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Analysis of President Bush's Press Conference; Interview With Debbie Rowe's Attorney; Latest Developments in Michael Jackson Trial

Aired April 28, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: The president's first prime-time news conference of the second term and we have got immediate reaction from both sides of the aisle.
And then exclusive, the attorney for Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, Iris Joan Finsilver representing Rowe in her ongoing custody negotiations with Jackson. She'll tell us how the mother of two of his children feels after finishing her second day of sensational emotional testimony today.

And we'll get deep into today's Jackson drama with CNN's Ted Rowlands there in the courtroom as was Jane Velez-Mitchell of Celebrity Justice. Also with us Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson spokesperson, high profile attorney Michael Cardoza who was also in the courtroom today and Susan Violin, assistant state's attorney from Connecticut who has attended some of the Jackson trial. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

But first, we're going to go Capitol Hill for reaction. We'll meet with Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority whip and committee memberships include Appropriations, Rules, administration. He's Republican of Kentucky. Senator Tom Harkin, the ranking member of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He's also on the Appropriations, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Democrat of Iowa. Also in Washington is Congressman David Dryer, chairman of the Rules Committee, member of the House Republican leadership, Republican of California. And in Santa Fe, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Democrat of New Mexico, chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and former Energy Secretary.

We'll start with our senators. Senator McConnell, on that Social Security question which seems to be the impact of the night, what are your expectations of getting through something?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY WHIP: Well, look, we haven't given up. The president's been out on the road 60 places in 60 days. Tonight he unveiled a suggestion that we ought to take a look at called progressive indexing which guarantees that lower income people get an exceptionally good deal out of Social Security and it tapers off for higher income people. And of course, continue to insist on a very good idea, one of the originators of which was Pat Moynihan, who used to be -- the late Pat Moynihan -- who used to be on your show a lot, for personal retirement accounts, guarantee the younger workers will have a nest egg when they retire. KING: But will it pass?

MCCONNELL: It's much too early to determine that. We have got the Kentucky Derby coming up here in about a week. We're just now around the first turn, Larry. It's a long way to the finish line.

KING: And that may be -- that's certainly front and center from -- as horse racing fans and people from Kentucky. Senate Harkin, how is that going to do, Social Security?

SEN. TOM HARKIN, (D) IOWA: Well, the president threw down the gauntlet tonight. He said that any Social Security plan has to have private accounts. That's a nonstarter here.

I think the American people are picking up on this, Larry. The president's been out there 60 days, he was in Iowa. And after he left they took a poll and his approval rating went down and the number of Iowans opposed to privatization went up.

The American people, I think, are picking up one thing, Larry. They understand that this president really doesn't believe in Social Security. I mean, he predicted over 25 years ago it was going to go bankrupt then. And so because the president really doesn't believe in Social Security, he's taking extraordinary means to try to justify his so-called reforms.

But his reform is basically privatization, which takes money out of Social Security. It will leave a lot of people, when they get old or if they become disabled, will leave them without that solid Social Security benefit. I think people are picking up on that.

KING: Congressman Dreier, is the problem of privatization the stock market, when people see the stock market go down on any given day, they view that as, what if I put money in Social Security and I lost?

REP. DAVID DREIER, (R) CALIFORNIA: Larry, absolutely not.

KING: That's not why it hurts?

DREIER: No. If one looks at the pattern, the pattern is growth. We have continued to see growth. We have continued to see growth. And the fact is, what the president made clear tonight is -- he underscored the word voluntary twice, voluntary personal accounts.

Virtually everyone has come to the conclusion, whether it's the Congressional Budget Office, OMB, that 2018 and 2042 are two very important dates. The president has boldly stepped up to the plate. And he said something must be done.

Now, he's been very successful. We've actually seen a six-fold increase in the number of Americans who now recognize that there is a problem. So that is great success as far as I'm concerned on this, and the notion of saying that younger workers can plan for their retirement is a correct thing, while in no way jeopardizing those who are at or near retirement. And I think this notion, Larry, of saying that we could, you know, possibly have those who were at the lower end of the economic spectrum benefit more easily and better than those who are at the upper end is a very creative idea that the president has thrown out. So he hasn't taken anything off the table, other than increasing payroll taxes.

KING: Quickly, though, David, before we move to Bill Richardson and other areas, why isn't the public apparently buying it?

DREIER: Well, Larry, the public is buying it. That's why I say there's been a six-fold increase. Remember what the goal was here, Larry, and that is to let the American people realize and understand that we have a serious problem that is right down the road, 13 years from now. The president could ignore it, but he's decided to address it, and the American people are beginning to understand that, and that was the goal. Now he wants us to come together and work with him to come up with a solution, a bipartisan solution, and we're willing to do that.

KING: All right, Governor Bill Richardson, Democrat of New Mexico, former ambassador to the U.N. What do you make of his current nominee and how he handled the question about him tonight?

