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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

AP: Diprivan Found at Michael Jackson's Home; Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Steps Down

Aired July 3, 2009 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And, if you're just joining us, welcome to 360 from Los Angeles, where there are major new developments in the Michael Jackson story, memorial plans revealed, and reports that police have found Diprivan, the powerful anesthetic, at his home.

But all of that was eclipsed this afternoon by Sarah Palin. At home in Wasilla, Alaska, in a setting fit for backyard barbecues, not political bombshells, John McCain's former running mate set off a blockbuster. People had expected her to say she wasn't seeking a second term as Alaska's governor.

Instead, with 18 months -- 18 months left in her first term, she just up and quit, effective the end of this month. What all this means shortly, though, frankly, a lot of good people have not a clue about that.

We will hear from the governor's spokesperson and her first announcement. Let's play you her announcement at length, so you can draw your own conclusions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: Some say things changed for me on August 29, last year, the day that John McCain tapped me to be his running mate. And it was an honor to stand beside a true American hero.

I say others changed. And let me speak to that for a minute.

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August digging for dirt. The ethics law that I championed became their weapon of choice.

Over the past nine months, I have been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations such as holding a fish in a photograph, or wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters questions. Every one of these, though, all 15 of the ethics complaints, have been dismissed.

We have won, but it hasn't been cheap. The state has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some $2 million of your dollars to respond to opposition research. And that is money that's not going to fund teachers or troopers or safer roads.

And this political absurdity, the politics of personal destruction, Todd and I, we're looking at $500,000 in legal bills just in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime. So they are not going to stop draining the public resources, spending other people's money in this game. It won't stop.

If I have learned one thing, it's that life is about choices, and one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down or that build up, and I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and for productivity.

I choose not to tear down and waste precious time, but to build up this state and our great country, and her industrious and generous and patriotic and free people. Life is too short to compromise time and resources.

And though it may be tempting and more comfortable to just kind of keep your head down and plot along, and appease those who are demanding, hey, just sit down and shut up, but that's a worthless, easy path out. That's the quitter's way out.

And I think a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow.

We're fishermen. We know that only dead fish go with the flow.

No, productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time to build up, and there is such a need to build up and fight for our state and our country. And I choose to fight for it.

I will not seek reelection as governor. And so, as I thought about this announcement, that I wouldn't run for reelection, and what that means for Alaska, I thought about, well, how much fun some governors have as lame ducks. They maybe travel around their state, travel the other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions. So many politicians do that. And then I thought, that's what's wrong.

Many just accept that lame duck status and they hit the road, they draw a paycheck, and they kind of milk it. And I'm not going to put Alaskans through that.

I promised efficiencies and effectiveness. That's not how I'm wired. I'm not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.

I promised that four years ago and I meant it. That's not what is best for Alaska at this time. I'm determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and it's not so comfortable.

With this announcement that I'm not seeking reelection, I have determined it's best to transfer authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell.

Let me go back quickly to a comfortable analogy for me, and that's sports, basketball. And I use it because you are naive if you don't see a full-court press from the national level picking away right now.

A good point guard, here is what she does. She drives through a full-court press protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket. And she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And that is what I'm doing, keeping our eye on the ball.

That represents sound priorities. Remember, they include energy independence and smaller government and national security and freedom. And I know when it is time to pass the ball for victory.

And I have given my reasons now, very candidly, truthfully. And my last day won't be for another few weeks, so the transition will be very smooth.

I cannot stand here as your governor and allow the millions of dollars and all that time go to waste just so that I can hold the title of governor. And I don't know if my children are going to allow it anyway.

Some are going to question the timing of this. And let me just say that this decision has been in the works for awhile. In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, prayer and consideration.

And, finally, I polled the most important people in my life, my kids, where the count was unanimous. Well, in response to asking, hey, you want me to make a positive difference and fight for all our children's future from outside the governor's office, it was four yeses and one hell yeah. And the hell yeah sealed it.

And someday I will talk about the details of that.

I think, though, much of it for the kids had to do with recently seeing their baby brother Trig mocked and ridiculed by some pretty mean- spirited adults recently.

And, by the way, I sure wish folks could ever understand that we can learn, all of us, from someone like Trig. I know he needs me, but I know that I need him even more. And what a child can offer to set priorities right, know that time is precious. The world needs more Trigs, not fewer.

I love my job. And I love Alaska. And it hurts to make this choice. But I am doing what's best for Alaska, and I have explained why.

So, I think of the saying on my parent's refrigerator, a little magnet that says, don't explain. Your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you anyway.

Remember, Alaska, America is now more than ever looking north to the future. And it will be good.

So, God bless you. And from me and my family to all Alaska, you have my heart. And we are going be in great hands, the capable hand of our lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell. And Lieutenant General Craig Hamilton will assume the role of lieutenant governor.

