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Reality of Sex Trade in U.S.

Aired January 14, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, an ISSUES special investigation. We`re going inside the hellish underworld of human sex trafficking. Women ripped from their homes and sold as sex objects. And that`s just the tip this horrifying iceberg. One million children are exploited every year, some of it in our backyard. Now Americans are fighting back, protesting this modern form of slavery. Tonight, we`ll talk to two survivors of the sex trade. How were they lured in, and how did they fight their way out?

And an ISSUES call to action. Mind-boggling devastation in Haiti. Millions of people ravished by the earthquake. Tonight, heart-wrenching stories from inside the rubble. ISSUES joins the race against time and tells you how can you help. It`s as easy as a text.

Plus, celebrity addictions in an addict nation. Drugs, sex, alcohol and the spotlight. Tonight, we`re talking with the star of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab," Dr. Drew. How does he help these Hollywood stars kick their deadly addictions?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we are all in shock over the complete horror and devastation in Haiti. This massive earthquake has left many Haitians screaming as they lie trapped under rubble. Tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands are feared dead. There are piles of bodies everywhere. Survivors are hungry, thirsty, and hurt, running out of water, running out of time. They don`t know what to do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No hospital. No electricity. Nothing. No food. No phone. No food. No water. Nothing. There are too many people dying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was my father`s house. So we lose it. My mother was...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, now, we have somebody -- somebody here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is some person who is inside the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can`t find them. We don`t have a lot of -- to dig them out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s an utter nightmare. We all have to pitch in. If you want to help, and I hope you do, please go to

Now, coming up later in our broadcast we`re going to have more in- depth coverage of this crisis. The Reverend Al Sharpton joins us. Reality show star Omarosa joins us. She`s been tweeting furiously, trying to get people to help. Dr. Drew Pinsky of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab," will give us techniques to cope with the magnitude of this horror. We have to do something.

And speaking of having to do something about a horror, tonight, America`s epidemic of child sex exploitation. If you are a parent, you need to watch. What we`re going to tell you right now, we`re talking innocent teens sold for sex right here at home to men looking to buy young women.

One hub of this ghastly sex trade is Portland, Oregon. Saturday protesters actually took to the streets in Portland demanding a stop to the supply and a stop to the demand.

This isn`t something going on only in exotic foreign lands. Huh-uh, huh-uh. It`s happening right here in the U.S. of A. Young female runaways who leave troubled homes, or maybe not troubled homes. They just run away. They are approached by pimps within minutes, quickly taken into bondage.

Listen to this woman describe her sex-slave nightmare.


JERI WILLIAMS, VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: I was forced out seven days a week from 8 p.m. at night until 5 a.m. in the morning, to earn money at an average of about 15 dates a night. We figure over 1,000 dates in the summer of 1989.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to meet that courageous woman in just a moment and hear about her escape from the sex trade.

This battle of the war on women exists only because of an alarming number of buyers, sick men with a depraved desire to have sex with these young vulnerable girls. That is my big issue: supply and demand.

I am taking your calls at home. The number is 1-877-JVM-SAYS. And now straight to my incredible expert panel. We`re delighted to have with us tonight Jeri Williams, the woman you just heard from, a survivor of the sex trade, a former prostitute who is courageously speaking out tonight about her nightmare.

We`re also delighted to have with us Nola Brantley, also a survivor of the sex trade. She is the co-founder of MISSSEY, an organization dedicated to helping children and teens who have been sold into prostitution so they don`t have to go through what Nola went through.

And we`re also honored to have with us Cathy sand opinion port, president of the board of directors for Soroptimists, which is a fantastic organization of professional women, women in business, which supports the fight against the war on women.

We have Dr. Dale Archer, noted clinical psychiatrist, who is becoming an expert in this field, and by phone, Bradley Lockhart and Drew Kesse. Thank you, both, gentlemen. Both of you are dads who believe your daughters were victims of human trafficking.

Oh. So much to talk about, but we want to start with Jeri. First, Jeri, thank you for having the courage to tell your story straight up. I know it`s got to be difficult. Tell us about your lowest point, what you were forced to do and how you got out.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Jane, and thank you for coming out to the Pacific northwest to our conference this last weekend. I -- in the summer of 1989, I had moved to Portland after leaving an abused, an abuser husband, and got involved, basically got trafficked by a pimp who was involved with gangs, and walked 82nd Avenue every night the summer of 1989 until I was stabbed and left for dead by a trick in southeast Portland.

