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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Natalie Wood Case to be Reopened; New Coach Sex Scandal

Aired November 18, 2011 - 19:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, are the floodgates opening in the wake of the Penn State child sex scandal? A different coach at a different university is being accused of molesting two men when they were kids.

Tonight, a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach is on administrative leave. What did the university and police do about these allegations when they originally came forward?

This as the Penn State sex scandal keeps imploding with more alleged victims reportedly coming forward to point the finger at Jerry Sandusky.

And a jaw-dropping Hollywood scandal. Superstar Natalie Wood`s mysterious death 30 years ago now being reopened. Was the legendary beauty murdered? The boat captain has now come forward with shocking new claims of a cover-up. Will we finally get the real story from Natalie`s husband, Robert Wagner?

And "Wedding Crashers" actor Christopher Walken, was there a huge fight that night? ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Homicide investigators in Los Angeles have reopened the Natalie Wood death case. The movie star drowned 30 years ago this month during a boating trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Detectives said that some people have come forward claiming they have new info about the actress`s death.

DENNIS DAVERN, CAPTAIN OF THE SPLENDOUR: I just want to go with the theory that maybe she did leave the boat because I just couldn`t -- I just couldn`t face any other way to think at that time. I was just -- I felt like I was like in shock.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight an explosive new investigation into the death of one of Hollywood`s most famous movie stars, the extraordinarily beautiful Natalie Wood. In an amazing, fiery news conference today, cops say they have more than one witness with new information about the death of this Oscar-nominated actress and legendary beauty.

Good evening, Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you from New York City. And, tonight, explosive new information in a stunning Hollywood death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. JOHN CORINA, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPT.: Recently, we have received information which we felt was substantial enough to make us take another look at this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Robert Wagner a suspect?

CORINA: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of us probably don`t remember what we did yesterday and here you`re talking about someone who suddenly recalls what happened 30 years ago at the same time a book is being released.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you rule out that she was murdered?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie Wood was one of the great beauties, like Liz Taylor and Bridget Bardot. Here she is in the classic "West Side Story" from United Artists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NATALIE WOOD, ACTOR (singing): I feel pretty oh, so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Natalie died 30 years ago this month, but it was originally ruled an accident. The official story was that Natalie, her husband, famous actor Robert Wagner, they were a glam couple seen right there, and fellow movie star Christopher Walken, we all know, were all on a yacht near Catalina Island just off the coast of Los Angeles.

Natalie and her husband, Robert, reportedly had a huge argument. The big question is what happened after that argument? Up until now it has been called an accident, that she accidentally slipped off the swimming platform while trying to untie a dinghy and drowned.

But now the boat captain is coming out with new information. He says Robert was jealous over Natalie`s relationship with Christopher Walken, leading to that blowup fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVERN: A lot of pressure with Robert Wagner as far as being jealous of Christopher Walken. The tension grew through the whole weekend. Robert Wagner picked up a wine bottle and smashed it on the coffee table and yelled out, what are you trying to do, blank my wife?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did this love triangle take a deadly turn? The captain says that after that fight Natalie went missing but claims her husband Robert Wagner did not want to look for her for hours. The sheriff`s office said flat out today, though, that Robert Wagner is not a suspect. Straight out to HLN`s Kareen Wynter, right outside the Los Angeles County Sheriff`s Office.

Kareen, what is the very latest? What about that explosive news conference a little while ago?

KAREEN WYNTER, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we`ve been throwing out that name all day. The captain who was on that yacht the night that Natalie Wood died, Dennis Davern, and of course, Jane, you know how these stories go with investigators. They crack open a new investigation. They`re very, very specific in terms of what they let out. They wouldn`t go -- wouldn`t dare go near Dennis Davern today and his possible involvement in why they have cracked open this case.

They are clearly saying they have substantial new significant information, yadda, yadda, yadda, regarding why they are taking a fresh look at this. They are saying that they are interviewing people. They wouldn`t disclose exactly who or those statements. But let`s go to those statements that Davern made, explosive statements where he is actually incriminating himself, where he admitted on national TV today that he actually lied to investigators three decades ago.

