PAULA ZAHN NOW
Interview With Brother of Sniper Victim; Can Star Athletes Get Fair Day in Court?
Aired October 21, 2003 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "In Focus" tonight: the sniper trial. How does a family member of a victim react to seeing the alleged killer defend himself in court?
It's a potential prescription for disaster: rogue doctors sending millions of doses of highly addictive drugs over the Internet to patients they've never seen. Who's protecting you?
And the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who has nipped and tucked Hollywood's elite for 25 years shares his secrets.
Good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Also ahead, more on the sniper case. John Allen Muhammad isn't the first high-profile defendant to act as his own lawyer. We're going to see how that strategy has played out before.
Plus, the call for a new investigation into the death of Princess Diana in light of the letter that surfaced this week in which supposedly warned of a plot to kill her in a car crash.
And our debate tonight: As Kobe Bryant prepares to go on trial, can star athletes get a fair day in court?
Also, we'll be asking if Hollywood can produce a fair TV movie on the Reagan presidency. Will it turn into an ideological battleground?
First, though, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.
Congress has passed a ban on a late-term abortion procedure some call partial-birth abortion. The Senate's 64-34 vote sends the bill to President Bush, who has promised to sign it. Former President Clinton vetoed similar measures twice.
U.S. officials fell CNN they are now convinced that "Wall Street Journal" reporter Danny Pearl was personally murdered by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Mohammed was captured last March, and he is being held at an undisclosed location. He is believed to be the chief organizer of the September 11 attacks.
At the D.C. area trial, a policeman testified that he questioned John Allen Muhammad shortly after the October 9 shooting Muhammad is now on trial for. The officer let him go. The survivor of another shooting testified he could not identify his attacker. He just saw him from the back. Police say the man's laptop computer was later found with Muhammad.
Well, sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad cross-examined more witnesses today in his trial in Virginia. Among those watching inside the courtroom was the brother of sniper victim Dean Harold Meyers. As we put the trial "In Focus" tonight, we want to turn to Bob Meyers.
We asked him if seeing John Allen Muhammad in court made him angrier than before.
ZAHN: Bob, as you watch John Muhammad defend himself in court, does it make you angrier at him than you were before?
BOB MEYERS, BROTHER OF SNIPER VICTIM: That's something that is easy to succumb to. And personally, I'm trying to resist that until all the facts are out and all the mitigating and aggravating circumstances are known and draw a final conclusion at the conclusion of everything.
ZAHN: Does he seem sane to you?
ZAHN: And is that troubling, when you really have to internalize what it is he's accused of doing?
MEYERS: Although I can't understand how a sane person would do some of those crimes, nevertheless, that does occur. So it's a hard thing to put together, but it happens every day, I suppose.
ZAHN: You had to confront some grisly photos of your brother's death for the first time. How brutal was that?
MEYERS: The truth is that, dealing with those things, you can never fully prepare. And to see some of those scenes were very gripping and very sensitizing.
ZAHN: I know you came to court, in part, to learn more about the circumstances of your brother's death. Has any of this information helped you come to terms with what happened to him?
MEYERS: Certainly, I have a far better understanding of what appears to have happened, certainly what the prosecutors say happened. And I've seen and heard and learned many facts that help me fulfill that purpose.
I probably don't necessarily need to know a whole lot more than I've learned here. So I think that part of our purpose has been pretty well established.
ZAHN: Well, Bob Meyers, we really appreciate your joining us tonight. And our hearts go out to your family as you endure this trial.
MEYERS: Thank you very much. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ZAHN: Let's recap a very dramatic day in this first trial in the Washington area sniper case. Here to help us out, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman.
Good to see both of you.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi.
ZAHN: Let's talk about another bizarre scene we saw unfold, when John Muhammad cross-examined today a restaurant owner who was also allegedly a victim of the snipers. How weird was that?
TOOBIN: It was totally weird.
But you have to say, he more or less asked the right questions. He would ask the questions that a defense lawyer would ask. He said, did you see the person who shot you? And he established that, in fact, this victim did not see the person who saw him -- who shot him. So that was the right question in the environment of total weirdness that he's established in the courtroom.
ZAHN: A different texture to the questioning when he was asking the restaurant owner exactly what his temperature was at the time, basically, emotionally. And he said: "Do you need a break? I'm not asking you these questions to disrespect you. I understand how you feel when your life is on the line."
MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Which is pretty good lawyering.
ZAHN: That worked for you?
SHERMAN: Yes, that's darn good. That's something that, as lawyers, we can't get away with.
The judge is in -- what they call a pro se litigant, someone who is representing himself. They give these people a lot more latitude, I think whether it's in the state court or the federal court, because they don't know the rules. So he has got an advantage there. Is it a great advantage? Is it as much as you would have with a skilled lawyer? Of course not.