And it is my promise to you that I will always be standing by, ready to assist. We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.

Take the words of General MacArthur. He said: We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.

So, with that, I'm going to hand this over to our good lieutenant governor.

And, again, I say thank you, and God bless you, Alaska.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Sarah Palin earlier today.

With us now by phone Palin from Upstate New York, Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton, who is there on vacation, as all this unfolds.

Meg, pretty much everyone was caught off guard by this announcement. Where did it come from? The governor said it had been in the works for quite some time. Were you aware of it?

MEG STAPLETON, SPOKESWOMAN FOR GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: I was, Anderson. And thanks for having me on. And if you hear some loud explosions, it is the fireworks of my neighbors.

But I was aware of it. We had been discussing it for a while. And again, this is -- I think a lot of people today are having a hard time understanding it and finding it shocking. But, if you know her, and for those do know her, it is not shocking, because she always puts Alaska first.

And this is just one more time that she says...

COOPER: Well...

STAPLETON: ... you know what? I know what's best for Alaska, and I know what's best for the United States. And it is for me to focus on my values and my goals from outside of this seat.

COOPER: Did you know she was going to make the announcement today? Because you are her spokeswoman, and you are in New York. The announcement was in Alaska. If there was a lot of preparation, you would think you would be in Alaska, where the spokes -- where the statement was made.

STAPLETON: Oh, Anderson, you use BlackBerrys, too.

Technology is beautiful. And I'm here with my family. And family comes first as well. So, it is all about using the technology that is there today to -- to help her in any way I can, as I do right now from my home, when I'm in Alaska.

COOPER: So, when it -- when it comes to those ethics complaints, Governor Palin said that -- she said -- and I quote -- "It is pretty insane. My staff and I spend most of our day dealing with this stuff, instead of progressing our state now. I know that I promised no more politics as usual, but this isn't what anyone had in mind for Alaska."

Is it really true she spends most of her day dealing with this stuff? And -- and, if so, isn't that what a leader is supposed to do, even in the face of frivolous charges, you know, leading?

STAPLETON: I think she is leading right now by saying, "I'm not going to do the same old thing."

I mean, you know her by now, Anderson. And you know that she is a very independent person, a very spirited person. She is not wired just to say, OK, I know that my sitting here is causing millions of dollars to go down the drain, and I know that I have got certain values and ideals that I want to progress, and I have got to spend time behind the desk, so I will just keep doing that.

What she is saying, OK, I'm not going to let any more of Alaska's dollars be wasted, any more of Alaska's time wasted. I know I'm not running for reelection. I know my lieutenant governor and I have the same exact goals. So, I'm going to...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But what if every governor made that decision? I mean, if every politician who decided, well, I'm not going to run for reelection, so I'm just going to resign, I mean, that is not leadership.

STAPLETON: It is leadership, Anderson, because she can effect greater change, far greater change, in the United States, for the United States, and for Alaska away from the governor's seat.

Right now, there are enough people who say...

COOPER: How? What -- what is she going to do?

STAPLETON: Oh, there are -- there are plenty of things that have been already been offered her just today alone. But there are many ideas she has.

COOPER: Like what? TV shows?

STAPLETON: What's that?

COOPER: Like what? Like a TV show? Or, I mean, what are you talking about?

STAPLETON: OH, everything under the sun that you can possibly think of.

And what she has said and what she did say in her speech was, just alone, getting out there and working with candidates and for candidates to get the right people in office who have those same ideas and ideals, and energy independence and who will work for stronger national security and more support for...

COOPER: So, is she going to continue to raise money for her -- her PAC? I mean, you put a statement, I think it was just a couple days ago, asking for money for her political action committee. Does that continue? Is she going to continue to raise money?

Does she want to -- I mean, is -- I mean, there are plenty of people who say, look, she's looking at 2012 for a presidential run. Do you think she has a career in politics still?

STAPLETON: I think she has a career in whatever she wants to do.

She is -- and those who meet her and those who are around her and those who work with her see her leadership skills, see her as a leader. She is an incredible person who has got a servant's heart. And she can do whatever she wants.

The world is literally her oyster. And she will do whatever it takes to make sure that she finds and -- and can execute upon those, again, finding that energy independence, and national security, and making sure her ideals and what she sees as a vision for Alaska is met, just not from behind the governor's desk.

COOPER: How -- how, though -- I mean, you say this is leadership, but how is leading not leading?

I mean, by -- she's -- you are saying she is leading by not leading. She is quitting her job as a leader to do, what -- I don't know -- speeches, a television show, whatever she chooses to do. But, I mean, you really can't call that political leadership.

STAPLETON: Sure. Well, do you say, then, that a point guard charging down a basketball court is not leading when he passes the ball or she passes the ball? I mean, she used the analogy...