It was at that point where I had had two small children, and while I didn`t have enough self-esteem to value myself, I got away for the sake of my children. So in many ways my children saved my life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, it`s -- I was just so shocked at the numbers, I mean, the numbers that I`m looking at. Every two minutes a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation. The average victim is forced to have sex up to 40 times a day. The average age of a traffic victim is 14 years old, even younger in some countries.

Tonight`s big issue, supply and demand. Over the weekend, as you just heard from Jeri, I attended with Jeri a sex trafficking conference in Portland, Oregon. I talked to the protesters demanding the U.S. government put an end to human sex trafficking.

One demonstrator, a concerned dad, spoke about the root of the problem.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why are men looking for these young women?

"LOREN," FATHER: Boy, I -- I wish I had a great answer for that question. Why are they looking? You know, there`s philosophical reasons. There`s spiritual reasons. Emptiness. But, you know, they just are looking to fill whatever hole they have in their life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It`s an addiction, really. Trying to escape.

LOREN: It really is an addiction just like any other kind of addiction that -- that plagues our country right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Congrats to that dad, concerned dad who`s just out there protesting because he doesn`t want to see this ever happen to his precious daughter.

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women reports American sex buyers are all ages: men 15 to 90. These men come from all socioeconomic classes. The majority of users of the sex trade -- are you sitting down people? -- in the United States, married men. Get this: almost half expect sex without condoms, and when the women resist, the men often become abusive. Eighty-six percent of these exploited women were subjected to physical violence and sexual assault.

Dr. Dale Archer, you also attended the conference with me. What is going on with these American male buyers? What is happening that this many men are seeking this much inappropriate sexual contact with very young women?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: I agree with you, Jane. It`s absolutely an addiction. And you know, the numbers are just so staggering.

And I think that the biggest problem we`re facing here is people in America don`t understand this. They don`t understand that 200,000 estimated per year. To put that in perspective, there are about 400,000 people living with AIDS in America today. And everybody know about AIDS. Everybody knows about safe sex. Everybody understands that.

The only way we`re going to solve this problem is to get the word out and to pound it over and over, because studies have shown that, to get something new and unique out and understood so that people will act on it, they have to be exposed to it 20 times. So we have to do this over and over and over, and people will understand. And eventually they`ll say, "We`re not going to stand for it."

And then the laws will be changed, and things will be addressed in order to solve this. But it is just a huge problem, and it`s not talked about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cathy Standiford, you are president of the board of the Soroptimists. When I went out to Portland this past weekend, I didn`t even what -- I said "Sor what?" Now I find out that this incredible organization of business women who are dedicated to helping young girls who have 700 chapters in the United States. I am going to join. I know that, here in New York.

What are you doing to fight this? Because you helped organize this conference.

CATHY STANDIFORD, PRESIDENT, BOARD OF SOROPTIMISTS: Yes. We actually are trying to focus on a number of fronts. Raising awareness, which Dr. Archer just pointed out, is really, really important. And our members throughout the United States and the other 18 countries in our organization are raising awareness.

We`re also doing some things to try to assist victims: by providing women and vulnerable girls with educational opportunities and economic opportunities so that they`re not as likely to be lured into trafficking.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re right about that, because what happens is that they are -- either they don`t have money, Nola Brantley. You`re a former -- you`re a survivor is what I should call it, of the sex trade and you`re now the co-founder of MISSSEY, an organization to help these girls. What are usually the conditions, Nola? What were your conditions that got you caught up in this?

NOLA BRANTLEY, CO-FOUNDER, MISSSEY: Jane, I would say that my conditions were very, very similar to a lot of the victims that we see through MISSSEY. They`re conditions of poverty. They`re conditions of earlier childhood sexual abuse. They`re conditions of a lack of care and supervision in reasons ranging from parents that just need to work to support a family, single parents, all the way to parents that are suffering from mental illness and parents that are incarcerated, just absent parents allowing for perpetrators to target their kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How old were you? Answer this question. How old were you, Nola, when you were forced onto the streets in the sex trade? Age?

BRANTLEY: Now when I was sexually exploited, I was 15 years old, and it lasted for several years. And my exploitation was very weak, because it happened at the hands of a police officer.

