Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police Find Six Bodies in Convicted Rapist`s Home; Jury Selection Begins for Anchorwoman`s Murder
Aired November 2, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a sick new milestone in the war on women. A gruesome discovery in Ohio. Six women found murdered inside the home of a convicted rapist. Cops say the bodies may have been rotting for months or years. Neighbors would gag when they walked past the house as the toxic smell of death poured out of the windows. So how did cops check up on this guy two months ago and not notice anything amiss? And who are his victims?
Plus, a beautiful TV anchorwoman, raped and murdered in cold blood in her own bed. Now the man suspected of this vicious attack has his day in court as the trial finally begins. Will there be justice for Anne Pressly?
Also, inside the frightening world of addiction. David Hasselhoff comes clean and finally admits his toxic troubles, telling the world about his ongoing battle with alcoholism, even comparing himself to notorious train wreck, Amy Winehouse. So is this a real life cry for help or free publicity for his new reality show?
And cue the circus music. Jon Gosselin is back in the spotlight. This time, the star of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" was in front of the cameras undergoing marriage therapy with a famous rabbi. What? What`s going on here? If this guy`s serious about fixing his marriage, shouldn`t he be doing this behind closed doors? Tonight`s big issue, is Jon Gosselin addicted to fame?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a manhunt leads police to a house of horrors in Cleveland. Six -- count them, six -- rotting corpses found inside the home of a convicted rapist named Anthony Sowell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. THOMAS STACHO, CLEVELAND POLICE SPOKESMAN: We have taken and confirmed three bodies out of the home. We`ve now, with the assistance of the coroner`s office, removed what we believe are the remains of three additional victims, one from the backyard and two from inside the home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators say all six victims were African- American women who were strangled to death. Sowell could have been living with their bodies for months, possibly even years. The stench was so overpowering, it made neighbors gag. It made their eyes water, but none of them thought to call police.
And just over a month ago, cops did a routine check on this man, because he is a registered sex offender. So why didn`t they notice the unmistakable smell of death?
It gets worse. Last week, a woman told police Sowell had raped her inside his house. When police went to arrest him, he wasn`t there. That`s when they finally picked up on the extraordinary odor. Officers then found all those bodies. Sowell was arrested two days later.
This guy served 15 years in prison for raping and choking a woman in 1989. Since his return to the streets in 2005, more than one woman has accused him of rape. So why wasn`t he prosecuted? Why wasn`t he sent back to the slammer?
So much to cover, and I want to hear from you at home about why you think nobody did anything about the fantastic, unbelievable smell.
Straight out to my awesome panel: Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist and associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital; Don Clark, former FBI special agent in charge; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels and WABC radio talk show host; and Michelle Sigona, correspondent for "America`s Most Wanted" and international crime correspondent.
Michelle, you have some very exclusive information on this case. Bring us up to date. What is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, CORRESPONDENT, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": The very latest on this investigation, Jane, is just a little bit of what you had mentioned. All six bodies inside of the house, police have identified. In fact, as being all African-American women, five of whom were strangled, unfortunately, and then the other ones` body was decomposed so badly that they could not determine how that female was, in fact, murdered.
Now, when the coroner`s office went in, they were able to secure all six bodies. They had a cadaver dog go in to be able to locate every single body at locations from crawl spaces to living spaces, outside to shallow graves and to bring those in, to be able to determine the age and the sex and the gender of these particular women at this time.
And right now, since they don`t have any identification for them, they are reaching out to some of the families throughout the neighborhoods to try to figure out some other missing women, up to eight that we know of so far, that could possibly be possible, potential victims in this. But they are working to match up that DNA at this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`ve got some of those missing women. We`re going to present them to you in a little bit, to see if you at home perhaps have any information on them.
Now, Michelle, before we move on, you have some exclusive information. I understand you talked to the mother of a woman who was married to this suspected serial killer.
SIGONA: That`s correct, Jane. I located this woman, and what she says -- she doesn`t wish to be identified -- but what she did tell me was that more than 20 years ago, that her daughter actually met Sowell in the Marines, and they were married for about a year. She says that she does not remember a lot of information about him...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying he was a Marine, this guy?
SIGONA: Yes. He was a Marine, for what she remembers about to be six and a half years. I did reach out to -- to the Marine Corps about an hour and a half ago because I just found out this information, and they have to go into the archives into St. Louis to be able to tell me the exact dates of when he enlisted and when he was released.
There are some published reports out there that do say that he was there for about seven years and that he was honorably discharged, according to some parole records.
Now, having said that, what this woman says is that her daughter did, in fact, meet Sowell and that they were married for about a year. Her daughter, unfortunately, died about 11 years ago...
