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CNN Larry King Live

Who Was the Real Michael Jackson?; Will Judge OK Jackson Custody Deal?

Aired July 31, 2009 - 21:00   ET


JIM MORET, GUEST HOST: Tonight, exclusive -- who was the real Michael Jackson?

His protege, who lived at Neverland, reveals what she knows about Michael's kids, his relationship with other children and the boy named Omar.

Is he the pop star's secret son?

Then, shark scare -- will you go in the water knowing this out there?

Meet the people who dared to take a dip and came face-to-face with a mouthful of daggers. They survived and they're here to share their death-defying stories next on LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm Jim Moret from "INSIDE EDITION" sitting in tonight for Larry King.

Our first guest is Nisha Kataria.

She was a protege of Michael Jackson and lived at Neverland back in 2003. She's recorded a duet with Michael and is an artist in her own right, joining us tonight live from Atlanta.

Nisha, thanks for joining us.


MORET: Tell me about meeting Michael Jackson, how that came about.

KATARIA: Well, Michael Jackson's manager got a hold of my demo and he listened to my track, "I Will Always Love You," originally done by Whitney Houston. And one day, they were sitting in Neverland, him and -- him and Michael. And he played Michael my "I Will Always Love You" song. And Michael said wow, who is this girl?

Can you call her?

And so the next thing you know, we drove to California to meet Michael. And I met him. The very first time I met him, he had a big smile on his face and he was very, very friendly and gave me a hug. And Prince and Paris and Grace, the nanny, were all in the room and they all gave me a hug. MORET: You -- you were living in Phoenix at the time, right?

KATARIA: Yes. We lived in Phoenix and we drove over to California to meet him.

MORET: So did you go to Neverland to meet him?

KATARIA: Yes. We drove into Neverland. And I remember just seeing the big Neverland Ranch sign when you enter Neverland. And you feel him, but I hadn't seen him yet. And I was just so nervous. But he -- he had the biggest smile on his face the moment he walked into the library in house to meet me...

MORET: And for those who haven't...

KATARIA: ...for the first time.

MORET: For those who haven't been there, those gates are kind of intimidating and you drive through and then it's still a long way until you actually get to the house.


MORET: What was it like?

Describe that first meeting for us, if you could, and your impressions of Michael Jackson?

KATARIA: Well, like he was -- he's the biggest star in the universe, the most recognizable man on this planet. And I was just super nervous to meet him.

But he came in with a huge smile on his face. And Paris and Prince came in and they introduced themselves to me. And they were about to shake my hand and Michael said, no, we don't shake hands in this family, we give hugs. So they all gave me a hug.

And then Michael sat down and I sat down and we just started having a nice conversation. And then he told me -- he asked me if I could sing for him.

And then I stood up and I asked him, Michael, what would you like to hear?

And he said, "Will you sing "I Will Always Love You?""

And I sang him that acapella. And the first thing he told me was, "Nisha, you have the voice of an angel." So I mean it meant...

MORET: You...

KATARIA: ...the world coming from him.

MORET: Nisha, you eventually moved in for a short time, didn't you, to Neverland? KATARIA: Yes, I did. He decided that he wanted to record with me. So me and my mom kind of moved into one of the guest units and lived there.

MORET: And what was that like?

What was it like to live at Neverland?

It's -- it's been described as so many different things -- part playground, fantasy land. There were statues all over. There were -- there were -- there was a zoo there.

What was living there like?

KATARIA: Every morning when we would open our windows in our guest house, we would look at the lake. And there were two elephants being bathed in the lake. And there's music playing throughout the ranch, so you feel like you're in a movie. And there was actually a movie theater and everything you could ever dream of is at the ranch. It was just one of the best experiences of my life living there.

MORET: How long did you live there?

KATARIA: A little over two months.

MORET: And you recorded with Michael Jackson?

KATARIA: Yes. We recorded a song that he wrote and we recorded it in his private studio in the ranch.

MORET: Do you expect that that song will ever be released?

KATARIA: I really hope so. We're talking about maybe making a special tribute and putting it on my upcoming album.

MORET: You -- Joe Jackson was on television the other night. He dropped a bombshell in an interview with News 1. He was responding to rumors that a young man, I believe you know him, Omar Bhatti, is Michael's son.

Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael may have had another child. I guess Omar is his name or -- and then they're going to say oh, he was sitting right there next to -- next to Rebbie and everyone was trying to connect some dots.

Do you know that as -- as Michael's other son?

JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Yes. I knew he had another son. Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he -- he looks like a Jackson.

JACKSON: Oh, yes. He looks like a Jackson. He acts like a Jackson. He can dance like a Jackson.


MORET: Nisha, you -- you knew Omar.

