Return to Transcripts main page


Sister Speaks Out about Murder Suspect

Aired September 27, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, brutal honesty directed right at accused murderess Jodi Arias. She is about to go on trial, accused of viciously murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. And now Travis`s sister is speaking out about Jodi for the very first time. And, boy, does she have a lot to say, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, stunning new twists and turns as the murder trial for 31-year-old Jodi Arias takes shape. The California stunner is accused of viciously killing her ex-boyfriend and fleeing the scene. Will jurors get to hear her ever-changing story of what happened that night?

Plus, a scathing new letter from the victim`s sister. Tonight, why she says Jodi deserves the death penalty. We`ll bring you the very latest. Plus, I`m taking your calls.

Then a beautiful mother mysteriously vanishes. Michelle Warner was last seen with her estranged boyfriend and 3-year-old son, when he says she stormed out of their apartment after an argument. She has not been seen since. Her worried family joins me live tonight. Where is Michelle? Has something sinister happened to this Texas beauty?

And Honey Boo-Boo`s done it again. The larger-than-life reality star and pageant queen signs on for another season of her hit show, this time scoring a hefty pay bump. Who`s raking in what? And we`ll tell you about the warning "Dance Moms" head honcho has for little Honey Boo-Boo herself.

JODI ANN ARIAS, ACCUSED OF EX-BOYFRIEND`S MURDER: ... on here. Sorry. Don`t roll the tape yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi Ann Arias checked her makeup right before the cameras went on. The soft-spoken 28-year-old remained calm and composed during this jailhouse interview.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi Arias is behind bars on a charge of first- degree murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The petite 28-year-old from Yreka, California, is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. His body was discovered June 9 in his Mesa home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motivational speaker Travis Alexander was viciously murdered at his Mesa home back in June, stabbed 27 times, his throat slit. He was also shot in the head. Police say DNA evidence, including a bloody palm print found at the scene, linked Jodi Arias to the murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, secrets spill out in the case of accused killer Jodi Arias.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Jodi will soon go on trial for the brutal murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, a handsome, successful businessman and motivational speaker. And now Travis` sister, seen here with her brother -- there they are together -- is speaking out. In fact, Tanisha Sorenson is lashing out. She is furious that it`s taken more than four years to get to trial. And she wants Jodi to pay for her brother`s murder with her life.

Prosecutors say Jodi went to Travis` Arizona home in June of 2008, shot him in the face, stabbed him 27 times and slit his throat from ear to ear.

Jodi and Travis were actually broken up at the time of his death, but we have heard that they were reportedly allegedly continuing to have sexual relations. Travis` best friend told me when Travis was found dead in the shower, he definitely thought right away Jodi was involved.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was one instance where he called me up and told me that he had caught her breaking into his Facebook account. Four days, five days later he goes missing. And then we find him dead. And I - - that was the first thing to my mind is that, oh, my gosh, Jodi actually killed him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is no typical murder case. Jodi Arias, a photographer by trade, smiles for mug shots and primps for jailhouse interviews. Dare I say it, but it looks like she`s enjoying the attention.

Jodi insists she had nothing to do with Travis`s murder.


ARIAS: There have been a lot of people that have been speaking out and saying things, you know, on their side. This isn`t a two-sided story. This is a multifaceted story. There are many sides to this story. And I just don`t feel like mine has been represented.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The evidence is compelling. Prosecutors say they have Jodi`s bloody hand print found in Travis` bedroom and a series of naked photos of Jodi and Travis together in sexually provocative photos taken the day he died. There are also photos on the same camera of a bloody Travis as he lay dying.

In an e-mail Travis`s sister, Tanisha, wrote, "I know this might sound creepy, but I hope to get to watch her die some day after she`s on Death Row." Tough words, but this is a young woman who lost her precious brother in a brutal murder. Will she get her wish?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to the man who e-mailed and spoke with Travis`s sister, Graham Winch. We`re happy to have you on tonight. You`re the producer for and "In Session." Graham, tell us what Travis`s sister is going through and how she describes Jodi.

