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Lou Dobbs Tonight

Surprises in Jackson's Will; Sanford Under Fire; Obama and Health Care; Prescription Drug Abuse

Aired July 01, 2009 - 19:00   ET



Tonight major surprises in Michael Jackson's last will and testament. We find out who was left in charge and who was significantly left out.

Also tonight escalating pressure from the South Carolina State Republicans to push Governor Sanford out and Governor Sanford is now backing out of his promise to release key financial records.

Also tonight President Obama hits the campaign trail intensifying his push for national health care reform and tonight U.S. Marines launch a major operation in Afghanistan. We'll have the latest on that and all the day's news.

We begin with breaking news on Michael Jackson -- now his will was filed with the courts and made public today and while it is revealing, also leaves a lot of unanswered questions and tonight the Jackson family makes an official statement about funeral plans. We have complete coverage tonight -- Kara Finnstrom at the Neverland Ranch and Don Lemon in Los Angeles. First Don, what is the most surprising information from the will?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well the most surprising information from the will I'd have to say is that it lists his longtime attorney as the executor of his will which means that the attorney plus one other gentleman who's on there really had -- they have all the say as to where Michael Jackson's money and assets go.

But there is also a separate trust which is attached that we'll talk about that later, Kitty. First I want to tell you, here is the interesting thing too as well. Katherine Jackson is being made guardian of the children -- that's what Michael Jackson would have wanted. Here's what it says and I'm going to give you specific language from the will here.

It says "if Katherine Jackson fails to survive me or is unable or unwilling to act as guardian, I nominate Diana Ross as guardian of the persons and estates of such minor children." Diana Ross, the entertainer they're talking about. Also it says speaking of his former wife and the mother of his children -- "I have intentionally omitted to provide for my former wife Deborah Jean Rowe Jackson." It does not provide for his former wife. It also makes no provision, Kitty, for his father, Joe Jackson.

PILGRIM: Don, tell us a little bit about the trust that's attached to the will. What do we know about that?

LEMON: There is a trust, Kitty, that was attached to the will and it was drawn up in March of 2002, several months before this will was drawn up. The will was drawn up in July of 2002 -- July 7th to be specific about that. But in the trust it lists Katherine Jackson as a beneficiary, so which means if the executors see fit some of the money will go to Katherine Jackson.

It also lists Prince Michael Jackson, Jr.; Paris Michael Katherine Jackson; Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, II; and again Katherine Jackson who is Michael Jackson's mother as beneficiaries here. Also there are some people who are secondary beneficiaries who will only get some of the money here if, if those people say so and if those people die.

And it lists you know Taj Jackson, T.J. Jackson, Taryll Jackson -- again those are nephews and secondary beneficiaries in that policy. But you know what, Kitty? This has been challenged already by John Branca, who is the executor and also John McClain, another executor listed here. They went to court today -- their attorneys at least went to court for an ex parte hearing. They were trying to get complete control over Michael Jackson's assets and his estate right away.

The judge said no let's wait until Monday, July 6th because there's already a hearing, so right now Katherine Jackson is the administrator of all of that. So stay tuned as to what happens on July 6th, Kitty. It's going to be very interesting and this is expected, as you can see, to play out for years. The interesting thing is here if those executors or executors, I should say, will do right by Katherine Jackson because who wants to be the people seen as having a fight with an 80-year-old woman who just lost her son.

PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much. Don Lemon. Thanks, Don.

Well investigators will not be able to confirm the cause of Michael Jackson's death until the toxicology results come in. This week investigators returned to Jackson's home. They removed bags of medications for evidence. Tonight a nurse who cared for Michael Jackson has come forward regarding his prescription drug use. Now Cherilyn Lee says Jackson desperately wanted a highly potent sedative called Diprivan.


CHERILYN LEE, JACKSON'S FORMER NURSE: He was basically concerned again with his insomnia. He said I remember yes, being in a hospital and while hospitalized they gave me this med and I was able to sleep really good and I had the best sleep that I ever had. He asked if I can find someone for him. He said I will pay them anything.

If you can find me an anesthesiologist or another doctor, a nurse practitioner, I'm a physician assistant also, but he asked me, he said can you find me a doctor. I don't care how much money they want. I don't care what it is they want. I want this drug. I want this medication. He didn't say drug. He said I want this medication to sleep.


PILGRIM: And Lee says the last time she heard Jackson ask for the drug was four days before his death. Diprivan is usually used in hospitals and only under constant supervision. Initially funeral plans for Michael Jackson included an elaborate motorcade and a public viewing. Well tonight we know those plans have changed significantly. Kara Finnstrom is outside Neverland Ranch with the details. Now Kara, what is the latest tonight on the memorial plans?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Kitty first off, you can see that the circus has come to Neverland here. If we do a 180 with our camera, we want to let you take a look at this long line of million dollar TV live trucks, media from all around the world converging here because they thought this weekend they would be seeing some tributes to Michael Jackson.

