Return to Transcripts main page


No Bin Laden Pics: Good or Bad Call?; Mel Gibson`s Ex Drops Abuse Claim

Aired May 4, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, fast-breaking developments in the debate over the photo of bin Laden`s dead body.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has made the decision not to release any of the photographs of the deceased Osama bin Laden.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Plus, new mind-boggling details about the moments before bin Laden`s death. You will not believe what was sewn into his clothes.

Also, an ISSUES exclusive: horrifying undercover video that allegedly shows a 78-year-old woman viciously abused in a nursing home. You`ll see the hidden-camera footage. And I`ll talk live to this furious family. Could this happen to your grandma?

Plus, a fast-food breakthrough. You won`t believe what`s next in America`s battle of the bulge. I`ll talk with a former bigwig at McDonald`s about a new food chain he says will revolutionize our fast-food nation. Get a peak into your future. And I`m taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.



CARNEY: The president has made the decision not to release any of the photographs of the deceased Osama bin Laden.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You heard it. The images of Osama bin Laden`s dead body will not be released, at least not by the White House. One has to wonder if there`s a possibility they may get out another way, that they might be leaked by somebody.

The clearest image shows bin Laden, and it is said to be extremely gruesome. It shows a massive wound across both of his eyes. Some reports say his skull is partially blown off. OK? That`s the photo that we`re debating whether or not to release.

Are the photos the only way to silence all of the doubters? Plenty of people, especially in Pakistan, are still claiming they think bin Laden is alive still.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They want to see a photograph, but then they need a photograph because they still don`t believe that bin Laden was here. They believe that this was a fabrication of the United States.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we just got these new photos of bin Laden`s compound after the raid. There is the U.S. chopper that the Navy SEALs had to destroy after it crash-landed. U.S. forces seized a boatload of potential intelligence from the mansion. We`re talking about 10 hard drives. We`re talking five computers. We`re talking more than 100 storage devices, including disks and DVDs. They also got five cell phones, audio and video equipment, five guns, and a ton of documents.

In fact, they`re calling it the mother lode in terms of intelligence. U.S. officials also say bin Laden had wads of cash and two phone numbers sewn into his clothing. Gee, got to wonder who those numbers belong to and if they have call waiting.

He had about 500 euros on him. That`s about $750. But he was not armed.

So do you agree with the president`s decision not to release the photo? It`s my big issue tonight. I want to hear your opinion. Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Do you think we should have released the photo? The president again announcing he will not release the photo of bin Laden`s dead body.

Straight out to former Navy SEAL Chris Heben.

Chris, what`s your opinion on the decision not to release the photo?

CHRIS HEBEN, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, Jane, I think it`s a conundrum of sorts. You`re damned if you do; you`re damned if you don`t. Of course, he`s my commander in chief, so I`m going to have to abide by what his decision is.

Certainly, you don`t want it to exacerbate the current situation right now and make the overseas environment more dangerous for our troops. And you`ve got to ask yourself some questions here. A, do we want to have these -- any conspiracy theories abound and just keep snowballing upon each other, No. 1?

No. 2, is it, A, worse than us watching our citizens and soldiers being beheading on television, any worse than watching people jump out of a 50-story window from the World Trade Center? I mean, come on. Let`s keep this real. By the time the average American is 16, they`ve already witnessed 65,000 homicides on television. It`s like, really? Are we really that concerned that showing that`s going to enflame things even worse than they may already be? But like I said, it`s not my decision.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. You`re making some good points. You`re making some good points. Now, why were there mixed signals from the Obama administration?

Here is CIA director, Leon Panetta, on NBC just last night. Listen in.


LEON PANETTA, CIA DIRECTOR: I don`t think there was -- there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public. Obviously, I`ve seen those photographs. We`ve analyzed them, and there`s no question that it`s bin Laden.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Did Panetta not get the memo?

After that, the president announced the opposite, that the gruesome, bloody photo of bin Laden with a massive open head wound across both eyes will not be released.

Now, here`s my big issue. You just heard the other side, and I respectfully disagree. Very respectfully. In my opinion, not releasing the photo is a wise decision.

