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Yale Frat Stages Pro-Rape March; Cops Track Down Leads in Australia for Missing Girl

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



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, escalating outrage on campus. Shocking video straight from the Ivy League. Frat recruits from Yale University chanting pro rape phrases: "No means yes" and yes means what? You will not believe your ears.

And the search for Zahra Baker goes international. Tonight, shocking new twists and turns as police hunt down little Zahra`s medical records all the way in Australia. Will these records crack the case? Tonight, we`ll play the chilling new 911 calls.

Also, ISSUES dives deep into the hell of domestic violence. Tonight I`ll talk one-on-one with a man who admits to abusing and isolating his wife for almost 40 years. He controlled her every move. But now he says he`s completely changed his ways. Tonight we`ll go inside his extraordinary journey.

Plus, did media tycoon and model Tyra Banks exploit a minor? Did her talk show producers put a 15-year-old girl on television before millions of viewers as a sex addict? The girl`s mother says it was all done behind her back, and now she`s suing mad.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, outrage and disgust on and off the campus of Yale University. This after fraternity pledges marched through campus in the dark, chanting slogans that glorified rape and violence against women. No wonder they didn`t want anyone to see their faces. Shame on you!

You are about to hear this chant, but we have to warn you, it is extremely offensive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What on earth is going on at Yale? This is a real war on women. Young men thinking it`s OK to hate and disrespect women? When is this going to stop?

The Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter president has apologized, saying the chants were, quote, "inappropriate, disrespectful and very hurtful to others," end quote. Is that good enough? Unh-uh, no. That is not going to erase what these pledges said and the message they sent with those words. Some, in fact, calling the apology, quote, "pathetic" and claimed that fraternity has always been, quote, "a male supremacist organization."


HOLLY VO, YALE FRESHMAN: Really I think it`s kind of not, like, well- fitting of Yale students.

SHUANG SHAO, GRADUATE STUDENT: It`s not really -- doesn`t look like it`s from Yale campus, so I was really shocked.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is just unacceptable. Statistics show one out of four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus. One out of four. No wonder, with attitudes like this.

It is time these organizations crawled out of the Dark Ages and ended their misogynistic ways.

What do you think about this? You heard the chant. Call me, 1-877- JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Now straight out to my fantastic expert panel. We begin with Sonia Ossorio, executive director of New York City`s chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women.

Sonia, your reaction to this chant, "No means yes; yes means anal." Sonia?

SONIA OSSORIO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK CITY NOW: I see it as a threat. You know, it`s no coincidence that they took the anti-rape movement`s slogan, "no means no," and turned it into a threat.

What happened here is we have a group of men that were organized and marched into the common space of a university, where they then chanted and advocated for rape. This is nothing less than a hate rally. That is what took place, and it`s very serious.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Incredibly -- I agree with you, Sonia. But incredibly, not all the students think the pledges meant any harm. Listen to this guy.


OWEN SYMINGTON, YALE FRESHMAN: I`m sure that they didn`t actually mean to do that, didn`t mean it to be that serious. But it wasn`t -- probably wasn`t a good thing to be saying.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I do not think this was just a joke in poor taste. To me, this is an outright call for sexual violence and I do believe, I agree it`s hate speech.

Criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub, given that this is inherently threatening and was chanted outside housing for women, could these Yale men be charged with a hate crime for making terroristic threats? Or could they be open to lawsuits filed by women who felt threatened or women who end up being raped on campus?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t think the answer -- the answer is no to all of your questions, unfortunately, although I agree with you that it is the most deplorable, disgraceful conduct ever.

It`s more of a social issue. No, it`s not a hate crime, because words themselves are not a threat or assault without an overt act. And I do think that the freshman was telling the truth that he didn`t mean it the way it was said. But what does that say about what`s going on?

It is just as much the upperclassmen`s fault, if not more so, than the pledges` fault. I think it is a cultural issue that must be addressed. Where`s the community service in the fraternity? Let them do 24 hours in a rape treatment center straight instead of drinking.