What's your reaction to that clip?

KATARIA: I mean, I -- he -- I saw him in the ranch. He lived there when I lived there. And I actually -- the first time I actually really got to meet him was when -- the second time I sang for Michael. I sang, "Because You Loved Me" with my C.D. and Michael and his nephew Eli and Omar and Prince, they all came in and sat down. And Michael was like telling them, OK, listen. You have to hear her sing.

And this was before I moved in. So I remember they were looking at each other and smiling as I was singing. And he was always smiling. A friendly boy.

MORET: I need to note for our audience, CNN has not been able to confirm Joe Jackson's assertion that Omar is, in fact, Michael Jackson's son. And according to news reports, Omar himself has denied any biological connection to Michael Jackson.

Nisha, you mentioned Paris and Prince and Blanket. They -- Paris, I believe, was about six or five and Prince a year older, Blanket just a baby.

Did you see them interact at all with Michael Jackson as a dad?

KATARIA: I did. You would think that these kids, you know, they -- they could have anything they ever wanted because Michael Jackson was their father. And there was one time when me and my mom and Michael and Prince were all in the movie theater. And there's a concession stand with all the candy and popcorn and ice cream you could ever ask for.

And one day we were all in the theater and my mom offered Prince a candy bar. And Michael told her politely, he said, oh, can't have anymore today. He all -- you know, he already had some.

So you could tell that they were disciplined kids and they were really close to their father -- really polite, friendly kids.

MORET: The world first saw Paris at Michael's memorial. And many people were surprised. She was almost elegant and very sweet and spoke from the heart.

How did you find all three kids?

KATARIA: They're adorable kids. There was one incident when Grace was driving us from the movie theater back to the main house, because it's kind of -- a little bit far. And I was sitting in the front passenger seat and Paris and my mom were sitting in the back of the Lincoln Navigator. And Paris kept tapping on my shoulder and then hiding. And then I would look back at her and she was smiling and all embarrassed. And then I would, you know, sit normal again and she would tap me on the shoulder again.

So she played like peek a boo games. She was just a cute, normal little kid.

MORET: So many...

KATARIA: All of them were.

MORET: So many people have these misconceptions that Michael and his children had an odd relationship.

Would you describe it as a typical father/child relationship with each of his kids?

KATARIA: Absolutely. They were happy kids.

MORET: If you haven't seen it yet, check out our blog for an inside account of what went on inside Michael Jackson's house before and after paramedics were called to the scene. It's at

More with Nisha and why Michael was drawn to her coming up next.

Stay with us.


MORET: Back with Nisha Kataria, a protege of Michael Jackson's.

And as we told you, she -- her voice first attracted Michael Jackson. The song "I Will Always Love You" played a key role in her connection with Michael Jackson.

Let's listen to a little of Nisha singing it.


MORET: Nisha, you were 17 when you sang that?

KATARIA: Yes, I was.

MORET: Wow! That's all I can say. Wow!

KATARIA: Thank you.

MORET: I mean you said Michael Jackson said that you had a voice of an angel and it's just beautiful.

What was it like recording with him?

KATARIA: Incredible. You know, this is the man behind "Billie Jean" and all those amazing songs. And being in the studio with him and actually seeing the master at work, actually seeing him walk around the studio and come up with all these ideas in his head right in front of you. And, you know, he would -- he could come up with a melody and say, OK, Nisha, sing this line. And then he would sing it and then I would repeat it into the microphone and they would record it.

And he just came up with all these things and it was just amazing seeing him right there doing it, right in front of me and actually giving me the song. It was just an incredible feeling.

MORET: Nisha, when was the last time you spoke to Michael Jackson?

KATARIA: I spoke to him in 2003 at...

MORET: So what...

KATARIA: ...the Radio Music Awards.

MORET: What brought your time at Neverland to an end?

KATARIA: This was right before the police raided the ranch for the trial that he had to go through.

MORET: And that trial, just to point out, he was acquitted on all charges.


MORET: And it's -- it's actually because of that trial -- I talked to his criminal lawyer. He never really never wanted to go back to Neverland.

KATARIA: No, he never...

MORET: Did you talk to him at all?

KATARIA: He never went back to Neverland. We were the last guests to live with him in Neverland. And he never went back there.

MORET: And what was your reaction to the way Michael Jackson has been treated and publicly portrayed?

You spent time with him, more than most people.

KATARIA: He is just the nicest human being that I have ever met in my life. And, for one of the most successful people in the world, for him to open his heart and invite me and my family to move into Neverland, you know, for him to take a girl with -- with a big voice who has a dream, he decided, you know, he wants to help me in my career and he wants to be the man to put me out to the world.

