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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Halle`s Ex Tells His Side of Thanksgiving Brawl

Aired November 27, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Take a look at these photos giving us a brand-new take on the battle between Halle Berry`s ex-lover and her current fiance. These are very serious injuries. Now this man, her model ex- boyfriend, is spilling behind-the-scenes secrets, saying he`s the victim, and he`s got these photos to prove it. But who`s really telling the truth here? We`re investigating a real-life Hollywood drama next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight we`re now getting a close-up view of the injured face of superstar Halle Berry`s ex-boyfriend. Is that what her fiance`s fist did to this man? And now both sides are offering very different versions of just what happened in the Thanksgiving Day battle, as the bitter custody feud over Halle`s 4-year-old daughter escalates.

And it`s Powerball fever, and the jackpot could be the biggest ever. But what really are the odds that you`ll buy the winning ticket? And if you do win, will that solve all your problems? We`re looking at the good and the bad of winning that much money. Two lottery winners join me live tonight to talk about how their lives changed drastically when they won big.

And it`s "Rico`s Rescues." We`re trying to help this little Chihuahua with a big heart get a new home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Halle Berry`s ex-boyfriend was arrested after a fight with Berry`s current lover.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re getting a different version of events courtesy of legal documents that Gabriel Aubry has put together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ex, Gabriel Aubry, just got a restraining order against Berry`s fiance, Olivier Martinez.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This photo is awful. He has a black eye and cuts on his face. He says that he was attacked unprovoked. He claims he told the cops to get the videotape before they erase it. It`s a completely different story.

The courts are trying to figure out who started the fight. Everybody is telling a completely different version of events.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight astounding -- and I mean astounding -- secrets leaking out about the explosive private lives of three famous A- listers, including superstar Halle Berry.

Good evening. Jane Velez Mitchell coming to you live.

Halle Berry`s real-life drama now rivals even the most dramatic moments in her Oscar-winning performance in "Monster`s Ball."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILLY BOB THORNTON, ACTOR: Hey, Leticia, hang on. Where are you going? Hey. Where are you going? What happened?

HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: I met your daddy.

THORNTON: Let`s get out and talk.

BERRY: Get your hands off me.

THORNTON: At least you`ve got to give me a chance. Whatever he did. Please, give me a chance.

BERRY: Get off me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now her real-life drama. Incredible new claims tonight surrounding the now infamous Thanksgiving Day brawl between Halle Berry`s former lover, the father of her child, and her current fiance.

Look at these photos. I mean, really, this is painful to look at. This is heartthrob model Gabriel Aubry, Halle`s ex-boyfriend, the father of her 4-year-old daughter, Nahla. Gabriel was arrested and charged with battery, but now he`s fighting back. Gabriel now claims he`s the victim of an unprovoked attack, not the perpetrator. And he claims Halle`s current fiance, actor Olivier Martinez, attacked him.

In just-released court documents, Gabriel claims that after dropping off his daughter at the home, Olivier pounced on him out of nowhere. He says Olivier "punched me, kicked me in the ribs with his knee and foot, took my hands in his head and slammed it into the concrete driveway." And during the alleged attack Gabriel claims Olivier threatened, "I`m going to kill you" if he didn`t do as Olivier said.

All this as reports reveal Olivier has a -- a boxing background. His dad was a boxer, and he did some boxing. Who`s telling the truth here? Who`s the victim? Who`s the perpetrator? And how is all of this violence going to affect this innocent, precious little girl at the center of it all, 4-year-old Nahla?

Call me with your thoughts: 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to TMZ news manager Mike Walters. The horrifying aspect of this, he`s beaten. These are extraordinary photos in terms of the level of his injury, the one with his -- this one. Oh, my gosh. And yet, he`s the one who was charged with battery. He was treated as the perpetrator. He was handcuffed and taken away. What`s the latest, Mike?