GRAHAM WINCH, PRODUCER, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, she doesn`t like her. And the language she uses is so powerful. I got in touch with her on my last, you know, Web update. She commented on it. And I e-mailed her. And she -- we just started going back and forth.

And the emotion just started coming out in waves. And it`s really powerful stuff. She calls Jodi a liar. I mean, she really thought she was -- this is a quote, I`m sorry, "I mean, she really thought she was going to get caught and messed up too many times. She think she can be that cunning and charming, that she`ll be able to have a jury believe her after all this. That she can play the self-defense card after all of her previous stories didn`t work out for her." Jane, it`s pretty amazing stuff.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I think you hit on a key point. All of her many stories.

Travis`s sister wrote in her e-mail to HLN about Jodi`s many, many different versions of what happened when Travis died. Listen to what Jodi told "Inside Edition."


ARIAS: I witnessed Travis being attacked by two other individuals.


ARIAS: I don`t know who they were. I couldn`t pick them out in a police lineup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what happened?

ARIAS: They came into his home and attacked us both.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s not the only version. After saying it was a home invasion, she told another story. She also told cops initially that she wasn`t there and had absolutely nothing to do with it. Now it sounds like she`s going for self-defense.

So I have a couple questions. First of all, will the jury, Joey Jackson, get to hear -- you`re a criminal defense attorney, will they get to hear about all these different versions? That`s my first question.

JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they may not get to hear about all the first versions, because obviously they`re overly prejudicial and the defense will be trying to get them out and saying that, look, it`s a death penalty case. We can`t take -- you know, in the event that the jury believes that she`s told all these different stories, how else can we get our case out there?

So they may have a successful claim to get them out, although a judge, Jane, may very -- very well may rule your client, she did this voluntarily. She was out in the public. They were filmed and everything else. That`s your issue.

But based upon their prejudicial nature of themselves, a judge may indeed rule the other way. We`ll see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t imagine that. She has told something that is relevant to the case on tape. She said it was a home invasion. "I couldn`t pick these people out of a lineup."

And now, well, she`s changed her story. Who does this remind me of? Who does this remind me of? Remember somebody else who had a lot of different stories about what happened to, in this case, her daughter, Casey Anthony?

She said the nanny took Caylee. She dropped her off at the Sawgrass Apartments and that was the last time. Then she said, oh, no, the nanny kidnapped her from a park. And then ultimately she said little Caylee drowned in the pool and her father, George, discovered her.

Unfortunately, Jon Lieberman, investigative reporter who also covered that case and HLN contributor, that did not stop her from being acquitted, even though she told the same number of different stories as this defendant.

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATOR REPORTER: Well that`s right, Jane. But the difference in this case is there is a mountain of physical evidence in this case including those pictures that were on a camera. Many of the pictures were in fact deleted, but they`re all time-stamped. So at one point you have the victim alive in the pictures. At another point you have these two together in the pictures. And then at another point you have him dead in the picture. All time stamped on the same day. All on the day when Jodi claimed at first that she didn`t even see him. So that is damning evidence.

You have the bloody hand print. You have hairs and fibers at the scene. You have all these different stories. And to me it feels like her attorneys right now are almost conceding guilt. They just want to make sure she doesn`t get the death penalty.

I`d love to hear what Joey has to say about that because her attorneys have already filed a motion to basically have prosecutors leave out any evidence that would, you know, show that she wasn`t remorseful during this. But that only makes sense if they don`t want her to get the death penalty. So it`s almost like they`re almost conceding right now that she will be found guilty. They just want to keep her off Death Row.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I don`t know about conceding anything because with these high-profile cases -- and I`ll tell you, a lot of people say this is going to be the biggest case since Casey Anthony, expect the unexpected. Just because they may seem to be conceding it now. Look at the bombshells and opening statements we got in the Casey Anthony case. But please answer that question, Joey Jackson.

JACKSON: Well, here`s the problem, Jane. The problem is is that the attorneys are trying to what we call mitigate. If you raise a self-defense claim, the basic problem with that claim, Jane, is that the force used in self-defense has to be proportionate to the threat posed. What does that mean? It means if you find someone who stabbed 27 times, shot in the head and cut neck-to-neck, that negates a claim. You can only use such force as to deaden the threat. And so now you have to concede, I mean, ultimately that somebody went berserk. And so...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go to Shanna Hogan on that. You`re a true crime blogger. How long did it take cops to track down Jodi Arias? Did she have any signs of physical struggle on her?