And I just think that tells a lot about a person, to open up their home to an unknown girl.

MORET: Do you feel, in a...

KATARIA: He treated me like family.

MORET: I'm sorry.

Do you feel, in a way, that you've lost a guardian angel?

KATARIA: I do. I mean it still hasn't really sunk in yet that he's really gone. But he's definitely going to remain alive through his music.

MORET: And how did you find out that he had passed away?

KATARIA: I was actually in Phoenix, where I live. And my manager called me and told me to put on CNN. And at that time, they were just saying that he had been hospitalized. So I never imagined that it would get any worse than that.

And then I -- I was -- I got in the car to drive somewhere and then my manager told me, OK, you know, he passed away. So I pulled into a parking lot and my manager was crying and I was crying. And I've never heard him cry like that. So it was really -- my manager was with him for 10 years, worked for him for 10 years. So they had a really close relationship, as well. And it was just really sad and unbelievable.

MORET: He took you under his wing and you stayed at Neverland for a couple of months.

What advice did he give you from one artist to another?

KATARIA: One of the best things that he told me was -- this was actually a telephone conversation that we had when I was living in Neverland. He told me that, "Nisha, you're going to do very well."

And I said, "Thank you."

And he said, "If you take an average singer and you give them an incredible song, then, you know, then they'll do -- then they'll do well. But you take a wonderful singer, such as yourself, and give them an amazing song, they've got it made.

So just coming from him, it meant so much.

MORET: Well, listening to that clip, you're clearly a wonderful singer.

KATARIA: Thank you.

MORET: And thank you very much for joining us tonight.

KATARIA: Thank you so much.

MORET: Michael's children -- can they move forward in peace now that a custody agreement has been apparently reached?

Back with some answers in 60 seconds.

Stay with us.


MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm Jim Moret from "INSIDE EDITION" sitting in for Larry.

The Michael Jackson custody case appears to be resolved.

Here to talk to us about it are Dr. Charles Sophy, psychiatrist and medical director of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.

Michelle Golland, she is a clinical psychologist and contributor to

And Neal Hersh is also here. He's a family law attorney and an expert in custody issues.

Thanks a lot for joining us.

A custody agreement is reached between Katherine and Debbie Rowe to get visitation with her biological children.

From a medical standpoint, a psychiatrist's position...


MORET: ...they don't really know her as their mom.

Is this going to be difficult?

SOPHY: Well, they're not going to really know, I think, anybody as their mom. So I think that's probably the female in their life they may know the most, hopefully. But it is a family member and that's really what you want to look for -- a tight bond or one that's already started so you can build on it.

MORET: Well, Dr. Golland, I'm sure that they look at the Internet.


MORET: They must know who Debbie Rowe is.


MORET: But they've never been introduced. She's -- she's met them and they call her...


MORET: ...Miss. Debbie.

GOLLAND: Right. They never have called her mother -- that was very clear -- or mom throughout the...

MORET: But they're dealing with the loss of a dad.

GOLLAND: Right. And I think they're dealing with the loss of their parent and, really, what was a single parent, right?

I mean that's what we're talking about. So they're having to deal with the -- the grief around that at the time that I think that what has happened with the media is I think the grief process has probably been a little stunted. And hopefully now, with the custody battle being resolved, even the Jackson -- the camp, you know, Katherine and all of them -- can start to just focus on the kids.

SOPHY: The best interests of the child has to be upfront.


SOPHY: Those kids have to be safe emotionally, safe physically...


SOPHY: ...and they've got to be able to be able to be allowed to be children so that they can live and become whole.

MORET: Neal, you've had a lot of experience in custody issues. With an agreement in place, they'd still have to go before a judge. You know this judge. You like this judge.

What are...


MORET: What are the odds that the judge will approve it?

HERSH: Oh, I think it's a certainty. I think the judge is going to be very happy that the litigation has ended, that the kids can get finality and they can move forward with their lives and try to get some normalcy, to the extent it's possible, as everyone is mentioning.


HERSH: I think the judge is going to be delighted and very, very happy. And I expect to see, Monday, a permanent order in place.

MORET: Permanent order, but only to the extent that Katherine Jackson remains alive.

HERSH: Yes, of course. I mean that's something...

MORET: Because you -- you believe that there's no -- not necessarily an agreement in place for what happens next and they could be back in court in a few years.

HERSH: Right. They're -- I'm almost certain that -- by the way, legally, they couldn't make an agreement that's binding as to what would happen if Katherine passes away. But I'm certain, in my mind, that there is no such agreement and after Katherine passes -- it should be a long time out, hopefully. But when she passes,. You're going to see people coming around to try to raise the issue of custody again. SOPHY: I mean, remember, you have a child psychologist or a professional in this mix to be able to bridge the biological mom to these children. So hopefully it...

