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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Did Suicide Follow Attack on Wife?; Mansion Death Investigated as Suicide; Last Photos of Robyn Gardner; True Love or Reality TV Romance?

Aired August 24, 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)

CARLOS DIAZ, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong faces her late husband`s family at his funeral. Will there be family drama after some blame Taylor for driving Russell to suicide?

Then, will this odd couple take reality TV too far? Fifty-one-year- old "Lost" actor Doug Hutchinson just married a 16-year-old girl. Now they want to make their relationship reality TV gold. I`ll talk to this teen bride`s mother.

Plus, shocking news in the mysterious mansion deaths. This woman was found naked and bound, hanging from a balcony. Was it suicide or murder?

And new developments in the case of a missing American woman in Aruba. Cops confirm Robyn Gardner`s suspicious travel companion planned to cash in on a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy. Her boyfriend joins me live tonight.

ISSUES starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR ARMSTRONG, REALITY TV STAR: A lot of the issues in my marriage are definitely addressed this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two weeks before he died, took himself off his anti-depression medication.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Physical abuse and death, those aren`t things that can be made up by producers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are graphic photos showing Taylor Armstrong with a cut on the right side of her face from her mouth to her eye socket.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taylor tried to keep those injuries under wraps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says, "Well, this is the way reality TV is."

I said, "Russell, this is brutal."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This show characterized him as someone that abused his spouse.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: They just announced plans to reedit the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "It`s ratings. They don`t care about how people feel or how they`re hurt or if it destroys a marriage."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Tonight, a reality star laid to rest as explosive new rumors swirl about the very dark final hours of his life.

I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez Mitchell.

"Star" magazine reports Russell Armstrong brutally beat his wife, Taylor, just hours before committing suicide. The "Real Housewives" star reportedly confronted her estranged husband the day before his death. She wanted him to come clean about their escalating financial problems. "Star" magazine says Russell snapped and punched Taylor in the face. He hanged himself the very next morning.

This photo, showing a gash over Taylor`s eye, was taken a few days before Russell`s death. Her friends claim Taylor was injured playing football, a story that we find hard to swallow.

Is his devastated family still trying to put some of the blame on Taylor, even with all the new reports of domestic violence?

Give me a call. Weigh in on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297.

"Star" magazine`s Dylan Howard joins us now. Dylan, what do you know about this violent fight before Russell`s death?

DYLAN HOWARD, "STAR" MAGAZINE: Well, Carlos, we broke this story this morning in the latest issue of "Star" magazine. And it details the final blow, if you like.

Twenty-four hours before Russell Armstrong decided to take his own life, he was involved in yet another violent confrontation with his wife, Taylor. So much so Taylor, distraught and sobbing, rang two of her closest friends on the Sunday night and said what had taken place. She said Russell had beaten her after she confronted him over the couple`s financial state.

Now this, as I said to you, is being reported to us from sources very close to Taylor. All this on the day that Russell Armstrong is laid to rest. The service began about an hour ago at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery here. A memorial service is taking place in Los Angeles. It`s unclear at this point, though, whether Russell Armstrong`s family is indeed going to be there.

I spoke to Ronald Richards -- he`s lawyer -- Russell Armstrong`s lawyer -- just a few moment ago, and he said he was unaware whether the Texas-based relatives were indeed going to come to Los Angeles for this service.

DIAZ: Valuable information, Dylan. I want to move on now. The debate rages on whether Bravo should -- what they should do with the upcoming "Housewives" season. It was supposed to premier in less than two weeks.

Former reality star Lisa Gastineau, who is Taylor`s good friend says - - get this -- the show must go on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA GASTINEAU, FORMER REALITY TV STAR: You do a TV show, and you are allowed to be you. You draw the line of what you will and will not allow to be shown.

So I think that, respectfully, perhaps Taylor should take the time off and go take care of her daughter and heal and mourn and do all the things, but I don`t think that you can scrap an entire TV series because of someone`s personal issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Now think about this. Because at first I`m like, you`ve got to cancel this. That was my opinion, they`ve got to cancel this whole thing. But listen to the point that she was making. Pretty interesting. We complain all the time that reality TV is too scripted. Well, it doesn`t get much more real and unscripted than death.

My good friend Kim Serafin is senior editor from "InTouch Weekly." Kim, couldn`t Bravo use that argument?

KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "INTOUCH WEEKLY": Yes, definitely. And really, there is no definite information that says the show specifically led to his suicide. Of course, people are saying maybe he had problems before. Maybe the show exacerbated it. Maybe it magnified some of the problems he had.

But you`re right. Everyone is always saying these shows are too scripted. These shows are not real. Here`s the reality of it.