ZAHN: So is this guy insane or does he know exactly what he's doing here?
TOOBIN: I don't think he knows what he's doing, because this can't possibly help him.
He has got to establish for himself that there is something -- if this goes to a penalty phase, that there is some justification for what he did, there is some explanation. And what he's doing is setting up a defense that is based totally on his innocence, that you just got the wrong guy. So the jury is going to sit there, presumably, and say, A, you did it, and, B, you insulted our intelligence for presumably week after week.
And I think that puts you in a worse situation, rather than if you had some distance with a defense attorney who might be able to try to come up with some sort of explanation.
SHERMAN: But, Jeff, what defense attorney, what team of defense attorneys can really truly defend this man? There's 10 dead bodies out there. They have great evidence. They have got the car with the sniper thing. This man is going down.
In a symbol of defiance, he's basically giving the entire system the finger.
ZAHN: Could you defend him? You've defended a lot of people that people have
SHERMAN: It's not an easy yes, I've got to tell you. I don't know.
ZAHN: So it must be a great relief to some of those that were assigned to him?
ZAHN: Or do they think this guy is on a suicide mission?
SHERMAN: Lawyers who get assigned on a case like this wouldn't hesitate like I do. These people are committed people.
TOOBIN: Right. And there are also a lot of lawyers who are deeply committed to fighting the death penalty and, even with the worse criminals, are pleased -- and I wouldn't say happy -- but pleased to fight it out. And not to have that opportunity, not to point out perhaps part of his background that might somehow explain what went on, that has got to be very frustrating for those lawyers.
ZAHN: You get the final word on what it is you think we should be looking for in the days to come.
SHERMAN: Maybe I'm crazy, but I think there may be a method to his madness. Maybe he's smarter than we think and that he's setting up his own great appeal, by showing what a crappy lawyer he is. And then he's going to lose the case. And then he'll appeal it on the basis that his lawyer, him, did an ineffective job. And maybe he'll get some appellate who might buy into that.
ZAHN: Well, there's some sort of logic to that.
SHERMAN: What else has he got to work with?
ZAHN: Mickey Sherman, thanks for stopping by.
We're going to hold Jeffrey, who's going to give us sort of historical perspective on defendants who defend themselves in the courtroom.
TOOBIN: That's right, Paula.
Defendants who act as their own lawyers, they rarely win, but they often create headaches for judges and prosecutors. Exhibit a, Colin Ferguson.
COLIN FERGUSON, DEFENDANT: I object to that, Judge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your objection is noted.
FERGUSON: Prejudicial effect.
TOOBIN (voice-over): Ferguson, who shot and killed six commuters on the Long Island Railroad in 1993, plagued his trial with irrelevant arguments and bizarre ideas of what constitutes legitimate evidence.
FERGUSON: Isn't it true that you were present in the interrogation room when he put the weapon to Mr. Ferguson's head?
TOOBIN: Ferguson's original attorney was Ron Kuby.
RON KUBY, ATTORNEY: He sounded like an attorney, in the sense that he had memorized certain lines. He moved like an attorney. He played with his notes like an attorney. The problem was, he was a delusional psychotic. So everything that he did and said was a product of his own mental illness. But he looked fine.
TOOBIN: Ferguson, like John Muhammad, was deemed mentally competent. But courts don't test for legal competence. Many well- known defendants have acted as their own attorneys, with little success.
Ted Bundy, the serial killer who murdered more than 20 women in the 1980s, defended himself. He ended up in Florida's electric chair. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, after four acquittals in assisted suicide cases, Kevorkian defended himself in his last Michigan trial. He was convicted of murder. Ohio Congressman James Traficant defended himself in his corruption trial last year. A Cleveland jury found him guilty.
A study by Wright State University psychiatrists found, four out of five defendants who represented themselves were convicted. So why did they do it? The study found, these defendants were typical not satisfied with their attorney, thought they could do as well or better, had political views. Or, as in the cases of Charles Manson or Zacarias Moussaoui, they believed their lawyers were conspiring against them.
Moussaoui, charged in connection with the September 11 attacks, accused his attorneys of plotting with the Bush administration to execute him. The judge granted Moussaoui's wish to be his own attorney, but has threatened to take for his many - quote -- "groundless motions."
KUBY: These are individuals who never received the recognition that they always thought they deserved in life. That was partially the impetus behind their crimes in the first place. And now they have a national stage and a television audience, and they can keep the country riveted for days or weeks or months. It appeals to their own sense of grandiosity.
TOOBIN: The Supreme Court has upheld the right of criminal defendants to represent themselves. But the record shows, most people who act as their own lawyer have a fool for a client.
TOOBIN: John Muhammad, don't get your hopes up.
ZAHN: We'll see. We'll be following right alongside you.