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ NEWS MANAGER: Well, Jane, according to cops, what happened right when the fight went down is that Olivier called 9/11 and placed Gabriel under a citizen`s arrest. And the way the law works is, Gabriel did not say that, did not press charges and did not mention a citizen`s arrest once he was there.

There`s been some reports he might have been unconscious or at least out of it. If you look at those photographs, he looks so bad it`s possible he couldn`t make that determination at the time. But because of the way the law works, LAPD arrested the person who they say was the batterer, which was Gabriel Aubry, booked him and now it will go to the city attorney`s office to decide charges.

But let me tell you something, Jane. Here`s what I can tell you for sure. Both sides agree that Olivier Martinez came out to the car when Gabriel -- Gabriel was dropping off Halle`s daughter, Nahla.

Here`s the thing. Why in the world would this guy, the boyfriend of Halle Berry, come outside during an exchange of custody when they know they have a little bit of a hard relationship, and there`s a real bitter custody battle going on. Why in the world would the boyfriend step in and get into it with Gabriel?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well...

WALTERS: That, to me, shows some intent. That -- if you`re investigating it, Jane, you`ve got to look at why this guy would be involved at all in the first place.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this is one of the most violent -- in terms of visually, it reminds me of the Rihanna when she was beaten to a pulp. I mean, these are some serious injuries this man suffered.

Now, you were talking about why. Well, the back story here is that Oscar-winner Halle Berry reportedly has wanted to take her daughter and Gabriel`s daughter, the one who was beaten, to live in France with her French fiance, Oliver, the one who has the boxing background. He`s an actor.

Gabriel fought that in court. He`s the father. He said, "I don`t want you to take my daughter to France."

Well, now, Gabriel claims the day before the fight, Halle`s fiance told him, "I wish I could beat the bleep out of you right now." And then the next day as he was attacking him physically, allegedly said, "You cost us $3 million. When you see the judge, you`re going to tell him you`re going to Paris or I`m going to kill you. I`m not just some bleeping actor. You don`t know me."

Now, again, this is according to the man with the black eye, OK, so there`s two sides to the story. But according to -- there`s Olivier with his current fiancee, Halle Berry. He`s from France.

The last thing Olivier allegedly said during his fight is "We called the cops. You`re going to tell them that you were the one that attacked me, or I`m going to kill you," end quote. Again, this is all according to Gabriel.

But I got to say, Dylan Howard, editor in chief of Celeb Buzz, Gabriel claims the cops were there almost as soon as the fight ended. He seems to be implying that Halle and the fiance set him up to be arrested because of this whole custody battle about her wanting to take the child to France.

DYLAN HOWARD, EDITOR IN CHIEF, CELEB BUZZ: Well, Mike Walters raises a very valid point, and that is the fact that it was a citizen`s arrest.

There is a key piece of evidence here that could shed the ultimate light. It could be the smoking gun, if you`d like, that is going to separate fact from fiction here. Who`s telling the truth and who is not? And that is the security-camera footage that inevitably is at this West Hollywood home. We do not know if police have secured that video.

But what we do know is that Gabriel Aubry`s camp is suggesting that they told detectives, "Be sure to get your hands on that video." Now, detectives were at that home yesterday. It remains to be seen whether or not they seized that potential evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is so extraordinary, really, because as we`ve been saying, Halle has been battling Gabriel for custody of their daughter, Nahla, since they split up two years ago. She wanted to move to France with the 4-year-old, claiming -- this was her claim. That the paparazzi in the United States were putting her child in danger.

And here is one altercation Halle Berry got into with a photographer. This one was caught on video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERRY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ... respect. And that is because of your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) videos. You chose to do something (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I`m doing something honorable. I`m not harassing people. You get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a life. Get a honorable life. You`re a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Every single one of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. She wants her privacy! That`s why she`s mad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychotherapist, Robi Ludwig, Halle may have a point about paparazzi crossing the line. But we also have to ask, isn`t this entire drama making Halle Berry and her family a paparazzi magnet?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, there are major celebrities who go through Hollywood and nothing like this ever happens. So...

