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Mel Gibson Gets Plea Deal for Domestic Violence; Man Accused of Wife`s Murder; Cops Raid Charlie Sheen`s House; Ban Toxic Traps

Aired March 11, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Mel Gibson`s outrageous day in court. The troubled actor/director finally faces his domestic violence charge. Last year explosive audiotapes leaked between his ex-, Oksana, and a ranting and raving lunatic. She claims he hit her wile she was holding their little baby. Now, will he face justice or get a celebrity style slap on the wrist? We`ll have all the Mel-o-drama, and we`re taking your calls.

Plus, dramatic witness testimony in a mother`s murder. Cops say this cheating husband was so enraged his wife wanted to leave him that he strangled her to death. Did her plan to escape toxic marriage completely backfire?

Also, cops raid Charlie Sheen`s home. An alarming tip that this bad boy reportedly threatened to harm himself leads cops on a late-night hunt for guns. This as a custody deal is reached over Charlie`s adorable twin boys, and you won`t believe Charlie`s new plan to go on tour. I`ll talk to "Diff`rent Strokes" star and recovering addict Todd Bridges, live.

ISSUES starts now.



MEL GIBSON, ACTOR: You should just (EXPLETIVE DELETED) smile and blow me because I deserve it.

OKSANA GRIGORIEVA, MEL GIBSON`S EX: I`m sleeping with the baby. I`m waking up every two hours. I fell asleep because I was waiting for you because you weren`t ready to go to Jacuzzi as we agreed.

GIBSON: Who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cares? We agreed nothing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Tonight a breaking news, and the envelope please. In the category of best plea deal, the winner is, Mel Gibson. That`s right. No shock there. And reports suggest Mel may very well have written and directed his own plea deal.

Just a couple hours ago, Mel strutted into a Los Angeles court, and if he looks like he`s trying to suppress a grin, well, it`s because he got a real sweetheart of a plea deal.

In January of last year, Mel`s girlfriend Oksana accused him of punching her in the face while she was holding their baby daughter. Mel has reportedly admitted that he slapped her. For that, Mel was charged with nothing more than a single misdemeanor. Yes, a single misdemeanor. Not felony domestic violence.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any questions now regarding the rights you`re giving up or the plea you`re now about to enter?

GIBSON: No further questions from me, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to count one, penal code section 243, subsection E, how do you now plead?

GIBSON: No contest, pursuant to People v. West.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You do understand a "no contest" plea will have the same force and effect as a guilty plea, only in a misdemeanor, it can`t be used against you in a civil case. Do you understand that?

GIBSON: I understand that, your honor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I seem to notice him rolling his eyes a little bit.

Now here`s the sweet plea deal Mel was able to swing for himself. No admission of guilt. No admission of guilt. No jail time. No checking in with the probation officer. And, yes, a year of counseling. I said it right. With this plea deal, Mel does not even have to admit he did anything wrong.

So in my opinion this makes a total mockery of the criminal justice system and domestic violence laws. It sends a terrible message. Will this discourage other women from filing domestic abuse complaints, worried that their husband or boyfriend might say, "Oh, you`re going to the cops, huh? Well, I`ll probably get a Mel Gibson deal, and then you`ll really be sorry."

Meantime, in another part of those terrifying tapes, the man presumed to be Mel -- and he hasn`t denied it -- threatens Oksana, quote, "I`ll put you in the bleeping rose garden, you bleep." So why wasn`t he charged with making a threat, too? This is a sickening development coming from the twisted world of celebrity style criminal justice.

What do you think? 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to CNN entertainment correspondent Kareen Wynter, who was in that courtroom just a short time ago.

Kareen, paint a picture for us. What was Mel`s demeanor? What was it like? Take us there.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, what`s interesting, Jane, we know Mel Gibson to be this megastar here in Hollywood, playing those tough guy roles. But I have to say, you saw him inside that courtroom, he looked like a scared little rabbit. He was polite but definitely, definitely someone who was nervous and shaking in his boots, even though he knew going into this that this plea deal, this special arrangement was made between both sides here, the prosecution and defense.

And it`s also something that the court had signed off on, but he really came across as a model defendant. And I know, Jane, I know you`re going to hammer me on this, but you almost kind of felt sorry for the guy.


WYNTER: Very, very, very...


