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CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Larry Birkhead

Aired January 26, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the battle over Anna Nicole's baby.
Who's her daddy?

We'll have an exclusive talk with the photographer who claims that Anna Nicole's daughter, Danilynne, is his.

Why is Larry Birkhead so sure?

What will he do if a DNA test he's just back from trying to get in the Bahamas proves he's right? And how does he respond to things that Anna Nicole's close friend and lawyer said on this show?


KING: So you are the father?



KING: Then, a troubling twist to that hidden in plain sight kidnapping case in Missouri. Just months after Shawn Hornbeck vanished in 2002, self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Brown told his parents he was dead -- did it during a TV show.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still with us?


KING: Skeptic James Ranby explains why he thinks claims of extrasensory powers are a bunch of phony baloney or worse. And best- selling author, Rosemary Altea tells us why she maintains that some mediums are fake, but she's the real deal.

All that and your questions, too, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

We begin with Larry Birkhead, the freelance reporter and photographer who claims he is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter, Danilynne. With him is his attorney, Debra Opri. And, by the way, Debra will be joining us and coming in in the conversation in a couple of minutes.

There's a lot of legal stuff that's been going on in the last couple of days. We want to get you updated on it.

But first, let's check in with Larry and how -- why do you -- why do you want this baby?

You don't go with Anna Nicole so much.

Why do you want her?

BIRKHEAD: Well, it was -- it was a long-term plan that we have had together, you know, to have a child. And we tried once before. It was -- and it was unsuccessful. It resulted in a mcg which -- so we talked again about having a child, you know, the second time and, you know, and I had made plans and preparations for this child and went to the doctors appointments and went to -- you know, helped her through morning sickness and shopped for baby items and...

KING: So you were with her through how many months of the pregnancy?

BIRKHEAD: The first nearly five months of the pregnancy.

KING: Why did you break up?

BIRKHEAD: There was -- there's not really one reason, but there were a few reasons and mostly because tension between Anna's attorney and her friend, Howard K. Stern, just really interfering with our relationship. And there was -- there were some issues. I had some concerns over health and some concerns for my unborn daughter with some things that she was doing in her lifestyle.

KING: That Anna was doing?

BIRKHEAD: Yes, sir.

KING: That might have affected the baby?

BIRKHEAD: Yes, sir.

KING: Like drugs?

BIRKHEAD: Yes, sir.

KING: All right, did -- did Howard try to enter -- did he try to get you out of the relationship?

BIRKHEAD: He did. He did, several...

KING: Out of jealousy?

BIRKHEAD: Well, yes, sir, definitely, overt. I dated -- we dated for over two and-a-half years and during that time it was an uphill battle with Mr. Stern. And he's always -- was always interfering with her everyday life.

KING: Did you plan to get married?

BIRKHEAD: Actually, Anna asked me to marry her several times throughout the relationship. I think the first time was maybe one of the first nights that we spent at her home and...

KING: Why did you say no?

BIRKHEAD: It was -- it was just not right. It was -- you know, I didn't know her yet and I mean it makes for a good dream or something at that point in the relationship, but it wasn't just the right timing.

KING: Now, you're going along, she's in her fifth month, right?

Does she know you're the father?


KING: Are you planning to be father and mother to this child? I mean are you discussing what our baby is going to be like? Did you know it was a girl?

BIRKHEAD: Yes. Yes, sir. Yes.

KING: So you knew all that?

BIRKHEAD: We went -- yes, I went to the first ultrasounds with her and...

KING: Oh, you were with her in that stage?

BIRKHEAD: Yes. And -- and just really my -- some of the concerns that I had, it was -- I felt like it was my responsibility after the first unsuccessful pregnancy to -- to really monitor the situation and make sure that, you know, my child, at that point, was OK.

KING: So why is there any question here? I mean with -- you can prove you were with her for the five months, right?

People saw you together.


KING: You discussed it.

BIRKHEAD: Well, in the -- more importantly, not just the five months, the year-and-a-half or more that -- before the five months in the relationship.

KING: Where were you living then?

BIRKHEAD: Partly with her, for the most part, in her home in California. And...

KING: Out here?

BIRKHEAD: Yes, sir. And then we -- because of the interface with Mr. Stern and some of the other people at her home, we both decided it would be a good idea if I got a place of my own, that we both would go back and forth to.

KING: Mr. Stern was on this show on September 26th. You probably saw the show. He made this claim about the paternity.



STERN: Anna and I have been in a relationship and we love each other and it's been going on for a very long time. And because of my relationship as her lawyer, we felt that it was best to keep everything hidden. And we've actually done a pretty good job of that.

KING: You sure have.

So you are the father?

STERN: Yes, sir.

KING: By the way, have there been any DNA tests taken? Is that a...

STERN: The proud father.

KING: What?

STERN: I said proud father.

KING: Were DNA tests taken?

STERN: Well, based on -- based on the timing of when the baby was born, there really is no doubt in either of our minds.


