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Paris Pleads Guilty, Avoids Jail

Aired September 20, 2010 - 20:00:00   ET


RITA COSBY, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight. More kid glove and celebrity treatment for Paris Hilton, another "Get out of jail free" card after Hilton is pulled over on the Vegas Strip in a car reeking of pot, then busted with cocaine in her purse. A sweetheart plea deal keeps Hilton out of jail. In the last few hours, Hilton in a Vegas courtroom confessing to having cocaine in her purse and lying about it to the cops. At the time of her arrest, Hilton claimed the purse wasn`t hers and actually said she thought the cocaine was gum. But after all that, tonight, Paris Hilton walks free with just a slap on the wrist.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state of Nevada (INAUDIBLE) Paris Hilton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, Miss Hilton`s going to enter a plea of guilty to two misdemeanor charges.


Yes, Your Honor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First charge, possession of drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A packet of powder fell out of the purse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Second charge is obstructing a public (ph) officer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paris admitted the cocaine found in her purse during the traffic stop last month was, in fact, hers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) possession of a controlled substance.




HILTON: I was in possession, as well as telling the officer (INAUDIBLE) was mine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yet no jail time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She copped a plea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A year probation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two hundred hours community service.

HILTON: I want to be treated like everyone else.

Thank you.


COSBY: Also tonight, the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of a beautiful mother of three in the Chicago suburbs. After a weekend getaway with friends, she`s reportedly dropped off at a local train station to return home. But then she`s never seen again. Where is the mother of three Beth Bentley (ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The family of a missing Illinois mom are seeking the public`s help. Forty-one-year-old Beth Bentley set off to visit a friend for the weekend and was never seen or heard from again. Her friend reportedly dropped her off at a train station, and no one knows if she ever made it on the train. Authorities are desperately searching for answers to what happened to this mother of three. A $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information. Family members say it is unlike Bentley to take off without contacting anyone, and they are fearing the worst.


COSBY: And good evening, everybody. I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace. Breaking news tonight. More kid glove and celebrity treatment for Paris Hilton. After she`s busted with cocaine in her purse, a sweetheart deal keeps Hilton out of jail.






HILTON: Yes, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paris Hilton arrived in a Las Vegas courtroom earlier this morning.

HILTON: I hope that I`m an example to other young people (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the third time that Paris has been busted this year in some sort of drug-related activity.

HILTON: This is so exciting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state has file a criminal complaint charging you with the crime of possession of a controlled substance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question is whether or not celebrities are held to the same standards as you and me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: However, the attorneys have indicated that there is a plea negotiation. How do you plead?

HILTON: Guilty.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drug rehab, not jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One year probation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two hundred hours of community service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I assure (ph) you that if you violate the terms of your probation, you will serve one year in (INAUDIBLE)

HILTON: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Treat this very seriously. Do you understand me?

HILTON: Yes, Your Honor.


COSBY: Incredible stuff. And let`s go to right Dave Toplikar. He`s the reporter with "The Las Vegas Sun" newspaper. Dave, tell us what happened in court today, a wild day in court.

DAVE TOPLIKAR, "LAS VEGAS SUN" (via telephone): Yes, Paris Hilton had her day in court today. Well, she was contrite. She was respectful. And the deal she made with prosecutors pretty much kept her out of jail.


COSBY: I understand also -- tell us what she was wearing. I got to tell you, as we`re looking at this shot, she`s wearing what, a low-cut silk blouse?

TOPLIKAR: Well, it was described -- I think one of the media people described it as a cream and black dress. Looked like it was a cream- colored dress. It was very business-like. You know, she played with her hair a little bit in the courtroom. She carried a black purse. I don`t know if it was the same purse, but it -- but anyway...

COSBY: Let`s go to Alexis Tereszcuk. She`s a reporter with Radaronline. In court also, the judge was sort of scolding her, making her admit to a number of things. Tell us about the plea deal, this amazing sweetheart plea deal she got.

ALEXIS TERESZCUK, RADARONLINE.COM: She really got off lucky. So she pled guilty to possession of the cocaine that she said was gum. She also pled guilty to lying to the police officer. She told him that, yes, she did lie to the police officer. This is after the small bindle of cocaine, as the police officer said, fell out of the purse. She said, Oh, it`s not my purse. Yes, the cash is mine. The credit cards are mine. But the purse is not mine. Well, it was hers. We actually reported that she Twittered a picture of it a few months ago, Oh, look at my pretty new Chanel purse. So she fessed up. She admitted to the judge it was all hers. And he gave her a $2,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and she has to do inpatient -- I`m sorry -- outpatient substance abuse treatment. So maybe this is admitting that she does have a little bit of a drug problem.