COOPER: Honestly, I know nothing about basketball. All I know about is politics.

(LAUGHTER)

STAPLETON: Well, let me tell you, when someone is driving down a basketball court, which is her analogy -- and I think it speaks well to where she is -- and that is, I can't effect change because of the political climate that's there. I'm going to pass the ball. I'm going around it. And we still all have the common hoop, but I'm going around the block, and I'm passing the ball at this time, because it is best for Alaska.

COOPER: Wait. Who is -- I'm sorry. OK. I don't know who the hoop is. I don't know who the ball is or -- or -- I'm -- I'm -- I'm confused by the analogy. But I will let it go, because I'm -- I don't know anything about sports.

But do you think -- is she planning to run for president in 2012?

STAPLETON: She has no plans for anything in particular at this point in time. What she has is -- and that hoop represents fighting for everything that she feels the direction we are not going right now, which is smaller government, which is energy independence, which is national security, which is more support for our troops.

That's what she is fighting for. Whatever path ultimately gets her there, we don't know yet. She made the decision in what I will call a vacuum in terms of what is best for Alaska. This is best for Alaska, OK, decision made, announced. Now we will go on and determine the best path for her to achieve her goals.

COOPER: Well, Meg Stapleton...

STAPLETON: She doesn't need a title, which is what she said earlier today. She doesn't need a title to get her where she wants, or, ultimately, in life either.

COOPER: All right, Meg Stapleton, I appreciate you calling in. And I wish you a -- a good -- a good Fourth of July weekend.

STAPLETON: You, too. Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Take care.

Let us know what you think of Governor Palin's decision and why you think she is stepping down. Join the live chat at AC360.com.

Up next, we will ask our political panel, Candy Crowley, David Gergen, and Ed Rollins -- Ed Rollins, the former campaign manager of Mike Huckabee, mentioned as a potential Palin opponent for 2012. That, of course, is if she's running and still in politics. There are some reports she is getting out of politics entirely. We will talk about that also.

Later, the reported drug discovery at Michael Jackson's home -- Diprivan, powerful I.V. Medicine -- we have been hearing a lot about it the last couple weeks -- or the last couple of days, I should say -- now reportedly found by investigators in the home. Dr. Drew Pinsky joins us with that, a lot of news tonight.

We will bring you all of it -- we are live from Los Angeles. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're back on a day that normally generates so little news that most of the coverage focuses on holiday traffic and keeping safe around fireworks.

Instead, tonight, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is dominating the headlines, saying she is stepping down with a year-and-a-half to go in her first term. She called the decision a tough one, but the right one.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PALIN: I think a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow.

We're fishermen. We know that only dead fish go with the flow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, the question, of course, is, why now? Also, where, as in, where does this get her within the Republican Party or her wider public future?

Joining us is Candy Crowley, senior political analyst David Gergen, and political contributor Ed Rollins, who managed Mike Huckabee in the '08 campaign.

Ed, is she paving the way for a 2012 presidential run?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: If she is, it was a very stupid methodology to go -- go forward. She added another controversy to -- and no one has defended her more than I have on this show and other shows. I -- I like her.

I think she was a -- an interesting choice, not a great choice.

I think, at this point in time, she didn't -- she didn't have strong enough credentials to run for vice president. She now has added one more demerit by quitting. And I think, to a certain extent, there's a lot of governors with very tough sledding right now.

And the ones who are going to succeed are the ones who are going to stay in there and finish the job. The only thing that may be practical is she said, this is what is best for Alaska. If you don't want to do the job, maybe it is.

David and I worked for a man, Richard Nixon, who used to say, you are never done in politics until you say you quit. She said today she quits, as far as I'm concerned.

COOPER: David, is -- is that your reading of it as well?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is an old adage in politics that says that, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And now she is trying to persuade us of a new adage. And that is, when the going gets tough, the tough quit.

That dog won't hunt. And I -- it leaves all of us looking for other explanations, other motives. There are three come to mind. One is, this is a very unusual route to try to get to political power, get to the Republican nomination. Perhaps it will work.

The second one is money. Anderson, she talked about the fact that several hundred thousands of bills have now come in. She and her husband were worth about $1.2 million, including their property, in the last campaign, as listed by their records.

This gives her a chance. If -- she has got a book in the works. It will come out next year. She will hit the lecture circuit. She could be worth several million dollars by the end of next year, whatever happens in politics.

And, third, Anderson, is the question of where was the -- where was the law closing in? And where these -- were there various investigations starting to close in on her? And, by getting out now, did she essentially escape from some further damage?

I don't think we know for sure. But those, to me, strike me as the three most -- most compelling possibilities for her motives.

