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Will New Book About Michael Jackson Reveal Bombshells?
Aired May 19, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE-VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight: Michael Jackson moonwalking back into the spotlight. This time, it`s financial troubles. He`s doing a legal dance between debt, a child custody dispute, and he`s juggling animals and rides at Neverland! And will a new tell-all book about Jackson reveal bombshells?
Also tonight, O.J. Simpson out with an outrageous version of MTV`s hit show "Punk`d." It`s called "Juiced," and it has a lot of people disgusted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not being paid for this at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he did this for free?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did this because he wanted to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in for Nancy Grace. A new 90-minute DVD featuring O.J. Simpson pulling pranks is for sale on the Internet. His attorney says it`s unauthorized and O.J. will not profit from it. Still, it`s causing quite a stir with the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.
But first tonight: He`s known to millions all over the world for his smooth moves and beating child molestation charges, you know who we`re talking about, Michael Jackson, living in luxury in Bahrain while facing legal and financial troubles back here.
And we`re not done yet! There is a tell-all book by Liza Minelli`s estranged husband. It promises bombshells about Jackson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GEST, LIZA MINELLI`S ESTRANGED HUSBAND: He goes into a store and he wants to buy a painting. The painting is a thousand dollars. He`ll go, $700, take it or leave it. I`m not buying it. That`s it. And he`ll walk out.
LIZA MINELLI: I think what David`s trying to tell you is the person that we know is...
GEST: There are two Michaels.
MINELLI: (INAUDIBLE) believe it or not.
GEST: I think people don`t know the real him. He doesn`t talk like - - I know you see it, Hi, how are you. But Liza was on the phone, picked up the phone one night, and he was talking to me, and it was, Hey, I want this done, I got to have it done now, blah, blah, blah, blah. And all of a sudden, Liza picked up the phone and she went...
MINELLI: Michael. And he went (INAUDIBLE) I said, Michael, you`re busted!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go straight out to investigative reporter Diane Dimond with the very latest on everything Jackson. Take it away, Diane.
DIANE DIMOND, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Hi, Jane. Well, I think the biggest, latest thing for Michael Jackson is some of the legal problems that he`s going to be facing pretty quickly. There`s a custody battle coming up with Debbie Rowe. You know this. You saw her testify with me, Jane, during the trial. She has pressed forward. She wants to get custody, or at least some visitation with the two oldest children, who, by the way, don`t even know that she is their mother. That`s one thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? I didn`t know that.
DIMOND: Yes. They do not know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you know that? Because that`s fascinating to me.
DIMOND: Yes. No, she testified to that in court, that they did not need to know who their mother was. And while she had met them, of course, they did not know that she was their birth mother.
But the other big thing also mentioned in that trial that we covered, Jane, is a man named Frederick Mark Schaffel (ph), and he is suing Michael Jackson for millions and millions of dollars that he says he`s owed for buying things for Jackson or paying Marlon Brando a million dollars to appear at an awards ceremony for Michael Jackson.
Very, very good sources of mine, very close to that Frederick Mark Schaffel lawsuit, which I think the next hearing is early June, the 1st or 2nd, say that Jackson`s side has offered Frederick Mark Schaffel as least a million dollars to go away, take a million dollars to let this suit go, and he said no because he thinks he`s going to win.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That is so interesting. The reason I mentioned that about the children is, of course, as his children get older and they`re exposed to the outside world, they could pick up on it on their own, perhaps through the papers...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... or through the media. So eventually, one day, they will obviously know.
Now, this was, like, a big Jackson trial reunion, this show. We were so excited to have everybody on. One person we will not have on, unfortunately, is Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman.
Now, this is absolutely amazing. We got a call from him at 1:00 AM Bahrain time, and he said that Michael Jackson had heard the promotions for this show, and called me and didn`t think it was appropriate for anybody to talk about his finances.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He called me and asked me not to do the show, and I said, OK.
Harvey Levin, executive producer of the hot Web site tmz.com, why is Michael Jackson so afraid of talking about his finances?
HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, Jane, first of all, I got to ask you, to me, the bigger question -- Brian turned down a TV appearance?