Now, just imagine if the president had released the gruesome photo, and then there was a terrorist attack afterwards. Which I -- God forbid, I hope it doesn`t happen. But if it did, his critics could point to him and say, "Hey, you incited this terrorist act with the release of that graphic photo."

That`s got to be an argument, Steve Moore. You`re a former FBI agent.

STEVE MOORE, FORMER FBI AGENT: Yes, I think that`s a huge risk. If you do -- they`re looking for anything to enflame the people out there who would -- who would be enflamed like pictures like that.

And frankly, the people that would be enflamed aren`t going to be in any way, shape, or form convinced by that photograph. They`d just say it`s staged. So I don`t think the photograph has any -- any real convincing value to skeptics to begin with, and I think it has a lot of down side if you do release it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We live in a PhotoShop world where any photo can be concocted to produce any result. So I personally feel that, even if you did show the photo, people would say, "Oh, well, that`s staged," as you just heard. "It`s a PhotoShop job." Even if you showed the video of bin Laden being shot, they`d probably say, "That`s special effects."

Let`s go out to Wilma in Tennessee. Wilma, what`s your thought? Do you think the photos should have been released or not?

CALLER: Jane, I`ll tell you what. When he killed our people in 9/11. They must have forgot the look on his smirking face and he smirked at us and laughed at us. And then he made all the threats in what he was going to do to us. Showing he could do it, and not get caught.

Now, the way I look at it, he killed our people. They showed them as they were falling out of those towers, falling out, screaming, bloody faces. He was evil. And yes, ma`am, show those pictures. Show it to everybody. Let him feel what we felt when it was our people. Let his people feel what our people felt when it was our boys and our fathers and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Wilma, I`ve got to ask you a question, Wilma. If, in the wake of the release of the photo, which the president says he`s not going to do, there was a terrorist attack, would you have second thoughts about the wisdom of releasing that?

CALLER: No. Show it. Show him laying on that floor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So you`re willing to take the risk that it could incite violence, and you don`t care?

CALLER: I don`t think it will. I think when they see what we done to him, I they`re going to think twice when they come back to us. They`re going to think twice before they play with us again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s a very popular opinion, Wilma, and I respect it. And as well as former Navy SEAL Chris Heben, I expect -- I respect your opinion. And in fact, the majority of the American people, there was a poll that showed most of them favor the release of the photo, but a sizable minority have concerns about appearing unseemly and appearing to be too jubilant.

HEBEN: I`d like to make a comment, if I can.


HEBEN: What I would like to say is that a lot of the Muslim extremists, in these circles, the only thing they respect is what`s called high-caliber diplomacy. It`s not good enough to have the biggest gun. But the person that has the most volition to use it gets the most respect -- the most respect.

I agree with the caller Wilma. If we show these pictures, they`re going to be like, "Wow, this really did happen." They`re not going to take our word for it on a Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is a PCR test, which is what we use to validate the DNA. That`s not going to mean anything to them. If we show them a demonstrable, overt picture of his dead body, that`s going to end everything.

And I tell you what, the attack is probably -- the retaliatory attack is being planned right now. So whether or not the picture is shown today, tomorrow, or next week, that -- that attack is already being planned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. I feel that we are at a crucial juncture, and I understand your feeling. But I was down at Ground Zero yesterday, and I felt like, "Wow, we are at a crucial juncture in this country. We could choose a narrative, a dialogue to move past 9/11, past this terrible decade marked by terrorism and war and a recession that was almost as bad as the Great Depression. And we can use this as a turning point, or we can use this to go back to some of the old arguments."

And I feel not releasing the photo helps move us forward as opposed to back into the old conflict. But I see your point. Hey, that`s what`s great about America. We can debate it. OK? Other countries...

HEBEN: You`re right, Jane. You`re right. And we don`t always -- we don`t always make the right decisions. A decision was made early on to shut down Guantanamo entirely. Thankfully, we didn`t, because a lot of the initial intel came from that -- that place. So we wouldn`t even be having this moment right now. That place has shut down, so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I wouldn`t say that. That`s another controversy going on right now, because there are people who would say, "Hey, you should credit the Bush administration, because they`re the ones who did the waterboarding." But as an administration, current administration official says today, if waterboarding in 2003 produced this result, they would have caught him in 2003.