HOGAN: By the time cops found her, no. But people who saw her within a day of Travis` murder said she had cuts on her hands and that her hands were bandaged up. She had also changed her hair from blond to brown, when she had been wearing her hair blonde for quite some time, to in a way to maybe hide her appearance.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Uh-huh. And cuts, well, we don`t know. Cuts can be self-inflicted. It`s a fascinating case. We`re just getting started. Your calls on the other side.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s dead. He`s in his bedroom in the shower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. How did this happen? Do you have any idea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no idea. Everyone`s been wondering about him for a few days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened? You said that there was blood. Is it coming from his head?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s all over the place.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was the 911 call when friends discovered Travis dead and immediately suspected his on again/off again girlfriend, you might say, Jodi Arias.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Jan, Florida, your question or thought, Jan.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I love you especially for what you do for animals.


CALLER: My question is, are cameras going to be allowed in the courtroom?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cameras are going to be allowed in the courtroom. And we`re going to be all over it. This show will be bringing you updates perhaps every single day. Certainly every single significant piece of evidence, you can get it here. And we`re going to cover it. We do jury selection in November. And we`re going to be leading up to this case, so you`re going to have all the information, and bring you the whole thing.

Now, the victim, Travis` sister, Tanisha, writes, "I pray and hope this trial isn`t delayed again."

Now, Shanna Hogan, again, you`re writing a book on this case. I don`t think it is going to be delayed. I think we are going to get started with jury selection November. But what were some of the manipulations and the games that were played to delay this trial up to now? Remember, it`s been four years -- more than four years.

HOGAN: Yes, Jane. The jury -- or Jodi Arias` attorneys have done multiple tactics to delay this trial. And they`ve tried to first go with her first story. And then she went with the self-defense claim. And at one point she fired her attorneys and was going to represent herself in court. And when she wasn`t able to get evidence put in through that, then she -- she hired her attorneys back on.

So it`s just caused multiple delays. And such terrible time for the families because this guy was such an amazing person. And when you learn about the case, it`s impossible not to be affected by him because he brought a lot of good things to this world. And she allegedly took that from their family`s life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And, remember, when a family has to wait for a case to start for four long years and false starts, the trial`s going to start and they make plans and then it`s canceled. And it`s postponed. That re-victimizes them all over again, increases their frustration, increases their helplessness. And it`s really unfair that the system can be manipulated this way.

It would appear that the defendant, Jodi Arias, would now like people to believe that Travis was violent towards her. Listen to this.


ARIAS: He wouldn`t allow me to not answer a text message. If I didn`t respond, he would keep calling and calling until I did. And so to me that was an obsessive behavior on his part. It was just -- I took it as a compliment. He wanted to talk to me, OK, that`s great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But were you obsessed with texts? Those are the allegations.

ARIAS: No. No, not at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Travis` sister wrote in her e-mails that Jodi is playing the self-defense card.

Tom Shamshak, former police chief, private investigator, but given the horrific nature of the injuries to the victim, how can she claim self- defense when he was not only shot but stabbed 27 times and his throat was slit ear to ear?

TOM SHAMSHAK, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR (via phone): Jane, good evening. This is an example of extreme rage. This is a crime motivated by rage. And I don`t know how she overcomes that.

Again, was she injured? Did she display any signs of being a victim herself? I think she`s got a real uphill battle here. This is a horrible case. And I think that the testimonial evidence, the documentary evidence and the physical evidence weigh in the prosecution`s favor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what about her personality? Even the sister of the victim referred to charm and manipulation. On the other side.



ARIAS: There`s a lot of forensics suggesting that I was, you know, in his house. The evidence is very compelling. But none of it proves I committed a murder. None of it proves I committed a crime. What it does substantiate is what I did tell detectives.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some people are taken with the defendant`s baby face and soft-spoken nature. But Graham Winch, you spoke to the sister of the victim. And she describes something else in court. Eye contact. Tell us.

