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Federline Reportedly Files for Full Custody
Aired August 9, 2007 - 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 alleged a string of wild and erratic behavior. Will it cost her custody of the music icon custody of her two toddlers, 22-month-old Sean Preston and 11-month-old Jayden James? Divorce papers signed, sealed, delivered reportedly order 50/50 shared custody.
Headlines tonight: The toddlers` biological father, Kevin Federline, drops a bombshell in court. In the last 24 hours, secret papers filed under seal. Federline reportedly demands custody of the two boys, and now it`s an all-out custody war.
Britney Spears out of a luxury Malibu rehab, late-night parties, alleged scuffles with the paparazzi, demanding to have her toddlers` teeth bleached and letting the tots guzzle soda. Are Britney Spears`s children in danger, or is it all hype? Remember, Spears`s ex is receiving marital support to the tune of $20,000 a month! Ouch! That money set to be cut of in November. At the heart of the legal drama, two little boys.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It appears K-Fed is no longer happy with the split custody of their sons. He now wants them 100 percent of the time. Just two weeks since their divorce became final, Federline has filed court papers to show cause for primary physical custody of 22-month-old Sean Preston and 10-month-old Jayden James. A source close to Federline tells "People" magazine that he`s worried Spears is exposing the boys to unnecessary risk. To help with his battle, the 29-year-old former dancer has hired high-profile lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan, who tells CNN he knows where the courthouse is and he know what to do when he gets there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight: A young Georgia woman looking forward to a big wedding one moment, the next vanishes. Cop (ph) reveals signs of struggle tonight. Neighbors hear screams for help. Tonight: Police search for clues. Where is Monica Bowie?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been five weeks since Monica Bowie disappeared, five weeks without answers, five weeks without hope. Police believe successful Georgia businesswoman Monica Bowie went missing right in front of her own apartment, but not without struggle. But since that scream and that struggle, all leads turned silent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will always believe that my daughter is alive and well until proven otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can someone just vanish without a trace?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, music superstar Britney Spears in the fight of a lifetime. In the last 24 hours, employment-challenged ex-husband Kevin Federline drops a legal bombshell in court, demanding his two toddler sons back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Britney Spears wants to create buzz for her comeback album, she has succeeded in getting people talking about her. Too bad no one`s talking about her music. Spears and Federline currently share 50/50 custody of their children, Sean Preston and Jayden James. But now Federline is seeking full custody, and with Britney`s recent shenanigans, could he and should he get it?
Remember back when Britney and K-Fed were married? It was the club- hopping wannabe rapper Federline who was seen by many as the less than stellar parent. Now Federline`s reported role in getting Britney to rehab and his low-profile parenting have allowed him to emerge as the more stable half of the former couple.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sources told us that she has been putting soda pop in their bottles, and she was appalled to see that her son`s teeth were falling out, so she asked that a dentist get the teeth whitened, OK, to have a chemical procedure, a bleach. And everyone we talked to said, You know what? That`s borderline neglect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sympathy is with Kevin, I think. He has toned it down. We haven`t seen him linked with inappropriate women in the press. We haven`t seen erratic behavior. He hasn`t had a DUI, hasn`t had a car crash. He`s stayed out of rehab. So right now, he has a very good chance of getting those children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: My, how the tables have turned. At the time of their breakup, all sentiment was on the side of Britney Spears, with her employment- challenged husband, Kevin Federline. She`s footing the bills. But now a bombshell in court. Out to CNN`s Sibila Vargas. What happened?
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, like you said, he dropped a bombshell. Obviously, Fed-Ex is fed up with his ex, Britney Spears. He`s concerned about her erratic behavior. And just yesterday, we learned that his lawyers have filed court papers to basically say that he wants primary custody of these children because, again, he is really concerned about Britney Spears and he`s very concerned about the welfare of his two children.
GRACE: Based on?
VARGAS: Based on all of this erratic behavior that we`ve been hearing about. I mean, just -- you know, just this weekend, there`s pictures of her that have surfaced on the Internet now where she`s in the pool and she`s swimming topless with a young college student, who apparently was part of her video, an extra in a video. There`s so many other things, though. I mean, think about it. This year has been full of Britney antics...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wa-wait! Sibila?
GRACE: Were the two children there while she is swimming without a top on?
VARGAS: No, but let`s face it...
GRACE: Or were they at home with the nanny?
VARGAS: They were at home with the nanny, but let`s face it...