All right. More secrets from bin Laden just moments away. We`re also taking your calls. I want to hear your opinion. Your opinion counts: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, later, Mel Gibson. You would not believe the wild -- and I mean wild developments. Oksana has taken a dramatic turn. You won`t believe what she did.

But first, more shocking details about the moments before bin Laden`s death, and we`re debating, should they release the picture? They`ve decided not to.


CARNEY: It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.




ALAN DERSHOWITZ, AUTHOR, "THE TRIALS OF ZION": We shot a man in cold blood without giving it an opportunity to surrender, and we all think that was terrific.

Let`s face reality. We`re a bunch of hypocrites, and that`s probably necessary when you live in a real world with terrible people.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: New debate tonight about so many things. Should we release the photo or not? The president has decided not to. And also whether or not Navy SEALs had the right to kill bin Laden. Now, remember, he did not come out and put his hands up and surrender.

Here`s footage of what the raid might have looked like. This video is training video, not the actual raid. But the SEALs in the actual radio reportedly had night-vision goggles on. So it may have looked and felt very much like this. The fire fight lasted less than 40 minutes.

Straight out to CNN`s senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson. He is actually right outside of bin Laden`s compound in Pakistan.

Nic, what is going on in that area right now as we speak?

ROBERTSON: Again, it`s the dead of night here. The police have typically been closing down the roads, keeping tight security around the -- around the bin Laden compound. It seems that in the mornings they do some kind of forensic work or at least some investigative teams go in. In the afternoon the police pull back. So right now it`s tight security; very few people moving on the streets here. It`s just before dawn, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got so many questions for you. We hear that the U.S. military got the mother lode: ten hard drives, five computers, 100 storage devices including disks and DVDs.

Now, did they take that during the initial raid? Because I would find that extraordinary that they were able to carry out the raid, kill bin Laden, photograph it, upload it, grab his body, get it on a helicopter, and also seize all of that intelligence, the hard drives of the computers.

ROBERTSON: You know, I guess these are highly trained professionals and that`s what they`re going in to do. It`s not just -- it`s not just kills the objectives and take the prisoners, in this case none. But kills the objectives.

But it`s also sweep in and get whatever relevant material they can. Twenty-four men on the team, we were told, or 24 people. Perhaps some of them were specialists in kind of data retrieval, that kind of thing. Absolutely, I think one going into bin Laden`s house has to know that it`s going to have a lot of relevant information there.

Think back to 2001, Kandahar. Bin Laden lived there. He pled out to -- he pled out to the 9/11 attack. He left behind a massive trove of material, a video archive. We got that archive. I stood in the middle of the room where the room contained sack after sack after sack in Kandahar. The videos bin Laden had, he -- he hoards material that is important and relevant to him. He did it back then.

And it`s very likely what he was doing now, putting it in a professional seal and a commander team. My guess is there were professionals in there who were tasked with looking for that kind of material.

Now, 500 euros, or about $740 in cash, and two phone numbers were sewn into bin Laden`s clothing and they give us some clue about a possible getaway plan. Officials say he was unarmed when he was killed.

Some analysts say the cash and the numbers indicate bin Laden was quite confident he would be tipped off about an attack with enough time to flee. And many people are saying, "Hey, did he have a deal with the Pakistani government or the military which surrounds that area?"

I have to ask you, you are there, Nic. Are you talking to people who have said, yes, we kind of had an idea that bin Laden was there? People in the neighborhood?

ROBERTSON: Everyone here, everyone, whether it was the regular army police, they`re all saying -- and the neighbors, as well, are saying -- they didn`t know he was here.

I talked to a lawyer today, and this lawyer is the president of the bar association in this town. Half a million people live here, 400-500 lawyers. He is the lead lawyer. And he said to me, "I don`t believe that the operation went down. I don`t believe bin Laden was in that compound. I want to see photographic evidence." That`s what he said to me.

But at the same time, I said, "OK, if you get that evidence what does it tell you?"

He said, "I don`t believe that bin Laden could have gotten away with living there as long as he did without some people knowing."