LUDWIG: That`s true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say about her role, if any, in this?

LUDWIG: Well, I mean, Halle Berry could be basically triggering this fight between her fiance and her daughter`s -- the father of her daughter. It sounds like she`s very angry. She may not be used to not getting her way. Clearly, we see Halle Berry has a temper. Who knows what she`s doing to contribute to this -- this dynamic. She has to be contributing in some way.

And certainly, I can understand how she would be upset that she`s not able to move her daughter and that the laws prevent her. But if she somehow is contributing to this fight, and it`s leading to this kind of violence, that is not a good thing for anyone involved, especially Halle Berry`s daughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say -- and we`ll cover this on the other side of the break -- is that I don`t know if it`s a reasonable request for a parent to say, "I`m going to take my child and move to another country. and you better deal with it." I mean, we`re going to ask an attorney on the other side, is that the way it is? Because the judge said, "Unh-uh. You can`t take -- you can`t pick up Nahla and move to France where your fiance is from just because you want to. There`s another person involved here, the dad."

Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said you made racial slurs. She said you pushed her while she had your daughter in her hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so ugly for Halle`s side. She claims in the past the man you just saw walking there, Gabriel, who now has been very badly beaten, has been accused of having a very bad temper himself. In fact, we`re going to go to our HLN producer, Selin Darkalstanian.

A former nanny, in court papers that you`ve looked at, claims that Gabriel pushed her violently while she was holding little Nahla, and that she claims Gabriel continually harassed her. Tell us about that.

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN PRODUCER: This is a nanny that was hired by Halle Berry to be the main nanny for Nahla as she was going from home to home, going from Halle`s house to Gabriel`s house. And so basically, what this nanny claims is that Gabriel was aggressive, that he pushed her, that he would say things to her like, "You`re a spy. And you were hired to let Halle know what -- you know, what I`m doing and report things back. You`re not even doing your job correctly."

So this woman is painting a picture that Gabriel is aggressive, that he`s violent. On the other hand, we have Gabriel painting a picture that Olivier Martinez is the one that`s extremely violent who, you know, beat him to the ground. So which one is correct?

We have two court filings here, and they`re exactly opposite of each other. We don`t know at this point who`s telling the truth. Well, the only truth that we can come out of this is the surveillance camera, Jane. And like it was mentioned earlier, Gabriel himself said he lived in that house with Halle Berry for almost five years during their relationship together.

So he specifically lists where the surveillance cameras are in the house. Which ones are facing the driveway, et cetera. So he`s saying look at the tapes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Stacy Honowitz, Florida prosecutor. Gabriel, who was the one with all the injuries, but that this was some kind of set up. That`s what he`s implying in his court papers. That basically the cops showed up right when the fight ends and arrest him, even though he`s the one with the most serious injuries. Did -- should they have collected that videotape as he allegedly begged them to do? He says there`s at least three surveillance cameras pointing right at the area where the fight happened.

Yes, you know what, Jane? Every time in a divorce and a custody issue, you know, emotions run wild, especially when they just come out of a hearing in which she lost. And so yes, lots of times when there`s not a determination as to who started the fight or who was the aggressor, if there`s some kind of evidence that might be able to prove it or show you who did it, it is wise for the police to collect before they make an arrest.

Now, in this case, what`s going to happen is, if that surveillance tape has not been deleted -- and hopefully it hasn`t -- and he`s able to point them out. The city attorney and state attorney is every going to get those charges will have an opportunity to look at that tape before they make any kind of determination.

But you`re going to run into huge custody issues. People are going to allege setups by the other party, and certainly, he was not happy, Martinez, with what the outcome was when she wasn`t allowed to take this child to Paris.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, perhaps one of the most disturbing things in all of these court documents is Gabriel, this guy here, who`s a very good- looking guy. I think we can all agree on that. And he`s a model, and now his face is badly beaten.

