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Paris Jackson Rushed to Hospital After Suicide Attempt

Aired June 5, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m coming to you live. Breaking news out of Los Angeles, California. New information pouring in as we speak.

Michael Jackson`s daughter Paris rushed to the hospital after a reported suicide attempt. A source close to the Jackson family saying the 15-year-old Paris cut one of her wrists.

A Jackson family source confirms tonight that Paris called a suicide hotline last night and alarmed the counselor so much that 911 was called. But we are very happy to be able to report to you tonight that we are hearing Paris Jackson will be OK.

But we`re also asking tonight what sent this beautiful teenage girl, who has been more than a million Twitter followers and comes from one of the most famous showbiz families ever, over the edge?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paris Jackson, 15-year-old daughter of pop icon Michael Jackson, rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles today.

THOMAS MESEREAU, MICHAEL JACKSON`S FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He was the best-known celebrity in the world with enormous influence, enormous popularity. And he felt he had never had a childhood.

PARIS JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S DAUGHTER: Our dad was a really normal father, like, when he was with us.


P. JACKSON: Yes. And we would get grounded if we did something bad.

MESEREAU: He shielded his children from conflict and influences he thought would be bad for them.

P. JACKSON: We`ve adjusted over the past -- past years.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right before Paris Jackson reportedly slit her wrists, she was on Twitter. In one tweet she said, "I wonder why tears are so salty."

And then shortly after she tweeted this quote from a famous Beatles song: "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they`re here to stay."

But less than a week ago, Paris Jackson seemed happy, even carefree on YouTube, giving a makeup demonstration.


P. JACKSON: For those who know me or are pretty familiar with me and my eye makeup. And those who have not seen me without makeup, well, hello. This is my face.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: How adorable? A great sense of humor. A beautiful young lady. So that was just a couple of days ago. What happened?

Straight out to Jen Hager, assistant managing editor of Radar Online. What is the very latest, Jen?

JEN HAGER, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Well, we know that Paris is currently in a hospital here in Southern California. She`s been placed on a psychiatric hold.

Now, physically, she is going to recover from her injury. She cut one of her wrists. However, this definitely was a very serious, serious suicide attempt. We cannot undermine how serious this is. We can only hope that she`s going to get the professional help that she so desperately needs.

As you said so eloquently, Jane, it was just last week that she put this video on YouTube where she was giving a makeup demonstration. She looks like a well-adjusted, normal teenager.

However, we do know behind the scenes this wrongful death trial that`s playing out in downtown Los Angeles, in which AEG had been expected to call Paris as a witness, has really been on her mind. She was deposed back in March. It went horribly for her. She absolutely...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In what way? In what way did it go horribly?

HAGER: Well, she had to relive that time when her father was murdered by Dr. Conrad Murray. And you know, she`s a 15-year-old girl. She`s having to relive that horrible, horrible time in her life. She has made it known publicly how much she loves and misses her father. He was the most influential person in her life. She was young when he died suddenly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Let me -- let me jump in for a second, because I think you`re making some good points. Paris, her brothers and her grandmother are suing music promoter AEG Live, saying the company is liable for Michael Jackson`s drug-overdose death.

Remember, Michael was rehearsing for his final tour, "This is It," when he died.


MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: This is it. I mean, this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Jacksons blame AEG for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave the King of Pop that surgical knockout drug Propofol to help him sleep almost every night as he prepared for his big comeback.

Now, AEG says they`re not responsible. But Jim Moret, chief correspondent, "Inside Edition," in Los Angeles, you and I have covered Michael Jackson for decades now. Did this trial dredge up old history about Michael Jackson`s drug use? And even his child molestation trial, where he was found not guilty?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": And so I really want to first go to Dr. Judy Ho, clinical psychologist. What do you think it`s like for these kids to be dragged into this adult world of trials. After just having lost their dad, the anniversary, the four-year anniversary is coming up. And they just lost their dad five years ago. And now they`re being dragged into this lawsuit -- Dr. Judy Ho.

