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Zahra Baker: Horrific Claims; Teen Girl, 16, Feared Dead in Baltimore

Aired January 4, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a frantic hunt for a beautiful 16-year-old takes a terrifying turn. Phylicia Barnes vanished a week ago while visiting her sister in Baltimore. Now cops are searching a park after a sinister message was posted on a local paper`s Web site. Could a mystery abductor be taunting cops by dropping clues? I`ll talk to her devastated family, live tonight.

Then, Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab, but could the troubled starlet end up back behind bars for allegedly attacking a Betty Ford worker? Cops say she violated her probation, again, and they may throw her in the clink.

Plus, legendary quarterback Brett Favre at the center of yet another scandal. Two former New York Jets massage therapists claim the married and frisky football pro was looking for some play off the field and made passes that were totally out of bounds. What`s up with Brett?

ISSUES starts now.



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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, breaking news. Horrific -- and I mean horrific -- revelations in the case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, whose remains were discovered in two different locations this past November.

In search warrants, unsealed just hours ago, Zahra`s stepmother Elisa accuses Zahra`s biological father, Adam Baker -- you just heard from him -- of dismembering the child`s body after she died on September 24.

Now, this is the very same man who repeatedly cried, wept in front of the news media cameras, whimpering, saying he wanted his daughter back after she went missing. Check this out from ABC`s "Good Morning America."


A. BAKER: I think just about every officer in Hickory came to the house. I haven`t really seen my wife since then. I just hope I can get my daughter back. I miss her so much.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Had that man already dismembered his own daughter? That is the claim tonight.

Meantime, this woman, Elisa, in jail on an obstruction of justice charge. Cops say she admitted to writing a bogus ransom note to throw investigators who were looking for Zahra off the trail.

Adam was arrested in October for allegedly writing bad checks and assault with a deadly weapon. He posted bail, and he is walking around free tonight as we speak.

But the step-mom Elisa`s revolting claim is not the only truly outrageous and nauseating news to come out of all these search warrants that were just released. I`m talking just a few minutes ago.

I`m taking your calls on all of this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Tara Servatius, radio host on WBT-Radio. Tara, what is the very latest? So much breaking news tonight.

TARA SERVATIUS, WBT RADIO HOST: Well, it turns out there is a role- playing site, and someone on this site had a conversation through the site with Adam -- supposedly, Adam and Elisa Baker about a chainsaw massacre. They were role playing, apparently, a chainsaw massacre that they claim happened around September 22. This is virtual role play. It`s fantasy, but it would coincide with when they believe Zahra Baker was dismembered.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, it`s scary stuff. It`s just nauseating. You`re talking about chainsaw massacre role playing. And now there`s this claim that the dad dismembered his own child while he was telling the news media that he was crying because he missed her and she was missing.

Here is a clip that we`re going to show you in a second of this very courageous child. This little girl, Zahra, lost her hearing to cancer. This clip you`re about to see, it just breaks my heart. Zahra`s putting up a good front as she is interviewed with the stepmother, Elisa, who many people said beat her badly and often.


ELISA BAKER, STEPMOTHER OF ZAHRA: She`s determined. She wants to go to college. She can hear now. It`s been a blessing.

ZAHRA BAKER, MURDERED GIRL: Better than without them. I can actually hear more than without my hearing aids.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at that little angel. So sad. She had already suffered so much and would suffer even more before her death.

And as you just heard from Tara, this chilling revelation from the search warrants, police looked into this report that Adam and Elisa posted comments on a social networking site about a chainsaw massacre role-playing game. The online conversations reportedly involved the Bakers` virtual family, quote, "doing a murder with chainsaws."

And Mike Brooks, the scariest part about this is that this social networking conversation allegedly took place two weeks before Zahra was reported missing, which we`re now learning is right around the time she was killed and dismembered.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: How sick is that?

BROOKS: Oh, it`s just -- it makes -- it makes me sick to my stomach, Jane. I mean, look at all this little girl, what she suffered with cancer.

And you know what, though? Right from the very beginning what did I say? I said I didn`t believe him at all. I think also the Hickory chief of police said down the road that he wasn`t believing Adam Baker.

