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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Panel Discusses Michael Jackson Trial
Aired April 27, 2005 - 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, high drama in Michael Jackson's molestation trial as his ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, testifies for the prosecution. Did the mother of two of his children reveal any secrets? And why did the defense move for a mistrial today before Debbie Rowe even took the stand?
We've got all the answers with CNN's Ted Rowlands, an eyewitness inside the courtroom, as was Jane Velez-Mitchell of Celebrity Justice. Plus, Michael Jackson spokesperson Raymone Bain. Stacey Honowitz, assistant Florida state attorney who specializes in sex crime and child abuses cases. And high profile defense attorney, Michael Cardoza who was also in the courtroom today. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
(on camera): One note before we start. There is a President Bush press conference tomorrow. It starts at 8:30 Eastern. We'll be on following that conference with a full hour of LARRY KING LIVE. That'll be on tomorrow night following the Bush press conference which will probably be around 9:30, that it will end.
Ted Rowlands, what, what -- how long was she on the stand? What happened today?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was on the stand for 40 minutes at the end of the day. And when she got on the stand, she said things that took -- a couple things that took a lot of people by surprise.
She was expected to come on and say that the interview that she did on Michael Jackson's behalf, or this rebuttal video, which is at the center of this conspiracy charge against Jackson, was scripted. She was expected to come on and say I was told what to say for this video. That did not happen.
She came on and said that she said she had no guidance as to what to say. In fact, she even said nobody tells me what to say. She said she didn't look at the questions.
Clearly, it's a complete reversal of what Tom Sneddon said to jurors in his opening statements. In opening statements he told jurors that Debbie Rowe would come on and say that her interview was scripted just as the accuser's mother was scripted. That didn't happen.
Whether prosecutors knew she was going to do this or not, it's tough to say. But clearly she didn't go along with what she was supposed to say if you look at the opening statements. She did say that Michael Jackson called her -- or talked to her personally and asked for her involvement. That's first time Jackson has been directly involved with this video production. And she also said later that she actually lied during her testimony -- or during her videotaping at times saying that she lied. Wasn't told what to say, but she did lie when talking about Jackson's parenting skills. That's when things got cut off. She'll be back on the stand when court resumes in the morning.
KING: Jane Velez, was the prosecution -- did they look surprised?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CELEBRITY JUSTICE: The media was about to keel over. The prosecution sort of acted as if and didn't reveal whether they were horribly disappointed. But we in the media were looking at each other, did we hear what they said right? Because we were led to believe she was going to talk about this scripted interview, and then she says the exact opposite. And either this is a case of a wishful thinking on the part of the prosecution team or she went south on them.
And you have to ask why. Did somebody get to her? Did somebody offer her something? Or did she get on the witness stand, take one look at Michael Jackson, her old love -- And I use that term loosely -- and melt? And I personally think that's what happened.
She's known to have had an obsession with him for years, way back when she was his nurse back in the '80s. She had her walls reportedly postered with his posters. And I think that she still has a soft spot in her heart for him. And it came out today.
KING: Would you say, Michael Cardoza, this was a big day for the defense?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, was it a big day for the defense? In part it was. It could get bigger tomorrow with more testimony from Debbie Rowe. Because, as Jane said, when she came on the stand and said no, it wasn't scripted, that took us, as Jane said, by surprise.
I don't think it took the district attorneys by surprise. If it did, I would think they would have immediately attacked her and said, wait a minute, didn't you tell us before that it was scripted? Why are you changing your mind now? And try and show maybe some Jackson influence there. They didn't do that, so they had to know.
But then going back to this morning when Moselehi testified -- he was the videographer -- I was really shocked at one small thing the district attorneys did. They asked him, whose phone number is this here? And he said, oh, that's my phone number. And I thought as an ex-district attorney, why didn't you guys know that? Aren't you preparing these witnesses before you put them on the stand? So, really, I don't know what's going on with them right now with the witnesses they put up there.
KING: Let's stay with the Debbie Rowe angle. Stacey, you're a prosecutor, did they specifically say that that's what she would testify to?
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Well Larry, as I know it, the testimony -- not the testimony, but Sneddon said in his opening statement, you're going to hear Debbie Rowe take the stand and she's going to say that this is all scripted. And that's the problem sometimes that both prosecutors and defense attorneys get in trouble with. They make promises in the opening statement that they can't deliver.
But I don't think you'd ever see the prosecutors sweat. You're not going to have a face in the jury where you can't believe what the witness said. And as Michael said, if they had any idea -- if they didn't have any idea what was going to happen, they would have attacked her. So they probably knew that she was going to testify in this manner.
