Return to Transcripts main page


Casey`s Parents to Give Post-Trial Interview

Aired September 12, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, are the Anthonys ready to finally set the record straight about what really happened to little Caylee? Did Cindy know that Caylee was missing weeks before she called the police? I`ll have all the shocking details.

Also, horrific claims of child abuse. Cops say a mom beat her 2-year- old with a shoe and a milk jug and allegedly glued her hands to the wall. All because this child soiled her pants. What was this mother thinking?

Plus, the devastated parents of troubled Grammy award winner Amy Winehouse speak out. They have their own theories about how and why their daughter died. But are they in denial about their daughter`s drug and alcohol addiction? I`m taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.



CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: I saw my daughter`s car today, and it sounds like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST: When they opened the truck there was garbage in there and trash in there and, in fact, there something that had maggots growing on it.

CINDY ANTHONY: It was pretty strong. I mean, I use that expression, you know, what -- what died?

MCGRAW: When they went to pick the car up, and George walked up to the car, the smell was overwhelming.


JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: When Casey was eight years old, and her father came into her room and began it touch her, and it escalated. And it escalated.

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: I need to get through this. I need to have something inside of me get through this.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: Nobody will let me -- come on!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the countdown is on. Less than 24 hours until the first post-trial interview of Cindy and George Anthony, the parents of the most hated person in America, Casey Anthony.

Tonight, we`re going to show you some head-spinning previews and some tantalizing clips of Dr. Phil`s exclusive interview.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from New York City.

Will we finally learn, finally, what happened to little Caylee Anthony? As Casey Anthony is hiding somewhere deep in Florida, George and Cindy are breaking their silence to Dr. Phil. Watch here as Dr. Phil grills Cindy about what she knew about little Caylee`s disappearance on this morning`s "Today Show."


MCGRAW: It was on July 3, that you wrote something on MySpace. You say, "My Caylee is missing. She came into my life unexpectedly, just as she left me. Jealousy has taken her away. Jealousy from the one person that should be thankful for all the love and support we`ve given to her."

CINDY ANTHONY: Caylee was missing in my heart that day. She wasn`t missing physically in the sense that I thought I knew where she was at.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But do we really believe that? Wouldn`t Cindy had to have had some doubts about the so-called Zanny the nanny that cops immediately concluded never existed?

The biggest jaw-dropper of the Dr. Phil interview, which airs tomorrow: Cindy`s claim that Casey has a physical condition which may explain her behavior. Listen to Dr. Phil in this sneak peek from tonight`s "JOY BEHAR SHOW" right here on HLN.


MCGRAW: My question was how do you go from what you describe as a normal, happy child, cheerleader, all these things, to someone that can do that? And I want to know what you all think there. And Cindy`s answer to that is, "Look, I think she may have a brain tumor."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A brain tumor? Where did that come from? Are we finally getting to the truth, or is this just more lies? What do you think? Give me a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Steve Helling, author of the brand-new e-book, "Outrage: The Casey Anthony Story."

Steve, you literally wrote the book on this case. You and I sat right next to each other in court, watching the Casey Anthony trial. What do you think the biggest bombshell will be out of tomorrow`s Dr. Phil first time, exclusive interview with Cindy and George?

STEVE HELLING, AUTHOR, "OUTRAGE": I think we`re going to hear a lot about this brain tumor. I think we`re going to hear about, you know, seizures that she may or may not have been having. You know, but the problem is, is it going to be believable? Are people going to believe what Cindy has to say? We`ve heard so many stories over the years. Why is this any different?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I mean, that`s the problem. Brain tumor?

Mark Eiglarsh, former prosecutor, you`re based in Miami. You watched the entire trial...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And so did everybody else in our panel, for that matter. Levi Page, brain tumor? That`s the explanation Cindy and George are offering for Casey`s behavior?

LEVI PAGE, CRIME BLOGGER: Well, I think that if Casey Anthony had a brain tumor, that it would have been discovered a very long time ago. Because as you know, Jane, when there`s a high-profile trial, and there`s a defendant -- or any case, we know that defense attorneys have their clients examined for that sort of issue that they may have. And they try to use that in their defense. They would have used that in their defense if that were the case.