He said, you know what, I wasn`t forthcoming. Not just that, but Robert Wagner, Wood`s husband at the time, is directly involved in her death. There were so many questions. We threw them all at them today, Jane, and they steered clear. As you mentioned, they are saying that Wagner is not a suspect right now but still a lot of questions remain here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And he has a statement. We`ll read it to you in a moment. Robert Wagner, that is. In the book, this boat captain comes forward with a stunning new timeline of events for that fateful night. The co-author of the book explains on NBC`s "Today" show. Listen carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTI RULLI, AUTHOR: A terrible argument transpired that broke out to the back deck. Dennis overheard the arguing. He did make an attempt to stop it, was told to go away by Robert Wagner. And then minutes later Natalie was missing. Dennis was asked to search the boat. He did. He couldn`t find Natalie. He met up with Wagner in the wheel house. Dennis wanted to do everything, make phone calls, turn on the search light. His instincts told him something was terribly wrong and Robert Wagner asked him not to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My gosh, Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, the implication is that there was some kind of cover-up by those there and/or the cops. What do you know?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I don`t know of any cover-up by the cops, but I can tell you, I spoke with Dennis Davern earlier today in that interview we saw, we played early on, and there were some inconsistencies with his story.

And there is an inconsistency right there with what the co-author, Marti Rulli, was saying to what Davern was saying. Davern said he went up to the bridge, turned the radio up, because he didn`t want to seem like he was eavesdropping on their argument because it was -- started in the state room. Then he said went to the aft deck.

But I confronted him. I said, well, I thought you couldn`t hear it? Because he said, well, when I heard there was -- when it was quiet, I went back and approached Robert Wagner. I said, well, you told me you couldn`t hear because the radio was up. Just some inconsistencies there.

But then there is a gap from then to when she maybe got into the dinghy or was attempting to the dinghy, Jane, and then almost a four-hour gap before the Coast Guard was called to come and search for her because they called the restaurant. All this started at a restaurant earlier in the day and in fact Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood were at this restaurant.

The captain -- the boat captain and Robert Wagner joined them. Then they all came back and that`s when the big blowup started with Robert Wagner accusing Christopher Walken of maybe having something to do with his wife.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Pat Brown, here`s the thing. The accidental drowning would have involved her trying to untie a dinghy to go to shore when her sister says she doesn`t believe that at all because, A, Natalie did not know how to swim. She was terrified of the water. So her sister says that doesn`t make sense.

Additionally, when Natalie Wood`s body was found she had two dozen bruises on her body, including a facial abrasion on her cheek. What do you make of it?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: OK. Well, Jane, first of all, when people say somebody is deathly afraid of something, that may be true in a way. But on the other hand she is on a boat, so if she was that afraid of water she wouldn`t be on the boat period.

So and especially when you`ve been drinking, you can do a lot of stupid things when you`re drinking. So, yes, she might have been afraid but maybe her anger overrode her fear.

Now, as far as the damage to her body, there`s a lot of bruising, like minor bruising on her legs and there is that abrasion on her face but I don`t see anything that looks like somebody like beat her, you know, with a fist into oblivion and then tossed her overboard.

The only thing I`m seeing is we`re going to end up with a he said/he said kind of argument where the only way I think this could be a homicide is if Robert Wagner pushed Natalie overboard and then did not help her get out of the water again.

But other than that it looks like she fell somehow some way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the cops are reopening it. At today`s stunning news conference cops acknowledged that they hadn`t even contacted Robert Wagner to tell him they were reopening the case involving his late wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Robert Wagner issued a statement yesterday saying that he has not been contacted by your office to this investigation. Isn`t it standard procedure to notify a victim`s family?

CORINA: That`s correct and we are just opening up the investigation, we`re just starting to reinvestigate the case, so we`ll -- sooner or later we will be contacting his family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently Robert Wagner watches television because he already knew and released a statement saying "the Wagner family fully supports the efforts of the L.A. County Sheriff`s Department and trust they will evaluate whether any new information relating to the death of Natalie Wood Wagner is valid, and that it comes from a credible source or sources other than those simply trying to profit from the 30th anniversary of her tragic death."

Joey Jackson, read between the lines. What is he saying there?