LEVIN: Just kidding, Brian. You know, look, Michael Jackson has a lot of financial woes. And I can tell you one thing I know from the trial is that there were a lot of upset people on the defense team because their bills weren`t getting paid. So they know firsthand, and Brian Oxman is among them -- they know the difficulties Michael Jackson was having paying bills.
And you know, Brian is privy to some of that and I`m sure Jackson knows that, and I`m guessing Jackson doesn`t want somebody, you know, who could talk about that and other things on this show.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Harvey, tell me about the story you broke on TMZ about the accuser`s mother.
LEVIN: Well, she was in court today on welfare fraud charges, and she basically waived her right to a preliminary hearing, so she will stand trial for allegedly defrauding the state of California out of about eight grand by allegedly lying about her eligibility for welfare. Realistically, she could get probation, if convicted, because it`s a first-time offense. But the maximum penalty is three years in prison.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Diane Dimond, you have been covering this story since 1993. Do you think it`s fair, at the end of the day, for the accuser`s mother to end up in legal trouble?
DIMOND: Well, you know, she -- it was made pretty clear during the trial that she did take welfare funds illegally. She had some money in the bank she never told the welfare people about, and that`s not legal.
Now, I will tell you, I talked to one -- a person who`s very, very close to that mother when I heard about Harvey`s scoop there today that he had some video of this mother on his Web site. I looked at that. I called my source. And I`ll tell you, I was not surprised, and nor was this source, that she has decided to waive her rights and go to trial.
This is a woman who`s really steeped, Jane, in this idea of, This is right and this is wrong. And they wanted her to sign a document that said something to the effect of -- that she had willfully and maliciously taken this money from welfare and had set out to defraud them. And this woman is telling her very close friends that she did no such thing. She will not sign a document that says that she did it deliberately. She would rather go to trial and show her children that you don`t take -- you don`t admit to something you didn`t do.
For all those people who said she was nothing but a gold digger, I`m still waiting for the civil suit that everyone said that she was going to file against Michael Jackson. How many times did Tom Mesereau say that in court to the jury, Jane? You know, You mark my words, when this is over, she`s going to be in court, trying to get money out of Michael Jackson. I still haven`t seen a civil suit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret of "Inside Edition," take us back to the day we were all in court and this woman walked in and testified, and she took the 5th, although the judge read it for her. Take us back to that day. Why didn`t she get immunity?
JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, she wasn`t offered immunity, simple as that. And I don`t believe that the Santa Barbara county district attorney had the authority to grant her immunity. But she wanted to go forward. You know, this was a bad witness from the start. And after several days of testimony, I remember saying to somebody, It feels like day four of "The Three Faces of Eve" because this woman was a different person every single day.
And you ask, Is it right that she`s now facing charges? Look, is it right in the overall scheme? If you believe that Michael Jackson is guilty and he got off, is it right for this person, who was the mother of an accuser, now to be facing charges? Totally separate issues.
Going back to Brian Oxman -- it is interesting because I`ve known Brian for some time, and he`s a very reputable person, very nice person. And he`s always been a staunch advocate of Michael Jackson and a defender of Michael Jackson`s, and he`s come on this show many times saying, Nothing`s wrong with Michael`s finances, when we know that Michael is renegotiating a several-hundred-million-dollar debt.
So it`s interesting. He clearly got orders from Michael Jackson, perhaps from Michael himself, as he told you, not to come on the show. But it is curious because he has been here on so many other occasions.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Harvey Levin, wouldn`t it be possible to argue that Michael Jackson actually is the winner in this whole financial thing? I mean, he bought the Beatle catalog in 1985 for $47 million. He sold half of it to Sony for $100 million in 1995. Now he`s refi`ed to get a lower interest rate on his $300 million outstanding debt. But all he has to do sell a quarter of the catalog again for at least $250, he still ends up with a quarter of the catalog, which is going to be worth at least $250 million. That`s what I call a high-class problem!
LEVIN: Jane, I got to tell you something. With that kind of an argument, you could have been the spokesman for the Kremlin back with Khrushchev.
