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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Corey Feldman
Aired November 21, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, Corey Feldman, the actor who's known Michael Jackson since he was 13 years old. It's his first interview since Michael's arrest for child molestation. He stood up for Michael when his first child molestation scandal hit us 10 years ago.
Plus, with the latest on the case, Court TV's Diane Dimond, on top of the story since 1993. "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Jann Carl, Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor, high profile defense attorney, Chris Pixley, Michael Jackson's one-time attorney, Johnnie Cochran, and Dr. Robi Ludwig, the psychotherapist who's treated victims of sexual abuse. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
One quick note, tomorrow's the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Our special guest tomorrow night is Nelly Connally, the widow of Governor John Connally, the last remaining passenger living from that tragic event. Nelly Connally tomorrow night.
Let's get up-to-date. Diane Dimond, what do we -- we'll go around, swing around the panel -- what do we know about this matter? What do we know-know? Not speculation, not innuendo, not rumor, what do we know?
DIANE DIMOND, COURT TV: Well, we know some more things about the accuser, and the state that his family was in when all of this was allegedly going down. The young boy, the 12-year-old boy's father has hired an attorney who has now spoken out, and he has revealed how Michael Jackson met this boy.
Apparently Jackson was visiting a children's hospital for cancer patients. This young boy does have cancer, and was particularly drawn to this man's son, according to the attorney.
I'll tell you, Larry, frankly, I know what both of these boys look like, the one from 1993 and this one, and they're very similar types.
Anyway, the attorney goes on to say that this father was very proud of his son's relationship with Michael Jackson. He met Jackson. His wife met Jackson. But then there was a divorce, and the father lost custody. It got pretty ugly.
He does say that he thinks his wife was not -- not like -- not thinking clearly, leaving the young boy alone with Jackson.
But what does he know? He's not in the home anymore. I'm not sure exactly how much he knows.
KING: Jann Carl, we get a lot of second-hand reporting in this kind of thing, right? We get a lot of what if, could if, maybe?
JANN CARL, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: That's right. And we're also hearing from a lot of people that have either worked for Jackson -- in fact, Monday night on "Entertainment Tonight" a gentleman who from 1990 to 1993 was a security guard there. And he talked to us in an interview today about how many children actually had stayed, one on one, sometimes two children in Michael's bedroom. He says in his time there, over 100 that he knew that stayed there.
Again, nothing criminal in just that act alone, but I think that's what we're going to see from once a month on end, people who had some kind of contact with Jackson.
KING: Nancy, do we have a danger in these types of cases, both pro-prosecution and pro-defense of conclusions early?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Yes, we really do. And I really appreciate your first question, Larry, and Diane's response about what we really know right now.
I also have a concern with what the district attorney did, and -- but I don't blame him, because I know where he's headed. He has basically asked -- he has solicited for any other potential victims out there to come forward.
Now, when you've got an icon like Michael Jackson, it's easy to identify a perpetrator, an alleged perpetrator and ask for alleged victims to come forward. On the other hand, that is going to subject them to cross-examination by Geragos as to whether they came forward solicited in the hopes of getting money out of Michael Jackson.
KING: Good point.
You represented him, Johnnie.
JOHNNIE COCHRAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I did.
KING: What do you know-know?
COCHRAN: I know-know, is that like any other defendant, we have to remember this, that he's presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proven. What we know now is that there are a lot of rumors around, there are a lot of people coming out of the woodwork who probably don't know anything. But they want to get their 15 minutes of fame. And I think we have to be very careful, because what happens is our system only works when it works in the toughest cases, and this would be a tough case, wouldn't it? Everybody prejudges it, everybody wants to make up their minds. So why don't we wait until we get the evidence, if there's any evidence, you know. We see the prosecutor asking for other people. Nancy is absolutely right. People who come forward now, they are going to be under a cloud. Did the prosecutor ask you to come forward and why are you doing this, you see? And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), does he have enough of this case or not? You know, it's going to be a fascinating process. It's painful, but it's going to be fascinating.
GRACE: Hey, Johnnie...
KING: Yeah, yeah...
GRACE: Sorry, Larry. I was just going to follow up on what Johnnie just said. The only way, Johnnie, is that if other victims come forward due to the D.A.'s public solicitation, the only way they can stand up in court, Johnnie, under that kind of cross is if they had mentioned it before to parents, teachers, friend, confidante, at the time contemporaneously. That's the only way they can be saved on cross.
COCHRAN: That's right. That's right.
KING: Chris Pixley, would you like the British system where we could not be doing this show tonight?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, there's a real challenge in determining whether the British system, which would not allow us to do this show but doesn't also allow access to the courts for the vast majority of the public who really otherwise don't have access, is better than ours. You know, our founders wanted a transparent system of justice. They wanted all three branches of government to be transparent. They did not want justice doled out behind closed doors, and in that respect, we -- I think we have a better system.
The question, though, really is when you have a story like this one, what's going to sell in the media and is there anything to stop the media from really building on those stories...
KING: Nothing will.