I said, "Some people meaning the intelligence services?"

"Yes," he said.

"And what does that mean?" I asked.

And he -- he said to me, "That means our intelligence services were running a double game. They were working for the Americans. They were lying to our government, or they were lying to the people. But at the very least, they were playing a double game."

That -- that was his analysis. This is a city full of conspiracy theories, but you`ll find very few people willing to say anyone knew where bin Laden was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And just bears mentioning, the United States has given Pakistan $20 billion since 9/11.

Chris Heben, you wanted to jump in. You`re a former Navy SEAL?

HEBEN: Yes. I was going to say, it`s exactly right. When you go on an operation like that, every SEAL`s first and primary job is to look for work. That means be a shooter. Those guys that have secondary and tertiary jobs. The most tertiary jobs are data collection. You have a guy that has a dedicated pack that`s empty on entry, and by God, that pack is full on exit. He`s gathering everything.

Once the threats are addressed, there`s no more people, no more targets to take down, he`s gathering intelligence, and he`s taking it all with him. With respect to the whole picture issue, Jane, here`s what I think is -- I have a novel idea. We put it up on the TV with a standard Muslim motto message in front, "Hey, what you`re about to see is graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you, we`re out of time. It could be leaked.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony next.



OKSANA GRIGORIEVA, MEL GIBSON`S EX: You were hitting a woman with a child in her hands. You! What kind of a 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?

MEL GIBSON, ACTOR: 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: Those recordings of a man believed to be Mel Gibson berating his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, and her outrageous move in court today. What a shocker.

Just hours ago, Mel`s baby mama dropped her domestic violence claim against the Oscar-winning actor. The judge and Mel`s lawyer were reportedly visibly shocked when it was announced today in court. Or were they acting?

And that`s not all. The protective order she had banning Mel from contacting her also down the drain. What the heck`s going on here?

Joining me now to sort it all out, Dylan Howard, senior executive editor, "Star" magazine, who broke the Gibson scandal with the explosive audiotapes on "Star`s" sister site, Radar Online.

Dylan, he allegedly smashes her face, but now she`s dropping it? What exactly is she dropping, and why, do you think?

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "STAR" MAGAZINE: Well, Jane, minutes ago I spoke with a source very close to Oksana Grigorieva, who tells us that the decision -- the shock decision by her in court today was nothing more than, quote, "an olive branch and a gesture."

Now, this source tells me that Oksana wants to move towards, quote, "a fair custody agreement" with the 55-year-old Hollywood superstar. As it stands at the moment, the pair are currently locked in a custody battle in a Los Angeles court in a bid to decide who gets custody of their just 14- month-old daughter, Lucia.

Now Oksana`s move was somewhat shocking, because of course, you will remember that Mel pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery just in March, and he was sentenced to probation and also community service. So now it appears as though a settlement is in the works. Now, I first reported on Radar Online that last month, the pair held their first settlement talks, but they were aborted. I`m told now everyone`s back at the negotiating table.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well, let`s listen to another recording, allegedly of Mel and Oksana.


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

GIBSON: What -- what are you threatening me?

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

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


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dylan, could money be behind all of this? And could the shock that Mel allegedly showed in court today be acting? He is an Oscar-winning actor.

HOWARD: Well, I mean, I think in a lot of ways it was a peace offering from Oksana`s camp. And there`s no doubt that money will be a key part of any settlement arrangement.

As I understand it, in those talks last month, it was presented from Mel`s camp to Oksana`s camp that a number should be put on the table. But Oksana`s camp was loathe to do that, given that last time she did, she was accused of extortion.

So I think almost certainly, though, there will be a financial sum that comes -- come to the forth in the event that there is a settlement.

Interestingly enough, though, some had speculated that today`s court move was designed so that Mel and Oksana could resume contact with each other. Now I`m told from a source very close to Oksana that that`s not the case. In fact, Oksana has said she`s happy never to speak to Mel Gibson again..


HOWARD: ... despite the fact they want to co-parent Lucia.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dylan, we`re out of time. Great reporting. In crazy Hollywood, who know? They could be dating next week. All right.

