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Cops Look into Road Rage Connection with Chasen Murder; Woman Confronts Flasher

Aired December 3, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



CARLOS DIAZ, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the intense investigation into celebrity publicist Ronni Chasen`s death heats up. First, a person of interest emerges. Now new reports claim this Hollywood hot shot wanted to redo her will two months before she was gunned down. Did someone want to cash in, or could road rage have been the fatal trigger?

And a courageous woman rips into a subway flasher. It`s all caught on camera. The pervert exposed his private parts on a Manhattan train and pressed up against a passenger. Cops say he`s done it before, but this time he messed with the wrong woman. You will not believe what she did next.

Plus, it`s been six long months since Kyron Horman vanished. His heartbroken parents plead for help while his step-mom, the last person believed to see him alive, remains central to the investigation. You`ll hear from Kyron`s devastated dad tonight in an exclusive interview.

Then Britney Spears blasts her ex-husband after he reportedly released a tape of the singer, allegedly admitting she was beaten by her boyfriend. Is it a fake?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight. The plot thickens in Hollywood as cops try to find out who killed famed publicist Ronni Chasen. A person of interest in the case kills himself, and now as cops try to figure out if he had any connection to Ronni Chasen, another theory is now emerging. Was Chasen`s murder a result of road rage?

TMZ reports sources connected to the investigation say Ronni Chasen had a temper and that cops are seriously investigating this road rage scenario.

Chasen was shot five times as she drove through Beverly Hills after a movie premiere party two weeks ago. "The Hollywood Reporter" reports it`s likely the gunman was in a vehicle that pulled up next to her. But even experts say this is a tricky shot. Watch this from "Good Morning America."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that`s done, you know, with some skill. I could -- I`ll be honest with you. I`ve carried a gun, and I carried a gun for 38 years and had to qualify quarterly. I couldn`t -- I don`t know that I could shoot, you know, hit that.


DIAZ: So far cops haven`t found any connection between Ronni Chasen and that guy who killed himself. So are they back at square one? I`ve got to tell you, this is turning out to be a true Hollywood whodunit.

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. Let`s begin with Radar Online senior news editor Mary Margaret.

Mary, what`s the very latest?

MARY MARGARET, SENIOR NEWS EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: What we do know is that police are chasing a lot of roads that kind of lead to dead ends. Obviously, the suspect who shot himself before they could serve him was sort of their hot lead. But, again, that`s sort of leading to a nowhere resolution. There seems to be no connection between him and Ronni Chasen, and friends, colleagues and police are still searching for more clues.

DIAZ: Well, it was a tip, Mary, from the TV show "America`s Most Wanted" that led cops to the person of interest named Harold Smith. Now, he shot himself in the head as cops tried to talk to him. This right here, this is the lobby of the apartment building where Smith killed himself. We`re told the shooting was captured on surveillance tape, and there were several witnesses in the lobby at the time.

People who knew this guy say he served time for drugs and firearms charges and that he would rather die than go back to prison. Now TMZ is reporting that Smith may have, in fact, killed himself because he possibly committed several burglaries in the area.

Now, former police detective Steve Kardian, what do you know about all of that?

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER POLICE DETECTIVE: Well, he`s got an extensive criminal history, and he was -- he had made statements that he was going to kill himself rather than go back to jail.

Now, when law enforcement arrived, if he believed that he was going to go for those burglaries, in all likelihood he took his own life. And if there`s anybody that hired this man, they weren`t -- they weren`t thinking very well. This would be a real bad -- anybody involved with her is going to have the kind of money it would take to do the job -- get the job done correctly, if you will.

DIAZ: But Steve, I mean, you`re a former police detective. How often does a guy pull out a guy and blow his own head off, you know, when -- when he`s about to be questioned?

KARDIAN: Oh, it`s rare, but it does happen. It certainly adds mystery to the case. They`re going to look at him with a fine-tooth comb. The ballistics are going to tell a lot about the weapon that he killed himself with, if they do, in fact, match up. So they`re not -- they`re not going to discount anything. But the probability that he was the killer, I would say from 30 years experience he`s likely not.

DIAZ: Well, Steve, Radar Online is reporting that Ronni Chasen had plans to rewrite her will only two months before she was murdered. So what did she want to change?

TMZ says Chasen left about $60,000 to charity and the rest to relatives but that she shut out her niece Jill, only giving her -- get this -- $10. TMZ posted this song that Jill wrote as a tribute to her aunt. Listen.


JILL GATSBY, NIECE OF RONNI CHASEN (singing): Now that I`m awake I only got myself to blame. I`ve got to raise myself on a high shelf.