So every child and every woman that`s sexually exploited is not walking the street corner as a prostitute. It happens in many different ways.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to look for the clues when we come back. How can you spot a young girl who is a victim of the sex trade?

Everybody stay right where you are. More on this ISSUES special investigation as we go inside the nightmare of human sex trafficking.

And we`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, leveled by an earthquake. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands, killed in Haiti. We`ve seen the devastation. Now it`s time to get into the solution. We`re going to show you how.

But first, it`s modern-day slavery. That`s really what it is. Women and children kidnapped, forced into prostitution, but now America is fighting back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are currently over 100,000 that are being trafficked for sex in the United States, because men want young product. They want girls. They don`t want women. That`s what...




VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s the solution, people, and I`ll tell you why. It`s an amazing framework that`s already in existence. And we can just get together as women and the men who love them and -- join forces, flex our muscle, and demand change. Are we ready to demand change?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was in Portland accepting that award, The Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women. That was happening in Portland, Oregon, over the weekend. It was an honor, but I also learned a lot. I sat there and learned about all this horror at the sex trafficking conference.

Two hundred thousand American children at high risk for trafficking into the sex industry every year. The average age of entry into the prostitution world: 12 to 13 years of age.

We have so many courageous people on the show tonight. I want to go to some parents who have lost children and who fear that this is what -- what is responsible.

Drew Kesse, your beautiful daughter, Jennifer Kesse, went missing, just vanished without a trace. Do you think there`s a connection, sir, to this sex trafficking horror?

DREW KESSE, FATHER OF JENNIFER KESSE (via phone): I about truly believe that there is the opportunity for that to have happened with Jennifer. Jennifer has truly vanished. You can speak to FBI, ICE, any local police officer that`s working on the case, detectives. We are no farther along from day one.

And to me, when you look at things logically, if nothing is found of Jennifer`s, or any young lady has happens to be abducted, and there`s no chatter on the street, bail bondsmen don`t hear anything, drug dealers don`t hear anything, that lends itself logically, I think, to say that it is someone out of the area and trafficked someone out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a nightmare. Drew, we have been following your story. We here on ISSUES have sworn that we`re not going to let people -- the cops, the powers that be -- forget about your precious daughter.

And that`s why when I was getting that award, you know, I`ve been a reporter 30 years, and I had no knowledge of the extent of this trafficking problem. That`s why when I got back, I said, we`ve got to do a show about this. Because this is affecting American girls and some boys but mostly American girls.

And what about little 5-year-old Shaniya Davis? OK, the theory behind her murder, she was being sold into prostitution. Take a look at this. Cops say this chilling surveillance video shows her being carried into a hotel by the last man to see her alive. They suspect he was part of a -- look at that child. They suspect he was part of a conspiracy to sell her into prostitution.

That man, Mario McNeil, reportedly the ex-boyfriend of Shaniya`s aunt, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child. Shaniya`s mother, Antoinette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.

We have with us tonight, Brad Lockhart. Thank you so much, sir, for being part of this dialogue. As Shaniya`s dad, I am sure it never crossed your mind for a moment ever that something this horrific could happen to your own daughter, allegedly at the hands of her own mother?

BRADLEY LOCKHART, FATHER OF SHANIYA (via phone): Absolutely not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What can we do about this?

LOCKHART: I believe it`s very important that we unite not only as a community in neighborhoods, but as a country. Because the numbers are very staggering, like you`ve mentioned before. You know, 12- to 13-year-old girls being prostituted, as well as over 200,000 being exploited throughout the United States, only -- just within the United States.

I believe we need to set up programs. We need to set up assistance programs for these women, these children, somewhere where they can have an outlet to go to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is it also possible that we need to -- everything is intertwined as far as I`m concerned. So there was talk, reports that there was concern that Shaniya`s mother had been involved in some way, shape or form in drugs. I think that drugs also allows people to do the unimaginable and it destroys the maternal instinct.

So when we tackle this problem, Brad, don`t we have to also tackle the drug issue?

LOCKHART: Absolutely. I think it goes a lot further than just the drugs. I believe it goes into our systems. I mean, lot of the -- like, for instance, Antoinette, Shaniya`s mother, from my understanding she was utilizing the system and the system -- I`m not going too say failed her but failed me and failed Shaniya.