SIGONA: ... unrelated to this. But she was, you know, speaking out, and what she wanted to say was that her heart really does go out to the families of these women who were found.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. Well, I got to say, Michelle, it`s very nerve-wracking and actually disturbing to think that this suspected serial killer was a U.S. Marine. That`s a bizarre twist.
Sowell was accused of rape after his release from prison four years ago. A woman says after she refused to have a drink with him -- this is after his release -- he punched her in the face and dragged her into his house. She told FOX 8 Cleveland, quote, "He was going to kill me. I had scars on my neck and nerve damage." She says she escaped and called cops. Sowell was arrested -- get this -- for rape, kidnapping and robbery, but the case was dropped.
Why, Curtis Sliwa? Because this woman believes that it`s because she had a case pending, an assault case pending against her at the time. And so Sowell kind of turned the tables and claimed that she`d assaulted him. But I just don`t get it, Curtis, because this should have been a slam-dunk for prosecutors. He`s a convicted rapist, and she`s accusing him of doing the exact same thing he did before.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: It will be interesting to see the backgrounds of the victims that they found who are buried underneath this home, because I`ll bet you they`re part of what have we have as a throwaway society for women.
If you`re a dope fiend, a crackhead, a meth head, a runaway, a prostitute, we say, "See you later"; we forget you. Your file goes in the cold case file, and maybe it will get solved at some point in the future. We don`t view these people as being like the person next door, like "Leave it to Beaver" land, "Father Knows Best," "Little House on the Prairie." And that`s how these enemies of society, these cretins with chromosome damage, can continue to get away with these crimes undetected.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I got some disturbing information to tell you about now. And this is very creepy. Sowell had reportedly cruised sexual fetish Web sites. He described himself as a, quote, "master looking for someone to train." His profile on the site alt.com reads, "If you`re submissive and like to please, this master wants to talk to you. So get your expletive over here now."
Dr. Gail Saltz, does this give you any kind of an inkling of what these women may have endured before they were strangled?
GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Unfortunately, absolutely. This is someone who was interested in domination, perhaps sadism, which often go hand-in-hand, and you would be very concerned that these women were, you know, really tortured in some way before they died.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, this is pretty serious stuff, Don Clark. You`re a special agent in charge of the Houston FBI. S&M behavior can include physical violence, and if they -- it starts out as a game and maybe somebody`s lured in under that pretext, and it turns physically violent, that can be absolutely terrifying.
DON CLARK, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Well, it is very terrifying -- terrifying, Jane, and -- but one of the major problems here, Jane, is that we`re no longer in the `70s and `80s and `90s now. We`re in a stage now where prevention has to be the focal word. And that is crime prevention. Not arresting these people after the fact and after six or eight people are dead or so forth. They`ve got to prevent these crimes from happening.
And when you`ve got things like rapists and child sex abusers, once they have been convicted, then somewhere along the line, with all the technology that we have, these people should be monitored for the rest of their lives. And I would argue that with anybody: if they are convicted and they`re put out on parole, they should be monitored so that you can pretty much know where these people are all the time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But -- but Michelle Sigona, you`re the investigator here. They were monitored. The cops reportedly checked up on him as recently as September 22 to determine whether he was living at the home that he said he was living at. Now, how come they didn`t notice the smell? This is astounding to me. This reminds me of the Phillip Garrido case. We`re going to get into that in a second but answer that question.
SIGONA: Yes, it is astounding. And from what a lot of neighbors have said, and a lot of folks in the community, they have come out to say that, look, OK, everyone figured that he was going out, he was rummaging through trash, he picking up scrap metal, he was doing things to sell -- to sell those kind of items to earn a living. And that`s where the stench comes from, and that`s what -- you know, from collecting those items inside of his house.
And that could have been, I don`t know, but that could have been what he told authorities and what police would have known. And if they were checking up on him as much as they say that they have record of, in that particular instance, all those instances, for that matter, then they would be able to -- to determine his kind of lifestyle. And they would know that he`s out there kind of, you know, scouring the area looking for things to sell.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There were so many questions. There were so many red flags, and again, you`re astounded they don`t pick up on any of it. He was living with an elderly female relative who they`re now looking for. He said he took her to a nursing home. They`re trying to figure out whether that really happened or not.
So much more on this nightmare discovery in just a moment. We`re also taking your calls on this. I want to know what you think about why people didn`t report the stench: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Give me your thoughts.
Plus, another case in the war on women. Arkansas anchorwoman raped, murdered in her own bed. Now this trial has started. Will there ever be justice for this beautiful young woman and her tortured family?
