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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Ex-Cop`s Wife Missing; Investigation Shows Ugly Underside of Fur Industry

Aired March 16, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, shock and devastation as a beautiful mother of four mysteriously vanishes from her abusive home. Police say they`re questioning her ex-cop husband. And it`s no wonder. Last time they were called out to the home neighbors say she was black and blue. Reports also claim they may have been headed for divorce. Tonight, cops are grilling the husband and asking did he finally snap?

And tonight in a prime-time exclusive, ISSUES is going inside the secret world of the Westboro Baptist Church. You know, those people who picket the military funerals because they say their deaths are God`s punishment for the U.S. allowing homosexuality? I`ll speak one-on-one with Nate Phelps. He`s the son of the infamous Westboro Baptist pastor. He`ll talk about the abuse he says he endured under his dad`s tight-fisted reign. He`ll tell you his shocking story tonight.

Also, a head-spinning story you`ll only hear on ISSUES. An undercover investigation into a horrific practice that few Americans even know about. Could what you don`t know hurt your kids, your pets, and innocent wildlife?

Plus, Snooki, reality TV star or vicious ball of rage? She`s seen fighting violently with another woman. Is she sending women and girls a bad message? Is she opening the door to saying it`s A-OK to smack a woman? I`m taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s never done anything like this. She has four kids. The littlest one is 5 years old. So she would never leave them unattended. The concern is that something happened to her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight breaking news as cops search frantically for a missing mother of four. They`ve questioned her estranged husband. He is an ex-cop who allegedly had beaten the missing woman black and blue before. Could he have done something? Could he have anything to do with her disappearance?

Beautiful 40-year-old Tina Adovasio was last seen five days ago in her Bronx apartment. Neighbors say she had a blowup fight with her husband, who was in the process of divorcing. Here`s her husband ex-cop, Eddie Cuello. Here is a photo of the couple last year from "The New York Daily News." Attractive couple, huh?

Well, get this: this guy reportedly had to quit his job as a New York City cop 11 years ago for beating up another wife. Neighbors say Eddie and the missing woman fought a lot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman fighting here a couple days ago. They were fighting, you know, constantly the past few weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Eddie Cuello called 911 and told police that Tina left the house after they got into a big fight on Friday night. A neighbor says he heard yelling that evening, but friends say Tina left her car behind, which she`d never do. Plus, they insist she`d never leave her four kids. The youngest one is only 5.

"The New York Post" says cops are looking at surveillance video that allegedly shows the husband leaving the apartment building with a big trash bag or several bags. What might have been in those bags? Is this beautiful -- look at this -- beautiful woman the latest casualty in the war on women?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to "In Session" correspondent, Jean Casarez, with our sister station TruTV.

Jean, even cops are saying this doesn`t look good. What are you hearing tonight?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": That`s right. Police actually executed another search warrant at the couple`s apartment today, looking for evidence. They are calling the husband a person of interest, but he is saying, "Look, we got into an argument, and she walked out. She was upset, and she left."

I think the video surveillance from the apartment is going to be very important, the time line that we have. A friend saw her at the gym at 4 p.m. The neighbor and landlord heard screaming at 8 p.m. But at 9 p.m., it appears as though video surveillance on the apartment showed her leaving the complex.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the Bronx is an area where really you need a car to get around unless you`re near a subway and the friend says she didn`t take the subway; she took her car when she left. Her car is there, according to published report.

Now, Tina`s landlord told "The New York Post" that the ex-cop husband, Eddie Cuello, beat up Tina on at least two occasions, once in 2006, the year they were married, and again in 2007.

Neighbors don`t seem to like this Eddie Cuello fellow much. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like my daughter. With the kids also. With him, he`s very strange.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tina`s ex-husband, Joe Adovasio, told "The New York Post" that Tina got a protective order against Eddie Cuello. The ex claims Cuello broke Tina`s jaw and gave her two black eyes, and she needed stitches.

