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Suspect in Deadly Daycare Fire Flees U.S.; Therapist Tried to Report Deadly Abusers

Aired March 1, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, escalating outrage. A daycare owner cops say left a group of toddlers alone to die in a hideous fire flees the country. Where was she when these precious children were screaming, "Help me"? Now four of the toddlers are dead. Where in the world is this woman now? I`ll talk to the parents of one of the innocent victims.

Shock and scandal in high fashion. French fashion powerhouse Christian Dior fires its world-renowned designer for saying, "I love Hitler," and it was all caught on camera. I`ll show you the mind-blowing video.

Also, is a world-famous self-help guru a reckless killer? It`s day one of the trial of James Arthur Ray, famous for "The Secret." Were the three people who died under his spell when they endured intense heat in the now-infamous sweat lodge? I`ll have the inside story.

Plus, Christina Aguilera arrested for public intoxication. Now reports that her friends have tried to get Christina into rehab for weeks. Has the star hit rock bottom?

And an ISSUES exclusive. Actress Darryl Hannah on live to fight for an environmental activist who`s on trial.

ISSUES starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just had no more to say. All I do is just hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her, and she has an 8-year-old little boy, also. And today they`re going to have to tell the little boy that he doesn`t have a sister any more. I don`t know how you do that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight. Agony and outrage, heartbreak spillover as a deadly daycare fire triggers an international manhunt. That`s right. This woman, 22-year-old Jessica Tata, has now fled to Nigeria days after a fire at her home daycare killed four toddlers.

The distraught father of one of the victims is my very special guest tonight here on ISSUES in just moments. Police say Jessica left seven children alone in her Houston home on Thursday while she went grocery shopping. She also left a pot of oil on top of a lit stove. That sparked a fire that left four precious innocent children dead and two others in critical condition.


PAT LYKOS, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: She`s a fugitive from justice. A charge of reckless injury to a child was filed yesterday, February the 28th, and a warrant issued for her arrest. Nine more charges are being drafted as we speak.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is this a case of too little too late? You think?

This woman allegedly left seven toddlers alone with a pot of oil on the stove while she went to Target. Hello. And then cops say she changed her story. Why on earth wasn`t she arrested immediately? How did they let her flee the country? Are you as outraged as I am? Call me: 1-877-JVM- SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to little Elizabeth Kajoh`s distraught father, Emmanuel.

Sir, our hearts break for you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We cannot imagine how much you are suffering tonight, and our deepest condolences to your wife and your extended family, as well.

KAJOH: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I honestly cannot understand what you`re going through. I can`t imagine how it must have felt like for your wife to get that terrible phone call that she got on Thursday. And I understand that she is a teacher. I think it`s a third-grade teacher. A woman just trying to do good in life and working, trying to support her family at her job, teaching other children. Tell us about this hideous phone call that she got and what happened next, sir.

KAJOH: Yes. Thank you for having me.

On that Thursday, my wife got a phone call around 1:40 in the afternoon. So you know, the school doesn`t normally take phone calls, but if the phone call that`s coming from the day care, she usually picks it up. She saw the phone call coming from Jessica, who is the daycare owner. So she picked the phone call up, and then the only thing she could hear was Jessica saying that, "Betty, Betty, please come to the day care. Come to the day care. There`s an accident. All of the children are dying." And that was it. There was no explanation.

She didn`t know the type of accident, so she rushed on a bus (ph). And she thought our kids to be walking or walking home alone. She rushed to her boss, the principal of the school, and told her. Told him that was the phone call she received. And then she immediately called me and left a message on my phone that that was the message that she received.

So I listened to the voice mail. And then I called her. By that time, you know, the principal was driving her to the scene, to the day care. So they drove to the day care, and they get to the day care. There were a lot of vehicles, firefighters` vehicles, police vehicles, ambulances all over the place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure your wife was hysterical at this point. And ultimately, she goes...

KAJOH: My wife was hysterical.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, she was hysterical. Of course, she was hysterical.