But are we to believe Elisa Baker, too? She`s got eight aliases, Jane, in those -- in those papers, eight different names she goes by. And she was still married to Aaron Young when she married Aaron -- when she married Adam Baker. Who`s to believe who in this case?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we have to point out that this father, Adam Baker, is not charged with anything. Again, he`s walking around free. So my question is why is Adam Baker walking around free, given these horrific claims that he dismembered his own daughter? Unless cops don`t necessarily believe what his wife, Elisa, is saying about him.

Now, let`s listen to Adam talk about his daughter for a second.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know you`ve got to go. Just what can you tell us about Zahra? Why is she so special?

A. BAKER: Always smiled. Nothing ever upset her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I guess my question to Debra Opri, does Adam have the acting skills to be praising his daughter on camera if he already dismembered her as his wife reportedly claims?

DEBRA OPRI, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: No. No, absolutely not. And I`m very angry, because this abuse obviously was going on for a long time, and people were around that child, and they saw it.

And every citizen in this country has a duty to report child abuse. And this child would be alive today if that child was taken away from these parents. And it`s upsetting to me. It`s very upsetting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Franco Ordonez. He`s a reporter with "The Charlotte Observer." He knows this story backwards and forwards.

Here`s a couple of things. We`re learning that this Elisa Baker is such a liar that she lied to this guy you`re seeing right here when she married this guy. She failed to tell him she was already married to somebody else and told him that somebody else was her brother.

And now apparently, the cell-phone records are showing that, on the day that the body was disposed of, this woman`s cell phone turned up at those locations, but Adam Baker`s cell phone did not. What are your thoughts, Franco, on that?

FRANCO ORDONEZ, REPORTER, "CHARLOTTE OBSERVER" (VIA PHONE): Well, that`s a great point, Jane. You had mentioned earlier that there is a reason -- there must be a reason why police are -- haven`t arrested Adam Baker. That could be a key reason. If his -- obviously just he may have - - just his phone not being there doesn`t necessarily mean he`s innocent.

But it`s a serious -- it`s definitely significant that her phone was at the locations where the body parts were found and disposed of at the times that Elisa gave. But apparently, Adam`s were not. Adam`s phone was not, that is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ivy, California, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: All right, yes, Jane. I just love your program.


CALLER: You know, this little Zahra should be still alive today. All of her relatives knew that she was being abused.


CALLER: And they did nothing about it.

BROOKS: Exactly.


CALLER: They left that child in that disgusting, filthy household. They all ought to be arrested. If you know of a child that`s being abused, you`re going to turn them in immediately.

OPRI: Thank you.


CALLER: They all knew this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know. In fact, ma`am, let`s listen. The fact is that it was no secret that Zahra was horrifically abused. Check this out.


BRITTANY BENTLEY, RELATIVE OF ZAHRA BAKER: She was locked in her room, allowed five minutes out of the day to eat. That was it. She was beat almost every time I was over there for just -- just the smallest things. If Elisa got mad, she would take it out on Zahra.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we`re hearing about this dismemberment. But one thing, Tara, that we`re not learning from these documents is how she was murdered and why. Now, you remember back in November that there were search warrants that showed an anonymous source claimed that Zahra may have been raped by two men? What do we know about her final hours?

SERVATIUS: So far, we don`t know about that, Jane. But I will tell you this. Do the math on this. I`ve been telling you to watch the father the whole time, that this guy is just as evil as the step-mom. Do the math on this. Remember, he called the police and said she had disappeared the night before? We now know for sure, cell-phone records, she disappeared two weeks before. That means, Jane, dad`s lying.

BROOKS: Right. And he said, Jane, because of his work he had only...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, Mike Brooks.

SERVATIUS: He`s lying, this guy.

BAKER: No. She`s absolutely -- you`re absolutely right. Remember what he said, oh, wait a minute, last time I saw her was on Thursday. Because of my work shift, I haven`t -- now she`s missing on Saturday? No.

His story didn`t add up from the very beginning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why is he walking around, then? Why, Mike Brooks, do you think he`s walking around?

BROOKS: Well, you know, it comes down to evidence. Do they have the probable cause?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what this is about.

BROOKS: They`ve got to have something. And I guarantee you, he`s not walking around by himself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just got to wonder...

OPRI (?): Watch this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... if this Elisa had somebody else, some other male that she was involved with and that that other male, that mystery male, might be responsible, and she`s pointing the finger at him now. We don`t know yet.