LEVIN: I mean -- I mean, it`s really a compelling way of putting it. But you know, the bottom line here is that Michael Jackson isn`t singing anymore, and Michael Jackson has been spending more than he`s been taking in. And I don`t think the goal here is to keep leveraging the Beatles catalog. At some point, that catalog`s going to go bye-bye. And if Jackson is -- if Jackson keeps spending -- my understanding is he was spending something like nine grand a day on this place in Dubai. I mean, he`s -- at a point, it`s going to run out.
I get your point. Maybe it was a good investment back then, but I think he`s kind of not been handling it right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, clinical psychologist Dr. Stephanie Jones, is he a spending addict? I mean, that is an addiction people even go to 12- step for.
STEPHANIE JONES, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think so, Jane. I mean, how could he be in that situation and not spend his money in an addicted way? Look at Neverland. Have you ever seen anything so absurd? He`s spending his money on everything he can get his hands on, from giraffes to flamingos, and now he`s moved to Bahrain, I hear he has a penchant for falafels.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, he certainly keeps us amused. But of course, a lot of people say that this none of this is very funny, that it`s a very serious matter. And now we have possibly another bombshell in the works. "Inside Edition`s" Jim Moret, tell us about the whole Gest and Liza Minelli angle to all this. David Gest is apparently writing a tell-all, and he`s going to tell a lot about Michael Jackson when he was a teenager. I didn`t even know he knew Michael Jackson when he was a teenager.
MORET: Yes, I`m just wondering -- and maybe -- - Harvey has great insight into this because he`s got incredible source. I don`t know what other bombshells there could possibly be.
But I just -- before we leave the spending point -- because during the trial, it was laid out very clearly that for 10 years in a row, Michael Jackson spent -- spent -- $30 million per year more than he earned. And the real unanswered question -- you have to remember, there was a time when he owned Neverland outright. He owned his own catalog outright. He owned the Beatles catalog outright. You move forward just several years, 15 years or so, and now he owes $200 million against the Beatles catalog. He`s leveraged his own catalog possibly $50 million, $60 million. He`s leveraged Neverland. So where did the money go?
Now, as to David Gest, you heard David Gest in that clip from "LARRY KING LIVE" talking about the two voices of Michael Jackson. And we also heard that during the trial, the fact that this innocent, sweet Michael Jackson can sound very different when he`s not getting what he wants. So perhaps that`s some of the bombshell that David`s going to be throwing out there. I really don`t know because, frankly, it`s hard to imagine being surprised anymore about Michael Jackson.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Harvey, is this pot calling the kettle black, with David Gest? I mean, he`s had some shenanigans of his own, hasn`t he?
LEVIN: Oh, yes. I mean, David Gest is just -- he`s just a piece of work. And you know, I`ll tell you something, Jane. I wondered about whether to say this is, but it`s so obtuse that I think I can. I heard something today -- and this is what the buzz is -- that one of the things he`s going to write about is some of Michael Jackson`s financial backers allegedly wanting him sexually. Now...
LEVIN: I`m just telling you that what`s going around about this book right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: My voice just cracked.
LEVIN: I know. I know. I know. I mean, kind of mine, too, when I heard about it. But you know, I`m sure David -- look, David Gest is an entrepreneur, and he is all about the buck. He wants to make money. This has kind of been an MO of his. And there`s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn`t surprise me at all that he`d be doing this, not at all.
LEVIN: I mean, look, you`re going to buy a book about Liza, at this point? I mean, Liza Minelli, Michael Jackson -- I think he`s got a better story to tell there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you.
We have more on this coming up in a second. Quickly to tonight`s "Trial Tracking." Moments after his release from an Illinois jail, a 26- year-old teacher charged with leaving a 17-year-old female for dead in the woods, upsets some by contacting his teenage girlfriend. That 18-year-old woman visited Sam Shelton while the man was under house arrest for the attempted murder of another teen, Ashley Reeves. And while investigators say there are concerns, the meeting does not violate conditions of Shelton`s $80,000 bond.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are talking Michael Jackson. What is going to happen to Neverland since Michael`s been living in self-exile in Bahrain? There have been lots of problems with the Neverland estate.
Diane Dimond -- and by the way congratulations on your book, "Be Careful Who You Love." I have it at home, I read it, it`s fabulous
DIMOND: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about the workers getting locked out recently because of money issues, locked out from Neverland.
