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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Boy Scouts Covering up for Abusers?

Aired September 17, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JVM starts now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: It`s happened again: a child sex abuse scandal rocks another famous American institution. This time it`s the Boy Scouts of America. Did the leaders know men were sexually abusing young innocent Boy Scouts? Didn`t anyone call the police? We`re taking your calls.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, shocking secrets exposed. Allegations of a massive sexual molestation cover-up in one of America`s most popular kids` organizations: the Boy Scouts of America. Did top leaders cover up for alleged child molesters, letting them leave quietly instead of calling police? Are there so-called secret perversion files? What every parent needs to know tonight. And we`re taking your calls on this.

Then, an interview so outrageous you have to see it to believe it. Was Lindsay Lohan`s mom, Dina, on something during her big interview with Dr. Phil? She seems to be slurring her words and acting very strangely. We`ll show you the bizarre interview. And we`re talking to Lindsay`s dad, Michael Lohan, tonight.

And the royal family furious, fit to be tied after a topless scandal involving Prince William`s wife, Kate Middleton. Why Prince Harry has company and why the paparazzi may have royally messed up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Boy Scouts of America is accused of covering up hundreds of cases of suspected abuse against kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of these scout leaders were allegedly molesting these children on camp trips.

What`s clear is that, in many of these cases, the Boy Scouts, instead of informing authorities, decided to keep this information to themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The Los Angeles Times" got ahold of more than 1,000 confidential files known by scout leaders as, quote, "the perversion files."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the 500 cases where the Boy Scouts were the first to become aware of allegations of sexual abuse, 80 percent of those cases contained no indication that they were reported to authorities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Boy Scouts continued to keep these perversion files. They are detailed accounts of sexual abuse in the organization. But they`re confidential, and only the Boy Scouts has them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, horrifying secret that stopped us dead in our tracks: claims that one of the oldest kids` organizations in the United States engaged in a molestation cover-up that, if true, is so big it would make the Jerry Sandusky case pale by comparison. He`s one man convicted of molesting ten boys, which is awful enough.

Well, tonight "The L.A. Times" claims, quote, "The Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police," end quote.

The newspaper, in this stunning report, says it got ahold of more than 1,000 confidential files covering two decades to 1991. And that they found that scouting officials often urged admitted molesters to resign and helped many of them cover their tracks.

"The Los Angeles Times" reports scouting officials often did not tell the police or even the parents of the alleged victims. "The L.A. Times" claims the Boy Scouts maintained so-called "perversion files," which the paper described as a blacklist of alleged molesters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perversion files is what the scouts have called these documents. The effort was to keep a master list of men who should not be allowed to be involved in scouting. These have been kept confidentially by the organization for almost 100 years now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "The L.A. Times" says it uncovered 400 cases with no record of scouting officials reporting allegations to police. And 100 cases where scouting officials tried to conceal or allowed the suspects to hide the abuse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of the files contain handwritten accounts by the young 10-year-old boys who were sexually abused. The Boy Scouts were attempting to put together a complete file so that they could expel these men from scouting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are talking case after case after case after case of scout leaders allegedly molesting young boys, like this man -- take a look -- who was expelled from the scouts after the paper says he admitted to engaging in a sex act with the boy. But nothing in the file indicates the scouting organization called the police.

We know the scouts have made big changes in their organization to prevent this from happening again. But the paper says it was only two years ago that the Boy Scouts began requiring members to call cops when they suspect abuse.

If they really want to clear it all up, why don`t they reveal these so-called perversion files and tell the whole world what was really going on inside the Boy Scouts of America?

I want to hear from you. Parents especially, call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to investigative reporter and HLN contributor Jon Lieberman. Jon, what`s the biggest bombshell to come out of this truly shocking "L.A. Times" report?

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I`ll tell you, Jane, when you look over the document, they literally making you nauseous. And the bombshell is this. It`s how wide-ranging the alleged abuse was. It was how active the cover-up was. It`s the details of the abuse that we`re now learning. That is really the bombshell.

Let me give you just a couple of examples. 1976, five Boy Scouts come forward and accuse a scout leader of rape and other sexual crimes. That guy is simply allowed to resign and his reason given, the official reason in the file, was he had to travel more for work. And then he was written a glowing letter from a top executive about how much he will be missed and how upset they were to get his resignation.

You know, another one was in 1980...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon...