Well, he claims that when he pulled up to the house with his 4-year- old daughter Nahla, Halle Berry`s daughter, as well, she said -- and this is before the fight happened, and this is what he claims. He claims his daughter said, "Olivier is here. I`m scared." And claims that the daughter was visibly upset and anxious.

So Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, how might all of this impact the courts? I mean, could this boomerang on Halle Berry by bringing Nahla into the investigation?

LUDWIG: Absolutely. I mean, now Halle`s daughter could be interviewed, and they have a way of interviewing children to try to assess what`s going on in the house and to try to assess the daughter`s feelings about the people in the home.

You know, it could be that Halle Berry just has not the greatest taste in guys, and she may choose guys that have issues with violence or acting out. I don`t know. I don`t know any of these people intimately, and I haven`t spoken to them. But that`s a possibility, where they`re all contributing to what we`re seeing play out here. They all have anger issues. They all have an agenda. And nobody is acting properly in this scenario.

But of course, we want to make one person good and one person bad, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy, Arizona. Your question or thought, Nancy, Arizona.

CALLER: Hi. I was watching this, and I just had to call in. I`ve never called in before.

But I just think that, No. 1, I think this was provoked by this Olivier -- or Martinez, because I think they`re angry that they can`t take this little child and move overseas. I think that he provoked it.

I find it hard to believe that Gabriel would provoke something when he won the court case and stuff. He has all the damage on him. Martinez only has his knuckles or whatever.

I think that -- that this should be reversed. I think this Martinez should be the one charged.

I also think that this poor child, I think that -- and as far as the nanny saying that, you know, Halle Berry has claimed that she was pushed, the nanny is probably paid by Halle Berry. So I think that she`s, you know, going to say whatever. Not saying that she`s not truthful, but I`ve never heard of this Gabriel Aubry being violent. I don`t know. Maybe he is. Like I don`t really know these people.

This seems like a no-brainer to me. He`s got all the severe damage on him. This was really a -- this Martinez seems even more dangerous than this Aubry.

Unfortunately, there`s a little girl involved. Perhaps the child should be placed with a very nice home until these people can agree to get along.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what you just said, ma`am, is very, I`m sure, alarming certainly for Halle Berry, the idea that Child Protective Services might have to get involved. We`re going to analyze that possibility, if it is a possibility, on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERRY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ... respect. And that is because of your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) videos. You chose to do something (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I`m doing something honorable. I`m not harassing people. You get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a life. Get a honorable life. You`re a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Every single one of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. She wants her privacy! That`s why she`s mad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is Oscar-winner Halle Berry dressing down a paparazzo. But some would argue that having those kinds of confrontations make a star a paparazzi magnet.

And now her ex-boyfriend right here, the father of her 4-year-old daughter, Gabriel Aubry claims he was beaten up by Olivier Martinez, even though Gabriel was the one who got arrested after Halle and Olivier Martinez called the cops on him when he was dropping off the child to their house. Wow. You need a scorecard.

Gabriel, meantime, has hired powerhouse attorney Shawn Holley. If that name rings a bell, you know her from the many countless times she went to court with Lindsay Lohan. There she is with her head down. There she is. An excellent attorney, and she did a very good job of keeping Lindsay from doing any hard time, despite Lindsay`s repeated shenanigans.

Dylan Howard, editor in chief of CelebBuzz.com, this is perhaps one of the more startling stories to come out of Hollywood since the Rihanna beating by Chris Brown. And we all remember that photo. I think we even have it here to show us to remind us. This created an uproar. It was talked about internationally for weeks on end.

And now we have a man who has very, very serious injuries. Again part of a Hollywood story. What`s the reaction? You`re in the heart of Hollywood.

HOWARD: You know what, Jane? This story has been going on for months. I remember previously when I edited a magazine called "Star" magazine. We reported on the allegations before they even made court that Gabriel had supposedly used the "N" word in relation to Halle Berry. The recriminations have been flying fast for months, but It was Thanksgiving, as you can see by those photos, when it really began to send shockwaves through Hollywood because, of course, it`s violent. Very violent. At the heart of this is a young 4-year-old daughter.