VARGAS: ... I mean, she is in a custody battle...
GRACE: Let`s face it? She took off her top! OK. Go ahead.
GRACE: What else do we have on her?
VARGAS: OK. OK. So she`s...
GRACE: Besides giving her kids Doritos and soda. I can`t wait to hear this.
VARGAS: Well, I mean, what about earlier this year, when she shaved her head and she had to go to rehab, which I learned it was because Kevin Federline wanted her to go to rehab. And she`s very upset about it. Apparently, now she`s upset with Federline and she`s also upset with her mother, who insisted that she go to rehab because if she didn`t go to rehab, Kevin Federline was going to take away her kids. So you know...
GRACE: Sibila, she`s upset with her mother and she shaved her head. Has there been any child abuse, Sibila?
VARGAS: Not that I know of, but you have to...
GRACE: Have the children been slapped? Have they been mistreated? Have they missed a meal?
VARGAS: You might be absolutely right about it, but you keep on hearing all of these stories that are circulating, all these rumors about her not -- her parenting skills not being up to par.
GRACE: OK, you know what, Sibila? As much as I`m arguing with you, the reality is her behavior that you`re describing is manifesting some type of a behavioral problem. You`re right.
Let`s go out to Bethany Marshall. We need a shrink, Sibila. You and I cannot figure this out alone. Bethany Marshall with us, Dr. Marshall, psychotherapist and author. You know what? If she goes skinny dipping, I`m not so happy about it, but that`s not grounds for taking custody away. If she shaves her head -- not grounds. Now, my question to you is, does this behavior and other behavior that we are hearing about suggest a behavioral problem that could lead to a real reason to take away her custody?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Yes, it could. I mean, it`s hard to know at this point if it rises to the level of child abuse. But the taking off of the top in the pool -- I hear that when she was in a makeup session, she took her top off, plopped down in a chair -- feeding soda to her kids. This pattern of bad judgment, perhaps even hyper-sexuality, could speak of possible bipolar illness -- the age of onset for bipolar is between the ages of 18 and 21 -- that`s being camouflaged or masked by substance abuse problems. It`s difficult to diagnose bipolar when someone is substance abusing.
And keep in mind there are a lot of kids who are living with substance abusing parents, and people from the outside are often afraid to step in and confront the parent. I see this in my office every day, where adult children of alcoholics and drug addicts who grow up and say, Why didn`t anyone step in and at least evaluate the situation? I think that`s what this is calling for, is a full evaluation. Is she a drug addict? And is there a dual diagnosis problem with bipolar disorder?
GRACE: You know, I think each thing on its own, Bethany, does not amount to grounds of taking away custody. But you look at it all together, and a picture is starting to be formed...
GRACE: ... of someone with behavioral problems.
Out to the lines. Erica in California. Hi, Erica.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.
GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My question is, has Britney done anything illegal?
VARGAS: I don`t think she has. David Caplan, has she done anything illegal?
DAVID CAPLAN, VH1`S 24SIZZLER.COM: No, she hasn`t. The closest she ever came to, like, any brush with the law was when the Department of Family and Child Services investigated her last year. But that was no law broken.
GRACE: Now, what can you tell me, David Caplan, about this being described by the paparazzi, her most recent crash. Is it a crash or is it a fender-bender? What happened?
CAPLAN: It was nothing more than a fender-bender. She hit a car in LA. It wasn`t as dramatic, really, as people are making it sound. It was by no means what Lindsay Lohan or any of these other women have gone through in young Hollywood. So it was definitely nothing. I think there`s a bit too much of a push to crucify Britney, you know, on her parenting based on, like, a fender-bender.
GRACE: Oh! There we go. Wait. Is this the big crash? Did I just see it?
GRACE: Oh, please, please have on underwear! OK. I think we`ve just seen the big smash-up. OK.
You know, Sibila, I guess you think -- oop! There with we go. Ouch! I guess you think that`s grounds for taking kids away, too, Sibila Vargas.
VARGAS: No! No, and I agree with you. She`s a young woman, you know, and she`s 25 years old. She`s not married. She`s allowed to do whatever she wants to do. I mean, she can be with any man that she wants to be with.
But when you have a man that`s threatening you, your husband, your ex- husband that`s threatening you, that`s going to take away your children, you kind of want to start acting like...
GRACE: A mommy?
