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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
The Long Debate Over Terri Schiavo Nears Conclusion; Michael Jackson's Judge Allows Previous Allegations as Evidence
Aired March 28, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S FATHER: I just was in to see Terri. She's alive and fighting like hell to live, and she's begging for help.
GEORGE FELOS, MICHAEL SHIAVO'S ATTORNEY: When I walked into the room, she looked very peaceful. She looked calm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Tonight, the war of words continues on the 11th day since Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed. We'll have all the latest with Terri Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler, her former court- appointed guardian, Dr. Jay Wolfson, and more.
And then, a serious blow to Michael Jackson's defense: his judge rules that evidence of past molestation allegations against him can be introduced in his current trial. And the jury hears testimony from the trial's first celebrity witness. We'll get eyewitness details from Court TV's Diane Dimond, inside the courtroom today.
Also, CNN HEADLINE primes Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor, CNN's Ted Rowlands, who was at the courthouse, high-profile defense attorney Michael Cardoza, and Michael Jackson spokesperson, Raymone Bain, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Our panel, the first two segments -- in Tampa, Florida, is Dr. Jay Wolfson. The former guardian ad litem for Terri Schiavo was appointed by the court in the fall of 2003 to deduce her best interests. He's professor of public health and medicine at the University of South Florida.
In Minneapolis is Dr. Ronald Cranford, M.D., neurologist and medical ethicist. The University of the Minnesota medical school examined Terri in July of 2002 and concluded she was in a persistent vegetative state.
Here in Los Angeles, Kate Adamson, in 1995, when she was 35 years old, she suffered a devastating double-stroke that left her paralyzed. She not only survived, she made what has been described as a miraculous recovery. She's the author of "Kate's Journey: Triumph Over Adversity." She's an advocate for patients' rights and disabled rights.
And in Pinellas Park, Florida, Susan Candiotti, CNN correspondent on the scene outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is.
We'll start with Susan. Anything new?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been quite a day. As we speak, Terri Schiavo's father, Mr. Schindler is holding a press conference. Perhaps you can see a bit of it going on behind my shoulder.
We did learn some things today we didn't know before, Larry. That includes the fact that Terri Schiavo received two very -- what are described as very -- small dosages of morphine, as recently as Saturday and then a week before that. Among other reasons, because -- we were told by the attorney for her husband -- she was moaning, and the hospital staff did administer that to her. We are told that she has stopped urination, which is another process that, of course, she would go through with a lack of hydration, and we also heard that in the last few days that Terri Schiavo's husband has decided, according to the lawyer, that, in fact, an autopsy will be performed by the chief medical examiner here because, according to George Felos, the attorney, her husband -- Terri Schiavo's husband -- wants the public to know, once and for all, about the extent of the damage to her brain. Larry?
KING: Dr. Jay Wolfson, is there -- you examined her, right? You were her guardian. What do you make of all this?
DR. JAY WOLFSON, PH.D., FORMER TERRI SCHIAVO GUARDIAN: Larry, I served as her guardian, consequence of the law in October 2003 that was passed by this Florida legislature that authorized the governor to reinsert her feeding tube, and appointed a special guardian ad litem to review the 30,000 pages of medical and legal records in her case, and to answer questions about whether or not she should be administered additional swallowing tests, which raised questions about her neurological competency.
KING: What conclusion did you come to?
WOLFSON: My conclusions were that the competent, medical and legal evidence that were proposed in the case, provided over the course of the 10 or 12 or 13 years of litigation, provided a clear and convincing basis, according to rules of Florida evidence, and rules of Florida civil procedure, and, as importantly, the guardianship law in Florida, which was crafted very carefully over more than 15 years of bipartisan, political and religious participation, so she met the criteria.
And I spent almost 20 days, of the only 30 days I had to write the report, with her, sometimes as many as four hours a day, sometimes two or three times a day. I spent time with her parents and Terri, I spent time with her husband and Terri, I spent a lot of time with her parents separately. I would hold her hand; I would look into her face. I would call to her. I would speak to her. My intention was to try to find some consistent pattern of response as opposed to reflex.
KING: And? WOLFSON: I was not able, Larry. It pained me. This is a horribly painful, heart-wrenching case of parents who are decent, loving, caring people, the kind of folks I grew up with in Chicago. Michael loved his wife. There's no evidence he did not. I was not able to elicit a response that was consistent. It was consistent with the definitions in the literature of the persistent vegetative state.
KING: Definition brought by Dr. Ronald Cranford who examined Terri in July 2002, and he's an M.D. He's a neurologist and medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota medical school, concluding she's in that state. Now, of course, you haven't examined her recently. The father said he was with her today and she appears, like, desperate. Does she feel pain?
DR. RONALD CRANFORD, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA NEUROLOGIST, MEDICAL ETHICIST: Are you talking to me?
