CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Was Missing Woman a Runaway Bride?; Formula Recalled after Baby Dies

Aired December 22, 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, a bizarre twist in the search for a gorgeous teenage college student. Aisha Khan left frantic voicemails for her sister, claiming she was being attacked by an intoxicated stranger. Her terrified family came on this show, begging for her safe return. Now Aisha suddenly resurfaces almost a week later, claiming she was never abducted. So what the heck happened and why?

And more frustration and heartbreak for superstar Michael Douglas. His troubled son, Cameron, gets nearly five more years stacked onto his time behind bars for allegedly smuggling drugs into prison. What in the world was he thinking? And why didn`t the judge hit him with even more time? He was already serving a reduced sentence for dealing meth. Is this just another case of power and privilege?

Plus, the Kardashians fire back against allegations some of their brands are made in foreign sweat shops. An official who originally said they could be violating human rights by having children manufacture their products is now admitting he has no proof. Now the Kardashians are reportedly set to sue. We`ll bring you the latest.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AISHA KHAN, FOUND UNHARMED: Oh, my gosh. It was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I`ve never got this scared in my life.

AAMER TRAMBU, FAMILY SPOKESMAN: Aisha is alive. She`s safe and sound.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think that she would have run away like that. It`s just not something she would do.

CHIEF JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: If, in fact, she left on her own, OK, then that`s OK, and that would be fine. But in case she has a problem, we want to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this time, we are not going to be taking any questions as we don`t have the answers at this moment.

TRAMBU: She`s alive; she`s well. We believe our prayers have been answered.

AISHA KHAN: And he left and he was so pissed. Pick up your phones. I am freaking out right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everyone. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City.

It was every parent`s worst nightmare: a beautiful, innocent, young girl abducted in broad daylight. Aisha Khan left frantic voicemails before she disappeared, saying a drunk or stoned man had just attacked her. Police and FBI launched a frantic nationwide manhunt while her devastated parents wept and begged the public for help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANAT KHAN, FATHER OF AISHA: Just keep praying for us. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But parts of the story just didn`t ad up. When she vanished, Aisha was supposedly studying right there at an outdoor picnic table on a college campus. But it just so happens -- we checked -- it was a very cold day in Kansas, a high of 39 degrees. We all started wondering, why would she be studying outside at a picnic table if it was freezing outside?

Well, tonight another head-spinning twist. Oops! Never mind. She`s been found. Aisha wasn`t abducted after all.

Early this morning, a family spokesperson held a news conference to deliver this bombshell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRAMBU: Aisha`s alive, she`s safe and sound. We heard this from the Overland Park Police Department just a while back, that she`s unharmed. Our prayers have been answered. The family is very ecstatic about this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The big question tonight, why? If she wasn`t abducted, why did she stage this? Where was she hiding during this time? And why did she leave a frantic voicemail claiming a homeless stranger attacked her and she slapped him back?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AISHA KHAN: And he left, and he was so pissed. Pick up your phones. I am freaked out right now. OK, bye.

ROBOTIC VOICE: End of message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, we are now learning that the man in Aisha`s voice mails may have been a figment of her imagination.

Aisha was a newlywed, just married this past July. She had her wedding reception just a few weeks ago. Was that what she was trying to escape from? Was Aisha Khan a classic Runaway Bride?

Straight out to investigative reporter Michelle Sigona. So many unanswered questions. What have you learned tonight?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I can tell you that overnight, that`s when the family did learn that she was OK and that they would be reunited with her after six days of extensive searching for her, as you mentioned.

It went out nationwide, all over, all the major networks. Everyone was covering this story because stranger abductions, especially in the middle of the daylight hours, especially an adult, are not common. They`re very uncommon. And so when this story broke, especially on a college campus, everyone was just sort of in shock. They didn`t know what to believe, and that`s why everyone was doing what they could to try to find her.

What we do know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, are the cops saying anything? Are they saying, "Here`s where she went. Here`s why she went, where she went"?

SIGONA: They`re not saying anything yet, but I`m sure that they probably will. Especially because there`s so many resources that were devoted to this case over the last six days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. You`re talking taxpayer dollars.

SIGONA: Volunteers, people really coming together to help find this young lady.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not only that, her friends were devastated, coming on our show.

SIGONA: Her friends were devastated, her family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crying.

