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Goldman Family Seeks to Gain Control Over Simpson`s Rights to Name, Likeness
Aired September 5, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: O.J. Simpson back in court. At stake, the NFL Hall of Famer-turned-murder-suspect`s multi-million-dollar empire, the legal battle over full ownership of Simpson`s celebrity publicity rights. Simpson is a money-making machine, believe it or not, with appearances, autograph signings, memorabilia fairs, raking in hundreds of thousands, yet still Simpson refusing to pay the money judgment for the slaughter of Simpson`s wife, Nicole Brown, and young friend, Ron Goldman.
And tonight, the family attorney of 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey`s confessed killer, John Mark Karr, who claims Karr poses no danger to children. But how does the lawyer explain child porn charges in tandem with multiple detailed descriptions of child molestation?
But first tonight: O.J. Simpson back to court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN`S FATHER: Twelve years ago, Ron and Nicole were murdered, murdered by man whose name I still to this day refuse to use. To this day, he has never been punished for that act in any form.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Well, it seems like it never ends. Many of us can still remember the night we learned two bodies basically beheaded were found in the front yard. Soon after, a trial. But it`s not over yet.
Out to Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative reporter. Why is Simpson back in court?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Nancy, this is a first-of-its-kind effort, an extraordinary effort to get justice for the Goldmans by seizing O.J. Simpson`s most valuable asset, his right of publicity. That is an intellectual property right that can be sold, that covers things like your name, your likeness, your image for the purposes of advertising, merchandising and other commercial ventures, like autograph signing.
Of course, it was 12 years ago, right here in Los Angeles, that Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were viciously slashed to death, O.J. Simpson, of course, acquitted in the criminal case but found liable in the civil case. The families of the victims were awarded $20 million with interest. That has ballooned to almost $40 million, but O.J. won`t pay. He says he just doesn`t want to pay.
Nevertheless, he continues to take part in extraordinarily tacky commercial ventures, like in one DVD, pretending to be a used car salesman selling a white Ford Bronco, saying, Hey, it helped me get away, an obvious reference to the infamous slow-speed chase. He has also gone to slasher conventions and signed autographs. Now, he claims he`s not really making money off of any of this, but the Goldman family is very skeptical and thinks he may be funneling money to other family members, and basically, they want him to stop profiting from this horrible tragedy.
GRACE: Jane Velez, you mentioned slasher conventions. What is that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, he went to this convention in Northridge, where there were fake body parts dangling from the ceiling and there were a lot of horror movie fans and slasher movie fans. And this was on one of the key anniversaries of this horrible tragedy, and there he is signing autographs with severed limbs and machetes just a couple of feet away. You can`t but help make the comparison to the terrible tragedy.
GRACE: And on that note, out to a special set of guests joining us tonight. Right now, you`re seeing recently released video on a Web site called Judgeoj.com. A producer believes that there is money to be made by O.J. Simpson. Still to this day, the victims in a double murder case not seeing one red penny of it.
Out to Fred and Kim Goldman. This is Ron Goldman`s father and sister. And when you look at her, you can`t help but see Ron Goldman al over again. I mean, he looked like model, if any of you -- Elizabeth, can you put up a picture of Ron? Just, you know, in the prime of his life, really a beautiful young man, apparently on the inside and the outside, had the bad fortune to simply try to return a pair of glasses that evening to a restaurant patron and happened to be on the scene at the time Simpson allegedly practically beheaded his wife, Nicole.
Back to Fred and Kim. Welcome. Thank you for being with us. You know, this is a major legal turn of events, what you have just done in a court of law. Explain, Mr. Goldman.
FRED GOLDMAN: Well, the motion that was filed today was an effort to have the court transfer the killer`s right of publicity, his name and likeness, to us, to stop allowing him to profit from all of his appearances and all of his actions, his videos, et cetera. The reality is that he has never been punished for one single violent act he`s ever committed, most assuredly has never been punished or accepted responsibility for murdering Ron and Nicole. And we want to do the same thing that we`ve always wanted to do, and that is hold him accountable and force him to accept some punishment, some measure of punishment. Never going to be enough for murdering Ron.