WYNTER: He sat there and listened -- listened to the judge spell it out. I have to say it. I felt a little sorry for him. And I know we`re talking about a domestic violence case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you know, love you, Kareen. You`re fantastic, a great reporter, but I`ve got to say my reaction I do not feel sorry for this man. He wrote -- according to some published reports he wrote the plea deal that they agreed to. And how many people get to use this west plea deal, this rare plea deal that they pulled out of a hat somewhere, where you don`t even have to admit you did anything wrong? I, personally, have never heard of that. Had you heard of it until today?

WYNTER: That`s -- that`s absolutely right. No. And it is absolutely right, the point that you`re making. It`s a very rare plea deal and, you know, defendants, when you plead no contest, there is an admission of guilt and, sure, there was an exception here under this negotiated arrangement.

But it`s not like Mel walked into court and said, "Judge, I`m laying down the law. This is how I want to have it." Remember, Jane, that the court and the prosecution have to sign off on this, and in court the prosecution even alluded to the fact that the reason, you know, we agreed to this was to limit trauma to the children that would be involved here. Not just their baby girl, little Lucia, but apparently, you know, Oksana`s 6-year-old boy who may have been called as a witness. So they were looking out for the children here. That`s a big point that I think we should make.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you`ve made it, and you made it well.

Now, one of the most memorable clips from the alleged Mel Gibson rants from Radar Online is when Oksana accuses him of hitting her. Listen to it very carefully.


GRIGORIEVA: You almost killed us. Did you forget?

GIBSON: The last three years have been a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gravy train for you.

GRIGORIEVA: You were hitting a woman with a child in her hands. You -- what kind of man is that, hitting a woman when she`s holding a child in her hands, breaking her teeth twice in the face? What kind of man is that?

GIBSON: Oh, you`re all angry now.

GRIGORIEVA: You`re going to get to -- you know what?

GIBSON: You got what you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deserved.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You got what you bleeping deserved.

Victims` rights attorney Gloria Allred is here. She has written an open letter about Mel`s case. Quote, "Gibson admits baby Lucia was being held at the time that Oksana was struck by Gibson. If Oksana was holding her when she was struck, Gibson might also have been charged with child endangerment or child abuse."

Gloria, do you think he got off easy here? Too few charges? And then this incredible sweetheart deal on the one charge he did get?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: He did get off easy, Jane. And unfortunately, though, a lot of batterers, first-time convicted batterers, do get probation. That`s what he got.

But I`m concerned, because here also children were present. The infant Lucia was being held in Oksana`s arms when Mr. Gibson struck Oksana, causing two of her veneers in her teeth to be broken, causing her to have a concussion, and reports are that her 13-year-old son by Timothy Dalton would have been a witness at the trial and therefore heard or saw or both the violence that was inflicted on Oksana.

And I say what about child abuse statutes? What about child endangerment statutes? Certainly, children are hurt if they are witnesses to violence against a parent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me tell you, I`ll do you even one better. Did Mel threaten to kill Oksana? Listen to another alleged Mel clip from Radar Online.


GRIGORIEVA: You`re going to answer. One day, boy. You`re going to answer. There.

GIBSON: What? What? Are you threatening me?

GRIGORIEVA: Nothing. Nothing. I`m not the one to threaten.

GIBSON: I`ll threaten you. I`ll put you in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) rose garden, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dylan Howard, senior executive editor, Radar Online, if that is Mel -- and he hasn`t denied it, that it is his voice on the tapes -- why don`t charges related to those threats -- is the talk in Hollywood that he`s gotten off easy here?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Well, OK. I think a lot will ask whether or not it`s celebrity justice, but at the same time I think it`s very good lawyering.

In this instance there is these options being presented in court today and would be available to any defendant in any situation. Now, interestingly enough, you raised the question about whether or not that is indeed Mel on those tapes. Oksana has presented evidence to the civil case involving Mel Gibson which is that of a voice specialist confirming that it is indeed Mel Gibson on those tapes.

But I think the big problem here in this instance is that in that civil case, Mel Gibson has filed a declaration in which he`s admitted that he hit her.


HOWARD: Forget the tapes. Forget the fact that he`s caught on tape admitting that he hit her. He, in a declaration sworn under oath to the court, has said that he did, in fact, slap her. Now that`s criminal.

