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Where is Anne Josette Hill?; Homeowner Claims He Shot Teens in Self- Defense
Aired April 22, 2014 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a frantic race against time. Right now, a devastated Oklahoma City family is desperately searching for this beautiful straight-A high-school sophomore, who seemingly vanished without a trace, 12 long days ago after telling her mom she was going to watch a movie at a friend`s house. Where is Anne Josette Hill? In a moment, I`ll speak exclusively to her distraught brother about stunning new developments in this mysterious disappearance.
Good evening, everyone. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s not a kid that`s planning on running away. That`s my Annie Jo.
Eight days later, still nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That car was found abandoned in the Edmond area.
Anne didn`t choose to take off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know she is out there somewhere, and she wants to come home. We just miss her so much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sixteen-year-old Anne went missing almost two weeks ago. Her mom told cops she last saw her honor student daughter on Thursday, April 10.
The next day, Friday, Anne supposedly told her mom she was going to a friend`s house to watch a movie. But Anne didn`t answer her mom`s phone calls and never came home after that.
Then just last Wednesday, a very alarming and disturbing discovery. Anne`s car, a white Chevy, was found abandoned more than 20 miles away from her home.
Tonight, t here`s huge controversy as the missing girl`s family says cops initially insisted that Anne was just a runaway. Nothing to see here. Anne`s mother said no way, that`s not something her little girl would ever do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vivacious, outgoing. Never met a stranger. That`s not a kid that`s planning on running away. That`s not a kid that doesn`t want to be with her family. That`s -- that`s my Annie Jo.
She would be amazed at the number of people that are out there driving streets, walking parks, knocking on doors. Taping up flyers. We know she`s out there somewhere, and she wants to come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did cops drop the ball by assuming this girl was a runaway? When a child goes missing, the first 24 hours are absolutely crucial. The odds of a happy outcome drop drastically after that.
Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
We`ve got a fantastic Lion`s Den debate panel tonight, all of us trying to find out what happened to this child. In a moment, we`re going to talk to the missing girl`s brother in a primetime exclusive.
But first, straight out to KRLD reporter, Joe Gomez. Joe, what is the very latest?
JOE GOMEZ, REPORTER, KRLD: Jane, we understand, is that police have tracked down cell-phone pings of Anne Hill`s cell phone. She was -- the pings were last found in the area of the University of Central Oklahoma. So that was the last area that a cell-phone tower received a signal from her phone. So it`s possible that it could have been turned off, and she could have been taken somewhere else.
Backtracking just a little bit, Jane, the last time that Anne Hill was seen was leaving a movie. She was leaving a friend`s house, watching a movie. She was supposed to go home. Her mother was up late, waiting to give her a hug good night. But Jane, Anne never made it home.
Her mother says that she vanished into the night, and days later her car was found abandoned. Of course, Anne was nowhere near it. And now we`re did he desperately trying to find this beautiful 16-year-old young lady. Hopefully, nothing bad has happened to her, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen. When your car that you just got the keys to -- you`re 16 years old. And the mother says she just gave her the keys to the car or she just got the keys to this car through her own savings. There`s the car. And it`s found abandoned, that is ominous. It`s an ominous sign.
And it was undoubtedly a wake-up call for authorities that there was something to see here, that this is more than just a runaway.
Now, here`s the time line of Anne`s disappearance. Her mom told cops she last saw Anne almost two weeks ago, Thursday, April 10. The next, Friday, Anne told her mom she was going to the gym. And the gym confirmed that Anne was there.
About 4 p.m. that day, a male source told cops he saw Anne at the McDonald`s. Then 10 p.m. that night, she supposedly speaks to a man on the phone about going to the movies. That same male source told cops Anne was hanging out with, quote, "some bad people," end quote. And he told cops he was very concerned.
Straight out to the Lion`s Den. I want to bring in Reggie Hill, Anne Josette Hill`s brother.
First of all, Reggie, I`m so sorry that you`re going through this nightmarish experience. And I know it`s like a surreal nightmare. But what can you...
REGGIE HILL, BROTHER OF ANNE JOSETTE HILL (via phone): Surreal is correct. It`s like you see it on TV, this is not something that that happens in real life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, do you have an issue with cops initially reportedly saying, "Well, this is a runaway, nothing to see here"?
