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What Is the Mystery Illness in Le Roy, New York?; Demi Moore, Chilling 911 Call
Aired January 27, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go. We have explosive developments in the case of the mysterious illness afflicting at least 15 girls. Are kids being exposed to toxic contamination at the school? Environmental activist, legend Erin Brockovich is here with me exclusively.
And later, Demi on drugs, new tonight, 911 tapes reveal mention of a strange substance she may have been smoking. I am separating fact from fiction. Let`s get started.
OK. Tonight we have a very interesting program. We have more shocking news on the story out of Le Roy, New York. At least 15 high schoolers have come down with a mysterious tic, with verbal outbursts, you see them there in this video alongside of me. Symptoms that resemble a Tourette`s-like syndrome.
Some of the girls say they were completely fine one day, just woke up from a nap, and were never the same again. We`re making it our quest, I want you to understand something, I plan to figure this thing out.
And you`re seeing it happen in real time here. It`s sort of like we`re not looking back on this thing, we`re moving forward with it and trying to keep you abreast of what`s going on as we figure this out.
And we have an exclusive tonight. It is with environmental activist Erin Brockovich. Her crusade was portrayed in a movie starring Julia Roberts where she linked a cluster of cancer cases in California to contaminated drinking water. This sounds like something right up her alley.
Also joining us, psychiatrist John Sharp, he has been investigating this case with me and has been very, very helpful in helping us deploy resources for these families and these young girls.
Also Evan White, he will join us shortly. He is a reporter with WHAM in Rochester, New York.
First, Erin, thank you so much for being here.
ERIN BROCKOVICH, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: Thank you for having me.
PINSKY: I really appreciate it.
BROCKOVICH: Thank you.
PINSKY: How did you end up involved in this case?
BROCKOVICH: Well, back in December, I had been contacted by a couple of the community members in Le Roy, and one of them was a family member whose daughter had been affected. And I, like everybody else, kind of watched this story unfold, and it kind of hit the media very, very quickly, and there was this sudden diagnosis.
PINSKY: It seemed to sort of fade and sort of disappeared.
BROCKOVICH: It did.
PINSKY: Did you have the same reaction I did? The diagnosis seemed - - didn`t feel right in your gut and then it kind of closed the door on further investigation?
BROCKOVICH: Well, I think the first thing that hit me in my gut was, well, you haven`t necessarily ruled anything and everything in or out, it just seemed to be a very quick diagnosis. What happened very quickly after it got into the media was one of the family members, somebody put a note in their mailbox, and it was about a 1971 derailment, and the contaminated rock and fill and soil was used to build the new school.
PINSKY: Slow down now. Slow down. You found out, this is something you then were able to corroborate?
BROCKOVICH: We are still trying to corroborate that. So what I did.
PINSKY: So that`s one story.
BROCKOVICH: . immediately to research it, I went online, and lo and behold, in 1971 there was a very serious train derailment that caused one ton of cyanide to spill and 45,000 gallons of TCE.
PINSKY: OK. TCE is trichloroethylene.
PINSKY: Is that the same thing that was in your story that became a movie?
BROCKOVICH: No. Hinkley was hexavalent chromium.
PINSKY: Trichloroethylene is a well-known carcinogen. Can it also cause these sorts of neurological problems?
BROCKOVICH: I have read and been involved in cases that we have that TCE can be associated with neurological disorders.
PINSKY: OK. So here we have a train derailment 40 years ago, right? How does a train derailment 40 years ago, nearby the school, right, nearby this community, how far away?
BROCKOVICH: Well, the train -- the actual location of the site of the derailment is four miles from the school.
PINSKY: Four miles from the school there is a massive train derailment with spectacular exposure of known carcinogens and toxins. There`s a map of where this happened right now. How did that then become an issue for the high school?
BROCKOVICH: Well, this is what we`re looking into. And the agencies for toxic substances and disease registry did not get out to the spill site until the `90s, as did the EPA.
PINSKY: So it happened, and it took them 20 years to go out there and investigate this.
BROCKOVICH: Twenty years to go out and investigate.
BROCKOVICH: So by the time they had gotten out there and investigated, this contamination was in the bedrock. They concluded -- it`s called, a DNAPL, dense aqueous (sic) phase liquid. The concentrations are so heavy that this agency had to dilute those samples just to get a reading.
PINSKY: OK. I want to make sure I get this. I want to make sure -- because I am really kind of hearing this for the first time in its complete story. You have given me bits and pieces of this. So there was so much in the bedrock, and it was so present that it exceeded their ability to measure it. They couldn`t even -- it was too high.
PINSKY: . to measure it. They had to dilute it in order to measure it, and then extrapolate back from the dilutions.
PINSKY: And it was so fluid that it was spreading in the bedrock?
BROCKOVICH: Correct. And they have a phenomenon that this agency has reported that every year where the water table rises, this bedrock is submerged and pulses of TCE and this contaminant come out and go into the groundwater, and it has created a plume in 1999. They confirmed that that plume was four miles to the east-southeast, and at the leading edge of this groundwater plume, it was a mile wide.
PINSKY: OK. So at the leading edge, here we are again, four miles would put it right at the high school, would it not?
BROCKOVICH: It is -- yes. When I first read this document, and I contacted some of the family members, I said, how far is this school from the site?