GRACE: I have in my hand this legal filing. We have just gotten it in. It basically states that he was found guilty in a civil judgment with a civil jury and has not paid a penny. But we know Simpson is out at these memorabilia fairs, as you just heard, a slasher convention, people that are fans of slice-and-dice movies, gore, horror movies.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O.J. SIMPSON: I can only focus on one thing.
SIMPSON: ... you know, memorabilia signing what people want, and then I`m gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you profiting from this at all, O.J., can I ask you? Are you profiting from this at all, from signing these autographs?
SIMPSON: I`m not doing it for my health.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Joining us now is Karl Manders with Continental Enterprises. He specializes in intellectual property investigations. Welcome, Mr. Manders. How did you get the idea to sue for a right of publicity? Now, I`m a criminal lawyer. Let me get this straight. All right, Muhammad Ali sold the rights to his likeness for posters and T-shirts and endorsements - - or at least, he sold part of it. Is that what you`re talking about?
KARL MANDERS, CONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES: Well, we mostly spend our time trying to force people who steal intellectual property to pay for their crimes. When I saw that Mr. Simpson had not paid a single penny to the Goldman family, it just seemed a natural to force him to surrender that property that was most valuable to him, and that`s his name and likeness, his signature, the picture of his face. His fame caused him to be able to evade justice, and it just seems poetic justice that we be able to force him to surrender that very property to the Goldman family.
GRACE: Take a listen to what O.J. Simpson`s lawyer, Yale Galanter, has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON`S ATTORNEY: Well, the videos -- first of all, all of the film footage was shot four or five years ago. It was shot during a four-year period. None of what Mr. Pardo is releasing on the Web site is new news. I mean, a lot of the footage is O.J. Simpson giving television interviews, O.J. Simpson giving radio interviews, O.J. Simpson in an airport, at a bus station. All of O.J.`s activities were reported by local news media in the various cities that he visited.
The original reason that he agreed to be videoed four years ago was because at the time he was doing these personal appearances at hip-hop concerts, Nancy, was that people like you and other people in the media were saying that the public reacted negatively to him, and the truth is that it`s completely the opposite. If you look at this 80 hours of video, you will see O.J. Simpson in various cities, being received extremely well by the public and the media. And that`s why O.J. agreed to shoot the footage, and for no other reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I don`t believe it! I do not believe it! Now, Yale Galanter is a respected attorney, but I don`t believe it, Fred Goldman, that the public is embracing him. He might have a group of pervs at some slice-and- dice convention that wants his signature, but other than the value of having a signature of a Hall of Famer charged with two counts murder one, I don`t think the public is embracing O.J. Simpson.
FRED GOLDMAN: I would agree with you. The reality is, there`s always that segment of population who get some sort of joy out of being in the presence of some violent human being, some low-life, and the killer happens to be one of those. And is that portion of the population a significant portion? I don`t believe so for one second.
GRACE: I just don`t believe it.
Out to Andy Kahan, director of the mayor`s crime victims office. Do you believe that this lawsuit, which I believe to be a watershed in the law -- what can it do for victims? And what do you make of this allegation that the public is embracing O.J. Simpson?
ANDY KAHAN, DIR., VICTIMS CRIME OFFICE FOR HOUSTON MAYOR: You know, Nancy, this is great day for crime victims. My hat`s off to Mr. Manders, an innovative way of thinking, because, as you and I have discussed for a long period of time, the "Son of Sam" laws do not protect crime victims from their criminals from profiting. The notoriety-for-profit laws aren`t stopping convicted criminals. And the bottom line is that you shouldn`t able to rob, rape and murder, and then turn around and profit off it, and that`s what Simpson`s doing.
GRACE: Explain to the viewers, OK, if you get a civil judgment against someone, the way that the Goldman and Brown family got against Simpson to the tune of $30 million-plus, what the family has to go through to get a civil judgment enforced. It`s practically impossible!