HILL: Yes. We reported it, and they just -- we didn`t feel like we were taken serious. But, I mean, this was so not her behavior. I mean, she`s very family-oriented. She always called her mom, and her mom was always in close contact. So we knew immediately. By Saturday morning -- I mean, she had never contacted her mom. And we knew immediately on Saturday something was not right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what did the cops say? Why did they jump to the conclusion that she was a runaway?
HILL: Just her age. That`s the only thing we could come up -- conclusion we could come to, is just due to her age, that she just must be a runaway.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to bring in the nation`s premier expert on missing young women and children, Marc Klaas, founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. And you have gone through your own horrific tragedy of your daughter being abducted and ultimately murdered and have turned that heartache into helping others.
Do you think that cops dropped the ball here? Twelve days ago, she vanished and it was only last Wednesday after her car was found abandoned that suddenly a light bulb goes off and says maybe this is really something awful.
MARC KLAAS, FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Yes, Jane. I fact, I do think they dropped the ball.
Calling a missing child a runaway used to be the default position for every law enforcement agency in the United States, back in the `90s, because it basically absolved them of any responsibility for finding the child. But now we know a lot more.
Here`s what they needed to consider, much more than her age. No. 1, her history. She does not have a history of running away. She`s a very good girl. She`s an honor student. She`s totally connected with her family. And that connection was dropped on April 11. That`s a red flag.
Secondly, children today are very connected to the Internet. They`re connected via social -- social networking profiles. They`re connected via chat rooms. They`re connected by Instagram. And if those connections all of a sudden are dropped, again, you have another very big red flag.
And then thirdly, you have the vehicle. She just got the vehicle. She was probably very proud of it. And she -- the vehicle has been found and she`s missing.
So, yes, the police absolutely dropped the ball, and they now have a lot of work to do to catch up. And I would suggest the first thing they do is start looking at some of those social networks, see who she might have been dealing with.
And secondly, as I can understand it, the last person that actually saw her was a friend who saw her at McDonald`s at 4 p.m. on Friday the April 11th. They need to talk to that young man and see who these bad elements that she was talking to are, and really start to put together a time line, which as far as I can tell, is very loose at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go back to Reggie Hill, the missing young lady`s brother. This supposed friend who says that he was concerned because she was hanging out with some bad people, do you have any idea who these quote, unquote, "bad people" are?
HILL: No. We don`t. We don`t. They`re not students at her school. So, I mean, the police really won`t tell us much at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me go to Lisa Lockwood, investigator, author of "Undercover Angel."
Her car is found 20 miles from her home. And we do have a picture of the car. She just got the keys to the car. And that is also near where her cell phone last pings, which happens to be near the University of Central Oklahoma.
So I`m thinking she`s 16 years old, but she may appear to be older. And I know sometimes when teenagers want to be adults -- and I did this myself as a teenager, and it wasn`t a smart idea -- the cool thing is hanging out with college kids. "Oh, I feel like I`m really mature. I`m a high schooler, but I`m hanging out with college kids near the University of Oklahoma."
I`m not suggesting the school is involved in any way, but should they start really talking to people at that university?
LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR: Well, the first thing they`re going to do is look at the time line. Four p.m. at McDonald`s, who she was with. Were those people associated to the school?
They`re going to be looking at cameras to find out if there was any surveillance picked up to try to identify those individuals.
I think the person who actually spotted her with this alleged bad element knows a little bit more about who their -- what their identity is. So that`s going to be incredibly helpful.
My belief is that she knows that -- the people that she is with, that possibly drove her or took off with her somewhere, she is aware of who these people are.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they`ve got to dust that car for prints and find out who might have driven it to the spot where it was abandoned, because she certainly wouldn`t abandon her brand-new car at age 16, the first time she`s ever gotten keys of her own, for no reason and on her own.
All right. We`re just getting started. There`s new information about the person who says, ooh, he was concerned about her. Does his story add up?