But to harm somebody else and hurt other people`s feelings? Haven`t we seen enough on these college campuses lately? People have to start getting sensitive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. We`re going to talk about all the rape cases at various colleges, not this one but...

Stephanie, Ohio, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Yes, Jane, this is horrible. This -- I mean, out of all the bad things that happened already in this world as it is, from being -- kids being kidnapped, you know, people being hurt, does the college plan on taking this seriously? You know, with all the kids` suicides that`s going on right now, this is, like, the last thing anybody in college really needs at this point. Do you think they have any idea, you know, if they`re going to do anything about this? This is crazy, an outrage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And what I`ve heard about this is that the university has actually issued what I consider a very wishy-washy statement, essentially saying, Mike Brooks, that they`re not going to discuss any possible disciplinary action, because that`s confidential. B.S., confidential!

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, I agree with Jayne. Jane, you know, I started up the hate crimes unit for the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. There is no crime right here.

But the college needs to step up, do the right thing here, get together with all the Greek society and decide what they`re going to do.

I mean, no, this should not -- this should not have happened, plain and simple. But you think this the first time that this has happened? Absolutely not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No! In fact, people said they have heard this chant before.

Liz Securro, OK, this is a woman we`ve had on our show ISSUES, and she`s an example of what can happen to female college students. She was raped as a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Virginia. On ISSUES, Securro told us she got absolutely no support from that school. That`s her claim.

Listen to this.


LIZ SECURRO, RAPE VICTIM: I recall one of the rapes, and I woke up tossed on a sofa in a sheet, naked, covered in blood, and I looked through the man`s mail. I did not know him. And I went to the university deans. I went to the university police. I was told that the real police didn`t have jurisdiction and that they would handle it internally.

Well, I banged the pots and pans, even at the age of 17 from a very sheltered Catholic family, and nothing was done. And after a year, I realized nothing would be done.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So let`s get back to Yale. Where is Yale in the wake of this hideous chant?

Yale`s women`s center met with members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and said, quote, "We hope such discussions will lead to mutual respect." Are you kidding me? Where is this university, Yale, expressing outrage?

Let`s play the chant again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is unbelievable. This is not your average university. Yale is an Ivy League school with one of the most prestigious reputations of any university in the entire world.

Former presidents like George Senior and George W. Bush graduated from Yale. Former President Clinton went to Yale law, as did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Actresses like Meryl Streep and Jodi Foster attended Yale. Obviously, these people graduated a long time ago, and they have nothing to do with this frat`s tasteless stunt.

But what I`m saying here is that this is a university that has a tendency and a track record of producing world leaders and leaders of industry. Good work, frat boys. You`ve gone a long way toward taking down an institution that was on top of the world until you came along.

Jayne Weintraub, I think this hurt`s Yale`s reputation. I do.

WEINTRAUB: I do as well, Jane. But you know, it also makes a bigger statement, as you were just saying. There are no social boundaries. If it`s happening at a university like Yale, it`s happening all across our country.

And it`s a wake-up call, not just for the universities, but it`s a cultural issue that has to be addressed. We have to address it in our homes, in our schools, with young kids. I mean, is this the way they want their sisters to be treated, their moms to be treated? They don`t even care about the words that they`re uttering. That`s the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got more on the horrifying rape chant at Yale in a moment and we`re taking your calls on this. I see they`re lining up: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus, new 911 calls in the case of little Zahra Baker. Could they hold the key to unlock this mystery?

But first, more on this disgusting pro-rape chant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED). No means yes. Yes means (EXPLETIVE DELETED).




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal. No means yes. Yes means anal.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Escalating outrage tonight over that fraternity chant at Yale University of all places. Pledges from the DKE fraternity were blindfolded, marched single file through campus, shouting obscene and sexist slogans that many, including myself, see as pro-violence against women. It`s a call to rape, nothing less.

Pam, Michigan, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: OK. I just want you to know that not all guys are bad. My son Jordan stepped in when he saw a young girl on a college campus, her honor being compromised. He stepped in, took care of it, whisked her away and said, "See you guys." And he rescued her. So not all guys are bad. I`m really proud of my son for stepping in and saying, "Hey..."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I think that`s wonderful, Pam, and I applaud you and your son. Nobody is saying all guys are bad. We`re saying that the guys who forced these other guys to chant and the guys who didn`t have the you know what to stand up and say, "No, this morally reprehensible" and went along with the chant, they have a serious psychological problem.