But first, a houseful of rotting bodies found in Ohio. A neighborhood shocked to hear cops say a serial killer was living right next door.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sigh of relief. The street is now safe again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m glad he`s off the street.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re just thankful that they got him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE VAL, HELPED POLICE FIND SUSPECT: I was in this car, had my mask on, this mask right here. I don`t know if that made him look at me harder, but I had my Halloween mask on, and he stopped me. And then he looked at me real hard. I had a chance, you know, to look at him real hard. I said that looked like the dude the police was looking for. Still had my mask on. They thought that I was crazy, too, but I took them back around there, and they apprehended the guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that gentleman`s a hero tonight. His tip led cops to Anthony Sowell after six corpses were found in his home. Sowell`s case has striking similarities to Phillip Garrido`s. Both convicted rapists who were apparently not rehabilitated and were not properly monitored after being released from prison.
You remember Garrido served only a decade of a 50-year rape sentence. Soon after his release, he allegedly kidnapped Jaycee Dugard and kept her captive in his backyard for 19 years, fathering two kids with her. Police made regular visits to his home. They never discovered Jaycee or the kids in a sprawl of tents in his backyard.
Fifty-year-old Anthony Sowell served 15 years for rape. He was released in 2005, four years ago. He registered as a sex offender and checked in regularly with the sheriff`s office as he was required to do.
So why during all these checks did they not notice something is off with this guy? Why didn`t they smell when they visited his home, this odor that`s been described as overpowering to the entire neighborhood?
All right. Phone lines lighting up on this one, as we would expect.
Alice in North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hey, I think this is so stupid. I mean, really, that`s what you`re trained to do. You are a trained professional to check for that, and you didn`t see a tent with people in your -- in their backyard, really? I mean, how do you not smell that? Did you have some Febreze or something?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I missed the last part of that. But I guess she`s making the same point that we`re making. I don`t really understand, Michelle Sigona, how these, whether they`re parole officers or law enforcement officers, sheriff`s deputies, cops, whoever, they`re trained law enforcement. They go to this house to check up, and they don`t pick up on anything odd.
It`s almost like they don`t have any sixth sense that, hey, we`re basically here trying to figure out if anything`s off about this guy who`s already spent time in prison for rape.
SIGONA: Right, Jane. And so what happens in these kinds of situations, same as in the Phillip Garrido case, is investigators will go back through, pull out the records. They`ll see who made the house checks, what times this happened. If in fact there were house checks or, in fact, the offender actually checked in with the department itself.
They`ll go through and see if there`s any kind of notes that took place. Sometimes in these kind of -- in these kinds of files, especially with offenders that have, you know, offended a long time ago or over a period of time, sometimes some of the files could not always be in the same location.
So I`m sure that investigators within the department are working right now to be able to connect those dots, and they`ll be able to have a little bit more information for us within the next couple of days.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You know, Don Clark, how far could cops go? I`ve heard in the Phillip Garrido case, well, they didn`t need a search warrant to go inside. Now I`m hearing in this case, well, they couldn`t go inside.
It seems like the rules, that`s part of our problem with our criminal justice system. The rules are different every state, every municipality. Nobody can figure it out. Probably even the law enforcement officers can`t figure on it what they`re supposed to do.
CLARK: You know, it is different, particularly as you go from state to state. The federal is probably a little bit more consistent, but the bottom line is, Jane, is that they`ve got to figure out that sending somebody to these places and just having them to do a check, what does that mean? We`re living in an electronic state today where we can find anything. Let`s use that ability to keep track of these people, and where they are going and record it that way.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to this because this is the most important. Are any of the victims inside Sowell`s home women who were reported missing? Investigators say they`re focusing on several African- American women who recently disappeared in the Cleveland area. The family of 43-year-old Janice Cobbs afraid she may be one of the people strangled in Sowell`s home. Cobbs lived one street away from Sowell. She went missing in April.
Forty-nine-year-old Janice Webb disappeared in June. She hung out in an area near Sowell`s house. Her family says she battled drug addiction. This dovetails with what Curtis Sliwa said, that perhaps some of these women didn`t inspire the kind of search that law enforcement might do for some other women...
SLIWA: Jane -- Jane...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... who are considered more valuable by society. But I certainly don`t make that distinction.
SLIWA: Jane, this happens all the time with law enforcement. They look at who the victims might be, and if they`ve had drug problems, meth, crack, they`re dope fiends, they`re prostitutes, runaways, they don`t treat them as regular, average, everyday people, and that`s the mistake. Because then a cretin with chromosome damage like this gets away with it.
SLIWA: How could they not have gone into that house and not known that something was wrong in there? They probably just did a check-off, went and had a cup of coffee, a sandwich on some local merchant, and went about their duty. We depend on law enforcement. We don`t expect them to be Columbo, but hey, open up your schnozzola and smell, guys.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you on this one. And of course, we`re not implying that any of those missing women are anything other than missing women and victims.