COSBY: You know, let`s got to Susan Moss, family law attorney. Susan, you know, you hear what she just got. This is, like, a slap on the wrist. Talk about celebrity justice!

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely! If she truly thought that her coke was gum, well, there`s proof that she was high. But to give her 200 hours of community service? I have an idea. Do that community service in jail! You know, the Vegas Hilton with a free cot built in!

COSBY: You know, Anne Bremner, defense attorney, you know, maybe she should be scrubbing toilets or doing something like that. I mean, this is incredible. She goes through all this. She admits she lied to the cops, Anne!

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it`s great to see you, Rita. And I thought Sue Moss was going to rhyme gum with dumb. But anyway, I mean, should she be scrubbing toilets? Actually, for a felony, she would have been eligible for probation. And she`s -- you know, outpatient treatment is something intensive, you know, in addition to the rest of the sentence. And finally, she has great lawyer, David Chesop (ph). I know him. He`s done a wonderful job for her. But it`s not -- sometimes the celebrity justice is that the celebrities are looked at with more scrutiny and can have more harsh sentences and attention than the rest of us.

COSBY: But Anne, not in this case! Clearly, not in this case. Jay Salpeter, let`s go to you, private investigator. She was caught red- handed! I mean, the cocaine fell out, the car`s reeking of pot, and she gets to walk!

JAY SALPETER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, it`s typical. She treats the cops as they`re dumb, the judge as he`s dumb. How do you tell a cop that the bag is borrowed? Do you think Paris Hilton can`t afford a bag? But you know what? At the end, we pay the price. It`s just totally ridiculous how they just let the celebrities go without any recourse.

COSBY: Let`s go to our callers. We`ve got a lot of them already, no surprise. Let`s go to Cecelia from Florida. Cecelia, good evening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Good evening. I love the show. I`m just sitting here. It`s a terrible thing to laugh at what`s going on with Paris Hilton, but when (INAUDIBLE) the stuff falling out of the bag, and I`m thinking, like, I heard in the courtroom (INAUDIBLE) when I sat there for my son that, Oh, yes, the tooth fairy must have put it there.


COSBY: And you know what`s interesting, Cecelia? Let me go to Dr. Eric Braverman. He`s the founder of Path Medical Center. Great to have you with us, Dr. Braverman.

DR. ERIC BRAVERMAN, PATH MEDICAL CENTER: Great to see you again, Rita.

COSBY: You, too. And you know, this behavior -- I think Cecelia hit it on the head -- it`s always (ph) this manipulative, this lying, you know, The dog ate my homework.

BRAVERMAN: Well, you know, so many manipulative drama queens later become manic-depressive drug addicts, and then, unfortunately, even schizophrenics, that we see this all the time. I`ve been in neurology and psychiatry for 35 years. The tragedy is not just that she didn`t pay in terms of prison time or other suffering, the tragedy is, What are we telling young women in America, that if you use cocaine, you`re just going to get off, when you end up with such a tremendous amount of suicide, depression, manic-depression, psychiatric disturbance, inability to work, inability to mother. These are the individuals later that, unfortunately, terrible things happen, you know, where we read about women who drive their cars, you know, into the river. Their (ph) cocaine and drugs are the gateway to psychiatric disturbance, bad mothering, bad parenting, bad examples and mental illness for a lifetime. And...


COSBY: ... Dr. Braverman? This is also a girl who a lot of young women look up to. A lot of people say, Oh, the celebrity. I mean, I personal think that they should be held to a higher or at least similar standard.

Let`s go to Michelle Golland, if we could, also psychologist, also the expert on Don`t you think this is...


COSBY: You know, this is behavior -- let`s get away with it, right?

GOLLAND: Right. I mean, this, to me -- this behavior is reckless. It`s against the law and this is what happens with celebrities. They don`t ever get to hit the bottom because their bottom is constantly moved by their family members, by the judicial system. And what`s going to happen is she`s going to continue to do this behavior, and my prediction is, is that she`s going to be arrested for something else in the next year. Look, we have Lindsay as the example of what happens when you don`t get treatment. And you know, hopefully, she will really have some real world consequences.

COSBY: Yes, let`s hope so, some sort of eye-wakening (ph) experience. Let`s go to Ann from Rhode Island on the line. Ann, what`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Rita. How are you?

COSBY: Great. How are you?


COSBY: What`s your question tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the panel just answered it. My question is the same. It`s these celebrities come (ph) up, they get in the same trouble that regular Joe America gets into. They`re on the public eye. They`re looked up to by the young girls. But nothing happens to them. There`s no consequences. So they go on, like the psychiatrist says, to have more problems. They can afford the good lawyers. They can afford to look good in court and say things to the judge. And no one`s making a stand, when some judge should say, I`m going to change this. This is going to change. And it`s getting sickening.