Now, I think everyone at Yale University should know who exactly these guys are. I think their faces and their names should be put on a giant billboard. And perhaps they should be in the quad, you know, like this back in the days of the pilgrim, because I feel, as a woman, that if I was at Yale University, I would want to be protected by these people who are advocating sexual violence, Mike Brooks.

BROOKS: As I said, you know, the university, they need to really do something about this because, as I said, this isn`t the first time. This is a ritualistic thing that the fraternities do.

And, you know, the sororities also need to step in, because with every fraternity you also have a sorority that`s associated with them. So that also has to be addressed, Jane, and I haven`t heard it addressed at all by the university.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. And I certainly hope that no women at Yale date any of these men. Treat them like the plague and protect yourself, because I personally think that somebody who says something like this is dangerous.

Attitudes on a college campus can make or break students. Take 19- year-old Megan Wright, who was allegedly raped inside her dorm at Dominican College in New York. And here`s video obtained by ABC`s "Nightline." Wright there you see stumbling down the hall. One of the students accused of raping her held up a note to the camera, supposedly signed by Megan, that said, "I want to have sex," somehow implying that she was consenting.

Megan`s family says she took her own life, she committed suicide following the assault and the lack of help she says she got after the attack.

I want to go -- Cheryl Arutt, you are a forensic psychologist. How does this chant debilitate and violate emotionally women on campus?

CHERYL ARUTT, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think that this chant is an expression of the rape myths that serve to support and -- and make acceptable aggression and violence against women.

And they also end up making rape about what something the woman did or didn`t do and not about the rapist.

And we just did a show recently here on your show about the high incidence of rape on college campuses. And clearly, we need to be doing a lot more intervention with the men and help them to understand what it`s like to be in women`s positions.

Because I mean, perhaps I`m thinking -- perhaps if men could imagine themselves in a dark jail yard, surrounded by a large group of men who outweigh them by, say, 100 pounds all chanting "no means yes" and yes means whatever, that...


ARUTT: ... perhaps they`d begin to understand what...


ARUTT: ... the fuss is about. Exactly. Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly. If you`re watching, guys, men can be raped, too. OK? It`s a horrible thing when it happens to anybody.

ARUTT: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what if your chant, my friends, if you`re watching at home, or on your frat house, what if your chant was applied to you? What if somebody heard your chant and said, "Hmm, that sounds like a good idea. I`m going to do it to you"? How would you feel? I know how you`d feel. Ouch. OK?

I`ve never been more absolutely disgusted with anything in my entire life.

Sonia Ossorio, executive director of New York City NOW, what is the solution to this?

OSSORIO: You know, so many things can be done. I mean, sending your daughter to college shouldn`t be a concern like sending her into a war zone. And when 25 percent of young women are raped on college campuses, that`s precisely what`s happening.

College campuses unabated are the epicenter of date rape in this country. And we need universities to stand up. We need the programs for the young men. We have to commend the young woman in this case, who stood up to these young men and are bringing this to light.

It is just a horrific situation, and this is a real opportunity for Yale University, being the university that it is, that every college in the country looks up to, it can really make a statement that this is not what we are tolerating any longer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And thank you to the person who videotaped this and put it up on YouTube and exposed it. You can`t get away with this stuff anymore, guys!

Coming up, surviving abuse. A shocking story of 40 years of abuse. I`m going to talk to a man who is trying to break a tragic cycle.

But first, new 911 calls in the case of missing Zahra Baker. We`re going to play you some of them, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam, did you have any involvement in her disappearance?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the burning question of what happened to 10- year-old Zahra Baker takes on even more urgency as cops track down new leads as far away as Australia.

Plus, we have two chilling 911 calls made from the family home, the very same day little Zahra was reported missing. This one placed by step- mom Elisa at 5 a.m. on October 9.