PIXLEY: ... which are the peculiar stories about Michael Jackson, they are not those that have to do with his potential innocence.
KING: One of the most controversial areas...
KING: ... of the documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" that aired in Britain and in the United States earlier this year was Michael Jackson's admission that he shared his bedroom with children, although he denied any sexual misconduct. Here's the British journalist Martin Bashir confronting Jackson. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN BASHIR, BRITISH JOURNALIST: When you actually invite children into your bed, you never know what's going to happen.
MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: When you say bed, you're thinking sexual. They make that sexual. It's not sexual. We're going to sleep. I tuck them in. I put little like music on. Do a little story time. We read a book. It's very sweet. Put the fireplace on. Give them hot milk. You know, we have little cookies. It's very charming. Very sweet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Diane Dimond, if that is true, what's wrong with that? It's child like. It's childish, but I like cuddling with my two little boys. It's fun.
DIMOND: But they're your two little boys. You see? That' the difference. And I'm not saying that Michael Jackson is a child molester. I don't know, because it's never gotten to court, but just hearing him describe that there, it sounds like a seductive scene. I bring them in. I light the fireplace. We cuddle in.
I mean, that sounds like something a man and a woman might do.
Again, I'm not saying I know that Michael Jackson did it. I want to make a correction, too. Nancy is incorrect when she says that the district attorney put out a call for more victims to come forward. It was actually the sheriff that did that, the brand new sheriff here in town. I think it was more a call to the constituency to let them know he's doing the job, but it doesn't matter if other victims come forward. Those would be separate investigations. They wouldn't -- they would be totally separate...
KING: From this case, right?
DIMOND: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) long time to develop.
COCHRAN: Isn't that -- what Diane just said -- isn't it in the eyes of the beholder, though? That's her perspective. Can't she understand that Michael's perspective may be a little different? He was raised differently. He is like kind of a Peter Pan character. I don't apologize for that, but...
DIMOND: Oh, I understand that.
COCHRAN: ... you take him the way he is. And so he sees that, he's talking to a worldwide audience when he says this. He's obviously an intelligent individual. We may not do it that way. But he has the right to do it that way, as long as there's nothing wrong with it.
KING: Do you have to tread lightly when covering these stories, or does anything go?
CARL: No, I think we all have a responsibility to tread very lightly.
KING: Do you think we meet that responsibility?
CARL: I don't think we always do, and I think that's unfortunate. I think that very often, if someone has something that's, you know...
CARL: Hearsay or shocking or even questionable, we state, hey, we don't know if this is true, but then we let it go ahead -- and let it air. And the thing I'm curious about, Larry, too, is yesterday when we saw all saw Michael's, you know, motorcade back in Las Vegas and we saw the people running up just to touch his hand, just to say something to him, just to get his picture, I'm sort of curious from Johnnie and from Chris, I mean, and I want to hear from Nancy, too, is this something that the prosecution thinks is bad for them, good for them? Is it something the defense thinks good for them when they get to court?
KING: Public acclaim.
KING: I've got to get a break.
KING: We'll bring our entire panel back in a little while. When we come back, Corey Feldman, actor, musician, was good friends with Michael for many, many years, starting at age 13. Corey Feldman next, then back with our panel. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, MICHAEL JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: Michael is here. He's come back specifically to confront these charges head on. He is greatly outraged by the bringing of these charges. He considers this to be a big lie. He understands the people who are outraged, because if these charges were true, I assure you Michael would be the first to be outraged, but I'm here to tell you today -- and Michael has given me the authority to say on his behalf -- these charges are categorically untrue. He looks forward to getting into a courtroom, as opposed to any other forum, and confronting these accusations head on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The next guest, quite a talented young man, Corey Feldman, actor and musician was good friends with Michael Jackson for many years starting at age 13. He's about to begin a new movie called "No Witness" and is also working on his fourth album. What do you make of all of this?
COREY FELDMAN, ACTOR: Well, there's a lot to make, I suppose.
FELDMAN: No. Who would be shocked? It's happened before. It's a repeat performance. We have seen it before. We know what to expect.
KING: You spoke up for him ten years ago. Are you doing the same tonight?
FELDMAN: I'm taking more of a neutral stance at this point, but that's not necessarily to say that I believe anything. It's more to say Michael and I have had our personal issues through the years and we've had our differences and for that reason, I'm not here as a cheerleader.
KING: You are not now his close friend, right?
FELDMAN: We're not close friends at this time.
KING: You were close friends?
FELDMAN: We were very close, yes.
KING: And you're not going to tell us why it broken up?
FELDMAN: It's kind of irrelevant. Not relating to at all.
KING: How did you meet?
FELDMAN: It's a great story. We met on the set of the "Goonies." I was a huge fan of his. Growing up I idolized the guy. I was acting since I was 3.
So being, you know, a huge fan and idolizing the guy, wanting to dance like him, wanting to dress like him, all of those times of things, like most kids did in the '80s and some still do today. And what happened was I was kind of bothering Steven Spielberg. I said, Steven, you've got to introduce me. I know you guys are friends. I've seen the press.
