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Mother Shot While Jogging; Shia Labeouf Seeking Treatment; Man vs. Instagram
Aired July 1, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and you use your science. And it all just meshes right together. And it builds your case. But without that, you know, we`d
still be back in the dark ages of investigating crime.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news in a murder mystery terrifying a Michigan town. A beautiful and popular woman gunned down in
cold blood less than a mile away from her home. Who shot this young mother in the head while she was out jogging? Was it random or a professional
hit? And if so, why?
Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. Thanks for joining me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a lot of information to go on at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A mother, a wife, thought at first to be the victim of a hit-and-run, but then found to have a gunshot wound to the head.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope and pray that they get them, whoever did that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops say 36-year-old Rebekah Bletsch, a physical therapist, a wife, a mother, plugged in her earphones and went for a jog
Sunday at about 5 p.m., 5 in the afternoon. Just over an hour later, a passer-by called 911 to report a woman lying near death on the side of the
road by this mailbox.
By the time the ambulance arrived, they could not save Rebekah. Cops were ready to declare it a hit-and-run. But then today, a stunning development
today. We learned that investigators found bullet casings at the scene and at least one gunshot wound right to the victim`s head.
Cops have called in a task force tonight, looking for any clues to solve this mysterious murder, saying her husband was out of town. He has an
alibi. They don`t think it was a robbery or sexual assault.
Why would anyone want to murder this beautiful, popular young mother? A good neighbor, a good friend. I want to hear from you. Call me: 1-877-
The Lion`s Den of experts fired up and ready to debate and analyze this mystery. But first, let`s go to our exclusive guest, the deceased woman`s
sister, Jessica Josephson.
Jessica, first of all, my deepest condolences. I am so sorry you are going through this complete and utter nightmare. We want to help solve -- maybe
there`s somebody out there who knows something, and we want to urge them to call in.
So tell us about your sister. She`s described as a very well-liked neighbor. Her record is absolutely squeaky clean, nothing -- you know,
she`s a mother; she`s a wife. She coaches basketball, is my understanding, and she jogs. Does she have any enemies? Who would want to do something
JESSICA JOSEPHSON, SISTER OF REBEKAH BLETSCH (via phone): No, she doesn`t have any enemies. She`s well-loved in the community. Everybody loved her:
friends, her family, the patients she took care of. She was an amazing woman. Amazing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, did she have a regular schedule where she would go jogging and take this path? Because that`s what we`re reading in published
JOSEPHSON: It wasn`t a regular like every day she would go out and go for a run. But she was active. She would go biking. Her and her daughter
would go out walking. She would go running from time to time. When she ran, she had a route. You know, she would go that way and to a certain
street and turn around and come home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I understand that where this happened, according to one neighbor, is kind of at the start of where there`s a patch of no homes?
JOSEPHSON: Yes, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So somebody sees her jogging in an area where there are no homes and essentially -- and I hesitate this -- to use this word. I know
this is very, very painful for you -- kind of, you know, executes her. And we don`t know why.
Now, let`s -- let`s ask this question: When was the last time you spoke to her and how was she feeling? Was she happy? She`s married. She has a
beautiful 11-year-old daughter. What was -- what was going on with her?
JOSEPHSON: Nothing was going on with her. Like we said, she`s -- she`s always happy. You know, she never had an issue with anybody. I don`t know
the exact time I spoke with her last. But, you know, every time I talked to her, it was always, you know, "What are you doing? Can I come over?"
You know, planning something or just hanging out. You know, always upbeat. Never -- never down about anything. She had no worries, no enemies, no
problems at home, nothing. She was always happy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How long had she been married? I understand her husband is a boilermaker by trade, and he was out of town with their 11-year-old
daughter at the time. Do you know what he was doing out of town?
JOSEPHSON: They were mowing a field. You know, they were going camping. You know, they were preparing for that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s out -- he`s out of the county, and you`re saying he`s mowing a field...
JOSEPHSON: A field. They were going camping, you know, up there. And, you know, getting ready for the holiday weekend.
JOSEPHSON: It was his uncle`s cabin.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he was helping out by mowing at the uncle`s cabin?