ELISA BAKER, STEPMOTHER OF ZAHRA: My husband works for a tree maintenance company, and our back yard is on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your what`s on fire?

E. BAKER: The back yard. We`ve got big mulch piles and wood piles because we sell firewood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Firefighters responding to that call found the fake ransom note, which cops say Zahra`s step-mom admits she wrote herself. We`re also learning cops believe that fire was deliberately set, although nobody`s been charged yet.

Meantime, nine hours later, after that call, Zahra`s dad, looking at him here, made a second 911 call saying, little Zahra was missing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Catawba County, 911.

A. BAKER: Hey, how you doing?


A. BAKER: I need police. We had all that drama last night, and then we -- me and my wife went back to bed. And my daughter`s coming into puberty, so she`s in that brooding stage. So we only see her when she wants something.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does puberty have to do with anything?

Straight out to WBTV radio talk show host Tara Servatius.

Tara, two new potentially explosive leads. Tell us about them.

TARA SERVATIUS, WBTV RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes. The first one we`ve got, we found out that there`s a doughnut maker next door to Zahra Baker`s house, and the man, one of the employees there now saying that he saw somebody with a lighter on the back porch, couldn`t see who it was that morning. And so that`s going on.

You know, by the way, Jane, as a member of the media, that investigators have now come to us, saying that the family is not telling the truth, that they want our interviews, because what they`re telling the media and what they`re telling the police are two different things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, listen to that 911 call. What does a child disappearing having to do puberty? Where`s the urgency in that voice?

Nobody has been charged in connection with little Zahra`s disappearance and presumed death, by the way. Go ahead.

SERVATIUS: Well, there is none. This man sounds, Jane, like he`s lost his wallet, and he thinks it`s funny and thinks maybe he`ll find it. I mean, he`s laughing. He`s not concerned.

Word on the street here on background, off the record, is that the only reason this man is not in jail yet is because he is still acting helpfully in this case. That that`s the only reason, that police have hopes that he will help them find the body. They think he knows where she is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we invite him or his attorney on any time to tell their side of the story. I`d love to ask this guy some questions, like, when your daughter is missing, you don`t call 911 and go, "Hey, how you doing." Did you hear that right at the start? Tara, did you hear that?

SERVATIUS: I couldn`t hear you, Jane. I`m sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Hey, how you doing?" That`s how he starts off the call.

SERVATIUS: Oh, yes. And he spends more time worried about where her prosthetic leg is than where she is. And he said, "Oh, they must have taken the prosthetic leg. We don`t see it around here, anyway." Then he goes into a theory about maybe the kidnappers took her instead of the other girl they threatened to take. I mean, he`s got it all planned out. He sounds like he`s really thought this through. It`s ten hours after she`s missing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Thank you so much, Tara. Great work.

Top of the hour, Nancy Grace, much more on Zahra Baker.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s domestic violence spotlight, a story every man and woman in the United States needs to hear because it could save your life.

This is the astounding story of a man who used to abuse his wife but is now a completely changed person. Bill Kirksey has been married for nearly 50 years. He admits that during the first 39 years of his marriage he -- the man you`re looking at right there -- was a controlling, verbally abusive husband. Bill admits he regularly berated his wife. He tried to control everything she did. And he isolated her from her family. This is all classic abuser behavior.

But I`m happy to say everything changed eight years ago. His wife apparently said, enough, you`re going to get help, and to his everlasting credit, Bill did. He went through a batterer`s program run by Men Stopping Violence. Bill was transformed and now he`s on a mission to help other men stop their abuse.

So I want to welcome and applaud Bill Kirksey; first of all, congratulations for your incredible honesty. I know how hard it is to admit all this and to have the courage to change. That`s astounding, too. So I applaud you, sir.

Bill, what did you used to be like? Describe the kind of abuse you used to inflict on your wife.

BILL KIRKSEY, VERBALLY ABUSED WIFE FOR 39 YEARS: Well, I felt like that I was the ruler of my home and that all the decisions I needed to make and if things didn`t go my way, then by gosh I would just rant and rave. I would be profane. I would intimidate. I would even hit the icebox, punch a hole in the wall.

