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Attempted Murder Behind Mansion Gates?

Aired September 13, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight unspeakable horror in one of the nation`s most exclusive communities.

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thanks for joining me.

What made a wealthy husband allegedly snap, grab a bat, and bludgeon his wife nearly to death inside their $7 million mansion?

As we speak the victim is clinging to life and neighbors of this very well-to-do couple are in total shock asking why.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This nestled back Greenwich mansion became the setting of a brutal crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My god. It`s scary.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Charged with attempted murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I met him maybe once or twice.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Accused of bludgeoning his wife with a baseball bat.

CHIEF JAMES HEAVEY, GREENWICH POLICE DEPARTMENT: It wasn`t something that I can really explain.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You rarely here sirens in this picturesque neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the craziest thing. I would never have expected. Especially in this neighborhood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say 55-year-old Michael DeMaio admitted he, quote, lost it and beat his wife Dianne over the head with a baseball bat. She`d apparently just told him she was leaving her after 33 years of marriage. Cops say he attacked her just six days after she filed for separation.

Dianne now lies in a coma and if she survives she will very like have severe brain damage.

This couple has three adult children.

Now this is the mystery. There`s absolutely no record of domestic violence that we know of. So was it the pending divorce that pushed him over the edge or was there some other dark toxic secret that exploded in violence?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t believe that we`ve been there previously for a domestic incident.

HEAVEY: I was at the scene last evening but it wasn`t -- it wasn`t something that I can really explain. Except that it`s the most unfortunate for it to happen in that family setting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve got a fantastic panel tonight in the "Lion`s Den," including psychologist Wendy Walsh and defense attorney Bradford Cohen. But first out to Tom Millana, managing editor of "The Greenwich Time." That`s right. Singular. "Greenwich Time."

Listen, this suspect had a baseball bat apparently in the very large master bedroom closet that your paper describes is bigger than some living rooms. We don`t know if it was metal or wood. But tell us, sir, how cops believe this all went down where it went down.

TOM MILLANA, MANAGING EDITOR, THE GREENWICH TIME (via phone): They believe it went down on the second floor of the home. She had either told -- just told him that she was leaving, although she had filed papers about a week before, or she was in the process of telling -- or kicking him out of the house. At that point he grabbed the bat, the bat was already in the closet, and apparently struck her several times.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now I have to ask you, this is a palatial estate. I am a little bit confused about where this couple got their money. Is this a trust fund situation? Is this somebody who made millions of dollars doing something or other? Tell me -- tell me what you known about this couple and how they were able to live in such palatial luxury.

MILLANA: Well, that`s one of the things that a lot of people have been asking questions and there haven`t been many answers so far. She is a nutritionist. He, from what we can tell, has been unemployed for quite some time. He apparently has tried to get some things patented using her maiden name, I don`t know why, and whether he`s had success or not, I don`t believe so.

He is -- the house is in her name. He is still in Bridgeport Correctional Facility on a million dollars bail -- bond, I mean. So he -- you know, he does not have access to whatever wealth they have to get himself out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, here`s the really bizarre thing. You saw the house they live in. It`s an estate, it`s a mansion. We`re going to get to that in a second.

Well, this suspect, the husband who lived there, he has a public defender. That doesn`t make a lot of sense. OK?

Now we`re being told that he is distraught. I can certainly understand that. He`s being held on $1 million cash bond. The judge ordered that if he did make bond he would be electronically monitored with a GPS tracking device that would provide so-called safe zones for his wife.

That`s insanity. But first let me go out to the "Lion`s Den."

Ashleigh Merchant, defense attorney, if this guy is so rich that he and his wife live in a sprawling estate worth more than $7 million, how come, A, he can`t come up with the $1 million bail, cash, and why on earth does he have a public defender?

ASHLEIGH MERCHANT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s a good question, Jane. I mean, clearly, he doesn`t either have access to his money or this was a facade. Maybe his wife has money. Maybe his money is tied up somewhere that he can`t have access to.