VARGAS: You know, you want to -- you know that -- like a mommy. And you want to be out of the media spotlight. She even told Matt Lauer -- you remember that interview, that she said the media is very irresponsible or they don`t care about her, they treat her unfairly. Well, if that`s the case, you have to know that the media`s always going to be on you, so take some action so that they`re are not talking about you. And it doesn`t seem like that Britney Spears understands that. She`s not taking that to heart.
GRACE: You know, let`s go out to the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Randi Karmel out of New York, family law attorney, Penny Douglass Furr, defense attorney out of Atlanta, Joe Lawless, high-profile lawyer out of the Philadelphia jurisdiction.
To Randi Karmel. Randi, I`ve just seen so many child abuse cases where the children are so mistreated with, like, cigarette burns, they haven`t been fed, they`ve been literally locked in a closet, they`ve been chained up like a dog. Here we`re not seeing any of that, but we are seeing a pattern of behavior. And Sibila`s right. When you know someone is coming after you to take your kids, what do you do? You don`t do this, Randi.
RANDI KARMEL, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: That is correct. Her judgment has been absolutely terrible in this case and since she had her children. However, the real issue is, is she really neglecting the children? Is she abusing them? Has it risen to this level?
And I think the other issue is really -- we see that the ink on this divorce is not even dry yet. It`s a couple weeks old. And a judge is not so likely to say, Let me set this aside, based on allegations that there`s some Pepsi in a baby bottle. I think that in order for the judge to take this seriously, the allegations have to be very serious, of the level of maybe abuse or neglect, or that Britney may have some sort of substance abuse problem or some depression or other problem, in which case, the judge would, in fact, say, OK, let me maybe set this agreement, that he or she probably approved, aside and now let`s deal with the issue of custody.
GRACE: Back out to David Caplan, senior correspondent with VH1`s 24sizzler.com. David, isn`t it true that, apparently, someone in Britney Spears`s camp has gone over to Federline`s camp and is feeding him intimate information about her lifestyle? Remember, he wanted her to use his nanny, AKA spy, and she said ixnay on the anny-nay. Forget it. I`m not having her in the house.
So long story short, apparently someone within her camp is feeding him information. And I guarantee you those documents filed in the last 24 hours, that bombshell in court, is full of information from within her own camp.
CAPLAN: You know, absolutely. I mean, a lot of the people around Britney, unfortunately, are selling her out. And it`s actually -- you know, it`s very common with a lot of other celebrities in Hollywood. But because, you know, Britney -- she hasn`t really endeared many people, unfortunately, around her because of how she`s behaving. So a lot of people -- they`re getting back at her. You`re seeing a lot of the people around her -- we know her mom is siding with Kevin. So they`re running to Kevin with information about her life.
GRACE: But there`s a reason for that. Isn`t there a reason, Sibila Vargas, that her own mother is siding with the ex?
VARGAS: Well, apparently, I mean, as far as they`re concerned, as far as what they say they are concerned about, the children. And you know what`s interesting about what David Caplan is saying about her, you know, sort of isolating herself -- I called so many people that had represented her, and I was trying to do my research, trying to get some information from them. And manager after publicist after manager -- We don`t represent her anymore. We don`t represent her anymore. And I`m trying to find out why it is. But you know, when your people around you are dropping like flies, there`s a problem.
GRACE: You know, David Caplan, it`s my understanding that Britney Spears threatened to file papers on her mom to keep her away from the children. Now, that has been reported in many publications. I haven`t seen the papers myself, but apparently, the mom, Britney Spears`s mother, gets to see the children over at Federline`s. So she`s siding with him.
CAPLAN: Yes, no, the mother definitely -- that`s where she sees Jayden and Sean Preston. And there has been no official file work, file -- you know, anything -- paperwork filed. It`s more that Britney served her mom with some sort of legal letter just saying that she doesn`t want her mom around the kids as much because she suspects that Lynn (ph) is not the best grandmother around them, or something vague like that.
GRACE: Out to Joe Lawless out of Philadelphia. Joe, let`s get real about the money. Britney Spears is a meal ticket, a gravy train, for so many people. Now, we just got the divorce settled at the end of July. Here it is, a month hasn`t even passed, and now bombshell in court, Federline wants sole custody or more custody. He wants his kids back.
How much more money -- we know his $20,000 a month marital support ends in November.
JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. November.
GRACE: How much more money would he get out of Spears if he gets more custody?