And all we know is that a courageous young child lived a horrible life. It didn`t have to happen. If you see abuse, you must report it. It`s a moral obligation.

Thank you, fabulous panel.

Brett Favre makes a play off the field. He gets hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit. This is his second sex scandal in months. What the heck is going on? We`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

But first, a frantic search under way in Baltimore for a beautiful teenage girl who vanished while visiting her sister. Could a mystery abductor be taunting police with clues?


JANICE SALLIS, MOTHER OF PHYLICIA BARNES: Twenty different guys had been going in and out of that apartment. What concerns me is, why was there so much traffic in and out of that apartment?




ANTHONY GUGLIELMI, BALTIMORE POLICE SPOKESMAN: Gone five days without a single peep. Nobody has seen from Ms. Barnes; nobody has heard from her. It`s very unusual for a young woman to go off the grid like this for this amount of time. She missed her flight last night to North Carolina, and detectives are extremely concerned.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, panic rises. Police scouring a Baltimore park known as a dumping ground for bodies. They`re frantically searching for beautiful missing North Carolina teenage girl they now fear could be dead. We hope they`re wrong. We hope she`s OK.

Bright, beautiful, 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes vanished eight long days ago. Cops fear she may have been snatched right off the street, abducted in broad daylight. They have zero leads.

Phylicia is from North Carolina. She was visiting her three older sisters in Baltimore for Christmas. A boyfriend of one of Phylicia`s sisters was the very last person to see this young woman. The detectives say they have interviewed that man three times, and they are saying that he is not a suspect.

Now, Phylicia left this building right here, her sister`s apartment, reportedly to go shopping. She has not been seen since. Phylicia did have her cell phone with her, but she has not made any calls, and that phone is now dead.

Phylicia`s mother says her daughter`s money and the emergency credit card she gave her daughter were found inside the apartment. Phylicia was a straight-A student who graduated high school early, and she`s already been accepted into college.

Time is running out. Take a good hard look at this photo. Where is this beautiful girl? We want to find her, and we want to find her OK. Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

We`re going to talk to her devastated mother and stepfather live in just a moment. But first, straight out to Baltimore Police Department public information officer Anthony Guglielmi.

Anthony, cadaver dogs, divers, dozens of investigators, all searching this park all day. What is the very latest on the search, sir?

GUGLIELMI: Jane, we just completed the search a couple of hours ago, and we found nothing. And after -- after further investigation, we learned that the tipster in this case was merely giving police a suggestion.

However, this morning when we received the tip from the "Baltimore Sun," it was actionable enough for detectives to give it some credence. And once the head of homicide got this tip, it included a block number. It included a direction on the street where police should concentrate our efforts. And naturally, given the gravity of this case, we marshaled every one of our resources and scoured the entire park today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ll tell you a little bit about this. Police have been searching this very nefarious leaking park all day. And I want to show you a satellite street view of the edge of the park. It looks pretty there, but apparently, it`s a rather sinister place that`s notorious for drug deals and crime and actually known on the streets as a body dumping ground.

Investigators came to this spot after getting a very ominous tip. Somebody commented on a "Baltimore Sun" news article writing, quote, "Humor me. Somebody pop over to the 4000 block of Franklintown Road and look at the southward shoulder."

So Mike Brooks, what do you make of that ominous tip?

BROOKS: Well, just like Mr. Guglielmi said, hey, you`ve got -- you`ve got to follow up on that. You know, I was a cop right down the parkway in D.C., Jane, and I can tell you the Baltimore city homicide unit, which also handles the missing persons, they are one of the best in the country.

And, you know, now they`ve got the assistance of the FBI`s child -- crimes against children unit out of D.C., and you had -- you had a bunch of folks from the academy out there. You said divers, dogs. But nothing as of yet.

But this apartment, this apartment where she was last seen, it`s kind of looked at by Baltimore police as kind of a college flophouse, if you will, with people coming and going all the time. And that`s a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Janice Sallis is Phylicia`s mom, says as many as 20 men were coming in and out of this apartment where her daughter was staying. Listen to the mother describe this.


SALLIS: Twenty different guys had been going in and out of that apartment. What concerns me is, why was there so much traffic in and out of that apartment?