And Steven said, well, I'll try to get to it. We got us tickets to the Victory Tour where we all went to Dodgers Stadium. What happened was, he kept teasing me with you're going to meet him and eventually it came down to this day on the set shooting this water pipe scene.
And Richard Donner, who director the film, Steven Spielberg directed the second unit stuff on it. So, we're down there, and we're doing this water pipe scene, and it's a big tight close-up on me and Spielberg says, by the way, I need you to be shocked, I need a great expression and you're going to do this line where you say, "reverse pressure. And look right into the camera. And by the way, Michael's coming to the set today.
What? you know. Got that reaction.
KING: Did you hit it off right away?
FELDMAN: Oh, yes, immediately. Immediately. Well, don't forget, there was seven kids in the cast. It was a big cast of kids and Michael, of course, tried to spend time with everybody but I was the one right by his side. Hey Michael, hey Michael.
KING: Did he befriend you? Did you go to Neverland?
FELDMAN: I said to him, if I gave you my phone number, would you call me and he said, sure. I thought, not in a million years. He called me that night and we spoke for probably two hours on the phone. Told me stories about McCartney and this and that. It was great. We became very close and spoke once or twice a week I would say at the least.
KING: Spent time with him?
FELDMAN: Spent, plenty of time.
KING: Go to Never, Neverland?
FELDMAN: Been to Neverland many times.
KING: I say Never, Never. It's one Never, right?
FELDMAN: It's one Never, yes.
KING: Did you sleep with him?
FELDMAN: No. We shared rooms a couple of times. Never shared a bed. But, you know, like one time we went to Disneyland and we went to the Disneyland Hotel and, you know, he was a -- so much of a gentleman, which this really surprised me, but so much of a gentleman but he actually offered his bed and allowed me to sleep in his bed and he took a cot. And he slept in the cot. That's a true story.
KING: Is he childish? Childlike?
FELDMAN: Childlike. There's a difference between childish and childlike. And the reason I say that is because I try to hold the same kind of reasoning in my own life. I believe that there -- it is okay to be childlike, it is OK to have wonderment and disbelief in the world and to see the world through a child's eyes. However, childish means a sign of immaturity and I doubt he's immature.
KING: You don't think he's immature.
KING: What was his behavior around other kids when you were around him?
FELDMAN: You know what? Everything that I have seen, I have to be completely honest, because I couldn't do it any other way. Everything I have ever seen about him has been kind and hearted to children. I've never seen him act in any inappropriate way to a child.
KING: And he was never inappropriate with you?
FELDMAN: Never with me. Never with me. KING: So, then why not be fully committed to him now as you were ten years ago?
FELDMAN: As I said, we had our personal differences.
KING: It didn't have anything to do with this?
FELDMAN: It had nothing to do with this. We had a situation, which I can't really talk about, but it was around the time of his 30th anniversary special and we had a falling out as friends sometimes do. And we've had our differences. It's been a bit public.
But, you know of course I wasn't the first one to say, hey, ra ra ra, Michael Jackson, but I will say this much, the biggest focal point for me is the way the media is handling it. I mean, let's face it. He's an American. He's an American citizen. And he has the right to a fair trial. Regardless of his celebrity. And that's a thing that sometimes is lost, Larry, is that people seem to just forget that celebrities have the rights to any other citizen.
KING: When we come back, we're going show you Corey in a quick scene from a movie in which he was doing a takeoff on Michael. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: Our guest is Corey Feldman, long time good friend of Michael Jackson. In "Dream a Little Dream" you played a high school rebel that's obsessed with Michael, right?
FELDMAN: I don't know if it was part of the character description, but I was obsessed with Michael and that bled into the character.
KING: Let's see a little bit of that.
Doing a good job, Corey.
FELDMAN: I had the extensions. I could dance much better than that, by the way. They didn't show the best stuff.
KING: We know you had your own problems, you had drug problems. What was Michael like during that period of your life?
FELDMAN: Well, you know Larry, that's interesting and a good question because at that point in my life and especially Michael's life and career, he was kind of very sugar-coated at that time and very kind of prim and proper. Everyone thought of him as the perfect ideal of the American citizen.
And for me, it was kind of like Michael's probably not going to stick around, probably not going to be my friend anymore and it was a big shock he was very supportive and came out and called me and asked if there was anything he could do, if there was anything that I needed and gave me profound advice, which was to take the pain of the torment and the turmoil I was enduring and to kind of refocus that into my acting and to use it. And it was profound advice and I've used it.
KING: Do you say there were areas he was wise?
FELDMAN: He was very wise. Very, very intelligent man.
KING: Then why all of the do you think peculiarities? The facials?
FELDMAN: You know what? Michael Jackson is a very eccentric man. You know? He's just -- you can't understand him. I can't understand him. You know, what I do half of the things he does or make half of the choices he makes? No. But then again I'm not Michael Jackson and I haven't achieved half of the things that Michael has. I haven't fought half of the things he has.