ZAHN: Jeffrey, thanks so much.
What role is Saudi Arabia playing in the war on terror. We're going to find out from the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the desert kingdom, Robert Jordan, in an exclusive interview.
Also, is the Reagan legacy being viewed through a liberal lens? Well, a new TV biography of Ronald Reagan has friends and relatives of the former president up in arms. We'll explain why.
And the secrets of a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon revealed.
That equipment is frightening, isn't it, Jeffrey?
ZAHN: Turning now to the war on terror, diplomat Robert Jordan has just left his post as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He joined us from Washington for an exclusive television interview, his first since resigning. Watershed moments during his two years as ambassador were the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the suicide bombings in Riyadh on May 12 of this year.
We asked him a series of questions about Saudi Arabia's role in the war on terror.
ZAHN: Is the Saudi school curriculum still riddled with extremist hatred, espousing violence against non-Muslims?
ROBERT JORDAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: We were concerned a year or two ago about what we saw in the curriculum. We had been assured that a number of changes had been made in the textbooks that are just now appearing in this fall's curriculum. We are asking our people in the embassy to review and monitor these changes, so that we can be assured that the changes that are appropriate have been made.
ZAHN: Is Saudi money still being used to support terror?
JORDAN: We believe that there is no Saudi government money that is going to terrorists and that the Saudis themselves are doing everything possible, within reason, to attempt to shut down other private sources of funds that may find their way, either intentionally or inadvertently, to terrorists.
ZAHN: Is there any Saudi government money finding its way to the families of suicide bombers?
JORDAN: We don't believe that there is intentional funding of suicide bombers.
We've seen reports, of course, of telethon money that has been donated to the Palestinian Authority. Some of that has gone to, supposedly, families of suicide bombers in the Palestinian conflict. But we have not seen evidence of suicide bombers being intentionally subsidized by the Saudi government.
ZAHN: Is the Saudi government still restricting the access of U.S. investigators when it comes to the 9/11 investigation and, of course, the May 12 Riyadh bombing?
JORDAN: I think it's a misnomer to say they restricted access of the investigators. The investigators were given the access they requested both after 9/11 and most certainly after May the 12th.
In fact, since May the 12th, we have had really excellent cooperation. We have had real-time sharing of intelligence. We have had no cause to complain really about the level of cooperation since that time.
ZAHN: I'd like to read now from the State Department's report on human rights in Saudi Arabia -- quote -- "Security forces continued to abuse detainees and prisoners, arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, and hold them in incommunicado detention. Security forces committed torture. The government prohibited or restricted freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, and movement."
Do you have a problem with all that?
JORDAN: Personally, in terms of my two years in the kingdom, it was never reported to me that there were direct incidents of torture or violations of rights. And we have made it very clear in our dealings with the Saudis that we expect them to abide by normal international standards of conduct. And they have assured us that they do so.
ZAHN: Even you have conceded, prior to May 12, the Saudis ignored your warnings about additional security in place at Western compounds. And even at the time of the bombing, you have also said publicly they have not complied. Are they in compliance now?
JORDAN: Security has dramatically improved. We felt that security was improved enough, Paula, that, at the end of July, we gave permission for our embassy dependents to come back to Saudi Arabia, so that we now have most of our families back.
ZAHN: Ambassador Jordan, we appreciate your joining us tonight for this exclusive interview and wish you the best of luck with your new life.
JORDAN: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: It is a shocking phenomenon: doctors writing prescriptions to strangers over the Internet. Why does the FDA have no jurisdiction over this virtual medical marketplace?
And the new TV movie about the Reagan presidency that can turn into an old-fashioned liberal vs. conservative battleground.
ZAHN: Welcome back.
Controversy is swirling around a miniseries CBS plans to air next month about Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Some conservatives say they have reason to believe the docudrama will have a liberal, anti-Reagan slant.
Let's see what our guests know about that. Victoria Clarke has until recently been at the Pentagon, a spokeswoman in the Bush administration. She joins us from Washington tonight. And "TIME" columnist Joe Klein is here with us as well.
ZAHN: Good evening to both of you.
All right, you two, let's start off with what Michael Reagan, the son of the president, had to say about what he expects this miniseries to turn into -- quote -- "I fully expect this miniseries will be largely unfavorable to my dad. Hollywood has been hijacked by the liberal left."
How do you think they'll view this conservative president, Torie?
VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think his legacy is pretty safe. His legacy isn't going to be determined by one made-for-TV series. There's been a long series of pieces that have been done. I'm sure there will be many more done going forward. So I think his legacy is pretty safe. I don't know how this miniseries turns out, but I think you got to give the viewers some credit. I think they know the difference between a made-for-TV movie and a PBS documentary done Ken Burns.