SIGONA: Her parents, her husband. I mean, they were -- they were a wreck. This really wasn`t fair to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about that. Now, let`s remember, Aisha just got married. All of this struck me as -- who does this remind me of? Who, who, who? I know! The infamous Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks. Remember her from Duluth, Georgia?

Jennifer disappeared four days before her lavish 2005 wedding, and it quickly became a national search. She even called her fiance at one point and falsely claimed that she had been kidnapped. The ordeal put Jennifer`s family through the wringer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE SATTERFIELD, JENNIFER`S UNCLE: We love Jennifer very much. We would give our life and everything that we own to have her returned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, Runaway Bride No. 1 ended up in big trouble. What is going to happen to Aisha if it turns out she staged all of this?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I`ll tell you what: she should also wind up in big trouble, Jane.

You know, what I -- I thought that message, her frantic message, wasn`t frantic at all. I thought it was B.S. right from the beginning, along with, you know, this guy -- Jane, on a college campus, if you`ve got some drunk guy, some guy who`s high bothering her, don`t you think he`s going to be bothering other people? No one else saw him.

And those construction workers, those three construction workers that saw her walking away? Well, apparently, they saw her walking away.

There should be charges brought against her for all the local, state, and federal resources that were put forth in the efforts to find her. But why did she do this? That`s the question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, that is the big question. And I want to listen to more of the bizarre voice mail you referred to, Mike, that Aisha left for her sister. A voice mail which we now believe was a hoax. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AISHA KHAN: Oh, my gosh. It was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I`ve never got this scared in my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, remember, Aisha called her sister, not the cops.

Mike Eiglarsh, to me that was one of the first tip-offs that something was odd. She`s studying outside. Nobody sees this guy. Construction workers saw her walk off by herself or somebody who looked like her, and she doesn`t call 911. She calls her sister.

MIKE EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But even then, we think, you know, let`s give her the presumption. I mean, she must be missing; this must be something serious.

And that`s the problem with all of this. Next time, we may hesitate. You may get fewer volunteers. You may get law enforcement who assumes, well, this is probably a hoax. We won`t work as hard, and it might be a legitimate abduction.

There are several things I don`t understand. I don`t understand why this happened. I don`t understand how to fold a fitted sheet. And I don`t understand what will happen to her. I do hope, however, she will be prosecuted like the Runaway Bride, because not only were tons of hours wasted by law enforcement, but people will hesitate next time and think, maybe it`s a hoax.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me defend her for a second. Because I don`t judge people until I walk in their shoes, unless they`ve killed somebody. Then I judge them. But maybe she was under pressures that we don`t understand. Maybe...

EIGLARSH: OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: People keep asking -- one of the big questions everybody`s asking is, did she really want to get married or was it some kind of forced marriage? She`s just 19 years old. In fact, last night on "NANCY GRACE," her cousin denied that it was a forced marriage. So listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has known him since they were, you know, very young. He`s known to the family. He`s part of the family network back home in Pakistan. They`ve always liked each other. And you know, there was no forced marriage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa Boesky, I`ve known a lot of people since I was very young. None of them I want to marry. Oh, quite contraire. To me, that smacks of -- it kind of smacks of "Oh, you two kids would be good for each other. Go ahead and get married."

Maybe she didn`t want to get married. Maybe she got married and decided, "Aaa! I feel like I`ve got bars over my eyeballs." Maybe she didn`t want to dress in her traditional costume. I have no idea. I`m just asking these questions, because we`ve got to try to understand why she did what she did.

LISA BOESKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, as a psychologist...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say, her traditional headdress. Proceed.

BOESKY: As a psychologist, when we see teenage or college-aged women who are reported missing by their parents, almost always they`ve run away. And the two main reasons are, No. 1, they`re trying to send a message to their family, and No. 2, they want to be with some boy or young man that their family doesn`t approve of. So we kind of think it`s maybe No. 1, but is it also possibly No. 2? There`s something more here.

And I don`t know if the family is ever going to come out and tell us, because the family may be embarrassed about what the reason really is. Clearly, they`re joyous and relieved and thrilled that she`s home, but I don`t think they`re so happy that this was broadcast over, you know, the national media, and now it looks like she was just choosing of her own accord.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacey Honowitz, if -- and I don`t know this -- but if, hypothetically, if it was some kind of forced marriage that she didn`t want to make part in, could that cause leniency if she gets in trouble on creating an alleged hoax?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: No. No prosecutor should really take that into consideration, because you open the door for everybody else who said, "I was forced to do something," to then lead the nation to try to find them when they`re unhappy. So that`s not one of the factors that a prosecutor would take into consideration.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know about that, though, because...