KING: But didn't they brief her, Stacey?
HONOWITZ: Of course, they did. Of course they spoke to her.
But you know what, Larry? You can brief a witness all day long, all year long and the dynamics once you get in a courtroom always change.
As Jane said, maybe she melted when she saw him. I don't think that's the case.
And quite frankly, I don't think that this testimony was so terrible. I think tomorrow you're going to see that they're going to delve more into the questioning about whether or not she was told what to say. She wasn't going to show up and say that he was this horrible person. She was getting paid and living in Beverly Hills from him.
KING: Ted Rowlands was your -- how did the jury react?
ROWLANDS: Well, they were taking notes. And whether or not jurors remember the opening statements and remember what Debbie Rowe was supposed to say is unclear. But you could be sure that in closing arguments, Thomas Mesereau will remind them and then go back and look at it. And they will see a discrepancy there.
So I don't know that the jury was flabbergasted by anything she said -- or surprised. But they were definitely intent on listening to her.
She has instant credibility. She's the ex-wife of Michael Jackson and the mother of two of his three children. So, they definitely took note to everything she said.
And she actually broke down at one point when talking about Michael. Prosecutors said, why do you want to be reacquainted with Michael Jackson? And she -- her voice quivered and she said, because he's my friend.
Clearly she showed to this jury that she has a lot of deep feelings for Michael Jackson. And looking towards tomorrow, it's very unclear which side this witness is really going to help.
KING: Jane, at this point, couldn't we say just as an observer, why was she called?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it beats me. Because obviously, she's a very dramatic witness. And it builds up expectations. And then when she gets on the stand and deflates them, I think it really does hurt the prosecution.
Now, she did say that she told some untruths on that rebuttal tape. And she says particularly about Michael Jackson's parenting skills. And then, like a dramatic cliffhanger, the day ended.
So she could get on tomorrow and say, I lied about this, I lied about that, I lied about this. And it could end up being a good day for prosecutors.
But I think what Ted said was very significant. When she cried was when she talked about being Michael Jackson's friend. It wasn't when she was talking about her own children. And I think that that really goes to her psychological basis, that even though she's supposedly Jackson's enemy locked in a bitter custody dispute with him in Los Angeles, there's a part of her that still wants to please Michael Jackson. And what better way than to be the unexpected heroine of this entire trial for the defense and not give the prosecution what it wants?
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more and then we'll have Stacey pick up on that. Well be including your calls later. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. Stacey Honowitz, you were going to say something?
HONOWITZ: Yes, Larry, when Jane was talking about -- you asked her about, why it was crucial that Debbie Rowe -- or why did they even have to call her? What you have to remember is, all throughout this trial, everybody has been saying, where's the connection between Jackson and the ability to make this video? It's his associates that have been doing it, and this is the first time that you have heard that Jackson himself has been intimately involved. Because her testimony was, Michael Jackson called her directly on the phone and said, I need your help in making this video. And that's actually the first time we've actually been able to tie him in. So, it's crucial. It's important testimony.
KING: I got you.
KING: Well, Michael Cardoza, why is that incriminating? Anyone would do that in this case. It may...
CARDOZA: It's not. That's exactly what I was think thinking, Larry. I mean, if it were you or I in this situation, we'd reach out to our friends, and say, hey, help me here, will you? Reach out to the ex-wife in that situation and say, you know, I really need your help. Would you mind doing this for me? In this case, Debbie said no, and then she turns around and sort of throws it back at the D.A.s, says it wasn't scripted. So, she is helping Michael. I don't find that unusual at all. But, here's the caveat. She seems to care for Michael, like everyone has said. If she says some things to hurt Michael, that's going to make her much more believable to this jury because of that.
KING: Ted, what was Jackson's reaction while she was saying these things?
ROWLANDS: He didn't seem to have any visible reaction. It was hard to tell. A lot of times, it is hard to tell how he's reacted. When he's very angry with a witness, he'll actually shake his head and look at him, and you can tell that he disagrees with them and he's sort of sending a message to the jury that they're lying. But today, either didn't seem to be that one moment of eye contact between the two, that a lot of times does happen when a witness first gets on. So, I didn't see any clear reaction from Michael.
One thing that should be pointed out about Jackson's involvement of getting Debbie Rowe involved in this videotape -- he wasn't the one that made the first call. He didn't call her up and say, hey, Debbie, it's Michael. I'm running the show here. In fact, another associate called her first, and then, Debbie Rowe said that Jackson had to be tracked down in Europe. It took 30 minutes, and then he got on the phone for two-and-a-half minutes, giving the impression that the underling said, hey, Michael, you have to make this call. He did it and that was about it. So, did it come across as though Jackson is at the head of this conspiracy? I don't know. But it at least did bring him name into it for first time.