"The New York Post" says Cuello had to retire from the police force 11 years ago over a domestic incident involving a previous wife, but no where can we see, Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, that this Eddie Cuello person was prosecuted or served any time in jail.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, Jane, but he didn`t retire. He had to resign. He didn`t have enough time to retire, which says to me you can have an allegation of domestic violence against you, but they usually don`t make you quit unless there`s a conviction. Because you cannot be a law enforcement officer and carry a gun with a domestic violence conviction anywhere in the United States.

Now talk about vehicles. His vehicle, law enforcement right after he made the report, they said, "Hey, can we go ahead and take a look at your 2010 Nissan Maxima?"

He says, "No, you`re not going to."

But Tuesday they found his car, and they got a search warrant to search it. So it would be very important. As Jean was talking about what they find inside of the apartment and what they may have also found inside of his car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, we have tried to reach him and his attorney without success. We left messages for the attorney. He and/or his attorney invited on any time to tell their side of the story.

But I`ve got to wonder, going back to Mike Brooks, let`s say if something happened to her in the apartment and she was removed forcibly from the apartment or removed when she was already deceased. There would be blood spatter in that apartment, would there not?

BROOKS: There may -- there may be. And that`s one of the things you look at first of all when you go to a scene of a missing person or anything else, is any kind of a sign of a struggle.

Now, he may have tried to clean it up, but always keep in mind you saw the crime scene van from NYPD there at the apartment. I guarantee that they were using ultra light sources, possibly Luminol inside to see if there was any blood.

Now they`re not saying much. But they did track her cell phone down, Jane, and they found her cell phone with pings in two different locations.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

BROOKS: What does that mean?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to get to that, because we have a Google map for you. The missing woman, Tina Adovasio, lived with her four kids in a third-floor apartment in the Bronx, which is in a borough of New York City, right there right outside Manhattan. There it is, the Bronx.

"The New York Daily News" reports investigators tracked Tina`s cell phone and got hits in two areas, Morris Heights and High Bridge. OK. That is about six miles from Tina`s home in the Bronx. They got those hits on Monday. So she was last seen Friday. They get these cell-phone pings and hits six miles from her apartment on Monday.

Debra Opri...

DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY: The phone hasn`t been used. The phone hasn`t been used, has it? The phone has not been used, has it? No. They don`t.

Jane, Jane, this is what I`m saying, as a family law attorney. We must continuously enforce on these shows you don`t stay in abusive relationships. She took a step by getting a protective order, but let`s get a prosecution here. And what was she doing in his company after this man beat her to the degree he did prior?

As far as her absenteeism since Friday, the time line is very important. What you also have to look at is he said no to looking at the car. Did it get washed? Where was he?

And I`ll say it again: that video is going to be very telling as to who -- who went and who came. And I can only say that this, unfortunately, may be sounding like another Scott Peterson case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get to that in a second. You`re reading my mind on so many levels.

Neighbors say Tina and Eddie were headed for divorce but that they still lived at their apartment on and off. And that brings me to my big issues, as Debra Opri said. Are women sleeping with the enemy? Intimate partner violence is one of the leading causes of death for women in this country.

Now we pray that this woman is found alive, but the cops say it doesn`t look good. When are we going to learn that we cannot trust our own instincts, because a woman`s instinct is primarily to forgive and give second chances, and that often puts a woman in harm`s way. Women sometimes fall for charm and profuse apologies and flowers. OK. If a man has a history of domestic violence, a woman must be counterintuitive, go against her instinct to forgive and give a second chance, and get out early.

Michelle Golland, a clinical psychologist, the key is not to wait until a volatile moment like a big fight erupts to try to leave, to leave, as they say in the stock market. If you`re going to panic, panic early. Get out absolutely after the first incident.

MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, well, and Jane you hit on a few points that are -- that are so important. That abusers are very good at charming their victims back into the relationship.

And the other thing that needs to be pointed out here is that she had done a protective order, and she was taking the steps. But we know in domestic violence that the most dangerous time for the woman is when she decides to leave.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course.

GOLLAND: And if she`s taking action and then -- but once you make the decision that you`re leaving and you`re filing for divorce...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get out.

GOLLAND: ... you do anything and everything to never be alone with the abuser.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And don`t let them know until you`re in a safe zone. Don`t be in a danger zone and say, "Hey, I`m leaving you and I`m going to get a divorce." Get to a safe place and then have an attorney convey that message.