But he pleads no contest today and gets away with it without having to plead guilty and without having to admit anything. And that`s where the justice system falls down, because on one hand, he can do something in civil court; yet in criminal court, he gets away relatively scot-free.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely. Again, think about the message this sends to everyone in the United States, all these women, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of women who are grappling with an abusive husband or boyfriend and wondering what to do, and they think, "Wow. If I call the cops, that could happen to my husband or boyfriend. He`s just going to get off with no jail time, no probation, not even having to check with the probation officer, and now I`m ally scared because he could come after me."

All right. Everybody, hang tight. And Loraine, Texas, we`re going to take your call on the other side of the break there. Stack it up, folks.

Plus an emotional day in a murdered mom trial. Cops say a cheating husband strangled his wife because she wanted to leave him. Friends say she had an escape plan, but she didn`t get to carry it out in time.

And much more on Mel Gibson`s outrageous day in court.


GIBSON: How dare you! How (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dare you? You wanted the number of my therapist? Don`t you ever speak to him! Find your own (EXPLETIVE DELETED) therapist. Because you got problems more than me.




GIBSON: How dare you act like such a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) when I`ve been so (EXPLETIVE DELETED) nice? I`ll burn the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) house down. You`re a pain in my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You`re a pain in my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Stop being that!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight outrage in the wake of Mel Gibson`s slap on the wrist. Let`s take a closer look at Mel`s sweetheart, no contest plea deal.

OK. We`re talking no admission of guilt, no jail time. Informal probation for three years, which means no checking in with any probation officer. Two full days of community service. To me it adds up to no justice.

And that`s my big issue. What a joke. And Mel`s also ordered to do a year of anger management counseling and to have only peaceful contact with Oksana.

You know, he talks in one of those tapes, if it is him, about his counselor, or psychiatrist, or psychologist. Man, fire that dude.

Lorraine, Texas. Your question or thought?

CALLER: Well, I think he ought to go to jail. I really do. I don`t think anyone should hit anyone, and if you hit a woman, holding a baby, he`ll hit that baby? He gets mad, he`s going to blow his top. There is no -- no two ways about it.

He`s just mean. That`s all there is to it. He`s mean. And people like that, they don`t need a slap on the wrist. They need the cuffs slapped on their wrist. They need to go to jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like your poetry, Lorraine, Texas.

And what really bugs me, Gloria Allred, is she can`t even use this in any future case against him. That`s part of the plea deal. So if something else happens that`s upsetting down the line, and they`re going to be co-parenting this little child, she can`t even use any of this as part of evidence.

ALLRED: Well, that`s true, Jane. And it is a conviction for the purposes of the criminal justice system and for the purposes of his criminal record. It`s there. And she also, by the way, has been issued a protective order so that he cannot harass her and he has to comply with all provisions of the protective order.

But, however, having said that, she cannot use it in a civil case. She can still file a civil lawsuit against him, however, and litigate that. And -- and it`s possible she may do so or try to settle it without filing a civil lawsuit.

But my concern and the caller`s concern is the same, which is the protection of the children. I think the law needs to be changed so that, if a person commits an act of violence against the other parent of the child, if there are any children in the room at all who witness this violence, then I think that that should be enough to charge them with a separate -- or enhance the sentence so that it`s mandatory jail time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Absolutely.

ALLRED: That is not the law now. But it could be the law in the future.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well that`s why we`re in the solution here on ISSUES, and this really is a wakeup call for everybody who`s upset about the criminal justice system. Again, people say why do you have a gavel? You`re not a judge. Because look what the judges are doing. We need to take the power back and say this is not right.

Now, what bothers everybody so much, I think, is Mel`s hypocrisy. Mel has always portrayed himself as the ultimate family man. Listen to this clip from Radar Online, however.


GIBSON: You should just (EXPLETIVE DELETED) smile and blow me because I deserve it.

GRIGORIEVA: I`m sleeping with the baby. I`m waking up every two hours. I fell asleep because I was waiting for you, because you weren`t ready to go to Jacuzzi as we agreed.

GIBSON: Who the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cares? We agreed nothing. You agreed. You just (EXPLETIVE DELETED) expect (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Go to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Jacuzzi yourself. Go on a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the Jacuzzi. It`s all the same. You have no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) soul.

GRIGORIEVA: I didn`t blame you for anything.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dylan Howard, he was married. He had seven kids. He was supposedly deeply devout and very conservative and proper in his behavior. Then he took up with Oksana, and soon his marriage was over. And now we`re hearing these "F" bombs and misogynistic tirades, allegedly, if it is him, and I guess he has never denied that it`s him.