JOSEPHSON: Yes, yes, him and his daughter had went up to take care of the land, get it ready for everybody -- all their friends, you know, everybody
was going camping for the holiday.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So in other words, that`s an area where the family normally goes, and he...
JOSEPHSON: Oh, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... had gone up earlier as we`re approaching the July 4 holiday to kind of get the place ready for the rest of the family who would
have, like, a family gathering?
JOSEPHSON: Yes, definitely. Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, I just ask this, because we just have to look at all aspects. How was -- how`s their marriage? Everything good in
JOSEPHSON: Oh, yes. Yes. Good marriage. He`s a good man, a good father. She loves him dearly.
JOSEPHSON: She`d -- she`d do everything -- she held the household together. She did everything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and there`s absolutely no explanation that anybody could think of -- as one relative said, there is no explanation that makes
any sense. Do you have any theories about what happened to your precious sister, Jessica?
JOSEPHSON: I have no -- no theory. It`s just an awful, awful thing for somebody to do to anybody, you know, let alone my sister. Just horrible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She has an 11-year-old daughter. How is -- how is the family dealing with that? How are they explaining this...
JOSEPHSON: You know, from an 11-year-old child`s point of view, you know, she`s surrounded by friends, her cousins -- you know, she`s handling it, I
think, well for a child her age. You know, it will be something she will deal with the rest of her life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did -- did your sister have any ex-boyfriends from the past who may have been obsessed with her? Did she have any financial or
JOSEPHSON: No. No. She`s been with Kevin for almost 20 years. They married -- this year would have been their fifth wedding anniversary.
There`s no -- nothing like that, no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And his business, there`s no lawsuits, nobody would want to target her to get back at him?
JOSEPHSON: No, no. They`re -- like I said, they`re both well known throughout the community. He`s a wonderful man. He doesn`t have any
qualms with anybody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What would you say to the person who did this? This was a shot to the head, at least one. And I`m going to talk to the undersheriff,
Daniel Stout, in a second, who`s been kind enough to wait as we speak with you.
Shot to the head, the last I heard, they don`t know if it`s two bullets or one, because there`s an entry and an exit wound. And I hate to be so
graphic. But what would you say to the person who gunned down your precious sister?
JOSEPHSON: I would say I have no words. I mean, come forward. You know, what you did was wrong. You took a life way too soon. She had a whole
life ahead of her. You know, how dare you do this to anybody? You know? It`s unfair. It is unfair.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My last question is, were there any financial problems with the family?
JOSEPHSON: No, no. They are -- they are fine. They have everything and anything they could ever want or need.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just try to cover all the bases just to try to figure out -- you`ve been so kind to answer all these questions. But it`s
a total mystery.
If I could just ask you, Jessica, to stand by for a second, we have Undersheriff Daniel Stout with us.
Thank you, sir, for taking the time, and thank you for listening to that.
Here`s the thing. She has a regular route, essentially. She didn`t do that route every single day, but she was a jogger. And from what I read,
it was not uncommon to see her jogging along in that area. It gets to a point where there`s no -- and we might have a map -- it gets to a point
where there`s no houses where this occurs.
What do you think happened here? Do you think that this was a drive-by shooting, where somebody slows down and literally executes her, or do you
think they stopped the car? How close was the gun to the woman`s head?
UNDERSHERIFF DANIEL STOUT, MUSKEGON COUNTY (via phone): Well, we`ve got -- with the task force, we have a lot of theories on what could have happened.
We`re waiting for the autopsy results to come in. We will find out then if it was a contact wound. In other words, a barrel to the head or if it`s so
many feet, if the gun powder residue, if there`s no gun powder residue, you know, try to, you know, determine that.
This -- where she was brutally killed is a rural road that runs just a short ways from a major U.S. -- well, United States Road 31 that goes up
the north and south of the western shores of Lake Michigan.
During this time -- and again, it`s just pure speculation -- but there was an Electric Forest Festival going up the county yard up there. Is there
somebody that came through there that is a serial killer and saw a crime opportunity? Is there somebody that was watching her over a period of
time? You know, there`s a lot of theories until we get some physical evidence. And we run down the leads...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me ask you. You said -- you said what kind of festival was in the area?