And then I learn that Deena Barnes allowed her to drink, and she drank with her. And she said it was just one glass of vodka mix. I was infuriated. I said, "You know that that`s not the environment that she comes from!" And I said, "I also learned that you allowed her to smoke marijuana."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are honored to have Janice Sallis with us tonight.

Your daughter is missing. We want to help find her. She`s a straight a student. You say she never touched vodka or smoked pot before. Now you`ve learned not only was she given booze and drugs ,but there were tons of men traipsing in and out of this house. What do you know about these particular men, Janice, if I may call you Janice?

SALLIS: I don`t know anything about them. I didn`t even know that they existed. I was told by her half-sister that it would just be herself and Phylicia Simone Barnes there. I drilled her over and over again, asking questions about the environment, because she knows I`m a protective mother, and she is not accustomed to that type of traffic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, she left without apparently the credit card you gave her or money, but she did have her cell phone. Do you have any idea why she would leave but not take her money with her? Did you get any clue as to where she was going? Where was she going?

SALLIS: I don`t think she left anywhere on her own. That`s the problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you feel that she was taken from that house? Tell me what you learned.

SALLIS: Yes, I feel that she was taken from that apartment simply because she had once mentioned to her big sister, Shontelle (ph) Sallis, that the door is always unlocked and people always are coming in and out. They don`t even knock.



SALLIS: Words really can`t describe how I feel. I don`t think there`s a word in Webster`s dictionary that can describe how I feel. The closest that I can tell you how I feel is like constant labor pains without the birth over and over and over again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking news, police scouring an infamous Maryland park known as a body dumping ground for missing 6-year- old -- 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, a teenager who`s been missing for eight days. Cops have brought in the FBI. They fear this young girl has been abducted. Phylicia vanished while visiting her older sisters for the holidays.

Tonight we have the missing girl`s mom, Janice, here live. We`re trying to figure out what happened.

Janice, she was put in the care of her three older half-sisters. What have they told you, aside from the drinking and the pot smoking and the guys, was going on there? I mean, why would she leave and walk off without telling anybody where she was going? You don`t buy that. You think she was taken from the house by one of these men?

SALLIS: Right. Actually, she has two half-sisters and one half- brother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. But what do you think? Yes.

SALLIS: Well, she was scheduled to get her hair done. She was dressed and waiting for her sister, Kelly (ph), to come get her to get her hair done. When she knows she`s about to go somewhere to get her hair done or go anywhere, she`s not going to leave. She`s going to wait until her ride gets there.

And she, from what her half-sister Deena described her having on, was some slipper booties and a coat and her purse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- let me jump in here. Was there a text message sent by Phylicia to any of her relatives that you know about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In regard to what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A text message with regard to anything. We`re hearing that there was a text message possibly sent.

SALLIS: There was a text message that she was texting her sister Kelly (ph), her half-sister Kelly (ph), back and forth for a few minutes about getting her hair done and what -- and when she was going to come.

But the last text, if I`m not mistaken, was 12:23 -- 12 -- between 12:23 and 12:30 p.m. was the last time she texted or responded to any texts or calls.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, in other words, she was out of the house, or she had texted at some point perhaps after she left.

Let`s get very quickly to the boyfriend of one of the sisters, who was the last person to see your daughter. What do you know about this boyfriend of one of the sisters?

SALLIS: Actually, I don`t know anything about him. Before I released my daughter to Baltimore to visit, I spoke with her sister, her half-sister Deena, and she said that her boyfriend and her had broke up. He would be officially moved out of the house by the first of the month, but he does not live there, and he does not have any keys there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yet, it seems that he was there. We`re going to stay on top of this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab, but could the troubled starlet end up back behind bars for allegedly attacking a Betty Ford worker? Cops say she violated her probation, again, and they may throw her in the clink.

Plus, legendary quarterback Brett Favre at the center of yet another scandal: two former New York Jets massage therapists claim the married and frisky football pro was looking for some play off the field and made passes that were totally out of bounds. What`s up with Brett?


LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: I know that I was ordered to go once a week, and I wasn`t, you know -- I wasn`t missing the classes just to hang out and do anything like that. I was working mostly in Morocco, the trip I was working with children. It wasn`t a vacation. It wasn`t some sort of a joke.