JOE JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it seems to be, first of all, that Davern and Rulli are attempting to sell books. If I had to wait 30 years for a witness on a witness stand to finally tell the truth, I mean, there would be some pretty long trials here.

The fact is, is that it`s the 30th anniversary of her death. Who knows what possibly can happen? And remember this, too, Jane, you can have a person who has bruising and all of that, even facial abrasions, who falls off a boat. That could be consistent with a fight that two people had and then ultimately she could have been distraught and, you know, found a way off the boat.

So there are a number of things that could have happened here. Of course, it`s unfortunate. She`s glamorous, wonderful, beautiful, no longer here. But I don`t think we`ll ever know what happened, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But if there was a four-hour delay, I will say that in and of itself is very upsetting and suspicious. We`re just getting started. A boat captain speaks out about the mysterious drowning death of legend Natalie Wood. The cops have reopened the case. It`s a shocker. There was a wild news conference today in California. What happened the night Natalie died?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVERN: Christopher and Natalie were sitting on the sofa and within a -- within a split second Robert Wagner picked up a wine bottle and smashed it on the coffee table and yelled out, what are you trying to do, blank my wife?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn`t it standard procedure to contact the victim`s family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to exhume the body?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of us probably don`t remember what we did yesterday and here you`re talking about someone who suddenly recalls what happened 30 years ago at the same time a book is being released.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why wasn`t there a more extensive investigation conducted in 1981?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A fiery news conference today in California as cops announce they`re reopening the investigation into Natalie Wood`s death. Was it an accident off a yacht near Catalina, or could it have been homicide or even murder? Now her husband at the time, Robert Wagner, is a movie star. And he was there that night. And you might remember him from commercials like this one found on YouTube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT WAGNER, ACTOR: You may say, Robert, do you really sit around in a tuxedo eating caviar? Of course not. I also sit around in a tuxedo playing computer games. Nothing says Robert Wagner quite like the games I play on my Hewlett-Packard computer from CompUSA! Whoa! Yes! Whoa!

Oh, I got caviar on my cummerbund. I hate that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right now. He was on the boat. So was the movie star Christopher Walken, who was costarring with Natalie at the time. Here`s Christopher from "Wedding Crashers" from New Line Cinema.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, ACTOR: Go change for dinner. OK.

You know. She`s not just another notch in your belt.

VINCE VAUGHN, ACTOR: I don`t wear a belt. Belt-less.

WALKEN: I`m a very powerful man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Robin Sax, former prosecutor, the captain of the boat where it all happened that night, speaking out, essentially implying that there was a cover-up. The only other two people on the boat, Christopher Walken and Robert Wagner, how do they protect themselves from these serious allegations?

ROBIN SAX, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Listen. You`ve been here, Jane. You were here doing Conrad Murray for the last month. You know that the L.A. Sheriff`s Department is in bad, desperate need of a good PR story. And my sources are telling me that this is what this is about.

No less than four times through that conference did that lieutenant go and say, this death is still accidental. So tell me that they`re going to be able to prosecute a case when they`re still having a press conference today ruling the case an accident.

So all of this stuff is nothing to me more than a press conference. We`ve had (INAUDIBLE) Richardson, we have jail inmate problems, we have Lindsay Lohan, we have jail crowding. What Sheriff Baca needs a good PR story that makes it look like we stand behind victims.

But the fact of the matter is, of course they`re going to listen to new information, of course they`re going to weigh it, but no questions have been answered and the most questions that we got today from the press conference came from the reporters, and we all left with more questions than answers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kareen Wynter, HLN correspondent, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," you were there in Hollywood. I spent 18 years in Hollywood. This was always a subject of scuttlebutt, what really happened on the yacht that night. Is this sort of like gossip gone to a crazy level?

WYNTER: It has blown up astronomically here. I mean, if you could just get a taste of it from the news conference and just how passionate everyone was for answers, and that`s why people were fired up, Jane. We came here today ready to get some sort of concrete information, that why after more than more than -- nearly 30 years, you know, it`s going to be 30 years on November 29th, why now they could not answer that.

But they were quick to say, no, no, no, no, no, this has nothing to do with the timing or the little anniversary around the corner. Your guest just made an excellent point, Jane, regarding this and why they`re coming forward now and not giving us anything to work with.