COOPER: Candy, did anyone in Washington see this coming? And -- and -- and the timing, I mean, it is one of those things, a Friday right before a holiday weekend. That is usually when, you know, documents are dumped that you don't want anybody to see.

(LAUGHTER)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But if -- if -- if her whole point was not to have anyone notice, I think that was probably the first failure of the strategy, because, obviously, we did.

(LAUGHTER)

CROWLEY: And -- and all of Washington did.

I -- I -- I do think it wasn't even so much that it was on a holiday Friday, but that it was so hastily arranged. You have got this feeling that they just said, let's go quit.

And she said, of course, that that wasn't the case, that she had been thinking about it for a long time. I -- I still think it is a little peculiar, even if it is a holiday weekend, that her main spokesman, who has been with her for so long, is not there with her.

And it was so hastily called that we are told from our affiliates that a number of journalists didn't even make it in time. So, there was something about the rush of it, rather than the exact day.

COOPER: Ed, conservative strategist Mary Matalin said -- and I quote -- that "Palin addressed the issues of why she's stepping down quite well."

Do -- do you agree? I mean, the actual delivery of -- of the information, what did you think of it?

ROLLINS: No.

First of all, you don't raise questions in a press conference. You go out in a press conference and you answer questions. Everyone now has questions. Why did she do this? She stepped all over her own story that she was quitting.

And I totally disagree with Mary, who I have great respect for. But, in this particular thing, I think the bottom line here is, there's -- there's -- if she wanted to quit and not run for reelection, that's one thing. She could have done that a year from now. She could have done that four months before the end of this term and still run for president.

Mike Huckabee ran for president, didn't finish until January, won the Iowa caucus. Romney was governor right up to the end. He ran a year later. There's plenty of time if you're going to run for president.

I think she didn't like the game. I think she got beat up. It is a very tough game. It is like saying -- you know, to go to the sports analogy, she basically talked about basketball. She quit halfway. It would be like Kobe Bryant halfway through the season said, I have passed the ball. I don't like that they're too -- playing too rough.

I think she has basically added one more quirky side to her. And I think she's now becoming more of a kook than a serious candidate. And I think that is a detriment to any candidate.

COOPER: David, she also did work in sort of an attack on the media, that -- that, you know, people are -- are attacking her. She made a claim that -- that people are attacking her child, Trig, which I have never heard anybody do that. Have you?

GERGEN: I have not.

We are not living in her shoes. I mean, I -- look, I'm sympathetic with the -- she has faced tough scrutiny. This was a woman who was unprepared for the national spotlight. It can be very harsh. We all know that.

You know, every little fault can be made into a -- you know, a mountain. And I think she had to -- to bear with that. But, I mean, she asked -- she asked the voters of Alaska to give her four years. You know, she quit after two-and-a-half. She asked the voters of the country to vote for her for vice president because she was a great governor and was fighting for the people of Alaska.

Here, she now -- she quits. So, it is -- I think Ed Rollins has got -- has pegged it right. I'm sure he will get some heat for it. But I think he's -- I think he's said it exactly right.

And I -- it is -- this is bizarre. The statement, you -- you showed enough of it. People can make their own judgments. Maybe -- if there is logic to it -- to it, I couldn't figure it out. It seemed to me illogical and incoherent.

And all of this adds up to a story where there are some pieces missing. There's something here that doesn't make sense on its face. And we need to know more before, I think, we render more complete judgments.

COOPER: So, Candy, do you think -- is it possible she just doesn't want to be involved in politics anymore, that she is going to pop up with a cable news show? CROWLEY: Well, I -- I do think, with Governor Palin, that all things are possible here.

But, listen, I think, first of all, that she may, in fact, if you read sort of between the lines -- I agree with David -- it was a little hard to follow this -- that it's exactly what Ed suggested. And that is that she was getting beat up pretty badly.

I -- I also think that there is -- there is an element of family here. In her remarks about Trig, she talked about priorities and how he taught her priorities. And I -- I think that it's -- it is quite possible that she, in fact, does want to fade into the woodwork, although I don't think for very long. I think that may be the immediate feeling.

We do have a source that is close to the family who said, she is done. She is over it.

I -- I don't think that will last that long. She doesn't strike me as a person that fades into the woodwork.

GERGEN: She -- Anderson, there's a story out tonight that, just before this happened, she was e-mailing the Republican Governors Association, saying she wanted to get into -- come in and start supporting various Republican candidates.

COOPER: Yes.

GERGEN: She wanted to travel the country. So, it is clear she is not leaving politics.

ROLLINS: She also raised a lot of money...

(CROSSTALK)

ROLLINS: She raised a lot of money to pay off her legal fees. She has got a big PAC going. She was -- she was a very serious candidate for president. And a lot of conservatives would have been supportive of her.

I think this basically just makes people take a second look.

