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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Defense Attorney on Behalf of Casey Anthony; Hugh Hefner on His Heartbreak and His Two New Loves

Aired July 14, 2011 - 21:00   ET

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


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, a woman who defended Casey Anthony.

DOROTHY CLAY SIMS, CASEY ANTHONY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My name is Dorothy Sims and I am thankful for today's verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find the defendant not guilty.

SIMS: On behalf of Casey Anthony.

MORGAN: Dorothy Clay Sims knows her client better than just about anybody else. I'll ask her what Casey is really like. And what she'll do when she goes free this Sunday.

Also tonight, Hugh Hefner. Live and world exclusive. Remember this? And I think you've got a scoop for me. You're going to reveal the date of the wedding.

CHRYSTAL HARRIS, HUGH HEFNER'S FORMER FIANCEE: The date of the wedding, can I tell him?

HUGH HEFNER, PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES: Sure.

HARRIS: It is June 18th.

MORGAN: June the 18th.

HARRIS: This year, Saturday.

MORGAN: Sadly, we all know how that worked out. And tonight Hef finally breaks his silence on the runaway bride. And he'll be introducing me to his new loves.

This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

We'll get to live interview with Hugh Hefner in a few moments, but first Casey Anthony. She'll be a free woman in just days. On Sunday she'll be released after being found not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

And joining me now is the woman who was at her side throughout that infamous trial. Attorney Dorothy Clay Sims.

Dorothy, when I say infamous because it's attracting so much attention. So much speculation. And as you will be very aware, a lot of negativity towards your client. What was your overview? I mean were you even remotely surprised at the verdict?

SIMS: Well, I feared for the worst and hoped for the best. That was how I went into the courtroom when we were told it was time for the verdict to be read. There were a lot of emotions that were washing over me at that time. I can't even begin to explain. Overwhelming gratitude, I think, for the system. For our system of justice.

For those jurors who listen so attentively. They were very, very present during that trial. And I am ashamed for those people that are attacking those jurors. And I'm really shocked and disappointed at the people who have lashed out at the jurors who were present, who sat there, who watched.

I think that's wrong. And I feel bad for the people, you know.

MORGAN: Yes, and I think that -- I think it is bad for the justice system. Certainly the jurors seemed for most reasonable expert legal opinion that I've certainly spoken to, the jurors had little choice in the end in the technicality of the law.

Let me ask you about the personal side of this. Because you spent so much time with Casey Anthony, both in the courtroom and outside of it. You know her very well. She's been very demonized. There's no question of that. By the American public. A lot of that based on their own views of what they think happened.

What kind of woman is she, do you think? How would you summarize her?

SIMS: Well, I think the best way to summarize her is to parrot the testimony that was actually given in the trial. The two individuals, for example, who worked in the jail with her, they saw day in and day out for years, they described her as kind. They described her as respectful. And not angry, not cruel.

The people that knew her before she was arrested, there were a number of witnesses that were provided by the state that described her as loving, as kind, as mothering to her friends, as a good mother, and an amazing mother.

Those were the people that the state produced to testify in this case. And that, that is the person -- those are the characteristics that I saw.

MORGAN: Hey, can I ask you? Are you -- are you a mother, Dorothy?

SIMS: Yes.

MORGAN: Could you ever imagine a scenario where one of your children went missing and for 31 days you didn't report it?

SIMS: Actually, that is an excellent question because the question was phrased, could you imagine? The grief expert, the trauma expert, who testified in the trial, explained that people respond -- everyone responds differently to a traumatic situation. So we cannot possibly imagine how someone else might feel. And I think it's even difficult to imagine how we ourselves might react to a traumatic situation.

I've been receiving communications from a number of people who had been in situations, very traumatic situations, and they felt validated by the testimony of the expert. Because someone was explaining their responses, their reactions. They felt -- they felt that perhaps they weren't understood until she explained that everyone responds differently to that. So the key --

MORGAN: Yes, but look, I mean, I think -- I mean one of the -- one of the reasons that I think she's attracting so much negativity is that I don't know anybody, however traumatic the incident would be -- and this is my problem with the case -- who would not report a missing very young child for over a month.

And even worse, it seemed to me, go partying in that period. Because, you know, how traumatic is it if you're able to actually go partying? I mean, it seemed to me very, very, very strange behavior. And I can't get a rational reason for it.

