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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Mel Gibson Under Fire Again; George Steinbrenner Remembered

Aired July 13, 2010 - 21:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, Mel Gibson exclusive. Never before heard. Just released audio of the man believed to be the movie star, ranting, raving and bullying as he verbally abuses his estranged girlfriend. Hear it and decide. Will the latest Mel Gibson scandal kill his career or even put him in prison?

Plus, Larry King on the death of baseball legend George Steinbrenner. Larry's live from the all-star game with the reaction of A-Rod and others, next on "Larry King Live".

JIM MORET, ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Jim Moret from the "Inside Edition" sitting in tonight for Larry. He'll join us a bit later on the show.

But first the Mel Gibson story. Mary Margaret is senior news editor, radaronline.com. That web site obtained the audio we're talking about tonight. Shawn Robinson is weekend co-anchor and correspondent for "Access Hollywood." Dr. Robbie Ludwig is a psychotherapist and contributor to care.com. She's the author of "Until Death Do Us Part" and Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab." He's the author of "The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America."

Thank you for joining us. Radar Online has obtained an exclusive video, or rather audiotape. They're providing it tonight for "Larry King Live." Let's take a listen to that right now.

First, this is purported to be a phone call between Gibson and his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. CNN has confirmed that Grigorieva acknowledges that the female voice you will hear is hers. She claims the male voice is Gibson's. CNN has reached out to Gibson for a response to verify the authentic so far no comment. But let's listen right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really am angry and really sad, and I really (inaudible) just want to hurt someone or myself, do you understand? You've done this to me. I was never like this. You did it. All right? It's your fault. If something happens, be it on your (inaudible) head. You know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't do --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be it on your head. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did so. You're a (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Mary Margaret from radaronline.com. First of all, thanks for providing that new tape. We haven't heard that before. The tone seems different.

In some of the other tapes we've heard an exasperated Mel Gibson. Some questions whether he was drunk, this sounded like a calmer, but equally abrasive Mel Gibson. Do you agree?

MARY MARGARET, SENIOR NEWS EDITOR, RADARONLINE.COM: I do agree. I mean, but at the same time it's still menacing. There's that undertone of threat. A part of a 30-minute audiotape struck from what seems like different conversations, throughout it, regardless whether his tone is loud or whether his tone is measured. Again, there's that menacing undercurrent. He makes threats not just to Oksana, but to various demographics.

MORET: So many people have so many questions about the tapes. What can you tell us about the sourcing? Did you pay for the tapes?

MARGARET: I mean, without getting into the nitty-gritty of, you know, our conversations, the negotiations with the confidential source so it doesn't stray from, you know, what the central issue here.

I will say that a confidential source gave us the audiotape. As we said publicly it was not given to us by Oksana herself and through other sources and you know, old-fashioned investigative journalism. We authenticated the female voice is Oksana, which again you said she has verified and the male voice is in fact Mel Gibson.

MORET: All of the snippets that we've heard over the past few days, is this all one recording, one evening or is it over several days?

MARGARET: If you listen to it in its entirety it's obviously more than one phone call. In a few of the snippets, you'll sort of hear the phone ring. You'll hear Oksana kind of take a breath before she answers the phone. So obviously, it's not one continuous conversation, but a string of conversations together.

MORET: Shaun Robinson, what is the latest? We haven't heard anything from Mel Gibson's camp even verifying whether that's him.

SHAUN ROBINSON, WEEKEND CO-ANCHOR, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD: Right and you would think, Jim, if it weren't him, he would say that ain't me and he hasn't said that so --

MORET: So the non-denial is really telling, isn't it? ROBINSON: Well, absolutely. I think it's obvious that if this is his girlfriend recording these messages, I think we're pretty sure that this is him. But, also, you know, nobody has seen Mel. He has not been anywhere. Not only, is he not issuing any kind of statement, he hasn't been seen at all. He's been laying very, very low.

You know, he has a court date July 20th, both he and Oksana. They both have restraining orders against each other. Go figure. Obviously we know why that she has one against him. But why, he wants to make sure she says nothing else. She as a gag order against -- he has a gag order against her.

So he doesn't want her making any public statements. Also, "Access Hollywood" did a recent poll actually that came out today asking the public, after Mel Gibson has gone through all of this. Would you still go to a Mel Gibson movie?

MORET: What did they say?

ROBINSON: Fifty percent said yes, I would that they would go see a movie of him.