Now, it really does raise serious questions, though, about the justice system and how it`s actually got to this point. And really, I mean, you`ve got to ask questions about whether or not the hand-off of the child not only in question here should be more supervised to avoid instances like this when you`ve got accusations about violence even before this incident from both sides.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to show you some pictures of Gabriel Aubry before -- before this fight on Thanksgiving, and then after so you can sort of look at both. He`s got bruises all over his face. His eye is shut. But there you see when he`s a model, and he`s been a model for 17 years. He`s stunning. Everybody involved in this is quite attractive.

Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, could -- since he makes his money off his looks, could he sue on that basis for lost wages? And could there be a new criminal investigation, should there be regarding his claims that he was the victim and implying he was set up by Halle and her fiance?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, anybody can try to sue for anything, and certainly if he believes there`s a tortious battery against him, he can go to court and sue, if he lost his wages and he can`t get a job.

I mean, Jane, the reality of this is that, although there`s celebrities, they have the real problems that every other divorced couple sometimes goes through with those custody issues at hand. We see this all the time when there`s handoffs and there`s violence and there`s batteries. We see it -- I see it in my job a lot.

What`s going to happen now is they can investigate. They can look at this videotape. They can reanalyze. They can determine whether or not Martinez was the aggressor, and certainly, they can charge him. And Child Protective Services can come in. They can go back to divorce court, and they can have a new agreement as to how the hand-off has to be handled.

So all these factors are going to play in once this case gets going.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I think we had a brief picture of the tale of the tape because this ended up being sort of a boxing match. But this guy clearly lost. He claims that he did not throw a punch, and now we`re hearing that Olivier has a job not only as an actor, but had had, in a previous incarnation had been a boxer. So there you go.

Guys, stop fighting for the child. Halle, keep your men under control.

Tonight, the premiere of "Nancy Grace Caught on Tape," car chase edition. Take a beat seat with Nancy as we watch the wildest, most frightening car chases. Bank robbery suspects toss cash as they make their getaway. A felon with a long rap sheet steals a car. A whole lot of action tonight at 8 on HLN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all comes down to this. Big money tonight -- it`s America`s favorite jackpot game. This is Powerball.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaking of money, lotto fever is sweeping the country. Who can blame us, right? A record jackpot for tomorrow`s Powerball drawing just got even bigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odds of winning are one in a 175 million for each ticket. You can buy more tickets. I`m not saying it`s a good plan but that`s the only way you can actually increase your chances of winning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully it will bring in some more people that think that we`re a pretty lucky place to come and buy tickets now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I have the winning ticket.

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(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my ticket. Actually, no; it`s my producer`s ticket. She`s been hovering around my desk all day because I said, "Can I borrow your lottery ticket? Because I`m going to go and get one tonight.

If you have some lottery-playing secrets, use them, share them. The record Powerball jackpot is already half a billion dollars and growing fast. What are the odds, however, of actually winning, and how can you increase your odds of winning?

We have an expert, and if you do win, how much money will you really take home? Answers tonight for you. Powerball machines on fire -- en fuego. Forty-two states and counties plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Island are pumping up tickets every moment for tomorrow night`s big drawing.

Most everyone dreams of someday winning the lottery -- let`s be real - - even if they don`t admit it. They even make movies about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We won.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got all six numbers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we won.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A whole lot of screaming. All right. The odds of winning the lottery are -- brace yourself -- one in 175 million; not good odds, but it doesn`t keep people from playing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got divorced yesterday, and maybe this is my lucky day. Of course, I`ll definitely donate some to charity. I`m that kind of guy. This will definitely take care of me if I win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to donate all the money away, because I have places I`m going to donate it to. I`m just going to keep a million dollars, throw it in the bank and live off the interest and the rest I`m going to give away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Already planning how you`re going to spend your fortune? You`re not alone. But is winning the lottery the answer to your problems? We`re going to talk to a lottery winner and the daughter of a lottery winner with wildly different stories.