Go ahead -- Dylan.

HOWARD: Absolutely not. I mean, absolutely I should say. In this particular instance, no one can defend the indefensible. Mel Gibson was caught on tape in misogynistic and racist, bigoted remarks. And his career is well and truly suffering as a result. He has one film that`s set to premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Texas shortly, which is being directed by Jodie Foster, "The Beaver."

But that`s really, really the only thing that`s going on for Mel Gibson at the moment. And he`s really going to find it difficult to fight back in terms of Hollywood ranks.

Now, interestingly enough, though, Jane, just back to the issue of whether or not it`s celebrity justice. It ought to be pointed out that the people in this case said that the reason that they consented to this plea deal, this sweetheart deal, if you like, was to avoid the issue of having to put a minor on the stand. And that minor would have been Oksana`s 12- year-old son, Sasha. So their motivation in this was to protect a young -- young individual.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know what? I don`t really care about Mel Gibson. It`s the message it sends that`s -- that really upsets me. And how it might intimidate women who are being abused.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Cops raid Charlie Sheen`s home after an alarming tip, and you won`t believe what they find there. It`s amazing.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will be convinced that Bradley Graham Cooper killed his wife and is guilty of first-degree murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a startling murder case puts a spotlight on the war on women. Was a suburban mother of two sleeping with the enemy?

Brad Cooper on trial for allegedly murdering his wife, who wanted a divorce. Cops say he strangled her with his bare hands, dumped her body, and made up a story that she went jogging and never came home. Nancy Cooper`s body found in a ditch two days later wearing only a sports bra.

Brad admits he was having an affair with one of Nancy`s friends. Nancy was also rumored to be cheating.

One of her closest friends sobbed as she testified today that the couple had an explosive fight the day before she vanished. Her friend says Nancy repeated the words "I hate you, Brad Cooper" over and over that day. The defense argues cops never bothered to look at any other suspects, however.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they`ve completely ignored evidence which could have led them to the real killer or killers which are still out there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst. Mike, sounds like the husband may have the motive or the opportunity, but where`s the evidence?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there`s a little bit of evidence. And one of the other things Diana Duncan said on the stand -- this is again her friend and confidante -- is that she feels that Brad Cooper intentionally misled her the next morning on July 12, the morning that he reported her missing after he said she went jogging. Because Diana couldn`t remember exactly what kind of dress, what she had on the night before when she was overheard to saying, "I hate you, Brad Cooper. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you" at a party at their house.

Now, apparently, Brad Cooper gave her -- gave law enforcement a black dress for the dogs to use for scent, but it wasn`t the dress that she had on that night.

But Diana Duncan couldn`t remember. It wound up being a teal dress, but he -- she thinks that he intentionally misled her that early morning. And the other thing she testified to is that, when she showed up, that she said his reactions looked false. They looked acted. That was the next day when she went missing.

So, you know, this is a good friend and a confidante and someone who knew Nancy Cooper the best.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The defense is arguing that the police in this case were incompetent and dishonest. Let`s listen to their side.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will see that the police ignored footprints around Nancy`s body. They ignored the tire tracks that led up to her body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is always the case. They always try to put the police on trial in these cases.

BROOKS: Oh, yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does it ever work, really?

BROOKS: You know, sometimes it does, Jane, but most of the time it doesn`t. But keep in mind: the area where her body was found was a construction site. They were building new homes there. So are you going to find footprints? Absolutely. You going to find tire tracks? Yes. Bu you know, is this conclusive evidence? No.

But you know, one of the other things, it looks as if maybe, after she filed for divorce, she was going to take the two daughters and go back to Canada. In fact, Jane, she would lock the keys, her passport, and the girls` passports, in the car and hide them from him so couldn`t take the passport to keep her and the girls from leaving there and going possibly back to Canada.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, that`s incriminating evidence.

Thank you so much, Mike.