Who knows. But something is going on. And I think they were living a lifestyle outside of their means and they may have been doing that for a long time and that`s what led to his cracking. It sounds like he just cracked.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradford Cohen, defense attorney. I`ll ask you the same question. You see Greenwich, Connecticut. I mean, this is one of the most exclusive areas in the country. The family names of Bush and other presidential characters come to mind when you think of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Look at the extraordinary estate they live in. And yet this guy has a public defender and he can`t make bail?

BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Well, I think there`s more to the story than just that he doesn`t have access to it. I think certainly if there is that kind of money there, it certainly is the wife`s. In every state you fill out a form when you apply for a public defender and in that form you have to list your assets and the judge generally decides whether or not you qualify for a public defender.

So if he filled that form out and this is some sort of trust fund situation where the wife had a trust fund and that the wife had money that he didn`t have access to, it would make sense that he would get a public defender because he wouldn`t be able to get money. He wouldn`t be able to afford that money.

The million-dollar bond also, he can`t make that bond. They could file a motion to reduce it based on that he can`t afford to even make close to that bond or the amount of that bond that is required.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, this home, and of course it`s now a crime scene, it`s unbelievable. It`s on Round Hill Road. Now I`m told that`s one of the fanciest roads in Greenwich. It`s something like a Fifth Avenue of Greenwich. It`s got six bedrooms, seven and a half baths, 8300 square feet. Sits on three and a half acres. It`s got an eight-car garage, a basketball court, a tennis court, a pool and a spa.

Zillo lists this palatial pad at a whopping 7.3 million bucks. The DeMaios bought the property in 1995 for $2.6 million. Get this. They tore down the existing home and they built this one. Then a year and a half ago they put it up for sale. Why? Were they selling it? Could they have been having money problems?

We know the suspect liked to mow his own lawn which is very odd. So I have to wonder was he an eccentric millionaire or did he just not want to pay for a landscaper.

My dear friend Dorothy Lucey, social commentator, who is very familiar with exclusive neighborhoods on the other coast.

You know, sometimes when people do things like mow their own law they are eccentric and they just got to do it themselves but sometimes it`s a clue that maybe they`re pinching pennies because they`re living beyond their means.

DOROTHY LUCEY, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: But, Jane, you think about it, I mean, they bought this house, it was $2.6 million teardown? So they had to have some money at some point. But I assume that she was leaving and maybe taking her money with her.

Nobody ever wants to hear about the problems of the rich, and I agree with that. I`m one of those people. But you know, you`re not keeping up with the Joneses. They`re like keeping up with the Vanderbilt. And I guess it`s an extreme amount of pressure, especially when the money is drying up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to go back to Tom Millana, managing editor of the "Greenwich Time," singular, who wrote an excellent -- his paper put out an excellent article on this case.

Here`s what I thought was actually fascinating. Because as Dorothy, my dear friend, knows I flipped a lot of houses over my life. At least condos. And, you know, when you put them up for sale you want to sell quickly. They put this mansion up for a sale a year and a half ago. Nineteen months ago. They reduced the price four times and they still were hanging on to it.

They still hadn`t found a buyer. They took it off the market on August 9th and then less than a month later, she, the sole owner, the woman on the deed files for separation.

Tom, I`m doing the math on that. Do you have any math you can do on that?

MILLANA: Well, it`s a pattern that`s not very uncommon in town over the past few years. There have been a lot of higher end homes that have been on the market, stayed on the market, come down, come down. Seeing now that that perhaps is just about starting to pick up in and of itself. So the fact that it came down about $2 million over a year and a half, I`m not sure that that in and of itself says too much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s -- here`s what it says to me possibly.

Ashleigh, I`ll go back to you on this. Let`s say about a year and a half ago they started having problems, whatever problems they may be. She says that the marriage is irretrievably broken in her separation filing. So they`ve got some kind of problem. So a lot of times when couples have problems, one of the first things they do is, like, let`s get rid of the home. And it makes it easier to divide the assets. We`re going to live separately.