DR. JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Hi, Jane. It`s like one trauma after the other for this family. I mean, these kids are way too young to be dealing with this level of trauma in their life over and over and over again.

I mean, they just had to deal with their father`s death. And now they`re in this huge adult world of trials and depositions and having to swear in. And talk about this experience, reliving it over and over again. I think it`s going to contribute to them having some type of posttraumatic stress on top of everything else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course. I mean, this girl, it`s amazing that she`s as poised and as put together as she is. No wonder. Fifteen is a traumatic age for anybody. Life is high school, they say, but then you add on this lawsuit. And we`re just getting started. There`s a whole bunch of stuff going on.

My heart goes out to this young lady. And if you`re watching, Paris, I`ve always admired you. You`ve got the grit to get through all this.

It`s difficult being the child of a celebrity, let alone one of the most famous celebrities in the history of music, the King of Pop, known for classics like "The Way You Make Me Feel" from Epic Records. Remember this?


M. JACKSON (singing): Hey pretty baby with the high heels on, you give me fever like I`ve never ever known. You`re just a product of loveliness.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, TMZ news manager. You`ve been all over this story. What do you know about Paris Jackson?

MIKE WALTERS, NEWS MANAGER, TMZ: Well, Jane, you`ve talked a little bit about what happened today. I can tell you the main issue here that`s being addressed is her mental state. And we do know that she`s being held on a 5150 hold, 72 hours in the hospital. They`re addressing all of those mental issues, why she would go to the extremes and do something like this.

One of the things they`re looking at: there was a suicide note found. They`re looking at the note, trying to match up what specific problem she`s talking about.

On the other hand, Jane, I will say, sources were telling me that this all started not from a long line of issues going on. It was she threw a temper tantrum about not going to a Marilyn Manson concert. Of her age, something that some parents wouldn`t want their kids to go to. She threw a fit, slammed the door. And then, according to the police report, took a bunch of Motrin pills and then cut her arm with a meat cleaver.

I mean, that sounds really violent for somebody of her age. And luckily, she had the thought to call a 911 suicide hotline operator. And that`s the person that actually called 911, not somebody in the family. So luckily, I think, for her it went that direction, Jane.

But I`ve got to tell you, very, very scary stuff with taking pills and using a meat cleaver on your own body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And thank you for that, Mike Walters.

We do have to say that HLN has not been able to independently confirm the information that we just got from TMZ.

But Dr. Judy Ho, we know that teenagers are into cutting these days. Sadly these kinds of things go in trends. And that`s something that the teenagers today do. I mean, we`ve done stories on it. But wow.

HO: Right. I mean, there`s a copycat thing going on with the cutting. There`s the YouTube videos now on how to do it. There are people showing off how they`re doing it and talking about it on blogs online. So there`s a lot of this happening with our teens.

Some of it is an expression of just really reaching out and a cry for help or a cry for attention. And if the TMZ reports are right, you know, Paris may have done this and then realized, "You know what? I really don`t want to die," which is why, then, she reached out to a suicide counselor, who then called 911.

So she may have regretted it after the fact. But I believe her distress was extremely real. She`s going through a lot of different things, and she probably just didn`t know what to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters at TMZ, tell us how this all unfolded. I mean, this apparently started in the dead of night?

WALTERS: Yes, 1:27 a.m., Jane, the call came out from the suicide hotline operator to 911. They dispatched it was a possible overdose, the call. So they went lights and sirens to the house. Once they got there they did notice she had a fairly severe cut on her arm from the knife. They ended up taking her to a local hospital right near their house in Calabasas, stitching up the cut.

But then realizing all of the above, that they needed to keep her on a 72-hour hold because of the mental status and the suicide note that they found on the scene.

But yes, dead of the night in a very private, you know, household neighborhood here in the very, very nice part of Los Angeles.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she is in the hospital currently. Has her famous family gathered around her, do we know, briefly, Mike?