Someone asked, what about Dennis Davern? Could he face perhaps perjury charges here for changing his story now? They totally skated around that, wouldn`t answer that. But what was key is the statements that that lieutenant made at the microphone that we`re going to be catching up to him -- with him at some point and getting his story now and comparing it to what he said, oh, 30 years ago.

Which means what? They haven`t spoken to him yet? So where are they getting their information from? There were four people on that yacht the night Natalie died. And guess what? One of them is no longer here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, are they trying to get ahead of the story, this book, "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor," and I`ll throw this out to Joey Jackson, this book, OK, is the centerpiece of a "48 Hours" segment that is being produced in conjunction with "Vanity Fair" scheduled to air Saturday.

So maybe the cops are just trying to get ahead of it so they don`t look embarrassed.

JACKSON: That would be a good indication, Jane. I mean, the whole thing sounds somewhat bizarre. Doesn`t seem like there is anything new to add. There are conflicting versions. Davern has his version. Of course, Robert Wagner has his book where he has his version. Who knows what version?

But ultimately quickly, Jane, on the four-hour issue, it could have been that the wait of four hours was, look, they really didn`t know she was missing, ultimately found out. Searched the boat. Didn`t take it that seriously. Started calling around. And then realized, where is she? And then, of course, the delay is somewhat significant. But then they called and bingo, wow. She is gone and she is overboard.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, Natalie Wood`s sister, Lana Wood, said -- OK, Mike Brooks, Lana Wood, Natalie Wood`s sister, said she never believed Robert Wagner`s version of the events. And she has called for a reopening of the investigation.

BROOKS: She has been calling for a reopening of the investigation for quite some time. And now, you know, the book, this book is not brand new, it has been out almost two years. So, you know, is there something new?

What the lieutenant did say for all the naysayers of law enforcement, thinking that it`s a CYA with this "48 Hours" coming out, but they did say there is new information. They`re going to be re-interviewing people they`ve talked to before and new people. Who are these new people? We don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, Mike Brooks. Got to leave it right there. Wow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVERN: I never heard her scream but, again, I was on the bridge of the boat at the -- and I had the music on, you know, so I wouldn`t have been able to hear anything with the music on. Because I had it on fairly loud so I wouldn`t hear their arguing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hlntv.com all over this story as new questions arise about the timing of this. The cops reopening the case into Natalie Wood`s death. As we approach in two weeks the 30th anniversary, TMZ saying an explosive book called "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor," outlines these new claims of a cover-up and lying, and actually helped trigger the investigation. The boat captain talks about that. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVERN: My book came out two years ago and I`m not the one that started this investigation. The L.A. County Sheriff`s Department is. And I`m trying to tell people my story for many, many years and no one wanted to listen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, cops say Robert Wagner is not a suspect, that right now it`s still an accident. But the fact is that he admitted in his own book, "Pieces of My Heart," that there was a fight with his wife Natalie and that he smashed a wine bottle on the table, and that he was jealous of Christopher Walken.

I mean, just because they`re gorgeous movie stars doesn`t mean they`re not beset by all the normal human emotions.

BROWN: Well, right, Jane. I mean, people do have arguments and sometimes they get kind of volatile. But that doesn`t necessarily mean there is a homicide at the end of it. The problem here with Davern that I have is he either aided and abetted a homicide 30 years ago or is trying to frame a guy he doesn`t know is even guilty of anything today. So he is not a very credible witness, a pretty creepy, creepy dude in my opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You know what`s interesting is, Kareen Wynter, I think you raised an interesting point. Being out there in Hollywood, it`s almost like the cops can`t stop being fascinated with Hollywood themselves, like they get sucked into these stories and they become sort of part of the story whether they want to or not once a celebrity is involved and the cops are involved.

We saw it with the Michael Jackson death trial. We`re seeing it again. There is kind of an enmeshment. Where does the role of the celebrity end and the role of the cops begin?

WYNTER: Absolutely, Jane. You really, really nailed it. You were out here for the extensive coverage involving the Murray trial, and you were able to witness all of that stuff happening behind the scenes. And let me tell -- let you in, let our viewers in, because you know this, on a little inside secret.

