a series of e-mails he reportedly sent to his wife. We`ve obtained a new e-mail here on ISSUES that Bruce sent Monica a month before her murder.
Quote, "I do not think that you are a suspicious person by nature, and I am so very sorry for making you into someone who always need to checkup and follow up and dig deeper. I resented it and lied to cover, and it was the wrong thing to do," end quote.
Maxine Page, put this extraordinary e-mail into context for us.
PAGE: It`s just more of his manipulation and passive aggressive behavior. You know, he`s apologizing on one hand, then accusing her on the other. You know, it`s just typical of him. And he`s obviously -- you know, she`s found out about the affairs, so she started checking through his e-mails. She`s been in contact with his mistresses. So he`s not happy about that. At the same time he`s saying to her, you know, I made this happen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lori Wheeler, you`re his friend and neighbor. Obviously, there`s been some criticism in just the last couple of seconds here on ISSUES. What is your explanation of his behavior?
WHEELER: Well, I don`t look at it like why is he back and is he walking around the streets smugly? I mean, he`s been away from his kids for two months. His -- his children lost their mother. He`s been in Mexico for two months, and he`s coming home to his kids. His kids need a parent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what about the fact that the dead woman`s sisters would like to have the kids?
WHEELER: Well, he`s not charged with anything yet. Shouldn`t he be able to keep his own children?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You raise a very important question, Lori. And here`s my question in return. It`s my big issue. Where are the cops? Where are the cops?
Mexican authorities reportedly took Bruce`s passport, but apparently, they did not or could not stop him from leaving the country. If he`s charged, will they be able to extradite him back to Mexico?
Bruce`s attorney told ISSUES tonight, "In our opinion, he was not told to leave Mexico. If he was not told to leave, there was no justification for it. Mexican authorities" -- or Mexican attorneys, I would say -- "have told us that there is no legal obligation for a person to stay in Mexico unless he is charged or a court orders him to stay."
So I`m really hoping Mexican authorities will clarify this. Now, Bruce`s attorney says that they should be looking at other leads before charging Bruce and vows to fight extradition if he is charged.
And Lisa Bloom, the attorney for Bruce says, "Well, you know, there were other suspicious deaths in and around this very Cancun resort." Should he be charged at this point, and will he be extradited back to Mexico? How does this work?
BLOOM: He can`t be extradited until he`s charged. He can`t be charged until there`s probable cause. I know that Mexican authorities have been looking at all the forensic evidence and the toxicology results. Apparently, they don`t think they have enough yet.
I mean, the problem, Jane is in Mexico, just as in the United States, once he`s charged, time deadlines start to apply. They have to do things within a certain period of time, and the bottom line is that if they don`t have the evidence, he`s going to be free.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, are American cops keeping an eye on him, because the family is concerned -- the dead woman`s family is concerned he`s going to take the two kids and possibly take off.
BLOOM: Yes, but what justification do they have for keeping an eye on him here in the United States? He`s not accused of committing any crimes here. He is the biological parent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, this is...
BLOOM: They can follow him, but they won`t find anything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel.
A bizarre story as oil devastates the Gulf coast. We`re going to talk to actor Steven Baldwin about his courageous fight to unveil the horrors of this oil spill.
But first, the Barefoot Bandit caught on tape. Could this video help cops find this teenage thief?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did the Barefoot Bandit strike again? In case you haven`t heard of Colton Harris-Moore, he`s a 19-year-old who has been taunting police for years now. He got his nickname after allegedly committing some of his crimes and then evading police without wearing any shoes. Colton is suspected in dozens, if not hundreds, of thefts in Washington, Idaho and Canada. The high-school dropout`s allegedly stolen cars, boats, even small planes, even though he`s never taken a single flying lesson. Now officials say his total haul could top $1.5 million.
Now Washington state cops may have a new lead. Joining me now is my old body, Travis Mayfield, KOMO 1000 News Radio reporter.