KING: Jane -- Jane Velez-Mitchell, what's this mistrial request? What happened?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ah, well, this isn't the first time the defense has asked for a mistrial. They've done it several times before, all obviously turned down. And it was kind of an arcane subject: the deputy D.A. brought up an issue that the judge had said was off- limits when he was questioning Havid Musalahi (ph), Michael Jackson's former videographer. But I think the bigger point is that this is the defense team's way of intimidating the prosecution team, that they have to really watch what they say, because if they cross the line, they're going to always ask for a mistrial. I think it's a psychological mind-game that the defense team plays with the prosecution team to sort of put them in a fear-based position, so that they're a little tentative, and I think it could be working.
KING: Stacey, was the videographer effective?
HONOWITZ: I mean, you know, you could look at it both ways. I mean, he was effective to a certain extent. For the most part, I don't think it really added much to the case. I don't think it really proved any material fact in evidence in this case to make it more probative that Michael Jackson was involved in all this. But it's interesting.
I just want to touch on one thing. It's not intimidating the prosecution that you're making motions for mistrial. In every criminal case, this is exactly what goes on. It's the defense's job to make sure that the prosecution watch their boundaries, watches their step. So, it's not an intimidating factor. That's what you're going to do. You're acting on the best interests of your client. You will move for a mistrial. So, it's not unusual in this case that that's what Mesereau is doing.
KING: Michael, as a defense attorney, how would you deal with Debbie Rowe?
CARDOZA: I'll tell you what -- you've got to be very careful. One thing that I did note and one thing that told me, right from the get-go, that this witness is important to the defense and they're worried about her is, when she hit that stand, Mesereau slid forward in his seat. You could see his body tighten from behind. He was very vigilant in his objections: about every other question was objected to, and he hasn't done that with any other witness, that I recall, in this case.
Now, one strategy is you're going to throw Debbie off of telling her story. But more than that, Mesereau wants to control her because even he doesn't know what she's going to say here. So he's walking a fine line, and I could just tell -- just the way he moved, just the way he objected -- he's worried about her.
KING: Does he play it rough or nice?
CARDOZA: He's playing it nice right now. Will he play -- it really depends on her. As a defense attorney, you get up and you start asking questions; if she starts coming back at you, and she turns the game into a rough game, then you can get after her that way. I think he's going to play it very nice with her, because, remember, if he's smart -- and I know he is -- he knows that she likes Michael Jackson. Why would you attack her, make her upset with you, recoil from you and get in a fight with you? Heck, you do it very gently, very nicely, and then quietly tell her, you answer my questions the right way, you're helping a guy you really like. I think that strategy would work a whole lot more for him.
KING: Ted, these people from Verizon, Pac Bell, Cingular -- do they seem to help the mother's side of the story?
ROWLANDS: Well, they didn't really help anything yet. All they did was come in as custodians of the records and get the records -- all these phone records -- into evidence. But, clearly, some of these phone records could help prosecutors do what they have been unable to do so far, and that is, maybe tie Jackson into the conspiracy, using phone records, if the number of calls were made at this time to here, here and here, Jackson had to be involved.
So, it's unclear how effective these records are going to be. Everybody had to sit through hours, though, today, of them -- getting them into evidence. KING: We'll take a break and be right back. At the bottom of the hour, we'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As word spread of an impending wedding, Jackson returned to his hotel from his first Australian concert.
QUESTION: Michael, is it true you're planning on getting married? Are you getting married?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been speculation for days Jackson was planning to marry his pregnant girlfriend Debbie Rowe. After last night's concert, the rumors appeared to have become fact, his production company in the United States confirming the marriage in a brief press release.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Raymone Bain, by the way, Michael Jackson's spokesperson will be joining us in about seven minutes at the bottom of the hour.
Ted Rowlands, there's something rather puzzling. Jane, I think, said that jurors may forget what was said in the opening remarks. But Mr. Mesereau two or three times said "Jackson will tell you." Don't you think they'll remember that?
ROWLANDS: Yes, clearly. And I think that there's a very good chance, although everybody else disagrees with me, that Michael Jackson will take the stand here. I believe that Michael Jackson could get up there, deny the molestation, deny all of these things that he's accused of and, you know, he's already been featured on this tape looking strange. And his explanation for spending time with boys was edited in the Bashir video, according to the defense. He'll get up there and give the full explanation.