WINCH: Right. She stares the family members down and smiles at them. It seems like she`s mocking the whole situation and knows she`s going to get off. It`s really unbelievable that she behaves like that in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joey Jackson, are there head games that a defendant can play that might influence the trial, just expressions, dress, attitude, voice?

JACKSON: Well, you know what, Jane? What you always instruct as a defense attorney is for your client to be on their best of behaviors, right? And that means that they`re going to respect the decorum and atmosphere of the court. They`re not going to look at anyone. They`re not going to play head games. They`re not going to smile. They`re not going to smirk. They`re not going to frown. They`re not going to react to testimony.

They`re going to be calm. They`re going to be professional. They`re going to look presentable, and they`re going to look and listen to the trial. And so if she`s doing that, I think that it certainly hinders her opportunity to get a trial because jurors are watching you, Jane, at all times.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Shanna Hogan, you`ve studied this case, you`ve studied this defendant. You have talked to me about her sort of there`s a charming or manipulative or charismatic nature?

HOGAN: Definitely. She comes across soft spoken. She comes across genuine. But it really is when you know the facts behind the case and when you know what she`s suspected of doing, it`s really eerie because someone could act one way and be capable of such a vicious crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I remember that we were talking about it, and you said that your concern was that perhaps that she might establish a relationship with the jurors who might be sort of drawn in by this persona and that there`s another persona that, let`s say, Travis saw on the final day of his life perhaps.

HOGAN: I definitely have a fear for that. I fear that the jury might not be able to convict her of the death penalty because she is an attractive young woman. They might want to give her another chance. But I feel like if she has another chance out there, she might do that again to someone else`s son, to someone else`s family member. She is a really dangerous person in my opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to be all over this case. Stay with us on this show for every little development.

On the other side of the break a beautiful young mother of two vanishes. We`re going to talk to her family who are totally, totally frustrated and worried.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Michelle Warner mysteriously vanished last week, her family and friends became highly suspicious. They say she would never leave her 11-year-old daughter and her 3-year-old son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To just disappear and walk away from her kids and everything else, just no way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very outgoing. Very talkative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 32-year-old was last seen Friday night. They say she left her apartment here at the Regency Square without her keys, purse and car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In shock. Obviously worried.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Search crews plan on canvassing the complex and passing out fliers in the area. The goal, to locate the mother.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a family frantically searching for this beautiful missing mother of two. Michelle Warner was last seen in the Houston, Texas, apartment she shares with her ex-boyfriend and their 3- year-old son. She was last seen just about a week ago. Tomorrow it will be a week. Loved ones say the happy outgoing mother would never go this long without talking to her loved ones. Here she is singing the Etta James classic "At Last" at a wedding. Watch closely.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s been nearly a week since family and friends heard from Michelle. And they are growing more and more anxious by the minute.

The 31-year-old left behind her keys, her purse, her car and mysteriously disappeared without a trace. What happened to this beautiful young woman, mother of two? We`re going to talk to Michelle`s brother in a second.

But first to Jon Lieberman, investigative reporter. Set the stage for us. What do we know at this time? I know police are saying very little.

LIEBERMAN: Jane, they are. But we have learned that Houston police homicide detectives are working with Houston police missing persons detectives on this case. They`re trying to construct a good timeline of exactly what happened here. They have interviewed the estranged boyfriend who has told them that they had an argument and this woman stormed out. That is the story that detectives are trying to either corroborate or contradict.

And at this point, again, they`re trying to talk to everybody who knew this couple to try and figure out what potentially could have happened to this young mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, various news reports say Michelle lived with her ex-boyfriend, Mark Castellano, and their three-year-old son. By the way, here they are in this photo. Our affiliate KHOU says the ex told cops as you just heard, he got into an argument with Michelle and she disappeared. And then he claims after she stormed out of their apartment - - well, we haven`t been able to independently confirm any of this -- but supposedly we`re getting reports or seeing published reports that he took the child to visit his family in Odessa, Texas, which is about a nine-hour drive.

