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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Battle over Jackson's Money; Jackson Investigation; Jackson Funeral Plans; Franken Wins Senate Seat; U.S. Troops Pull Back
Aired June 30, 2009 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, breaking news on Michael Jackson's estate and his children. Investigators have found that a will that specifies who gets what, but there may be other wills. Also tonight, plans for Jackson's funeral revealed for the first time. We'll have all the details.
Also tonight a historic milestone in Iraq -- six years after the invasion, American troops withdraw from major cities. Plus, Al Franken is declared the winner in the Minnesota Senate race and Governor Sanford confesses more misdeeds.
But we begin tonight with breaking news on Michael Jackson -- a will from 2002 has suddenly been found. It may add more fuel to the battle over Jackson's millions. Now plans are under way for an elaborate motorcade and public viewing at Neverland. And a day of music and a moment of silence -- thousands celebrate Jackson's life. Now we have complete coverage tonight. CNN's Don Lemon, Drew Griffin, Kara Finnstrom, all in California. T.J. Holmes is in New York and first Don Lemon with new details on Jackson's will. Don?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well Kitty we have learned that a will popped up today, actually overnight from 2002. This will, apparently drawn up by Michael Jackson's long-time attorney, his attorney from 1980 to 2006. Michael Jackson's attorney, now the family attorney, Katherine Jackson's attorney, is saying that they did see the will.
They have gotten that will. They got that will this morning. And they are taking a look at it. We have also been told that the family is also looking at that will. They said that that will again popped up overnight after the court proceedings where the family, Katherine Jackson, went into court to file these documents -- one to get guardianship, temporary guardianship of the children and the other to become administrator of Michael Jackson's assets.
Now in that will reportedly is -- makes Katherine Jackson -- some of the money goes to her, goes to other family members and also to the children. The attorney, his name is John Bronka (ph) -- he is the executor of the will, along with a long-time entertainment executive whose name is John McClain (ph). They're the executors of the will.
And again, the attorney saying -- he spoke to me saying that they do have the will. They're looking at it. Katherine Jackson has 30 days to present that will and on August 3rd, that will be presented in front of the court. Anyone who has any objections to that will, Kitty, can make those objections then. But for now, that will is believed to be the only one that Michael Jackson has. His attorney says others may pop up, but this is the only one that they have seen now -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: All right, thanks very much, Don Lemon -- thanks Don. Now Michael Jackson's family is waiting for final results from a second autopsy tonight. Now for the latest on the Jackson investigation, let's go to Drew Griffin in Los Angeles. Drew, there's new information tonight on the family's autopsy?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, just that it is completed, Kitty, and experts believe that the family should know either today or at the very latest tomorrow what caused the death of Michael Jackson. In fact, they believe these experts that I've been talking to all day, that the coroner also knows here in Los Angeles, but the information at the coroner's office remains a very protected secret as they continue to investigate the various nuances of this death investigation.
The latest visible sign of the investigation was at the house yesterday, detectives returned there, removing two bags of what we were told may be medication or evidence of medication taken at the house. There you see that coming yesterday afternoon. But again, Kitty, the information on exactly what caused the death, we're waiting autopsy results to be released and it appears now that is what we're waiting for, the release of that information. The official toxicology results could be five weeks away, but the preliminary should really be in by now.
PILGRIM: All right, thanks very much, Drew Griffin -- thanks, Drew.
Now we have new details on funeral plans for Michael Jackson tonight. Those plans include a motorcade, also a public viewing, so let's go to Kara Finnstrom outside Neverland Ranch for that -- Kara.
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, we can tell you that county workers are now out here trying to organize all the activity that has really you know just started to pop up within the last couple of hours here -- the media coming, the fans coming and lots of trucks and cars going in and out of Neverland's gates behind us there. Here's what we know about what will be happening here later this week.
A source tells CNN that late Thursday morning, Michael Jackson's body will be brought in from the Los Angeles area. It will be brought by a motorcade of 30 or more cars. We're talking about 130-mile stretch that this motorcade is going to travel and we understand that law enforcement is working right now to iron out all the details as far as traffic concerns and security issues.
On Friday, there will be a public viewing of Michael Jackson's body here at Neverland and then on Sunday, a private memorial service for the family. All of this is creating quite a bit of concern in this very private, isolated community. There are a lot of ranchers out here, big time ranchers, and also some people from within the Hollywood community who just don't want that type of big crowds and the invasion of their privacy going on here this weekend. So in light of that, the co-owner of this property issued a statement today -- actually it was published in a local paper here called "The Santa Barbara News Press" (ph) and it says you know in part that the community should be reassured that several agencies are working alongside the family to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Then it goes on to say, "we must also prepare to accommodate Michael's family's wishes as they contemplate the location of his final resting place and their own return to the tranquil grounds of the Michael Jackson family compound."
