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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Talent Manager Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Aired December 2, 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, it`s happening again. This time, in Hollywood. Outrage as a talent manager for a slew of child stars is accused of molesting a client, starting when the boy was 11. Martin Weiss is charged with eight felonies, including sodomy with a child, and once again, there might be an incriminating secret tape recording. Could there be more victims?

Plus, shocking new details emerge about the "People`s Court" missing mom. Michelle Parker`s ex-fiance, Dale Smith, is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Now, we`re learning that his former wife died when she was just 26 years old. Is it just a weird and tragic coincidence?

And troubled country music singer Mindy McCready, who ran off with her 5-year-old son, even though she doesn`t have custody, claims you can`t steal what`s already yours. Is that how you talk about a child? Is she ignoring the fact that the courts took her son away for a reason?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a shocking child sex abuse scandal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A case about children who had their innocence stolen from them.

DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: The simple fact is that the average pedophile is a guy that works with kids.

JAKE GOLDENFLAME, CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER: The standard method I used 25 years ago when I was seeking kids for sex was to offer them money for sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are other victims that exist here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight. The mushrooming pattern of child sex scandals involving prominent Americans has now jumped to the West Coast of the United States.

Tonight, a Hollywood manager for child stars, accused of molesting his young client at his Santa Monica home, is raided by cops.

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

Is there an epidemic of child sexual abuse in this country? First, we were, of course, all stunned to hear about the child sex scandal at Penn State, which even led to riots. Then came news of the same kind of scandal at Syracuse University. And now, from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast of the United States in Hollywood, California, a new tale of sexual assault against a child.

Tonight in Los Angeles, parents are afraid for a whole new crop of budding child stars. Martin Weiss, a veteran talent manager for a slew of child actors, is charged with eight felonies related to sexual assault, including sodomy of a child, allegedly on one of his young male clients. And police fear there may be other victims. They`re asking anybody to come forward.

Listen to what one of his neighbors said from behind closed doors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a horrendous thing. It`s sickening when you think about that. You know, and I -- I`m kind of upset with myself that I never suspected it. Marty would just say they were in there watching movies. They`d go out bowling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An 18-year-old musician now allegations that he was sexually assaulted 30 to 40 times by Weiss over three years, starting when he was only 11 years old.

This alleged victim says, in the wake of the Penn State scandal -- perhaps he was inspired by that -- he recorded a conversation with Weiss, an audiotape which he then took to police.

Published reports claim in that recording, Weiss admits to sexual contact with the victim and even contrasts his alleged behavior with the Penn State scandal, but Weiss has pleaded not guilty to all the child sex charges against him. Bail set at $800,000. If convicted, he could spend, well, up to 80 years, most of the rest of his natural life, behind bars.

According to the affidavit, Weiss purportedly admitted to sexual contact with the victim but says it wasn`t rape because the victim showed interest. Showed interest? An 11-year-old?

All right, these are all allegations. He still has to have his day in court.

Straight out to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of Radar Online. Tell us about this breaking news involving this temporary restraining order that I have just obtained literally hot off the presses. We obtained it moments ago.

And I must stress to everyone on this panel, we are not identifying this young man making these accusations. Do not use his first or last name -- Dylan.

DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: You know, the interesting thing about this is that Martin Weiss is alleged to have used very similar tactics that we have seen at both the Syracuse and Penn State scandals, and that is that they trapped the alleged victim into a sense of security, saying in this case that the alleged victim should commit these acts with him, these sexual acts, because, quote, "it was career building and something happened in the industry."

So this alleged victim was lulled into a sense of security with this man. Now inevitably, the police investigation at this point is going to spawn a number of different programs in which he worked in. We`re not talking about just any programs. We`re talking about programs that fit the profile of someone that is a child molester. He worked on a Nickelodeon program. He also worked on NBC`s "Parenthood," and he also worked most recently, according to his Web site, casting people in the movie, "The Muppets."