They didn`t use it, because guess what? It`s not true. And Cindy Anthony is making up a story, just like she did when she testified in the criminal trial, saying that she searched for chloroform when, guess what? She was at work.

So this is not believable, and hardly much of anything Cindy Anthony says is not very believable. And I think the good thing about this is George Anthony, it seems that George Anthony is no longer buying into the crap that Casey Anthony spews, and I don`t think he buys into Cindy Anthony`s B.S. either. And I think there may be a little wedge between Cindy and George if this keeps up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know about that. They have stuck together through thick and thin, through the most arduous ordeal that any couple could have possibly endured. And they stayed married. So I don`t know if I buy that aspect. You had me up until then.

Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, you`re out of the Miami bureau. You`re close to the defense. What is up with this brain tumor now? And this is the first we`re hearing of it? It`s suddenly a brain tumor?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`m not so sure that I believe it. And I think that we would have heard about it before. And I also think it`s irrelevant, because that doesn`t account for anything. That wasn`t what the defense was.

The defense wasn`t, you know, "I did it and this is why. Maybe I didn`t understand, because I have a brain tumor. I was doing or seeing things wrong." No, that wasn`t the defense. The defense was, "I did not do it." And sure enough, that`s what the evidence adduced. The evidence did not adduce that she did do it beyond a reasonable doubt.

I think this interview is nothing but self-serving rhetoric. I think it is nothing but rehabilitation for the Anthonys. That`s what they`re seeking, so that they can cash in on...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good luck with that. Good luck with that. I mean, here`s another sneak peek from "The Today Show," Dr. Phil asking George and Cindy, "Are you in denial?" Check this out.


MCGRAW: This little girl was living with them, and then for 31 days not one peep, cry, laugh, nothing. And warning bells don`t go off? She`s got a job for two years. They never saw a pay stub. I mean, this went on and on. How could they not see?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All her friends, all Casey`s friends, knew that she was a pathological liar. How come her parents couldn`t figure that out, after she was stealing from them, stealing from other relatives, going off to a job. As he said, the parents never saw a pay stub. They never met the nanny. They never talked to the nanny on the phone because there was no nanny.

Dr. Dale Archer, now they came up with this brain tumor explanation, which honestly, does a brain tumor cause to you lie, make stuff up, cheat and behave inappropriately in the way that she behaved?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: None of the above, Jane. Brain tumors can have a lot of behavioral problems that go along with them.

But look, the bottom line is she supposedly had seizures in 2005 and 2008. But first thing you do when you get a patient who`s had a seizure, you do a full brain workup to make sure you can`t find something that is causing that. That would mean an MRI, CAT scan, EEG, every test imaginable on the brain.

If there was anything wrong with the brain, believe me, it would have shown up then, and we would know about it.

I think the Anthonys are in denial, and I think basically, they`re desperately trying to come up with some excuse as to why what happened, happened to keep themselves from being accountable. Because I think they feel very, very badly that all of this went on, and literally, they did nothing in order to stand in Caylee`s [SIC] way -- Casey`s way throughout - - throughout the whole thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Here is another preview for tomorrow`s huge Dr. Phil exclusive with Cindy and George. This is on "The Today Show." This time Dr. Phil asked Cindy and George about possible involvement in little Caylee`s disappearance. Listen to this.


MCGRAW: Did it ever occur to you that he`s hidden substantial things from me before, would he do it again?

CINDY ANTHONY: No, not when it came to his family, as far as Casey and Caylee. George would never have put us through six months of not knowing where Caylee was if he knew where Caylee was, because I watched his heart break every single day. And I watched him as frantic as he was.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, now, Mark Eiglarsh, again, you and I, and everybody else on this panel, we all watched the trial. Given that George smelled death in Casey`s car, and he didn`t call the cops, even though he hadn`t seen his granddaughter in 31 days. Couldn`t we say that George`s denial crossed the line into something psychologically sick?

EIGLARSH: I don`t think we can say that. And I think candidly, everyone who`s yelling about them, pointing the finger at them, I think candidly, they`re being a bit harsh.

No one is in their position. No one, thank God, has ever had to go through what they today go through. And yes, they have done things like, when she took the stand and perjured herself. And I was fairly harsh on her when she did it. But when we step back, they`ve been to hell and back. Let them do their interview.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then Mark, why do to do an interview?