STOUT: They call it an Electric Forest Festival. You know, where they had, you know, young people come up. They had different rock groups --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, a music festival of some kind.
VELEZ-MITCHEL: You said there was -- you didn`t believe or they don`t think it`s robbery because there were valuables left on her. And, again,
disturbing question, but was she sexually assaulted or not? I pray not.
STOUT: Well, again, you know, with the autopsy, there are certain things you find out right away, you know, whether there`s the one wound or there`s
more wounds -- and if there`s, you know, other bruising, those type of things you find out right away. But as far as, you know, sexual assault,
you know, that may take...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did it appear that way? I mean, you know, sometimes you can tell -- remember, this happened in a very short period of time, 5 to
6:11, 5 p.m. top 6:11. Do you suspect that or are you kind of leaning against that?
STOUT: Well, you know, in this case, anything is possible. But from what -- the position of the body -- from what we found there and the clothes
around the body, I mean, that didn`t indicate.
But that does not rule out that something else occurred in that hour. You know, it doesn`t take long for, you know, a half hour, hour for a brutal
attack to occur or even a few minutes and then...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she was right by the side of the road. She wasn`t like deep in the woods. She was right by the side of the road, is that
STOUT: That is correct.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she had valuables? She had valuables on her?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like her cell phone was still there?
STOUT: She had her cell phone, and she had a diamond ring that appeared to be quite expensive.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that would say not an average robbery. You`re going to take a diamond ring. You leave the diamond ring, you leave the cell phone.
Now, the one last thing, sir, she apparently had been in contact with a relative before leaving. Somebody talked to her around 5?
STOUT: Yes. She was texting a relative. We have since seized that phone that night, and they are doing a forensic exam on that phone and trying
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you talked to the husband, just to clarify whether he talked to her or when he talked to her?
STOUT: Yes. The detectives have been out, have talked to him. And I know they`ll retrace their steps again. They`ll re-contact the family.
They`ll, you know, contact...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just want to stress, he`s not considered a suspect. The husband was out of town and is not considered...
STOUT: No, no, not at this time. No. He`s got the alibi, and so far we`re very satisfied with that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to thank you, Undersheriff Stout. I know you`re busy. You`re part of a task force trying to solve this. We`re
going to debate it on the other side. We`ve got a team of experts, including Lisa Lockwood, who is one of the premier investigators in the
United States. So stay right there.
We want to help this family solve this complete and utter mystery. There is no scenario that makes sense, according to one relative. And I
understand what that person means. Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a mother, a wife, initially found dying less than a mile from her Gulf Township home, thought at first to be the victim
of a hit-and-run but then found to have a gunshot wound to the head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s not a lot of information to go on at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bletsch worked in grand haven as a physical therapist. She is married and has an 11-year-old daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this time, the spouse is not a suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bletsch worked in Grand Haven as a physical therapist. She is married and has an 11-year-old daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, the husband is not a suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The husband out of town with their 11-year-old daughter at a family cabin trying to get it ready for the Fourth of July holiday.
The wife, Jess -- Rebekah Bletsch, goes jogging, and about an hour after she starts, somebody finds her on the side of the road. Soon she`s
deceased, and authorities figure out, no, it`s not a hit-and-run. She has a gunshot wound -- at least one gunshot to the head. There`s an entry and
an exit wound.
Facebook is lighting up on this. Stephanie says, "So cruel. You can`t even go out for a jog anymore." But a lot of people are putting on their
detective caps. Melissa says, "Could it be mistaken identity, a stray bullet? This doesn`t make any sense. Was there a sign of a struggle?"
Sabrina: "I wonder if somebody was watching her daily jogging routine. This is so sad."
Let`s go to Lisa Lockwood, investigator, author of "Undercover Angel." We weigh in with our Lion`s Den panel.
Lisa, you heard the sister. You heard the authorities. What do you make of it?
LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR: Yes, and great questions were asked. The husband has been eliminated as a suspect right now. Just so you know,
they`re going to continue with the investigation and find out any kind of relationships that he had possibly with other people, if he was involved in
something where they were doing some type of retaliation against his wife, possibly.