So they put it on the market a year and a half ago. But because of the market that Tom just described, it lingers. Meanwhile their problems fester. OK? So take it from there.

MERCHANT: Right. And they`re forced to live in this home still because it`s what they own. And I mean, if it costs that much they probably were forced to stay in this home. They probably were not able to split up their assets and buy individual homes that were anywhere near as opulent as this one. So they`re -- they`re living in this home together and their problems are festering like you said, Jane. They`re just festering because they`re still under the same roof.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And her mother is there. She was there when the cops arrived. She was screaming, the monster hit my daughter with a baseball bat.

On the other side we`re going to talk to a psychologist for what kind of mentality decides to attack the woman you`ve lived with for 33 years with a bat.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Michael became enraged when he learned his wife was trying to leave him. They`re reporting he confessed to the crime to detectives and police say he did not fight the arrest.

HEAVEY: I was at the scene last evening but I wasn`t -- it wasn`t something that I can really explain except that it`s the most unfortunate for it to happen in that family setting.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t believe that we`ve been there previously for a domestic incident.

HEAVEY: I wasn`t there at the scene last evening but it wasn`t -- it wasn`t something that I can really explain except that it`s most unfortunate for it to happen in a family setting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrific crime in the most elegant of circumstances. A mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Fifty-four-year-old Dianne DeMaio is right now as we speak in a hospital in a coma fighting for her life. She sustained horrific head injuries from the baseball bat cops say her husband bludgeoned her with after she said, I`m leaving you. And apparently she was found just bleeding to death but didn`t quite die in the master bedroom that some say are bigger than some people`s apartments.

Get this. She`s a nutritionist. Now I want to show you the Web site she used for her business, it`s called Nutrition for You. And that doesn`t seem like it`s going to bring in millions and millions of dollars. So there`s a mystery as to where did they get their money. Did she inherit a lot of money?

She was married to her husband for 33 years. They have three kids who are grown up.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den."

Listen, in the divorce filing, the victim said the marriage was irretrievably broken. We talked about how this could be going on for 19 months because it was 19 months ago that they put their mansion, which I`d like to show you again, up for sale.

It`s usually, I would always say, one or three things or a combination of three things -- sex, in other words infidelity, money, in other words debt, or a battle over money, and or family. Or it`s a combination of those things.

So Dorothy Lucey, what do you think might -- and I -- this is sheer speculation, might have been going on here?

LUCEY: I would say money.


LUCEY: I mean, it obviously could have been anything but I would say money. They are forced to live in that house together even though they no longer want to be together. I mean I know it`s a mansion and you think they could have separate wings, but still they`re living in the same house. And he told the cops that he was under extreme emotional distress.

So I would say money and she was leaving him. We don`t know why but that again could go back to money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to tell you the details of this case are like something out of a Hollywood script. In fact it reminds me of one of my favorite shows, "Revenge." Set in a huge mansion in a high society enclaves where people off one another with abandon. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little change of plans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got that right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the hell is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suffering quite terribly, I assure you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the "Lion`s Den." Wendy Walsh, psychologist, author of the "30 Day Love Detox." Your net worth has absolutely nothing to do with how jealous or vengeful you can get. In fact sometimes when the stakes are very high, the behavior can get more extreme, right, Wendy?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST (via phone): Jane, that`s absolutely true. What you have to understand psychologically, the things you`re talking, money, sex, the mansion, are just the surface stuff. What`s going on underneath is an attachment, an attachment disorder perhaps, an attachment rage.

This woman in his mind was his lifeline. Yes, there`s obviously lifeline attachment and money perhaps. But also his attachment to his identity in the community and everything. And when she told him that she was leaving, he fell into a rage because it`s almost like an infant thinking that their mother is leaving them and they won`t survive without her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now come to me on camera because I want to show you a baseball bat. And we don`t know whether it was a metal bat like this or a wooden bat but I got to go back to Wendy Walsh, psychologist.

