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Reality TV Show Nightmares; Jon and Kate Gosselin`s Divorce Now Final

Aired December 18, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, an ISSUES special presentation. We`re shining the spotlight on reality show nightmares and shattered lives.

First, ruined by reality. "Jon and Kate Plus Eight," from a lovey-dovey couple to a knockdown, drag-out divorce. Jon and Kate Gosselin square off on national TV. Now the show has been cancelled. But what about the kids? Did they get hooked on the cameras, too?

And a paralyzing car wreck played out in the spotlight. A young man clings to life because of Nick Hogan`s reckless driving. Now this poor kid strapped to a wheelchair with severe brain damage. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan and his son seem more concerned about a signing a reality TV deal than about Nick so-called friend. Were they blinded by the bright lights of the TV cameras?

Also, from reality show contestant on VH1 to cold-blooded killer, Ryan Jenkins murdered his model wife and stuffed her in a suitcase. One week later, he killed himself. The murder sparked an international man hunt. Was this Ryan`s last gasp at the reality spotlight?

Plus, desperate for attention. Average Joes seeking the spotlight. Octomom, balloon boy and the White House party crashers, just to name a few. These wannabe reality stars will do anything for their five minutes of fame, but at what cost? An ISSUES special edition starts right now.

Tonight ISSUES investigates the distorted reality of reality television. Shattered lives, broken marriages, criminal charges, even murder and suicide. The first family of this bizarre world is "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." Their divorce is now final. The show is over. But their split has become a soap opera of its own.

Four years ago, they were just an anonymous couple, juggling twins and sextuplets. Then came TLC, Jon and Kate signed a TV contract and expose their kids to the world. But as they became famous, they grew to dread certain aspects of it.


I`m always like I don`t let them say the word paparazzi. Like I make them call them P-People, because I just -- I don`t want them going to school being like, well, the paparazzi followed us. Like that`s so creepy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But now that the TV crews have packed up and left, the kids are reportedly in withdrawal. Kate says they sobbed when the cameras were finally gone. Life on reality TV is the only life they have ever known. So what happens to these poor kids now?

I want to welcome my truly fantastic guest panel - Danny Bonaduce, radio host on 94.1 Philadelphia. And we know him best as an actor and reality show star. Here`s a clip from VH1`s "Breaking Bonaduce."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to run to the rest room real quick.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t have sex with anybody.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another reality star, joining me tonight, Omarosa Manigault, here`s her clip from "The Apprentice."


OMAROSA MANIGAULT, REALITY TV SHOW STAR: I didn`t come here to make friends. I said that from day one. And if you would stop being so freaking sensitive.


MANIGAULT: You just told me, you just told me, I`m a good person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a good person. What does that have to do with this?

MANIGAULT: You could be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what? Life`s too short to be a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also joining me, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, Stuart Brazell, fabulous casting agent. Alicia Quarles, you`ve been all over this story.

What is the very latest on the Gosselins` divorce?

ALICIA QUARLES, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, the very latest is that the divorce is finally settled. I mean, these two have been fighting non-stop. Jon Gosselin took over $200,000 out of the account. He has to pay it back. I mean, this just been a war of the words, going on TV crying, nasty accusations, so finally the divorce is finalized.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Now as part of the divorce settlement, we hear Jon reportedly has to pay child support in the five-figure range every month. That`s at least $10,000 a month, possibly a lot more. My question is, how is he going to pay it? Jon was pitching his own reality show, "Divorced Dad`s Club," featuring himself and another winner, Lindsay Lohan`s dad. But TLC tried to block him from getting another TV job citing his contract with the network.

So I`ve got to go back to Alicia Quarles on this. Will Jon actually be forced to get a real job?

QUARLES: Jon might have to get a real job. At the end of the day, when you`re on reality TV, it`s very rare. But usually your 15 seconds of fame are extremely quick. And right now, he`s not America`s sweetheart anymore. America saw a different side of him with this divorce. They saw him running around with all kinds of women. So he`s not exactly the most marketable of people right now. He might have to go up there roll up his sleeves and get a real job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. TV or not TV. How Shakespearian. When Jon and Kate split, TLC planned a new show called "Kate Plus Eight." As soon as Jon was cut out of the equation, he suddenly had an epiphany and decided, oh, I now have a problem with my kids being on TV.

Listen to him on CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE."


JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV SHOW STAR: I don`t want them to film any more. I don`t think it`s healthy for them. And the reason I don`t think it`s healthy for them is that we`re going through a divorce right now, and I don`t think it should be televised, and I think my kids should be taken off the show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now that the divorce is final, will he decide, OK, it`s okay for his kids to be back on TV? Or will he say, it`s OK for a price?