MORET: That's fascinating.

ROBINSON: It is.

MORET: Dr. Drew, you're shaking your head. You heard this tape. This is a new tape that we've heard. I wrote down, you've done this to me. You did this. You, this is your fault. What does that conversation say to you as a doctor?

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, first of all, the one thing -- this particular new conversation raises is what is it that he's alleging she could have done, "a," and so we really don't know what his point of view is on this whole thing, "b," it's only certain kind of first thing will get involved with somebody has the potential to be this volatile.

I mean, so she (inaudible) too. The two of them are creating this chaos, but the biggest issue for me is how sad this is that this is unraveled to this point. Mel is apparently an alcoholic that I guess had been well documented. We don't know if he still on recovery.

Certainly an alcoholic not in recovery is prone to rages. The intensity of this really suggests maybe a bipolar kind of -- hypomania. Something that's can easily be treated. But the fact that he's not been treated and hasn't been participating actively in any kind - that suggests not been participating in treatment is sad. Here are the outcomes now that have resulted.

MORET: Dr. Robi Ludwig, Dr. Drew is talking about treatment. I haven't even heard an acknowledgment from Mel Gibson or his camp that this is even him.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I mean, I think it sounds like it's him and also Mel Gibson has a history where he has gone out on very angry alcoholic rages, saying negative things about many different groups.

You know, he said ante Semitic comments, anti-black comments, anti-homosexual comments. This just adds to the list. It's not so terribly shocking in some way to hear, he also degrades and devalues women. It's not like he was considered a saint before this happened.

MORET: But he -- well, Drew, he was considered a saint to moviegoers. This is a dramatic fall in the public's view, even a dramatic fall from 2006 where he made the anti-Semitic comments where he was arrested.

PINSKY: These are progressive conditions we're talking about so it's not surprising that we're seeing greater intensity. More outrageous things and more frequently these are occurring. These progress particularly in men his age.

MORET: And Mary Margaret, very briefly in the last 30 seconds for this segment. We did hear a baby crying on this tape very clearly. Mel even says I don't believe you. You're making this up. Again, it's blaming her. Is this the only clip so far that we've heard the baby crying?

MARGARET: So far from the clips that Radar Online has released, that's the first time we heard the infant child. Yes.

MORET: Significance?

MARGARET: I think it shows that his anger doesn't subside even though he's reminded of the child at stake here.

MORET: Coming up, Larry King with Alex Rodriguez from the all- star game and more of these explosive recordings of Mel Gibson when "Larry King Live" returns. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back to "Larry King Live." I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" sitting in tonight for Larry. Let's listen now to another audio clip from Radar Online. Again, part of a phone conversation purported to be between Mel Gibson and his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You almost killed us, did you forget?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last three years has been a (inaudible) gravy train for you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were hitting a woman with a child in her hands. You, what kind of man is that? Hitting a woman when she's holding a child in her hand, breaking her teeth twice in the face. What kind of man is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are all angry now. You go what you - deserved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what, you're going to answer one day, boy, you're going to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, what? What are you threatening me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing, nothing. I'm not the one to threaten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll threaten you. I'll put new a (inaudible) rose garden. You (inaudible).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Dr. Robi Ludwig. You deserved it. He said, I will put you in the blanking rose garden. You have a patient that comes to you and admits -- or you hear these statements, what do you make of that?

LUDWIG: Well, you know, many women who have been killed by partners have been warned by those partners that the partner plans to kill them. So this is a very serious threat. Do I think Mel Gibson is going to kill this woman? I wouldn't go as far to say that.

But what I will say is this is the man who is blaming the woman in his life for whatever is happening or not happening in his world that he wants to have happen. This is what is going on with abusive men.

They blame the woman in their life for all of the problems going on inside of them and he is an alcoholic. So probably when he is drinking, it just exacerbates the rage. But what we're seeing, he doesn't like women so much.

MORET: Dr. Drew, we did not hear a calm Oksana in this exchange. She was clearly riled up. When she said something that Mel Gibson said, are you threatening me? He immediately went on the defense then went straight --

PINSKY: She knows how to push his buttons no doubt about that. But one thing he did say on the earlier tapes, he's thinking of hurting himself. Did you hear that?

And the fact is, I think when somebody gets depressed, they hurt themselves. Bipolars are actually more likely to kill themselves when they are manic. So Robi raises an important point. I want to raise another important issue here.