CRANFORD: Yes. She does not feel pain, and I'm sorry what the father is saying, but, as we said, many, many times, she's in a vegetative state. Her CAT scan shows severe atrophy, her EEG is flat. So, Larry, she does not feel pain. I can understand where the family is coming from. As Jay Wolfson said, it's a loving, caring family. They're seeing things that really aren't there, so no matter how loving and caring this family is, she's not interacting. She's not communicating.
KING: What, Doctor, is the morphine for, if there's no pain in?
CRANFORD: I've done that, not uncommonly. Sometimes you do it for the benefit of the family, in smaller doses. But I've given morphine for patients who were in a vegetative state where I was stopping nutrition, hydration, because sometimes it helps the family. I don't know why they did it here. It sounds like smaller doses. But it's not unusual to give morphine to patients unconscious when you think the family is suffering. It may reassure the family. It may reassure -- some nurses sometimes, who think she may be suffering. It's not unusual.
KING: Will this death be peaceful?
CRANFORD: Yes, the death will be peaceful for Terri because she's unconscious. It will not be peaceful for the Schindler family. It will be absolutely horrible for the Schindler family, who believes she's there. I don't know how it is for Michael, because Michael's been loyal to her for 15 years. I can't speak for him, but it will be peaceful beyond any doubt, Larry, to Terri Schindler. She's unconscious; she can't feel anything.
KING: Kate, why do you want to overrule the courts?
KATE ADAMSON, RECOVERED FROM PARALYZING DOUBLE STROKE; SUPPORTS SCHINDLERS: I don't want to overrule the courts, but I want to say, doctor, that what you're saying -- families see what they want to see -- that's exactly what they told my husband. That's the kind of e- mails, Larry, I get from countless people around the country that are told the same thing.
KING: Therefore, everybody in a vegetative state should live, is what you're saying.
ADAMSON: Well, I don't believe she's in a vegetative state.
KING: Would you say that...
ADAMSON: Well, I don't think you can assume...
KING: You're not a doctor.
ADAMSON: No, I'm not a doctor. I don't think you can assume because someone is unresponsive or maybe showing...
KING: No one should die.
KING: No one.
ADAMSON: We should always err on the side of life. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
KING: Therefore, no one -- even people with a living will, they still might be all right, no one should die.
ADAMSON: Yes, it's interesting, Larry, because if either of you said -- and I've had people say this -- I don't ever want to find myself in that condition. If I do, I don't want to live. It's different when you're actually in the condition.
KING: Because you were in the condition.
ADAMSON: I was in the condition. I was conscious. I was aware of people saying things.
KING: So, of course, of what happened to you, you're saying no plug should ever be pulled.
ADAMSON: Err on the side of life. I'm living proof.
KING: Even if they signed a living will.
ADAMSON: Even if they signed a living will.
CRANFORD: But, Larry...
ADAMSON: Because it's different -- doctor, it's different when you actually find yourself in the position.
KING: You can understand her, Dr. Cranford. She was inside a body. People are saying she's going to die, and she's not.
CRANFORD: Right. But I think she had a brain stem stroke, and a brain stem stroke is totally different than what Terri's got. Terri's got a massive infarct of the entire brain to the cerebral hemispheres.
ADAMSON: Doctor, it was a catastrophic experience like Terri had.
CRANFORD: Kate, you can't equate your case to Terri Schiavo's. It's like apples...
ADAMSON: I'm not. I'm not.
CRANFORD: You are.
KING: You are.
CRANFORD: You are, Kate.
ADAMSON: Well, they told my husband it was a brain tumor.
CRANFORD: I know that.
ADAMSON: He said, treat her, and they wouldn't treat me. They said if it was a brain tumor, I'd die anyway. Treat her as if it's a stroke, and they wouldn't do it.
CRANFORD: I understand that, but brain stem hemorrhages and brain stem (INAUDIBLE) can make dramatic recoveries. But that's not what we're talking about with Terri. And, you know, we have erred on the side of life. It's the longest right-to-die case in the history of American law. It's the longest evidentiary hearing in the history of American law. Somebody like Jay Wolfson, who had one of the finest reports of any guardian ad litems ever written -- we've erred on the side of life for seven years, or actually, almost ten years, since Michael Schiavo wanted to withdraw the feeding tube.
Judge Greer has done a magnificent job; the Florida courts have done -- we've erred on the side of life already for ten years.
ADAMSON: I know, doctor, but how do you give someone a chance to live when you ship them off to a skilled nursing facility and then a hospice?
CRANFORD: It's very simple, because her brain-damage was irreversible within the first two to three months afterwards. There was no chance for recovery. They wouldn't have transferred her to rehab hospital or to long-term care...
ADAMSON: They won't transfer you to rehab once you've gone to a nursing home. No, you're right, they won't.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll come back with more of our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT SCHINDLER, FATHER OF TERRI SCHIAVO: I just was in to see Terri. She's alive, and she's fighting like hell to live, and she's begging for help. She's still communicating, still responding. She's emaciated, but she's responsive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: There's the -- that's front of the hospice where Terri Schiavo is, the father is thanking supporters as what you might think he would -- as time runs short.
