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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Hillary Clinton Under Fire; Confessed Killer Walks Free; The Royal Stranger

Aired January 17, 2006 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us.
Tonight, a story that will make you wonder why a grieving mother who suffered an unspeakable loss can't find justice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN "Outside the Law" -- a shocking crime that took a child's life.

JENNIFER WATTS, SON KILLED BY BOYFRIEND: One day, you know, he was running around and he was playing. And, the next day, he was gone.

ZAHN: The killer has confessed, but police can't do anything about it -- the outrage over justice denied.

The uproar uptown -- her speech at a Harlem church has Republicans furious.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you know what I'm talking about.

ZAHN: Is Hillary Clinton out of bounds, or is she just preaching to the choir?

And in tonight's "Eye Opener," the royal stranger -- he said he was a British royal in Minnesota for his health.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would somebody who hangs out with a queen come to our school? That didn't add up in our heads.

ZAHN: Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, just wait until you see what he's hiding about his lurid sexual past.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We start tonight with a bizarre murder mystery. It has taken years, but the case has finally been solved with a confession. And would you believe that police can't do anything about it?

Ted Rowlands explains why the killer may be permanently "Outside the Law."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On a Sunday morning 15 years ago in this Salt Lake City house, something terrible happened to a 2-year-old boy. His name was Paul Watts. They used to call him P.J.

JENNIFER WATTS, SON KILLED BY BOYFRIEND: One day, you know, he was running around and he was playing. And I was running after him, you know? And, the next day, he was gone.

ROWLANDS: Since he appeared as the New Year's baby in a local newspaper, P.J.'s mother, Jennifer Watts, says her son was a special little boy.

WATTS: He was innocent. And he was outgoing. And he was spoiled. And he was just starting to really talk and walk.

ROWLANDS: Jennifer Watts found P.J. dead in his crib. She had been to church that morning, leaving her son with her boyfriend for a few hours. She says P.J. was fine when she left. And, when she came home, she thought he was sleeping.

WATTS: Hours had gone by. And I hadn't heard anything out of the baby's room. And, so, I -- I decided to check on him. And, then, that's when I found him.

ROWLANDS: Two days later, Michael Lane, Jennifer's live-in boyfriend of two months, was arrested for murder.

DETECTIVE LEAVITT, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have a gentleman that's in -- in a house by himself, has got no explanation and is not offering any kind of an explanation as to how this child, who is two-and-a-half-year-old, sustained such violent injuries.

ROWLANDS: An autopsy revealed that P.J. Watts died as a result of multiple head injuries.

LEAVITT: The child died of a subdural hematoma, with bleeding in the brain.

ROWLANDS: The medical examiner estimated the time of death to be some time Sunday. And since Michael Lane was the only one home alone with the child, police thought he had to be guilty. But Michael Lane denied that he had done anything wrong.

LEAVITT: He at the time, from the reports, stated he didn't know what happened to the child and that he was not rough with the child and had no explanation as to how those injuries occurred to the child.

WATTS: I felt like they weren't pursuing all the avenues, you know? I felt like they just were looking at Mike, and that was it.

ROWLANDS: At trial, Jennifer Watts stood by her boyfriend, while Lane's attorney tried to introduce other possibilities to explain how P.J. Watts may have died. They attacked the timeline, arguing that the estimated time of death wasn't exact, and the injuries could have occurred any time over a three-day period.

CHARLES LOYD, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL LANE: During those 72 hours, there was just no way to know who had been in and out of the house. It was only a two-hour period of time there where Michael was, basically, alone with the child.

ROWLANDS: Another theory was that maybe it was an accident. According to Jennifer, P.J. had hit his head on this coffee table the morning he died. As you can see, in these crime-scene photos, that theory was looked into my police, but ruled out by the medical examiner.

JO FACER, JURY FOREPERSON: There was a great deal of reasonable doubt brought up almost from the very beginning.

ROWLANDS: After a weeklong trial and four hours of deliberation, the jury found Michael Lane not guilty.

FACER: There was always those questions. You know, was it really murder? I wasn't ever really sure it was.

ROWLANDS: And there was also Jennifer Watts.

JAMES COPE, PROSECUTOR: I think that some of the jurors may have said, well, if she can't be sure about this, or if she's not convinced of this, how can we be convinced of this?