COSBY: Yes, and Susan Moss, isn`t it getting sickening to you? I mean, when you see this -- she`s sort of parading in. It`s like an experience for her, Susan.

MOSS: Absolutely! The guest who said that this was businesswear -- I don`t -- I know what business. It`s the world`s oldest business! But she had four other arrests to date, and they don`t even affect her fate? I mean, this is kind of irate. But this is a serious crime she was in a car that smelled of pot. That means they were probably driving while under the influence. Remember, she was arrested before for driving under the influence. How many people have to die at the hands of people driving while under the influence until we finally take this seriously?

COSBY: I agree. Let`s go to Rosie from New Mexico. Rosie, what`s your question tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Approximately how much cocaine was she busted with before this year twice, and this time?

COSBY: Well, and I know this time was -- it was a user amount. But let`s go to Dave Toplikar. He is the reporter with "The Las Vegas Sun." Dave, I understand it was a smaller amount, at least in this case, right?

TOPLIKAR: Yes. Yes. It was bag of eight tenths of a gram, which, you know, isn`t very much, apparently. And it just fell right out of her handbag, almost right smack into the hands of a Las Vegas police officer.



HILTON: Yes, Your Honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pleads guilty after her cocaine arrest on the Las Vegas Strip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sentenced to one year probation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judge warned the celebrity socialite.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she gets into any more legal trouble over the next year, she will do jail time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you understand that charge against you?

HILTON: Yes, Your Honor.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything (ph) in mind as to count one of the amended criminal complaint charging you with possession of drugs, which may not be introduced in interstate commerce, a misdemeanor offense, how do you plead?

HILTON: Guilty, Your Honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do on August 27th, 2010, within Clark County, Nevada, that causes you to plead guilty to that offense?

HILTON: I was in possession, as well as telling the officer that the bag wasn`t mine, the purse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. First of all, as to the possession, what did you possess?

HILTON: Cocaine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As to count two, charging you with obstructing a public officer misdemeanor, how do you plead?

HILTON: Guilty, Your Honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you do on August 27th, 2010, within Clark County, Nevada, that causes you to plead guilty to that offense?

HILTON: I said that the purse wasn`t mine to the officer, Your Honor.


COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace. We heard the judge there grilling Paris Hilton. And despite being caught with cocaine red- handed and also lying to the cops, she`s getting no jail time. And today, she sort of sauntered in court. There she is with her white silk blouse.

Let`s go to Alexis Tereszcuk. She is a reporter with Radaronline. You know, I have to ask you about this sort of catwalk. Look at her walking in. She`s walking in, you know, like she`s a model going in, and on the way out, too. It`s incredible!

TERESZCUK: This is trademark Paris. If you can even see -- she loves this attention. As she`s walking outside of the courthouse, she kind of glances to her right just to make sure the cameras are on her. This is really -- she loves being the center of attention. And she`s not in any trouble now, so she`s just in her prime. This is everything that Paris Hilton loves. She loves attention. She loves the adoration. Even if it`s bad press, she loves it because it`s keeping her in the public eye, and she`s even probably happy that people are talking about her instead of Lindsay Lohan.

COSBY: Well, and we`re going talk about that later. Susan Moss, too, she looks like she`s eating it up. It`s disgusting!

MOSS: It`s like that song should be playing, I`m too sexy for this charge. I mean, the fact that she has a smile, the fact that she`s shaking her head this way and that, the fact -- the fact that she`s working, essentially, the catwalk shows that she has little to no remorse!

COSBY: And you know what? Let`s go, if we could, to Gregory Jantz. He is a Ph.D. He`s an addiction specialist, also a psychologist. I got to ask you, Dr. Jantz, she gets, after all this -- she gets outpatient treatment. She gets 200 hours of community service. But she gets outpatient treatment versus inpatient. This is clearly an addict, clearly a woman who has a problem. Is it going to help her, outpatient treatment? By the way, she also doesn`t have to report to a probation officer. Is this going to work?

GREGORY JANTZ, ADDICTION SPECIALIST (via telephone): No, no, will not work. We`re dealing with a person with a serious addiction. And it`s going to continue, continue. She`s got to get out of that environment. She needs to get in a program, 90 days at the very minimum.

COSBY: I agree. Let`s go to Ladawn from Louisiana. We`re taking your calls, everyone. Ladawn, what`s your question tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My opinion is this. Every time Paris Hilton gets caught with drugs or something -- she`s always in tabloids and always in the news with a big smile on her face and walking with her head (INAUDIBLE) like it`s OK for her to do these things. And who are these judges and prosecutors that`s letting her continuously get away with doing all these things?