LIEBERMAN: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got the other one. But you made your point. There are so many. And I don`t know about you, but I literally -- my jaw was dropping as I`m reading things that we cannot tell you on the air, they are that graphic. We cannot repeat some of these allegations involving not one but numerous boys.

Here`s one case. You mentioned one. Here`s another. "The L.A. Times" says a Virginia scouting official got reports back in 1978 claiming that a highly, highly decorated scout leader, Arthur Humphries, had been repeatedly forcing a Boy Scout into oral sex. Now, what did the Boy Scout official do? Listen to what "L.A. Times" reporter Jason Felch claims.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JASON FELCH, "L.A. TIMES" REPORTER (via phone): Those allegations were not taken to police and Mr. Humphries was not expelled from the scouts. It was only in 1984, several years later, that police caught Mr. Humphries, and he eventually pled guilty to sodomized -- sodomizing 20 boys and was sentenced to 151 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The convicted molester, Arthur Humphries, has since died. But "The L.A. Times" says six long years before his arrest, a 12- year-old boy gave a sworn statement outlining repeated molestation by this man. Having heard that Boy Scout, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, what should have been done at that time?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, again, Jane, what we see is a major institution protecting their reputation over the welfare of children. He should have immediately been taken back to his parents, his parents informed of the allegations that were made and the matter reported to the police so that they could take the little boy in for a physical examination. Evidence could have been preserved. Statements could have been taken.

But once again, the big institution, worrying about their reputation, covers it up and allows other children to then be victimized, because this offender is still on the loose and still has access to children, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the Boy Scouts` response to "The L.A. Times." Quote, we regret there have been times when,, despite the BSA`s best efforts to protect children, scouts were abused. And for that, we are very sorry," end quote.

Now, in the 1980s, the scouts required two adults to be present for activities. Now they require background checks on all staff and volunteers, as well; offer child abuse prevention training; and they require all suspected child abuse to be reported to police. But "The L.A. Times" says that mandatory reporting rule just went into effect two years ago.

By the way, we invited the Boy Scouts to bring a spokesperson on tonight, and they declined.

I want to go to Norwood Young. You are a survivor of sexual abuse, not involved in the scouts, but they say you were raped and molested between the age of 17, your teenage years, by a male relative. You said you were rape and molested by a male relative.

NORWOOD YOUNG, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVOR: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When the response is such as being described in these "L.A. Times" claims, how does that impact emotionally the victims?

YOUNG: It`s a terrible thing, Jane, because, again, the abusers are allowed to be protected. You know? And in this situation, since 1919, I tend to believe that it`s a conspiracy theory.

But I tend to believe that it might be a boys` club -- you know, not Boy Scouts but scouting for boys, indeed. And it hurts really badly that these young boys are going through these things repeatedly and not being protected. You know, you have adult counselors and you have volunteers. And why would they not go to the police? I believe that these volunteers and these counselors know something and have something on the Boy Scouts as to why they`re not prosecuting them. It`s just making absolutely no sense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, again, we invited the Boy Scouts on, and they are welcome on any time. We want to be fair. We want to hear their side. But it`s our obligation to report these very serious allegations reported in "The Los Angeles Times," a reputable news organization.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Mary in Wisconsin, your question or thought, Mary?

CALLER: Hi, this baffles me so bad that they won`t let gay men and boys in there. And guess who gets raped? They get raped by heterosexual men. This is so baffling to me. It makes me sick.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re referring to the fact that there was a lesbian mother who was volunteering as a den leader for her 7-year-old boy`s Boy Scouts troop, and she has been forced out by the Boy Scouts of America. We`re going to get to that story in a little bit.

And on the other side, a lawyer who represents 30 former Boy Scouts is going to talk to us. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FELCH: One of the things we saw repeatedly was men whose sexual abuse was covered up by the Boy Scouts of America went on later to be accused of different crimes involving sexual abuse of boys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "The L.A. Times" says this is such a shocker. I mean, this is rocking the Boy Scouts of America, these allegations. They say the records they`ve obtained show instances when the scouts took action internally but they failed to call cops.

"The L.A. Times" claims, for example, in 1971, this assistant troupe leader, William Lazzareschi was caught engaging in a sex act with a 12- year-old boy at a Rhode Island scout camp. He was expelled from the scouts. But "The L.A. Times" says no report was ever made to police or the boy`s parents.