I want to hear from you. What are your lottery fantasies, your strategies? 1-877-586-7297, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

Straight out to finance expert, Jordan Goodman -- ok. Everybody wants to know this. What can we do, if anything, to increase the odds of winning? Do you buy one random ticket? Do you use the same numbers? Do you buy 10 tickets? Do you buy 100 tickets? Is there a strategy that can help you win?

JORDAN GOODMAN, FINANCE EXPERT: Well, being lucky is good, but basically the more tickets you buy the better chance you have. But the odds are not going to go down that much more if you buy that more tickets. I mean one in 175 million. If you add 10 tickets on to that, you still have way more chance of getting hit by lightning, Jane, than actually having a winning lottery tickets.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Or having quadruplets; we have all sorts of analogies.

Now, let me just ask you this because I`ve thought (ph) of this. Just get the random numbers that they give you or if you play the same number over and over again could that help you?

GOODMAN: No, don`t play the same number over and over again. That`s not a good strategy. I would actually do some numbers that mean something to you like your wedding anniversary or something like that and some random numbers because it`s all random anyway. So if you win the one where it happens to be your wedding anniversary or some number that means something to you at least you feel better about it if you actually win.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m not going to pick wedding anniversary. That`s for sure. But I`ll think of something. Maybe the day I adopted my puppy.

GOODMAN: There you go. That`s good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, yes. Sometimes winning the lottery can be a blessing. As in the case of Cynthia Stafford; she won $112 million in the California lottery. Watch this from TLC`s "The Lottery Changed My Life".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CYNTHIA STAFFORD, LOTTERY WINNER: Well, in the last two years I have been doing a lot of things in Hollywood and traveling the world and just having a great time -- a really good time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cynthia joins me now as we watch video from TLC`s "The Lottery Changed My Life". We`ve heard so many horror stories and we`re going to get to them in a second.

But we wanted to start with you won $112 million. Tell us the highs. Put us in your shoes so we can sort of vicariously feel what it would be like to win the way you won.

STAFFORD: Wow. It is a great feeling. It`s actually very surreal, but it`s one that if I could live it over again, I would.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you took a look -- let`s pretend this is your winning ticket, and you looked at it and you saw that the numbers were the same and you probably said, let me look at that again. Let me look at that again. What was that moment when you said "Oh, my God, I have won this thing"? What was that like?

STAFFORD: For me, I almost passed out. And it was just -- it`s just one of those things that you recognize that wow my life is going to change dramatically, and it will. It definitely will.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have so many questions for you. But first, let`s go to a story that`s not unfortunately quite as happy. One family`s been quoted as saying, "Winning the lottery was a curse." Jack Whitaker of West Virginia won a whooping $350 million Powerball jackpot back in 2002. First, here he is accepting his check.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK WHITAKER, LOTTERY WINNER: My biggest problem is going to be to keep my granddaughter and daughter from spending all their money in one week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But after donating millions, everybody it seems was asking for a handout. Things went downhill. He was arrested for drunk driving, he was robbed, his car was vandalized and tragically his granddaughter died of a drug overdose.

I want to go to Patricia Wood -- you`ve written this book, "Lottery". Your father won the lottery. What was the impact for you? A thrilling, happy ride or a nightmare?

PATRICIA WOOD, AUTHOR, "LOTTERY": No. Neither actually. The problem is not in how you react to the lottery win or my father reacted to the lottery wins. But people`s perceptions instantly change. They look at you differently. They interact with you differently.

For me my identity changed. I became the daughter of a lottery winner, and the assumptions that I was on easy street. I didn`t have to worry anymore, and then the solicitations start.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when you say "no"?

