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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
'ET' Talks Anna Nicole; Interview with Judge Judy
Aired February 13, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight exclusive, he was there with Anna Nicole Smith's partner, Howard K. Stern, after her shocking death. There when Stern reunited with her baby daughter, and when he found her Bahamas mansion ransacked. Now in his first interview on this world exclusive, Mark Steines of "Entertainment Tonight" tells us all about flying to the Bahamas with Howard K. Stern last weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY SHEINDLIN, "JUDGE JUDY: That's right. Have a seat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Judge Judy on Anna Nicole and all of the legal questions surrounding her death and what she thinks of Howard K. Stern.
Plus, TV's most popular, most outspoken judge...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: I didn't care what you thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: ... on that bizarre astronaut love triangle, "Girls Gone Wild" Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and more. The one and only Judge Judy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: Excuse me, paging Ms. Spears.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We begin with Mark Steines, the co-host of "Entertainment Tonight." He did a world exclusive interview with Howard K. Stern in the aftermath of Anna Nicole's death, and witnessed his reunion in the Bahamas with baby Dannielynn.
Also with us is Bonnie Tiegel. Bonnie is senior supervising producer at "Entertainment Tonight," and at "The Insider." She's been covering the Anna Nicole story back and forth in Florida and in the Bahamas.
How did you get to get that interview, Mark?
MARK STEINES, CO-HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Well, over the past several months, we have had a relationship with Anna and Howard. We have been -- my first interview was back in October after Daniel died. We flew immediately down to Florida when we found out the news. And we were able to talk with Howard. And I found myself in a position where we were alone on that plane. And I asked him, you know, as any journalist would, would you grant me an interview?
KING: Bonnie, the report is you gave him $1 million.
BONNIE TIEGEL, SENIOR SUPERVISING PRODUCER, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Larry, we do not pay for interviews. It is just not done.
KING: Everyone said that on this show last night, you paid a million. Why did he make a million?
TIEGEL: You know what? Speculation. They don't have the story. We are inside. We are the only ones inside.
STEINES: Can I speak?
TIEGEL: You may.
STEINES: Because this bothers me. Because so many people say this and they're from the outside. And we have been with these people. Bonnie has been on the phone with Howard. We've had a relationship with these guys. And because of the tragic events that happened, we were so close to this that Howard, when he saw me, when he sees Bonnie and our producers, they see a trusted face. They see somebody who they've allowed into their life. And that's how this relationship and this -- that's how this interview came about.
TIEGEL: We are the only ones that actually saw the story. We got the story. Because when Daniel passed away, we were there. We were there in a heartbeat.
KING: In other words, you hustle.
TIEGEL: We hustled.
KING: I mean, you hustled. Did you pay for anything else? Did you pay for -- if not for the interview, did you pay for a video he may have given you?
TIEGEL: Larry, we don't pay for interviews.
KING: OK. "Entertainment Tonight" did that exclusive interview in the Bahamas after the death. The first clip you're going to see is Howard reacting to what he called a break-in at the house. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD K. STERN, SMITH BOYFRIEND: I mean, this is just outrageous. And they are stealing from Dannielynn because everything, everything, all of Anna's assets go to her daughter. You know, they -- it's not like anything -- I mean, that's what makes this the sickest part of all.
I mean, they took pictures off the wall, drawings that were -- paintings that were made for Dannielynn. These are Dannielynn's memories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why do you think he did this, Mark? Who did this?
KING: Howard? He has just lost the love of his life.
STEINES: To do the interview?
KING: Yes. He has lost what would have been his stepson. Why did he do it?
STEINES: Well, I think, you know, I had asked him, I said, can we come into the house when you first walk in there to see? And there was a hesitation. I said, listen, for anything else, for proof that you didn't go in and do this yourself. That you didn't go in and turn the house upside down. And he said, sure.
So when we followed him inside and he was shocked to see what he saw there. When everything was gone. He got emotional about it. I mean, paintings that Anna Nicole had painted for the baby were gone off of the wall. Pictures of her as Marilyn Monroe.
KING: What was the reunion like with the daughter?
STEINES: It was emotional. It was -- you know, we -- I stepped back because I wanted -- I'm a father. And I know what it was like for him to hold that baby. And you know, Howard is a very calm, cool, collected guy. He's smart. But it was that emotion that I saw come out of him that was just uncontrollable.
KING: Did you have any idea, Bonnie, why he won't have a DNA and put this case away?
TIEGEL: I don't have that answer. I can only know what he has told us. And that is that Anna's wishes were not to do that. They didn't want to do that because -- simply because they were asked by Larry Birkhead. And they made the decision -- Anna made the decision, which I believe Howard is going along with...
KING: But nobody -- everyone says that's a weak explanation. Wouldn't you agree it's a weak explanation.
TIEGEL: I just don't have the answer to one. KING: You want to know you're the father, wouldn't you? Wouldn't he want to know? He can't know for sure. No one knows for sure until you do that, right?
TIEGEL: That's correct. Anna doesn't...