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: Well, I have deep reservations about John Bolton. I don't know the man, but it troubles me that -- what you need at the United Nations is somebody that's a unifier, that can work with the Security Council, with 190 other nations. We have issues of reforming the U.N. that need to happen. I'm troubled by Mr. Bolton and his treatment of intelligence officers.

Again, what I believe is needed is somebody there that can go in and press for America's interests. It's better if we get international support for our goals, and I don't think that Mr. Bolton is the man.

I do think, however, a president is entitled to his top foreign policy positions, but the more I read about this individual -- I don't know him -- the concerns that I'm hearing not just around the country, but also internationally, and talking to some of my former colleagues in Washington, I just have some deep reservations, and I do believe a president should be given the benefit of the doubt as much as possible on positions like this.

KING: Therefore you wouldn't vote for him if you were in the Senate?

RICHARDSON: No, I would not vote for him, but I would stretch as much as I can to give this individual the benefit of the doubt. I think the next two weeks are going to be key.

KING: Senator McConnell, what about the filibuster question and judicial appointments? Where are we with that?

MCCONNELL: Well, at some point we're going to get back, Larry, to the way we operated for 214 years, quite nicely, which was to guarantee judges nominated by any president would get an up-or-down vote in the Senate. That's the way that we've operated for a long time, until two years ago, and we're going to get back to that. We're sort of working our way back there. It's been somewhat contentious, but at some point we're going to reestablish the traditions and norms of the Senate, which mean that a majority -- if a majority is in favor of a nominee for the judiciary, what we've recommended that it even be confined to the appellate courts and the Supreme Court, that that nominee get an up-or-down vote, as he always has gotten, or she has gotten, throughout the history of our country.

KING: Senator Harkin, were you encouraged by the fact that the president discounted the criticism of judicial appointments regarding religion? He thought it should play no part, that it's just a disagreement on philosophy?

HARKIN: I thought the president made a good statement in that regard tonight, Larry, and I applaud him for it, in saying that those of us who may oppose his judicial nominees did it on the basis of we don't think they'd be good judges, not on the basis of whether they were Christian or religious or not. So I, you know, I give the president credit for saying that tonight.

KING: Congressman Dreier, how do you think in general he's handled himself, with this press conference? They were worried at the start that he wouldn't do well with them.

DREIER: Well, Larry, first of all, he went pushing towards his bedtime, you know what I mean.

KING: I know.

DREIER: It was -- somebody here on this set said Clinton-esque. And it went into LARRY KING LIVE, which is a challenge. He actually I think did very well.

I will tell you, I didn't see a lot of it. And the reason was I was on the House floor, where we just passed a budget, a budget which is -- the conference agreement which the Senate will be voting on week after next. We in the House are going to be voting for the supplemental appropriations bill dealing with the issues of our troops. We've had a wide range of bipartisan victories on bankruptcy reform, on the issue of class action, border security. You know, lots of things. The energy bill. The president talked about gasoline prices. We have bipartisan support for that.

And so there are lots of things that we've been able to accomplish, and I think the president was right on target.

Just one quick thing about John Bolton. I've known -- Bill said that he didn't know John Bolton. I've known John Bolton for 20 years. And I will tell you, he is a phenomenal (INAUDIBLE). And I had the privilege along with Lee Hamilton to co-chair a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations, focused on reforming the United Nations. I talked with John Bolton about that. Building a democracy caucus, doing the kinds of things that are very important to strengthen our relationship internationally, while at the same time cleaning up the food-for-oil scandal, the problem of abuse that we saw of young people in Africa by U.N. workers.

So I think that John Bolton is the right guy to represent the United States and help us clean that place up.

KING: Bill Richardson, how did he handle the question of Korea?

RICHARDSON: Well, I thought the president needed to be more diplomacy-oriented. The way we're going to deal with North Korea, I believe, is the president is right, through the six-party talks, but only if the United States deals with North Korea directly. An exchange that goes something like this: America restrains its weapons and its attacks on North Korea; North Korea terminates its nuclear program. It's as simple as that.

The way you deal with North Korea is you deal with them directly. I felt the president was a little bellicose. I believe that what is needed now is the six-party talks to resume. But eventually, a dialogue with North Korea.

I was very disappointed in what the president said on energy, because the big problem is rising gasoline prices. He didn't deal with that. And secondly, we need an Apollo-like project to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and he certainly didn't do that in his response.

KING: One quick question for both Senator McConnell and Senator Harkin.

Mitch, is Bolton going to be approved?

MCCONNELL: Yes, Bolton will be reported out of the Foreign Relations Committee in May and be approved in the Senate.

KING: Do you agree, Senator Harkin?

HARKIN: Well, Mitch, just like the Kentucky Derby, I wouldn't put too much money on that if I were you.

KING: Thank you all very much.