"The Times" says it wasn`t until a quarter of a century later that this man was ultimately convicted of sexual assault in 1997. And just seven years ago, he was convicted of child porn possession, but he`s no longer in prison. Oh, my gosh!

Theo Fleury, former NHL player, Stanley Cup champ, Canadian Olympic gold medalist, you were sexually abused, you say, by your coach. So it`s not the scouts. However, how big is this? You`ve heard the facts. You`ve been listening. How big is this, compared to, let`s say, the Sandusky case or the -- a priest scandal?

THEO FLEURY, WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY HOCKEY COACH (via phone): Well, I think the last time I was on your show, Jane, I said who`s next? So, you know, I will say it again. You know, which big organization is next, you know?

This is the biggest pandemic we have in the world. And, you know, I`m not surprised at all. I`m not shocked by the allegations. You know, to me, this is par for the course.

But the other side of the coin here is that we`re seeing a lot more people finding the courage to come forward and, you know, put these people behind bars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to your point, I want to go to Tim Kosnoff, former deputy prosecutor and trial attorney. And you say, sir, that you currently represent a whole lot of former Boy Scouts who claim they`ve been molested. Tell us the numbers. We`re trying to get a sense of the scope of this scandal.

TOM KOSNOFF, ATTORNEY FOR VICTIMS: Well, I`ve been representing child-sex-abuse survivors since 1996. And I came across these files in 2003. And I`m thankful that "The Los Angeles Times" took the files that I gave them and have issued this excellent report. I`ve been living with them and analyzing them for ten years. And I`m very knowledgeable about them.

What they reveal is that the program began in 1916. There were probably over 20,000 perversion files. They purged the vast majority of them in the early `70s. What have survived are approximately 6,500 of the files. They open them up on average once every other day and have for the last 100 years.

If you consider that the average molester abuses over 100 children over the course of a lifetime, the numbers become astronomical, the number of victims, both within scouting, because these molesters move to different youth organizations. The number of suffering adult survivors of child sexual abuse in scouting is probably somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. A hundred and thirteen million boys have come into contact with the Boy Scouts of America.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go. Stand by, sir. And interesting, very interesting information. I mean, the scope of it is mind-boggling.

Let`s go out to Michael in Oregon. You say, Michael, you`re a scout leader. Are you just finding out about this now? Did you know about it? What`s your reaction to it?

CALLER: Well, I`m disgusted, Jane. And thank you for taking my call.

And what -- the point I need to make is there are some fine groups out there that are chartered with the Boy Scout organization. You need to take a look at how the Boy Scout organization is organized. You have the national. Then you have the individual councils. And then you have the little groups that charter as, say, a franchise. They buy a franchise into the Boy Scouts of America.

And most -- the plurality of franchises, from -- you know, from what I understand and from what I`ve read and what I know about the Boy Scouts, are churches. And the two No. 1 churches that have chartered with the Boy Scouts are the LDS and the Catholic churches. Both of them have a culture of covering up things within their own church.

And if you were to take a look at all these perversion files and take a look at the chartered organization, I would bet you that more than 50 percent of them are through those two top churches which have a culture of covering up abuse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir, you`re making some excellent points. Hang on. We`re going to get to a quick break. And then on the other side, I`m going to go back to the attorney who represents 30 former Boy Scouts and ask him, where are these cases?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Sandusky sex-abuse scandal set the entire Penn State campus into an uproar. I mean, we all remember the high-profile trial ended with Jerry Sandusky being convicted of more than 40 counts of abuse. The campus was, well, in an uproar.

But as that case unfolded more and more young men came out of the woodwork. Angela Williams, sex abuse survivor, founder of Voice Today, thank you for your patience. Could this be the tip of the iceberg with the Boy Scouts of America scandal?

ANGELA WILLIAMS, SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR: Absolutely it`s the tip of the iceberg. And the courage to speak out, this is just paving the way.

We have 42 million reported survivors in the U.S., and only one in ten survivors will ever tell. So we really have to look at this epidemic and what we`re going to do about it. I mean, every person in America should be outraged at the behavior of the Boy Scouts of America.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Tim Kosnoff, we`re short on time. Tell me flat-out, how many former Boy Scouts do you represent and what are you doing with those lawsuits?

KOSNOFF: We represent currently about 50. The problem is -- is that in most states, victims don`t have a remedy because of the statute of limitations that bar them from bringing lawsuits.