COOPER: Well, she is going to -- certainly going to remain in the public eye.

Candy Crowley, Ed Rollins, David Gergen, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Straight ahead tonight: the drug Diprivan reportedly found in Michael Jackson's home. Dr. Drew Pinsky joins us about this.

Also, ex-wife Debbie Rowe, birth mother of the two eldest Jackson kids -- we're exploring the multimillion-dollar relationship between Michael Jackson and her over the years, and how it may play into any potential custody battle.

We're live from Los Angeles -- next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Here in Los Angeles, the investigation into Michael Jackson's death has taken a dramatic turn.

There are reports that police found Diprivan, a powerful anesthetic, in Michael Jackson's house. Now, the revelation adds new traction to the possibility -- and it is just a possibility at this point -- that prescription drugs might have been a factor in the pop star's sudden death a week ago.

We are still waiting for the final autopsy results, for the toxicology report, which we're told won't be ready for several weeks. But much about the toxicology report may already be known to the Jackson family.

Over the last few days, Diprivan, also known by its generic name, propofol, has taken center stage in the story.

Drew Griffin has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was reportedly found inside the house. The question now, was it inside the singer?

Diprivan is administered by a steady drip usually through an I.V. Stop the drip, the medication almost immediately loses its effect, but, when in use, produces an almost comatose state that his nurse, Cherilyn Lee, said Michael Jackson craved.

CHERILYN LEE, REGISTERED NURSE: I said, "This medication is not good."

He said, "I want to sleep."

And I looked at him. And that was the first time I got this chill through my body. And I said, "Michael, if you take that medicine, you might not wake up."

GRIFFIN (on camera): What was his response?

LEE: He said, "I need to have somebody here to just monitor me."

GRIFFIN (voice-over): That conversation, she says, took place in April. The physician hired to monitor Michael Jackson during his tour was hired in May.

And, while Dr. Conrad Murray's attorney insists his client is not a suspect in any crime, has fully cooperated with police, and treated Michael Jackson properly, attorney Matthew Alford, said, of today's Diprivan news: "We are treating all unnamed sources as rumors. And, as we have stated before, we will not be responding to rumors or innuendo. We are awaiting the facts to come out and will respond at that time."

Since his death a week ago, friends and former confidants have described addiction issues, even, at times, warning Jackson to stop abusing pills.

Sources tell CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that, in the mid '90s, the singer traveled with a mini clinic, which included I.V. stands. One of Jackson's doctors during that time was Dr. Neil Ratner, living now in Woodstock, New York.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We just wanted to come to the source, you, and -- and here, and find out if that had happened.

DR. NEIL RATNER, TREATED MICHAEL JACKSON: I'm very upset. I'm distraught. Michael was a good person.

I can't talk about it right now. It's really something I don't want to talk about right now. I lost a friend, and I feel very badly about that.

GRIFFIN: Officially, there is still no cause, no definitive medication, no answers from the LAPD or the coroner's office on why Michael Jackson, seemingly healthy during rehearsals last week, suddenly died Thursday morning, the official results of this death investigation not expected for several more weeks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And joining us now is Dr. -- oh, sorry -- Drew. Sorry.

Drew, we -- we don't know for several more weeks -- we won't know exactly because of the toxicology reports -- but authorities do know so far what is in the toxicology report; is that right?

GRIFFIN: Yes, they know, Anderson. They most likely know what killed Michael Jackson as well. And the family most likely knows. In fact, we are pretty sure they do know.

The family is under no obligation to release their report ever. The coroner's office says we can't expect it until late July, before they officially announce those results.

COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin, appreciate it.

The doctors we have talked to over the last few days, including our own chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, have all told us that Diprivan, or propofol, is meant to be used only in a hospital setting, where patients can be closely monitored.

We haven't found any medical professional who says it is OK to use Diprivan at your home.

Joining me now, Dr. Drew Pinsky -- he's an addiction specialist -- and also Jim Moret, chief correspondent at "Inside Edition," who is also an attorney. What do you make of the fact that Diprivan was found in the home. I mean, any doctor is just shocked by it.

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: It's shocking. It's bizarre. It's a medication that's used to keep people immobilized, in a coma, induction for anesthesia, or on a ventilator. It's not something that really ever is designed to be used outside a hospital.

COOPER: The nurse who had said that Jackson came to her three months ago, asking for Diprivan, said that he wanted it for insomnia. I have a source I have talked to who was involved with Jackson in the '90s who said that he liked taking anesthetics for the -- I want to make sure I have the wording on this right, for the feeling of it. He enjoyed the feeling of it. Is that something, I mean, is Diprivan something people can get...

PINSKY: Addicted to?

COOPER: Yes.