I can hear all the experts tell me about post-trauma and all the rest of it. But can you honestly imagine anybody that you knew who's a mother ever behaving like that?

SIMS: Well, I think the key word that you just said is rational. I think any reaction to trauma isn't necessarily going to be rational. You can't say, all right, this event occurred and this is how I expect you to behave.

I think that you can't do that. And she explained that. She explained, I think, retail therapy. She explained how younger people respond differently than older people. There is no way to predict or explain how someone can react. So I think she was the best person to really answer that question.

MORGAN: I mean when the verdict came in, I felt that one of the main reasons, actually, why this became a kind of caricature trial with baddies and goodies and so on was the fact there were cameras in there.

What is your view of trial by television? Because we don't have it, for example, where I come from in Britain. And it seems that without the cameras we don't lose anything. But you do lose something here in America because it tends to turn these trials into a soap opera.

SIMS: Well, you know, I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in so much that surrounds that. But I will tell you personally, I found it very awkward and disturbing. For example, I would be having conversations and in the evening I would see that there were lip readers and people who were body language experts going on television saying this was what appears to have been said or this is what was meant when this attorney moved this way or my client turned her head a certain way.

Imagine being on television for 400 or 500 hours of a trial. It's incredibly stressful. And I think also very stressful for the witnesses who knew that, as they spoke, every word they said was being televised. And I think it couldn't help but affect maybe not so much what they said but how they said it. I found it extremely, extremely difficult.

MORGAN: Tell me this, Dorothy. What is your gut feeling about what happened to Caylee Anthony?

SIMS: Well, I think that the key here, in my opinion, is -- was the state able to prove that Casey murdered her daughter, and did they meet the burden of proof? And the response is no. The jury -- I believe those that have spoken have come back and said, who, what, where, when, and how? That's really the key.

There wasn't anything linking Casey to the scene where the remains were found. In fact, the testimony indicated that some of the botanical evidence at the scene, it was not found in her car. There was --

MORGAN: But tell me something. I mean do you believe -- do you believe personally that she drowned in the swimming pool and there was a cover-up? Is that what you personally believe?

SIMS: I believe that this was an accident that snowballed out of control. And I think that if you think about things rationally, when you have someone who's presented as a good mother by the state's expert, there was no motive that I think some of the jurors were really grappling with that one.

There wasn't any relationship there with a motive why she would do this, when it would occur, how it would occur. Yes, I believe it was an accident that snowballed out of control. And I think that the jury, when they came back with the not guilty verdicts, did so because they had a lot of questions.

And I think having questions that weren't answered, I think that may be some of the hue and cry that we may be seeing in the public.

MORGAN: Obviously on Sunday, your client comes out of prison. And she'll be looking to rebuild her life in an atmosphere of pretty extreme animosity towards her. Are you concerned about her ability to lead a free life in relative safety?

SIMS: I am concerned for her. But I would hope that as time passes, more compassion would be the feeling of the day. And that she would be -- her privacy would be respected along with those of the jurors. And anyone else. Witnesses affiliated with the case. Everyone having to do with the case. I would hope that they would be respected. So that would be my hope for her.

MORGAN: I watched an interview with Joy Behar last night that you did in which she asked you directly, would you be happy for Casey to be a babysitter to your children? And I have to say your answer was not immediate and seemed a little uncertain.

Do you want to clarify it?

SIMS: Well, I went into the case, I was asked to come and donate my time for free, to work on this case, to work on the science aspect. I wasn't asked to come in to determine or find a babysitter for adult children. There was a disconnect. That wasn't my role. And the Casey --

MORGAN: No, but you -- but you know where she was getting at. I mean what she was getting at is, yes, she's coming free on Sunday, Casey, but clearly her behavior after whatever happened happened was so irrational to most people's eyes that she would be deemed by most people now to be a threat or -- not a threat so much as a risk around young children. Would you accept that?

SIMS: Well, I think before you determine someone is a risk, you have to take the time to understand them. You have to spend time with them. And you have to understand yourself the basis for the behavior. And I don't think that they can judge that behavior. They can say, I know why she did this, I understand.