We need to reach out and we need to support our systems. We need to get the system working for us, instead of us working for the system, paying into it. Paying into a system that`s failing the communities and failing the individuals that actually don`t take advantage of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nola Brantley, ten seconds. Are drugs intertwined with this problem?

BRANTLEY: Absolutely, and the story of this young lady who my heart goes out to is very common. So many children we`ve seen through MISSSEY over the years started off being sexually exploited by someone in their own family before they were even 10 years old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right there. Fantastic panel. We have much more on modern-day slavery,

Plus, we`re shining the spotlight on celebs and their addictions. How does Dr. Drew help the rich and famous clean up their lives? He is going to tell you.



SHANNON WILKEY, SHARED HOPE INTERNATIONAL: The war on women starts when we`re children, when we`re little kids, like my daughter, who`s 4 1/2. They are being exposed to sex trafficking, commercial sex, because there is a demand from men in the United States who want barely legal.

My daughter, who is 4 1/2, she would be a victim. She`s at the age where they need to be learning that they need to be safe, and that they need to know how to protect themselves from potential predators.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen to that chilling clip, as well, from Nola Brantley`s group, MISSSEY. She`s describing how runaways from hurricane- scarred Katrina end up as sex slaves in Oakland, California, which is another sex trafficking hub. Listen to this.


ADELA, CO-DIRECTOR, MISSSEY: When Katrina happened, girls were coming down, you know, from Louisiana, down to those areas. The reason why we get other girls from other states is because Oakland is the hub. Oakland is the place to come, buy and sell children, and exploiters know this. Johns know this. And you will see children being bought and sold, broad daylight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who better to spot this problem than a truck driver? We have on the phone Ronnie in Arkansas. She is a truck driver, or was. Your thoughts, Ronnie?

CALLER: Yes, hi, this is Ronnie from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was out on the road three years as a driver with my husband, and we would go all over the country from...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did you see?

CALLER: I seen a lot. They are referred to, which is kind of vulgar. They are called lot lizards, and I had never seen this in my life until I got on the road with my husband. I was just astonished. They would be young girls. Some of them younger than 12 years old. Some of them were as old as I am. I`m 52.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who were the customers?

CALLER: The customers could be anybody in the restaurant. The customers could be a truck driver. The customers -- we had people driving around in just regular cars inside the -- inside the trucking places.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Ronnie. And I want to move on. That`s excellent observation.

Cathy Standiford, Soroptimists, these are average American men who are the customers. That`s what all the studies show. What do we need to do about that?

STANDIFORD: Well, first of all, we need have conversations with the men and boys in our lives and make sure they`re not the ones fueling the demand.

In addition, we also need to ask for better legislation. We have a legal system that tends to penalize the women who are forced into selling their bodies, and not criminalize the men and boys who are buying them. So we need to advocate for federal laws that make it a crime to buy sex.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nola Brantley, that`s an excellent point. They often arrest the girls who are already exploited and let the johns walk off.

BRANTLEY: Yes, and what`s really interesting about that, is that most of the girls that are involved in prostitution actually fit the legal definition of a human trafficking victim. And so they`re supposed to be protected under that law, but instead, they are most often arrested and criminalized, while the pimp and the john walk free.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a bill in the Senate, Jeri Williams. You are a survivor. It would crack down on the pimps and the johns. Ten seconds. Why should Americans support it?

WILLIAMS: Americans should support it because, unless we decrease the demand, the supply will be there of young children. If common sense were common, then we`d all have it. And the issue right now is that men should be going to jail for raping children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to leave it right there. We`re staying on top of this.

Up next, Haiti, the horror, and we`re providing a solution.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An ISSUES call to action: mind-boggling devastation in Haiti. Millions ravaged by the earthquake. Tonight: heart-wrenching stories from inside the rubble. ISSUES joins the race against time and tells you how you can help. It`s as easy as a text.

Plus, celebrity addictions in an addict nation: drugs, alcohol, sex and the spotlight. Tonight we`re talking with the star of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab", Dr. Drew. How does he help these Hollywood stars kick their deadly addictions?

Unthinkable. Devastation in Haiti, bodies lying in the streets; people dead and alive buried under piles of rubble. Tens if not hundreds of thousands feared dead; it is hard to absorb, hard to process this overwhelming crisis.