DIMOND: Yes, you know, all of these huge numbers about Michael Jackson and his finances and his debt and how much he`s refinancing for -- the bottom line is, Jane, he`s in dire financial straits, so much so that he couldn`t pay the insurance for his employees on that massive ranch or the workman`s camp. So the state came in and shut it down, basically, and all of those employees, many of them loyal, loyal, they -- some of them had worked there since even before Michael Jackson lived there, when it was called the Sycamore Ranch, are gone. They`re out of work.
What happened, according to several sources that I have, he really hired, like, an outside contractor, a subcontractor, who they pay their own workman`s comp and they pay for the insurance, and there`s a little tiny skeleton staff that comes in. Nobody`s making the rides ride these days. They`re just busy kind of watering some flowers and feeding the animals.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret...
DIMOND: Nobody is there, you know, so nobody has to change beds or do laundry.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It doesn`t make any sense, Jim Moret of "Inside Edition." Why doesn`t he sell Neverland? I mean, this is humiliating, what`s happening to him now.
MORET: Well, I mean, let`s face it, he may end up selling Neverland. I don`t know -- despite what we`ve heard from various spokespeople in the past, he may never live there again, and it certainly doesn`t make sense to hold onto it. He does, as far as I understand, have indebtedness against this ranch possibly to say the amount of, say, $25 million. It may be worth $50 million, but that`s still a $25 million net asset to him if he sold it. It would not surprise me if Neverland were, indeed, for sale right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and it`s the peak of the market. Some people are saying if he waits too long, the value of Neverland could go down.
Harvey Levin, weigh in a little bit on his thought process. I don`t understand it. He spends $9,000 a night on a luxury hotel suite, but then he sells the animals that he supposedly loves, even though groups like PETA are saying, Please give them to a sanctuary because when you sell tigers, they can end up in canned hunts. You don`t know where they`re going to end up. Now he`s actually pinching pennies when it comes to these animals and selling them, reportedly.
LEVIN: Well, I mean, the logic is -- it makes complete sense, Jane, in what you say, but you and I worked together for a long time and we worked together during that trial. And one of the things the two of us said to each other on numerous occasions is that when you look at Michael Jackson`s world, what sounds absolutely insane can actually be a reality. So the notion of getting into his thought process really kind of defies logic, to begin with. It really does. I mean, it`s so hard to figure out how he views the world.
And I think, you know, honestly -- I don`t want to beat him up too badly in that respect because, I mean, in some ways, he didn`t stand a chance, the way he grew up, the way he was insulated, the upbringing that he had, the -- just the fact that there was no responsibility ever really taught to this kid, it`s not really utterly surprising he ended up this way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: To tonight`s "Case Alert." Thank you for that, Harvey. A very sad ending for another American who went missing from a Royal Caribbean luxury cruise liner. Ship officials say security video shows Daniel Dipiero falling overboard from a deck on The Mariner of the Seas. The 21-year-old, vacationing with friends, last seen Sunday night. Royal Caribbean says Dipiero and a few in his group consumed alcohol the night of his disappearance.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, the former "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, spending his days in luxury in Bahrain, and now he is planning a comeback with the very same promoter -- I hope you`re sitting down -- who gave us this hit, "I`m Too Sexy." You know that song, "I`m Too Sexy"? That`s the same promoter.
"Inside Edition`s" Jim Moret, whatever happened to the Katrina relief song Jackson was working on? It`s been more than eight months since Katrina hit, and we have been waiting for that benefit song.
MORET: And the last person that I talked to about that was Brian Oxman, in fact, who said that Michael Jackson`s busy working on it. Maybe he is, but it seems a little -- too little too late, at this point. To be honest, I don`t really believe that there`s going to be a Michael Jackson - - I don`t think there`s going to be a comeback to the extent he`d like there to be.
I think that -- first and foremost, we saw Michael Jackson every day during that trial, Jane. You, Diane and I would often comment about how gaunt Michael Jackson appeared, how often it seemed that he couldn`t even walk without help. I think the first point of business for him, aside from his finances, was to become healthy again in a physical sense, emotionally.