And that really refers to what we don't know yet, and that's where Michael Jackson will be laid to rest. Kitty, that's the one element that hasn't been shared with us yet.
PILGRIM: And Kara, have they cleared all this with authorities or does that have to be worked out yet?
FINNSTROM: You know, it's a great question. I spoke with some of the county workers that are out here and they said we don't know what the plans are yet for this weekend. You can imagine that there would have to be a lot of clearances given if -- if and that's a big if -- this were to become his final resting place. It may very well not be.
You know as far as what's going to happen just with crowds coming in for the memorial services, we're just told from a number of people that law enforcement is currently working on that.
PILGRIM: All right, thanks very much, Kara Finnstrom. Thanks very much, Kara.
Meanwhile, funeral services for Farrah Fawcett began just moments ago. Now this service is being held at a cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. It is a private service for friends and family. A judge has allowed Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal (ph), to leave jail to attend the funeral. He is serving time for violating his probation on drug charges. Fawcett died Thursday after a long and very public battle with cancer. She was 62 years old.
Still ahead, a historic moment in Iraq -- all -- as U.S. troops pull back, thousands celebrate amid concern over renewed violence.
Also tonight, a child is found alive after a passenger jet carrying 153 people crashes in the Indian Ocean. We'll have that incredible story.
And the custody battle over Michael Jackson's three children. Should his parents have custody? That is the topic of our "Face Off" tonight.
PILGRIM: Tonight, it looks like the Democratic Party has finally secured 60 votes in the Senate. That's a filibuster proof majority. Now Minnesota Supreme Court cleared the way by rejecting Norm Coleman's challenge to the results of last fall's election. Coleman, the incumbent, lost by a handful of votes to Democrat Al Franken -- now both men spoke to reporters shortly after the ruling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORM COLEMAN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I just had a conversation with Al Franken, congratulating him on his victory. And I told him it's the best job that he'll ever have, representing the people of the state of Minnesota in the United States Senate.
AL FRANKEN (D), SENATOR-ELECT: The way I see it I'm not going to Washington to be the 60th Democratic senator. I'm going to Washington to be the second senator from the state of Minnesota and that's how I'm going to do this job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: Now senior political correspondent Candy Crowley joins us now from Washington. Candy, this is a big win for the Democrats, isn't it?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, but it's largely a symbolic win. They do have, in theory and on paper, 60 votes now -- 58 Democrats, two Independents who largely vote with the Democrats. The problem is that inside the Democratic Party there's like a lot less cohesion than that would suggest.
There are geographic differences, for instance, on the energy bill where senators in the industrial states believe that the whole cap-and-trade that is in effort to bring down carbon emissions will amount to nothing more than an energy tax, put people out of work in their states. Health care, there are deficit hawks in the Democratic Party who think that the president is already spending too much money, so 60 sounds great and it certainly better than not having 60, but in the end it's much more difficult to put those 60 together.
PILGRIM: Yes, absolutely. Candy, what's been the reaction from the Republicans?
CROWLEY: Interesting -- they've all said listen we think that the State Supreme Court in Minnesota was wrong. That this -- that actually Norm Coleman had won but they respected his decision to pull out. Having said that, Senator John Cornyn (ph) from Texas, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is charged with getting Republicans elected to the Senate also said in his statement well now they have 60 votes, so the agenda is theirs.
I mean it was kind of a like here you go, let's see what we can do here. He talked about the things that have passed so far that he thinks are bad pieces of legislation. So it is certainly part of the Republican reaction, and it's really the only one you can have when you -- they've got 60 and you don't is to say OK, fine, it's your agenda, let's see what you can do.
PILGRIM: Right. Well Candy, why did Coleman decide to concede?
CROWLEY: Listen, in politics, there is always another office to run for. And there certainly is the thought out there that Senator Coleman wants to run for governor in Minnesota. They have been at this since November of last year with recount after recount, followed by court cases. The state was getting tired of it. I think to preserve anything -- he could have gone to a Federal Appellate Court. He chose not to. I think we should watch Senator Coleman to see possibly a run for the governor.
PILGRIM: That we will. Thanks very much, Candy Crowley. Thanks, Candy.
For the first time in nearly seven years, American forces are no longer patrolling the streets of Iraq's cities. Now today, the U.S. finished the withdrawal of combat forces from urban areas, turning over security operations to Iraq. There are still 130,000 U.S. troops there. Most are on large bases, scattered outside of the cities. And today at the White House, President Obama hailed their service and their sacrifice. Ed Henry has our report.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president is hailing the milestone that moves him one step closer to fulfilling his campaign promise to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The future belongs to those who built, not those who destroy. And today's transition is further proof that those who have tried to pull Iraq into the abyss of disunion and civil war are on the wrong side of history.