HONOWITZ: There`s other things. There`s other things. The...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coercion.

HONOWITZ: There`s other things that maybe -- I mean, short of her being mentally ill or physically abused, there`s still other avenues other than to stage your own disappearance.

So, again, Jane, unless it`s something substantial, like she`s mentally ill, that`s not a route that a prosecutor`s going to go down. Because you are asking for the floodgates to be opened for everybody else who wants to get out of something, to then stage it. Too many people were involved. Too many lives have been changed. Too many people volunteered. Too many agencies got involved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on this 19-year-old student`s sudden and bizarre six-day disappearance right after leaving voicemails in which she claimed to be frantic and freaked out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s going to be people stopping by with flyers, you know? Cooperate with them. Let them put the flyers up if you don`t mind. Keep us in your prayers and think of Aisha Khan all the time. If you`re going to the gas station or you`re going to the post office, think of Aisha Khan at all times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AISHA KHAN: Oh, my gosh, it was so scary. My heart is like pounding. I`ve never got this scared in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the toughest thing that they`ve probably ever gone through.

AISHA KHAN: And he left. And he was so pissed. Pick up your phones! I am freaked out right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t know what`s happened. You know? If she`s out there in the cold, if she`s hungry for the last two days. If she has clothes or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep us in your prayers and think of Aisha Khan all the time. You`re going to the gas station, you`re going to the post office, think of Aisha Khan at all times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s a beautiful, wide-eyed 19-year-old who had her life ahead of her studying at a University in Kansas, outdoors at a picnic table, in 39-degree weather, and suddenly she vanishes into thin air after leaving a frantic voicemail.

Well, now she`s turned up, after the whole nation was hunting for her for six days. We don`t know where she was. We don`t know why she seemingly pretended to have been abducted. Was this a big hoax? Was she running away from her husband of just a couple of months? A few months? Her newlywed husband?

Here is what the husband said Monday. And then listen to what the chief of police said when he was asked about him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WASEEM KHAN, HUSBAND OF AISHA KHAN: I`m very thankful to everyone helping with us, the community, the -- everyone. But I need my wife back.

DOUGLASS: She is married. Her husband is here, and she was living with him at a house in Olathe. If your question is, is he a suspect or a person of interest? But there`s no reason to believe that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, yes, police saying he didn`t do anything wrong. But, Stacey Honowitz, you`re a Florida prosecutor. Do the police now have to investigate what was the situation in the household to try to determine what she was fleeing from?

We don`t know. I`m not accusing anybody of anything. But there`s got to be something pretty dramatic to make this woman concoct this absolutely bizarre and frightening story that left her father in tears.

HONOWITZ: Well, listen. Anytime you investigate a case, you don`t just go off of, you know, the word of somebody. If there`s an investigation to be done, it will be done.

In this case, sure, they`re going to try to find out what the reason is that she left, but I don`t think it`s going to be a bearing on whether or not they decide to charge her. Short of what I told you in the last segment. Because, quite frankly, I don`t think that they think the reason makes a difference.

The fact of the matter is, she caused a hoax. She caused -- she staged it. She left on her own volition. And so I think, unless it`s something extremely severe, it`s not going to make a difference what the reason is, although they will try to get to the bottom of it. They`d be doing a shoddy investigation if they didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Aisha`s story reminds me of someone I`m sure you`ll remember. Balloon Boy!

Two years ago, a balloon floated away into the sky, and the owners of the balloon claimed their 6-year-old son, Falcon, was trapped inside. We all remember this moment when we saw it. We all stopped what we were doing. The whole country watched this saga unfold. We were terrified. Oh, my God, there`s a little boy in there!

Well, turns out the whole thing was a hoax, and Falcon`s parents faced criminal charges for the hoax.

Now that it seems clear that Aisha Khan was never abducted, never really missing, we`re trying to determine, and I`ll go to Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist, whether she, too, should be punished the way Runaway Bride and Balloon Boy`s dad were punished.

If she is mentally ill, because I look at all these people who do these things, and they`re a little off. They`re kooky, for lack of a better word, and I don`t know if that`s the definition of mental illness, but does she need a psychological evaluation? Should that be put into the mix?