PINSKY: It absolutely is. In fact, it's only been reported previously in anesthesiologists, because those are the only people who come in contact with that medication, would be really aware of that medication and its potential.

COOPER: So those -- some anesthesiologists have actually abused it, because they like the feeling about going into it?

PINSKY: Exactly. Like most addictions, it's about escaping certain painful feeling states, and that's -- another disorder is triggered, the addictive disorder.

COOPER: Jim Moret, what do you make of this?

JIM MORET, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": I think we're seeing a change in the investigation now. It almost doesn't matter what the toxicology report says. If Diprivan was found in the home you have a separate track now, and you could have a separate criminal investigation.

And I think that the net is really spread wide now to look at what prescription drugs were being given to Michael Jackson, under what names, and how many doctors were involved.

COOPER: And the DEA, we now know, is involved. They bring with them their own expertise and ability to look at medical records and prescription records. The California attorney general is also involved. They will actually track down any doctor, I guess, that is known to have been involved with Michael Jackson.

PINSKY: Yes. They will sort this out. These investigations have a broad sweep. What is going to make it difficult are the names these medications may have been put under. But I bet they'll figure this out.

MORET: And the important thing also is this can take months. And that's OK. There's no rush now. We saw with the Anna Nicole that there were not indictments, no charges filed until a year later. And it's OK because they want to get this things right.

COOPER: In terms of custody issues, Debbie Rowe kind of contradictory information. She had given an interview saying she would pursue the custody of the kids, at least two of the kids she's the biological mother of and maybe even get a restraining order against Joe Jackson. And her attorney kind of said, well, no definite decision has been made.

MORET: And what do we see happening. We see a delay in the hearing that was set for Monday. It's now delayed by a week, which indicates perhaps they're talking. Maybe there's going to be a settlement of some kind.

COOPER: Drew, if medication wasn't actually prescribed to Michael Jackson is it possible some shady doctor would have prescribed it to himself or someone else in the Jackson camp?

PINSKY: Certainly, that is a possibility. They really don't know how far off, really, ethical standards this went.

One of the things I find curious, people look at the video of him the night before he died and think, "Oh he looked so great." But you've got to remember that a lot of musicians go out on medication intoxicated. Throughout this kind of -- the rock industry has a long heritage of doing this, of people intoxicated, performing, looking great but really being strung out on something.

COOPER: What do you make of the information that Dr. Sanjay Gupta found that this Dr. Ratner, an anesthesiologist, went on tour with Michael Jackson?

PINSKY: It's extraordinary. When people get special care they usually get sub standard care. And I was just as amazed and astonished as Sanjay Gupta was. I felt his sort of confusion, like how is this even possible?

COOPER: There was another doctor, apparently, on the tour. But an anesthesiologist, I mean, has one purpose only.

PINSKY: That's right. And really, anesthesiologists should not be the only taking care of a patient who has such complex issues as this.

MORET: And all these things are really consistent. You talk to the nurse you talked to the other day. You listen to the charges, the claim that a pharmacy was owed $100,000. Now this report that there was a mini clinic traveling with him. Another report that Diprivan may have been found. They all kind of dovetail and make up a story that's bizarre but...

COOPER: I believe, if I'm not mistaken, that the pharmacy is in the lobby of the building that Dr. Arnie Kline is in, which Jackson often went to.

MORET: And think about this, $100,000 over a couple year period.

PINSKY: For a 50-year-old man that's well enough to perform in front of an audience.

COOPER: How do you take $100,000 of medication in a year?

PINSKY: It's not easy. It's not easy. That is not easy. It's not your cholesterol and your blood pressure medicine. That's a lot of other stuff.

COOPER: Yes, I take Lipitor. It's not that much.

PINSKY: Not that much.

COOPER: It's just a tragedy. And it's still unfolding. We'll try to figure out more in the days ahead. Drew Pinsky, Jim Moret, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Still ahead, we talked a lot about -- a little bit about Debbie Rowe tonight. Next, the long and winding money trail that links Michael Jackson to her. He allegedly gave her millions over the years. The question is where has it all gone?

Plus, the latest from Afghanistan, where U.S. Marines have launched their biggest offensive in eight years. Is the Taliban fighting back? We'll have details from the front lines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The lawyer for Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's ex-wife and mother of his two oldest kids, says she still has not decided whether to seek custody of the kids. Now, over the years, she reportedly has received millions from Jackson. But where did all that money go? Just ahead, we'll follow the money trail.

First, though Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, there is late word tonight that North Korea has fired two more missiles off its eastern coast. That according to South Korea's Young Hapth (ph) news agency.

And the missiles have an estimated range of about 500 kilometers. That's just over 300 miles. Yesterday North Korea fired four similar missiles off the same coast.

U.S. Marines pushing farther into southern Afghanistan on day two of their bold offensive against the Taliban. Military officials say the 4,000 troops engaged in sporadic fighting will fan out into the most dangerous region of the country.