PINSKY: In fact, it might even put it at the athletic field that has come into question where family has reported seeing strange things coming up.
BROCKOVICH: The family has reported that there`s an orange-yellow substance that almost kind of oozes from the ground.
PINSKY: There`s the field now, we`re showing it on the video there.
BROCKOVICH: That is on the children`s clothing, their shoes, the equipment.
PINSKY: This is a dramatic, dramatic, dramatic finding. And why has it taken this long? Why didn`t -- when they found it in `99, why didn`t they do something about it?
BROCKOVICH: Well, and in `99 they did, they were supposed to get into a pre-remedial design and looking at a soil-vapor extraction system. They did a lot of detail here, they...
PINSKY: Who did?
BROCKOVICH: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
PINSKY: That`s a state agency or a federal agency?
BROCKOVICH: It`s a federal agency. And they concluded that this plume was not defined in `99, that if it was not remediated, it would continue to go on indefinitely.
PINSKY: Well, why didn`t they do something or notify people? Isn`t this the question?
BROCKOVICH: I`ve done a lot of these environmental cases for 21 years, and I have never yet seen a case until today that it took an agency 20 years to respond. I am -- disappointment wouldn`t describe to you how I feel. At this point I am very concerned about this...
PINSKY: Well, Erin, and first of all, I don`t know for sure. One thing I want -- to connect all of these dots, I want to know, apparently trichloroethylene can break down into vinyl chloride, which is a neurotoxin. And so I want evidence that connects the dots biologically here.
But even if this turns out not to be the cause of the tic thing, I bet if you and I went up there and examined the cemeteries or the death certificates, you would see a lot of cancer, a lot of infant deaths, way more than average, even if it is not specifically related to this particular case.
BROCKOVICH: That`s true. And that`s already starting to be reported. And what we`re concerned about.
PINSKY: This is very dramatic, Erin. This is like very disturbing, to say the least. If I lived in -- I hope we`re not adding to a panic in a community that`s already upset. I`m feeling a little panicky just reporting this, and I don`t live under that trichloroethylene plume.
BROCKOVICH: Well, here is how we feel about it. And I have been inundated with e-mails from people across America and from Le Roy. And they have reported several things to us that are of concern beyond just this, and that is that where the old school is, there is a creek, and there has been known chemical dumping, and some of the children report playing in that creek as children and uncovering 55 gallon barrels.
PINSKY: Oh, my goodness. OK.
BROCKOVICH: And we don`t know what. And the school has five natural gas wells underneath its property.
PINSKY: This is the old school.
BROCKOVICH: No, the new school.
PINSKY: The new school.
BROCKOVICH: What we`re concerned about with that is not that these gas wells, which were not disclosed, could be harming the kids, but it could be controlling the migration of the plume.
PINSKY: It could be concentrating it right there.
BROCKOVICH: It could be pulling it to them. And our concern is that.
PINSKY: These are the gas wells we`re looking at here. Now are they used to fund the school? Is there a reason they would have an issue to protect those gas wells?
BROCKOVICH: Well, they`re owned by the school and the school does make money off of them. And that is a concern for migration of the plume.
PINSKY: Keeping the plume at the school. It`s a beautiful school.
PINSKY: It`s sad to think -- I can`t even let my mind go there.
Let me talk quickly to the reporter. Evan, you broke this story. Are you -- I mean, here we are, we`re reporting something that Erin has investigated very carefully. How do we keep people from flying into a panic here? How concerned is the community?
EVAN WHITE, WHAM REPORTER: Absolutely concerned, really, we talked about it in the newsroom over the past couple weeks as we have been looking at this. When we first heard that conversion disorder may have been the cause, parents initially were told that. It seemed that adding more attention to it at the time could have really kind of added to the issue.
And obviously it went national, so there`s going to be more attention. Erin is looking into this. There is that, but I`ll tell you, from people that I spoke with in Le Roy when I was there, it has been a little bit -- I went there earlier in the month, they just seemed like they had a lot of questions and they were more frustrated.
I don`t know that hysteria is really -- or maybe that`s the wrong word to use, but panic, as you had said, is the way that they`re seeing it right now.
PINSKY: Good. I mean, that`s good. Please, please keep everybody, you know, going about their business. Erin is on the job. You`re going up there, yes?
BROCKOVICH: We have a team out there. They`re on their way there now.
PINSKY: I am going to send part of my team up there with you, if you don`t mind.
BROCKOVICH: No, they`ll be there.
PINSKY: I, myself, want to get up there as soon as I possibly can, maybe next week or so. But this is getting very interesting and disturbing. I have got to take a break. And we`ll be back with Erin Brockovich and Dr. Sharp comes back to me.
I`m sorry, Dr. Sharp, I didn`t have a chance to get to you in this segment. Too much stuff coming from Erin Brockovich. John actually spoke to the National Institute of Health today and has some news about their involvement in the case. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERA SANCHEZ, SUFFERS FROM MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS: It`s very heart- breaking to me to be honest, knowing that right now I can`t do what I love.
LYDIA PARKER, SUFFERS FROM MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS: The last time I went to the neurologist, they said that they`re not sure and that they`ll keep looking into it. But besides that they haven`t told anyone anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. Good evening, we are back. We are live and for the past week, we`ve been reporting on a group of teens from Le Roy, New York, who have come down with a mysterious Tourette`s-like syndrome. I want to remind everybody, you`re seeing some of these girls there, this is about young people whose lives are on hold, at best, perhaps taken apart by this condition.
