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Federline Spurns Britney`s Big Bucks Offer to Drop Custody Battle
Aired December 8, 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: Superstar Britney Spears`s, critics claim, post-divorce hard parties will cost the music superstar custody of her two sons, ages 1 year old and 4 months, sources now stating her ex, Kevin Federline, just turned down Spears`s money offer, a whopping three times the pre-nup. And department of child services called in.
And tonight: The bedtime fairy tail "Beauty and the Beast" takes a whole new meaning. He played the role of the beast on stage, tonight he is charged with sex attack on minors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly a month to the day after she filed for divorce from husband Kevin Federline, Britney posted a message on her Web site that directly addresses her hard-core partying. Britney writes, "It`s been so long since I`ve been out on the town with friends. It`s also been two years since I`ve celebrated my birthday. Every move I make at this point has been magnified more than I expected, and I probably did take my new-found freedom a little bit too far. Thank God for Victoria`s Secret`s new underwear line. I look forward to a new year, new music and a new me."
BRITNEY SPEARS, POP STAR: The timing from when, you know, I was on tour and our relationship evolving until we got married, basically, and it`s just -- it`s kind of interesting to see how we fell in love, got in fights, everything. You know, it`s just kind of there.
KEVIN FEDERLINE, HUSBAND: I don`t know how much fights it shows.
SPEARS: Well, it doesn`t show all the fights, but you can feel the tension.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: She`s worried about Victoria`s Secret`s new underwear line? Hello? She should be worried about custody of those two little boys! Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us. More troubles for Britney Spears. Now her statement released, child custody officials bearing down.
Out to Jarett Weiselman with "In Touch Weekly." Did this statement help at all?
JARETT WEISELMAN, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": You know, I think it helps in the sense that it shows intent to change. She obviously acknowledges all the problems that the public has seen her, you know, portraying in the last few weeks.
GRACE: But wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute! Not to break in. I mean, I know you`re the lifestyle director of "In Touch Weekly." You`re not the legal affairs director. But when you say it`s helping, I`m talking about helping child custody. You know, the 1-year-old, the 4- month-old, that little raising a family thing?
WEISELMAN: No, absolutely. But the thing is, by saying these things, by saying she took her newfound freedom too far, she`s acknowledging her critics who say she`s not home, she`s not there enough. And she says that she will make a concerted effort to be home more. So hopefully, that will, you know, sort of assuage some of the fears that people have about...
GRACE: Did she say that? Did she say that in her statement, I plan to be home more?
WEISELMAN: I mean, I think that`s the intent of it. That to me was what it was portraying, that she, you know, hadn`t been out in two years, she hadn`t even celebrated her birthday, that she took her newfound freedom too far. To me...
GRACE: Hasn`t celebrated her birthday.
WEISELMAN: I know. Poor thing! Poor thing, right? I don`t even buy that whole birthday thing.
GRACE: I`m not even -- I`m not even kidding. I`m talking about child custody. What can you tell me, Jarett Weiselman -- he`s with "In Touch Weekly." Jarett, what can you tell me about this latest report that her ex -- there he is, Kevin Federline, the employment-challenged ex-husband -- what can you tell me about him turning down a pre-nup offer times three?
WEISELMAN: Yes, as "In Touch" reported, Britney basically didn`t want to go through this whole custody battle with Kevin because he`s basically petitioning to get sole custody of the kids, and it`s everyone`s assumption that that`s so he can get more money out of her. So she said, All right, let me give you the money up front. I`ll triple the pre-nup, and then we`re good to go. That would bring it close to $1 million, in addition to the percentage of the house in Malibu that they sell and split the proceeds of.
GRACE: And how much is that going to be? Isn`t that, like, a $15 million home?
WEISELMAN: It is. It`s, like -- I think it`s something like $15.5 million, around that area. So it really would give him a substantial amount of cash, a lot of cash that he doesn`t truly deserve.
GRACE: Does that include all of his cars and his Harley hog and all that bling he wears?
WEISELMAN: You know, I believe that Britney did take back some of the gifts, but I think she also just let him have them. She just wants this to be done with. And so by offering Kevin three times the amount of money, she thought that that would sort of nip this whole problem in the bud. Unfortunately, Kevin is holding out for custody of the kids and more money.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEARS: The timing from when, you know, I was on tour and our relationship evolving until we got married, basically, and it`s just -- it`s kind of interesting to see how we fell in love, got in fights, everything. You know, it`s just kind of there.