We'll take a break and get caught up on the proceedings in the Jackson trial today. And we'll meet an exclusive interview we'll have with Iris Joan Finsilver. She's Debbie Rowe's attorney. Lots to learn here. Don't go away.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You asked about Social Security. For the past 60 days, I've traveled our country, making it clear to people we have a problem. That's the first step of any legislative process, is to explain to the people the nature of the problem, and the American people understand we have a problem.

I've also spent time assuring seniors they'll get their check. That's a very important part of making sure we end up with a Social Security reform. I think if seniors feel like they're not going to get their check, obviously nothing's going to happen.



KING: We now welcome, for an exclusive interview, Iris Joan Finsilver. She is Debbie Rowe's attorney, that's Michael Jackson's ex-wife, who finished her testimony today, and because of the gag order and attorney/client confidentiality, there are some major constraints on what Iris can talk about. Tell us what we can't talk about.

IRIS JOAN FINSILVER, DEBBIE ROWE'S ATTORNEY: Well, we can't talk about the criminal trial. I can't talk about the testimony. I can't talk about the witnesses. I can't talk about the family law matter.

KING: Thank you for coming, Iris.

FINSILVER: I can't talk about the attorney/client privilege.

KING: Quite a pleasure meeting you.

FINSILVER: But, I'm happy to be here, Larry.

KING: Very happy to have you. What about her emotionally? She was quite emotional today, so, without going into specifics, does that surprise you?

FINSILVER: No, it doesn't surprise me a bit, because, you can imagine what it would be like to face, for anybody, to face their ex- husband, somebody that they've had issues with, and they're dealing with their children, and the most important things in their lives -- it would be very difficult, I would expect, for anybody under that kind of circumstance, to go into a criminal trial and have to -- have to answer questions.

KING: And all reports were that she was friendly for the defense -- she looked at over at him appealingly -- but she's also in a lawsuit with him. Is there a conflict here? In her own -- emotionally, without going into specifics, it seemed strange if you're suing someone to also be favorable to them.

FINSILVER: You know, this is what I was saying. It's very difficult to put yourself in somebody's shoes, when you're fighting for your children, for the things that are most important in your life, and she was called by the prosecution. I can't really get into that.

KING: Were you surprised that the prosecution called her?

FINSILVER: Yes, I was, in the beginning, yes.

KING: Because everyone was saying she was going to say that she was coached in what to say and she said she wasn't coached in what to say.

FINSILVER: You know, I don't know what she testified to because I wasn't in the courtroom.

KING: How did you become -- how did you get to be her attorney?

FINSILVER: We started out with a friendship about 16 or 17 years ago.

KING: When she was a nurse?

FINSILVER: She was a nurse. She was working for Dr. Klein.

KING: Famous Dr. Klein.

FINSILVER: Yes, Arnold Klein in Beverly Hills. And, she and I became really very close, and I admired her qualities. She's a really down-to-earth, hard-working, honest, decent person. She's really a fine human being.

KING: How did she handle losing her children, emotionally?

FINSILVER: This is something that I feel uncomfortable talking about, because of the attorney/client privilege, so whatever she would have said to me, you know, about losing her children.

KING: What was your reaction to her as a mother? You said she was loving and everything.


KING: It must be horrible to go through life without being able to be with your own children.

FINSILVER: Well, that's why I've been fighting so hard. I really -- I believe in her position. I believe in her position very strongly, and I've been fighting for a long time and I've been fighting a very hard battle.

KING: It's been said, all of the panelists have said on previous nights, if Michael were convicted, she would get the children. So, in a sense, wouldn't she root for him to be convicted?

FINSILVER: I don't know that she would root -- if she believed -- I don't know what she believes in her mind, but, if, in her mind, hypothetically speaking, if she didn't believe that he committed a crime, I don't think that she would want an innocent person to go to jail.

KING: Even if it benefited her?

FINSILVER: I -- She's not that kind of person. She's a very nice person.

KING: In an interview that aired on "Entertainment Tonight" last fall, Debbie Rowe was asked about her fears, gave very a cryptic answer. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DEBBIE ROWE, MICHAEL JACKSON'S EX-WIFE: I have fears I can't talk about, and I wouldn't. And my biggest fear is that those fears happen. And I can't stop it.


KING: Why weren't you allowed in court?

FINSILVER: Because we were both -- you're talking about today?

KING: Because you testified, too?

FINSILVER: I was called as a witness today and I testified today. So I -- they like to keep the witnesses apart from one another so I couldn't hear.

KING: What were you asked? You can say that, because we're going to report that in a minute, so, what were you asked?

FINSILVER: I was asked...

KING: You can't be gagged about something that's already happened. This, I know.

FINSILVER: I was asked about a taping -- a taped interview that occurred in 2003 -- what I observed, what I heard.

KING: Was this the interview that she did in response to the interview that harmed him?