And it really got bad. I withhold money from my wife. I wouldn`t let her see her family and friends. I felt like that she didn`t have the right to have any enjoyment unless I was around.

And while I didn`t hit her, the emotional harm I inflicted on her was as painful as if I had -- if I had hit her. And it was very bad. My kids used to hear our arguments and my berating her and they would sorter of decide secretly, we found out a little bit later, who they would live with after we got a divorce. And fortunately, that didn`t happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when kids are hoping that the parents get divorced, that says a lot. But again, I applaud you for -- this takes a lot of guts, people at home, for this gentleman to get on here and to admit all that stuff. And it`s happening all over the country. Right now as we speak, there are women being abused in the exact same manner.

Here`s my big issue. Abuse is about power. A man who feels powerless in the outside world, let`s say he feels powerless at his job, can find himself trying to experience power by becoming a dictator in his own home.

In fact, there`s certain classic signs which are illustrated in the famous power and control wheel. Men control by isolating a woman, minimizing her complaints, exerting what they call male privilege and also by using money and children as leverage.

Now, Bill, you related to some of this. What happened? What happened to make you hit bottom on this abusive behavior and change?

KIRKSEY: Well, Nancy, my partner, issued me an ultimatum after I had an extremely abusive behavior incident with her. She said, you need to get help and change or else. And I knew she meant business.

So we did some joint counseling. Then eventually I went to an intervention program as you mentioned, Men Stopping Violence. And I learned there that my behaviors were all about the power and control that you mentioned, about abusive behavior. And that I needed to be accountable for my actions. And I needed to treat my wife as my partner not as my property.

And it -- attitudes are hard to change, but eventually I realized that patience and kindness leads to a loving relationship, not fear and control.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just am totally in awe of your honesty, and I think this can help a lot of people out there. Again, women are being abused as we speak. And women watching at home, if you are being abused now, there is something you can do about it, the issue of domestic abuse.

It was splashed across every newspaper last year when singer Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend Rihanna. TMZ obtained this photo of Rihanna`s battered face -- we`re going to show it to you in a second. There it is. Look at that.

HLN`s own Richelle Carey is on the board at Men Stopping Violence. Richelle, way to go, I love that. How did the assault on Rihanna inspire you to get involved in this absolutely crucial issue?

RICHELLE CAREY, HLN ANCHOR: Jane, it wasn`t just what happened to her, as if that weren`t horrific enough. It was the feedback, quite honestly, that I got because I interact a lot with viewers. Some of the feedback I was getting from viewers, particularly young people and women, Jane -- and I know you`ve heard it, saying things like, well, they were just fighting or what did she do to make him upset?

That`s when I really started to key in on this in a way that I hadn`t before because I didn`t grow up in a home where anyone fought. I thought that this was other people`s issues.

But when I saw the way people reacted to what happened to Rihanna and other cases that have been in the news, I saw that this was society`s problem. This isn`t about whether or not it happens in your home. And it takes society to fix this problem.

That picture, Jane, my goodness. And if someone can look at that and say, what did she do to deserve that? That`s when I knew that there had to be something done about that. And I became more involved in Men Stopping Violence because what Men Stopping Violence does is -- you`ve talked to Bill.

That`s some of what the organization does, Jane. But also what they do is reach out to men who are not abusers and tell them, you need to hold other men accountable for what you do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Now, I want to go to Ulester Douglas, who is director of training at this organization that Richelle is involved with, Men Stopping Violence. And you`re a psychotherapist.

I understand you`ve counseled Bill and you`ve counselled other men.

How do you stop a guy who is screaming and yelling abusively, who is controlling his wife, using money as a way to control? How do you change all those patterns of behavior? That`s got to be very difficult.

ULESTER DOUGLAS, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING, MEN STOPPING Violence: Well, I think it is helpful to think about one of the primary reasons men abuse women, and that is because they can. We have learned over the 28, 29 years from men -- we`re talking about thousands of men we`ve worked with -- that men are less likely to engage in this behavior if they didn`t think they could get away with it. You see?