Susan, are all legal things gone?
CANDIOTTI: That would appear to be the case. Certainly, Governor Jeb Bush here in Florida said as recently as this day that while his heart is broken for the Schindler family, as well as for Michael Schiavo, he stressed, there really seems to be nothing else, he feels, that he can do. And also there seems to be an acknowledgement on the part of David Gibbs, the lawyer representing the Schindler family, that they seem to be at a real crossroads here in terms of what else there is for him -- them to do.
The governor has said, he has tried every legal means to try to help, and he seems unable to do anything else. And privately, Larry, members of the Schindler family have expressed some concern that while a lot of the people here have the best of intentions, that some of the views, some of the them are expressing might actually be hurting the Schindler family in the court of public opinion.
KING: Dr. Wolfson, is the idea of an autopsy a good one?
WOLFSON: I think it's not a bad idea. When we finished our report, we suggested there might be additional tests done, if both sides would agree in advance how they would be used. We never got there. That Michael is agreeing to an autopsy is an interesting idea. I think it will clear the air completely for Michael. He has got to get on with his life. The Schindlers need to get on with their life. Again, these are great decent people, all of them, who have great love for Terri and I suspect the autopsy will help us, again, clear all of those issues away.
KING: Dr. Cranford, how long would the results of an autopsy take?
CRANFORD: Well, you can have some immediately, but it will take anywhere from two to four weeks before they'll have an official thing. But they'll be able to look at the brain within a few days, they can make the results. But I'm not sure how fast they'll release them, but two to four weeks there about. I agree with an autopsy. I'm glad Michael went along with that. It will clear the air. The autopsy will clearly show what the CAT scanner showed, and what we predicted. There's no doubt in my mind, Larry. So, I'm glad we're going to do an autopsy. It's something that has to be done, I'm afraid.
KING: Kate, if the autopsy backs up what the Dr. Wolfson and Dr. Cranford say, will that cause you to say, "Maybe I was wrong"?
ADAMSON: Well, I think it will answer a lot of questions for a lot of people. However, I still believe that if the parents want to take care of Terri even in the condition she's in, why not? What's the harm? What is the harm in treating her?
KING: When you came out of it, did you think you were going to die?
ADAMSON: I thought I was going to die when I was in the critical stage for those 70 days.
KING: You had thought process?
ADAMSON: I actually -- yes, I did. But I still wanted to fight. I was determined. I didn't want to die, but I had a fear that I might die. I didn't think I could hang on that much longer.
KING: Do you remember the moment you came out, what happened?
ADAMSON: Well, lots of rehab. I think the fact that I had a...
KING: I mean, did you wake up one day?
ADAMSON: No, I had a strong advocate, fight for my husband, fighting with the insurance, fighting with the doctors to get me into rehab. To convince people that I had potential for rehab, and that was the key for me, Larry, once they got me in, I had to be willing to do the work at that point.
KING: But you agree, you don't have -- you didn't have what Terri has.
ADAMSON: No, no I didn't.
ADAMSON: I know one thing -- and you know, doctor, I wasn't in a nursing home. And you know, once a patient goes to a nursing home, that it's very hard to take them out of there and put them into -- it's almost next to impossible to get them into rehabilitation, wouldn't you say?
CRANFORD: But Kate -- Kate but 70 days in a brain stem infarct is not the same as 15 years in a permanent vegetative, those are...
ADAMSON: No, but doctor, I was on my way to being shipped off to a skilled nursing facility.
CRANFORD: I understand that. I understand, but a brain stem infarct for 70 days is not the same thing. You just can't compare the two, Kate. It really isn't fair.
KING: Susan is -- what's the mood of the crowd there, Susan?
CANDIOTTI: Well, you could say quiet desperation. There are hymns being sung at this moment. There are vigils that are held throughout the day. And I don't know if there is any kind of resolution among the crowd here because there are still people who feel very strongly, agree with the Schindler family, that there is some sign of life from Terri. For example, his sister visited -- or rather her sister visited her today and insists that she is getting reaction from Terri. She said that she -- Terri has never been so vocal as any time that she, in her view, seems to want to be able to communicate. And that's what a lot of the supporters here are feeding upon. And, again, agree with your guest that they should err on the side of life. Doctors seem to think, as her guest has indicated, that this really is a persistent vegetative state.
KING: Sadness. Sad. Thank you all very much, Dr. Jay Wolfson, Dr. Ronald Cranford, Kate Adamson. The book is "Kate's Journey," a terrific book, by the way.
ADAMSON: Thank you.
KING: And Susan Candiotti.