Again, did they cast the wrong person for this? Did they cast a person who had drama, so that makes for good TV, but who had too much drama that was going to lead to a tragedy? I mean, this is the whole debate right now that everyone is having about reality shows in general. It`s not the first time we`ve seen tragedy in a reality show, and certainly, I think people want reality shows to look closer at the people they cast in the future.

DIAZ: And I think people need to -- you know, this might be a reality check for reality shows, as far as somebody dying near a reality show. Russell was afraid of how he would come off in the upcoming "Housewives" season. He made some chilling comments about it to his mom. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ANN HOTCHKISS, RUSSELL ARMSTRONG`S MOTHER (via phone): It turned into a terrible tragedy. He was so distraught toward the end of it. And before the new season started, before he took his life, he said, "Mom, they`re just going to crucify me this season." And he said, "I don`t know what to do." He said, "I`ll never survive it." And I thought he meant business wise or something. Now perhaps there was a double meaning there, I don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Well, I mean, the double meaning is "I`m not going to survive it," meaning "I`m not going to survive it." Dylan, why would Russell sign up for another season? Did his mounting debts make it impossible to say no?

HOWARD: No. Russell Armstrong wasn`t paid to appear on this program. His wife, Taylor, was. But even then, the fees for these "Real Housewives" for the Bravo franchise are very nominal.

In fact, Russell Armstrong is said to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a desperate attempt to try and keep Taylor interested in their marriage. She was living the high life. A soiree for their child`s birthday cost something like $60,000. Those kind of expenses made him an attractive -- an attractive candidate for this show. The drama associated with his marriage became a key story line and a plot line for the series. And so, too, was their marriage issues.

So here all of a sudden you had Bravo being very interested in this couple because of the drama that was associated with them, which is why it continued to exacerbate itself.

DIAZ: All right. That`s a very interesting point that you bring up. But I want to touch on that in a second. But first, I want to go to Maer Roshan from TheFix.com. Maer, you were the first -- you first met with Russell in June. He did not mince words about how he felt about Bravo. He told you he was just playing a pathetic stock character, created by the evil producers at Bravo, his words.

Quote, "Everything you see on that show is bleep. Those Bravo bastards take every little argument out of context and just magnify it. Taylor and I lie in bed watching these stories about our terrible marriage, and we laugh."

Maer, did you -- did your gut tell you that Russell was hiding some kind of deep turmoil? Did you leave the interview believing he really had a solid marriage?

MAER ROSHAN, THEFIX.COM: I actually did think he did have a solid marriage. He talked very highly of his wife. I was really surprised two weeks after we met when Taylor filed for divorce, because Russell couldn`t have been more complimentary about Taylor and called her his angel and seemed very much in love with her.

DIAZ: So you believe -- I mean, he was in this relationship, not just because of the lights and the cameras and not just because of the glamour. He was in love with his wife, truly loved her?

ROSHAN: Yes. I don`t think he was in love with the camera. I think he was doing this show partly to satisfy his wife`s social ambitions, which is basically what he said to us at TheFix.com, and he seemed uncomfortable with the cameras. But eventually said, you know, "I hated -- I hate doing it, but it was good for my business."

So, you know, despite all of the allegations that he was -- he just hated being on reality TV, he did notice some of the good things about being on TV.

DIAZ: All right. Well, Maer, hang tight real quick. Kim, as well. Dylan, as well. I want to bring you guys back in a second, because we`re going to take your phone calls at 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.

Because I want to talk about coming up after the break, whether or not this show should be cancelled.

Also coming up, too much for TV? An odd couple wants their own reality show. He`s a 51-year-old actor. She`s his 16-year-old wife. I will talk to the child bride`s mom.

Plus, what really happened in the final hours of Russell Armstrong`s life? And should they cancel the show?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The show characterized him as someone that abused his spouse. It highlighted ancient financial negatives in his past and put him in a spotlight that he wasn`t coped to deal with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The show did split them up as a couple because a celebrity has certain needs and when that sort of stardom attacks a marriage sort of overnight, like in the case of a reality TV star, a lot of couples are not prepared for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: I`m Carlos Diaz in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Will Russell Armstrong`s suicide put an end to the "Real Housewives" franchise? The series stretches from Orange County to New York City to D.C. to Miami to Atlanta, to Beverly Hills. We`re joined by Maer Roshan, Dylan Howard and Kim Serafin.

Guys, I want to kind of have a round table discussion about this, so if you have a comment, just jump right in. But I mean, think about this, guys. You have a franchise where it`s opulence. It`s extravagance. It`s, you know, these women who live these huge lifestyles. And you have a guy who commits suicide because he cannot basically provide for that lifestyle for his wife. I don`t know if it`s the direct cause, but Kim, I want to start with you. I mean, if you look at it, it`s a recipe for disaster. Because Dylan brought up that these women don`t get paid that much, yet they`re supposed to lead these rock-star lifestyles.