FEDERLINE: I don`t know how much fights it shows.
SPEARS: Well, it doesn`t show all the fights, but you can feel the tension.
I think my fans are going to fall completely in love with him, just like I did. He is the sexiest thing in the world and he`s very sensitive, and he`s the perfect husband. He`s awesome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: The perfect husband is now wanting at least three times what is offered in the pre-nup. Joining me right now, a veteran trial lawyer, child welfare advocate, Gloria Allred. Elizabeth, do you have that Michael Jackson shot, dangling the baby over the ledge? A lot of people sat back in their armchairs going, Oh, no, that`s terrible. Well, one person actually did something about it, and that was Gloria Allred. Gloria, in the Michael Jackson case, do you recall filing, basically, a citizen`s complaint, looking into whether he is a fit parent?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY, CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATE: Absolutely. A number of them, I might add, as to whether he should have continued to have custody of his children, especially when he did endanger his own baby by having that baby dangle over the side of a balcony.
And now here in this case, Nancy, we`re talking about Britney, and it`s interesting because child services did investigate when she was seen carrying the baby in her lap in the car. The baby should have been in a child seat and it should have been strapped in, not in the mother`s lap while the mother is driving or sitting in the car. So that I think was investigated. But I don`t think that they investigated the fact that Britney was out there late night partying.
GRACE: You know, Gloria, the whole -- here`s the timeline. September `04, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline marry. May `05, the reality series "Chaotic" hits the airwaves. September `05, the first baby, Sean Preston Federline, is born. I`m sure there`s more to that timeline. There we go. December `05, Spears allegedly cancels credit cards on Federline. In `06, Jayden James Federline, the second child, is born. In 11/06, divorce petition.
Now, wedged in there in the timeline is an incident where the child -- the first child comes out of the highchair, hits his head, and the unfortunate episodes where she`s driving in the car, in one instance, she`s holding the baby in the lap, in the other instance, he`s put in incorrectly in the baby seat.
Gloria, you know, you can have a junkie for a mother, shooting up on the courthouse steps, wearing a thong on her head, and she`s not going to lose custody. So bottom line, do you really think this is going to cause her to lose custody?
ALLRED: No, I don`t, Nancy. It`s interesting that he is seeking custody. And the children are young, so anything could happen. But neither of them are picture perfect as parents. And we`ll have to see because the standard in family law court in California is what is in the best interests of the children. Ordinarily, it`s in their best interests to leave them where they are unless they`re being abused, abandoned, neglected or the victim of an act of cruelty. And I think here, that would be a tough case to make for Britney. Yes, she made some mistakes. But the children have not been removed from her by the children`s services.
And it may be that Mr. Federline is just trying to angle to get custody so he can get more child support because in the pre-nuptial, that doesn`t deal with child support because, in fact, a parent cannot, as a matter of public policy, give up their right to child support and can`t decide to give up custody, either, because, you know...
GRACE: Hey, Gloria...
ALLRED: ... it`s going to really depend on what`s best at the time.
GRACE: I don`t know if you can see a monitor, but do you see this episode that`s been played all over the world, where she almost drops the baby?
GRACE: That is clearly an accident. That`s clearly an accident. It came out that she was holding, like, a Diet Coke in her hand. She clearly tripped on her heels. And that has been being used as some proof that she is a bad parent.
Gloria, you`ve raised kids. Our friend, Lisa Bloom, over on Court TV. And long story short, children rear back. They jump out of the chair. They fall out of the highchair. They arch away while you`re trying to hold them. They fall off the bed. That clearly is an accident. And I feel that some of Britney`s behavior is being used against her and will be used against her in a court of law that really does not rise to negligence.
GRACE: Well, that`s exactly my point, Nancy. It may be that Mr. Federline, should it ever reach a court of law...
GRACE: Oh, it`s going to reach a court of law, Gloria.
ALLRED: Well, I mean, it may be decided by a private judge somewhere. We don`t know and -- but -- or it may be settled, and then it won`t be in a court of law. But having said that, he may make the most and try to make the points that you have made about her conduct, and what`s most important is, her conduct in reference to the children. The highchair incident, where the child fell out of the highchair, was, you know, because of a nanny allegedly having been there at the time, not Britney. And again, i, may have been just an accident, nobody`s real fault.
But he`ll probably make the most of it. And again, it may be just to try to get child support, or maybe he really wants custody of the children and loves them and thinks that he can -- since he`s not employed...