WOOD: It is -- people don`t like "no". And you know it`s just -- it`s more of a choice. Do you give money to a relative who needs chemotherapy treatment, or do you give money to someone who needs money for their child`s college education or do you donate to cancer research or do you donate to your church. And it never ends. It never ends. My father - - even after 20 years, my father is still bombarded with requests.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. I want to go to the phone lines. Thank you for your patience. Crystal, Iowa, your question or thought or your question for one of these lottery winners? Crystal.

CRYSTAL, IOWA (via telephone): I had just bought two tickets myself. We have a work pool, like a pool at work, and I didn`t partake in that. If I did win I don`t think I`d spend it all. I think I`d probably put a lot of it away and save it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happens sometimes and I think that`s certainly a great idea, because what happens a lot of the time, Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist -- I`ll give you a chance to think about this and you can answer on the other side of the break -- is that people suddenly get a lot of money, but ironically they often end up bankrupt. They end up broke and in one case that we`re going to tell you on the other side there`s a murder of a lottery winner and the motive was money according to prosecutors.

All right. We`re going to answer that on the other side.

Time for your "Must See Video of the Day". Talk about close calls. Watch as this car crashes into a jewelry store narrowly missing a little boy. The store owner`s 16-month-old son ends up getting trapped behind a desk, but thankfully escaped with just some scratches. Police charge an 84-year-old man with reckless driving. Look at that precious angel. He is ok tonight despite, despite, despite that.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s going on with cranes? Here`s your viral video of the day. A crane burst into flames and collapsed on a building in Australia. We`re happy to say nobody was hurt, but oh my gosh.

You know, we just went through during Hurricane Sandy that crane that dangled dangerously until it was strapped down in midtown Manhattan. My mother was evacuated. Look at this. Now it`s another crane problem. What`s going on?

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $500 million.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told my wife we`d go to Brazil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a lucky place. Someone won about two years ago $116 million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest Powerball jackpot ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buy me a little house I would love to have at the beach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The drawing is tomorrow night, 11:00 p.m. Eastern. The odds of winning $500 million about one in 175 million; that means it is more likely that you would be crushed by a vending machine -- better chances of that. Also more likely that you will have identical quadruplets, assuming you`re a woman who can be pregnant. And you have a 1.4 million chance of dying from being left-handed -- so you have a better chance of that. Also a better chance of being hit by lightning. Now even those who surpass all those odds, guess what? Sometimes it`s a curse.

I got to ask you this, Robi Ludwig. Jury selection happening right now in the case of a lottery winner, Abraham Shakespeare. He won $17 million in the lottery and a woman befriended him and allegedly killed him for his money according to cops. What do you make of that, Robi?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you know, when somebody inherits a lot of money through a lottery, they`re not prepared for how their life is going to change. They`re not prepared for the scam artists that might come their way. It`s very hard to distinguish who is really in their corner and who is not.

And also, when you win a lot of money, you still need to manage that money, and that`s not necessarily something that`s intuitive but something that`s learned. So we see these stories about people who get lots of money via the lottery --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To that point -- the man you were looking at there, he had never held a bank account. And that very handsome gentleman in the suit -- we just saw him -- he`s the one, I believe, he`s the murder victim.

He had never had a bank account, Jordan Goodman, personal finance expert, until winning the lottery. This is the woman accused of killing him, I believe. And so the $17 million ended up being a curse for him.

GOODMAN: Absolutely. It happens all the time. Something like 40 percent of the people that win lotteries actually go into bankruptcy within five years. They`re just not ready to handle that kind of money. So what you should do, if you do win the lottery -- somebody in your audience hopefully is going to win it -- is to get a financial adviser and have a kind of a cooling off period where you put some money -- a lot of money in the bank account. Just don`t even look at it for about three months or so.

Go into hiding, that`s what a lot of people do because you`re going to get all these solicitations and everybody is all of a sudden your fast friend. You have to avoid those kinds of things and all the charities that come after you.