In Washington state, we`re able to bring these cases, because our law is favorable and friendly to survivors.

So if we have changes in the laws in the various states, victims will have a forum to come forward and identify their abusers. And in that way, they will make their communities safer, because they will identify their abusers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to Norwood Young. What do you think the Boy Scouts of America should do now?

YOUNG: Actually, Jane, I actually think it needs to be shut down. I think it needs to be shut down. It needs to be re-evaluated. It needs to be reorganized. It needs -- it just needs to stop. This is crazy. And no outing should happen with children without a chaperone these days, period.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they have made a lot of changes to the organization. And we outlined many of them. They are invited on our show any time. We want to get all sides to this very shocking story.

And now, speaking of shocking, shocking video of the day, a 2-year-old behind the wheel. That`s right. Little Giovanni May doesn`t even know how to use a car, maybe even the potty. But he is sitting on Daddy`s lap and steering the car while Mommy tapes it on her cell phone.

Thankfully, nobody got hurt. And I think I can see Daddy`s hands somewhere there. So I hope that he`s really doing the steering there. Wow. That is not a good idea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Lindsay Lohan`s mom accused today of being smashed, as in drunk, during an interview with Dr. Phil.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you thought Lindsay Lohan went off the rails, watch Lindsay`s mother, Dina, in an interview with Dr. Phil from CBS.

DR. PHIL MCGRAW, TALK SHOW HOST: Let`s talk about...

DINA LOHAN, LINDSAY`S MOM: Are we to camera now or rolling? I`m sorry.

MCGRAW: You have come on here and been phony, flitting around and like that.

D. LOHAN: Oh, stop, I`m not flitting around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a train wreck. She OBVIOUSLY looked like she was under the influence. But you know, it`s definitely a person who`s in crisis. It doesn`t take a brain surgeon to see why Lindsay Lohan has probably had a lot of the problems that she`s unfortunately had.

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: It wasn`t vacation. It wasn`t some sort of a joke. And I regret not taking it seriously.

MICHAEL LOHAN, LINDSAY`S FATHER: One thing that has led Lindsay to the place she is now is the fact that Dina and I still can`t seem to get on the same page.

HAMMER: Dina, however, adamant she wasn`t drunk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course they edit long interviews into promos. That`s what`s done in television. Everyone -- not everybody looks a mess like that. What was she thinking?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lindsay Lohan`s mom, bizarre TV interview. The highly anticipated sit-down aired just a little while ago on "Dr. Phil." And now a lot of people are asking, what the heck? What`s going on with Dina?

She said she reached out to Dr. Phil to set the record straight about her and her family, but a lot of people think she raised a lot more questions than answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGRAW: Why are we here?

D. LOHAN: I don`t know.

MCGRAW: So we`re done? There`s nothing to talk about.

D. LOHAN: OK.

MCGRAW: Because I asked you questions that you didn`t answer that I think are important for women to hear.

D. LOHAN: You`re like in your little tie, your little shoes, like, you know...

MCGRAW: I`m in my little tie and my little shoes? What the hell does that mean?

D. LOHAN: Do the math. It`s on video. Go back to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do the math? Oh, I don`t want to do the math, Dina. It doesn`t add up. Dina`s incoherent responses have a lot of people asking was she maybe tipsy or high? She tells TMZ, not so. What do you think? Does this interview shed more light on Lindsay`s secret family life? Do you have more sympathy for La Lohan after watching her mama in action?

Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Dina`s ex, Michael Lohan, is here with us live in a moment.

But first to my dear buddy, Rob Shuter, "Naughty but Nice" Huff Po; you saw the show. What on earth is going on with Dina?

ROB SHUTER, "NAUGHTY BUT NICE", HUFFINGTON POST: Jane, I`m almost speechless. I`ve never, ever seen an interview like that.

In her defense, let me do this for one second here. She doesn`t have a publicist. She doesn`t have manager. She had nobody around her to try and help her. When celebrities do these big, high-profile interviews, they have a team. They have an army of people to help them answer difficult questions. Dina did all this by herself and ultimately she only has herself to blame.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we are going to go now to Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan`s dad and Dina`s ex. Michael, in Dina`s interview that aired on "Dr. Phil" today, they touched on what she says -- I`m just playing the clip here -- was repeated physical abuse at your hands.

Let`s listen. And then we`ll give you a chance to respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGRAW: It started in the first year. You had funny feelings before you got married. And during your pregnancy with Lindsay and then after she was born. But yet you had not one, not two, but three more children with him. Why?