WALTERS: Yes, they have. And I can tell you, she`s doing fine. She`s recovering. But they are all there, about to be transported to a different hospital for treatment.

Wow. OK. Thank you for that excellent information.

On the other side, more analysis. Not only this trial but there`s a whole bunch of other stress factors, including her biological mother. Stay right there.


P. JACKSON: We`ve adjusted over the past two -- past years. And I think that coming here and seeing our dad`s old house and all the fans coming out, I think it`s really sweet that they did that.



JERMAINE JACKSON, PARIS`S UNCLE: They`re kids, but we`ve been able to really just let them be themselves and grow up to be fine human beings.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Very disturbing news, but we`re happy to say that Paris Jackson is OK tonight after a reported attempted suicide that landed her in the hospital.

TMZ reporting that she cut one of her hands, her wrists, with a meat cleaver. We can`t independently confirm that, but we can tell you that sources close to the Jackson family are confirming that she cut her arm or her hand. This area.

You know, after Michael Jackson`s death, Paris Jackson talked about her childhood, which some said was quite bizarre, and how her famous father, Michael Jackson, made her and her siblings, her two brothers, wear masks when they were going out. Listen to this, from OWN.


OPRAH WINFREY, FOUNDER, OWN: What were you -- what did you think about that then? Or did you just think...

P. JACKSON: I was really confused. I didn`t get why I was wearing a mask, but I understand it now, why my dad would want our face to be covered. Like when we went out without him, we wouldn`t be recognized. And we could have a normal childhood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, Paris Jackson, such a beautiful young lady.

Now you have to wonder if Michael Jackson may have had the right thing in mind, even though everybody criticized him because it was bizarre, kids wearing masks. Some people might wonder, well, now that they`re being exposed so much that you can see why he may have wanted his kids to be hidden from view from the public and the media.

Straight out to Erin Jacobs from the Michael Jackson Fan Club, somebody I got to know during the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who gave Michael Jackson the deadly dose of Propofol; gave him Propofol for a long time leading up to that overdose. Your reaction to this news tonight?

ERIN JACOBS, MICHAEL JACKSON FAN CLUB (VIA PHONE): Hi, Jane. This news has been devastating for the fan community today. It has rocked the fan community worldwide. And we are all hoping that Paris is going to get the help that she needs.

This is just such a sad time, watching this beautiful child of Michael`s going through the AEG trial and then going through the anniversary of his death that`s coming up in about 15 days, 20 days. And when we heard this morning that Paris had attempted suicide, it was absolute disbelief.

We`ve been monitoring social media for about seven hours now and have seen tremendous support worldwide for this child and her family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Erin, I know it`s emotional for you. And I know how much you love all the Jacksons. And this hurts. It hurts because she`s so beautiful, so intelligent, so talented, so wonderful. We all love her. I`m a total fan.

And if you happen to be watching, Paris, your life`s ahead of you. You`ve got everything. This was maybe a cry for help. And you can get counseling. We all have -- I`ve been in therapy for years. OK? No shame in it.

Paris has had family issues as well. Last year her grandmother, Katherine, was reported missing, sparking a dust-up. You may remember this surveillance video showing a big argument between Paris and her famous aunt, Janet Jackson. And they were struggling over cell phones. Eventually, Katherine returned home and some of her adult kids said, "Oh, Grandma was simply at a spa with them in Arizona under doctor`s orders."

Katherine backed up those claims in a statement to ABC News.


KATHERINE JACKSON, PARIS`S GRANDMOTHER: There are rumors going around about me that I`ve been kidnapped and held against my will. I`m here today to let everybody that I`m fine, and I`m here with my children. And my children would never do a thing like that, hold me against my will. It`s very stupid for people to think that.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, chief correspondent, "INSIDE EDITION," you`ve covered the Jacksons for decades now. Do you think all this family trauma could have had an impact on Paris?

MORET: Well, look at this emotional storm that this girl is in the center of. She`s 15. She, according to her interview with Oprah last year, was being bullied. Her father is the most -- most famous person in the world. He`s gone.