KING: Why do you think the appearance change has been so dramatic?
FELDMAN: Well, I think he's a very insecure person. And let's face it, when you have the media hounding you all the time -- I know for myself, you know, it's crazy having the media constantly following you around, constantly wanting to talk to you about everything that comes up. And that's just me. And being Michael Jackson, it's only going to be magnified by 100 times. It's very impactful on how you see yourself.
KING: Does he like public acclaim?
FELDMAN: No. Acclaim but he doesn't like being out there.
KING: Like, he liked driving around yesterday with the people grabbing his hand?
FELDMAN: I think he enjoyed that. Of course he did. It's an acknowledgment that he still has his fans.
KING: Why this -- the thing with children? Forget that he's sexual or anything. Why this attraction to be with kids? Why would he call a 13-year-old up at night?
FELDMAN: Again, I can want speak on behalf of him. And I'm sure he wouldn't want me to. , but I can tell you this much, based on my life, that's all I base it on, I grew up in this industry, I've been working since I was 3-years-old, 30 years I'm in the industry this year, with that, I had no childhood. I didn't have sleepovers.
I didn't have, you know, going away on field trips or going and doing school sessions or anything like that. I didn't even get to go to school regularly, because I was working all the time. So, I know I missed a great part of my childhood and can only imagine he feels the same. I know he does and why he got along for so many years.
KING: So he likes children because he still feels....
FELDMAN: Well, I'll put it to you this way. It's not only that. He's making up for it and saying, you know what, I want to help these kids. I want to give them the fun I didn't get to have.
And for myself, personally, I understand because, listen, I would have kids come over to my house. I have had kids come over plenty of times as an adult. I've had kids plenty of times come over and say, you know, this kid's sick with cancer. Wants to, you know, spend a day with you. Take him to Disneyland.
KING: Wouldn't you think -- we've got a couple of minutes left- that he would have been super careful in view of ten years ago? Tread easily.
FELDMAN: Here's the other side of the coin. If he's not guilty of anything, and he has said this to me, they're not going to stop me from being who I am. In other words, he's going to go on living his life the way he sees fit and envisions it. And for him to change or alter that course would make everybody feel they were right.
KING: He might have made that settlement to prevent a trial to prevent at thing, but didn't believe he did anything wrong and continue doing his life style because he doesn't believe he's doing anything wrong.
FELDMAN: Therefore -- exactly. And he says to prove -- to do anything different, he says, would be proving them right, because then I change for them.
KING: I got you. Do you miss his friendship?
FELDMAN: Yes and no. You know, it's like any lost friend. There's an emotional attachment, obviously. I miss that part. I miss the fun we had together. I hope that this is an eye opening experience for him, because I was always a good friend and true friend and I hope he looks at the people around him. What Michael Jackson needs more than anything, is to look around what he's got around him and say, who can I trust?
KING: Does he have people you're weary of about?
FELDMAN: It's not that, it's the people that he's cut off that he shouldn't have been so weary about.
KING: Oh, he cut off people in his life who, in your opinion, he should not have cut off?
KING: People who gave him good advice.
FELDMAN: People who were there to just to be his friend.
KING: One other thing, is he close with his brothers and sisters?
FELDMAN: Yes. It's the whole family, it's -- they're inseparable. They will always be a family.
KING: So, when they stand together, that's not for public consumption?
FELDMAN No. They stand together no matter what. They're unified.
By the way happy birthday. I watched the show. It was great.
KING: Thank you, Corey. Thank you for coming on.
FELDMAN: Thank you.
KING: Corey Feldman, the actor, the musician was good friends with Michael Jackson. This is his first interview since all of the current hullabaloo began. I'm glad. You're not going to do any others? I'm last -- first and last interview.
Our panel returns right after this. Don't go away.
KING: All right, we're back with our panel. Diane Dimond's in Santa Barbara, of Court TV. Jann Carl is here in Los Angeles. Nancy Grace is in New York. Chris Pixley is in Atlanta. And Johnnie Cochran's with us here in Los Angeles.
We'll start with Nancy, going around to try to answer Jann's question. That showing of support by the public -- that affect the case?
GRACE: Oh, yes! It is very reminiscent, Larry -- and I'm sure Johnnie remembers this. Remember when your old client, O.J., Orenthal James Simpson, was -- yes, I'm not going to let you forget it, Cochran! Forget about it!
KING: We won that case.
GRACE: Yes. Don't rub it in. Salt in the wound, Larry. When he was going down the freeway, you know, charged with a double murder, and everybody was holding up "Go Juice" signs -- I think that was one of the biggest obstacles the state had to face in that case was that...
KING: You think it does affect it?
GRACE: You're darn right, Larry! People like Simpson and they like Michael Jackson. I like Michael Jackson. I've always been a big fan of his. And this charge is very disturbing. People don't want to believe it.
KING: All right...
GRACE: And even knowing it in the back of their mind, Larry, they still reach out to Michael Jackson. They still adore him.