Coming up next, abuse in nursing homes. Could this happen to your grandma?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An ISSUES exclusive. Horrifying undercover video that allegedly shows a 78-year-old woman viciously abused in a nursing home. You`ll see the hidden camera footage. And I`ll talk live to this furious family. Could this happen to your grandma?

Plus a fast food breakthrough: you won`t believe what is next in America`s battle of the bulge. I`ll talk with the former bigwig of McDonald`s about a new food chain he says will revolutionize our fast food nation. Get a peek into your future.

And I`m taking your calls.


JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE, CASEY ANTHONY HEARING: That is a serious and imminent threat to the administration of justice in this case; that is the right of Casey Anthony to receive a fair and impartial trial in this particular case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight, after almost three long years, Casey Anthony`s murder trial is set to begin this coming Monday. Or is it? This time it isn`t the defense or the prosecution holding up proceedings. It`s the news media.

Last night some media outlets filed an appeal objecting to the judge`s confidentiality agreement about jury selection secrecy. And now there is another last minute development.

Straight out to Jean Casarez, correspondent for "In Session"; Jean, tell us in plain English -- because it is complicated back and forth -- basically what happened today. It`s a bombshell.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": You know, it`s amazing Jane. We are here in Daytona Beach at the 5th district court of appeal for Florida. They issued an order right before closing time and here`s what they are saying to the media that says we want to know right now where jury selection is and we don`t think it`s constitutional for anybody to sign some type of a confidentiality that they`re not going to disclose it. Well, they are saying we want more information. And the court is inviting the defense and inviting the prosecution, inviting the state attorney general`s office to file a response as to why the public should not know where jury selection is before Monday when it begins and the deadline is Friday at 10:00 a.m.

So, Jane, there`s no answer yet. This is continuing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and just so people understand, of course, most of our viewers know at least as much about Casey Anthony as we do. But there was such uproar in Orlando itself that the courts decided they couldn`t hold jury selection there; it would be prejudicial. So they moved it to another location, another city, another town somewhere and they`re not saying at this point what that town is. The media wants to know and this is what this battle is all about.

Now, I`m going to ask you about timing, Jean Casarez. Jury selection is supposed to start on Monday. We know that jury selection isn`t just, hey, come on down. It`s a long, complicated process. So if they don`t make a ruling on Friday, even if they ultimately rule that the media is wrong and it`s not a problem could that kind of mess up the jury pool and make them go back and start from scratch which would then postpone the trial?

CASAREZ: I do not see how this will stop jury selection, either way. Because Jane, if they say to the media`s petition, you know what, you`re right, this confidentiality agreement not disclosing where her jury selection is it does violate constitutional rights. So, we are going to vacate the judge`s orders, which means there is no confidentiality agreement.

But the judge -- they can`t require the judge to do anything; he can go home for the weekend. He doesn`t have to tell anybody where jury selection is because he`s not in the courthouse and he really can do what he wants so I don`t see how this is going to change jury selection from starting on Monday.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Yes or no. This is it. Do you think it`s going to start on Monday? Yes?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just yes or no. You say yes? I`m going to be contrarian. I`m going to say no. Why? Because I`ve never been to a trial that started when they said it was going to start.

Jean Casarez, thank you so much.

CASAREZ: You`re welcome.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we`re going to switch gears.

Look at this: a shocking, sickening discovery inside a Philly nursing home. Hidden camera video reveals workers allegedly mistreating a 78-year- old Alzheimer`s patient.

Tonight, how this woman suffered allegedly at the hands of the people her own family trusted and paid thousands of dollars a month to in order to take care of her.

Tonight, in an ISSUES exclusive, the woman`s daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Paul French, join us live to describe the horrifying discovery they say they made.

When 78-year-old Lois McCallister started telling her family that she was being mistreated, they went straight to management. They claim they were told it wasn`t true and that the staff blamed it on Lois Alzheimer`s.

But Mary and Paul French said they really suspected something was wrong so they hid a camera in Lois` room. And then they say they saw it for themselves. Three workers allegedly mocking and abusing their loved one as she was half-dressed. Now the family plans to sue to keep the same thing from happening to anyone else.