FACER: She seemed to be all wrapped up in herself. You know, everything that she talked about on the stand seemed to, you know, center more around herself and her relationship with him, and the boy- was-just-maybe-in-the-way kind of thing.

I think it was the right decision, as far as Mr. Lane was concerned. I -- I never believed that he did it.

ROWLANDS: Michael Lane and Jennifer Watts continued to see each other for several years after the trial, until:

WATTS: He kicked the dog, and the dog's leg was broken, and, I mean, bad broken. And, at that moment, when I saw that, I -- I even looked at him. And I said, that's what happened that night -- that day. I said, you -- you lost your temper. P.J. was crying, and -- and you lost your temper, and that's what happened, right?

ROWLANDS: Lane continued to deny it, until, out of the blue, almost 15 years after P.J. Watts was killed.

MICHAEL LANE, EX-BOYFRIEND OF JENNIFER WATTS: Michael Douglas (ph) Lane.

ROWLANDS: Michael Lane walked into a Salt Lake City police station and confessed.

LANE: I was responsible for Paul's death, and I just want that to be known.

ROWLANDS: Lane told police, the morning of the murder, he was high on meth, and P.J. was crying after his mother left.

LANE: I had him on the floor. And when I pulled his diaper off, picked him up, I was being rough and mean. He fell back down and he stopped crying for a minute. Then he started crying again. So, I picked him up and threw him back down again. I probably did this a couple of times.

At one point, he kind of went out, passed out. It freaked me out. I put him in his crib. Mom came home later that night, went in, and he was dead.

LEAVITT: He said he came in to -- he was prepared to face whatever consequences he may face and go to jail, if -- if he needed to. He wanted to put this behind him and get it off his conscience.

ROWLANDS: Lane told police he came in to confess on the advice of his bishop. He says he has never hurt anybody else, but he didn't seem to have a reason why he killed P.J. Watts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes you think that slamming a two-and- a-half-year-old on the ground is going to make him be quiet?

LANE: I don't know.

WATTS: It's all real, and everything that I imagined is true. You know? And everything I have lived with all these years is true. And it's very hard to look back on everything and realize that I defended the man that killed my son.

ROWLANDS (on camera): When Michael Lane was finished confessing, he got up and simply walked out the front door of the Salt Lake City Police Department. There was no arrest, no handcuffs. Investigators simply let him go.

The reason, even though Michael Lane was now confessing to murder, it was a crime that he had already been tried and acquitted of. This was a clear case of double jeopardy.

ROBERT STOTT, SPOKESMAN, SALT LAKE CITY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: Not only can we not try him for the murder, but we couldn't try him for any lesser included charge. And because there's no transcript, and we believe he did not take to the stand during the trial, we can't -- neither can we charge him for perjury.

FACER: If you can't retry somebody, I feel bad, because -- but there was just so much there that said it was not him.

WATTS: He stole a part of me I can never get back. I'm a different person now, angry. It's not fair.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Jennifer Watts has moved out of state, but says she's had trouble moving on with her life. She says she thinks about her son, P.J., almost every day. He would be 17 now. She also says she wants Michael Lane to pay for what he did.

WATTS: That was a little life there. And that means something. And it needs to mean something to everybody. Nobody is held accountable for it, you know? And that's not right.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Salt Lake City, Utah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And Michael Lane refused CNN's request for an interview, but Jennifer Watts joins me now.

Thanks so much for being with us, Jennifer.

WATTS: Thank you.

ZAHN: So, we just heard in the piece preceding this that you stood by Michael Lane throughout the trial. Why?

WATTS: Well, ma'am, I just didn't believe that he was capable of doing such a heinous crime.

He was comforting me and -- and trying to convince me so much that -- that he didn't do anything and that he was innocent of this. I just didn't want to believe that I had subjected my child to somebody that was capable of this.

ZAHN: And then, some 15 years later, after you confronted him, and he denied that he had nothing to do with killing your son, you found out that he walked into a police station and actually confessed to his murder. What was your reaction?

WATTS: I was sick. I was heartbroken. I was devastated, the fact that he could walk in and confess, and then walk out and go on with his life, like he had did nothing. I felt like he was almost laughing at the police department and myself.

ZAHN: How much are you haunted by the fact that you stood by him in court as he was tried for your son's murder?

WATTS: Paula, I have held myself accountable for his actions through this whole 15 years.