DIAZ: All right. Jill Gatsby is a singer, songwriter and actress, and the daughter of Ronni Chasen`s brother, director Larry Cohen.

Stacey Honowitz, this will was dated 1994. Chasen`s brother says there`s another will from 2006 in a safety deposit box. So what happens next?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, certainly, Carlos, what`s going on now, as Steve mentioned, is they`re investigating any kind of lead they possibly have, because it truly is a Hollywood whodunit, like you said. They have to go down every avenue they possibly can. So they are looking at a myriad of situations: road rage, what this Harold Smith might have known, what`s going on with the probate, the will, who was left in it, who maybe was angered by what was left. I mean, these are all not stretches. These are all things that might lead to an answer.

But right now, they are keeping it very close-lipped, which I think is great, especially in the Hollywood community, where you think it would be so -- you know, talked about so much. Because it has -- it`s a pending investigation, and they really are investigating so many different leads. There`s nothing really much to talk about with regard to one lead.

DIAZ: OK. I`ve got to say this whole road rage thing, right now I -- I`m inclined to call B.S. on the road rage thing. And I`ll tell you why.

I travel this road every single day, leaving CNN L.A. going back to my place on Wilshire. I make the left on Whittier. I make that same left off of Sunset all the time. This stretch of road heading west on Sunset before you get to Whittier, is quite possibly the nicest, most serene stretch of road in the entire world.

I mean, the houses that lie -- that are in the neighborhoods adjacent to this road on Sunset, they`re some of the houses you`d ever see. Let`s bring Steve Kardian back on this.

Steve, you know the area; you know Beverly Hills. It`s not exactly a place where people are just seething with road rage.

KARDIAN: No, Carlos. And you know, some people that I`ve been involved with in investigations and arrested for road rage, you just can`t believe the immediate energy that they do. And these are some -- I`m talking about people that are IBM-ers, people that are doctors that exhibit such an emotional, extreme outrage. So it`s a possibility that law enforcement just can`t discount until they have a general or a good direction to go in with regard to this case.

DIAZ: But Pat Brown, you`re a criminal profiler. I mean, you know, they`re talking about no shell casings were found, you know, at the scene. We`re talking about hollow-point bullets being used. To me, I don`t think a random case of road rage would be precision shots, five to the chest -- or three to the chest, two to the shoulder. You have no casings being found. You have hollow-point bullets being used. To me, that sounds like a hit and not some random act of violence.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, in that case, somebody must have hired me, because I own a 9-millimeter. I have that same ammunition, and I could get that same shot pattern off. And as a matter of fact, I could get it without getting the two in the shoulder. So I don`t think you have to be that brilliant that close up.

We`re not talking about, you know, at 30 feet or 30 yards where you`re going to try for a body shot and get a really tight pattern, woo. You know, you`ve been in that range a long time and really working at it. We`re talking about, you know, this guy is right at the window. That`s just a couple of feet. I mean, that -- you should be able to hit that.

I don`t think this is a professional hit, hired you know, anybody spent a lot of money hiring a professional hit man. Could it have been a hit? Yes, by a thug like the one who killed himself, although it seems like he he`s got nothing to do with it. Or yes, it could be road rage. Somebody`s good with a gun, you know, uses it in other activities.

DIAZ: Pat, remind me to never cut you off in traffic.

But -- but here`s the thing, though. Like I said, I travel this road every single day. This is not -- I mean, L.A. is full of road rage. You get on the 405, you know, you might as well watch out. I mean, because people are cutting people off.

But this road is not a road where people are getting out of their cars and shooting people for no good reason because somebody got cut off on Rodeo. I mean, that`s the thing that confuses me here.

BROWN: It only takes -- it only takes one person and one incident. We often see sometimes just a collision of two people at the, you know, right or wrong time or however you want to put it, and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose.

But this is what`s so important about doing victimology, so important about doing crime reconstruction, looking at the angle of the bullets, looking at exactly what happened in that vehicle, looking at what her past was. Everything that connects. I mean, that`s why you have to do such a thorough crime reconstruction to figure out, you know, what really went on and what the motive really was in this particular incident.

DIAZ: All right. I`m going to bring Brenda Wade in, in a second. She`s a clinical psychologist. You guys, stay tight. We`ll have much more on this coming up right after the break.

Also, a subway flasher messes with the wrong woman. You`ve got to see this. It`s awesome. It`s all caught on tape.

Plus, more of this high-profile Hollywood murder mystery coming up right after the break.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person that they were with looking for showed up. They attempted to talk to the suspect. When they did, the suspect produced a handgun. And there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound at that point in time, and the suspect was pronounced at the scene.