In addition to that, because there are two rounds close to the body, that means that it was -- the shot was taken at close range, up close and
personal. This was not a rifle. It was not a hit from a distance.
So with those two factors right there, I just want everybody to be aware that they are looking at this closely as well as the telephone. All the
phone calls, texts, everything she did prior to that to try and find out if this was an actual hit. Who did she speak to? Who knew she was out
running at that time?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think what I heard -- and it`s confusing because different reports are saying -- one is saying two gunshot wounds, one is
saying one. But our understanding from authorities is that there was an entry wound and an exit wound, and they`re trying to figure out if it was,
in fact, two gunshots or one. But either way, to me it sounds like an execution.
J. Wyndal Gordon, attorney, who would want to execute a popular mom? She teaches -- coaches basketball. She has a good profession as a physical
therapist, working with people who get out of a hospital. Who has a motive to want to kill her?
J. WYNDAL GORDON, ATTORNEY: An insane individual. And I`m glad that Ms. Lockwood made reference to where the shell casings were found, because I
was particularly concerned about that. Because, you know, with my background, I`m thinking sniper. I`m thinking, no motive, crime of
opportunity. And sniper in my mind was written all over this case.
So if the shell casings actually were found close to the body, that would sort of eliminate the sniper aspect of it and make it appear more to be
something of a drive-by shooting of such. But if it was indeed a sniper shooting, that`s very interesting because it`s close to the interstate,
like the gentleman said, or close to a highway. There`s woods all around, you know. So the getaway is very clean, and it`s very succinct. You can
get right out of the area as soon as you make the kill.
So this is a very interesting case, and all I can do is speculate based upon the information that`s been provided.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: When investigating -- what do you think?
GORDON: What do I think?
GORDON: If the shell casings actually were found close to the body, I think it was a drive-by shooting. If the shell casings were found just
somewhere, they could have rolled over...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think some crazy person just wants a thrill kill?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they don`t take a diamond ring? Does everybody agree with that or does somebody think that that`s...
GORDON: I don`t think -- I don`t think so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ken Zimmerman. Ken Zimmerman, what do you think?
KEN ZIMMERMAN, LEGAL ANALYST: First of all, she`s beautiful. She`s popular, but most importantly, she was a physical therapist. And Jane, I
don`t know if you`ve been to a physical therapist. But sometimes, by the nature of their job, they`re physical with their patients. They see men;
they see women.
I would want police to look at whether she treated men as physical therapy patients. I could imagine a scenario where somebody comes onto her, she
rebuffs them, and there`s a revenge scenario.
I think it`s very interesting the husband and daughter are out of town, and there`s no apparent motive. No robbery, no apparent sexual assault that we
know of. I -- I think that you`ve got to look at everybody she knows and she knows well, starting with the husband but also the patients in her
physical therapy practice.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You raise an important point. An investigating -- go ahead.
GORDON: What I was about to say, I`ve dealt with a lot of physical therapists in the past, and I just don`t think it`s very likely that one of
her patients would do anything like that. They`re there to be treated for pain and not to get their thrills, you know. I don`t even want to suggest
that she was doing something...
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: What if somebody`s obsessed with her?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Robi Ludwig.
LUDWIG: What if somebody gets obsessed. What if somebody has a crush on her and feels slighted in some way?
ZIMMERMAN: Exactly. Exactly.
GORDON: I just don`t think it`s likely. I just disagree, that`s all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just don`t know if -- if somebody who has a crush and gets obsessed would then just execute. Wouldn`t they be writing letters
and stalking in a different kind of way?
ZIMMERMAN: This could have been going on for a long time. This could have been months in the making, absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But wouldn`t she have said something to her sister about that?
LUDWIG: Not necessarily.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because her sister said she had no enemies whatsoever.
OK. On the other side, we`re going to continue. We`ve got some callers. Bob, Pennsylvania, wait right there. We`re going to get to you on the
And then in a little bit, breaking news on the Shia LaBeouf, well, rage-a- thon. We`ve got some new information after he was arrested after going on just a crazy, wild, what come would call an intoxicated spree. And you see
the paparazzi chasing him. We`ve got breaking news as far as what he may or may not be doing right now. Stay right there.