LAWLESS: Well, if he`s the primary custodial parent, he is going to have to have child support increased because he`s going to be paying full room, full board, clothes, day care, whatever needs to be paid. When he goes for 100 percent custody, he`s going to be looking for an increase in child support, and I think it could be substantial. One other thing, though, Nancy...
GRACE: I would say by 100 percent because if he`s...
GRACE: ... got 50 percent now and he gets custody, that could be up to $40,000 to $60,000 a month. Of course he`s going to file for sole custody! Are you people crazy?
LAWLESS: But all these things they`re saying about Britney Spears right now -- I mean, I thought going to rehab was good, particularly when you don`t fall off the wagon. There`s been no report of that. And all these other...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, wa-wa-wa-wait! Stop. Stop. Look, lookit. Did you see the monitor just then, Joe Lawless? There`s Federline...
LAWLESS: Actually, I can`t.
GRACE: He`s standing there earlier with, like, gangster hat turned to the side, all the gold bling that she bought him...
LAWLESS: That`s my look. I love that look.
GRACE: ... the big diamond that she bought him. Employment- challenged. He`s not working. He`s living off her. He just got tons of money in the divorce settlement. How do I know what kind of parent he is?
LAWLESS: Well, that`s the point. And quite frankly, we don`t know that Britney`s a bad parent. All we`re hearing are things said by no one who wants to go on the record, undisclosed sources. And everything she`s doing -- you pointed it out earlier, it`s her private life, and there`s nothing to indicate it`s happening in front of the kids.
GRACE: Well, hold on. Hold on. Let me file a little addendum, Penny Douglass Furr. Have you seen Britney on that stripper pole? I mean, what kid is going to say, Look, show-and-tell, here`s my mommy on a stripper pole. You know, not a good look.
PENNY DOUGLASS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I understand, Nancy. However, just because he got the children 100 percent of the time does not mean he`ll get that much more money. I`ve been in court myself where the judge said, This money is to support the child. It`s not to change the lifestyle of the new custodial parent. They may not give him very much. I saw a recent case where a woman was cut from $28,000 a month down to $5,000 a month.
GRACE: Ouch! Ouch!
FURR: So he may not get so much money as you think he will.
GRACE: That would be a rude awakening.
Out to the lines. Andrea in Florida. Hi, Andrea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.
GRACE: Thank you, love.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got an actual comment and a question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, actions speaks louder than words. Obviously, you know, (INAUDIBLE) to see what type of person she is. How come child protective services has not stepped in and intervened on how she is acting in the public eye? I mean, obviously, she`s unstable to be a parent.
GRACE: Well, this episode right here, Andrea, if you take a look at this, in my mind, just as a trial lawyer, this is the most disturbing episode. I know she`s done a lot of stuff to get -- that has garnered attention. But the release, the unleashing of such anger in public, beating somebody`s car with an umbrella, and the look on her face at that moment is so full of anger -- that, to me, is the most disturbing thing so far, an anger management problem. And when you`re raising two kids, little bitty toddlers, that`s a problem.
We`ll come back to our experts as to why DFACS, Family and Children`s Services, hasn`t been involved so far.
But now, to "Case Alert." A teenage boy and a 28-year-old man in custody for the execution-style death of three college students, all friends, Newark, New Jersey. Fingerprints, ballistic evidence tie Jose Carranza to the crime, now facing three counts murder, four counts robbery, one count attempted murder. A 15-year-old male also arrested heads to adult court. Victims Dashon Harvey, Iofemi Hightower and Terrence Aeriel killed, Aeriel`s sister, Natasha, survived despite a gunshot wound to the head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Britney Spears`s baby battles, the outrageous way Britney has been acting ever since she got out of rehab. Now Britney`s ex-hubby, Kevin Federline, getting ready to go for it all, full custody of their kids. Could Britney lose custody of her kids? And more to the point, should she lose custody of her kids? Should they be taken away from her?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: As we predicted right here about 48 hours ago, sure enough, employment-challenged ex-husband Kevin Federline dropped a bombshell in court just 24 hours ago, demanding custody of his two children, custody away from music sensation Britney Spears. Those papers under seal.
What do we expect those papers to reveal, David Caplan?
CAPLAN: Kevin Federline wants full custody of...
GRACE: But why? He`s got to have a reason.
CAPLAN: He just feels that Britney has been a neglectful mother and that...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wa-wait. David?
CAPLAN: This is his perception.
GRACE: I appreciate -- I appreciate feelings. I`m all for feelings. But feelings don`t count in court. He`s got to have evidence that she`s a bad mother. What is it?