BOESKY: I mean, they could add that to mix. I highly doubt that`s what`s going on here. She doesn`t seem mentally ill. She`s got a -- you know, I heard she`s got a job. She`s in college. She`s been described as independent and headstrong.

You know, it`s not unusual for kids and young adults from other cultures, when their families have traditional values and they`re more modernized, to have a lot of conflict. The goal is to work it out and negotiate so both can live with the consequences. Running away is not the answer.

I don`t think she should be punished the same way, because Balloon Boy, that was a hoax. I don`t think she was trying to do a hoax. I think she just didn`t know how to cope with her current situation, and she had no idea she was going to get national media attention. I don`t think she anticipated this at all. And I think is probably pretty embarrassed, and that`s why she came home, because she didn`t know what she was doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I did notice, look, she`s a 19-year-old. And in her voicemail, she was using words like "pissed." She`s very, she`s very -- for lack of a better word, typical of a typical 19-year-old. And, frankly, a lot of 19-year-olds don`t really want to get married. I think that there`s something there. Mark Eiglarsh, you`ve certainly handled so many cases. Does this woman deserve some compassion?

EIGLARSH: Yes, but, Jane, I take exception to you, my friend with three names. Should she be charged? There`s no defense that she`s 19 years old: "Oh, she didn`t want to get married." The bottom line is, you charge her and then all the reasons that you`ve stated, that`s mitigation. That goes to the sentence. But she did something unlawful.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, baby formula!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wal-Mart is taking some baby formula off of its shelves after a baby died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby Avery`s birth was a Christmas blessing. But at just a week old, Avery suddenly became sick and was rushed to the hospital, where he died just two days later. Their baby somehow contracted a rare bacteria, known as cronobacter sakazakii.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They removed him from life-support Sunday at 7:52, and his little heart beat until 8:20. And then he passed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An important story for every mother out there. A family devastated by a silent killer. Could a popular infant formula be responsible for the death of a 10-day-old Missouri baby boy?

Avery Cornett was born a very healthy baby, but just days after his birth, he mysteriously became sick and died. Investigators say baby Avery died from a rare bacterial infection. Could it have been in the formula that he ate?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEREK CORNETT, FATHER: I`m angry that they didn`t catch it. I mean, they should have. I wish we got more than ten days with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the manufacturer of the very popular product, Enfamil, says they tested the formula before it left the warehouse, that batch, and it was negative for the bacteria. But Wal-Mart is voluntary taking it off the shelves until new tests come back.

Straight out to Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist and mom. Obviously, parents are very concerned when they hear something like this. The bacterial infection is called cronobacter sakazakii, cronobacter for short. How do parents protect their children?

BOESKY: Well, you know, the decision to breastfeed or use formula is a huge one. And a mom, you know, when she makes that decision to use formula, has to be not only 100 percent but 1,000 percent sure that that is safe. You know, infants` immune systems are so much more vulnerable than adults or even older children.

So I think one of the things that parents do, and moms, I think too much of the time we just rely on the packaging and we just assume the manufacturer is going to tell us the truth. I think parents really need to educate themselves. Not all formulas are equal. Soy formula is different than other formulas. And everything has its risks and benefits.

I think it`s up to us as moms to educate ourselves, but No. 2, this did test as negative. So it`s possible maybe something in the preparation of the formula. Moms -- I know. I`m a mom. Sometimes we rinse those bottles and we forget to use soap. Sometimes we don`t wash our hands before we fill them.

So I think we need to be careful, and I think we need to hold the manufacturers accountable, too, and I really commend Wal-Mart...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

BOESKY: ... because a baby`s life is priceless. They`re losing money after this -- over this, but I think they`re doing the right thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. The health officials are saying, quote, "At this point, it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source."

And I`m reading here that the natural habitat of this bacteria is not well understood, but it is found in the environment in general. So it could be from raw materials used in production, pasteurization, any number of things.

So we don`t want to jump to conclusions here. We don`t have answers.