Straight out to my exclusive guests, Mary and Paul French; first of all, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We know that this has to be tough for you and I applaud you for your courage in confronting this difficult issue.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary, when did your mother first tell you that workers were abusing her and what exactly did she say to you?

M. FRENCH: It was in early March. She kept saying that she was being hurt. Her arms were being pulled and twisted. She was being punched. So I went to an administrator and told them what my mother had told me. And she got back to me and said that it was due to a change in her mental status.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, that she had Alzheimer`s and that basically nothing that she said could be trusted because when you have Alzheimer`s, you`re really out of it and therefore she had no credibility? Is that essentially what you`re saying that they said?

M. FRENCH: That`s how I felt. I felt that they weren`t going to take these claims seriously and obviously they didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The hidden camera video clearly shows three women in your mother`s room. Let`s take a look at it again. The video is dark so watch it carefully. You can see the silhouettes.

Now, all three workers are charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, harassment, neglect of care of a dependent person and reckless endangerment. And all of these women are out on bail. Authorities say the women ganged up on your mom, taunted and mocked her, sometimes while she wasn`t even fully clothed. All three were fired and the CEO for Sunrise Senior Living says, quote, "We had three rogue employees. We were shocked. We were angry that people would do something like that. We have been 1,000 percent cooperative with the authorities."

I want to go out to Paul French. You stepped up to the plate for your mother-in-law. What`s your reaction to what the company is saying?

P. FRENCH: Well, I don`t believe they were 1,000 percent forthcoming with the police. When the police went to do their interview, they wouldn`t allow them to interview the second two people that were terminated -- eventually terminated on their property.

The police went there waiting for them to come -- waited for them to come. They showed up for work late. The one girl they told her to go home. She suspended -- the other one they suspended over the phone and don`t even come in so the police couldn`t investigate her. The police were just totally furious at the way that the (INAUDIBLE) Sunrise had handled it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we have to be fair here. And we want to say that the company is invited on any time to give their side of the story and they`ve issued a long statement. But we told you some of it. We can also add, they say that, "We cherish each and every resident we serve and take these allegations very seriously." And again they say they have cooperated closely with law enforcement in these investigations. And that these individuals have been dismissed.

I want to go to Bob Mongeluzzi, the attorney for the French family. Do you think that this statement from the company is accurate?

BOB MONGELUZZI, ATTORNEY FOR THE FRENCH FAMILY: No, this statement is dead wrong. The Frenches complained to Sunrise Quadrangle on March 14th. Under state law they are required to report within 24 hours to the government of Pennsylvania that there is suspected abuse. They didn`t. They covered it up and they hid it. And their claim that they have fully cooperated when they failed to follow state law and in fact broke state law is ridiculous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight because we all have elderly parents or grandparents, most of us do anyway. My mom is 95 years old and thank God she is very, very healthy and is not in any kind of home. She lives her life. So I`m very blessed.

But is your loved one safe? Could this happen to your parent or grandparent or even to you when you get older? A very disturbing article in the "New York Times" says 92 percent -- 92 percent of U.S. nursing homes employ one or more people who have been convicted of at least a crime and about half of nursing homes employ five or more people with at least one conviction.

So I`ve got to ask you, Mary French, getting back to your mom`s case, why do you think that these three women allegedly did the kinds of things they did? Remind us of what you say they did. And why would they do that? What is their motive?

M. FRENCH: I can`t imagine doing to anyone what these three women did. I just -- I don`t know. I can`t fathom ever doing something like that to someone. So that`s why it was shocking.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently they were laughing -- they were laughing and mocking her. So they think this is --



M. FRENCH: Yes, it appeared that they did. I don`t know what joy you can derive from harming an elderly person, especially one that is depending on you to take care of them. We trusted them to take good care of her and they didn`t do it. They didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to applaud you for taking action and putting a camera -- ingenious. I would recommend everybody who has a loved one in a nursing home, do the exact same thing.

M. FRENCH: Absolutely.

P. FRENCH: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re an inspiration. We`re going to track this case. Thank you so much, Mary and Paul, for telling your story.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up next, I`m going to talk with a former McDonald`s executive who says he is creating a fast food revolution. This is your future. We are taking your calls because you won`t believe what this guy`s planning. It is a fast food revolution. 1-877-JVM-SAYS -- give us a shout out.