But first we`re going to get back to this extraordinary case. And then we`ll have Shia LaBeouf`s Broadway bomb.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t know if he was drunk. I thought he was working on a role or something, because it was obviously him; and he was
quite a mess.
He had a torn shirt. He had a cigarette. He was blending into the crowd, trying to -- and chasing bums and craziness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First I heard somebody got hit by a car. And then I heard it was her. I was in total shock.
I just hope and pray that they get whoever did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who executed Rebekah Bletsch? This very popular physical therapist, wife and mom of an adorable 11-year-old child who is suffering
tonight without her mom.
And our Facebook fans are playing detective, and they`ve got some good points. Charlene: "I don`t think this was random at all." B.K.: "Somebody
wanted her dead. Obviously, that person knew her running route." And Brittany (ph): "There was another guy shot on a motorcycle recently in the
same area. I wonder if it`s connected."
Wow, I thought this was the first homicide of the year in this area. That`s what I read.
Let`s go out to the phone lines. Bob, Pennsylvania, what have you got to say? Bob, Pennsylvania.
CALLER: Hi, Jane, my question is this, do you know if they had any enemies around where they lived? And I was wondering if anybody witnessed or heard
anybody getting shot or anything?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently, there are no witnesses. Somebody came upon this woman dying her last breaths.
I have to go back to this idea of a festival. There`s a rock festival in the area. Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, you`ve been listening to all
of this. Do you really think some -- It`s sort of a stereotype, of a rock festival and we`re going to have a bunch of weirdoes that are going to
invade the town and make mayhem. Do you think that`s a good theory?
LUDWIG: Listen, anything at this point is a good theory, because we just don`t know enough. Could it be a random kind of killing? It certainly
could. Could a rock -- someone at a rock concert been using drugs and been dared to do something like this? It`s a possibility.
If the woman really has no enemies and there truly is a solid marriage there, and there`s no other lovers involved, we have to look at just a
random person who might have done this. At this point, that is a very real possibility. Unless there are gangs in the area. That`s also a
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They said that this was their first homicide of the year. It`s a town of 8,000. It`s very low crime. Everybody knows each other.
You know, I`ve got to -- first of all, Lisa Lockwood, let`s get back to the husband. He is not considered a suspect at this time. He was off getting
a house ready for a Fourth of July gathering with the 11-year-old daughter. But what do they have to do to investigate further to eliminate him as a
suspect, to check whether there was a life insurance policy, cell phone records, computers, yada, yada?
LOCKWOOD: All of that. Yes. All of that and then some. What type of relationships he had outside of the marriage, what were his habits, what
were his hobbies? Did he belong to a health club? Was there somebody that was infatuated with him? Did he rebuff somebody? Everything that we had
talked about with her could have been a possibility with him, as well.
As far as this being random, I`m going to say one thing, as well. The person who actually did this, my hunch is that they`ve done it before.
Somebody who would take a close-range shot -- and we know it was close range because of the fact that the shell casings were near the body and the
fact that the bullet had penetrated completely through and exited. So that`s close range.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So they`re saying -- A.J. is saying, "A head shot is a kill shot. This is a hit man for sure." Is that what you`re saying?
LOCKWOOD: My hunch, in my experience, based on killings, is that somebody who is up close and personal like that possibly has done it before.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying it`s a possible hit, a hit man?
LOCKWOOD: Yes. Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to stay on top of this. My condolences to the family. It is a total mystery. I`m sure we`re going to
get some more information. We`re going to find out who did this.
Breaking news surrounding Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf. You will not believe what they`re saying now. Stay right there. We`ve got a live
report with the very latest breaking news on this superstar, very troubled superstar on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors say the antics only continued once the star was in police custody. Labeouf allegedly telling officers, "Do you
know who I am? I`ll end your life. Blank you," he went on to say; even calling police a homophobic slur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIA LABEOUF, ACTOR: My name is Stanley Yelnats. All my life, I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More bizarre behavior from Shia Labeouf.