Moms, I`ve talked to them, they are incredibly distressed by what`s happening to their kids, they feel helpless. We have been talking to Erin Brockovich, who is uncovering a story here that sounds promising.
And what I was just telling to her during the break, I said, look, even if it turns out that this has nothing to do with the neurological symptoms these girls are having, we have a bigger story here.
The things that she is uncovering definitely cause cancer, and thousands of lives may be at risk here if we don`t do something about this, or at least be sure this doesn`t remain a risk for people.
Now going back to the girls, one neurologist diagnosed them with a conversion disorder, this is a psychological condition that causes physical symptoms, tics, stuttering, things like that.
Now OCD typically is a part of that. Now with -- I beg your pardon. We had talked to another doctor yesterday who was saying post-infectious problem called NASD (ph), used to be called PANDAS -- PANS now, and that one, though, to be diagnosed, has to be associated with obsessive compulsive types of symptoms.
I was reading about that today. Now the parents are not convinced of the conversion diagnosis, so what else this could be? Back with us to help us look into this, my special guest, environmental activist Erin Brockovich, also psychiatrist Dr. John Sharp with deep experience on this topic, and who has been extremely helpful getting us to resources to investigate this further.
Now, I need to show you a video here, because I want to point out why we are so concerned about this. This is a somewhat disturbing video, it`s an interview with Thera and her mom and Lydia last week. And during this interview, Thera suffered a seizure, collapsed onto the floor.
Now I`ve spoken at length with Thera`s mom, and what Thera`s mom told me was Thera was actually glad this happened on television and she urged me to continue to show it because she wanted to be sure as many people as possible saw what she is contending with on a daily basis.
Now you will see Dr. Sharp and I are there with the mom, talking her through this, and be aware, the mom deals with this almost on a daily basis, and she behaved admirably.
Now we`re going to watch what this family is enduring.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JOHN SHARP, PSYCHIATRIST, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Helping with symptoms, biofeedback is good, EEG biofeedback. Physical therapy is good.
PINSKY: Whoops, Thera is having a little bit of a reaction there.
Thera, are you OK? Thera, are you all right? Mom, what`s going on there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, she`s not, she`s having a seizure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So, Erin, when you see that video, it reminds you why we`re doing this, right?
BROCKOVICH: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, these parents and this community and these families, I`m sure they`re going through a living hell and they`re looking for some answers, and that`s precisely what we`re trying to do.
There are some issues here that concern us. Listen, we`re not saying anything, but we`re coming in suspicious. And the information has not gotten out.
PINSKY: Well, what I like is, this may not bear fruit but it may lead us down another path that finally does bear fruit. This is something to go after at least.
BROCKOVICH: Absolutely. You have to look at -- listen, I have done this for 21 years, and I deal with communities like this. This is exactly how Hinkley, California, started for me.
PINSKY: But you were saying that this is even -- so far this looks worse?
BROCKOVICH: Well, this -- certainly having an agency not respond for 20 years, I`ve never seen that. That`s a huge disappointment for me.
PINSKY: Well, and by the way, the stuff you were reading about them, what they were finding in `99, then they still didn`t do anything to remediate.
BROCKOVICH: They didn`t. And it wasn`t until 2006 that the EPA entered into a consent -- an agreement order with the railroad to start a pre-remedial phase to deal to build a vapor extraction system for the bedrock. Now we haven`t.
PINSKY: To get the toxins out of the bedrock.
BROCKOVICH: To get the toxins out.
PINSKY: Did they do it?
BROCKOVICH: It does not appear to have been done.
PINSKY: OK. So there we go. It`s complete empty set. It`s completely stalled out. And as we said, the site of the derailment was there, you see it on the screen. And the high school, the leading edge of the plume, again, this highly concentrated toxic material would be right about Le Roy High School now.
Dr. Sharp, I want to go out to you quickly, before the break I said we were going to update on what the National Institute of Health had to tell you. Can you give me an update on that?
SHARP: Absolutely. You know, Drew, since you started to cover this, we have really been able to mobilize the medical and scientific community. And just today I spoke to authorities at the NIH as well as at Columbia and at Rochester.
And the good news is that this whole disorganized phase I was talking about before is starting to turn the corner towards more organization. And the medical experts who have made themselves available are finding that the families and the treaters are taking them up on their offer.
So the NIH is looking forward to being able to reevaluate the possibility of immunologic or infectious disease. And when they take a look at that PANDAS or PANS diagnosis, they`re starting to wonder whether there`s actually going to be credible evidence to rule that in.
They`re really on the verge of being decisive on this, I would say that should come through within a week.
PINSKY: Do you feel that the new material that Erin is coming up upon could really help in this investigation?
SHARP: Well, I`m so grateful to hear how incredibly shockingly important this is going to be one way or another. You know, there`s no doubt that there`s the environmental realm and there`s the also infectious immunologic realm, and that there`s the emotional, psychiatric realm.
The question you keep raising is, what`s the balanced way to put these together, what`s cause and effect?
PINSKY: Yes, it is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.
All right. I have got to go to break. You`re going to stay with me on this next segment, when we just answer some -- by the way, thank you, Dr. Sharp, very much, for that update. And I know you`re going to stay with us and stay on top, you`ve been with me all the way through this. And I am very, very grateful for that.