So Hollywood really is stunned and reeling from this and, inevitably, that police investigation could quite well turn up more alleged victims.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, take a look at this. This is the Santa Monica house of Martin Weiss, the Hollywood manager who sexually assaulted, and there are Christmas decorations already up, holiday decorations. You see a Santa there. You`ve got to wonder: very alluring stuff for kids. A big Santa. You`ve got to wonder if this is all designed to attract kids.

Now, one neighbor, a parents of Weiss`s clients, used to drop their kids off at his home. Spend (AUDIO GAP) alone while their parents sometimes waited outside on his porch. This is a claim from a neighbor.

Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, another possible red flag: before he even started his management business, he used to be an entertainer at children`s parties. What say you?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, he fits the profile, Jane. What pedophiles do is give themselves easy access. That`s why we see them around schools, around charities involving children, like we see with Sandusky and the Second Mile. They are going to find themselves a pool of victims that they can easily access.

And so what better way than to insert yourself into these charities he works with, this business where he is casting children, or he is going to the parties and entertaining them? This is classic pedophilia behavior, Jane, and they`re going to go where the children are that they`re attracted to.

You know, we hear the age range here is from 11 to 15, and most pedophiles are preferential offenders. They have a certain age group, a certain age type. And then that person, that boy in this particular case, will age out, as we call it.

And so, that`s why he needs a ready pool of other victims, of younger boys, so that when the one he is current abusing ages out on him, he has absolute unfettered access to other victims.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s say this. We have to stress, these are allegations. He deserves the presumption of innocence. He has not gone to court yet, but they are very, very serious allegations. And the accuser, it would appear, there`s a lot of indications that the restraining order files against him and that was handed down and approved just yesterday, temporary restraining order, was filed by the very same young man who is making the allegations against him.

Now, here`s something that made my jaw drop. In the affidavit, Martin Weiss purportedly claims that sexual assault was, quote, "common practice in the entertainment industry."

So I want to bring in Paul Peterson, who is the president and founder of A Minor Consideration, which is an advocacy group for child actors.

Paul, first of all, your reaction? Do you know this man, first of all?

PAUL PETERSON, PRESIDENT/FOUNDER, A MINOR CONSIDERATION (via phone): Well, yes. In fact, I do know Martin.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what`s your reaction then? Having come into contact with him?

PETERSON: First of all, I`m shocked. It makes my skin crawl. You know, you deal with people, and we have for a long time through the Young Performers Committee. And you think you know them, and you have to step back when shocking news like this develops and re-examine every contact, every e-mail.

And then suddenly realize the things I was prevented from seeing were the unsupervised overnight visits, the unsupervised weekend parties. Those were the things that were unknown to me.

And as I said, I`m just heartsick. And unfortunately, we have to start looking closely at the kind of parent who turns over the most precious gift they get from God into hands of someone to go on these unsupervised trips and visits.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Paul -- Paul, you know this man. We`re looking at his picture right now. Did you -- you`re the president and founder of a Minor Consideration, a former child actor, a very good-hearted person who has worked for years to help child actors. Did you have any clue, any sense at all that there was something that just was not quite right with this guy?

PETERSON: I really didn`t. I had the generic suspicions that I have of all managers, who I like to remind everybody are unregulated by the state, at least in California. I have -- I always hold them at arm`s distance, because there`s something peculiar about people who make careers handling, if you will, children. People in Hollywood can actually make reputations, agents who specialize in preadolescent females and use that as a lure to gather in other clients. These sort of charges...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to ask you this, Paul. Paul?

PETERSON: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this the tip of the iceberg, do you believe? We`re seeing an emerging pattern in the world of sports. Could we see an emerging pattern in Hollywood?