EDDIE BURKE, NEIGHBOR: We were gone for a couple of hours and as we returned, coming walking down the block here, all hell broke loose here in Hollywood, and the police were coming from all different angles, choppers in the air. And -- and of course, they had surrounded the building, and unfortunately, a man took his own life.


DIAZ: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Chaos at a Hollywood apartment building when a person of interest in the murder of publicist Ronni Chasen kills himself rather than talking to the cops. But now TMZ is reporting road rage could be a potential theory behind Chasen`s murder. I`ve got to tell you, in a town like Hollywood, we could have ten more theories in the next 24 hours.

Right out to Brenda Wade.

Brenda, you`re a clinical psychologist. You would have to have extreme road rage to pop somebody five times in the chest. Am I right?

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. That would be pretty extreme. But you know, Carlos, that the most common motives for murder are love and money. So maybe road rage and maybe love or money. We have so much fear and confusion about love and money in our lives, because most of us are ignorant about handling love and money. Somebody crosses us in one of those two areas, and that can trigger a chain reaction of a lot of fear and aggression.

So we have to also ask, could it have been love and money? This is actually why I created the "love and money summit," where I teach people how to handle love and money. It is important for us to say, a woman who`s with a high-profile -- who works with a lot of wealthy people, who has a lot of wealth herself, money could be part of the scenario. I know nothing about her love life, but certainly, we could say it could be.

DIAZ: Well, you make a great point, because I mean, we heard from TMZ with the will, the will`s worth -- is worth over $6 million. So obviously, there`s a lot of money in this situation. And a good place to start...

BROWN: Carlos?

DIAZ: Go ahead. Pat, go ahead.

HONOWITZ: What I was going to say is anytime you have a case like this, a homicide case, certainly one of the things that they always investigate, one of the avenues they go down, is the victim`s history, their wealth, if there`s insurance policies, all those typical motives that you hear about.

The other interesting thing in this case is, when she was first murdered, the first theory that came out was that she thought she was being followed.

DIAZ: Yes. That`s a good point.

HONOWITZ: And that had been going on for a couple of weeks. So I`m sure that`s a very big lead that the investigators are hopping on right now. But like I said, it was like you said. There could be 24 new theories in the next 24 hours. Really going to have to wait and see.

WADE: Right. And love and money, as Pat is saying, yes, love and money also have to do with power. And this was a powerful woman.

So we don`t know at this point, but I think if I had to place a bet, Carlos, I would say that the fact that she thought she was being followed, the fact that, as you already said, this is a quiet street where we`re not likely to see road rage, I wonder if there isn`t something else in her past that will come to light that made somebody go after her.

DIAZ: Well, we`re going to have all of these theories in the next 24 hours. Twenty-four hours ago, we have this guy killing himself. I mean, a good place to start looking for clues will be the gun that Harold Smith used.

WADE: But this guy clearly sounds like he was unstable, Carlos. I have to say when I look at his profile, he seems too unstable to carry out a plan.

DIAZ: But he -- could he have been part of that plan? Former L.A. Police Chief Bill Bratton talked about all of this on the "CBS Early Show."


BILL BRATTON, FORMER LAPD CHIEF: To be able to examine the weapon that the gentleman had in his possession, to be able question all of his friends, relatives, who saw his activities. Weapon will be key. Also what they had in the search warrant that they supposedly had. What were they looking for?


DIAZ: Pat Brown, if Harold Smith didn`t have anything to do with the Ronni Chasen murder, the guy`s bragging about it to all his neighbors. I mean, are we starting to lean to the fact that this guy could be whacko?

BROWN: Yes, well, that is a good possibility. When this first broke that this guy had killed himself and the police had been surveilling him, I -- my question was, did the information come from somebody around him, or he was talking stuff and they turned the tip in.

Or did it come from Ronni Chasen`s end of it and they followed that tip to him? If they followed it to him, then I`d say he`s the guy that shot her. However, if he was just talking crap, which it seems now that`s what he was doing, it might just be that he`s nuts. As a matter of fact, he did say, you know, he wanted to go out in a blaze. It almost seems like he`s one of those guys who would possibly commit a mass murder, except he didn`t bother with it, or suicide by cop.

In other words, he`s middle aged, a felon, probably couldn`t get work, frustrated in life, going a little nuts and thought, "Hey, this will be cool. You know, if they come after me, I`ll just kill myself." So it may just be that`s all it was.

KARDIAN: Carlos...

DIAZ: Yes.