Bottom line, and I want to put this question to Stuart Brazell, you are a reality show casting agent, you know this world. Do you think Jon has the leverage to block a new "Kate Plus Eight"?

STUART BRAZELL, REALITY TV CASTING DIRECTOR: You Know, Jane, I have to say that I agree with Alicia that Jon has truly shown his true colors this year. At the end of the day, he is a father. Jon and Kate are parents. No one`s paying attention to these kids. I want to take a look at, is being on reality TV healthy for these kids. Jon`s going to put a stop to it because fame is seductive, he misses his face on the television, let`s be real. I think it will be interesting to see how this all pans out. It can go any way right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Omarosa, OK, you again, steeped in the reality show world. Knowing what you know about this divorce and his sudden epiphany that he doesn`t think his kids should be on reality TV show at precisely the moment they say they don`t want him anymore, do you think now that the divorce is settled that he will allow Kate to have her "Kate Plus Eight" show without him?

MANIGAULT: Unfortunately Jon has shown himself to be quite a vindictive person. There`s no question he`s going to continue to block Kate from prospering because he can`t have her. He can`t be in the equation any longer. And certainly he can`t extend his 15 minutes of fame. So he`s going to continue to block it, but it hurts his children ultimately. Because how are you going to support these children? I mean, there are a lot of kids to support. And it was at least an income strain for this family. And I think in the long run, it will be the kids who suffer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny Bonaduce, the kids are reportedly suffering withdrawal because they`ve grown up around these cameras; they`ve never known anything else. Now the cameras have been yanked. Kate herself said they`re sobbing. I don`t know whether she said that because she wants to get them back on a show, or whether they were really sobbing. But you were a child star. What happens to kids when they suddenly turn the camera off?

BONADUCE: Well, I`ll tell you, there`s a big rumor that being a child star is the worst thing in the world. That`s not true. Being a child star is actually a great deal of fun. Being an ex-child star, that`s terrible. When you grow up and you`ve been used to being famous, and all of a sudden all you`re trained for is being a busboy, famous busboy is the worst job description in the world. They need that camera back because that`s what they know and they know nothing else. And Jon to get another TV show is missing several ingredients -- charm, grace, handsomeness, and any talent, whatsoever. He doesn`t have a shot. He will be homeless by my calculations --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, Danny, Danny, OK, you`re saying he`s going to be homeless. OK, I got you. But you`re also saying something that I find pretty extraordinary.

As a former child star yourself, you`re saying that it`s actually hurting these kids to have the cameras yanked from them? They`re used to them, and it`s part of their self-esteem and they should continue to have the cameras on them?

Are you really -- do you really believe that?

BONADUCE: Well, I really believe that I am seeing the Gosselin Family. And they showed no great dexterity in any other world. I`m saying that -- let`s pick the lesser of two evils. We are either breeding eight new gas station attendants, or at least we`ll give them enough money to survive. These children know nothing of survival. They know anything about being pampered, and they watched their family grovel and fight over money and fame. That`s all they know, that`s all they will know and that`s all they`ll try to accomplish.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think we`ve got to bring the psychiatrist in on this one.

Dr. Dale Archer, the conventional wisdom has been that it`s essentially bad for these kids to have a camera in their face the whole time. They don`t know reality, obviously, TV affects reality. They become stilted. Their parents become stilted. They begin mugging for the camera. They become big phonies. This is all bad for them.

But now you hear Danny Bonaduce saying, it`s even worse to be an ex-child star, to have that camera yanked once you`re used to having all that attention.

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, Danny is absolutely right. Because understand that kids understand normal to be what their reality is. So if they have cameras in their face all the time, they have people around them, producers, technicians and all those folks, they bond with those folks and they bond with the cameras. They know that as normal.

Now take the cameras away, something is missing from their life. But here`s what I`m concerned about. Next year the cameras come back again, and so they feel normal again. Basically, I think we`re breeding fame addicts here by putting the cameras there, taking it away, putting it back, and the only time they feel normal is when the cameras are on them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have now coined a new phrase here on "ISSUES," breeding fame addicts. Breeding fame addicts. That`s a scary concept. All right, everyone. Hang tight. More on the Jon and Kate divorce drama in just a moment.

Plus, blinded by the bright lights of Hollywood. Nick Hogan -- this is such a sad case -- wrecked his car, leaving his best friend clinging to life. But instead of worrying about his buddy, it seemed like Nick was just angling for -- you`ve got it -- a new reality show.