We now know that is not the case. A new spokesperson for the Michael Jackson family has confirmed that no tributes will be held to Michael Jackson here this weekend -- that spokesperson saying that plans are under way for a public tribute to Michael Jackson, but saying that at this point they have no details to release. Now we can tell you that about 24 hours ago, as you mentioned, you know a law enforcement source said plans were being made to bring a motorcade and Michael Jackson's body from the Los Angeles area up here to Neverland.

A lot has changed apparently in those 24 hours and we have heard from state and local officials during that time about the cost that that would involve. And we've also heard from a lot of locals here who say they don't want those crowds, they don't want all of the traffic that that would bring to their area here. So locals saying that they want all of this, you know all of the media attention to go away. And Kitty is saying they want to return to what they treasure here, which are these quiet hillsides of Neverland Ranch.

PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much. Kara Finnstrom.

Well another one of Gary, Indiana's sons has died tonight, Oscar winning actor Karl Malden has passed away. Malden won his Academy Award for his performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1951. He had a distinguished career on Broadway, but he was probably best known for starring with Michael Douglas in the hit '70's TV show "The Streets of San Francisco."

Malden grew up in Gary, Indiana delivering milk, working in a steel mill before turning to acting. Malden's family was with him when he died today of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles and he was 97. Still ahead increasing pressure for Governor Sanford to resign while the governor keeps on talking and what brought Sanford and others like him to risk reputation and career? We'll look into that.

Plus inside Michael Jackson's state of mind over the years and the role it played in his dramatic physical transformation. That's straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: Tonight a majority of Republicans in South Carolina State Senate say it is time for Governor Mark Sanford to step down. Sanford's support tanked after his admission he had an affair with a woman in Argentina. And this week he made it only worse by revealing even more about his private life. Candy Crowley has our report.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Following his initial teary news conference, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has taken to giving confessional interviews, not so helpful for a man trying to hold on to power in a conservative state with heavy evangelical influence. Sanford told the AP his mistress is his "soul mate", but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife Jenny Sanford, the woman who may be holding the keys to the governor's office.

LEROY CHAPMAN, "THE STATE": She understands media and she understands what they convey and if you know he's to save himself and save his term she's going to have to be critical to that because she could certainly come to his rescue if she chooses.

CROWLEY: Mrs. Sanford may not choose. Her husband also telling the AP that over the 20 years of his marriage he crossed lines with other women, but he says didn't have sex with them. "Have I done stupid? I have. You know you meet someone, you dance with them, you go to a place where you probably shouldn't have gone."

The too much information interview was also puzzlingly bizarre at points as Sanford mused about his feelings. "If you come into connection with a soul that touches yours in a way that no one's ever has even if it's a place you can't go, this notion of knowing that you know, for me, became very important."

Sanford also reveals when his wife discovered the affair she let him go to New York to end it. He took a spiritual adviser with him. The adviser, Sanford, and the mistress went to church, had dinner, parted ways. Over the months since the Sanfords went to counseling, including a spiritual boot camp for couples, about a month ago she asked him to leave.

Shortly thereafter the governor went to hike the Appalachian Trail. Scratch that. He went to Argentina to see his mistress. "I got down on one knee and said I am here in the hope that we can prove this whole thing to be a mirage." No such luck.


CROWLEY: And just within the last couple of hours I talked to a Republican South Carolina source, familiar with some of the conversations Governor Sanford has had today. He describes Governor Sanford as defiant in the face of all these calls for his resignation. The source says that he worries this is going to go down in an ugly way -- Kitty. PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Candy Crowley.

Well it does seem like Governor Sanford can't stop talking about his affair no matter what impact it has on his career and his family. But you can't help but ask why and the answer, according to scientists, is simple. Love can do that to a person. In fact doctors say the state of being in love is not much different from some forms of insanity, a dizzying loss of judgment, perspective and proportion. Louise Schiavone has our report.


LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was poised for big things. He was head of the Republican Governors Association, a potential presidential contender and then came, as he put it the whole sparking thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been unfaithful to my wife.

SCHIAVONE: Chalk up another political casualty to romantic love. From a Democrat running for president...

JOHN EDWARDS (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did not want the public to know what I had done.

SCHIAVONE: To an astronaut in a reported love triangle with another astronaut.

LISA NOWAK, FORMER ASTRONAUT: I'm very sorry about having frightened her in any way and about the subsequent public harassment that has besieged all of us.

SCHIAVONE: To a Senate Republican on the rise.

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN (R), NEVADA: I violated the vows of my marriage. It's absolutely the worst thing that I've ever done in my life.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some people say crazy in love.