STEINES: But do you go against her wishes? Think of yourself as Howard now. He knows what Anna's wishes were.
KING: But he looks like a money-grubber because she's going to inherit a lot of money and he wants it.
STEINES: I know, but what do you do? Do you...
KING: You do the DNA.
STEINES: You do the DNA? Even though you know Anna didn't want it to happen?
KING: I would do the DNA for the baby. The only thing that counts now is the baby, I think.
TIEGEL: That is going to be resolved. But it is going to be resolved possibly on their terms.
STEINES: Is it the baby or is it the pile of money?
KING: What only counts is the baby, her life counts. She should know her father.
STEINES: Right, right, right.
TIEGEL: And he has an amazing relationship with that baby, as did Anna. He is loving. He is caring. I only know because that's what I have seen every time we have been there. He feeds the baby. He -- I mean, this is what he is, he's caring. And I thought...
TIEGEL: Go ahead.
KING: What's going on in the Bahamas? Are they suspicious of these deaths, of the boy? I mean, what's...
STEINES: I don't think there should be any reason for suspicion. I mean, they looked into this. I've asked Howard pointblank. Listen, I've talked to his sister. I've done -- I've asked other people, I've talked to the bodyguard. I said, look, what's going on here? What's really happening behind the scenes?
And he's like, nothing. It's not as if Howard is shoving pills down her neck or trying to ply her with any other -- that I have ever seen or witnessed. I have been through that house there. I have been in there several times. I have not seen pill bottles laying around. I haven't seen him give her anything.
KING: Bonnie, you're one of the great producers in the business. No one would deny this.
TIEGEL: Thank you very much.
KING: Why is this this big a story?
TIEGEL: I think it's the biggest story of my career and possibly Mark.
KING: (INAUDIBLE) Marilyn Monroe.
TIEGEL: You have a larger-than-life person, which Anna was, just because of her nature and what he she did. You have the very, very sad fact that she lost a son three days after she had a baby.
STEINES: A son that died in bed with her, next to her in the hospital. It is compelling. It is larger than life. And unfortunately it is death as well.
KING: Classic drama then?
STEINES: It is. It is -- you know.
TIEGEL: And you don't have answers to everything. And that makes it interesting.
KING: See another part of Mark's exclusive. This is Anna Nicole with her daughter and Howard K. Stern. Let's listen in for a few seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Can you say mama? Mama, mama, mama.
STERN: Say, mama, give me my ba-ba. Mama, give me my ba-ba.
SMITH: Say, shut up, daddy. Say, mama, mama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You provided us with a photograph of a baby shower held for Dannielynn. What's significant about it, particularly in connection with the renewed controversy over Anna Nicole and the Bahamas immigration story?
STEINES: It is a really good question. And I think this just goes to show you how fair we are trying to make the scene look here, because photographic evidence was removed in that evidence. Photographs were removed from their premises. We were there when went inside.
The pictures that have been released to the local media there only show a side that really kind of incriminates one of the officials there. We also have a photograph that shows that it was actually part of a baby shower and that they only selected a portion of a smaller picture to show that perhaps there was some sort of sexual relationship happening. And we have other pictures from that hard drive that show that it was a baby shower and the hugs and the embraces were just Howard saying -- or it was Shane saying goodbye.
TIEGEL: The picture with Anna saying in bed with Shane Gibson, who I believe is the minister of immigration in the Bahamas, that's in her bed. She was saying goodbye. She's in the same exact clothes. She's under the covers from the baby shower.
STEINES: We are told Howard took the picture with her camera.
KING: Are we going to get all of the answers?
STEINES: I'm going to stay with this story until, you know...
KING: Bonnie says no, we'll never get them.
TIEGEL: I don't think we'll get them all.
STEINES: Well, I'm going to keep going until...
KING: When you go back there -- when do you go back?
STEINES: When the story takes the next step. I mean, you have got a funeral to plan. You have got a DNA test. You have got an inquest that is all coming up. There is a lot happening.
KING: Thanks, Mark. You're doing a great job.
STEINES: Thank you, thank you very much.
KING: Bonnie, one of the best.
TIEGEL: Thank you, Larry. Thank you.
KING: Coming up, Judge Judy weighs in on the Anna Nicole hubbub and the fate of the daughter.
And as we go to break, a lighthearted look at Anna Nicole as she shows the folks at "ET" and "The Insider" a certain special feature of her home. We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a -- there it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a stripper pole.
SMITH: It is a stripper pole.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or a workout pole. This is where you lose all the extra...
SMITH: Yes. This is where you lose all of the extra baby weight and stuff, with Trimspa, that is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Trimspa.
SMITH: With exercise this time for tone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Right.
KING: Welcome back to "Judge Judy Live."
KING: It's always great to have her on her own show. Anyways, good to see you again. She is certainly a regular here. Judge Judy Sheindlin in her 12th season of the "Judge Judy" show, The New York Times best-selling author and former New York City family court judge. Who better to discuss the Anna Nicole tragedy than a woman who, had the circumstances been right, might have been judge of all of this in court. What do you make of it?