So I think that there's a good chance. It's a he said case that the court here, all this conspiracy mess has been so convoluted that I think jurors are being distracted by it. And quite frankly, the conspiracy side of this case has gone nowhere. Because at the core of it was the accuser's mother, she bombed on the stand. Today Debbie Rowe did not corroborate the stories that there was a conspiracy with this videotape. I think that, for all practical purposes, that's not looking to good.
What about the child molestation part of it? The defense has to have an answer as to, A, why a grown man is hanging out with children and, b, did he or did he not molest these children?
Michael Jackson has already explained it. Whether you think that's weird or not he's explained it on tape many times. He's almost compelled to do it in front of this jury one more time and give them the explanation. KING: Stacy, over the year many lawyers, and prosecutors and the like have told me that conspiracy is one of the hardest things to prove. Why do you think they included it?
HONOWITZ: I don't think it is so hard in this case. I think you're going to be very surprised. Jurors are taking this all in. And just because we sit here and talk about the fact that you can't link Jackson to any of these things. Jurors would have to sit there through a six month trial and think to themselves that Michael Jackson had no idea what any of his associates were doing? Michael Jackson didn't put the word out that someone's got to save me after I made this horrible videotape?
Someone came to him, a handler -- somebody came to him, and said, what did you talk about? What did you say? We have to have some damage control. So, to think after all this time that he wasn't involved is ridiculous. And I think they're going to be able to tie it in.
KING: Michael why -- Michael.
HONOWITZ: Why wouldn't they be able to tie it in?
CARDOZA: Why -- no. I'll tell you why, Larry because...
KING: One at a time -- Michael.
CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, I agree if they're going to prove it, they have to tie it in. This is beyond a reasonable doubt. That means you have to put some evidence in. And there's been no nexus between Jackson and this conspiracy evidence. What's wrong with the explanation, and the defense will give it, that here's Michael Jackson, the golden goose for all these people, the guy that pays them all this money. They don't want to see anything happen to Michael Jackson, so they take care of their golden goose. Remember, circumstantial evidence is susceptible to reasonable interpretation, you've got to go with the one that points to innocence. And their innocent explanations here. The D.A. has not put in one bit of evidence to connect Jackson yet to the conspiracy. Maybe he will, but not yet.
HONOWITZ: Well, the case isn't over yet. So, we'll have to see.
KING: Jane, what do you think.
CARDOZA: I agree with that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree that the case isn't over yet. And the prosecution's case has not yet rested. Celebrity Justice has been saying that a star witness could be Rudy Provincio. He was a friend of Mark Schaffel, one of the alleged unindicted co-conspirators who was brought on to help with the music business. He reportedly got in very good with all the alleged unindicted co-conspirators. We are told that he took notes of this alleged conspiracy. And there were actually secretly recorded phone conversations, that could tie this entire conspiracy allegedly to Michael Jackson. If he comes in before this case rests, he would be the one to tie it all together and connect the dots. I have to believe that the prosecution has a bombshell waiting in the wings. And I believe it could be Rudy.
KING: Stacey, do you buy that?
HONOWITZ: Of course, I buy that. Of course I do. And you know, there's got to be a reason. They've investigated this case at length, ad nauseam probably almost. And they must know that in order for them to prove this charge, they have to have some kind of evidence. I'm not saying in every prosecution it goes the way that you want it, you have all the evidence the for the charge. But in this case, with the high profile nature of this case, with the celebrity in this case, they had to know that they had to do something to tie it in. And I agree with Jane, I think there's something coming down the pike that's going to tie Jackson to all of this.
HONOWITZ: Maybe. Probably.
ROWLANDS: I think, clearly, today they started to set up Rudy a little bit today. Bringing his name up and establishing him as a player. And I think that he could be the end witness, the one that we see on Friday that really does leave this jury with an impression. And maybe he will tie in these loose ends with the conspiracy. They definitely need something to tie it in, because the mother's story cannot be the linchpin at this point. It's just too unbelievable. And now Debbie Rowe is not helping it out, by saying that she was not scripted.
KING: Jane, when will the prosecution wind up?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they were supposed to initially wind up at the end of this week. But things were going very, very slowly today with all these phone records. Debbie Rowe could be cross-examined extensively. So, It Could be the beginning of next week. But I agree with everybody, they've got to end with some kind of dramatic finale that ties this to Michael Jackson. Now, there was that link with the phone conversation because the person that initially put Michael Jackson on the phone with Debbie Rowe was one of the alleged unindicted co-conspirator, and there was another alleged unidicted co- conspirator on that conference call. So they did tie them. But I don't think they tied him enough. They've really got to link him to some of these 28 overt acts in this conspiracy.