Would people pay to see Michael Jackson? I`m sure there would be thousands of people. He`s a very talented person. He`s got a string of hits. Often during the trial, on my way to the courthouse, I, on some occasions, would listen to Michael Jackson`s songs, remembering how brilliant his career was and how sad it was that he was in this position. So could there be a comeback? I don`t know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re about to lose Harvey, so I want to ask him -- Harvey, do you think Michael Jackson could make a comeback?
LEVIN: I think -- it`s so funny to hear this because, you know, Jim`s been a friend for so long, and Jim Moret does this really funny imitation of this old guy. And that`s what I think of Michael Jackson getting on stage, at this point and moonwalking is. I mean, I don`t see it happening at all. I mean, I -- I mean, I think his act has kind of run its course. I don`t see him -- I don`t see him doing Popazow (ph) any time soon. And no, I just don`t think it`s going to happen. I really don`t.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. But anything is possible. Thank you so much, Harvey.
We at NANCY GRACE want very much to help in our own way solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Tonight, take a look at 14-year-old Zachary Creighton of Riverside, California, missing February 17, 2006. If you have any information on Zachary Creighton, contact the Riverside County sheriff at 951-776-1099 or go to beyondmissing.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Jackson is one of the most brilliant entertainers in the world. Michael Jackson sold over seven million compilation albums, which is unheard of in the entertainment industry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at his heart. Look at his music. Look at what he`s done for people, look at the influence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brings back memories, doesn`t it?
I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. Michael Jackson is making headlines, trying to revive his music career and get his money troubles under control, and revolve all the various legal battles he has in his life, even after getting acquitted of child molestation.
Diane Dimond, grab that crystal ball you have. What is in Jackson`s future, a comeback, or more crisis, or a little of both?
DIMOND: Yes, you know, people say I`m cynical about this, but, as you know, I`ve studied this for a long time, wrote a book about it. And I have learned in the Michael Jackson case to question everything.
Now, there`s a Katrina song coming. Oh, really? Where? Oh, he`s got lots of money. He`s not broke. Oh, he doesn`t have to sell Neverland. You know, when I look in my crystal ball, and I`ve got a little experience under my belt -- it`s not just guessing -- I don`t see much positive for him. I don`t think, Jane, he`s ever coming back to America.
DIMOND: No, I don`t. I think that, number one, his children were taken out of this country perhaps with their passports not in order. I have been told by sources that their passports were actually in the hands of a family court judge and that they really should not have left this country, so how, then, do you bring them back? The custody issue, all the lawsuits that are pending, I think he`s made some really monumentally bad decisions in the past.
DIMOND: As Jim Moret was saying, mortgaging everything, and now he`s got to pay the piper.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask prosecutor Holly Hughes, because there are some who say he has to come back to the United States for certain trials, certain civil cases, I should say, and, of course, the custody battle. What if he decides to ignore that? What then, legally?
HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: Well, legally speaking, if he decides not to come back, we`re going to have to decide if it`s worth extraditing him or not for these matters. In a civil case, a judgment can be entered in his absence, if he willfully absents himself from the court, or, in a criminal proceeding, he can be held in contempt for failure to appear, if they can, in fact, show that service was proper, and that`s getting someone over to Bahrain to serve a subpoena on him and, depending on their laws, whether or not they can bring him back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Diane, given everything that`s happened in the past, do you think that they will pursue it or will they decide, well, just let it go?
DIMOND: No, I don`t think -- we don`t have an extradition treaty with Bahrain. Let`s say this. If, say, Debbie Rowe gets partial custody of those two older children, if he doesn`t come back, how will she ever enforce that?
If he loses this lawsuit to Frederick Marc Schaffel, and he owes millions and millions of dollars, how will he ever get it if Jackson is over there and, say, declares bankruptcy? I think coming back to America, to say nothing of his family then glomming back on to him again, coming back to America opens up a whole hornet`s nest that I don`t think he`s going to do.
I think he`s going to stay abroad and in some place where there is not favorable extradition laws.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, weigh in on this, because this would be a real bombshell if he decides, "I`m not coming back."
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. But, I say I disagree with anybody that says that he won`t get back on that stage. He`s talented. And you can`t judge anything from how he was acting or maybe how he looked while he was on trial.