When we come back, Bobby Schindler, Terri Schindler's younger -- Terri Schiavo's younger brother right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FELOS: Mrs. Schiavo's appearance to me was very calm, very relaxed, very peaceful. There was no -- I saw no evidence of any bodily discomfort what so ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's go back to Pinellas Park and Terri Schiavo's -- Terri Schiavo's younger brother, Bobby Schindler. It's always a great pleasure to welcome Bobby. We always hope under better circumstances.
Your sister, your other sister, Bobby, said that she went in and that Terri was crying out for help. Why not take in a tape recorder?
SCHINDLER: We're not allowed. It's against court order.
KING: Can anyone allow it? Could you sneak it in? I mean, it would be very dramatic to see this. Might change things.
SCHINDLER: Well, we would be arrested immediately. This has been -- you know, we're not allowed any videos, any pictures, any audio of Terri, and this is court ordered. This has been going on for the better part of five years now.
KING: What is the reason for that?
SCHINDLER: Well, you'd have to ask Michael Schiavo and his attorney that. They do not want people to see Terri's true condition. That is why we are not allowed to take any videos of Terri, no audio of Terri, and that's why Terri is not permitted outside, ever.
KING: Bobby, why do you think your brother-in-law, if it's not because it was her wish, why is he doing this? SCHINDLER: Well, you'd have to ask him. We, you know...
KING: Haven't you asked him?
SCHINDLER: Well, he won't speak to us. You know, we haven't spoken to Michael for, God, it's been years. There was some mediation attempts a few years ago that failed. But Michael refuses to sit down with our family. Won't even sit -- you know, this decision that was made by Michael was done on his own. He never even sat down with my mom and dad to talk to them about this. He just decided seven years after my sister collapsed that he was going to petition the courts to have her killed.
KING: So, what, Bobby, since he's your brother-in-law, you know him, if you don't think that's what your sister wanted, what is his motive, do you think?
SCHINDLER: Well, you know, over the past couple of years, I've been saying this in the media, we have collected or gathered a tremendous amount of evidence that possibly suggests something violent happened to my sister the night she collapsed, and it could have been or could be that Michael doesn't want Terri to ever speak again, because if she did, she could shed some light on what happened the night she collapsed. You know, the only people that were there that night were Terri and Michael, and of course Terri is unable to communicate, we couldn't understand what she's saying, so Michael really is the only one who knows what happened to my sister that night.
KING: Therefore you should applaud the idea of an autopsy, which Michael now states he wants.
SCHINDLER: Well, you know, I'm not going to comment on that right now. Our family is just focused on doing what we can to save my sister's life, and that's what we're concentrating on. And we haven't given up on her. She's still fighting for her life in there behind me, and we're going to do everything in our power to help save her.
KING: But if your suspicions are true, that would show it.
SCHINDLER: You know, as I said, if, in fact, my sister does pass away, we'll deal with that at that time. But right now, I'm just not going to concentrate or focus on my sister's death.
KING: All right, the family attorney, David Gibbs, said yesterday she had passed the point of no return. Your father disputed that. What are your thoughts?
SCHINDLER: Well, I dispute it too. You know, I went in there Friday night, and I had come out of there, and I had given up on my sister. I didn't think there was much hope for her. But I went in there today with my father, and I've got to tell you, after I saw my sister, I was -- she was sitting in her chair, and I was absolutely inspired by her. And she is fighting so hard to want to live, just like she's been fighting for the last 15 years. And I came out of there, and I was inspired to do whatever I can, whatever our family can to try and save her life.
KING: Bobby, now you can help us. Tell me how you know she wants to live. How do you -- you know know this?
SCHINDLER: Well, first of all, this notion that she made these alleged death wishes back 15 years ago are based on hearsay evidence. We don't believe my sister ever said such a thing. We believe they're completely fabricated. If you look at the evidence surrounding her wishes, there's -- they are suspect at the least. So -- and if you look at my sister and what she has been through...
KING: I mean, how do you know by what you saw today? You said you saw today that changed your mind. You thought she was gone, but now today you think there's hope. What did you see?
SCHINDLER: Well, she was alert. She was responsive to my father, and she is just showing us that she wants to live. And she is fighting to live, and she is not showing the signs of a woman that wants to die. I think if Terri wanted to die, she would have died a long time ago. But she's been fighting her heart out for over 15 years. And our family, you know, she hasn't given up on us, and our family will never give up on her, and we're just going to keep fighting and do what we can to save her life.
KING: Do you think Governor Bush can do something? He says he won't.
SCHINDLER: Well, you know, there are some attorneys that believe he can. And I'm simply saying if, in fact, the governor can do something, we're pleading with him to do so.
But you know, Larry, I don't know where it's going to come from. I just -- I have a lot of hope, and I'm praying for a miracle, that something will save my sister from this horrible death that she's experiencing right now.
KING: Do you think you need a miracle?
SCHINDLER: Well, at this point, I think we need a miracle, but miracles do happen, and my sister is still alive. And as long as she's alive, there's hope.