SERAFIN: Right. And I`ve already described. I think it was in the "L.A. Times" article that wealth is actually a separate character on the show. In all of the shows. It`s kind of its own entity. I mean, you do have to live up to that standard. And if you don`t really have the money to fit into that standard, you do whatever you can to make it work. Which is what we`re hearing Russell did with -- regarding this lawsuit, this $1.5 million lawsuit.

Look, I think it really depends on are people going to tune in? Are people going to watch these shows? That`s what`s going to really determine whether these shows continue to stay on the air. And right now, we see that they do watch the "Real Housewives" shows. They`re watching all reality shows. "Jersey Shore" had its best premier ever, I think the best premier ever on MTV. People are watching reality shows, so they want to see the drama. They want to see all the gory details.

DIAZ: But Dylan, to the point of that, I mean, you know, this is not -- if you have a hit movie, you get paid millions of dollars for your next movie. You know, you`re a movie star. You`re getting paid all this money.

In reality TV, one of the best parts about reality TV, if you`re a producer is it`s cheap. You don`t have to pay these people big actor salaries. Yet they`re supposed to lead these rich people`s lifestyles. So are we going to keep seeing this on the "Housewives" franchise? And is that a reason to cancel the show?

HOWARD: We are. Is it a reason to cancel the show? Wiser judges than you or I will have that point of view.

But the one thing that it needs to do is that we need to take stock of these. There`s been something like 14 or 15 deaths associated with reality television programs. And that`s the harsh reality of this genre. What we need now is to take stock of the situation, and television producers need to provide the adequate support for its stars of its programs. The necessary counseling.

For example, counseling in front of a camera with Russell and Taylor Armstrong isn`t going to do the right thing for their marriage. Perhaps Bravo needed to give them that necessary support off camera, away from the glare of the spotlight to help them with these issues. Is that -- is that what is going to happen? I`m not sure, but we need to take stock of it.

DIAZ: You make a great point there. Because the more reality -- excuse me, the more drama you have in a reality show, well, the more baggage there`s going to be in real life. These aren`t actors who, when the director yells, "Scene, cut, we`re done," they go and they smoke a cigarette and they go, "Wow, that`s a powerful scene." They`re living this life.

Maer, I want to go to you. Is -- is this the wake-up call for reality TV?

ROSHAN: Well, I think people have known for a long time that reality TV shows engage in certain practices to heighten the drama. There`s lots of alcohol served. There`s lots of editing that, you know, just heightens the drama on the shows.

DIAZ: Great point.

ROSHAN: And so what you see isn`t exactly what is reality. It`s a kind of a changed version of reality. TheFix.com is a Web site about reality. And what -- we were approached by Russell Armstrong. We had the final interview with him. And we got a very different idea of him than you would have gotten from watching that show.

He had a sister who was addicted to crystal meth. His father was a long-time alcoholic. He had put five or six people through rehab on his own without the cameras. You know, it`s hard to say, watching someone on TV, what their real personality is.

DIAZ: But I think what you say right there, when you list that litany of things that were wrong with his life -- Kim back me up on this -- the producers of a reality show are salivating over that. They`re like, "Ooh, this person is a train wreck."

I mean, I know -- I know people who have gone on dating reality shows, and I`m like, wow, that girl who`s on that dating reality show, she`s kind of a psycho. And then she gets kept around for the second week and the third week. And I`m asking my buddies who are producing the show, how is she still on the show?

They go, "Because she`s gold. I mean, she`s out there. We`ve got to keep her around."

So Kim, I mean, isn`t that the case? Where it`s like the more messed up you are in real life, the better you are on reality TV.

SERAFIN: Well, sure. Who wants to watch a reality show of normal people sitting around having normal conversations, not doing anything crazy? Again, where would the show be without that?

(CROSSTALK)

SERAFIN: Yes, I think you are. Except what`s going to happen is people look at reality shows. They say yes, this happens on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." But then you look at another successful reality show like the Kardashians where they`re able to make it work. They get the ratings. They make the money. They also control a lot of that show, so that helps, that they can control what`s in the show and what`s edited in and out of the show.

But you know, when you have a successful franchise like that or even "Jersey Shore," you`re not seeing -- you see the drama. You`re not seeing tragedy on that show.

DIAZ: I`m not worried about Jersey Shore," though, because "Jersey Shore," I see that as being more scripted. I mean, you know, one of the funny things -- one of the weird things that I saw on our HLN Facebook post earlier was that somebody said, "Hey, it`s reality TV. You can`t control reality TV, but you better not cancel my `Housewives`." So they`re talking about it like it`s reality TV, yet they`re saying, "Don`t cancel it," like it`s one of their soaps.