And I respect you and I`ve been taking you seriously.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here we go again, folks. Just when we thought Lindsay Lohan was maybe, just maybe, cleaning up her act and getting on the right path, she could be headed right back to jail again. She just walked out of court-ordered rehab and right into another legal drama.

Police say last month`s dust-up, remember that, with the staffer at the Betty Ford center, constituted a probation violation and cops say it is grounds to send her right back to the clink.

The former staffer Dawn Holland claims Lindsay got physical with her when the starlet was caught sneaking back into rehab after curfew. Now, Lindsay`s dad claims his daughter did absolutely nothing wrong and only left rehab to get her hair done late at night.


MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY LOHAN`S FATHER: Why would Lindsay call the police in to investigate this if Lindsay pushed the woman? The fact is this. Lindsay came into the house. She did not refuse a breathalyzer. She took it. She never tested positive.

But I will tell you this. This is absolutely ludicrous. I can`t believe that these lies are being hurled around like this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So will this troubled actress go back to jail? Or will she go back to rehab? Or will she go back home? And who has the final say in all of that?

Straight out to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor for RadarOnline; Dylan, you have just gotten the very first video of Lindsay after rehab, out and about.

We`re going to show it to our viewers, but please as we show it describe exactly what`s happening and where. Let`s see it.

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE: This is it a television exclusive. This video shot just a few hours ago. It shows Lindsay Lohan greeting her father Michael at a Los Angeles hotel. She hugs Michael. Looking good; she`s looking fit. She`s looking tone and she`s looking tanned.

And then she`s greeted by Jamie Lee Curtis who starred in the 2003 film alongside Lindsay Lohan "Freaky Friday". Now Jamie Lee Curtis has had her own battles in the past and is now a sober mentor for the actress.

Now, this has been a very eventful 24 hours for Lindsay Lohan as we reported exclusively on RadarOnline she checked out of the Betty Ford Clinic at around 11:00 a.m. Pacific yesterday. Despite that though she sent e-mails to a number of the members of media, our Web site included, in which she insisted that she was still in rehab.

The truth, though, she was in an Escalade on her way back to Los Angeles. She`s staying at a hotel and she`s expected to move into her new beachside apartment, which ironically is next door to her ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson within the next couple of days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, I wish her the best. I hope that she does stay sober. And here`s my big issue with it -- is Lindsay`s penchant for drama putting her in some kind of danger zone?

Now, let`s listen to what former Betty Ford staffer Dawn Holland had to say about their conflict.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think in her time at Betty Ford she`s made progress?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you say that?

HOLLAND: The reason why I would say that is because she has been defiant and broken almost every rule there is to break since she`s been there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Howard Samuels, you`re the addiction expert. You`re the founder and CEO of The Hills Treatment Center. I don`t know who`s right with this dust-up. I wasn`t there. You weren`t there.

But I`m concerned about Lindsay`s emotional sobriety if this becomes a big legal drama -- and it looks like it`s headed in that direction -- is that going to threaten her very new sobriety?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNDER & CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Well, I think it`s even deeper than that, Jane. I mean, I loved how she gets -- you know, you stated she gets very attracted to drama. Well, I think there`s an addiction to drama here in this case.

I mean, you know, every time we turn around she`s got some dramatic event that`s occurring. You know, with Dylan just sort of stating that she`s now moving next door to Samantha Ronson, I mean, I don`t think that`s a coincidence. And if we`re talking about drama, put your seat belt on because I`m sure there`s more to come.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s discuss this latest incident. And you`re absolutely right. I mean, when she was in court she missed a crucial court date because she was in France. She said she lost her passport. She`s had these couple of DUIs. She allegedly chased the mother of a former personal assistant into a police station with her car.

I mean, yes, she is clearly in my humble a opinion addicted to drama, which is kind of like a blended cross-addiction with some of her other addictions perhaps.

Let`s talk about this latest drama, the Betty Ford center fired the staffer Dawn Holland for talking to TMZ. Here she is complete with an arm brace giving her version of this confrontation she had with Lindsay Lohan.