PETERSON: Yes, I believe more and more victims, maybe even from the long ago past, are going to be encouraged finally to come forward. This is so well-known in the world of sports and our Olympic games. I`m going, I`m on my way to Las Vegas for a prevention...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it there for a second, Paul. We`ve got to take a break. More on this Hollywood talent manager accused of molesting a young client.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s horrendous thing. It`s sickening when you think about that, you know. And I`m kind of upset with myself that I never suspected it. Marty would just say they were in there watching movies or whatever. They`d go out bowling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s horrendous thing. It`s sickening when you think about that, you know. And I`m kind of upset with myself that I never suspected it. Marty would just say they were in there watching movies or whatever. They`d go out bowling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a neighbor of this accused pedophile, who was a Hollywood manager of child actors and child stars, saying she always saw him in there with kids. Sometimes the parents would wait out on the porch.

Look at his house in Santa Monica. Some would say that`s a fly trap for kids. A lot of things that would appeal to children. Santa. Looks like some toys on the inside. And again, he is tonight, accused of some serious felonies involving alleged child sex with a young man who has come forward, perhaps inspired by the Penn State scandal.

And again, we see this pattern of child sex scandal emerging, and then the boy who is accusing this man made a secret recording and a secret recording popping up that purports to provide credibility. You remember in Syracuse, that scandal, Syracuse University. Nobody believed the accuser, Bobby Davis, until he produced a tape of him and the accused molester, Bernie Fine`s wife, Laurie, talking about purported abuse that was played on ESPN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURIE FINE, BERNIE FINE`S WIFE: Right. He just has a nasty attitude, because he didn`t get his money, nor did he get what he wanted.

BOBBY DAVIS, ACCUSER: I`m just telling you for your own good, you`re better off staying away from him.

FINE: It`s about the (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP, child sex abuse survivor yourself, I say thank God for audiotape.

BARBARA BLAINE, FOUNDER, SNAP: Yes, unfortunately, no one wants to believe that anyone would believe a child. And I mean, it`s disgusting. Anything having to do with sex or rape is already a taboo subject, but when you add on that it is against a child, it becomes really distasteful. And no one wants to think about it, especially someone we know. And yet, sexual predators are all around us. We just don`t know who they are.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and all I can say is thank God for audiotape, because again, Bobby Davis wasn`t believed by everybody (ph). We were all skeptical. And then audiotape of him talking to the alleged molester`s wife, and she seemingly acknowledges that something very, very wrong was going on.

Now, the victim says, in this case against this Hollywood guy, that he recorded a conversation with this Weiss character in which Weiss allegedly says, quote, "The Penn State situation is different, because those kids didn`t want it."

How disgusting is that, Wendy Walsh, psychologist, when this young man is saying he was sexually assaulted beginning at age 11?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, Jane, this is the disturbing rationalization of many pedophiles. They basically say, "Oh, the kid wanted it. The kid was sexually aroused."

What they don`t realize is that they begin a, shall we say, a relationship with them that sexualizes the child until they become spontaneously aroused, and then go, "Oh, well, he wants it." And this is the pattern.

Now, we have to remember, if we`re thinking about could there perhaps be other victims that the average pedophile -- if in fact, this gentleman was a pedophile and more than alleged -- assaults more than 100 children during his lifetime. So there could very well be other children who may come forward if, in fact, this is true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, in fact, we`re going to help the police spread the word tonight, because the LAPD is saying that anybody -- anybody who had an inappropriate experience with the man you`re looking at, please contact the LAPD.

And we know that this man handled at least 28 child actors and, over the course of the 14 years that he has his agency, undoubtedly a lot more.

Now, after his arrest, Marty Weiss dissolved his management company and took his Web site down, but before he did, we managed to grab it. And check out how he describes himself. He says that he works only with serious, dedicated actors, and he enjoys working with them. The signals seem to be right there in his bio. Look what he writes on his Twitter profile, which we also checked out: "Talent manager for young actors." And here`s the kicker. He says, "I`m nuts. Smiley face. Sanity is boring."

So, Wendy Walsh, I want to go back to that. What does that tell you?