KING: OK. What do you make of that?

BIRKHEAD: Well, it's just one big lie, you know?

Actually, when I heard that for the first time it was, you know, it did make me angry. But at first -- my first instinct was to laugh about it because, you know, he could have probably come up with the FedEx man, the milkman or anybody else. But when he said his name -- because I knew his relationship and the scope of his relationship...

KING: His relationship has not been a sexual one with her?

BIRKHEAD: No. In fact, you know, he -- I'm not saying that he wouldn't like it to be. And then this whole thing where he got to announce this on your show, it actually made him live out his fantasy that he's had for years of being a friend with Anna Nicole.

KING: She is not physically interested in him?

BIRKHEAD: Absolutely not. In fact, most of the time that -- that I was in the home with her, when we lived together, we would have to basically lock doors to the bedroom. He would try to come in and she'd have to tell him at certain points to call before he came back. And...

KING: OK, this should be -- Debra, pretty simply solved. You take her DNA, you take the baby's DNA, you take his DNA...

DEBRA OPRI, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: He is or he ain't. It's 100 percent proof.

OPRI: And it's cheap, too. But...

KING: So why...

OPRI: ... Mr. Birkhead has incurred expenses of almost $300,000 because we're chasing after her. Her attorneys have incurred a lot of money.

How simple is it?

It's a three second test. And our lab went down there on a California court order and the day of the test, her attorney, who was supposed to be in Nassau, is sitting in a courtroom on an expatriate (ph) with a temporary judge who didn't have a full understanding.

And unfortunately, he said OK, until the real judge gets back, we'll stay this.

KING: So he put a stay on that?

OPRI: Um-hmm.

KING: Now, the real judge is back...

OPRI: Oh...

KING: ... and he said what?

OPRI: The real judge heard this this morning, because we filed another emergency relief action. We went into court today...

KING: What is that?

OPRI: ... and the judge said I'm disturbed. I'm upset. I had a court order and you know I wanted it carried out and I'm running out of patience for her excuses. And if I need to order her into this courtroom for the test -- which is what we're now asking -- he'll do it. But he's running out of patience with the excuses.

KING: When is the -- when is the next court date?

OPRI: We have a February 7th court date at which time...

KING: In Nassau?

OPRI: No, in California.

KING: And she must appear?

OPRI: No, no, no, no. We're going to have a hearing at that time to determine what excuses are valid and what reasoning is behind their further delay requests.

KING: So she'll be represented at that hearing?

OPRI: She'll have a representation, an attorney there. But lsbvhs, our judge has made it clear to them I'm running out of patience. And if I need to order her, I will.

KING: OK. Now, if he orders her back...

OPRI: To Los Angeles.

KING: If he orders her -- why can't it be done in Nassau?

OPRI: We have problems with jurisdiction. We have problems with enforcement. We have problems with attorneys interpreting California court orders.

KING: So you want it done in L.A. where she is still a resident?

OPRI: You know what I want now?

I want Larry to be sitting in a courtroom and I want Anna to be sitting in a courtroom with the baby and I want our lab to walk in and say judge, we're here. Anna, get up and let us give you the swab, because right now -- and you saw the text message she sent to Larry. I'm never doing it. And she used expletives and she made him -- it clear to him that it's in his dreams that she's ever going to submit to a test.

KING: Can she...

OPRI: And the judge saw that text today and he was angry about that, too.

KING: Can she be ordered back to the United States?

OPRI: Yes. And the judge basically said, and if she doesn't come, I'll do what I need to do to enforce the order. And, Larry, that means a bench warrant.

KING: Coming up, what Howard K. Stern had to say about Larry Birkhead's relationship with Anna Nicole and Larry's reaction to it.

We'll be right back.



KING: No. I've been involved in a lot of news events, but I was present when Larry Birkhead met Anna Nicole Smith. It was at the Kentucky Derby.

BIRKHEAD: It was at the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby party, yes.

KING: That's one of the great parties of all time.


OPRI: Yes.

KING: The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby party. It's on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, a big party.


KING: And you were there.

BIRKHEAD: I was there and you were there. This is all your fault.

OPRI: I wasn't there.

KING: I was there with my friends. I was there with the guys from Brooklyn.

OPRI: I was home.

BIRKHEAD: I was there.

KING: And you bumped into her?

BIRKHEAD: I bumped into her and...

KING: The rest is history.

BIRKHEAD: The rest is history.

KING: All right, wow!

We have Anna's friend and attorney, Howard K. Stern. This was his perspective on the -- your relationship with Anna Nicole.



KING: Did he and Anna have a strong romantic relationship at one time?

STERN: She never considered him her boyfriend.

KING: To your knowledge, were they ever intimate?

STERN: You know, that's something I -- I don't even want to get into when we're talking about Danilynne's death. I just don't think this is the time for it.

KING: But does it give you concern that there might be a shot that the DNA might exclude you? Or is there no doubt that you're the father?

STERN: I think based on the timing of it that there shouldn't be a doubt.