SHARP: Thank you.
PINSKY: Erin, you are going to stay with me on this next segment, we are going to answer questions from our viewers and from the audience to help them clarify what this is, and hear more about what you are thinking.
Now later in the show, we change gears, my colleague Adam Corolla joins me, Cuba Gooding, Jr. makes an appearance in "Doctor`s Orders." And then we are going to talk about the meltdowns in "Tinseltown," again, the Demi Moore demise and what`s going on there, what are thoughts are. We have some guests on that.
But first we are taking your questions and comments with Erin, as I said, after the break. So stay with us.
PINSKY: OK. First I want to thank Erin Brockovich for being here, for being a part of this and for doing this investigative work. I think we`re going to have helped a lot of people, even if it isn`t part of this particular story, although my gut, my nose tells me it is part of this story.
Heather Parker is joining us by phone. You remember Lydia, one of the young women who is suffering from the mysterious illness, she was in some that -- there she is there on our left. Heather, you are hearing what Erin is saying for the first time. Do you have any take on this?
HEATHER PARKER, DAUGHTER SUFFERS FROM MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS: It is frightening. It`s definitely frightening. It`s frustrating to hear that the agencies aren`t doing their job and what they`re supposed to in a timely fashion. And it is terrible to think that our daughters might be taking the consequences for that.
PINSKY: Heather, will you do me a favor and keep the calm there until we can really see what -- actually we know what is going on? We`re still now just following leads, looking at suspicious stuff. Please don`t let this break out into any more pain for people, OK? Can you do me that favor?
PARKER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
PINSKY: And please say hello to Lydia for us, will you?
PARKER: We will.
PINSKY: OK. We`re going to keep going now and talk to -- take some Facebook questions. And this is for Erin, it`s from John. He asks the question for Erin: "Does this case have any striking similarities to cases you`ve investigated in the past?"
And I think you said it does, right?
BROCKOVICH: Yes, it absolutely does. One of the first things for me is I deal with communities all the time. And something happens, and see, then, everybody thinks they`re crazy or whatever symptom they`re having couldn`t possibly be related to this.
PINSKY: Is it so common that doctors label it as psychological? Or very common?
BROCKOVICH: I have seen in my experience through all of the thousands of people I`ve dealt with and all the cases I have been involved with, often times doctors don`t know, and often times they don`t know that they have been exposed to a chemical, and so they might rush to judgment, and that is not to put down, I want this understood, any doctor at all.
PINSKY: No, listen, this team is really trying. By the way, they have not closed the book and pushed these kids away as crazy, they have said, we think this is what it is, it looks like it, we have seen seizures that don`t show up as seizure activity?
BROCKOVICH: And it is concerning because there was information that wasn`t disclosed. And you can`t make any.
PINSKY: Right. Imagine if the doctors had this information, they would be...
BROCKOVICH: Right. And you can`t make any decision about anything until you have all the data. And we are trying to get all the data to come in. And yes, it has striking similarities. It reminds me of exactly how the Hinkley case started.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s talk to Florrie -- or get a Facebook question from Florrie. She writes, I think we need to thank the parents and students for raising hell to get this where it is, where it has gotten. This is horrible and definitely needs to be figured out and no longer seen as a mystery."
I hope you`re right that it will no longer be seen as a mystery. That will be a great relief if that in fact happens.
BROCKOVICH: She brings up a really good point, that these parents took charge of their life and their children and were not comfortable with the situation and they continued to fight for it. And I see that happening more and more often, and it is a good thing.
PINSKY: That instinct, that sniff test. Trust your gut. Kricket writes on Facebook: "I bet it is from a strep infection or a virus of some sort that infects the nervous system. If it was environmental, everyone would have it."
But obviously -- well, let`s sort of address that. If it`s infectious, it wouldn`t be everybody, if it is environmental, it is not necessarily everybody as well, right?
BROCKOVICH: Absolutely. Look, everybody is different, and you know this as a doctor.
PINSKY: Well, the exposure levels are different too. As we said, this stuff coming up in the field, those kids who were on that field may be the ones.
BROCKOVICH: What was their dose response ratio? How often have they been there? How much water did they drink? What was the concentration? There`s a lot of things. My son gets stung by a bee and go into a coma. My daughter gets stung by a bee 10 times, it doesn`t faze her.
PINSKY: I know your daughter is tough. We`ve talked about her. She gets stung 100 times. I have to take a break.
BROCKOVICH: So everybody is different.
PINSKY: Listen, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
BROCKOVICH: You`re very welcome. Thank you.
PINSKY: I look forward to working with you.
BROCKOVICH: I look forward to it as well.
PINSKY: Let`s keep this train running. No double entendre meant there with the train reference, because we have a train involved in this. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): The Demi dispatch. First, we heard about Demi Moore`s hospital visit, then about whip it. Now, bizarre chatter on the 911 tape. As the story unravels, new details about a strange substance she may have been smoking. What is really going on here?