WALSH: Well, of course, on Twitter, there`s a lot of irreverent language and a lot of irreverent ways that people describe each other, but now in the context of what we`re seeing, Jane, we`re wondering if, really, his unconscious was saying to the world, "I`m crazy. Stay away from me" on some level.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think, Holly Hughes, that what makes pedophiles, if this man is or not -- again, he deserves his day in court, and his attorney is invited on the show any time, or him, to give their side. But what makes it especially dangerous is that, in their own life, they often think they`re doing nothing wrong, that this should be changed. That man-boy love should be OK.

HUGHES: Absolutely, Jane. And that`s what they hear. They say, "But I`m just loving this child. This is natural. You know, I`m doing what he wants." Which is sickening. And Jane, what really frightens me about this one is this is only a two-week investigation that turned out to produce eight felony charges. Can you imagine how many more charges...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOLDENFLAME: The standard method I used 25 years ago when I was seeking kids for sex was to offer them money for sex. And it, even then, shocked me how willing so many kids were to get into what we called experimental sex for the price of no more than a Big Mac. It doesn`t sound like they were given any training in morals or a sense of self-respect or decency. You wouldn`t sell yourself, and you wouldn`t sell yourself for such a cheap price. I was shocked by that at the time. But that was my M.O., and it is classically that, I think, of a lot of men.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, that was Jake Goldenflame. He is a former sex offender. He`s a convicted sex offender who`s turned his life around, and he now speaks out against sex offenders and tries to warn parents about the red flags.

Now, in the affidavit, the victim in this Hollywood case, the child actor, child musician, claims that Weiss said, quote, if the victim were to tell anyone, "it would ruin his career" and hurt them both. So I find, Paul Peterson, again, president and founder of A Minor Consideration. And you are a former child actor yourself. And I ask you, speak up please, because I know we`re catching you on the fly. This is breaking news. But that to me is so insidious, to say if you say anything, it`s going to hurt your career -- Paul.

PETERSON: But that is the pattern. Look what these managers and potential pedophiles are holding out. Riches and fame. And Hollywood does not protect itself by adhering to any kind of moral code that I can discern. You know, children on film, in our music, in sports, are being asked to do things now that were unthinkable just 20 years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I completely agree with you.

Now, believe it or not, this is the second scandal of this sort to hit Hollywood in under a month. Jason James Murphy was a casting agent who placed child actors in many recent blockbusters, such as "Super 8" and "Bad News Bears," but it was revealed recently that he`s a registered sex offender.

Now, according to court documents, when he was in college, he allegedly kidnapped an 8-year-old boy and reportedly flew him to New York and was on the run with the child until a hotel clerk spotted him after a story about him on "America`s Most Wanted."

Holly Hughes, you heard Paul Peterson say with these manager types, there`s very little oversight. Is the same true for casting agents, casting directors? I mean, these are people who are coming into contact with children. Obviously, we`ve heard casting agents tell grown women, "Take off your clothes. We want to see what you look like naked for a nude scene." So, is it just no oversight here?

HUGHES: That`s exactly what it is. And it`s like your earlier guest was saying, you know, the parents have to be so careful when entrusting their children to anyone, Jane. It is sickening and it`s sad, but it`s true. Don`t leave them alone with their teachers. You can`t leave them alone with these casting agents and these directors.

Don`t give your most precious commodity, your child, to somebody else to be alone with, because unfortunately, we`re seeing more and more of this. We`re hearing about the coaches, the scandals you mentioned. Then we`re seeing it in Hollywood. Two stories within a month. And it is so much more prevalent than even we are aware of right now.

So, the bottom line is, if your child is with somebody, you need to be present to protect them at all times.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And I`m just wondering: are we going to see more of these cases pop up now? Is it going to be a new trend?

Also, bizarre new details about Michelle Parker`s disappearance.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Florida man is now the primary suspect in the disappearance of his former fiancee who appeared on "The People`s Court". Remember this.