HENRY: Mr. Obama also had a blunt message for the Iraqis.
OBAMA: With this progress comes responsibility. Iraq's future is in the hands of its own people and Iraq's leaders must now make some hard choices, necessary to resolve key political questions.
HENRY: But more than 130,000 U.S. troops remain on the ground in Iraq. And the American people seem anxious to get them home. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 73 percent support withdrawing combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns. Only 26 percent oppose.
More startling, asked if the U.S. should send combat troops back into Iraqi cities if violence increases, 63 percent said no. Only 35 percent said yes.
HENRY: The possibility of violence flaring up again may be one reason spokesman Robert Gibbs would not answer whether the White House believes the U.S. has won the war.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think without getting into those characterizations, I think it is -- this is an important step forward.
HENRY (on camera): Has the president ruled out ever declaring victory there? GIBBS: I'd -- we'll keep the banner printers from doing anything crazy.
HENRY (voice-over): An obvious poke at former President Bush declaring victory too soon, which is why this president is being extra cautious.
OBAMA: Make no mistake there will be difficult days ahead. We know that the violence in Iraq will continue.
HENRY (on camera): That's why the president has tapped Vice President Biden for a sensitive new assignment, working with General Odierno and Ambassador Chris Hill (ph) in Baghdad to help the Iraqis achieve political reconciliation, a reminder that despite the milestone there's a lot of hard work to be done.
Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.
PILGRIM: U.S. officials have been warning that this transition period is going to be violent. In fact, in the past 10 days, hundreds of people have died in attacks in Iraq. And there was more violence today. A car bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk killed dozens of people. It exploded in an outdoor market hours after four U.S. troops were killed in Baghdad.
Well joining us now from Baghdad, CNN -- is Michael Ware, who has been covering the war in Iraq for seven years. Michael, the U.S. forces will now be outside the cities. Are the Iraqi forces ready to do the job?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, the answer is no. The more complicated answer of course is yes. In a vacuum, the Iraqi security forces would not be able to take on the fight that they're facing alone. That's why 130,000 U.S. combat troops will remain in Iraq, albeit in their bases outside of the major cities and the towns.
As General Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander here on the ground, puts it they're here to provide support. America is in the back seat now because the Iraq -- this is now the Iraqi war as you know. But the Americans are here to provide what the general calls enablers, trainers, advisers, air support, heavy firepower, so America is still underwriting this civility even though it's no longer in charge -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Nevertheless, Michael, you must be hearing some assessment from the U.S. forces. What are you hearing?
WARE: Look, this is a -- this is a mixed bag here, Kitty. I mean this has been an emotional time in many ways for a lot of us. Obviously, the Iraqis are saying it is a day of celebration. This is a national holiday. They're celebrating the return of their sovereignty, the end of what they see as an occupation.
But I can tell you this, some people that I have been speaking to within the U.S. mission do feel, agreed (ph) that such scenes of celebration, the declaration of a national holiday, state TV having a virtual countdown clock flaunted on their screens, belies the sacrifice that Americans have made here. I mean, in the last hours of the American-led phase of the conflict, another four soldiers laid down their lives.
In total, 4,323 American servicemen and servicewomen died here on Iraqi soil. Some don't feel that that is a moment for celebration. And I would like to think that today all Americans would stop and collectively take a moment to contemplate the sacrifice that's been given -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Well you're absolutely right, Michael, and they will never be forgotten by us. Thank you very much, Michael Ware.
WARE: Thank you.
PILGRIM: A North Korean cargo ship suspected of possibly carrying nuclear material or weapons has changed course and turned around. The Kang Num (ph) is reportedly now off the coast of Vietnam. It left a North Korean port June 17th, possibly heading to Burma. It is being shadowed by the U.S. Navy. Now the Kang Nam (ph) is the first North Korean ship monitored under new U.N. sanctions that bar the North Koreans from selling arms and nuclear related materials.
A 14-year-old girl could be the only survivor of a Yemeni jetliner crash today in the Indian Ocean. The plane was headed from Yemen to the island of Comoros off of the east coast of Africa -- 153 people were aboard the Airbus jet A-310. Now rescue teams searching the waters around the crash site reportedly found the child alive. It was the second crash of an Airbus jet this month. An Air France flight crashed off the coast of Brazil on June 1st. All 228 onboard perished.
Coming up, new safety concerns over common over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Nyquil -- also, cashing in on Michael Jackson's legacy. Sales of Jackson memorabilia and music are now soaring, and who should have custody of Michael Jackson's children? That's the topic of tonight's "Face Off" debate.
PILGRIM: Well since the death of Michael Jackson, the demand for his music and any Jackson related products has surged. Industry leaders say commerce related to the pop star's death is historic. Ines Ferre reports.
INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In life, Michael Jackson was the best selling solo artist of all time. His death has only increased the demand for all things Michael Jackson. The artist is poised to make billboard history with three of his albums, each selling 100,000 copies since his death. BILL WERDE, BILLBOARD MAGAZINE: This has never happened in the history of the billboard charts to my knowledge. An album that's not a current release is going to outsell the top selling current release, and not only that, three different albums from Michael Jackson are going to outsell the top selling current release.
FERRE: At radio last week, Jackson's play (ph) shot up more than 1,700 percent, according to Nielsen figures. On e-Bay personally autographed records are going for thousands of dollars. There's even talk that Jackson's one-time chimp pal Bubbles could make a comeback with a movie and book deal -- the fortune to come from Jackson's recordings, product licensing and possible tours of Neverland is compared by some to Elvis Presley. Recording industry sources believe Elvis has sold an estimated one billion albums worldwide, many of them since his death in 1977.
His home in Memphis, Tennessee receives more than half a million visitors yearly, making it a multi-million dollar enterprise. The former head of the Recording Industry Association of America says the real value of Jackson's estate is yet to come.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're talking about just from recordings alone, an estate that you know could generate 50, $100 million a year in revenue and memorabilia, the visiting of the ranch, the licensing of things like we saw with Elvis. This is an estate that will make money for many years to come.
FERRE: An artist with a brand that may well be even more powerful in death than in life.
FERRE: And there's music that Jackson recorded that hasn't been released. There's also video recordings of Jackson rehearsing for his concert and also talks of tribute tours. Most certainly fans will continue to have a lot of material to choose from, Kitty, and the estate is expected to make money for decades to come.
PILGRIM: Ines, what about the concert tour ticket holders, what's happening with them?
FERRE: Well the concert promoters are offering a full refund for those tickets or they'll also send the actual ticket to the ticket holder if they want it in lieu of the refund.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much -- Ines Ferre.
Well, Al Franken wins his ticket to the U.S. Senate and the Democrats will soon have a supermajority -- also new confessions from South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Also ahead, who should have custody of Michael Jackson's children? That's the subject of our "Face Off" debate tonight. And we'll take you live inside the Apollo Theater where thousands have gathered for a live tribute to Michael Jackson. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your hands up in the air for Michael. Come on. (INAUDIBLE) if you didn't shave under your arms, it's OK. Come on, brave them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: Tonight, fans in New York continue to pay their respects to Michael Jackson at Harlem's Apollo Theater -- now all day thousands waited to be allowed inside the theater for a special tribute and a moment of silence. CNN's T.J. Holmes has been there all day. T.J., what is the scene like at this hour?
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, at this hour, I'm glad you all actually got to see a little bit of the party atmosphere as you were going into commercial break just a second ago with the music playing. That was the scene. That's what's been happening. What's happening behind me now is they're trying to get one group out and get the next group in, so it's literally all day. There have been thousands of people lined up outside.
They've been lined up in the heat. It's been 100 degrees just about there today at times. A rainstorm also came in. People still stayed out there in line. We're at 125th here in Harlem. The line went all the way down to 135th street, some 10 blocks. I'm going to get out of the way and let you see the stage and also let you take a picture of what they have or see the scene of what they have right up on stage there. There's a stool there with a hat and a glove on it. That's been there all day as well.
Now, of course, this is a famed theater here, the Apollo. It's been called the epic of black culture. But that stage you see up there that is where it all started. That is where Michael Jackson made his New York debut at the age of 9 with the Jackson's. They weren't even the Jackson 5 yet. They hadn't grown up. They weren't big yet.
But that's where he got his start and now here we are all these years later. These folks have come here, and Kitty, it hasn't been today what we've seen over the past five days, which is a lot of sadness, a lot of grief, a lot of tears even. It has been nothing but celebration. There has been nothing but smiles and dancing and laughter.
Like I said, people have been lined up literally for hours upon hours outside, drenched, sweaty, hot. They come in here. They could sit down, even (INAUDIBLE) try to enjoy some of the air conditioning. They stand on their feet and they bounce up and down and sing every lyric to every Michael Jackson song that is played. Probably the last group is going to be allowed to come in after this one. As you can see them exiting. The last group will come in and they will leave literally hundreds and maybe thousands of people outside who were not able to make it in here today.
One final point here, Michael Jackson, that debut I talked about Kitty that he made in 1967 was on amateur night at the Apollo, which has been going on here since 1934. They do it every Wednesday night. They're doing it again tomorrow night, and certainly there will be another commemoration, another tribute to Michael Jackson. There's going to be a moonwalking contest tomorrow as well. A lot of people just had to be here today to share in this tribute.
PILGRIM: What a scene. Thanks very much, T.J. Holmes. Thanks T.J.
We have word tonight from Jackson family that a will has been found. It will be filed in court and eventually that may settle the question of who will have custody of Jackson's children.