So I mean the real issue for me is as my role in this case is, was there evidence? Was there a problem with some of the forensic evidence? That was my focus. And the 31 days had nothing to do with whether or not she was guilty. It had nothing to do with that. And I think the jurors' response, those jurors that have come forward and spoken about that, have discussed that. I think that's --

MORGAN: But you would accept -- I mean, can I just throw that one back at you one more time? I mean because it seems to me key to trying to understand this case. I mean, have you ever heard of or been involved with any case like this in your life where a mother has not reported a child missing for over 30 days?

SIMS: Well, the responses that I've gotten back from the people that have experienced trauma, actually, there were several responses that talked about situations where they pretended the individual in their life had not really died. So there are -- I think it may be more common, that reaction, that type of reaction, than you realize.

And that's why Dr. Karioth who was the grief expert, she had 40,000 hours involved in dealing with reactions to trauma. She treated people for free for years. She had a book on the subject. And she, I believe explained we can't predict that and we can't know.

MORGAN: Dorothy Clay Sims, thank you very much indeed.

On Monday I'll talk to the woman who's part of this case perhaps as much as Dorothy, Nancy Grace from HLN.

Coming up next, Hugh Hefner breaks his silence on his runaway bride. An exclusive interview. And he reveals his new loves.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Hugh Hefner certainly knows how to bounce back in style. It was just a month ago when he was left jilted at the altar by runaway bride Crystal Harris. Now at the tender age of 85, Hef's arrived in my studio with not one but two delightful new girlfriends bringing a smile to his face at this difficult time.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Hef, welcome back.

HEFNER: Thank you.

MORGAN: I can't quite believe what has happened to you. I mean just start with one thing, you're alive. Because Twitter early this week was actually trending I think worldwide at one stage with the fact that you had kicked the bucket.

HEFNER: Yes. And it's been a very interesting month there, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: But you can confirm you're alive.

HEFNER: What's that?

MORGAN: You can confirm you're alive?

HEFNER: I'm alive, yes. I think the big confirmation for this month is I didn't die and I didn't get married.

(LAUGHTER)

HEFNER: It's a one-two shot.

MORGAN: What is it like when you read about your own death on Twitter? I haven't had that experience yet. Did you find it funny? Was it a bit disconcerting?

HEFNER: My response was, you know, it happened to Mark Twain so I simply quoted Mark Twain's comment that rumors of his demise were exaggerated.

MORGAN: Greatly exaggerated.

HEFNER: Greatly exaggerated, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Let's move back to when you were last in my studio. Because we had --

HEFNER: It was only yesterday.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean it was a great interview. And Crystal was with you and everything seemed absolutely happy. There seemed no reason why this wasn't going to be a great Hollywood wedding. You very kindly invited me. I was looking forward to it and everything else.

What happened? I mean that's what everybody wants to know. This is the first television interview you've given. What went wrong?

HEFNER: Well, you know, that is the number one question. And I don't have an answer for it. I was -- I really don't know what happened. I think that in time the rest of the story will play out. But -- we took a trip to London -- I think the real problems began a couple of months before the wedding was set when we were talking about -- when the lawyers got into it.

We were talking about the prenup and et cetera. And we went to London about five or six months before -- weeks before. And things did not seem quite the way they ought to be. She was preparing to -- a song for the first time. And I think her focus was on that. But in the weeks immediately afterward, as we got very close to the marriage, you know, something was not right. But I didn't see it coming. I mean, I truly didn't see it coming.

MORGAN: I mean, look, the skeptics, you know, were saying, come on, Hef, you're 85, she was 25. How was this ever going to work as a marriage? Playboy girl, yes. But not as a genuine marriage.

I was surprised that you had taken the plunge again at 85. I mean, what do you say to the skeptics who said this was never ever had a chance?

HEFNER: I think that's a very valid question. I think quite frankly now, the day after, I'm asking myself the same thing. You know. Where was my head? I did it -- I made the commitment, quite frankly, because I felt that I had -- in a previous relationship with Holly not been there for her in the way that she wanted me to be.

And I just wanted to do whatever would make the relationship work. And you know, I was ready to settle down. I figured it was about time.

(LAUGHTER)

HEFNER: But on another level I must say, quite frankly, the following Monday, I woke up and I was single. And I thought, this is the natural way of things that I ought to be single and --

MORGAN: When was the exact moment you knew that she was not going to go through with the wedding?