KARDIAN: ... judges won`t just sign a search warrant. They`ve got to have good probable cause to issue a search warrant.

DIAZ: So -- but does that point to -- what theory does that point to? I mean, that would point to the theory that it`s not just some -- you know, they`re not going off a tip from somebody who`s calling in saying, "Hey, this guy is bragging about the murder." It would have to be something deeper than that. Am I correct?

KARDIAN: And that`s -- yes, you`re correct. And it`s also possible that that search warrant could not or may not have been directly related to the homicide. It may be related to something else, with him as a person of interest or a possible suspect.

DIAZ: Well, with such a high-profile murder case comes dozens of theories. Former L.A. police chief Bill Bratton stated the obvious on CBS`s "Early Show," that rumors are going to fly in Hollywood.


BRATTON: In the very gossip-centered city of Los Angeles, TMZ, the rest of them are getting bits and pieces. They`re not getting the whole story. The police have done a phenomenal job keeping a lid on this.


DIAZ: Mary Margaret, Radar Online and other similar organizations, they get their information. You`ve got 30 seconds here, Mary. How are we supposed to believe Radar Online, TMZ and these other organizations?

MARGARET: Well, Radar Online has been on this story from the very beginning. One thing that we did do was talk to the co-executor of Ronni`s will, who said, "You know what? It`s not love. It probably is money." She did -- wanted to redo her will two months ago. In retrospect, that timing was suspicious. At the time no one thought anything of it.

DIAZ: All right. Mary, great job.

BROWN: It`s probably. That`s the key question.

DIAZ: Coming right back in a few minutes with video you`re not going to want to miss.


DIAZ: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. Tonight a flasher on a New York subway is caught in the act. He messed with the wrong woman this time, which -- this is unbelievable. Watch what happens on YouTube in this video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me see your penis.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I`m like, why is this person pressing up against me? I realize he has all this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) room. I see his penis out! That`s it! I`m not leaving your side. My plans are done for tonight. I`m escorting you to the police station, OK? Oh, yes. Oh, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yes. I know what I saw. Where the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is the conductor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, this is going on YouTube, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is the conductor? Oh, it`s there. It`s there, all right.


DIAZ: I know I`m speaking for Jane here when I say that this woman is a true crusader for the war on women! This video is proof that this confrontation was posted on the Web site,, a movement dedicated to ending street harassment.

Joining me right now is the founder of, Emily May.

Now Emily, this video is truly outrageous. You posted it on your Web site. Tell me, what`s the reaction been like?

EMILY MAY, IHOLLEREDBACK.ORG: People have come out of the woodwork in celebration of this woman and the bold actions that she took on her own behalf. I think what`s really scary about street harassment and about seeing people flashing themselves on the subway is that it`s so isolating.

And she really turned the tables around, and she changed the situation from something that could have been something very silencing, and she spoke out. She`s an inspiration for women around the world.

DIAZ: Yes, Emily, this bystander shot the video of the confrontation and then posted it on YouTube. You guys picked it up.

The man being accused of flashing is a 51-year-old named Mario Valdivia. According to WABC in New York, Valdivia pleaded guilty to forcible touching and was sentenced to four months behind bars.

Emily, a woman riding the subway, or a woman basically anywhere for that matter, should never have to experiencing -- experience something like this. I mean, this is truly outrageous.

MAY: It is truly outrageous, but you know what`s sad? Is that she`s really not alone. We get so many stories on our site of women who have witnessed public masturbation, groping or even sexual harassment that happens on the street and in the subway. It truly is a war zone out there.

DIAZ: We`ve got 30 seconds. I mean, I don`t want to get too graphic, but the guy had a condom on, as well?

MAY: He did. And unfortunately, there`s advice out there on the Internet on Web sites like (SITE DELETED) on how to do things like this. And, you know, apparently, a condom keeps it clean. But you know, it is -- it is a dangerous place out there for women, and women like Michaela Briggs (ph) who speak out and who take charge of the situation are making it safer and are an inspiration for us all.

DIAZ: All right. Web sites that I won`t be visiting any time soon. I`ll write that one down.

Got to leave it right there. Thanks, Emily.

MAY: Thanks so much for having me.

DIAZ: All right. His son mysteriously disappeared six months ago, and his estranged wife is at the center of the investigation. Hear what Kyron Horman`s devastated dad said about the ordeal in a must-see exclusive interview. It`s coming up next right here on ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ- MITCHELL.


DIAZ: It`s been six long months since Kyron Horman vanished. His heartbroken parents plead for help, while his stepmom, the last person believed to see him alive, remains central to the investigation.