We have to find this young woman. Her family is devastated. Her brother is on with us live. Let`s put our thinking caps on and figure out what happened to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anne had just gotten the keys to her first car. That car was found abandoned in the Edmond area. Hill hopes that convinced officers Anne didn`t choose to take off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anne didn`t choose to take off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know she`s out there somewhere and she wants to come home. We just miss her so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sixteen-year-old Anne Josette Hill, where is she tonight? This beautiful honor student vanished 12 days ago from Oklahoma City. And then last Wednesday, her new car turns up abandoned, near where her cell phone last pinged, near the University of Central Oklahoma.
And the story gets even more mysterious. Tonight we`re learning a second male source told cops that he was supposedly with Anne on the evening of Thursday, April 10. That`s right before she vanished.
The guy says he was at his brother`s house with Anne, and they were all watching a movie. But cops say when he was questioned further, the guy said, "Well, I can`t remember exactly where my brother`s house is located."
And he also told cops Anne left his brother`s house alone after the movie, but we know she didn`t go home that night. So where did she go?
Straight out to the Lion`s Den, Eboni K. Williams. You know, sometimes the good guys who come and volunteer information may not be the good guys after all.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Jane. This second gentleman seems very suspicious to me, because also, as you mentioned, lots of loopholes in his story. He was also asked to describe what this young lady was wearing, and he couldn`t do it. Jane, that`s very -- that`s very odd.
We know what the people that we are in contact with and who we interface with are wearing.
So, again, I believe he`s missing a lot of pieces to this story, and it makes me very suspicious if he`s being truthful and forthcoming.
Let`s go out to the phone lines. Ohio, what do you have to say?
CALLER: I think she should -- I don`t think she ran away at all. She`s very pretty; she`s a very smart girl. She has nothing to do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Murphy, former -- former prosecutor, you know, there`s a viewer who`s just hearing the who, what, when, where, why. There`s no way she ran away. It`s an obvious conclusion.
Why was it so difficult for the cops to reach the obvious conclusion? A pretty girl, an honor student. We have photos that seem to imply she`s already applied to I don`t know how many universities for college.
Brand-new car. And she decides to take off and abandon her car. I mean, why didn`t they get it?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECTURO: Yes. I mean, look, sometimes very smart, very pretty girls, do run away. Let`s not be naive. But if you`re looking for profile, she doesn`t fit it. That doesn`t mean it`s not possible.
But here`s what I don`t understand. It`s not an either/or option for cops. Sometimes pretty girls, if they run away, are still in danger! Really big danger. They are much more likely to be kidnapped, sexually exploited and so forth.
So who cares if they were suspicious that she may have been angry with her mother or maybe was a runaway? That`s still the same incentive to go chase her, go find her, go look for her, as if they said, no, she had no reason to run away. Cops know this.
And like you said in the beginning of the show, there`s only so many hours when you will likely find her alive. You don`t sit on your thumbs and say, "Oh, we think she`s a runaway." Doesn`t matter. She`s still in danger! Do your damn job!
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Steve Greenberg, criminal defense attorney, the authorities said, because she`s been gone an extended period of time, they would, quote, "like to locate her and check her welfare." Even that is a milquetoast statement, given the very ominous developments we`ve seen right now. God only knows what could have happened to this girl. I mean, welfare check? Are you kidding me?
STEVE GREENBERG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that`s -- that`s weak. I agree with you, Jane. That`s weak. But initially, I don`t know that they have the resources to chase after every mother...
MURPHY: Oh, please...
GREENBERG: Every child when a mother calls.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What else were they doing in Oklahoma City?
GREENBERG: Hold on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What else are they doing in Oklahoma City?
GREENBERG: Well, they`re watching the Thunder play in the playoffs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No offense to Oklahoma City, but it`s not like...
GREENBERG: Jane -- Jane, we don`t know what -- we don`t know what they found as far as the cell phone. Was her cell phone active in those first couple of days?
The car didn`t turn up in those first couple of days. It sounds to me like initially she was a runaway. She didn`t go home when she was supposed to go home after leaving someone`s house. It may have turned into something else.
I agree, it`s a long time now. You`ve got to look beyond just a simple runaway, because the situation may have taken a turn. But initially, it certainly sounds like a runaway. And the police can`t chase after everybody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, oh, oh. Come on. Come on. Hold on.