So it takes a community of men in particular to hold these men accountable. So, bottom line is, if he knows he`s not likely to get away with it, he will not do it.

The other thing is to begin to challenge that man`s belief system because one of the messages men get about what it means to be a real man, a husband, a partner, is really the extent to which he can control women. You see? And so it is really important to note that it`s not just these men who get caught.

For example, a lot of times we tend to want to focus on the men who enter into batterer`s intervention program only. It`s only a small percentage of men who abuse women ever end up in a batterer`s intervention program.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right Ulester because one out of four women are going to experience this or are experiencing this. So that means women at home right now who are watching have husbands or boyfriends who are screaming at them, who are isolating them from their family and friends, and who are using male privilege and saying, it`s my way or the highway because I`m the guy. And I think this is so important.

Bill Kirksey, again, I applaud you. Abuse is usually handed down generation to generation. In fact boys who witness domestic violence are statistically twice as likely to abuse their wives and girlfriends and children when they grow up.

What are the roots of your abuse? What happened to you in childhood? What happened to make you this way?

KIRKSEY: Well, my dad was a controlling person. He ruled our household. I learned that behavior from him. Not all abusers have learned that behavior, but that`s one of the reasons why I`m speaking out today. And I continue to work in this area to try to show not only to my partner but my two sons and my sons-in-law that I want to break this generational legacy that the man rules the roost and that this a partnership when you have a marriage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just love you. You`re fantastic. Barbra, Nevada, your question or thought, ma`am.

BARBRA, NEVADA (via telephone): I just want to say that I was abused for ten years. I was beat. My children were beat. And it does affect your children. My children to this day are affected, and they marry differently because of it. We were physically and sexually abused, and for these men to rant about abuse to women, as long as men are running the country and making women less of a person, this will continue to happen.

I now am away from him. I now have been married to a great man for 23 years, and I love him to death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, Barbra, I`m so happy for you.

BARBRA: But it still affects me to this day. It still, to this day - -


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got to go back to Richelle for a second. Thank you for that very honest call. It`s 2010. What the heck is going on here? Why haven`t we moved past this? Why are we still trapped in stuff that seems very backward, frankly?

CAREY: I think -- I agree. It seems backward, but I think it`s so entrenched in who we are, whether men get a pat on the back for something crude they say from their coaches or their friends or people in their family, that`s what I mean when I say it`s so entrenched.

And I think sometimes people don`t even realize some of the things they buy into when it comes to male privilege and the way that men are upheld -- some men, let me be clear -- the way some men are upheld in abusive behavior and they don`t even realize that it`s not just whether or not you`re hitting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Women -- thank you Richelle -- women, you have more power than you think you do. Look at this gentleman here. His wife said, enough is enough, and he changed. Enough is enough. That`s what you need to tell your husband or boyfriend if he is abusing you. Thank you for making a difference Bill.

Next, a 15-year-old girl labeled as a sex addict on Tyra Banks` talk show. Did TV personality and host Tyra Banks exploit this minor?

Also, Somer Thompson`s mom endured every parent`s nightmare. What`s next for this heartbroken and very courageous mother?


DINA THOMPSON, SOMER THOMPSON`S MOTHER: I love you and I just want you to come home. I just want you to come home.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did Tyra Banks exploit a minor live on television? That`s next.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

Somer Thompson kidnapped and brutally murdered. Her tiny little body found dumped in a landfill. Tonight marks the horrifying one-year anniversary of this beautiful girl`s tragic disappearance. A memorial is being held in Somer`s hometown tonight to remember her beautiful life.

This Thursday night here on ISSUES, I will sit down one-on-one with Somer`s heartbroken and very courageous mother, Dina Thompson who`s been so strong through this unspeakable tragedy. It`s an ISSUES exclusive. And you don`t want to miss it.

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

All right. The "Tyra Banks Show" is off the air, but the dramarama continues. Tyra has been slapped with a lawsuit for a whopping $3 million bucks by a self-proclaimed sex addict`s mom. Yes, the mom, Beverly McClenan (ph) says her 15-year old daughter was whisked away in a limo and featured on the "Tyra Banks Show" in October 2009 without the mother`s consent.