That's the subject of tonight's face-off debate. So joining us from Los Angeles, we have attorney and child advocate, Gloria Allred and from Massachusetts, children's rights attorney, Wendy Murphy. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
You know, there's some tough legal issues. If this will is filed tomorrow, would this be the definitive word on custody or not, Gloria?
GLORIA ALLRED, CHILD ADVOCATE AND ATTORNEY: No, Kitty. As a matter of fact, if Mr. Jackson, in his will, indicates a preference for a guardian for his children that will be given great weight in any custody and/or guardianship proceeding. However, it will not be binding on the court because the court can always decide and must decide what is in the best interest of the children. And the proposed guardian may or may not be in the best interest of the children.
PILGRIM: Let's talk about Katherine Jackson, the grandmother of the children. You know, she's asking to be -- not only custodial rights -- but also she's asking to be granted financial control of Michael Jackson's businesses. That will be split out or combined, Wendy, what's your view?
WENDY MURPHY, CHILDREN'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, it's an interesting question. There's no doubt that whoever wins guardianship or permanent custody will have some control over the assets, even if, you know, Katherine is granted control over the estate but isn't named the legal guardian. She would have access to funds sufficient to raise the children in the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.
We do know that apparently the children and Katherine have been named as the primary recipients of his assets, so that's good. So altogether at this we have the children with her, and that's reflected alongside what Michael's apparent wishes were with regard to assets.
So far it doesn't look like there's going to be too much fighting with regard to the money as it applies to the care of the children.
PILGRIM: I would actually like to play for you something that the father, Joe Jackson, said, because he was accused by Michael of physical and emotional abuse. And let me just play something that he said just recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FATHER: They're saying I was too rough with the family. Everybody spanks. I never beat Michael in my life. I did spank the family once in a while. Katherine spanked them more than I did, but they blame it all on me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: How will this sort of stuff play into the decision in custody, Gloria?
ALLRED: Well, it's actually Katherine Jackson who has petitioned for guardianship of the three children and who has been granted temporary guardianship of the three children. Joe Jackson has not, and I understand that he lives often in Las Vegas, so I'm not sure that he's even in the home.
But the court is going to have an evaluation if it's a contested guardianship proceeding of the children, and also of the proposed guardian so that there can be a report to the court about what the relationship is, and whether the children are going to be safe or not.
PILGRIM: I would actually like to play an excerpt of an interview that addresses this same subject. So listen to this first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he ever beat you?
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Yes, he did. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was difficult to take, getting beaten and going on stage and performing?
M. JACKSON: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And why would he beat you?
M. JACKSON: Because he saw me -- he wanted me -- I guess I don't know if I was his golden child or whatever it was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PILGRIM: I guess, Wendy, I would like your thoughts on this whole issue.
MURPHY: You know, I'm afraid frankly if Joe Jackson has access to these children. It's not because I think he's going to beat them. It's because a guy who continues to have the attitude that we've heard from him, continuing to be in denial about what he did to Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson has always described his father as abusive and the primary source of a lot of his troubles in life from early childhood. I don't care how many years have passed. If I'm the judge and I do award custody to Katherine, I'm going to make it clear that she should either protect the children from Joe or make sure they're never alone with him. I'm going to make sure that he doesn't have a lot of access. I don't trust him.
I don't think he's a good parent. I don't think he was a good parent to Michael Jackson and frankly, let's remember, the will is out and Joe isn't named. So Michael didn't really think much of his father even at the end.
PILGRIM: I would like to...
ALLRED: The question too would be, could Katherine even protect the children from Joe Jackson if she couldn't protect Michael or Latoya, who also made accusations against Joe Jackson many years ago of abuse and then I believe later on retracted them.
If Katherine couldn't protect her own children from Mr. Jackson, how could she protect her grandchildren?
PILGRIM: Well, certainly a judge will take all these things in consideration.
I would like to get into the issue of the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, Debbie Rowe. She has not stepped forward to ask for custody, but if she should, she renounced it and then changed her mind. The court reversed and actually said that she was improperly denied her rights.
So if she decided suddenly to step forward and petition for custody, Gloria, what do you think would be the result?
ALLRED: Well, I think, Kitty, she would have an advantage because she is the only surviving parent of at least the older two of the two Jackson children. And so there would be a preference for her except that whomever might come in and contest that might try to argue that it would be a detriment to the children to be with her because she has had some minimal involvement with them over the years.
So, again, the court's going to have to decide what is in the best interest of the children. But she would have the advantage in a proceeding.
MURPHY: There is no way a judge is going to give her custody. I wouldn't give her the time of day if I were the judge. It's not just that she hasn't spent a lot of time with them; she tried to sell them to Michael Jackson. She gave up her parental rights in exchange for a boatload of money; mind you, that's against public policy so it got reversed. She couldn't do that. But it's the fact that she wanted to give them up in exchange for money that makes her the worst parent. She is unfit; she shouldn't have access to any children. She and Joe Jackson can go spend time together on an island.