And you`re asking for real trouble if you put yourself out there because everybody`s going to come after you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to say Cynthia Stafford, lottery winner, I like your `tude. I like the fact that you made it work for you. You`re having fun. You`ve got a big smile on your face, and we`d like to have you back because the drawing is tomorrow night. So hopefully we can get more of your wisdom -- lotto wisdom.

On the other side, we are going to rescue a little Chihuahua.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- for our "Pet o` the Day". Send us your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane. Keke, oh, I love you -- look at that tongue hanging out. Olivia -- Olivar, Olivar, Olivar, sleeping relaxing. Oh, my gosh -- Patches, Lucy, and Louie -- you`re a pack, a precious pack. I love you. And Jake just in time for the holidays, ready to party. Where`s your holiday party Jake? I want to go.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for now for "Rico`s Rescues". Right, Little Rico?

Let`s save some lives. Huh, Rico? Rico, Rico -- hey, Rico, Rico.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight on Rico`s rescues, we have a big success story I`m thrilled to announce. Precious who was featured on "Rico`s Rescues" earlier this year has been adopted into a loving home. Here she is with her new family. Oh, man. This is wonderful. Look at that.

Happy, happy dog, happy kids, happy mom and dad; best part -- this is one of many happy outcomes. Thanks to you, our viewers, everybody at home who shares these pictures and who has been part of this.

Seven dogs that we`ve featured have been adopted. And adoptapet.com says hundreds more have found homes because people are calling Adopt-a-Pet now.

And tonight we have another little guy who is hoping to find a great home. Joining me is my dear friend, Jane Garrison. Tell us about this amazing little fellow.

JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: This little guy, this is actually probably the most urgent dog that we`ve had on the show, Jane. His name is Barney. He`s a one and a half-year-old male, 8-pound Chihuahua. Super sweet.

He is right now at a very high-volume shelter in Los Angeles at the East Valley Animal Shelter. In fact, the animal control truck is outside the studio to take him, when we`re done to bring him back to the shelter. So we have to find him a home.

These people in Los Angeles area, please go to the East Valley Shelter and adopt Barney and there are so many others like him right now. The shelters are packed, especially around the holidays, it really gets worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got -- it`s the East Valley Animal Care and Control Center in Van Nuys, California. You can call them at 888- 452-7381 or go to hlntv.com/Jane and this information`s up there. Or my Facebook page, JaneVelezMitchell/Facebook.

Please, people. Don`t go on the Internet and buy a dog. I have a very good friend after all of my talking and working on this issue bought a dog off the Internet. And I was like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? It broke my heart. You know, there are animals being killed every single day, 4 million to 5 million dogs are killed because there are no homes for them. And people are breeding these dogs for profit and so with every dog you buy, a dog like this little guy, who doesn`t have a home, could be killed. We want to save Barney.

More on the other side.

GARRISON: That`s right.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you`re planning on bringing an animal companion into the home for the holidays, please, adopt, don`t shop.

Jane, tell us about the very overcrowded shelter that little Barney comes from.

GARRISON: Yes. He is at the East Valley Shelter which is part of the Los Angeles City Shelter System. And they are so overcrowded always. And right now, especially around the holidays. Please if you live in the Los Angeles area, you can see how sweet he is. He`s going back to a cold, lonely cage tonight after the show. Please go to the East Valley Shelter.

If you`re outside of Los Angeles, go to adoptapet.com and bring home a dog. They`ll get you out exercising, they`ll give you so much love, you can play with them. They add so much to your lives.

And please whatever you do, don`t buy any dogs, don`t support any breeders. We need to spay, neuter, and adopt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Adopt, don`t shop. And that little face -- that perplexed face, he`s saying like I don`t know what`s happening. I wish I could just go home with you. But we can`t adopt every single one. I mean I have -- between my mother and me, we have three. It`s up to others.

GARRISON: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t buy. Adopt. Look at this little guy. Let`s save his life.

GARRISON: And if you have one dog -- if you have one dog, go get another one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace is up next.

END