MICHELLE PARKER, MISSING WOMAN: I felt somebody grab me and yank me around.

He`s crying, I`m crying. He`s sorry, I`m sorry.

YVONNE STEWART, MOTHER OF MICHELLE PARKER: This isn`t a wallet. This isn`t just a purse. This is my baby girl. We need to find her.

PARKER: We brushed it under the rug and I stayed with him for a few more months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re like drugs to each other. You`re addicted to each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are officially naming Dale Smith, the ex- fiance, as the primary suspect in the disappearance of Michelle Parker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This weekend, the SWAT team raided Smith`s parents house then we found out he refused to take a polygraph test.

STEWART: My daughter is still not found. She is still missing. I am so sad this has happened, but we have to do what we have to do. We still need to find Michelle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Very concerning new details coming out about the prime suspect in the missing "People`s Court" mom case; cops say Dale Smith, 33-year-old Michelle Parker`s fiance, is the primary suspect. We got some scary information coming out about his past.

Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you from New York City once again.

Michelle went missing 15 days ago in Orlando. The very same day a "People`s Court" episode ran featuring a very heated legal spat between her and her ex-fiance Dale Smith. Now, Dale seems like he might have a violent personality before he won custody of his kids, he was caught on camera pushing a camera man outside family court. Check this out. It`s all caught on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Smith, do you have anything to say about this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the way into Wednesday`s emergency custody hearing, Smith shoved our photographer.

Dale Smith, who police say is their only suspect in the disappearance of his ex-fiancee Michelle Parker, lunged at a news photographer, knocking him to the ground. People who arrived with Smith could then be heard jeering the fallen photographer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, by the way, he`s also a participant in the hot body contest, which to me always sends off alarm bells -- a la Casey Anthony, also a hot body participant who was acquitted of murder. He has a rap sheet, this guy, a mile long that covers everything from burglary to DUI to aggravated battery to domestic abuse. And now, some very suspicious information is coming out about Dale`s second wife.

The very same year Dale was court martialed for domestic abuse, his then wife died of a brain injury. Is that just some kind of weird, strange coincidence? Or is it possible that maybe something more sinister happened. Just asking the questions.

Straight out to Bianca Pietro, criminal justice reporter for the "Orlando Sentinel"; Bianca, what have you heard about this mystery death of a previous wife of Dale, the prime suspect in the disappearance of his ex- fiancee?

BIANCA PIETRO, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORTER, "ORLANDO SENTINEL": His wife died of a brain injury and that`s according to the (INAUDIBLE) medical examiner`s office. Dale was actually serving a prison sentence at the time. She had gone out with his best friend here in Orlando and they had consumed some Ecstasy and when the best friend woke up in the morning, he saw the woman had passed out, perhaps bleeding and tried to revive her and she died. But Dale was definitely in jail at the time of his wife`s death.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So we are establishing once and for all he could not have been involved in any way, shape or form in the death of his past wife because he was behind bars at the time that she died. She was in bed with another man?

PIETRO: I wouldn`t say she was in bed with another man, but she had gone out with his best friend, but he definitely had nothing to do with her death because he was incarcerated at the time she died.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well Dale has a criminal past marked with violence and drugs and he even acted out violently right outside of court. Check this out.

All right. So, we`ve got a couple of incidents there where he`s kind of losing it you might say, in and out of court.

Let`s take a peek at Dale`s criminal record. Burglary, 1990; drug possession, 1992; aggravated battery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; and he was even involved in a crime where a man was murdered in 2001. He was court martialed for drug possession and domestic battery in 2003. He was discharged from the military.

Holly Hughes, he has custody of the two children that he had with Michelle Parker, the missing woman. Why? Why is this man given custody by the courts when he is the prime suspect in the disappearance of his ex fiancee with whom he was just fighting on the people`s court on the very day that she vanishes?