I -- I have hated myself for standing by him. Once I accepted the truth, I just slipped into a world of anger and guilt. And, basically, I have done his life sentence.

ZAHN: And if Michael Lane is listening to you tonight, what do you want him to hear?

WATTS: You are exposed, Michael Lane, for what you are. And, no matter who you confess to or who you believe in, you are a child killer.

That's what I would say to him. ZAHN: Well, we're so sorry to have to join you under these circumstances, but we appreciate your helping us better understand what you have been through. Thank you, Jennifer.

WATTS: Thank you so much, Paula.

ZAHN: And, still to come, we change our focus quite a bit here. Did President Bush break the law by ordering secret wiretaps? I'm going to talk to a journalist who, just today, sued the Bush administration.

And you remember the last time the government was caught snooping on its citizens?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ATHAN THEOHARIS, FBI HISTORIAN: One could expect this to be done by "The National Enquirer." It should not be done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up, long-secret files opened at last -- what dirt did the FBI gather on the rich, famous and controversial?

And, a little bit later on, high school students flush out a fake royal. The would-be student wasn't a duke after all. But he was covering up an outrageous secret.

Also, is the TV in your bedroom ruining your sex life?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera. When a young duke arrived in Stillwater, Minnesota, with dazzling tales of British nobility, many people were taken in, except for four young student reporters. I will have the story of what they discovered coming up later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And, in our CNN "Security Watch" tonight, outrage over domestic spying. Were you upset when you found out the government is wiretapping U.S. citizens and doing it without court orders? Well, President Bush says it's necessary to catch terrorists and is perfectly legal. But some civil rights groups say it is illegal. And, today, they have sued to stop it.

Here's justice correspondent Kelli Arena.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Author James Bamford exposed some of the National Security Agency's secrets in two of his books. Now he says the agency may have invaded his privacy by eavesdropping on his conversations.

JAMES BAMFORD, AUTHOR, "PRETEXT FOR WAR": I have communicated to places that are target areas, and I have received communications from people who they -- the NSA may be interested in at some point.

ARENA: Bamford and others whose work involves the Middle East are bringing lawsuits against the government, arguing, the NSA's domestic spying program is illegal. The ACLU says the NSA has cast a net so wide that innocent Americans may be under surveillance.

ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: Clearly, we believe that we have articulated a very clear case of constitutional violations. That belief is shared by Republicans and Democrats alike.

ARENA: But neither lawsuit filed today offers any proof of eavesdropping, just what plaintiffs call well-founded fear.

BAMFORD: There is probably a good possibility, because of the type of communications that I engage in, which is discussing issues such as intelligence operations in Iraq, discussing things like the NSA's workings. These all could be trigger words. Some of the things that I'm talking about could be trigger words in the NSA's computer.

ARENA: But administration supporters say arguments like that won't hold up in court.

ANDREW MCBRIDE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think it is a stretch. And I think the government will argue that, under the law, these people lack standing, because there is absolutely no evidence that their communications were listened to or that this program intruded in any way on their speech with anyone.

ARENA: The Justice Department says the lawsuits are without merit. Ever since the classified program was outed in December, the administration has argued, it is not only legal, but necessary.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If it helps prevent one attack, it's a useful tool.

ARENA: Bamford and Other plaintiffs hope the lawsuits will help uncover whether that is indeed the case.

BAMFORD: This is really the only remedy. And if it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

ARENA: For now, all he's got is the government's word.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And with me now is journalist and "Vanity Fair" magazine columnist Christopher Hitchens. He's joined the ACLU lawsuit that was filed in Michigan today.

Always good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, "VANITY FAIR": Thanks for having me.

ZAHN: So, do you have any evidence that the U.S. government has spied on you?

HITCHENS: Well, I will say right away that I don't.

But the irony is at their expense, not mine. That's the whole background and nature of the suit. They say they have the right to do it to anyone, anytime, without a warrant. Those of us who are in regular communication with people all over the Middle East and Western Asia, and who travel to and from there, are, I think, entitled to say, well, if you're not watching me, you're not doing your job.

Well, that's it. I mean, we are -- we're not doing it not for ourselves, you understand, Ms. Zahn, but for others.

ZAHN: But would the U.S. government have a reason...

HITCHENS: Warrantless wiretapping -- warrantless wiretapping is unconstitutional.