SHEINDLIN: Let's start with the premise, Larry, that the only person whose interests we should consider -- person, is the child who is close to six months old and who has no voice.
KING: She is the only one who counts now.
SHEINDLIN: Only one that counts now. And I think that we would agree as parents, you and I, that the sooner this child is placed in her permanent home, the sooner she can begin to bond with the right people. I mean, I was watching the program earlier when you were interviewing the last people who were here, and you showed a photograph of her bonding with her mother.
She's a little girl, you know? She's 5 months old and she was bonding. They were talking to her. She was relating. Well, as she gets older now, she is closer to 6 months old, and she's going to be bonding with the caretakers who are caring for her now. Would that be cruel to this child to put off finding out who the rightful parent is to raise her by legal shenanigans?
So you have this -- I don't know any of the players here, but it seems to me that the person who now has physical custody of this child is doing her an egregious disservice.
KING: Mr. Stern.
SHEINDLIN: Correct. Egregious disservice by not seeing to it that any question -- any legitimate question, and we are not talking Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband here, we are talking about any legitimate question about parentage is resolved as expeditiously as possible.
Now I heard that, well, he wants to comply an abide by Anna Nicole's wishes. Anna Nicole is dead. The only person who is entitled to have courts consider their best interest in this baby. And this man who is withholding that baby and fighting a simple test that could resolve the issue ought to be ashamed of himself.
KING: If this were in front of you, you would then rule DNA tests tomorrow?
SHEINDLIN: If this case were before me, and I was a sitting judge in California, and I have done it many times as a sitting judge in New York, when a child was in another jurisdiction and there were parents fighting over custody of the child in two different jurisdictions, I got off the bench and I picked up the telephone and I called my colleague in Tennessee, Florida, California and I said, listen, we have a child and the child's status should be resolved as expeditiously as possible. I'm willing to give you jurisdiction or you can give me jurisdiction. But let us get it resolved. What do you want to do?
KING: Pre-DNA, what would have happened in a case like this?
SHEINDLIN: Pre-DNA it would have been a catastrophe. Really would have been a catastrophe. They would have done blood tests. Now the blood tests pre-DNA could exclude you as the father but were not exclusive tests as DNA is. You have a test now that, that is for all intents and purposes, 100 percent positive. Why wouldn't this guy Stern want to know 100 percent sure?
KING: What would happen, Judge, if they did the DNA test and it wasn't Larry and it wasn't Howard and now we don't know who the father is?
SHEINDLIN: Then you have a problem. Then somebody is going to come out of the woodwork and say, well, maybe it's me. But then you have...
KING: Someone who slept with her will come forward, maybe or maybe not.
SHEINDLIN: And maybe, maybe not. But if you do the test. And if it's neither of these two people, then you have a maternal grandmother who will petition for custody. You may have any person petitioning for custody but at least the child's status would be resolved, which in my judgment, is the most important thing.
KING: Before we talk about Stern's issue with the DNA, let's listen to what his sister has to say last night on this program. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You believe he's the father of the child.
BONNIE STERN, SISTER OF HOWARD K. STERN: I do.
KING: Why then -- and this is what most people would say, do the DNA, get it over with, show the world and get on with your life and raise the baby?
B. STERN: Why give Larry Birkhead what he wants? KING: What are you afraid of? You're the father. What do you care? I would say that I wouldn't care.
B. STERN: Well, she did not want to do the DNA either.
B. STERN: Because she just did not want to. She did not want to give Larry what he wanted.
KING: But you realized, you're smart, Bonnie, that that explanation don't ring well.
B. STERN: I know, but that's just what they wanted. It's not what I suggested that they do.
KING: Well, wouldn't you say to your brother, Howard, you're the father. Do the DNA?
B. STERN: I did say that.
KING: And he says no?
B. STERN: He says I'm not doing it for Larry Birkhead. If I have to do it, I'll do it, but I'm not doing it for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: How is for Larry Birkhead if he ain't the father?
SHEINDLIN: Larry, you and I are from Brooklyn.
KING: You bet.
SHEINDLIN: And people from Brooklyn grow up with a certain common sense. If it doesn't ring true, it's not true. If something doesn't -- the only one who is benefiting with -- aside from the entertainment industry that seems to be -- that seems to be devoting an inordinate time to this nonsense, and you and I both know that in the scheme of the world where we are today, this is really irrelevant.
I mean, we are about to embark upon a great election where we might elect the first African-American president, the first woman president of the United States. And every time you turn on the television, all you see are pictures of Anna Nicole Smith.
She's a very nice girl. I'm sure she was a very nice girl. I'm sure she was.
KING: She was.
SHEINDLIN: I don't know one thing she did. Can you tell me what she did? I mean, was she -- did she write anything that I should know about? Or did she paint anything other than your beautiful portrait that I should know about? Did she create anything? Did she act in a wonderful movie? Did she -- what did she do? She married an old guy and he died and then there was a lawsuit. And then she had a reality show?