But first, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight," the marriage is kaput. Divorce, final. Show, canceled. What about the poor kids? They were exploited. But how will they deal with having no cameras?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon Gosselin admitted that the kids did not have the Pennsylvania permits required to be on a television show. We already know they`re not being fairly compensated. This is a mess of huge proportions, because now we have hundreds of kids on reality shows.



LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Is he a good father?


KING: Why the pause?

KATE GOSSELIN: His decisions right now are not ones that I would necessarily make. But down deep in his heart, I know that he is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kate Gosselin has a tough time calling Jon a good dad, especially after the string of young girlfriends he`s reportedly had since they split.

Back to my fabulous panel. I want to ask Stuart Brazell, who is a reality show casting agent about this whole concept of kids and breeding kids for fame. A phrase that I`m going to have to attribute to Dr. Dale Archer. Good word coming up with that fabulous concept, not.

Stewart, listen, I was a showbiz kid. I went to professional children school. I went out and auditioned, and I know that there is something called the stage mother. My mom was not one of them. That`s probably why I wasn`t successful as a child actor. But there are these stage mothers who live vicariously through their children, and they push them and they really treat their child like a commodity, something that they`ve got to sell at all times. You deal with these women.

What`s up with them?

Yes. You know, Jane, you said it right. It`s kind of we have the same thing with the Heene Family, using the kids to get fame for the parents. And it is a scary, scary situation with the Gosselins. It`s amazed me that they`ve been all over TV saying how broke they are when to me they`re marketing themselves and making plenty of money.

Jon`s running around showing that he`s a complete D-bag, you know, while the whole time they`re really upset about losing the show for themselves. I`m sure the kids are experiencing loss, but that`s normal for children. I don`t think it`s a good idea for them to continue living their entire lives in front of a reality TV cameras.

Stage moms? Complete, complete nightmares.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s psycho bubble this out a little bit.

Well, Danny Bonaduce, you again were a child star. Do you think -- talk to us about your parents. I mean, why were you funneled into that world? Do you think it hurt you overall in your life? Or are you glad that you had that experience at the end of the day?

BONADUCE: Oh, I`m absolutely glad that I had that experience at the end of the day. Had I not had that experience, we would not be having this experience together, and I cherish our moments, Jane.

But I will tell you this. I wrote a television show that was very successful called "My Kid is the Next Child Star."

We had a woman on it who, in my opinion, I am not a doctor, in my opinion was certifiably insane. And she was a stage mother and would manage her child, and yell at her child to perform and smile bigger. And we had to get her off the show because the show was about how to be a good stage mother. She`s now starring on another reality show about crazy women called "Tough Love." As a matter of fact, crazy sells, whether it`s a parent or child. People will watch a train wreck every time, and the Gosselins are nothing but a car crash.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, you`d think a couple that`s made the cover of every tabloid might start shying away from the cameras during their break up. Huh-uh.

Check out Jon Gosselin as he reads the paparazzi an e-mail from Kate.


JON GOSSELIN: I just got an e-mail from Kate saying she doesn`t want to see me again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says she doesn`t want to see you?

JON GOSSELIN: No. But hold on one second. She wants to change custody. I would appreciate 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: So it`s supposed to be a joint day because it was a birthday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was for all those days.

JON GOSSELIN: All holidays, birthdays, whatever -- yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you end up feeling with this when e-mails like this come out?

JON GOSSELIN: It doesn`t matter. It`s joint day. It`s a sign off day. I can stay as long as I want, and I will.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Raising the question, if he`s got to read his personal e-mails to the paparazzi on a street corner, is he addicted to attention?

Omarosa, you`ve been on "The Apprentice." You are the star of the upcoming reality show "Omarosa`s Ultimate Merger with Donald Trump."

Is there an addictive quality to this reality show attention, where it`s so intense, you want more of it. You want another hit. It`s like heroin?

MANIGAULT: Well, there`s no question that one you become a part of this world, it kind of sucks you in. It`s like a vacuum. And it`s very difficult to get out of it unless you understand the business side. I`ve always focused on the business side of this. And I think what Jon is attracted to right now is the money that comes with being in the public eye. He`s getting booked for $15,000 per night gigs to host parties. He`s getting $10,000 and $15,000 to go hang out with pretty women. That`s what I think he`s addicted to.