KAHAN: Oh, absolutely, and that`s the problem that we have as crime victim advocates, is when we counsel crime victims and we tell them, you know, File a civil suit, get a judgment against them, and then turn around and say, Well, look at all these cases, they got judgments and they don`t collect a dime, and you go through all the pain, the grief and the agony and the years of suffering.
The bottom line is that Simpson has thumbed his nose at the courts, the criminal justice system. He has dared them to collect one red cent. And so our system not only has failed the Goldmans, they failed crime victims throughout this country. And that`s the important part about this law. Hopefully, this will open up Pandora`s box, and other victims will begin to seek more types of judgments like this. This is great day.
GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Kathy in Florida. Hi, Kathy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?
GRACE: I`m great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to know, if he can`t pay any of these families any money, how is he paying all these big-shot lawyers?
GRACE: Yes, I`d like to find out how he`s paying Galanter. I asked him that, and he wouldn`t tell me, Kathy, one of my questions, as well. I do know that in the state of Florida, you cannot attach someone`s home and you cannot attach their pension, and he`s got a huge football pension. How much is he pulling down, Jane Velez-Mitchell, with his football pension?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The latest estimate is $300,000 a year.
GRACE: OK. And Kathy in Florida, talking about making money, we know you`re seeing, as vile as it is, video from Judgeoj.com. And I find it very hard to believe that nobody`s making money and that Simpson`s willing to work for free. We have heard allegations of an attempted porn movie. We follow him all over the country at memorabilia signings, 100 bucks per autograph -- I don`t know who would pay for that, but apparently, people do -- showing up at these slasher conventions.
I mean, to Jean Casarez, it`s amazing to me that people will pay good money to have a signature of O.J. Simpson, but it`s true, and you`re seeing video right there. If you log onto Judgeoj.com, it`s, like, $16.95 to look or purchase the video, and people are actually paying for it, Jean!
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Which brings us back to that this is a right of publicity. It`s interesting, Nancy, because that`s a property right, just like you`d have a home to satisfy a debt. What the Goldman estate is saying is that this is a property right, that right of publicity, that can be transferred to them, so then they are in control of autographs, of appearances, of anything of value that has to do with O.J. Simpson. So not only will they reap any profits from this, they will virtually control his life.
GRACE: You`re seeing video from Judgeoj.com, and I can guarantee you a lot of money is being made on that, but none of it is going into the pockets of crime victims.
Speaking of Judgeoj.com, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You ever sniff coke?
SIMPSON: In my life?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SIMPSON: I refuse to answer that question. In recent years, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But in your life -- if you refuse, that means yes.
SIMPSON: If that`s the way you want to take it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a come-clean show!
SIMPSON: Let me tell you, when I retired from football, I went and did what everybody...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I want to go out to our defense attorney, Richard Herman. Richard, will it work or not to get someone`s publicity rights? I mean, can you really attach that? I know you can get your car repossessed, you can get an attachment on your home, get your accounts frozen. Love doing that to criminals, especially white collar ones. But this right to publicity?
RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, it`s a novel case, and the court`s going to have to make major decision here. But you know, he could have easily assigned those proceeds to his family members, to other people, and then we have a whole fact-finding hearing to determine whether or not these transfers are voidable. You`re talking months and months, years, hearings, litigation. That`s not going to happen. I don`t think it`s going to happen.
But everyone has to wake up. This man was acquitted! He went to trial and was acquitted in a criminal case!
GRACE: Oh, Richard, Richard, Richard, Richard, I didn`t ask you for a history lesson. There`s a civil judgment, $30 million-plus. I don`t need to hear about the not guilty verdict at the criminal trial. I know it. I had a show with Johnnie Cochran. I heard about it every day, OK?
HERMAN: Great lawyer!
GRACE: True. Randy Zelin, tell me, is it going work or not? Can they attach O.J. Simpson`s right to publicity, or is this just another boondoggle a lawyer put in Fred Goldman`s head?
RANDY ZELIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s not going to work, Nancy, because in order to control...
GRACE: You nay-sayer! You never think anything a crime victim comes up with is going to work, Randy. Never!
ZELIN: It`s not going to work.
GRACE: It is going to work.