To hit somebody you love -- apparently he had a bat in the master bedroom which is ginormous, and he picks up this baseball bat, according to cops, and starts bludgeoning his wife of 33 years with it. What kind of mentality does that reveal?

WALSH: Well, it`s not premeditated. This is the kind of thing that you would literally called an impulsive rage. You know, he said he lost it. I lost it. What did he lose? He lost his ability to self-control. He was losing at that moment and literally there was no stopping him at that time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ashley Merchant, if he suddenly decides to plead not guilty and she`s in a coma, could he come up with a totally different explanation? Basically there`s no other witnesses except maybe her mom who might not have been in the room when the beating was occurring?

MERCHANT: He could. He definitely could. But he is stuck with those words when he said, I lost it, I lost it. And those words will be admissible in court because they were things that he shouted in the heat of passion. Right when it happened. And so they`re deemed reliable. So even if he didn`t take the stand, those words are going to come back to haunt him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom Millana, managing editor, "Greenwich Time," briefly, what`s the reaction in the community?

MILLANA: Well, people are shocked and people, you know -- you`ve used the word mystery. People don`t know what happened beyond -- behind those walls. This was not a family that apparently was active in town activities. There was no criminal record there. They were not well known by their neighbors. So, everybody, you know, grasping at little bits of information to try to -- to try to make sense of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, Mr. Millana, of the "Greenwich Time."



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This nestled back Greenwich mansion became the setting of a brutal crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My god. It`s scary.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Charged with attempted murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I met him maybe once or twice.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Accused of bludgeoning his wife with a baseball bat.

HEAVEY: It wasn`t something that I can really explain.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You rarely here sirens in this picturesque neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the craziest thing. I would never have expected. Especially in this neighborhood.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Michael became enraged when he learned his wife was trying to leave him. They`re reporting he confessed to the crime. Detectives and police say he did not fight the arrest.

HEAVEY: I was at the scene last evening but I wasn`t -- it wasn`t something that I can really explain except that it`s the most unfortunate for it to happen in that family setting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael DeMaio who is in this house and had lived for many years with his wife accused of trying to killer her by bludgeoning her into a coma with a baseball bat. And one of the couple`s neighbors say in 13 years of living next door they`ve never met the DeMaios.

Interesting, huh?

Here`s what we know about the suspect. Michael DeMaio, no criminal record that we know of. He`s a licensed pilot, by the way. He has been unemployed for quite some time. He holds several patents for all-weather fluorescent lamps, which is interesting. Sort of strange. He and his wife have been married for 33 years, they have three adult children.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den."

Tom Millana, I have to go back to you, managing editor of "Greenwich Time." When people are in an exclusive community and they live in a ginormous mansion that`s worth $7 million, generally they get involved in social functions of the local galas, the local charities. You don`t have to be a rich person to figure that out. All you have to do is watch a soap opera. But yet they seem to have lived very mysterious life. Is that what -- is that what you`ve found?

MILLANA: Well, you know, it is a big town and not everybody is involved, not everybody who lives in the wealthy regions of it are involved in society aspects of it. But no. There`s no record -- there`s no record that we have of them being active in town life in any way. And it is a town where people are active in town life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Dorothy, don`t you find that a little odd that neighbors say they -- in 13 years they had never said hello to them? Then --


LUCEY: Well, Jane, the -- the neighbor could be -- the neighbor could be three miles away. You know, but you said it reminded you of that show "Revenge" that I know you love.


LUCEY: And the house looks like the house in "Revenge."


LUCEY: But it reminded me of an old, old movie. Do you remember "Jagged Edge" with Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close.


LUCEY: And that was -- that was all about money and sex.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Go ahead, Ashleigh. I think -- I think you have a theory.


MERCHANT: I just find it hard to believe that if they had children, that they weren`t active somehow in the community. I know their children are adults now.

WALSH: Jane, I have an answer for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, go ahead, Wendy Walsh.