South Carolina police has released this sketch of a serial killer believed to be responsible for four deaths in a town 50 miles south of Charlotte. The killings happened over the last six days, and the suspect, a white male with sale and pepper hair, is about 6'2" tall, weighing about 250 pounds. He is believed to be driving a 1991 to 1994 Ford Explorer sport model SUV. A cell-phone camera capturing this scene in Honduras, which shows soldiers apparently shooting out the tires of buses headed to a demonstration in support of ousted president Jose Manuel Zelaya. CNN obtained the recording from a supporter. The new government is under international pressure to restore Zelaya's power, but so far, it's resisting those calls.

And a Coney Island eating contest with a little twist. Three people versus three pachyderms. Really no surprise, Anderson, the elephants crushed the competition, packing away 505 hotdog buns in six minutes. The humans only managed to gulp down 143.

COOPER: Oy.

HILL: Nothing like an eating contest.

COOPER: Yes. I don't quite get the whole eating contest phenomenon, but...

HILL: I don't get it either. I also don't get that it's called a sport but, hey, more power to them.

COOPER: Exactly.

As always, we want to hear from you. Join the live chat, happening now at AC360.com. Let us know what you think about, I don't know, eating contests.

Coming up next, paying to get pregnant. Debbie Rowe's deal with Michael Jackson. The $1 million she got up front and the cash that followed. We'll tell you about the money, whether she may seek custody of the kids.

And later, a few laughs over our report on Bubbles, Michael Jackson's former chimp. Steven Colbert saw our story and has a few pointers. It's tonight's "Shot." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Right now we want to take you to the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where Beyonce, John Legend, and other artists are honoring Michael Jackson. Here is Ne-Yo singing "Off the Wall."

(MUSIC: "OFF THE WALL")

COOPER: That's Ne-Yo. The Essence Music Festival tonight in New Orleans.

Back here in Los Angeles the Jackson family may be bracing for a bitter custody battle over two of the singer's children.

Debbie Rowe gave birth to Michael Jr. and Paris. She gave away parental rights, though, but then tried to get them back. We don't know what her intentions will be in the next few days, but we do know the singer paid her millions of dollars in the past.

Randi Kaye reports on Rowe and the money.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the start their marriage seemed more like a business deal. Michael Jackson wanted children; Debbie Rowe wanted to provide them. In the end, Jackson got his kids, and Rowe became a very rich woman.

How rich? Eight and a half million dollars rich. That was the deal the couple cut after their brief marriage ended and after Rowe agreed to give up parental rights to the children, seen here in photos from TMZ.

(on camera) Where did that money go?

MORET: That's -- that's the $64,000 question, I suppose.

KAYE: Court documents show Rowe was to be paid $1 million up front, then another million dollars paid over three years; on top of that, payments of $750,000 for the next six years.

(voice-over) But in 2006 Rowe went back to court, describing herself as deep in debt, and claiming Jackson had missed payments.

MORET: Jackson is notorious for going into a deal and then cheating the person out of whatever they're owed.

KAYE: The same document shows Rowe received $265,000 from Jackson in 2005 and used part of it to pay off -- get this -- a $168,000 American Express bill. As she put it, "By the end of 2005 the entire $265,000 was long gone."

This man says he and Rowe were friends for about seven years. He showed us pictures of them together.

(on camera) Did she spend a lot of money?

LUKA CAMBID, DEBBIE ROWE'S FRIEND: Well, I could tell you this much. It did -- it sure looked like there were no restraints on any spending, and you know, so that's for certain.

KAYE (voice-over): Rowe's attorney says she hasn't decided whether to seek custody of the two children. If she does, some speculate money may be her motivation.

MORET: The kids will ultimately get 80 percent of Michael Jackson's estate. And there will be child support. There are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake here. So there is a great temptation to say it's all for the money.

KAYE: After Rowe and Jackson split, he set her up in an expensive Beverly Hills home. CBS filmed her dogs swimming in the backyard pool.

Today, with money tight, she lives in a modest ranch house on a farm outside Los Angeles, where she breeds horses. MORET: Debbie Rowe doesn't lead a life that suggests opulence. She lives in a community that's moderate to low income. She leads what should be a very humble lifestyle.

KAYE: Certainly not the lifestyle she enjoyed at Neverland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Randi, what do her lawyers say about all this talk about money?

KAYE: Well, Anderson, we called them. We e-mailed them today. We wanted to know what her motivation may be, if she does look to seek custody. And we never heard back from them.

But one thing I want to point out. In our interview with Jim Moret today -- he was also just on the show a few moments ago -- he said that, you know what? Debbie Rowe is the mother of these children, and she has every right to be concerned about their well being and how they're going to be provided for.