LABEOUF: When sea gulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Walked the red carpet with a bag over his head. And the bag had the words "I am not famous anymore" written across it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he`s infamous tonight. Tonight, we have breaking news out of Hollywood. We are just getting word from Shia Labeouf`s rep
that Shia has not checked into a rehab facility but he is, quote, "voluntarily receiving treatment for alcohol addiction", end quote. This
after the 28-year-old heartthrob was involved in what spectators called a drunken escapade in New York City that everybody was watching that got him
arrested. Witnesses say he was totally out of control at a Broadway show, yelling obscenities, smoking cigarettes during the performance. He was
kicked out as some people thought the outburst was so dramatic that it was actually part of the show. They don`t know if he was acting or
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, I wasn`t thinking drunk or drugs. I was thinking he was working on a role because it was that experience. Then we
saw him in the theater getting a drink at the bar with a torn shirt and stumbling and then he fed a strawberry to a woman from her plate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bizarre behavior, for sure. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and harassment. Now after a
court appearance, a disheveled Shia wearing a ripped T-shirt was swarmed by reporters and (inaudible). Listen -- listen as they chase after him and
try to ask questions like "what the heck is going on with you, dude"?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened? Are you upset? Any apologies?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Take a look at that scene. For once he has nothing to say. Imagine the embarrassment, the humiliation. This is not the first
time he`s been in trouble with the law and entered a sobriety program as a result. But the big question tonight: is this a publicity stunt to make
people and potential Hollywood employers think, yes, he`s getting help so he can find work or is he really hitting bottom?
Straight out to Marc Malkin in Hollywood, senior editor writer online E News -- you`ve always got the very latest. What is it? Mark, can you hear
me? Mark, can you hear me?
All right. Listen -- I`m going to go to Anna David, CEO of afterpartychat.com. Anna we know what`s going on. I`m a recovering
alcoholic with 19 years of sobriety. I`ll let you speak for yourself. What`s the problem with this dude?
ANNA DAVID, CEO, AFTERPARTYCHAT.COM: Well, I agree. I`m in recovery, too. And you know, I think that when somebody`s acting out, it`s either mental
illness or addiction. And often the two are -- it`s a dual diagnosis disease -- and often the two are intertwined. You know, we`re not in his
head but Shia does have all the signs of having addiction or mental health issues.
And if he was drunk and he has been in trouble many times for this, also he`s talked openly about his dad having been a heroin addict. We know,
Jane, that addiction is -- there`s a genetic component to addiction, you know. I believe it`s both genetic predisposition and your circumstances in
your formative years can either exacerbate or diminish, not precondition --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look -- here`s my theory. I agree with you 100 percent. It is inherited. My dad was an alcoholic, God rest his soul. I`m an
alcoholic in remember. Shia Labeouf had said flat-out to "Parade Magazine", my understanding I read in a report that he`s an alcoholic so he
But he`s one of these and I was one, too -- he`s one of these loud alcoholics. I was the same way. I didn`t sit around drinking in my
apartment with nobody looking. I was out there wearing the lampshade on my head at parties and making a fool of myself.
That, to me, is actually good news for him, Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist because as I found out, when you`re a loud alcoholic, you have to stop. If
you`re a quiet one you can drink forever in your house and nobody really knows.
LUDWIG: Right. That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But when you do stuff like this, you know, disrupting a Broadway show in the middle of the show, that`s --
LUDWIG: What`s sad about this is he`s probably a very talented and creative guy. It`s just getting mischanneled. So because he has an
addiction that`s not being treated properly, probably some type of mood disorder as well, which he`s not treating, he`s just acting out all over
the place. And it`s almost like performance art.
But what`s not funny is that he`s really self-destructing. So instead of using his creativity in a way that can really promote his career and help
him gain more work, he`s really destroying himself and we don`t know if he`s hit his rock bottom yet where he really understands he needs to take
matters into his own hands.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to that point, I want to go to Marc Malkin, senior editor/writer, E Online -- we got you back out of Hollywood. Tell us
what`s going on because he`s walking around with 12 step literature showing it like, wow -- is that just a PR stunt or is he actually hitting bottom
and getting help?
MARC MALKIN, SENIOR EDITOR/WRITER, E ONLINE: I don`t think this is a PR stunt at all. You know, I`ve spoken to people who know Shia. It`s not a
PR stunt. This is a guy who does want help. He realizes what has happened. Not only is it embarrassing but it`s going to hurt his career if
he continues down this path.