PILGRIM: Now, the youngest child has never been...
ALLRED: Wendy, you're...
PILGRIM: His mother has never been named and that would raise complications also, won't it?
ALLRED: Well, the youngest child has apparently or reportedly a different mother who may very well have relinquished her rights. I don't even know if her name is known in order to give notice to that person. But I do want to add that Wendy has accused Debbie Rowe of a crime and that I think is wrong.
MURPPHY: An attempted crime, let's be clear. Gloria, come on. She gave up her rights...
ALLRED: Wait a minute.
MURPHY: That's shameful. That is not motherly. That is absolutely a crime in my eyes.
PILGRIM: Gloria, last word on this.
ALLRED: If she attempted to relinquish her parental rights, she was not successful in doing so because the court found the children were not represented by an attorney at that time. Therefore she retained her parental rights.
MURPHY: Ok, so she tried to sell them; attempted crime. I'll give you that much.
ALLRED: I wouldn't accuse her of a crime. I don't think it's illegal at all.
MURPHY: I would.
PILGRIM: We can clearly see that this is an extremely difficult issue to sort out. Thank you for helping us do that. Wendy Murphy and Gloria Allred, thank you very much.
MURPHY: You're welcome.
ALLRED: Thank you.
PILGRIM: Remember, for some of Lou's thoughts on the day's news, you can follow him on Twitter/loudobbsnews. Still ahead tonight: new confessions from South Carolina's governor. We'll ask our radio panel what it's going to mean for his future.
And we'll have more on the Jackson investigation: new details about the biological father of Jackson's children.
PILGRIM: More now on Michael Jackson's death and the custody battle over his children. "Us weekly" has uncovered new information on Jackson's final days and the identity of his children's biological father.
Joining us now is Ian Drew, senior editor of "Us Weekly" and from our sister network HLN "Showbiz Tonight" anchor, A.J. Hammer. Thanks very much for being with us.
First of all, the biological father, I'm sure everyone is very interested in this information.
IAN DREW, SENIOR EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": It's pretty power house information. It's actually information that a lot of people have kind of known within Michael's circle for a long time. It finally came out.
Various sources came to the magazine this week, several sources, kind of with the identity and weighing everything out. We are undoubtedly certain that he is the biological father.
PILGRIM: And do you expect this story to continue to evolve? I mean, certainly now that this is public information, there should be other developments.
DREW: Yes. Well, we reached out to Dr. Klein for comment on this, and he basically didn't respond. And now other people have been able to reach him through his attorney and he says he won't respond. So there's really mum on that end. We'll see what happens.
Obviously this story thickens every day and new things come out and this is just the latest detail.
PILGRIM: It really is quite an interesting story. A lot has been discussed how much coverage it's getting. I know, A.J., we talked about this even off camera. Here's a quote from thewrap.com which is an entertainment Web site about the magnitude of Michael Jackson's death.
They said, "Michael Jackson's death is the most globally devastating and consequential celebrity passing since that of Princess Diana nearly a dozen years ago and the most access-altering entertainment story since at least the dawn of the blogging age; possibly even the Internet Age altogether."
What do you think about the magnitude of the coverage and the interest, the incredible interest in this story? A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": I think Sharon Waxman wrote that for thewrap.com, and I think she makes a terrific point. The interest really, Kitty, is not so surprising given the magnitude of the celebrity; really the phenomenon that was Michael Jackson. It wasn't just here in the United States, it was global. And for so many reasons and there are so many facets. So it's not at all surprising.
Then you factor into that all the technology that has evolved over the years and she made the comparison to Princess Diana's death when this level of technology of the Internet -- Twitter, Facebook -- none of that existed.
I went on to a Michael Jackson tribute page before we started up here, about 400,000 people signed on just to this one particular site so they could write their thoughts about Michael Jackson. I'm not at all surprised by the coverage. And I won't be surprised if the coverage doesn't quiet down any time soon again because of -- number one -- just the fascination with Michael Jackson. And there is a salacious nature to his life and to all of the developments as the custody battle and the will and all that begin to unfold.
PILGRIM: That's right.
Now, "Us Weekly reports extensively on Michael's role as a father. Tell us some of the details that you have.
DREW: Well, we actually interviewed tons of people. We're chockfull of people that actually knew him. We kind of veered away from people just saying how great he was that didn't really know him and went for the people that really knew him.
And there are a lot of inside details just about how great of a father he was and that overall consensus was he was a great father, despite all the foibles, despite all the problems, despite all the apparently freakish behavior that people dissect. This at the core was a man who put his kids first and gave everything to those kids.