Cops raid Charlie Sheen`s house. We`re going to tell you all about it next with Todd.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Cops raid Charlie Sheen`s home. An alarming tip that this bad boy reportedly threatened to harm himself leads cops on a late night hunt for guns. This as a custody deal is reached over Charlie`s adorable twin boys. And you won`t believe Charlie`s new plan to go on tour. I`ll talk to "Diff`rent Strokes" star and recovering addict, Todd Bridges live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody made some statement apparently to the LAPD, a reckless statement about something about Charlie and guns. They properly did their job. They did an investigation and as a result of that investigation a warrant was issued. The LAPD came in efficiently, appropriately, professionally, courteously, and thoroughly executed the warrant. The only thing that they took with them and they found was a few bullets and an 1800 antique gun.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight the insanity escalates. The freak show gets freakier. Cops raid and turn Charlie Sheen`s house upside down looking for guns and to top it off a stalker shows up in Charlie`s back yard. Cops swooped in on Sheen`s house last night because somebody called saying Charlie threatened to harm himself with a gun.

There, look at the madness. That`s Charlie Sheen`s house right there. Guns, of course, a big no-no according to his ex-wife Brooke Mueller`s restraining order. The cops you just heard found only an antique rifle and couple bullets. Charlie was not arrested.

TMZ reporting tonight Charlie was sitting in the back yard having some kind of cook out while cops did their thing and he tweeted, "The LAPD are awesome, absolute pros. They can protect and serve this warlock any time."

But then it got really weird. Cops had to come back because there was a stalker in Charlie`s back yard. This is exclusive RadarOnline video of 26-year-old David Pack being hauled away. Apparently Pack and his twin brother traveled to L.A. from Kansas to show support for Charlie. Now that`s loyalty.

Oh, and despite all this kookiness, Charlie and Brooke apparently worked out their custody battle over their twin sons. Just a normal day in the life of a weirdo warlock.

TMZ has been all over this story -- Charlie madness -- straight out to TMZ`s assignment manager, Mike Walters, my good buddy. It was a busy night at Charlie`s house. You`ve been there. Do we know where this tip came from? What do you know?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, no. We don`t know exactly where the tip came from. But I have a feeling it`s some of the people that are really concerned for Charlie Sheen. Remember what they did was call and say that he was going to harm himself with a gun. That gives the LAPD all the right to go and search his home because he will be violating a restraining order with Brooke Mueller.

Now, remember, if they find anything else, like drugs, like other weapons, anything illegal, then they can hold Charlie accountable. So I think this was one of two things. That and also wanting to find out, make sure Charlie Sheen is ok, not on drugs.

But let me tell you. This was, here`s how thorough the investigation was. They brought in dogs -- sniffing dogs to find ammunition.


WALTERS: I mean they really, really tore that house apart and you know what though? He is still not out of the hot water here, Jane, because he is not supposed to have that 1800s musket. He is also not supposed to have those bullets. And they could go after him with the district attorney just for having that stuff. So, we`ll see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, we`ll see. Yes. Here is my big issue tonight, Mike Walters. Is this some kind of crazy revolution? It`s like Charlie has crossed over to some kind of new media guru with a cult-like following. Check out what we found on YouTube and the "Parody Factory".




VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean come on, 2.5 million Twitter followers? 70,000 plus people trying to be his intern? He is on YouTube, Ustream, you name it? This is a social networking phenomenon like we`ve never seen before and to me it`s kind of like the Tea Party meets the toga party. And now we hear he is going to go on tour with this. What are they calling this tour and where the heck is he going to go?

WALTERS: Well, you know, what he`s doing is he`s going on a one-man like stand up comedy tour like a theater. He`s going to Detroit. He`s going somewhere in the Midwest. I mean he is going to multiple cities. And we`re talking about in the next like two weeks he is going on this tour.

But Jane, here`s what`s interesting, people in this business especially guys like Charlie Sheen have had PR reps, agents and managers for 25 years of their career especially his. And all of a sudden he`s getting to say exactly what he wants to say using any medium he wishes in the media. I think it`s just pouring out of Charlie Sheen.

I spent five hours with Charlie in his back yard and I`m telling you the guy is a little out there but I think he knows exactly what he is doing. And I don`t think he is on drugs and I think that what is going on right now is Charlie is just letting it all flow out. And I think it will simmer down in a few weeks. He is doing the stand-up thing to make some money but I think it will probably slow down a bit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Charlie`s zingers, they just keep coming. Check out Sheen`s "Winning Recipes" from Funny or Die. Have to check out this.


CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: First decision you have to make is which kitchen do you use? The indoor kitchen so it`s in the comfort zone? Or the outdoor kitchen because the spirits of my anonymous ancestors will fly above me and bring fire on to the meal.