You know, when you have paparazzi following you, if you happen to have the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous with you, it`s going to happen. He`s not
going to be able to hide it. I think, you know, he really is taking the necessary steps. Friends, family -- they all know that he has some sort of
problem and he has to take care of it. So I don`t think PR is on his mind right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But he didn`t go into treatment. CNN is confirming that he`s getting treatment for alcohol addiction but has not entered a
treatment facility, has not gone into rehab.
I have to ask you about that, Anna David. I got sober without going into rehab. I just started working a program thanks to some dear friends and
people who helped me. Is it enough for him given the kind of pressure he`s under or should he go into a rehab for 20, 60, 90 days?
DAVID: Well, it is proven that 90 days of treatment is going to help a lot more than anything else. But, Jane, I`m with you. Most of the sober
people I know did not go to treatment. And in fact got sober through -- were lucky enough to have a program for recovery that is free that is
available to anybody. And, you know, I think his chances are as good as anybody except, of course, he got famous at a young age and he`s got the
world watching him. So he has greater challenges than the average person.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to that point -- and I want to go to Ali Najad, HLN correspondent, Cynthia says on Facebook, "Geez, people act like they`ve
never seen a loud drunk before."
People do this all the time. David says, "He just wants attention. Heck, I was a fan. But he keeps digging a deeper hole." One thing is being a
drunk. Another thing is being a drunk when you`re a superstar and you have this many people following you with cameras.
ALI NAJAD, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I should preface anything that I say as somebody who doesn`t drink and has never even been drunk as feeling
genuinely unqualified to comment on it because how can I really understand? And further, I`m not famous. I`m not Shia Labeouf. So I can only imagine
the sort of pressures that having that type of scrutiny on a day-to-day --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You kind of look like him though. You have the same facial hair.
NAJAD: But I mean look at the sort of pressure that being under that type of scrutiny is bound to create. And everybody needs an outlet. Everybody
needs a way to let their hair down. And not being able to have a private life and certainly feeling isolated if you don`t have the sort of day-to-
day interactions with normal friends who can maybe help steer you clear of this sort of behavior is playing an impact. And obviously the hereditary
side of it, too. You know that better than anyone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at this. "I am not famous anymore."
I have to go back to Marc Malkin, senior editor/writer, E Online. What was this all about? Was this about alcoholism? "I am not famous anymore" with
a bag over his head at a red carpet?
MALKIN: You know, I don`t think he was drunk at the red carpet. I think he really just -- really it`s one of those things like "Just leave me
alone, I don`t want to be famous, I want to talk about my art, I want to talk about movie-making, I don`t want to talk about my personal life. I
don`t want to talk about it if I`m having any struggles." So his statement for that was, you know, put a bag over his head that said "I`m not famous
anymore." Unfortunately for him that backfired and it just made him even more famous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You don`t think he was sophisticated enough to realize that?
MALKIN: You know, I don`t - you know, these people live in a bubble. Remember, they don`t think like we think. They think much differently. I
think there was a part of him that said, if I put a bag over my head, I think that`s a strong enough statement to tell people to leave me alone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? We`ve got more dramarama on the other side. One of cable`s biggest stars feasting on success, but could
the star of "Man versus Food" be without a show after a wild, crazy, controversial meltdown on Twitter? Another social media, you won`t believe
what he said and why his show that was supposed to debut tomorrow has now been put on hold. Stay right there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now the star of the Travel Channel`s "Man versus Food" in the middle of a new brouhaha over smack-downs in social media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is the man, literally, figuratively and gastronomically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smack-downs in social media.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s Adam Richman -- he ranted on Instagram and all that ranting cost him a new show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went overboard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Grab a razor blade, draw a bath." I mean come on -- come on, dude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A very popular, wildly popular TV host in very hot water after going on an Instagram tirade. Adam Richman host of the Travel
Channel`s very successful hit show "Man versus Food" posted a photo on his Instagram account showing off his 70-pound weight loss. Look at the pants,
they`re too big. The only problem, he hashtagged the photo "thinspiration" which is a sensitive term sometimes used in pro-anorexia, pro-bulimia
Instagram users pointed out that Richman might want to rethink the hashtag. And he reportedly lost it. In response he posted comments allegedly like
"Grab a razor blade and draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you. Eat a bag of bleep dummy. The only bleep up seems was your dad`s choice to go
without a condom." That`s just a sampling of his comments.