There's a great sort of portrayal of him as a father in the magazine that I think will interest a lot of people. It's a side of him that really wasn't seen and we have exclusive photos of him with the kids that are very touching.
PILGRIM: A.J., a lot is emerging on the final days. Tell us what you know about this new information that's coming out.
HAMMER: Well, there's been a lot of conflicting information that has just come forward and I'm sure you've been covering this as well.
We just recently got hold of these photos of photographer, Kevin Mazur (ph), who has been shooting Michael now for some 30 years. He was there with Michael at the rehearsals for this scheduled 50 shows that Michael was supposed to undertake later on this summer.
We were initially hearing reports from people who were reportedly at these rehearsals saying he was frail and skeletal. You look at the photos -- and granted they're only photos so you can't tell as well from video per se -- but you see these photos and you think there's a guy who looks like he has some energy. He certainly doesn't look like a guy who is about to die.
Now we're hearing from people like Lou Ferrigno who was training Michael and has no reason to put on a happy face on this, saying Michael was in terrific shape when I worked with him a couple months ago. Kevin Mazur, the photographer now saying that he in fact looked as good and was as energetic as he's ever seen him. So that obviously is in stark contrast to what ended up happening last Thursday.
DREW: Well, we actually have some details too in the magazine which you'll read this week. That not only was he gearing up for all this, but his schedule had changed and that might have contributed to his death. We actually speak to several sources who say that he was on stimulants as well as the other depressants that he was on and all of that had a very jarring effect.
This is a guy who was nocturnal; ask anyone who knows him. He was up until all hours of the morning,4:00, 5:00, 6:00 a.m.; didn't get up until 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. And suddenly he's getting up during the day for all these trainings and these rehearsals and that sort of shook up his whole system.
As you say, more details emerge daily. Thank you very much for helping us tonight, Ian Drew and A.J. Hammer. Thank you.
Coming up, new revelations from South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.
Also, it will soon be Senator Al Franken. The Minnesota Supreme Court says he's the winner.
And the latest in the Michael Jackson investigation; three of the country's top radio talk show hosts will join me.
PILGRIM: Joining me are three of the nation's best radio talk show hosts from KABC in Los Angeles, Doug McIntyre; Lincoln Ware is from WBDZ in Cincinnati and here in New York, we have Steve Malzberg from WOR. Gentlemen, thanks for joining me.
You know, we have to start with Michael Jackson. What do you think, Steve?
STEVE MALZBERG, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, WOR, NEW YORK: I just am afraid that we're overlooking a lot of important issues as this drags on and on and on and every iota is examined and re-examined.
First of all, I don't think we're spending enough time recognizing what's happening with our troops in Iraq. We're approaching the Fourth of July; we have servicemen serving all over the country -- and women. And secondly, I think that as the president's trying to take over this country more and more, he's supporting a ruthless dictator thug in Honduras who was deposed as he tried seized power. Nobody's blinking at that. Cap and trade passed -- nobody's blinking at that. And life goes on and we're talking about Michael Jackson. I just think it's kind of sad.
PILGRIM: Lincoln, what do you think? Certainly there is interest.
LINCOLN WARE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, WDBZ, CINCINNATI: He didn't say that when Elvis died. He was right down there in front of Graceland.
MALZBERG: I don't think so. And you're implying that there's a racial element and that's ridiculous.
WARE: Hey, I didn't mention race.
MALZBERG: I know what you're doing, I know what you're saying. Why would you say I would be there for Elvis and not for Michael Jackson?
WARE: You brought race into this, not me.
MALZBERG: No, you did, sir.
WARE: You know, the only thing I'm worried about Katherine, she's 79 years old now. Hopefully if she gets custody, she will be able to raise them. Those kids -- at that age -- will wear you down very fast. She's 79, hopefully she'll get help from the rest of the family.
PILGRIM: Doug, you want to weigh in on this?
DOUG MCINTYRE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, KABC, LOS ANGELES: Well, I don't think it's a competition between the soldiers in Iraq and a coup de tat in Honduras and people reacting to the death of a pop icon.
The reality is that artists like Michael Jackson, or whether it's Frank Sinatra, Elvis or whoever become famous and become important to people because they have the ability to reach them emotionally. So when they die, people feel like they move them. If they didn't move them emotionally, they wouldn't be famous. They wouldn't be good at what they. So it's not an either or, we can multitask in America.
MALZBERG: But we're not multitasking. There's not enough time on TV to multitask those issues.
MCINTYRE: Of course we're multitasking.
MALZBERG: Oh, we are? Ok.
MCINTYRE: My life didn't stop because Michael Jackson died.
WARE: They're giving great coverage on Iraq and I think, you know, it's pretty, you're right, Michael Jackson is an icon to both young and old, black and white, he reaches across all racial barriers. You can go to the darkest jungles in Africa and they know Michael Jackson. So I think the coverage is warranted what they're giving Michael Jackson.