We have tried to reach Mark Castellano. We invite him to come on our show any time. We`ve tried to reach his mother, his family without success. So he has a standing invitation to come on our show.

I want to go now to Donna Malone. We have an exclusive interview with the mother of this beautiful missing woman Michelle Warner. First of all, Donna, my heart goes out to you. I know this has to be a surrealistic hellish experience right now not knowing what happened to your beautiful daughter. Look how beautiful she is. And we hope to help you find out.

And so tell us first of all about the relationship that she has with this ex-boyfriend and what their living arrangements were.

DONNA MALONE, MOTHER OF MICHELLE WARNER (via telephone): Ok. The relationship was a mutual agreement between the two of them that they would live together uninvolved as a couple. And that this was for the sake of the child. Michelle felt that for the first time in about two years that he should become re-involved in the child`s life. And Mark said that he wanted to be involved in the child`s life.

So this was according to Michelle, a mutual agreement between them to live in the same apartment but not as an exclusive couple, just as the parents of this child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, did they have a contentious relationship in your opinion? Because supposedly reportedly -- and, again, police aren`t even saying this is foul play at all. This is a missing persons case, plain and simple. They have no suspects. They have no persons of interest.

But the reports that have been published are that he had reportedly said that they`d had some kind of tiff, that she walked out and that then after that he went with their 3-year-old son all the way to Odessa driving in her car. What do you know about that?

MALONE: That is the story that he told my son, David, Michelle`s brother. I have not personally spoken to him at all. He did tell my son that they had an argument of some sort. He didn`t allude to what started it. And that evidently it got heated enough that she according to him walked away -- just walked away. He said she took her purse, her cell phone and walked away on foot without her vehicle or anything else besides the purse and the cell phone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what time did this occur? And from what you know about her apartment, how far would this be from a place where there might be surveillance? In other words, was it kind of a mixed use area where it`s apartments and commercial? So there might be surveillance of her walking if she indeed walked around and what hour was it?

MALONE: The hour according to him was sometime during the day on Saturday. I do not know -- my understanding I have not personally been to the apartment. My understanding that is the positioning of the apartment itself within the complex was slightly secluded and that it was on a corner or a backside of the complex. Therefore you probably wouldn`t have heard much if there was, you know, any commotion or noise of some kind unless you would have been a neighbor living like right across the way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Donna, I just want to ask you to hold on for one second because we want to bring in a man who knows a lot about investigation. Tom Shamshak, former police chief, private investigator -- what do you make of this so far, based on what you`ve been hearing?

TOM SHAMSHAK, FORMER POLICE CHIEF (via telephone): Well, you know, why hasn`t the boyfriend been polygraphed? That`s a question I have. And it seems that they`re going a little slow with the investigation. I`m just a little bit -- maybe I`m just not understanding the timeline here but he should be brought back. That child should not be in his custody as we know from other cases. So what`s going on with that as well? Sorry I`m asking these questions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jon Leiberman, I had heard from notes that the brother sent me. He had said that, again, that the ex-boyfriend, the father of the three-year-old that they had taken off in Michelle`s vehicle to Odessa, which is about an eight or nine-hour drive. Do you know if authorities have gone there and located him and determined that he is there with his family in Odessa with the child and that the child`s fine?

LEIBER: What I do know is that they made initial contact with the ex- boyfriend. Now, I don`t know the extent of that contact if they were able to question him extensively or if they went there in person. But I do understand they made initial contact with him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Donna Malone, we want to stay on top of this story. We are not going to let this case be forgotten or swept under the rug.

It`s a breaking news story. She vanished less than a week ago, tomorrow it will be seven days. And so with any piece of information, get in touch with us, we`ll do it again. And if you know anything out there, please immediately contact law enforcement.

Time for your "Shocking Video of the Day -- drivers in Arizona call 911 when they see this. Thankfully it was just a prank. But imagine how terrifying this is. The man filming this says he had his 16-year-old nephew dress up in terrorist-like clothing and point a fake rocket launcher at oncoming traffic to test the reaction time of the police. What?

The cops were going to let him off with just a warning until he posted the video online criticizing the response time. Now he is in deep you- know-what and could if convicted do a sizable time behind bars.