MORET: How does that work?

SOPHY: Well, hopefully, that visitation will be monitored. They'll work it through, where is visitation, when is visitation, who's present?

MORET: But does a child psychologist say, at one point, to two of the kids, this is your mom?

And how does that happen?

SOPHY: Well, I think it's -- it has to start with asking those children questions.

What is their current understanding?

Where are they at today?

And then be able to make that determination of where you start to bridge.

And I think finding out where the other child is rooted would also be helpful.

But I think the bottom line is that they need a family. They have one. And they have a support around them.


SOPHY: They have aunts, they have uncles, they have cousins, they have a bio mom.

GOLLAND: Right. And the maternal figure is going to end up also being, I think, multiple women. It's going to be the aunts. It's going to be -- you know, there may be a place for Debbie Rowe, as well.


MORET: But there's a -- there's safety in numbers.

GOLLAND: There...


GOLLAND: And it needs to be -- and it needs to be solid.


GOLLAND: And it needs to be consistent...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just... GOLLAND: ...going forward.

HERSH: I actually have a different take on this a little bit. And that is, I think Debbie Rowe's involvement is going to be very tangential, even though they're saying she's going to start seeing them. You know, on one side of this equation, it could look like they're grooming Debbie Rowe to come back into the children's lives in case something happened to Katherine. I suspect -- and I would defer to the therapists here, that that probably isn't going to happen. I think she's just going to be a figure in their lives, kind of in their lives in the -- for the reasons you've said. The kids must know who Debbie Rowe is, so they have to know all this information.



HERSH: And I think they're going to introduce her, but I don't think Miss. Rowe is going to play a significant role.


MORET: But you're talking about kids seven, 11 and 12. So...

GOLLAND: But I think...

MORET: ...they're each dealing with something very different, though.


SOPHY: Yes. Their perceptions are very different.

GOLLAND: But I think what's important -- and this is just in a normal grieving process -- there needs to be honesty at age appropriate.


GOLLAND: But I think the idea -- I mean I think what was also out there was the fact that they -- they didn't even know who Debbie Rowe was, you know. And I think, truthfully, for us, as a larger society, we're dealing what it means to have a surrogate. Look, we have the, you know, Jessica Parker and all this. This is about what it means to have a surrogate and how do we, as a culture and society, even deal with that role.

HERSH: Right.

SOPHY: These are blended families. And that's the way America is. And we have to be able to support this kind of mechanism. And if the court is going to sanction it, it's great. If they're going to support it, that's great. Let's try to make it work.

You saw these children hanging onto their aunt at that memorial.


SOPHY: They're connected.


SOPHY: They are connected.


MORET: We have to take a break.

How could a dispute over Jackson's estate affect the children?

That's coming up next.


MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

We have a caller from Staten Island.

Your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'd like to know what Diana Ross' opinion was this, of her being the next one to have these kids if anything happened to Katherine Jackson.

MORET: Well, it's my understanding, Neal, that Diana Ross was next in line and it hasn't even come before the court whether or not she approved it or not.

HERSH: Right. The fact that Diana Ross being listed in a will, it's only suggestions of the person who is making the will.

MORET: So that's not binding?

HERSH: It's not binding on the court at all. And the fact that she hadn't come forward, Diana Ross, is an indication that she supported Katherine's request for custody of these kids.

And who knows what would happen if something happened to Katherine, if Diana Ross would come forward or not?

It was an indication that's what Michael would have liked. That's all.

MORET: We have another call from Buffalo, New York.

Your question?

Buffalo, you're on.

Can you hear me?


MORET: Go ahead, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Yes, I'm just wondering how the smallest child, Blanket, fits into all this. I mean the other two are going to know who their mom are.

But what's going to happen with him?

MORET: That's a great question. Doctors, I'll put it to both of you. You -- when you talk about a sense of loss, two of the kids will know they have a mom.


MORET: One has lost everything.


MORET: So how does Blanket -- how do you deal with Blanket differently?

SOPHY: Well, look, as I said before, I think you need to find out what he does know and what has been kind of solidified for him and then go from there. But it's really building the three of them together based on the commonality they have of their dad.

I have a lot of patients who have lost both parents, one parent. You build them together. And -- and I think solidifying him into the mix isn't as -- is much more important than finding out who his biological mother or father is.

GOLLAND: And again, I think, societally, we need to really understand that there are different forms of family now and -- and that even for Blanket, I mean we don't know what the agreement was with the surrogate mother. I mean, and I know with clients and other people, you know, they have an agreement that, in the future, if the child wants to know who the surrogate is, they can -- there can be contact.