EIGLARSH: I`m not done, Jane. I`m not done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why do they have to do an interview and lie some more, according to observers?

EIGLARSH: There`s a difference -- there`s a difference...


EIGLARSH: There`s a difference -- I`ll answer your question. There`s a difference between believability and accuracy. There may be things that they either do believe or they`re trying to believe but are inaccurate. And maybe they are lying, as well.


EIGLARSH: Who cares? Let them be. Let them be, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I see a nexus between their dysfunction and Casey`s dysfunction. I do, because honestly, I have defended them like crazy. But don`t -- don`t, after all of this, come up with these stories about a brain tumor and -- it just -- it`s insulting the intelligence of the people who are watching, in my humble opinion.

We`re taking your calls this. What do you think? 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

More on Cindy and George, big interview, Dr. Phil, next.


JOY BEHAR, HLN HOST: What about the 31 days that the kid was missing? I mean, you know, we discussed this earlier with you on "The View." And you were saying, as a grandparent, you can`t imagine not seeing your grandchild for more than two days, three days, much less 31 days. Let`s talk about that.

MCGRAW: Well, you know, Joy, I think sometimes we just -- we get so analyzing something that we forgot about common sense.




CASEY ANTHONY: Can someone let me -- come on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever sexually molested your daughter, Casey Anthony?

G. ANTHONY: No, sir.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are counting down to the big exclusive interview by Dr. Phil of Cindy and George Anthony. It airs on "Dr. Phil" tomorrow. We`re bringing you previews tonight and, of course, we will bring you bombshells and the highlights, everything, the most amazing things that they say, in full tomorrow after we hear it in full.

And we`re going to go straight out to Gerrie, New York. Your question or thought, Gerrie?

CALLER: Good evening, Jane. First of all I want you to know that I`m part of the "I hate Casey Anthony" group on Facebook. There`s thousands and thousands of us. We are protesting Dr. Phil`s show now. We do not think he should have the Anthonys on just for everybody to hear tons of more lies. That money could have went to Tim at EquuSearch or some other children`s charity. We are very, very upset with Dr. Phil.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, look, I never say -- I always say, don`t blame the messenger. OK? He is asking the questions. And let`s face it: anybody who scored this exclusive interview would do the exclusive interview. It`s a big get, as they say.

I personally don`t have a problem with Dr. Phil. In fact, I would say, Dr. Dale Archer, this is an opportunity for us to look at dysfunction. Because, listen, I have compassion for Cindy and George. I have defended them when others have attacked them.

But to come on now with these excuses and these rationalizations and talk of a brain tumor at this juncture, to me reveals a lot about their dysfunction and perhaps their proclivity, may I say, for lying. And that`s where Casey learned it lie.

ARCHER: I totally agree with you, Jane. First of all, don`t blame Dr. Phil. You`re right. And America wants to know this. I mean, we want to hear as much behind-the-scenes info as we can get.

No. 2, I think if you want to blame anyone, you`ve got to blame George and Cindy. They`re the ones who should say, you know what? We now want to move forward with our life. We don`t want to talk about this any more.

Instead they`re coming up with excuse after excuse for doing what she did, and of course, that shows the dysfunction in the entire family. That shows that you know what? Maybe Casey comes by this genetically and honestly, because her parents have many of the same traits.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, after all the horror that Casey`s lies created, what other lesson would you need to hit bottom on rationalizations and lies and half truths? What other lesson?

One of the toughest parts, I mean, anybody want to add -- do you want to defend this, Jayne? You`re -- you`re always defending the defense.

WEINTRAUB: The indefensible. Yes, they are so narcissistic that that`s why they`re on. I mean, there is no reason why they were holding a rally again a month ago on -- on the baby`s birthday. I mean, sadly, she`s gone. It was a tragedy. It`s time to move on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I sense a new -- a new tone on your part. You were fierce defender of the defense and of Casey and of -- during the trial. Now the trial is over and your tone changed. What`s behind it, Jayne Weintraub?

WEINTRAUB: Oh, no, my tone has not changed as far as Casey is concerned, and nor has it changed with regard to George and Cindy. I think in some way George was complicit. That`s just my personal opinion from the evidence that I saw.