SCHIAVONE: Dr. Lucy Brown conducted a brain mapping study of people in the throes of new love. She likens the drive to basic survival drives like hunger and thirst.

DR. LUCY BROWN, ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: You will do almost anything if you're that thirsty, and you will do crazy things. And yes it's -- people do crazy things because it's part of this basic motivation system.

SCHIAVONE: Governor Sanford, almost anything, including an apparent trail of e-mail correspondence with his lover in Argentina.

JERRY DELLA FEMINA, ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE: E-mails are ridiculous. Anyone who wants to get into trouble send an e-mail and then have somebody read it.

SCHIAVONE: CNN has not been able to confirm these independently, but here's one passage as quoted by South Carolina's "The State" newspaper. Quote, "Despite the best efforts of my head, my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips", end quote. Here's the science.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's part of the national human reproductive strategy.

SCHIAVONE: Here's the political reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no way he's going to be elected president.


SCHIAVONE: Kitty, like many before him Governor Sanford is now paying a big price in the real world for his romantic escapades, but the research shows he won't be the last -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much. Louise Schiavone.

Well turning back to Michael Jackson -- during his life Jackson's music topped the charts and broke records. Now in death he is topping the charts again and "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's" A.J. Hammer joins me now with more on that -- A.J.

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Kitty, this is why we call Michael Jackson the "Kind of Pop". Less than a week after his death, Michael Jackson is once again reigning over the pop charts. Now preliminary sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan tell the story. When the official tallies released tomorrow, nine out of the top 10 positions on Billboard's top catalog album's charts will be Jackson related.

That includes eight of his solo albums and a Jackson 5 compilation -- number one on the chart, very appropriately Jackson's album "Number Ones", "The Essential Michael Jackson" and "Thriller" in the number two and three spots. And check this out -- each of those albums sold more than 100,000 copies for the week that ended Sunday. That is incredible and to put it in perspective for you -- last week "Number Ones" was the only Jackson title on the chart at number 20 -- and this is before he died -- with 4,000 copies sold.

So between the day that he died and Sunday there was more than a 2,000 percent increase in sales for that album. The only non-Jackson related album on the top 10, pop catalog albums chart is a reissue of the "Woodstock" movie sound track. That's at number 10 with 8,000 copies sold. All told Jackson's albums sold a whopping 415,000 copies this past week alone.

That is truly an extraordinary number and there's one final tidbit I want to share. The way the charts work, the catalog albums, that just means they are not new releases. They're not eligible for the billboard 200 chart of current hit albums. Well this week The Black Eyed Peas, "The E.N.D." is number one on that chart. This is the first time in history that a catalogue album actually outsold the top album on the Billboard 200.

In fact, the only time anyone ever came close to that fete was back in 2008. It was Michael Jackson himself when the "Thriller" album was reissued, so about a week after his death, the "King of Pop", Kitty, is still smashing records and clearly still the "King of Pop".

PILGRIM: That's unbelievable. A.J., there's an unreleased vault of albums, isn't there?

HAMMER: So much music from Michael Jackson, not specific albums necessarily, but typically when any recording artist dies the record label will go back into the vault and pull up archives and release them perhaps for years. We've seen it with a lot of other artists. In Michael Jackson's case, the unreleased music goes back to songs he recorded for "Thriller" but didn't make it on to that album and music he's working on currently.

He just recorded with of the "Black Eyed Peas", is number one on the album charts right now. Plus we can also expect to see released in the upcoming time and months and weeks ahead footage from the concert series that he was getting set for. There are hundreds of hours reportedly recorded for that, so we will have new Michael Jackson music I think for a long time to come.

PILGRIM: Well that is just fascinating. Thanks very much. A.J. Hammer. Thanks, A.J.


PILGRIM: A reminder for more on this issue -- a lot more -- you can follow Lou on Twitter at loudobbsnews. Still ahead, U.S. Marines launch a major operation in Afghanistan and also tonight President Obama's sales pitch for health care reform and Michael Jackson's death is a chilling reminder for one mother who lost her child to prescription drug abuse. We will hear her story. And Michael Jackson's will is on record. Will it hold up in court? We'll have that story next.


PILGRIM: U.S. forces in Afghanistan tonight are undertaking a major combat operation. Four thousand Marines and sailors along with Afghan forces have moved into towns along the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan. Units from the Army's 82nd Airborne provided support for the operation. A U.S. military official said the forces will attempt to secure the local population from Taliban threats.

Contaminated beef is suspected in a nationwide outbreak of E.coli infections. At least 23 people in nine states have been sickened -- the Centers for Disease Control reports that all of them fell ill after eating beef produced by JBS Swift Company. Now the company recalled almost 400,000 pounds of beef after the illnesses were reported. Health issues were on President Obama's agenda today. The president turned to a familiar campaign tactic to sell health care reform. The president held a town hall meeting in Virginia to make his pitch and he repeatedly said the current system is not acceptable and must be changed now. Ed Henry reports.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president was bullish about the prospects for health reform but warned critics are lining up to kill it. So he used a town hall in Virginia to urge the public to rise up, as he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.

BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Congress thinks that the American people don't want to see change frankly the lobbyists and the special interests will end up winning the day. But when the American people decide that something needs to happen, nothing can stop us.

HENRY: One of those ordinary Americans, Debbie Smith, cried as she told her story.

DEBBIE SMITH, CANCER PATIENT: Now I have a new tumor, I have no way to pay for it.

OBAMA: I don't want you to feel alone -- like you're...


HENRY: After comforting Smith the president held her up as exhibit "A".

OBAMA: The long term problem here is going to be how do we create a system in which Debbie is getting the preventive care that she needs and is able to get regular checkups, is able to get treatment in a way that is much more cost efficient.

HENRY: But a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the public is worried about picking up the tab for people without insurance. Fifty-four percent said they believe the amount they pay for medical care will increase while only 17 percent believe it will decrease. One reason the public is divided on the president's plan, with 51 percent saying they favor it and 45 percent opposing. Similar to the split Bill Clinton faced before his health plan failed.

HENRY (on camera): White House officials say they are still confident of victory and will keep putting their best salesman, the president, out on the road to engage the public and deal with the skepticism that's clearly out there.

Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.


PILGRIM: The death of Michael Jackson is raising new concerns tonight about the abuse of prescription drugs. Now a nurse that treated Jackson said he asked her for a powerful sedative to help him overcome insomnia. According to the National Institutes of Health an estimated one in five Americans have used prescription drugs for non- medical reasons. Lisa Sylvester reports on one family's tragic encounter with prescription drug abuse.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Theresa Wheeler never stopped trying to save her daughter Jennifer. She remembers better days, Jennifer as a child on the beach and later as a young woman.

THERESA WHEELER, DAUGHTER DIED OF RX DRUG OVERDOSE: She was a wonderful person. She was beautiful, intelligent and she had so much ahead of her and she just couldn't kick those drugs. She just -- it was like it had consumed her. You know and she would cry and she would say mama I'm trying, I'm trying, but I just can't seem to do it.

SYLVESTER: Jennifer died in February at the age of 28 after overdosing on prescription drugs. An autopsy showed among the medications in her system Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug and painkillers. For Jennifer's mother the death of Michael Jackson is eerily similar. It has not been confirmed that prescription medications caused Jackson's death. But a nurse claims that Jackson begged for a powerful anesthetic used in hospitals during surgeries.

LEE: I said this medication is not good. He said I want to sleep. And I looked at him and that was the first time I got this chill through my body. And I said Michael if you take that medicine you might not wake up.

SYLVESTER: Authorities are awaiting toxicology reports to determine what killed Michael Jackson. Meanwhile in Georgia, Theresa Wheeler knows the devastation that prescription drug abuse can cause a family. She spent years seeking help, even having her daughter involuntarily placed in rehab. She hoped her daughter, a mother of four, would beat her addiction.

WHEELER: I had told the police -- I said as long as she was alive I had hope and my hope is gone now, you know, and I feel like it was taken.


SYLVESTER: Theresa Wheeler is now advocating a federal prescription drug monitoring database. That would make it harder for people to do what is known as doctor shopping. That is seeking a prescription from one doctor then going across town to get another prescription from another doctor. Right now 33 states have monitoring systems. Six more states have passed legislation but it hasn't been enacted and 11 states including Georgia do not have monitoring systems in place -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Lisa Sylvester. Coming up, new details on Michael Jackson's final days, also we look inside Jackson's state of mind. What drove him to have all of that plastic surgery? Also our "Face Off" debate tonight on whether Jackson's will can be challenged in court.


PILGRIM: The medical mystery surrounding Michael Jackson's death grows deeper each day and one of the biggest questions is what did Michael Jackson share and not share with his doctors and nurses about his medication. Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The medical mystery surrounding Michael Jackson seems to grow deeper each day. One of the most troubling questions -- what information did the star share and not share with his health care providers about his medication? Nutritionist Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse who says she worked with Jackson earlier this year, tells of a frantic call just a few days before he died.

Lee says Jackson's staff said he wasn't feeling well and begged her to come and help him, but she was in Florida. Three months earlier, she says, Jackson pleaded with her to find someone who could provide him with the powerful sedative Diprivan, used mostly in hospitals during anesthesia. Lee says she advised him against it.

CHERILYN LEE, NURSE: I said Michael, you keep wanting to sleep, you keep saying you want to be knocked out and sleep, but what about waking up tomorrow?