KING: We'll take a break. And when we come back, Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson's spokesperson will join us. And we'll start taking your calls as well. And don't forget tomorrow night President Bush will have a prime time news conference starting at 8:30 Eastern, so we'll be on late but. We will be on for a full hour following that news conference.
We'll be back. Raymone Bain will join us. You're phone calls as well, as we look at the Michael Jackson case in Santa Maria, California Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back. Let's re-introduce our panel. At the Santa Maria courthouse is Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent covering the Jackson trial.
Also at the courthouse, Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent with Celebrity Justice.
In Miami is Stacey Honowitz, assistant Florida state attorney for sex, crimes and child abuse. At the Santa Maria Courthouse is Michael Cardoza, defense attorney, former Alameda County prosecutor. He was also in court today. And now joining us from Washington is Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson's spokesperson. Raymone a little late, but that's allowed because happy birthday Raymone and many more.
RAYMONE BAIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S SPOKESPERSON: Thank you, Larry. Thank you very much.
KING: All right. What's your reaction to, so far, this very short testimony so far from Ms. Rowe?
BAIN: Well, you know, Larry, as I indicated on Monday when I was asked if Michael was nervous, or if he was concerned about Ms. Rowe testifying, and I basically said then he was not. Because he has been very, very kind to Ms. Rowe. They were married for three years. And he is a good father. So I'm not surprised at all today with the outcome of her testimony.
And you know, people have been so quick to jump to conclusions. Oh, she's going to be the smoking gun. Oh, she's going to destroy Michael Jackson. Oh, she's good to do this and that. And that did not happen. And we've been hearing that constantly now since this trial has started.
And I think that, again, Tom Mesereau is doing an excellent job. Michael is very pleased with what is happening thus far. And we look forward to having the defense give its case.
KING: You were not, then, surprised when she said that she was not coached or told what to say?
BAIN: No, I'm not. Because I never thought she would say that, Larry. Michael Jackson has maintained his innocence in all of this. He has said time and time again that he is not, or has been a part of any kind of conspiracy.
And I think, frankly, the case is just weakening. And it's unfortunate that we are even in a trial. But we are, and we're going to fight this until the finish. KING: He has a full day tomorrow on the stand. She has already, though, hurt him a little bit with questioning what kind of father he is. Did that surprise you?
BAIN: Well, I think we have to look at the circumstances. Ms. Rowe is involved in a custody suit. And she's also seeking payment from Mr. Jackson. So I think that there is a lot looming in the backdrop.
And I think at the end of the day, her testimony will not destroy Mr. Jackson, because he is a good father and a loving father. And she really can't say anything other than that, because she has been in his presence with those kids. And if she says something other than that, it won't be the truth.
KING: Do you know her, Debbie -- Raymone, do you know Debbie?
BAIN: No. I have not met her. She was there prior to my coming aboard. So I have not had the pleasure of meeting her.
KING: Let's go to calls. Youngstown, Ohio. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Larry King?
CALLER: I'd like to say hello to you and the panel.
CALLER: And I have a question and a comment.
CALLER: I'd like to ask the panel, do you think Michael Jackson would have given an interview with the Bashir and admitted and talked about being with kids in his room, serving them tea, cookies and having fun with them if he really, really molested them?
KING: Michael, what do you think?
CARDOZA: You know, I'll tell you, I honestly don't know whether he did this or not. But I will say this, if he did something like this, I'm not sure he really understands that it's wrong. If he did it. And I'm not saying he did.
So would he do the video -- yes he really might under those circumstances because he puts it out there. Anybody to me that says, oh yeah, I'm a grown man and I sleep with people's kids that aren't my kids, now that's strange -- come on -- by anybody's standards, but apparently not by Michael's.
KING: Go ahead Raymone.
BAIN: May I respond, Larry?
BAIN: I like that question. And I'm glad I have an opportunity to respond.
Absolutely not. If Michael Jackson were molesting children and he were a pedophile, he would not sit before a camera and say that.
No. 2, I have noticed, Larry, and I would like for the viewing audience to know this fact. When Michael Jackson conducted that interview, he says it's nothing wrong with sharing your bed with a kid. I sleep on the floor on a cart. Every time that interview is played, that portion of the video is edited.
Michael Jackson never says in that video with Bashir that he sleeps in the bed with the child. He says it's nothing wrong with sharing my bed. What's wrong with that when I'm on a cart or I'm sleeping on the sofa?
But all of that is edited, so the wrong message is getting out here. Absolutely not. Michael Jackson would never have said before a camera talking about that as a pedophile.