Sean, Ohio, your questions or thoughts, sir?

CALLER: Yes. My question is obviously the guy beat this lady before. And I`ve got a sister and four brothers and, to me, you know, they`re going to spend a lot of money on this guy. They already know he beat her before. I say they put the guy in a room with some of her family members, with a rubber hose five minutes, and know exactly what happened to the girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? We have those impulses, but this is the United States. It`s not another third-world country where that kind of thing happens all the time, because when you open that door, the chances are that one day soon somebody who`s innocent is hit with a rubber hose. So we don`t want to -- we don`t want to go there, but I can understand your passion.

All right, more on this beautiful missing mom -- who happens to be a nurse, by the way -- in just a bit. We`re taking your calls on this: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS.

Plus later, dark secrets of a fanatical church revealed in a prime- time exclusive. I will speak live in just minutes to the son of the infamous pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church about the abuse that son says he endured under his father`s reign.

But first, a mother of four goes missing from her allegedly abusive home. Are cops questioning her husband and asking did he do something with his wife?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s sad. I don`t know any details of why she`s missing or anything, but I hope she`s found safe. You know, you don`t want to see a child go without their parent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kids need her. Everyone needs her back. I mean, it`s a big loss, you know. Hopefully, she`s OK still.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A mother of four now missing for five long days. Family and friends terrified something awful has happened to Tina Adovasio. Cops questioning the ex-cop husband who reportedly has a history of domestic violence. He has not been arrested.

They have a 5-year-old child, a girl, between them. She has several older children from a previous marriage. Jean Casarez, where is that 5- year-old little 5-year-old girl tonight?

CASAREZ: Now that`s a good question. That we don`t know. The husband she divorced in the year 2000, that was her first husband, he knew the possibilities with this man. And he had said once to him, "If you ever touch my kids, you`re going to be dead." So I have to assume that the three children from the prior marriage would be with her husband, her ex- husband.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, here is my take. The missing woman`s husband has not been arrested, and while he`s been interviewed, he is, well, not being described as a suspect is my understanding. And we have reached out to his attorney. They`re invited on any time.

But I have to say this case does remind me a lot of former cop, Drew Peterson. Who could forget this very cocky image of Drew Peterson right there shooting video of the media circus at his house after his fourth wife disappeared? She has never been found. Peterson is the only suspect, but he`s never been charged in that case. He is, however, in jail, charged with the drowning death of wife No. 3.

And, Mike Brooks, Peterson also had a history of domestic abuse. Do you see any parallels here?

BROOKS: I see a lot of parallels here. And multiple marriages, abuse, alleged abuse in all of them. And I tell you what: this New York City cop, Cuello, I want to know where he was during that time from Saturday.

And the surveillance video, hopefully they can take that and enhance it. Apparently, he`s seen coming out around 1:30 Saturday morning with a small bag, and then he brings out a duffel bag which is described as a duffel-bag-size bag out to a double-parked vehicle by their apartment, Jane. It`s going to be very interesting to hear what his -- what kind of pings he had on his cell phone if, hopefully, law enforcement has already gotten it.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, talking about parallels, Drew Peterson was also allegedly seen leaving his house with a blue barrel that a cousin who helped him move it allegedly says was warm to the touch. But that, again, has never been confirmed, and it has not resulted in charges in the disappearance of wife No. 4.

Lonnie, Florida, your question or thought, Lonnie?

CALLER: Yes, we have a sex offender database. Is it time for a -- is it time for a women abuser database?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that is so fantastic. We`ve suggested it here on ISSUES. Any person who has ever been convicted of domestic abuse should have to register, just like there are sex offenders, and then a woman who is -- so many women, Michelle Golland, meet men now on dating sites. They really don`t know them through family and friends. They`re strangers. I think it`s a great idea.

GOLLAND: I think it`s a wonderful idea, being able to find out what the history is of this person and avoid anybody who would have already had a domestic violence conviction or stalking or any of those things. Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debra, last word?

OPRI: Jane, last word is I`d be very interested to know on the protective order if he was required at all to get any counseling in terms of his anger management or anything like that. That should be a norm anytime a protective order is issued.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And if he did, it didn`t work.