ZELIN: It`s not going to work. In order to control the right of publicity, you need to control O.J. Simpson. Is Mr. Goldman going to be there with the alarm clock, 7:00 AM, Come on O.J., time to go for an autograph signing? He`ll just stay home. It will never work.
GRACE: What about this idea? To Richard Herman -- can you take that video down? Thank you, Elizabeth. Richard Herman, what about a percentage, so even though we know Simpson is still making money he claims he doesn`t make, what about a percentage, so he`ll still work to get that percentage, or licensing his name or likeness? He doesn`t have to work for that, Richard.
HERMAN: Well, Nancy, now, that`s part of a settlement, a global resolution, assuming the parties can even talk to each other. But we hear Mr. Goldman can`t even say the guy`s name. I believe 99 percent of the people think O.J. did it. That should bring closure to the Goldman family. That should do it.
GRACE: Yes, thank you for speaking for the Goldmans. Not!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN: Ron and Nicole were murdered, murdered by a man whose name I still to this day refuse to use. To this day, he has never been punished for that act in any form. Even though we were awarded a civil judgment, he has made it very clear over all these years that he will not honor that judgment.
KIM GOLDMAN: As far as we`re concerned, taking from him, as my father said, the one thing that`s most important to him, and that`s his ego, is a very small sense of accomplishment or vindication that we can take. Considering that he took Ron and Nicole`s persona, it seems it`s most appropriate that we take his persona, as well. My father and I feel very strongly that this is the right thing to do and an opportunity for us to maintain justice as it`s provided to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: O.J. Simpson, if you`re listening tonight, you`re headed back to court. That`s right, the Goldman family is not letting it go. That was a press conference today by Ron Goldman`s father and sister. They are fighting back in court in an unprecedented legal move.
Let`s go out to Fred Goldman. Along with him, Jonathan Polak, his attorney. To Fred Goldman. You`ve heard the argument, This is not going to work. Why are you doing it? And why do you think it`s going to work?
FRED GOLDMAN: Well, first of all, it remains to be seen whether it works or not. We feel very strongly that there`s more than enough legal precedence to have the court rule in our favor. The reality is that his name and likeness, his right of publicity, is an intangible piece of property that he controls. And we want to take it away from him. It`s as simple as that.
GRACE: Also with us, Jonathan Polak, Fred Goldman`s lawyer. Mr. Polak, why will this work now? We know that, for instance, Muhammad Ali sold a percentage of the rights to his likeness, to his publicity. Why will this work?
JONATHAN POLAK, ATTORNEY FOR FRED GOLDMAN: Well, Nancy, it`ll work because California law says it works. This is the novel application of an existing, well-established court precedent. You had -- your guests that you had before I`m sure are very capable criminal lawyers...
GRACE: Just lay it on the line, Mr. Polak!
POLAK: ... but I doubt they have a clue about intellectual property...
GRACE: Just tell me, why is this going to work? Give it to me. I`m just a criminal lawyer. One, two, three, how is it going to work?
POLAK: There is a specific procedure under the California procedural code that allows for a judgment creditor like Fred Goldman to seek and obtain an assignment of what`s known as intangible property. And the right of publicity is exactly that type of intangible property.
GRACE: Well, sir, I can only hope it includes memorabilia and porn movies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN: The memories of Ron`s death, murder, are always right here. They don`t ever go away. Nothing -- nothing brings them to the surface, they`re always on the surface.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A legal breakthrough today. Believe it or not, O.J. Simpson back in court, the victims` families of that double homicide fighting back, the Goldman family wanting rights of publicity.
To Fred Goldman. If you get the rights, if you win this legal battle, what do you plan to do with the rights to Simpson`s publicity?
FRED GOLDMAN: Honestly, I don`t know that we have truly thought that far ahead. I think our goal right now is to take from him that which is probably most precious to him, and that`s his ego, his publicity rights.
GRACE: That`s very interesting. If you don`t know a horse, Fred, look at the track record.
To psychotherapist Caryn Stark. Caryn, for instance, in the slow- speed Bronco chase -- we all remember that. Now, Simpson has a video about getting juiced, where he tries to sell the white Bronco. What does that mean?