LOHAN: He was incarcerated, found religion; I guess I could label myself as an enabler. I think I`m kind of someone who is clearly like the world doesn`t know what I`ve been through. Help me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Help me? I can`t help you. Now, Michael, we have to show this video. It`s good television, come on. You in a wheelchair after you were injured allegedly trying to evade police by jumping off a third- floor balcony. You know, I hate to get all -- let`s get all the bad news out of the way right now.

MICHAEL LOHAN, FATHER OF LINDSAY LOHAN (via telephone): Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: DUI wreck, arrested for domestic violence more than once, your girlfriend`s called the cops on you, she`s now pregnant with your child. Dina seems to be suggesting you`re the root of the problem and I want to give you a chance to respond.

M. LOHAN: Well, let`s begin by saying I`m really flattered that Dina actually said she`s an enabler. I don`t think she was referring to me. She should have been referring to Lindsay.

And let me preface this by saying something, Jane. You`re a recovering addict. You`ve done a wonderful job at it. You`ve written a book and giving a lot of people good advice.

I`m a recovering addict. I`m an interventionist. I`ve helped a lot of people. And I`m sober myself for a long time myself, going on eight years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Congratulations.

M. LOHAN: You know and I know that an addict or an alcoholic like Dina is a liar and a manipulator. She went on that show on Dr. Phil -- by the way, she got $50,000 for that show. I took nothing.

Secondly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t independently confirm that.

M. LOHAN: Can you hear me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I just said I can`t independently confirm any of that nor the money nor whether she has an alcohol or any kind of problem. I mean --

M. LOHAN: I think we can see that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She says she wasn`t high at all or drunk during that interview. That`s what she says, Michael.

M. LOHAN: Of course she said that. But I mean Rob Shuter knows, by the way, hello, Rob, that it was reported in the "Daily News" just today that she was out for her birthday with Lindsay just the other night after this interview and she was drinking again while Lindsay was drinking. And this came from the host of the restaurant.

What I`m trying to say is with regard to the abuse and everything she said, I sent all of the paperwork from my divorce over to Dr. Phil ahead of time. And in the paperwork, it said there was only one time that I hit her and that was in 1986. And she wasn`t pregnant.

And after that, it stated everything with regard to the money that she got the house and $250,000, everything that she said was a bunch of lies. I didn`t come out --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Michael, I have to jump in here. You just gave us some breaking news. You`re saying that your daughter, Lindsay, is drinking? Is that your claim? I didn`t know you were going to say that so I don`t have a response from her. She`s invited on anytime or to tweet a response or whatever.

But you`re saying that on live television. To put it in context -- you`re right, Dina celebrated her 50th birthday this weekend. "New York Daily News" -- she was out partying with her daughter, Lindsay, who`s been in and out of rehab.

Now, Dina brushed off her daughter`s problems on Dr. Phil. Let`s listen to this and then on the other side of the break, we`ll talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGRAW: In `05, car crash.

D. LOHAN: I mean we should look at --

MCGRAW: `06, struggles with drugs. Film company says she`s not bankable -- crashes her Mercedes. Second rehab, five --

D. LOHAN: We`re in L.A.

MCGRAW: All of these things go on. She spends time in jail.

D. LOHAN: She was living in New York, that wouldn`t -- five of them would be obsolete.

MCGRAW: You`re missing the point.

D. LOHAN: No, I`m not missing the point. I understand that demise.

MCGRAW: To pooh-pooh that and say, oh, she was in New York, five of those would go away, that would leave another 17.

D. LOHAN: No, but, you`re under a microscope here.

MCGRAW: Right.

D. LOHAN: In New York, it`s not like that. You`re a Texan.

MCGRAW: What?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, Dina`s logic ignores the fact that the whole world has watched Lindsay for all these court cases involving DUI, drugs --

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- theft, the high-speed chase. Now, what about this news that Michael -- Lindsay`s dad is claiming is drinking again? If you go to rehab -- and I`m not saying she is. I don`t know. But one thing I do know, if you go to rehab, you`re not supposed to use any mood-altering substances, including alcohol.

LUDWIG: Right. Well, it means that she`s relapsed, right, if she`s drinking again. And if her mother is drinking with her, that`s a serious problem because basically that would mean if this story is true that Dina is contributing to her daughter`s illness and perhaps they`re enabling each other.