Quickly, Diane, Kentucky, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes, ma`am. There is a convicted sex offender that lives in the apartment below me, and there`s a policeman that lives next door. I understand from your program that the police do a routine check on these people, but I have never seen this man checked on, and I`m wondering what I can do to protect myself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ten seconds, Dr. Gail Saltz?
SALTZ: You know, I think you just have to keep your eyes open. It could be -- certainly, he`s probably being checked when you`re not looking, because you can`t keep your eye on him 24/7 either. But look for clues. Be safe. Don`t go alone in front of this person`s apartment. Don`t go into his apartment. Just use your noggin.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have to leave it right there. Thank you, fantastic panel.
We`ve been on this next case since it started over a year ago. The trial for the man accused in the brutal murder of TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly.
And we`re going to tell you about David Hasselhoff.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, this was day one in the trial of a man accused of brutally raping and murdering a beautiful Arkansas TV anchor woman, was almost exactly one year ago that we started talking about this horrific case.
It is the ultimate example of an unprovoked attack and, really, what started what we here on ISSUES began calling the war on women. This is where it all began: 26-year-old Anne Pressly was asleep in her bed when prosecutors say Curtis Vance broke into her home, raped her and beat her so severely her own mother could not recognize her. She spoke about that on "The Today Show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATTI CANNADY, MOTHER OF ANNE PRESSLY: I found my daughter beyond recognition with every bone in her face broken. Her nose broken. Her jaw pulverized so badly that the bone had come out of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutors plan to use DNA evidence and taped confessions from Vance, but his lawyers claim he was coerced into giving the DNA sample. Vance has pleaded not guilty.
You know, we have been talking about this case from the very beginning, and once again, I have to say that this case is what inspired us to begin a recurring series here on ISSUES called "The War on Women," because this attack was completely 100 percent unprovoked. This woman was in her own home. I`m talking about Anne Pressly, a very well-loved, popular anchorwoman. She was inside her own home and simply living her life when somebody broke into her house, raped her and beat her to the point where she was not identifiable to her own mother.
And what strikes me, and I felt very -- a very strong connection to this case, because I`m an anchorwoman, and I`ve been a reporter out there in the field. And I`ve worked in these small towns, and I know what it`s like to go out there and to go home by yourself and not know if anybody that you covered has followed you home. So I had a personal connection to this young lady, because I related to her, identified with her predicament.
And that`s why we started "The War on Women," to make sure something like this doesn`t happen again.
Dana Bradley, you`re a reporter with KARN News Radio. You`ve been covering this from the very start. What happened in court today, Dana?
DANA BRADLEY, KARN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as we know, Curtis Vance was in court in Little Rock today, a little over -- it was actually the beginning of jury selection, and a little over 100 jurors, they were seated. They were questioned. They went through the same thing that they go through to try to eliminate some people. And at last, as it was over with, about two jurors were actually seated, but numerous of them were actually let go because they weren`t -- they were not able to sit on the jury.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, this is a relatively small community. I mean, we`re here in New York City, the big city, but how has this case impacted your community where you work, where you live? I understand that all the news media kind of knew each other.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s the fallout of this case?
BRADLEY: Well, you know, when it first happened, it kind of put all of us, as far as women in the media, kind of at a scare. We`re wondering who is this guy, who did this, who would do such a thing to our friend, our co-worker and just our loved one like that, and speaking of Anne Pressly. So we kind of go down a time frame, we were all worried as a community. We were all a little scared.
Then, when they apprehended an alleged suspect, we kind of -- we all wanted to know answers. We wanted questions. We all want answers. And like you were saying here in Little Rock, the media here, we are all very close. Sure, we might be rivals in television and radio, but we all work very closely together. So...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dana, I hope you come back and update us as this case progresses. We`re not going to forget about it. We`re going to stay on top of the war on women.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cue the circus music. Jon Gosselin is back in the spotlight. This time, the star of "Jon and Kate plus 8" was in front of the cameras undergoing marriage therapy. What`s going on here? If this guy`s serious about fixing his marriage, shouldn`t he be doing this behind closed doors?
Plus, inside the frightening world of addiction: David Hasselhoff comes clean and finally admits his toxic troubles, telling the world about his ongoing battle with alcoholism. So is this a real-life cry for help or free publicity for his new reality show?
The once wildly successful TV show "Jon and Kate plus 8" is done. Put a fork in it, people. But Jon Gosselin is still basking in the spotlight. Jon`s latest move: a public therapy session of sorts, led by spiritual guide to the stars, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and a friend of this show.
The rabbi got Jon to admit he needs to say sorry to Kate although he feels that she treated him like her ninth child. Jon also swears, "I am not a fame seeker."