That is a criminal proceeding. It takes everything, the breath, the life, the blood out of you. He`s got to go back to work. You can`t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
If he sells his catalog, where will get that $40 million a year? He`s got to go back to work. He`s got to stop spending so much money. And I say sell the ranch, too; the ranch is nothing but trouble.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re speaking rationally, though.
Jim Moret of "Inside Edition," what Diane Dimond is saying that he`s not going to meet his financial obligations; he`s not going to come here and attend these cases that he`s supposed to attend. What do you think? Do you think he`s just going to flake out on in?
MORET: If you look at the last 10 years, he hasn`t met his financial obligations, which is how he got in this huge mess to begin with.
There are so many unanswered questions. Diane and I have talked about this in the past. She said, look, he`s not the teenager or the 25-year-old he was. He`s nearing 50. Do you think he can get on that stage and do "Billy Jean" again?
I don`t know. We`ve seen Rod Stewart reinvent himself singing standards. Is it possible? Sure, Michael Jackson is very talented. You can`t take that away from him.
However, given what he`s been there, given the way he looked, it`s possible, also, that his glory years are a past tense, meaning behind him. It`s going to be very difficult for him to recapture a lot of his fan base, given the terrible controversies that have surrounded so much of his life.
But is he talented? Yes, I don`t think anyone is claiming he`s not. But I just think, if you look at his behavior, it hasn`t been that of a rational person, in spending, in how he deals with himself personally. So it`s very difficult to look into the future and say he`s going to have a happy future.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And clinical psychologist Stephanie Jones, why is it so hard for entertainers, when they get older, to gracefully exit the stage?
JONES: Well, I think that entertainers get used to the limelight and that sense of youth, and it`s real difficult to go out with a bang when you start to lose it. I mean, people start becoming interested in new things, in new ideas, new songs over time, and it`s really difficult to keep that love alive, if you will.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: See, Diane Dimond, I`m thinking about what you`re saying, which is so extraordinary, that he`s just going to stay in Bahrain, but part of me says he wants the spotlight too much. I mean, Bahrain might as well be the other side of the moon. Everybody`s going to forget him there. He`s gone, and this is a guy who needs the spotlight.
So I personally think he might come back, if not to meet his financial obligations, to be part of the action in some way, shape or form.
DIMOND: You know what? Let`s talk about Michael Jackson then and Michael Jackson now. He`s a very different man now, Jane. You saw him every day in court, you, me, Jim. Every day, he looked diminished in some way.
Let`s talk about the elephant in the room. This is a man who has severe addiction problems. They found Demerol and syringes in his nightstand when they raided Neverland. He has a problem with alcohol. We heard testimony about that.
If he were in full command of all of his capacities and all of his talents, he could go to Las Vegas, sit on a stool in a blackened stage with a fedora on his hat and sing ballads a la Frank Sinatra and he could make millions of dollars.
But I don`t think, from what I`m hearing from my sources, that he is in command. I believe that it`s him, his three children and a nanny. I believe all of his bodyguards have left him for lack of payment.
This is a man who is spinning out of control, so much so that his family is trying to figure out how to do an intervention long distance. And I just don`t see him pulling it together. He hasn`t had an album for years.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Diane, we are out of time, but I`m giving you the last word. It`s really a fascinating subject. You know about it perhaps more than anybody else. Thank you so much for your wisdom on it.
DIMOND: My pleasure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly to "Case Alert." A man captured by Philadelphia police in a violent gun battle is the suspect in the fatal shooting of Officer Gary Skerski. Twenty-three-year-old Solomon Montgomery facing murder and robbery charges after holding several bar patrons at gunpoint and gunning down the 16-year police veteran. Montgomery is also wanted on weapons charges in California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: He`s not being paid for this at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
MORET: So, he did this for free?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did this because he wanted to do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace. "The Juice," O.J. Simpson, playing pranks on a new video. It is called "Juiced," and the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson are understandably furious.
For the very latest on this bizarre and disturbing story, let`s go straight out to "Inside Edition`s" chief correspondent, Jim Moret.
Jim, explain the unexplainable.
MORET: The person you were listening to just a moment ago who said that O.J. Simpson was not getting paid for that video is the executive producer of this video, "Juiced." This is what we know.