KING: In this purported text message between you and Anna Nicole -- we have it, I think, on screen -- Anna says, "Quit trashing me at the casino." Which don't make sense.


KING: You say, "Not as a casino."

Anna says, "Go something my mom, too." It makes no sense.

You say, "Show up for the test with the baby."

She says, "Don't think so." She says, "You wish."

Then you say, "Everybody just want you do things" -- are you speaking -- are you drunk?

BIRKHEAD: Actually, you know what?



But she says...

BIRKHEAD: And I wasn't at a computer.

KING: And she says, "In your dreams."

Who was drinking?

BIRKHEAD: Not me. Not me. Never. And I wasn't at a casino. But, yes, that -- I mean that just goes to show that she doesn't have any plans on letting me be a part of my daughter's life and...

KING: But why do you think she wants you not to -- now, why would she not want the father of the girl who was there at the beginning, who fathered the girl, not to be a part of it?

BIRKHEAD: Well, there's a couple of different reasons. You know, once, I think Anna Nicole thinks of people as property and she thinks just because she has a baby she has a deed. And the birth certificate is not a deed and you cannot just write whoever's name you want on there and get away with it.

It's, you know, we were in a relationship. We had plans. There was just a little bit of turbulence there. We could have gotten over it easily. There was no reason for her to go to another country and, you know, live there and put up camp.

KING: Why did you put up with Howard K. hanging around, banging on the door?

Oh, here's a -- you're dating her, you're fathering her child.

Why do you need that? Why didn't you say good-bye to him?

BIRKHEAD: Well, actually, I did a couple of times and actually I made Anna say, you know, nicely, you know -- and I'm trying to be considerate of people's feelings, even though we did not get along. I didn't want to rub my relationship with her in his face. But I told her several times that it was, you know, basically her home, she needed to tell him that, you know, what his place was as her attorney, friend, whatever, but not to overstep those bounds and to kind of give us our space.

And several times she did. And one time in particular, while she was pregnant, I had to basically rescue her at a hotel because Howard gave her so much grief about me being the father and saying that he was never going to accept me. And he told her to make a choice -- her -- him or me.

And she called me crying hysterical and she drove herself barefoot to a hotel down the street and I had to basically help her.

KING: Why is she copping out on you?

BIRKHEAD: Because, you know, she's under the influence in many ways. And one of the reasons is Howard Stern is basically telling her that she needs to get away from me. He's telling her...

KING: He's a Svengali? You know, he controls her?

BIRKHEAD: You know he -- exactly. I mean it's almost, to be honest with you, you would almost think she has like Stockholm Syndrome or something. She's in another place, under his influence and she just doesn't...

KING: Is he a control freak?

BIRKHEAD: Definitely. Most definitely.

OPRI: I want to jump in here and say something about the inquest that's coming up. While Larry was in the Bahamas, he was asked to and was interviewed by the police. We won't go into the details of the information he provided. But there are serious issues as to the control and the extent to which Howard K. Stern has controlled Anna Nicole Smith.

KING: Criminal issues?

OPRI: Well, issues that will be resolved. And while Larry wasn't comfortable, he has always made it clear that he will cooperate. But he's very concerned about Anna's health and safety issues.

KING: If you win this case, if Anna is having a drug problem, do you want the baby?

BIRKHEAD: Well, you know, all I want to do is just to be able to assess the situation. I haven't been able to do that.

KING: Will you fight? You want to support the baby?

BIRKHEAD: If I have to, I will.

KING: And if you -- if you had to raise the baby, would you? Supposing it came to that?

BIRKHEAD: Yes. Most definitely. I'm capable of it. I have nieces and nephews. I mean, I'm named if something happens to either one of my brothers or sisters, I'm named as, you know, the guardian of my -- of their children and...

KING: Do you want to settle down?

BIRKHEAD: Yes. I'm, you know, I'm ready to settle down. And that was the plan that we had. And if it doesn't work out and that doesn't, you know, that's not the plan anymore, we owe it to our daughter to get along.

KING: You still have feelings for her?

BIRKHEAD: I sure do. You know, it's hard because -- it's hard to put them in perspective, because so much has happened and so many bad things have been said about me and -- during this. And it's -- it's hard to separate, you know?

KING: Yes.

We'll be back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Larry Birkhead, his attorney, Debra Opri.

An e-mail from Linda in Connecticut: "What do you think was the reason for Anna and Howard's commitment ceremony shortly after her son Daniel died?"

BIRKHEAD: Well, in my opinion, the main reason was publicity and also if they could make the public believe that they were in an actual relationship, that it could discredit my claim in the courts and make me look less credible.

KING: In his video -- in the videotape we're going to toss to you now, Howard Stern was very critical about how you've handled this situation.


KING: You, Larry.

Let's watch.


STERN: I think first you have to look at what his motives are. And, you know, if he honestly believed that he was the father based on when the baby was born, he should have handled it appropriately. You know, first, he should have waited until when Daniel was put to rest. And, second, handle it through the proper channels, not through television and through the media. I mean for him to do that on "Entertainment Tonight" and at the same time send a slew of e-mails to Anna, it's just completely inappropriate.