The biggest bombshell tonight: Jon says he is taking a break from soulmate/girlfriend Hailey Glassman. She accused Jon of being emotionally abusive.
Here`s a clip of Jon`s discussion/therapy session that aired on ABC`s "Good Morning America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": Slow things down and calm things down a bit until I get through my divorce and until I know everything`s settled and okay.
I don`t want another failure in my relationship from my past actions. I don`t want to make the same mistakes I did with Kate with Hailey. For ten years, I just kept it all in and never said anything, and I emotionally abused people because it all of a sudden just came out one day. And unfortunately, it was Kate and unfortunately, it was Hailey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what about those published reports that Jon cooked up all the drama with Hailey precisely to get attention? My question tonight, is Jon genuinely trying to change for the better?
Joining me now: Jon`s spiritual adviser and author of "The Broken American Male" Rabbi Shmuley Boteach; and also joining me, famed celebrity divorce attorney and author of "Getting Away with Murder" Raul Felder; and "Extra" correspondent, my good buddy, Carlos Diaz.
But first to Rabbi Shmuley, I think you have a lot of wisdom, Rabbi. And I think if anybody can get through to somebody, you can. But a lot of people are kind of wondering how can you help somebody with their personal problems in front of an audience full of people?
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, "THE BROKEN AMERICAN MALE": well, it wasn`t a therapy session. It was an attempt to get Jon to accept public responsibility for the public things that he`s done. If you hurt someone, if you humiliate your wife, and it happened in a public setting, if pictures have been taken of you and someone else, then the pain that a wife experiences is compounded not just by that feeling of betrayal but the feeling of humiliation.
There`s a need to come before the public before whom it`s happened and say you`re sorry. The fact is that fame has certainly moral and ethical responsibilities and last night`s purpose in the synagogue, in a holy space, was for Jon to purge himself of the excuses and to say that what I`ve done is in contradiction to my innermost moral principles. It`s a contravention of who I want to be. This is not who I planned to be and I can`t find excuses for what I`ve done.
BOTEACH: The fact is, 75 percent of all divorces in America are initiated by women. Women are tired of men who are unfaithful or who act out and don`t take responsibility. And it`s my hope, that the moral courage that he showed in publicly renouncing that behavior and committing himself to better will inspire other husbands in similar situations to do the same.
As far as whether this is a publicity stunt, whether people should take it seriously, don`t take anything seriously. Don`t believe what people say. But believe what people do. Action is everything.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to ask you this question. This is what I have been thinking about the whole time with this whole Jon and Kate thing. Is there a soul sickness to somebody who would put their kids on a reality show essentially turning their kids into commodities? Is there a soul sickness inside to be able to do that, rabbi, because I believe there is?
BOTEACH: There isn`t just a sickness with many of us in this culture, Jane, let`s be honest. Our culture is not healthy. Our culture puts attention before love. We know how to make money. We don`t know how to stay married. We don`t know how to love each other. We don`t know how to inspire our children.
And one of the purposes in last night`s conversation was to simply say why were you afraid to talk about this? Fame is claiming a lot of victims these days. It attracts a lot of broken souls.
Here we are talking about this on television. So let`s admit our own complicity in this entire thing. All of us are complicit.
The fact is that America is becoming a celebrity-obsessed culture. Celebrity is something neutral -- it could be used for bad or good. For bad is where you begin to feel special not by virtue of the people who love you but by the people who watch you.
But it can be consecrated to a higher purpose. In this case, Jon Gosselin is the father of eight children. He can highlight the need for parents to spend a lot of time with their kids. Let`s remember, before he went off the rails for eight months, and he admitted to that behavior last night, he was someone that we admired. He changed diapers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I never admired him. I never admired him.
BOTEACH: But we admired the fact that he was devoted to his family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think it`s an accomplishment to have eight children and then put them on a TV show to make money. Sorry.
BOTEACH: I agree with you. I agree with you. Those kids should not be on TV. I told him that the first time we spoke.
BOTEACH: And I hope I played a small role in helping him decide they should not be. In fact, he said to me the very first time that he said he was going to renounce on television he that wants his kids off the show, he said to me, "People are going to see this as payback to TLC, they will question my motives."
I said to him, "In life you do the right thing even for the wrong motivation. It`s action that counts."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rabbi, got to leave it right there. Hope you come back real soon and I always love chatting with you. You have very good insights.
BOTEACH: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to move on because we have a very famous divorce attorney and I`m very excited to have him here with us, but let`s set up the clip, if we can, Mr. Felder.
RAUL FELDER, CELEBRITY DIVORCE ATTORNEY: Hi Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you doing? Is Jon`s reported breakup with 22-year-old girlfriend, Hailey Glassman, for real or is this a scheme -- another scheme to get fame?