Little Avery`s grandma says she saw some warning signs that his health was deteriorating. Let`s listen to her quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He started this constant moaning. He was sweaty. He had sweated through his clothes. He had a little hat on. His hair was just sopping wet. He had sweated through the beanie, but yet he was cold to the touch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our prayers go out to this family for their loss. It`s a very, very tragic thing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Douglas` son busted in a meth sting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A New York judge has just sentenced Cameron Douglas for dealing huge amounts of crystal meth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy was a major drug dealer in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mandatory term for his crime was ten years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anybody else would be doing serious, hard time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This guy was peddling poison. He had all the benefits of privilege. Even the judge said that the letters from the family had too many excuses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was this a case of celebrity justice?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the justice of power and privilege strikes again. Cameron Douglas, son of Hollywood royalty, caught with drugs inside prison. Yes, he`s done it again. This 33-year-old ne`er-do-well is already serving a five-year sentence, which is a very lenient sentence for what he did, dealing huge amounts of meth from inside a swanky Manhattan hotel. Then yesterday, Douglas got another 4 1/2 years tacked on to his sentence, which is pretty measly.

Ok, following his drug arrest in 2009, Douglas then turned informant, and he helped the feds bust other dealers. And in exchange he got, well, I think it was less than half the recommended minimum. He got five years. So a lot of people say, well, his Hollywood pedigree had a little something to do with that lenient sentence.

Yesterday, in court, after the latest problem he`s gotten into, an emotional Cameron told the judge, "You see, your honor, I cannot seem to find comfort in my own skin," end quote. But how about following the rules, dude?

Judge Richard Berman was unmoved by Cameron`s remorse and said, "I don`t believe I`ve had another case ever of a defendant who has so recklessly and flagrantly and wantonly and criminally acted in as destructive and manipulative a fashion as Cameron Douglas has," end quote.

How will this young man ever get it together without somebody really throwing the book at him?

Kim Serafin, first of all, a lawyer allegedly put drugs in her bra and snuck it into him in prison? This -- that should be in a movie script that maybe Michael Douglas should do in his next film. I mean, seriously. That`s outrageous.

KIM SERAFIN, Senior Editor, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes, that`s incredible and unbelievable and amazing. And it`s a former lawyer, obviously. So, you know, but the judge does not seem to be giving him celebrity treatment this time. The prosecutors had apparently only wanted two years, and they`re giving -- the judge gave him double what the prosecutors wanted. So I think in this case, the judge is saying, "No more. You had your last chance, I told you last time you were here, you had the last chance, and I`m really throwing the book at you now."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s why I say he`s still getting off easy. Mark Eiglarsh, he was sentenced for dealing crystal meth and got a mere five years -- half the minimum sentence, ok? And the judge referenced the fact that he got letters from his famous family. He got letters from Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, from Kirk Douglas at the time, and from Pat Reilly with the Lakers. And the judge had concluded back then, when he sentenced him that he suffered from problematic parenting by both his mother and father in the form of parental absence, distant parental immaturity. Really?

How about all those kids doing hard time for selling crack who don`t even know who their father is. Do they get the same kind of compassion?

MARK EIGLARSH: Jane, I don`t come on your show to disagree with you, it just seems to the always happen. I disagree with you on this, I just do. The new charge is not another dealing charge. It was a possession count, number one. Number two, prosecutors, as referenced earlier, wanted half the time that he ultimately got. The judge threw the book at him, four years for a possession charge, for a total of nine plus years. That is a lot of time. He didn`t get any special treatment.

I thoroughly disagree with you. And by the way -- no, let me throw this in here. Hold on. One other thought --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I`ll ask you and then you can answer me.

EIGLARSH: All right. Go ahead. Your turn.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have interviewed on this show from Families against Mandatory Minimums, who have seen their loved ones go to prison for decades -- 20, 30 years for dealing a couple of spoonfuls of cracks.

EIGLARSH: I defend those people. I know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I do feel that this is leniency.

EIGLARSH: Ok.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we`re all --

EIGLARSH: Let me respond to you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok.

EIGLARSH: Number one, this isn`t a minimum mandatory case. He had a certain amount of drugs that some idiot lawyer brought in through her brazier. This was not trafficking, so there`s no minimum mandatory that applied.

Number two, I would think -- and again, I`m not negating, I`m not trying to make excuses for his guilt, but someone who should understand how he`s powerless to control his action is someone like yourself, who understands addiction. He deserves to get this time and he`s going to have nine years to hopefully hit rock bottom and take his recovery seriously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I hear you, and I do have compassion as a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of sobriety. I`m just saying if we`re going to be compassionate, let`s be compassionate to everybody, not just the sons of movie stars.