It also is my opinion that what they`re doing now is horrific. And I agree with the caller. I don`t think they should have a platform, because it`s just selling gunk. And it`s over. This trial is done. It`s only throwing more sleazy stuff on the justice system itself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this.

ARCHER: I disagree with Jayne.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I thought one of the reasons that they went on "The Dr. Phil Show," and it makes sense, and this is legit, is because a lot of very nasty things were said about George on -- on the witness stand. And I figured, well, George wants to clear his name and wants to say, "No, I didn`t molest Casey. No, I didn`t do this. No, I didn`t do that." Let`s listen to this.


MCGRAW: They had to sit there and listen to them say that George molested his daughter, which is how she learned it keep secrets; that he coerced into and helped hide the body; and that he confessed his involvement during an extramarital affair with a volunteer worker.

BAEZ: She can be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth.

George began to yell at her: "Look what you`ve done."

Did you develop a relationship with Mr. Anthony?

CRUZ: Yes, sir, I did.

BAEZ: And was this an intimate relationship?

CRUZ: Yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And that clip we heard of Dr. Phil again from "The Today Show." So I feel that perhaps, Steve Helling, Dr. Phil is giving George a break and encouraging us to feel sympathy for him, even as at the very same time, he`s raking them over the coals for being in denial and being basically -- in my opinion, he sees them as co-dependent enablers, which is how I see them.

HELLING: You know, maybe he is giving George a platform to clear his name really is -- I don`t know. But the problem is, whatever is being said will be choked out by the lies. If the Anthonys are not telling the complete truth, anything that they`re going to do is not going to rehabilitate George`s image or Cindy`s image. It just doesn`t make any sense.

And from what I`ve heard, it doesn`t sound credible what`s being said. We will see when we watch the whole show, what context is. But it just doesn`t seem like what we are hearing is the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, some people are addicted to alcohol. Some people are addicted to lying. Maybe they just haven`t hit bottom on it. And we invite them on this show any time if they want to tell their side.

Now, Amy Winehouse`s parents, are they also in denial about their daughter`s drug addiction?



MCGRAW: I said, isn`t it possible that this is just a really bad character flaw? That this is the actions of an unconscionable psychopath, a sociopath?


MCGRAW: And I`m not saying that Casey is that. I don`t know. I haven`t evaluated her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I haven`t evaluated her either, but I`m concluding that she is a pathological liar at the very least and quite possibly, psychopath/sociopath.

Noel, Indiana, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, thanks for having me on. And I was wondering, how come when George found this car that the police did not get control of this and you know, check it before he went through everything in the car that smelled like death?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s recap and review George Anthony talking to police about the smell of death. Check this out.


G. ANTHONY: I got within three feet of my daughter`s car, and the worst odor that you could possibly smell in this world, and I`ve smelled that odor before. It smelled like a decomposing body.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Eiglarsh, to me, that`s the most incriminating thing against George. He used to be a cop. He smells death in Casey`s car trunk. He hasn`t seen his granddaughter in 31 days, and he still doesn`t call the cops. That`s where I say he crosses the line into something that could be pretty psychologically sick. I`m sorry.

EIGLARSH: Really? All right. I mean, that`s one theory.

And I know -- look, I`m getting hate mail right now. I was just looking. People: "How can you possibly defend them?"

I`m not defending them. Here`s the issue. The jury has spoken. I didn`t like the verdict. And I was angry. I was frustrated, because I think that she got away with murder. But it`s over with. It`s done. They`re not her. There`s nothing that we can do about it.

But we can not watch "Dr. Phil" if people are that outraged about it. And you know what`s interesting? The ones who are most outraged, they`re going to be glued to that TV set. They want to hold on to that anger, that judgment, that fear.

And then I asked those kids...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why wasn`t Cindy charged with perjury?

EIGLARSH: I ask those people who will be doing that, consumed with that -- feelings of anger and guilt, how do you feel now? Is that working for you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, let`s -- let`s let Levi Page respond.

PAGE: Well, I have to say this. Look, I agree with Mark. I do think she got away with the jury, and we can`t do anything to change the verdict.