Travis, great to see you. Tell us what is going on with this guy.
TRAVIS MAYFIELD, KOMO REPORTER: Oh, my gosh, Jane. It`s almost like every day you wake up and there are new sightings of him. The latest is this surveillance video, which was reportedly taken near -- on Lopez Island near a marina where a boat went missing. Police believe that this is probably Colton Harris-Moore.
As you say, he has been linked to so many thefts of boats, cars, break-ins all around the island in the northern Puget Sound Area. He`s apparently even taught himself, perhaps, to fly. His skill in a number of small planes, crashed them on the main land, crashed them, reportedly, as far away as Idaho and possibly even into Canada.
So police are really hoping that this latest surveillance tape may help them crack this case, because they want him behind bars.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pretty bizarre that he can crash a plane and walk away.
Colton captures more attention with every brazen crime he commits. Not only is a movie -- yes, a movie -- in the works about this young man`s life, but the teen outlaw is attracting thousands -- thousands -- of admirers. A Facebook fan club pays tribute to his string of burglaries and his ability to slip away without a trace. There`s more than 21,000 members.
OK. Now, one of the reasons why people are so intrigued with this guy is that he`s sort of, I would say, stylish in the way he commits these terrible break ins. He will go into a home and take a bath in somebody`s home. He will go in and raid the refrigerator. He will go in and use the computer to order up something like a $6,500 pair of special glasses.
This is really almost like showmanship, isn`t it, Travis?
MAYFIELD: Yes. I mean, he`s really been compared to the "Catch Me If You Can" story. As you point out, there`s supposedly a movie deal in the works.
But what I have to point out is he may have this growing sort of celebrity following, but in the communities where he is terrorizing, I can tell you that the community members are outraged. There`s actually a Web site that`s been set up to fight him and to find him. There`s a community meeting next week. I mean, people whose homes are in danger or have been hit are just furious and even more angry that he`s being celebrated for it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s no excuse, but apparently, he was abused by his father.
MAYFIELD: Yes. His mother actually regularly calls our radio station and joins us on the air, and she has all sorts of excuses for him. That`s certainly one of them. But she even cannot control him. He`s been doing this since 2007. He was caught initially in 2008. He was put away in a teen home, but he escaped from there. He`s been on the loose ever since.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to stay on top of it. Great to see you, Travis.
MAYFIELD: You as well, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now of course, we`ve been telling you we`re going to have Michelle "Bombshell" McGee on, and we`re also going to talk about the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Big oil killing the Gulf of Mexico. Actor Steven Baldwin joins me next. He is outraged.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Horror in the Gulf: nearly 1 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf every single day. It is now the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Tonight, ISSUES demands answers.
I`ll talk one-on-one with outraged Hollywood movie actor Stephen Baldwin as he exposes big oil`s toxic secrets in his explosive new movie.
Plus, head-spinning new revelations in the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock sex scandal. I`ll talk one-on-one with the one and only Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, the tattooed erotic dancer at the center of this sexual soap opera. We`ll go inside her sexual relationship with the motorcycle bad boy and get her reaction to his startling accusations.
Sickening -- and I mean sickening new developments: an estimated 19 million gallons of toxic oil has now leaked into the Gulf of Mexico and up to a million gallons of oil still spewing into the water every single day.
The BP spill has now broken a tragic record. It is now officially the single most devastating oil spill in United States history. It beats out the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska.
More than a month after that offshore oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf; a team of scientists say oil is gushing out five times faster than they originally told us. Five times.
The chief of BP, Tony Hayward, tells the Associated Foreign Press, "Everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest." How dare he?
Oil is coating birds. It`s completely destroying the surrounding wetlands. Since the spill almost 200 sea turtles and a dozen dolphins have washed up dead; 400 species are threatened in the Gulf. Is that a modest impact on the environment -- 150 miles of coast land devastated?
I am delighted to welcome Hollywood star Stephen Baldwin. You, of course, remember him from the hit movie "The Usual Suspects", as well as the hit TV show "Celebrity Big Brother".