KING: Thank you, Bobby. You have our best wishes.
SCHINDLER: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
KING: Bobby Schindler, the younger brother of Terri Schiavo.
Developments today in the Michael Jackson case. We have got a great panel to get into that. And that's ahead. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: There's no means by which that we can get involved beyond what we've already done. I can't see that changing. If someone can get to our legal counsel some new chance of involvement, we would look at it, but I doubt very seriously that there will be one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Big ruling today in the Michael Jackson matter. Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has ruled that the prosecution may present testimony about past allegations of so-called bad acts.
Let's meet our panel. At the Santa Maria courthouse, Diane Dimond, executive investigative editor, Court TV, has been on top of the Michael Jackson story for 12 years. In New York, Nancy Grace, the host of "NANCY GRACE" on CNN Headline News nightly at 8:00 Eastern -- Court TV anchor and former prosecutor.
At the Santa Maria courthouse is CNN correspondent Ted Rowlands.
In San Francisco is Michael Cardoza defense attorney, and former Alameda County prosecutor.
And in Washington is Raymone Bain, a spokesperson for Michael Jackson.
We'll start with Ted Rowlands.
What happened today?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, Larry, both sides had an opportunity to fight this out in court, delivering oral arguments. Both sides gave impassioned pleas to the judge. But in the end, the judge went with the prosecution. And he is going to allow testimony about alleged past victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson. So, in essence, Jackson is now facing not just one accuser, but in all, a total of six.
Only one actual accuser, however, according to the prosecution, is actually going to come into court and detail the alleged molestation. The other acts are going to be brought in through witness testimony. One of these alleged victims is Macaulay Culkin, of course, the child actor that -- the child actor at the time, when Jackson befriended him in the early '90s. And he has said publicly and including I hear on your show, Larry, that Jackson did not abuse him at all.
So, it's unclear exactly what these allegations will be when they do come to fruition. However, the prosecution, a big win today getting all of this in. And now Michael Jackson has a little bit more -- has a much more difficult time defending himself as a result.
KING: Michael Cardoza, in California, you can do this? You can bring in prior acts, even though -- I thought you couldn't do that in a criminal case.
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you -- well, you could in a criminal case before, they had to be convictions. In 1995, though, here in California, the legislature put a new law in that said for domestic violence or for abuse cases like this, molestation cases, they don't even have to be convictions, just allegations of prior molestations can come in through witnesses. And as Ted said, you don't even need to bring in the alleged victims, bring in other people.
KING: Michael, if someone is on trial for robbery and have a robbery conviction, that can't be brought up unless they take the stand, right?
CARDOZA: No, you can, at times, bring that in if it squares. If it's a robbery of a liquor store where you wear an orange hat and you did the same thing before...
KING: I see.
CARDOZA: then they can bring it in.
KING: Bad act.
CARDOZA: If they take stand you could impeach them certainly.
KING: Nancy Grace, do all states have that same rule?
NANCY GRACE, HOST "NANCY GRACE": Pretty much all states have a rule called similar transactions. And what it is, Larry, is if a similar transaction or past bad act as Michael Cardoza properly called it, tends to prove the case in chief, it is normally allowed. If it goes to modus operandi, for instance in this case, allegedly the other boys molestation occurred the same way this boys did. To show identity course of conduct scheme, frame of mind, then the judge will allow it in. In most states it doesn't have to be a conviction.
KING: I see. Raymone Bain, as a spokesperson for Mr. Jackson, this should concern you. Does it?
RAYMONE BAIN, MICHAEL JACKSON SPOKESPERSON: Well, Larry, we're going to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. Of course, we're a bit disappointed, but not surprised by this. And Michael has complete confidence in his attorneys. He feels that Mr. Mesereau has done an excellent job. And he feels even with what is before him now, Tom Mesereau and his defense team will do an excellent job and that he will be vindicated. Not only in this case, but for all of the past acts as well.
KING: Isn't that going to be tough to counteract if a boy takes the stand, and a settlement was made years ago, and the boy testifies to it, isn't that going to be hard, generally, to overcome?
BAIN: Well, it depends, Larry. It depends on what's said in court. It depend says on cross-examinations. I think as we've seen over the last several weeks, his defense team has done an excellent job in cross-examining. And you know, there've been so many predictions of smoking guns, well, there weren't that many. We're just going to continue to put our confidence in Tom Mesereau and the defense team, and Mr. Jackson is going to be in court every day, and we're going to tackle this as it comes. KING: Michael Cardoza, would you gather that since Michael Jackson did a radio interview with Jesse Jackson, that that would almost pretty much assure that he's going to take the stand?
CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, with these prior misconducts coming in, it almost guarantees he has to take the stand. And I'll tell you what, when I was prosecuting, you put in a case, and this case is a bit weak. And you know, as D.A., when you rest, you pray please defense, put the defendant on the stand. It might make my case better. When the judge decided to put these priors in, exponentially this case got better. I think it's going to force Jackson to the stand.