Richman had a new show called "Man Finds Food" set to debut on the Travel Channel tomorrow night. The network has now pulled that premiere.
Straight out to my fantastic "Lion`s Den" panel; Ali Najad, HLN correspondent, don`t people on television -- I`m scared to tweet. I am
terrified for fear I might say something wrong. But this was sort of like a "damn the consequences" tweet binge.
NAJAD: I wouldn`t be too scared -- Jane. You said you`re sober, so obviously you have your wits about you when you`re using Twitter. The
problem is that not everybody seems to have the necessary sort of discretion to be out there on social media because you take a misstep it`s
all over. But to be fair, I`m not so sure this was a huge misstep. Clearly there was some insensitivity. But I don`t think there was any
intent on Adam Richman`s part to be insensitive toward the pro-bulimic and pro-anorexic --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, he used the "c" word. He used the "c" word, ok.
NAJAD: Well, if you`re talking about the responses that he had to people - -
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m talking about.
NAJAD: -- but the #thinspiration. There should be latitude. It makes plenty of sense for people who are trying to take pride in weight loss to
take back that hashtag. It doesn`t belong to the pro-bulimia and pro- anorexia community, which obviously are folks with some issues -- right. But when you do it and people bring that to your attention to have the sort
of polarized response that he did, which was really tactless and tasteless. I would never tell somebody, certainly not on Twitter, maybe in a group of
friends where I`m making off-color comments, which I`ve certainly been known to do.
But on Twitter, you have to be smarter than that especially given his position.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I want to read a statement, Richman told CNN, quote, "I want to apologize for my inexcusable remarks. I`ve long since struggled
with my body image and I`ve worked very hard to achieve a healthy weight. Instead of responding to hurtful comments with compassion, I lashed out in
anger. I`m not asking for sympathy but rather understanding and forgiveness. I can say with certainty that I`m taking a deep look at
myself and incredibly sorry to anyone that I have hurt."
Dr. Robi Ludwig -- good enough when you`re using the "c" word, when you`re saying things like your dad made a mistake by not using a condom?
LUDWIG: Yes. Well, clearly he made a lot of mistakes. But on the other side, I would imagine that this man felt very attacked and he didn`t handle
it well. And he didn`t handle it in an edited fashion the way that he should have. But he probably felt bullied to some extent.
Now, that doesn`t excuse what he did. But he just wasn`t prepared to handle all the haters out there. And when you are in the public eye,
unfortunately that is something you really need to learn how to do, especially when it comes to social media, or it will come back to hurt you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, stay right there.
On the other side we`re going to have more of what he posted. We`re also going to talk about this #thinspiration. What`s up with that? Stay right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM RICHMAN, TV HOST: I love the low pressure situations.
Half an hour into the challenge, only ten bites to go, I`m ready to claim a victory for man and for the East Coast. But then? I hit the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. This guy in deep you know what, his show put on hold. But remember, "Duck Dynasty" they said horribly homophobic
things, at least patriarch Phil Robertson did and while they were temporarily suspended he ended up back. Ali Najad, do you think this guy
is going to end up, this Adam Richman, back on the air?
NAJAD: Yes. I think it`s a shame that Travel Channel decided to take this knee jerk reaction of pulling his programming when clearly the guy made an
honest mistake. However, the responses are the part that I`m not ok with, Jane. I just did a search on the break for @jvm and you know as well as I
do that not every single one of the replies that we get to our Twitter accounts are nice. Some of them are unkind.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh my gosh. Of course not.
NAJAD: But you have to discipline yourself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you get into a Twitter war with some person you don`t even know, it`s absurd. Listen, I congratulate Adam Richman on his weight
loss. I hope he starts eating healthy and stops with those binge, you know, fast food, massive intakes of food until he gets sick. Change your
life around. Maybe hit bottom on dirty words, apologize, and maybe use this as an opportunity to really change.