HOLLAND: I am talking to the police officer, at least trying to. She kept yelling and cursing and screaming in the background. Then she tried to snatch the phone from out of my arm. She just grabbed my wrist and snatched it down and twisted my arm and my hand to get the phone out of my arm. She swore a few choice words at me, which she had been doing all night.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ironically, Rob Shuter of PopEater, Holland is now saying she doesn`t want to press charges and she`s not cooperating with this investigation. So, if she`s no longer upset about this battle with Lindsay Lohan, are there still grounds to send her back to jail? Who`s going to make the call on this?

ROB SHUTER, POPEATER`S NAUGHTY BUT NICE COLUMNIST: Probably not. The fact she`s not cooperating means to me that this is going to go nowhere. However, the big picture here which you nailed is that everything around Lindsay is drama. I spoke to her dad Michael this morning who told me a friend of hers, a so-called friend of hers turned up at Lindsay`s apartment today to help her move with a camera crew.


SHUTER: So everything -- every angle, every time she turns a corner somebody`s doing something odd around her. I think it`s really odd, too, that she meets Jamie Lee Curtis at the Four Seasons and somebody tapes it. Like, everything about Lindsay just feels full of drama where it really shouldn`t be. Even leaving rehab was so dramatic. She was texting people in the press.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. I don`t think we can blame her for being videotaped. To me, it didn`t look like she set that up. That was not a -- that was a shaky video.

Dylan Howard, I`m sure you`re not going to reveal how you got that video. But I certainly don`t think Lindsay set that up. Usually when people create camera crews to follow them around, they make sure that they get good shots. That seemed like something that was not arranged by Lindsay herself, obviously, right, Dylan?

HOWARD: Obviously. That was taken by someone at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, as I understand it, off a mobile phone camera. But when we talk about the drama, let`s just consider this. Lindsay Lohan herself, for noble reasons, lied yesterday about her release from Betty Ford. She told multiple media outlets, us included -- we knew the truth. We didn`t buy it.


LOHAN: What did she lie about? What did she lie about according to you?

HOWARD: We reported that she was released from rehab, and she sent out e-mails saying, "I`m still here," which was a bold-faced lie. The reason she said that, though, was because she didn`t want to be chased. Noble reasons, but not a good way to start your new life of sobriety, with a bold-faced lie -- that`s drama.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just say this. I`m looking at this video of her being followed around by the paparazzi. I don`t know how -- not that anybody has ever wanted to take a picture of me. But I don`t know how I would handle it. I mean, this has got to stress her out.

Is she responsible for all of the stress that she`s being put under? Or do we have to assign some of the blame to the world we live in that is celebrity obsessed and a 24-year-old who is a media magnet like Lindsay Lohan is going to constantly be trailed by a slew of paparazzi. So in a sense can we blame her for all the drama that exists around her, Rob Shuter?

SHUTER: I think she makes odd choices. I don`t know if there`s any blame here. But meeting your father and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lobby of the Four Seasons is not a smart place to meet people. You don`t see these videos of Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston. They meet people in private restaurants or private homes. I think Lindsay needs to learn how to be a celebrity, a different type of celebrity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I guess what we`re talking about is, could she be setting herself up for failure recovery? Obviously she`s been through rehab many, many times. I think we all wish her well, we all hope -- let`s face it.

The girl is 24 years old, ok? I got sober when I was 39 years old. If I was 24 -- obviously I didn`t get it when I was 24 and I was drinking out of control. So I do have tremendous compassion for her in the sense that I think you`ve got to take into account she`s a 24-year-old. Let`s all think back to the way we were when we were 24 years old.

SHUTER: Yes, but --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I do wonder about the wisdom of her moving into this Venice pad right next door to her ex-girlfriend Samantha Ronson.

Quickly, Rob, your thoughts on that.

SHUTER: Yes, I think it`s another bad choice. I think that Lindsay shouldn`t be sending e-mails to the media. No other celebrity does this. They have publicists that handle that. Lindsay needs to build a team around her to start helping her make the right choices.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do wish her the best and I do hope that she does get sober. Thank you so much expert panel.

Up next, major developments in the Navy`s probe of that raunchy sexual, anti-gay tape that surfaced. You won`t believe what`s happening to this guy.

Also, the murder of a swimsuit designer at a very chic New York hotel.

And the main course, legendary quarterback Brett Favre hit with another sex scandal. What the heck is going on with Brett? You won`t believe the latest. Call me, 1-877 JVM-SAYS. .