FINSILVER: The Bashir interview?

KING: Yes. This is the post-Bashir interview?

FINSILVER: Yes, that's what I was asked about.

KING: You were asked about that. You weren't on the stand very long?

FINSILVER: Not very long at all. No.

KING: Did the defense cross-examine you?

FINSILVER: No, they excused me right away.

KING: Did you feel strange, being a lawyer, sitting up there?

FINSILVER: Yes, it's an odd sensation, sitting, looking at the people in the audience, as compared to facing the judge and making your argument to the judge, or the jury, yes.

KING: Tell us about what we don't know about Debbie Rowe.

FINSILVER: Well, I think that people don't understand the difficulties, the real difficulties, that she's had, being thrust into the public spotlight. I don't think that they understand why she's made certain decisions that she's made, but that's because people don't know what happened along the way. They don't know what happened at step A, that led to step B, that led to step C. I don't think they know how loyal and giving and generous -- she's a really great girl. She really is. She's interesting. She's full of life. She's very private. So, she hasn't been on television. She hasn't discussed her life, and I think that people would not really know how kind and sweet she is.

KING: Wouldn't it help, when this is over, for her to go on television, to get -- the medium is the message?

FINSILVER: That's what I think, but I don't tell her whether she should go on television or not.

KING: But you could advise her.

FINSILVER: I can advise her.

KING: That's what lawyers do right?


KING: We'll be back with more with Iris Joan Finsilver. That's an unusual name.


KING: What's the derivation of Finsilver?

FINSILVER: I -- it's from the -- Denmark.

KING: Ah-ha, the north country.


KING: We'll take a break -- be back with more. Don't go away.


ROWE: My kids don't call me mom because I don't want them to. They're not -- they're Michael's children. It's not that they're not my children, but I had them because I wanted him to be a father. I believed that there are people who should be parents, and he's one of them.




ROWE: He looked at me puzzled. And I said, let me do this. I want to do this. You've been so good to me. You're such a great friend. Please, let me do this. I said, you need to be a dad. I want to do this.


KING: We're with Iris Joan Finsilver. She testified today. And she's the attorney for Debbie Rowe.

What do you know about the marriage?

FINSILVER: I know they're divorced.

KING: I know but there's so many questions about it. Was there sex involved in that marriage?

FINSILVER: I don't know. I wasn't in the bedroom.

KING: They're her children, though?

FINSILVER: They are her children.

KING: She gave birth to them?

FINSILVER: She gave birth to two of the three children -- to Prince Michael and to Paris Catherine.

KING: Does she dislike the spotlight?


KING: What does she do?

FINSILVER: Well, she has a horse ranch now. She loves animals. She devotes herself to animals. You know, I told you she's a sharing, generous, caring person. She now has 12 horses. And she has one horse that's having a baby, maybe as we speak.

And so while she was up at the trial she kept calling and asking how the horse is doing. And she's very concerned. And she takes care of the horses. She takes care of the tack room and the barn and all of those.

KING: Was it hard for her, Iris, to look at Michael? She hadn't seen him in a long while, right?

FINSILVER: You know, Larry, like I told you, I didn't talk to her about what happened in the courtroom today. She testified. And as soon as she finished testifying this morning, I went into the courtroom, and I gave my few minutes of testimony.

KING: How has she dealt with the bad publicity she's gotten over apparently accepting money in lieu of having the reunion with the children. How has she dealt with that?

FINSILVER: Well, it's devastating, of course. You know, for her to hear, oh, she sold her children to Michael Jackson...

KING: What is the true story?

FINSILVER: Well, that's not the true story. That is not the true story.

KING: She did not sell the children -- in a sense sell?

FINSILVER: No. No, absolutely not. But that's what she has to listen to, and it's very painful.

KING: Why doesn't she have partial custody, then?

FINSILVER: Well, we're working on something.

KING: How did she lose that? It's hard for a mother to not have some custody of her own children?

FINSILVER: I wish I could tell you more. I can't. There is...

KING: There's no gag order in a civil case.

FINSILVER: No, there's no gag order. But it's a confidential proceeding. And it's proceeding along -- the family law matter is proceeding with long with Steven Lax. He's a private judge -- private, retired judge. And everything in that proceeding is very confidential.

KING: Is his decision binding?

FINSILVER: It can be appealed. And now that you mention it, there are currently two matters up on appeal in the court of appeals.

KING: He's already ruled on?

FINSILVER: There's different issues. Family law is not just one matter, it's many different issues. And there's one issue that's in the court of appeals, and that's public record.

KING: It's not public?

FINSILVER: That's public, yes.

KING: Which was that?

FINSILVER: Well, there was one order reinstating Debbie's parental termination. There was a parental termination proceeding. And we were successful in getting that set aside. And Michael's counsel has appealed that decision.

KING: I see.