KAJOH: Incidentally on her phone, on her iPhone, I don`t even know what happened. She says she doesn`t know, but somehow it was videoing (ph) as she was screaming and she was screaming. She was hysterical, because they couldn`t -- the couldn`t get in there. So she was running, and she was screaming. And, you know, it was just recorded literally everything. She didn`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then she gets to the hospital. She gets finally to the hospital where your precious daughter, Elizabeth, was taken, and I understand they came out with her clothes and told her that her baby was dead. This beautiful child you`re looking at right here. Tell us about that. Tell us about that moment. Well, I`ll tell you -- yes.

KAJOH: OK. Well, she got to the hospital. So they got some information from her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I`ll tell you what. You fix that. I`m going to go to Joe Gomez. Because Joe, I want to ask you this question. He`s the reporter on this.

Here`s my big issue. This woman who ran this day care, I mean, she`s an obvious flight risk. The death toll is climbing. The evidence against her is mounting. She gets nervous. She changes her story. First she said she was going to the bathroom.

Police get a tip Friday night that she`s preparing to leave the country, but the D.A. insists there`s nothing more they could have done. Listen to this.


LYKOS: There have been other suggestions that we could have authorized an investigatory hold. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no such thing under the law as an investigative hold.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Joe Gomez, couldn`t they have at least kept an eye on this woman when she got out of the hospital? I mean, is a detective trailing a suspect something that just happens in the movies?

JOE GOMEZ: Well, no, Jane. You`re right. The D.A. then went on to the press conference earlier today to say that investigators could have put some sort of a temporary hold on Jessica Tata, perhaps not necessarily a detainer but some sort of investigative hold. They did nothing.

I mean, she -- in the aftermath of the fire she was clearly there. They could have spoken to her there. She was at the hospital. No. Investigators let her just walk out of the hospital, and then she lawyered up and just went silent, and, you know, investigators could go no further in trying to pursue Jessica Tata. The D.A., meanwhile...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, she`s not even charged with manslaughter. I don`t get this. What is she charged with? Let me -- right here. OK. She will face seven counts of reckless injury to a child, a second-degree felony, and three additional charges of child endangerment. Hello. Steve Moore, what happened to manslaughter charges?

STEVE MOORE: You know, I`d have to ask the D.A. about that. I would think that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She went to Target, allegedly. They allegedly have her on tape going to Target with seven toddlers 3 and under at the house with a pot -- with a pot of oil on the stove. What happened to manslaughter charges?

MOORE: Well, this -- this D.A. doesn`t seem to be acting with lightning speed. So I would guess that manslaughter charges may follow. But there`s enough blame to go around between the police, the fire department, and the D.A. on this one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? The fire department tried. According -- Joe, the fire department tried several times, according to published reports, to get the D.A. to file charges. Tell us about that.

GOMEZ: That`s exactly right, Jane. They did. I mean, they repeatedly came to the D.A. with evidence. The D.A. kept turning them down, saying, "No, you don`t have enough evidence for a probable cause arrest." You know, they came to the D.A. with these tips, saying we have a Crimestoppers tip saying that Jessica Tata is planning to flee the -- flee the country. Still no probable cause warrant. No arrest warrant.

Not until Monday, Jane, did we finally have something just yesterday but, of course, by that point, Jane, it was too late. Jessica Tata was in -- she`s in Nigeria now. She`s on the lam. Nobody knows where she is. We don`t even know if these child -- these injury child, you know, felony charges are going to hold up to get her extradited back into the U.S.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They had her. They had her right there outside the house. And guess what? There were groceries on the front lawn. So her whole comment that she was in the bathroom right away had to be suspect, because there were groceries on the front lawn, and witnesses said, "Wait a second. We saw her coming in with the groceries. And she opened the door, and smoke poured out."

I don`t know. I`m not a prosecutor, but what more do you need to hold somebody?

MOORE: Jane, you don`t even need...


MOORE: You don`t even need to hold them. What I don`t understand is why somebody wasn`t following her when she left the hospital. If you follow her and see that she`s going to the airport, you can detain her.


MOORE: You can make a probable cause arrest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s why I have this gavel, people. People ask me, "Why do you have a gavel? You`re not a judge." Because our messed up criminal justice system needs righting, and it`s up to all of us to look for justice in these cases, because the complacency is out of control.