And can I just say that your reporter was exactly right when he said that, until this was outed, the administration had no comment. You and I are not supposed to be having this conversation. We're not supposed to know that this is even a controversy. Well, now we do. And now the administration has changed its tone.

It doesn't say it's treason to be talking about it. It is going to have hearings in Congress next month, as it should have already, and it's going to face a lawsuit.

ZAHN: All right.

HITCHENS: And the courts will hear it.

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS: Good.

ZAHN: Chris, what's your reaction to what the White House is saying about this lawsuit? For starters, they say it is frivolous, that it will do nothing to enhance the civil rights of Americans, and that the Justice Department says your case is without merit...

HITCHENS: Well...

ZAHN: ... period.

HITCHENS: Well, frivolous, none of us are. I don't think our worst enemies would say that of us.

We're filing in the Eastern District of Michigan, which is the district, which in 1972, ruled that warrantless wiretapping of Americans was unconstitutional. And the Supreme Court eventually upheld that. It is called the Keith case. It did a lot of damage to the horrific Richard Nixon.

And, remember, when you think of that name, any power you give now to any government or administration or any right you surrender to it is surrendered for good. All future administrations can use that power any way they like. Is it no good to say, we're only using it to stop attacks, when they used to say, we're not doing it at all.

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS: What are they ashamed of?

ZAHN: Christopher, is there any instance where you would support domestic spying or unauthorized wiretaps in this war on terror?

HITCHENS: Well, you ask me domestic spying and all unauthorized wiretaps, that's tough.

Let me put it like this. There are people I can think of easily within the United States who the president should be impeached if he wasn't wiretapping. If you feel that you're on to someone or some group like that, you can wiretap them for 72 hours and still go to a judge and still ask for an authorization. It's still legal to do that.

ZAHN: Sure.

HITCHENS: That's pretty wide, I would say.

And, therefore, if you feel to that extent, I'm ready to sleep at night. But you notice that those who support this policy, which they kept secret from us until recently, now say, well, actually, we don't really like the original act at all. We -- we don't like the FISA that guarantees this or the courts that it sets up.

Well, in that case, they must go to Congress and ask for it to be changed. They can't act as if it's a law, but they don't have to obey it.

ZAHN: Well, we have got to leave it there tonight. We will be following your suit with a great deal of interest.

Christopher Hitchens, thank you.

HITCHENS: Frivolous, though, it is not. Thank you.

ZAHN: All right. Appreciate your time this evening.

And there are some new developments tonight in the story of a young American woman held captive in Iraq.

Erica Hill at Headline News has that and the hour's other top stories.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Paula, the kidnappers of an American journalist in Iraq are now threatening to kill her within 72 hours. The newly released video of Jill Carroll first aired today on the Arab-language network Al-Jazeera. According to the video, her captors are demanding the release of all female prisoners in Iraq. Twenty- eight-year-old Carroll has been working as a freelance reporter for "The Christian Science Monitor."

Just hours ago, her family pleaded for her safe return. They call her an innocent person whose stories showed a love for Iraq and for its people.

Back in this country, Oregon's assisted suicide law withstands the Supreme Court test. The court ruled 6-3 that the federal government cannot prosecute doctors who help terminally ill patients end their lives. So far, Oregon is the only state with such a law.

And former President Gerald Ford is said to be responding well to treatment for pneumonia. He's 92 and could be released from a California hospital by the weekend. We will continue to bring you the latest information on President Ford's condition as soon as we have it.

And, Paula, that's the latest at this hour from Headline News -- back over to you.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Erica. Appreciate it.

We covered the latest domestic spying controversy a few minutes ago, but did you know the government is only now opening its secret files from the last time it spied on U.S. citizens?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THEOHARIS: What the FBI was doing was picking up information, in some cases nothing more than malicious gossip about prominent individuals,

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Coming up, the dirty little secrets of the rich and famous, why did the government want this stuff?

And, a little bit later on, he claimed to be a member of British royalty, but he had a lurid secret all of his own. What was it? What was he trying to hide? And who discovered him?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Still ahead tonight, is the junior senator from New York seriously thinking about moving back into the White House? Just wait until you hear what she's saying about the Republicans this time. And is your TV causing trouble for your sex life? It might depend on what room of your home it's in. We will get to that a little bit later on.