There -- I think it's also a real educational moment for our country around what surrogacy is.

MORET: Neal is shaking his head. Neal, in your experience, you would suspect that this surrogate mother may not even know she's the surrogate mother?

HERSH: Well, regardless of whether she knows...

MORET: She has no rights.

HERSH: sense of Michael Jackson's camp is that this woman is out of the picture and you're not going to see her coming around ever.

SOPHY: And, no, that's fine.

GOLLAND: Right. SOPHY: Just find out what the kid knows so that we can then guide him appropriately.

HERSH: Right. Absolutely.

MORET: So how will -- the question we posed going into the break, the custody is settled, but the estate could -- could find itself in a battle.


MORET: How will that affect the kids?

GOLLAND: Well, I think it would...

MORET: There -- they may know that are battle lines are being drawn.

GOLLAND: Yes. Well, they -- they know. And I think the -- the biggest concern would be that they would end up feeling as if they're a commodity, that they're -- whoever has them is -- is attached to the money...


GOLLAND: that their identity becomes infused, right...


GOLLAND: ...with this sense of in...


GOLLAND: ...of financial gain by whoever is attached with them.

SOPHY: I mean, again, you would hope that the solid adults that are placed in their life...


SOPHY: ...keep that from them...


SOPHY: ...and let them be the children that they need to be so they can grow to be the adults that they can be.

HERSH: Jim, I think. You're going to see the financial aspects go swimmingly and smoothly.

MORET: Why do you say that?

HERSH: Because the beneficiaries of Michael's estate are, one, his mother; and, two, his children.

SOPHY: Right. HERSH: They're all living together. So it's going to be one happy family. And I think that the disputes are going to be resolved very peacefully, far more so than we thought.

SOPHY: Right.


SOPHY: Again, best interests of the children.


MORET: And when you're talking about best interests of the children, they -- they -- they may very well see news reports about their father, the investigation. Michael Jackson, by his own admission, had a problem -- an addiction with the drugs.


MORET: You have that layered on top of the loss.

How do you deal with that?

SOPHY: I think every child needs to know who their parent is, age appropriately, to deal with it. Again, you rely on the adults in their life to be able to give it to them in doses until they process it over this whole process. You have a psychologist who's overseeing and navigating.

MORET: Well, give us a sense. Where...

SOPHY: So in doses.

MORET: Where would these kids be now, five, six weeks out?

It's still fresh...

GOLLAND: Oh, they're still in trauma.

SOPHY: Oh, they're raw. They're raw.

GOLLAND: I mean...

SOPHY: They're raw. They're in a new house. They're in a new house.

MORET: They're in a new house.

SOPHY: Right.

MORET: A new family.

SOPHY: New community, new friends. They're going to be maybe in a new school. They have a lot -- they have even got...

(CROSSTALK) GOLLAND: Yes. And I think, again, the media has -- has probably stunted the grieving process.

SOPHY: Exactly.


SOPHY: Right.

GOLLAND: And I think one of the biggest things with kids and grieving is that, you know, they get a lot of attention when it happens.

SOPHY: Right.

GOLLAND: Well, this -- talk about attention, this is a huge amount of attention.

MORET: And so -- so how does -- I mean they have...


GOLLAND: So then...

MORET: ...and you have the paparazzi outside the house.

GOLLAND: So then -- then what do you do when that attention goes away?

SOPHY: The dust settles.


SOPHY: And then you start to deal with the feelings that are coming up.


SOPHY: And you hope the navigation is good.



HERSH: They're also going to be scrutinized for so long in their lives.


MORET: Well, the masks are off now, literally.

GOLLAND: I hope they are protected...

MORET: Is that...

GOLLAND: ...from it. MORET: Is that a good thing?

SOPHY: I think it's a good thing, because they need to be real people. They know how...


SOPHY: They need to know how to be real, feel their feelings and have someone guide them to deal with them.

HERSH: On the plus side, maybe these kids can get normal -- more normalcy in their lives now than they ever could before. It's a terrible thing. It's a terrible loss.


HERSH: But maybe their lives will just settle down a little bit...

SOPHY: Right.

HERSH: ...not having Michael with them every minute of every day. We just don't know.

GOLLAND: Right. And then...

MORET: We have to take a break.

We'll be back with more.

Hold the thought.

We'll come right back with more of LARRY KING LIVE, right after this.

Stay with us.


MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in for Larry. What would you tell Katherine? Put on your doctor hat. Giver her some parental advice. She is a grand mom, but now she is going to be a mom. What does she do?

GOLLAND: I think the biggest thing is to deal with the grief. That's going to be --

MORET: She is going through grief too. She lost her son.