And I would also suggest that Dina is not acting like a mature adult in this relationship. I mean when you have a child, as much as you may enjoy them, like them, like spending time with them, as the parent, you have to set limits. You don`t go off and go drinking and partying together.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well -- ok. Unfortunately we have to move on from this fascinating story. But I have to say, I don`t know independently any of this. We`re going to make calls. We`re going to call Lindsay and try to find out and maybe you can come back, Michael.

We want to stay on top of this because it is bizarre. Thank you, Michael. And thank you, fantastic panel including Rob Shuter and Robi Ludwig.

Now to our kooky video of the day, a baby who is not abreast with being on live television. Here`s a reporter. Check out this adorable little baby boy giving a Danville reporter the stink eye on live television. This shot, well -- that`s funny. That was a bad, bad live shot for that reporter. You scary guy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re talking royal scandal in a moment. But first here`s your viral video of the day. Two calves, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the wonderful Farm Sanctuary. And these guys are often rescued from the dairy cows. And they are with mommy. In this setting, they get to be with mommy. Isn`t that lovely?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second royal scandal -- A French magazine published photos of what appears to be Kate Middleton topless.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Grotesque.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Duchess topless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The palace says the shots appear to be genuine and are, quote, "grotesque invasion of privacy".

QUEST: Fury. What started out as sadness that rapidly turned into fury, Kate who`s with her husband on a private holiday --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Duchess of Cambridge is very upset.

QUEST: Those photographer thugs -- they will stop at nothing to get them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The magazine says it`s just doing its job.

QUEST: No reputable news organization has touched these pictures with a ten-foot pole. This is the red line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More fireworks tonight in the Kate Middleton topless sunbathing scandal. Now an Italian magazine has just unveiled a 26-page spread with even more photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless with her husband, the future king of England. This despite legal action filed today by Buckingham Palace against the French magazine that first published the photos. The Italian magazine, "Chi" says the photos were shot from a public road. Check out this new argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: If you don`t take your top off in public, there are no photos. There`s no controversy. When you walk outside of a door that is now outdoors, the reality is, you might be photographed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Holly Hughes, former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, it seems like now it`s swinging in the opposite direction with Roland Martin and others saying, hey, come on -- you could be the queen one day, you should know better.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. That`s exactly right. The only thing that might save that lawsuit is that they filed in France. And France has very stringent privacy laws. But as far as anybody else, they published them in Ireland. But they didn`t sue there, Jane.

And let`s face it, use common sense. You are probably the most sought-after woman to be photographed in the entire world, just like Diana was, William`s mother. They`re going to take pictures of you.

So the legal inquiry is, was the photographer in a place he had a legal right to be? And from all accounts, the answer to that is, yes. He was on a public road. She was in an openly public place. Yes, it was a private estate. But, again, she`s outdoors. She`s outside.

You know, there are satellite cameras, there are phones, there are telephoto lenses. If you are one of the most watched people in the world, Jane, just keep your clothes on and this won`t be a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unless you`re in your own --

(CROSSTALK)

HUGHES: That`s common sense, though.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, Harry took off his clothes and he was not outside but he still got photographed.

HUGHES: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s face it, a non-royal sunbathing topless is going to get attention, especially if they`re attractive. If they`re an attractive royal, watch out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN: If you want to get your full tan on with no clothes, guess what? It might have to be inside in a tanning booth. It might have to be with a special machine. But the moment you step outside in open air, you risk the paparazzi invading your private space. That`s what we have here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Rob Shuter, "Naughty but Nice" Huff Po -- listen, I`m wondering if subconsciously she wanted to kind of break out. It`s very confining. Princess Diana spoke object how you`re in a straightjacket. Was this her way subconsciously, perhaps of rebelling and saying, "Hey, I`m a real flesh-and-blood woman after all"?

SHUTER: Absolutely not. This was as private as she possibly thought she could be. She wasn`t in Times Square. She wasn`t on the Westside Highway. She wasn`t in St. Tropez. She was in the middle of a very, very private estate, a chateau in France where she thought she was safe. And somebody from maybe a mile, maybe a mile and a half away took these pictures.