TODD: Did Jackson's personal physician know about that call just days before his death? Or had he ever been approached by Jackson about Diprivan. We tried to contact the attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray. The lawyers representative said they couldn't answer those questions. They issued a statement saying, "We will not be responding to rumors and innuendo." Dr. Murray's attorneys had previous said he was not aware of any prescription drug abuse by Jackson. But they also said this.

EDWARD CHERNOFF, ATTORNEY FOR MURRAY: He didn't know for sure whether he had any other doctors. There was some suspicions that there might be other doctors but he didn't know for sure.

TODD: Dr. Murray hadn't started as Jackson's personal physician until early May. Cherilyn Lee said she hadn't seen Jackson since April, but that he had asked her about Diprivan then, mentioned he had gotten Diprivan from another doctor a long time ago, but wouldn't say who that doctor was.

An expert on medical ethics says many patients, not just the wealthy and famous, play health care providers off each other and compartmentalize information.

PROF. PAUL WOLPE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: They might assume that one health care professional would disapprove of a behavior and another one seems more open. They might think that I should tell the nutritionist about one thing and my doctor about another and not see that the doctor needs to know the whole picture.


TODD: And Paul Wolpe says compartmentalizing like that can be dangerous. The personal physician, he says, is the captain of the team, needs to know all the drugs you're taking so that your care can be coordinated and you can be warned about risky behavior. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

PILGRIM: Michael Jackson's will was filed with California authorities today. And in it, Jackson gave his entire estate to a family trust. The mother of his two oldest children was left of the will. And Jackson named his mother of the guardian of his children. Now this will was written in 2002, seven years ago and the topic of tonight's face-off is can Michael Jackson's will be challenged?

Now joining me is criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman and entertainment attorney James Walker. Gentlemen, thanks for being with us. I mean, what is the chance, Mickey, of just a simple reading of the will, that's not contested, let's just take the simplest possible situation, can that happen?

MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, lawyers can do anything and they can bring any lawsuits they want to. But on its face, it seems to be pretty common sense. There's nothing, no eight balls in there. He didn't do a Leona Helmsley and leave $14 million to a kitten.

Bottom line is he named three people, seemingly responsible people to be the executors, he gave the custody of the children or recommended that to his mother, which makes some sense. And the thing about putting in Debbie Rowe, it's not I don't think such a diss to her that he's cutting her out. I think what the responsible thing to do is you put her in, say I'm not giving you this money so that can't claim that he forgot about me. He didn't forget about her. He just kept her out of the will and you have to believe they made other arrangements a long time ago.

PILGRIM: James, thoughts on this?

JAMES WALKER, ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Well Mickey, I totally disagree with you on the diss word. I think he dissed his father. Regardless of how we might feel about Joe Jackson, I think he was disrespected in this will. And I know we all saw how he acted at the awards show this weekend and how he self-promoted the record label.

However, I think Michael Jackson may have done a disservice to his father by not leaving him a thing in this will. Now we haven't seen the trust yet. But this will itself leaves everything pretty much in charge by the three guys.

And I think you're going to see a challenge by the father and his attorneys who have already filed the guardian motion and I think you're probably going to see a challenge by the brothers. I would be very surprised if the brothers don't challenge it on grounds that many of them worked with Michael, probably had businesses with Michael, probably depended on some of the financial arrangements of those businesses and they are not mentioned in these documents at all over the course of four or five pages.

SHERMAN: Yes, but they may be in that trust. I mean the whole will says -- and all the money gets distributed according to the trust. The terms of that trust has not come out. It may include the brothers. It may include the father. And I don't think it's such a diss to the father. And from everything we know, this wasn't Ward Cleaver.

WALKER: You don't think it's the diss to the father? The father started this boy off with the Jackson Five and now he's not involved in the will? He acknowledges his mother. Even if he said my mother can run everything, but I also want to make sure my father is taken care of, there's no reference here to Michael Jackson's father.

SHERMAN: It may be in the trust instrument. And if it's not, that's Michael Jackson's wishes. And that's what counts, the person making the wishes.

WALKER: Mickey, as a business lawyer of entertainment clients, I can tell you, like in the James Brown case, when they challenged a similar will like this, what ended up happening was that estate was divided into several pieces. First, the wife got a piece, the charitable trust got a piece, the grown kids got a piece and the youngest son got a piece. And I think in this instance here, if the lawyers are smart, they'll huddle up in the room with Joe Jackson and his representatives as well as any representatives for the brothers and make sure they work something out. Otherwise, I think this could drag on for two years like the James Brown case.

PILGRIM: Let me ask a quick question. This was made seven years ago. Michael Jackson we've been talking about his state of mind all throughout this broadcast. Could it be challenged on some grounds that he was different?

SHERMAN: He was coerced, he was under the influence of drugs. But there were witnesses there. Witnesses signed the will saying that he was of sound mind. So they've got to overcome that.