COSBY: You know what? Let`s go to Dr. Eric Braverman, founder of Path Medical Center. Dr. Braverman, you know, when you look at this list - - she brings up a good point. Is she sort of doing this maybe for attention? And there these people who actually love -- doesn`t matter -- you know, bad news is still news.

BRAVERMAN: You know, human beings are all like an onion. You have to peel away the layers. So you see this drama queen and this anti-social rule-breaking behavior. But then you see the all-nighters, the up and down, the absolute obliviousness to the impact, and it really looks like bipolar disorder or manic-depressive. And so there`s a big debate in psychiatry, neurology and addiction. Should a person like this be locked up in a 90-day treatment with a 12-step group that emphasizes God and higher power? Or does she need that and an outpatient program where she gets medication for mood stability? Bipolar medications are generally seizure medications, and they can stabilize someone like this to have a life of meaning.

COSBY: Dr. Braverman, you think they`re going to give her medicine, or do you think...

BRAVERMAN: I can tell you...


COSBY: ... like, a little walk in the park to no end.

BRAVERMAN: My experience with non-stop addiction programs for 35 years, and alcoholism researchers and scientists all over the country, is that if she doesn`t get a mood stabilizer, which is a seizure-like medicine, you`re not likely to succeed even in the addiction program. So there is a debate whether or not 12-step groups are sufficient. I would doubt they`re sufficient. This is a drama queen, addicted to drama, addicted to show, breaking all the rules, and clearly a very disturbed girl.

COSBY: And she loves it! She`s sauntering into court. There she goes in her beautiful low-cut silk shirt. Here I am. I lied to cops. I had coke. No jail time.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you live in California and you come to Las Vegas to enjoy the accommodations on the Strip or at the Palms. You have to understand, when you break the law here, there are consequences. I`m going to warn you, Miss Hilton, you`ve now been sentenced to one year in the Clark County detention center. Clark County detention center is not the Waldorf-Astoria. But I assure you that if you violate the terms of your probation, you will serve one year in the Clark County detention center. Treat this very seriously. Do you understand me?

HILTON: Yes, Your Honor.



COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby, in for Nancy Grace tonight. Now Paris Hilton, as you see, she gets a slap on the wrist, no jail time, just probation. And all this comes, as if it wasn`t enough in the starlet front -- Lindsay Lohan -- now there`s a bench warrant out for her arrest.

Let`s go to Alexis Tereszcuk with Radaronline. Alexis, what`s the latest now with Lindsay? Look at these two together. What a pair, huh?

TERESZCUK: And they used to be really good friends. The thing is, Lindsay has failed two drug tests. She has random drug tests ever since she let out early not only out of jail but out of rehab. And she failed them. She admitted that she failed. She -- well, she didn`t say cocaine, but she failed it because she tested positive for cocaine on one of them. The other one, she tested positive for amphetamines. So the judge has issued a bench warrant for her arrest. Her probation is revoked, and she has to go back to court on Friday. And it looks like she`s going to go back to jail. Each time that she failed a drug test would be 30 days in jail, so she`s looking at 60 days in jail now.

COSBY: Wow. Let`s go to John Burris, defense attorney. John what do you think is going to happen to Lindsay? We`re just hearing from Alexis. She thinks probably 60 days in jail. The last time, by the way -- remember, it wasn`t that long ago that she got out, guys -- she served only 13 days in jail. Remember, it was a reduced sentence. She was supposed to do 90 days, and then she did 23 in rehab. She was supposed: to do 90 days there. John Burris, what is she going to get this time, another short little stint?

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I think she`ll get more this time because she`s had two prior occasions. So this is progressive discipline, so she could get the 60 days, if not more.

COSBY: Let`s real quick go to Judy from Nebraska, who`s on the line. Judy, what`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, aren`t discomfort and consequences a tool for helping people to set healthy boundaries for themselves? What I see our legal system doing is a big failure. It`s -- they`re not doing them any -- I don`t see them as doing them any favors. They`re ensuring (ph). They`re like the drug pusher. I mean, what do they do, have to kill themselves first? They`re not doing them any favors by cutting them all this slack. And I don`t understand.

COSBY: Great point. Let`s go to Anne Bremner. Real quick, Anne, I mean, you`re right, it`s sort of creating this cycle. Isn`t the legal system letting them off way too easy, Anne?

BREMNER: Well, yes, in a lot of ways. But don`t forget that Paris got 23 days before on her other case. But there`s therapeutic courts now for drug cases, and maybe that`s the way to go, to get these people into treatment and get them help and use them as examples.





HILTON: Because I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our main concern is that Miss Hilton stay out of trouble.

HILTON: I`m happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) stay out of trouble.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The hotel heiress walk the front entrance to the detention facility like she was walking the cat walk.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She really hasn`t changed her lifestyle that much.