These are really serious conditions that we are looking at. They need to be dealt with accordingly on top of that there is, as you well know, legal issues here in terms of the domestic violence implied.

MORET: Have you ever had a patient exhibit this type of behavior?

PINSKY: I was telling you, Jim, briefly off the air. I said, you know, I've got a lot of bipolar alcoholics in my practice and they do things like I say horrible things, but the specific horrible things that are being said here. These are really some things that you really can't excuse him for he'll never be able to really apologize for although he needs to apologize.

ROBINSON: I think that Mel Gibson is the type of guy, and I think we all know people like this, when they get mad, their way of arguing hasn't evolved beyond the sand box. They throw every single nasty word.

Every derogatory term that they can at the person they're mad at. I think Mel Gibson in this particular tape. He's (inaudible), Jews, everybody. I think though he's also the type of person who the next day, could probably go to dinner with his Jewish agent, Danny Glover, me and you and have a good time. I think he's that type of person, whether that is being bipolar --

LUDWIG: Yes, there are lots of people who are, you know, prejudice, and racist, and they make exceptions. They make exceptions for an individual. But I think you're right. I think there's something about Mel Gibson where he's an angry -- he has a lot of hate. He's been probably taught to hate, but he also wants to really be liked and be loved.

I will say this. I think that there was something about being married to his first wife that kept him in check. She was a nurse. She knew how to handle him. She probably kept him protected where a lot of this didn't go on in public.

ROBINSON: We don't know what is going on behind the scenes -- we were thinking he was great because he does movies, he's such a nice guy.

MORET: Let's hear another excerpt from this audio recording by radar online. Again, CNN has confirmed Mel Gibson's ex-lover, Oksana Grigorieva acknowledges the voice you'll hear, the female voice is hers, she says the male voice belongs to Gibson, but Mel Gibson has not commented on the tapes or their authenticity. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You go out in public and it's (inaudible) embarrassing to me. You look like a (inaudible). If you get raped by a pack of (inaudible) it's your fault. All right? Because you provoke it. You're provocatively dressed all of the time with your fake (inaudible) you feel you have to show off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Mary Margaret from Radar Online, that was the first bit of tape we heard. Obviously disturbing and offended so many people in so many different levels. Oksana knew she was recording these tapes, but she did lose her cool at certain points. Is it your perception that she was going down the checklist as Drew suggests she knew how to push his buttons?

MARGARET: Well, I think they were both pushing each other's buttons. Obviously, no woman would ever stand for being spoken to that way. But yes, she did have ail tier yore motives, which is probably why she let it go that long.

But that being said, Oksana again knew what she was doing, she has an end goal in mind. She has a daughter that she has to think of. She's going to make sure that daughter is taken care of.

PINSKY: What you were saying earlier about racist comments. You know, if we use the domestic violence model, which is what we've been talking about here. Men go to these horrible rages. They abuse their wives and next day go, Hone, I love you so much. You don't get excused because of that. Just because you have friends that are certain colors or races does not excuse you for what you said. It just doesn't.

MORET: Now, Hollywood for days, Mel Gibson, a few years later, Shaun alluded to this earlier. What about this time? That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back to "Larry King Live." I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in for Larry. Dr. Drew Pinsky, I mentioned before is host of "Celebrity Rehab and author of "The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America." And I bring that up to ask you this, Dr. Drew, would you say the male voice on that tape is a narcissist? Because we heard you made me do this? Everything relates to --

PINSKY: Yes, I mean, but you know, there are definitely narcissistic qualities of what he's saying. The question is does he have a narcissistic quality disorder. Anybody using alcohol, they are overcome by narcissistic impulses.

MORET: Dr. Ludwig said there are many women who have been killed, who have been warned. Did you perceive a threat? Did you perceive danger in that male voice?

PINSKY: Absolutely to both to her and to him. He, too, himself is in danger. We can't forget this. It's easy to get mad at him. From my perspective, there's a human being suffering and doing horrible things. He may be ill and he needs help.

MORET: Shaun Robinson from "Access Hollywood." I'm still stunned when you said 50/50 would go see Mel Gibson's film. What's the general Hollywood reaction? We know his agents dropped him.

ROBINSON: Right. His agent dropped him. A number of his big named co-stars in the past stayed away from him and have not made any comment at all. It's really interesting. We did this poll asking people, would you go see a Mel Gibson movie?