And later, "Doctor`s Orders," the strangest people in the news, including my guest, Adam Carolla, and my prescriptions for all of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. Welcome back. We are changing gears entirely, and we`re going to discuss breaking news. Authorities just released the 911 call from Demi Moore`s home this week. Demi was rushed to the hospital reportedly due to something related to substances. Listen to this chilling tape.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, can you please send it like as quick as possible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, like right now, this is an emergency.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what`s the cross road there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, this is an emergency, you need to get here as soon as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma`am, I`m trying to get the address. You`re in Beverly Hills?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is an ambulance on the way?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on, ma`am. Hold on. OK. Tell me exactly what happened there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. She smoked something. It`s not marijuana, but it`s similar to, similar to incense, and, she seems to be having convulsions of some sort.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you with the person at this time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m actually in the other room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You got to be next to her, so I can ask some questions and we have paramedics on the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old is Demi?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-nine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty-nine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Right, is she awake?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Well, semi-conscious, barely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Is she breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is she breathing? Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And she overdosed --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s convulsing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to me, keep watch her closely. Don`t do anything. Don`t put anything in her mouth. Was this accidental or intentional?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it was -- she smoked something, you know, but the reaction was accidental.
PINSKY: She means she didn`t intend to have seizures when she smoked a substance. All right. Now, remember, it`s only been two months since she announced she was divorcing from Ashton Kutcher. People are asking, did the breakup precipitate this or did the substances precipitate the breakup?
Here now is a statement from the Demi representatives, quote, "Because of the stresses in her life right now, Demi has chosen to seek professional assistance to treat her exhaustion and improve her overall health. She looks forward to getting well and is grateful for the support of her family and friends."
I`m sorry, but now with the advent of that 911 tape, that quote, that statement is even more unsatisfying. Joining me tonight, Anna David is the executive editor of the fix.com. She`s also recovering addict and is going to help me with some of the addiction issues. Dylan Howard is the senior executive editor of RadarOnlin.com. Let`s start with you, Dylan. What do you know?
DYLAN HOWARD, SR. EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE.COM: Well, Demi Moore has returned home, and her soon to be ex-husband, Ashton Kutcher, has reportedly gone to her bedside. That statement said she was seeking professional assistance, it`s silent on whether in date she`s still taking professional assistance and whether she`s going to take into rehab.
That tape, the release of that tape today, is very scary by its nature. One thing that we didn`t hear there, a certain medical and drugs that were mentioned. In fact, they were redacted due to federal medical laws. So, we don`t actually know. There was a particular mention at one point in there that was redacted by the authorities about another drug that she may have been using.
In fact, the person on the other end of the phone whom we don`t know goes on to say that she`s been doing things for a period of time, for a period of days. What was that substance? Suggestions it could be salvia. There`s also a suggestion it could K2 or spice. Now, you probably know a little bit more about that.
HOWARD: A legal form of substance, apparently.
PINSKY: Well, it`s available at head shops. Anna, you`ve been seeing people that do this and we see it all the time now with K-2 spice. It, mostly in my world, is when people that smoke a lot of pot get caught at work. They want to get around the urine toxicology and they switch over to spice or to k-2. But I have seen a number of seizures from both spice and K-2 and weird neurological symptoms.
HOWARD: Adding to that, she was seemingly anorexic, according to people close to her. Almost under 100 pounds say family insiders. Not eating, using this nitrous oxide with it.
PINSKY: Or you had that confirmed, too?
HOWARD: I had that confirmed, although, Demi`s camp is silent on the allegation. And there`s also other uses of substances such as booze that she`s been using for some time. All in all, a potentially lethal cocktail.
PINSKY: Oh, absolutely. And I heard Adderall that she was getting a prescription --
HOWARD: Yes. We spoke to a family insider who said that she was using Adderall as well.
PINSKY: OK. That`s a part that kills me that a physician will give somebody using actively using substances a psycho stimulant like Adderall. Let`s look at another clip from the 911 call. There are a lot of people at home frantically trying to help Delmi. Listen. Demi, rather.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s burning up. What do you suggest? Just keep putting cold water on her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. This is what I want you to do. Are you next to her right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Is she able to respond to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Demi, can you hear me?
Yes. She`s squeezing hands. She can`t speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. If she`s not completely passed out, this is what I want you to do. Don`t give her anything to eat or drink. OK? Have her rest in a position of comfort. Wait for the paramedics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. But she`s convulsing, so we`re holding her down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have to hold her down. Don`t put anything on her mouth. Don`t hold her down. Don`t do CPR.
PINSKY: Dylan, you just said something about the daughter being present?
HOWARD: Rumer Willis, her teenage daughter (INAUDIBLE) was actually at the house at the time. So, Demi was using these substances while her daughter, and based on that call, a number of other people were at the home, too, in Beverly Hills.
PINSKY: Let`s try to hear if Rumer Willis was in the room during this 911 call. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Ru, what`s the name at the gate? So, that we can buzz them in from here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you had somebody at the gate, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what they said. It looks like they`re right here. Will you run out and get them, babe?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Anna, we`ve seen people do this kind of thing. It`s not that uncommon these days.
ANNA DAVID, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THEFIX.COM: No. I mean, I think it`s really sad. I think it`s the most positive thing I`ve heard is that she dropped out of the movie. That she was planning to do the Linda Lovelace movie. And, you know, I think --
PINSKY: Well, that seems to be a jinxed role, does it not?
DAVID: Well, regardless, I mean, what I heard -- you know, we heard she dropped out, and the smartest thing, I think, anybody could do in this situation is to go seek treatment.