HEFNER: Well, the previous weekend. She and I went to the jazz festival. And when we got back from the festival, we sat down. And she said that she was really having some serious reservations about the marriage. Not about the relationship but about the marriage.

And I said, look, the marriage is not the important part to me, the relationship is the important -- if you are happier single, that's OK with me, we can work out the details. That was only half the story, obviously. Because the following morning, without my knowledge, she was packing the bags.

MORGAN: When did you find out that she was doing that?

HEFNER: On Sunday night. We started our Sunday movie. And during the movie, early in the movie, she stepped out to apparently go to the bathroom. And when the film was over, I realized she was gone. And it was just the following -- I tried to reach her. Supposedly she had gone to San Diego to her mother's.

I was not able to reach her there. And I have some reason to suspect that she did not go to San Diego. So that's part of the story that I really don't know the whole details on.

MORGAN: I mean let me are harsh here, you know, Hef, about Crystal. I mean do you think that she took you for a ride?

HEFNER: I think an argument could be made that she took me for a ride. But I must say, quite frankly, it was a pretty nice ride.

(LAUGHTER)

HEFNER: It was 2 1/2 very good years. And if she was faking it, she did it very well. She certainly convinced me that she was -- I wouldn't even kind of play at the possibility of marriage if I didn't think that she was really, really committed to me. So, you know. If she was fooling, and a good case can be made that she was, she did a very good job.

MORGAN: Has she got any money out of this?

HEFNER: Yes, but not as much as she would have if she'd married me.

MORGAN: I mean how much has she walked away with?

HEFNER: Well, she asked for a Bentley right before we split. So she got the car. She got the ring. She didn't have to get it. You know. As a matter of fact, to her credit --

MORGAN: How much was the ring?

HEFNER: The ring was -- I'm not sure exactly. The ring was I would say around $60,000, $70,000. But to her credit, we had a dog. Have a dog. Charlie. And I love the dog. She brought it back. And felt that I missed it more than she did.

MORGAN: So she kept the diamond ring and the Bentley --

HEFNER: Well, that -- well, the point is --

MORGAN: And Hef, you get the dog.

HEFNER: She gave me --

MORGAN: That sounds a fairly --

(CROSSTALK)

HEFNER: I gave her the ring.

MORGAN: And did she get any cash out of you? On top?

HEFNER: A little but not a great deal. Yes. As I say, she would have gotten a good deal more if she'd gotten married.

MORGAN: I mean that's the strange thing. If she was just a gold digger who was --

HEFNER: I think it's more complicated --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Then why wouldn't she just go through with the wedding and then leave you? Because she would --

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: -- then be lawfully married to you.

HEFNER: Exactly so. So I think it's more complicated.

MORGAN: What is your -- you're a smart guy, what does your gut instinct tell you?

HEFNER: That there's more that we don't know. I think there is at least one other guy in the picture. I think there's something more we don't know. And I think that maybe as she got -- I think that the career was more important to her than she let on. And I think as a matter of fact we were in London, she was thinking more about the song than --

MORGAN: I mean you've laughed it off and you've been pretty courageous about it. But on a human level it must have been embarrassing for you. I mean --

HEFNER: Not for a moment was it embarrassing. I was, you know -- for a moment potentially devastated. But I got such a remarkable emotional support from friends and former girlfriends. Holly, Bridget, and Kendra were all there. You know. The next day.

MORGAN: If you ever had your heart broken before?

HEFNER: What's that?

MORGAN: Have you ever had your heart broken before?

HEFNER: Oh, yes, absolutely. I think that if you wear your heart on your -- I'm a romantic. Absolutely. And I think that the -- that is part of what it's all about. I think that if you don't to some extent wear your heart on your sleeve you're the less for it. I think that the -- sure.

MORGAN: I want to play you on clip. She went on Ryan Seacrest's show after she jilted you, effectively. And she said the following. Listen to this and see what you make of what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN SEACREST, RADIO AND TV HOST: Is he heartbroken?

HARRIS: I mean, he's OK. He's OK. You know -- you know, Hef's lifestyle isn't, you know, the most normal lifestyle. And that's the kind of thing also. I'm like -- you know, this isn't the lifestyle for me. You know, multiple girls around all the time. And you know, the Playboy lifestyle. I don't know. I don't know. It just -- I don't know. I just wanted to be true to myself. And he's fine.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean, look, forgive me if I laugh. I mean, the idea that Crystal --

HEFNER: Yes, I agree.