KING: Good point.
SHEINDLIN: And why?
KING: Lots more to talk about when we come back. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: Don't speak over me, you will not be successful. Sir, did she live in your house! Time to move on.
What does that have to do with her stealing car keys?
That's right. Have a seat.
Don't speak yet.
She found him doing a wee-wee dance on the hood of your car.
Which parent belongs to this genius?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Back with one of our favorite people, Judge Judy Sheindlin. Her 12th season as the host of "Judge Judy." E-mail question from Kayla, Santa Rosa, California: "If Larry Birkhead is shown to be the father of the baby, how difficult will it be for him to gain physical custody of Dannielynn from Howard K. Stern?"
SHEINDLIN: Shouldn't be difficult at all. The authorities in the Bahamas dispatch the police, pick up the child, send the child to social services until the transition can be made or the judge says to Mr. Birkhead, you come to the Bahamas. The test was done. You're the father. We will make the child available to you. That can be done in an hour.
KING: Does Anna Nicole's mother have anything to say in this?
SHEINDLIN: Nothing, absolutely nothing.
KING: She might have were there no father found?
SHEINDLIN: If there were no father and if she were an appropriate caretaker. She doesn't. It's not like somebody dying without a will. If there's not a parent, then custody goes to the grandparent. Grandparent is really considered a stranger to a child, just like a brother, or a sister, or an aunt or an uncle or a dear friend.
So courts are going to look very carefully if they can't find the biological parent, they are going to look at who is best able to take care of this child. KING: E-mail question from Mark in Jersey City: "When you add Anna's inheritance, sudden death of her son and her sudden death," possibility of foul play?
SHEINDLIN: Again, Larry, we were talking about this earlier in the green room. And I said to Mark -- I said, how many 20-year-old young people that you know died, not in a car crash or any serious illness like a leukemia or a cancer or something else. So I will ask you the same question.
We have both lived for decades. How many 20-year-olds do you know that just died? I don't know any. I have lived a long time.
SHEINDLIN: None. How many 39-year-olds that you know just died? Had a fever and just died? I don't know any.
KING: There's some -- Jim Henson was 41, I think, the founder of "The Muppets."
KING: He had a virus.
SHEINDLIN: Got a bad virus.
KING: Bad virus.
SHEINDLIN: Bad virus.
KING: Three days it killed him.
SHEINDLIN: Right. But there was some indication. You know, there was something happening. Here, a couple of weeks before, a couple of days before, she was out busy, she was decorating, she showing Mark around the house.
KING: So you're saying you're suspicious?
SHEINDLIN: I'm saying, I wouldn't want to get too close to these people because you have a 20-year-old and a 39-year-old, otherwise healthy people. I mean, that woman looked like a healthy girl. I don't know what kind of drugs she was taking but she looked like a healthy girl. She wasn't wasted. The son didn't look wasted. And all of a sudden they show up dead. I don't know.
KING: There's another issue you want to talk about. I haven't heard the term, "paternity fraud," what is it?
SHEINDLIN: Yes. Well, that's -- because we have DNA today and the advent of science, we can now prove paternity practically 100 percent. Very often when people -- you know, we have almost-marrieds in this country now. It was made fashionable by celebrities. You don't get married and then have children. First you have children, then you decide whether you want to make a commitment. So if it's good enough for celebrities, it's good enough for the other folks out there. So very often people will have children. And the woman will say, you're the father. The guy believes it. He puts his name on the birth certificate. Five years later when they separate and he wants custody or visitation, she will say, you're not the father.
Some courts permit these men to come in and contest paternity and say, listen, I was defrauded. I have been paying support all of this time and now she tells me I'm not the father and I have no rights. I want a DNA test. And most jurisdictions in this country, after a period of time, do not permit that to happen.
They say there are lots of thing that involve being a parent, being a father. How much time did you spend with the child? Has the child bonded to you? So the father's rights organizations have said, it's not fair. What they haven't used, they haven't used the word that I have -- a phrase that I would use, you can't legislate love.
If you have somebody who finds out two years, or three years, or five years, or 10 years after the event that he's not a child's biological father, and who wants to be relieved of that obligation, is it right to say to him, sorry, you may have been defrauded but the child's best interests require you maintaining that parental relationship with the child and, therefore, we are not going to order a DNA test? And even if we do, we are not going to say you're not the father. You're going to pay support forever. Unreasonable.
KING: You had a case of paternity fraud once involving a hooker?
SHEINDLIN: I did. I -- well, I had a case involving this poor guy from the Midwest who came to New York and got himself involved with somebody, a pro, and he paid for her services and she became pregnant. And his defense was, listen, she's a pro. We didn't have a relationship. This was a for-hire situation. And the law in the State of New York is a very simple one.
KING: Which is?
SHEINDLIN: If you're the father, you're going to pay support.
KING: Period, end of story.
SHEINDLIN: Period, end of discussion. Whether some -- whether a woman says to you -- you know, the famous case was the Serpico case.