But why was Cindy Anthony allowed to get away with perjuring herself? There`s not a grandmother exception to perjury. There`s not a mother exception to perjury. Are we going to allow people to perjure themselves if they`re related to the victim or the defendant. Are we going to give someone a card that says, "You can get away with it if you have some sort of emotional toll?"

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what I want to hear from the interview. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why was she not charged?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy and George say their daughter is not a murderess, and she was found "not guilty" of murder.

But George also said on the stand, "There was in drowning. I did not find little Caylee drowned in the swimming pool the way the defense said." So what do they think happened to little Caylee? That`s what I want to know. What do they really think happened to their granddaughter? That`s the big question.

We are going to bring it to you tomorrow. Whatever they do say to Dr. Phil, you will hear the bombshells, here. We`ll be back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The sadism, the desire to humiliate and frustrate and taunt your own child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maternal instinct doesn`t exist. Parenting is learned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take yourself back to that age when you`re a little toddler. Wouldn`t that haunt you for the rest of your life?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a case of child abuse so horrific, cops are calling it torture; this mother, 22-year-old Elizabeth Escalona, allegedly dragged her 2-year-old daughter by the feet, glued the child`s hands to the wall so bad, the little girl`s skin tore away, kicked her in the stomach and beat her. Why? All over a potty training incident; yes, the child had an accident, reportedly.

Well, she is a 2-year-old girl. That happens to children.

If this doesn`t scream out children in peril, I do not know what does. As if it wasn`t horrific enough, now relatives report this little girl`s tiny body is covered in bruises. She is in critical condition reportedly with a broken leg, broken ribs, severe head injuries. Will she even survive?

Joining me now, Houston, KTRH radio reporter Joe Gomez; Joe, this story makes me sick, sick, sick. Even hardened cops are taken aback by what this mom did.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s -- there are no words but tell us.

GOMEZ: That`s -- there are no words. Cops had said -- use the word torture, Jane. And that`s what this is; this 2-year-old girl allegedly beaten by her mom within an inch of her life just for soiling her pants.

Police say that her mother dragged her by the feet across the apartment then glued her hands to a wall, Jane, left her there until the skin was peeling off of her hands. Then her mother beat the little girl allegedly with a gallon jug of milk, her shoes, and a belt.

The little girls grandma finally came back to the apartment, found this little beautiful girl unresponsive on the floor, with broken bones and with bruises. Mommy meanwhile says, I don`t know what happened to her.

Well, they took her to the hospital, Jane, and they found out what happened to her and now mommy is in jail on charges of injury to a child and there she sits tonight Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I will tell you something. My understanding is that it is a felony that could result in life in prison. And that is the only bright note of this story is that this woman is not going to get a slap on the wrist as so many do. That she possibly, if convicted, could face life in prison.

Now, this mother, called her mother, her own mother, the child`s grandmother, crying saying something is wrong with the child. Her mother rushes over. Reportedly finds the child unconscious, takes her to the hospital.

Cops say numerous people are now claiming that this mother inflicted pain on her child before. Here is the worst part. This monster has three other children. She is 22 years old. Ok? And accused of abusing a 2- year-old child who she got pregnant with when she was about 19 and she has three other kids.

All right. Dr. Dale Archer, to me the underlying problem is she should not have four kids as a 22-year-old. That says to me, impulse control right there. What is wrong with this woman?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I`ll tell you, we put more emphasis on our society on who can drive a car than who can be a parent. And so clearly you have someone here who should never be having kids in the first place. But four kids by the time you`re 22? I mean, obviously, that`s a problem that we are facing as society, as a whole. Not just with this individual.

But the one thing I do know is that there are reports that she had abused this child in the past. And people came forward and said, yes, she hit her. And they had seen this happening yet no one took any action whatsoever. That`s the saddest part of all this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to say this, anybody feel free to weigh in. Let`s talk about family planning and contraception because apparently that`s a bad word in this country and we can`t discuss it. But a child is in a coma tonight because a 22-year-old has four kids that she obviously has no business having because she can`t handle them. She is accused of torturing one of them. And the other kids who heard the little girl screaming, according to police, who told the cops they couldn`t sleep because their sibling was screaming, they are going to be traumatized the rest of their lives.

I think it is time for us, as a society, to grow up and talk about birth control. It is not a dirty word.