KING: What was -- Ted Rowlands, what was Jackson's reaction when the judge made that ruling?
ROWLANDS: He wasn't in the courtroom. This was done outside the presence of the jury, and Jackson was given the option of whether he wanted to come early this morning or come a little bit later at 11:30. And he opted to come later. So, he wasn't in the courtroom. Undoubtedly, he knew about it on his way here, and he had no visible reaction when he came. He waved to his fans. And then on the way out as well, no visible, wasn't distraught or anything. But he didn't say anything at all, but we have sort of gotten used to him making a comment or two on the way out. Today, he didn't have much to say at all.
KING: Diane Dimond, I'll ask you in a minute. We'll take a break, and come back and I'll ask you what the testimony of George Lopez was all about. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, we're discussing the events in the Michael Jackson matter. And we'll be right back. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And what happened at the house? That's what all things that people are concerned about.
MACAULAY CULKIN, ACTOR: And you know, that's what's so weird.
KING: What did happen?
CULKIN: Nothing happened.
CULKIN: Nothing really. I mean, we played video games. We played inside the amusement park.
KING: Did you sleep on the bed?
CULKIN: Well, the thing is -- the thing is with that whole thing is that, oh, you slept in the same bedroom as him. I don't think you can understand, Michael Jackson's bedroom is two stories, and it has like three bathrooms and this and that. So, when I slept in his bedroom, yes, but you have to understand the whole scenario. And the thing is with Michael, is that he's not very good at explaining himself, and he never really has been. Because he's not a very social person. I mean, you're talking about someone who's been sheltered and sheltering himself also, for the last like 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Diane Dimond, what was the George Lopez thing all about?
DIANE DIMOND, COURT TV: Oh, that was interesting. It was about a very serious subject, but he was hysterical today. He had the jury, Michael Jackson, the judge, everybody laughing. He was brought in, Larry, to talk about one thing in particular, and that was the wallet story.
He took this young accuser and his brother and his father shopping one day. They went to the mall, they went to Pizza Hut. They came back to the Lopez house because the boys had to use the bathroom before he took them home to Almonte, California. And when he got home after taking them home, he said -- this was hysterical. He said, you know, we're like most Mexicans. We have a room that nobody is allowed into, it's called the living room, you know, with plastic and stuff. He said, when I got home, I noticed on the mantle piece, where there is usually nothing, there was a wallet. I opened it up, a crisp $50 bill inside, and it was the boy's wallet. So they called up the father, told them what they had, and they put it in FedEx to send it back to them the very next day.
But later, George Lopez's wife, who also testified, said that they heard from the comedy club owner that the father, not the mother but the father, was alleging that there had been $300 in that wallet. When they got it back, it was empty. George Lopez was pretty angry when he heard that Jamie Masada, the comedy club owner, gave this father $300 as a replacement to, quote, "get him off my back." So again...
KING: What does that have to do with Michael Jackson?
DIMOND: This was the third witness in a row that Tom Mesereau said in his opening statement would testify on Michael Jackson's behalf, that this family were grifters and they always had their hand out and they always wanted fund-raising....
KING: This was a defense witness? This was a defense witness?
DIMOND: We thought he was going to be a defense witness, but he turned to be a state's witness today.
KING: How? How did that help the state?
DIMOND: It helped the state because Tom Mesereau kept saying this was a mother/son grifter team, this cancer kid and his mother were out to scam all these celebrities. Lopez and his wife both testified today, the mother never said anything, the boy never said anything. It was the father who always had his hand out, always wanted money.
KING: We got you. Nancy Grace, from what Macaulay Culkin just said, we played the excerpt from my show, how can he be a state witness?
GRACE: Well, very easily -- well, you're right, Larry, I don't think Macaulay Culkin is going to be a witness. We know that there's only going to be one boy witness, as far as similar transactions go...
GRACE: ... and I think that's the 1990 alleged victim. But other witnesses are going to come on and state what they personally observed, eyewitnesses. And I would also like to point out that very often, Larry, and practically the case -- in fact, practically every molestation case I've ever prosecuted, at first, children will not tell what happened even into their adulthood. It's very hard to talk about it. Think of the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you, Larry, and imagine talking about it in front of a jury or on national TV. Ain't going to happen.
KING: So how do you know what to do, Michael Cardoza, and faced with -- without substantial proof one way or the other, in a he says/she says situation, if you're the jury?
CARDOZA: Well, that's what this horse race is about. I mean, you go to a jury trial. The prosecution has the burden beyond a reasonable doubt. That makes it difficult for the prosecution. But simply what it comes down to -- I mean, it's real simple -- if the jury believes the victim, the alleged victim in this case, that's the ball game. It's over. And then you bring in these other witnesses.