And now you have this AEG trial that Jen Hager was talking about earlier. And what`s going on in this trial? You`re getting dredged up, all of this information -- they`re dredging up all this information about Michael Jackson and children and his drug use.

She`s now 15. She`s in high school. Kids talk about this stuff. She has to testify in the upcoming trial. All of that pressure. Is this the reason? Who knows? But I suspect it`s not good for her.

And I think the best place for her right now is where she is right now in the hospital under a 5150, because I suspect that this is a number of issues going on.

I talked to Tom Mesereau, Michael Jackson`s attorney, today and he said Michael Jackson didn`t have a childhood. What he wanted more than anything was for his children to have the childhood he never did. And they`re now in the center of this media attention, and maybe it`s just too much for them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jen Hager, it gets me mad, because I said why are they going to trial against AEG? Everybody`s got enough money for several lifetimes. And we all knew that the only way they can defend themselves is basically try to put Michael Jackson on trial. And that`s exactly what`s happening.

And now we had just forgotten all about all of the controversy and the scandal surrounding Michael Jackson. I`d go into clubs and hear Michael Jackson music and start dancing to it again. And all of this was just dredged back up with this AEG trial.

And it was Katherine Jackson who filed suit against AEG, as well as the kids. These are kids. They`re not going to sit there and make a decision: "Yes, we`re going to file a suit." They were dragged into this lawsuit. I think that there`s a problem.

HAGER: I think there is a big problem here. However, you know, Katherine Jackson and both Paris and Prince and Blanket, Michael Jackson`s other son, are all plaintiffs in the case.

However, AEG -- it`s important to remember -- is the one -- they are the ones that had subpoenaed Michael`s two oldest kids, Prince and Paris, to be deposed. And they wanted them to testify.

Katherine fought that. Her attorneys fought that in court. They wanted it extremely limited time that they would be deposed. Very limiting questions.

But again, you know, for these kids to have to go through this, to be put on the witness stand at a trial over their father`s death right around the anniversary.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying.

You know, Jim, I only have ten seconds. Do you think it was a bad idea for -- for them to be dragged into this?

MORET: I think it was a bad idea to file the lawsuit. Because I agree with you. It`s just money.

And look, they have every right to go against somebody who they believe is liable for the death of their father. I don`t dispute that at all. But what did it do? It opened the floodgates for more allegations and bringing back all of that muck-raking that was going on during his life, whether it was true or not. And this is what they`re now in the center of.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, you and I stood next to each other for months on end in the child molestation trial back in 2005, Jim Moret. OK? Eight years later when we had just forgotten about it, this whole lawsuit has brought all of that back up.

And there`s an allegation now of child molestation, a guy who had testified during that trial who said, "No, he didn`t touch me," now changing his tune. Could that be connected to this lawsuit? All this dirt coming up. How is that going to affect this child?

More on the other side.


M. JACKSON: This is it. I mean, this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call.




KEVIN BOYLE, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: The Jackson family and the Jackson lawyers are putting no pressure on Paris regarding this case at all. It is AEG who is putting this case at Paris`s back door.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That statement just moments ago from Katherine Jackson`s attorney, saying, "Don`t blame us." I find that fascinating from just a psychological perspective.

Dr. Judy Ho, clinical psychologist, first of all, AEG wouldn`t be -- and I`m not defending AEG. I don`t really -- I don`t care. All I care about is Paris Jackson. But AEG wouldn`t be pressuring anybody if they weren`t being sued. So what do you make of that comment?

HO: Well, Jane, that comment was pretty defensive, don`t you think? I think they realize that they`re under attack and that there is some personal responsibility they have to take for the fact that they are dragging kids into this.

You know, when Katherine Jackson made this decision to bring this case to light, you know, you can`t predict what`s going to get subpoenaed. And because the two eldest Jackson kids are old enough to testify, old enough to be subpoenaed to give a deposition, they were asked to do so.