Dylan, I want to give you the last word. Twenty seconds. What have you got?

HOWARD: Well, you know, the interesting thing is "The Hills," for example, an MTV hit series. Everyone thought that it was reality, but in end -- in the end it was actually scripted. Drama sells, and it`s going to continue to sell, Carlos.

DIAZ: Dylan, thank you so much. Dylan, Kim, Maer, thank you guys so much.

Coming up, a missing woman in Aruba. You don`t want to miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a grisly mansion mystery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was found with a rope hanging around her neck and hanging from a balcony of the main house. The victim`s hands and feet were bound, and she was completely nude.

DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: She was found bound with electrical cord on both hands and feet, and no suicide letter. How is that a suicide?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No woman would ever hang herself nude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This case is suspicious. There`s no question about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That investigation is not necessarily a criminal matter. Naked, bound and hanging from the balcony of a mansion. That`s how Rebecca Zahau was found last month. She was pronounced dead on the scene, and the story just got weirder from there. But sources now say investigators do not think it was murder.

Rebecca died in the 27-room San Diego estate owned by her boyfriend, multimillionaire Jonah Shacknai. Three days before Rebecca`s death, Shacknai`s 6-year-old son Max reportedly fell down a staircase. He died shortly afterwards. Rebecca was in the mansion when the accident occurred and was apparently wracked with guilt. But was that enough for her to want to kill herself? Police say it`s possible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAPTAIN TIM CURRAN, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF`S OFFICE: If it was determined to be a suicide, people will do some very bizarre things. So until we can absolutely establish one manner or another, we`re not ready to call this a criminal manner or a suicide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right. Today sources close to the investigation say that this case is about to be ruled a suicide. The San Diego Sheriff`s Department says not so fast. They`re still waiting on test results.

Let me go to criminal profiler Pat Brown.

Pat, you know a crime scene when you see one. Was this a suicide or is there something more sinister at work here?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, first of all, they got what they just said backwards. It`s a homicide until proven otherwise. Not otherwise until proven a homicide. That`s how you`re supposed to handle a case.

And I`m taking a look at this. The first problem I have is why is this woman wracked over guilt over a 6-year-old supposedly falling down the staircase? First of all, 6-year-olds don`t usually fall down staircases and die. So if he did have some weird accident, how would she feel responsible for that? I mean, it would just be a bizarre event, unless she pushed him down the stairs or unless something else happened. So that`s the first thing I`d be investigating.

Secondly, yes, it is pretty unusual for a woman to get herself naked and tie her hands and feet to commit a suicide. That boggles the mind. However, I will agree there are some people who have done that to stage a homicide in order to get back at somebody. But if she were wracked with guilt, she wouldn`t be getting back at everybody.

So there`s too many questions here, and I just hope like heck they`re actually following up on all the information, because it`s not looking -- it`s not looking right to me. That`s all.

DIAZ: The main sticking point in this whole investigation is how Rebecca Zahau, how her body was found. Here`s the crucial details from the San Diego Sheriff`s Department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURRAN: The hands were bound beyond the back, and the feet were bound. They did not appear to be bound together. You used the term hog tie? That did not appear to be the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: All right. I want to go to Pat. She would have had to have bound her feet. First off, put the noose around her neck, then bound her feed, then bound her hands, naked the entire time, by the way. And then with her feet and her hands bound, then jump over the railing with the -- and hang herself, basically. Pat, we`ve got ten seconds. How suspicious is that?

BROWN: Well, it`s extremely suspicious. Obviously, I feel the same way you do. I think it`s pretty weird. I have seen bizarre crimes which people have managed to make themselves look like they`ve been murdered, and they haven`t. So I, if I were investigating this, I would want to see all those autopsy reports and all the crime scene photos.

But yes, it is pretty weird unless they can prove otherwise. Yet, I`d still say homicide until proven otherwise.

DIAZ: All right, Pat. Stick around. More coming up after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was on this very spot, August 2nd, that Gary Giordano, who is the American that`s now in custody, said that he and Robyn Gardner were snorkeling late in the afternoon. And then at one point they became separated. He came ashore and she apparently did not.

MICHAEL LOPEZ, GARY GIORDANO`S ATTORNEY: They know each other for a couple of years already. And as friends, they met each other, I think, on a dating site.

SAVIDGE: Authorities here are going through a number of things. First of all, the couple`s rental car to see if there`s any forensic evidence there to be gleaned and they`re also going through a number of SmartPhones, maybe a laptop computer as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently this guy would go online, get to know women in their late 40s, who are in good shape, attractive women. After he would meet them online, they would meet in person a couple of times, go back to his house and have consensual sex. But what they didn`t know is what that woman was just talking about, they were being videotaped and audio taped having sex.