Tonight, ISSUES puts faces to these unimaginable statistics. Many survivors are slowly dying as we speak while waiting for medical care, sitting for days outside makeshift hospitals surrounded by dead bodies.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She says that her leg is broken, and she`s -- she`s been here since last night, waiting for treatment.

And she`s not the only one. If we come and take a look over here, there are more wounded people and even the corpse of a small child who could not get treatment. And it is just overwhelming to see over here the bodies of at least 13 people stacked up on the sidewalk right outside.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is just a tiny slice, sadly, of the devastation. This little girl is trapped under mounds of debris.


WATSON: This little girl -- it is kind of heartbreaking to hear this, because she`s pinned there -- Don. The right leg is -- underneath the concrete. They`re desperately trying to figure out how to get her out. They`re thinking about trying to cut her leg. They have anesthetics but don`t have blood to help her if they have to cut her leg off.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. What a courageous child. CNN`s Dr. Sanjay Gupta blogs, "What I have seen here I have never seen before. It seems somewhat hopeless."

Yes, people. They need food. They need water. Medicine, doctors. And we`re going to bring you more of the stories out of Haiti so that we can galvanize and do something to be part of the solution to this horror.

Straight out to my amazing panel: and happy to have -- very happy to have with us tonight celebrity goodwill ambassador for the Haitian Support Project, Omarosa Manigault -- She`s been tweeting like crazy trying to get people to donate; medical doctor and host of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab Dr. Drew Pinsky who`s going to give us some psychological insight into how to handle overwhelming horror; and we`re also delighted to have the Reverend Al Sharpton. The reverend is planning a mercy mission to Haiti as soon as they start letting people jet in.

And I want to start with you, Reverend Sharpton. I was in Los Angeles during the 1994 Northridge quake which was a 6.7 and it shook and was horrifying and terrifying, but you know what? About 70 people died.

Now, here, we are talking at least tens of thousands possibly hundreds of thousands. Have you ever seen anything like this in the Western hemisphere?

REV. AL SHARPTON, LEADING RELIEF TRIP TO HAITI: No, I don`t think there has ever been anything this devastating with this toll of death and destruction in the history of the Western hemisphere. This is unprecedented and it`s going to take an unprecedented commitment from the American people and the world community to really deal with this horror.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to say, right off the bat, Reverend, that the first thing I thought about was the shoddy construction.

You know, when I was a reporter back in the 1980s, the late 1980s, I was sent to Soviet Armenia to cover a devastating earthquake and everybody there complained about the shoddy construction. And in China a couple of years ago there was a huge earthquake. I think was something like 7.9. 70,000 people killed many of them children. Again, everybody complained about the shoddy construction.

And what I see here, and I`m not expert, but what I see with my own eyes is that a lot of this death and destruction has to do, Reverend Al, with shoddy construction.

SHARPTON: I would agree. I`ve been to Haiti many times. There`s been shoddy construction. The infrastructure itself is weak, and for many years, many people have raised the question through all of the political turmoil of helping to rebuild that nation, helping to establish and helping to stabilize it. And I think the lack of a real sturdy infrastructure only added to what was already a gruesome situation, and the results are we have this unbelievable painful experience.

Just to watch it even before we get there after the earthquake is just -- makes you turn away. Imagine people that are laying there under the rubble near corpses and imagine those family members that don`t even know if their families are living or dead. It`s an unthinkable horror that we as a world community should not sit around complacent in response to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to teach people what to do tonight. Civilians are acting courageously, they`re acting as rescuers, listening for scream, hunting for those buried alive.

Here`s a look at a 13-year-old girl, sadly, we have to say trapped alive.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: She`s clearly in pain. They discovered her early this morning. It`s now a little past 12:00 and they`re still digging. It`s not clear how they`re going to get her out.

She is alive. She is finally free.

Did you think you would come out alive?

"I felt I would live," she says. "I wasn`t scared. I wasn`t scared of anything. People were dying below me, I could hear them, but I wasn`t scared. My heart didn`t skip a beat."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Drew Pinsky, I think people are very overwhelmed. I was in the makeup room today when some of the stuff was happening and we all just stopped, we felt paralyzed. How do we deal with the overwhelming nature of this psychologically? Because I think a lot of people want to go into denial over it?