After seeing the devastation of the oil spill, he`s producing a film called, "The Will to Drill". Take a look at these amazing photos Stephen has taken. They really show how horrifying this situation is.
Stephen thanks so much for joining us. You toured the Gulf in a helicopter. What was your emotional and intellectual reaction to what you saw?
STEPHEN BALDWIN, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: It`s very interesting, Jane because I went down there for another piece of business and was invited to perhaps participate in producing and directing "The Will to Drill". And it wasn`t until I got on one of the Back Hawk helicopters, Governor Jindal on another one and went out over the Chandelier Island and saw oil for miles and miles.
And you`re absolutely right, Jane. It`s ridiculous that yesterday they said 6 million gallons had come out and today they say it`s more than double that and it may be up to 32 million gallons of oil that`s already leaked thus far. This is crazy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Phones absolutely lighting up on this one. Marion in Hawaii, your question or thought, ma`am?
MARION, HAWAII (via telephone): Well, I have read that Kevin Costner has --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Speak up -- speak up, lady.
MARION: I have heard and read on the Internet that Kevin Costner has invented together with scientists or engineers since that oil spill in Alaska and produced several machines that suck up oil and water.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are absolutely right. We`re going to tell you about that.
Stephen, while you were down there in New Orleans -- thank you for that call, ma`am -- actor Kevin Costner was also in the area.
That movie star was presenting new technology that he invested millions in and his brother worked to create. It`s a machine that has the ability to separate oil from water. Kevin says it`s time to go on the offense.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN COSTNER, ACTOR: We move this to a technology that we know works and has worked for a long time. It`s prepared to go out and solve problems, not talk about them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stephen you were able to capture testing of this technology with your camera crew. Apparently it`s successful. Why on earth is the U.S. government not using it already? They should have been using it from day one.
BALDWIN: Jane, if you ask me, it kind of lends to the same question after Exxon Valdez why wasn`t there regulations put in place so that when we have this situation there was another well already dug sitting there so this could be stopped?
This is -- see "The Will to Drill" documentary is about how are we the people going forward going to do what we need to do to create the change so we`re not standing here like we are now asking how this happened.
Yes, Costner was down there. Yes, his machines work. He`s caught up a little bit in the red tape and the politics.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a shock.
BALDWIN: A new development right now, you realize that they`re taking all of the workers off the Gulf right now because there is now this sulfuric gas that is making the workers sick that are laying the boom. So it just keeps getting worse and worse. And I`m hoping that Kevin Costner and his -- they`re called the sink centrifuge machines -- I hope they can get out there and start getting this oil out of there that`s --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve been hearing about it for two weeks. I`ve been reading about the Kevin Costner machine for two weeks. It takes 99 percent of the oil and turns it into water.
BALDWIN: That`s correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where is the government? Red tape, of course we have red tape.
Look, the government`s handling of this to me is criminal -- criminal. That`s how I feel about it. I don`t think that the firing of the head of the Minerals Management Service is enough. This is criminality.
BALDWIN: Well, I think, Jane, it goes without saying that if the administration was dealing with BP from day one and all of a sudden as of yesterday it was 6 million gallons and now it`s more than twice that. I think that if that`s the truth and the administration didn`t know that, well then this is a big problem too with the naivete of this administration.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the end this crisis boils down to follow the money. It always does. "The New York Times" reports several days before the explosion BP chose to use a riskier casing for the well. Why? Anyone want to take a guess -- because it was cheaper.
Just hours before the explosion gases were leaking through the cement casing. And investigators have said these leaks were the likely cause of the explosion. Now, my question to you, Stephen, why on earth is it up to BP if they want to use a cheaper version of something that could potentially destroy one of our most precious natural resources. Where were the government inspectors?
BALDWIN: Well, apparently again, Jane, this is one of the scenarios within the industry where people are looking the other way when there should be these regulations involving the safety of these situations so that this type of an outcome isn`t the result.