HOLLY HUGHES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Why? Because the judge made a horrible decision, Jane. In family court, anytime there are children involved, the legal standard we use is what is in the best interest of the children. Now, this man, number one, has been named the prime suspect in his girlfriend`s disappearance. But worse than that, Jane, what we`re talking about is a pattern of violence throughout his entire life mixed with drugs.

So who knows? What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Does he do the drugs then get violent or is he looking for drugs and the violence comes out. We see that he has what we call in the criminal justice system, an anger management problem.

So no, those children are not safe. It is not in their best interest to live with a man who cannot control his temper. The very tape you`re showing your viewers right now, he`s walking past a photographer who`s doing nothing. He`s standing there. He can`t control his temper. He has to shove that man and then belittle him?

I mean this is not a man who is capable of raising two 3-year-olds. Three-year-olds are going to try your patience. Ask our friend, Nancy Grace. They`re going to frustrate you. They`re going to get your angry. And if he can`t control himself walking down the street on the steps of the courthouse, what`s going to happen when one of those little babies does something that makes him angry. You hit a 3-year-old the wrong way just once Jane, and that`s all it`s going to take. In my view, this is a horrible decision. It`s not in the children`s best interest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ironically, that video of him going to court should have been Exhibit A as to why he should not have walked out of court with the kids, with custody of the kids.

What about the parents of the missing woman? They would provide perfect, perfect upbringing in a home and care for these kids as everybody in the world looks for their mom. Even with all the disturbing new details about Dale`s past, his attorney says he is a very good parent. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK NEJAME, DALE SMITH`S ATTORNEY: He`s been taking care of twin 3- and-a-half year old children. He`s taken off from work. By all accounts has been a wonderful father and these children have been destabilized enough. His conduct has been totally appropriate, totally right for somebody whose child, whose parent is missing.

He`s done the right thing, providing stability. He`s taking off from work. He`s caring for these 3-and-a-half-year-old twin children exactly as a good parent should.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, the well-known attorney Mark Nejame is saying that Dale Smith, he has not been accused of anything in terms of he`s been called a suspect, but he has not been -- no charges have been filed against him and that he deserves these kids, they`re his kids. And no court should take them away.

Now, Michelle`s family, the missing woman`s family has been trying to get custody of the twins and they are twins. They say nobody has told these twins their mother is missing. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: What are the 3-year-old twins being told about where is mommy?

BRAD PARKER, FATHER OF MICHELLE PARKER: They are told mommy`s still at work. I think that`s good for them because they`re young. The oldest son knows what`s happening. And he`s coping very, very good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, psychologist, these twins are 3 years old. Should they be told what`s going on with their mother?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think so. I think kids know in an intuitive way, Jane, really what`s going on. They`re sensing the stress of everyone around them. They know that it`s not making sense with the words that are come out of the adult`s mouths, so that in itself can be injurious to them psychologically because they`re trying to figure out the world.

In very careful, specific term, they need to be told and they need people around them loving them and protecting. And by the way, despite what the attorney of daddy says, the kids spend a lot of time with the maternal grandparents, so it`s more of a disruption to be with daddy full time, because he never ever had them full time before this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

WALSH: So we`re talking about what`s best for the kids psychologically to be with consistent caregivers, people they have a consistent, secure attachment with.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This ruling, giving the kids to the ex-fiance has compounded the hell that the missing woman`s parents are going through. Imagine, imagine what they are experiencing right now.

All right. We`re going the stay on top of that story.

Troubled country music singer star, Mindy McCready on the run with her 5-year-old. We are discussing the nuances and new information in this story. The very latest, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, I need some more research on this.

This job keeps me so busy, but I still have time to eat healthy. Check this out. I went up to the cafeteria and got it with my reusable container. Isn`t this beautiful? What a gorgeous array of veggies and even fruit. And we`re talking carrots. We`re talking eggplant. We`ve got tomatoes. We`ve got corn. We`ve got nuts. We`ve got cranberry. We`ve got, carrots. Peppers.