Remember what Mesereau's done. He's attacked this victim, say he has made this story up. So they now pile on with all these other alleged victims to say, see, he's done it before. Credibility to the victim -- guilty verdict is what happens.
KING: So if you were prosecuting this case, that's just what you would be doing?
CARDOZA: Oh, absolutely I'd be doing. I mean, today was Sneddon's day in the courtroom. This was make or break for this case. And he made the case with the judge allowing this evidence in. I am telling you, exponentially, this case went up to the moon. It got so much better for them.
But beware, Mr. District Attorney, you could get hoisted on your own petard, because you're not bringing in the victims, you're bringing in other witnesses. Be careful of that; it could turn on you.
KING: Diane Dimond, what do you think of that?
DIMOND: Well, I think that Michael is exactly right. I was in court almost all of today, and Tom Sneddon was completely on fire. I'll tell you, I'd never seen anything like it. The courtroom was completely still.
And what he said to the judge was, your honor, you have to let this evidence in because you know what, it's so completely similar to what we're talking about in this case, that you have to let it in. And the judge agreed. And we're talking about fondling. We're talking about a witness who will testify, according to the state, that they saw four separate boys in bed with Michael Jackson on four separate occasions, and each time the defendant and the little boy's underwear were on the floor at the foot of the bed.
He said he's got a witness who will come in and testify that he asked me to call him daddy. That was a big deal. My mother was told, always think of me as family. Family's the most important thing. There's also a witness who has written a book, and it included his eyewitness account of watching Michael Jackson in 1993 lick the head of the 1993 accuser, while on an airplane. That testimony was here about this boy.
So it was so similar in manner that the judge let it in.
KING: I got it. We'll take a break, and as we go to break and come back, we'll include some phone calls. As we go to break, Michael Jackson appeared on Jesse Jackson's radio show this weekend. Here is an excerpt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON: I gain strength from God. I believe in Jehovah God very much, and I gain strength from the fact that I know I'm innocent. None of these stories are true. They're totally fabricated, and it's very said and very, very painful. And I pray a lot. And that's how I deal with it. And I'm a strong person, I'm a warrior, and I know what's inside of me. I'm a fighter. Btu it's very painful. At the end of the day, I'm still human, you know, I'm still a human being. It does hurt very, very, very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we include some phone calls for our panel, on today's edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, fielded a few questions about her marriage. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Looking back on that experience, what do you say to yourself now? Because we all have done things in our lives and you say, I don't know what I was thinking or I did know what I was thinking, or that was a great lesson for me? I don't know. What do you say to yourself when you look at that period in your life?
LISA MARIE PRESLEY, MICHAEL JACKSON'S EX-WIFE: Holy mother of God.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Lisa Marie Presley will be on this show tomorrow night.
KING: ... do you read anything into that?
BAIN: I don't, Larry, because I've heard several comments, and it just depends I guess on what day of the week it is, so I can't comment on what his ex-wife has said. I mean, she's entitled to her opinions. But I have heard her say some very good things. And of course, I have just heard that comment. So as I've said, I've heard different responses from her. And I guess, you know, she just goes with the whim and how she feels on a certain given day.
KING: Is Michael optimistic?
BAIN: Well, he has a lot of confidence in his attorneys. He has very strong inner peace right now, Larry. He's getting a lot of strength from his family, and he is -- I'm not going to say not concerned. I think he has good and bad days. He's sitting in there every day, and he's hearing himself vilified. That's not easy, as you know.
BAIN: But overall, he is doing quite well in his ability to handle this.
KING: I see. Nancy, I thought there is a gag order. How was he allowed to do the radio show?
GRACE: There is a gag order, and I don't know how he was allowed to do it. I guess no one has complained. Now, a lot of what he said on Jackson's radio show was not about the trial. It was about his religious beliefs and so forth, but he did comment on his innocence and claimed everything the boy said was fabricated. That is a direct comment on the evidence in this case.
KING: So, what do they -- what's the punishment?
GRACE: If it's complained about, and the judge reprimands him, he can get, maybe a contempt of court charge, a fine.
KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Hello. This is a question for Nancy Grace.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Just want to say, first of all, you are awesome. I just want to know your opinion, first of all, if you think that Michael Jackson is guilty, this so-called warrior, that's number one, and secondly, if he is found guilty, what a potential sentence might be. GRACE: Well, I've got to tell you, at first, I could hardly take it in, because I grew up with dancing and mimicking and trying to sing like, be like Michael Jackson, like a lot of kids my age. But when the alleged victims started adding up, then one, two -- there's actually seven the state tried to introduce, plus the current alleged victim, and the judge is allowing evidence on five of them.
You've got two things to weigh. One, he is a huge target for people that want money, and number two, the number of boys -- by the sheer number -- would suggest that where there's smoke, there's fire. In my mind, the jury is out. I want to hear the whole case.
KING: And what kind of penalty would he get?