CAPLAN: He plans to cart all these incidents that we`ve heard. Whether or not they`re legitimate reasons for Britney to -- you know, to lose her two kids, he`s going to say that she is not around for her two children, that instead of being with them, she goes out and she does these dances, she goes to these late-night parties. He`s going to cite these examples of her not feeding them properly, not taking good enough care. And we`re going to see a lot of that happen.
GRACE: Out to Carol in Missouri. Hi, Carol. Carol, are you with me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, this is Laura.
GRACE: Hold on. Sorry. Laura, Nevada. Hi, Laura..
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hi. How are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that the reason Britney`s acting the way that she is is because of the divorce, because of the way he did (ph) her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he used her totally.
GRACE: Interesting. What about it, Bethany Marshall, Dr. Bethany Marshall?
MARSHALL: It just doesn`t fit that pattern to me. When you see possible hyper-sexuality, impulsive, reckless behavior, rage attacks, poor judgment, you have to think that maybe there`s a substance abuse problem covering up a bipolar illness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems that every time Britney has a mishap, we hear another rumor that Kevin Federline is going for full custody of his kids. Now, a lot of people think that Kevin`s getting full custody is not really his end game. He`s just using the chance to put pressure on Britney for a more favorable divorce settlement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Bombshell legal documents just filed. Out to Kevin Seeley, interventionist from A&E`s "Intervention." Are you convinced by her behavior that she does have a substance problem?
KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTION911.COM: She is definitely an addict. And Nancy, you know what? Maybe the kids aren`t being harmed right now mentally, but by the time they`re 6 and 7, they will be destroyed by this disease that she`s exhibiting. So I believe that Kevin needs to do this now because what has to happen for her is she needs to hit a bottom. And what a bottom is, is feel some type of pain. And maybe by losing her kids will be enough pain for her to change that behavior.
That`s what I do as an interventionist. I go in there, and I help them hit a bottom. So I just want her to get the help that she really needs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have very recently been a whole slew of tabloid stories allegations, which Britney has not denied, by the way, because she doesn`t have a publicist at the moment. Some of the more outlandish ones were that she tried to get her baby`s teeth whitened by a dentist and the dentists refused. Another story is that she put soda pop in the baby`s bottles. And (INAUDIBLE) story is that she asked her eldest child, when she wanted a cigarette, she said, "Baby, will you hand mommy her lollipop?" So all of those show that it`s not a very good environment for kids to grow up in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK, Britney? Are you OK?
BRITNEY SPEARS, MUSICIAN: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Britney Spears facing bombshell legal documents filed by her ex, Kevin Federline, in court just 24 hours ago threatening to take away his two toddler sons. Does he have a leg to stand on? Out to the lines. Let`s go to Carol in Missouri. Hi, Carol.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I just love your show.
GRACE: Thank you, dear.
CALLER: And you. I just want to ask you, wouldn`t he be negligent if he didn`t try to go for full custody of these children with everything that`s going on? And his ex-wife, Shar Jackson, she said she`s been a wonderful father to her two children.
GRACE: You know, Carol, I`ve been defending Britney Spears because I think that she is viewed as the big gravy train for everybody else. But the reality is, the beating of the vehicle with the umbrella, in my mind, shows a type of anger management problem. And when you have two toddlers, I can only imagine how much they can test your patience. If you`re going to beat a car, what`s going to happen when your kids start to drive you crazy? That`s the problem I have with it.
But to Mike Brooks, you have handled -- you`ve shown up at so many scenes where children were really being abused. Do you believe, after all you`ve seen, that she is a danger to the children?
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: You know, Nancy, she`s more of a danger to herself, I think, than to the children. What we have seen has not risen to what criminality from what I can tell. OK, the abuse of the car. Did she leave a note on that car that she hit?
BROOKS: Is that hit and run? Or, you know, look at the incident on a plane. Yes, it could have been interference with the flight crew and just the weird behavior after the "OK" magazine interview, where she took about $26,000 worth of jewelry and clothing. Weird behavior, taking property without right, but the children, when it comes down to them, I have not seen anything that rises to child abuse as of yet. But could it happen? It could very well happen, especially with her anger management problem.