BROOKS: They usually don`t, unfortunately.

OPRI: Follow the cell phone. Follow the cell phone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At the top of the hour Nancy Grace, special report on the crisis in Japan. Thousands dead and missing after the massive earthquake and tsunami. As if that weren`t enough, fears of possible radiation leaks. What can you do to help the victims? A Nancy Grace special report at 8 p.m. only on HLN.

And coming up, ISSUES goes deep into the secret world of the Westboro Baptist church, you know, those folks who protest military funerals with signs like "God hates you." I will talk live with the son of the infamous pastor about his experience in that family, and we`ve just gotten a response from...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOANNA KRUPA, MODEL/ACTRESS: You actually see an animal after he`s skinned. He`s still -- like still moving his eyes at the camera. It`s just despicable that this kind of stuff is allowed in this industry. It makes me sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s supermodel Joanna Krupa talking about her campaign against fur. Tonight we bring you a new undercover investigation. We warn you: you may find this new video very disturbing, but trust me, it`s nowhere near the worst of it.

A groundbreaking investigation claims to reveal the barbaric world of trapping wild fur-bearing animals. Critics claim family pets can be at risk of getting caught up in the jaws of these hidden traps.

Born Free USA calls it a horrific, highly unregulated, inhumane, dangerous industry. They claim wild animals are allowed to be trapped for commercialized fur and even just for fun. Why would anyone find this kind of killing fun?

The undercover video captures innocent animals suffering from what appear to be crushing body traps, strangulation snares, and in some instances, squashed under the weight of a trapper`s boot. Look at these animals. You see the suffering in their faces. They can`t do anything, because they`re trapped.

Joining me now, executive vice president of Born Free USA, Adam Roberts.

Sir, tell us about your undercover investigation.

ADAM ROBERTS, EVP, BORN FREE USA: Well, Born Free USA undertook this investigation to show the world and, in fact, people all the way across the country what really goes on in the woods, what happens when people set these traps for wild animals, not only to the animals themselves, coyotes - - fox, raccoons, mink -- but also, as you mentioned, domestic animals, people`s companions, their dogs, their cats, and, in fact, threatened an endangered species that get caught in these nonselective, indiscriminate traps.

You couldn`t have said it any better. I mean, these traps are so barbaric. The video footage is unbelievably cruel. And for me personally and for Born Free USA as an organization, I find it mystifying that anybody in America would allow this to happen today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it is. And if you want to get involved, you can go to BornFreeUsa.org. And in fact, you can see the entire video for yourself on BornFreeUSA.org. We`re showing you just bits and pieces to give you a little taste of it.

Now, you say these people are doing this, in some cases, for entertainment which, to me, is plain sadism. But in others, you claim they`re actually selling fur. Hold on a second: listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen, 17. Now 18, now 18. Now 18 and a half. Now 19, 19. Now 19 and a half. Nineteen and a half.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: More than 80 countries have burned leg-hold traps, but we haven`t done this in the USA. We need to ban those leg-hold traps.

We are showing you right now generic video of fur in fashion. We`re not saying there`s any connection between what you`ve seen and this fur. We`ve reached out to the Fur Commission Council of America to get reaction to this undercover investigation. They said they take animal welfare very seriously and strive to have all trappers within our states uphold all laws, standards and regulations.

They also say this investigation`s findings are in no way representative of the practices of the great majority of trappers.

Fur Council, you`re invited on the show any time to tell your side.

Adam, your reaction to this statement by the fur council?

ROBERTS: Well, I think the video speaks for itself, and I`d like to see them issue that statement after watching the full breadth of what we showed, of animals being suffocated by a person standing on their chest and literally crushing their bodies or drowning a raccoon innocently wandering through a stream, and this takes -- this drowning takes a very long time. I won`t go into the gruesome details here, because it`s too painful for me to describe, and I know for people to hear.

But it`s horrific stuff, watching what happens to these animals. And for anybody to say that the fur industry cares about animal welfare in the face of the evidence that Born Free USA has shown the country...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there.

ROBERTS: Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Adam.