You know, the cops, they`ll say, oh, we can`t stand the media, we hate all of this, and we don`t like the publicity. They love it. You should have seen what happened, the way they were staging, and I use that word not, staging, in a negative way, but they were getting everything ready right before today`s big announcement because, hey, this is all that everyone has been talking about right down to the fact we`re going to be coming out in five seconds. You guys got your cameras ready? It was incredible to see.

So without a doubt, Jane, they play into all of this. You`re right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Robin Sax, former prosecutor, is it considered a special prize to maybe nail a celebrity, whether it`s for a speeding ticket or for something far more serious?

SAX: I will tell you, and I have to just go back to the PR, because I am such a cynic with this case right now, because I will tell you that I was contacted about this case a week ago and the person who contacted me about this case knew it was sweeps week this week, OK?

The fact they knew it was sweeps week, they knew they had everything already booked, I am very skeptical about it. But, yes, as a DA, this would be the case if you could solve and prosecute, it would be fabulous.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Are you saying the cops knew that it was sweeps week? Yes or no?

SAX: Not the cops. It was not the cops.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh.

SAX: It was not the cops. It was a person who brought it to the cops.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very interesting.

SAX: Knew that it was sweeps week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a case about football. It`s not a case about universities. It is a case about children who had their innocence stolen from them and a culture that did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening to others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Spanier is no longer president of the university. In addition, Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach effective immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want Joe. We want Joe. We want Joe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, are the flood gates opening? Another coach accused of sexual abuse. The mushrooming Penn State scandal has now caused two more men to come forward and point the finger at another coach at another university. Many seemingly spurred on by Jerry Sandusky`s own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY SANDUSKY, FORMER ASSISTANT COACH, PENN STATE: We were showering and horsing around and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor and, we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel in horseplay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hearing Jerry Sandusky justify his behavior hit such a raw nerve that others claiming to be victims of sex abuse are now coming forward. The fallout is spreading to another campus, from Penn State to Syracuse University.

Two men who are stepbrothers now say they were sexually abused by this man, Syracuse associate basketball coach, Bernie Fine. The men allege Fine inappropriately touched them over the course of many years in the 1980s and 1990s. At the time both men were ball boys for the men`s basketball team.

The first alleged victim spoke out in 2005 but he was dismissed by police and nothing came of a university investigation. Now he is coming forward again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOBBY DAVIS, ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: First he`d start rubbing my leg and then, you know, he would sit next to me and rub my leg and then gradually put his hand on me. I would just be tense and holding my leg or my (INAUDIBLE) like that. But I think I got to the point where like just get it over with. Get it done. Maybe he`ll leave. You know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another very high profile college sports program, another long-time assistant to a legendary coach. Police have reopened their investigation and the university has placed Bernie Fine on administrative leave. But his boss, Coach Jim Boeheim has attacked these alleged victims saying one of them, Davis, is lying. He told ESPN, quote, "Why would he go to ESPN? What are people looking for here? I believe they are looking for money. I believe they saw what happened at Penn State and they are using ESPN to get money."

Straight out to Ralphie Aversa, syndicated radio show host. Ralphie, you are an alumni of Syracuse University. What do you make of this now- mushrooming scandal hitting Syracuse?

RALPHIE AVERSA, SYRACUSE ALUMNI: Well, Jane, thanks for having me on. I did speak with one source close to the Syracuse University basketball program. He told me that he`s been with the program for a number of years and a couple different things.

Bobby Davis is alleging here that Jim Boeheim walked into a hotel room during the 1987 final four and saw him laying on the bed and Bernie Fine in the room as well. Boeheim says that is not the case. He has never, not once, walked into Bernie Fine`s hotel room when the team was on the road. And my source told me Boeheim and Fine do in fact not stay in the same hotel rooms.

Furthermore my source told me that he`s worked with Fine directly at a number of basketball camps where there`s been kids of all ages around. He has seen Fine interact with these kids and never, not once, did he suspect the slightest amount of any type of wrongdoing.