So you're now in the ball's bouncing in the air kind of thing.


KING: As an attorney with some experience, are you confident she's going to get at least partial custody back of those children?

FINSILVER: In my opinion?

KING: Yes.

FINSILVER: Yes. Otherwise, I wouldn't be working so hard on this matter. Yes, I think that she should.

KING: And just to reiterate, the reason she doesn't have them is not because she took money?


KING: It was not a financial deal?

FINSILVER: No. No, it was not.

KING: When it's all over, Iris, you're coming back.

FINSILVER: Thanks very much, Larry. I appreciate it.

KING: Iris Joan Finsilver, the attorney for Debbie Rowe. We'll meet our panel and get into it right after this.


ROWE: We are a family unit. Michael and I will always be connected with the kids. I will always be there for him. I will always be there for the children. And people make remarks, oh, I can't believe she left her children. Left them? I left my children? I did not leave my children. My children are with their father where they're supposed to be.



KING: Before we get started, I want to repeat a disclosure I made before. I have been served by the defense in the Michael Jackson case, but I cannot talk about the circumstances related to that subpoena.

Let's meet our panel. In Santa Maria at the courthouse, Ted Rowlands, correspondent covering the trial. Also there is Jane Velez- Mitchell, correspondent with Celebrity Justice. In Washington, Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson spokesperson. And the courthouse Michael Cardoza, defense attorney, former Alameda County prosecutor, was also in court today. And in New York, Susan Filan, assistant state's attorney for the state of Connecticut, former defense attorney. Usually they go the other way. She went from defense to prosecution. She has also attended some of the trial.

What was the highlight of the day, Ted?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was more Debbie Rowe prosecution witness, testifying for the defense. It appeared, she was basically brought on to tie Michael Jackson to this conspiracy. And it was thought that she would be able to accomplish that, because Jackson himself called her on the phone and urged her participation in this rebuttal video. She testified to that yesterday.

But today, she blew that out of there, by basically distancing Jackson from these co-conspirator saying that in her mind she thought they were hiding thing from Michael and that they were profiting at Michael's expense. At one point she called them opportunistic vulture. So that backfired.

And then, again, she expressed her -- what seems to be love for Michael. She broke down on the stand, looked at him, while describing him saying he's a wonderful father. He's a very generous to a fault person and a great person around children.

The day started with Thomas Mesereau filing a motion to get rid of Debbie Rowe. It ended with Thomas Mesereau at the end of cross smiling and saying, your honor, we withdraw that motion. Clearly the defense was very pleased with her testimony.

KING: Susan Filan, as an assistant state's attorney, what do you make of a witness who you call who appears to be for the defense?

SUSAN FILAN, ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY: It sounds like she changed her mind, Larry. And maybe for two reasons. One, maybe she had an ulterior motive all along to get on this witness stand, because it seems very clear that she has a pure connection from her heart to Michael Jackson that may be completely delusional on her part. She wants back in Neverland. She never did share a home with him, she never did live with him. But she wants back in. And maybe it was her plan all along to get on the witness stand and kind of coo to Michael to make him want her back.

It could also be that he got to her. Again, the prosecution's theory is here's a guy who has got the ultimate amount of resources, can get to anybody, even through his svengali-like personality, or through his limitless resources. And maybe he got to her too. But I think that the prosecution was right not to treat her as a hostile witness and start to impeach her and make a big deal out of it. Because, again, she isn't the key to this case. She isn't the linchpin to this case. She's one small piece of corroboration to the mother's...

KING: I got you.

FILAN: ...the accuser's mother's testimony that she was told to say on a video what have she was told to say.

KING: Jane Velez-Mitchell, in your opinion, how much did she hurt the prosecution?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CELEBRITY JUSTICE: I think it was absolutely devastating. I ran into one of the folks on the prosecution team. He just looked at me and he said, I need a vacation, and I think that said it all. Our sources at "Celebrity Justice" tell us, our prosecution sources tell us, that they were taken completely by surprise. Prosecution sources insist that Debbie Rowe told them a different story and other sources tell us that the real key to this whole mystery could lie in the custody battle. They say there's another custody hearing coming up in about a month, and they wonder if suddenly all the visitation and the custody and the outstanding money issues will suddenly be resolved.

KING: Michael Cardoza, now, what do you make -- by the way, could the prosecution have asked her, didn't you tell us something different?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, absolutely, they could have. You know, I can't help but think of the Peterson case where we had stealth jurors, and now we have stealth witnesses coming into the court and decimating a large portion of the prosecution case. And what I kept thinking was, you put her on the stand -- before you put her on the stand, you made an offer of proof to the judge, to Judge Melville. You told Judge Melville that Debbie Rowe was going to come into this courtroom and was going to say that her video was scripted. She comes in and she says the exact opposite. Well, if you made that offer of proof, then Debbie Rowe must have told you that, so why didn't you impeach her with that information to show, say Debbie, didn't you tell us up in the office that it was scripted? Why have you changed your mind? None of that. So...