WALSH: It`s Wendy Walsh here, and I got to tell you, Jane, the most common -- you know when you always hear about that 50 percent divorce statistic? That`s only applies to marriages over the age of 20 years. You see -- over the length of 20 years. So what ends up happening is when people are together raising their kids they all have jobs to do. It`s a lot of work to raise those kids.

But it`s only when they hit the empty nest days that they look over and go, do I really want to spend the second half of my life with this person? So I`m sure this precipitated it. And one other thing. Instead of thinking like all the money was hers and maybe a trust fund, you know there are a lot of people living a facade in those mansions. They`ve been putting money out during the recession.

COHEN: No way.

WALSH: They have so little equity in their units that -

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you mean no way, Bradford Cohen? What do you mean no way?

COHEN: Not for a house that you pay in cash. These guys -- these guys fronted up a house that they knocked down for 2.6 and build a 9,000 or 8900 square foot house. They had to have money in it. And you don`t sit on it for a year and a half if you pulled equity out because there would be some sort of foreclosure that would take place in that year and a half. This fight was most likely about money.


WALSH: No, they`re pulling out equity to make the payments. I know the game.

COHEN: No. This guy was under duress.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, remember when it`s called in the old days, it was called a second mortgage and then all of a sudden they started calling it home equity loan and try to make it like a nice thing. And a lot of people got into trouble. They fell upside down and there`s nothing worse than falling upside down on a mansion.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. On the other side superstar Nicole Kidman collides literally with the paparazzi. We have the incident. Look at her. She`s on the ground. And people are up in arms. We`re going to tell you why next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paparazzi underworld is a shady, shady business.

HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: I`m doing something honorable. I`m not harassing people.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every little step makes you feel unsafe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Invasive cameras.

BERRY: Get (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a life. Get an honorable life.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Did you see that? I mean whoa.

SALMA HAYEK, ACTRESS: Why are we not protecting those children?

JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: You`re going to see that I`m just a regular 16-year-old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When the paps started snapping some shots that`s when all heck broke lose.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight breaking news, brand new exclusive photos of Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman knocked right out of her heels and slammed down to the ground. A terrifying moment for Nicole as a paparazzo riding his bike snapped pictures and collides with her on the sidewalk smashing into her in broad daylight.

Nicole was on her way back from New York Fashion Week and this photographer, Carl Wu, began snapping pictures of the Oscar winner as she walked into her Manhattan hotel. Kidman screamed and then grabbed her ankle in pain after losing one of her shoes.

The paparazzo was taken to the police station but he walked away with only three citations: one for riding his bike on the sidewalk. Not much. Nicole clearly shaken but thankfully not badly hurt. This is just the latest incident of paparazzi crossing the line to get that perfect picture.

Tonight, the California governor is trying to decide whether he wants to sign a bill into law that would punish celebrity photographers who harass and take photos of celebrity kids without their famous parents` permission.




BERRY: You choose to do something else. I`m doing something honorable. I`m not harassing people. Get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just saying how do you go on with your life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want a couple of shots, that`s all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then you`ll be gone, right?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll be gone for tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take your shot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looks like you need a shower.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Actress Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner testified in support of the law that they want passed. There`s obviously huge money to be made in celebrity photos and the perfect picture could be worth up to a million dollars or even more. But can that push these paparazzos to go way too far or is it just the price of fame?

We`re going to debate it in our fabulous "Lion`s Den" but first straight out to Hollywood reporter Alexis Tereszcuk of RadarOnline. What`s the latest with Nicole Kidman? I mean this, I think, this incident has pushed this whole issue into another level of rage.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE: You`re exactly right. And it`s because it was all caught on film. This guy was riding his bike down the sidewalk, not on the street and barreling towards Nicole. He alleges that he tried to stop and you can see him skidding but he didn`t need to stop that close to her. He could have gotten off his bike. Everyone else was around her.