LOCKWOOD: At the very least, what the police will do is put out a "be on the lookout" in roll call so that people are aware that she is missing, without filing an actual missing person report. Be on the lookout, start checking the tag, check the license plate, and find out if it`s shown up anywhere in the first 24 hours.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. Marc Klaas, they had a car, they had a vehicle, they had pictures of her, they had -- you know, they could have done a lot with that in the first 24 hours.
KLAAS: They could have. And they could have questioned her parents to find out, as we know now, her history is pristine. She`s not the kind of girl that would run away.
And Wendy is absolutely correct. A majority of the girls that find themselves in the illegal sex trade are runaway children who find themselves being very small fish in very large ponds.
But I think there`s another point we have to remember. It was verified that she went to the gym on the morning of April 11. So that`s an important piece of the time line that has been verified.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I`ve got to say that, if she still had her cell phone pinging, if they had immediately traced her cell phone pings before they died out, that could have also been an option to finding her. Like that.
Next, a homeowner shoots and kills two teenage intruders. But there`s way more to this story than meets the eye. It`s an incredible story that I think is going to rivet the entire nation. Was it self-defense or was it murder?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they broke into his bedroom window and he was down in the basement. He must have heard it. And it was not good. He`s terribly upset over this deal. He was just defending his property.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are more shocked that, you know, how everything had to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspected Byron Smith may have killed somebody in his home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Admitted to police that he shot and killed 18- year-old Haile Kifer and her cousin, 17-year-old Nick Brady, after they broke into his home Thanksgiving Day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the right to defend your home. He`s been through hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, fast-breaking developments in a case that shocked a Minnesota community, perhaps the whole nation.
A homeowner, a retired security engineer for the U.S. State Department, Byron Smith, is accused of murdering two popular teenagers inside his own home, and now he`s facing a jury.
Smith claims it was self-defense, saying he was terrified and knew the two teens, cousins from the neighborhood, including this beautiful young lady, had broken into the house to rob him.
But the prosecution paints a totally different and much more sinister portrait. They say Smith planned these killings, lying in wait for the two teenagers in his basement with a book, two guns and energy bars and a bottle of water so he could stay there for a while.
According to cops, Smith fired three shots at one teen as he walked down the stairs, shooting him in the chest, the back and then the head, saying, quote, "I want him dead."
When the second teen, the young lady, walked into the basement, looking for her friend, Smith allegedly shot her twice, and when he, according to cops, heard her gasping for air, he shot her again, right under the chin and called it a good, clean, finishing shot.
Cops say he waited the entire day before calling police.
Straight out to the Lion`s Den. Dr. Judy Ho, clinical psychologist, is this self-defense or is this cold-blooded murder?
DR. JUDY HO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: This is absolutely not self- defense, Jane. Because as you just reported, he delivered several blows to these teenagers to make sure that they were dead.
On top of that, he even laid them out on the tarp and had all of these preparations that somebody who was just trying to protect himself wouldn`t go to the lengths of.
And I wonder if there was something else going on here. Was this man very socially isolated? Was there evidence of mental illness, specifically paranoia? Or delusions?
And I`m really, really worried about what his mind state was that he was walking around his own apartment with guns holstered onto his hip and kind of lying in wait, as you described.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Eboni K. Williams, attorney, if you enjoy shooting someone in self-defense, does it make it any less self-defense?
These teenagers were in his home, and I`ll give you a little back- story afterwards. But suffice it to say, he`s not psychic. He had a reason to suspect they were going to come into his house. If he enjoyed killing them, does that make it any less self-defense?
WILLIAMS: No, but that`s not really the issue here, Jane. Look, to be clear, you do have a right to defend your home and yourself if you feel there is a reasonable threat to, you know -- that someone is going to commit a felony.
But Jane, these kids were found with no weapons. They were not armed. So you have to wonder how reasonable any fear he had was.
Also, Judy is right. Dr. Ho is right. This was overkill. He was not shooting to protect himself. As he said, his own admission, he was shooting to kill, and that undermines his own defense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Smith has pleaded not guilty. His attorney says he was terrified for his life after a string of break-ins in the neighborhood. Listen to this from "GMA."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was about anxiety and fear. And what somebody does in their own home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: After the teens were killed, cops said a car linked to the cousins contained prescription pills that had been stolen from another house. And Steve Greenberg, criminal defense attorney, court documents also show at least one of the cousins had burglarized Smith`s house twice in the months before the shootings. Does that make it self- defense?