DR. DREW PINSKY, VH1 HOST, "CELEBRITY REHAB: Well, that`s really the two options. One is to close ourselves of to it the other is to take action. I`m proud of the way people in this country seem to be stepping forward and wanting to take action.

On one hand, we have a little bit of hubris; it`s as though we`re all going to run down there and rescue this country. I had the same feeling. It`s bizarre feeling where you want to go there.

We really can`t do much, but we can send money. We can rally our support.

What you`re describing here, Jane is this absolute terror associated with complete powerlessness. We all feel powerless and God knows these people sure did. And for them they need the international community that can allow them to take control of their environment again. Take control of their future and begin to heal, but, boy, I mean it takes your breath away looking at the pictures.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really does. It`s so awful. Here`s my big issue tonight: an important drop. Let me explain what I mean by an important drop.

It`s easy to become psychologically detached when you see something this catastrophic on television. It seems like anything I could do would just be a tiny drop in the ocean, but Omarosa, each drop is crucial, because it could be what saves a life.

So we`re telling folks, pick up your cell phone. You can send a text to Yele and then 501501. We`re going to show you that number again. You just write "Yele" and then 501501. They`ve raised a million dollars so far just through texting.

What are you doing?

OMAROSA MANIGAULT, CELEBRITY GOODWILL AMBASSADOR, HAITIAN SUPPORT PROJECT: Jane, I want to just caution people because there are organizations that are popping up and they are not credibility organizations. There are institutions that are out there who are ready to go.

People are asking me how can I help? Let me be very clear. We cannot get supplies into Haiti right now. The government is having difficulty getting things in and out. The best way to support the folks in Haiti is money.

Find an organization like the Clef`s organization or the Institute of Black World, headed by Ron Daniels were where I`m a celebrity ambassador and give money because that is the thing...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are you doing with tweeting?

MANIGAULT: What`s happening with tweeting and Facebook is that people are locating their families or trying to locate their families.

I know that Reverend Sharpton is about to go down and I`m actually going to make a personal appeal to him to check on our orphanage that we are working with down there because we can`t reach anyone to check on our community center in Milo (ph) to make sure that folks are okay.

We`re utilizing social network media to connect with people in Haiti and to connect the resources and that`s the way that you can help.

Post the pictures up. Everybody`s posting pictures and saying, "I can`t find my uncle. I can`t find my brother," and we`re utilizing it to make sure that we can mobilize people and help as many folks as we possibly can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fifteen seconds Al Sharpton, are people losing communication because of lack of electricity? As cellphone batteries go dead?

SHARPTON: Yes and there was a time the whole system was down, but I couldn`t agree more with Omarosa. People should be very careful. Give to Wyclef`s organization and give to Ron Daniels` organization. They`ve always been there. Do not go by these fly-by-night, drive-by new groups.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. That`s YELE 501501. I did it twice. It works.

Fantastic panel thank you so much.

MANIGAULT: Thanks Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you want to help, head over to the Web site,

After next, Dr. Drew.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get ready for a mind-blowing episode of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab" tonight when two former lovers with a violent past come face to face, head to head. The drama reaches new heights on season three and of course addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky is there to help these celebrities find sobriety whether they want to or not.

And it`s plain to see that one of the cast-mates isn`t really interested in giving up his addiction to alcohol.


MACKENZIE PHILLIPS, FORMER CHILD STAR: I don`t think you ended up here accidentally. I know I didn`t. And so why not take advantage of it?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What exactly does that mean? We`re going to have Dr. Drew explain that cryptic comment.

These addicted celebs are in bad shape; at least at the start. They`re just starting the treatment process and it is tough. In fact, most of them showed up the first day still kind of woozy on drug and alcohol.

They`re finding out, this isn`t just a big slumber party. You know? They`re angry, tired, full of demons. Sparks are flying. "Celebrity Rehab" airs tonight on VH1.

This is a subject, of course, very close to my heart. If I hang in there until April I`ll have 15 years of sobriety, God willing, one day at a time.

We tackle addictions a lot here on ISSUES and I`m delighted to have Dr. Drew back to talk about this struggle and the new season.

Dr. Drew, you have your hands full with this bunch.

PINSKY: I do indeed. Don`t I, Jane? They actually as resistant as they seem, they do remarkably well throughout the season which has been the sort of thing we`ve seen, we`ve observed in all of these seasons we`ve done, is that in spite of the limited motivation when people come into treatment. There`s something about putting them on TV, and paying them, keeps them in treatment.