You`ll hear from Kyron`s devastated dad tonight in an exclusive interview.

Then Britney Spears blasts her ex-husband after he reportedly leaks a tape of the singer allegedly admitting she was beaten by her boyfriend. Is it a fake?


BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER CAPTAIN, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPT: To hide a little boy like that for six months out of the public view when he`s probably the most recognizable missing child in North America.


DIAZ: He`s talking of course about Kyron Horman, the Oregon boy who`s been missing now since June 4th. Tonight on this somber six-month anniversary, Kyron`s parents are again pleading for the public`s help in finding their young son.

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. And Jane spoke exclusively to Kyron`s dad Kaine about his desperate search.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Do you have a theory as to what happened to your son?

KAINE HORMAN, FATHER OF KYRON HORMAN (via telephone): I have a few, and now it just -- really it just depends on how investigations go, it will help kind of dictate which ones of those are correct. I have a couple of different ones, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can`t share any of that with us, even a hint?

HORMAN: I`d rather not. Our divorce case is still pending. We`re in the middle of a legal process there. The criminal cases haven`t started. When they do, really it`s -- I have theories, but sharing those theories potentially does some jeopardy to his case by giving people insight that I really don`t want to have -- share that information with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was there one moment where you suddenly looked at her and said, "Oh, my God," and then chills and goose bumps just invaded your body and you said, oh, my God, the person I`m living with that I share my bed with I believe might have something to do with my child`s disappearance?

HORMAN: Yes. Those were all events or times that were -- that occurred after he was missing already and during those weeks that followed, that process we went through, the investigative process.

It`s a grueling process. And it`s your ability as a parent or family member to be ruled out, to be ruled out as a suspect, to be ruled out as having any involvement with whatever has happened and you have every ability to work with them to clear yourself.

And as soon as that started to go south, as soon as she was refusing to cooperate, lots of suspicion arose, and I -- I stood by her as long as I could until I couldn`t stand by her anymore. And then we had to leave for our own safety.

And I think that we did everything that we could. I mean we, there were other people who stood by her as long as they could as well. Until we just got to the point where the behaviors didn`t match what we thought was going on.

And yes, those were definitely either goose bumps or just those twinges and the intuition that say, ok enough is enough. We`re kind of past the point of being reasonable in our support here. We need to take a different path.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have covered your case from the very start and what gets me most of all, Kaine, is how your life just turned upside down and really turned into a living nightmare. Could you have ever imagined that you`d be in a situation where you are now, where your son is missing and the person you live with who you thought was your sort of soul mate turned out to be somebody who, in your opinion, is -- well, I`ll quote you, "a master of deception, misdirection" and really the way you describe her as really sort of evil.

HORMAN: Yes. There`s a lot of things that we`ve found out or are finding out that were happening during the time that we were together that they are just -- they`re shocking. And some of those behaviors, some of those events are -- yes, things that you just -- you don`t even see them coming.

And no matter how hard you may look, most normal people don`t go home every day and investigate their spouse. I don`t think many people have that approach when they go home and I`m one of those people. I tend to have that twist everything around.

Yes, life is what we`ll call a new normal after the fact, after the fact of him going missing, and then us finding out more about her. Life has definitely taken a different path.

But it`s all relative. I -- you have to put it in perspective and remember every day what he`s potentially going through right now. And it doesn`t matter how much our life goes sideways at this point in time as long as we keep looking for him and bring him home. It`s all that matters and everything else will be whole when he comes back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m a recovering alcoholic myself with 15 1/2 years of sobriety. And I just want to ask you. You said your estranged wife Terri Horman soon to be ex was an alcoholic who passed out.

When you look back on it, is there anything that you wish you had done differently in terms of dealing with her alleged alcoholism or drinking problem?

HORMAN: Well, she kept it hidden. That`s the hard part. As I look back and I see different things that seemed odd and out of place. I asked questions. I did press. I wish I would have maybe pressed a little bit harder. But in looking at the grander picture, it was all hidden.

And it was a gradual progression. I don`t think it was one week she was normal and then one week she was this raging alcoholic. I think it was a slow build-up over time. And when you see someone, you see your spouse, have a drink once a week, you don`t really ask questions. You see them have a drink twice a week you probably don`t ask any questions. And when you don`t see them drink any more than that, you probably never ask any questions.

But what`s happening behind the scenes, at least in this particular case, is we believe it was just being hidden through various other forms and because of the way we had our finances set up and some other things set up where we had things managed separately from each other, there was just not a lot of visibility into any information that would raise concern.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s been talk of a riff between you and Desiree, Kyron`s biological mom. Any thoughts on that?