Westboro Church next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a prime time exclusive ISSUES is going inside the secret world of the Westboro Baptist Church. You know, those people who picket the military funerals because they say their deaths are God`s punishment for the U.S. allowing homosexuality.

I`ll speak one-on-one with Nate Phelps. He`s the son of the infamous Westboro Baptist pastor. He`ll talk about the abuse he says he endured under his dad`s tight-fisted reign. He`ll tell you his shocking story tonight.

Plus, Snooki: reality TV star or vicious ball of rage. She is seen fighting violently with another woman. Is she sending women and girls a bad message? Is she opening the door to saying it`s a-ok to smack a woman? I`m taking your calls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fred does not speak for the Christian faith and there are many Christian people who are open and accepting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think this will change their mind at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No, they`re crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They only say that because they haven`t bothered to crack the Bible and read what the words actually say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, ISSUES pulls back the curtain on one of America`s most controversial, mysterious and infamous churches. The Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for picketing funerals of U.S. soldiers who have given their lives fighting for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan adding another layer of hell to the grief of the dead soldier`s families.

What goes on behind closed doors of the Westboro Baptist Church? What are the toxic secrets in the family of the Reverend Fred Phelps?

Until now it`s been a total mystery. But tonight the son of Westboro`s founder is speaking out in a prime time live exclusive here on ISSUES.

Nate Phelps left the church. As a matter of fact, he up and left his family altogether, sneaking away at midnight on his 18th birthday. Nate, now a family man himself with, well, he had a wife, he has kids. He`s telling his own personal story of struggle and torment.

Nate, thank you so much for joining us here on ISSUES and for sharing your personal story. Now, you claim your father who is the pastor of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church was brutally abusive to you and your 12 siblings. And you also claim that he relied on, quote, "a cocktail of barbiturates and amphetamines to cope with the demands of law school and family". Tell us more about these claims of abuse.

NATE PHELPS, SON OF PASTOR FRED N. PHELPS: son Well, yes, I want to clarify that issue of the abuse because I`m getting a lot of feedback from the family that it wasn`t abuse, that it was discipline.

So I would rather say today that he used his fists. He used his knees. He used his feet and he used the -- what`s called a maddock (ph) -- the handle of a maddock, which is about a four-foot long piece of wood. He use that in such a way that it split the skin on the back of the kids` legs and so they bled. That`s the specifics of what he did.

If they want to call that discipline, that`s fine, but I call it abuse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sounds like abuse if there was blood. Are you saying you were beaten in that manner?

N. PHELPS: In that manner and I`m saying that my other siblings were and my mother, as well. Not necessarily that type of violence with the maddock with her but she was abused physically with, you know, his fists on several occasions over the years that we`re growing up there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we just got a statement seconds before you sat down in your chair and I asked you, who is Shirley Phelps Roper. And you said that`s my sister, a year older than me. She said, "Thanks for writing, first for your listeners who understand you just pulled a fast one in having a rebel to malign family because they would obey the commandments of God including the commandment this gospel of Jesus Christ to every human being. You should give them an opportunity to ask questions by following at dearshirley on Twitter." She`s pretty up to date on the social networking.

But specifically when we ask about the drugs that you mentioned that your father was taking, the answer is, "Yikes, hell no. His imagination goes on and on. Fact: Nathan was 2, 3 and 4 when our dad was in law school. This lie should not have come out of his mouth. When he decided that he would reject the word of God he would have done well to shut his mouth and go quietly through his days. Nothing he can say will change the fact that God hates F word for homosexuals." We can`t say it on the air -- "and their enablers and therefore God hates America and America is doomed. Thanks for asking." She ends the note.

Your response to their response to your claims of drug use by Pastor Phelps.

N. PHELPS: Well, it`s one of those interesting situations. They have held themselves up -- they continue to hold themselves up as the moral standard, the moral compass for the entire world. And Shirley just -- you know, she started out -- when I first started talking about this -- she equivocated and she hesitated. And now she`s gotten to the point she cynically just lies about what happened in that situation and pretends like it`s not relevant.