KING: Sure, the cop.
SHEINDLIN: The cop. Because he said -- and that case went all the way up to the Court of Appeals in the State of New York. Because he said, she told me she couldn't have children. And therefore I didn't have to use any sort of protection. She told me that it was impossible for her to become pregnant.
KING: He lost that case.
SHEINDLIN: He lost that case. And they said, it doesn't make it fraud or no fraud, you pay.
KING: When we come back, we will talk about astronauts and Hollywood girls behaving badly and take your calls for Judge Judy. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: Quiet please! I can't hear her testifying. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought we did.
SHEINDLIN: I didn't care what you thought.
There's no such thing as "boughten."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She bought.
SHEINDLIN: That's better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
SHEINDLIN: No, you -- oh, Mr. Rios (ph), please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I loved him. I wanted to help him. I know.
SHEINDLIN: All right. Let's stop right there, Mr. "it wasn't my fault, I had nothing to do with it." You sound ridiculous!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Judge Judy. Lots of things to talk about other than Anna Nicole. We'll get to your e-mails and calls, as well.
The naughty astronaut. She starts, drives 900 miles, accosts somebody --this is all alleged -- in a airport parking lot, is sent back to Houston with just a chain on her ankle.
What do you make of that story?
SHEINDLIN: Jealousy is a common denominator. It doesn't make any difference, your station in life, your education, what -- how much money have you in the bank, how smart you are. When people's emotions take over, very often they do irrational things. I think probably the most acute example of that, Larry, is Jean Harris.
KING: Yes, Dr. Tarnower.
SHEINDLIN: Jean Harris was headmistress of the one of the most prestigious private schools in the country, brilliant, beautiful. And she had this Svengali who she was attached to emotionally and couldn't draw herself away from, despite the fact that he had enough of her. She couldn't take it and she was willing to ruin her entire life in that one moment. And there are other examples that we know of people who behaved in a totally, irrational way when it came to affairs of the heart.
KING: How do we judge them, then? Do they get leniency because of this? Mrs. Harris went to jail for a long time. Mario Cuomo was governor. He wouldn't commute.
SHEINDLIN: Absolutely right. Do we treat them more leniently because they are contributing members of society? No, absolutely not.
KING: No, but because we understand the insanity of jealously.
SHEINDLIN: No. if you understood the insanity of jealously -- if you understood the insanity of jealousy, you would incarcerate someone who killed his wife's lover. You have you to incarcerate them because they committed a very serious crime. If it is true that this woman committed an assault on someone else -- I mean, instead of going -- it's so interesting. What I always find interesting, Larry, is that she travelled 900 miles to -- allegedly -- to accost, kidnap and assault the other woman, where the astronaut was right there. Why didn't she go after him? I don't understand that. If they're the ones that are having a relationship and if he is being disloyal with somebody else, why travel the 900 miles if you can go right around the corner and get the guy?
KING: Why is it -- because she's an astronaut she got such light bail and permitted to go back to Houston?
SHEINDLIN: I don't know.
KING: Would you guess?
SHEINDLIN: Would I guess? I would guess that she had no prior criminal record. I would assume that the victim was not seriously injured. She was maced, but not seriously injured, frightened. I would assume that the people from NASA vouched for the fact that they would keep her under close scrutiny. All of those things I think probably were relevant. Bail -- as we know, bail is supposed to ensure the appearance of a defendant for trial. That's why bail is imposed.
KING: Let's get to another e-mail. This is from Debbie in Jacksonville: Was there ever a case, either on TV or before, where you lost your temper and regret what you said? If so, what was it?
SHEINDLIN: Did I lose my temper? Often. Did I -- do I regret what I said? No. I speak truthfully. You know, I have a motto, if you speak the truth, you don't have to have a good memory. And sometimes I'm harsh. Sometimes I come back and say, "You know, you really didn't have to be that harsh. They would have gotten the message without it."
KING: Ever get a decision?
KING: No? Not when you were in family court, either?
SHEINDLIN: No, no. I ruled on the evidence that was presented to me and evidence that I extracted -- I often extract myself. So every decision that I was -- that I made was made based on no extraneous stuff: political, who was a friend, whether I liked the lawyer, whether I liked one of the litigants. It was based solely on what I considered the evidence.
KING: Being in politics, as a former New Yorker, New York may be a central place in the upcoming presidential race. Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor, who will be with us on this show tomorrow night. And Senator Clinton, who's been on many times, may oppose each other. What do you make of that?
SHEINDLIN: I think that this is probably, Larry, going to be one of the most exciting elections that we've had in a long time.
KING: No incumbent anywhere?
SHEINDLIN: No incumbent anywhere and really some dynamic people. I think that Hillary Clinton is a brilliant lady. I think she's a superb politician. I was skeptical when she became senator from New York. I'm not longer a skeptic. I think she's done a phenomenal job as senator for New York. I think she's a terrific lady.