CARYN STARK, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Nancy, it means no conscience. We know this about him. He`s a sociopath. The man doesn`t care, and so he will do anything to take advantage of the situation. He has no feelings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury, find the defendant O.J. Simpson, not guilty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we fight against bitterness?
I don`t know that I have to. The reality is he murdered my son. He murdered Nicole. I`m going to be bitter. I`m going to be angry. And that`s never going to change. Ever, ever, ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: A legal breakthrough. Victims` families now suing for right to publicity. I`m talking about none other than the O.J. Simpson case. You think there`s not money to be had on behalf of these victims? Let`s think about. Residuals from "The Naked Gun" movie; royalties from a book and video made after the not guilty verdict. "Juiced", videos that Simpson is making.
Judgeoj.com, his own Web site that you have to pay for. Where is that autograph and memorabilia money going that he signs at one fair after the next?
Out to Fred Goldman and Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Fred Goldman, do you really have any idea or an educated guess as to how much money Simpson is actually making?
FRED GOLDMAN: No, I don`t have any idea. I`m not sure it is terribly important the real numbers. The reality is that we believe we have a right to take away his right of publicity. It is an asset. It is his property. We think we have a right to take it away. And if we`re successful, we`ll figure out the rest as we go.
GRACE: To Jane Velez-Mitchell, how much money is it estimated he`s raking in from all these business ventures?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it is impossible to say especially when he denies making money on a lot of the biggies, like the DVDs. We know he can get like 50, 60 bucks an autograph and $195 for some of the larger memorabilia.
My concern, Nancy, is that if they get this right of publicity and then they sell it to someone else in order to satisfy the judgment of $40 million, that other person, who then buys that right of publicity is going have to try to make the money back. And perhaps will do that by starting a whole merchandising campaign surrounding O.J. Simpson, which could actually make him more famous or infamous than he already is, and of course, the one thing he wants more than anything else, possibly even money, is attention.
GRACE: Jane, what about the new videos on judgeoj.com, as well as this punk-style DVD called "Juiced." There is no way Simpson is working for nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And he insists, and his attorney insists that they, you know, O.J. Simpson did this for several years with this guy, and there seems to be some kind of falling out. And now this guy has the video and he`s using it for his own purposes to make money. But a lot of other people, including the Goldmans, are skeptical thinking there is a backdoor effort to get money to somebody if not O.J. Simpson himself, his relatives. I`ve heard talk of offshore accounts. Really, there are endless possibilities to hide money.
GRACE: Now to Kim Goldman, as you all know, Kim Goldman, the sister of Ron Goldman, who lost his life that night.
Kim, it is an amazing legal theory if it works, what would you do with Simpson`s publicity rights?
KIM GOLDMAN, SISTER OF MURDER VICTIM RON GOLDMAN: You know, for us -- everyone keeps talking about money and how much we would make, and how much all of this stuff is worth. But for us, the family, it is about keeping Ron`s memory alive and it`s about making him pay, whether it is with a dollar amount or whether it is with making him watch over his shoulder.
It`s being an albatross around his neck and it`s taking away his ego, his celebrity. That`s what set him free. That`s what gets him on our television every night and the one thing that got him to take Ron and Nicole`s life. And he`s walking the earth. It`s disgusting to us. Every chance we can to squish him, that much more is a choice that we will make and we will happily be pursuing and thankful to our attorneys, now, that have taken this on. I think this is a good day, as Andy said before, for crime victims.
FRED GOLDMAN: Nancy, in all fairness, in the background is running the picture of the killer, throughout the whole show back and forth. We don`t need to see that to be reminded. He took Ron and Kim`s life.
KIM GOLDMAN: Ron and Nicole.
FRED GOLDMAN: Oh, god, I`m sorry. He took Ron and Nicole life, has never paid the penalty. Has never been held responsible. It is about time that he is held to task.
GRACE: Take a listen to what happened at the press conference today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED GOLDMAN: He found a way to be a free man due to his fame. And it is now our opportunity to hopefully take that fame from him, in the form of his right to publicity, his name and likeness, probably the one thing that is important to him, and that`s himself.