ALLRED: ... spend the time taking care of them.
GRACE: Like his other two children with Char? Hold on. Gloria, tell me what you think of this advice before we go to our other two lawyers, Don Papcsy and Anne Bremner. Here we go. First of all, whether you think you need them or not, take some parenting classes. Take parenting classes. Get an A-plus. Show up at every class. Then bring your teacher into court and have them testify what a great student are you.
Get nanny`s full credentials and papers. Bring them into court. Get the top-of-the-line nannies. Show the judge you`re trying. Get your kids in some fancy pre-school with good academics. I know they`re just little babies right now, but it`s never too early to learn a foreign language, to learn developmental and social skills. Impress the judge.
Tone down the profile. Show your sons have a stable environment. And for God`s sakes, wear underwear.
GRACE: You know, really. We can all laugh about it. Everybody was laughing about it. It was all over the Internet. But long story short, those shots of Britney getting in and out of cars without her underwear on, believe me, they`re going to be Federline exhibit number 1. I don`t know if he has any room to talk. I don`t know about his personal life. But I`m sure there are plenty of shots of him dancing at bars with other women and booze and living it up while she`s at home with the kids. So you know it`s going to be fighting fire with fire.
Let`s go to the other lawyers, Dan Papcsy and Anne Bremner. These are some of the most contested lawsuits in the courthouse, Anne Bremner.
ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Absolutely. I mean, they`re the worst ever, Nancy. And my mom`s here tonight, and she, like all our moms, said, Better wear underwear when you go out. You know, and Britney -- oops, I did it again, like her song, twice not wearing underwear.
GRACE: Well, Anne, I don`t know how you were raised, but actually -- we have Anne Bremner`s mother here in the studio. I don`t know that most of us had to be told to wear underwear when we go out.
BREMNER: ... not a legal issue.
BREMNER: But actually, at least wear clean underwear, but at least, she should have been wearing underwear.
GRACE: Well, I mean, we can all laugh about it...
BREMNER: That`s right, but she...
GRACE: ... come against her in court.
BREMNER: There`s no doubt that it`s Trial 101, as you always say. Is it relevant whether or not she was wearing underwear in New York...
BREMNER: ... or out...
BREMNER: But Nancy...
GRACE: Take off your rose-colored glasses!
BREMNER: The paparazzi (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: In court, it doesn`t have to be relevant! Federline will bring it in against her...
BREMNER: But you know what...
GRACE: ... whether it`s relevant or not.
BREMNER: The first question I`d ask for -- ask him, as a lawyer, is, Don`t you just give yourself the creeps? I mean, this guy -- I mean, he gave up his first two kids. His wife -- girlfriend was pregnant when he ended up with Britney Spears. He doesn`t -- he wants the money. It`s about the money, the money, and the money.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEDERLINE: They say I party a lot. And it`s just been, like, lately, I`m having to go out all the time to promote the album, be in the clubs, get on the mike, do that stuff. You know, it`s all been really to promote the album. And all the other times that people see me, like, I`m getting paid (INAUDIBLE) you know what I mean? It`s not like I do it because I can or -- it`s very, very few times that I go, you know. If I had a hard day and I really need to get away, or you know, if me and the wife are beefing or something like that, then, yes, I`ll go out and I`ll have a good time because it keeps my mind off of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I`m getting paid to do this. What, paid to be a professional barfly? Do people get paid to do that, Don Papcsy?
DON PAPCSY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t think so. I`m just glad I didn`t have to answer the questions about the underwear. That`s all.
GRACE: Hey, you`re next! Look, again, it`s -- you guys can laugh about it, but I naturally think of how that`s going to apply in a court of...
BREMNER: Oh, yes. True.
GRACE: ... Don -- how that`s going to apply in a court of law. And Anne was right, it is irrelevant to the issue of child custody. But it will come in anyways. They`re going to introduce it. Every slip she makes will come into court. And did you just see him hanging out at a bar? Where are the kids? Where`s the baby stroller? I don`t get it!
PAPCSY: Well, I think he`s clearly using this as a bargaining chip. That`s all he`s doing. And I think it`s going to be settled before you see it in a court of law. He`s holding out -- whenever you see the father make a petition for child support from the mother, in this case a big-time celebrity, and couples that with a "sole custody" custody petition, you can almost guarantee that that`s what he`s after. He just wants to up the ante. They`re using the children as a bargaining chip, which is a wrong thing to do, so -- yes.