And that`s really, Jane, what we`ve also heard from all of the former players that have come out and spoken today in Fine`s defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We certainly want to give this man the presumption of innocence. Remember, with these kinds of accusations, anybody can make an accusation about something that allegedly occurred behind closed doors and the person really only has his own word to defend himself. It`s one person`s word against another.

Very different from the case in Penn State where an associate coach, an assistant coach, a graduate assistant at the time says he witnessed something in the showers. There was an eyewitness allegedly. This is a different story entirely.

I want to bring in Theo Fleury. He was a star hockey player with the NHL and on the Canadian Olympic Team. Thank you so much for joining us. Theo, you say you were abused by your Minor League coach who ended up serving only about three and a half years in prison. You are a hero because you took the risk to speak out against your abuser.

Since this Penn State story has broken have you heard from other men who have come forward and said, yes, I was abused during my experience as a kid with the world of sports?

THEO FLEURY, FORMER NHL PLAYER: Yes. I heard, well not only sports but every walk of life, you know. It`s funny that the Syracuse stuff just came out today, too. I knew right when all the Penn State stuff came forward that we`ve opened up a Pandora`s Box here and we`ll start to see more and more people get the courage and strength to come forward.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve heard that you`re getting thousands of e-mails from people saying that they were sexually abused as children. Tell us about that.

FLEURY: Yes. Well, ever since my book came out about three, three and a half, four years ago, you know, it`s just been a steady stream of reveals from people. But most of the guys I see are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and 70 years old that, you know, I`m the first person they`ve ever told.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So the fact that these two men, these stepbrothers, are coming forward and making these claims in the Syracuse case, does that make you question whether they`re valid or do you attribute it to shame? What`s your take?

FLEURY: Well, you know, when the richest organization in the world, the Catholic Church, has to talk about this every day and now, you know, the Boy Scouts of Canada have just come forward here with a cover up and now Penn State, now Syracuse. I mentioned it earlier, we`ve just opened up a Pandora`s Box here and we`re going to start to see more and more people come forward because, you know, the stats don`t lie.

One in three girls, one in five boys before the age of 18 have been sexually molested. So that`s one-quarter of the population and, you know, that equates to about 8 million people in Canada and then in the U.S., you know, about a 100 million.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, I have no independent confirmation of what is happening with the Boy Scouts in Canada. You`re saying it but I don`t have any facts at my command right here.

FLEURY: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Here is what Bobby Davis, one of the accusers in the Syracuse case claims. In 1984, he claims abuse began. He was in 7th grade. He alleges abuse occurred at home, at basketball facilities, and on road trips.

Now, again, head coach Jim Boeheim says that this man is lying. The university conducted a four-month investigation interviewing people that Davis said might back up his story and according to the university nobody backed up the story.

So, Mark Serrano, you are a survivor of sexual abuse. You are also a person who counsels and advocates. What do you make of this latest case? A lot of people are questioning the Syracuse case saying, hmm, it`s suspicious that it`s two brothers, stepbrothers, that they waited all this time, that they go to ESPN, that they go on camera.

MARK SERRANO, ABUSE SURVIVORS ADVOCATE: Well, Jane, these are valid questions. But, you know, the presumption of innocence for Coach Fine does not mean that it`s appropriate to attack the accusers. And I believe Syracuse University has structured a legal strategy that is going on the offensive. I believe that they are scandalously attacking these victims as a legal strategy to purposely discourage other victims from coming forward. I think it`s intentional and I think that they`re trying to prevent other victims from coming out so they can limit their legal liabilities if in fact Bernie Fine is a child molester.

And I think it will have the opposite effect. I believe what you`re going to see is other victims will come forward because that has got them angry that the university is attacking these victims who had the strength and courage to come forward for the first time. The first time that the accuser went to the police seven, eight years ago, he didn`t have anyone corroborating his story. Now he does and it should be handled by professional investigators.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. All right. Let`s listen to the second accuser, Bobby`s 45-year-old stepbrother now coming forward as well for the first time claiming on ESPN that he was also sexually abused by Bernie Fine decades ago back when he was in grade school. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE LANG, ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM: When he first did it he would move away and wouldn`t say anything because, you know, you didn`t feel like you were capable of saying anything. You know? He`s a god to you. You know? Or he can do whatever he wants but not with me. I didn`t feel right about it. And I told him that "Bernie, please don`t do that to me." And then, you know, he`d do it again and again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That man is 45 years old making claims for the very first time about abuse he said occurred at least three decades ago. And given that the two accusers are related -- they`re stepbrothers -- there are a lot of questions. Why did they wait so long? Were they really inspired by what Jerry Sandusky had to say and they wanted to suddenly respond to a totally different case?