KING: Chris Pixley, you think it affects the case? PIXLEY: It definitely affects the case. And I think when you get right down to it, what Jann's asking is how faithfully can a jury exercise...
PIXLEY: ... the duty to act fairly. And when it comes to a public figure, Larry, it's so difficult to suspend our perception of someone we think we know. And we think we know our celebrities. What's so unfair to them is that they have very little control over what's said or written about them.
KING: Diane Dimond, what do you think?
DIMOND: A very wise friend of mine said to me today, you know -- because I've been criticized for reporting on this story, breaking it. She said, you know, It's sort of like attacking Jesus Christ. And I said, Or the pope. And she said, No, no, Jesus Christ, because there in a section in the world, not just America, that thinks of Michael Jackson as a deity. And that's right. I think as this case goes on, no minds are going to be changed. I think there's a part of the population that is not for him, and there's a part that is vehemently for him. And you know, when they pick the jury, that's going to be -- that's going to take forever.
KING: Of this panel, you would know him the best, Johnnie Cochran. You represented him. Was Corey Feldman's description accurate?
COCHRAN: I think, by and large, he was very accurate. He was very accurate about people close to Michael, and some of those who are no longer close. I think he understood that Michael sees himself in a manner -- he is who he is, and it's very difficult for him to change who he is. And he really does see himself as not having done anything wrong, and it's hard for him to change. And I think that those of use who judge him by our own standards, that's where the problem, it seems to me, comes in. On the other question, I think there is this -- I think there is a reservoir of good will for Michael out there. But the question really is, is the jury panel. Will there be any on the jury panel who might have those kind of feelings for Michael?
KING: People don't want him to be guilty.
COCHRAN: They don't want...
DIMOND: It only takes one to say, Oh, it's Michael.
COCHRAN: We don't want -- because we don't want our heroes to be -- to be guilty. But against it has been all this media kind of trashing that...
GRACE: But wait a minute, Johnnie. What about the victim aspect of this? When you're talking about Corey Feldman spending time with Michael Jackson, Corey Feldman was already a star. He was well paid. He had protection in his family and his infrastructure. Now, compare him to poorer, poverty-stricken, less fortunate young children that are pitted up against the king of pop, the worldwide king of pop. You know, child molesters pick out certain types of victims. They could be presented with 20 kids and choose one as the victim. So you got to look at not just Michael Jackson's personality but the personality of the alleged victim.
COCHRAN: Well, that's true. That's true. But I think -- I think there are so many stories of kids that Michael has tried to help, and I think you're going to hear more and more about that, kids who've had cancer. If you've been to that ranch, they got a -- they got a bed where these kids watch movies. They've got nurses there for them. It's a pretty amazing place. It really is.
CARL: Can I say one thing, Larry? You know, everybody's talking about the media and the media's terrible and poor Michael because of all the media attention. Now, the media attention is there because of his celebrity, and what we're just hearing is his celebrity could help -- help him in this case. There could just be one juror...
KING: Let's play -- we're going to play now of Michael Jackson's brother, Jermaine, described his brother's arrest as a "modern-day lynching. " He was on this show last January and suggested Michael is targeted unfairly by people who want to discredit him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JANUARY 9, 2003)
JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: When you look at just his level of consciousness and where he is and his ability, I think it's done purposely to sort of get him away from the masses, the people. And when you sort of come in between and you portray someone as some -- as this character that's crazy, just with all the things, even those crazy allegations about child molestation, pinning these things on my brother -- he's my brother. He's a wonderful person.
KING: Discussing that, what was that like for him when he went through that?
JERMAINE JACKSON: That was crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Diane Dimond, do you hope that he didn't do it?
DIMOND: Of course, I hope he didn't do it because, if he did, then there's a child in pain out there. You know, I think Nancy Grace just said something so smart. True pedophiles pick out their victims very carefully. And this young boy -- again, I'm not saying Michael Jackson is a pedophile, but this young boy did come from a broken home, and I think we need to keep in mind that there was turmoil all around him when he says these actions happened. Now, did that turmoil happen because he made it up? Did that turmoil cause him to make up these charges...
KING: And none of us know that.
DIMOND: ... to get attention from his parents, who are battling? Or was he truly, you know, the perfect target for a child molester?
KING: So none of us know that.
DIMOND: Nancy, that was really smart.
KING: But none of us know the -- right, Chris? We -- Chris Pixley, we just don't know which part of what Diane described is true.
PIXLEY: Exactly. I mean, you can take what she's talking about and focus on the fact that children that are involved in custody battles in modern-day America oftentimes are also involved in battles that deal with child abuse, where one parent or the other is being accused of child abuse. And this child may be -- and in fact, we have -- we are hearing has been involved that kind of battle. Does that influence him? Does that affect his testimony in this case or what he may or may not be telling the police? You know, you can spin this out of control. And we just don't know right now, and we won't know for a while. We don't even have the charges yet. Michael Jackson hasn't been charged yet.
KING: Speaking of that, why don't we have the charges yet, Johnnie?