ZAHN: Can a liberal Hollywood community make a film, you think, that is fair to the Reagan legacy?
JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the liberal Hollywood community just made this transcendently sappy biopic about President Bush that was on the air about a month ago.
It's hard for liberal Hollywood or just plain old Hollywood to treat American politics intelligently in any case. The number of nonstupid of American politics and politicians, you could count on maybe one hand.
ZAHN: You agree, Torie?
CLARKE: I think it is very, very hard to cover politics. Most of the characters in the political world tend to be pretty complex. And that's hard to do in a short thing on television or even a movie that appears in the movie theaters.
So I think it's pretty hard. So what matters is not one piece of work, but the whole body of work that's done. And I think that will serve Ronald Reagan pretty well.
ZAHN: Let's go back down memory lane here. You, of course, wrote "Primary Colors," which was turned into a movie.
ZAHN: And some would say you were benefited by the premovie buzz. Others said you were hurt by that. What is the reality of making a movie about someone who is still alive and whose legacy is very much...
KLEIN: Well, "Primary Colors" was a novel. It was not a biography of anybody.
And the hilarious thing to me was that Maureen Dowd of "The New York Times" wrote three columns about how the movie version was going to water down "Primary Colors." And the fact was that the movie was very faithful to the book. So there's always this kind of speculation. And I'll tell you what. The producers of the film probably like the fact that we're speculating like this.
CLARKE: Absolutely. It's great publicity. It's great buzz.
What I find interesting is for conservatives to complain about Hollywood being hijacked by the liberals. A, I don't think it has been. If they think it has been, then why don't they go out there and make more movies and make more TV shows? I think it will be interesting to see if Arnold Schwarzenegger's success will make it OK for conservatives to come out of the closet in Hollywood.
KLEIN: And I think the really important thing about Reagan is that nobody -- some of the smartest historians around have tried to get their arms around this guy, and nobody has fully captured him yet.
We had a book now out right now of the letters that he wrote during the course of 30 or 40 years. They're brilliant. And everybody always regarded him as this big, dumb actor. The fact is that he's a very mysterious figure (AUDIO GAP) that we don't already know.
ZAHN: Torie, the primary criticism coming from President Reagan's former press secretary, Marlin Fitzwater, who apparently is pretty ticked off that the economic recovery under his presidency is not addressed in this miniseries.
CLARKE: I saw that.
And it's interesting. I just read something recently in which -- it was an op-ed piece. And the person was saying, most people will remember Ronald Reagan because of the end of the Cold War under his watch: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." And this op-ed writer was saying he should be remembered for the longest economic recovery in history.
And Marlin, who was very, very close to him -- I can see why he cares deeply about these things -- thought that the president never got the credit he deserved for that.
ZAHN: All right, but economic recovery doesn't necessarily translate to big ratings bonanza in prime time, right? We all agree on that.
KLEIN: When you write fiction -- the reason why I wrote "Primary Colors" was to convey an emotional truth. When Bill Clinton's biopic is done, they're not going to talk about welfare reform.
ZAHN: You got that right.
Joe Klein, Torie Clarke, thank you for both of for your perspectives tonight.
CLARKE: Thank you.
KLEIN: Thank you.
ZAHN: As Kobe Bryant gets ready to stand trial, we look at whether famous athletes can find impartial justice.
And new royal revelations after news this week that Princess Diana may have had a premonition about her own death.
And tomorrow, a chilling look inside the world of female Palestinian suicide bombers.
ZAHN: Welcome back.
Here's what you need to know at the bottom of the hour.
A story just in: North Korea's news agency says the U.S. offer to guarantee the country's security in writing is laughable. The commentary from the state-run news agency says North Korea wants a bilateral treaty with the U.S. Washington has ruled out such a nonaggression pact.
A federal appeals court says alleged terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui has let real attorneys appeal some pre-trials rulings. Moussaoui and prosecutors are fighting over a judge's decision that weakened the government's case against him. Defendants have a right to represent themselves before a jury, but usually not before an appeals court.
There may soon be new developments in the fight other Terri Schiavo. An emergency court hearing is scheduled to start right now challenging Governor Jeb Bush's order to reinsert a feeding tube that could keep the brain damaged woman alive. Schiavo's husband has obtained a court order to remove the tube and let his wife die.
On to other news tonight. The Kobe Bryant case of alleged sexual assault begs the question, Can athletes get a fair shake when accused of crimes, especially sex crimes? Will their notoriety help or hurt them in front of a jury?
Kathy Redmond accused a college football player of raping her several years ago. She joins us from Denver, Colorado, tonight.
And former NFL player D.J. Lockhart Johnson once faced a sexual assault allegations himself. He was cleared. He joins us from our Los Angeles bureau.
Kathy, I want to start with you this evening. Do you think it's possible for a well-known athlete to get a fair trial?