Well, you have just seen the increasingly heated controversy over eavesdropping for reasons of national security. But why on earth would the government want to spy on showbiz celebrities? You're going to be amazed when you see what is inside FBI files kept for decades and released to the public not very long ago.

Deborah Feyerick brings us back to a time when the FBI kept one of the most startling scrapbooks on Hollywood's dirty laundry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call it the price of celebrity. If you were famous in the '50s, '60s and '70s, chances are the feds were watching, and what they saw could be used to manipulate.

Like funny man Bud Abbott's penchant for porn. He was accused of owning 1,500 films -- later cleared.

Liberace allegedly had a bookie in Buffalo and bet on horses.

And sitcom stars Lucy and Desi, off camera, suspected of being communists, tabloid gossip later proven false -- fascinating allegations, but it's their source that may surprise you -- confidential FBI files now public.

DR. ATHAN THEOHARIS, FBI HISTORIAN: The FBI in some cases acted as a squirrel organization, collected anything and everything, because it could be of value down the road.

FEYERICK: Dr. Athan Theoharis has written eight books on the FBI and made a career of studying what he calls its outrageous practices.

THEOHARIS: One could expect this to be done by "The National Enquirer." It should not be done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the taxpayers' dime.

FEYERICK: It was the era of counterintelligence programs, when paranoia about government subversion ran high, and celebrity muckraking was a bureau priority.

Experts say it's the way FBI Director Edgar Hoover, a closeted cross-dresser, did business.

LARRY MCSHANE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Hoover administration and the FBI was famous for sort of using leverage against people.

THEOHARIS: And they would leak it for example to friendly reporters or members of Congress.

FEYERICK: The files were neatly summarized in what the FBI calls high-visibility memorandums, and sent around the bureau, nearly 1,500 pages worth, stacked up, some 12 inches tall.

Pulitzer Prize-winning AP reporter Randy Herschaft requested the memos under the Freedom of Information Act.

RANDY HERSCHAFT, ASSOCIATED PRESS: We had documentation that these things existed, and they -- and they couldn't play around with us.

FEYERICK: It took him and fellow AP reporter Larry McShane seven months to get copies, and another month just to read them all.

(on camera): Copies of some of the most popular celebrity files are kept here, the reading room at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. There are millions of tidbits, gossip, allegations, dirty laundry about American icons. Not all of it's true. A lot of it is potentially embarrassing.

(MUSIC)

FEYERICK (voice-over): According to FBI files, John Lennon allegedly had plans to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. FBI agents ruled him out as a serious threat because of his -- quote -- "propensity for use of drugs."

BETTE DAVIS, ACTRESS: Just me and my big mouth.

FEYERICK: Bette Davis and Robert Blake were blackballed from playing parts in the TV series "The FBI." Davis was suspected of having communist sympathies and Blake allegedly made comments that Hoover took issue with.

(on camera): This is the reason they give is because he was interested in only playing bad guy roles and that killers aren't at fault, society is. So that blackballed him from this particular series.

THEOHARIS: Hoover didn't want that to be a representation on television of what the FBI was.

FEYERICK: The FBI insists not all public figures were under investigation. It was just a way of keeping tabs.

THEOHARIS: I think what the bureau did was outrageous because of the fact that it had no authority to do it. And it was also able to get away with it because we didn't know what they were doing.

FEYERICK: The FBI declined our requests for an interview but in the past said it no longer does this kind of thing. Theoharis is not so sure.

THEOHARIS: If it was done in the past, there is no reason to conclude it wouldn't be done again.

FEYERICK: Of course if a government agency did decide to gather embarrassing information on celebrities it would be much easier to do today. There's a lot more dirt out there on any given person and whole new generation of high tech tools to gather it.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Then there's this. The FBI could be dishing out more celebrity dirt in the future. That's because the agency doesn't release complete files to the public until after a person dies.

Coming up next, a young man's dizzying fall from grace. He claimed to be a duke with a very long name, as you'll see. But is he really a dangerous predator?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

"CASPIAN JAMES CRICHTON-STUART, FIFTH DUKE OF CLEVELAND": That's what the prosecution is trying to paint me as, as this big huge monster. Really I'm not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: What did he do? Why did he lie about his past? And was this whole royal thing a complete sham? Stay with us for his amazing interview from prison.