I`m not certain that now that he`s waning out of the spotlight that he`ll continue to have that income stream. So I`m hoping that that`s what this is about, trying to get more income for his children as opposed to exploiting his awful personality.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Kate got a reputation for being a nagging, domineering wife and mother. She even poked fun at her own public persona on NBC`s "The Jay Leno Show."

Listen to this.


KATE GOSSELIN: Stop taking pictures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a couple more, Kate. Just a couple more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a couple more.

KATE GOSSELIN: Hey, what did mommy just say?


KATE GOSSELIN: I asked you to stop taking pictures and you continued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we`re not your kids, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, we`re not part of your plus eight, Kate.

KATE GOSSELIN: Don`t talk back to your mother.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, I am glad Kate can laugh at herself, but give me a break with this love-hate relationship with the paparazzi, pushing them away, telling her kids that they have to call them the P-word, and here she is sort of goofing on it.

It seems like, Alicia Quarles, you`re the entertainment reporter for the AP. These, these personalities want it both ways. They want all the good stuff that comes with fame -- the money, the power, the adulation. They don`t want any of the bad stuff. The scrutiny, the paparazzi following you, the questions.

QUARLES: You`re absolutely right. And reality stars are no different than real stars when it comes to that. Everybody wants you to be the -- the media to hear about when they`ve done something for charity, but nobody wants to talk about the downside of fame. You cannot have it both ways.

When you put your children out there on national TV, when you`ve made hundreds of thousands of dollars exploiting your family, letting them into your home, this is what`s going to happen. There`s going to be a negative reaction, and Jon and Kate have to deal with that as well.


Dr. Dale Archer -- ten seconds -- is there something called fame addiction?

ARCHER: Yes, there definitely is fame addiction. And they used to say it`s about the money, but we now that fame is a drug in and of itself. Just like any addiction, certain individuals can become addicted to the spotlight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everyone stay there. We`ve got more reality nightmares. The Hogan Family basically torn apart. Hulk divorced his wife, his son in the slammer for a while. But all the while the family did not stray far away from the cameras.

Are they addicted to the spotlight?

Plus, reality show wannabes. People doing crazy things to get their 15 minutes of fame. Octomom leading the charge, but there are others and at what cost?


NADYA SULEMAN, OCTOMOM: I do have two helpers with the babies, and that is a super help. And then I have someone who help me primarily with my child`s autism and then one with all the others.




HULK HOGAN, NICK BOLLEA`S FATHER: Nick`s focus, you know, in talking to me over and over and being constantly under the microscope from the press is what can I do to keep the focus on John? What can we do to help him?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was a busy, busy, busy year for the flamboyant family in the VH1 reality series "Hogan Knows Best." The hulkster released a tell-all book, son Nick filmed a movie. Mr. and Mrs. Hogan endure a very bitter and public divorce battle. The list goes on and on. Safe to say, this is another family that`s managed to keep themselves right in the spotlight.

One horrific incident that the Hogans undoubtedly wish never made headlines occurred when Nick, known as the prankster of the family lost control of his Toyota Supra in August 2007, smashed into a palm tree, paralyzing his friend John Graziano. Nick spent five months in jail for reckless driving. More than a year later, Graziano was finally released from a Tampa hospital. Unfortunately, look at that poor guy. Major brain damage.

While behind bars, controversial conversations between Nick and his pro-wrestler dad were made public.

Listen to this.


NICK BOLLEA: John was a negative person.

HULK HOGAN: He was what?

NICK BOLLEA: He was a negative person.

Will you work on that real-ality deal.


NICK BOLLEA: And get that thing lined up so the minute I walk out of wherever I walk out of it`s there.boom.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Real-ality. Real-ality is how he puts it.

Back to my fantastic panel.

Danny Bonaduce, you grow up in the spotlight. Based on this very disturbing conversation, do you think it`s possible the fame Nick Bollea was handed simply for being a member of this family made him somehow feel invincible for punishment?

BONADUCE: I don`t know that he felt invincible to punishment, because he didn`t say when I walk out of here today, he just said that`s what he knows is that the television camera puts food on his table. So whenever I get out of here, please make sure I have food on the table and that equals a camera in front of my face. That`s all the Hogans know.

Hulk Hogan has been famous since I was 8 years old. That`s all that family knows. They are multi-millionaires. They own $100 million worth of property. And they got it through this television set, and that`s all that kid knows. So yes, it`s bizarre that was what was on his mind, but that`s his only salvation, because that`s all he understands.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I will also say to Mr. Hogan, and we`ll see this video in a second. Take off that head wrap when you`re in court. Please. recently reported that Nick dropped a bombshell on his testimony in the negligence lawsuit between his family and the Grazianos.