KATHY REDMOND, ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM: Oh, absolutely. In fact, it's -- the impossibility is for the victim of a well-known athlete to get a fair trial, because the athlete has a celebrity take. For instance, Kobe Bryant. We have seen every milestone in his life. We saw the man go to prom. We saw him date the woman who is now his wife. We saw the birth of their first child. We have been with him through everything. We have seen everything. His image is out there.
We know nothing of this victim, except for what the defense says, which is that she's a slut. That's what we know right now.
ZAHN: So D.J., you heard what Kathy just had to say. It is the victim who cannot get a fair trial, especially when it comes to athletes who have notoriety, who are accused of those crimes. D.J. LOCKHART JOHNSON, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I'm not going to say that the victim can get a fair trial. But the athlete can't get a fair trial, either. I think it's unfair to say that the athlete can and the victim -- alleged victim can't. So that's where it gets a little twisted. You know, I'm not going to get on here and say that, Yes, the athlete -- you know, he's the one that gets screwed over every time, but she's OK. No, I think they both have a little bit unfairness that goes into it.
REDMOND: See, and respectfully, I disagree with that, and I -- you know, I encourage you to discuss this with me at any time, because what I'm finding is that even in the investigation, we have detectives who have detained forensic evidence, who have a taped admissions of guilt on voicemail that have said, This is an open and shut case and the D.A. says, We can't prosecute it.
I just got an e-mail from a major metropolitan police department who said, We can't keep the athletic department from tampering with our investigations. We can't keep them away. What do we do?
So the fact of the matter is that so much goes against the victim when it is a rape, people don't believe the victim when it's a rape, and especially when it's an athlete that we all like and admire when he has a squeaky clean reputation. Mike Tyson probably wouldn't get a fair trial. Kobe Bryant absolutely would get a more than fair trial.
ZAHN: Well, D.J., what about the perception by some observers who automatically view the women , the victim in most cases, as the aggressor.
JOHNSON: The alleged victim as the aggressor.
Well, you know, the athlete doesn't get a fair shake in terms of -- people look at athletes and think that you can't be harmed. You've often heard people say, You know, what happens if Kobe Bryant is exonerated in this? People say, Oh, well, no big deal. He's a millionaire. He's got money. No one feels sorry for him.
You hear that very often. Like, people with money or people who are wealthy can't be damaged. His reputation is damaged. His family life is damaged. His -- you know, just walking down the street, going to dinner, people are going to look at you in a different way now, whether -- whether you're exonerated or not. People are going to still look at you like, Well, I think -- I think he may have done it. So there's always going to be that hint.
REDMOND: But how are they going to look at this rape victim? She's already had death threats.
JOHNSON: Listen, listen, listen. But listen. Listen. You're going the wrong way. You're not hearing me saying anything negative about the victim -- the alleged victim. What I'm saying is, if you bring up something about the alleged victim, that doesn't necessarily amount to a smear campaign. I mean, you don't think it's relevant that she may have had sex two or three times in the days leading up to it or the day after it?
REDMOND: Well, and that's something that we don't know.
JOHNSON: Wait a minute. But that's not smearing it. But to bring it up -- to bring up that she did have the DNA in her underwear that was not Kobe's -- I mean, that is a hint of her having sex with someone else. And I don't think that's much of a smear campaign. I don't think it would be -- you would be doing good lawyering if you did not bring that up. I mean, I don't think that's smearing her. That's just -- that's just, you know, a good case.
ZAHN: Kathy, you get the last word tonight. You're going to have to do it briefly.
REDMOND: Well, it's a violation of the rape shield law, first of all. But second of all...
JOHNSON: Not in the preliminary hearing.
REDMOND: Right, and I'm trying to tighten that with legislators. But...
JOHNSON: OK. But as for now, it's a preliminary hearing.
REDMOND: I want you to know, the person who falsely accused you you could sue. You would just have to prove that you did not rape her. And if -- and if you have that kind of evidence, I will sign on to that lawsuit with you.
ZAHN: Well, you certainly opened our eyes up to a different perspective on this whole debate. Kathy and D.J., thank you...
JOHNSON: Thank you.
ZAHN: ...for dropping by.
It is only a click away, the shadowy world of online pharmacies. Why do so many Americans get their prescriptions from doctors they have never seen?
And never say beauty is only skin deep. Face-to-face with the secrets of a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon.
ZAHN: Thanks to the Internet, obtaining prescription drugs has never been easier. Many doctors, lawmakers and regulators would say it's too easy and very dangerous. Tonight, our "Truth Squad" looks at Internet pharmacies.
ZAHN (voice-over): It's private and convenient, so more Americans are flocking to Internet pharmacies to buy their prescription drugs. According to the FDA, they have hundreds of Web sites to choose from. In many cases, having to do little more than fill out a questionnaire.