All right. More on the deadly daycare fire in a bit. We`re here with a father who lost his precious daughter. His wife was going to come on the show, but she is too devastated to speak. Totally understandable. OK. They have -- this is hell for them. They`re going through hell right now.

And we`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think? This is just awful.

Coming up, time for justice in another case. Day one in the trial for the self-help guru who had this sweat lodge going. Did he kill three people with extreme heat in the sweat lodge?

But first, more on this horrific daycare fire that robbed parents of their precious children.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s disgusting. I am a mom. And I seen the mom. She was in tears, and it`s very shocking. It`s very upsetting.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came to the side of the house in the backyard, and I smashed one of the windows open. And I could see a kid, you know, having his hands out. I tried to grab him, but smoke got into my face and my mouth, and I couldn`t breathe or see anything. And so I had to pull back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a nightmare. What a horror.

Seven innocent and helpless babies left to fend for themselves as their day care is engulfed in frames. The woman who was supposed to be caring for them had allegedly left to go shopping at Target. Cops say they have video of her at Target shopping. And she also allegedly left a pot with oil on the stove heating up. What insanity.

Now she`s fled to Nigeria, and we`re wondering why the hell was she allowed to flee the country?

And we are here with Emmanuel Kajoh, who is the father of one of the precious children who died in that fire. And our hearts go out to you and your wife.

Tell us what happened when your wife finally got -- look at this beautiful, beautiful baby, and look at this beautiful mother, a third-grade teacher with this beautiful child. What a beautiful family you have. You`re a nurse. Both hard-working people trying to raise a family. You leave this child with somebody that is licensed. You think your baby is going to be OK, and then this happens. It`s beyond sickening.

Tell us, sir, what happened when your wife finally got to the hospital where your daughter, Elizabeth, had been taken. What happened?

KAJOH: Well, she got to the hospital and then -- first of all, she went to another hospital first, and then they brought out the clothes of that baby, but that was not our daughter. But the -- she was taken in to identify the child. So by the time she found out it was not our daughter, it was another child but that child was already dead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So eventually she got to the right hospital.

KAJOH: And she got to the right hospital, and when she got there, she gave them the information, and then they brought out our daughter`s clothing. Because she had to ask her. That morning I was the one that fed her in the morning, changed her diaper and then dressed her that morning. So my wife blanked out, and she had to ask me the color of the clothing -- the clothes that she had on. So I described to her. She told her they brought out the clothes and she identified them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your wife going through right now?

KAJOH: Hell. She`s going through hell right now. It was the next day she could hear after I identified the clothes, "Sorry, ma`am, she couldn`t make it. We tried our best. We couldn`t resuscitate her." And she went hysterical.

So her principal called me with her cell phone, and in the background, I heard my wife screaming, crying, and shouting, and I knew the worst had happened. So the principal told me...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You seem very strong. You seem very strong. What are you going through? What are you going through, Emmanuel?

KAJOH: I`m going through hell. Because I remember my daughter, and I can`t just imagine -- you know, I can`t. It`s just -- I can`t describe what I`m feeling. I have to be strong for my wife, and I have to be strong for my family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then -- then this woman leaves the country. and she`s allowed to slip out of the country. What`s your reaction to that?

KAJOH: This was horrible. I mean, that was a very, very bad decision. I don`t know. Initially, I didn`t even know how to react to that, because I never expected -- I was really disappointed in her. Because I never expected that she would leave. I never expected that she would flee, you know.

She`s a -- she`s a Christian, and the best way to deal with things like this is to face the consequences, because it was your mistake. You made a mistake. And lives have been lost. So you expect her to face the consequences, and as a Christian, that`s the best way for you to heal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Emmanuel -- I want to go to Steve Moore. How -- Steve, how are they going to find her? They don`t know where she is in Nigeria.

MOORE: Well, that`s an excellent question. The Nigerian law enforcement organizations are not known for their efficiency or their legitimacy, really. And the fact that she`s in the wind, essentially, means that she could be there for a long time. Then when she is captured, if she is, are they going to turn her around? Or are -- is she going to buy her way out? That`s extremely possible in Nigeria. This is a real tragedy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just have to say, our hearts go out to you. We`re so sorry for what you have gone through.