I knew Rudy Giuliani when I was a sitting judge in New York. I think he was a grand mayor. I think he cleaned up the city. I think he was no-nonsense. And that's pre-9/11. Pre the way he came through as the mayor of the -- as the country's mayor after 9/11.
I'm talking about working in New York City and taking no nonsense and really not taking any political stuff seriously, doing what he thought was the right thing. So I think he's a terrific guy.
And I tell you, my husband and I watched Barack Obama announcing his presidency -- announcing his candidacy for president last weekend. And I got a chill. I was stirred by him like I haven't been stirred in a long time. Now, whether he has the experience, people question. And lots of people who haven't had experience who have been president of the United States, have come from other disciplines...
KING: And some had a lot of experience, so who cares?
SHEINDLIN: Right, who cares. But I tell you, he was stirring. So I think it's going to be a spectacular election. And the fact -- I'm going to come back to this and then I'm going to leave it alone -- the fact that we seem to be spending, unfortunately, in this country an inordinate amount of time on other nonsense is very sad to me.
KING: Speaking of that, we're going to talk about Paris Hilton and things like that...
SHEINDLIN: There you go!
KING: ... and then take your calls, but not a lot. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: Just a minute. You're telling me she still lives in your house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I've got no 30-day notice.
SHEINDLIN: I don't care if you have a 30-day notice, a three-day notice or a partridge in a pear tree, sir. Did she live in your house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, what about mentally, when you have a woman like this calling you all of the time and not leaving you alone?
SHEINDLIN: You don't really want an answer to that question, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we talk about the Hollywood girls, what about your son?
SHEINDLIN: My son is running for the district attorney's position in Putnam County, where he lives. So -- and he's -- oh, there he is. There he is.
KING: What is he now?
SHEINDLIN: He's in private practice. He had been an assistant district attorney in...
KING: Putnam County is north of the city?
SHEINDLIN: North of Westchester. A little bit north of Westchester. he's a dynamic...
KING: How old?
SHEINDLIN: He's 38. Dynamic. He's got a sense of justice that he learned, I like to think, living in the household with his stepfather and myself.
KING: Is there an incumbent DA? Is he challenging?
SHEINDLIN: No, the incumbent decided not to run. He's been the DA for 20 years, and Adam loves Putnam County. He's been active in Putnam County for a long time.
KING: How many people are in the race?
SHEINDLIN: As far as I'm concerned?
SHEINDLIN: One. KING: Are you going to campaign for this one candidate?
KING: We wish him luck. His first name is?
SHEINDLIN: Adam Levy.
KING: Go get 'em, Adam. OK. It's everywhere, I guess. Even "Newsweek." Growing up in an X-rated age. There they are, the Bopsy (ph) -- I was going to say twins -- the Bopsy triplets, Lindsey, Britney and Paris. They are in "Newsweek." They are everywhere else. Why are they a story? Why?
SHEINDLIN: I have no idea why people are interested in them. Do you, seriously, Larry? If you think about it, why are people interested in people who at this point...
KING: Do nothing.
SHEINDLIN: ... who do nothing.
KING: Well, Lindsey is not a bad actress, and Britney can sing.
SHEINDLIN: Britney can -- well, she can dance.
KING: I mean, dance, yeah.
SHEINDLIN: She can dance. Singing -- eh, but she can dance.
KING: Lindsey can act.
SHEINDLIN: Lindsey can act. First she's got to...
KING: And Paris can...
SHEINDLIN: Paris can what?
KING: I don't know. I don't know.
SHEINDLIN: So then why -- have we become a country of, you know, marginal magazines, people don't read "Time" or "Newsweek." If you pick up "People" magazine -- which is great magazine -- is that where you're getting your news from? Is that what we have become?
KING: Someone said people decide who is a celebrity in this country.
SHEINDLIN: Well, that's true. And you know, we talked earlier, and I am not going to hit Anna Nicole, because that would be very bad, but Anna Nicole was a celebrity because she was a celebrity.
SHEINDLIN: Paris Hilton is a celebrity because someone made her a celebrity. I cannot think of a thing that the woman contributed to. Really, can you?
KING: No. So why at all cover her?
SHEINDLIN: I wouldn't. I wouldn't. The problem is that because...
KING: We haven't, so far.
SHEINDLIN: You haven't...
KING: To this month.
SHEINDLIN: But -- but the other entertainment outlets do. And when you send a picture of Paris Hilton, you know, who -- exposing parts of her body that are best left inside of underwear, and they send that around, people publish it, and people look at it. And people have Internet, and they will go on the Internet and see things that are really quite private. And here's a young woman who stored material in a self-storage, and things that I would have burned. That if you had in your possession, you would have burned. And she decided to store these ridiculous things that were so unglamorous. And -- and almost un-American.
KING: Is it the nature of the business...
SHEINDLIN: I don't understand. I don't...
KING: ... when something happens...
SHEINDLIN: I don't get it. And I think that if you say to your children -- and it has to come back. It has to come from your parents. Your parents have to teach you that you have to respect yourself. You have to look at yourself and say, I have accomplished this. This is what I'm good at. And if the only thing that you're good at is showing off your behind, you're in serious trouble.