And so now they`re trying to minimize their exposure to court. But you really can`t take that back once you bring the case up. So I think that lawyer is being a tiny bit defensive, don`t you think?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen. Jim Moret, I always say when it comes to the Jackson family, follow the money.

We have video, by the way, of Paris four years ago. In a couple weeks it`ll be four years since she spoke eloquently. Remember how she spoke eloquently at the memorial for her father? And she spoke about how she loved her daddy so much. This is a very articulate little child who has now grown into a very beautiful young woman.

Jim Moret, is this all about money, this lawsuit?

MORET: Yes, I think it is. It`s about vindication. It`s about finding who`s at fault for, in this case, his dad`s death. And they have every right to pursue that.

But it`s not just whether she`s going to be called to testify. Because look at all of this other information and these allegations coming back about Michael Jackson. Look at his legacy.

Now, another interesting aspect to Paris`s life right now, she`s rekindled her relationship with her mom, Debbie Rowe. And that, according to Tom Mesereau, is with the blessing of the family. And it`s kind of natural that any child would want to link up with their biological parent, especially when their dad is gone. And that seems to be a positive aspect.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this. Well, but it could also be a possible stressor. As you said, she`s recently gotten close...

MORET: Of course it could.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to her mom, Debbie Rowe. But Debbie Rowe in the past has said publicly that she had Prince and Paris for Michael Jackson, not to be a mother herself. Let`s hear what Debbie Rowe told ABC in 2007.


DEBBIE ROWE, PARIS`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: My kids don`t call me Mom because I don`t want them to. They`re not -- they`re Michael`s children. It`s not that they`re not my children, but I had them because I wanted him to be a father.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So Jim, continue on. That`s got to be a heavy load to reconnect with that.

MORET: Yes. And, you know, look. You talk about how articulate she is, how poised she is. She is, in fact, all of those things. But she`s still 15.

I have a 15-year-old son. Any kid who`s 15 goes through hard stuff nowadays. It`s a hard age for anybody.

Now imagine you`re Paris Jackson, and now imagine that you`re in the middle of this lawsuit, and now imagine that you`re rekindling a relationship with a mom who said she had you solely for your dad.

You know, there`s a lot of things. And there`s jealousy and there`s bullying. There`s so many things that could be going on in her life.

The good thing is now she`s got the attention of doctors who will really try to get to the bottom of this and help her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that she should get away from Hollywood and go somewhere where she can be in a safe environment. They have wonderful, wonderful programs for kids who are teenagers who do wilderness stuff, and they get away from the jaded Hollywood world and the world of one-upmanship and have a real normal childhood and get counseling at the same time. They can afford it.

And I think that this was -- actually if it is a wakeup call -- a good thing. She is a wonderful person who has a lot to contribute to this world. And Paris, we`re all rooting for you. We`re going to stay on this story. And I`m going to be on HLN`s "AFTER DARK" to talk more about Paris Jackson.

But up next, Jodi Arias.


SANDRA ARIAS, JODI`S MOTHER: She would just totally flip out on me. I had one of her friends call me in the middle of the night, call us one night saying, "You need to get Jodi some help."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean she would flip out on you?

ARIAS: She`d just, like, call me one minute happy and the next minute in tears.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prosecutor says Jodi is a cold-blooded killer with borderline personality disorder.

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Look, this woman is emotionally damaged. She`s borderline.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I diagnosed her on Axis 2 with borderline personality disorder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Maricopa County attorney`s office is seeking to impose the death penalty upon a mentally ill woman.

JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED MURDER: You should have at least done your makeup, Jodi. Gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t wake up one morning and think that it would be great to have a personality disorder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will Jodi Arias escape the death penalty?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight: breaking news in the Jodi Arias case. Jodi Arias` lawyers are changing their tune tonight and saying yes, Jodi Arias is insane. Therefore you cannot kill her.

Jodi is convicted of premeditated murder in the brutal killing of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander who she stabbed 27 times, whose throat she slit ear to ear. But she still doesn`t know if she`s going to spend the rest of her life in prison or be executed. The jury hung on that issue.