You might say, hey, my cafeteria doesn`t have all this. Well, then, demand it. Say, I want to eat healthy at work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The son of former country star Mindy McCready is now officially considered a missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know if she plans on bringing him back. She didn`t lead me to believe she was going to.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: She legally if she`s defying this court is clearly in the wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The singer`s publicist says she`s pregnant with twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mindy McCready has made headlines for her wild ways, with drug and DUI arrests.

Deputies say McCready smelled like alcohol, was belligerent and unruly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, it`s a family mess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, we have more details on the custody battle between a country singer -- a star, really -- and her own parent.

Earlier this week, Mindy McCready defied a judge`s order to immediately return her 5-year-old son to his grandparents in Florida. They have legal custody of little Zander. And Mindy only has visitation rights.

Now we spoke with the country music star Wednesday and at that time she assured us quote, Zander`s fine, he`s with me. He`s not missing. But Mindy missed yesterday`s deadline to return Zander.

Mindy is expecting twins with her boyfriend. That`s right. She`s very pregnant. She claims she is fighting the custody agreement because her mom is abusive to her son. Mindy`s mom, Gayle Inge, completely denies it. As she waited for the boy to come home she told us quote, "We are praying for the safe return of our grandson, Zander."

Mindy`s ex, who is Zander`s father, the little boy`s father says there`s no way the abuse claims against Mindy`s mother are true. Here`s what he told NBC.

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BILLY MCKNIGHT, FATHER OF MINDY MCCREADY`S SON: I did not agree with that at all. He is a very healthy kid, very happy kid. I have a great relationship with her mother. It`s unfortunate that they don`t between themselves, but I`ve never seen anything that would lead me to believe that at all.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before Mindy`s infamous DUI arrest and addiction battles and suicide attempt, she was actually known as a rising country music star. Here is her big hit, "Guys Do It All the Time".

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to addiction specialist, Howard Samuels; Howard, we texted Mindy flat-out and I said hey, I`m a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of sobriety. We just want to know if you`re sober. And if so, what`s your sobriety date? she did not respond. I certainly hope she`s sober because she is pregnant out to here.

But sometimes, people can continue addictive behavior even when they technically stop using. Do you think this is all addictive dramarama?

HOWARD SAMUELS, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, Jane, obviously, you know, because she`s in her disease because she`s not playing by the rules. I mean she took the kid. She shouldn`t have taken the kid because the court had ordered the child to be with the grandparent.

You know, the rules don`t apply to an addict. Right there is the sign that she is not in compliance. I mean it`s all about the safety of the child, Jane. And for somebody like this, she needs to be drug-tested, she needs to be in therapy, she needs to have an outpatient program that is like verifying her recovery is real and she`s working a real recovery program.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, Mindy has had a very public battle with drugs and domestic abuse. She is here on VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab" back in 2009. Check this out.

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MINDY MCCREADY, COUNTRY SINGER: I was in a relationship with a guy for about three and a half years that later just beat the hell out of me and I was addicted to the relationship and you know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the reason why you`re here? Really?

MCCREADY: That`s right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) on a cup yet?

MCCREADY: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do?

MCCREADY: I take like Xanax, Ativan.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, at that time, taking Xanax, Ativan. Again, we do not know if she`s sober. Now, we certainly hope so because she`s very pregnant and that would be very, very dangerous.

We do know she was hospitalized for an overdose last year after filming "Celebrity Rehab". So Wendy Walsh, I find this very concerning from a psychological perspective because even if you`re technically sober, you can still exhibit addict behavior like Howard says, breaking the rules.

WALSH: And Jane, sometimes, these addict behaviors can be really heightened during pregnancy because the big hormone rush during pregnancy can make women feel more depressed. They could suffer from pregnancy depression, pregnancy psychosis. There could be all kinds of things going on that will make them want to crave their addictions again.