COCHRAN: Well, I think the prosecutor has -- he has until, certainly, the arraignment to file this. And the affidavit is all sealed for 45 days. He's still gathering evidence. They're going to see what they find.
KING: They could release the charges tomorrow, couldn't he?
COCHRAN: He could. He could release it once he gets -- but he's got to wait. They're going to wait at least 45 days. And Sneddon is a very purposeful guy who's I think going to take as much time as he needs. They got to sift through this evidence. They want to try to make as strong a case as they can.
KING: So the arrest is an arrest based on?
COCHRAN: Based upon the information from the -- from this alleged victim. That's what it's based upon, pretty much. And they go forward. Now they try to back it up, Larry.
KING: Nancy, do they need a grand jury indictment, or do they just go right from here?
GRACE: Well, they can prelim, as we saw in the Scott Peterson preliminary hearing, or they could do grand jury. A lot of times, when you have rape cases or child molestation cases, prosecutors choose grand jury because the victim doesn't want to be inhibited in an open court.
But let me just quickly say, you're right. We don't know what the charges are. But I can guarantee you, when we find out what the allegations are, we'll know how strong the state's case is. For instance, if this is an allegation of Jackson being naked in front of a kid while they're changing clothes, or Jackson allegedly fondling a kid, that's tough to prove. If you've got a more strident case, such a some type of a penetration, that could be backed up with physical evidence. And if the state's got that, that's pretty strong evidence!
KING: So now we speak strictly of conjecture, right, Jann...
KING: ... because we don't know what they have.
CARL: Absolutely. I'm sort of curious. I'd like to know...
KING: We're speaking blind.
CARL: Right. And I'd like to know from Johnnie, who obviously was, you know, part of Michael's representation, and Chris, as well -- very often in a case like this, someone this high-profile will come forward and make a public statement. Would that be something you would recommend for Michael to do or not, at this time?
COCHRAN: Well, it's interesting. You know, you recall, in 1993, when Michael returned from Europe, he did make a public statement.
CARL: That's right.
COCHRAN: You should replay it. And he made a public statement because I thought it was important the message get out there he's innocent, he's going to fight these charges. And he did that.
KING: Is he going to do it now...
COCHRAN: Well, you know, I'm not going to second guess who his lawyers are now. They got to make their own decision. But I would think...
CARL: Well, what do you think, Johnnie Cochran, super-lawyer?
COCHRAN: Oh, I think -- well, I think that there probably is a need to do that. I think that -- we can speculate about Michael's thinking or whatever. He can only say it best. But he's got to be very careful. And Chris will probably agree. You can't -- you can't go into great detail, but he can -- he doesn't, really, all the allegations, either. Hasn't seen the complaint, either. His lawyers don't know. But clearly, he can make a statement about this being -- it's better that he does it than his lawyer.
CARL: You say he doesn't know the allegations, but he certainly knows what he did or he didn't do.
KING: Chris, would you take him public, if you were his lawyer?
PIXLEY: Yes, I agree with Johnnie. But again, you do have to be very careful in how you do it. You know, Kobe Bryant made a statement, and I think, for the most part, it was a successful statement. But if you recall, he went beyond simply saying, I made a mistake in committing adultery, and he talked about it a bit. And that raised all kinds of questions about how, if this was a first-time meeting with a woman, could this be the first time he's actually doing it.
GRACE: Larry, but...
PIXLEY: So you have to be very careful how far you go.
GRACE: ... Kobe doesn't have the freak factor, Chris! Kobe doesn't have -- he seems normal to the rest of us, but Michael Jackson -- Johnnie, no offense ...
COCHRAN: That's not a crime!
GRACE: ... but you got to -- you got to take into account the freaky factor of how a public statement is going to come across.
GRACE: For instance, the Bashir documentary -- pew-hoo! That stunk up the whole screen! You don't want that!
PIXLEY: Well, and that's where -- also where Mark Geragos comes in because his role right now -- you know, we're talking about how much we don't know, but the fact of the matter is, we have an arrest warrant. It refers to the California penal code section 288-A. Nancy, we're talking now on this show about whether there's penetration, whether there was force or violence. 288-A involves...
GRACE: Lewd and lascivious.
PIXLEY: ... lewd and lascivious acts, and it does not involve force or violence.
GRACE: We also know that there are going to be...
PIXLEY: That is something his counsel...
GRACE: ... multiple...
PIXLEY: ... should get out there.
GRACE: ... counts. So I'm just waiting to see what those counts are going to be.
COCHRAN: But he's right about the lewd and lascivious...
COCHRAN: They don't have that. And you know what? I should tell you one thing. Under California law, there's a jury instruction that generally says, These are charges that are easily made, and once made, are difficult to disprove. This (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a jury instruction we would deal with. Keep that in mind. That's this whole purview. We got to keep that in mind, don't we, because that's what we're talking about here, without the kind of evidence that Nancy's talking about.
DIMOND: Also difficult to prove.
COCHRAN: Yes. Difficult for the...
KING: Let me get a break.