But you`re absolutely right. You know, in other industries when Three-Mile Island happened and nuclear energy was such a scary thing, all the regulation that had to be put into place to ensure the safety of another leak happened. But now after Exxon Valdez you don`t see that happening with oil companies. The question for me is what are we going to do going forward, Jane? Are we going to learn from these mistakes or not?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I hope so. I think we should learn about how to keep the government from being turned into an ethical wasteland by corporate influence, you know, as the Gulf is being turned into a real wasteland. It turns out the federal agency in charge of monitoring the oil industry is an ethical wasteland.
Listen to this exchange I had with an expert the other day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mineral management agency was involved in a sex and drug scandal accused in 2008 of taking gifts from oil companies and agency was described as an ethical wasteland.
KIERAN SUCKLING, CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: Yes. I mean the problem isn`t that they need 90 days instead of 30 days. What are they going to do with that extra 60 days? Do more cocaine with the oil execs?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, look, let`s not get -- no, I don`t want to get -- I don`t want to go there. I don`t have any proof of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? He was right. We did the research. And it turns out that there was an investigation that showed the employees of the Minerals Management Service, quote, "frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had had sexual relations with oil and gas company representatives. Everyone has gotten some sort of gift before at some point."
BALDWIN: Well, Jane, again, I believe strongly in the power of the people. And I think that we have arrived at a place in this country where between the people and our government, the people think individually they can`t make a difference. That`s part of the problem, too.
Americans have to stand up and do something and allow themselves to be heard in the future about these situations because we are responsible for what happens to this environment. So it`s about time that we take that responsibility and do something with it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it`s a missed opportunity. What we should be saying is we`re going to revamp our oil policy, our energy policy, to get green energy into our country. This is going to keep happening.
We have to make a change, a big change.
Stephen Baldwin, keep us posted and come back soon. All right?
BALDWIN: Thanks Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Let`s pray that they do something to stop this leak.
All right, I`m going to go one-on-one with Bombshell McGee. That`s right, Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. The one and only, the woman at the center of the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock sex scandal.
Now, Jesse cried his eye out on national TV. Was he telling the truth? I`m going to ask his alleged mistress, next.
And congratulations to my friend and colleague Robin Meade, she has won the Grace Award for outstanding news anchor from the American Women in Radio and Television. She picked up the hardware this week in Beverly Hills and in true Robin fashion gave the credit to her "Morning Express" team. Congrats dear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN MEADE, HLN`S MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE: It`s all a team effort. Maybe my name is on the award but I`ll tell you what, those scripts in the middle of the night don`t write themselves. A four-hour show doesn`t produce itself so all the folks who get up in the middle of the night and then the folks who let us wake them up. You know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
MEADE: This award is for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Catch Robin on "Morning Express" week day morning`s from 6:00 to 10:00 right here on HLN.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shocking new revelations tonight after Sandra Bullock`s ex, Jesse James, tells the world his father abused him and Jesse James` sister say it`s true. And the woman who blew the whistle on the motorcycle mogul joins us live on ISSUES tonight in her first nationally- televised live interview.
There she is. I`m going to ask Michelle "Bombshell" McGee what she thought of Jesse`s tell-all interview. Was he telling the truth and what didn`t he say?
People are still talking about Jesse`s comments on ABC`s "Nightline" when he told the whole world that he cheated on Sandra Bullock because his father abused him, allegedly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE JAMES, SANDRA BULLOCK`S ESTRANGED HUSBAND: Football star, bike builder, "Monster Garage" TV star. All that stuff is a huge smokescreen so people won`t that I`m a scared abused kid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really his father says it isn`t true. But now, Jesse`s sister says it is true and that she actually saw it happen. Who should we believe?
Now, the alleged mistress, Michelle "Bombshell" McGee says he lied to her too.