GOLLAND: Yes. Yes. I think it is about stability and I think it's about being able to answer the questions age appropriately.

SOPHY: Giving them permanence.

MORET: Do you expect these kids are asking questions? GOLLAND: Oh, yes.

SOPHY: They should be. If they're not, I'd be worried. Giving them the space to emote and have their feelings come and deal with them, is the best thing to do in a permanent, safe setting.

GOLLAND: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

HERSH: I was going to say, hopefully, the family is going to take the opportunity to use the resources available to them to make sure the kids have therapists, have questions answered, a safe environment, and be able to really work out these very difficult problems.

MORET: We saw Paris for the first time at the memorial. Most people were stunned at her grace. What was your reaction?

SOPHY: That he must have been a darn good dad to be able to bring that out in that child.

GOLLAND: Even through all that. And let's face it, being a drug addict, dealing in the way he had to cope -- all the things -- he must have also done a lot of good.

SOPHY: She was loved. You could tell that.

MORET: You can see the family in this clip here, that the family literally and figuratively, they're embracing her.

HERSH: Pictures are worth a thousand words.

SOPHY: The relationships are there. You can tell. When Katherine was looking to get custody, you could see that this was a family where she did have an on-going relationship with all three of these children.

GOLLAND: And with the aunts and so forth. I think with grief and children what is also really important is to understand that children respond differently. Some children may become more shut down, while some really may be emotive and be aggressive. And they can have emotional outbursts. So to understand and be prepared that personalities may shift a little. That is sort of how children deal with the sadness and the anger.

SOPHY: Allow them emotional space.

MORET: Neal, briefly -- we have 30 seconds -- do you think these kids can have a normal life?

HERSH: I actually do. I'm hopeful that things will settle down and they will get into a routine that is very normalized. Hopefully that will happen.

GOLLAND: I agree. I'm very hopeful. I think, with things in place, and therapy, and stability --

SOPHY: I think so. I also think, as long as Katherine can provide safety and permanence, they should be on a really good path.

MORET: Dr. Charles Sophy, Michelle Golland, Neal Hersh, thank you all for joining us.

We're making a big turn now. When we come back, sharks, not lawyers, sharks; the close calls that turn swimmers into survivors, next. I'm a lawyer, too.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of turned around and starting walking in, and it just hit me. The impact is incredible, like somebody hit me in the back of the leg really hard with a baseball bat.


MORET: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," sitting in for Larry tonight. It is shark week on Discovery Channel, beginning this Sunday. My 11 year old nephew and my favorite time. Joining us are Andy DeHart, marine biologist and shark adviser, Patrick Walsh is a shark attack survivor. A great white tore into him when cage diving. He'll tell us about that in a minute. He took a video of the attack. We'll show that to you. In Pensacola, Florida, Chuck Anderson is here. He lost most of his right arm during a bull shark attack.

Andy, Shark Week is 23 years old?

ANDY DEHART, SHARK EXPERT: It's actually the 22nd year of Discovery Channel's annual shark week programming. So something about sharks striking a chord in the folks. We're glad they are tuning in.

MORET: I think ever since "Jaws" in '75, I've terrified to go into the water. Literally, I'm just terrified when I go to the beach. I think a lot of people are, especially looking at this footage, you understand why.

DEHART: Absolutely. You are not alone. A lot of people had their lives changed by the movie "Jaws." There's something about sharks, but also the water environment. We are not comfortable in the water. It's the fear of the unknown. These animals are no more dangerous than grizzly bears in national parks.

MORET: Yes, but there are no grizzly bears in the water. Chuck, tell us about your experience?

CHUCK ANDERSON, SHARK ATTACK SURVIVOR: I was in Gulf Shores, Alabama on June 9th of 2000, trap line training with some friends of mine. A 64-year-old lady and I went out about 150 yards from the beach and swam from the east back to the west. About a minute into the swim, something hit me from the bottom. I equate it to a full- back running over a line-backer in football terminology.

It rolled me up on my back. Though I didn't see what it was, I pretty much knew exactly what it was. I started treading water, because it was about 15 feet there. I started looking around on the surface, looking around. I put my face down in the water and, when I did, I saw what it was. It was a big shark coming up at me.

I instantly threw my hands to protect myself toward the shark, and he took all four fingers off my right hand. All that was left was my thumb. The third time he came at me, he hit me in my stomach. I have a perfect shark's tooth scar on the bottom right hand side of my stomach and a gash on the upper left hand side of my stomach.

The fourth time I actually saw the fin coming through the water. I heard you all talking about "Jaws." and the only thing missing was the music. I tried to push off of him again. This time he attached to my right arm and took me down to the bottom, slung me around, did the feeding frenzy thing, skipped my back and shoulder and hip up.