HILTON: I have always remained the same person that I was since I was a little girl.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The posture, pristine form. There was a spring in her step.

HILTON: I think it`s just about staying true to yourself and not letting it all of this get to your head.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Banned from the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. She was at the hotel when police say they found cocaine that fell out of her purse.

HILTON: I can`t live without my BlackBerry.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Paparazzi princess, Paris Hilton.

HILTON: My boyfriend.


HILTON: My pets.


HILTON: My family.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It looks like a glamour shot.

HILTON: And my best friends.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: She`s got numerous mug shots.

HILTON: I`m going to do the time, I`m going to do it the right way.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Her arrest for alleged cocaine possession.

HILTON: And I thought it was the next perfect thing for my brand.


RITA COSBY, GUEST HOST: And I`m Rita Cosby in for Nancy Grace.

Nancy -- now, the word, everybody, Paris Hilton gets a slap on the wrist. She gets caught with cocaine. There`s pot wreaking in her car. She lies to the cops, and guess what? At the end of the day, well, you know, she gets to walk. Only probation.

And now the word is -- I love this line, everybody. She says she wants to be a home body. She`s telling friends she wants to sit back, wants to change her life, wants to stay at home and knit sweaters and cook, basically maybe brownies or something like that.

Let`s go to Susan Moss, family law attorney. What do you think of this, Susan? Is anybody buying this?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY & CHILD ADVOCATE: Nobody is buying this. But what offends me is that she doesn`t even have a probation officer. Who`s going to check to see that she`s not violating probation?

I guess we`re all have -- going to have to rely on Harvey Levin from TMZ. Luckily, I`m sure they`ll do a great job. But it is offensive that she`s not going to weekly drug tests.

COSBY: You know, Anne Bremner, I am shocked at this. No weekly drug tests and also no reporting to a probation officer. I mean to me, that is staggering. How are we going to check on this woman`s behavior, Anne Bremner?

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it goes right to the court, Rita. I mean what are they going to do from the treatment facility is they`re going to send reports directly to the judge.

Just because you don`t have a probation officer doesn`t mean that you`re not monitored. And that`s just going to happen. And the fact is, the judge thought this was sufficient.

COSBY: But Anne, Anne --


COSBY: How good of a monitoring can they really do? Come on, be a realist.

BREMNER: Well, the bottom line is, this is what the judge is saying to her, he may have had an evaluation, Rita, that says she doesn`t have a problem with cocaine. We don`t know that. They usually get one. But the fact is, there is problems. He`s ordered some outpatient treatment.

But they`re going to report right to the judge. Just like in Lindsay Lohan`s case. We saw that whole hearing where the probation and other people came to the judge, from the treatment facility and said this is what she did, this is what she didn`t do.

So she -- Paris Hilton may be right back in front of this judge if she doesn`t comply. And now look at Lindsay Lohan. Deja vu all over again.

COSBY: Well, and that`s the thing, Gregory Jantz, addiction specialist. You look at -- this is like an endless cycle. If you look at Lindsay Lohan as an example -- what an example that is, huh?

GREGORY JANTZ, PH.D., ADDICTION SPECIALIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, FOUNDER, "A PLACE OF HOPE" (via phone): Well, it`s an endless and predictable cycle. And it`s going to continue. The addiction is powerful and strong. It`s got a stronghold in these girls` lives.

And you know we`ve got to get them off the chemicals. But we need to remember, there`s probably a lot of other addictions that we`re not aware of that`s going on. You know we talked about prescription pills. We don`t know what else they`re doing. So I suggest there`s more going on than what we -- the cocaine and marijuana.

COSBY: Well, I`m sure there probably is. This is probably the tip of the iceberg.

JANTZ: That`s right.

COSBY: Let`s go to our callers. Let`s go to Karen from Louisiana.

Karen, what`s your question tonight?



KAREN: I was just wondering when a normal person is on probation from, like, a DUI or drugs, they are not allowed in a bar or club. And is Paris going to be allowed in one? If she`s photographed in (INAUDIBLE) and it`s published in a magazine, will the cops -- will she be arrested or -- and her not having a probation officer that she have to report to, normal people have to report to him and they pay a monthly fee.

I mean she`s -- I just don`t understand that.

COSBY: And by the way, also her only fine is a $2,000 fine, which is nothing for this gal.

Let`s go to John Burris. John, to answer her question. And I think it was a great one that Karen had. When you look at it, you know, could she -- does she have restrictions on where she can go, where she can`t go?

You know the normal person has to stay away from certain things. This is how she earns her living, too, by, you know, getting paid a whopping sum showing up at these parties.

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I don`t think that those restrictions are appropriate, any of them. I mean she does have a right to earn her own income.