KING: Why did you do that, Larry?

BIRKHEAD: What, the e-mails and the -- well, actually, the way that I handled it, I think what he said was very misleading.

Actually, I waited four months before the baby was born -- after she left out of California. I remained in contact with her. I begged her to come back. I begged her to not do the things that she was doing.

In fact, they went to the media first. Howard went to the media and said that -- that when -- after the news spread about Anna's pregnancy, he said that Anna wanted me out of her life and I just wanted 15 minutes of fame and he said I was not the father.

He's told people that there's already been a DNA test done. And there's no DNA test done.

So he's -- his lies are -- he's mixed up in his own lies.

And as far as the e-mails, that's been a two way communication the whole time. I've been -- I've asked her, Anna, repeatedly, if you want to solve this, let's solve it between us.

But I am going to defend myself and they can say that I'm out for 15 minutes of fame, but I'm really out for a lifetime of fatherhood and I'm going to keep -- keep talking until they give me my daughter.

KING: Well, he seemed to say, also, was there a confidentiality agreement?

BIRKHEAD: You know what? That's something that he says. You know, I -- I dispute that and I don't really want to discuss it.

KING: You didn't sign anything?

BIRKHEAD: Not that I'm aware of.

OPRI: We should talk about the millions of dollars Anna, with Howard's prompting, has earned from "E.T." and other sources for photographs, a video of the birth of the baby. It was disgusting. It was terrible, nauseating, that Larry had to see the birth of his own child on "E.T."

BIRKHEAD: The tape was sold to "Entertainment Tonight" for, you know, over $4 million. She's sold baby pictures every time they turn around, of my child.

KING: Now, if she was that case in Texas, which the Supreme Court ruled that she's entitled to...

OPRI: If, if, if...

KING: Well, 9-0 they said she's entitled to that case.


KING: There's a strong chance she's...

OPRI: Well, there...

KING: All right, let's put it this way.

OPRI: Well, we believe there's an interpretation.

KING: Your daughter could be very wealthy.

BIRKHEAD: Well, you know, to be honest with you, Larry, and I've never said this on television before, I kind of hope she does not get the money, not because I don't feel that she deserves it or -- that's a whole show for a different day. But if money makes people do the things that she's doing now, by taking my daughter. She's also in a home that doesn't own in the Bahamas. You know, if she wants -- if that's what money makes you do, then I don't want any part of it.

KING: Why is she in the Bahamas?

BIRKHEAD: Just -- that's the perfect place, she was told, to get away from me trying to assert my parental rights.

KING: Did you have a bad break-up?

I asked you earlier and you...

BIRKHEAD: It's not -- it wasn't anything bad. I mean, you know, one day I'm in a store buying maternity clothes and helping her while she's sick. I went to the store and bought her, the night before she left, I bought her $200 worth of desserts and she plowed through them in 20 minutes because she was having cravings. And I enjoyed it. I liked helping her.

I was -- I felt like we were actually getting somewhere at that point. We were -- we were both happy. We talked about, you know, the baby. You know, every night she'd make me sing songs to her -- the baby, in the belly, to be -- before she went to sleep.

And I tried to get her out of her pain and discomfort. And I did everything I could.

KING: She's had a miscarriage before?

BIRKHEAD: Unfortunately.

KING: And were you the father of that, too?


KING: So you wanted this baby? I mean...

BIRKHEAD: Yes. Yes, definitely. Yes.

KING: How well did you get along with her son?

BIRKHEAD: Great. He was a -- he was a great kid and we actually -- our birthdays are on the same day so everything year we celebrated together and just...

KING: Did he expect that you were going to marry his mother or...

BIRKHEAD: You know, I didn't really talk about that because he -- he had a close relationship with his mom and I really didn't want to -- I didn't really force myself in the relationship and talking about that wasn't really my place.

But he knew what...

KING: All right, Debra, where we're at now, who's suing who?

OPRI: Well, there are a number of lawsuits Larry has filed. It has the paternity action here in Los Angeles, which should have been a simple get the test and fatherhood and go to the custody and visitation, which is still pending.

No decisions were made on that, even though Ron Rale is getting out there in the press saying they lose, they lose, they lose. We have one action -- paternity, get the test -- and we're waiting for her to comply.

The second thing here is he has a fraud action against Howard K. Stern and Anna in the Bahamas for the birth certificate that they concocted.

KING: What -- why should -- Howard K. Stern says he's the father? What's he -- why should he be worried?

OPRI: Howard K. Stern...

KING: Why not just take the DNA?

OPRI: Look, Larry said it very eloquently -- one day he was out in a store looking for maternity clothes, then the furniture, you know, $12,000, $13,000 of baby furniture to redecorate the room.

Remember painting the room pink?

And the next thing he says look, you're going to have to get off of the drugs. I believe this was a conversation.