Hopefully the court will see our right to take that from him, and hopefully, frankly, it will cause him some discomfort and pain.
KIM GOLDMAN: One thing that`s been most important for our family over the last handful of years is to be a thorn in the side of the man that stole the most important thing from our family, and from the Brown family. So from us, this is another opportunity for us to obviously obtain justice, but also to keep a watchful eye over someone who is taking full advantage of a system that let him walk free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: To Andy Kahan, do you believe that there is a real desire for O.J. S. Simpson merchandise out there? And explain what families have to go through get money? They have to basically follow him around to every memorabilia signing, every autograph signing, have a sheriff there with an order, in hand, track Simpson down, grab the bag of money from him, and log it.
KAHAN: The bottom line is that Simpson is using his infamy and ill- gotten notoriety and it`s essentially using the horrific deaths of two people to essentially foster making a living on.
There is a big, big business, a macabre industry, that sells Simpson`s merchandise on daily basis. So it is about time that they took what I would call blood money and gave it back to the only unwilling participants and that`s the Goldmans and Browns.
GRACE: To "Headline`s Glenn Beck.
GLENN BECK, HEADLINE ANCHOR: Coming up the boneheaded beauty queen, Miss England, who is Islamic, says profiling is driving young Muslims to a life of terrorism. Uh, hmm, I blame that on the terrorists.
Also, Iran`s former president says Bush administration policies are behind the rise of terrorism. Again, I`ll blame that on terrorists. Must have missed that one.
Also, Bo Derrick will be here to turn me into a stumbling awkward teen. Don`t miss tonight`s episode.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MARK KARR: You want to eat, drink, have sex, procreate. That`s your basic instincts. So, those little girls are so absolutely beautiful that you`re saying, "You know, you`re a doll. You`re candy. I wanna eat you. I wanna eat you. Is it, "Do I wanna eat you, or do I wanna have sex with you?" They`re both very, they`re both primal instincts, and they`re very similar, but are they the same thing? No, they`re not the same. I want love.
CALLER, PURPORTED RECORDING OF JOHN MARK KARR: "What it amounts to is, I think that most of us are capable of having any of those fantasies and it`s hard for me to differentiate between what, what they mean, you know. Instead of thinking she`s pretty, you start to think she`s sexy. I guess at that point, you`re probably having a sexual attraction to that child."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Joining us tonight, the John Mark Karr family attorney, Gary Harris.
Mr. Harris, thank you for being with us.
GARY HARRIS, KARR FAMILY ATTORNEY: Pleasure.
GRACE: Mr. Harris, you say that John Mark Karr, the confessed killer of JonBenet Ramsey is not a threat. Why?
HARRIS: Well, because for the first 37 years of his life, there`s no history whatsoever of any kind of child abuse on his part.
I`ve lost my thing here.
GRACE: Wait a minute, let me ask you a question about that, right off the bat. Isn`t it true that his first wife was 14 years old at the time of their wedding, and she was pregnant?
HARRIS: I don`t think she was pregnant. He never had a child by her. But John was only 19 years old at the time.
GRACE: OK, what about the second wife?
HARRIS: The second wife was 16; she was pregnant. She was pregnant. That`s true.
But the fact of the matter is John Karr, despite what you hear on television, has no history, none of ever abusing any child much less being a pedophile. And that`s what he`s described as on television every day, this pedophile.
GRACE: Wouldn`t you agree being with a 14-year-old girl, and that`s at best. I`m referring to his first wife. That`s at best, if you believe they had not had sex before the marriage -- at best having sex with a 14- year-old girl in itself is a child molestation?
HARRIS: Listen, Nancy, this girl was 14 going on 24.
GRACE: Ha! So the defense is she looked older than 14? That`s the best you got, Gary?
HARRIS: Well, are we going to crucify this guy? Are we going to try him in the press because he married a 14-year-old girl when he was 19? When I was 19 I didn`t have a lick of sense.