I know I think we are making much too much of this. This woman obviously has a serious drug problem. She should be dealt with. And unfortunately, most people are dealt with in a way that they should be in a drug system as opposed to criminal courts.

There will be some monitoring on her but it`s not offensive that she doesn`t have a probation officer because a lot of people --

COSBY: But, John, John. How are you going to check her? How are you going to monitor her? And clearly this is a woman -- she looked like she enjoyed it in court today. It looks like she`s enjoying -- look at me. Look at me.

And if you look at the -- you know, her good pal, Lindsay Lohan, you take that as an example, she`s going to be right back before this judge.

BURRIS: Well, she -- maybe she has a drug problem. And that`s what happens with people who have drug problems. They kind of repeat this particular side. That doesn`t then mean you should give her a harsher sentence than you would someone else.

A lot of people come through this system and don`t get probation officers who go to drug treatments or programs, and you are not monitored on a day in-day out basis.

I don`t think she should be treated more harshly than other people.

COSBY: But there are some people --

BURRIS: If she screws it up, she has to --

COSBY: But there are some people who if they get caught for lying with the cops and doing the other things, John, they get serious stuff. Don`t you agree, Susan Moss?

BURRIS: There is no --

COSBY: Let me go to Susan.

BURRIS: No question how do people get --

MOSS: Absolutely. But let`s look at the true severity of this crime. She was driving in a car that smelled like pot. That means somebody was probably under the influence. It`s your and my kids that are on the streets that is having this driver, who probably was impaired.

She was caught and arrested in L.A. while driving under the influence. That is the severity.

Look, I don`t care what happens to Paris. What I care about is what happens to the innocent people who are going to be hurt when one day she has a car accident.

COSBY: And let`s go to our callers. We`ve got a lot of them. Ann from Georgia.

Ann, what`s your question tonight?

And let`s go to Sarah from Florida actually.

Sarah, what`s your question.

SARAH, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Rita. How are you?

COSBY: How are you?

SARAH: My question is, you know, I -- you know, I understand Paris does have a lot of money and, you know, she gets off so easy on all this stuff. She gets an outpatient program.

You know, she had barely any jail time she did last time. Why does she not get probation? Why does she only get outpatient?

I have been on probation myself for non-drug charges.

COSBY: You know, that`s a great question. Let`s go to Jay Salpeter, an investigator.

Jay, you know, you`ve covered a lot of these cases. Why is she not in-patient given the fact she`s got a problem? Given the fact she took her long to admit to it. It wasn`t until she got a plea deal that she`d owned it up.

JAY SALPETER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, FORMER NYPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Let me tell you, Rita. You have a wonderful panel here. You have some doctors, we have many lawyers. I don`t have a degree. My degree is criminal justice and working the streets as a police officer.

And I have to tell you one thing. The focus of the show should be the reverse. The problem here is a criminal justice system and the courts. If you -- everyone will always take what they can get away with. And we are allowing her to get away with all of this.

COSBY: Well, that`s the question, Susan Moss, when you create this system -- come back in -- doesn`t it fuel the flames?

MOSS: Yes. Apparently what happens in L.A. is ignored in Vegas. The fact that she has four prior convictions and the fact that it did not affect this sentence is just astounding.

COSBY: It is astounding. Let`s go to Ann from Georgia.

Ann, you`re disgusted like us?



ANN: If these people are publicity hounds, why does the media continue to cover them with all this coverage? If we ignore them, they have no publicity.

COSBY: Well, we also hope that it could be used as a lesson, too. Because when you see people like that who do the wrong thing, people that we hold up, if we ignore them and we praise them only when they do good things, and then we ignore them when they do bad things, what kind of a message are we sending to our kids?

I`ll give this actually to Dave Toplikar. As a journalist, we have to cover all sides, you know?

DAVE TOPLIKAR, REPORTER, THE LAS VEGAS SUN: Yes, we do. These people are sort of like -- we don`t have kings and princesses and things like that in this country, but we do have Paris Hilton.

We do have people like her, movie stars, that we watch. And that people emulate and look up to.

COSBY: And Princess Paris only gets a slap on the wrist.

Let`s go to Michelle Golland, who is a psychologist. She`s also an expert on

You know, when I think of these two, and I think of the behavior of these two sort of princesses -- you know we`ve got Paris --


COSBY: -- who said look, it wasn`t my stuff, it was my friends`. She`s trying to pawn this on her friend, first of all, the cocaine that fell out.


COSBY: And then now, Lindsay Lohan -- in this latest case, there`s a bench warrant out for her, everybody, tonight if you`re just tuning in.


COSBY: But Lindsay Lohan in a "Vanity Fair" article she said that her earlier behavior she was attributing it to friends she was hanging out with. Blaming it on other people. They`re -- I mean --

GOLLAND: Blaming it on everybody. Yes

COSBY: Yes. These are not people who are not taking responsibility.