The next thing you know, she's fled to North Carolina. And then the next stop the Bahamas, all so he wouldn't get a hold of this child.


BIRKHEAD: But if...

OPRI: If -- go ahead.

I'm sorry.

BIRKHEAD: In the meantime, she made a pit stop in South Carolina to tell a wealthy gentleman that it was his child.

OPRI: And so fleeing the jurisdiction to avoid paternity and to keep him from father's rights and just going to the Bahamas to "get away from the press" -- there's two stories out there. Her story, I want to get away from the press, and his version of look, you're fleeing this jurisdiction because you're afraid I'm going to nail you on the child.

KING: Do you think you're going to win? That they're going to force them to do the DNA?

OPRI: I know I'm going to win. The judge has made it clear there will be a test and that this judge has jurisdiction over this woman and this paternity. Larry will be the father.

BIRKHEAD: And, you know what, Larry?

I don't -- I don't want to -- I don't want to fight with her, I just, you know, I want to resolve this. I've tried to resolve it.

KING: One other thing has to be asked, Larry.

She might have been a little promiscuous, unknown to both of you.


KING: Is it possible it ain't Howard's and it ain't yours? BIRKHEAD: No, because I'll tell you why. I went -- when I went to the doctors to see the first ultrasound, it was the doctor and the specialist that both gave me the window of conception. And with technology now, there's just a plus or minus margin of error of two days.

KING: Oh, really?

BIRKHEAD: So, and...

KING: I didn't know that.

BIRKHEAD: That's why I know that -- I'm certain that it's mine and...

OPRI: I want to just tell you one thing about this guy. I've represented a lot of people, a lot of fathers. He loves a child he has never seen. He's one of the most decent human beings I've ever met. And he will pursue this until he's holding that child.

KING: Good luck, Larry.

BIRKHEAD: Thank you very much.

Thanks for having me.

KING: Debra.

OPRI: Well, always, Larry.


We'll keep in touch with both Larry Birkhead and Debra Opri.

OPRI: Thanks.

KING: Up next, the controversy swirling around psychic Sylvia Brown and her inaccurate read on a now famous kidnapping victim.

Stick around.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still with us?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we've also located Shawn Hornbeck, who was at the same residence with him when he was located. Both boys appear, at this point, to be OK.



L. KING: We are back.

On this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, four months after Shawn Hornbeck went missing in Missouri in October 2002, his desperate mom and dad sought answers from a psychic on national TV. She did it on our friend Montel Williams' television show. Watch.


SYLVIA BROWNE, PSYCHIC: The guy was dark skinned, although he wasn't black. He was more Hispanic looking, had real long, dark hair. And strange enough Hispanic, but he had dreadlocks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still with us?



L. KING: We welcome James Randi, investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims and founders of the James Randi Educational Foundation, the Web site for which is He is also the best-selling author and worked as a professional magician once under the name the Amazing Randi. He is in Ft. Lauderdale.

In Venice, Florida is Rosemary Altea, described on her Web site,, as an international spiritual medium. She is the best-selling author of "The Eagle and the Rose."

Rosemary, we'll start with you. What do you make of what we just saw?

ROSEMARY ALTEA, MEDIUM: Well, Larry, I think it was inevitable that something like this would happen. I've been saying for as long as I can remember that we should be much more discerning. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. There are many, many people out there. Most of us in fact have some psychic ability, we have some instinct, some understanding of a connection beyond this world. But so many people now are so irresponsible with this gift.

They have a little gift, a little knowledge and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I'm so, so sad for the parents of this boy and what they have been through. Not just losing their son but relying on somebody, somebody -- somebody like me, and going to that person and asking these questions and expecting to find the truth.

L. KING: By the way, we asked Montel Williams to respond to the controversy about the reading Sylvia Browne did on his TV show. He had no comment. He also took a pass on appearing on this program to discuss the topic.

We will have some other statements later. James Randi, she did describe the accused villain pretty well.

JAMES RANDI, SKEPTIC: She described the accused villain as having dreadlocks, long hair ...

L. KING: Didn't he have long, black hair.

RANDI: No, he did not. He was very fat and not a tall, tall as she had described.

L. KING: I would call that long based on my own hair, but, the point being, of course, she did say he had passed away, how do you read this?

RANDI: Well, she said that the boy had passed away, yes. She also said it about the other young boy that missing at the same time that the police were doing their search. And this is not uncommon at all, Larry. These people when they are wrong, they are usually dramatically wrong. When they are right, they are only right with common things you would expect to be true.

Now the expectation was this kid had been kidnapped and probably killed. Certainly the one that was gone for four years would certainly have been killed by now. That was the expectation. So she went along with the expected scenario and she said that to the parents and practically destroyed them. It's terrible.

L. KING: Rosemary, how do you respond to that? It is, isn't it?

ALTEA: Yes, it's terrible. And I want to make something clear here. I am not here to debunk Sylvia Browne. I do not know Sylvia Browne. I don't know what her gift is like. We all make mistakes.