KING: Teenage girl, growing up in Kansas, well parented, read stories like this. Aren't they attracted to it, don't you think?
SHEINDLIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. The country is at a disservice as a result of the exploitation of people who have no business being heroes. She should not be a hero. Britney Spears should not be a hero. She had two children. And if she was a hero, she would take care of her two children and stop being out until 4:00 in the morning and looking as if she's wasted.
That's her responsibility. You got married and you have got to leave your baby ways behind. And if you glorify that by making her a celebrity and making her actions something that people are going to view as acceptable behavior, you're doing this country a terrible disservice.
KING: If you had decided -- an email from Joe in Massachusetts. "If you had decided to take a different career path in your life, what would it have been?"
SHEINDLIN: Well, I wasn't particularly skilled in anything.
KING: Just the law?
SHEINDLIN: I can't add. I can't subtract. I have no skill in...
KING: You would have been Paris Hilton!
SHEINDLIN: I would have been Paris Hilton if I had a smaller behind.
KING: We will take a break and come back with more. We will have your calls as well. Show is drifting. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: Why would you take money from her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things need to be paid. She offers to pay for those things. I wasn't going to say no.
SHEINDLIN: Why not is my question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody offers me money, who am I to say no?
SHEINDLIN: A creep. You wouldn't jump on her car and do a dance to make her happy, would you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SHEINDLIN: Because as big as you are and as little as she is, kill you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we go to some phone calls for Judge Judy, let's check in with John Roberts in New York, sitting in for Anderson Cooper, hosting "AC 360" at the top of the hour. What's up tonight, John?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good evening to you, Larry. We are going to pick up on the Anna Nicole Smith story right where you left off. You've got Judge Judy tonight. We are going to have our own lawyers to look at this story that just keeps on taking new twists and turns.
Also tonight, winter's biggest storm of the season hitting hard across the nation's middle and northeast. In some places, it's more snow on top of already record amounts. The impact, the delays and what's ahead for the rest of the week.
And Anderson Cooper is in Brazil this week for a special project. Something that no news organization has ever done. We're bringing you a in-depth look at our environment and the problem of global warming. Joining Anderson is the "Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin. And tonight, they are going to have a look at the Amazon rainforest from above. Larry.
KING: Fascinating. We do things other people don't do. John Roberts, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.
Let's go to calls for Judge Judy. Cleveland, Ohio. Hello?
CALLER: Hi. I was wondering, I have heard that Anna Nicole Smith had had frozen sperm from her late husband, Howard Marshall. Is that possible that he may be the father?
SHEINDLIN: Anything is possible. Anything is possible. I don't think so. But anything is possible.
KING: If he's the father, that kid is really rich.
SHEINDLIN: Right! Correct.
KING: Whoa. Because the other son is the sole heir.
KING: Ft. Smith, Arkansas, hello?
CALLER: Hi. Judge Judy, I had a woman who had stolen my cat. Actually, I had moved and left my cat with my mother, and I had ended up -- he ended up staying there for a couple of weeks. Well, the lady who lived next door, a kind of acquaintance, she knew he was my cat. She ended up stealing my cat. And then I ended up having to call the cops on her, and the woman said the only way I'd get my cat back is if I paid her $50, because she spayed and neutered him...
KING: What's your question, dear?
CALLER: She knew it was my cat. Can I take her to small claims court to get my money back?
KING: Sure. You can always go to -- anyone -- that's what small claims court is for, right?
SHEINDLIN: That's what the court is for. I am trying to make this louder so I can hear these people.
KING: I think it's right in front of you.
SHEINDLIN: Oh, good.
KING: This is television.
Buffalo, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Judge Judy. I love your show.
SHEINDLIN: Hi. Thank you.
CALLER: But I would like to know, why do you get so rude sometimes with the people? Is it because you're tired or you're upset at their ignorance? Because sometimes I think you belittle them.
KING: You do.
SHEINDLIN: Yeah, listen, I do a mea culpa -- and sometimes I do. And sometimes, as I said to Larry, I don't know whether it was on or off, do I think that I'm harsh? Sometimes. But sometimes, these people are acting so stupid that they really get to me, and I'm not an actress. So what you're seeing is my legitimate reaction to stupidity, often theirs, and sometimes their mean-spiritedness and sometimes their ability to take advantage of people, take advantage of people who are not in the position to defend themselves. And if I'm rude, so be it.
KING: Another email from Rusty, Brookline, Massachusetts. "Regarding sexual abuse offenders, wouldn't it be beneficial to society to impose life prison terms to second offenders, and why not put away people who attempt to meet 13-year-old children for sex before they actually harm a child, such as the ones being caught on "Dateline's" "To Catch a Predator?"
SHEINDLIN: Well, my question to this email is, why do we have to wait for a second-time offender? If someone sexually abuses a child ...
KING: What would you do?