Get this, are you sitting down? I know my panel is. During the depositions, Nick was grilled by lawyers for the injured man`s family and a shocking twist, Radar Online claims Nick testified that John Graziano, the victim, quote, "wanted to kill homos," end quote.

Again, he`s talking negatively about a person who cannot speak for himself because he`s been injured in a car accident due to the driving of the person who is making the insult.

Alicia Quarles, just give us the update on this.

QUARLES: You know what? This to me personifies exactly how reality television can tear a family apart. I`ve been interviewing the Hogans for years. When I first started interviewing them when their reality show started, they came into the AP, cohesive family unit loving each other. A couple months ago, Hulk comes in and allegedly plays messages from Linda cursing him out. I mean, reality TV can really rip a family apart. They need to stay out of the spotlight and focus.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everyone stay right there. This is a special edition of ISSUES, reality TV nightmares. We`re going to show you a former reality show contestant who killed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, from reality show contestant on VH1 to cold- blooded kill Ryan Jenkins murdered his model wife and stuffed her in a suitcase. One week later he killed himself. The murder sparked an international manhunt. Was this Ryan`s last grasp at the reality spotlight?

Plus, desperate for attention. Average Joes seeking the spotlight: octo-mom, balloon boy, and the White House party crashers, just to name a few. These wannabe reality stars will do anything for their five minutes of fame. But at what cost?

An ISSUES special investigation of reality TV nightmares. Contestant Ryan Jenkins turned his new-found fame into a gruesome tragedy. He was on not one but two VH1 shows, "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and "I Love Money".

Police say he murdered his ex-wife in August. Then to try and hide her identity, he cut off her fingers and pulled out her teeth and stuffed her body in a suitcase. Police had to use her breast implants in order to identify her.

Jenkins was a man clearly leading a double life. Here he is on "Megan Wants a Millionaire".


RYAN JENKINS, "MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE": This is going to be the best night of your life.

Out of all these guys I`m definitely the most James Bond out of anyone here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ryan, save the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give him some goggles.

JENKINS: I decided to appeal to all your senses. First, I`d like to start with your mouth.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jenkins already fled Canada by the time Jasmine Fiore`s body was found in a trash bin in southern California. But as police started to close in on him, he hanged himself in a hotel room. Could this double tragedy have been prevented? Were there red flags that were missed?

I want to welcome back my fantastic panel: reality star Danny Bonaduce. Here is a clip from VH1`s "Breaking Bonaduce".


DANNY BONADUCE, REALITY STAR: I`m going to run to the rest room real quick.

I`ll be right back.

I didn`t do it. Do what? I didn`t have sex with anybody.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Another reality star joining me, Omarosa Manigault. Here she is on "The Apprentice".



OMAROSA MANIGAULT, REALITY STAR: I didn`t come here to make friends. I said that from day one. And if you would stop being so freaking sensitive...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not sensitive, honey.

MANIGAULT: You just told me, I`m a good person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a good person.

MANIGAULT: What does that have to do with this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what? Life`s too short to be a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Also Joining me, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; Stewart Brazell, casting agent -- there you are; and Alicia Quarles, entertainment reporter for the Associated Press. Great to have you all.

Stewart, I want to start with you. You were the casting agent for "Megan Wants to Marry a Millionaire". Did you interact with this killer, Ryan Jenkins who later committed suicide? And how did his surface appearance and story differ from the sinister dark side we later found out about?

STEWART, CASTING AGENT: Yes, Jane, I actually -- I`m the one who found Ryan, met Ryan in Las Vegas. You know, I want to start by saying that in no way do I think being on a reality show is to blame for Ryan murdering someone. I think that reality can bring out the good and the bad in people. This happened to be bringing out the bad in someone.

Did I see red flags that I thought that this would happen? He seems like a very happy guy. He was out to have a good time. Did I think it would end in such devastating tragedy? Absolutely not.

I think we need to take a look at what being on a reality show can do to someone and how to ease them back into their normal lives.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In your defense, he did portray himself very effectively as this highly-educated cultured man who came from wealth, whose father was a prominent professional in Canada. But he also did have a rap sheet. And in Canada, he was convicted for assault of a girlfriend in 2005. He got probation, was ordered to get counseling for domestic violence and sex addiction.

Why didn`t that turn up, Stewart? Was that because it happened in Canada?

BRAZELL: You know what? I was looking at the news today and it looks like the -- the normal vetting process was in order and now the background check, you know the company that conducted the background check, then subcontracted someone in Canada and there`s now a lawsuit involved.