PILGRIM: Then on that note, let's move on to something else.
And it was a very big decision, the Supreme Court reversing Judge Sonia Sotomayor's decision on the so-called white firefighters case.
There was a poll, recent CNN opinion research poll showed the majority of Americans believe that the white firefighters were discriminated against. And so we had a 65 percent saying yes, they were.
Now, I guess Steve we'll start with you. You want to go to substance, tell me a little bit about your reaction.
MALZBERG: I mean, absolutely, I was thrilled to death, finally some good news to talk about on the radio. These white firefighters were discriminated against, there's no question about that.
But I think it's important that we recognize when it comes to Judge Sotomayor, this wasn't a 5-4 decision overturning what she did. This was a 9-0 decision against what she did on the Second Circuit Court. Even the dissenters in the Supreme Court case criticized the way that her court handled it. They basically gave a paragraph to it and said get away from me; the firefighters don't have a chance.
So she lost big time here no matter what the White House is saying.
PILGRIM: Lincoln, do you think this will reflect in her confirmation hearing?
WARE: Well, they'll try to make it an issue, of course, no doubt. The right-wingers, they're lining up, ready to pounce on her at the confirmation hearing. But I think what she was saying was hey, let's look at this with 60 percent written test, 40 percent oral.
There was another city in Connecticut that did it the opposite direction; they had more of a diverse group being promoted than they did in New Haven. So maybe, I don't know, maybe it was flawed, it could have been.
MALZBERG: Not the question. Not the issue. Just because blacks don't pass the test, doesn't mean there's something wrong with the tests. There were Hispanic firefighters involved here too, they suffered also. That's obscene and ridiculous. And thank God the court said so.
WARE: You know how family members, you know all of them become firefighters and who knows, maybe they got some answers to some of the questions of the test. We don't know that for sure.
PILGRIM: Let's get Doug in on this. Doug? MCINTYRE: Well, I think the Supreme Court made the right call on this because I do think that you can't eliminate racism by practicing racism. But New Haven was also in an untenable position because they were in a situation where they were going to get sued no matter what happened. If they discriminated against the white firefighters, they got sued and correctly so. And if they didn't, they were going to get sued by the black firefighters.
So what we have to do is give our city some relief from being caught in this political no man's land where it's racial politics and legal no man's land that cities are trapped in.
PILGRIM: All right. I'd like to really squeeze this one in, but we have to do it quick. And this is Governor Mark Sanford. And we have a poll that said should Mark Sanford resign as governor of South Carolina? 54 percent say yes, Steve?
MALZBERG: I think that's up to the people of South Carolina and Mark Sanford. I think he's appearing to lose it, though, the more he talks about this nonsense and the more that it comes up. At least he didn't lie to a federal grand jury about it. He didn't break the law as far as we know -- maybe with some money that he used he could always repay.
But Bill Clinton did just that and was allowed to remain on as President of the United States. So put it in context.
WARE: I have to give Sanford his props (ph).
MALZBERG: And David Vitter.
WARE: He told his wife exactly what he was doing...
MALZBERG: David Vitter was a whore-monger and he is still a senator from Louisiana.
PILGRIM: Gentlemen, I think we have to hold this argument.
WARE: I didn't hear what he said.
PILGRIM: We'll just hold it there. Steve Malzberg, Lincoln Ware, and Doug McIntyre, thank you very much, gentlemen.
Coming up at the top of the hour, Campbell Brown -- Campbell.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there, kitty, coming up, we are going to have the latest developments on the Michael Jackson case. There are some new details tonight we want to share with you tonight about the will; about plans for a public memorial.
Plus my revealing interview with someone who was very close to Jackson, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. He says he tried to save him; we're going to talk about the warning this rabbi gave to the superstar.
Also Michael Jackson's rehearsal tapes; he was getting ready for a big tour. We're going to show you that.
Plus the other headlines; we'll have it all in the mash-up in case you missed it today for you as well -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much Campbell.
Still ahead, a warning about a popular drug taken by millions of Americans.
PILGRIM: New concerns tonight over some very common drugs. An FDA panel today voted to lower the maximum daily dosage of non- prescription acetaminophen overdoses of the drug that can cause very serious liver damage. Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol and some other popular over-the-counter pain relievers.
The current maximum daily dosage is 4 grams. That's 8 extra- strength Tylenol tablets. The panel did not recommend a new maximum dosage.
Here's a reminder to join Lou on the radio Monday through Friday for the Lou Dobbs Show 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 Radio in New York. And go to loudobbs.com to find the local listings for the "Lou Dobbs Show" on the radio.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow.
For all of us here, thanks for watching.
Good night from New York.
Campbell Brown starts right now.