KAJOH: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to switch gears now.

Coming up, Christina Aguilera is arrested for public intoxication. Is she the next pop star to go down? Unbelievable.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has been seeing abuse, and she was threatened not to say anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has she ever been abused by them?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how are the other children being abused?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are -- when they are being punished, they are being taped up, and with their arms and legs and put in a bathtub. And they are in there all day and all night, and she undoes their arms when they eat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a therapist -- and her voice has been altered -- tries to warn authorities that horrible things are happening to children inside a Miami home. But was it already too late?

The call came four days before 10-year-old Nubia Barahona`s acid- covered dead body was found in the back of a pickup truck along a Florida freeway. There`s the child right there. Her adoptive father, George Barahona, and twin brother, Victor, were in the front seat, also covered in acid.

But the true horror story was inside the Barahona home, where George`s wife, Carmen, allegedly abused Nubia and Victor in unspeakable ways.

Straight out to Diana Moskovitz, who is a reporter with "The Miami Herald." Diana, it was actually Carmen Barahona`s 6-year-old granddaughter who reported the abuse. So she is the hero in this awful story. So what mistakes were made in following up on her tip?

DIANA MOSKOVITZ, REPORTER, "THE MIAMI HERALD" (via phone): Good question. I wish we had all the answers to that right now. We do know that the call was made, and then afterwards DCF said they sent investigators out to look for the Barahona and their children.

The children were not located until they were found on the side of the highway on February 14. So what exact steps were taken, though, leading up to that, you know, what the investigators did do or what the investigators didn`t do, we don`t completely know yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I remember in court seeing the social worker who arrived there and who apparently did not demand to see the little girl, who was either dead already or ultimately died, or her twin brother. In other words, did she have this information that they were tied up in the tub and did not demand to go into the tub to see whether they were there or not?

MOSKOVITZ: That is what it appears to be, that -- and I will say that this is -- would not be the first time that the Barahonas actually worked to keep people out of their home. We were hearing today they are -- there`s a panel convening here locally to try to figure out what went wrong.

And one thing that was discussed was a guardian ad litem who acts as an activist for the children. The Barahonas would not let him inside the home to have a home visit with the children. He would...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s when you call the cops. No 6-year-old should have to go through what this child did. And she told the therapist she wasn`t even allowed to talk to the twins. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The granddaughter, she did state that she`s scared, and that`s why she reported it, because she`s been threatened not to.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the problem was they should have just called the cops. They had the social worker go in there. And really, this was -- this -- at this point, with that kind of reporting, it should have been a police investigation, I think.

MOSKOVITZ: You`re not the only person that feels that way. And, you know, exactly when, you know, the police were brought in, and the steps that were taken since then is something that hopefully will eventually all be -- be brought to light. Folks here are still trying to get all of those answers about what exactly went wrong. Certainly quite a few things went wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, a lot did. And now we`re spending all the money when we could have prevented it with a fraction of the cost. Thank you, Diana.

On the other side of the break, French design house Dior fires its designer over anti-Semitic remarks. You will see...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is a world famous self-help guru a reckless killer? It`s day one of the trial of James Arthur Ray, famous for "The Secret". Were the three people who died under his spell when they endured intense heat in the now infamous sweat lodge? I`ll have the inside story.

Plus Christina Aguilera arrested for public intoxication. Now reports that her friends have tried to get Christina into rehab for weeks. Has the star hit rock bottom?

And an ISSUES exclusive: actress, Daryl Hannah, on live to fight for an environmental activist who is on trial.


CHRISTINA AGUILERA, SINGER: It`s very hard for me to -- you know once you get those wheels turning I just want to get out there and have fun and promote it. But I had to take that whole last year off to sort of create, create, create, work, work, work on the movie and now it`s finally time for me to be released out of my cage.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Released out of your cage. Tonight: sloppy, drunk starlet. Pop princess Christina Aguilera arrested for public intoxication. Christina was, yes, thrown in a cage so to speak, the drunk tank after a night of wild partying in Los Angeles.