Outdoor wins, I just teleported myself here. I did it again. You`re in the right kitchen. You need to have the right tools. This is not a spatula. It`s a cooking arm for a warlock.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to start to do with that with my gavel.

Now, weighing in on Charlie Sheen, somebody who has met him and could have the best insight of anybody. While most of us know Charlie Sheen best from the long running CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men", Todd Bridges rocketed to fame as a child star on the NBC Show "Diff`rent Strokes".



TODD BRIDGES, ACTOR: Sure. And when you`re sick, don`t I get you well. And when you`re unhappy don`t I let you blubber all over me?

COLEMAN: You do, Willis. Get ready for some more blubbering.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Adorable children, troubled adults. Todd became a drug addict and he sees himself in Charlie Sheen. He is the author of the amazingly honest new book, "Killing Willis", Todd Bridges, so happy to have you here tonight and so happy about your sobriety and recovery. I am also a recovering alcoholic and so I did identify with your story.

Charlie says he is clean but you say you`ve seen something that you`ve identified as cocaine psychosis. Tell us what you mean by that.

BRIDGES: Well, because I remember when I first got sober, I was exactly like that. You know, very grandiosity and very much so out of control. But I really believe -- I mean I blame the media for giving him an outlet. That is who the real problem I think goes down to. We keep giving him an outlet. The more you give him an outlet the more he`s going to, you know, show himself.

Because as an addict, you know, I remember back in the days when I first got sober if you`d have given me a media outlet that, it may have been the Internet; had there been, you know, twitter, I would have went just as nuts. Because after a while when you`ve been sober for a real less time, like couple days, he probably maybe has a week but we all that without a program eventually you`re going to go back.

And it`s unfortunate, you know, that he is allowing himself to be shown in this light because to me, yes, he may make money and he may look wild and he may have people supporting him but to me it`s very damaging to himself.

And personally, you know, he says he`s happy but most of us that are in this kind of lifestyle, we realize that there`s not much happiness when it comes to that. When you`re making a buffoon out of yourself, it`s just not cool.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s making a buffoon out of himself but he`s also providing us a window into what addicts are really like because --

BRIDGES: That is exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- a lot of addicts because they have to, they`re not living in a huge mansion. They`ve got to keep it together, keep the job so they put up a phony facade.

But Charlie, Charlie is just letting it all hang out as part of his suit against Warner brothers and "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre for $100 million bucks.

Let`s check out another message, this one to his nemesis.


SHEEN: Hi, Chuck E Cheese ball. Where you hiding, silly clown? Behind your narcissism, your greed? Your hatred of yourself? Or women? Which personality are you cowering beneath for transparent cover? I see you, you little worm.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Full disclosure, Warner Brothers and HLN both owned by Time Warner but he seems to be on the attack against Chuck Lorre. What is it in the addict mentality that makes him want to attack this man so much?

BRIDGES: Well, I think, you know, when you really look at it, when I first got, it`s like ok. Before I was sober when I was white knuckling it, trying to do it myself, anybody that had anything to do with helping me or was around me I attacked and I would go after. I mean I went after people -- I even went after my mom at one point because she, I felt that she set me up to get me in treatment and I was angry at her. And I would tell her, "You ruined my life. You did this to me."

And you won`t really come to your senses until after you`ve had some sobriety time. The more time you get in your head the more you start realizing how much of an idiot you really were and all the mistakes you made. But he`s going after this guy I really believe to me it seems like because he is angry at this guy. Because really, you know, he got put on front street probably and got told, dude, you got a problem.

No addict wants to hear he has a problem. No one wants to hear that. I never wanted to hear that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. Todd, hang in there. We`re going to hear a lot more from you in a moment. We got more on Todd Bridges, his book, his life, his drug recovery. So much to talk about in the Charlie Sheen saga.


SHEEN: Now that I have your lazy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) attention world sit back and rejoice for the Malibu messiah, the condor of Calabassas, the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) warlock of your jealous face sits before you. Undigested hummus trading real estate for this fire dance.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You got to admit, you do get a chuckle even though it`s not funny.

And it`s not just Charlie Sheen. If you`re grappling with an addiction, if you know somebody, somebody you love who is, check out my new book "Addict Nation". You can get it at or go to Addict It really gives you an insight into how you can dig yourself out of this hole called addiction.