More on a second college coach now under investigation, these accusations of child sexual abuse as the Penn State scandal continues to spiral out of control.

More in a second.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are --

CROWD: Penn State.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are --

CROWD: Penn State.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted on some 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys, charges that span more than 15 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike McQueary in 2002 was a graduate assistant. Says he walks into a locker room and he says he sees former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going to come out in this case is that Jerry didn`t --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Upset and I was basically yelling at them that they need to call the police. And they said no you need to think about -- they said I need to think about the ramifications of what would happen if did that.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the wake of the mushrooming Penn State child sexual abuse scandal, two men are coming forward and leveling accusations against another football legend and associate men`s basketball coach at Syracuse University. And here`s more from alleged victim Bobby Davis talking to ESPN.

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DAVIS: He started trying to touch me and things like that, you know, and I honestly don`t even remember if I thought that was what was supposed to happen. I know I cringed up and didn`t want it to happen and I was very, you know, like what`s going on. I just remember being disgusted.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Arnie Spanier, host CBS radio 105.3 the head coach at Syracuse U, Jim Boeheim is saying this is a bunch of lies, a thousand lies. Quote, "You don`t think it`s a little funny that his cousin, relative is coming forward? He supplied four names to the university that would corroborate his story. None of them did. There is only one side of the story. He is lying." What say you, Arnie?

ARNIE SPANIER, HOST, CBS RADIO 105.3: And you know what? Jim is absolutely right. It is way too -- nobody else came forward. Two brothers? They go to ESPN? What they`re doing is they`re taking away attention from what`s going on up there in Penn State.

I don`t believe it. Nobody else came forward. There is not a trail of young boys saying hey, look what he did to me. The whole thing smells rotten. It really does, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joey Jackson, criminal defense attorney, that is why we have to be so very careful with these cases because there is the old saying he said/she said but in this case he said/he said. That is at the heart of most of these types of allegations.

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is indeed Jane. Just a couple things to address; first of all I respect the fact that victims have rights, they`re very important. Defendants do, too. When you face crushing allegations like this I think it`s fair game to assess the credibility of the people making them.

I would find it very strange, Jane, if in the course of this coach`s lifetime in coaching and being around young children this was an isolated incident which involved two people who happen to be related. I would suspect that if a person had a propensity and inclination to engage in this conduct that it would be widespread.

So I know it`s a developing story. We`ll see where it goes. We`ll see if any corroboration, that is, any other victims would come forward. But if they don`t, I think something is clearly amiss here and if the victims have to be attacked because they lack in credibility and if there was an investigation that was long standing that found no one who could support their claims then certainly these would have to be dismissed as false. But again, we`ll see as the story develops.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, this man deserves the presumption of innocence. Anybody can level any kind of horrific allegation against anybody and we have to protect against that.

Nevertheless, Robin Sax, former prosecutor and author of "Predators and Child Molesters" these are very hard cases to prove. And often there is a lot of shame and the young boys wait until they`re men and they wait until a triggering incident and in this case allegedly the triggering incident was listening to Jerry Sandusky who was accused of 40 counts of child sexual assault at another university, Penn State. And when they heard that, at least one of them says that`s what motivated him to finally come forward even though he did apparently broach this issue in the past. There was an investigation by the university and they said there was no corroboration.

ROBIN SAX, AUTHOR, "PREDATORS AND CHILD MOLESTERS": It`s a crazy day when I agree with Joey Jackson. But here in this case, in the rise of Penn State, we`re going to have lots and lots of disclosures that may happen. But the worst thing victims can do for other victims is to disclose in places where it`s not fully vetted or where the credibility of the victim is even cast upon with more doubt than it already was.