Fifty one percent said yes. One of the comments that we got from a woman, she says give me a break. She set him up. Pushed his buttons, worked him in a tirade and recorded that to be out there for money. There's absolutely no excuse for behavior like this. For people to be supporting him, say in saying it was her fault he went into a rage. That's outrageous and it's very surprising.

MORET: Dr. Ludwig, you heard that statement. I know so many times you this is your fault. But Shaun is suggesting is that some people may be agreeing with that. Does that disturb you with that?

LUDWIG: Yes, of course. There are people who always blame the victim. It helps them feel safer. I behave OK. That's why I'm not an abused women and that's just simply not the case, the truth of the matter is. You know, there are cases, blind romantics, people who are very naive get involved in abusive relationships.

Some abusers can be very, very charming because they put their women up on a pedestal. I'm sure that's the case for Mel Gibson too. I'm sure he went into this relationship very hopeful. What happens he gets very, very disappointed in the women that he's with and then realizes, oh, my gosh, a new relationship isn't going to change my life, isn't going to stop me from being an angry alcoholic.

PINSKY: Well, Robi, you made a very interesting point here, which is that we blame the victim. If somebody gets raped, we blame the person that got raped. If somebody is a product of domestic violence, we blame the woman for evoking it somehow. Yes, for sure it takes two. For sure, she's participating this, but there's an element in here that can't be ignored and she is not that element.

ROBINSON: Right and men, everybody, but men have to control their emotions. Look, if the woman is making you upset, then leave. There are other women out there that you can date now.

MORET: Let's listen to one more clip. We have one more clip posted by radar online. Again, this is purported to be a phone conversation between Mel Gibson and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll report her to the (inaudible) people that take (inaudible) money from - (inaudible) OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're tell me that you take away whatever pennies you've just given to me? I don't have anything, because I've given you my life three years now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I gave you everything, don't you dare (inaudible) complain to me. You don't (inaudible) count. You're a (inaudible). Go look after my child!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's my child too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know, unfortunately you (inaudible). I hope she doesn't turn out like you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Wow, Mary Margaret from Radar Online. I can't even express the outrage when I hear that. You said this was several phone conversations. The perception is that in some of those phone conversations, Mel Gibson is either drunk or worked up to a frenzy. What's your sense? Is it your sense that they are claiming that he was drunk in any of these conversations?

MARGARET: I mean, besides that point, I think it shouldn't matter. I think one thing that shouldn't get lost in this. We've spoken about the threat, is Mel Gibson a threat. The thing is, he assaulted Oksana. In a clip that we - that Radar Online had published before, he admitted to that January incident where he knocked two of her teeth out. That can't be ignored. He already --

MORET: That's her allegation.

MARGARET: That's her allegation. But, you know, in this audiotape again, he acknowledged that and referenced it.

MORET: He said you blanking deserved it is what I think he said.

MARGARET: Yes. Exactly, exactly. But I mean, in terms of acknowledgment, that's the most that you're going to get out of what Dr. Drew and other people have said on this program. He's a narcissist and that behavior is something that's the most disturbing about this tape.

Regardless of whether he's an alcoholic, regardless of whether he's had these, you know, substance issues in the past. That's a side issue too. The central aspect that there's a man who physically assaulted his partner and mother of his child.

ROBINSON: And they look so nice on that red carpet. Didn't they?

MORET: Everybody looks nice on the red carpet.

ROBINSON: I know and that's the thing, we're so surprised because he puts out these big movies. So many people live these double lives.

MORET: Sorry, thank you to our guests. Gloria Allred is calling on Gibson to make a public apology. Does Mark (inaudible) think that's a good idea? They are both here coming up next. And later, Larry with Alex Rodriguez. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back to "Larry King Live." I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" sitting in tonight for Larry. Gloria Allred is a victim rights attorney. She has written an open letter to Mel Gibson calling on him to make a public apology to all women and African- American men. Mark Geragos is a criminal defense attorney. We welcome them both to "Larry King Live."

Mark, you didn't call on Mel to make a public apology, but Gloria you did --

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I didn't. I probably would advise him to not say anything.

MORET: Not to say anything and he hasn't said anything.

GERAGOS: That's good advice.

MORET: Gloria, why do you think he should make a public apology? First of all, these conversations if in fact it's Mel Gibson on the phone, they were supposed to be private, weren't they?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, Jim, the conversations are, among other things, racist, sexist, really appalling and, very damaging to women and minorities.