He came to the surface and I was able to get my left hand on his nose. People on the beach said it looked like I was skis he pushed me so fast through the water. We ended up on a sand bar about 20 yards off the beach. He was laying completely on the right side of my body.

I was able to wiggle out from underneath him. When I tried to jerk my arm out, he gnashed to the side, stripped my arm, what they call completely degloving it, taking it off from the elbow all the way, and my hand popping off in his mouth. Fell back on the sand bar and ran to the beach.

MORET: Did people come to your assistance immediately, help rescue you?

ANDERSON: Well, actually, the lady I was swimming with was there at the beach. She helped me up to the board walk. I walked my self up. Two gentlemen came down, took a shirt off. I was able to attach a turnicate to it. Pretty soon, the paramedics got there quickly.

MORET: How long was the recovery?

ANDERSON: I started training -- I was in the hospital 13 days in intensive care. I aspirated a lot of saltwater. That was probably worse than the blood I lost in my arm. But I stayed in intensive care for 13 days, got back to walking 15 days. I actually got back in the pool about two months after the accident.

The accident occurred in June. And in April of 2001, I did my first triathlon after the accident. It took a lot of hard work. But if you love something and you enjoy doing something, you don't let something like a shark attack stop you from doing it.

MORET: That is easier said than done. I would be terrified. You walk back on the beach for the very first time. You say, OK, this is the first time since this shark attack; I'm going back in. What went through your mind?

ANDERSON: It was difficult the first time I put my face back in saltwater.

MORET: You must look over your shoulder a lot.

ANDERSON: I made sure there were a lot of people around me. I did a triathalon. That was the first time -- when I got back in the water was the first day I did my triathalon. So there were about 750 people around me. So I figured if I stayed in the middle of the pack or up front, I would be a little bit safer.

The chances of getting bitten by a shark are much less than getting hit by a car or even killed by a vending machine. I figured my chances were pretty good getting aback in. I have done about 15 to 17 triathalons since that date. Pretty comfortable back in the water now.

MORET: I still don't know anyone killed by a vending machine. But I will take your word for it. Thank you very much, Chuck, for telling us your story.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

MORET: -- best or worst thing to a close encounter of the "Jaws" kind, some of the scariest footage you will ever see. Krishna Thompson's survivor story is truly one for the books.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the flesh and muscle tissue below Krishna's left thigh is gone. He is on his own, far from land, and he is bleeding to death. The summer of the shark is --



MORET: Krishna Thompson lived to tell a story. You won't believe it, even after this, from a shark. This is all from shark week. Take a look. Krishna.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the first morning of their vacation, Krishna goes to the beach for a swim without his wife. The water is unusually murky. A bull shark is swimming nearby.

One hundred million years of evolution gives the shark the ability to hunt in water where it can barely see. A shark can hear a school of spawning fish from over a mile away. From 500 yards, it can smell a single drop of blood.

At 300 feet, sensors in the lateral lines along its body can detect movement in the water.

And at close range, hundreds of tiny pores in its snout can pick up the ectromagnetic pulse of a fish or a human.

This is the bull shark's word. It's at home in these shallow, murky waters. Thompson is not. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MORET: We'll hear what happened to Krishna coming up next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shock of this gruesome attack is just beginning to sink in for the family of Krishna and Maria Thompsons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctors amputate Krishna's mangled leg. News reports tell his story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is surprising that he is alive. The injuries that he had, he should have bled to death right three in the Bahamas on the beach.



MORET: From pythons back to sharks. Andy, Patrick and Chuck are still with us, talking about Shark Week, coming up on Discovery. Joining us now is Krishna Thompson, whose story we just saw before the break. His nightmare is featured in the episode "Shark Bite Summer." I guess, Krishna, you're sorry that narrator wasn't there to say, stay out of the water.


MORET: It must be a harrowing experience to go through that. Do you relive it in your mind? Was it horrific?

THOMPSON: It was. It was. You know, I really underestimated the power of the shark. They are just so powerful. When I saw that shark coming towards me, I actually thought that I could get out of its way.

MORET: How big was it?

THOMPSON: I hear, like -- according to George Burgess, I believe he told me eight feet.

MORET: And talk about the power. You say you thought you could out-swim or overpower the shark. You clearly couldn't?

THOMPSON: I thought I could. But I saw the shark coming from the corner of my eye. I saw that fin coming right towards me. And I actually tried to twist my body and throw my body weight towards the land. And as I threw my body, the shark -- I actually felt the shark's body swim through my legs, graze my inner knee, my right knee, and it caught my left leg in mid-air, between my knee and my ankle.