HORMAN: You know, we`re all going through -- this is hard. This is over five months of the worst emotional strain you`re ever going to experience in your life. And we`re going to be emotional about things, and things will be said. Things will be done that are going to be tough.

The one thing, though, is we just can`t lose focus on Kyron in bringing him home. Things like this or -- these types of things may come up here and there, but it doesn`t make him come home any faster. It doesn`t make much of a difference. But I think it`s part of the natural progression of the emotional roller coaster that we`re all going to go through.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were out handing out flyers at a shopping mall recently. Tell us what happened and why you`re reaching out.

HORMAN: Well, we were at the mall passing out flyers at the businesses. And actually at a couple of different stops, the people working there they actually didn`t know that Kyron was still missing. So we talked to them about the situation and -- obviously we`re working with them to get flyers up in their stores or at the counters.

It was a little bit surprising but in a way it was good to hear because that means we have a lot of work to do still. I know he`s out there. I know he can hear us talking and see us when we`re out there, reaching out to him. We`re just going to keep doing that until we bring him home.


DIAZ: Great interview there by the host of this show, Jane Velez- Mitchell.

Kyron`s family says you can help. Here is a look at their latest flyer which can be found and printed at We all hope this nightmare ends soon.

Next up, is Britney Spears trapped in an abusive relationship? The performer`s ex-husband reportedly leaked a tape allegedly of Britney saying she was beaten by her current boyfriend. But is it really her?




A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: I have a really hard time believing this is Britney Spears. It really doesn`t sound like her to me at all.

CARLOS DIAZ: I`m not buying it. My daddy`s got a shotgun and he`s not afraid to use it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn`t sound like her at all.


DIAZ: We`re talking about this all-out war of words in the wake of stunning allegations that Britney Spears` boyfriend abused her.

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell tonight.

"Star" magazine claims to have jaw-dropping audio recordings of a conversation they orchestrated between Britney Spears and her ex-husband Jason Alexander. Now on the tapes she purportedly claims her boyfriend Jason Trawick quote, "beat on her". But tonight it`s Britney who`s coming out swinging or should I say coming out tweeting.

She tweets, "Star" magazine, RadarOnline, Jason Alexander and the rest of you liars, you all can kiss my lily white southern Louisiana (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."

But don`t be fooled Britney`s charming southern zest. TMZ is reporting Britney and her lawyer have already threatened to sue.

So what do you think? Listen to this clip posted on


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How`s your problems with your fiance?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he proposed to you or something at the beach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before or after he beat on me?


DIAZ: Wow. Meantime "Star" is standing by its story. More on that in just a moment.

First out, straight out to my good friend Mike Walters, who is the assignment manager for TMZ; Mike, you calling BS on this one? What`s the latest?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well Carlos, I`ve got to tell you. Like you said, Britney Spears` camp is coming out firing saying they are going to sue. That it`s 100 percent fake it`s not Britney Spears at all. But I`ve got to tell you something that`s interesting here. Jason Alexander is in a lose-lose situation.

Number one, let`s say that Britney`s camp proves this is a fake tape. He`s now on the hook for possibly fraud. Making out some tape with some different woman, right?

Number two, let`s say he sticks by his story, this is Britney Spears, it`s real and "Star" magazine and RadarOnline stick with their guns. Then, he is also is guilty of taping her in a two-party state in California where you`re not allowed to tape somebody on a telephone call where they don`t know you`re taping them.

So it`s a weird situation for him. But I`ve got to tell you something right now, Carlos --

DIAZ: Well, by the way Mike --


WALTERS: -- in my --

DIAZ: -- Mike -- Mike it`s surprising because Jason Alexander -- he`s a very smart guy. Anyway, go ahead.

WALTER: Well, no. But think about this. But no, but that`s a good point, Carlos. Jason Alexander is sticking by his guns and so is "Star" and Radar. And that tells me that he is 100 percent positive that this is her. He wouldn`t put himself in the magazine and do the interview and it was fake audio. He would have left it alone and sold it and left town.

But he`s doing this -- so I -- that tells me it`s real and he`s probably is just not the smartest guy in the world who doesn`t realize he taped someone illegally.

DIAZ: Yes and Mike, I`ve got to tell you, all these denials, these threats, "Star" magazine sticking by its story. In a statement to HLN "Star" claims, the phone conversation between Britney and Jason Alexander lasted more than an hour and went on to say, quote, "Mr. Alexander passed a polygraph test administered by `Star` when he was specifically asked, did you record a phone conversation that you had with Britney Spears? Moreover, there is information in the tape which `Star` may reveal at a later date that would be known only by Ms. Spears."