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brett Favre`s latest scandal in a moment.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight: big updates on two stories we`ve been covering here on issues. That fellow right there, that Navy official who starred in and showed crew members raunchy videos full of anti-gay slurs and sexual innuendo, has lost command of the "USS Enterprise". Bye-bye.

Defense officials said today his, quote, "profound lack of good judgment and professionalism calls into question his character and completely undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively. Again, bye-bye.

Also today, the ex-boyfriend of that swimsuit designer who was tragically found strangled and drowned in a trendy New York hotel has now been indicted on one count of murder. If convicted, Nicholas Brooks could face 25 years to life in prison.

I am thrilled we`re seeing action at least in these two cases; the powers that be are not letting things slide. That`s good news. That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".


BRETT FAVRE, NFL PLAYER: Happy to be here. I really am. I wish the Packers well and I definitely wish the Jets well. And I hope that I can bring as much excitement throughout the year as we`ve had in the last two or three days.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, superstar quarterback Brett Favre delivers on his 2008 promise to bring, quote, "excitement to the New York Jets" back when he was on that team. Excitement? Try full-on scandal after scandal. Brett`s knee-deep in yet another sex scandal tonight and the Jets have just been slapped with an explosive sexual harassment lawsuit.

A pair of female massage therapists claim they were fired by the Jets after complaining about lewd text messages Favre allegedly sent to a third woman who is not part of the lawsuit.

Quote, "You and Crissy want to get together? I`m all alone." And a follow-up, quote, "Kinda lonely tonight. I guess I have bad intentions," end quote. That was kind of a radio announcer voice.

One of the two women suing says Brett put the moves on her after leering at her during training camp in the summer of `08. She said she told her husband about these text messages and then the husband called Brett to complain. The suit claims Brett gave the hubby a brush-off, leave me alone.

That`s not all. Wait until you hear about a team staffer`s alleged outrageous reaction to these complaints by these women. Brett`s camp is not commenting on the suit. Tonight the Jets say the case is completely without merit because the women didn`t report the allegations quickly enough.

Meantime, here`s a reminder, Brett is married, a dad and he`s even a grandfather. This scandal comes on the heels of Brett`s other recent texting scandal -- you remember the one involving a female sideline reporter and an anatomy part? It`s all coming back, right?

Is Brett totally disrespectful toward women? His team and his family, call me. What do you think? 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to Lisa Guerrero, chief investigative reporter for "Inside Edition". Lisa, you have interviewed Brett Favre a lot of times. What is your take on this latest scandal?

LISA GUERRERO, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "INSIDE EDITION": First of all, I was completely shocked when the first scandal happened because I`ve interviewed the dude probably a dozen times. And he`s been nothing but respectful and almost intimidated towards me but maybe I`m not his type. I don`t know. First of all I was very surprised to hear about it.

Secondly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure you are. In other words, it`s interesting that you as an attractive woman -- remember, the previous scandal involved a sideline reporter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, it`s not like -- the fact that he was always a gentleman with you is interesting. Got to hand it to him for that.


GUERRERO: It is. Let me tell you something, though. In the 14 years that I covered sports I never once gave my cell phone number to any of the players I covered. So right there there`s a big distinction about maybe what my intentions were and her intentions were in terms of dealing with the players.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait. In their defense, you were never in the business of going up to somebody`s house and giving them a massage, you know? Or their room.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: They are massage therapists. How the heck are they supposed to know when to go give a massage if they don`t have a cell phone number?

GUERRERO: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I will give you the answer because they claim they had a liaison from the Jets that booked the two masseuses directly. So, if they`re getting booked directly from a liaison from the Jets, why does he, a married man, have their phone number? I`m just asking. I don`t know the answer to that.


GUERRERO: I find it strange, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the second major sex scandal to blow up in the Jets` face. In October Brett allegedly texted photos of his penis to sideline reporter Jen Sterger and allegedly left this voicemail.


FAVRE: If you would give him your number or he was going to give you my number. Give me a text. Love to see you tonight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then last fall, Mexican TV reporter Inez Sainz complained about feeling uncomfortable in the Jets locker room. In this case -- well, in the Sterger case, anyway, Brett was fined $50,000 for refusing to cooperate with the NFL`s investigation but not for sending those photos or leaving the message. Ok. He was not suspended from the Jets at that time.