SHEINDLIN: What would I do? Well, in response to his email, if I were queen of the world, if someone can sexually abuse a child, that is something which you don't get better. That's a disease, an illness, a pathology that cannot be cured. You can't cure it. I mean, even if you emasculate somebody, that does not necessarily mean that you're going to be able to stop that aggression.
So I think that if you have a sexual predator, they don't deserve two chances. One. Otherwise, if I'm going to release them, I'm going to put them in a situation where they can harm other people's children. And if I would not put them in a situation where they would harm my grandchildren, why would I let them harm yours?
KING: Do we know why it's not curable?
SHEINDLIN: I have no idea. Neither does nobody else.
KING: Other pathologies are.
SHEINDLIN: Neither does anybody else. Because if anybody knew why it is incurable, what in the brain makes somebody so sick that they can find sexual gratification from a 4-year-old little girl -- a 50-year-old man and a 4-year-old little girl, and then usually kill them, usually, because they usually don't let them stay alive to tell the tale. That kind of pathology, if you can identify it and give somebody a lobotomy, terrific. Give them a lobotomy and a broom if they can't hurt anybody else. Short of that, put them in jail, throw away the key.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Judge Judy. I will try to get her to come out of her shell. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEINDLIN: He was leaning up against the wall, trying to avoid her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and he was also putting her arm -- she was also putting her arms out. I've seen her putting her hands on by his private part, and I was like, what are you doing? You're being nasty, what are you doing?
SHEINDLIN: Just a second. More importantly, what was he doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The friendship we had was completely destroyed.
SHEINDLIN: What do you mean it was destroyed? Was there a hurricane?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, my daughter.
SHEINDLIN: Oh, you mean, so it was destroyed by a 2-year-old?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SHEINDLIN: Mr. Kennedy, you sound ridiculous, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Someone has given our crack staff a tip that you were with Barbara Walters when the Trump/Rosie thing broke out? Is that true?
SHEINDLIN: Yes, that is true.
KING: Where were you?
SHEINDLIN: We were on a yacht cruise.
SHEINDLIN: In the Caribbean. Barbara and Cindy Adams, and Toni Howard and her husband, David Yarnell, my husband and myself.
KING: And how did you hear about it? What -- how -- how did...
SHEINDLIN: Well, the boat has satellite and stuff, and she got -- you know, she got calls from her producers, and they sort of clued her in. And I must tell you, Barbara is quite a lady. KING: She is.
SHEINDLIN: And she's a consummate professional.
KING: She will be on here next week.
SHEINDLIN: And she really did her best and tried her damndest to keep those two children in line.
KING: She must have been ticked.
SHEINDLIN: Well, you know, I don't know whether she was ticked. I think she was probably disappointed. You know, and you have -- again, you have two people who are -- both -- at least these people are talented. You have Rosie O'Donnell, who is a talented lady, and Donald Trump, who is a talented guy. So the legitimate in them is legitimate, as opposed to this other stuff. So you have these two people. But they were behaving badly, you know? They were like kids. And Barbara was trying to negotiate.
KING: Hard when you're out on a ship.
SHEINDLIN: Right, very, very difficult.
KING: Tell me about your reality show. Proposed reality show.
SHEINDLIN: Oh, that's fun. I think we talked before about the fact that this is going to be a very exciting year and a half or so, because of the presidential election. And very often in this country, because we have such wonderful candidates -- but I often wonder whether if the American people, if they have the opportunity of really selecting somebody, irrespective of politics, you know -- their pediatrician, their local chief of police, their teacher...
KING: Who they think could be president.
SHEINDLIN: Who they think has the stuff, has the moral fiber, the moral center to at least give it a go. Be the next Harry Truman. Be the next man for all -- man for all men, and I use the word "men" -- men and women. So I thought, wouldn't it be interesting if we let people send in a minute video and say, this is why I believe that I could be the president of the United States.
KING: And people would vote?
SHEINDLIN: People would vote.
KING: Where along the process is this?
SHEINDLIN: Where along the process? Well, I pitched it to several people and we will see.
KING: What are you calling it?
SHEINDLIN: We'll see. "So You Want to be the President?"
KING: You never stop, do you, Judy?
SHEINDLIN: Well, my mind is always working, fortunately.
KING: And you never get bored with your show, right?
SHEINDLIN: Never get bored.
KING: Case after case after case after case.
SHEINDLIN: People are different. Everybody is different. The packaging is different. The brains are different. Sometimes the stories have the sameness to them, but the people are always so different, so I'm always interested.
KING: See you again soon. As always, Judge Judy, in her 12th season on "The Judge Judy Show." "The New York Times" best-selling author and the former New York City family court judge.
Tomorrow night -- he's off and running. The former mayor of the city of New York, Rudy Giuliani, requests and quests the Republican nomination for the presidency. He's our special guest tomorrow night.
Right now we head to -- he's always somewhere -- now he's in Brazil. He's at the Amazon. There he is. He's Anderson Cooper. Anderson, what's up tonight?
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