Now, HLN reached out for comment. Meantime, what on earth could this information known by only Ms. Spears be?

Let`s go to Bonnie Fuller from Bonnie, are you buying this? Do you think it`s Britney Spears?

BONNIE FULLER, PRESIDENT & EDITOR IN CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: I`ve got -- I really don`t know what to make of this. And I`ll tell you why. First of all, we had at "Star" -- not "Star" -- at, we had the tape analyzed by an independent audio expert. He did not think that the voice was Britney`s.

However, I do happen to know that "Star" and RadarOnline are extremely careful about what stories they go to press with and they absolutely would have given a polygraph test to Mr. Alexander. And I mean they would have checked him up the wazoo because they have no interest in publishing a story that`s not true.

So I`m -- you know, I`m torn by this.

DIAZ: But here`s the thing. And I -- I`m going to give a little inside baseball on you guys and talk about the business. Mike -- I`m not asking rhetorically -- I`m asking you seriously Mike, like Mike, when -- when you guys have a big story at TMZ, I see you all over TV. You -- they -- they get you everywhere with -- with -- when you have a big exclusive there. Am I correct, Mike?


DIAZ: Ok. So where is "Star" magazine in this? I mean, why aren`t they on this show? Why isn`t "Star" magazine at every outlet possible saying, look at how great this exclusive is? I`m not hearing -- all I`m seeing are these quotes from "Star" magazine. But I`m not hearing anyone has come forth from "Star" magazine and saying, this is the real deal, and doing every TV show they can. That`s what alarms me.

If it`s truly this worldwide exclusive, wouldn`t they be proud and out there and -- and promoting the heck out of it? To me it`s kind of like they`re on -- they are just doing as much damage control as possible.

Let`s listen to another clip of the controversial audio recording orchestrated by "Star" magazine and -- and this one was posted on


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, but why isn`t he in jail, baby?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I didn`t want the public knowing about it and I didn`t want to file anything, so everybody could find out. So I`ve just left him and changed my number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you all aren`t no hanging out no more?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You aren`t even talking?



DIAZ: All right, well, but they are talking. Because, you know, it was her 29th birthday this week and they`re going on a birthday celebration together.

RadarOnline posted three separate conversations. If indeed they are bogus or at least Britney as part is fake or she didn`t know that she was being recorded, Stacy Schneider, criminal defense attorney, what`s Britney`s next step legally?

STACY SCHNEIDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She -- if these tapes are not real, she needs to get her legal team together and file a defamation lawsuit against both "Star" magazine and her ex-husband. I don`t know if you can call him an ex-husband with a two-day marriage.

But this is portraying her in a false light and there could be damages stemming from this. And polygraph, schmolygraph? They`re not admissible in court. I can`t believe "Star" magazine would only rely on a polygraph. I hope they have more than that.

They`re not considered reliable. Plenty of people have taken polygraphs and not being caught in lies and it`s not been picked up by the polygraph.

So there -- if Britney is serious and this isn`t her, she should go straight to court.

DIAZ: Well, Stacy, get your facts straight because it wasn`t a 48- hour marriage. It was two days and seven hours, so there`s 55-hours marriage.

SCHNEIDER: Right, 55 hours, you`re right.

DIAZ: That`s a long term from it.

SCHNEIDER: You`re right.

DIAZ: Mike -- Mike, you know Jason Alexander, the guy like we said, maybe not the sharpest crayon in the box. But Jason Trawick is.


DIAZ: I mean, the guy -- he`s very powerful, he`s a -- he`s a good agent, he`s a darn good agent, with William Morris Endeavor. I mean, he`s got a stake in this as well because not only is this against Britney, I mean, it really is against him, accusing him of beating up on Britney.

WALTERS: Well, yes. Carlos, he 100 percent has a claim here, but here`s the reality. I am told from people who know them very well that Jason isn`t that kind of guy. He`s very calm. He`s very sweet with Britney. Even when Britney gets a little out of line, which we all know happens, he`s very good with her.

But I`m with Bonnie on this one. And I`ve got to tell you, I would wait to hear what else comes out. I am told there`s an hour and a half of audio and some of it actually does point right toward Lynn Spears and Britney and stuff that no one else would know.

I`m with Bonnie. I would wait to see what you hear on this and I`m -- and I`m kind of agreeing -- if they keep playing this and Jason Alexander is in the interview, I would lean towards this is probably real. Even though Britney`s camp is going to come hard against anyone who says different.