This is a clear violation of really her physical space. This is a terrible accident. However I don`t know that it`s something that would cause legislation to be enacted. You`re really toeing a line there, especially when this legislation is about --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going debate the law in a second but I wonder why this guy wasn`t charged with assault. I mean he slams right into her. He knocks her off -- her shoe is gone. He`s lying right there, he`s caught. She`s on the ground.

Very briefly, Ashleigh Merchant should he have been charged with assault?

Ashleigh I think he could have been charged with assault. The question is going to be whether or not he had an intent to actually injure her. He would have had to have meant to ram his bicycle into her to actually have that intent for assault. And so that`s going to be the fine line. But he could have been charged and it could have been up to a jury to decide. Now we could still be charged with that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Paparazzi go to extreme lengths and often try to get a reaction. A celebrity walking down the street, that doesn`t fetch quite as much money as celebs losing their cool and acting out and lunging at the camera. All that stuff -- they love that and they try to provoke it sometimes.

Check this video out from ABC News. Halle Berry going ballistic on a paparazzo who gets too close to her daughter.


BERRY: You choose is to do something else. I`m doing something honorable. I`m not harassing people. Get (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. You get a life (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

You get a life. Get an honorable life.

You`re a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re invading her privacy. That`s why she`s mad.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course they love that because then they get the pictures of the angry celebrity. That`s what the paparazzo is looking for.

Straight out to my dear friend, entertainment reporter Dorothy Lucey. You took some photos in Malibu last week. There it is, that photo. Look at the paparazzi staking out actress, Jessica Alba and her two young girls. Tell us all about it.

DOROTHY LUCEY, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: She`s at the beach with her kids. There were -- I counted -- 15 guys, you know with those huge camera lenses. So they were standing on private property.

So the cops came and told the paparazzi they had to stand in the wet sand because if they didn`t they would be trespassing. So they stood in the wet sand and got soaked and their cameras got soaked. And it was almost funny because neighborhood dogs were running up to them and snarling at them.

But of course, as soon as the cops left, they were all over her again. And you know she goes and puts her toes in the water and they`re surrounding her and her daughters.

You know the thing that I thought was so ridiculous is there`s 15 of you guys. How are they going to make money? So I started talking to one of them and he said -- "You know what? Normally there`s only like five of us and we`re her guys."

I`m like "What do you mean you`re her guys?" So they`re with her everyday. I mean they`re parked at her house every morning and they follow her every day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s got to be really irritating.

LUCEY: And they said that they`re her guys. But they were annoyed that there were ten other guys there because they thought they could get a picture of her in a bikini. And you get more money for a bikini shot but she never took her cover-up off all day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable -- great reporting there, Dorothy. It`s one thing for a grownup celebrity to be hounded by men lurking in the bushes but it`s another when you hear a young child cry out "Stop taking my picture."

Watch this from YouTube of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes` little girl Suri scream at photographers to leave her alone.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, guys, guys.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the "Lion`s Den". This is obscene. Wendy Walsh, psychologist, it`s a seven-year-old child and she`s being treated like it`s a perp walk for an accused murder. It`s out of control.

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s out of control and Jane I want you to try to imagine that scene through the lens of a small child. These people are monsters in the peripheral of her world coming at her and coming at her parents wherever she goes. So it can cause so much anxiety in children. I mean this is a really dangerous thing.

I think this California law is a great step. You know, in Europe it`s been around forever. You just don`t take pictures of celebrities` kids and I don`t think you should be able to do it in California especially if they`re running celebrities over with bikes. We don`t want kids to get physically injured too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Alexis -- listen, there`s something called the First Amendment. You start with saying you can`t take pictures of kids, the next thing you know you can`t take pictures of their parents, the next thing you know, you can`t take pictures of me when I`m wearing pink nail polish. I mean where does it end?

MERCHANT: It`s a fine line, Jane. I mean it`s such a fine line because we have to respect the First Amendment. But I`ve got kids. I cannot even imagine the trauma that they would go through if there were people chasing us around like this. I mean just like Wendy said, they would think that they were monsters and the anxiety level would be through the roof.

Maybe the answer --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead Alexis. Go ahead Alexis.