Having said that, we all know also that there are in every profession, there are people who state that they are much more qualified than in fact they are. We get a quack doctor. That doesn't mean that the whole medical profession should be condemned for one quack doctor.

Basically what I'm saying is people do make mistakes. That's the first thing. Second thing is, there are many, many people out there who have incredible and beautiful gift -- and it is a gift.

L. KING: Sure.

ALTEA: It is a very rare gift. And we have that gift and we treat it with respect.

RANDI: Where are these people? That's my question. See the James Randi Educational Foundation offers a million dollar prize ...

ALTEA: Here we go again, James.

RANDI: Yes, we do go again.

ALTEA: We have been there, we have been this route you and I.

RANDI: Rosemary, we have been there repeatedly, that is very true.

ALTEA: We have.

RANDI: But why won't you take the prize? Simple answer, please.

ALTEA: We discussed this on the LARRY KING show the last time. You come up with a real plan and don't believe there's $1 million. I don't want to get ...

RANDI: Hold on. That's the first objection. That's the one everybody makes.

ALTEA: One second.

L. KING: One at a time.

RANDI: There is no $1 million.

ALTEA: One second.

RANDI: Now there is a million dollars. It is with Goldman Sachs in a special account awardable only for this particular purpose. So don't give me that.

ALTEA: OK. I'm not go into this discussion. We had this out before, James. My interests and my concern here is that people don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There is an incredible and rare gift. It does not matter to me, James, whether you believe it or you don't ...

RANDI: It's not whether I believe it, it's whether or not it is so.

ALTEA: If you will let me talk now, please. There are millions of people around the world who have had incredible evidence, and I think, Larry, the key is that, you know, I'm educating people all the time . In my first book I was talking about we have to be skeptical. People have to be skeptical.

RANDI: Sure.

ALTEA: What is happening when somebody goes on a show, they lost a child. The child has gone missing. And they ask somebody, a total stranger. She may be a celebrity but she's a total stranger to them, what happened to my son? Why are we buying into this kind of thing without evidence?

L. KING: I have got to take break. Hold it. James, are you saying there is no such thing as psychic ability?

RANDI: No, I have not said that, Larry. What I have said, these people claim there is. I don't make any claim one way or another. I simply say, if there is such a thing, we will pay them $1 million U.S.

L. KING: "As Sylvia states during her appearances on 'The Montel Show' and her books and radio show and each of her lectures, she cannot possibly be 100 percent in each and every one of her predictions."

RANDI: I do not expect that. I have no expectation of that at all.

L. KING: "She has during her career of 50 years help literally 10 of thousands of people. It is also sad that many in the public will afford any other professionals such as doctors, lawyers and law enforcement the right to be human and to be wrong but not Sylvia.

RANDI: I will grant her the right to be human and to be wrong, Larry. I just want evidence it is so. I can take it from Rosemary, I can take it from Sylvia, from James von Prag (ph), John Edwards, any of them.

L. KING: All right. Let's get a break. We will come back on more of this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


BROWNE: I just happen to be born with it.

L. KING: Why you?

BROWNE: I don't know. It's the same thing ...

L. KING: when you get this channeling, what do you mean by channeling?

BROWNE: Channeling means I am like an open tube. What goes on with Sylvia is entirely different of what I get. I mean, Sylvia can have her own problems. But there's a side of me which is like a tube in which it just comes through.

L. KING: you see things about people?

BROWNE: I'm with the rest of them, I'm much more into the whole idea of God's goodness and the survival of the soul after death.



L. KING: We are back with James Randi and Rosemary Altea. Shawn's mom and dad, Pam and Craig Akers, who appeared on this show talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper earlier this month about Sylvia Browne. Watch.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Is it true she also offered to help for $700?

CRAIG AKERS, SHAWN HORNBECK'S PARENTS: Yes, we were told if he wanted to talk with her additionally, that we could at her normal standard fee.

COOPER: And that's $700 an hour?

C. AKERS: I believe that's what it was.


L. KING: Sylvia Browne's business manager send us the following, "Sylvia has never charged a fee to any law enforcement person, agency or any individual for her work on a missing person's case and has worked on hundreds of such cases over the years and only when asked by law enforcement with positive results. Sylvia is overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude to God that Shawn was found alive and well and grateful to all those responsible for finding him."

Sylvia has also posted a message on her Web site if you want to go to that, about this matter.

James, who do you believe on this question of a fee?

RANDI: I don't know. It's pretty hard to say. Because Sylvia does get $700 over the telephone. She gets this kind of money to do a reading for people that lasts about 20 minutes. I have got several of them on tape and one of them went up on my Web site today, as a matter of fact.

That's a lot of money, Larry. That's the kind of money that anyone who want to make. But does she produce anything for it? Does she deliver anything? Remember, she agreed on this show many years ago to take the million dollar challenge. Then she said she could not find me. She does not know how to use a telephone book? What seems to be the problem here?