GRACE: To Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner out of Madison Heights, Michigan, Dr. Morrone, thank you for being with us. You know, when you look at all of this, one thing that concerns me about the children is her asking to have their teeth bleached. In fact, the children`s mouth, let`s just say the tooth fairy is coming early. All of their teeth are rotting out and turning brown. What is that telling you about their nutrition, and what effect will that have on them? Isn`t this the cornerstone for the rest of their lives, their nutrition as a child?
DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER: The formative years of bone and tooth development are right now. And what I want to know from her is, show me she had regular prenatal visits, show me she got her vitamins, show me her children`s immunizations are up to date, and show me a couple random urine drug screens.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. If she got her vitamins?
MORRONE: Her vitamins when she was pregnant.
GRACE: Wait a minute. Let me look at Morrone just for a moment.
GRACE: OK, Dr. Morrone, you know I`m planning to have twins. It`s not a secret anymore. You know how many vitamins I`ve been able to keep down? One Flintstone vitamin. One. So are you going to haul me in front of DFACS? You going to do that to me, Morrone?
MORRONE: You`ve got nine months to take your vitamins. A couple weeks here and there, it`s going to get better for you.
GRACE: I pray. But what long-term effect, if any?
MORRONE: Calcium, vitamin D. If you don`t form those teeth and bones now, they`re going to have problems when they`re 16, 18 and 20. It`s the facts.
GRACE: You know, Carol in Missouri had a good question. Back out to you, Randi Karmel, would he be negligent if he didn`t file? If I saw this behavior on the part of a spouse, I probably would file, too.
RANDI KARMEL, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: I believe that he absolutely has an obligation to these children to protect them from what he perceives, right or wrong, as dangerous behavior, or neglectful behavior, or anything that`s not in the children`s best interest. So, yes, I believe he has a legal obligation to do what he can, whether it`s file papers, whether it`s try to get her into rehab. But, yes, he does.
GRACE: Out to Kelly in Indiana. Hi, Kelly.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations, I think you`re awesome.
GRACE: Thank you.
CALLER: My question is, if Kevin does get custody and his motivation is financial, how will the children be assured of their financial future, as in a trust fund set up for them or some protection?
GRACE: Oh, good question. What about it, Joe Lawless?
JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I mean, obviously Britney Spears is still going to be their mother regardless of whether she has custody or not. Presumably they`re the heirs of her estate. But in terms of their future, their financial future is tied to both their parents and however their parents make a living.
But, Nancy, one thing I want to say, all this stuff that`s being bandied about the kids have rotten teeth and she`s trying to get the teeth whitened and all that stuff, that`s fourth-rate hearsay to third-rate tabloids. There`s not one scrap of evidence that supports any of that stuff.
And so far, none of it`s been presented in court. Maybe it`s in the sealed documents. But right now it`s stuff that undisclosed sources are saying about someone who set herself up as a target. And I`m not hearing anything that`s convinced me otherwise.
GRACE: How do we know about the dentist visit, David Caplan?
DAVID CAPLAN, "STAR" MAGAZINE: This is a report from "Us Weekly," and it`s coming from them, from their sources. But it hasn`t been confirmed by anyone else.
GRACE: Sibila Vargas, what do you know about that?
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know as much as David Caplan. I mean, I know from what I`ve heard from Ken, who works for "Us Weekly," and what he says about it, that she`s giving her child so much juices that their teeth are starting to rot, and that she went to a dentist and she asked the dentist to bleach her child`s teeth. No, I think that is probably, if that is indeed the truth, that is probably the scariest thing that I`ve heard so far, because I`ve actually had my teeth bleached, and that is extremely, extremely painful.
GRACE: And how old are the children, Sibila?
VARGAS: One is 22 months, and the other one is 10 months old.
GRACE: Ow, ow, ow. And, of course, teeth bleaching is just cosmetic. It`s not going to fix the underlying problem. Out to the lines, Kim in North Carolina, hi, Kim.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, I love your show.
GRACE: Bless you. Thank you for watching, dear. And hello to all my friends in North Carolina. What`s your question, dear?
CALLER: What`s bothering me is, I would like to know if there`s not been some type of abuse or anger around them children, why would the parents be siding with the ex-husband all of a sudden?
GRACE: You know what? That is a really good question. Think about it like this, Penny Douglass Furr, whenever I would prosecute a case, if possible, the victim that I would be representing, the people, would be sitting right behind me supporting the state. And when you turn around and your client, family, is on the other side of the courtroom, you know you`ve got a problem, Penny.