MORGAN: -- didn't know what she was getting into.

HEFNER: Well, beyond that, most of what she said publicly, and that adds to the mystery. Most of what she has said publicly is not true. And is clearly not what is really going on. And what her reaction was all about. She loved the lifestyle. She loved the girls. So, you know.

I think she has expressed in public interviews pretty much what she thought she ought to say. And there's another story behind it which we don't know.

MORGAN: Obviously you were very shocked. Were you very saddened by what happened personally?

HEFNER: Yes, I was stunned. Yes, absolutely. Yes.

MORGAN: I mean I can't imagine you ever being anything but the bon vivre that we know you as -- I mean, did you shed a tear over it?

(LAUGHTER)

HEFNER: Did I --

MORGAN: Did you shed a tear?

HEFNER: Yes, I shed a couple of tears. Yes, but again because of the support of people near and dear to me, you know, as you said at the beginning, I bounced back pretty well. And I think that it's -- where is the upside in grieving? In other words, I think I did the -- you know the only thing that a person ideally ought to do under the circumstances is pick yourself up and -- you know.

MORGAN: Have you spoken to her since?

HEFNER: Oh, yes, I've seen her several times. Yes.

MORGAN: What -- what does she --

HEFNER: She's very anxious to remain friends. And as I said, she brought back the dog.

MORGAN: But she doesn't give you any genuine explanation for what happened? One that you believe?

HEFNER: I think that there -- you know, I think -- I think the explanation probably has more to do with the fact that, you know, did it run its course and she didn't really love me. And when it got to the moment of real commitment -- it must be understood also that when -- you know, when she talks about it publicly, it sounds as if -- as if the engagement was sort of a surprise, or that we were being rushed to it.

Well, the opposite is the case. She knew well long ahead of time that potentially that -- she indicated that she wanted to get married. And she knew we were going to get engaged on Christmas eve. And she is the one who wanted to get married sooner rather than later. I was interested in a longer engagement. But she wanted to get it over with.

MORGAN: But have you thought of trying somebody nearer your own age, Hef, in their 30s or something?

HEFNER: Well, one of the two girls I'm seeing now is 27. We're getting closer.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: She was perfectly delightful, Crystal, when she came in. But I mean she was quite -- I thought she was quite a young girl in her thinking. In the way she -- compared to -- you're a man of the world. You've lived a good life. You're an intelligent man. And although I got the physical attraction, I was slightly surprised that -- I wasn't quite sure about the mental attraction. What the two of you had really in common.

HEFNER: I think a case can be made for that. But at the same time, she got on very well with both my friends and my family. Both my boys liked her a lot. In other words, she seemed like the real deal.

MORGAN: Do you feel -- do you feel conned?

HEFNER: To some extent, obviously, sure. Of course.

MORGAN: And is that -- is that even vaguely humiliating for someone like you?

HEFNER: No, it's not humiliating.

MORGAN: How would you describe it?

HEFNER: A surprise? From which I had managed to recover in remarkable form. MORGAN: How did the -- how did the public --

HEFNER: I'm happier now. As I said, I'm happier. If I'd gotten married --

MORGAN: It would have been worse if she'd waited to get married?

HEFNER: Yes, absolutely. In other words -- as Holly said, and that says it all, I missed a bullet. And I think that's true.

MORGAN: I mean one of the more awkward aspects of the whole thing was that she was on the cover of "Playboy."

HEFNER: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: She was to coincide with the wedding.

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: Mrs. Crystal Hefner, America's princess, and so on. Only you, Hef, and I take my hat off to you, could immediately bring back the magazines and stamp "Runaway Bride in This Issue."

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean you turned a tragedy into a commercial opportunity.

(LAUGHTER)

HEFNER: Well, as I said in an interview for the upcoming show, you know, I'm very good at marketing. If I had not done that, we would be talking about a story that already was dated.

MORGAN: Well, talking of dating, I'll have a short break. And we're going to be introduced certainly by camera into my green room to two young ladies who are bringing a smile to your sad face at this difficult time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh, we had so much fun tonight.