PINSKY: Well, I tell you what, the fact that she`s gone home, this is the first I`m hearing from you, Dylan, disturbs me immensely. That is, frankly, I wouldn`t say the last place, but that`s one of the last places somebody in her condition should go.
DAVID: She could still be going away to treatment, though.
PINSKY: She could be. She could be. But if she were my patient, they would go directly (INAUDIBLE), because the environment where she was using, you return to that environment, you`re going to do something like that again.
HOWARD: You know, everyone suggesting that the breakup with Ashton Kutcher predicated this issue. In addition to that, she had a lifetime sober coach, someone who she previously described as her, quote, "mom" who passed away some months ago. That`s a significant amount of emotional turmoil.
PINSKY: Wow! And I`m going to tell you what, that -- and I don`t know how you feel about that, that`s more significant than Ashton, in my opinion.
DAVID: Well, I think once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Yes, of course, your circumstances can cause you to relapse, but if you are not getting treatment --
PINSKY: No, but I think she`s talking -- I think what he`s saying that that`s code for, and I`m not a recovering guy, so I can interpret 12- step code, her long time sponsor died.
PINSKY: And that`s what I`m hearing and that is devastating.
HOWARD: Photos of her at the funeral leaving, bending over. She was overcome --
PINSKY: I`m going to tell you what, so this really gives me almost chills that that might be we`re looking at here, the Ashton thing, who knows, maybe she relapsed because of the death of the sponsor and maybe that precipitated the marriage loss and down she went.
DAVID: Potentially. But I wouldn`t want to give -- I mean, I don`t mean to sound callous, but people`s sponsors do leave. They do die.
PINSKY: You`re right. You`re right.
DAVID: You can find a new one and move on.
PINSKY: You`re right. Well said, you`re right.
HOWARD: You mention what other network of support she did have, and she had a husband who, all of a sudden, was gone and a husband who this week we saw was in Brazil, partying at the time when she fell into this state.
DAVID: Men and women process things differently, you know?
PINSKY: Wow. What a kind thing to say. I think that`s awful of him. I think that shows that he really -- either had enough, she burned him out, or like Dylan said, the kind of people that she should have that really care about her aren`t around her. And by the way, I hear she`s a great woman. Everyone loves her.
HOWARD: She`s much loved in Hollywood.
DAVID: But I mean, I wouldn`t expect any different. I think that men and women process things differently.
HOWARD: Thanks very much.
DAVID: It`s not terribly uncommon for a man to not be as aware of, you know, emotional repercussions of the dissolution of a relationship.
HOWARD: At the same time, Ashton has hired a lawyer to protect his reputation at this time.
PINSKY: That`s sad.
PINSKY: The more I learn and hear about this case, the sadder it becomes. I really -- my heart goes out to this family.
Now, thank you, Anna. I believe, Dylan, you stay with me. And we are then joined by my former co-host from "Love Line," Adam Carolla. And we`re going to find out what he thinks about this 911 call and sort of what`s going on in Hollywood these days and all the substances, all the psychiatric breakdowns. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she breathing normally?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not so normal, but more sort of shaking, convulsing, burning up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. What did she take?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some form of I think -- I think and then she smoked something, I didn`t really see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`d been having some issues lately with some other stuff, but I don`t know what she`s been taking or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. That, of course, was part of the 911 call from home of Demi Moore on Monday. The 911 call revealed that, perhaps, Demi was smoking something that night that precipitated a seizure. Her friends seem to know what was going on there, and it seems to be a common story in Hollywood.
Obviously, last year, we saw Charlie Sheen had a public meltdown. Conrad Murray was convicted for taking the life of Michael Jackson for giving him substances. We`re constantly watching Lindsay Lohan walking in and out of court, dealing with her substance issues. What`s going on here that so many celebrities seem to have addiction?
Dylan Howard is back with me and joining me, as I said, my good friend and former co-host of "Love Line," and the author of "Rich Man, Poor Man," that`s an e-book, right, Adam Carolla?
ADAM CAROLLA, HOST, "THE ADAM COROLLA SHOW": Yes.
PINSKY: All right. Adam, you`ve been listening backstage of some of these 911 tapes. What`s your take on all this?
CAROLLA: Well, first off, I was thinking it`s weird that we get to listen to the tapes.
PINSKY: Well, I was thinking that, too.
CAROLLA: Those are way too intrusive for me.
PINSKY: I think -- first Hollywood note, which is, remember, you`re going to be on the air when you call 911. Somebody`s going to --
CAROLLA: That`s why I always plug AdamCorolla.com when I`m calling in. I invent fake accents. Hey, we got a car on fire. AdamCorolla.com. So, it`s weird and intrusive. And then, I sit back there, and I have the same thoughts you have, which is, are we vultures or are we helping to educate the public who are going to do whippets (ph)?
You know what I mean? I know you think of yourself as an educator and you think of yourself as a vulture --
CAROLLA: But am I the branch you two are sitting on?
PINSKY: You`re the crow chasing us around.
CAROLLA: Well, I`m saying that on one hand, it`s wildly intrusive.
CAROLLA: And, on the other hand, if we can save a few people from these tales, then it`s a good thing.
PINSKY: And I want to remind people, I did some research -- I don`t know if you know where -- research on celebrity, you`re subjected to me doing that research. Remember, I used to come in with those questionnaires. I drove Adam to distraction. I come to "Love Line" every night with these personality questionnaires as we ask the celebrities to fill this stuff out.