Police officers pulled over Christina`s new boy toy out of suspicion of DUI -- there he is. Matt Rutler blew a .09 on the breathalyzer and cops arrested him and then decided to arrest Christina because she was too wasted to take care of herself.

Listen to this.


SHERIFF PIO STEVE SHITMORE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Because both of them were, we believe, and the driver certainly under the influence, she was just not capable of taking care of herself. Things like a phone call, could she have done this, could she have done this, could she have done that, it`s all possible. That didn`t occur.

So what we do for the safety of the individual is that we take them here until such time that they can fend for themselves in a reasonable manner.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Christina will not be charged and there will be no mug shot but will she be the next Hollywood pop princess to publicly break down? The singer recently divorced her husband Jordan Bratman and has reportedly been tearing up the town with her new boyfriend in recent weeks. TMZ reporting Christina`s camp has been desperately trying to get the pop star to check into rehab.

Straight out to Natalie Thomas, deputy editor of "Us Weekly"; Natalie, boy, same song, different day, different starlet, what on earth is the very latest with Christina?

NATALIE THOMAS, DEPUTY EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": The very latest with Christina is sadly no one is very surprised by this. You know, we`ve been tracking this story for months now since her divorce with Jordan Bratman. They split up in October. And she`s been on a downward spiral ever since.

We saw her flub her lines of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. We saw her trip on the stage at the Grammys. She`s been out publicly drinking in excess numerous times. And we`ve been hearing from friends and sources that they are very worried about her. That they think that she needs to be checked into rehab and this is really kind of almost a cry for help that needed to happen.

We`re thankful that no one got hurt in this situation and hopefully this is what propels her into getting some help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, as you mentioned. We all know she flubbed her lines on the National Anthem singing at the Super Bowl. Her album, "Bionic" was a total flop. Her movie "Burlesque" not doing so great either.

Let`s check out "Burlesque" and see how that looks. I never saw it.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ouch. Michael Musto, time for a makeover I say, right? Except first go to rehab and then reinvent yourself.

MICHAEL MUSTO, COLUMNIST, VILLAGE VOICE: Well, Jane, first of all, "Burlesque" wasn`t that bad. And that was the problem; we wanted it to be the new show girl. So at least it was entertainingly bad.

And it wasn`t that good either. It`s kind of mediocre. That was a setback. I think Christina is going to be ok if she goes to rehab.

You know, growing up she listened to Mariah Carey so well that it sounds like she`s aping every note Mariah sang sometimes. And Mariah went through a similar breakdown when she had a bad movie, "Glitter" and a bomb album.

This is what happens to pop stars who know nothing but success from the second they shoot out of the gate suddenly don`t have success or have some feeling that things are slipping and the rug is being pulled out from under them.

There`s also someone else, Jane, named Lady Gaga who really is driving every pop diva to drink; that she`s really successful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, really? Well, I used to love Lady Gaga. In fact I saw her at Madison Square Garden. But she lost me with the meat outfit. I don`t think cruelty is cool. I do -- I really think she stinks after that -- literally.

MUSTO: Literally.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She stinks after that.

MUSTO: I thought she was saying wear meat, don`t eat it. I don`t know. But you know, I bet even Madonna --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. That`s what she said to Ellen because Ellen, who`s a vegan, got on her case and I`m so glad she did.

MUSTO: I bet even Madonna is hitting the bottle because of Lady Gaga. I`m just joking because Madonna -- Madonna`s indestructible but, seriously, Christine is facing a new landscape in pop music where there`s all these new divas like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and they are all stealing her thunder. And that`s the message in the bottle for her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know that`s the same thing that Britney Spears went through. She got to a point where the mouseketeer act wasn`t working. She had to reinvent herself and she seemed to have some kind of breakdown. There she is, shaving her head. Remember that? I remember that weekend. That was a lot of fun.