PENNY DOUGLASS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that`s not a good situation. But they may also be angry at her because they`re also on the Britney gravy train. I think she`s supporting the family, also. And if she`s not supporting them the way they like, they may go on the other side. That`s also a possibility.
But in most jurisdictions, you have to show a change in circumstances in order to change custody. And by what I`m understanding, they just signed this agreement. So what`s happened between the time this agreement was signed and now? I don`t see that much changing.
GRACE: You know, Randi Karmel, family law attorney, let`s get real. You want to throw some Diet Coke in a baba at me? Fine, I`ll take it. You want to add in some Crest Whitestrips? Go for it. I hear they`re adding chewing gum to their arsenal, as well. But the reality is, in court, we don`t know what`s in these sealed documents Federline has laid in the courtroom, but it better be something stronger than that.
KARMEL: I agree, and that`s exactly what your caller said and what I said earlier. I believe that nothing has changed, most probably from what he knew about Britney before he signed these papers, and it`s up to the judge whether the judge is going to say, "OK, we have an extraordinary circumstance or a major change in circumstance to actually do something and hear all of these allegations," which should be more than what we just heard.
GRACE: To Sheeba in Illinois, hi, Sheeba.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. We just love you here.
GRACE: Thank you. Thank you for watching.
CALLER: Oh, OK, my question is, if he thinks he is morally and legally obligated to his children...
CALLER: ... how come he doesn`t have a job and is not looking for a job, even if it`s flipping buggers somewhere?
GRACE: Yes, that reminds me of his ad at the Super Bowl. And another thing, we`ve only got a few seconds left, to David Caplan, what about his other children? Why doesn`t he want them? And if he wants to be a great dad, get out there and work, work for a living, man.
CAPLAN: Yes, it`s interesting. He`s never sought custody actually of his kids with Shar Jackson. He visits them. Shar says he`s a great dad, but he doesn`t (INAUDIBLE) them.
GRACE: Maybe it has something to do with the pocketbook with his ex, Shar Jackson.
When we come back, screams pierce the night for help in an Atlanta parking lot. Police find evidence of a struggle and Monica Bowie, a bride to be, vanishes without a trace.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-four-year-old Monica Bowie had a lot to look forward to. She was a successful entrepreneur and soon to be married. But on July 5th, a person with seemingly so much to live for vanished. Neighbors say it happened with a scream for help. Law enforcement believes Monica was kidnapped outside her apartment, a struggle, fighting back. But that`s where details turn murky.
Monica simply disappeared without a trace. There`s been no credit card or bank activity, no ransom, and absolutely no sign of Monica. Cops found the car they believe was used that evening in the kidnapping and a man is in custody. But his charges are related to theft of the vehicle, not to the disappearance of Monica.
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GRACE: Where is bride-to-be Monica Bowie? Out to special guest Deborah Todd, staff writer with "The New Pittsburgh Courier." What was found in the parking lot where we believe she disappeared?
DEBORAH TODD, STAFF WRITER, "NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER": Well, the DeKalb County police found a jacket, a pair of glasses, and papers with Monica`s name on it. They also found artificial fingernails, but they can`t confirm whether or not those belong to Monica or not.
GRACE: And the reality is, Mike Brooks, even if they are, the nails are Monica Bowie`s, if there is DNA under them, you`ve got to have somebody to match it to before it becomes significant.
BROOKS: You`re absolutely right, Nancy. Yes, there was a sign of the struggle, but, you know, what was the reason behind this struggle? You know, there was also some other people involved in this, some characters who had a criminal past. You know, does that have something to do with it? Does it have something to do with her fiance who had been arrested for drugs? And a friend of the fiance, who apparently was seen near or inside of the apartment by witnesses where she lived, with a large bag of money.
GRACE: Oh, the picture is very, very disturbing. Her credit card, her cell phone, no use since her disappearance. Take a look at this beautiful girl, Monica Bowie. Just before her wedding, disappears. Joining me now, her mother, Linda Howard.
Ms. Howard, thank you for being with us.
LINDA HOWARD, MONICA BOWIE`S MOTHER: Thank you.
GRACE: Ms. Howard, from your understanding, what happened to Monica?
HOWARD: From my understanding, she had come home that evening after being out, about 10:30. She was abducted from her apartment garage.
GRACE: And have you heard anything, a hang-up, a phone call, a message, anything?
HOWARD: Not one single thing from her.
GRACE: How close was she to her wedding?
HOWARD: Well, actually, the wedding wasn`t due until next year. Next year, her birthday, March of next year.