FILAN: But, Larry -- Larry, I think that that would have been worse, to start to beat up on a woman who, I think, might be pretty transparent to the jury. She might look pretty pathetic. She wants Michael Jackson. She doesn't really want her kids back. All of this is a ploy to get back to him and to get back to the connection that she wanted with him. To start beating up on her, I think, is to blow it all out of proportion, because, again, she's just going to corroborate one small piece of the accuser's mother's testimony. It isn't the end of the world.


FILAN: And the whole hype about finishing with a bombshell witness and it has to be a grand finale -- I don't think it's what they were doing. I don't think that's what they were aiming to do toward putting her on toward the end.

KING: All right. Let me get a break, and we want to get Raymone Bain's reaction, if she can tell us what Michael's reaction was, if she spoke to him, and then more of the panel after this. Don't go away.


KING: Raymone Bain, have you spoken to Michael today since the testimony?


KING: And what did he say regarding Deborah's testimony?

BAIN: Well, you know, Larry, we did not specifically talk about Deborah, but in generalities, Michael said, you know, hopefully people will know, when this is all said and done, that what I said from the beginning is true, and that I'm innocent of these charges, and I haven't molested a kid.

And Larry, I want to say something, I think to Susan. I am just sitting here, appalled at the fact that she would infer that Michael Jackson has bought off Deborah Rowe or any other witness. I think, at some point, some of these analysts should just look at this case and realize that it's discombobulating for the prosecution. Are we going now to be accused of paying off witnesses because somebody on the prosecution's team didn't do their due diligence? And this is not the first time they haven't done their due diligence.

KING: All right, that's it. Susan, is that a good point? Fair or not, you don't know that there were -- anything like that took place. Did the prosecution maybe just goof?

FILAN: No, I don't think it's a fair point at all. I'm not inferring that Michael Jackson bought off a witness, per se.

BAIN: But...

FILAN: Excuse me, I'm saying that, maybe somebody got to her, or maybe, alternatively, she had her own reasons for changing her mind. I don't think the prosecution goofed. I think they interviewed her. I think she surprised them, and I don't think one witness saying something other than what the prosecution expected them to say is the end of the world. I think we're blowing this all out of proportion. Again, she corroborates a small piece of the accuser's mother's testimony. So she didn't testify that way. The case isn't discombobulating yet. It's way, way too early.

First, of all, the prosecution still gets to put on its case through the defense's cross-examines. It still has its rebuttal and it still has its closing argument. The $64,000 question is, if Mesereau stood up and said, the defense rests, what have we then? And that's -- that's...

BAIN: Well, let me just say, Larry, let me just say that, it's looking a little weak, and Mr. Mesereau has not put on his case. And I've been in the court and I have been watching these reports and seen the summaries and, I'm sorry, but you have to be honest, and right now, based on -- and I agree with what Michael said, every single day we're hoping that people will see that, when he said that he was innocent, he was.

KING: Right. OK. I don't want -- let's not get redundant.

FILAN: But you just tell me...

KING: Hold on, let's look at -- Jane Velez, as a reporting stand point, is the prosecution in trouble?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think they are. They've gone very far afield by focusing so much on the conspiracy case. The heart of this case is the allegation of molestation, and we haven't been hearing a lot about that. We've been hearing so much about this conspiracy, particularly the weakest part of the conspiracy case, so the called scripting -- the accuser's mother said that her rebuttal interview was scripted. It lasted an hour at least. The prosecutor said Debbie Rowe's was scripted. It lasted several hours. Anybody who knows anything about scripting and memorization, it's hard to memorize one minute of dialogue, much less hours and hours. So, there was a lack of logic on the part of this concept of trying to prove that it was scripted. You could you say bullet points, you could say coached, but to say scripted, really puts you in a corner that's hard get to out of it.

KING: Ted Rowlands, have they gone off message?

ROWLANDS: Well, I don't know about that. I'm not going to criticize this prosecution team because I think anyone who's in that courtroom knows that they are very competent. Ron Zonin, who's doing the direct examination of many of the witnesses, is one of the best examiners I've ever seen. He's very conversational. He's smart as a whip. They most likely were caught off guard today, and I'm sure they underestimated the accuser's mother's affect on this case and her demeanor on the stand.

That said, I think that they have a long way to go here and I wouldn't underestimate them at all. I'm sure they have a plan on how to combat this, and I do agree with Susan, in that this is a small issue in the grand scheme of things. Does the conspiracy thing -- case -- look a little weak right now? It's definitely shaky, but is it over? By no means is it over.

KING: Michael, why are they harping on the conspiracy when, as Jane pointed out, the big thing is the treatment with the child?