RICHARD FORESTER, BOYFRIEND OF ROBYN GARDNER: I just don`t think that she was snorkeling. I feel in my heart that something happened at this person`s hand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLOS DIAZ, HLN GUEST HOST: Tonight, new evidence that could suggest the prime suspect in the Robyn Gardner disappearance wanted her dead. Now Aruban officials say that they can now confirm that not only did Gary Giordano take out a $1.5 million travel insurance policy on Gardner, but he is the beneficiary.

And take a look at this: new photos that show Robyn Gardner and Gary Giordano only two hours before she vanished. These photos were taken by a restaurant worker as the couple left the Rum Reef Bar and Grill where patrons have said Robyn was acting woozy.

Gardner disappeared three weeks ago after flying to Aruba with Giordano. He says Robyn vanished while they were snorkeling but no one really knows for sure if they ever even entered the water.

Now Aruban officials are confirming that Giordano is indeed the beneficiary on Gardner`s huge $1.5 million travel insurance policy. Aruba`s solicitor general spoke to NBC`s "Today" show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TACO STEIN, Aruba SOLICITOR GENERAL: We are now in a position to say that indeed the insurance was for $1.5 million which is quite a large amount so it is still one topic we will be pursuing further in the investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: But here`s the thing, you can`t make yourself -- you cannot make yourself the beneficiary under these circumstances. They`re not married, they`re not related. So either Giordano broke the law or Robyn Gardner agreed to make him the beneficiary which to me would be pretty odd. So is this the motive Aruban authorities have been looking for.

Straight out to Robyn Gardner`s boyfriend, Richard Forester; and Richard, once again, thanks man for coming on. I can`t imagine what you`re going through right now. And I applaud your gumption for coming on.

FORESTER: Thank you. .

DIAZ: What is your reaction to these brand-new photos that you see of Robyn basically hours before she disappeared?

FORESTER: Well, I mean, you know, it`s hard. It`s hard. I love to see pictures of her, but not under these circumstances.

You know, I think it just -- all it does is just really give us a time frame more than anything of what could have happened, you know? I mean I think those were taken a little bit after 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and she was reported missing close to 6:30. So that gives us a little bit of a window there. But that`s all I can really say about that because I mean that`s what they are.

DIAZ: When you first saw them, what was the feeling in your stomach and your heart? What was your feeling?

FORESTER: Well, I mean, look, I said this before, I miss her, I love her. Am I angry that she was there with him? Yes. Do I ask myself why? What was she thinking? Of course.

But I can`t get myself consumed in that. I have to -- you know, my mission is to find Robyn. And to see what can we do? What can the Aruban authorities do that they aren`t already doing? What I`d look to see is I would like to see dogs, I`d like to see canines, you know, looking for her.

How I feel about seeing those pictures, maybe they`ll help. I don`t know.

DIAZ: And the reason they released them is because they want to -- you know, because if people saw her, what she`s wearing, maybe that could help bring up some clues. Let`s take a close -- go ahead.

FORESTER: 100 percent. And I`ve been quoted, but it`s a dress that she loved to wear. I`ve seen her wear it a lot. So I mean, yes, that pulls at my heart strings, absolutely.

DIAZ: Let`s take a closer look at these new photos taken at the restaurant on Baby Beach only two hours before Robyn Gardner vanished. We were thinking, how odd that someone would take these photos from the back. Well, the restaurant worker wanted to photograph Robyn`s tattoos.

Aruban authorities released the photos because they`re hoping somebody might recognize the dress Robyn was wearing.

Coming to profiler Pat Brown, what do you think when you look at these photos?

PAT BROWN, PROFILER: You know, I don`t put that much into photos because they`re only a moment in time. She could have been upset the minute before they took the photo and somebody says smile, then say goodbye and she said, "Hi, bye," and so all of a sudden she looks happy. These things really mean little except for as was pointed out the time frame, what she was wearing, who she was with, when it happened and where she was going.

And this was the last time she was seen. So I do believe that regardless of what anybody says, what condition she was in. I mean you`re in Aruba for Christ`s sake. A lot of people drink liquor for breakfast. I mean it`s just people -- they`re having a good time. And if they`re depressed they`re having a bad time, a sobering (ph) thing.

DIAZ: They`re having a problem here.

BROWN: Yes. So, she -- whatever condition she was in when she got in the vehicle doesn`t matter because what I believe happened is Giordano was at that point frustrated with her for one reason or the other. Either she wouldn`t go -- she wouldn`t go in the water so he couldn`t commit his little insurance --

FORESTER: I can`t hear the program.

DIAZ: Ok. We`re having some audio programs right now with one of our other guests.

I want to move on real quick and say that Gary Giordano claims Robyn Gardner was drunk on vodka and groggy from sleeping pills while they were snorkeling.