And we found lots of trauma, lots of narcissistic personality constructs, lots of addiction, more than average, more than the average population.
CAROLLA: But no. But everybody wants to be altered, I do believe.
PINSKY: There`s a natural human instinct for that. Yes.
CAROLLA: To escape. You know, you turn on the news. You see what`s going on in Darfur, and even dar-five and dar-six.
CAROLLA: It`s horrible over ther. And you want to get out. You just hear about all the news is --
PINSKY: Say this, you want to regulate. You want to feel better.
CAROLLA: Yes. Or not feel anything.
PINSKY: Well, some people.
CAROLLA: So, when you`re a roofer, you have to be at work everyday at 7:00 a.m. on a roof, and you can`t fall off, otherwise, you can`t be a roofer anymore. So, as a celebrity, you got weeks alone at home.
CAROLLA: You got all the money you need. You don`t have to drive yourself.
PINSKY: Nobody will say no.
CAROLLA: And it`s really easy to regulate or self-regulate or self- medicate.
PINSKY: And by the way, in those down times, maybe nothing to distract you, too, from life coming in.
HOWARD: If that roof had fell off, if that roof had fell off there and there was a 911 call, though, that would still be available for public consumption. It`s just that we`re living here in this era of celebrity.
PINSKY: Behind you. Celebrity behind Dylan`s head.
CAROLLA: I don`t understand what he`s saying with that weird accent.
CAROLLA: Demi Moore fell off a roof?
HOWARD: She did.
PINSKY: Charlie Sheen behind you guys on the big screen there. You know, he had a very public meltdown. It was obvious what was going on. He became severely manic. Did we learn something from that one? Dylan.
HOWARD: Well, I`m not sure with the -- was that the withdrawals from drugs. Remember, of course, Dr. Drew, I drug tested him.
PINSKY: No, no. That was not withdrawal from drugs. Here`s what that is, because it happens all the time with my patients. That was, you do enough stimulant, you eventually trigger a manic state, and you`re high all the time. In fact, my cocaine addict patients get envious of their buddies who become manic because they don`t need to do drugs any more.
HOWARD: So, it would be not surprising, though, that he produced negative for some 25 substances.
PINSKY: Of course. He was off. He was just manic, and then, he started coming down. That`s when they started using again. Now, it looks like somebody got to him and is helping him because he`s much, much better.
CAROLLA: Well, I`ve learned that "Two and a half Man" is a juggernaut. It`s a train that can never be derailed. Like, we could plug in Charlie Manson --
HOWARD: We don`t know if Charlie Sheen is still using drugs, we don`t know.
HOWARD: Could it quite well be that he`s still using and he`s just reached a level of functioning ability.
CAROLLA: Should celebrities do drugs? I mean, you want airline pilots doing drugs? And guys who drive cranes and backhoes? If there`s any segment of the population that should be doing drugs --
PINSKY: Except --
CAROLLA: Robert Downey Jr. breaks into some guy`s houses and sleeps in his bed once in a while, big whoop. But an airplane pilot high on drugs, we got a problem.
PINSKY: But Lindsey, sort of, people would argue that these are kind of role models, and it sets a standard. I`m not sure that they are. I think they just reflect what`s going on in the world. They are role models.
HOWARD: They are role models. We talk at length about those Kardashians, and the generation that consumes them are impressionable people. People consume celebrity more than any other beast in the news cycle at the moment.
So, all these celebrities are indeed role models. And they must take accountability for that, whether they like it or not. If they derive an income money from their movies that are consumed by populous people, then, they ought to take a level of responsibility.
PINSKY: What do you say to that, Adam? Is that why the British media is so tough on celebrity?
HOWARD: You keep assuming I`m British, I`m an Australian.
CAROLLA: And he`s from New Jersey anyway.
CAROLLA: He has that accent. If he spoke, it is - he`s from Poughkeepsie, actually. If he spoke in that tongue, no one was listening to him.
PINSKY: You`re Aussie, right?
HOWARD: I`m Aussie. You know, you`re right. The British media is so much more tough on celebrities.
PINSKY: Is it bad that they`re holding them accountable to something or is it justmaking money like --
HOWARD: Well, I just think -- well, I have to be honest, I think it was Rupert Murdoch that created this form of new celebrity media some 20 years ago that, perhaps, wasn`t quite the same anywhere else.
PINSKY: And you as a little boy growing up thought man, that guy has got it right.
PINSKY: I want to be a part of that.
CAROLLA: Here`s the part I`m not buying off on, that you lose all forms of identity and protection because you`re celebrity. That part where a guy can jump out of the bushes, film you, throw it up on TMZ. They sell commercial spots on TMZ or writer. They sell commercial spots off your likeness. If George Clooney does a commercial in Japan and they pay him $8 million, they can use his likeness.
PINSKY: The point is if that were somebody singing and they used that, they`d have to pay for that.
PINSKY: So, rather just the likeness somehow is something that public owns --
CAROLLA: You`re profiting off a celebrity and you`re not compensating the celebrity. I don`t get that rule.
HOWARD: -- when they release a film and they make $25 million off it.
CAROLLA: They did not sign a release.
CAROLLA: Of course, there should be. They shouldn`t be able to sell commercial space. Are you insane? You`re selling their likeness.