GREENBERG: Jane, I wish I could defend this guy. We have a legal term for it. He`s a "whack job."
He had no business killing these people. He had every right in the world to shoot them. They broke into his house. They came down the stairs. Every right to shoot them. But no right to then go up and polish the guy off.
And then what`s the girl thinking? She had to have heard the gunshots. And it sounds like she calmly comes downstairs. She gets shot. And then he polishes her off.
He went way beyond what the law permits. I would have trouble making this argument with a straight face in front of a jury, that he was in any danger. Planning...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Murphy, let me play devil`s advocate, ask a provocative question. You see these kids, and we can show them again. They`re attractive. They were described in one news report as looking like they were the king and queen of the local prom. Do you think that has anything to do with the outrage over their killings?
My heart goes out to their families. But what if some kids from the ghetto had broken into his house. Do you think people would have a different reaction to them being gunned down?
MURPHY: You know, I hope not. I wish I could say it doesn`t matter. But it does. You know, our feelings about what types of people they are. It does affect whether we are more angry or less.
Look, I have to agree with everybody that this was not just overkill. It`s completely in violation of the law in Minnesota and in every state. It`s like the case in Florida with the guy who got hit with popcorn, and he pulled a gun. You can`t beat back popcorn with a gun. You can`t. It`s too much force.
But here`s the thing. Maybe this guy is sending a message that there`s a little too much crime going on in that community, and if the cops don`t step it up, you`re going to see more of these killings.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, he`s in his own home. The point is that he did more than just defend himself. He riddled both of these kids with bullets. We`ll see how this trial plays out. It`s fascinating, I think. A fascinating case.
Next, the celebrity sex tape seen and heard round the world. Well, almost. How the "Love and Hip-Hop" star`s very, very triple-X-rated video has now exploded on the world stage. You won`t believe the battle going on over piracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can see if it leaked and then it`s out there, and you want to cash in on it. But I mean, was his roommate home or something? Because someone was holding the camera. And that`s not a leaked private sex tape. That`s an official porno.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More sex tape shame.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Is it possible that this is some kind of publicity stunt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re definitely making the money.
KIM KARDASHIAN, REALITY STAR: It`s not all just how can I look sexy? It`s not about that. It`s all about just feeling your best inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people continue to take overexposure to remarkable new lows.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re going to release it to the public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, jaw-dropping new developments in the shocking sex tape scandal featuring two reality stars from the hit show "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta". Tonight, a growing frenzy as people clamor to watch Mimi Faust and her boyfriend Nikko Smith go at it on tape.
Vivid Entertainment took their home made sex tape public yesterday. Just 24 hours later, Mimi and Nikko`s scandal in Atlanta has already reportedly surpassed Kim Kardashian`s sex tape in popularity. You could call it the new Mount Everest of celebrity sex tapes. But it`s already being pirated left and right.
Tonight: a huge battle between Web sites that are illegally hosting the porno and Vivid Entertainment who officially released it. This all started when VH1 stars claimed they discovered, to their shock and horror, that their private sex tape had mysteriously been leaked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- on that camera has been exposed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we do a deal, you guys stand to make a lot of money.
MIMI FAUST, "LOVE & HIP-HOP ATLANTA": I have a daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know you`re a porn star now. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) camera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you do have a daughter. Mimi might have had reservations when it all started, but it looks like she got over them. Now she can be laughing all the way to the bank. Straight out to TMZ news manager, Mike Walters. What the heck is this piracy battle going on?
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ NEWS MANAGER: Well, Jane, it`s because of the way technology is, especially in pornographic films, people on the Internet steal them and put them up for free on the Internet, and a guy like Steven Hirsch, who I think is a genius, by the way, has the company, Vivid Entertainment, that has to put out this video.
And immediately on Monday when they put it out, 1,200 Web sites stole their intellectual property and put it out for free. And remember, Vivid Entertainment is a business. They charge for this celebrity sex tape. And actually, Jane, they have an entire area of their Web site full of celebrity sex tapes.