Check out what Giordano`s attorney said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: Probably the sea got -- he couldn`t stand anymore and he signed to let`s go back and when he reached shore, she was nowhere to be seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: I realize as Pat pointed out, that these photos are still images, but nothing strikes me as strange. I mean she`s standing up, she`s getting upright. She`s got a long dress on, high heeled sandals. No one is helping her or supporting her. In fact Gary Giordano was walking in front of her.

Richard -- I want to bring Richard in on this one, if you can still hear us. Richard, are you still here?

FORESTER: I can`t hear anything except for something else.

DIAZ: Ok. Let`s bring Richard down. Let`s spot him down and I`ll bring Jayne Weintraub in. Jayne, what do you think when you see these pictures.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it looks like she`s, you know, happily keeping up with him and they`re going somewhere. You can`t read anything into it, I agree with Pat completely.

But, you know, these suspicions and coming up now with a motive for the life insurance policy, I mean usually when you have a motive it comes after you have a crime. And then there`s a reason for the crime. You can`t put the motive first and say ok, now we have a reason why he would want to get rid of her or kill.

But we don`t have a murder. We don`t have a homicide. We don`t have a body and we don`t have eyewitnesses and we have no idea what happened except what Giordano said and there`s nothing to contradict it. The man is being held in custody based on a suspicion of what`s going on here but there`s no evidence of anything.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: Yes, there is evidence. Giordano said Robyn is dead. He said that too. He said he went snorkeling with her, she didn`t come back with him so clearly then she`s never been seen. He`s saying she`s dead and she was dead when she was with me.

Now, I don`t believe the last scenario. I believe the last scenario was they left the restaurant together. And as far as motive goes, I agree. That can be very confusing, even in his own mind he can be confused. He might have thought, she ticks me off, I can make some money from her if I drown her. Or if she ticks me off and doesn`t give me what I want sexually, I might be mad at her. So at this point, he just might be frustrated with her and doesn`t get what she wants.

She won`t swim. She won`t give him the sex he wants. He gets pissed off. He does something to her up there in the isolated areas.

WEINTRAUB: Pat, that`s a story. But there`s nothing --

BROWN: That`s a story.

WEINTRAUB: -- there`s nothing to back that up.

BROWN: Giordano says she`s dead.

(CROSSTALK)

DIAZ: But Jayne, you don`t see the fact that a $1.5 million insurance policy that he took out on her and he`s the beneficiary of, you don`t see that as being odd at all?

WEINTRAUB: Odd, absolutely? Suspicious, absolutely. Does that make a murder case and is that a lock tied? No, absolutely not.

BROWN: Not yet.

WEINTRAUB: That`s not a reason to indict somebody for murder because --

BROWN: Not yet.

WEINTRAUB: You know, she could have taken that out. She could have done that because she mad at her boyfriend, Richard. She left Richard. She went on this date that she had known this guy for a couple of years, met him on (INAUDIBLE). Maybe she`s flirting with something. Maybe she`s doing this. We don`t know.

DIAZ: All right. I mean -- we have Richard with us right now. Richard, what do you say to what Jayne is saying?

FORESTER: You know, things with Robyn and I, we have a relationship like most people. You have your ups and your downs. She lived with me most of the time. We spent most of our time together. We worked about quarter of a mile from each other. We went to work together in the morning. We came home in the afternoon.

DIAZ: What was the last text she sent to you?

FORESTER: The last communication I had with her was, "I love you, I care about you. And we`ll talk and sort things out when I get back." I mean --

WEINTRAUB: She didn`t even tell you that she was going with Giordano.

DIAZ: That`s my point. When we`re talking about motive, Richard, what do you think the motive could be?

FORESTER: I don`t know. I mean, I just go on what you guys report. I mean I hear -- it`s hard for me to be unbiased. I hear about a $1.5 million policy and now I hear that he`s the beneficiary. Well, sure, that`s odd, that`s suspicious.

I`m hearing all these things about him. But I don`t know what to make of it. I`m not an attorney. I`ve never been in this position. I don`t want to be in this position. But I am for some strange reason.

I`m in this club that nobody wants to be in and I didn`t ask to be in it but I`m doing what I have to do. And all I want to do doesn`t matter. I just want to find her. And I want justice to be served. That`s the only thing that matters here. I want to find Robyn and have justice served. That`s it.

DIAZ: All right. Richard Forester, I cannot thank you enough for coming on with us once again. And Pat Brown, Jayne Weintraub, both great points made by you guys.