EIGLARSH: Agreed. Agreed. But that`s not what he got --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when he was originally -- wait, when he was arrested in 2009, he was allowed to go to his mother`s very fancy condo in Manhattan. Where he remained under house arrest and where he convinced his girlfriend to smuggle him heroin inside an electric toothbrush. So this isn`t the first time this apparent master manipulator has gotten a woman to smuggle him drugs, ok? Then he later talks this attorney, now former attorney, into smuggling drugs into prison for him in her bra.

Rob Shuter, Naughty but Nice, "Huff Post", take it away.

ROB SHUTER, COLUMNIST, "HUFFINGTON POST": I`m with you on this, Jane. I think this judge could probably have just saved his life. This kid has got every break, every chance in the world, and he has blown every single one of them. If he was not the son of a movie star, he wouldn`t be able to convince these people, these lawyers to smuggle him these drugs, I believe.

So I think he`s gotten away with terrible, terrible crimes here, and finally it`s caught up with him, and his life might be saved because of this very, very harsh action from the judge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`ve got to wonder if this young man somehow considers himself because of his privileged upbringing to be above the law. There aren`t too many people who can say their grandfather, their dad, and their stepmother are all Oscar winners.

Here`s certainly a clip of Michael Douglas from the blockbuster hit "Fatal Attraction". We all remember this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A look that led to an evening.

GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS: We were attracted to each other at the party. That was obvious. You`re on your own for the night. That`s also obvious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mistake he`d regret all his life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Howard Samuels, you`ve been listening to this. You`re an addiction specialist, founder and CEO of the Hills Treatment Center and a recovering addict. Do you think that he`s getting any kind of special treatment, as the big picture, as he goes through the system?

HOWARD SAMUELS, FOUNCER/CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Jane, I have to disagree with you here. Look, I`m a recovering heroin and cocaine addict, 27 years in recovery. I dealt heroin. I dealt cocaine to support my habit. That`s what addicts do.

Cameron, all of his behavior is typical of the people that I deal with on a daily basis -- the manipulation and the lies. But 9 1/2 years in prison with violent offenders is not the answer to rehabilitation. There needs to be prisons that are drug rehabs to help the Cameron Douglases of the world, not prison with violent criminals. Our system is so messed up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you that our system is messed up. Let`s point out a couple of things. Cameron`s a chronic relapser; he has gone to rehab numerous times. Approximately, according to published reports, a half a dozen times and obviously, it hasn`t worked for him.

Now, I agree with you that there should be lockdown rehabs that deal with drug abusers and drug pushers. But let`s do it for everyone. We have a prison overcrowding problem in this country.

We have more people in prison than any other country in the world. We have enough people in prison right now to populate the entire nation of Macedonia, ok? And a lot of those people are doing time for nonviolent drug offenses.

But, unfortunately, the vast majority for whatever reason, fortunately or unfortunately, the vast majority of people who are doing time behind bars for drug offenses are poor, they`re underclass, they`re minority, and they are doing very hard time, decades and decades, many of them. And, in fact, most people who are drug addicts today are overdosing from legal prescription drugs and they are middle class and they are not suffering any consequences whatsoever. Not even getting arrested.

SHUTER: And Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you see something unfair about that, Howard?

SAMUELS: Well, wait. What`s fair is to take that, whether you`re -- whatever color you are, whatever economic class you are, you need to be put in drug treatment programs that are locked down units from one to three to five years. Where there`s real treatment going on and rehabilitation.

Cameron Douglas is going to come out of this prison a hardened criminal. That is not the solution for him or for whatever color you are or economic class you are. There needs to be a whole overhaul here.

The Lindsay Lohans of the world, look what happened to her. No treatment, no prison. I mean it`s unequal all across the board, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. It is unequal.

Mark Eiglarsh, I`m all for compassion. I`m all for giving this guy treatment. But I don`t believe in selective compassion. I believe in compassion for everyone, no matter who their parents are.

EIGLARSH: You and I agree on that. There is no evidence whatsoever that he got any better treatment because his father is an Oscar winner. In fact, the offense for which he was sentenced was not another trafficking offense. If it was, then, yes, he would have gotten off light. But he got double what the prosecutors asked for, Jane.

I appreciate your argument in other situations, but in this one, the federal judge didn`t yield to Hollywood. He tagged this guy for a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. He`s turned informant. So let`s find out how much time the guys he informed against, who are not in his social circle, end up doing. That would be very interesting to find out. I`m going to stay on top of that one.

Thank you, fantastic panel. Nothing wakes me up like a good debate.