Now, I got to remind you of another story. Do you remember this, an 18-year-old mother, who with her boyfriend taped a toddler to the wall? Pictures showed the 22-month-old child crying hysterically. Look at this. Cops say, the -- parental units were high and they thought this was funny. The mother only got ten days in jail, two years probation. The mother only got 10 days in jail, two years probation.

I got say something. Mark Eiglarsh, you`re a former prosecutor and you`re a parent. We`ve got to start cracking down on abusive parents.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t disagree with you. Really, I`m physically sick watching these photographs. Candidly, I wish I didn`t say yes, I wouldn`t have to watch this right now. I would be watching a football game.

But what I would disagree with is, I don`t think this is about being 22, this is about being this woman and the issues that she has and stopping people from abusing children because my guess is this woman was probably abused herself. These kids are more likely to then grow up and abuse other people, more likely to commit offenses and be clients of mine, more likely to do drugs and alcohol. I don`t know if it is 22 because there are a lot of loving 22-year-old parents.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think a -- well, but not -- I mean four kids at 22? I think that we have to look at impulse control.

EIGLARSH: That`s a lot. That`s a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a nexus here. Impulse control in not getting pregnant, impulse control in controlling your anger; anything you want to do, you do. You want to get pregnant, get pregnant. You want to get angry, you get angry. There`s no containment. That`s the problem.

EIGLARSH: There are a lot of 22-year-olds who know that duct taping children to a wall is abhorrent. I don`t know if it`s that. But I`m with you. I don`t know that she should have four children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s another story. That`s the other story. That was the example story. But it is also horrific. Beth, Indiana, your question or thought, Beth?

BETH, INDIANA (via telephone): Yes. I don`t understand. These people that get caught you know, first of all, people that don`t turn them in that know what is going on. Second, is she going to get this child back if she just goes to some classes for anger management?


Jayne Weintraub, the three other kids have been taken away by Child Protective Services. What`s likely to happen to these kids?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, that`s the biggest problem that the caller raises. She is absolutely correct. No, it isn`t quite as easy as she suggests. But unfortunately, and I say unfortunately, it is quite easy to get the kids back after they show some quote "rehabilitation".

And I`m speaking to you now as a mom -- I look at this and it`s just the worst thing that you can ever look at. I look at it at a lawyer and I say it`s the saddest thing you have to look at.

There is no doubt she is mentally challenged, this woman. But there`s more at stake here. I`m more worried about the kids. And these kids need to come out of that home. And as harsh as it sounds, I think that the kids need to be given up for adoption or foster care or there needs to be five- year rule. I don`t think these kids should go back to their home so quickly within the year. That`s my fear.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I certainly --

ARCHER: You know, Jane, there`s no evidence whatsoever that this woman is mentally challenged. So I don`t know where that came from. But I think we`re too quick in this country to automatically say --

WEINTRAUB: Dr. Dale, anybody that does that to a child --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Don`t talk over each other.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t talk over each other. I get in trouble when you talk over each other, ok? Thank you.

Dr. Dale, your turn and then you can go, Jayne. Dr. Dale.

ARCHER: Ok. Yes, the fact is Jayne that you don`t have to have a psychiatric diagnose to do this to a child. You`re an evil, bad person. And yes, the predictors are two. Number one, you were abused as child. Number two, alcohol and drugs used at the time. Those are the two predictors. Mental illness is actually not one of the predictors for abusing a child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Jayne.

WEINTRAUB: This is -- not just the abuse. This is the humiliation. I mean, taping her up there. I mean what is that for?

And the problem as Mark said earlier is because we don`t punish these moms enough as a society. And because we are so giving and as you said earlier --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What I am saying is, yes, we can lock up the bad mother after the fact. And by the way, if this woman`s attorney wants to come on, we want to be fair. We always want to get the other side of the story. And I would love to talk to her attorney or her mother or anybody in her family or any of her friends.

But I think that as opposed to just waiting for this to happen, and every couple of weeks we have another horror story just like this. The taping to the wall was a previous story that we just used as a -- oh, here it happened again, example.