So what`s it like to be the woman at the center of Jesse`s cheating scandal? Regardless of who is right or wrong, let`s face it this whole thing has turned her life upside down as well. Michelle McGee, how you doing there?
MICHELLE "BOMBSHELL" MCGEE, JESSE JAMES` ALLEGED MISTRESS: Hi, how are you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great. Thanks so much for joining us. We`re very delighted to have you here.
Now, you watched everything Jesse had to say.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You watched it and you heard it. What upset you most? What did you want him to say that he didn`t say?
MCGEE: I guess I would want him to say I guess an apology to the other people that he hurt. He said he was sorry to his kids and sorry to Sandra. But he -- he left out everybody else that he hurt.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Including you?
MCGEE: Including myself, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did he hurt you?
MCGEE: He lied to me. I was duped by him. I was hurt. I felt like he lied to me in a big way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we all know he`s married so there are those who would say hey, you had to know that you were getting involved with a married man. What`s your explanation for that? What did he tell you about his marital status?
MCGEE: I did know he was married to Sandra at the time. And when I went to go visit him, we had a discussion. And he said he was separated. He was a separated man. She lived in Austin. He lives in Long Beach. They weren`t together.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you bought it?
MCGEE: I did. I bought it. He looked me dead in the eye and told me that so I believed him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let us get to this other controversy. We`re getting all this conflicting stories about what Jesse`s childhood was like, was he really traumatized by an abusive dad. Here is Jesse on ABC`s "Nightline".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES: It`s really tough for me to think about now because -- Sunny is the age --
VICKI MABREY, ABC NEWS "NIGHTLINE": You see all those things that happen to you?
JAMES: Well, Sunny is the age that I was -- Sunny is the age I was when my dad broke my arm.
JANINA JAMES COAN, JESSE JAMES` STEPMOTHER: A blatant, blatant lie. His father devoted himself to his son. And not only is it a slap in the face to his father, but it`s a slap in the face to all those people who truly were abused as a child and don`t use it as an excuse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Michelle, do you buy it that he cheated and he lied to you and he cheated on his wife and had an affair with you and allegedly possibly four other women because he was abused by his dad when he was a kid?
MCGEE: I believe that something did happen between Jesse and his father. We had a discussion one night about it. And he did say that his dad used to beat the crap out of him and he wasn`t happy with his dad and he didn`t speak to him for years.
But I don`t think that`s the cause of the problem. I think Jesse cheated on his wife because he has other issues.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What other issues?
MCGEE: I don`t know what his issues are but they obviously have something to do with their relationship. He wasn`t happy. I`m not sure what the reason was.
MCGEE: But I don`t think abused child syndrome is an excuse to cheat on your wife.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, he went into rehab for sex addiction and anger management. Do you think he`s a sex addict based on your relationship with him?
MCGEE: No. I don`t believe he`s a sex addict. I think he was a man that got caught cheating on his wife.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell us about your relationship. I mean, it was primarily sexual, right? You didn`t go out much. Tell us -- how -- how often you guys got together and what you did?
MCGEE: We got together a few times a week. We never went out. It was always only at West Coast choppers. But he told me the reason why we didn`t go out was because he didn`t want to get caught. He had to keep it down low. He couldn`t have pictures take of us together.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what -- what did you guys do?
MCGEE: What did we do? We talked a lot. We got to know each other a lot.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come on what else did you do?
MCGEE: What else did we do? We had a lot of fun.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Uh-huh. So you guys we`re -- you guys had good chemistry together?
MCGEE: Yes. Absolutely, I think we had a connection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you ever have -- did have you ever had that weird feeling like something is wrong here, he`s married, I don`t feel right about this?
MCGEE: At first, no. Because there`s nothing really went off in my head that something was going on. Eventually more as we more progressed and we didn`t go out much, I thought that was definitely a hint. So the bells started going off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me.
MCGEE: Tell you, tell you about the bells?