People that otherwise would have left and they end up wanting to be an inspiration to other people. And we have a pretty good outcome much higher than I would say average.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, good and what they say, fake it until you make it? And that`s a sobriety saying. Isn`t it?

PINSKY: That`s exactly right, you see there some footage of Lisa D`Amato there and she was -- she was in massive denial. And she just twittered me yesterday and saying, "You know this is the one of the most important experiences of my life. I now see how my alcoholism operates in my life. I never would have done this had it not been for the show opportunity."

So this is -- we have some successes in here that are rather extraordinary.

BEHAR: And it`s great when it takes and you see that`s its taking. Rage and defiance are the hallmarks of addiction and for hard-core addicts...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... the reaction can be violent. Let`s watch this clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn the lights off. No (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the lights off.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I felt like doing this morning when the alarm bell came, but I didn`t. Former Alice in Chains base Mike Starr fighting his physical craving.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is all that about?

PINSKY: That`s withdrawal. I mean, in withdrawal, its people go in an altered state. Their behavior can be extremely (inaudible) and Shelly who you saw there, our blond tech who is a very prominent part of our program, we are used to taking this, absorbing it on behalf of the patient. We know they`re in an alternative state. And boy, there`s no telling what they could -- what they could do.

You know you said rage and resistance is part of disease. I have MacKenzie Phillips on my radio program the other night and she was saying you know when the first time she really got sober was she was -- about 12, or 14 years ago, and she was in a program, a nine-month program where I sink over the door, she said it`s for the reluctant to recover. And I said boy, that`s about all of my patients, they are reluctant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes at first but then it seems like they really get into it. The big event on tonight`s episode will be when Heidi Fleiss` ex- boyfriend actor Tom Sizemore, we all remember him, arrives at rehab. Now, these two obviously had a history.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tom Sizemore is here. How do you feel about that?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well we didn`t hear the answer. Heidi and Tom have a volatile past. He was convicted of assaulting her, the former Hollywood Madam back in 2003. So I got to ask you, Dr. Drew, is it risky to put them together in rehab?

PINSKY: Well, sure it is. I mean, you never put people in a room that are currently romantically involved. You don`t put people that are in a family relationship in the same treatment program.

However, addicts tend to run in the same circles. I mean, let`s face it. People who are addicts often have various kinds of relationships and they cross paths in the past. In fact, many of our staff often used to run with these patients at one time or another. And the fact is if people carefully consent to treatment and agree to stay focused on their recovery, you can treat people that have had a difficult past together in the same program.

And Heidi and Tom actually in this environment do rather well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m glad to hear it. I`ve run into Heidi and interviewed her a number of times. She`s a really cool person and I like her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she`s cool. And she`s smart.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big ISSUES tonight: are these rehabs - - and I`ve got to play devil`s advocate a little bit here Dr. Drew...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are these rehab shows perhaps curing one addiction while feeding another? I mean, these celebrities don`t have to take part in televised rehab. Are they just attention addicts? You brought so much of the problem of addiction a lot of attention, but are we also perhaps indulging these stars with their narcissistic personality disorder?

PINSKY: Yes, let me just say that I`m always sort of mystified how people react to putting addiction treatment on television, when we have virtually every other medical problem, examined, looked at, plastic surgeries, whatever it might be, surgeries on television, but the problem of our time is addiction. And I think Jane you would agree with me on this.


PINSKY: So that is why I felt it was important to do this. The liability is, that in fact, people that feels special about themselves -- which is every addict, they have what we call terminal uniqueness ...


PINSKY: And people that feel even more special because they are celebrity might be more reinforced by this program. That was a liability that I was very concerned about in the beginning but we`ve seemed to be able to overcome that and flipped it around a little when by the end of treatment almost every patient we treat wants to be an inspiration to other people to raise awareness about this problem.

So we treat them just like anybody else and you don`t treat a celebrity any different than everybody -- anybody than anybody else, but indeed having a camera around makes it kind of a special treatment. But it doesn`t seem to have an adverse impact.

You`re absolutely right, that is one thing that very much concerned me Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isn`t it harder though, for celebrities to get sober in the sense that they are really terminally unique? They are used to people indulging all their bad ideas, cosigning their bad behavior. They`re generally surrounded by entourages of yes people and that`s got to be pretty difficult.