And these people who sign off on these, they`re willing participants, and they`re in this section. You pay to get in there to look at it. And the problem is 1,200 Web sites immediately in one day, they had to fight, because the piracy is so bad, because of the way technology it`s so easy to steal this stuff and repost it on the Internet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I agree with everything you said, except for the phrase intellectual property. That`s a stretch.
Listen, Mike, I`ve got to say that this trend -- I personally find very disturbing. Thank you for your report. But we`re going to debate it right now.
This sex tape is going to be a big plot line on the new season of the hit show "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta". VH1`s press release says the sex tape mysteriously -- how did that happen -- leaked and Mimi, a mother of one, needs to determine if the reward outweighs the repercussions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You and your boo, how are you doing?
FAUST: What boo?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nikko.
NIKKO SMITH: I love the way you move (ph) when you simulate this.
FAUST: I`ve never made a sex tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no.
SMITH: I absolutely liked (inaudible) when I read that comment.
FAUST: I am in such another place. I don`t even realize that that camera is on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s that good, you want to document it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Demetria Lucas, pop culture expert, Mimi and Nikko seen here in photos from their Instagram, claim they were forced to release this home made sex tape. Give me a break. Do you really believe it was leaked by somebody, and then that forced them to make a deal with Vivid Entertainment? Does that even make sense?
DEMETRIA LUCAS, POP CULTURE EXPERT: They filmed a sex tape, they had lighters, they may have had -- someone was on lights. They looked like there were a couple different cameras going on, lots of different angles. This was not a shaky home video and someone is holding an iPhone. This was a produced tape.
They wanted to have it released to the public. This isn`t an accident. It`s come out with its full media campaign. They need to stop trying to pretend that this is fake. This is like happenstance. They don`t know how it happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s debate the issue of whether this is a porno or not. Just because it`s a home made sex tape, I think it`s still a big old porno.
The porn industry is notorious for its horrifying treatment of women, and almost all porn is incredibly sexist. But some people are saying, well, this is different. That it`s not really porn, because it`s a sex tape made by and starring a couple in a relationship. But a source told Hollywood Life that Mimi was paid $100,000 for this video. Is there a difference between home made sex tapes and real pornos?
Steve Santagati, author of "The Manual", in my opinion, if they got cold hard cash for doing, you know, the dirty on the camera it`s a porno and she`s a porno star, and so is he.
STEVE SANTAGATI, AUTHOR OF "THE MANUAL": Yes, without a doubt. The best part about it is Mike from TMZ is defending probably one of the sleaziest businesses in the world. They`re so outraged at this piracy. Give me a break.
Number two, the porn tape is so -- what, 2010 or something right now? It`s like -- it`s almost as old as like adopting a child from a foreign country to get press. This is such a bad PR stunt; it`s well past its prime. It`s a joke all around.
But to answer your question, Jane; yes, it`s a porn. There`s two people having sex. Fortunately, they match in the looks department. So it was better than most porns, I`m guessing. But, yes, the whole thing is a joke. Why we have to pay attention to this stuff anyway is just beyond me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, we have to pay attention, because people are interested.
Exhibit A. She apparently gets up in the bathroom and hangs on to a shower curtain rod. And now nobody --
SANTAGATI: To the shower -- yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- yes, exactly -- can find a shower curtain rod anywhere in America, because they`re flying off the shelves. And people are -- and God only knows --
SANTAGATI: That`s bull.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you mean, it`s bull?
SANTAGATI: That`s like the Sasquatch thing. Who knows? We can all go check Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe`s, to see if the shower rods are really flying off the shelves or perhaps someone in the great pr world happened to say they`re flying off the shelves and they have a chance to billboard their company`s name. Come on. We`re smarter than that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennie Ketcham, we`re delighted to have you. You`re the author of "I am Jennie". You`re a former adult film star. Listen, I have a problem with this. I have a problem with porn. I have a problem with something that`s supposed to be an intimate relationship, and a moment of love between two people becoming a commodity that you sell.
And so as a former porn star, I hope you would tell us how pernicious and destructive pornography in general is, before we just gloss over it and make it like this is, you know, a day in the park, and that this is going to be ok for Mimi`s children, her child, who is ultimately going to grow up and see this. What say you?