GRACE: Well, and she`s giving him plenty of ammunition.
We`ll all be right back, but very quickly, I want to go to tonight`s "Case Alert." An American tragedy, a lost father, James Kim, died about a mile away from a fully stocked fishing lodge. Kim braved freezing cold 10 long miles in rough terrain to try and save his wife and two children. He died -- exposure, hypothermia. Authorities say the remote Oregon logging road he took his family on before being stranded is normally blocked by a locked metal gate, but a vandal cut that lock.
The exact time of death could not be determined. SWAT team members report it appeared from his body he had been dead only a few hours when found. Tonight, we remember a brave father, James Kim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought what was really great about her statement on the Web site was she`s, like, Look, I spent the past two years baby making. And I`m making up for lost time, and I`m sorry you -- you know, you`re not happy with that, but I`ve had my fun and I think I`m ready to settle down now. She didn`t realize that she would be so scrutinized for every move that she made. If we were so scrutinized after every breakup, we would all look like wild things.
SPEARS: It`s about me just performing and expressing myself. And I think when someone sees you up on stage having fun and you`re fulfilling your dream, they`re inspired by that. And that`s what matters.
I think that doing what I`m doing now, I think everything happens for a reason. And I would be -- I`m happier doing this right now, you know? Who knows. In the future, I may, you know, say I want to go back to college. You can always go back. But I`m kind of content where I`m at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: If you take a look at the statement just released from Britney Spears -- take a long look. It`s been a long time since I`ve been out on the town with my friends. Two years since I had a birthday. Every time I make a move, I am observed, la, la, la, da, da, da, da. Thank God for Victoria`s Secret`s underwear, blah, blah, blah, new year, new music, new me. I`m just getting -- OK, two things missing, baby one and baby two.
Out to Carlos Diaz, correspondent with "Extra." Is she concerned at all about a custody fight, Carlos?
CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA": Well, first off, you got to look at the timing of this letter coming out. There`s no coincidence this letter came out on the same morning that the Grammy nominations were announced. It`s kind of Britney`s way to say, Hey, I`m not making music, but I can still get in the music world.
Secondly -- and Nancy, you`re probably going to reach through the TV and smack me in the face for saying this, but if she starts to record an album, OK, well, great, then she`s recording an album all day, so she`s not with the kids all day. At least she`s out at night right now partying when the kids are asleep. When she comes home, she gets a few hours of sleep and then she`s with the kids all day. I mean...
GRACE: How do you know that?
DIAZ: Well, that`s the thing, though. I mean, she has nannies taking care of the kids at night, OK? There are people there -- she`s not leaving the kids at home by themselves. So she goes out and she parties. Maybe she sleeps until noon, and then she`s with the kids all day. If she`s a working mom and she`s working, like, a 10-hour day, she`s out the door at 8:00 and she`s back at home by 6:00...
DIAZ: Excuse me?
GRACE: Did your mother work outside the home?
DIAZ: She did. And I turned out pretty good.
GRACE: And well, I don`t know anything about that, but do you have a problem with working moms?
DIAZ: No, I don`t have a problem with working moms. My point is...
GRACE: Sounds like you do.
DIAZ: ... everyone`s getting on Britney`s case for...
GRACE: Let`s just take a little listen to Gloria Allred. Gloria, how many hours do you think you logged in the courtroom and would come home and be a mom?
ALLRED: Well, a number of them, but...
GRACE: Wait, wa-wait~! Don`t answer that because during the Scott Peterson trial, we were leaving the courthouse one night at 9:00 PM There was Gloria Allred standing on the corner in her St. John (ph) suit, working two cell phones with clients, still working. So this whole business about the working mom thing -- actually, Carlos may have a point. Her being the only working parent may bite her in the neck.
ALLRED: Well, it`s possible. But you know, the other thing to consider, Nancy, is what about Kevin? What kind of father is he? And now that she still has custody, how much time is he spending with the children? In other words, how much time is he visiting with them.
GRACE: Oh, is that (INAUDIBLE)
ALLRED: That`s really important because that is going to be an issue...
GRACE: Hey, Gloria...
ALLRED: ... in the custody battle.
GRACE: What about her hanging out with those shy, shy Hilton sisters?