This is not funny in today`s world. This is very seriously misguided.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your "Viral Video of the Day". A store clerk fights back against a suspected robber with his six-pack. I`m not talking about his abs. I`m talking about literally a six-pack of beer. The clerk takes out a six-pack of beer and starts slamming this guy with the six-pack. I love it. You know what? Way to go, dude.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know Honey Boo-Boo. She`s the star of the reality show everyone was watching this week.

ALANA THOMPSON: I`m Alana. I`m 6 and I`m a beauty queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Outside the pageant (inaudible), the makeup and such (ph), she is a normal everyday kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With Honey Boo-Boo we get fun. It`s -- like I said it`s like comfort food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s actually back where she`s actually screaming to Honey Boo-Boo child don`t make me holler, who`s going to make me holler?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we so fascinated with this little girl? Honey Boo-Boo.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we`re hollering over her ratings. It looks like America`s going to be getting a second helping of the secret life of this go-go juice loving Honey Boo-Boo. The famous pageant princess, Alana Thompson, and her self-proclaimed redneck family had ratings gold -- ok, last season; the season finale, in fact, last night.

But it won`t be the last time viewers see antics like these. Watch this from TLC.


ALANA THOMPSON: It was hot. And everybody was (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alana, let her drink. I`m going to -- I`ve got to drink --

ALANA THOMPSON: I thought you was done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know I was not. I put it on my mouth. You know --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quit overreacting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) -- I`m taking a bath in all this sweat.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, dear. Well, "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" has been picked up for another season including three holiday specials. That could spell big bucks for the entire family. But not everybody has a rosy view of the former "toddlers & Tiaras" tyke. Say that carefully.

Fellow reality TV star Abbi from "Dance Moms" told TMZ, quote, "she needs to get in shape". She needs to get to a dance studio. She needs training. Abbi is not pulling any punches. Watch this from Lifetime`s "Dance Moms".


ABBI: Well, they had to go after me. You know, go for the jugular. Look in the mirror. Fix your own body. Fix your own hair. Holly, let`s start. Get a padded bra, don`t wear dresses, what else do you want me to tell you? Huh?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Abbi, who are you telling to get in shape? You know what I mean? Straight out to assistant managing editor for RadarOnline, Jen Heger -- Jen, hot off the presses. We`re not using paper around here anymore but I did print this because these are the late breaking ratings for the finale of Honey Boo-Boo. What do you know?

JEN HEGER, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, RADARONLINE: You know, this is absolutely amazing for TLC. Honey Boo-Boo is the gift that keeps on giving. Last night for the season finale, the first half of the show they had 2.8 million people watching "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo". That is a huge staggering number. Also "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" has won her time slot every single week. And we have to remember that this is the kickoff of fall television series on the various networks. And "Here Comes Honey Boo- Boo" is just kicking everyone to the curb.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. They`re kicking everyone`s boot when you get down to it. A lot of people say people love to watch this family because they just let it all hang out. They`re not trying to be perfect. Watch this touching moment from the season finale when Honey Boo-Boo meets her new niece.


ALANA THOMPSON: Hi, baby Kaitlin. Kaitlin. Hi Baby.

I just want to pick her up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe tonight when we get to bring her home.

ALANA THOMPSON: She`s so itty bitty.


ALANA THOMPSON: Mama, when I get home I want to go and love her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you going to hold her?

ALANA THOMPSON: Like this. This is one of the best days of my life.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pop culture expert Stuart Brazell, let me tell you. I study this and I think that, it`s Honey Boo-Boo. It`s not the whole family. This little girl is the most charismatic child since what`s her name with the golden curls?

HEGER: Shirley Temple?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shirley Temple, yes. Shirley Temple. How quickly we forget. It`s her.

Now, let me ask you this question. There have been a lot of people saying she`s being exploited. She`s not being paid enough. Given this ratings bonanza can we assume now that her price is going to go way, way, way up?