For example, at one point in the conversation, he blames Oksana, the mother of his little baby, for wearing certain type of clothing and suggests that that would cause her to be raped by a pack of, and he uses the "n" word.

And that is really outrageous, because, of course, rape is not because of a woman is dressed. Babies have been raped. Nuns have been raped. Ninety-year-old women have been raped and it's not because of the way that they were dressed. So to blame the victim is wrong.

Also he engages in a racist stereotype suggesting that African- American men want to rape white women and calling them a pack, as though they are animals. This kind of racist stereotype, which African-American men have had to suffer for many years, has led some of them to literally be murdered in the south of the United States. So he owes an apology. It's absolutely wrong.

MORET: Again, Mark, this was purportedly a private conversation. One person knew he was being recorded. This is Mel Gibson. He didn't.

GERAGOS: You have to understand, if this was somebody who was just dealing with the public relations fall out, that might be what the publicist might advise. That might be what the agent -- if he had an agent -- would advice. This is somebody who is in the cross hairs of police investigation.

MORET: Talk about that.

GERAGOS: The sheriff is investigating him. If this is him, if this becomes admissible, if they end up charging him, he's in a world of hurt. This is not -- it would not be unlikely for the D.A.'s office in L.A. County, if they thought that he in fact -- if, and all of these are a lot of ifs. If they think that teeth were knocked out, that's -- generally, they ask for state prison. This is not a slap on the wrist. This is not misdemeanor conduct.

The other problem is by having him come out and do an apology, a lot of things are on there over and above what Gloria is talking about -- Gloria's talking about the things that are obnoxious and racist, things of that nature, if it's him, all of that stuff. Over and above that, there is a criminal threat, exposure, what we used to call this -- what we used to call in this state terrorist threats. It's now criminal threats.

MORET: I'm guessing that you belong in the Rose Garden or with a bat up against your head.

GERAGOS: In California, that's a strike offense.

ALLRED: And more than that, because at one point in the tape, she allegedly said, "what kind of man hits a woman who is holding a child." And then he says, well, "you f'ing deserved it". That is an admission. I believe that that was important evidence against him, if he's prosecuted.

GERAGOS: Which is essentially why he doesn't want to say anything at this point.

ALLRED: And I hope that he is prosecuted, or at least it should be seriously considered.

MORET: So, these tapes, are they admissible?

GERAGOS: This is a problem for the tapes: first of all, you have the code section which prohibits it. You have another code section --

(CROSS TALK)

GERGAGOS: Right. We're what is called a two-party state. You've got exemptions and exceptions to that. But there's still -- before you even get to that, you have to have authenticity. You have to have whether or not these things have been sliced, diced, and are they in fact him. Then there's also an overriding issue, as apparently these were under seal by a family court judge. Most family court judges that I know, and most judges that I know, when they put something under seal, and then it gets leaked, they go ballistic, and they can issue all kinds of orders and all kinds of sanctions.

I don't know if it's going to be as easy to get these things into a courtroom and into evidence as a lot of people think.

ALLRED: Let me say something about that, because it's really important, especially for battered women, to know that in California they can record, if the purpose is to obtain evidence, if what they are doing is because of a reasonable belief that there is going to be a communication where a felony, involving violence against a person, may be discussed on the tape. And that is the exception. They can do that for that purpose. Then it can be admissible.

GERAGOS: But watch it. When you tell people that, consult with a lawyer before you do that. That's a very -- that's a very dangerous area. I've defended people who have been prosecuted for this. Prosecutors are not real happy if you do it and then you're talking about this is what I expected. A lot of people press that button and start recording way before they should or could or know the exception. It's a very dicey area.

ALLRED: I think it's a good idea to consult with a lawyer. But having said that, if you think your personal safety may be in jeopardy, or your baby's, then, after you consult with a lawyer, you may consider doing it to obtain evidence.