And a little bit later on, red meat politics from a blue state senator. Did you hear what she said about the Bush administration or the Republicans in Congress?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Still ahead tonight, do you watch TV when you're going to bed? Then it might be ruining your sex life. That's right. Jeanne Moos will have the scientific evidence in just a little bit.

But first, he said he was the Fifth Duke of Cleveland, a jet setting teenage member of British royalty who was thinking about enrolling in a Minnesota High School. But suspicious students who worked on the school's newspaper did some online snooping. And they unmasked much more than they bargained for.

Ed Lavandera looks at the case of the royal pretender in tonight's "Eye Opener."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It didn't take long for word of a royal arrival to spread through the quaint streets of Stillwater, Minnesota. After all, this eastern Minnesota town isn't known as a getaway for members of the British aristocracy.

So when a duke came to town, a young man who looked and sounded royal, a lot of people got excited.

"CHRICHTON-STUART": They think that because you're British royalty that you have a lot of privileges. The grass isn't always greener on the other side.

LAVANDERA: Those are the words of Caspian James Crichton Stuart IV, also known as The Fifth Duke Of Cleveland. He said he'd come to Stillwater to escape the limelight in England and for medical treatment at the nearby Mayo Clinic.

He had a fascinating tale to tell the students of Stillwater High School.

KARLEE WEINMANN, HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALIST: He said he was with Harry when Charles told him that his mother had died. And he said that the queen came into his bedroom once and told him to clean it.

LAVANDERA: Caspian's arrival couldn't help but draw the attention of four student journalists at the school newspaper. It wasn't often that a young British noble enrolled in a suburban high school. But after their first interview, they began to suspect something wasn't quite right.

MATT MURPHY, HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM STUDENT: He gave this 15- second long arrogant title. It didn't sit very well with me.

LAVANDERA: In a letter to the reporters, Caspian demanded to be addressed as Your Grace, anything less would be insulting. The stories continued. He talked of fencing with Prince Harry, of partying with American celebrities Josh Hartnett and Hillary Duff.

CHANTEL LEONHART, HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM STUDENT: When he started to do the name dropping with all the tales of Princess Diana and Prince Harry and William and when he started talking about the queen and how she just drops in at his palace. Just things like that were kind of like, OK.

WEINMANN: Why would somebody who hangs out with the queen come to our school? That didn't add up in our heads.

LAVANDERA: So these students started digging deeper. Too many details seemed strange. The business cards Caspian was handing out had a local area code on it. When they googled Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, this site popped up with the name Joshua Adam Gardner next to it. With that lead they called the British consulate in Chicago.

LEONHART: She verified that there are no Dukes of Cleveland. There is no Caspian James Crichton-Stuart anywhere.

LAVANDERA: The reporters knew then they had a phony royal on their hands.

MARISA RILEY, HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALIST: There were people that told us to stop the investigation, there's nothing more out there, that we shouldn't continue with it. We always maintained a level of skepticism.

LAVANDERA: But they still didn't know who Caspian really was. So they continued scouring the Internet for Joshua Gardner.

WEINMANN: Then the picture just popped up really big, took up the entire center part of the screen. And it was -- I don't even know what we thought.

That's what initially popped up on our screen.

LAVANDERA: Caspian is actually 22-year-old Joshua Adam Gardner, a registered sex offender from Minnesota.

WEINMANN: It was the most dramatic situation that could have been.

MURPHY: When it finally came up and all of our entire investigation and all our doubts came to fruition, it was absolutely astonishing and shocking at the same time.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Within days of the young reporters' discovery, Gardner was arrested for violating his parole. He was convicted at the age of 18 for an incident involving his 15-year-old girlfriend. We don't know much more than that because the case involves a juvenile. But this is where the story takes another bizarre turn.

(voice over): Joshua Gardner is now in jail in the county where he violated his parole. From the jailhouse he agreed to talk to CNN, to explain why he carried out this charade.

JOSHUA GARDNER, PHONY ROYAL: I just kind of had this title as a sex offender. People just look at me in a different way. I just made one huge mistake when I was 18, you know, that I'm just paying for it now.

LAVANDERA: Gardner says he was sexually abused as a child and that he struggled to deal with his mother's death.

GARDNER: Joshua obviously has a lot of problems going on that he hasn't dealt with. By becoming Caspian I really don't have any worries, I find it easier to talk to people and I find it easier to get along with people.