And after that when she found out how she could reach me she didn't reach me and has not been in touch with me since. Why?

L. KING: Rosemary, explain to me something about psychics. When Sylvia said the boy was gone, tell me what she sees. Does she see a grave? Does she see a body? When a psychic something like he's gone, what is seeing?

ALTEA: I will tell you that I cannot tell you what Sylvia Browne sees.

L. KING: What do you see?

ALTEA: What I see, the first thing that I do is I make a communication. I make a connection with somebody in the spirit world. That someone needs to be a member -- a family member of the person I'm giving a consultation to. Then once I begin to talk to that person, I'm asking that person to give me information, to give me evidence.

I mean, I'm seeing this person and I'm hearing this person and I'm asking them, please give me information, usually it's information that I couldn't possibly know. I will give you the briefest example, a lady yesterday called and I described her home that was on a man made lake. I described the house in detail. Even to the roofline the new terrace and plantings. Now ... L. KING: And who was telling you that?

ALTEA: Who was telling me that? Her mother was telling me that. So basically what I'm doing here, as I'm laying the groundwork. I'm laying the groundwork to show this person, the person I'm giving the consultation to, I'm laying the ground work to show her that I am actually really talking to someone in the spirit world who knows them very, very world. Can i just say one more thing, Larry?

L. KING: Quickly, yeah.

ALTEA: I don't know whether Sylvia Browne has a 15 or 20-minute consult, but I will tell you no one in their right mind, no medium would ever give a 15 to 20-minute consultation and expect to produce anything. You cannot. You cannot - you can do a two-minute something on the telephone as I have done on your show many times. But when you are giving a consultation and you're talking to people in the spirit world, you have to give that person at least 50 minutes to an hour. You cannot do it in less than that.

L. KING: James, is that all hogwash to you?

RANDI: Yes, it's capital hogwash with a capital H.

L. KING: We will get a break and we will be coming right back with James Randi and Rosemary Altea. I've known James a long time. I knew him when he was just the Amazing Randi. Speaking of amazing, the amazing John King is sitting in tonight for Anderson Cooper. He will host AC350 out of Washington. John, what's up?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: That's great stuff there, Larry. You know, I'd settle for the Powerball number myself. Tonight on the program a story that frankly left a lot of us scratching our heads in amazement.

A teenager, minor serving a 10-year prison sentence for a crime that even lawmakers and prosecutor says shouldn't be a crime. Branded a sex offender for life for something some teens do every weekend.

And here's the kicker, if and he and his underage companion did what a lot of parents might consider a whole lot worse, the law would have let him off nearly scot-free. We're on that story, "Keeping them Honest."

Also look into the growing war of words and more between the United States and Iran.

Plus one couple's struggle with a mountain lion. Animal expert Jeff Corwin here to tell us what you need to know so you can survive just an encounter. All of that and more, Larry, tonight on 360.

L. KING: That first story sounds amazing.

J. KING: Big stuff.

L. KING: John King at the top of the hour, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Back with more on the psychic storm of controversy in a minute. As we go to break, more of Sylvia from an appearance here on LARRY KING LIVE discussing her self-described psychic abilities.


L. KING: Do you like your power?

BROWNE: Sometimes, Larry. Sometimes it's hard.

L. KING: Are there days you don't have it?


L. KING: You always have it.

BROWNE: Always have it.

L. KING: When you miss, when you see something and the caller says, I don't know what you're talking about ...

BROWNE: Because I'm not God. I would be scared to death, Larry, if I was right all the time. Wouldn't that be scary? That would be frightening if I was right all the time.


L. KING: We are back with James Randi and Rosemary Altea. Let's take a couple of calls. Northville, Michigan, hello?


L. KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question is, I have seen Sylvia Browne many times and I tried calling her phone number to make an appointment. And it is true, she does charge $700 for a half-hour. My question is, if this is a gift from God, which so many psychics claim it is, why do they charge so much?

L. KING: James?

RANDI: Well, first of all, people have to make a living, Larry, we understand that and they should charge for their services. But only charge for the services if you actually produce something. If there are results, yes, it's worth $700 for a reading -- if it has results.

But Sylvia has so many dissatisfied customers, I have got a cupboard full of tapes sent by Sylvia to the customers who paid the $700 and they say in so many words she was wrong, wrong, wrong all the way down the line.

L. KING: Rosemary?

ALTEA: I agree. I totally - actually I'm amazed. I'm agreeing with Randi. If you don't get it right, if you can't produce, then you absolutely should not charge. And if I feel - and I begin all of my consultations by saying to somebody, if I confuse you in any way, if you are confused, please tell me. I do not want you getting off this phone wondering who on earth you have been doing. Tell me if you think I'm wrong. Tell me if you're confused.

L. KING: We should ...

ALTEA: Sorry?

L. KING: I said it should also be mentioned that Shawn Hornbeck's parents continued the search, continued looking for him and continued the quest. They did not just accept the fact that he was gone.