MORET: More from Mark Geragos and Gloria Allred coming up right after this. How would a celebrity crisis expert also advice Gibson right now? Find out if there is anything he can do to repair his image. That is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORET: Welcome back, I'm Jim Moret, from "Inside Edition," Filling in for Larry. Still to come, Larry from the baseball All Star Game with Alex Rodriguez. Joining us now, Howard Bragman, founder and CEO of the media and PR agency, 15 Minutes. He's an expert on celebrity representation, crisis management and personal branding, three areas where Mel Gibson could use you right now, I suppose. What would you say to him if he were your client?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, CEO, 15 MINUTES: You know, he has lovely publicist, who is doing a really wonderful job in a really tough situation. One of the most important things we have to do -- You have to understand, a celebrity has to deal with the court of public opinion and the court of law. You have to know who is more important at that moment. At the moment, the publicist has to defer to the lawyers, because the number one job is to retain the client's liberty, i.e. keep them from getting in jail, keep them from getting convicted of a felony.

So the publicist is doing the right thing, which is essentially saying nothing right now.

(CROSS TALK)

MORET: What would you say if you could say something?

BRAGMAN: You can't say anything. If you respond to the tapes, you acknowledge they're true. If you deny the tapes are your client, they're lying. You just can't do it. Trust me, in my business, when I have to tell clients to shut up, it's the single hardest thing I have to do, because these people say, you know what, I got to where I am with charm and with my eloquence. But they need to be quiet and defer to these guys.

MORET: We'll talk about people around him. Mel Gibson's talent agency, WME, has dropped him as a client. That's as of Friday. Most of his showbiz peers are keeping publicity -- are keeping mum on the situation. One exception. Whoopi Goldberg defended him to a point yesterday on "The View." Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": I don't like what he did here, but I know Mel. I know he's not a racist. You can say he's being a bone head, but I can't sit and say that he's a racist, having spent time with him in my house with my kids. I can't say it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORET: A lot of people are blasting Whoopi Goldberg, saying she's defending Mel Gibson. I didn't hear that. I hear Whoopi Goldberg saying the Mel Gibson I know, who has been to my house, is not a racist. She's not defending these actions. Howard, most people are not saying anything, Because they want to distance themselves from him, right?

BRAGMAN: Right. I've known Whoopi for decades. I have a great deal of respect for her. I understand what she's saying. I have been put in the position where I represent some people who have done some things that people are really upset about. They say, how can you represent that person? When you know a person, when you talk to them, when you -- I'll use George Bush's words -- when you look them in the heart, when you look them eye to eye, there are certain things you know about that person and you know how they feel, and you can do it.

We are -- we don't have that relationship, certainly I don't, with Mel Gibson. I can't say that. But what I can tell you quite comfortably is for almost 20 years, he's had hatred and vitriol, starting against gays in the '90s, when he wouldn't take it back, wouldn't apologize. It has continued to almost every group now. That's what turns me off.

I don't care if he's racist or not, he's certainly one of the biggest butt-heads around.

ALLRED: I do care if he's racist, if he's sexist, if he's homophobic. When he made those homophobic statements years ago, when he made the anti-Semitic statements to the sheriff's deputy when he was arrested for a DUI or stopped, that was the canary in the mine. That was the signal there's a lot more going on under the surface, because it has generally been my experience that when someone is anti- Semitic, when they are homophobic, that racism and sexism is not far behind.

I'm not so concerned about his image. What I am concerned about, Jim, is the potential danger to Oksana and to that little baby. That little baby doesn't have a publicist. That little baby doesn't have a whole entourage of persons to protect her and get -- if it's true that she was holding that little baby when he hit Oksana, and if it's true that he caused her teeth to fall out -- that is the mother's teeth, because he punched her or hurt her -- that's child endangerment. That is so dangerous.

I think he's not only a danger to her, he's a potential danger to himself and potentially to others.

MORET: Mark, there may be a dentist. The dentist who treated her reportedly took photos the day after this incident. If there are photos -- first of all, if this doctor had any reason to believe that it was as a result of domestic violence --

GERAGOS: He's a mandatory reporter. The question would be, in California, if he knew or suspected, he was supposed to make a report. The question will be, why didn't he. Or if he did, why hasn't somebody acted on it? Part of the problem, I guess, from a prosecutorial standpoint is it does not appear that there's a fresh complaint. That gives a lot of pause to law enforcement. Generally, in the last 10 or 15 years, if somebody calls the police, 911, even hang-up and they call, they come out there. They have any suspension whatsoever, they are automatically going to arrest you. If they see anything that looks like domestic violence, it doesn't matter if it's the man or the women.

It's a zero tolerance policy, 50,000 dollars bail. You're going to get arrested. That didn't obviously happen in this case. And --

ALLRED: On the other hand, it may be because she was in fear and maybe she was still part of a person involved in the battered women's syndrome and then not wanting to report. And she's still within the statute of limitations to report.