LAVANDERA: Caspian is Gardner's alter-ego, but investigators say he might have used the phony royal character to engage in what is being described as an inappropriate relationship with a student at the high school.

GARDNER: That's, you know, what the prosecution tries to paint me as, you know, as this big huge monster. And really, I'm not.

LAVANDERA (on camera): What happens to Caspian now?

CASPIAN: I guess Caspian's dead.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Gardner has dreams of Hollywood and performing for a bigger audience one day, but first he's apologizing to the friends he misled.

GARDNER: I'm really sorry for, you know, betraying their trust and hurting them more than anything.

LAVANDERA: The four young journalists are just happy the curtain has fallen on the Caspian act.

MURPHY: I don't feel sorry for him at all. I'm glad that he's behind bars and I hope he stays there for a long time. LAVANDERA: And around here, he should never expect the royal treatment, even if he does ever become truly famous.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Minnesota.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And those four journalists could be in for some good jobs when they are out of college and want to work full-time. Gardner, meanwhile, has been denied bail. His hearing for alleged probation violations is set for February 8th. He could be sent to prison for some 21 months.

Coming up, listen to what Senator Hillary Clinton has to say about how the Republicans are running Congress. Is this going too far?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you know what I'm talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So do you know what she's talking about? And could it be a run for the White House in 2008? We'll explore that next.

Then a little bit later on, a story that may have you rearranging the furniture in your bedroom, especially if you'd rather do something sexier than watch TV. We'll explain.

And then at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE", has Hollywood gone overboard on movies with gay themes?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: In the world of rough and tumble politics, Senator Hillary Clinton is once again front and center tonight. In a speech yesterday at a Martin Luther King event in New York, the former first lady blasted the way Republicans run the House of Representatives. She likened it to a plantation. Republicans are outraged, but as senior political correspondent Candy Crowley reports, a fight may be just what the senator from New York is looking for.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton!

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Dateline, Harlem, Martin Luther King Day.

CLINTON: When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you know what I'm talking about. CROWLEY: Oh, my goodness. Plantation? The suggestion that Republicans are running the place like slave owners? Just the thing that keeps talking heads talking.

From the right of center.

RON CHRISTIE, AUTHOR, "BLACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE": I think Senator Clinton should do one of two things. Either she should apologize to the American people for her outrageous remarks, or she should resign from the United States Senate.

CROWLEY: From the left of center.

ROLAND MARTIN, JOURNALIST: So I think she was correct to criticize the House and their actions, but she should simply not have used the plantation remark to do so.

CROWLEY: Friends and interested parties in the liberal side of the blogosphere point out that just three weeks before he led Republicans to control of the House, Congressman Newt Gingrich said of Democrats, "They think it is their job to run the plantation. It shocks them that I'm actually willing to lead the slave rebellion." And it is true that the senator's comments are not new, even for her.

CLINTON: They're running the House of Representatives like a fiefdom, with Tom DeLay as -- you know, in charge of the plantation.

CROWLEY: Still, politicians often say things that are overlooked until time and place change.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: When you're talking to an African-American audience on Martin Luther King Day and you accused the opposition of running a plantation, that definitely is using the race card. She knew the audience, knew what she was trying to say, and it was wrong. And she really -- you know, she should be ashamed.

CROWLEY: And there is a way to add this up and find a different kind of race.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: Sounds like the political season may be starting early.

CROWD: Hey, hey, no way!

CROWLEY: The most prominent presidential possibility in '08, Clinton has run afoul of the Democratic base, liberals who think she has been too moderate on the war, to go along, get along in the Senate, too soft on the president. Nothing is more central to Democratic success than the African-American voting bloc. Where better to show her alpha female side?

CLINTON: I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country.

CROWLEY: When Americans are focused on the legacy of Martin Luther King, said a Republican party spokeswoman, Hillary Clinton is focused on the legacy of Hillary Clinton.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Ouch. And then there's this. White House spokesman Scott McClellan, who you just saw a moment ago, went on to call Senator Clinton's comments quote, "out of bounds," while Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has called Senator Clinton's remarks "over the top."

"LARRY KING LIVE" gets underway in a few minutes from now. Hi, Larry. Who is joining you tonight and what are you going to be talking about?

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, Paula.