TERESZCUK: What about the celebrities that call the paparazzi. There are countless celebrities, I know them, anybody who works in the business knows them, these are celebrities with children. And they`re in the grocery store. They are definitely out in public. So then what does that become when it`s a trial when a certain celebrity says I didn`t call the paparazzi, then the paparazzi has to pull out their phone with their record saying yes, you did. You called me on Wednesday.


LUCEY: But you know, I think it`s very different in a situation like with Halle Berry at the airport. You know, she is coming back from a vacation. There were 50 photographers around her and her kids. And her daughter said to her, "Mommy, are they going to try and kill me?"

So let`s face it, Jane, it`s so scary for the kids. It reminds me and I shouldn`t even use this analogy, Jane because you`ll go insane. But you know those big game hunters who shoot the animals that are in a fence, that are in captivity.


LUCEY: It just reminds of these kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s horrific and I condemn it -- condemn shooting the animals but I also as a journalist want to protect their First Amendment rights because there could be a scenario one day where the American public desperately needs information and then could somebody use a child as a shield to prevent them from being photographed?

On the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, guys, guys.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news, Lohan is back in trouble. But wait a second it`s not the Lohan we think. It`s Lindsay Lohan`s mom Dina. She was arrested for drunk driving last night. And get a look at this mug shot. It`s like she took a page out of Lindsay`s book, didn`t she?

Cops say Dina had a blood alcohol level of 0.20 -- more than twice the legal limit. Lindsay says she`s back on the wagon and committed to staying sober. But could her mom`s allegedly hard partying ways tempt Lindsay back? We`re staying on top of it.



BERRY: They cause chaos, they cause fear, the children and their parents are horrified. We start arguing, everybody is fighting.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Halle Berry testifying, movie stars want the governor to sign a law that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph famous children or children of famous parents without mom and dad`s permission. If violated the paparazzo could be jailed for up to six months and fined $1,000.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" -- listen, I detest and I condemn and I abhor these people who scare these children. But I don`t think this is doable. I think it`s a violation of First Amendment principles.

What are they going to do, come up and say, "Hey, excuse me, Nicole Kidman, you know, can I take a picture?" Of course they`re going say no and then you`re going to have a confrontation. I don`t see how it`s going to work.

LUCEY: The permission part is silly. I mean that`s never going to work. But in principle I am in favor of the law. I think it goes just an ounce too far. But you know, you were showing that video of Suri Cruise and somebody in that crowd, and we don`t know for sure if it was a photographer or somebody who wanted her autograph, but somebody called the little girl a "bitch", a seven-year-old. I mean that is just insane.

And whether or not it was the photographer or the guy --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alexis, go ahead.

TERESZCUK: That`s not true. If you listen to the recording, he actually didn`t call her the b word. We went over and over that in my office -- over and over. He didn`t call her the b word. I`m not defending the paparazzi --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did he do? Call somebody else --

TERESZCUK: He called her a brat.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A brat? Oh my God.

TERESZCUK: I don`t think anybody should be calling a child a bad word. But he wasn`t calling her that b.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So, a brat. Let`s give you a brat. That`s still mean to call a child a brat, although I was called a brat numerous times as a child and it scarred me for my entire life. But I wouldn`t want that to happen.

Seriously, how are you going to enforce this? Come on. Wendy --

MERCHANT: I`m not in favor of this law. I`m not in favor of them having this law but I do think something needs to change. And there is actually an answer. The people that are paying this paparazzi, if they decide not to pay so much money for the way that they`re acting in the pictures they`re getting -- and it`s not going to happen but that is the answer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh it all goes back to the consumer.

WALSH: It does in some ways.

But Jane I want to remind you what case was the one that propelled this bill? Remember when Los Angeles rogue cop Chris Dorner killed the daughter and her boyfriend of his attorney? This is not just about celebrity parents. It is keeping the identities private of kids, separate from their parents professions, no matter what that profession is. I think that`s really important to understand that we need to protect children in our culture. That`s the most important thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. I also feel that we`re a free country. We`re different than Russia and China. In Russia, remember, Pussy Riot got up and they protested and they were stuck in jail. That`s one of the -- it`s the price you pay for freedom. It`s the price you pay for freedom.