CARDOZA: Well, that's where they get all the emotional-type evidence in, through the conspiracy. The conspiracy lets in a lot of evidence that wouldn't normally come in, in a trial. And I, too, would focus -- if I were still prosecuting, I'm not sure I would have filed the conspiracy charges here, because they brought up a lot of ancillary issues that have been -- that have blown up right in their face.

They have one issue in this case, and that is, did Michael Jackson molest the accuser? They should have stuck with that. They should have put a short number of witnesses on, just to address that issue. I think they've hurt their case by going down this road.

KING: We'll take a break. And by the way, we will run about five minutes over past the top of the hour, because of the press conference running over. So we get the full hour in. So there will be two more segments. We'll be right back.


KING: Let's go to a call. Tucson, Arizona, hello. Tucson, hello. Are you there?

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, speak.

CALLER: OK. Yes, Susan, I do feel that you are saying that somehow that someone is paying Debbie Rowe off to say what she said today. I just think it's interesting that she went out to dinner with the prosecution last night. Don't you think they would have talked to her and coached her what to say?

FILAN: No, no, no, that's a misimpression. You don't coach a witness, you don't tell a witness what to say. You prepare a witness by letting them know what the subject matter of the testimony is going to be.

And the whole thing about getting to her, maybe she got to herself by believing that somehow by coming on in a friendly manner is going to get her somewhere with Michael that she wants to go that he apparently has absolutely no interest. She hasn't seen her kids in about two-and-a-half years. She hasn't been with them or seen them in many, many (INAUDIBLE), but she's holding out a torch for him for some reason.

KING: Isn't it possible, Susan, that she's just telling the truth?

FILAN: Here's why I think that's not possible, Larry. This is why -- and I have two points on this. First of all, she said on the witness stand that she lied during the video, and the second thing that I found was very interesting about her testimony is when they asked her questions about Michael Jackson's sexuality. Is he gay? No, he's not. Is he a good father? Yes, he is. They asked her about hers. Did you have sex with him? Were you artificially inseminated? She said, that's none of your business, I'm not going there.

She comes out with an agenda, to vindicate Michael, but not to talk about herself, and I thought that was very telling. I don't think juries miss a trick in the courtroom, and I think we're blowing this out of proportion.

KING: Michael, what do you make of that? Michael?

CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, I sat in that courtroom, I saw her. And to say those district attorneys shouldn't have turned on her and asked her whether she didn't tell them something different? You're absolutely wrong. I prosecuted for 15 years. I didn't go from defense to DA. I went from DA to defense. I've done it for 15 years. When a witness does that to you as a prosecutor, you've got to show that they changed their mind and then try and delve into why did you change your mind.

FILAN: No, there's strategy.

CARDOZA: You do that.

FILAN: You don't have to on every -- you make your decisions and you pick your fights.

CARDOZA: You had to see Debbie in the courtroom. You had to see her to do it. As you know, when you put witnesses on, it is touchy- feely, and believe me, they should have done it in this instance.

I'll tell you what...


CARDOZA: ... if I were the judge in this case -- let me finish, please. If I were the judge in this case, I would have called them to the bench, the DAs and say, you made an offer of proof to me, where you said Debbie Rowe was going to say it was scripted. When she hit that stand, she said it was not scripted. You didn't come back on redirect, take her as a hostile witness and say, "you told me before that it was scripted." Where did you get that information to make that offer of proof to me, Mr. District Attorney? It would be really interesting to see what their answer would be.

And then what were they talking about at dinner last night? I mean, why wouldn't they talk? I agree, you don't coach people, but you certainly say if they ask you this, what will you respond to that? That's not coaching them, but it certainly tells you as a DA what they're going to say, so you are prepared. So to say these guys were shocked by that shocks me.

FILAN: Well, I really, again, think that unless you're standing in those shoes -- and yes, you did stand in them, yes, and I do stand in them -- but unless you're in your own case at your own moment, you can't tell what somebody else's strategy should be. And they're going on their instincts at a moment like that, and I think you just have to trust their gut.

I think we're second-guessing them to a fare-thee-well, and I don't think that's particularly fair.

KING: All right, let me get a break, and I want to get more -- we're going to do another segment, we'll run over because of the press conference running late. So we'll come back and get other comments from Ted Rowlands, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Raymone Bain, Michael Cardoza and Susan Filan.

And by the way, tomorrow night, Lisa Marie Presley will be the special guest.

We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with an additional segment of LARRY KING LIVE because of running over because of the press conference.

Let's get another call in. Macon, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Hello there, how's it going?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: All right, great. Susan, first off, please stop spinning, you're starting to look desperate right now.