The DEA tells CNN many of these rogue Internet pharmacies are telling pain killers and other narcotics illegally, and the agency is cracking down: "Just as we don't allow consumers to walk into a pharmacy and purchase controlled substances without a valid prescription, we don't allow this to take place on the Internet."
The problem being reported in today's "The Washington Post" is exemplified by the story of a 44-year-old mom with a history of substance abuse. She received 300 tablets of the painkiller Vicodin in a little over a month, at least 100 tablets more than the recommended dose. All that from an Internet pharmacist.
Officials say the ease in which consumers can get these drugs online makes it easy to bypass many of the safeguards that have been put in place to protect them.
ZAHN: And so this raises some very large ethical and moral issues, as well as some medical concerns.
Let's check in with an expert, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He is a frequent contributor to our show. He specialized in addiction. He happens to be the author of the book "Cracked."
Doctor, always good to see you.
Good evening. How big of a problem is this?
DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED": You know, it's interesting you're running this story right now, and I find it fascinating that "The Washington Post" caught up with it so quickly because it's something that on my unit -- I run an inpatient chemical dependency unit -- and I would say in the last two months I'm suddenly hearing a flurry of activity around how patients obtain drugs on the -- on the Internet.
I have a -- sort of an outdoor patio area where patients socialize. And as God as my witness, I cannot walk past there these days without one of the patient sort of regaling the others patients with stories about how easy it has been, how much they were paying, how to do it, and it really...
ZAHN: We're having a little technical problem, and we hope to get him back up, but one of the points that Dr. Drew feels very strongly about is the fact that it is very easy for addicts to fool doctors, because they never have any face-to-face contacts with patients. The doctor is back with us. I don't know if you heard the point I was making...
PINSKY: I heard you...
ZAHN: It's a real scam, isn't it?
PINSKY: Yes, it's quite interesting. Yes, it's quite something.
ZAHN: You look better in color, my man. We missed you when you faded to black there.
PINSKY: Thank you. Thanks for covering for me. That was great. I like the way you did that.
But that is very much the point, that people can get drugs without the safeguard of having interaction with any kind of health care provider, and they can do it very, very easily, and they can get very large quantities of tremendously dangerous substances.
Now, obviously my patients who are addicts are trying to do this, they're seeking this out. And there are those people that may not know they're getting addicted to drugs, or that they're obtaining drugs that could be dangerous to them.
Again, these are sort of the limits of freedom, isn't it? It's a nice idea that people could privately and maybe even with less expense obtain medication, but without someone to help them, without an interaction with a medical provider, physicians don't prescribe themselves for that very reason. We may know everything there is to know about that drug, but you can't objectively monitor your own medication and your own medical management without someone else being there to supervise it for you.
ZAHN: So, doctor, come back to the idea that you were making that this is a good idea in some cases, maybe perhaps someone who needs to get an asthma drug at a better price.
PINSKY: It's a nice idea, exactly, that people can privately and perhaps for less expense get access to medication, but, boy, in my mind, I can't think of any way that that would work for someone that's not under direct medical supervision. If their doctor is specifically advising them, or helping them or interacting with them or supervising what it is they're doing, then it kind of makes sense to me.
But so many of these sites, people merely fill out a questionnaire, and they may not even interact with a human being, and they have access to a fantastic array of potentially dangerous medication. My thing is, I'm in disbelief that my peers engage in these activities. I don't know who these guys are that are putting these sites out there, though I have had one sort of common experience with doctors and pharmacists that tended to dispense addictive substances is they themselves tend to be addicts, and it's sort of part of their defense strategy for their own behavior. ZAHN: Well, the federal government is certainly on to them, isn't it.
PINSKY: I hope so.
ZAHN: Dr. Drew Pinsky, thank for the house call. Always good to see you.
PINSKY: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: One day after a secret letter showed Princess Diana predicted her own death, new questions about her relationship with the royal family, in particular her father-in-law. They are the famous faces America loves -- well, I guess it's all a matter of personal opinion. A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon to the stars reveals his secrets.
ZAHN: The British government today ruled out a public inquiry into what caused Princess Diana to die in a car crash in 1997, but excerpts from a new book are raising questions that a possible conspiracy led to her death. Britain's "Daily Mirror" yesterday printed parts of a purported letter from Diana in which she allegedly wrote 10 months before her fatal accident that someone wanted her dead. But whom?
Joining me now to consider the possibilities is Larry Hackett, executive editor of "People" magazine.
Good to see you.
LARRY HACKETT, EXEC. EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: So the big headline today was that the plot thickened, and now there are a lot of questions being raised about Princess Diana's relationship with her father-in-law, Prince Philip.