Hailey opened up about their relationship on "Entertainment Tonight". Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY HART, CBS HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": I think we need to point out the fact that Jon is sitting right here in the room.
HAILEY GLASSMAN, JON GOSSELIN`S GIRLFRIEND: Yes.
HART: I think you should come and sit in on this interview. I really do.
Hailey Glassman goes on the record tonight on ET. Jon Gosselin watches on from just five feet away.
GLASSMAN: I will be brutally honest with you; I`ve had the worst times of my life with Jon. But I`ve had the best times and the happiest times of my life. Like no one in this world can make me smile or laugh like he does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So Raul, she`s talking about breaking up with Jon but Jon`s sitting there on the floor while she`s giving the interview. If this is orchestrated could this come back to bite him in the divorce? Could Kate use this as evidence of his bad intentions?
FELDER: Well, it`s an admission of adultery here. She had the best times and the worst times of her life with him but by the way, Jane, what`s a little odd is that her father did a tummy tuck on Jon`s wife. This is really strange stuff. But everything he does is in public.
I think you were right on target. He seemed to be, when he was before Rabbi Shmuley, he seemed to be pleading to be able to figure out the problems he had with the last woman so he doesn`t have it with the next woman. He doesn`t say anything about taking his eight kids on television. It`s appalling.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it`s appalling.
My big issue tonight, is Jon Gosselin a fame addict? We`re going to go to Carlos Diaz in a moment. After basically, he got cut from "Jon and Kate plus 8"; my question is did he go into reality TV withdrawal?
TLC`s cameras aren`t following Jon anymore. So he`s turned to the paparazzi cameras. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOSSELIN: I just got an e-mail from Kate saying she doesn`t want to see me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says she doesn`t want to see you? May we see it?
GOSSELIN: No. Hold on one second. She wants to change custody. I would appreciate it if you would pick them up at the bus stop tomorrow at 4:00 and stay until 6:00.
That`s ridiculous. I`m going to stay longer than that. I don`t care.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was supposed to be a joint day because it`s a birthday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was for all those...
GOSSELIN: All holidays, birthdays, whatever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you end up dealing with this when...
GOSSELIN: It doesn`t matter. It`s joint shared. It`s a sign-off day. I can stay as long as I want and I will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Carlos, is Jon a fame addict?
CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": No, he is not a fame addict. The people want as much Jon as possible. And Jane, you and I are friends and we are about to have a spirited discussion, all right?
You said on this program, you said on this program just months ago when I said they should take the kids off of "Jon and Kate plus 8" you said no, they shouldn`t do that, they wouldn`t have a show. We`re seeing right now that people all they care about is Jon and Kate. They don`t care about the kids anymore.
Take the kids out of the equation and we need to see Rabbi Shmuley and if you watch that entire interview with Rabbi Shmuley at the synagogue last night, it was amazing. He got Jon to admit things that Jon has never admitted before.
I think we need a show on TLC where Jon is sitting down every week and talking to either Rabbi Shmuley or someone like Rabbi Shmuley about making himself a better person, a better father, and a prospective better man for future relationships. That`s a show right there.
I don`t think Jon is a fame -- is addicted to fame. I think the people`s thirst for Jon Gosselin is insatiable and the only way that can be quenched is with a show that makes sense like what we saw last night with Rabbi Shmuley and Jon Gosselin.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, Carlos, yes I love you but I can`t imagine that I ever said that they shouldn`t take the kids off because I don`t think the kids should be on the show. I think what I said was I don`t think the show is going to work without the kids. I`ll give you that.
But getting back to Raul, is this uglier because it`s a reality show or is this just another very ugly divorce?
FELDER: Well, it`s both. It`s an ugly divorce. It`s more ugly because everybody`s looking in his bedroom window. And I couldn`t believe it, this I didn`t know before that, when he was breaking up with this girl, he`s sharing the e-mails, blackberry messages he`s getting from the girl with the public. She has to have her head examined to have anything to do with this guy.
Unless he`s touting another reality show with the new girlfriend and I break up and then I make up and I get a little plastic surgery, on and on, and the next girl, and the next girl and the next girl.
I mean, the thing is, I really feel that all of their problems stem from the fact that they`re the kind of people who would put their kids on a reality show in the first place. I think -- go ahead. Ten seconds.
DIAZ: But Jane, very quickly, it takes a lot of money to raise eight kids and the only way they get enough money to raise those eight children is from a TLC or another network that wants to put them on TV. That`s...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just think it`s a cautionary tale. Don`t have eight kids if the only way you can afford them is to put them on TV, don`t have eight kids. I do hope those kids have very happy lives. It`s not their fault.
Thank you, Raul. Please come back soon. Big thanks to our fantastic guests.