GOLLAND: No responsibility. No self-respect. And, you know, I think when we look at Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, one of the things I question about with Lindsay Lohan is, what is Dina saying now?

Does Lindsay really have a problem, Dina? Are you ready to face it and not enable her? You know, it`s really about also the people who are enabling these celebrities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have agreed that any new arrests terminate your term of probation and you will bring to serve one-year of jail sentence. Do you understand that?

HILTON: I completely understand that. I can`t wait to start my new life.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Woodstock, Illinois police are desperately searching for a missing mom of three. Beth Bentley went to visit a friend in southern Illinois back in May and hasn`t been seen since.

Her husband says they typically speak five or six times a day and it`s unlike her to not contact the family.

Authorities say they have no evidence on whether the missing mom is dead or alive. A $5,000 reward has been offered leading to Beth`s discovery.

Bentley is described as 5`6" and weighing about 165 pounds. She has blond hair, brown eyes and is 41 years old. She was last seen wearing a black tank top shirt, blue jean miniskirt and carrying a white purse and pink and orange overnight bag.


COSBY: And I`m Rita Cosby in for Nancy Grace.

A beautiful mother of three vanishing in the Chicago suburbs. She`s reportedly dropped off at a local train station, then mother of three Beth Bentley is never seen again.

For the very latest, let`s go to Kathy Chaney, she`s a Web editor with the

Kathy, what happened here.

KATHY CHANEY, WEB EDITOR, CHICAGODEFENDER.COM: Well, she was last see by her friend that she was traveling with on the short trip to downstate Illinois. The friend said that she dropped her off at a train station so she could make her way back to Chicago, then to Woodstock, and she was never seen again.

Now recently, according to the husband, the friend has changed the story saying that she didn`t drop her off at the train station. She dropped her off near the train station. But there`s been no type of communication. Her credit card, cell phones haven`t been used. No passengers on the train remember even seeing her when they were shown a photo.

So it`s like she dropped off the face of the earth.

COSBY: Which is very strange. Let`s go to Jay Salpeter. He`s a private investigator.

You know, Jay, she leaves in broad daylight, suddenly. As you just heard, you know, we were saying, broad daylight, it`s 4:30 in the afternoon, by the way. It`s not a very busy train station. Nobody sees her there? How unusual is that, Jay?

SALPETER: I`ll tell you, Rita, if this is my case, as a homicide detective, the first place I would start -- and remember, you can`t always close yourself and lock yourself in. You have to be objective and keep your eyes open to other -- you know, facets here.

That friend bothers me. The friend definitely bothers me. I would bring her in for some good questioning only as basically a witness, at first. Get a good statement and then I would want her polygraphed.

I know that the evening of May 21st, this young lady, you know, Beth, went out to dinner with her friend and two other men. I think what happened here happened on that evening. I don`t think this woman ever made the train station, she was never seen on video at the second train station where they have video.

The answer lies, I believe, you know, and I would like to exhaust that, with her friend and what happened that evening.

COSBY: I absolutely agree with you 100 percent on that.

Let`s go, if we could, to Scott Bentley. He is the husband of Beth Bentley. He joins us now.

Scott, I`m sure this is so agonizing for you as a husband, not knowing where your wife has been. And I have to ask you the obvious question, it`s the first thing I thought of and also Jay Salpeter.

What is the deal with the friend? Mixed stories. Are you getting mixed messages?

SCOTT BENTLEY, HUSBAND OF MISSING MOM, BETH BENTLEY: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on the show. I appreciate that. Yes. It`s - - the story originally changed from dropping her off to get on the train. It`s obvious that didn`t happen.

She was supposed to -- apparently, the story was that she was supposed want to get back to Chicago for whatever reason and she wanted to be dropped off at the train station. That story was later changed by her friend that she was just told to drop her off in Centralia, near the train station, and according to her friend, she just said take me to Centralia, just drop me off, here is fine.

COSBY: So wait. I`ve got to ask you, you know.


COSBY: And obviously, you`re an attorney or a smart man, there`s something funky there. Wait a minute, that suddenly, she says drop me off near a train station? Who`s going to drop somebody off near a train station --

BENTLEY: Well --

COSBY: -- as opposed to at the train station?

COSBY: From what I was told by this friend is that Beth said hey, take me to Centralia, I want to take off early this week. You know, I don`t want to wait and come home with you tomorrow. Just drop me off.

They drove to Centralia. Apparently Beth said hey, right here is fine. Just happened to be right across from a train station and apparently a Mexican restaurant, I think. And the friend just said OK and dropped her off, and didn`t ask where she was going, who was she going to be with, how was she getting there. Anything.