HEGER: Oh, absolutely. You know, what they want to do is they want to lock you in to low prices for the first couple of seasons and pay you the minimum that they can per episode. Some of these shows, if they can pay you $100 a day, they will. But what we have with Honey Boo-Boo is a phenomenon. So now she has the power to make more money. Huge ratings, her winning her time slot -- that means you can get a much bigger paycheck. And you can do that by kind of holding out and calling your own shots.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ve got to ask you, on the other side of the break let`s talk about the supporting cast because I was thinking about this, this morning. Reality TV is supposedly at least a little bit reality. So when people from the outside world come in, how do they determine their compensation? Or are they compensated?

We`re going to answer that question and take your calls on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for "Pet o` the Day". Check out these adorable rescued pets sent to us by our Twitter followers. And you can send your pics to

Brucey and Livvy. Alyse. Let`s see who we got here -- Dexter. Oh, you are rocking the house. And Rudy, we love you, Rudy.



ALANA THOMPSON: I want the barbecue. Then I want the chicken. And then I want the ribs.


ALANA THOMPSON: I know. I got two sides. Why can`t my sides be meat? We`re fat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not fat. We`re pleasingly plump.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, some of them are seriously overweight and a lot of people say now that so many people are watching the show that some of the behavior that they have exhibited is coming under scrutiny like letting this child eat what she just ordered right there for per example.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Reid, New Jersey, your question or thought? Reid?

REID, NEW JERSEY (via telephone): Hey, Jane, how are you doing? This is -- I think this show Honey Boo-Boo is a little bit garbage for America in general and Toddlers and Tiaras" and now "Dance Moms". And that woman on "Dane Moms" she needs to lose some weight. But I think it`s great for the family that they are getting a little extra salary and what not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Jen Heger, look, I`m not one to point a finger at this family. I`m getting the idea that they are a lot more sophisticated than they pretend to be. Obviously there`s nothing succeeds like success and they are on the top of the ratings mountain. So are they a lot more sophisticated than they pretend to be on the show?

HEGER: I think like you, you know, said reality television is not really reality. The numbers don`t lie. America is turning in -- tuning in to see what this child and her family are doing. What I`m going to be curious to see is whether Honey Boo-Boo/Alana tries to transcend and jump into become maybe an actress. Will she leave Georgia? I want to see what happens to this family in the year after -- you know, next year for this family will be very interesting.

Are they going to stay in Georgia with that sad railroad tracks in the backyard? Are they going to stay living with the, you know, the pig and the dog and the car that sometimes doesn`t work. They are all crammed into this very, very small house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that maybe that part of it -- part of it is that they don`t have a lot of material possessions but they seem happy and that maybe --

HEGER: They love each other.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- America is realizing that happiness is an inside job and that it`s not about having huge houses and fancy cars and all the other accoutrements that come with money that really -- I think maybe people are longing for a simplicity and sort of an old-fashioned all we have is each other, and we`ve a pig and a dog in the backyard and we`re having a good time.

I mean there`s something to be said for that. Things do not make you happy. We`re going to get more analysis on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: On reality shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" how do they negotiate with people who come in and interact with the main cast members? Let`s go to Stuart Brazell; you used to work as a casting agent. Look at all of these people. Are all of them paid?

STUART BRAZELL, POP CULTURE EXPERT: You know, I always kind of use the "Jersey Shore" model. When you have breakout stars like Snookis, they make more money than other cast members and then you kind of have these day players. Bottom line, producers and the production company are going to try everyone as little as possible. So Honey Boo-Boo being the star and having it her name, she has the most power to negotiate the highest salary for herself. The rest of the family, we`ll see. It`s smart if they kind of all stick together and they do the friends model where all right, everyone makes what Honey Boo-Boo makes but that`s when agents and lawyer really come in and they show their fighting power.

But as Honey Boo-Boo says, a dollar makes her holler so go girl. I think you`re about to come into a lot of money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sounds like you`ve been drinking some go-go juice there, girlfriend.

You know what; this young lady, I wish her the best. I have known child stars, who have grown up and had very, very disastrous lives. I`ve known some of them personally. And I hope that doesn`t happen to her. I hope she transitions successfully into adulthood whether or not she continues to act.

All right. See you tomorrow.

Nancy Grace is next.