That`s reactive justice. What we need is to prevent these kinds of occurrences. And the way you prevent it is by encouraging people who have no business being parents because they are way too immature and may have severe emotional problem, to not have parents but offering them family planning so they don`t have four kids by age 22.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s not always what everybody wants to hear but the time has come when children are being tortured to say, the obvious.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

All right, another troubled parent-child relationship. We are talking about the late Amy Winehouse and her devastated parents talking to Dr. Drew and I`m going to talk to Dr. Drew, in fact, about them -- better said.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shocking claims from the parents of Amy Winehouse. They say the Grammy-winning singer did not die from drug use because she was clean -- sort of. Here are her parents talking to Anderson Cooper on his new talk show, debuting today in syndication.


MITCH WINEHOUSE, FATHER OF AMY WINEHOUSE: I`ve been saying you`ve known about the fact that she hadn`t taken drugs for three years; everyone thought I was in denial. I wasn`t in denial. She hadn`t taken drugs. She had been clean of drugs --


WINEHOUSE: -- round about three years.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So the problem was really alcohol in the last years of her life.

WINEHOUSE: The problem was alcohol the last few years of her life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So if she had alcohol in her system, was that really a sober death? Would past drug use have contributed to her death? And what about the anti-seizure drug, reportedly in her system?

Joining me now: my colleague, addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky; Dr. Drew, great having you on our show. . What do you make of the father`s comments? My heart goes out to him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I have a problem with some of the things that he said.

PINSKY: Absolutely. And listen, no disrespect to the memory of Amy Winehouse or to her family, but to allow what he said to go out as even close to factual, merely perpetuates the misinformation about addiction and frankly maintains the stigma.

Here is the reality. Whatever drug you`re on, you`re an addict, whether it is alcohol or Librium or heroin. I understand that she wasn`t using illicit drugs and that is an improvement in terms of her survivability. But that is -- you never use the word "sober" relation to somebody who has crossed now to alcohol maintenance.

Jane, it`s like -- I know you value your sobriety and your recovery highly and have talked about it publicly -- It is like saying you had it kind of easy. You`re just an alcoholic. Listen, alcohol kills more people than any other drug. It is a serious addiction. And, so there`s that misinformation.

Secondly, Librium is a drug -- do you want to know Librium`s cousins - - Xanax and Ativan. Remember Ativan killed Michael Jackson.


PINSKY: So you can easily overdose on that drug. Somebody with a history of addiction should never be on that drug for more than a couple of days for the alcohol withdrawal symptoms amongst which are seizures.

And then finally, they allege that she died of an alcohol seizure, people don`t die of alcohol seizure, they die of DTs of which seizure is one of the symptoms. But the seizures don`t -- I have never seen a seizure where alcohol killed somebody. I`ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of alcohol withdraw seizures.

So this whole situation isn`t adding up yet. It`s sad, she`s gone. She died of addiction and that`s the bottom line message here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And when we think of tragic death of Amy Winehouse, listen, she took the world by storm. But what is she known for? She is known for her Grammy-winning song about not wanting to go to rehab.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s face it Dr. Drew, her whole persona -- and again, I say this while still feeling terrible for the family but her whole persona was about being an addict in defiance. She does not want to go to rehab.

Where did she get that attitude? Could she have gotten some of it from her parents? Are they co-dependent enablers when they say things like, her dad said, quote, "She drank to excess and she did detox to excess." And he goes on to say that essentially "The periods of abstinence were becoming longer and periods of drinking were becoming shorter. It was heading in the right direction."

As a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of so bright sobriety, I`ve heard hundreds of alcoholics talk. I never heard Dr. Drew, of an alcoholic gradually slowly over time, weaning themselves by drinking less and less. It just doesn`t happen that way, does it?

PINSKY: In fact, that usually makes things worse for treatment. Because the alcoholic then says look, I`m controlling it, I`m getting better. Anyone that buys that nonsense is enabling.

I`m not ready to take aim at her family but I do think that the culture in the United Kingdom is very that way. They look at alcohol just sort of -- what`s the big deal? If you look at the deaths from alcoholism in Europe, it is profound. They don`t really look at alcohol as a serious problem the way we do -- quite the way we do here. And I think if anything, they may be the victim of that culture in not understanding that their daughter was dying of addiction even though it wasn`t as scary a drug as they were accustomed to hearing her using.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, she had no illegal drugs her system but she did have alcohol in her system. So Dr. Drew, again, my heart goes out to the family, but we also have an obligation to help people who are dealing with addiction, know what is really going on here.