It was just drop me off here and that`s that. And that`s the problem is that nobody has seen her in Centralia if in fact she was -- she was dropped off. Nobody has -- has seen her. So --

COSBY: And as you said, if she was even dropped off there.


COSBY: Let`s go to the callers. Let`s go to Shana from in Louisiana.

Shana, what`s your question.

SHANA, CALLER FROM LOUISIANA: I want to know, did they -- did they polygraph the friend?

COSBY: That`s a great question.

Scott, did they polygraph her?

BENTLEY: I don`t believe they did, but they did interrogate her extensively and I believe they continue to still do so. Wichita Police Department is just excellent. They are very experienced. They are really -- you know, this is a high priority for them and they have done what they are supposed to be doing.

And -- but as far as I know, I don`t believe that there was a polygraph test.

COSBY: Randie from Utah is on the line. Randie, what`s your question?

RANDIE, CALLER FROM UTAH: Yes. I was just wondering where her friend supposedly dropped her off at or near the train station? Like surveillance cameras in the area wouldn`t they be able to look to see or do they not have the -- I know our train stations have surveillance cameras and we live in just a real tinny town.

COSBY: Well, I know that, as we just heard, he just said -- the husband has just said near a Mexican restaurant. We do know the train station itself, there does not have surveillance cameras.

Susan Moss, kind of unusual, isn`t it? Or is that typical in a small town? And how do you piece this together?

MOSS: It`s unusual, but it`s your best friend. You don`t wait with your best friend? You just drop her off in the middle of a small town? That makes sense. But what I`m concerned is 14 weeks with no lead, it looks kind of bleak.

COSBY: Yes, it certainly does. John Burris, as a defense attorney, just from piecing this case, how would you piece it together?

BURRIS: Apparently from the family`s point of view, I would say it is troubling -- very troubling that she hasn`t heard anything from it. I think I`d go back -- they said that she had dinner with two guys.

I`d want to know about those guys. How long did they have dinner if they ever did. So that`s what I have concerns about. I think you have to go back a little bit further to where she was during the course of the day.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Authorities are desperately searching for answers to what happened to this mother of three. A $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information.

Family members say it is unlike Bentley to take off without contacting anyone, and they are fearing the worst.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The family of a missing Illinois mom are seeking the public`s help. Bentley is described as 5`6" tall and weighing about 165 pounds. She is blond hair, brown eyes and is 41 years old. She was last seen wearing a black tank top.


COSBY: And this is Rita Cosby filling in for Nancy Grace.

Beth Bentley has not been found. She is a mother of three. And her son`s graduation was coming up and now she is nowhere to be found.

Let`s go to Scott Bentley, again, her husband who joins us tonight.

Scott, I have to ask you. What was the relationship with her kids and what was your relationship? Is there any reason why she might just maybe take off?

BENTLEY: Not that I`m aware of, no. We had a great relationship. Like I said, I would -- I was always talking to her whenever she went away for a weekend. I talked to her all the time.

You know, we worked together. At our office. And, you know, there was no -- absolutely no -- and no problems with the children either. You know, there`s no reason that I can think of that would make her, you know, want to voluntarily not be here.

She certainly didn`t pack things. You know she packed appropriately for going away for a couple of days. She didn`t bring a lot of clothes. She didn`t bring, you know, any money as far as I know.

COSBY: Yes, it`s a mystery.

Let`s go to Dr. Eric Braverman real quick. The founder of Path Medical Center. Could someone maybe just crack suddenly?

DR. ERIC BRAVERMAN, M.D., FOUNDER OF PATH MEDICAL CENTER, NYC: Well, people crack all the time. I mean, they go on marijuana, they go on drugs. I mean even Paris Hilton cracked.

And they need medication and no one even knows they need it. And she obviously was gaining a lot of weight. She`s in that peri-menopausal period where a lot of women get sick. And so it`s possible she had a breakdown.

COSBY: And tonight, everybody, let`s stop to remember Air Force Captain Derek Argel, 28 years old from Lompoc, California. Killed in Iraq. Part of the Air Force Special Ops. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

He wanted to enlist since the fifth grade, and he loved outdoors, water polo and fishing. His motto was God, country and family. He leaves behind mother Debby, stepfather Todd and brother Johnny. His widow Wendy and son Logan.

Derek Argel, an American hero.

And a thanks to you and our guests, and especially to all of you at home for being with us tonight.

And before we go, we want to tell you about Wonder Capes. Sparking the imagination of children everywhere and most importantly providing comfort capes for hospitalized children.

To order or donate go to A great fantastic cause.

I will see you, everyone, tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. sharp on Eastern Time. Until then, everybody, have a fantastic evening. Good night, everybody.