DIAZ: Well and you know what and I want to -- I would like to -- I like to have Jason Alexander on the show at any time. I -- I welcome him on.

I`ve actually interviewed the guy before, I`ve talked to the guy. He actually is a real nice guy, he`s not a jerk by any association. And he`s a real nice guy.

But -- as -- as far as this goes, there`s a lot of controversy. And if I`m Jason Alexander in this case, I`m coming out now and saying, hey, let me do some talk shows, let me get on some shows and say that this is real that this was taped.

But as Mike pointed out, so astutely you know, it`s a two-party state in California. He had to get permission. And he obviously didn`t if she`s coming out with bombshells like he`s hitting now. Like he`s hitting me --


DIAZ: -- and giving me black eyes.


DIAZ: Stacy -- Stacy.

SCHNEIDER: But also --


DIAZ: Stacy, Bonnie, Mike -- hold on. We have to do a commercial right now. I know you guys have a lot more to say. There`s a lot more on this topic coming up after the break.

We`re going to have much more on these explosive Britney claims; you don`t want to go anywhere. Britney Spears, was she beaten up by her current boyfriend as said by her ex-husband?



VIKKI ZIEGLER, ATTORNEY: There is qualified forensic experts that go in. They try to authenticate the tape or they are able to prove that it`s not her voice. They take the voice recording and they compare it. I think it`s going to be very easy for somebody to come with their scientific proof, their data to say, listen, this is not her voice.

We put it in a report. And that`s going to help her if in fact she is going to file a defamation claim.


DIAZ: What will be the next bombshell in this latest Britney Spears scandal? We`re back talking about these stunning audio tapes. It`s conversations allegedly between Britney Spears and her husband of about 55 hours, Jason Alexander.

Stacy Schneider let`s go back out to you, criminal defense attorney. Here is the thing. It used to be like a few years ago when Britney was, I don`t know, in train-wreck mode, if you will say. You could kind of like get by with like sneaking little jabs in like this.

But now she is -- you know, her dad is her conservator, she`s back on the right path and she is dating a guy who works for the one of the most powerful agencies in Hollywood, William Morris Endeavor. Stacy, if these tapes are fake, you know, Jason Alexander could be in a lot of trouble because you have multiple people coming with lawsuits.

SCHNEIDR: Yes. People will be in a lot of trouble. Britney has great legal teams in California. She`ll bring them out.

But one thing I want to point out which no one is realizing, let`s say these tapes are authentic. She`s got big problems that this information could come out in public and be subjected because if she`s a victim of violence, and everyone knows about her child custody problems in the past. Children and Family Services will be all over her again with those kids because kids are under the watch of the state and under investigation when there`s a home where there`s alleged domestic violence.

It doesn`t have to be from a spouse, it could be from a boyfriend. So, she`s got tremendous reasons for the public to believe that these tapes are inauthentic. She does not want Children and Family Services poking back in her life again.

DIAZ: Stacy, great point.

SCHNEIDER: Especially when custody has been, you know, established now.

DIAZ: Great point, Stacy. Now Bonnie, you are there with you live the Hollywood life, you know that Hollywood is about spin. When a story comes out like this, you can kind of judge if it`s real or fake by how long it takes to hear a denial, you know. I mean if it`s like weeks afterwards and then Britney has, you know, talked to her team and she comes out and says it`s not me. Then you kind of go, "Really"?

But Britney was all over this like hours -- hours after the tapes were posted. Britney`s people were saying it is not her. So when you hear that, does it lead you to believe that these tapes are fake?

FULLER: Actually, I was surprised by how long it took the team to get their act together and issue a denial.

DIAZ: Really? Bonnie, you`re a little more demanding than I am, Bonnie. I mean it was hours afterwards. I mean it was like two hours and Britney was like --

FULLER: Actually, I don`t think it was. Because what happened is the magazine came out. We immediately started placing calls to everybody on her team and Jason`s team, her attorneys, her PR people because we wanted to get their statement. We expected there would be an immediately, widely disseminated statement of denial.

We placed calls all day. It wasn`t until I think 6:00 Eastern standard time that a -- like the general denial came out.


DIAZ: But Bonnie -- but Bonnie, you know and I know -- you know and I know the first step in that is we have no comment. We are looking into this. You have days go by. If it`s hours, it leads me to believe that`s pretty quick.

Bonnie I have to leave it right there. I thank you so much.

Stacy Schneider, great job as always. Thank you to my fabulous panel tonight.

You are watching ISSUES on HLN. Stick around. "NANCY GRACE" is up next.

I`m Carlos Diaz, in for Jane Velez-Mitchell. Have a good weekend.