MUSTO: She shaved off the mouseketeer ears and everything else and, you know what, she went through that rough period. And that`s apparently what stars have to do. It`s almost like a cliched three-act Hollywood drama come to life. But Britney`s on top again. Every suggestive song she makes is huge around the world. And I think Christina can get back there too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I got to tell you something, I feel for her.

Look, I`m a recovering alcoholic. I did a lot of stupid things, partying in Hollywood before I got sober. I got sober, in April -- knock on wood -- it will be 16 years.

And I was lucky. I never got so much as a DUI. Did I do things that I regret, did I do things that left me embarrassed? Yes.

Guess what Christina? If you`re watching, don`t worry about it. People have short memories. You can turn it around in a couple of minutes. Go to rehab. Get a new act. You have a great voice; you have a lot of talent.

Now, we`re going to switch gears -- what?

MUSTO: And Jane, your last -- your last record, Jane, was amazing and the video was fantastic.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, that was "Desperado" at the Karaoke bar.

All right. We`re going to switch gears to a very serious story now. Check this out.



JOHN GALLIANO, FASHION DESIGNER: No, but I love Hitler. People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would be (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gassed and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God. Do you have a problem.

GALLIANO: With you? You`re ugly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t like peace? You don`t want peace in the world.

GALLIANO: Not with people who are ugly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you so awful? Where are you from?




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tonight Natalie Portman`s big Oscar night is over and so is John Galliano`s career.

Christine Dior has fired, thankfully, its famous head designer after he was caught on tape -- you just saw it -- delivering a very drunk, anti- Semitic tirade.

Galliano verbally attacked a group of people at a Paris cafe saying he, quote, "loves Hitler", and then, quote, "People like you would have been dead (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gassed."

Listen to this. It`s a truly sickening, display of hatred.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look fabulous in Rodarte.

NATALIE PORTMAN, ACTRESS: I want to ask you, though, as the face of Dior, why didn`t you wear Dior and what are your thoughts on John Galliano`s suspension in these allegations that he made anti-Semitic remarks.

PORTMAN: I don`t -- ok.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that was the beautiful and very talented Natalie Portman reacting to the news of John Galliano`s horrific, anti- Semitic remarks.

You know, it was reportedly the second anti-Semitic incident at this very cafe involving this man, John Galliano. He is accused of physically assaulting a woman as well and telling the woman, quote, "Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead" -- I don`t even like to say those things. I really don`t even like to repeat them in quotes.

Natalie Portman who is Jewish refused to wear the Dior by John Galliano gown she had originally chosen for her big Oscar night. Bravo, way to go. She changed dresses at the very last minute. Portman would not comment on Oscar night but the Israeli-born beauty who is also the face of Dior`s perfume, Miss Dior Cherie, didn`t keep quiet for long.

Tonight Natalie is saying she`s shocked and disgusted by the video and will no longer associate herself with the designer. Again, the good news is this hateful man will never get another gig. What self-respecting fashion house would ever hire him?

Wait a second; maybe Jesse James can hire him to design Kat Von D`s wedding dress.

Michael Musto, weigh in here because it`s so gross. I don`t even like repeating the details frankly.

MUSTO: There`s a new fashion line cause the house of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen and they are both looking for Galliano. No, I`m joking Jane.

This is really pathetic. This guy has fashion sense but no other kind of sense. He`s brilliant as a designer, I`ll give him that much. But what kind of idiot sits there stewed in public spewing that kind of baloney to people. It`s like a Mel Brooks movie without the laughs. And even the dumb fashionistas that I know who normally have three brain cells are appalled and they are crying for the removal of this man which has actually happened. And good for Natalie for stepping forward today and really blasting everything he stood for.

She wanted to say something at the Oscars but you know how publicists are. They want to circumvent any controversy so they cut off the question. But Natalie obviously had already taken a stand against Galliano.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, way to go. I appreciate that. Natalie Thomas, now his friends are saying he needs rehab because he was drunk. But you know what I say? In vino, veritas; in wine there is truth.

THOMAS: Absolutely. I mean I think we`ve seen this before. We saw this with Mel Gibson, you know. You have alcohol and truth comes out and clearly this is a very sick, disturbed hateful man and rehab doesn`t really cure that necessarily. He can certainly go and try to work on his alcoholism and his drinking problems and that kind of thing. He needs extensive, extensive work to cure a hateful heart.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Musto, is there rehab for hatred? I don`t think so.