ALLRED: Well, I don`t think that will bother her. But I do think the panty police caught up with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEDERLINE: It`s my life, you know? It`s what`s happened to me. And I mean, I`m thankful for what I have. So if I got to go through that to be with the love of my life and have wonderful children, then so be it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, whatever. Now he has turned down Britney Spears`s offer, three times the pre-nup. Ellie, you mentioned something. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Well, we were talking about whether or not, you know, Britney would be in the studio and whether or not her kids would be sitting home alone. There is a video that made the rounds on the Internet about a year ago that showed Britney practicing some dance moves in a studio. And in the video, you see the nanny pushing Sean Preston around in the stroller. So she obviously, you know, took the kids to work with her.
GRACE: Had the baby at work. Good point.
Out to the lines. Angela in Arkansas. Hi, Angela.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you doing?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to know how Kevin is going to prove in court that he is a better parent than Britney when he parties just as much as she does.
GRACE: If not more. Carlos Diaz, got a thought on that?
DIAZ: There`s no way Kevin Federline`s getting custody of the kids. He parties more than Britney. He makes no money. And he has no talent. And he doesn`t take care of his first two kids. Not a good shot (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN FEDERLINE, EX-HUSBAND OF BRITNEY SPEARS: We work together with everything. So she does what a wife does for a husband, and I do what a husband does for a wife. I mean it, you know, if I really -- if I am ever down, which is very rare, very, very rare, you know, I mean, she`ll talk. You know, she`s the only one that I can really go to that understands any of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re best friends, as well?
FEDERLINE: Oh, definitely. I mean, it`s all part of being a father. I love every aspect of it. I mean, I`m not going to sit here and jump for joy that I`ve changed diapers, but, you know, it comes with it, and I accept that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is Britney Spears` ex, Kevin Federline. Tonight, superstar Britney Spears` critics claim that her post-divorce partying may cost her custody of her two children, one 1-year-old, one 4 months old.
Now, stunning developments regarding that pre-nup, a very generous pre-nup agreement: three times the pre-nup amount turned down by Federline. What`s he holding out for? Let`s go out to the lines. Joann in Texas, hi, Joann.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, thank you for taking my call.
GRACE: Yes, ma`am.
CALLER: I just wanted to ask why Britney Spears was not arrested and charged with indecent exposure? Any man, famous or ordinary Joe, would have been.
GRACE: You know, that`s a really interesting question. Out to Anne Bremner. Why no formal charge?
ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Because she had no intent to show anything about her privates to anybody. She was getting out of a car, Nancy. And the paparazzi take pictures of her every second, everything she does.
And so, when you`re getting out of a car, it`s kind of hard to get out without showing something sometime. And when they`re filming everything, then it so happened. But, Nancy, she`s not out there like the guy that`s pulling his trench coat out. I mean, she...
GRACE: OK, hold on just a moment. To Gloria Allred, I agree that it was not intentional. But, Gloria, it happened four times in a row. And you can only tearfully plead with the paparazzi to leave you alone so much when you`re getting out of the car without your underwear on. I mean, how believable is that?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, that is the issue. The first time you could say, "It`s an accident. Whoops." The second time maybe, "Oh, I didn`t realize," but she`s wearing miniskirts. If it happened four times, you know, maybe the third and fourth time, you have to say, "Well, maybe there is some provable intent here."
And that is an interesting issue, because she knows she`s wearing a miniskirt. She knows by the third or fourth time that there are going to be paparazzi there. She probably knew that the first or second time. And yet she`s doing it again, no panties. So that maybe is a good question for the prosecutor. Could they prove intent the third or the fourth time?
GRACE: I think the big issue -- out to Lillian Glass, psychologist joining us -- is that there wasn`t a complainant. You know, normally when a guy exposes himself in the park, everybody complains. Nobody apparently complained that Britney exposed herself. But does this have anything to do with child custody, Lillian?
DR. LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it may, because when you`re looking at the photographs of her, it`s not just the fact that it`s a little peek-a-boo situation. "Oh, she forgot to wear underwear." The skirt is hiked up to her waist, so there may have been some intent here. It`s obvious she was out of control. She may have been drunk; she may not have been aware of what was going on.
GRACE: Can I ask you the something? The difference in that and Federline boozing it up and dancing around a stripper pole at some bar?
GLASS: There`s no difference. They`re both out of control.
GRACE: I mean, have you seen those pants? They`re pulled halfway down to his ankles.
GLASS: That`s true.
GRACE: I see a lot more than I want to there, the underwear thing, the whole...
GLASS: You`re absolutely right, Nancy.