Now, it`s really interesting that she`s saying that her parents may be abusing her son, but maybe she`s throwing back to some early life trauma or perceived trauma that got her into addiction in the first place and she`s projecting it on her kid. Either way, she needs to follow what the court says.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She brings drama on herself. I think this mother of Mindy is a very good mom and she wants what`s best for her grandson and let`s hope she gets it.

Check it out on hlntv.com

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The torture that they put these animals through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They get mad and they just whack it with a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). It (EXPLETIVE DELETED) breaks my heart. I try to tell the people like, don`t do that.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just some of the gut-wrenching footage from an undercover investigation sending shock waves through the U.S. egg industry. ABC News broke the story about America`s fifth largest egg producer.

Warning: What you`re about to see is disturbing but very important.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An investigator for the animal rights activist group, Mercy for Animals, pierced the wall of egg secrecy providing this undercover video showing what appears to be unsanitary conditions and mindless animal cruelty.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: These are just some, some of the images animal protection group Mercy for Animals says they caught on tape during an undercover expose at several Sparboe Egg Factory farms. The FDA has now sent Sparboe a warning letter alleging quote, "serious violence".

Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, what are some of the cruelties that you claim your undercover investigation captured on tape at these egg producing facilities?

NATHAN RUNKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MERCY FOR ANIMALS: Our investigator documented hens packed inside of tiny wire cages so small that the birds can`t even spread their wings, they can`t walk or engage in natural behaviors. Our investigator found dead hens left to rot and decompose in cages of birds still laying eggs for human consumptions and workers painfully burning off the beaks of these animals.

In addition to these cruelties, we found malicious and sadistic abuse by workers; throwing birds, swinging them around by the legs, shoving them in each other`s pockets as jokes. This is blatant animal abuse that must end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, ABC News first broke this story and it is having a major impact. In the wake of this target, Target has announced "Having been made aware of the unacceptable conditions, Target will discontinue its business relationship." And McDonald`s announced it was also ending their business relationship with Sparboe`s saying "This decision is based on McDonald`s concern regarding the management of Sparboe facilities."

Here`s what some of -- well, this is what Sparboe was saying part of it in its own defense.

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BETH SPARBOE SCHNELL, PRESIDENT, SPARBOE FARMS: As farmers, we know that animals properly cared for are most productive. I am deeply disturbed by the recent news report. At Sparboe we expect our employees to provide the best care possible for our hens.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out the Sparboe and they referred us to the Web site with the video. They`re invited to tell their story on the show at any time. Nathan, your reaction to Sparboe`s response to your Mercy for Animals expose?

RUNKLE: Well, much of the claims that Sparboe`s making are completely false and misleading, so much so that we have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission saying that this company is not only abusing animals but lying and deceiving consumers.

The reality is that these are top down policy level abuses. This company confines millions of hens in cages so small they can hardly move. The day-to-day operations of this factory farm are so cruel and abusive that they would warrant felony-level prosecution if they treated dogs or cats in the way that they treat these farmed animals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, once again, you`re looking at the footage. MercyforAnimals.org has a lot of information on its Web site. You can go to that.

And by the way, Sparboe Farms, you are invited on any time you want to tell your side of the story. I have a few questions I`d love to ask you.

We`re going to be back with more in a minute on this undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals.

Stay right there.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, more disturbing footage obtained during an undercover Mercy for Animals investigations of America`s fifth largest egg producer. You can go to mercyforanimals.org to read all about it.

Mercy for Animals chief, Nathan Runkle, Sparboe the company says it`s working around the clock to take corrective measures, including reviewing company practices. What would you like to see them change?

RUNKLE: Well, these actions are too little, too late. This company needs to un-cage these birds. These battery cages are so inherently cruel that they`ve been banned in two U.S. States and the European Union.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You might find it difficult to look at this video but it is important to bear witness. There`s a guy swinging a bird around with a rope. There`s a bird that`s gotten its beak cut off. These are things that Americans need to know about because Americans are decent people.

"NANCY GRACE" next.

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