Jodi`s team spent months trying to convince a jury that Jodi wasn`t insane, wasn`t or crazy; but rather a battered woman suffering from PTSD. Well now, Jodi`s attorneys have flip-flopped in a last ditch effort to avoid a retrial on life or death.

In a just released statement to the "Arizona Republic", Jodi`s team says it would be wrong to give a mentally ill woman a lethal injection. They wrote, "Prosecutors are seeking to impose the death penalty upon a mentally ill woman who has no prior criminal history."

We`ve all seen Jodi`s wild interrogation antics. Is she insane? Is she crazy?


ARIAS: You should have at least done your makeup, Jodi. Gosh. Goodness


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Amy Murphy reporter of KNXV on the ground in Phoenix, Arizona. You recently did a one-on-one interview with Jodi Arias. First of all, what is the buzz in Phoenix on this new defense tactic?

AMY MURPHY, REPORTER: KNXV: Well, Jane, those of us who actually got to interview her really aren`t surprised because that was the feeling that many of us came away with. That, you know, that she is a very mentally ill person. As for this tactic, I asked her -- one of the questions I asked her. I said what you did to Travis Alexander most people view as insane. Why didn`t your defense team try to do an insanity plea and she said she didn`t know. So, you know, it just seems like a last ditch effort, perhaps. I don`t know exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi`s team spent most of the trial trying to prove as you just heard that Jodi wasn`t crazy. They even tried to prove that prosecutor Juan Martinez claims that Jodi has borderline personality disorder are just completely wrong and false. You remember this.


JENNIFER WILLMOTT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: -- you said with regard to the personality traits is that there would be a tendency for violent outbursts, right?


WILLMOTT: Ok. But here when we`re talking on the TSI scale with the anger and irritability, she fell below clinically significant, right?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s debate it. Did the defense mess up by not embracing insanity from the get go? You just heard defense attorney Jennifer Willmott arguing with the psychologist who had said Jodi is a borderline personality disorder person. She`s suffering from mental illness. And they`re saying no, no, no. Was that a huge mistake? Starting with Jordan Rose for the prosecution

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Oh, Jane, this is an absolute Hail Mary by the defense. You can`t have it both ways. And Jodi maybe in our common terms, she`s insane. Sure she`s nutty, she killed someone. Anyone who has killed someone is clearly nutty. But the legal definition of insanity is did Jodi understand the consequences of her actions? And this is a dictionary definition of someone who absolutely understood it.

She planned it for months. She carried it out then she covered it up for goodness sakes. There is no possibility that this woman is legally insane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez for the defense.

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m not going to criticize anyone`s strategy, but this is what we have here. There are many psychologists who will tell you that there are people who suffer from mental health issues who do experience blackouts and have amnesia.

I do think it is a little too late. I expected to hear this argument in the closing argument. But, hey, it can work. This is the state`s own expert who stated this. This is not the defense expert.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Loni Coombs, former Los Angeles County prosecutor, the defense then argued with them for days on end. Did they waste our time if they`re now going to come back and say wait a second, she does have borderline personality disorder. The prosecution said so.

LONI COOMBS, FORMER LOS ANGELES COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Yes. You know, it`s so ironic to hear this now from the defense because as we watched the defense make their argument in the last death penalty phase, we all wondered why they weren`t bringing up, hey, she`s crazy. She`s strange. She`s out there. I think that would have maybe played pretty well.

But now at this point after they`ve already fought so hard to say no, absolutely not. It was PTSD, all these other things. Now they`re throwing that up there and essentially implying that Juan Martinez has an ethical duty to take the death penalty off the table because this mentally ill person might go to death row and that is absolutely not the case here. There`s a major difference between having mental issues and being mentally ill.


BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, as a trial lawyer, nothing kills you more than an inconsistent strategy. And I think that`s what we see here. But it begs for further distinction. There is a big difference between claiming someone is legally insane and saying they have a mental health problem -- completely two different things.