GRACE: Sir, it`s a crime. And he got away with it because he convinced this girl to marry him. He started seeing her when she was 13 years old. And sir, I don`t know how much criminal cases you tried when it comes to child molestation, but the defense she looked 24 doesn`t fly anymore.
HARRIS: Wait, I want to comment on that.
HARRIS: The fact of the matter is that her mother signed the papers for her to marry John Karr.
GRACE: So what?
HARRIS: It`s not unusual for a girl.
GRACE: So, what? The Taliban does it, too? Does that make it OK?
HARRIS: Does that mean he`s a child molester?
GRACE: Yes, well, in my mind, yes. When you start having relations with a 13-year-old girl, and you get someone to sign consensual papers, that`s on them. That doesn`t relieve him of what his fixation is. Did you hear these tapes? How can you listen to these tapes of this guy describing one desired a molestation of a child, after the next, after the next, and not perceive a threat on children?
HARRIS: Well, I can`t explain that. I don`t know what kind of psychological problems John Karr may have. I know that he suffered a dramatic psycho injury when he was four years old, when his mother tried to kill him. Tried to burn him up in a blanket.
So, I only can go, Nancy, by the facts. The facts are that he`s never been even accused of molesting a child.
GRACE: Not what I asked you. I asked you -- don`t give me a lot of excuses about what happened when he was a child.
HARRIS: You`re telling people to call in from all over the United States, if you know that this man has molested a child please call in. How many calls have you had?
GRACE: I gave the tip number to the police.
HARRIS: Yeah, right.
GRACE: Now if would you just answer the question. After hearing these tape recordings of him fantasizing about molesting one child after the next, after the next, after the next, Wendy Hutchens, who recorded this, for the police, states over 200 victims were mentioned. You don`t perceive that as a threat on children?
HARRIS: I think the Wendy Hutchens thing was part of a conspiracy with the district attorney in Boulder County. Wendy Hutchens is a pathological liar. Wendy Hutchens said that John Karr, and one of his brothers attended a party at John Ramsey`s home. This is absolutely false. She also said that one of his -- one of John Karr`s brothers had worked for John Ramsey for many years.
GRACE: I believe she was quoting John Mark Karr when she said that. But again, you know what, you don`t have to answer the question. I`ll let you off the hook.
Roll the tape, Elizabeth.
HARRIS: No, you don`t need to let me off any hook.
GRACE: Well, then, answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARR: I wanted to stay with her because she was like a little daughter that I had. It was just caressing. Her mother, basically watched everything that ever happened between her and I.
KARR: Oh, yeah, her mother was there the whole time. I had a fantastic relationship with -- the mother actually admitted to me that she wanted to have sex.
KARR: And I didn`t.
KARR: I mean, I didn`t do that. I`m a real loyal person -- I have, uh, I have a real strong character.
When I was a teenage boy -- between you and I, a total secret -- when I was a teenage boy I used to m. and think about my mom.
KARR: And how I -- we went all the way.
HUTCHENS: Really? Wow.
KARR: It was a weird thing and my mom was just a mess. I mean, she - - her life was a total wreck. She was a wreck. She`s like Mrs. Ramsey now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: With us tonight, in defense of John Mark Karr, the Karr family attorney, Gary Harris. A very well-respected lawyer in his jurisdiction.
Mr. Harris, speaking of him being loyal, as he described it, how long has it been since he`s seen his children?
HARRIS: It is my understanding that hasn`t seen his children since he got out of jail in the latter part of 2001.
HARRIS: Why hasn`t he seen them?
HARRIS: Well, he stayed in the jail out there in California for six months on a trumped up charge.
GRACE: I believe you said 2001. That`s been five years.
HARRIS: Right. He`s been on the run. I don`t know why he`s been on the run. I assume he was afraid to stay in jail.
GRACE: Has he contacted them? E-mail, letter, gift, photo, nothing?
HARRIS: No. The family has not heard a word from him since left. They thought he was dead as matter of fact.
GRACE: Then why are they defending him now and saying that there is no way -- and you -- saying there is no way he`s a threat to children?
HARRIS: Well, because there is nothing in his history up until five years ago -- and I can`t comment on the last five years, because we don`t know where he`s been or what he`s been doing.