COCHRAN: ... to disprove or to prove. You're right.
KING: And we come back, Dr. Ludwig will have some words. We'll include your phone calls, too. In July, 2001, I talked with Michael's sister, Janet. She talked about the family's always there for each other. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JULY 2, 2001)
JANET JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S SISTER: You know, I still wish that we were a lot closer than what we truly are. The most important thing is that we're there for one another, if we need each other. We stay out of each other's business. We've always been like that. And we won't interfere or, you know, just come in between anything unless the other asks for us to, you know, intervene. But we've always been that way, and I think the most important thing is that we are there and we know that we love each other and we're there for each other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We want to spend a few moments with Dr. Robi Ludwig, the psychotherapist who's counseled child victims of sexual abuse and adult survivors of molestation and incest. Is this a tough call, Dr. Ludwig -- "He says, he says"?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST, COUNSELS SEX ABUSE VICTIMS: Oh, absolutely. And especially with pedophilia, there is not always penetration, so it is relying on the credibility of the victim. And it's very difficult, again, when you have a celebrity figure that people feel that they know and that, in some regard, is very likable and seems very vulnerable in some way.
KING: So the general public would want him to be OK, would want him not to do this.
LUDWIG: Absolutely. I mean, here he is, this very talented guy, and when he talks about children, he seems to be very caring of them, that he does want to help. So then to think of this guy abusing a child, it would really indicate that he is very, very sick. And that would be very sad for people to come to terms with.
KING: What is the effect on a child of molestation? Not penetration, of lewd and lascivious acts.
KING: Without penetration.
LUDWIG: What's very confusing for the child is that, very often, they trust the adult that they're having some type of sexual contact with. So there's confusion. There's a lack of trust. There is hesitancy to actually come forward because there's sometimes a love for this adult person. Sometimes there's pleasure involved, so it's very confusing, too. What does this mean about me? A lot of guilt. But of course, this has tremendous effects that sometimes don't reveal itself until many years later, when the person can suffer from depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, drug abuse. Sometimes sexual addictions come as a result of this, But it has devastating, profound effects.
KING: We have a call for you from Marysville, California. Hello?
CALLER: Hi. I just want to ask you, do you think Michael Jackson missed out on his childhood, so he sees this a way of reliving it through these kids and actually helping the underprivileged kids?
LUDWIG: Yes. That's a very wise insight on your part. Clearly, he felt he missed out on his childhood, and that, in some way, I think he is a 13, 45-year-old, and that in helping these children, he's trying to save them in a way he feels he was never saved. Now, the question is, that also fits with the profile of a pedophile. And again, I'm not saying that he is. But very often, pedophiles are emotionally regressed, and they don't feel comfortable in adult relationships. So they seek children as a way to feel psychically comfortable.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Ludwig. We'll be calling on you frequently.
KING: Before we take our next call, here is Santa Barbara DA Thomas Sneddon in an interview with Court TV's Diane Dimond, who's with us tonight, responding to a question about Michael Jackson's song that some think was written about him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - COURT TV)
DIMOND: This song was written about you.
TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: That's what some people say.
DIMOND: And then you hear gunshots.
SNEDDON: I've been told that at the end, there's a gunshot that's barely audible, but...
DIMOND: Oh, I think it's pretty...
SNEDDON: You know, I have not listened to it. I wouldn't -- I mean, I've just...
DIMOND: I know you wouldn't.
SNEDDON: ... got more important things going on in my life than to listen to a song written by a guy who's -- everybody calls Jack-o Whack-o.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Diane, why did he do that interview?
DIMOND: With me?
DIMOND: Well, probably because I've been active in this case since 1993 and...
KING: No, but I mean, why do you think a prosecutor...
DIMOND: I always stay in touch with my sources...
KING: Why would a prosecutor give an interview like that, do you think?
DIMOND: Well, I -- I just asked him. And he and I have stayed in touch over the years, as I stay in touch with all the sources. We, you know, exchange Christmas cards and whatnot. I'm not particularly close to the man, but when I called him and told him what I knew and I said, you know, I'm a reporter, I need to report this, this is my job, I think he felt it was inevitable, so that he might as well get the facts out there.
KING: Was he...
DIMOND: As many as he could reveal. He didn't reveal that many facts to me, Larry, but I thought it was an interesting interview.
KING: It sure was. Nashville. Hello.
CALLER: Can you hear me?
KING: Yes. Go ahead.
CALLER: Oh. My question is, shouldn't these parents be responsible or held responsible in any way? It seems like to me that 10 years ago, if this was brought up and -- to the attention or brought to the attention of the world, why would any parent in their right mind continue to allow their child or children to be around someone that is a possible pedophile? I'm a mother of two, and I don't...
KING: Is that a good point?
CARL: Well, I think everybody (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is saying that. I mean, there's hardly anyone that I have met in the last few days that hasn't say, Would you let your children -- Larry, would you let your children spend the night in Michael Jackson's bedroom?