Moving on now, a child bride calls it a reality show like no other. Would you watch this 16-year-old and her 51-year-old actor husband? Or is it too much for TV? I`ll talk to her mom live next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Each child is different. I have two older daughters and they`re both married to men their own ages. They have great husbands and my daughter Courtney has a great husband. It`s just a different fit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DIAZ: This is one of the stories that is just -- it`s very juicy, as we would say in Hollywood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a 51-year-old aging character actor who needs a boost in his career.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She knew he was older. She wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. And, you know, we take one day at a time. You know, we`re not promised tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In virtually state in this country, if they were not married, this would be full-on rape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She fell in love and got married.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have this reality show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are fascinated with this story. For whatever reason, they love it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: It`s a match made in reality TV heaven. But is it true love?

51-year-old, critically acclaimed actor, Doug Hutchinson from the hit show "Lost" and award-winning movie, "The Green Mile" married his sweetheart -- 16-year-old Courtney Stodden, an aspiring actress and singer. That`s a 35-year age gap.

(INAUDIBLE) and this couple isn`t afraid to shout their love from the roof tops, at least during television interviews.

Listen to what they had to say on "The Morning Show" in Australia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG HUTCHINSON, MARRIED 16-YEAR-OLD: Love is very difficult to find in this world, and if you`re lucky enough to find it the way we have, then Godspeed.

COURTNEY STODDEN: And embrace it. No matter what the world has to say. No matter what others think, embrace it, be happy and live your life.

HUTCHINSON: Embrace it fearlessly because we don`t know whether we`re going to be here tomorrow. So we`re diving in today. And 51 plus 16 equals love in our world.

STODDEN: Sexy love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Now the couple said they plan to take their love to the small screen. They broke the news on that same morning show, Australia`s "The Morning Show".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUTCHINSON: We`ve been seduced by a lot of producers, wanting to do a reality TV show. And we`re in negotiations right now with a very prominent producer and we`re talking about the possibility of taking it to network. So yes --

STODEN: We are. And we have paired up with an amazing production team. So stay tuned for that. It`s going to be a reality show like no other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: So is this a staged reality TV gold mine or the real deal?

Straight out to my very special guest, joining me by phone, Courtney`s mom, Krista Stodden and I`ve talked to Krista before. I`ve said before, Krista is a very intelligent person. We`ve had long discussions and she comes across very smart, very knowledgeable.

So I want to know, where do you -- what do you know about Courtney and Doug`s reality TV plans?

KRISTA STODDEN, COURTNEY STODDEN`S MOTHER (via telephone): Well, it`s very good be with you today Carlos. It`s good to speak with you again, I must say. Yes. They have been approached and they`re in negotiations with, like they said, an amazing production team. And we had so many people to choose from. We`re talking the cream of the crop, the best producers. And it was really a hard decision, but they`ve come to a decision and we`re in negotiations at the moment.

DIAZ: Well, Krista, we all know that reality TV is not easy on a marriage. I mean I could name so many marriages, Jon and Kate Gosselin, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey.

Listen to this from "The Newly-weds" on MTV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the beginning of some long separations for the two of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, things are so crazy and so busy that, you know, it`s become hard at times to maintain that kind of freshness to your life together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: Krista, do you worry about your daughter and the fact that she`s entering a marriage at the age of 16 to a 51-year-old man and now it`s going to be in front of the cameras as well.

K. STODDEN: Well, you know, they`re very creative people. They`re in the business both of them. Before they were married, they both were in the business. They just come together and they`re colorful people. And they`re excited about life and sharing their life with other people.

People seem to be so curious also. So I think it just comes together perfectly for everybody.

DIAZ: You`re not worried about the fact that your daughter, you know, who`s very young, she`s 16, that this could be too much for her?

K. STODDEN: No, because if you knew Courtney, she`s very energetic. She doesn`t take life too seriously but then again she`s very smart. She`s not only beautiful, she`s funny. Doug is charming, very witty.

You know, they have their personal life and they`re proud of what they have together and they don`t want to hide anything. They just -- they`re just out there and they`re going to embrace what they have and hope the world will tune in to watch and maybe start to understand what they have.

DIAZ: Is Doug worried about the fact that he is a very convincing and very accomplished actor. He was on the hit show "Lost". He was in an award-winning movie. He did a great job in "The Green Mile". Is he worried this might ruin his accomplished acting career?

K. STODDEN: Not at all. Because you know, as he`s going to doing the reality show, he`s going to be doing movies, too. He`s already set to do some movies. He`s going to be doing both at the same time. He`s very, very intelligent, very creative and he has a lot of potential and lot of just, you know, career motivation skill. And so that`s not going to stop him.

DIAZ: Now, we keep showing pictures over and over again while we`re talking and I know you`re watching. You can see these pictures.

Some skeptics might think that all this publicity is a publicity stunt to help Courtney and Doug`s careers.

Let`s take a quick listen to Courtney`s music video from YouTube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(COURTNEY STODDEN`S MUSIC VIDEO)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: So Krista, wrapping up here, what do you say to these naysayers who see this, real quick, about your daughter in a bikini like that.