HACKETT: It is extraordinary. There are letters that have come out that in 1992, Prince Philip kind of took it upon himself to solve the problems with the marriage between Charles and Diana, and he wrote letters to Diana, suggesting to her that she was ungrateful that Charles had stopped seeing Camilla, albeit for a very brief time, but that she should have been much more thankful that he had stopped this, and he asked her, can you really look into your heart and think that there was nothing you did that drove him back to Camilla?
ZAHN: So we can only imagine what a young, vulnerable woman would feel.
HACKETT: Absolutely. And he signed the letters...
HACKETT: He signed the letter "fondest love, pa." So this is an unbelievable story. He does say also that he cannot imagine that Charles would leave Diana for Camilla, but the whole tone of the letter, that this is your father-in-law saying this to you, that you have some guilt in driving your husband back to his lover is just unbelievable.
ZAHN: So the glacial shift in the story today was that the name that was blacked out yesterday in the letters that were reported about for the first time, now the fingers are pointing at Prince Philip?
HACKETT: Well, there's always been thought that Prince Philip was kind of this evil patriarch who, you know, was always gunning for Diana, that he saw her as being in the way, that he saw her as having captured the public's heart, and that there was no way Charles could become king under these circumstances.
It's a far cry and a huge leap to then make that he had some role in what was going on here, but there have been reports in other British newspapers of people who had met Diana who had always said she was scared of Philip, that she worried about Philip, that he was the one really driving this train against her. You know, the anti-Diana forces that she spoke about. He was always the one who was thought of having led this.
At the same time, she does say in the letters, or in the book that, you know, he may not have been the big ogre that we all thought, so Burrell is kind of hitting the gas and the clutch at the same time, creating a complicated look at this relationship in this family, but clearly all the fingers now are looking at Prince Philip and the hierarchy of Buckingham Palace.
ZAHN: And Burrell, of course, is the personal butler that stands to make a heck of a lot of money off of this. He held on to this letter for six years.
HACKETT: He says in the book that he wavered about what to do. He didn't really know how to feel. Sometimes he thought this is just a horrible, horrible coincidence that she had had a premonition of her death, and then he thought, well, maybe there is a conspiracy here.
ZAHN: Do you buy that?
HACKETT: Well, I think after he got arrested -- I mean, mind you, he kept very quiet and he was a very loyal servant, and these servants are taught to be loyal, but after he was arrested and charged with stealing things from her home, and after basically the queen hung him out to dry in his mind -- a year passed before she remembered, oh, yes I had a conversation with Paul and he did say that he was going to be keeping these things in his home. I think at that point, he starts to lean, A, towards a conspiracy and, B, he was a very, very angry man. The lesson here, do not upset the help, and that's exactly what they did here and that's why he decided to unload on them.
ZAHN: And also know they have great ammunition.
HACKETT: Absolutely. But he has some great ammunition too. What comes out in these books are these letters. I mean, no one is doubting the veracity of these letters. There are people who are wondering what his motivation is, and is it just about cash, but when you see those letters and realize they came from her, that's indisputable.
ZAHN: Here's what I don't get. Isn't every British citizen entitled to an inquest upon their death?
HACKETT: There is an inquest, yes, absolutely, upon their death, and the British coroner, Michael Byrd (ph), has said he wants to have one. So that still will go on.
What was called for today was a larger investigation into the entire circumstance of her death, and the British government is very leery of doing that and they said they won't do it.
The fact is everybody, aside from Mohammed Fayed, Dodi Fayed's father, believes that the French investigation was a thorough one, that Henri Paul was drunk, driving a car, and he caused the accident. So Fayed by himself for years was out there, claiming that Prince Philip, among others, had something to do with it.
ZAHN: And he has been consistent.
ZAHN: From day one.
ZAHN: He's never wavered.
HACKETT: He has not.
ZAHN: ... from his conspiracy theory.
HACKETT: ... but he's been treated as a crackpot over in Britain. He's not a man who's well respected in Britain. He's always been a person who had a hard time gaining favor among the establishment there. People resent the fact that he owns Harrod's, a big huge British establishment. So there has always been some resentment to him and he's been treated as a nut, but I think that all going to change now.
ZAHN: Well, if he was considered a crackpot, isn't the prevailing opinion showing the opposite of that now?
HACKETT: 88 percent of people polled in a Sky News poll yesterday, believed this death was not an accident. So absolutely.
ZAHN: So, how worried about this is the royal family?
The perceptions don't help.
HACKETT: Absolutely. They've been quiet thus far, but I think what happens is it puts Charles a step back. It puts the family back in disfavor. There are at least doubts about what's going on. These doubts, however, will always be there. This case has been become the JFK case for the U.K. We'll be talking about this 25 years from now talking about some new conspiracy theory about what happened. No matter what kind of investigation goes on, there will be a substantial number of people that believe this was not an accident and someone killed her.