I think it`s disgraceful. I think we`re blaming the victim here. Poor Kate -- she was trying to have a private moment with her husband. And now we can all see these pictures. Shame on us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen. Having done a number of stakeouts in my life with telephoto lenses, they only go so far. If she was a couple of miles from the road, there`s no telephoto lens that I know of that could get in there because I`ve been in that situation trying to get photos not as a paparazzo but as a regular journalist. Forget about it. It just doesn`t work.

I`m wondering if they didn`t get into private property and then claim that they were on public property. And I hope that the lawyers just march out that territory and see exactly where the public road starts. More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time now for our pets of the day. Send your pics to HLNTV.com/Jane. Buster, Romeo -- so, so handsome. And Quack and Jill -- very, very pretty ducklings, we love you, yes, we do. And Brodi and Nixon -- ok? Cinnamon you are very spicy. And Buster, you`re a doll.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have to behave themselves. And at the moment, I don`t think Harry is being particularly well-behaved. So we won`t publish the pictures in this country now. But I think the next set of pictures will be published. And with Harry, you can be damn sure there will be a next set of pictures.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Party boy Harry caught in the buff and the royal family fit to be tied over Kate Middleton`s topless photos. But she, according to many, not to blame; but now there seems to be a swing in the other direction saying, hey, you`re royal, you`re beautiful, the whole world is obsessed with you, keep your shirt on.

I don`t know. I`m just reporting it.

Now, here`s one of my favorite royal stories. The Duchess of York, Fergie -- you remember her -- she was once wrapped up in a toe-sucking scandal. Pictures published appear to show a man sucking her toes while they were sunbathing in the south of France. It`s always France, isn`t it?

But that was wacky behavior by somebody who was already on the outs with the royal family. Kate is absolutely beloved. And that is why they are absolutely beside themselves.

Let`s go to the phone line. Athena, Massachusetts. Your question or thought -- Athena?

ATHENA, MASSACHUSETTS (via telephone): Yes --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, dear?

ATHENA: I just wanted to -- I just think that (inaudible) -- topless in this country is so hypocritical.

(inaudible)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what darling; I think you`re talking from the bottom of a well. But I heard something about the press being very hypocritical? Rob Shuter, the press is sort of hypocritical. We were hypocritical in a lot of ways.

SHUTER: Yes. You know, these pictures are going to sell thousands, if not millions of magazines. The press really had Christmas come early when these pictures were released. And the one part of this that I do think is a very valid point is that, is Kate any different from a Lady Gaga or a Britney Spears? At this point, isn`t she just another celebrity?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say Princess Diana was famously quoted referring to her marriage saying, well, there were three of us in the marriage. So it was a bit crowded and we all know she was referring to, Camilla Bowles -- right.

Now, maybe there`s an upside, Holly Hughes, to this whole thing because if you`ve seen the photos, not only does Kate look beautiful, but she`s being very affectionate with her husband, the future king of England. And it would seem they have a real marriage unlike Prince Charles` marriage to Princess Diana, which was very rocky.

HUGHES: Right. And I think this is only going to make people come out in more support of her. She`s already very -- she has a great reputation. I mean she`s sweet. She`s classy. It`s all very positive.

And, again, I`m not blaming the victim here. I`m just saying that given her notoriety, given her celebrity, given the fact that everybody wants to see this lovely young lady, you just have to be extremely careful. So there`s going to be a backlash. People are going to be mad at the publication for publishing it and doing this to her. But they`re still going to buy it to see those pictures.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she`s a human being and every so often, you have to let it go when you`re a human being. You know what I mean?

HUGHES: But you might get photographed doing it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re very proud to tell you we`ve got fantastic news on two stories we brought you.

First, we spoke live two weeks ago with the devastated parents of this young lady, missing 25-year-old Ivy Merck, the Georgia woman who worked at an animal hospital had been missing almost a month. Her parents were absolutely frantic, crying, devastated.

Good news. Ivy has been found and she is ok. She was found safe in Miami. We don`t have more details. But what more details do you need? We`re so happy for her parents.

Our next piece of good news involves Bennie the hound mix. He made an appearance on our show just the other, Friday with an adoptive (inaudible) from the Westchester, SPCA. And there he is with the coach of the New York Rangers hockey team, who is a huge animal rescuer.

Guess what; Bennie mad such a fabulous impression on our show, he has just been adopted. We`re hearing he`s getting neutered this week to keep that stray dog population down. And he`s going to his new home on Monday.

We`re so happy for him and his human companions. Now let`s get the millions of other dogs and cats languishing in animal shelters good homes.

Nancy next.

END