HEFNER: Yes, we did. Yes, we did. Yes. I can't believe it's been a full year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe I'm 20! Geez!

HEFNER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All these crazy things.

HEFNER: My god. Older women. Oh, well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That was a clip from your E! reality show "The Girls Next Door," now out on DVD. I've just got a Tweet I want to read to you. Just following the early part of this interview. "Not ordinarily a fan of Hef's," says this young lady, "But he's amazingly together, articulate, compassionate, and cute."

You're cute, Hugh.

HEFNER: I'm getting all this fan mail from young ladies now.

MORGAN: Well, of course, a vacancy has been created.

HEFNER: Well, I'm wondering where they were when I was 25.

MORGAN: Tell me about these young ladies who are nestling in my green room. Who are they?

HEFNER: Well, Anna has been -- she is -- was going to be our maid of honor. She is Crystal's best friend.

MORGAN: And she's on the left or right there?

HEFNER: She's on the -- our left.

MORGAN: Our left, OK. So that's Anna. You can wave, Anna. There she is. There we are, that's Anna. OK.

MORGAN: And she is very dear and really probably the one most responsible for really helping me through the most difficult time in the very beginning, and remains a good friend with Crystal.

But, you know, she has been a girlfriend for the last couple of years. And she stepped into the breach and emotionally really saw me through it all.

MORGAN: Emotionally?

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: Physically as well? Physically as well? Physically as well?

HEFNER: Physically? She's a girlfriend, yes.

MORGAN: Who's the other young lady?

HEFNER: The other is Shera. And she is --

MORGAN: Hi, Shera.

HEFNER: She was our November playmate. And I think that it was Anna that saw the possibilities of her as another girlfriend.

MORGAN: So am I right in thinking that you have replaced Crystal with two proper new girlfriends now? HEFNER: Yes, that is correct.

MORGAN: Right. So, I mean, how sorry should people be feeling for you?

HEFNER: Not too sorry, no.

MORGAN: You've bounced back strongly?

HEFNER: I am in better shape than I would have been if I'd been married. No, shed no tears for me.

MORGAN: Has the experience, to be serious for a moment, has it put you off ever getting married again?

HEFNER: Yes. I look at that now with a clearer eye and wonder what I was really thinking. And, you know, when I talked to Mary, my dear confidant, and other people close to me, they confirm the question that, you know, that I raise now belatedly, which is what was I thinking?

As I say, the reason for it was, quite frankly, that I wanted to hold on to the relationship and I wanted to give Crystal what I thought she wanted. I wanted to make that commitment. I was willing to settle down and make that commitment.

MORGAN: I want to play you a little clip. This is from "Runaway Bride." Lifetime show. It's Holly and Kendra, your exes, discussing Crystal in a pretty disparaging manner. I think you might enjoy this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a blessing in disguise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Totally.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, oh my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dodged a bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god. Big-time bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it's a coincidence that she left and announced that she left right when her single drops?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: You dodged a bullet.

HEFNER: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: They were clearly no fans of hers, right?

HEFNER: The girls are very, very protective. And I appreciate that.

MORGAN: I mean, do you think that they were worried that you were being set up? That Crystal had ulterior motives?

HEFNER: I think so, yes. I think so.

MORGAN: Who is the other guy that you obliquely referred to?

HEFNER: I really don't know. It would be inappropriate for me to speculate.

MORGAN: I've seen pictures of her with people who were suggested as the third man, if you like.

HEFNER: But I think that --

MORGAN: Would it really anger you if you discovered she was seeing somebody behind your back?

HEFNER: I am prepared for that probability.

MORGAN: You think that's what happened?

HEFNER: I think that is part of it. I think it's more complicated than that. I think it's really more complicated than that.

MORGAN: I'm going to play Devil's Advocate. Because I think you can take it. But there will be lots of women whose hearts have been broken by you over the years.

HEFNER: I hope not.

MORGAN: Who will see a little bit of schadenfreude here, finally seeing you, in their eyes, get your comeuppance. Would you accept that?

HEFNER: I would say the great difference is that one thing, any girl who's ever been with me can say, quite frankly, is that I never played shady. I've always been who I am. I've not done things behind anybody's back. Honesty is what it's all about for me. It always has been.