ZAHN: It's absolutely fascinating. It's hard not to read this stuff.
Larry Hackett, of "People's Magazine," thank you for spending a little time with us this evening.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And in the nose and lips and chins, the secrets of celebrity cosmetic surgery.
ZAHN: Dreams of movie star good looks are practically universal. Last year, 6.6 million Americans underwent a cosmetic procedure. More than 1. 6 million of them had it done surgically.
Well, our next guess has worked on thousands of people in his 25- year career. Now he has written about it in, "Secrets of a Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgeon." And boy, does he dish.
Dr. Robert Kotler joins us. Nice to see you.
DR. ROBERT KOTLER, AUTHOR: It's a pleasure.
ZAHN: I notice you have these issues of patient confidentiality, and I don't expect you to proach that.
But what is the weirdest thing patients have come in and asked you to do to their faces?
Who do they want to look like?
KOTLER: Well, we had one chap come in and said, you know, I would kind of like to look like Matt Damon. I looked at him and said, I don't think I can do Matt Damon, but would you consider Ben Affleck? The reality is you can't. I knew you would appreciate that. The fact is you can't. You can only work upon the natural structure to a reasonable degree.
ZAHN: But are the requests pure fantasy that you get?
KOTLER: Most aren't. I will tell you that most patients are realistic, they are well-educated by the time they come to see us.
ZAHN: Have you turned away potential clients?
KOTLER: We turn away about 20 percent.
KOTLER: One out of five. Either I can't fulfill their wish or...
ZAHN: Because they're unrealistic or just not possible to do it.
KOTLER: It's not possible. Sometimes it's not possible medically, they're not in satisfactory medical condition. They're obese, for example. That's a problem for face and neck lifting, because regardless of how well we do, if they're heavy, we will not make them happy.
ZAHN: I want you to go through the list of celebrities that you think who had good work done. This doesn't necessary mean you did these surgeries yourself. Once again he is not going to violate his patients confidentiality. But walk through some of the work that you think looks good.
KOTLER: I think Joan Collins always looks good.
ZAHN: She's beautiful.
KOTLER: She's doing a good job. I happen to think Robert Redford is looking good.
ZAHN: Wait a minute. That's an enhanced face?
KOTLER: Well, I will tell you that in September of 2001, in Men's Health Magazine he proclaimed they didn't believe in it, but he looks a lot better on the cover of town & country a year or so later.
ZAHN: That's a pretty nice shot there. Who else do you think looks good as a result of surgery?
KOTLER: I think Susan Lucci, I believe -- again, I don't have all details, but I think she's holding up very well.
ZAHN: Let's fast-forward to some of the more controversial looks. Let's look together at this picture of Michael Jackson.
What happened here?
ZAHN: Come on, Michael.
KOTLER: You're better.
ZAHN: We can just imagine -- there we go.
KOTLER: Well, Michael had too much. There's a point where the surgeon and patient have to realize that it is risky to do any more surgery. And the most artful surgeons know when to say no.
ZAHN: Joan Rivers.
ZAHN: Who of course has been very open over the years about the work she's had done.
KOTLER: I think sometimes she looks a little more done than perhaps shall we say age and experience-appropriate? But she's actually reasonably good.
ZAHN: Jocelyn Wildenstein. This is a character that's family to folks who live in New York.
KOTLER: And she's familiar to everyone. People all know her now, for her rather unusual cat-like appearance. That's not what people want, Paula. People want to look better, natural, they don't want to look like they're strapped to a 747. They don't want the over tightened or pulled look. They just want to look good.
ZAHN: We have a series of before and after pictures. How often is it the case where patients will say, you know what doctor? I liked the way I looked before.
KOTLER: Not very often.
ZAHN: This guy -- this is actually a pretty subtle change on this one.
KOTLER: He's a young man. And the reality is he didn't like his neck and jaw line. And what we did is was what we call neck sculpting. A single incision under the chin, we took out the fat and tightened.
ZAHN: And this guy you put chin implant into?
KOTLER: Chin implant and neck sculpting. Again same thing, a younger gentleman who didn't need a face-lift, and that did the job and they are happy.
ZAHN: And a clear change in her structure of her face.
KOTLER: This is the major change that wrinkled skin can have and it's a chemical skin peel. And it removes all the wrinkles and skin lines.
ZAHN: Well, Dr. Kotler, your new book is fascinating and gives us all some insight to what you should consider and not consider after all.
ZAHN: Thank you for spending time with us this evening.
KOTLER: My pleasure.
ZAHN: Good luck to you.
KOTLER: Thank you very much.
ZAHN: We want to thank you all for being with us tonight. That wraps it up for all us here. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. We hope you have good night.
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