PINSKY: Absolutely and that`s why their disease often blossoms to a much greater extent than say the average person. They have the power, they have the money and they have the access and then nobody pulls them back from it. So that`s why they seem to have such severe addictive disease.

And then right -- if you treat them as special or give them special consideration, which we do not. And Bob and Shelly and I treat a lot of celebrities and it`s just like anybody else. They need to get with the program, be a humble person with the disease and get sober.

We hope we communicate that message. We seem to be communicating that to them and they seem to be getting it. Now, the fact is they can easily drift back into that world.

And the fact is -- Jane, I`ll tell you what, working seems to be their biggest liability. They make so much money for other people that people drag them back to work before they`ve really had enough time for their sobriety to kick in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes or no question. Do they get hair and makeup before the cameras role? I think not -- looking at this video.

PINSKY: No. No, no, no. It`s more of a documentary style. We just do treatment the way we always do it and the cameras are just around us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, hang in there. We`re going to have more questions for Dr. Drew; fascinating conversation that America needs to have.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s dead. Somebody killed Mindy.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That was scary. "Celebrity Rehab" cast member Mindy McCreedy (ph) suffered a seizure during rehab. She has a history of prescription drug abuse. Doctors determined the seizure was a result of past head injuries.

What happened there Dr. Drew?

PINSKY: She had a seizure. Seizure is one of the more common complications in the early phases of treatment whether it is a previous seizure disorder from, like you say, addicts get involved in various accidents and things; that in itself or exacerbated by alcohol or drug withdrawal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That was pretty intense because obviously, I think Mackenzie thought it was a joke at first and then she realized uh- oh, this is serious.

Phonelines lighting up; Theresa wants to ask you a question Drew but Theresa I understand you don`t want to give your state but what is your question or thought, ma`am?

THERESA, UTAH VIATEL: : Well, actually, I am in the state of Utah, and I have two parts. The first part I wanted to ask you about is, it is so hard for the regular person, the every day person to get treatment. Even with insurance there sometimes is a six month wait to get into a bed.

And Dr. Drew, how are you advocating for the average person who does not have the money that a celebrity does to go and get the help they need? That`s the first question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great question. Can we just address that? Thank you Theresa.

PINSKY: Let me just say, I treat regular people every day. I just treat regular folks. In fact, in the original program, I wanted to put regular people in with the celebrities to make the point that we treat everybody the same.

The problem was though, when I started investigating the patients for the program and getting them the consent for it, I realize they really did not have the capacity to consent, to understand what it would mean to do this kind of thing in front of a camera. The average person doesn`t understand it.

While the celebrities, when I talk to them about it -- I do talk to them a lot about it -- they say yes, I know. I understand what this is. I understand how it` going to go. I understand what the implications are.

The average person cannot. The fact is this is the medical problem of our time. The insurance resources and public resources for addiction treatment are egregious. I am onboard with this entirely.

But guess what? All you need do for starters, call your local AA, your local NA, your local CA, tell them you`re in trouble. Have them come pick you up. Raise your hand, ask for help, get a sponsor and start the process.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. Recovery is free if you make that decision to seek the help.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is there online and in meetings.

"People" magazine reports Tiger Woods is in rehab. "People" reports Tiger has been holed up in an upscale Meadows clinic in Arizona that specializes in the treatment of various compulsions.

Dr. Drew, you talked about the difference between sex addiction and love addiction. Talk to me about that.

PINSKY: Sex addiction obviously -- sex is really the primary compulsion and whether or not it`s online pornography or prostitutes or whatever it might be, it`s really about the sexuality.

In Tiger`s case, he seems to be compulsively pursuing relationships where he gets very deeply involved with people, even people he doesn`t mean to get involved with and yet holds them there, controls the relationship, has unpleasant feelings if that person moves away from him. And that is more consistent with the love addiction.

The sex and love addiction does tend to go together. Love becomes -- sex and love become about power control and ultimately it`s a compensation for an intimacy disorder. What he really wants, I guarantee you, is an intimate, stable relationship with his wife but he can`t do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Drew, I have to jump in because we have some great news.

That little girl who was trapped under the rubble in Haiti, they got her out. They didn`t have to amputate her leg. Isn`t that great news? We`re so happy. Let`s help.