No one wants to take blame for this. Obviously no one wants to take blame. Something fell through the cracks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s interesting. You don`t do the background check. You hire a company that does the -- you`re not a private investigator.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re a casting agent.

BRAZELL: No, my job is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re not going to be running around knocking on doors and saying this person or do they have -- that`s not your job.

Your job -- so you contract that out to a company that is a private investigative company or does that kind of work, and they come back and say this guy`s clean or this guy`s dirty, right?

BRAZELL: Right. Actually, I don`t even do that. I put -- I interviewed Ryan, put him on camera. I turn over the tapes to the production company. The production company then hires the company that then subcontracted another company. So as you can see, there are lots and lots of layers to this.


BRAZELL: There are lots of layers to how someone actually ends up on the reality TV show. It`s not that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We want to dig deep into those layers right now. And I have to ask the question, is reality TV a magnet for madness?

Boy, we`re coming up with a lot of phrases today on this reality show. Does reality TV seriously attract the kind of people who by their very nature are imbalanced? Don`t get offended those of you who are involved in reality television on our panel.

Danny Bonaduce, you starred on VH1`s "Breaking Bonaduce". You were very open about having ISSUES. Let`s take a look at this.


BONADUCE: Without Gretchen I`m a 30-second sound bite, Danny Bonaduce, ex-child star, found dead.

Danny Bonaduce, obsessive personality.

I take enough pills to get full.

Who is Danny Bonaduce?

I`m not real clear on who Danny Bonaduce is. Mentally unsound, broken, screwed up, unhappy, (INAUDIBLE), barely famous.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Danny do you think there`s something in your personality that attracted you to reality TV that made you more likely than Joe Schmo to bare all your demons and your dark side to the camera?

BONADUCE: No, I think that I have more demons and dark sides is what draws the camera to me. Remember, in the book, Frankenstein is not the monster. The monster is named the monster. The guy who makes the monster is Frankenstein. We are Frankenstein.

When we talk about, do we have to ease these people back into society once they`ve been on a reality show? No, you need to ease soldiers who have been into battle back into society. If reality shows are so dangerous that you need to readjust people before you can set them free on the streets then we should stop doing them and we`re not far from that point.

Has anybody seen this new show "The Jersey Shore"? These people are committing acts of...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We did a whole ISSUES, we did a whole segment on it.

BONADUCE: As an Italian-American, not offended in the slightest. As an Italian-American, there`s a small segment of my people that behave...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That`s another subject.

My big issue tonight, deadly reality: Ryan Jenkins had a history of anger and jealousy. He was also cited, aside from what we`ve already discussed, for battery after allegedly hitting Jasmine.

This alleged murder is put on a dating show, and we have to ask, and I applaud Stewart for being very up front answering these questions, where were the red flags?

The problem is Ryan seemed frighteningly normal. Check out this clip from VH1`s "Megan Wants a Millionaire" and you decide.


JENKINS: Time with Megan alone was enough to let her get in touch with my deeper side, and redeem myself for, you know, some of the silly things I said at dinner.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Omarosa, you`re looking at this guy. He does seem, on this clip, to be normal. He`s educated. There`s no way that you could know, unless you knew his record, which apparently somebody goofed on that. There`s no way you could possibly predict this guy was going to be a murderer.

MANIGAULT: Well, Jane, I don`t think that all of the data tells a true story. When we first went on "The Apprentice", they conducted extensive background investigations. They also put us a battery of tests and psychological evaluations.

I believe the producers know the makeup of the personality that they`re getting but they don`t know how that person is going to respond under pressure or what triggers will come out as a result of being exposed to this process.

So out of fairness to Stewart who is there as the casting person, you may pick someone who is a big personality on camera but not know that they`re going to go out and put somebody in a dumpster. There`s just no way of predicting that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think you actually hit on the key point.

Dr. Dale Archer, the very people who are likely to be good television, in other words, excitable, upbeat, those are the very people who are more likely to have some kind of emotional problem.

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I don`t know about that, but I think that the important point here is that everyone who has a drink doesn`t become an alcoholic, everyone who takes a drug doesn`t become a drug addict and everyone who goes on a reality show doesn`t become warped and twisted and only interested in reality. But you do have a subset of individuals that are going to end up with an addiction to the spotlight, and that`s very clearly what we see.

And I think in Ryan Jenkins` case, he forgot the reality of where the show ended and real life began. In his mind, I think that this murder was just part of the show until all of a sudden a week later it all came crashing down on him and he realized what he did and he committed suicide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alicia Quarles, 10 seconds, I understand you have something to add briefly about Jasmine.

ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I just think it`s tragic all the way around. But again you can`t blame reality TV. Ryan was troubled. I think he would have done this whether he was on reality TV or if he wasn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone stay right there. We`re just getting warmed up.

Addicted to fame: regular Joes doing anything they can to get attention; are these people crazy? They`re everywhere. They will stop apparently at nothing to get their 15 minutes of fame.



Oh, my God. Ok. Are you in? Get him -- put the tether.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The most dangerous breed of reality TV star? The wannabes. I`m talking about those people who will do anything to get a slice of fame.

Let`s take a look at the contenders for this year`s most desperate fame chasers.


NADYA SULEMAN, OCTOMOM: I have all of them back. There`s eight of them here.

FALCON HEENE, BALLOON BOY: We did this for the show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. and Mrs. Salahi.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so tough to decide. But let`s see. This year`s winner -- and the winner is octo-mom.

Here she is on Radar Online. Nadya Suleman parades her 14 kids in front of the cameras every single chance she gets. Courtesy of "Life and Style" magazine our favorite Christmas card here on ISSUES, you`ve got to a look at this, yes, it`s Mrs. Claus and her team of elves.

Boy, honorable mention and definitely goes to the reality TV hungry Heene family. Of course, they pulled off that hoax that tricked the entire country, for awhile anyway including us here at ISSUES. And it was all to get their own reality show. You know I even got caught up in the excitement. Here I am on Halloween dressed as little Falcon Heene, balloon boy complete with my own miniature Mylar flying saucer.

And, of course, we cannot forget the D.C. party crashers. They had the gall to show up to the White House uninvited. Was it just to secure a Bravo reality TV deal? It sure looks like it. These days you don`t have to be an actor, a singer or a dancer, you don`t need any talent to be a star. Come on. You just need 15 minutes in front of any camera. We are a nation addicted to fame.

Straight back out to my fantastic expert panel and delighted to welcome Al Reynolds, star of "Life After." Hey how are you? It`s great. Good to see.

AL REYNOLDS, REALITY STAR: Hello Jane and how are you? It`s good to see you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And attorney Bradford Cohen of "The Apprentice".

And we`re going to back to start with Omarosa, the reality TV star via "The Apprentice." You really brought some class to this whole reality genre, Omarosa. I congratulate you for that.

The people who make it as reality stars need something special, they need a unique ingredient. What is that unique ingredient for being a successful reality star?

MANIGAULT: I think the first ingredient is to be able to self-produce yourself. In the sense that being aware on "The Apprentice" that there were 15 other contestants who are type-A personalities all vying to work for Donald Trump.

I knew exactly how stand out and that was not by kissing up to Donald Trump. I went toe to toe with him in the boardroom. I took everybody down that got in my way because I wanted that ultimate prize.

So I think that`s the first step is being bold and being brazen and understanding that you`re competing for that coveted air space.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but your bold and brazen has some intelligence and skill behind it. These other folks that we`re talking about it`s really just more grasping without really wanting to be of service in any way for any higher cause.

I mean, take a look at Nadya Suleman, the octo-mom. Is she addicted to having babies? It`s truly horrifying. Listen to this from ABC`s "Good Morning America."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you ever have more children?

SULEMAN: Oh, my goodness, I won`t even talk about that. I don`t know. If I get married some day in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could see maybe having more?

SULEMAN: I mean, you know, I`ve been kind of a -- you know, by choice, a science experiment kind of for almost ten years and if I wanted to do it the traditional way and get married, that`s like another chapter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Please, octo-mom, stop having babies.

Bradford Cohen, the reason why she won is because, while the others did crazy things, this woman actually gave birth to 14 kids for the purposes of basically getting the attention that she desperately craved and she`s talked about being an only child. I mean, is there something pathological about acting out your own personal traumas in this way?

BRADFORD COHEN, ATTORNEY, FORMER APPRENTICE STAR: I mean, certainly when you look at the people that are hungry for the fame and hungry to get on these reality shows, those are usually the most tragic ones of the situation. I mean, like the octo-mom thing is just amazing that she would go to those lengths to not only get her own reality show, but be known and be famous.

She talked about Angelina Jolie and all these other people that she wanted to emulate. I mean, it`s really a tragic situation, when you pull others into your delusional, you know, where you`re at in your delusions of fame.

So she`s actually, you know, these kids are now subject to her wanting to be famous.