KING: Jane, isn't that a good point, Jane Velez?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That's a very good point. And actually, that's why the defense has been trying to play the outtakes of the rebuttal video of the actual video that Michael Jackson did. And Hamid Moslehi, Michael Jackson's former videographer, had reams and reams of outtakes that he said would put what Michael Jackson into context. But that hasn't come into the trial yet. And that was one of the things that they were battling over today.
KING: We'll take a break and...
BAIN: That has come in.
KING: You say it has, Raymone?
BAIN: Yes, when the prosecution showed the entire Bashir documentary, it was in the documentary. Michael Jackson said, it's nothing wrong with my sharing my bet with a child as long as I'm sleeping on a cart or on the floor. He said that. And it has been played three and four times. It is said.
KING: So when was it edited?
HONOWITZ: That's what they're going to argue. During closing arguments...
KING: Let me get a break and come back. Please ask the guests to talk one at a time. More calls right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jackson's arrest on molestation charges opened a new chapter in the strange relationship. Debbie initiated legal proceedings to regain custody of her children. And later that year, when Debbie appeared on an entertainment show, Michael stopped paying her, saying she had broken their confidentiality agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Victoria, Texas. Hello. Are you there, Victoria? Victoria? good-bye.
Sacramento, California. Hello?
CALLER: If Michael Jackson is convicted of the alleged molestation charges, would Debbie Rowe regain full custody of their two children being that she initially relinquished her parental rights?
KING: Let's ask the lawyers.
Stacey, what do you think?
HONOWITZ: That's a very interesting question, a very interesting question. In California -- I mean, she's trying to get custody right now. And certainly, upon a conviction, it's going to be a lot easier for her to regain custody of the kids.
And the reason why is because she's the biological mother. And although the children haven't been with her at all in these last years, the courts will look favorably upon the biological mother as opposed to somebody else in the family.
So, I think there's a good chance that if he gets convicted of these crimes, now that she's in court trying to regain custody, there's a very good shot that she's going to be able to get them.
CARDOZA: I'll give a real simple answer -- absolutely. I mean, who else are they going to go to? This is the biological mother. The courts look to that, even though she gave up all her legal rights to this child. Michael goes to prison, the first person the court will look to is the biological mother. Absolutely she's going there, and the defense certainly will try to sell that to the jury. If she tells anything they don't like on the witness stand, that will be her bias in this case.
KING: Raymone, who watches the kids while Michael's in court? BAIN: Oh, he has a staff there, Larry, who takes care of the children, and they also have teachers there, teaching them every day.
KING: Manchester, Georgia. Hello.
Caller: Oh, yes, good evening.
Caller: My question is for Raymone. First of all, I have a couple comments. I just find it extremely appalling that Michael's (INAUDIBLE) tremendous bias against Michael, starting with Diane Dimond, Nancy Grace, and Mrs. Stacey on tonight. Here have you a 46- year-old entertainer who is a multi, multimillionaire, if not close to being a billionaire. He owns nearly 3,000 acres of land in California, owns the biggest -- one of the biggest -- publishings in all the whole world with the Beatles, and these people want to see him taken down. I mean, "Saturday Night Live" couldn't have written a better skit. These prosecutors are a joke.
KING: What's your question for Raymone?
Caller: Now, Raymone -- man, my question for Raymone is, do you think it's possible that the defense would call Debbie Rowe as a defense witness, once the case is presented?
BAIN: What was -- say that again.
KING: I didn't hear you. What did you say?
Caller: Do you think it's possible for the defense to call Debbie Rowe as a defense witness once their case is presented?
KING: You think the defense could call Debbie Rowe?
BAIN: It's a -- it's a possibility. I would not count that out at all. It's a possibility.
KING: Stacey, in your opinion, have the pundits preconvicted him?
HONOWITZ: No, of course not. I would not -- I wouldn't say that. I mean, we go on these shows. You ask us opinions of how they think the prosecution is doing, how the defense is doing. Nobody knows what a jury is going to do in this case, and I don't think anybody has preconvicted him. I think he runs the risk -- like any celebrity, he's out there, he's all over the world, he's all over the nation. Everybody knows him. So naturally, somebody could never imagine that Michael Jackson could ever do wrong or molest a child, and it's up to the prosecution to prove that. So, I'm not surprised by the comments at all.
KING: Michael, have some gone over the top?
CARDOZA: In my honest opinion, yes, some have gone over the top. Some do attack him at different times. You know, without naming names, of course they do. I mean, just listen. I mean, as our viewers, make up your own mind when you listen to people if they're really being fair and objective, or if they're trying to push their own agenda.