MUSTO: If there is, it`s going to be really crowded. I have a whole list of celebrities that just have hate issues that they could blame on drugs and alcohol but seem more deep-rooted than that. There really should be something to teach you basic humanity. It should start actually when you`re born.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good riddance John Galliano. Thank you so much both of you. Great to see you.

Up next, sweat lodge justice. Is this self-help guru a reckless killer? It`s day one of his earth-shattering trial. I will have all the details and we are taking your calls. What do you think about this sweat lodge? 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Give me a holler.



JAMES ARTHUR RAY, SELF-HELP GURU: And so what I talk to people about is creating a life of, what I call harmonic wealth. And this is a harmonic state of well-being in the five tiers of your life.



Tonight a mind-blowing opening statement in the Arizona sweat lodge manslaughter trial as famous self-help guru James Ray faces judge and jury. James Ray sat and he really looked like he was squirming in his chair today in court as the prosecution delivered blow after blow after blow detailing what led to the deaths of three of Ray`s so-called spiritual warriors, Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman back in October of 2009.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead of growth and enlightenment, Kirby, James and Liz found death. Found death in Mr. Ray`s sweat lodge.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All three people died after a two-hour long sweat lodge ceremony in northern Arizona that involved extreme, I mean extreme heat, so hot people were fainting left and right. But Ray never stopped the purification ceremony. And listen to what he told them.


RAY: You will feel as if you are going to die. I guarantee that. You see, the true spiritual warrior has conquered death.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So were these deaths a tragic accident as he contends or did James Ray convince these people to stay in that sweat lodge no matter what, no matter how hot. And at what point were the victims simply unable to drag themselves out?

I want to hear what you think, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Straight out to "In Session" correspondent Beth Karas with TruTV; Beth, give us an idea of what happened in court today.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION" ON TRUTV: Well, good evening, Jane. Opening statements still aren`t finished. The defense will finish in the morning. But the prosecutor laid out what this retreat was like and particularly the sweat lodge telling the jurors that James Ray was ignoring cries for help, watched unconscious people being dragged out and the ceremony went on.

It did stop every 10 to 15 minutes for a few minutes. He refused to stop a round because it had just begun when told someone was unconscious. But defense attorney Luis Lee got up there and made a very strong case for a cause of death, something other than heat stroke. The classic signs of heat stroke were not present: elevated body temperature and dehydration in the victims who died.

The defense expert is a medical examiner for the state of New Mexico who has never worked with a defense before. He`s also trained in E.R. And said classic signs of poisoning look like heat stroke and that there were many indications that it was poison. He thought maybe something in the soil. The samples of soil were never tested by the state.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, they are using the soil defense.

KARAS: Never questioned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ok. Thank you for that update. Now, let us check out this guy`s act.


RAY: Your greatest spiritual calling is to find your purpose in this lifetime and to pursue it and to do it with excellence. To fall so in love with what you do and so in love with what you`re a part of that the lines blur.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Straight ought to Steve Salerno, author of "Sham: how the self-help movement made America helpless". I mean when you watch this guy, you really get a sense of how full of himself he is. I think this could be a case study of a maniac before our eyes in this courtroom, Steve.

STEVE SALERNO, AUTHOR, "SHAM": Well, you know Jane, the thing is -- the amazing thing to me is that people are so amazed that something like this can happen. For a generation now, the self-help movement has completely had its way in America. We give them shows; we spend tens of thousands of dollars. He has repeat customers who go back and some say they he would go back again after this.

Who are these people? What credentials they have to be doing this? What are programs? They pulled him completely out of -- I`ll be polite -- they pulled him out of thin air and half of them aren`t even sincere. And yet we`re amazed that something like this finally happens when you are dealing in such an uncontrolled situation.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy Kuriansky, people did leave before the end of the sweat lodge. Is that going to hurt him?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think it`s totally indicative that people left. This is a very serious ceremony. I have been through sweat lodges. This was just a few hours that his followers went through.