GRACE: Out to Brandon in Ohio, hi, Brandon.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, I had a quick question for you.
CALLER: How are Britney`s lawyers going to use Kevin`s relationship with his previous two children in this case?
GRACE: Excellent question! You know, Brandon, when you don`t know a horse, look at his track record. All you`ve got to do, Dan Papcsy, is take a look at paying child support to Shar, his first wife, the visitation with those children, how often he sees them, the regularity of his visits. All of that can be taken into account, or will it?
BOB PAPCSY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, that`s exactly what they do. They take into account the totality of the circumstances and what`s in the best interests of the children.
And I think that, first of all, there`s a presumption that Britney Spears is the mother of the children and the primary caregiver and she should get custody of the children, or at least a joint custody situation. So I don`t think that there`s going to be any problem there.
But, you know, under the totality of the circumstances, who`s the better person for these children, Kevin Federline or Britney Spears? I don`t know.
GRACE: Well, back to psychologist Dr. Lillian Glass, if Federline jumps up and claims she`s a bad parent, isn`t that the pot calling the kettle black? Won`t that look bad in court? I mean...
GLASS: I think it will look very bad in court. You`re absolutely right: It is the pot calling the kettle black, because they`re both not very good parents, as far as what we see.
GRACE: You know, although we have no idea what`s going on at home, if there are nannies, grandparents, how the children are actually cared for. But, you know, it`s Trial 101 when it comes to divorce law. Out to Gloria Allred. It`s a no-fault state in California. Explain, Gloria.
ALLRED: Yes, it is no fault, in terms of being able to get the divorce. So all they have to do is allege irreconcilable differences. And, Nancy, they don`t have to say what those irreconcilable differences are. They will get the divorce.
But that`s not the same as saying that one or the other will get custody. That`s an issue apart from it, and we`ll have to see. By the way, the fact that he doesn`t earn income or is unemployed, if, in fact, he is, is not a factor that`s going to be considered, because, if you only considered the economic assets, you know, then most fathers in America would have custody, because they`d have more economically than most mothers. And that isn`t relevant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. We`re standing out here today in front of the musical Broadway show "Beauty and the Beast." This magical fairy tale has turned into a nightmare.
The beast, a real-life beast now, has been charged with the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old beauty. Forty-year-old James Barbour, who once played the beast in this Broadway musical, is facing a multiple-count indictment, being charged with sexual abuse and the endangerment of the welfare of a minor.
Since then, another young woman has come forward who claims that he abused her seven years ago when she was just 13 years old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Bedtime fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" takes on a whole new meaning. He played the role of the Beast on stage and is now charged with sex attacks on minors. Out to Barbara Ross with the "New York Daily News," explain.
BARBARA ROSS, REPORTER, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Well, according to the police, he`s not convicted of anything yet, and so to call him a beast is a bit much because he`s not convicted of anything yet.
GRACE: Well, I don`t believe anyone`s called him a beast. That`s the title that he played on stage, you know, "Beauty and the Beast."
ROSS: No, actually, actually, one of my competitor newspapers calls him the Beast in their headlines. So I`m just, you know, just sort of got to give him the benefit of the doubt until he`s convicted.
At any rate, he told the police back in -- Los Angeles police -- when he was arrested that he actually had met this woman and that he claims that she was sexually aggressive to him. He acknowledged that they kissed in his apartment and played kneesies under the dinner table when he was dining out with her and her parents. But he says that it was all innocent and that she was the sexual aggressor.
The district attorney`s office in Manhattan says the victim has quite a different story and that she was engaged in fellatio with him at his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the summer of 2001, when he was at the time just right after he had finished his role in "Beauty and the Beast."
GRACE: OK, according to the victim, the alleged victim in this case, who has come forward five years after the fact, Barbara, how old is she now?
ROSS: She`s now 19 or 20. We`re not quite sure.
GRACE: I believe she`s 20 years old, right, Ellie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s what we heard, yes.
GRACE: Twenty years old. OK, five years later, she states that she was a theater aficionado, wanted to become a theater star herself, sees him backstage. At that time, he made advances on her. She was a teenager at that time.
She then states that, out at dinner -- and correct me if I`m wrong, Barbara Ross -- out at dinner, with her parents and his girlfriend, he fondled her under the table. Then she states she was so upset about it that she went to his apartment alone, where they had oral sex. OK, those are the claims that I understand she`s making. Barbara, are those her claims?
ROSS: Those are pretty much her claims, that`s right.