KING: Jane, is celebrity justice fair and objective? Can you be totally objective?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, we have been -- well, you can try, and we have tried, and we've been right down the middle. We do stories that some people interpret as pro prosecution. We do stories that some people interpret as pro defense. I will say, the media is deeply split, and I could sit in the courtroom with a pro defense person and a pro prosecution person on either side and get two completely different responses to what I'm hearing on the stand.
I've always tried to act as if I were a juror who is not supposed to decide the case until you hear all the evidence. But a lot of people become emotionally invested in the outcome, and I think it's a real mistake, because it's the best way to look like a fool. You start hearing what you want to hear, you stop taking notes on the things that don't add up to your sequence of events, as you perceive them, and you can get in trouble. I do believe there are people in the media who have gone too far on both sides.
KING: Ted, you can be pro anything before all the facts are in?
ROWLANDS: No, you can't. I think that as human beings, inherently, when you sit in a courtroom, you start to form opinions on specific things as they come at you. But as a reporter, as Jane said, you have to take a down-the-road view of things, and especially, don't let it bleed into any of your reporting, which I do think in this case it has happened with some folks.
And I agree with Jane. It is amazing that there seems to be these differing opinions among the press, and -- the first time I've ever seen it where people clearly seem to have an agenda and sometimes I think it bleeds into their reports which it absolutely should not be doing.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. More phone calls. We'll ask Raymone if she thinks that Michael's getting a bad rap. Don't go away.
KING: Before we take our next call, Raymone, do you think that Michael's been bum rapped?
BAIN: I do. I think that there have been journalists who have just deliberately misrepresented the facts. I've said so many times, and so has he, what you hear in court, and then what is reported, are two different things. And it's so unfortunate, because I really think that, overall, the journalists have done a good job in reporting the facts. But there are some who have been so vindictive and so vocal in their opinions of Michael -- and they slant stories to form their opinions of him, and I think that it's totally unfair to him, and I think it's totally unfair to the viewers, because the viewers are relying on those who are reporting the case to come back and give them the facts and let them make their own determinations.
KING: All right. Let me get another -- Port Richey, Florida. Hello.
Caller: Hi, good evening, Larry. We know that Debbie Rowe is the mother of the first two children. Does anyone know who the mother of this third child is?
KING: Jane, do you know?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is an anonymous person. Baby Blanket, as he is called, and the reports are...
KING: Baby Blanket?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, his -- Blanket is the baby's -- what the baby is called...
BAIN: Prince Michael.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...as a nickname.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But his nickname, you have to admit, is Blanket. That's what they call him, and I think that's a cute name. There's nothing derogatory about that whatsoever.
And, you know, reports that I have read have indicated that Michael Jackson may have preferred, initially, for his other two children to have, initially, been from an anonymous background, and that it was after the news broke that Debbie Rowe was pregnant, that, then it ended up becoming part of the world's knowledge. But initially, it was supposed to be something, reportedly, that was supposed to be kept secret.
KING: Do you know the mother, Raymone?
BAIN: No, I have not asked, Larry, and frankly, I don't think it's really people's business. I think getting into that deep into Michael's personal life is just very intrusive. I would never have that conversation with him, because they are his kids, and that's it, period.
KING: Magalia, California, hello.
Caller: Hi, Larry. This is -- I have a question, I believe for Stacey. Do you know if any of the employees who allegedly saw the molestation going on, will they be held accountable for not reporting it to the proper authorities?
HONOWITZ: Well, you know, there's certain laws in California -- certain people have to report it or you get in trouble. I don't think that the employees, for not doing it -- you could bring a neglect charge, you know, in actuality, you really could bring in a neglect charge. It really wouldn't do anything. But, they're not doctors, they're not professionals, they're not psychotherapists, they're not nurses -- those are primarily the people that are under a duty and obligation to report it if they see that something's wrong. But certainly, as has been used in this case, that's the point for the defense. If you really saw something bad going on, why didn't you report it? The flip side to that, if I'm not going to report it and get my boss in trouble because that's where my bread is buttered. So, it could go either way in this trial but I don't think they'll be charges against them.
KING: Stacey, technically, isn't anyone supposed to report a crime.
HONOWITZ: Anyone is supposed to report a crime, but it's mandatory -- of course, as a good samaritan, you're supposed to report a crime. But it's mandatory for certain people to report or they could be charged with a crime.
CARDOZA: Morally, certainly, Larry, you're absolutely right. Legally, no. And what Stacey's talking about are like psychiatrists and people in that type of position, if they know something, yes, then they have a legal obligation. But if you see a bank robbery, somebody mugging somebody, if you want to turn around and walk away, you can do it legally. Nobody can do anything to you about that.