JENNIE KETCHAM, FORMER ADULT FILM STAR: Well, first you know, I absolutely agree with you, Jane that being in pornography is really, really hard on an individual`s psyche, be it man or female but especially if it`s a female porn star, because you`re dealing with that slut/pimp dichotomy. And so I think for her kids what`s going to be really difficult is not only being the child of a porn person, because I wouldn`t call her a porn star.
I call her a media whore, but not a porn star; she hasn`t done nearly enough films to necessitate -- to be a star.
KETCHAM: But what`s going to be really difficult for her kids is dealing with the fact that she did this to become more famous, not because she absolutely economically had to. So it`s a very selfish move, in my opinion, on her behalf.
And in terms of her relationship, I think it really displays how unhealthy this relationship between her and Nikko really is, and the fact that she`s probably really --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does anybody on this panel defend their doing the tape? Does anybody?
EBONI WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: I will say this --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
WILLIAMS: Jane, I will say this. I think it says something about our culture and the fact that we consume it. I mean, this has, as you said, been even more popular than the sex tape of Kim Kardashian. And I think it`s really a sad commentary on what we value from our women in today`s society. And it`s really kind of sad to me about what we consume.
SANTAGATI: How women value themselves.
DR. JUDY HO, PSYCHOLOGIST: And Jane --
KETCHAM: Yes, but you know what -- it`s a genius, genius move.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait.
KETCHAM: It`s a genius move on her behalf.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy.
SANTAGATI: On her behind.
HO: Jane, all -- Jane, what I was saying was that if this is a media stunt -- if this is a publicity stunt, they have won because everybody is paying attention to them. And it just feeds the same lesson over and over again, that if they want to do this and get more attention, all you`ve got to do is do some porn and people will pay attention.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But -- yes, but is that really something you want? I mean, really, you can`t put this genie back in the bottle.
On the other side, we`re going to talk to Demetria Lucas -- you`re a pop culture expert who has been tracking the show. I`m wondering how it`s going to affect Mimi and Nikko`s relationship, now that everybody in the world can see them do the dirty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLOG XILLA: She did it for her man, she did it for the gram or she did it for the show -- she did it for ratings. She needs to go to fame school. She all doing it all for attention and it`s just -- it`s a little bit thirsty and I really do feel bad for her daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FAUST: Stevie will make my life a living hell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I put all the money up for a lawyer to make sure my daughter is good.
FAUST: Are you serious?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) -- you have a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mimi Faust and Nikko Smith, stars of "Love & Hip-Hop" have now made a sex tape. It is now out and it is a super huge hit, but my question of Demetria Lucas, pop culture expert, how is it going to impact their relationship and their show? Their show is already a hit. They didn`t really need to do this to become famous. Although now they`re truly household names.
LUCAS: You know, I think they may be trying to get a spinoff of some sort. That`s the only reason I can imagine that they did a sex tape after they were already on a highly-rated, very popular show.
I will say that I don`t see longevity in this relationship. Nikko always seems like he was a rebound from Mimi`s previous relationship. She was with the father of her child for more than a decade -- that relationship ended disastrously.
And Nikko always seemed like a rebound. I think maybe she is going through, you know, a haze of trying to get over her ex. She is making extraordinarily bad decisions. And I think as soon as they don`t get the spinoff that he`s gone. When the limelight goes away, when all the pictures and the money go away, I don`t think he`s there for the long haul. He seems like someone who only cares about himself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone line. Charnel, North Carolina, what say you.
CHARNEL, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): I also think, the bottom line is it`s very distasteful. It shows a lack of self-respect. And plus, what are we teaching our kids with this type of behavior? I mean, there is nothing wrong with adding spice in the bedroom, but let it stay there. And her face shows no type of shocked expressions where the information was something new to her. I feel like she knew exactly what she was doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And let me say this. Here`s the reason. I have a lot of reasons for being anti porn. The Internet has super charged porn addiction. There is such an overwhelming amount of porn at the fingertips of men. Watch this clip of Don John from Relativity Media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try a few things I really care about in life -- my bike (ph), my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls and my porn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A movie about a porn addict. If men -- you know, and porn is primarily a male addiction, start getting into porn. It`s easy to get hooked, because of the accessibility.