PINSKY: That`s exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How can you say that detox may have been a problem when the fact is, she`s an addict and an alcoholic and she had alcohol in her system and she died? Why not blame the alcohol in her system?

PINSKY: Well, right. And then you add alcohol and a benzodiazepine like Librium and it`s pretty easy to get to aspirate, to stop breathing and do all kinds of things that cause our patients to cause them to die.

And Jane I`m sensing from you the same frustration I`ve had when I watched this interview. I really was like, "Anderson, please, dig past what they`re saying." I mean this is a family who`s suffering but we`re allowing misinformation to go out here. This is about addiction. She died of --





VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love her sound. I`m so sorry -- it`s tragic that she died. But the question is why? And the reaction from her parents, we`re talking about that because it`s quite controversial, shocking claims from Amy Winehouse`s parents. Here`s Amy`s dad on Anderson Cooper`s brand new syndicated daytime talk show. Listen.


WINEHOUSE: She was prescribed Librium which is a normal drug that is given to people who are detoxing and it kind of decreases the chances of having seizures.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well he`s right about that. Librium is sometimes prescribed to recurring alcoholics to help withdrawal. But it`s his other comments basically pooh-poohing the alcohol in her system and saying well, she was off drugs. She was getting better.

It doesn`t quite work that way. You have to be totally sober completely. No mood altering substances at all to be truly sober.

Check out this YouTube video from just this past June. Amy Winehouse getting booed off the stage, apparently quite intoxicated.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, trust me she was booed.

Joining me now, producer and director Duncan Roy; also a former cast member of VH1`s "Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew".

Duncan, why do you think the parents are having such a problem accepting the fact that their daughter tried to get sober and failed and died with alcohol in her system instead of saying well she was off drugs and kind of basically making excuses and not putting the finger on the alcohol as a problem?

DUNCAN ROY, FORMER CAST MEMBER, "SEX REHAB WITH DR. DREW": Well, I think, Drew was right. I am an English alcoholic and I`ll be 15 years sober on the 1st of October.


ROY: And I think the interesting thing is that we don`t tend to take alcohol as seriously as we do drugs. And, you know, I got sober in Narcotics Anonymous which has a far more -- has a greater following in England than Alcoholics Anonymous.

So I kind of agree with Drew. There`s a culture of drinking in England where it isn`t taken as seriously. I don`t think you should be too hard on them simply because they don`t get what we understand here in this country about the importance as taking alcohol as seriously as heroin. And you and I know that has to be the case here. They don`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And it pains me. I have compassion for them but, again, there are a lot of people watching all these comments. And if they are struggling with an addiction to hear misinformation about, well, if you have a little bit of alcohol, you`re getting better. It`s really sending a bad message because as a recovering alcoholic myself I know, if I ever had one sip, I don`t even gargle with mouthwash that has alcohol in it because it can trigger a binge.

Final thoughts -- 20 seconds.

ROY: I`m the same way. Jane, I`m the same way. You know what, in England it`s not that way and people do have a real struggle with even prescription drugs but also, I think there`s a problem with -- there`s a problem with the idea of Librium, as well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll leave it right there. Hey Duncan, great to see you.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person was actually in the hot tub Jacuzzi on the inside of the house; white male, very apparently dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s most suspicious, when you wake up next to a dead guy, why do you leave the scene? I mean are you taking away --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: New shockers in the hot tub death mystery. This Arkansas weather man who cops say woke up next to a naked dead man who was wearing only a dog collar has now resigned from his TV station. The cops still had not charged anyone in Dexter Williams death, seen here in a photo from MySpace.

Cummins` station posted this statement regarding the case, "Meteorologist Brett Cummins` tenure at Channel 4 has ended as of Friday afternoon. Brett no longer works at KARK. Police are currently investigating the death of his friend Dexter Williams, 24 who was found dead in a hot tub Monday morning."

Brett woke up next to the dead man. Cops say drugs and alcohol were being consumed. No criminal charges at this time.

"NANCY GRACE" is up next.