MORGAN: "Hef's Runaway Bride" airs on lifetime at 10:00 eastern. When we come back after this break, I want to tap your business brain. I want to move away from the shenanigans of your marital woes and work out how you think we can get America back to work and what you think of this debt crisis that your country is currently immersed in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HEFNER: I am very grateful that I have lived long enough to see the first black president in the United States. It gives me a great sense of pride. And I said to friends that I thought it was really a fight for America's soul. And it is a confirmation for me of what America's really all about, equal opportunity for everybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That was a clip from the documentary "Hugh Hefner, Playboy, Activist and Rebel." Before we get into the debt crisis, I've got to read you one more Tweet here from somebody called Blackberry Pie.

"Piers, please tell Hef maybe he should try an older brunette because these young blonde bimbos ain't doing the job for him." Any comment?

HEFNER: Yes, well, my first wife was a brunette.

MORGAN: And what happened?

HEFNER: And she cheated on me right before we got married.

MORGAN: So that's not going to work then, clearly.

HEFNER: Maybe that pointed the direction of my life.

MORGAN: Let's move on to something a little bit more serious. Which is -- well, in terms of America, certainly. The debt crisis that's engulfed America at the moment, when we talked before, we talked about the economy. It was pretty bad then. It's not getting any better.

What do you think of what's going on right now? There's a potential shut-down coming again in August. There's obviously serious problems with the economy in America. I mean, really serious.

HEFNER: Well, I think one of the things that really is distressing is the politicians playing politics with this thing. You know, I'm old enough to remember the Great Depression. I was a young boy growing up during it. Nobody was behaving in Washington the way they behave today.

You know, it's unreal. And I think they need to -- shame on them.

MORGAN: I mean, I think there's a lot of merit to that. Because I think most average Americans, 9.2 percent of Americans have lost their jobs. They don't want to hear partisan squabbling in Washington. They want to get their jobs back and they want to see action.

And when they see this standoff, with these people just spouting abuse at each other, it's really, really -- as you say, it borders on shameful, I think.

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: What do you think is the problem? Why has America got itself into this hole,, do you think, financially?

HEFNER: Well, if I knew the answer to that one, I'd be much wiser than I am.

MORGAN: You're a businessman. You've made a lot of money. Obviously like everyone else, I'm sure you've been through a pretty tough period the last few years. When you put your finger on the business model of America, incorporated, what are the problems?

HEFNER: We didn't pay as we went. I mean, you know, that's the simple truth of the matter. You can't live off the future. You have to, you know, pay as you go.

MORGAN: There's a lot of animosity from a lot of American businessmen -- Donald Trump and others -- to doing any kind of business with countries like China, who he perceives to be this huge threat. Do you think that's the right attitude? Or have you got no choice now? Has America got to go and do business?

HEFNER: I think it's the wrong attitude. I think the reality is we live in a very small world. And I think that we need to deal with reality. I think there are certain amount of delusions going on here in terms of the notion, we're no longer in first place. And we're falling further behind if we don't start taking care of real business.

And we need to do the things that we do well and, you know -- there are great markets out there, including China. China's not the enemy. China's a competitor, but also China looks to us as a major market.

MORGAN: Yeah, but I'm actually quite a fan of the Chinese business people, the ones that I've met. I went to Shanghai and did some business there. I found them very straightforward. They don't want to kill anyone or invade any countries. They just want to do business and be best. And they'll work as hard as it takes.

These are actually old-fashioned American values.

HEFNER: Yes.

MORGAN: Work hard. They're family-oriented, do good business, be number one. It seems to me that a lot of Americans can't deal with the fact there's another country where people don't look the same as they do here, doing what America used to do best. That's what they've got to wake up to, I think, in America.

HEFNER: I agree. We need to remember who we were.

MORGAN: Do you think America should go back to being a manufacturing country at its heart?

HEFNER: Yes and entrepreneurial.

MORGAN: Less consumer-led and more production?

HEFNER: Well, production where it works, and entrepreneurial.

MORGAN: We've lost a bit of that? Lost a bit of the entrepreneurial zeal? HEFNER: Yes. Well, that gets down to fundamentals like education. You know, the problems run deeper, because we haven't taken care of business for such a long time. We need to get back to fundamentals.

MORGAN: Do you trust Obama to get it right?