CARL: OK. On the other hand, when she asks about whether or not they're responsible legally -- he was never charged, so I can't imagine the parents being charged with anything.
COCHRAN: And again, it depends upon the person's relationship with him. But you know, I mean, you wouldn't -- not only Michael Jackson, you wouldn't have your kids spend the night in the bedroom with anybody else.
COCHRAN: Living in times we live in now, we're all very -- much more cautious...
COCHRAN: More wary.
DIMOND: And Larry -- Larry, if I could add -- if I could add a word here? You know, it's really going to be tough for any attorney to harshly question a 12-year-old suspected victim, if and when this gets to trial. But it's the mother that's really going to be under the microscope here during this trial, I predict. And I'll tell you what. I'm already hearing things about the mother that I can't confirm, so I'm not even going to repeat them. I look for the boom to be lowered on Mama, not the child.
GRACE: Well, wait a minute! Wait a minute, Larry!
KING: All right, Nancy. Go ahead, Nancy.
GRACE: I don't think this is necessarily fair because, you know, all of us are up on the story. We know about the allegations 10 years ago. We know about the $20 million-plus alleged settlement in order for...
COCHRAN: Wrong. GRACE: Yes, right. Right. Right, Johnnie.
KING: Well, wait a minute, Nancy. He made the settlement.
GRACE: I know he did. How much was it for, Johnnie? So how much was it for? You want to tell me that?
COCHRAN: There's a confidentiality, and I can't talk about that, Nancy.
GRACE: Yes, well, if you can't clear it up...
KING: I only meant was how did you know it was $20 million.
GRACE: Whatever. I'm talking about this...
KING: Anyway, what's your point?
GRACE: ... victim, this alleged victim's mother. From what I have learned, this mother is in no way compared to -- could compare to his money, his sophistication, his education. How do we know she knew about the prior event? I mean, there's a lot going on here that does not make her an equal to Michael Jackson!
DIMOND: Oh, my goodness! You would have to live on a different planet to not have heard about these allegations 10 years ago!
KING: Who is an equal?
GRACE: That may be true, but let me tell you this much. Very often, in my experience with literally thousands of child molestation cases, the molester is someone the parents grew to trust, grew to believe in. And that may be the case here.
DIMOND: You're right.
KING: All right, let me get a break, and we'll be back with some more moments and a few more phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - JANUARY 15, 2001)
ELIZABETH TAYLOR, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FRIEND: He's so tender. He is so compassionate. He hurts, literally pains, for other people's suffering.
KING: Barrie, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Good evening.
CALLER: Hi. I was just wondering if someone could explain to me -- I heard Michael's lawyer say that the charges against him were "categorically incorrect." I was just wondering what he meant by that.
KING: Chris Pixley, what did he mean?
PIXLEY: Well, he's doing exactly what he has to do in the situation. In a case of child molestation, the only defense that you can raise is to deny it outright. There is no way of explaining it away or justifying it. In the mind of your potential jury and the conscious of this country, it is probably the worst charge that could be brought against your client because it involves an innocent victim, because, as Dr. Ludwig pointed out, it involves a breach of that child's trust with the adult, and because that child -- and we're talking about a child in a protected class, under the age of 14, doesn't even have the capacity to consent to the activities that are going on.
So when he says, I categorically -- my client categorically denies it, he means he denies it in every form and fashion. And that, quite honestly, is what you have to do. If you're not in a position to deny it across the board, you've got a problem.
GRACE: But Chris, according to Mark Geragos, nobody did anything. Every time I've ever seen Mark say anything, he's categorically denying everything! So you know, whatever.
KING: Well, but Nancy, defendants say they didn't do it, and prosecutors -- in every case I've ever seen, a prosecutor said they did it.
GRACE: Well taken.
KING: Did you ever see a prosecutor say they didn't do it?
GRACE: Well taken. Very well taken. Yes, you're absolutely correct.
KING: That's why I took it.
KING: That's why we have the adversary system.
We thank Diane Dimond, Jann Carl, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Johnnie Cochran, Dr. Robi Ludwig, and of course, our earlier moments, as well, with Corey Feldman. We thank them all for being with us tonight.
Before we go, by the way, congratulations to a very special member of the LARRY KING LIVE staff. It's our supervising producer, Carrie Stevenson. She and her husband, Todd Foley, have a new baby son to play with. The big brother's name is Chase, and now he has a brother, and the brother is Carson Edward Foley. Whatever happened to John? Was born at 5:08 PM Thursday. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces, a little more than 19 inches long. I'm delighted to report to you that Carrie and Carson are doing great. We wish them all the very best. Let's see now. We have Chance, Cannon, Chase and Carson. Whatever happened to Phil?
CARL: Or Larry.
KING: We'll be right back. Or Larry. We'll be right back.
KING: Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It's a day anyone over the age of 50 certainly has embellished in their mind. Nellie Connally was in the car with President Kennedy and Jackie and her husband, the governor. She's our guest tomorrow night to tell us all about it. Nellie Connally on tomorrow night's LARRY KING LIVE.
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