A woman busted by police for drunk driving. You`re not going to believe how she was caught. It`s amazing.
Plus, David Hasselhoff reveals his toxic secret, finally confessing that he has an alcohol problem. You think? But is the Hoff serious about getting help? We`re taking your calls on the Hoffster -- on the Hoffmeister -- on the Hoffolino -- whatever you want to call him. That`s 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s meet today`s winner, iReporter Aubrey in Albuquerque. Aubrey lived a double life for a long time, party girl at night, working in a legal office by day but it caught up with her.
In 2007, her parents said, "Hey, honey, get help." Aubrey reluctantly went into recovery and she met a group of supportive people who helped her find clarity and sobriety. Now she`s a new mommy, sober -- and get this -- getting ready to go to law school.
Aubrey, for sharing your amazing story of recovery, you`re going to be getting an autographed copy of my new book "I Want" plus a chance to win a trip to New York City and visit me right here on the set of ISSUES. We`re going to have a good time, a good sober time.
And check out my book, if you`re struggling with addiction or know somebody who is, you can order it by going to cnn.com/Jane. It`s got my story of recovery.
All right, moving on.
David Hasselhoff finally comes clean, admitting he has an alcohol problem. So is he serious about getting clean or is this just a PR stunt for his new reality show? We`re going to will take a look.
First, "Top of the Block" tonight: a woman in Wisconsin may be guilty of driving drunk but you could never accuse her of being a liar.
Get this. Mary stray was boozed up behind the wheel so she calls cops and reports herself to police. Listen to this 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911 DISPATCHER: Clark County 911
MARY M. STREY, DRUNK DRIVER: Somebody`s really drunk driving down Granton Road.
911 DISPATCHER: Ok, are you behind them or?
STREY: No, I am then.
911 DISPATCHER: You am them?
STREY: Yes, I am then.
911 DISPATCHER: Ok, so you want to call in and report that you`re driving drunk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. Funny because no one got hurt. After making the phone call, the woman pulled over to the side of the road, turned on her flashers and patiently waited for cops to show up. She was charged with DUI. Nobody else was inside the car, nobody got hurt.
I don`t know what made her decide to call police but it was definitely the right decision. She might be kicking herself now but better be arrested than killed in a drunk-driving accident.
All right, "Top of the Block," part two does not have such a happy ending. This new video of Anna Nicole Smith in 2006 was entered into evidence at the trial of three people, her ex-boyfriend and two doctors accused of illegally furnishing her with prescription drugs.
The frightening video shot by Howard K. Stern at a little girl`s birthday party. Listen as a very childish out of it Anna Nicole insists she`s not preggers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL: My baby`s over there sleeping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s another one of your babies. Your baby down there.
SMITH: Your baby down there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one.
SMITH: I think I just had a little gas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gas? Please do not tell me that no one could have predicted how this story would end up and that is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Now to a double dose of dumb and just as disturbing as Anna Nicole, David Hasselhoff is best known to the ISSUES audience for the infamous sloppy drunk burger binge video. Check it out once more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dad, you need to promise you`re not going to get alcohol tonight, ok?
DAVID HASSELHOFF, ACTOR: What?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to promise me you`re not taking alcohol tonight? Ok.
Because if you get alcohol tonight, you`re fired from your show tomorrow and a doctor`s coming over here in the morning to check your alcohol level. And if you have any alcohol in your system, you`re going to be fired from the show tomorrow. Do you hear me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There`s more where that came from.
Hasselhoff reportedly signed with a major cable network to do a reality show along with his teenaged daughters. He seems to think it`s a good idea. Quote, "The problem I`ve experienced in my own life and some of the stuff that`s been documented about Amy is a universal problem."
Time out. Amy? That`s right. He`s talking about Amy Winehouse. Isn`t that a great comparison to make? Amy went into rehab in January 2008 only to demand and get a special release from rehab so she could perform at the Grammy Awards. I guess the message is, "Hey, the rules just don`t apply to me." Predictably.
Since then, Amy has had her share of alleged substance abuse problems. You think?
As far as the Hoff comparing himself to Amy, ISSUES reached out to Amy for comment. We didn`t hear back. So will Hoff ever get sober if the cameras are rolling?
I want to know what you think. Give me a call.
We`re back with our fantastic panel and I want to welcome my very special guest, as well, Danny Bonaduce, morning talk show host, 94.1 WYSP, actor, reality show star. Danny -- great to see you.
Do you think it`s a good idea for the Hoff to have a reality show given what -- what`s happening to him right now?
DANNY BONADUCE, MORNING TALK SHOW HOST, 94.1 WYSP: First of all, I seen a reality show about a terrible drunk husband and father behaving horrifyingly in front of his children.