Someone who`s insane can`t stand trial. Someone who has a mental health illness may qualify for a mitigator that negates the death penalty. So if you`re buying the prosecutor`s line in saying we should go for death, you have a contradiction. Because at the same time you`re also saying that this person has a mitigator. And that`s exactly what the defense is arguing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what you`re saying is she couldn`t plead not guilty by reason of insanity because she knew right from wrong, because she premeditated a lot of this stuff. We don`t need to go into all the gas cans and the renting of the car and the dyeing of the hair and the leaving this dead man that she just slaughtered a voice mail inviting him to go to see "Othello".

All of the things that she did that showed she knows she did something wrong, she knew right from wrong. But you`re saying that she could have said -- the defense could have said yes she knew right from wrong, but she`s still mentally ill. Therefore give her what? Give her what? A week or two?


SILBER: Let me clarify. Let me clarify. Under the law, this is a penalty phase issue. It`s not a guilt phase issue. When it gets to penalty phase, there might be mental health conditions about the defendant that don`t qualify as a defense for guilt or innocence but they negate the death penalty and requires a life sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Jordan Rose, you can`t have it -- that sounds a lot like having it both ways. Saying she`s not mentally ill during the case in chief and then suddenly saying -- go ahead.

SILBER: Jane we`re at a different stage of the case.

ROSE: That`s absolutely right. In fact, they didn`t -- the defense did not put up that testimony in the mitigating phase. They didn`t -- they absolutely ran from the idea that she had any mental issues. And now they want to try this in the court of public opinion to try to influence the Arizona County -- the Arizona Maricopa County attorney to drop this whole thing and not move forward with that. And that`s not going to happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, on the other side of the break we`re going to talk to Amy Murphy and we`re going to ask her why when she was interviewing Jodi Arias she decided you are completely out of your mind.

Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s our belief that you had something to do with this. Ok? You had no blood on you when you supposedly picked her up in the bed and (inaudible) -- you had no blood on you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t hold her to me close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had no fire on the bottom of your feet. Now if you walked through fire, you should have some kind of injuries besides a small injury on the top of one of your feet.




MURPHY: Are you sorry you got caught? You said you couldn`t answer that at the time.

ARIAS: Well, I couldn`t answer that I don`t know if I would turn myself in. I would like to think that I would because that would be the right thing to do. On the other hand, it`s -- you can`t imagine willingly giving up your freedom. That`s a difficult decision to make.


MURPHY: You did that interview. Why did you conclude she is insane?

MURPHY: First of all, you can see by that video -- Jodi Arias has brown eyes. But when you`re as close as I was to her, it almost looks as if her eyes are black. And that is because, I believe, her pupils look dilated. And one of the questions I wish I had asked her was "Are you on antipsychotic meds." Because every question that I asked her it didn`t matter how severe the question; she was unfazed by it. She was that way in court as well so many times.

People, you know, felt that she was cold. And she did appear that way. She appeared uncaring for a lot of that testimony. And seeing her one on one like that, I truly believe that she was on meds. One of my contacts at the jail confirmed that she is. But they wouldn`t be able to tell me whether they were antidepressants or antipsychotic meds. So apparently she is taking something and perhaps was also during the trial.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s new information that we have not heard before. And that`s really stunning, because it really does impact how she comes off. If she was medicated during all of this, then no wonder her affect is off. And maybe she`s not insane even though you thought she was, Amy. She`s just drugged out.

MURPHY: That`s very possible, Jane.


MURPHY: You know, Nancy Grace has referred to the eyes as the crazy eyes. And it`s almost as if her eyes are black when you`re looking into them. And it wasn`t necessarily a feel of evil that I got from her as insanity -- just my personal experience.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating -- thank you so much for joining us, Amy Murphy. Great to talk you. I`m sure I`ll see you out there in Phoenix not so long from now.

Up next, the Brett Seacat trial, oh my gosh you won`t believe new video we`ve just gotten in.