New story next. Stay right there. And it`s a surprise for you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to

Kirby, Kirby you are just almost as fantastic as Goldie and ruby Nell. You`re all incredible. What a pair. Tucker -- and you`re tucked in to that couch, I can see that. Wow. Who do we have here? Lonestar and Little Foot -- gorgeous, gorgeous beautiful animals, my heroes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Rico, tonight our "Animal Investigations Unit is spotlighting the sad plight of tens of thousands of stray dogs in Detroit. Rico, dogs just like you stranded on the streets of Detroit and many of them are starving to death. Detroit, America`s biggest bankrupt city and so many of its citizens are struggling to survive themselves. Pets are being left to fend for themselves in many cases.

Reports claim there are 50,000 stray dogs in the city and that an estimated 90 percent of them are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. One resident was forced to leave his beloved dog behind when his bank foreclosed on his home. Listen to this.


HOWARD PAUL, DOG OWNER: She`s been in our family for nine years, since she was 6 weeks old. The heart breaking part is when I come to walk her and spend a little time with her and leave, she just cries and whines.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fortunately, that man is able to feed and visit his dog every day, but he can`t provide her shelter, and winter`s coming. Thousands of other dogs aren`t so lucky.

Straight out to Kristen Huston from an incredible group called, Kristen, we`re talking to folks, because you need help. You`re on a mission to save the stray dogs of Detroit. How bad is it?

KRISTEN HUSTON, ALLABOUTANIMALSRESCUE.ORG: Yes. Thank you so much for having us. And, yes, it is a big problem. But spay/neuter is the main thing that`s going to help this problem. It is going to completely reduce these numbers that we`re seeing all over the city.


HUSTON: Spay/neuter is the most cost effective and the quickest solution to the pet over population.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. The stray population is ballooning in Detroit, because dogs are breeding like crazy because they`re not spayed and neutered. Listen to this.


DEBORAH MACDONALD, MICHIGAN HUMANE SOCIETY: They`re disposable in people`s minds. They don`t vaccinate, they don`t spay, they don`t neuter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Think about it. Think about it. The average litter is about 6 to 14 puppies. That number varies widely depending on the breed. But dogs can give birth to as many as 20 or more puppies at a time. A female dog could have two litters a year. So you can see how one dog could turn into thousands of dogs.

So, Kristen,, we`re going to push to your Web site because you`re raising money to spay and neuter the dogs of Detroit. How are you doing that?

HUSTON: Yes. Well, we`re going into communities where they do not have the funds to do that. Donations are definitely helping with that, grants. We`re going into communities and offering free spay and neuter, free vaccinations, food assistance, flea prevention and a mentorship with these people, and really helping out and making a difference.

Our mobile unit also goes out into these neighborhoods, because transportation is a huge problem. So we`re going into the neighborhoods and we`re helping with the spay/neuter and we`re coming to them. It`s like you have a big leak in your house, and your house is flooding, and water`s going everywhere. Are you going to keep throwing the buckets of water out, or are you going to fix the leak? And that`s how we`re going to fix the over pet population by spay/neuter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are absolutely right. 100 percent I agree with you. The money that people donate will go to spay/neuter I`m urging you to go to or you can go to my Facebook, Jane Velez- Mitchell Facebook or We will direct there because yes, it`s important to get all these dogs homes but the most important thing is to stop one little dog like Rico here from becoming 50,000 dogs if they`re not spayed.

God bless you. You`re doing God`s work. Thank you so much, and you viewers, help her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey Rico a quick shout out to one of our star produces on this show. Our very best wishes to Kaylin Rocco and her soon to be husband David Cruz. Their wedding this weekend and we wish them so much love and happiness. What a gorgeous couple they are.

Nancy`s next.