GERAGOS: The statute of limitations is not a real issue because that's years.

ALLRED: But the point is that she could still report.

GERAGOS: It could be because she was in fear, which is one angle. But that generally doesn't help a prosecutor make a decision. The other is that it may not have happened. It could be -- there's been at least -- his representatives have been out there saying she was trying to shake us down for money. Obviously, she knows how to push buttons, if, in fact, this tape was true. We don't know. It's a lot of speculation.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the sheriff is going to investigate this. Trust me, given his history with the sheriff, he's not going to catch any breaks.

GERAGOS: That's what highly paid, high profile attorneys for these big mega-male stars always say: extortion, blackmail. That's what -- it's their standard cliche script line. It doesn't mean that it's true.

GERAGOS: If there are tapes, and we've only heard snippets, and I can be assured that it's not coming from his camp -- they are not leaking these tapes. Guess who is leaking these tapes. I can assure you that if these tapes are in context, and show the extortion, she's not the one who is going to be leaking.

MORET: Let me give Howard the last word, about 20 seconds. Is his career, as we knew it, over?

BRAGMAN: You know, he's going to have to go through a lot of contrition in a lot of time. We are a very forgiving people. Eventually, he could come back. I'm not feeling it. We're talking something in the next decade perhaps.

ALLRED: I'm not forgiving.

MORET: I know you're not. That's the last word.

Next, Larry and Alex Rodriguez from the All-star Game on the death of George Steinbrenner. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

MORET: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died today after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 80 years old. Under the hard charging Steinbrenner, the Yankees won seven World Series. He made that franchise the most valuable in all of sports, after buying that team for a relative song, just 10 million dollars back in 1973. Larry King joins us now from Anaheim, where he's attending tonight's all-star game. He has Alex Rodriguez with him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: We're in the American League dugout for the all-star game with A-Rod. Does it ever get old hat?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ, NEW YORK YANKEES: It never does, Larry, for me, especially coming to a venue like this in Anaheim. It's my 13th time. For me, it's a little extra special. We just won the World Series last year. We have a manager, our coaches. And I have all my teammates who are wearing pinstripes on the West Coast. It almost feels like the Bronx.

KING: Do you like the idea of the winning team getting home field advantage?

RODRIGUEZ: I like it for now. We're experimenting with it. And it's worked well for us. It worked well for us last year in October. We know this. We know that the ramifications are big. I can tell you firsthand how important home field advantage was for us last fall.

MORET: You want to win today, then, bigger than last summer?

RODRIGUEZ: We need to win today. We want to win every year, but especially this year we know the importance and what it meant to us last year

KING: George Steinbrenner, what did he mean to you?

RODRIGUEZ: For me, he's just the greatest owner of all time. And he's the benchmark. I think when any baseball player thinks of being a great player, you think of Aaron and Mantle and Babe Ruth and Willie Mays --

KING: And you.

RODRIGUEZ: And any owner would, first and foremost, have to think of George Steinbrenner, the Boss. He's our inspiration and he has a tremendous legacy. The one thing that -- I'm glad we won the world championship for him last year. He has this tremendous stadium he's left behind, that is something else.

KING: His temperament, though, would -- I knew him very well. We were very friendly. He would take now prisoners at times. Was he ever rough on you?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, I saw him in 2004 when I came over. He welcomed me to the Yankees. In the first three minutes, he said, we had to win the World Series about four or five times. So I knew exactly where his passion was.

He once wrote me a letter. I was struggling in 2004. It was handwritten. He basically, in the end, signed off by saying, I'm counting you on, and you better come through for me. To this day --

KING: What did it mean to you?

RODRIGUEZ: I loved it. I loved it. I had to sit down and read it again. It's an inspiration. I still have that note. I'll have it forever. Today's obviously a very sad day for us who wear the uniform and everyone around baseball who loves baseball.

KING: Are they going to do something special in New York?

RODRIGUEZ: There's no question about it. I mean, this year for us is going to be, obviously, dedicated to the Boss.

KING: Initials will go on the uniform --

RODRIGUEZ: Right away when we get home on Friday. I'm sure they're going to do something very special for the Boss.

KING: A couple other quick things. You said you liked him saying that to you. Do you enjoy pressure?