KATHY PRESTON, CELEBRITY CHEF: You know what; this sits right with me. I like this. I like the way that I feel. I haven`t had to take my antacids all this week. I`ve lost, you now, one guy lost 11 pounds in a week.




PRESTON: Within the first week of eating a vegan diet, your weight begins to drop. Within the second week of eating a vegan diet, your blood pressure dropped and your blood sugar dropped. Within the third week, just three weeks, your blood pressure dropped significantly.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, I`m so excited. An exciting breakthrough for Americans who become addicted to meals dripping with fat and calories. A former McDonald`s bigwig has teamed up with a celebrity vegan chef to launch a chain of fast food restaurants they promise will serve healthy food.

Mike Roberts, the former president and COO of McDonald`s; he was in charge of more than 30,000 restaurants all around the world and Chef Tal Ronnen, America`s conscious cook named by Oprah as the best vegan chef.

Now, we all know that I`m a vegan, a proud one. I haven`t had meat and dairy products for a decade and a half. I`ve been vocal about not having stepped into a fast food restaurant for a decade and a half. I personally believe fast food chains have a moral obligation to radically alter what they serve.

Do you have questions for these fantastic foodies? Call me, 1-877- 586-7297.

Mike Roberts, congratulations for making the shift. But I have to point out -- I`m a journalist here -- you were a leader in peddling traditional fast food which has been blamed for the obesity crisis in America. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Do you have any feelings of guilt and is that part of why you jumped ship to go in the opposite direction?

MIKE ROBERTS, FORMER COO OF MCDONALD`S: Well, Jane, Lyfe Kitchen, love your food every day, is all about great tasting food. It`s all about it`s great for you and it`s all about choice. And so from my stand point this is a natural extension of who I am and how I have been living the last 20 years.

From Newman`s own salads, to fruit and yogurt parfait, the apple dippers and now the next part of my life Lyfe Kitchen. So I`m very proud of where we are and excited about the opportunity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Here`s my big issue. The Lyfe Kitchen restaurant, that`s what they`re calling it, healthy for real? You be the judge.

Listen to what is not on the menu. No butter, no cream, no high fructose corn syrup, no fried foods and none of the menu items will have more than 600 calories.

Check out this video from musical superstar Beyonce about getting healthy from YouTube.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: No coincidence, it is set in some sort of cafeteria with a bunch of kids who are really at the center of this entire discussion because kids are suffering from a horrific obesity crisis that is shattering their lives.

I`m so happy to introduce chef Tal Ronnen. You`re a "New York Times" best selling cookbook author. You catered Ellen DeGeneres` and Portia de Rossi`s wedding. You are also the guy who prepared meals for Oprah`s 21- day vegetarian/vegan diet exploration and Oprah named you the best vegan chef.

Now, I understand Oprah`s staff lost a total of 444 pounds after eating your healthy vegan meals. Do you think that if people start going to this new Lyfe restaurant that you are involved in, they are going to start -- America`s finally is going to start to lose weight, Tal?

TAL RONNEN, CONSULTING CHEF, LYFE KITCHEN: I definitely think so. I think more and more people today are really interested in eating less meat and they have a hard time finding places to do that. So working with Lyfe Kitchen, with Mike Roberts who has had so much experience with getting food out to the masses is so exciting to me. And it`s really about great taste and flavor. And that`s what we`re hoping to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, I agree with you. Again, as a vegan, I don`t have anything against fast food restaurants. They are just buildings with kitchens in them. I have an objection to the food they serve.

Morgan Spurlock is the ultimate living symbol of the nexus between fast food and the obesity crisis. Check out this YouTube clip from his movie, fast food -- well actually, it`s his movie "Super Size Me"; we all know about that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are all these numbers, right? These numbers are outrageous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunately, you`ve caused some major harm to your heart, your liver, your blood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to die.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want more, more, and more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to stop it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Movie producer, Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but three McDonald`s super size meals for 30 days. He gained 25 pounds.

So, again, all we want to do is see America get healthy. This is an incredible development. The head, formerly of McDonald`s making the switch.