Are the Kardashians gearing up to sue over allegations that some of their fashion brands are produced in sweat shops? Now one source is backing off that shocking claim.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, a new drama for this infamous or famous reality TV family, the Kardashians.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE: Well, the claim is that the Kardashians, they have quite a few product lines and they are having these products made in China. They`re made in factories that have absolutely horrific working conditions for their employees.

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY, THEBLOOMFIRM.COM: And I think the problem with the Kardashians is, they seem to just put their name on anything to make a buck. They`re very beautiful on the outside, but I question whether they`re soulless on the inside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mighty Kardashians fighting back. TMZ tells us the Kardashian clan is furious, fit to be tied, over a "Star Magazine" report that claims some of their products are manufactured in sweat shops. It says Kardashian products are being made by kids in China as young as 16 years old, under horrible conditions. And it claims these kids are virtually imprisoned.

The Kardashians are reportedly furious at these claims and they`re threatening to sue star magazine for libel. I want to point out again, we have not been able to independently confirm anything that is in these "Star Magazine" reports.

Straight out to Mike Walters, the news manager for TMZ; Mike, you`re all over this story. What`s the latest from the Kardashians?

MIKE WALTERS, NEWS MANAGER, TMZ: Well, the Kardashian family is prepping to sue everybody involved in this story, because they claim not only do they not use child labor or sweat shops to make their products, but that they don`t know where this came from and they were blindsided by the entire thing.

And let me explain, Jane. We spoke to the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights who did the investigation into the factories in China that were reported on in this article in the magazine.

The problem is, the institute said, directly to me, well, the conditions in China, in this area, this region are horrible. They`re horrific, they`re horrible. There`s all this stuff that`s going on. But we haven`t actually gone into the factories used by the Kardashians and their products.

I can tell you, well, yes, there`s probably violations, but, Jane, the problem is, when you convict the Kardashians in the headline of a big story like this and you don`t actually have the research to back it up, that`s not only irresponsible, but you have legal problems coming your way full force.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. If you`re going to make an accusation against a specific company, then it`s incumbent upon you to actually do the research and not speak in generalities. That`s outrageous.

WALTERS: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to the Kardashians --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

WALTERS: Well, and the other thing is, you can do the article, but, and if it`s your outlet, if it`s CNN that wants to do a news story, that`s fine. But the problem is when you cite a source in your news story and that source then tells the media that they didn`t actually have the research, that`s when you have a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we reached out to the Kardashians for a response. We did not hear back. However, Kris Jenner told TMZ, "As far as I know, the factories that are used to manufacture the Kardashian clothing and shoes have nothing terrible going on at all and the factories are very well-policed and meet factory standards." But she also admitted that she`s not visited the factory.

So I think, Mike, what would be a good idea, now that this issue has been raised, is for the Kardashians to get on one of their private jets, go to China, do a surprise inspection, keep the cameras rolling, and put it on their reality show, whatever they find, no matter what. What do you think?

WALTERS: Absolutely. That is a great idea. And we are actually told one of the companies, ShoeDazzle, which is owned by Robert Shapiro, who you know, the attorney -- that company actually has a UCLA graduate person who works for the company in China with his family full-time, monitoring these factories. So it would be very easy for the Kardashians to get over there, stay with this person or at least meet with their employee, who`s in the factory and say, listen, there`s a lot of stuff coming out about our business here. We want to know what`s going on and make sure it`s not what they say it is.

And if it is, cut bait on all those companies and apologize. Then you know what, why don`t they put some of the money back into these activist companies that are going over there and trying to change the human rights. And if they do that, I think that would be the right thing, Jane. I`m with you 100 percent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, great seeing you and happy holidays, Mike Walters, TMZ. Listen, is there some kind of tipping point that the Kardashians are reaching? Because millions watched Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries get married. Millions watched it. 72 days later, the honeymoon was over and Kim filed for divorce. And that seemed to be kind of the tipping point for the Kardashian empire.

Rob Shuter, Naughty but Nice, apparently Kris Humphries was booed. Tell us about that.

SHUTER: Yes, last night he played his first game and 20,000 people, when he took to the game, started to boo him. It was deafening him. He had a very blank expression on his face. After the game, somebody asked him, what did that feel like? What was going on? And he said, I was so focused on playing a great game, I didn`t actually hear them. Which was complete nonsense, because anybody who was there can tell you, this was loud, and it wasn`t just for a couple of seconds, Jane; this went on for several minutes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then Kim, PETA`s attacked her in a new ad for wearing fur. I`m all with PETA. And then there`s a Boycott Kim petition that`s gotten over a quarter million signatures. Kim Serafin, weigh in.