The show, "Juiced," which is takeoff on the Ashton Kutcher show "Punk`d," done by O.J. Simpson, was a failed TV pilot from a few years back. This executive producer bought the rights. Simpson apparently had relinquished those rights.
So it may be, in fact, true, as his attorney said, O.J. Simpson is not getting paid for this. However, he did, according to his attorney, get paid to produce this TV pilot.
And what`s really disturbing -- one of the pranks in this 90-minute DVD, called "Juiced," is O.J. Simpson portraying a salesperson, a used car salesperson, who`s selling a white Ford Bronco. And there`s a bullet hole, and it`s in the left-front fender, and there`s a signature on the front fender, "O.J. Simpson," and he`s telling people that this white Ford Bronco has "escapability," in other words. And it`s really bad taste to the 10th power.
It`s just unbelievable that, even if, as he believes, he`s not guilty -- and he was found not guilty criminally, but he was found liable civilly for the brutal slaying of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson -- but it`s such bad taste that it defies anybody`s sensibility to see him doing this.
And if you listen to his attorney, his attorney will say, "Well, this is what he does. He makes public appearances. People love him." Well, I know a couple who don`t love him: Fred Goldman, for one, understandably shocked and sickened by this, and Denise Brown, Nicole Brown`s sister, also shocked and sickened by this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, one of the things that really upset me the most was when I was reading that he said, "It was good for me," referring to the Bronco, "It helped me get away."
Jim, let`s listen to a segment of a report you did for "Inside Edition" on this very subject
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): That`s O.J. Simpson actually using his infamous white Bronco chase for comedy. The former football star draws on notoriety to pull pranks on people, as hidden cameras roll. Simpson even has his own catch phrase.
O.J. SIMPSON, FORMER FOOTBALL STAR: You have been juiced!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, that a piece, again, from "Inside Edition`s" Jim Moret, who has been joining us tonight, and it features a clip from this very controversial DVD, "Juiced." Of course, the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman extraordinarily upset and disgusted by this. Let`s hear what Fred Goldman had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN, FATHER OF RON GOLDMAN: I find it morally reprehensible, disgusting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you look at this as blood money?
GOLDMAN: Oh, absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Diane Dimond, put this in context for us, because the actual tragedy occurred 12 years ago. So if you`re 20 years old today, you were eight years old then. A lot of people have forgotten the details. Set the stage for us so we understand why this is so morally reprehensible.
DIMOND: Well, I remember sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon. I lived in the Hollywood Hills at the time. You remember that house, Jane, it was a great party house.
And I got a call saying this woman, Nicole Brown Simpson, has been killed. And I said, "I`m sorry, who is she? Do you want me to work this story on a Sunday afternoon or a Sunday morning?" And they said, "Yes, it`s O.J. Simpson`s wife."
And as I got to her Bundy Avenue condo, the morgue wagon was just pulling away. And I`ll tell you something: I have never seen a crime scene like that.
I am the daughter of a butcher. I am not that squeamish. But I`ll tell you, I have never seen so much blood in one place. It was running in rivulets down the front pathway. And in those rivulets, little paw prints. We later learned that was from her own Akita, and then a leash trail where the dog had walked through it and gone down to the corner and been found by a neighbor.
It was a story that riveted everybody, Jane. You covered it; I covered it; Jim covered it. I was stunned at the time, although I was in court just on rare occasion during the criminal trial. I worked it as an investigative reporter, and I finally got my hands on the interrogation tape of O.J. Simpson.
Remember, he flew to Chicago. And then he came right back. And he went in and talked to the two officers, Lang and Vanatter (ph). And it took me about six weeks, but I got a copy of that audiotape of them interrogating him. These two were really good cops. Can I just tell you that? But that was the worst interrogation I ever heard in my life. It was all -- I mean, it was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And wasn`t that the very man who tried to convince O.J. Simpson not to use the gun, to throw the gun out of the Bronco when he was in his slow-speed chase?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In a sense, he may have saved his life.