TYRA BANKS, HOST, "THE TYRA BANKS SHOW": And she admits that her sex addiction is so out of control that she`s had sex with over 20 guys, and she has gotten pregnant three times.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the teen allegedly responded to an open call for sex addicts on Tyra`s Web site. Then show producers allegedly called the girl`s cell, arranged an appearance, flew her from Atlanta to New York, put her up in a hotel, and reportedly paid for her to appear on camera -- now, probably not the best idea for an under-aged sex addict to be alone in a hotel.

Full disclosure, HLN, this network is part of Turner Broadcasting which is owned by Time Warner, also the parent company of Warner Brothers, the producers of "Tyra Show" -- Warner Brothers not commenting tonight.

Straight out to Duncan Roy, recovering sex addict who was on VH1`s "Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew". Duncan, do you see the mother`s point?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Duncan, do you see the mother`s point? Or do you think this girl might have benefited from going on the show?

ROY: Well, first of all, I`m kind of concerned that the show didn`t do the due diligence. I mean, why was a 15-year-old girl there?

But you know what? The mother should have been looking out for the kid years before if she`s been out there doing all that stuff, if she claims. You know, is it true? I mean, that`s the point that kind of -- that`s what I think immediately. Is this girl telling the truth?

And you know, people will say anything to get on television, and, you know, is it true? But the point is, they should have done their due diligence and, no, I don`t think she should have been on the show at 15 years old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fifteen years old. And you know how 15-year-old kids are. They make things up. We constantly warn parents --

ROY: Exactly, I think she probably did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- about monitoring their kids to keep them away from dangers.

Now, this minor claims the oldest man she slept with -- she`s 15 -- was 37 years old.

ROY: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She claimed she slept with him when she was 13. Listen to this from the "Tyra Banks Show".


BANKS: You were 13 and he was 37? And where did you meet him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I used to get on chat lines.

BANKS: Chat lines. Internet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like phone chat lines.

BANKS: Phone chat. Ok and did he know how old you were?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now the teen claimed on the show she acted as a caretaker for other family members and of course people are wondering, maybe the mom didn`t know what her daughter was doing. But then again, maybe this didn`t happen.

I want to go to my dear friend Rolonda Watts, a noted television personality. Rolonda, you`ve had your own show. What went on here? Is this -- is this a problem?

ROLONDA WATTS, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Well, this is a big problem. This is sloppy and negligent if what has happened is what we`re reading is true. I mean, number one, you have to get an ok from the State of Georgia, from the mother to cross those state lines of Georgia, going to New York City, staying in a hotel by yourself, in a limo by yourself and then flying back home after being on television talking about being a sex addict when there are predators out there watching TV.

Yes, that`s a problem. Yes, the mother should have been included every step of the way. She should have been sitting there on that set next to her. And if Tyra had not heard from the mother, I mean, my -- my curiosity is, why didn`t Tyra pick up the phone and say, listen, you and your daughter are going through something here. You need to come on the show with her.

I would not personally want that kind of responsibility of a 15-year- old flying across -- across the country or across and getting anywhere out of the state without a mother`s permission.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if she is telling the truth, there`s always the prospect that she could get in trouble once she`s on her road trip.

Now, here`s my big issue. Truth or travesty? Is this a true story or a teenager just wanting to go on national television and meet super model turned talk show host, Tyra Banks? Her mom says her daughter has not been diagnosed as a sex addict, but if it`s true and this girl didn`t feel perhaps she could talk to anybody at home, maybe she thought Tyra was her only hope.

Laurence Greenberg, you`re a family law attorney. Legally, does this girl have the right as a minor to talk about her purported addiction without consent of her mom?

LAURENCE GREENBERG, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, this is an absolutely outrageous story. I mean, putting aside for one second that if what is being alleged is true, that the producers at the "Tyra Banks Show" just simply dropped the ball, what I want to know is how this mother can come forward at this juncture and be concerned about her daughter allegedly being exploited.

ROY: Exactly.