SERAFIN: Yes, there is, obviously, a bit of a backlash against Kim Kardashian, against the Kardashians, but you know, I think it was really smart what you and Mike were just talking about. I actually think this would be great if they went to China, checked out these factories, and then if there were problems, had it as a big issue that they took over and that will really work and --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree.

SERAFIN: -- if you know how to make lemons.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIZE THERON, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: Almost all of the puppies for sale at your local mall were churned out by breeding facilities called "puppy mills". The conditions common to most mills are so inhumane the dogs are left in various states of physical and mental anguish.

The dogs seldom, if ever, receive veterinary care. They are impregnated continually until they can no longer produce a litter at which point they are discarded or killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Academy award winning actress Charlize Theron, showing just a small portion of PETA`s undercover investigation into the horrors of puppy mills; those images difficult to watch. This is an issue that begs for your attention this holiday season.

Every year millions are spent on store bought dogs and most of those dogs, experts say, come from puppy mills, breeding facilities that use cramped unsanitary conditions to churn out thousands of dogs a year. Now, most animal welfare organizations estimate that up to 4 million animals are put to sleep in shelters every year because they don`t have a home. 60 percent of these are dogs like the ones that you see right here, adorable little dogs.

Straight out to David Myer, president of the world`s largest non- profit pet adoption Web site, adoptapet.com. David, how do you convince America? Right now people are making decisions about what to do this holiday season for gifts. What would you tell them?

DAVID MYER, PRESIDENT, ADOPTAPET.COM: Jane, it`s never a good idea to give a dog or a pet as a gift because you really want to think that through. That`s a lifetime commitment for the animals -- 10, 15-year commitment. But if you`ve made a decision that you want to go ahead and get a pet, you want to get a dog for your kids or get a cat, then there`s no doubt you want to head straight to the shelter.

If you can go to the shelter you can -- people have a misconception. They think that animals in the animal shelter have some sort of an unknown background or something. The fact is any time you`re get an animal from any source, it`s unknown how that animal is going to be in your home.

But when you walk into your local animal shelter or SPCA, you can see an animal that is full grown. You can see how they react to you and how they react to your children. You can find a purebred animal in animal shelter. There`s absolutely no reason to participate in any of that stuff we were just seeing when animal shelters today are filled with beautiful pets for adoption.

I tell you, our Web site, adoptapet.com has almost 200,000 fantastic animals that you can go and see. You can find purebreds. In fact, if you don`t see the animal you want at your local shelter, you can even give us your e-mail address and we will run what we call a search shaver. We will e-mail you when a particular type of pet, maybe it`s a poodle or something you want, comes into your local animal shelter.

You get to save a life, you get to save money and best of all you get a great animal for your home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what we`re looking at is undercover PETA footage of breeding facilities, puppy mills, and these are the conditions that have been found in these puppy mills. Now I think it`s terrible.

There`s a simple answer. Just adopt, don`t shop; thousands, thousands, millions of beautiful loving rescue dogs out there waiting for you to take them home. I`ve got three rescues of my own. And I want to show you my babies. I`ve got Cabo (ph), Foxy (ph) and Rinko (ph); sweetest dogs in the world. I adopted them. Two of them are right off the street. I found one on the street in Fresno. One was found on the street in Puerto Rico and this little was left in a box outside the South Central L.A. Shelter. That`s my Cabo San Lucas.

And these dogs are smart. They`re healthy. They are so appreciative. There`s something about a rescue dog; they know they have been saved and they are so grateful. Adopt, don`t shop.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Finding homes for abused and abandoned dogs is a continuing struggle all across America. In Detroit it`s a full blown tragedy. The housing crash hit Detroit harder than any other area. As a result, many, many tens of thousands of dogs have been abandoned during the crisis in Detroit. And they need your help.

These animals in shelters, they`re being put down. They are roaming the streets. Remember that these abandoned animals if left to their own devices also reproduce and so the problem gets bigger and bigger.

The answer is to rescue dogs whenever possible from a shelter. I`ve rescued three of them. There is every size and shape at shelters. Go to adoptapet.com. You can say I want this breed, I want that breed. Any dog in your imagination is available to adopt.

"NANCY GRACE" is next.

END