HEFNER: I did to begin with. And I'm not sure now. The last time I was here, I expressed concern about the fact that I felt that his priorities were wrong, that the jobs were the most important thing. You know, getting us out of debt was important, but not as important as jobs. Jobs are the beginning of it all. We have to get people back to work.

MORGAN: Taking another break, Hef. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the Casey Anthony trial, which we talked about at the top of the show with her defense attorney. And guess some of the morality issues here; would you or would you in the past have ever offered someone like her the cover of "Playboy," for example? Hold your answer and I'll come back to you after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

MORGAN: My special guest now Hugh Hefner. Hugh, the Casey Anthony trial has gripped America, for good or for bad, in the last month, and ended in pretty controversial circumstances. You've seen a lot of trials over the years. What did you make of it?

HEFNER: Made me very sad. And the outcome is certainly not what any of us expected. But we weren't in the jury box. So hard to say.

MORGAN: I mean, hearing her defense attorney at the top of the show reiterating that experts came forward to say Casey Anthony was a good mother. And I found that -- I got to say -- pretty ridiculous. I mean, one thing she wasn't was a good mother to that girl.

HEFNER: That's for sure.

MORGAN: Did you go along with the argument that trauma can cause a mother to not report a missing child for a month and go partying in that period? Do you believe that could ever happen?

HEFNER: I find much of the circumstances very suspect. And that obviously is the -- the only problem is obviously they didn't have any forensic or specific evidence. But certainly other people have been convicted on circumstantial evidence. And she certainly looked very, very guilty.

And I don't think she acted like an innocent person.

MORGAN: There are apparently lots of bids flying in for her story now, for her to sell her story. There was a report that a porn production company, Vivid, had offered her a lot of money and then rescinded it. Would you ever countenance offering a "Playboy" cover to somebody like Casey Anthony?

HEFNER: It is amazing the number of people that have Tweeted me immediately afterward, asking whether or not we would do a pictorial on her, et cetera. And the answer is simply no. I wouldn't reward someone like that for what has happened.

MORGAN: Even though you would know, instinctively, it would sell millions of copies?

HEFNER: There are classic examples, as a matter of fact, historically in terms of a black Miss America that we didn't do a pictorial on, because she was a black Miss America and I knew that would hurt her, and other similar examples. Some people may think of "Playboy" as exploitation. I don't.

MORGAN: What's interesting is that you clearly have your own moral code about these things. That in itself might surprise people. But I've known you awhile and I know that you do.

Where do you think the line is drawn on things like that? Is it just your instinct tells you that it would be inappropriate?

HEFNER: Well, I don't think it's entirely subjective. But I think you have to obviously -- each situation is an individual and you have to make those subjective decisions.

MORGAN: A lot of these trials, particularly when they're televised now in America, seem to have odd results. O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony and so on. I'm pretty against this trial by television. I think the cameras don't bring anything other than prurience to proceedings. You don't need them. What do you think?

HEFNER: I have mixed feelings about that. Because obviously there are great virtues in an open trial. So I think a case can be made on either side. I do think that the camera does seem to change things. But I don't think television had anything to do with this decision.

MORGAN: I mean, do you have any criticism of the jury? Because they've been criticized by people. But in the end, it seemed the hard evidence wasn't quite there for them to convict on a murder charge.

HEFNER: Well, I think that's exactly right. But the other question is, what about the manslaughter? What about other possibilities? In other words, she certainly seemed to be guilty of something more than simply lying.

MORGAN: Last break now, Hugh. When we come back, I want to talk to you about the resurgence of the Playboy Club, which is I know bringing another smile to your face.

HEFNER: It's the Chinese year of the rabbit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with Hugh Hefner. Hugh, very quickly you've got a great new show on NBC coming "On The Playboy Club," launches in the fall. Presumably, it's all about glamour and sex and fun of your old club, right?

HEFNER: Yes. That's the plan.

MORGAN: Well, look, it's been a fascinating interview. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. And I'm now going to release you back I think to where you'd most like to be right now, which is the comforting bosoms of your two new friends.

There we are. Ladies, he's on his way. Mend that broken heart. Hugh Hefner --

HEFNER: Thank you, again, very, very much. Enjoyed it.

MORGAN: My pleasure. That's all for us tonight. Now here's "AC 360."