GRACE: And she was very excited about that, right?
GRACE: I want to go to Gerald Griggs. This is the attorney for the Bowie family. We know that the vehicle, the Mercury Sable, 2002 Mercury Sable, and I assume it`s the same one she was abducted in, was found burned up. What about the guy behind bars for stealing the car?
GERALD GRIGGS, ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, the police aren`t saying much about him. He`s not saying much. He says he doesn`t know anything about this, but he was found in the vehicle.
GRACE: Of course he does.
GRIGGS: And so at this point we`re waiting on the police to let us know what`s going on, but we want Monica to come home. We want leads to be told to us. We want to work this case as hard as we can, but it`s getting kind of frustrating that it`s been well over a month and we haven`t heard anything.
GRACE: You know, tip line, everyone, 770-724-7850. Take a look at this beautiful girl, Monica Bowie. OK, let me get this straight, Mike Brooks. So are we sure that the Mercury Sable that was found burned up -- here is a picture of it, everybody, here is a video of it -- are we sure this was the Sable in which she was abducted?
BROOKS: That`s what the witnesses are saying. Apparently, the witnesses saw a car who was apparently parked in a spot in that garage, heard a scream, and saw the car speed away with the tag number. I mean, the witnesses were good. At least they called 911. They were able to get the tag number of the car that was speeding away. But there`s a couple gaps in there. You know, there`s nobody else. Did anybody else hear anything?
And what I want to say, too, Nancy, if anyone out there sees this woman or anyone who lives in that apartment complex, if they heard something, saw something, even if they think it`s innocuous, call the police and let them know about it.
GRACE: That tip line, 770-724-7850. There is a reward. Take a look.
Very quickly, "CNN Heroes."
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EUGENE RUTAGARAMA, "DEFENDING THE PLANET": When you approach a group of gorillas, the first feeling that you are approaching a relative, a human being. In this region, we have been able to bring conservationists from the three governments together to sign an agreement to protect these mountain gorillas. Having rangers to cover the park with their patrol means that we keep the poaching at the lowest level, but the poaching is still there.
My name is Eugene Rutagarama. My work is to protect mountain gorillas in their habitat.
When I came back from Burundi, Rwanda was devastated by the genocide. You would see the bodies of dead people, thousands of people. The whole country had to resume from scratch.
My attention went to the national parks. If these parks were not protected, it means that we`ll have lost the mountain gorillas, which is a hobby for many tourists. It brings foreign currency for this country which helps to conserve this park.
Gorillas can`t really do much if a human being has decided to decimate or to kill the gorillas. They need to be defended; they need to be protected by human beings.
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GRACE: Tonight, special edition, American hero, Army Specialist Daniel Enrique Gomez, just 21, Warner Robins, Georgia, near my hometown, killed Iraq. Today, we spoke to his father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN GOMEZ, FATHER OF SLAIN SOLDIER: Daniel, he was naturally kind- hearted. He illustrated that when he was very small, so, so caring. And he always had a good humor, constantly joking and playing, and there was always that smile on his face.
And he was a typical child. He enjoyed playing baseball and doing other things kids do in school and so forth. The way Daniel behaved as a soldier, he was the ultimate soldier. He prepared everything on the mission. He took care of his hands, he protected his hands with gloves on, because he said that a combat medic without their hands can`t help anybody. So he always took that into consideration. And he set it up real good.
He always had his body armor, helmets and so forth. Took himself very seriously. So he did go back. And, of course, a month later, he got killed in action along with three of his other good friends. And, actually, we were told that Daniel was doing what he enjoyed. He was out there with his buddies, and he got killed in action.
"If I ever go to war, Dad, I know that you will be strong, but you don`t have to worry because you taught me right from wrong. You keep me firmly on the ground yet still taught me how to fly. Your son is a soldier now, Dad, I love you, hoo-ah, even if I die."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: God bless Army Specialist Daniel Enrique Gomez, just 21, killed, Iraq. A decorated combat medic, he`s remembered as, quote, "a good kid." He loved his grandmother`s cooking. A high school football player and went to Texas A&M before Georgia Military College. He enlisted 2005. Leaves behind parents, Juan and Juanita, sister, Mary, and brother, Luis, grandmothers Mara and Riqueta. Daniel Enrique Gomez, American hero.
Thank you to our guests, but most of all to you for being with us. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern, and, until then, good night, friend.