MCGEE: I just -- you know, putting two and two together I kept hearing things. I don`t watch TV so I didn`t really see them out together. And then when the Oscars came out that`s when it really hit me that they really were together and he was lying to me the entire time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what was your reaction at that moment?
MCGEE: Just sick, sick like, what is this guy doing? I just got a text message from him a few days ago and he`s sitting here crying over his wife on TV. It turned my stomach. It really did.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michelle, stay right where you are. On the other side of this break, we`re going to talk to you more about this very fascinating relationship.
Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNY MCGEE, MICHELLE MCGEE`S FATHER: She told me that she was going out with Jesse James. And I`m like, "Jesse James the cowboy has been dead for 100 years." She said, "No, dad, Jesse James is a motorcycle guy."
And I`m like, "Oh, I thought he was married to Sandra Bullock." She goes, "Well, they were but they have a thing now where they kind of live apart and she is on the scene for movies and stuff. You know, I`m here in San Diego. We go up to L.A. On weekends and we see each other."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jesse James has tried to explain his way out of the pictures seen around the world -- Jesse James dressed up in Nazi regalia, posing as Hitler, doing a Nazi salute taken in 2004 while Jesse and Sandra were dating.
And Michelle, you have also been pictured in Nazi-themed photo layouts. How do you respond to the criticism that you and Jesse are bigoted?
MCGEE: It`s completely not true. The costume that I was photographed in was the photographer`s costume. I don`t own that costume. And many girls were photographed in that costume. It`s something I regret terribly right now. I wish it never came out.
But those pictures were taken, and I do regret taking them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about Jesse? Do you think he has a problem?
MCGEE: No, I really don`t think he does. I think it was just -- like he said -- a joke. I`ve never encountered anything like that with him. He has never talked to me about that kind of stuff at all, no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: When is the last time you spoke to Jesse James?
MCGEE: Spoke to Jesse James? I got a text message on March 14th. That was the last text message I received.
MCGEE: It said, "Hi, I`m laying here in bed just thinking of you. I hope you`re ok. I miss you." That`s it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think about this guy? Why do you think he decided to live his life this way, cheating with you and possibly four other women when he has this beautiful woman, Sandra Bullock, and you`re beautiful as well -- but that was his wife?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think it was because he maybe had low self- esteem and didn`t think he was worthy of Sandra? That`s my feeling.
MCGEE: I don`t know. I don`t know what his deal was. I don`t know why. I think maybe he was lonely. She was gone a lot and he was lonely. That`s what I thought.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think he was lonely.
MCGEE: I think he was lonely, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you get that impression?
MCGEE: I just think she was gone filming a lot. I don`t think he was getting attention. I think maybe he was used to being the man, getting all the attention, having the TV show and then being trumped by a woman, maybe that gave him some issues.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How about you? How has this impacted your life? I know you have two young children.
MCGEE: Oh, it`s impacted me greatly; positives and negatives. My children are great. They`re handling it really well. They`re great kids. So I`m happy they haven`t been affected by it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you regret telling your story?
MCGEE: No, absolutely not. I would do it all over again.
MCGEE: Because I believe that I did the right thing by telling the truth. I regret that Sandra got hurt, but I don`t regret doing it, no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you learned any kind of a life lesson from this whole fiasco?
MCGEE: Oh, yes. I learned if a married man says he is separated, he is still married, and don`t do it. Absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what about your career now? You`re still dancing. You`re doing erotic dancing. Do you have a bigger crowd now that you`re so well-known?
MCGEE: I do feature dancing. I don`t strip in a nightclub every weekend. I work on my Web site, michellebombshell.com. And that`s pretty much it. And I`m a full-time mom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to Sandra if you had a last couple of words to say to her right now?
MCGEE: I would say, "Sandra, I`m sorry. I`m sorry he is a jerk. I`m sorry he cheated on you. I`m sorry that I didn`t say no. I wish you the best and I hope you can move on past this."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I hope everybody can. I hope it`s a learning experience for all of you.
Delighted to talk to you.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.