When the Native Americans who founded this kind of ceremony lead them, it`s very serious. You have to be very prepared. You follow very particular parameters about this. And don`t let them get out of control.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to stay on top of this trial from beginning to end and we are going to come back with you experts. More throughout the week.



DARYL HANNA, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: He really is just a beacon of hope, you know. It really makes me excited about future generations.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight beautiful, passionate, powerful Daryl Hannah throws her support behind a man some say is on trial for being an environmental hero. The actress who played the fierce one-eyed villain in "Kill Bill" says the government is unjustly prosecuting Timothy Dechristopher, who was just trying to stop them from killing the planet.

Tim is charged with sabotaging a controversial land auction back in `08. The feds were trying to lease huge parcels of Utah`s most exquisite pristine land to the highest bidder so they could drill for oil.


TIMOTHY DECHRISTOPHER, ACTIVISIT: On April 1st of last year, I was indicted on two felony federal charges. One for making false statements and one for violation of the oil and gas lease act. Each of those carries a five-year sentence so I`d be looking at a maximum of ten years in prison and $750,000 in fines.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tim is on trial right now in Utah. Daryl Hannah was right there with his supporters who were protesting as you could see. She joins me in an ISSUES exclusive.

Daryl, there are murderers and rapists running free and the U.S. government is trying to lock this guy up because he didn`t want to destroy these lands in Utah.

HANNAH: Yes. And also the sales of the auction was deemed illegitimate. So he was trying to stop an auction that was like a fire sale that Bush was having when he was leaving office. You know, he also was trying to prevent the sale of public lands for private profits. The lands were going to go to big corporations that are privately-owned and to further pad their pockets.

He`s a very inspirational character. I`m just concerned that the jury is not going to get all of the facts and he`s not going to get a fair trial because the George W. Bush appointed judge has banned some of the key information from the trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, the global warming. They can`t talk about global warming in the trial which is at the heart of this case.

HANNAH: They can`t talk about his motivation and they also can`t talk about the fact that the auction itself was deemed illegal and illegitimate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know about that but I will say this. At the heart of this is the BLM, the Bureau of Land Management which we have covered here numerous times because they were involved in that Gulf Oil spill, remember that? I think we have video of that.

They are also the ones who are doing that wild horse roundup where they`re rounding up all these thousands of horses and putting them in tight pens when we have somebody who says I will take those horses off your hand and they won`t do it.

I don`t think the BLM, bureau of land management, has a lot of credibility and yet who`s investigating them?


HANNAH: May I call them the BLM, the Bureau of Land Mismanagement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would agree with you. And you know, we were all watching the Oscars. We heard that guy who won for documentary say that not a single financial executive has gone to jail. Why are they so out to get this particular guy? Why focus on this man when we have murderers and pedophiles running loose?

HANNAH: True and also many people who have walked out on auctions before and not paid their bids have never been prosecuted before. I think that there`s an effort to intimidate people from practicing peaceful protests and civil disobedience. That`s my opinion. You see people around the world who are rising up in peaceful protests and even in Wisconsin and it`s very inspiring. I think the federal government is threatened by our empowerment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Hang in there. We`re going to give you a minute to give your closing argument up next. Remember, the environment -- nature cannot speak up for itself. So sometimes we do have to speak up for the environment. This is what this guy was trying to do. He`s got a lot of supporters. More Daryl Hannah next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Daryl Hannah, what would your closing argument in favor of this environmental activist be?

HANNAH: Martin Luther King said that one has a moral responsibility to defend -- I mean disobey unjust laws. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. So I would hope that everyone would get out there and support Tim Dechristopher. Show up at his trial because this trial has potentially historic implications.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I got to say, nature doesn`t have any power. So if you`re going to just decimate nature and nobody says anything and these technicalities and these laws are on your side, then where is nature going to end up? We only have one planet, Daryl. Somebody has to start speaking up for the planet. We`re destroying it.

I want you to come back.


HANNAH: That`s right. And we have other ways to create energy that are regenerative and clean.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Come back soon.

Nancy Grace is up next.

HANNAH: Thank you.