ALTEA: Thank goodness.

RANDI: And Larry, she sent the police to all kinds of places, too, and the police wasted their good time where they could have found the kid and could have done something useful. The police wasted their time.

ALTEA: I'm not sure about that, Larry. Because I think the law enforcement has got a little bit more common sense than to listen to things that they are really not sure about. Unless ...

RANDI: They listen to psychics ...

ALTEA: Unless a spiritual medium is giving evidence and that is the thing, giving evidence. And I think it's worth saying here, Larry, and this may sound a little harsh, what I'm going to say, but I think it's worth saying here people have to be more responsible. You can not go giving your power away to people like me. People see me on a TV show, they see Sylvia Browne on a TV show and they think they know us but they do not know us. We are strangers to them. And you do not go believing it just because we say so.

Wait until we give you that evidence. Wait until we can show you that we really are talking to people who are your family who have passed. Don't give the power away.

RANDI: Rosemary, will you take the test?

ALTEA: I'm not even going there, James. We did this before.

RANDI: Why not go there? It's a million dollars, Rosemary. Anyone can use a million dollars. Why won't you take the test?

ALTEA: I recall when Larry asked you where the million dollars was before you could not produce it.

RANDI: I cannot produce it because it was with Goldman Sachs. It's invested.

ALTEA: I will tell you something, James, this program is not about you. This program is about people being duped. It's about ... RANDI: That's right.

ALTEA: You're right. But this program is not about you.

RANDI: It's about people being duped by people like you.

ALTEA: This is about people being duped, and this is about a very rare and a very special gift that has to be defended.

RANDI: Prove it. Prove it and get $1 million. Come on, Rosemary, will you take the test? Yes or no? It's a simple question.

ALTEA: You cannot say that because one person makes a mistake, everybody pays.

RANDI: I did not say that.

L. KING: We have to take a break. We will be right back, guys. We're going to take a break.

Both of these things are easily provable. One with DNA. One with a test. We will be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.


L. KING: Let's get another call in. Overland Park, Kansas. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. Randi. This last year I saw Sylvia on "Montel," and she had mentioned that she had taught her children and her grandchildren how to have her power that she has and pass it through your generation. Is it possible that you can pass on this so- called gift, or is she actually teaching the family how to carry on possible fake readings?

RANDI: Well, I would like to be the fly on the wall and find out about that. But believe me, there has never been any evidence that has shown these gifts are genuine. We have offered a million dollars for it. If that isn't a big enough carrot, I don't know what is.

L. KING: You repeated that. What is your taste entail.

RANDI: It all depends what the claim is. Yes, exactly. If you say you can play the violin, you have to play the violin.

Rosemary, why don't you apply, and then we will tell you exactly ...

L. KING: Hold it. Let's set this. Hold it, Rosemary. Don't jump in. What if Rosemary said, I can tell people about themselves by listening to their voice, I can tell them what kind of house they live in, I can tell them how their mother lives, I can tell about them. How can she prove that to you for the million dollars?

RANDI: She doesn't have to prove it to me. She has to prove to an independent authority that she agrees with and I agree with. That's all. All she has to do is do the test, Larry. But she won't do it. Yes or no, Rosemary? Let's hear an answer. Yes or no? Two possibilities.

L. KING: I once interviewed the guy who invented ESP, what was his name at Duke University.

RANDI: Dr. Rhein.

L. KING: A doctor at Duke University. Invented ESP. And he used to do the card test. He would take a deck of cards, look at the cards and the person sitting opposite would tell them what the card was.

RANDI: That's right.

L. KING: He had some people, some people got 48 cards. Most people failed miserably. But he said it was so in its infancy, ESPN was so in its infancy -- ESP so in its infancy but it was a long way from being a science.

RANDI: And that was back in the 1930s.

L. KING: This guy was from Duke University.

RANDI: Joseph Banks Rhein.

L. KING: Rhein. Right. J.B. Rhein. R-H-E-I-N, Dr. Rhein. Rosemary, you think it's a science?

ALTEA: You know, I really don't know what it is. But could I answer the question the lady -- the lady called in?

L. KING: We have one minute.

ALTEA: OK. I have a daughter. My beautiful princess. She is not psychic. I would not dream of teaching anybody to have psychic abilities because I can't. You have a natural ability or you don't.

L. KING: OK -- hold it. I have got to cut you, Rosemary. We will do it soon.


L. KING: James Randi. Rosemary Altea, thank you.

ALTEA: Thank you so much.

L. KING: News of a manhunt tonight out of Maricopa, Arizona -- excuse me.

Cops there are looking for this man, registered sex offender George Richard Horner. He's accused of kidnapping a six-year-old girl today in Maricopa. Fortunately, she was found safe later this evening. Horner is believed to be driving a green or blue 1993 Nissan Pathfinder, Louisiana plates PKL-399. If you see him, call your local police.

Right now we turn things over to Washington, DC. John King stands by. He will host AC 360 with some amazing stories tonight. John?