Disclosing to the media though there was disclosure earlier on to the university is just not the place to tell your sexual assault story. As a prosecutor you want it to go through law enforcement. You want to go through the DA`s office and through multi disciplinary teams so you don`t overshadow the righteous cases for ones that may not be righteous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it says here, and this is from Syracuse University, in 2005 Syracuse University was contacted by an adult male who asserted he had reported allegations in 2005 of abuse in the 1980s and `90s to the police. So his timeliness also is important. We have ten seconds, Mark Serrano.

SERRANO: And the police did nothing about it initially. Professional investigators need to investigate this not the university. And the police chose not to in 2003.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Universities are not necessarily programmed to do this kind of investigation.

SERRANO: Exactly.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is the celebration that we call "thanksliving". The turkeys eat right along with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re eating unbelievable food and we`re enjoying their company.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a completely meatless meal and the turkeys are the guests of honor instead of the main course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It really, really is an amazing place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Happy "thanksliving", everyone. Yes, you heard me. I said "thanksliving", not thanksgiving. Why? Because a new trend is popping up all over America and we want you to know about it before Thanksgiving so you can decide if you want to make a compassionate change.

It`s a kind and fun celebration at sanctuaries where factory farm animals are rescued from slaughter. Hundreds of people gather to have a beautiful Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. But instead of eating the turkeys, they feed the turkeys. They celebrate with the turkeys.

This is good for your health. It`s good for the planet because meat production is the single biggest cause of global warming far beyond transportation and it`s great for the animals. They get to live and celebrate. Look at that meal that that little turkey is chowing down on.

Joining me now, my dear friend Jenny Brown, founder of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, where they have their very own "thanksliving" celebration; Jenny, tell us all about it.

JENNY BROWN, FOUNDER, WOODSTOCK FARM ANIMAL SANCTUARY: Well we do it a month early every year just because we like to keep in tune with the warm weather. We`re right in the Catskill Mountains and this is our sixth year doing "thanksliving". We have 250 people in a heated tent in the middle of a goat pasture at our Farm Animal Sanctuary which is two hours north of New York City in Woodstock. And we`re home to over 200 rescued farm animals and we advocate for a vegan diet.

Farm animals are as a lot of people know they are often overlooked when it comes to animal issues. This is a great way to celebrate and get together with like-minded folks and show them that you can have a fabulous traditional thanksgiving meal without the meat and dairy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I`ve been to a "thanksliving" party and they are a lot of fun because those turkeys are intelligent, sentient beings. They are not just balls of flesh.

Check this out. You can see their incredible personalities, this event -- listen.

And I got to tell you, I`ve spent time with turkeys and they are not just balls of flesh, they have character. They have personalities. They are characters sometimes, Jenny. Tell us about some of your friends who are turkeys.

BROWN: We have Beatrice who really stands out. We had taken her in about a year ago. She was bought as someone`s Thanksgiving dinner but the guy didn`t have the heart to do her in for the centerpiece, so he had contacted us.

She is so incredibly friendly. She comes up to you. She wants a hug. She likes to be petted. She will sit right down next to you and tuck her head in your arm.

And then we have Boone and Alfonso. They`ve been with us for six years. They also came from a Thanksgiving scheme gone bad; it was a guy was selling a bunch of turkeys in the newspaper and these two boys have lived with us for six years. They are curious and friendly and people come and they meet them and they have no idea that they have the kind of personalities that they have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I can attest to that. I`ve had a dinner with turkeys as the guests. I`m not joking. They laugh when you laugh. They are sentient beings with feelings.

More on the other side.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millions of them will be on people`s tables for Thanksgiving, and we like to have a compassionate "thanksliving".

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now you can go to woodstocksanctuary.org, woodstocksanctuary.org, to check out this alternative, a "thanksliving".

Jenny what would you say to Americans as they prepare their Thanksgiving meals?

BROWN: I would just say that, you know, maybe for those who love animals to think differently this Thanksgiving and maybe leave the turkey off the table. You can go to woodstocksanctuary.org for meatless and dairy free recipes that are traditional Thanksgiving dishes and they`re fabulous and health and better for the planet and much better for the turkeys.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jenny, I love you. I love your sanctuary. Everybody should visit it. And everybody needs to pet a turkey. They are characters.

"NANCY GRACE" up next.

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