And, in my mind, it is the most relevant aspect of the environment that we grew up in because it`s what -- it`s the foundation. It`s what allows this kind of brainwashing, this type of blind following of my father`s teachings.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we have some protest video here and we know that there`s a counter protest but there`s the protest, "Too late to pray. God hates F words," the signs. We`ve all seen them.

When did the light bulb go off in your head that, first of all, these people, to borrow a phrase from Jerry Seinfeld, in fact this is my big issue right now, who are these people? I`ve often wondered that as I had stared at theses protest.

It turns out you`re saying they`re mostly extended members of one family, your family. It`s not like a bunch of strangers who got together. It`s a big family gathering.

N. PHELPS: That`s exactly right. It`s 9 of my 12 siblings and their extended family. I think there`s one other family with, I understand, three or four members. And other than that it`s all related.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Westboro is obviously notorious for protesting at the funerals of U.S. soldiers who valiantly died fighting for our country. Now here is what your dad, the Reverend Fred Phelps, the founder, said about that whole strategy in 2007.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. FRED PHELPS, FOUNDER, WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH: They don`t want me preaching that God is punishing America by killing those servicemen. And that`s why he`s doing it and sending them home in body bags, then the appropriate forum of choice would be their funeral.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Can you give us some insight into their twisted thinking? Why they`ve decided to connect the issue of gay rights to soldiers who died and who are coming home to be buried?

N. PHELPS: In a word it`s publicity. They -- my father can make any connection to anything that anyone has done or hasn`t done in their life and point to that to say that that`s evidence that they`re damned and going to hell.

In this instance he`s convinced that homosexuality is the ultimate sin against God. So, since the United States is taking steps to move in the direction of equality for gays in America, he says that that has doomed America. So anyone who is connected with America, anyone who`s supporting America in any sense is subject to the wrath of God.

So it`s very convoluted and distorted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think that he has any idea that he may be the very best thing that`s ever happened to the gay rights movement? Because often prejudice and bigotry comes sugar-coated as family values or tradition. But he`s letting the hatred hang out in such a blatant way that actually he has galvanized, in a lot of people`s opinion, the gay rights movement because what he has done here with these horrific protests at the funerals of dead U.S. soldiers is so offensive to so many people that he is actually gathering strength for the opposing side in helping the gay rights movement. He may be the most educational illustration of hatred that I`ve ever seen.

N. PHELPS: Yes, I absolutely agree. I think he`s one of the best -- he`s one of the best reasons that America has been forced to get off the fence and address this issue, come down on one side or the other. But, at the same time, you can`t ignore the fact that he`s done a lot of damage. He`s hurt families, not only in the gay community, but these families of these soldiers. So someone has to speak about that issue as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy, Virginia, your question or thought, ma`am?

CINDY, VIRGINIA (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. I agree completely with his son. But my comment is a lot of times I`ve seen him holding up signs saying, "God hates America." And this is the way I feel. They need to get out of America, let them leave America because God loves everyone. That`s what the Bible says and that includes gay people.

And if gay people are willing to fight for our country then I think them -- these people are equal to us. I have a gay brother. I`m proud of my brother. I hate what these people stand for and I really think they need to get the hell out of America because they hold the signs, "God Hates America" --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you, Cindy and I appreciate your comments.

When did the light bulb go off in your head, Nate, that you were living with a very not only unusual but I would say dysfunctional family?

N. PHELPS: Well, that`s a hard one to nail down as far as specific time. I can recall when I was 8, 10 years old and having thoughts that were contrary to what my father was putting out there as far as, you know, how the world was -- you know, his theology.

For me, though, it was more about the words he said versus the actions that he engaged in and when I saw him mistreating people then it didn`t jive with his message that we were somehow these unique chosen people on the earth. What I saw us is basically behaving just the opposite, that we were thugs and brutal towards other humans. So it just snowballed from there --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you had to say one thing to your dad, what would you say?

N. PHELPS: You know, that`s a good question. I have -- it`s been 30- some years. I focus on what he`s saying and doing to other people. I`ve never had a relationship with my father. I wouldn`t know what to say to him. I think what he does out there is evil. It`s as simple as that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to thank you for telling your story. I know you`re trying to get a book. I think it would make a great book. Keep telling your story. That`s all I can say.