SHERYL CROW, SINGER: A lot of what I learned in nutrition is that what we do with regard to our bodies have very distinct correlation to our wellness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Superstar Sheryl Crow basically saying you are what you eat. Sheryl battled breast cancer and says her healthy diet helped her win the fight.

Julia, California, your question or thought, ma`am. Julia?

JULIE, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): Julie. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julie, go ahead.

JULIE: I would like to know about five, six years ago McDonald`s had this wonderful McVeggie burger. I want to know, are they bringing that back under their new plan?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a really interesting question. Mike Roberts, you`re a former McDonald`s executive. I tried to eat vegan at these fast food restaurants. I can`t tell you how many times I went either they were out, it wasn`t on the menu. I became frustrated and walked away. I almost felt that they were trying to say well, we offered it but nobody liked it, so we took it off the menu or we`re going to take it off the menu.

Did you guys sit around and discuss well, do we want to embrace this or do we want to just of play the game and make it took like we`re going along with the vegetarian thing while sabotaging it?

ROBERTS: Jane, for me, this is about the next part of my life and that`s Lyfe Kitchen. And Lyfe Kitchen begins August 15th in Palo Alto, California which will be the location for our first restaurant. We`re really excited about it.

Obviously, from Washington to the principal`s office to our tables at home, we`re all talking about food. How much we eat. Where we eat it. How we eat. What we eat. And Lyfe Kitchen will be about, to your caller`s point, about choice. 40 percent of the menu will be for vegetarians and vegans as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That means -- wait a second, hold on -- that means 60 percent of it -- ok let me ask Tal. What percentage -- I`m a vegan, I`m just asking a personal question. What percentage will be meat and dairy free, no meat and dairy? Like fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains which have no cholesterol. What percentage of the menu?

RONNEN: Almost everything on the menu from every meal period has been developed to have a vegan -- actually a vegan alternative. And one of the things that`s been really exciting for me is to work with Art Smith who is the other chef working on this project because Art is really known for comfort food, flavorful food, he was Oprah Winfrey`s chef for a long time. And it was so refreshing to come in to this concept and work with him and develop a part of the menu that wasn`t an afterthought for vegans.

It`s really in the forefront but it`s really for everyone; whether you`re vegan or not you`re going to be happy eating there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I applaud it if it`s actually healthy. I`ve been to a number of these fake healthy restaurants that say they`re healthy and then when you get there you find out -- it`s a lot of -- it`s like a salad loaded with so much fat. It`s really worse almost than eating a giant sandwich.

Let me ask you this, Mike Roberts. First I applaud you.

ROBERTS: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will definitely be trying out Lyfe Restaurant. I wish you success. Do you think the rest of the fast food industry is actually pondering, you know what? Guys, we got to do something. We really -- look at these kids, they are walking around with Type 2 diabetes. Is there any guilt, is there any understanding that they got to change?

ROBERTS: Jane, everybody is talking about this issue. I really do believe we`re part of a food revolution now. And every restaurateur small and large is going to be mindful of their consumer`s wishes. So when you think about Lyfe Kitchen --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good luck to you.

ROBERTS: Everything under 600 calories.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I salute you.



DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, "DR. DREW SHOW": A lot of people hate Ryan. There`s a lot of negative stuff. And by the way, he didn`t ask to be on this show. He sort of feels bad about that too.

You guys at the beginning had no idea what you were getting into. You were --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we had no clue.

PINSKY: Yes. So it wasn`t like you intend to glamorize yourself.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a clip from tonight`s episode of "Dr. Drew" coming up right here on HLN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Pacific.

Dr. Drew joined my Macy, Farah and Kate Lyn from season one of MTV`s "Teen Moms" to talk about the frightening epidemic of teen pregnancy in this country. Three quarters of a million young girls getting pregnant every year. Wow.

Find out what it was like for these young girls to be in the reality show at the very same time that they are trying to manage motherhood and relationships. To catch tonight`s "Dr. Drew" right here on HLN, just join us. Stick around until 9:00.

You`re going to want to watch Nancy Grace and she`s up next. Thanks so much for joining us.