WALKER: But Mickey, let's not overlook, he's gone back and forth. He had John Branca, who is a very respected lawyer and a couple of other guys who represented him years ago. Then he brought along Londell McMillan, who we saw at the press conference on I think Monday or Tuesday. So if you look at the back and forth, someone is going to raise the eyebrow of what kind of influence he was under when he drafted these documents several years ago.

SHERMAN: But there's nothing to suggest that those three business guys had any undue influence. Michael Jackson had more family spokespeople than the governor of South Carolina has had soul mates. PILGRIM: Let me ask another question. There's are a couple of other people involved in this whole discussion. There's a biological father of these children. Would he have a way to challenge? Would the ex-wife have a way to challenge if she was excluded from the trust? Are there other people who could step in here and do a challenge?

SHERMAN: I don't see it. I think the only people are the family members.

WALKER: I don't see that happening, however like I said, with the James Brown case, I think you are going to see some claim by other family members that they were not included as James Brown's wife did when his will was probated.

PILGRIM: Let me ask. The financial custody of the children and financial custody of the estate, two separate issues, do you see any kind of problem with that, Mickey?

SHERMAN: No, I think he did the logical thing and what everyone would have hoped he had done, is let his mother take care of the children, in her absence, oddly enough Diana Ross, which also makes some sense. They have a long-standing relationship. If he had left the custody of the child to some crazy group or something like that, it would be something else. But he did the natural, emotionally correct one would think thing.


WALKER: I think he did the most natural thing. But this as we know is a somewhat different kind of family. This is the kind of family that's very close knit. And I just find it somewhat shocking that yes, he named Katherine Jackson to handle his kids, but no one else in the family is qualified to take his kids? And I'm not saying this as one who necessarily believes that should have happened, but I'm saying it necessarily as one who believes that someone in that family is going to feel like hey, we should have been able to step in here, there's 30, 40, 50 Jackson family members. You mean none of us could take care of these kids in the wake of our mother passing away?

SHERMAN: But that was his right. The idea of what courts generally do is they want to look at the person who wrote the will. What's their intent? What do they want? What do they intend to have happen? Clearly he wanted his mother to take care of his kids.

PILGRIM: What about his mother's age? Will that be a factor?

SHERMAN: This is the year 2009. People live a long day. Karl Malden, died at 97 today.

WALKER: Our players to the Malden family. But I want to point out one last thing, Mickey. We had the same situation in the James Brown case and the judge reviewed everything and the parties were able to work something out. So the question is can this will be challenged, and my answer is yes, it can be. Now I would hope it isn't. SHERMAN: Whenever you have lawyers involved, someone is going to try and get a piece of the pie.

PILGRIM: Well as you say, a lot of different developments could turn up. We have I guess a hearing on the 6th of July and we'll see what happens then. In the meantime, gentlemen, thank you for helping us sort through it.

SHERMAN: Thank you.

WALKER: Thank you

PILGRIM: Mickey Sherman and James Walker. Coming up, a bank that's getting billions from tax payers could be raising your rates. Also, Michael Jackson's state of mind over the years and how it led to his dramatic physical transformation.


PILGRIM: With the release today of Michael Jackson's will, new questions are being raised about the singer's emotional condition prior to his death. Now many see the radical changes in Jackson's appearance over the years as an indication of deeper issues. That could have an impact on challenges to Jackson's will. Ines Ferre reports on Jackson's state of mind.


INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Much has been said about Michael Jackson's childhood, his changing image and his psychological state. Plastic surgery experts whom we spoke with say they believe that Jackson had extensive cosmetic procedures over the years, including nose jobs and chin and cheek implants. Jackson's dermatologist said he had a rare disease called vitiligo that made his skin lose pigmentation. He admitted only to having some nose procedures.

This week, his longtime friend Deepak Chopra spoke to CNN about the artist's self image.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, FRIEND OF JACKSON: He was very ashamed for some reason about his body image. He had a lot of self loathing about his body image and he had compulsion for cosmetic surgery, which is a form of self mutilation.

FERRE: Some doctors believe Jackson may have suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, where a person tries to repeatedly change a perceived defect. This psychiatrist says a life in the spotlight may have made Jackson more sensitive to his image.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: While it seems like they should be feeling like "I'm the best," inside they are probably feeling, "I'm the worst, I'm ugly. If I don't do something about this, then I'm going to lose the only approval I do get."

FERRE: Saltz adds that could lead to a compulsion to alter one's looks.


FERRE: And in past interviews, Jackson said that growing up, he was extremely sensitive to comments about his appearance, including his father telling him that his nose was too big. We called Joe Jackson requesting a comment. His spokeswoman declined to comment on any specific allegations, but said the two had mended their relationship years ago. Kitty?

PILGRIM: All right, thanks very much, Ines Ferre.

Well joining me now for more on Michael Jackson's life and death are David Caplan, who is the senior editor at "People" magazine. And Leah Greenblatt, "Entertainment Weekly's" music critic. And thanks for being with us.