Thank you so much, Nate.

N. PHELPS: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, is Snooki a reality TV star or a vicious ball of rage? You won`t believe the latest video we`ve got.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLE "SNOOKI" POLIZI, "JERSEY SHORE": I would definitely like to apologize to the Seaside cops. When I saw what happened and everyone told me what happened, I`m very embarrassed. This is not like me. I`ve never been in this situation before. So I definitely would like to apologize to anybody that I hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight Snooki, the petite party girl who was busted for being on a drunken public nuisance during season two of MTV`s "The Jersey Shore" is back in the news and not in a good way.

On Monday night, Snooki took center stage or center ring on WWE`s "Monday Night Raw Wrestling". Snooki sure did a very convincing job of making this violent knockdown drag-out with another female wrestler look real. Look at her. Look at her. That`s Snooki.

This makes me shudder. It raises a question about whether women should be imitating the worst habits of the fellows. It also sends a terrible message to girls and young women that violence is a-ok, which isn`t much different from what we see on MTV`s "The Jersey Shore" week after week after week after week.

How are we supposed to move forward as a society when female pop culture icons drag us back? Aren`t women supposed to be the way of the future? Compassion?

Lisa G, reporter for Howard 100 News on XM Sirius Satellite Radio. When I look at this, oh, yes, there is entertainment value, there`s a part of it that`s like, "There she goes, Snooki goes again." As women, we`re all women here. We non-violent women need to stand up and say this isn`t ok.

LISA G, REPORTER, HOWARD 100 NEWS: Well, you know what; I think it sets women back in New Jersey; for the rest of us, not so much so. The WWE and you look at Snooki, she`s a train wreck. She`s pulling in ratings. People love to slow down and look at a car accident.

And the other half are thinking, wow, you know what, I did the same thing when I was her age and am I glad cameras weren`t on me. So I`m not taking her so seriously, this whole pop culture thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I`m don`t like knocking Jersey because Jersey`s a fabulous place and Snooki does not represent Jersey. I go to Jersey all the time. Anybody else want to stand up for Jersey here?

LISA G: I wasn`t putting Jersey down. I love New Jersey but I`m thinking the other women in New Jersey are upset.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean to me, here is my big issue. Is Snooki America`s values villain? Who can forget Snooki getting snookered, practically drop dead drunk on season 2 of MTV`s "The Jersey Shore"? I think we`re going to see her in a second here fall flat on her face -- where is it? There she goes. Boom.

We have seen her get blotto on the show so many times and now she`s smacking around female wrestlers on the WWE. And of course I would love to see that again if we can show the smack down. She has a second engagement on April 3rd at Wrestlemania XXVII. So there it is. We just have to see it again. Wait, wait, wait.

Wait until she comes back. Want to get all the ladies` reaction. Look at this. She`s a little ball of rage. You`ve got to look at one more thing; look at this. Ok.

I think I have to go to the shrink on this one.

MICHELLE GOLLAND, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I don`t know. You might be surprised. You might be surprised at my answer, Jane. I actually -- my feeling about -- first of all, Snooki is no role model for anybody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course not.

GOLLAND: I think we need to just, you know, own all that. She is what she is. She is a character. And I would rather see her in the WWE doing this than at a bar in a reality TV show really hitting someone who is unsuspecting and while she is drunk.

So, to me --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but let me say this Kim Serafin, is that really her only choice? Either she is hitting a woman in a ring or hitting a woman in a bar?

KIM SERAFIN, SR. EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": No, I mean, she could write a book. Oh, wait, she did write a book and it was on the New York Times Bestseller list. Come on. She`s not a role model but obviously she recognizes she has a brand.

I think even in that "Rolling Stone" interview she did, she wants to be like Jessica Simpson. I mean that`s a stretch, but she does say she has a brand and she wants to develop her brand and obviously the WWE thing was a little bit more of a show than like you were saying before, getting drunk in a bar and getting into a fight in a bar.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa G, I`m going to give you the last word here.