GRACE: OK. Big question -- joining me now Ron Fischetti, James Barbour`s attorney. Mr. Fischetti, thank you for being with us.
It`s my understanding he`s out in California, and he has come to court here in New York. What do you make of the claims being filed so many years later?
RON FISCHETTI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR JAMES BARBOUR: Well, I think it shows how ridiculous the claims are. I mean, I like that your guest said, you know, what has been happening in the periodicals -- not her paper -- but the headline in the news of her competitor said "Beast of Broadway."
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, first of all, I`m not mediating a war between the "News" and the "Post," all right?
FISCHETTI: The point I`m trying to make to you, Nancy, if you want to talk about this thing, we`ve got to talk about the presumption of innocence and we got to talk about how the newspapers have convicted this fellow before he had one day in court, and that`s simply not fair.
GRACE: OK, you know what? OK, you know what? Gloria, let me ask you the question. Gloria, the allegations were brought to light five years after the fact. How is a jury -- you`re a trial lawyer -- how is a jury going to view that?
ALLRED: Well, it`s going to be difficult. It definitely is going to be difficult. And maybe that`s why apparently the prosecutor is putting out there that there is another young woman who would be making allegations against him.
Of course, that`s only going to be allowed in probably at the sentencing stage, if he`s convicted, which we know he hasn`t been yet, and he may never be. But, apparently, there`s a recording, as well, of some statements that he made in a telephone conversation with her. And it may be that the prosecutor thinks that he has made some admissions on that recording which will be useful in the trial.
GRACE: Back to his attorney, Ron Fischetti, a trial lawyer joining us. He is James Barbour`s lawyer. The admissions, these so-called admissions on the phone, the way that they were depicted in the press was that he said he had done something unethical. That`s a far cry from admitting to a sex attack on a minor.
FISCHETTI: That`s absolutely correct. That`s what he said. He was referring to the kissing. We have the tape. There`s nothing there. I have no explanation for this woman coming forward five-and-a-half years later, except for the fact that Mr. Barbour came into a great deal of money very recently, and she may be filing a civil suit afterwards. There`s no way I can prove that at this time.
But one thing we know -- and the district attorney has conceded -- that they had a relationship for five-and-a-half years, where he helped her, he mentored her, he helped her get jobs. And during that time, there`s absolutely no claim of anything being done inappropriately. Then, all of a sudden...
GRACE: But you do have the problem, Ron, that now a girl that was allegedly 13 years old at the time has also said he made advances on her. To me, that`s the biggest problem you guys may have.
FISCHETTI: I have no problem with that, Nancy. That happened seven years ago. The allegation is made in California. California knows about it; the authorities know about it. He`s never been arrested, never been charged for that. And that simply never happened.
And the district attorney has put up a hotline where they`re supposed to get information regarding any other acts that he had, which he did not. And I think that`s grossly unfair.
I mean, we should have a hotline for any other false allegations that she made against people. This is absolutely ridiculous what they`re trying to do to this man and his career. He`s going to be acquitted.
GRACE: Well, hold on. Hold on. Let`s examine what we`ve got. Let`s go out to the lawyers, Don Papcsy and Anne Bremner. Typically, I side with victims, having seen the plight that they have in a court of law. Right now, I`m analyzing what the state`s really got in this case.
First of all, with a woman coming forward, aged 20 now, of a complaint five years before, where, after so-called fondling, she willingly goes alone to his apartment and ends up in bed. OK, not going to look good for the prosecution.
The big problem the defense has, in my mind, Anne Bremner, is that there could be another victim out there. Now, that certainly will serve -- I don`t care if she`s from California. She can be subpoenaed to a New York courtroom, Anne.
BREMNER: That`s right. It`s the old deja vu all over again. And in fact, Nancy, in California, that type of evidence would be admissible until Rule 1108 in a pedophilia or sex crimes, like Michael Jackson`s case. But here it`s so remote in time. You`ve got a demonstrably weak case, as you`ve outlined here, Nancy, tonight.
GRACE: If there are two victims, it is no longer a weak case, Anne.
BREMNER: But that`s what I`m saying, to let that in, Nancy, for the judge to make the decision this comes into evidence, he or she has to look at the strength of the case, look at the remoteness of that. And does it go to intent, like a mistake, common scheme or plan, et cetera? And those are tough calls. And I think, in this case, the call`s got to be made in favor of the accused.