David, "People" magazine learned quite a bit about Michael Jackson's physical and mental health basically in his final days. What have you learned?

DAVID CAPLAN, SENIOR EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Absolutely. It was interesting paradox, from the portraits of him being painted now, this depressed, sort of recluse guy. In the days leading up to his death, "People" magazine spoke with a choreographer, a stylist who was at the rehearsals for his concert. They said he was eating, that he was very healthy. He was eating chicken and salad. He was in great spirits, in a great mood.

We spoke to people who saw him performing and this was a really rigorous performance. And in fact one of the people at the rehearsal told "People" that when Michael Jackson, when he was done rehearsal, he was like, this is it, I'm done, I'm ready to go to London now, he said. And that made it even more tragic that he never made it there.

PILGRIM: Leah, thoughts on his sort of mental and physical health, do you have any idea?

LEAH GREENBLATT, MUSIC EDITOR, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I think there was probably a lot of nerves and a lot of anxiety about doing -- I mean, it's a huge responsibility, $85 million worth of tickets sold. You know, 50 nights. He had said initially, I think he thought it was only going to be 13 which is much smaller undertaking and you're not talking about Madonna, who looks like a 13-year-old gymnast and has been nonstop touring and working throughout her career.

This is a comeback. This was a huge sort of like moment for him to prove himself again and establish that he was still the king of pop. I mean, I don't want to speculate too much about his state of mind but we have tens of hours of video footage from these rehearsals so we will be seeing that. You know and they're talking about releasing them and sort of compiling them and turning them into a commercial release. So we'll get to see if not in person, we'll basically see the show as he meant it to be.

PILGRIM: That's very interesting. You talk about the magnitude of this tour. And the sales figures are enormous. We have some of the music from the last week. We have 400,000 solo albums sold last week, 2.6 million downloads, songs were played on the radio 70,000 times. We all know we've been listening to it a lot. Leah, are we going to see these continue, these kind of sales continue?

GREENBLATT: I mean, if you look at the week before, I think the week before he passed away, it was about 10,000 in sales. You know, you're talking about obviously a huge percentage increase. But he's not the kind of star where this would just be a flash of a week of sales. I think, honestly, I can't go anywhere in New York City without hearing it coming from taxi cabs and store windows and you're not just talking about his solo material, you're talking about the Jackson 5. You're talking about I would say three generations of listeners and consumers who know his music and love his music and then a whole new generation who are sort of for the first time really getting exposed to him, especially Jackson 5 songs and things that their parents or their older siblings might have listened to.

PILGRIM: David, let's talk about Diana Ross being named in the will. That is fascinating. What's your opinion?

CAPLAN: It's amazing. But Michael Jackson, first of all, he was always drawn to these sort of women, these diva sort of women. He was friends with Madonna, Cher, so Diana Ross clearly fit that mold. Him and Diana Ross, they share a kinship, a bond. She was a bit of almost like a mother figure, very maternal. They enjoyed a great friendship. They gained from the same world. It was Hollywood. They had sort of these similar struggles in their life. So for Michael Jackson to be like, hey you know what, you know would be a great mother figure for my two kids? It's not surprising, it's Diana Ross. But it is really in a weird way a perfect sort of Hollywood story. Of course if you're Michael Jackson, you want Diana Ross to look after your kids.

GREENBLATT: She had looked after him as well, when Berry Gordy had first signed him to Motown, he stayed in her mansion in Los Angeles while they were getting ready to launch them and she has five kids of her own and he must think she did a good job with her kids.

PILGRIM: In a way, you're not surprised?

GREENBLAT: Not at all, no. They did "The Wiz" together and they've always been, I saw a YouTube clip where he kept calling him "my baby, my baby," introducing him in the late '70s. And I think she has always felt maternal towards him, so he felt that way -- he felt parented by her, I think.

PILGRIM: That's an interesting insight. Let's talk about the final arrangements. And they have been in flux. But the Jackson family did release a statement. So I can read that too. "Contrary to previous reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing in Neverland, and plans are under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson. We will announce those plans shortly."

So your thoughts on how they're making this decision, David, what we might see? CAPLAN: Well earlier today, "People" spoke with sources there. And basically, they essentially couldn't get the permits and the local legislation to essentially have the body buried there. That's really why. And then we spoke to another source who was involved with one of the investment firms at Neverland and also they just couldn't get it together and it was a logistical nightmare. However though, earlier today, I spoke with his spokesperson who is saying there are definitely still plans to have some sort of public memorial and likely would still be in the Los Angeles area.

PILGRIM: Given his popularity, Leah, what do you think it might turn out to be?