GREENBERG: If you believe what this young lady said on air that she lost her virginity at the age of nine, had three abortions, had sex with 20 different men, where was this woman when the girl was nine years old? I mean, what was she doing in New York State you would have charge --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Duncan -- maybe the reason why the mom was so upset is that it really reflects poorly on her. So that`s probably why the mom is outraged, Duncan.

ROY: Yes, I mean, I agree with the -- you know our previous speaker. I mean, where was the mother during this entire time?

And also, you know, the whole thing about addiction, it`s self diagnosed. You don`t get diagnosed as an addict, you come forward and you say you`re an addict.

But, I mean, you know, I think that it`s -- was Dr. Drew part of the show as well? Because obviously, we did the show with Dr. Drew, I didn`t see the show. But if Dr. Drew was there, I`m kind of amazed that he would have allowed that to happen as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He may not have known beforehand. More on the shocking allegations.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are back talking about this controversial episode of "The Tyra Banks Show". Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like I`m trapped in a dark place with no light shining down, like I`m a prisoner. I know that I need help for this. I mean I know it for a fact.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a 15-year-old girl, self-proclaimed sex addict who was featured on Tyra last year. Now her mother is suing claiming she didn`t give the show consent to have her daughter on.

Britney, Florida, your question or thought.

BRITNEY, FLORIDA (via telephone): Hello, how are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you doing?

BRITNEY: I just want to say that it was very odd that the panel said what if the girl is lying. I`m 21 years old. I know a lot of teens and I dealt with youth organizations. And I would like to say there are a lot of teens that are having sex. For some reason, a lot of older people and parents don`t think their kids are having sex.

I`m telling you now, nine times out of ten, that girl is not lying. The reason being so, she`s scared to tell her parents. So she went to Tyra because Tyra can relate to young people.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Britney, you`re making an excellent point. Rolonda, she`s got a point.

WATTS: Well, I`m sitting here thinking -- I pray that there was not a lie going on or anything. But we do know that we live in a society where we push down children`s throats that television is the place to be, no matter what. That sex sells. And if you have a sex tape, it will make you successful.

And we`ve got to, as a society, take a double look at the messages that we`re sending to young girls. And yes, this Internet and all of these chat rooms -- parents, be aware, there are vultures out there and there`s a war on children right now.

ROY: There`s a big difference. There`s a huge difference between being promiscuous and being a sex addict. And I`m --


GREENBERG: Where is the parenting?

ROY: Exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do we know that she`s not just a future great novelist who is sitting in her room and decided to just answer this text? This girl says she lost her virginity at nine and had sex with more than 20 men. Feared she contracted herpes and was pregnant three times.

I personally think Lawrence that it is part of this lawsuit. They should try to find the records. Did she have abortions, for example?

GREENBERG: Obviously, Jane, they`re going to have to find out what portions of her allegations are true and what parts might be concocted. But what seems to be undisputed is this young woman got on a --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that also comes from good producing.

GREENBERG: This woman got on a plane -- not a woman -- this child apparently got on a plane, flew to New York, is staying in a hotel. I mean, where is the mother? Where are the parents? Where is the discipline? Where is the parenting?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hold on. Rolonda, go ahead.

WATTS: You have to have a release on these shows. At least back in my day on talk shows, you had to have parental consent to have a child on the set, to have a child in front of your camera, particularly talking about abuse in a sexual way this way. It deeply concerns me about the type of producing that`s going on in television.

If we don`t let people in the street pimp our children, we don`t let television producers pimp our children either. I hope that we are wrong in this situation but if there`s any light of truth, we as the viewers of American television need to wake up.


GREENBERG: Of course. The show dropped the ball. If any of these allegations about them not getting parental consent, not getting a certificate from the Department of Labor as required by Georgia State law, if any of those things are true, then it goes without saying, that the producers in "The Tyra Banks Show" dropped the ball.

WATTS: Is that not kidnapping?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, guys. Great discussion.

GREENBERG: Is it not kidnapping, that`s a criminal question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rolonda and Duncan -- Rolonda, it`s so great seeing you. You know I love you.

WATTS: Great to see you. I`m so proud of you.


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