K. STODDEN: Well, there is lots of girls that wear bikinis, just, you know, she happens to look amazing in it. What can we say?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

K. STODDEN: They`re great together and I want the best for my daughter. And she loves Doug and why would I want her with someone else that she doesn`t love? That doesn`t make sense to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: That was 16-year-old bride, Courtney`s mom on "HLN PRIME NEWS" at the beginning of the month. Now Orlando Davis from "The Morning Show", he`s the host of "The Morning Show" Wild94.1 FM in Tampa and St. Pete.

O, you followed this since the beginning. Do you think this odd couple`s reality show is going to get off the ground?

ORLANDO DAVIS, HOST, WILD94.1 FM, TAMPA: Carlos, you know darn well that lady is not 16 years old, first of all. Let`s just address the elephant in the room.

DIAZ: Ok.

DAVIS: She`s not 16. There is no way -- if she`s 16, I`m 110 pounds and don`t make me take my shirt off. I`ll show it all.

Come on. And I`m just -- there is something smelly here. When you were talking to the mom and she went from "they" to "we". You said, have they been approached for a reality show and she said, yes, from a wonderful team, they`re working out a deal and then she went to "we" have had many opportunities coming about. She`s -- this is a ploy for her to pimp her daughter out. She wasn`t on television, probably because she`s wearing a pimp hat and a cane, because she pimped her daughter out to this old man.

DIAZ: All right. You know what? We`re welcoming all opinions here and the phone lines are light up. You want to give us a call, give us a call right now.

A lot of people are sharing Orlando`s opinion. Chrissy from Pennsylvania, what are your thoughts?

CHRISSY, PENNSYLVANIA (via telephone): I just want to thank you for taking my call. I definitely agree with Orlando. She definitely does not look 16, but that`s the problem today is there are girls that could be 14 that look like they`re 25.

I mean when I was 14, I looked like I was old enough to be in a bar. But as far as my opinion of her bikini, if I tried to wear that, which I could, if I tried to wear that, outside of my bedroom, my father would kill me. And if I tried to marry a 51-year-old guy, actor or not, my father would kill me. So I don`t know what kind of parenting is being done here, but it is disgusting.

DIAZ: Chrissy, can you hear me.

CHRISSY: Yes, I can.

DIAZ: Let me ask you this, Chrissy, real quick, would you watch this reality TV show?

CHRISSY: I`m sorry, does what?

DIAZ: Would you watch this reality TV show?

CHRISSY: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. To me this is absolutely disgusting. A 35-year age gap, that is disgusting.

DIAZ: I think you would --

CHRISSY: Absolutely disgusting.

DIAZ: I think you would. I honestly think -- and Chrissy, I`m not calling you a liar, but I think this show and, oh, you can either back me or say I`m crazy, I think that this show is going to -- is going to have a bunch of people saying, my gosh this is the worst thing ever, but they`re going to tune in. What do you think?

CHRISSY: A lot of people do. And I know that a lot of people will watch something like if it`s something about Casey Anthony, you know, they said they wouldn`t watch it, I say the same thing too.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVIS: It is a car wreck. Carlos, it is an absolute car wreck. It is a car wreck. That`s all we`re seeing.

DIAZ: Ok. But that`s the thing though. That`s what producers are looking for. And if you have somebody like Doug Hutchinson who, you know, knows Hollywood, to me, I`m not trying to defend this, I`m just trying to look at this from a different angle because when you talk to people about this case, a lot of people are like, my gosh, this is most disgusting thing ever. I`m trying to look at it at a different viewpoint.

O, we got 30 seconds. I want to get your opinion on the viability of this reality show. Do you think it can work long-term?

DAVIS: I mean he`s a known actor from the work that you mentioned earlier. It is a train wreck. It is a car accident. We watch those things. It -- will it have a bite? No. I mean it is terrible. And what they`re doing to her is horrible. You know it is. You have to play the bill.

DIAZ: All right. O, from "The Morning Show" in Tampa, thank you so much for joining us. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You come out against my family. That`s what you said. And I can have the articles and show them to you, what you said to the media. It is a personal attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAZ: A family feud reaches a boiling point. Susan Powell, who has been missing for over a year and a half, and the more time passes, the more her family falls apart. Now, her father and husband have been ordered to stay away from each other.

Originally Josh Powell asked for a restraining order against his father-in-law, but instead they were both slapped with orders to stay away from each other. Josh also hoped to keep his kids from seeing their grandfather. That was denied. But Chuck Cox was barred from going to their school.

Police recently launched a new search for Susan, hopefully soon they`ll have some answers and the family will have e some peace.

I`m Carlos Diaz, in for Jane Velez-Mitchell.

"NANCY GRACE" is coming up next.

END