DIMOND: Yes, these were really two good cops. But that time, early in the case, they were sitting there interrogating him, but really kind of gushing over the fact that, "We`ve got O.J. Simpson in here."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in here, because, I mean, one of the key aspects of this, O.J. Simpson acquitted in the criminal case but found liable of the deaths in the civil case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The families were awarded $33.5 million dollars. They haven`t seen that much of it, I understand. That`s why this video is so controversial.
Now, O.J. Simpson`s attorney, Yale Galanter, said, quote, "We have no contractual agreement with the parties distributing this DVD. We`ve never met them. There`s been no money paid to Mr. Simpson by this group of individuals marketing this DVD."
Renee Rockwell, defense attorney, does that sound like he`s parsing words or could it be possible that Simpson is actually doing this, as someone said, for fun?
ROCKWELL: Well, it`s highly unlikely that he`s doing it for fun, but he has a right to do this. This is a free country, freedom of speech. He has the right to do anything he wants.
It would be improper for him or anyone on his behalf to actually lie about it, if put under oath about where all these proceeds are going. That could get him in trouble. But I don`t see a problem with him exercising his freedom of speech.
I may disagree with something that is in poor taste, for example, the Bronco commercial or the Ford Escape commercial, but I have no problem with him engaging in any type of enterprise.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jim Moret, we`ve only got a couple of seconds. Do you think he really did this for no money? It doesn`t make any sense.
MORET: I think he did it several years ago believing it was going to be a TV pilot, and I think that he signed away his rights. And what makes it even worse, the DVD is being released today, which happens to be Nicole Brown Simpson`s birthday. And I think that that stings even more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s a very disturbing -- we`re looked at "Juiced" right now. We`re looking at Nicole Brown Simpson, her beautiful image right now, and very, very disturbing story. That`s all you can say.
Quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Kevin Carter, wanted in connection with the 1995 murder of his girlfriend, 17-year-old Angela Marshall, in Selma, Alabama.
Carter, 34, 5`10", 220 pounds, brown eyes, black hair. If you have any information on Kevin Carter, call the FBI at 251-438-3674.
Local news is next for some of you. We will all be right back. And, remember, live coverage of a South Carolina man on trial for murder and burglary charges, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
Please stay with us as we remember Staff Sergeant Abraham Twitchell, 28, of Yelm, Washington, killed in Iraq. Twitchell, the fifth of six children, joined the Marine Corps right out of high school. He leaves behind a daughter, two stepsons, and his wife. He`s an American hero.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched our lives.
GRACE: That third indictment we predicted in the Duke rape case has been handed down.
DAVID EVANS, INDICTED IN DUKE RAPE CASE: I`m absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today, that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are innocent of all the charges that were brought against them.
GRACE: Well, how does he know the other two are innocent? What, were they all together holding hands at a prayer meeting? When he goes to trial, and if he`s on cross-examination, he can be pummeled on, "What do you know about the other two? Were you all three together, or what did they tell you? What exactly did they tell you?" And they are going to be up the creek without a paddle.
Murder mystery in Iowa. Hunters stumble on female skeleton remains discovered in a 55-gallon barrel. That`s right, a body in a barrel. Two mushroom hunters find a barrel with a body in it. OK, it sounds like the beginning of a "Lifetime" story, but go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no soft tissue remaining, and it was all skeletal remains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one, obviously, we want to identify the body, and then we`re going to obviously have a homicide investigation to be dealing with, as well.
GRACE: An all-out hunt for justice after a masked man, a double- fisted killer, a gun in each hand, including one of these, a sawed-off shotgun, guns down a long-time local cop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a terrible, terrible tragedy, and our entire city is in mourning over the loss of a family member. And we absolutely will not relent until we fine the thug that assassinated the member of our family. And I can tell you that we`ve pulled out all of the stops. We`re going to find him, and justice will be done in this case.
GRACE: Believe it or not, yet another American goes missing from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship en route to a private island.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They went back with new security camera videotape and found that they had an image of a young man they believe was Daniel leaning against a rail on the bow of the ship, and that was the last time he was seen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had a phone call, and that`s when they called me and says, "Daniel`s gone."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to thank all of our guests tonight for their insight, and thanks to you at home for tracking these very important cases with us. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in for Nancy Grace. We hope to see you right here Monday night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, have a terrific weekend.