SHEEN: They`ve run the gamut from like, ok, he is not loaded. Now what? He`s manic. I don`t even know what that mean. I guess it would imply that there is going to be a crash. I don`t know when that`s coming but maybe you could cover it when it does, you know.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re talking to Todd Bridges, the TV star who knows Charlie Sheen and his struggles with his own addiction. Todd Bridges is the author of a fascinating new book called "Killing Willis". I recommend everybody read it if they want to get an insight into what addiction does to someone, even someone who is on top of Hollywood with a top rated show, "Diff`rent Strokes".

When cops raided Charlie Sheen`s house overnight they didn`t find any drugs. Do you think looking at his kooky behavior that he is sober or is he doing drugs?

BRIDGES: Well, I would definitely say that -- I will tell you this. He is probably on a dry drunk.


BRIDGES: But it is very difficult for Charlie to find a -- to be depressed because I`ll tell you why. You know, when you`re in that stage of cocaine psychosis you either are manic and you`re out of control with anger or you go into depression but Charlie has so much money that depression -- it`s going to be hard for him to get depressed.

When he gets depressed you go buy something. When he gets depressed he goes on tour to do something. See the thing is, for his depression it`s going to be tough.

So, him getting sober it`s going to be tough. I really believe that part of this is a game and also part of this is a part of his disease. And the sad part about it is we -- I hope and pray that he does find sobriety somewhere in there. You know, maybe he`s staying sober right now because just to get even with everybody and say, see, I can do it. But sometimes when you`re doing that you can slip in and find sobriety. It happens to all of us.

I stayed sober in the beginning because I was -- at you guys for what you said about me. I was mad at you guys and I was like, I`m going to stay sober, if it kills me. And I got 18 years now. So I wanted to --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Congratulations.

BRIDGES: Thank you. I wanted to spit in everyone`s face who said I couldn`t do it and say, "I did it, kiss my butt." I wanted to do that, I did it. I did it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We alcoholics and addicts have a lot to prove and I`m so proud of you.

BRIDGES: Exactly. Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd, in your book "Killing Willis" you acknowledged your dad was an alcoholic and that that was part of the emotional problem that led you to do drugs.

Now, Charlie Sheen`s dad, actor Martin Sheen also an alcoholic -- famous alcoholic; he says he got sober in 1981. But that still means that Martin Sheen was drinking during Charlie`s formative years. Do you think that that affected Charlie and that is something he needs to deal with, the sadness and the depression that comes with growing up with an alcoholic parent in order to get sober?

BRIDGES: Well, yes. Somewhere along the lines there is something that`s keeping Charlie in addiction. We want to say that we like doing it but, you know, contrary to belief, yes, you like using drugs but do you like continuing to do it? No. Because you know how it makes you feel in the end.

So somewhere in there, there is something wrong with somewhere inside of him and he doesn`t, either he knows what it is and doesn`t want to deal with it or he doesn`t know what it is and it`s going to take somebody to get it out of him.

Right now you also have to remember this. He`s done so much cocaine that his brain is not producing enough of those endorphins to keep up with him right now. That`s the other insane part about him. When you just get off cocaine, all of those fake endorphins that cocaine was giving you and all of a sudden it is no longer giving it to you imagine what you`re going to be like when your brain doesn`t get it.


BRIDGES: That`s what happened to me. The same thing happened to me except for what I did was to get everything back, kick-started, I took a certain medication for a year. I got everything kicked back in again and everything started working again and I had complete impulse control after that.

But in the very beginning of the stages of my sobriety I had no impulse control either. If I said I didn`t like you I would say it. I wanted to cuss you out I`d cuss you out. I wanted to smack nu the face I`d smack you in the face because that`s how I was feeling, you know.

And what`s happening now, Charlie`s impulse control, he has none right now but the media is giving him an outlet where he can show he has no impulse control. So, whatever he feels like saying comes out, you know.

Like, yes, I`m a warlock, hey.

I tell you what I`m going to do, when I get back home I`ve trying to find that tiger blood online because I`m trying to think if maybe I could drink some tiger blood and possibly get some of that Adonis DNA I can get $2 million an episode.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, that is really upsetting because in real life there are animals that are abused and killed for some mythical properties.

BRIDGES: I agree with you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s sad and it`s sick.