LISA G: Absolutely. I mean they go through all the steps with them and it`s all, you know, showbiz and stuff and then you know, then you become a wrestler, then you go into "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew", then you write another book, then you`re a host on a TV show.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then you jump --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and it`s all over. Right?

LISA G: Yes. I mean she`s got -- she has her life worked out for her already. No worries there. But I understand how people get upset when she throws punches at other girls.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know. I think season four is going to be ugly. Ugly.

Harvey Levin next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your actions -- I don`t know, you seem to be acting like a Lindsay Lohan wannabe in this matter. Going through life rude, profane, obnoxious, and self-indulgent is not the way you want to live your life. And hopefully this incident will impress upon you that there are consequences to your actions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The fabulous brains and brawn behind the Web site that has redefined how the media works, the fantastic executive producer of TMZ, my good buddy, Harvey Levin.

Harvey, we`ve been talking about Snooki`s outrageous pro wrestling match. Is this a sign that she`s jumped the shark?

HARVEY LEVIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, TMZ: Oh, I don`t think so. I mean actually, Jane, I got to tell you, did you see it? Did you actually watch her in the ring?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she`s vicious.

LEVIN: She was pretty spunky and she`s doing Wrestlemania which is a big deal. So, I mean, look, "Jersey Shore" is a huge hit show, directed, by the way, by somebody who directed one of our shows, Jane, "Celebrity Justice".

And she is -- you know what -- she`s really popular. You may like it, you may hate it. But she`s really popular. Wrestlemania`s huge. She was actually pretty great in it. So, she leads our show tonight, so that`s all I can say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I trust your judgment although I`m not going to applaud this behavior.

Harvey, I have to talk about your latest triumph, your secret passion. You know, when we worked together on "Celebrity Justice", we would go out and karaoke and you would bribe the karaoke guys so you could sing Frank Sinatra`s hit "My Way" six or seven times enraging the rest of the patrons.

Now, recently you sang "My Way" on TMZ. We`ve got to watch this. It`s a big story here. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(HARVEY LEVIN SINGING "MY WAY)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God, you`re good. Tell us about Paul Anka, the legendary singer/songwriter who wrote "My Way". He`s sitting right there coaching you.

LEVIN: Ok, so let me tell you what happened, short story. We did TMZ live, which we do every day on the Web site and somebody wrote in because we answer everybody`s question. So somebody wrote in, sing a song. So, of course, Jane, I sang "My Way", right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course.

LEVIN: The next day on the show in the newsroom, all the kids trashed me and Paul Anka heard it. So he called in and he said they`re full of crap. He said you were ok. I`m going to make you good. So he said I`m going to take you to the recording studio and I thought, oh, he`s not serious.

Well last Friday night, he takes me to the Capitol Records building in Hollywood and takes me into the studio singing into the microphone that Frank Sinatra recorded "My Way" in. And he produced me singing this song.

And I mean I cannot believe I had this experience. It was the coolest thing of my whole life. I mean I have never in my life done anything this much fun. And I mean Paul Anka was unbelievable.

And I have a song on iTunes, Jane. And all the proceeds are going to go to two animal charities which are great, Ace of Hearts and Pet Orphans. And this is the craziest thing I`ve ever done in my life. It`s hilarious but I love this. It`s fun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are a rock star. I think you should come out with a rap song. You know, I texted you and suggested rap song. When I heard about this --

LEVIN: Jane, I am telling you --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m coming back in a second with more.

You`re going to sing for us, next. Hold on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There I am. Harvey, you sent me out on that assignment when I worked at CJ to do a whole bunch of karaoke songs including, what, "Rolling Down the River", I forget --

LEVIN: "Desperado" and "Besame Mucho", Ike and Tina Turner.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

LEVIN: You did rolling it -- "Proud Mary".

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Proud Mary" that was it.

LEVIN: And it was because they were pirating these songs so I wanted you to go and they were suing karaoke bars. So I said Jane, go out and do karaoke. She brings nine outfits to this thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course.

LEVIN: And Jane is all over the floor. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. We just ran it for the whole show. Jane did a concert for us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? We are going to record a song together, ok, Harvey.

LEVIN: Oh, there you go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to give all the money to animal charities. Love you.

LEVIN: There you go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace up next.

END