I`ve got to ask bad boy Steve Santagati from Bad Boys Finish First and apparently they do, what`s going on with the Jets? What is going on with the Jets?

STEVE SANTAGATI, BAD BOYS FINISH FIRST: Look, it`s an old boys club. They have to legally stick to their own. They have to protect one of their players. That`s what they`re doing.

But you know, bottom line here, Jane, is that these women are making it really awful for other women that want to work in sports. Now, I`m obviously not approving in any way, shape or form any sort of real sexual harassment or real abuse, but it doesn`t seem like that`s the case here.

I think a woman needs to stand up for herself but make sure it doesn`t, you know, you`re not the girl who cried "Wolf", if you will, because it makes it look bad for everybody. I think the Jets, what they`re doing, again, is they have to protect Brett. They have to protect their guy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. They have to protect their franchise, David Cornwell. You`re a sports attorney. Nobody`s indispensable. It`s the franchise.

DAVID CORNWELL, SPORTS ATTORNEY: Of course it`s the franchise.



CORNWELL: They have every reason and every right to protect their franchise but these women did not cry "Wolf". If they had cried "Wolf", we would have heard about this in 2008. We didn`t hear about this until 2010, after Jen Sterger made her allegations.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to talk about the timing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a moment -- next.



FAVRE: If you would give him your number or he was going to give you my number. Give me a text. Love to see you tonight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight in the wake of a sleazy sex scandal involving sideline reporter Jen Sterger, Brett Favre finds himself in more hot water. He and the New York Jets being sued by two female massage therapists who say they were sexually harassed.

"Saturday Night Live" is now making fun of the Brettster. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve tried all kinds of jeans. Button fly, zipper fly, you name it. But for me, nothing works better than the all new open fly jeans from Wrangler.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:L Introducing the first open fly jean from Wrangler. The first jeans with no fly whatsoever.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that is too funny. Of course, sexual harassment is not a funny issue but that is pretty darned funny.

Jeannette, Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am?

JEANNETTE, VIRGINIA (via telephone): I love your show, Jane.


JEANNETTE: I don`t believe these two women. I think they just want to get on this band wagon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Let`s talk about the timing issue.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because there were questions about, in fact, the team coordinator said quote, holding on to texts for two years is questionable as far as your intention and not telling anyone about it. But here`s my point, David Cornwell, is that they claim they were fired after they did complain. The husband called Brett to complain and they were never brought back again. That`s their explanation.

And now they see this Jen Sterger controversy and say here`s a pattern going on, we`re going to do something about this finally.

CORNWELL: Sexual harassment is not a vicarious crime. The injury is not to the husband, it`s to the woman. In 2008, the husband called Brett, maybe they didn`t work again, but for two years, they did not make a complaint to the team, to a state agency, or to the courts. And even the complaint fails to establish causation. The text message in 2010 says I truly wish you would have come forward at the time that it happened.

Their own complaint admits that they didn`t make a timely complaint, and absent some showing that the environment prevented them from making a complaint, then I think this case is dead in the water as a legal case. But now we know that when football players and pretty girls get together, it can be sexually charged. We know that one person may take it too far and we know that it can piss off a husband but that does not make a sexual harassment case get to the jury for a successful verdict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, let`s talk about the bigger picture here. This isn`t the first scandal. You had the ESPN anchor with the intern, there was another one here, we don`t even have time to get to it, involving somebody calling somebody else "baby cakes".

There is an attitude, it would seem, in, and look, Lisa Guerrero is shaking her head yes. Steve Santagati, there`s an attitude by these guys, they are objectifying women and apparently think they can get away with it.

SANTAGATI: It`s just guys being guys. This is who they are. This is who we are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s who you are.

SANTAGATI: We are men and we act like this. We`re all like this. Any guy who is heterosexual is like this. As a matter of fact, any guy gay or straight is like this. We think about sex, we act --


CORNWELL: Hey, maybe you are. There`s not a chance that I`m going to send a text message to a woman as the first entree to get together. That`s not going to happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something.


SANTAGATI: Hold on. Let me tell you something.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re watching ISSUES. Thank you panel.