Sure, she might not have been around in recent years. She would tell you that that's because Michael Jackson made it difficult for her. She had to call ten days in advance before a visit. She had to meet them in supervised situations in hotel rooms. And that's why she didn't see them.

Is this about the money? Could this be about the money? We're going to have to wait and see and even see if she files for custody.

COOPER: All right. Randi, appreciate it. Randi Kaye.

Go to ac360.com to read what Debbie Rowe herself has to say about her relationship with the kids.

Coming up next, Scott Roeder, the man accused of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, sending out inflammatory mail from his jail cell, getting the attention of a lot of people we have the latest on that.

Also, calling it quits. Sarah Palin resigning as governor in her back yard and in her own words, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's get you caught up on some of the other headlines tonight. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, there is new fallout over the protests in Iran. A top cleric says some detained staffers from the British embassy in Tehran will be put on trial. He's not saying how many. The cleric accuses Britain of instigating the demonstrations over the Iranian presidential election.

The U.S. Navy investigators say there is no evidence the murder of a gay sailor at California's Camp Pendleton, was a hate crime. Seaman August Provost's body was found Tuesday in a guard shack on the base. He'd been shot, his body burned. A sailor who is a person of interest in the case is in the brig at another base.

The Associated Press reporting the man charmed with murdering Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller is claiming in an e-mail that he sent from jail such killings are justifiable.

This is not the first time Scott Roeder has shared his views on the case. Just last month, you may recall, in an interview with CNN he did not admit to the murder but said that, if convicted, quote "The entire motive was the defense of the unborn."

And in Washington, a life-size cheese statue of Abraham Lincoln sadly falling victim to the heat. The cheddar head slid right off. But the cheese carver, who spent more than 40 hours creating the masterpiece, made a quick repair.

A little Cheese Whiz and just spray it in there. Just like glue. Head's right back on.

COOPER: Yum, cheese.

HILL: Mmm, yes.

COOPER: Erica, time for our "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a better caption for the one that we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog every day. Did I say that right? I don't think so. Anyway...

HILL: You would think you would have it down by now.

COOPER: You think I would.

Two hot-dog eating champions look on at the weigh-in ceremony for Nathan's Famous Fourth of July international hot-dog eating contest in Coney Island, New York.

Staff winner tonight is Jay. His caption: "Can you believe that Sarah Palin quit after only ten hotdogs?

(SOUND EFFECT: "Ooh")

HILL: Funny.

COOPER: The viewer winner is Dianna from an undisclosed location. Her caption: "In shock, hotdog champions fail to eat even one dog after hearing that Sarah Palin has been hiking the Appalachian Trail with Joe the plumber."

(SOUND EFFECT: DRUMBEAT)

HILL: I thought it was Argentina, no?

COOPER: There you go.

HILL: Sorry. Not funny.

COOPER: A "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.

What do we have next? "The Shot "is next. You're going to love this. Stephen Colbert making fun of us -- well, I guess more me this time around. After our update on Bubbles the chimp. It is very funny. We'll show it to you.

And at the top of the hour, Governor Palin's bombshell. Her surprise decision to step down. We'll play you her hastily called news conference to announce the resignation. We'll play you about six and a half minutes or so of it. We'll let you decide for yourself what to think. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Erica, for tonight's "Shot," Stephen Colbert takes aim at me. Yes, me.

HILL: No. I thought that was my job.

COOPER: That's right. He had fun with our report. You could probably give him a call. He had a little fun with our report on Bubbles the chimp.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW": I was raised to admit when I had been bested. And last night Anderson Cooper didn't just scoop me, he spooned me. All night long. With the one Michael Jackson exclusive every newsman wanted. Jimmy, crank up the AC.

COOPER: Tonight connecting with one of Michael Jackson's old friends and perhaps one of his oddest: Bubbles the chimp.

COLBERT: He got the chimp exclusive. Of course. It's so obvious. I'm so bad I could throw my own feces. For the last four days I've been wasting my time trying to get an interview out of a bottle of Demerol.

CNN found Bubbles living in a nature preserve in Florida and uncovered this shocking news.

JOHN ZARELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He likes cumbers for lunch and, of course, bananas. He likes making faces.

COLBERT: Now, that's a lot to process, I know. But John King broke it down with his touch screen.

Anyway, congratulations, Anderson. This is even bigger than your 2006 sit down with Saddam Hussein's beloved pet Khalid Sheikh Mu- Hamster.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Very funny and well deserved, no doubt.

HILL: Yes. And nice work by John Zarrella, as well.

COOPER: Yes, John Zarrella.

You can see all the most recent "Shots" at our Web site, ac360.com.

Coming up at the top of the hour, the latest on Sarah Palin's sudden decision to step down as governor of Alaska. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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