RODRIGUEZ: I do. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to come to New York. It's the greatest challenge in the world. New York can be difficult. No one can tell you that better than me. But it can also be very rewarding. I finally found my niche in New York. I think today, with all the trials and tribulations I've been through, I think I'm a better teammate, a better person. I'm really enjoying the great privilege of playing for the New York Yankees.

KING: Derek Jeter once said the thing about baseball is it teaches you to understand failure.

RODRIGUEZ: More than anything. It's a game of failure. You know, New York would expose you more than any other city, more than any other team. But, again, I mean, winning in New York and the challenge of playing in New York is like none other.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORET: That's Larry and A-Rod. More with Larry, live from Yankee Stadium, on the death of George Steinbrenner, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: It's a rare treat for me. I'm guest hosting LARRY KING LIVE, and I'm interviewing Larry, who joins us now live from Angels Stadium in Anaheim, where the All Star Game is underway. Larry, what's the mood there with the passing of George Steinbrenner?

KING: They did a wonderful thing here tonight. They showed a lot of pictures of George up on the screen. And then they had a moment of silence. I knew George. There was nobody like him. I would have to say, if I'm a fan of a team, he's the best owner in sports.

MORET: He was, in a way, larger than life, wasn't he?

KING: Oh, much so. But a teddy bear, too. He could be very giving and he could be very critical in the same sentence. But he had a -- he spent money. If you're a fan of a team, you want a guy that spends money. And no one went out on the limb more than George. Every owner wants to win. George died to win. George was -- it was win or else to George.

MORET: Larry, what do you think --

KING: I wasn't a Yankee fan, but I would have loved to have had him on my team.

MORET: What do you think his legacy would be?

KING: His legacy will go down as the man who brought the Yankees back. He spent only 10 million dollars for them, from CBS, which had given up on running the team, and turned it around. He made them win. He almost forced them to win by the sheer energy and pressure of his being. We'll never see his likes again. Now, that's a cliche, but it's true. You will never see the likes of George Steinbrenner again.

MORET: Larry interviewed George on this show in 1993. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What about rumors of selling the Yankees?

GEORGE STEINBRENNER, FORMER OWNER OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES: No, I don't think so. It's kind of like owning the Mona Lisa. There's only one. There really is truly only one.

Let me say this, I get very incensed when people keep saying people don't want to play in New York; they don't want to play for the Yankees. It's a privilege to play for the New York Yankees and to play New York. If they don't want the challenges of New York, it's like Sinatra says in the story -- in the song, you make it there, you make it anywhere. New York is New York. It's a city of battlers. I love that about this city.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: Larry, we're back live. What do you think George Steinbrenner will most be remembered for? I know many on the team seemed to fear him, but he also seemed to inspire his players?

KING: He'll most be remembered for what he just said. You don't want to play in New York, there's something wrong with you. If you don't like pressure, I don't want you. That all happened from a guy who originally tried to buy the Cleveland Indians, born and raised in Cleveland, in the shipbuilding business. Nobody knew him when he bought the team. I think he had 32 partners. He wound up buying them all out.

There's so many things to say about this. There's a new book out about Steinbrenner that ought to be read by everybody. A few biography, it came out a couple months ago, terrific book.

MORET: When you were talking to A-Rod earlier, you were talking about his take no prisoners attitude. I remember the famous battles he had with the manager Billy Martin, fired him, hired him, fired him. And he said he was crazy, it was said, but maybe crazy like a fox, I guess

KING: I guess he was. That was a -- that was a crazy relationship. Billy was an alcoholic. He was tough to -- Billy was tough to handle. George was demanding. Billy was demanding. Bill was a great game manager, a great pregame manager. He was a great strategist. Steinbrenner disagreed with him a lot, agreed with him, got mad. In fact, they even did a Miller Lite commercial where he fires him five times. Brings them back. That's a great story, and an inside story in baseball, the Martin/Steinbrenner relationship.

MORET: Larry, did you like him as a person?

KING: Oh, yeah. He was very kind to me and to my family whenever we went to New York, the boys, to Sean. He was just -- he -- I tell you, there's two sides to him. He could fire someone in a second. We prevented him from firing someone. There was a security guard, wouldn't let my two boys on the field because they didn't have passes --

MORET: Larry, thank you.

KING: He went up to his box and he got mad. He wanted to fire them.

MORET: We're out of time. Larry, thanks a lot. Larry's back tomorrow. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."