BRETT SEACAT, ON TRIAL FOR WIFE`S MURDER: There`s a fire. And my wife is -- she shot herself but she`s in the fire. There`s smoke everywhere. Just a second. Get a wet rag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get everybody out of the house.

SEACAT: Oh, God.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to Porter -- oh, wow, so adorable. Nola -- dignified, elegant, sophisticated. And Paisley is just fabulous. She is a party girl. Oh, yes, you are. And Pip says I`m coming to the party too, please, please, let me. Please.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told a friend a week and a half prior to this incident happening that you threatened to kill her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You threatened to burn the house down. You threatened to make it look like she did it.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight stunning new video of a former cop now on trial accused of murdering his beautiful wife. Before Brett Seacat became a high profile murder suspect he was a sheriff`s deputy.

Check him out in 2006 subduing an unruly defendant. Back then Brett and his wife were a young couple about to start a family. Now he is accused of executing his wife as their four and two -year-old sons lay sleeping torching the house to destroy evidence days after Vashti filed for divorce.


SEACAT: If I wanted to kill my wife it would have been a lot -- I could have come up with something better than that. This is (EXPLETIVE DELETED). This is what a crazy person does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not necessarily. Crazy in love, crazy for his kids, you know.

SEACAT: Don`t try and twist it around.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Anne Meyer on the ground in Kansas with KWCH. What do we know about diet drugs and the defense?

ANNE MEYER, KWCH: We know through a physician`s assistant that Vashti Seacat was getting the drug HCG from that physician`s assistant. It is a hormone that is found in pregnant women and I guess attacks the stored fat. And so we know Vashti Seacat was taking that drug to lose weight before she died.

An investigator for the defense found vials of it when he went through the home, or the burned out home days after that fire had happened. Not today, that physician`s assistant didn`t bring it up but earlier the defense had talked about how that drug is known to have a side effect of depression. And of course, they are alleging that Vashti Seacat killed herself after setting that fire.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go to Robyn Windsor and exclusive interview with a close friend of Vashti Seacat, the dead woman who is no longer here to speak for herself. Do you buy it Robyn that she took diet pills or diet hormones then and decided I got depressed I am going to kill myself?

ROBYN WINDSOR, CLOSE FRIEND OF VASHTI SEACAT: No, I don`t buy that at all. She was not a depressed person. She was extremely happy. She lit up a room when she walked in. And she would giggle -- her laugh was infectious. She was really a loud laugher, really bubbled up and everybody laughs around her when she laughs.

The fact that she could take anything that would make her depressed I don`t buy that at all. That was not -- that was just not her. She wouldn`t have done that.

Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent on the ground in Kinsman Kansas. We had heard he was going to take the stand in his own defense. What happened?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he still may. We expect him to. He probably will be the last witness for the defense. They went through 13 witnesses today, a couple of different subjects with the handwriting expert. As you mentioned, the woman that helped her with this hormone and then they had some crime scene investigators that they had on.

So we do still expect him to take the stand at some point here in the next few days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know, I think they never make that decision until the very end to see how much have we done here? Do we really need to take the stand? And they are probably weighing that. It is an 11th-hour decision, right? Because, boy, would he have quite a cross examination to bear. More on the other side.



SEACAT: Her head fell back. I saw that there was blood everywhere.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quick round robin from our legal panel. Will he take the stand in his own defense? Yes or no? Loni Coombs.

COOMBS: He has to. This case is so strong against him. He has to do something. It will be a Hail Mary. It is not going to work but he will do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anybody here think he won`t take the stand?

SILBER: No way. I think he is going to testify. He has to explain why he confessed to the marriage counselor.

ROSE: He is testifying because he`s just like -- he`s just as narcissistic as Jodi Arias. He is on the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Evangeline Gomez.

GOMEZ: Yes, he is going to testify but there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against him. It is going to be very tough on his part.

SILBER: Yes, he`s going down.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to dare to be different. I don`t think he is going to take the stand. We`ll see. Come here tomorrow. It could happen.

Nancy next.