We called it "Breaking Bonaduce" and it really does generate a great deal of money and then you get a divorce and your children, you get to see them every other weekend.
VELEZ-MITCHEL: So basically, it`s a disaster?
BONADUCE: It`s a disaster in every possible sense of the word.
First of all, there are funny parts, I must admit. He came out in the paper today, David Hasselhoff of the burger fame, came out today and said, you know, waking up and realizing you`re an alcoholic, that`s not just something you just wake up one day and do.
Well, that`s if -- if you wake up at home. If you wake up naked at Macy`s next to a disappointed-looking St. Bernard, you might realize you have an issue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s why we got you involved, Danny Bonaduce, because you`re telling it like it is.
Now, on Friday`s show we`re going to have Jodie Sweetin (ph) join us, the former child actress and star of "Full House" she`s going to share her struggles with drug addiction.
But first we`re going to have much more on Hasselhoff, the Hoffster, the Hoffalino, when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSELHOFF: I had a few drinks, but there`s no police involved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And like did you go to the hospital?
HASSELHOFF: I went to the hospital but not for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not for that?
HASSELHOFF: No, I went for a stomach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you didn`t pass out or...
HASSELHOFF: No. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the Hoff giving TMZ his rendition of why he was taken back to the hospital in May. According to his rep, it was a bad reaction to a drug combo, but other reports had him with a blood alcohol content of .39.
Dr. Reef Karim, noted addiction specialist, what is going on with the Hoffmeister?
DR. REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST & ADDICTION SPECIALIST: It`s something called alcoholism, Jane, is what it appears to be. It`s a chronic relapsing illness similar to diabetes, asthma, hypertension. There`s no cure. It`s something that you manage. And if you don`t get appropriate treatment, you know, the treatment here is a residential treatment center, a rehab. It`s not a reality show.
And you`ve got to take it seriously. And I just -- I really worry that if he`s not taking it seriously there could be some really major negative consequences happening here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, in May 2007 Hasselhoff reacted to the release of that infamous burger on the floor video, admitting that he relapsed. He said, quote, "Relapse. Part of recovery is relapse."
Danny, what would you say to David Hasselhoff right now? Do you believe part of recovery is relapse?
BONADUCE: Oh, absolutely. I`ve been in so many 12-step programs I could be an aerobics instructor. There is no reason that -- nobody should make it the first time. And I don`t know anybody that has. But...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know about that. I experienced a miracle. So I feel like when I decided to get sober -- I tried for many years, for like 20-some years and then I did experience a miracle of recovery. So thank God...
BONADUCE: Right. But during those...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... knock on wood. One day at a time.
BONADUCE: ... during those 20 years, though, you did fail. You didn`t make it your first try.
BONADUCE: So you`re right. I`m agreeing with you that relapse is a part of the recovery process. I think him playing this dangerous game with a reality show is a bad idea.
First of all, the tragedy is going to follow him forever. He was supposed to be the guy from "Knight Rider," which is convenient when your designated driver is the car itself. But playing with fire here...
DIAZ: Good point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`ve got to bring Carlos Diaz in.
We hate to admit it, but celebrity train wrecks are fun to watch. It`s hard not to watch it.
BONADUCE: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An apparently tipsy A-Lister or D-Lister.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what price are they paying? I mean, we`ve all seen the Anna Nicole Smith video looking and sounding drunk or high. And then we`ve also got, you know, Whitney Houston. Remember Whitney and Bobby Brown? They let the cameras roll on their very scandalous and dysfunctional private life.
So we`re laughing, but we`re not sort of laughing with them. I think we`re laughing at them. And that`s the difference, Carlos.
DIAZ: Well, and that`s the thing, too. I mean, if David Hasselhoff is dead in a year, then we`re going to feel pretty bad about this whole thing. But short of that, Danny Bonaduce has made some great points.
But Danny, your marriage was doing well before, or doing well as could be, before the reality show and then it went into the toilet during the reality show and that`s when you lost, of course, your wife and you saw your kids every other weekend.
That`s where David Hasselhoff is right now. His marriage has imploded. He`s seeing his kids on an interim basis. He`s not seeing them all the time. And whenever anything happens to David Hasselhoff, he`s got some story to tell.
Now if cameras are following him the story will be seen for us -- we`ll see the story firsthand. He can`t tell a story. He can`t make up a story. We`ll see it firsthand on A&E or whoever`s bought this show.
So it`s a little different, Danny, than your situation if you ask me.
BONADUCE: Well, I kind of disagree a little bit. Only that my marriage has been a disaster for the last decade.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, I hate to leave it right there but we`re out of time. So Danny, you`re going to have to come back real soon...
BONADUCE: I wish you would invite me back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have some explaining to do, my friend. Thank you so much.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.