GREENBLATT: Oh, gosh, I mean, we can talk about, I compared it -- almost not to be disrespectful, but to like JFK when his funeral train was going across the country. I think you're going to see people in cities everywhere holding memorials, just what's been going on at the Apollo Theater in New York. Of course in California, there's already thousands of fans who gathered in the last week. I mean, I imagine that the outpouring is going to be, you know, pretty profuse and it's going to last for a while.

PILGRIM: All right, well thank you very much for helping us to understand this amazing phenomenon.

CAPLAN: Thank you.

PILGRIM: David Caplan and Leah Greenblatt, thank you.

GREENBLATT: Thank you.

PILGRIM: Coming up, Citigroup surviving on $45 billion in taxpayer money brings a steep interest rate hike on credit card customers. Also, amazing pictures of dramatic rescue. The hero, an Iowa construction worker, and that is next.


PILGRIM: The nation's unemployment rate is closing in on 10 percent and consumers are defaulting on their credit cards at a rate not seen in more than a decade. It's about to get even worse for many of them. One of the major banks that received billions in federal bailout money is about to raise yesterday card rates. Bill Tucker has our report.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bank that wouldn't be in business without tax payer money is making it more difficult for some of its credit card holders to pay their bills. Citigroup is joining a list of credit card companies raising the rates its charging on some of its credit cards. It's a move that outrages consumer advocates.

BOB MANNING, AUTHOR, CREDIT CARD NATION: The fact is the banks are actually going to contribute to deepening the recession by pushing more people into bankruptcy, reducing their lines of credit and increasing their minimum payments.

TUCKER: The bank is not being specific about any rate increases or revealing what criteria its using to raise rates. It won't even say what the top interest rate it charges on its credit cards is. Instead, Citi issued this statement with no further comment. Quote, "We've adjusted pricing and card terms for some of our customers as part of our regular account reviews. This is an ongoing process to ensure we offer terms, interest rates, credit lines and products based on individual needs and risk profiles."

There is reason for banks to be concerned about risk. The ratings agency Fitch says, quote, "U.S. consumers continue to fall behind and default on their credit cards at record rates."

Consumer advocates argue though that banks are playing a role those the increased default rates by increasing rates on already squeezed consumers.

CALEB GIBSON, DEMOS: What it really comes down to is these banks are just scrambling to really turn the screws on consumers while they still can and squeeze every dime out of them before the new rules that Congress pass go into effect in the beginning of 2010.

TUCKER: Rules, which among other things, require banks to give a 45-day notice on any interest rate increase.


TUCKER: Now Citigroup insists that the rate hikes are just business and "Credit Card Nation's" Bob Manning agrees, noting that one fifth of all credit card users account for about two thirds of the penalties and fees that are collected by the credit card companies that help make those bottom lines nice and fat.

PILGRIM: All right, thanks very much, Bill Tucker.

Well, here's some other stories that we're following tonight across the country. In oxford, Florida a 12-foot long pet Burmese Python killed a 2-year-old girl. Last night, the snake escaped from its cage at the family's home and was found this morning on top of the girl. It is believed the snake bit her on the forehand and then strangled her. Two other children were in the home, but were not harmed. Police are interviewing the child's mother and her boyfriend, who were in the home at the time.

Dramatic pictures from Iowa as a boat on the Des Moines River flipped, sending two people down the river and over a damn. A fire rescue team tried to reach one woman but could not get close enough. And that's when a nearby construction crew came to the rescue. One construction worker was lowered by a crane and managed to pull the woman out of the water, saving her life. The boat was then able to pull her aboard and she is in stable position. Her companion was not wearing a life jacket and did drown in the strong current.

The tallest building in the United States is offering a new way to admire the view. The Sears Tower in Chicago will open the ledge tomorrow. The ledge is a glass balcony suspended from a sky deck 103 stories high. Officials say they were inspired to build the ledge by all of the forehead prints tourists leave on the sky deck windows.

Still ahead, some of your thoughts. Stay with us.


PILGRIM: Time for some of your thoughts. Charles in West Virginia wrote, "I hope that the children of Michael Jackson are awarded to someone who is responsible and will look out for the children's best interests in the years ahead."

Nick in Illinois, "Call me crazy, but if Mark Sanford's wife can't even trust him, why does he think the voters should? His resignation should be in the mail already. What has happened to us as a society that there is a question of what he should do?

And Dick in Virginia wrote, "Governor Sanford is just another hypocritical competition who outsourced something he could have gotten at home."

We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts. Go to And each of you whose e-mail is read receives a copy of Lou's book, "Independents Day." Also, a reminder to join Lou on the radio Monday through Friday for "The Lou Dobbs Show," 2 to 4 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 radio in New York City and go to to find the local listings. Now of course you can follow Lou on Twitter at LouDobbsNews.

Thanks for being with us. Please join us tomorrow. For all of us here, thanks for watching. Good night from New York. Now joining us, Campbell Brown.