And Steve Santagati, my favorite bad boy, once a man gets hooked on porn, they need more and more of it to get off -- with any addiction, you build up a tolerance. What I see happening is men getting into sicker and sicker stuff and becoming unable to enjoy regular sex with their comparatively boring flesh and blood partners.
Are we creating a nation of men whose sexual fantasies are being fulfilled online instead of in real life?
SANTAGATI: We`re not creating it, Jane. The people that watch it prolifically are. If you turn it off, you`re responsible. That`s it. Bottom line, this is a great book called "The Brain that Changes Itself", you can find out all about how porn ruins your relationships.
You know what really bothers me about this? Black exploitation films of the 70s did the same thing. They put these African-Americans in a really bad light. This sends a message out to white America, saying, oh, look what they`re doing for press, you know? And it`s just a really bad thing, especially because they`re doing it to themselves. It`s just another version of the 70s black exploitation films. It`s just bad taste.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second -- ok. Eboni K. Williams, attorney, radio personality, I did not see this as a racial issue at all. This is news to me. I never thought about that, until this moment.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I don`t think that this is particularly adjacent to black exploitation because if that`s going to be the argument then you would have to criticize the entire show, because it certainly is not positive --
SANTAGATI: Well, there you go. Why don`t we?
WILLIAMS: Well, many do.
SANTAGATI: Why don`t we criticize the entire show?
WILLIAMS: I don`t watch this show, because I do feel like it has a poor display of women in general. In particular, as a black woman, I`m not proud of the imagery.
SANTAGATI: There you go.
WILLIAMS: But, again, it`s consumed. People love it. As Demetria pointed out correctly, it`s highly rated and as long as there are people and women willing to put themselves in this position, it will, unfortunately, continue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, if you want to talk about porn, the first person that comes to mind is Paris Hilton with her sex tape. Ok, that`s how she shot to fame. Last time I checked, she is not African-American -- ok? And then Kim Kardashian -- all right -- she shot to fame also with a porno.
So honestly, Demetria Lucas, I think that it`s a good debate point, but I don`t buy it -- Demetria.
LUCAS: I will say that in terms of race, that the problem here -- it`s not about black exploitation. It is very much about -- black women don`t succeed in the same way that some white celebrities do when they do porn. Mimi is not going to be the next Kim Kardashian. She`s not going to be Paris Hilton. She`s not going to be -- there are so many, I`m running out of names.
But black women don`t fare very well. Like it`s a flash in the pan, people download it. They don`t necessarily buy it. But, you know, look at Montana Fishburn, the daughter of Lawrence Fishburne. She wanted to be famous and that lasted for about a week of media run until something else came along and she is long forgotten until I brought her up now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, you make a very good dissertation on why I think no matter what your race or ethnicity, if your gender is female, do not do it. It is bad. Bad for your gender, bad for yourself, bad for your kids. It`s not going to get you what you want except maybe if all you want is cold, hard cash.
Stay right there. We`ve got more on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day, send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane.
Halo, you make my heart glow. And Mickey -- Look at that smile. Francy said -- oh, I just had a fabulous treat. And Duke Poochington says I`m a regal canine -- yes, bow to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former adult film star, Jennie Ketcham, what would you say to Mimi Faust and Nikko Smith about their decision to make this sex tape?
KETCHAM: Mimi, Nikko -- take accountability for your actions. If you did this for economic reasons and for fame, admit it. Don`t ever lie to your kids and save your money because it will dry up before you know it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, that`s an interesting point. Steve Santagati, it`s funny because I thought you would be sort of like this is great, this is good stuff. But you actually have concerns, as well, even though you`re a bad boy.
SANTAGATI: Listen -- no, here`s the thing, Jane. I will always think the lawyer from "Breaking Bad" probably coached them into doing this sort of thing. That guy, Sal Goodman -- he`s such a great character. It`s just like -- again, I want people to make money and I believe in capitalism but this is just a weak try --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Not this way, right?
SANTAGATI: -- they`re not going to be able to monetize t.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel. Nancy is next.