With the success of "Brokeback Mountain," an extraordinary movie, we'll have a panel looking at the whole issue of gays and straights and gay marriage. And We'll have two members of the gay community, two members of the heterosexual community, go at it. And I'll sort of be the referee. That's at the top of the hour with viewer phone calls -- Paula.

ZAHN: So you should probably get a pretty good conversation stoked there. We'll be watching.

KING: Thanks, dear.

ZAHN: Thanks, Larry. See you in about 13 minutes or so.

(MARKET REPORT)

ZAHN: Coming up next, the story I'm sure some of you have been waiting for. Is the TV set in your bedroom cutting down on your sex life?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you think it's been a sort of distraction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Especially around football time, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Let's be honest about it. Want more proof? Jeanne has got the latest study when we come back. Lots of opinions. Get ready.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: All right, if you got into the habit of watching T.V. in your bedroom, you might want to think about making a change. And the change right now. Why? Jeanne Moos explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Want to get turned on? Then you better turn off the T.V. because if the T.V.'s in the bedroom...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay tuned for scenes from the next "One Life to Live."

MOOS: ... it may have more of a sex life than you do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, if I can watch Eva Longoria get it on with some sexy gardeners, why would I have sex with my husband?

EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: I'd like to see what you've learned.

MOOS: A study of over 500 Italian couples shows that those who have a T.V. set in the bedroom have sex half as often as couples who don't have a set in the boudoir. This guy has one.

(on camera): And do you think it's been a sort of distraction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, especially around football time, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never had a T.V. in my bedroom. You're discouraging me now. I was thinking about it.

MOOS (voice-over): Well think about this. On average the couples in the study without a T.V. in the bedroom had sex eight times a month. The couples with a T.V. had sex only four times. Remember how we used to blame Johnny Carson for diminished desire? Watching T.V. in bed isn't exactly portrayed as hot stuff in movies like "Fargo."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm turning in, Norm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes?

MOOS: Only rarely does the T.V. inspire? Oh, sure, maybe a midnight cowboy remains oblivious to the charms of a T.V.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it because I'm a stable hand?

MOOS: But the rest of us are hooked.

(on camera): You guys have T.V. in your bedroom?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and I'm not getting rid of it.

MOOS (voice-over): Bad move, says sex and dating advice author Emma Taylor.

EMMA TAYLOR, AUTHOR: It's really messy, but there's no T.V.

MOOS: She practices what she preaches in her own bedroom. As for the study...

TAYLOR: ... It's one of those things where you're kind of like, "Well, duh." It's not even so much that it's time when you could be having sex, it's time when you could be having a conversation, which is more likely to lead to sex. MOOS: The Italian study showed some programs killed desire more than others. For instance, violence is said to quell passion more than, say, reality shows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let me ask you this. Has there been a study on whether Jeanne Moos is an aphrodisiac in the bedroom?

MOOS: If you're watching this on your bedroom T.V., don't start any action under the covers just yet, or you'll miss what happened when we told our favorite couple about the study.

(on camera): Have sex only half as much as couples who don't have T.V.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's think back. Do you remember years ago?

MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And then there's this. Experts advise making your bedroom a sanctuary. Use it only for sex and sleeping. Some of the most honored films at last night's Golden Globe Awards have something in common. Coming up, is Hollywood forcing gay culture on moviegoers? They'll debate that at the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE." We'll be right back, please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: All right, this is the time of the program when we give you a little time to hear your take on the stories we've been covering. We've heard from a lot of you about our update of allegations of mercy killings at New Orleans Memorial Hospital after Hurricane Katrina. And last night the city's district attorney told us that murder charges will be sought if an investigation shows medical staff killed patients at that hospital.

Connie, of Alameda, California, had this to say about the possibility that doctors or other staff could be facing charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And I just think this whole thing is atrocious. They were left to believe that nobody was coming. After two days, I would wonder if I would ever be rescued before starved to death or God knows what. I have nothing but compassion for those doctors at this point.

ZAHN: Well that certainly is one point of view. Of course we'll continue to keep you updated on that investigation in New Orleans. Let us know what you thought about some of the stories we covered here tonight. Leave us a voice-mail at 1-877-PAULA-NOW or e-mail us at HeyPaula@CNN.com. Love to hear from you. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. That wraps it up for all of us. Have a good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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