HOWARD: What about Politico.com and the politicians. So, they sell advertising off the political news cycle.
CAROLLA: You should not be able to profit off of someone who doesn`t participate in that profit.
PINSKY: What about their story? What if their image gets protected? What about the stories? Could the stories be profitable?
CAROLLA: I guess if it`s news, but, there`s a difference between, you know, ship sinking and George Clooney getting a new girlfriend. I`m just saying, if you`re making money off George Clooney, George Clooney should get to be able to wet his bick (ph) --
HOWARD: How is one meant to come back to argue that?
CAROLLA: One cannot.
HOWARD: One cannot. One question I`m asked a lot about, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Ten seconds and I got to go. I got to get Adam out of here before --
HOWARD: Are drugs more prevalent in Hollywood than anywhere else in the world? I think not, they just under a greater microscope.
CAROLLA: Yes, every guy (INAUDIBLE) with was an alcoholic and a drug addict.
PINSKY: All to same as construction but nothing else. Thank you, Adam. Thank you, Dylan. All right. Stay here. We`re going to keep Adam for the "Doctor`s Orders," and it will be an honored to have him. Could be dangerous? You might want to stick around. We`ll be right with you.
PINSKY: Welcome to the third installment of Dr. Drew`s Orders when you get a chance to laugh at your fellow Americans and the news stories and I get a chance to practice my trade (ph) a little bit, maybe, and this is my prescription for the WTF stories of the week.
My guest this evening was once quoted as saying, quote, "all weird stories emanate from either Germany or Florida," unquote.
CAROLLA: It`s true.
PINSKY: Yes, Germany or Florida? Everything.
CAROLLA: Right. Look it up.
PINSKY: Years on the radio you and I. Whenever something really (INAUDIBLE) came through or bizarre, you`ve been in a game, Germany or Florida.
CAROLLA: Yes. Sweeping nation. I`m not making a funny (ph) office, but yes. Just your garden (ph) variety homicide, that could take place in Oregon, but if somebody met somebody on the internet and went up fried up their genitalia and then consumed it with them, that`s either Germany or Florida.
PINSKY: So, let me go ahead and introduce this young man. He is, of course, the former co-host of "Love Line" both on radio and television, and now, the host of "The Adam Carolla Show" which was recently claiming -- had claimed the title of Guinness Book of World Records most downloaded Podcast ever. Of course, it is Adam Carolla. Adam, welcome. Let`s get right on to the stories.
Let`s see. We have a celebrity question tonight from Cuba Gooding Jr. I know you love him, star of "Red Tails" in theaters now. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUBA GOODING JR., ACTOR: Hell, Dr. Drew. Cuba Gooding Jr. here from "Red Tails." I`ve enforced to sleep on planes. Waking up and trying to get myself, you know, my minds -- is there anything I can do that can help me from being in those pressurized cabins and then running off into the another times on the city?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Is he asking how to adjust -- how to sleep on a plane or how to --
CAROLLA: I don`t know, but a guy -- the movie is about the Tuskegee airmen --
PINSKY: That`s right.
CAROLLA: --which were the first Mexican -- don`t correct me.
CAROLLA: I`m sorry.
PINSKY: Yes. African-American. Yes.
CAROLLA: The first Black airmen.
CAROLLA: They flew P-51 mustangs, and they shot down -- did I say Mexican already?
PINSKY: Yes, you did. Yes.
CAROLLA: They shot down Germans --
CAROLLA: Over Nazi Germany.
CAROLLA: And this guy starring in this film.
CAROLLA: He shouldn`t be asking questions about sleeping in an airplane. He should be asking questions about shooting down Nazis.
PINSKY: I agree with you. I agree with. But I would say, give him a little advise, may use some Benadryl (ph) and people -- I`ve been known to prescribe Ambien from people that have long flights. I know you (INAUDIBLE) it yourself. I know you take your medicine when you fly. Why?
CAROLLA: You know, Tom Cruise has a P-51 Mustang.
PINSKY: Does he?
CAROLLA: Yes. And I thought the greatest new story ever would be the greatest thing ever if Tom Cruise just went completely bunkers (ph), loaded up his P-51 Mustang with 50 caliber machine guns and just started strafing Hollywood.
PINSKY: I`ll look forward to that.
CAROLLA: In his P-51 Mustang.
PINSKY: --Germany or Florida. Next, fake physician budget butt lift. This woman injected women`s rears with cement, mineral oil, and fix-a-flat --
CAROLLA: Red Tails.
PINSKY: And sealed them with super glue. Yes. There`s a theme going here.
PINSKY: Obviously, this cheeky doctor featured here with her own expanding rear-end. She says, oh, she is really a he, by the way. That`s another part of the story. All right. Adam, anything you want to say about this young lady to put cement in people`s asses.
CAROLLA: I would say that a lot of the descendants of these Tuskegee airmen enjoyed this look in a woman.
PINSKY: Indeed, they might.
CAROLLA: Yes. This ain`t to work at Whitey here. We don`t like a big butt.
PINSKY: Here`s my "Doctor`s Orders," no fix-a-flat and a super glue. Obviously, board certified physician if you need plastic surgery.
CAROLLA: Who are -- butt enlargements? I think the idea was to shrink that area.
PINSKY: Adam, got to go. We got to go to break. Thanks for joining us. We`ll see you next time.