GRACE: Oh, I would say in this case, he's looking at about -- anywhere from 20 to 30 years, which he won't do. He won't do the whole time; he'll probably do about ten.
KING: Michael, do you agree?
CARDOZA: Round figure is about 20 years, but I believe he has to do about 85 percent of that, so it's a lot more than the ten years, and with Michael Jackson, Larry, as fragile as he is -- he gets convicted, gets the 20, it's going to be a life sentence for him. It really will be, in my opinion.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of our guests. Don't go away.
KING: Before we take the next call, Ted Rowlands, how long is this trial expected to go?
TED ROWLANDS: Well, it was expected to go five months, however, with the addition of all of this evidence, Tom Mesereau, while pleading with the judge not to allow it in, basically said, we are going to vigorously defend each and every one of these allegations. We're going to go after the credibility of each and one of these witness you bring in, and specifically, he was talking about some witnesses that saw some things that they deemed inappropriate that were involved in a lawsuit against Jackson, and he says that it will greatly increase the length of the trial. Whether or not that turns out to be true, we will have to wait and see.
KING: Chatsworth (ph) California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, thank you, Larry. My question is, how is it that you can bring in the past allegations, when it was never proven?
DIMOND: Because that state law, it's called the 1108 Evidence Code, and it was written about 10 years ago, and it only applies in sexual molestation or, say, rape charges. The legislature decided it was important -- that if someone had a pattern of behavior to act in a specific way, sexually, sexually deviant way -- that a jury should know about it. So that's why it's allowed in. It's not just the judge's whim. He was almost obligated to allow in some of this testimony.
KING: Michael, even if not proven?
CARDOZA: Even if not proven, Larry, it's just if there's an allegation. In 1995, in two circumstances, domestic violence and in molestation cases, our legislators here in California said, let those past allegations in. Don't even have to be convictions. It's a tough law. It really comes down on sexual predators. It shows how emotional the state feels about sexual predators and sexual molestation. It all comes through the door, if the judge decides under this code section 352, that the probative value outweighs the prejudicial value. But I got to tell you, in this case, it's certainly prejudicial, but the judge decided, probatively, it's important that the jury hears this.
DIMOND: Larry, I hate to interrupt, but I just want to mention that, Michael's correct, but this is not unusual. This is true in many, many states across the country, and I'll tell you why: the most underreported crimes on the law books, rape and child molestation. In most states, allegations are brought before the jury, if allowed under the similar transaction rule, and the jury will decide if they were true or not. Say a rape did occur in the past and the woman was afraid or too embarrassed to go to court. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, so that...
(HIGH PITCHED HUM)
KING: I see. I think we lost the satellite there. Uh, Warner- Robbins (ph), Georgia, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, good evening.
CALLER: First of all, to Nancy Grace, I want to tell you I admire you. I know you're an advocate for women, and I'm a -- been a victim of domestic violence, so I admire your work.
KING: Let me just check -- Nancy, are you there?
GRACE: Yes, I'm here, Larry.
KING: OK. All right, go ahead, ma'am.
CALLER: OK. My question is, for most women -- most anybody in the situation that Michael Jackson is in, under this type of investigation, the trial, the charges pending against him, child services would step in and intervene with people having children, and I to know is... KING: We're running close on time. Why didn't they step in, Nancy, do you know?
GRACE: No, I'm frankly very surprised.
DIMOND: They did.
GRACE: She's right. Normally the children would...
KING: Diane, you're saying they did.
DIMOND: They absolutely did. They visited with these children. They did not take the children away, but they did visit with the children. Furthermore, there's a custody battle going on down in Los Angeles with Debbie Rowe, the mother of two of the children. So, that hasn't -- we don't know what's going on, because it's a closed family court, but there's every possibility if Michael Jackson escapes these charges and is not convicted, he could lose his children.
KING: Michael Cardoza, this is a -- you see it going a long way now?
CARDOZA: Yes, I do see if going a long way, Larry. Today changed the dynamics of this trial. We're going to have a lot of little mini-trials going on here with every allegation that comes on, and there's going to be five. Mesereau and the defense team have to take them on individually, and very strongly and question them. So, you're going to have five mini-trials within this trial.
KING: We're going to be doing a lot more on it.
We thank Diane Dimond, Nancy Grace, Ted Rowlands, Michael Cardoza, and Raymone Bain for joining us. By the way, we had scheduled Lisa Marie Presley tomorrow night; that will be rescheduled. We are going to do more on the Schiavo case, and in a late development, Reverend Jesse Jackson will lead a prayer vigil with the Schindler family tomorrow morning at 9:30 in Pinellas Park.
It's now time to turn things over to New York City, where the NEWSNIGHT host Stan -- no, I was going to say Stan Spy (ph) -- Sid Spy (ph), to carry on the veritable, venerable, Aaron Brown. Another week.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: I can't tell the difference. Thank you, Mr. King.
KING: Go get 'em.
BROWN: Thank you.
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