GRACE: What he`s doing in Bangkok any way?
HARRIS: Well, let me finish. For the first 37 years of his life he never harmed a child, never threatened a child, has never been accused of hurting a child.
GRACE: Other than the 13-year-old and 15-year-old he married.
HARRIS: He didn`t hurt her. It is not unusual in the rural South for girls to get married when they`re 14.
GRACE: I beg your pardon. I`m from the rural South. I never have seen anyone get married at the age of 14. Never, ever.
HARRIS: Well, my grandmother got married in 1907 at age 14. I can attest to the fact that happens occasionally.
GRACE: Yes, but when was that, 1907?
GRACE: We`re in a different century now. The law does not approve of marriages at age 14 but that`s besides the point.
HARRIS: You need to talk about --
GRACE: My question is to you.
HARRIS: You need to talk to the Alabama legislature, because they`re the one that enacted the law that allowed her to get married when she was 14 years old.
GRACE: What was Karr doing in Bangkok?
HARRIS: But you`re avoiding the issue. The issue is whether or not John Karr is a child molester, a pedophile. You don`t have one proof that he is. But you got on television the other night and read the ransom note, in the Ramsey case and said that this looked just like his handwriting.
HARRIS: Of course, you know now, that that`s not true.
GRACE: No, no, no, Mr. Harris. I said there were some similarities but I have never supported the theory that your lying client was the one who broke in that night. I thought he was lying as usual.
Let`s go out to Chuck in Florida. Hi, Chuck.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. How are you?
GRACE: I`m good. What`s your question?
CALLER: As I understand it there was a suitcase found at the scene of the crime with broken glass on it. What was the relevance of that suitcase?
GRACE: You know, I saw the same thing, Chuck. They were arguing that it was used to boost somebody in and out of that window. And the direction of the glass would have shown whether someone came from inside or outside.
MICHAEL TRACEY, FRIEND OF JOHN KARR: My sense from the e-mails is that you want to help. You want some closure for Patsy. And you want, maybe some closure for yourself?
KARR: Maybe it isn`t an issue of closure, but it`s also -- it`s just -- I`ve always been a very open person with my immediate family. They knew everything about my sexuality and I was never I never hid that from them no matter how unpopular it was and it was -- it was just the most unpopular thing in my life.
But it was so obvious and there was no way I could hide it. I mean, I`ve always had all this little .I`ve always had this little entourage of little girls around me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Describing his sex life, nobody cares, but when it comes to entourage of little girls, I care. With us is a special guest, Gary Harris, the Karr family attorney.
His theory is that John Mark Karr is no threat. But, sir, I`m reading from court documents, from the first wife, a minor, states she`s fearful for her life and safety. That`s a document filed in court. And the second wife who says her husband, John Mark Karr is a threat to children. Your response?
HARRIS: In the first place this young girl was naive and innocent about what
GRACE: I thought she said she was going on 24.
HARRIS: About like Daisy May, Li`l Abner`s girlfriend.
GRACE: I`m not familiar with that.
HARRIS: I guess I`m older than you.
GRACE: My point is both wives consider him a threat.
HARRIS: I haven`t heard anything from his second wife about him being a threat.
GRACE: I have the document right here where she calls him a threat to children.
HARRIS: When did she do that?
GRACE: This is dated 2001.
HARRIS: No doubt that she`s mad as hell as him. Her lawyer got on television and said that she hated that she had to tell the truth that he was at the Christmas dinner in 1996.
GRACE: Don`t you think she`s more likely angry about those five child pornography charges that he has waiting on him in Sonoma County.
HARRIS: Let`s talk about that. The fact of the matter is on the basis of Wendy Hutchens` recording, which I believe is going to be shown to be an entrapment in the first place, but it on that basis the California authorities raid his house, get a search warrant --
GRACE: OK, I`ve got to sign off. I have 20 seconds left. Sir, I challenge you to a rematch.
HARRIS: Well, have me on when I can talk some.
GRACE: OK. Good night friends.
HARRIS: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Please join us tomorrow night.