FILAN: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you? CALLER: But this question is for Jane -- you're looking desperate with your spin. But this message is for Jane. So much has been made about Rudy Provencio and his bombshell testimony. Since all these other witnesses have come forward and they kind of fizzled out, do you still think Rudy is going to be this big, huge bombshell for the prosecution?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it's the closest to a bombshell that we're going to get. He's expected to take the stand, we believe, early next week. The phone records of Rudy Provencio's were put up on the big Elmo screen today, and guess what? We did some research on the number he called over and over again. It is the number of Mark Schaffel, one of the alleged unindicted co-conspirators. They are setting up right now the conversations that he said he had with the whole gang, including, he says, Michael Jackson, in which they talked in detail about this alleged conspiracy.

If he in fact delivers, he could be the bombshell witness.

KING: Ted Rowlands, do you agree?

ROWLANDS: Well, I think that whatever he has to say is going to be tempered by what Debbie Rowe said, because she painted Schaffel and the other co-conspirators as being Jackson's enemies. And if Rudy is just going to talk about what dastardly deeds Schaffel did, I don't think that's going to get them anywhere in tying Jackson to this conspiracy.

They do have phone records that they've put into evidence. I'm sure they're going to bring on an investigator to tie all that up. Could be interesting, but the problem is, Michael Jackson doesn't have his own cell phone. So there again, how are you going to tie him in through phone records? We'll see. They've got a couple of days left. And then as Susan pointed out, they've got their rebuttal and their close.

KING: Raymone, is Michael concerned about his testimony?

BAIN: Well, Larry, Michael basically has indicated to me that he feels that, at the end of the day, he's going to be exonerated of the charges...

KING: I know, we keep saying.

BAIN: He does.

KING: Yeah, that's what you keep saying.

BAIN: But you know, he doesn't...

KING: Specifically, is he concerned about this man? He's not concerned about anything?

BAIN: Well, Larry, he has a great deal of confidence in his attorneys, and we don't get on the phone and talk about one witness after the other like that. KING: You don't?

BAIN: If he has -- no. If he has indicated some concern, he's probably done that to Mesereau. But when I talk to him, he talks to me about how he's feeling about the overall case, and we talk in terms of how he feels after each testimony.

KING: That's what I meant.

BAIN: But to sit there and talk and find out, well, are you scared about this witness? Well, he said something close to this. And he's indicated that, you know, he's not going to be intimidated by any of these witnesses, because he maintains his innocence.

KING: Are you saying he's confident?

BAIN: I think he feels very confident in his legal team, and he's confident that the truth will come out. That's what he feels confident about.

KING: OK. Michael, should he be confident?

CARDOZA: You know, in a jury trial, no, he shouldn't be confident. You can be optimistic, but I'll tell you what, don't let your guard down. Look what everybody said about Peterson. Look what happened at the end of Peterson.

I'll tell you, this is a jury trial. This case is one of emotion. When children are molested, or at least when you're accused of molesting children, you're pushing every emotional button of every person on that jury. Be careful. This trial isn't over, even though it seems to be going the defense's way right now.

KING: Susan, should the prosecution...

BAIN: Well, what I said, Larry, was that he was...

KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead, Raymone. Go ahead.

BAIN: I said, now let me make sure that you all understood me here. I said Michael felt confident in his attorneys and he felt confident that, at the end of the trial, he would be acquitted of the charges. But I didn't say that he goes into court confident based on what one witness or another has said. He feels a lot of -- he has a lot of confidence in his defense team.

KING: I got you. Susan, should the prosecution be concerned?

FILAN: This is a very difficult case to prove. It's a very complicated case. Child molestation cases, by their very nature, are difficult to prove. They're doing a yeoman's job trying to put their case forward. But, again, whenever you put anything to a jury, if a jury is conscientious and hard-working, you give it to them. You say to them, this is a search for the truth. You've heard what everybody has to say. You go back there and tease it apart. Should they be concerned? Any prosecutor trying a case should be concerned. Because you never know how it's going to sound to a jury. It's a tough, tough case. And I have to tell you, it's a complicated case. Look how much debate it's generated night after night after night amongst the experts and the analysts. This is a really fascinating, complicated case.

KING: And we're all guessing for 12 people. Thank you all very much. Ted Rowlands, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Raymone Bain, Michael Cardoza and Susan Filan, for joining us tonight. The aftermath of today's events in the Jackson trial. Prosecution is supposed to wind up Tuesday, and then the defense takes over.

Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Lisa Marie Presley is our special guest.

It's time for "NEWSNIGHT." Five minutes late, but better late than never. Aaron Brown is off tonight, so who sits in? Who else? Anderson Cooper, he's -- oh, it's New York, it must be Anderson. No, it's Thursday; it must be Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper, our 24- hour man, now takes over. I like the tie.

ANDERSON COOPER, GUEST HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": Mr. King, thank you very much. I'll send you an identical one. We can (INAUDIBLE) matching ties.

KING: It's purple, right? It's purple?

COOPER: Yeah, it's purple. Sure.

KING: I like that color.

COOPER: All right. Larry, thanks very much.


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