GRACE: Don Papcsy, take off your defense hat just a moment and let`s look at this analytically. The case for the state would be very weak if it were not for the second victim who claims she was 13 years old at the time; that suddenly makes the case much stronger.
PAPCSY: I don`t think it`s the second victim, because I think the prosecutor knows that this second victim is not going to testify in the actual trial, only at the sentencing stage. So I don`t think the second victim -- and I think it`s wrong of the prosecutor, actually, in this particular case to bring that forward at this point. I think they`re tainting the jury pool.
GRACE: I`m sorry, I couldn`t hear you. It`s wrong of the prosecutors to do what?
PAPCSY: I think it`s wrong of them to leak that information at this time.
GRACE: Why do you say they leaked it?
PAPCSY: Well, because who else would?
GRACE: I mean, these are...
PAPCSY: I don`t think the attorney for Mr. Barbour would leak that kind of information.
GRACE: You don`t believe that these are going to be court documents? Court documents are public.
PAPCSY: Well, this was an allegation brought to the prosecutors seven years -- it`s just an allegation. There were no charges brought, so there shouldn`t be any court documents about it. It was seven years ago, and it was just an allegation that was brought to the prosecutors. And now they`re talking about it like it has something to do with this particular case. It`s not going to come into evidence because they`re not going to testify.
GRACE: Well, as you well know, a common conduct scheme, course of conduct, identity, all that can be brought in. Let`s go out to the lines, Sara in Vermont. Hi, Sara.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. My question is, this man (INAUDIBLE) had dinner with the 15-year-old girl and her parents. What`s the matter with the parents allowing their daughter to be rendezvousing around with this obviously much older man?
GRACE: Hey, Sara, Sara, I think his girlfriend was there, too.
GRACE: Yes, right, Ellie? It was the parents, him, his girlfriend, who was age-appropriate, and the little girl. And it`s just -- Lillian, help me out here. You`re the shrink. What will a jury think? And I`m not saying this happened or didn`t happen. I`m looking at, what will a jury do? What will a jury do, if this girl claims she was fondled and then goes, "Oh, I`ll go over to his apartment alone"?
GLASS: It`s not going to look very good, because the jury is not dumb. They`re going to see right through it. The fact that for five years he was helping her with her career, that`s also suspicious, in terms of what her motive is for coming forth at this point in time, especially when it`s close to the time of...
GRACE: And Barbara Ross -- Barbara...
GLASS: ... that it should be over.
GRACE: Excuse me. Excuse me, Lillian. Barbara, when does this go to trial?
ROSS: Oh, it`s probably not for a year. He`ll be back in court December 20th.
GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched all of our lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, we learn the father, 35-year-old James Kim`s, body has been spotted in the Pacific Northwest wilderness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At 12:03 hour today, the body of James Kim was located down in the Big Windy Creek.
GRACE: A mother and son duo facing jail time, accused of -- listen to this -- raking in over six figures by faking the son`s mental retardation for over 20 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nancy, I`m so angry over this case, because I really see my role on your show as being an advocate for the mentally ill to defend their rights. But lately, I`m constantly being asked to comment on dirt bags like the Costellos.
GRACE: Tonight, she was drunk, drunk on vodka, four times the legal limit. But here`s the kicker: She, a 2-month-old baby girl in Colorado.
SARAH SMITH, MOTHER OF DRUNK BABY: It was an honest mistake. I had no idea that there was alcohol in the water bottle. She wouldn`t respond.
GRACE: She wouldn`t respond? I guess she wouldn`t. The baby hardly weighed ten pounds. She`s loaded.
A 26-year-old mom charged with death by microwave. Her 3-week-old baby girl found dead. The local coroner`s never seen anything like it. And, today, the state announces it will seek the death penalty.
How long would it take for the child to die?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would estimate a minute or three, certainly within four or five, six minutes would be more than enough time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just know that China is innocent of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 3-week-old baby that`s burned to death like that, come on, you know? What were you doing, mom?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, we remember Army Staff Sergeant Richwell Doria, just 25, San Diego, California, killed, Iraq. He was attacked and shot jumping out of a helicopter on a rescue mission to save others. He receives the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Survived by his grieving wife, Jasmine, their 4-month-old baby, Jada, Army Staff Sergeant Richwell Doria, American hero.
Thank you to our guests and to you for being with us. NANCY GRACE signing off. And a special good night tonight, friends of the show here from Olympia, Washington, and Macon, Georgia. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.