I want to talk to you about the progression of your disease. Because the thing about your book, "Killing Willis" that is so amazing is that you are so honest. You`re honest about being molested by a family friend. You`re honest about how you started doing cocaine and then you went to crack and then you went to meth. What was your bottom? We have 30 seconds.

BRIDGES: My bottom for me was all of a sudden when I realized that I was in rehab, I just got there and I got mad and I swung at all of them. the next thing I know I got four points and I`m in a diaper and that was my bottom when I realized that something had to be different because it was a far cry from Willis Jackson in television and me on a diaper.

But what happened was for me God came in and told me that if I would just shut up and listen to everybody he would take my path and key me to the right direction. And that`s what he did. And that`s why I got --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Todd, I love you. Congratulations on your honesty.

BRIDGES: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your book "Killing Willis" is fabulous.



DENNIS SLAUGH, SAYS HE WAS POISONED BY M-44 DEVICE: I started wiping the powder off my face, and it was -- got a little in my mouth, it was a real bitter taste, and it made me sick, instantly sick.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight growing outrage over the use of deadly poisons that have allegedly made some people like that man sick and killed tens of thousands of animals every year. The U.S. Agriculture Department uses toxic traps to kill livestock predators -- coyotes -- but these poison-filled devices can`t tell the difference between a coyote, your dog, or you.

They are put in the ground loaded with bait ready to spew their deadly toxins. Critics say endangered species like gray wolves are being killed off. I talked to one woman who says her beloved dog suffered a violent death during a hike. Check this out.


AMANDA KINGSLEY, DOG WAS POISONED BY TRAPS: There was this terrible smell, really strong metallic smell coming from her foaming mouth. And I leaned down and kept smelling it and I`m thinking that I need to be able to describe this to a vet or poison specialist.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Brookes Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense. Thanks for joining us. Most people don`t know these devices exist.

In your opinion, what is the damage that these devices are doing? Paint a picture for us.


Just imagine a government agent that you`re paying their salary, the taxpayers, is out on public and private lands throughout the country, placing essentially toxic poisonous lined mines. That`s essentially what M-44s are. They are essentially a spring-activated device when triggered and when the animal pulls up on it, spews up to five feet high sodium cyanide particles, and then once they hit the lips, the eyes the nostrils, then it turns into the noxious sodium cyanide gas.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to say if you want to find out more about these dangerous poisons, you can go to Brooks` Web site, It`s shocking. And you`re going to find several different ways you can help get these toxins banned.

We called out to the USDA`s Department of Wildlife Services, we didn`t hear back. They are invited on the show anytime to tell their side of the story.

I am on the phone with Amanda Kingsley. She says her dog was poisoned by these traps. And you actually said when you reached down to look at your dog, you smelled it. What happened to you, Amanda?

KINGSLEY (via telephone): We were out walking on the farmland with the dog. She fell over and started to convulse. She`s a huge dog, 135- pound mastiff, and she was foaming at the mouth and screaming. Eyes rolled back, kicking in the mud, and we didn`t know what was going on, but there was this strong smell. So --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you suffer any repercussions yourself?

KINGSLEY: Yes, I did. I -- in the -- while trying to clear her airway, I got bitten and I was breathing in this gas. After she died, I started to feel faint, and we were racing back to the farmhouse to call 911. But over the -- they said if I was still alive at that point, I would probably be all right, but over the next month, I had all sorts of effects of arms tingling all the time, going -- they were going to sleep, racing heart, this metallic taste in my mouth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, now, I want to find out why on earth we need to use tax dollars to kill off all these tens of thousands of animals. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Humane Society of the United States have said we should get rid of these poisons.

More in a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense, why does the government claim it needs to kill all the coyotes and what is the alternative, sir?

FAHY: Well, the government`s basically doing this under the guise of protecting livestock, but the vast majority of these animals have never preyed on livestock and wouldn`t prey on livestock.

The alternative is, is basic husbandry, guard dogs, proper fencing, corralling your animals at night, these types of things. And the government, again, this agency is 80 years old now, and it simply refuses to basically embrace nonlethal tactics -- techniques that are proven and that have been used in Europe for centuries.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this could get into our ecosystem. Ten seconds.

FAHY: Oh, absolutely. I mean, this agency doesn`t only use sodium cyanide, but many different types of poisons that are a nuisance to these - -

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to go. Check it out.

Nancy Grace up next.

Thank you, sir.