KING: Laguna, California. Hello.
CALLER: First of all, I'd like to say that I really enjoy your show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I have a comment and the question. The comment is going back to the Michael Jackson video where it says that he said that he doesn't see anything wrong with sleeping in the bed with the boys or, you know, with the children. And even though he's on a cot. Although, he does also say that even if he slept in the bed with them, he doesn't see anything wrong with that.
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: The question is that, I'd like to know if the jury knows that Debbie Rowe is not getting any money right now from Jackson? And also that so far she has received $10 million from him?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the reports are that she has received many, many millions over the years, a home, gifts. And reportedly, since their divorce, $1 million a year. And that that was cut off this past year, because she reportedly gave an interview to the media and that was regarded as a violation of their confidentiality agreement.
KING: Her question was does the jury know that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don't think so. That's part of the whole dilemma of this case. We the media know so much more than the jury knows. It's hard for us to gauge how the jury is reacting to all this, because they don't have the body of knowledge that we have about this case. So many of the really salacious stories have been argued in motions outside of the jury's presence. They have not heard them theoretically.
KING: Yes. We'll take a break and be back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE -- don't go away.
KING: Bellville, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: Because of the bizarre actions of Michael Jackson, I was just wondering if he's ever checked for drugs. Because in the documentary I watched him feeding a baby. I've never seen anybody feed a baby like that in my life that would be normal.
KING: Stacey, you want to comment?
HONOWITZ: I couldn't even hear anything that she said. It was about feeding the child?
KING: What was it, ma'am, that bothered you?
CALLER: I was just wondering if Michael Jackson had ever been checked for drugs.
KING: Oh, drugs.
CALLER: Because in the documentary, he is shown feeding his child.
KING: And it looks weird to you.
CALLER: You can't see through the veil. And I'm just wondering if he's ever been checked for that.
KING: Do we know, Stacey, if drugs have been a part of this.
HONOWITZ: I have no idea. And I don't who would even know who would check for drugs with him, quite frankly. He's not on trial for drugs.
KING: Raymone, have you ever heard anything about drugs.
BAIN: Let me just respond to that question. I have several male friends who have a hard time getting a bottle in a baby's mouth. So I don't think that the way Michael was trying to feed his kid was abnormal. I mean, I have seen even worse. It's sometimes just a little awkward there. But I know now that he does it quite well.
KING: Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. You pronounced it right. I have a question for your attorney's. When the mother of the alleged victim testified that she allowed an adult male to sleep with her son for 30 nights, isn't she incriminating herself as an accomplice to abuse or at least neglect on her part?
HONOWITZ: Now, that's a great question. Because several times in the prosecution for child molestation, as they did in this case, they blame it on the mother. That it was the mother's fault for letting the child go. But, you know, unless she had knowledge, personal knowledge that Michael Jackson was molesting her child, then, of course, she'd be in big trouble. But she absolutely had no knowledge that this was going on or else she wouldn't have sent the child back. So, although it's a good question, she can't be charged if she had no personal knowledge this was going on. She could be negligent. And Michael will tell you she's probably negligent in what she did. But she can't be charged as an accomplice in this crime.
CARDOZA: I agree that she's not going to be charged in this particular case, although personally I think she should be. She certainly has denied any knowledge. I mean, I don't know if it's plausible deniability, though. Because as -- this woman's a half bubble off plum. And she lets all this go on with this little boy? You've got to know she thought something was wrong. But will they prosecute her? no, they won't.
KING: Ted, what do you expect tomorrow?
ROWLANDS: Well, we expect more from Debbie Rowe. And the big question is at the end of the day, is this going to be a witness that helps the prosecution further their conspiracy theory, or will she help Michael Jackson out? And as things have gone so far, it's really a wash. It's tough to say which side she's going to help. But we expect her on the stand for most of tomorrow. Then we expect her lawyer who was present during this videotaping, as well, to take the stand. And we may see the three-hour or portions of the three-hour videotape as well.
KING: Jane, what do you expect?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that the big picture is that the clock is ticking for the prosecution. They have to connect the dots. Time is running out for them. And they need some major bombshell somewhere within the next couple of days. Let's hope for their sake that they come up with something stronger than they have thus far.
KING: Thank you all very much. As a reminder -- thank you all very much. We will cover this again tomorrow night. But we'll, of course, first have to concentrate on the press conference by the president. So we'll probably do two type shows, one postmortem on the press conference. Then two a discussion of the testimony tomorrow of Debbie Rowe in the Jackson case. It gets curiouser and curiouser.
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