And it`s the same thing with the Heene family. He pulled these kids in. I mean, the kid was getting sick on TV and all because the father was the one who was striking out for the fame and going for it. And I don`t feel so bad for the people who crashed the Obama party.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. In both of these cases, they are pulling children into their grandiose desire for fame.

Let`s listen to -- in the balloon boy case, dad`s frantic 911 call that turned out to be phony baloney.


R. HEENE: No, he doesn`t know how they operate.

911 OPERATOR: He does not know how to operate, so and that`s gone though too, right? And you`re sure that he`s in that?

R. HEENE: Yes, we looked everywhere and then my son just said -- he`s terrified -- he said yes, he went inside just before it went off. Because we have it tethered it wasn`t supposed to take off.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Al Reynolds, what`s so upsetting about that, is look at the terrible values that they are teaching their children -- lie, do anything for the show.

AL REYNOLDS, EX-HUSBAND OF STAR JONES: You know what, Jane, you`re right. But it makes for great TV. I do not like the fact that, you know, in these cases that we`re looking at right now that kids are involved. And we really don`t know the traumatic affect this is going to have on them. And they are rearing and as they come to age or as adults or whatever.

But I`ve got to tell you, it`s definitely good stories. And as an American, we are obsessed with this type of television. So it makes for great TV. It makes for great news and we can`t get enough of it. And that`s why reality TV is exactly what it`s called, reality television.

COHEN: And Al is 100 percent correct. Because if people wouldn`t watch these people wouldn`t go - become so desperate to get on TV. It`s America that`s watching and it`s America that`s buying the "US Weekly" and the "Star" magazine. It`s America who is pushing this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this. What`s really sick about this, Dr. Dale Archer, is that a guy who could pull off that kind of stunt and fool the entire world including news organizations. It was creative. But it was his creativity was directed to something toxic.

ARCHER: You`re absolutely right. But Jane, I think you hit the nail on the head earlier when you talked about the no-talent of these individuals. Thirty years ago to be famous, you had to do something. You had to be somebody and you had to have a talent. Now anybody can do anything that`s a stunt or a scheme and get on TV.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As long as you have a Mylar balloon.

Everybody stay right there. We are going to have more on reality show wannabes, including the now infamous White House crashers. We`ll analyze them next.



F. HEENE: You guys said that we did this for the show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor kid. "We did this for the show." Unbelievable. I even fell for that one.

We`re talking about reality TV wannabes like those White House party crashers. We all remember them, the duo showed up to the White House with Bravo TV cameras in tow, all because she was aspiring to be one of these.

Check this out.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.







UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your hands on me. Put your hands on me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is me not being the victim. This is not me being a victim. This is me telling you to shut the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny, if that had been scripted as a movie script and then these were real actresses playing that part, they might get nominated for Oscars. But somehow because they`re just doing it on the fly, it robs it of its pathos, I would say.

BONADUCE: It robs it of any dignity whatsoever. But when you`re talking about reality stars, dignity hardly ever comes up. We`re talking about -- I like the party crashers.

I really think the people that got into the White House uninvited I`ll write a reality show for them right now. It`s called "I`m a Celebrity: Let Me in Here". You get those two and you get 2 (INAUDIBLE) celebrities say me and Gary Coleman and we say, "Who can talk themselves into better parties that we weren`t invited to?" I think it`s a good show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight: the campaign for fame. And we have called it after careful analysis the Tila Tequila syndrome. She`s only famous pretty much for having a million friends on Myspace. And she got a reality TV show out of it. Take a look at her consideration of art.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys are ready to party?

Are things going to fall apart?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re losing control of everybody.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show a little respect for how I feel.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradford Cohen, ok, the -- there`s some kind of commonality that I`m seeing coming out of these reality shows.

COHEN: What`s that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now these clips are -- well, it`s almost wild, out of control behavior with no real purpose other than to do something that is so hot that it attracts the spotlight. But there`s no real script or content to it. I mean, doing shots?

COHEN: Yes. Certainly there are some reality shows that are based around that. That happens to be one of them.

"The Apprentice" was a little bit of a different reality show than the normal because it was -- it was based around business. It was based around your business acumen. They were picking people that were aggressive and steam-rollers and don`t give up arguments and they ended up casting those type of individuals.

In those type of shows where it`s a love show or possibly just a family just doing things that they normally do, it`s a totally different feeling behind it. So they go out of their way to get crazy, to -- because they feel that`s what the camera is looking for.

BONADUCE: Well, that`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would ask what is next for reality television? But guess what. I`m afraid to ask. And that`s subject for another day.

You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.