I was just shocked and I was just -- I just couldn't believe it. I started to think about my wife and family and friends. And I thought, I don't even have any kids yet. I started thinking all these terrible thoughts.

MORET: Did you think you were going to die?

THOMPSON: I tell you one thing, I did think I was going to die, because I had no control as far as -- you know, when you are in the ocean, Jim, and an animal has you, and it is at its liberty to live, die or breathe, that is a scary feeling.

But you know what? I remained calm, cool and I just waited the shark out. And one of the few things I tried to do is I tried to use my body weight to shake loose. You know when you are in the pool playing around with friends and you try and grab them and slip through their fingers? This wasn't happening. I just could not get out of its jaws.

I remember when the shark caught my leg, I heard its teeth go right into my bones. So it had me pretty good. It just started towing me out further out into the deep, with my waist out of the water. I was just shocked.

MORET: How did you get away?

THOMPSON: Through a prayer and a little luck. Before you know it, the shark just kept towing me out further into the ocean and then I -- like I said, I tried to use my body weight to get loose. That did not work.

And then, before you know it, the shark pulled me down under the water and started shaking me like a rag doll and once -- when the shark was shaking me like a rag doll, I just had to tense my body up. And I tried to not allow any water to get in my nose or mouth, because if that happens, it is not going to be good. I would drown.

So I just kind of waited out the shark. And when the shark stopped shaking me, it was time for action. Now it was my time. I tried to imagine the shark's jaws in relation to my leg. I did not feel pain, but I felt pressure. So I threw one punch in that area of where I thought the shark had my leg. And then I reached down with both my hands -- again, it sounds pretty silly, but I was desperate. I had to breathe. And I released myself.

I couldn't believe it. It worked. It actually worked. The shark let me go, and it actually spun 360 degrees around after I started giving it combinations to the nose and mouth area.

MORET: You obviously have a good left and right hook. If humans don't taste good to sharks, why did a great white go after our next guest? Find out after the break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember just looking down, and that's when everything became even worse. I realized that there's actually two other sharks, 14, 15-foot sharks, just circling below me. At that moment it was sheer terror.


MORET: Welcome back. I'm Jim Moret of "Inside Edition." We are talking sharks on LARRY KING LIVE. Andy, Chuck and Krishna are still with us, as we get to Patrick Walsh's story. Patrick was attacked by a great white while cage diving.

You were cheating, obviously, and you took video of the attack. His story is featured in the episode "Day of the Shark." Thank you for joining us. You have a visual aid with you?

PATRICK WALSH, SHARK ATTACK SURVIVOR: I do. I have a segment of the cage, what is left of it.

MORET: Give us -- this is substantial.

WALSH: Pretty strong.

MORET: I mean, it ripped this right apart?

WALSH: Yes. It ripped the walls right off. You can see it put a nice bend in it. That is from the weight of the tail.

MORET: You heard Krishna's story.


MORET: You were able to witness the power without suffering personal injury. But you clearly saw the power of these sharks.

WALSH: Yes. It's immense. This particular shark was approximately 15 to 16 feet in length, probably close to 2,000 pounds.

MORET: This is you underwater?

WALSH: Yes. This is my footage. Honestly, prior to this shark hitting the cage, I thought I was in a cage that was -- there was no chance of it being breached. These cages were substantial. It took a crew of six people to even put it into the water.

MORET: Sharks are being hunted now.

WALSH: Right.

MORET: What do you feel about that? Do you think they should be protected?

WALSH: Absolutely. I think what is going on around the world, in terms of sharks being killed for no apparent reason, just for finning, for shark fin soup --

MORET: Andy DeHart is a marine biologist. Andy, we have a graphic. What makes certain areas of the world hot spots for shark attacks. As we put the graphic up on the screen, explain to us, what is it that -- you look at the world here. You look at Florida, the Bahamas. What is it? Warm water? There is Hawaii.

DEHART: One of the main things we're looking at is the species that live in that region. There are some dangerous shark species, the great white shark, the tiger shark and the bull shark, all of which have been featured tonight. Even diving with those animal can be incredibly safe in all of these areas.

Also, the kind of main hot spot in the world is in Florida, New Smyrna Beach. There have been 610 shark attacks in Florida, but only 13 fatalities. These are small sharks.

MORET: You look at the graphic, it looks like everywhere people swim, there are sharks. We don't want to be alarmist. It's safe in the water. You respect sharks, but you have to be mindful of them.

DEHART: Absolutely. I have spent well over 1,000 dives with very large sharks. You can be in the water with sharks very safely. Being at the beach is incredibly safe. Driving to the beach is actually far more dangerous than swimming with sharks all around you. So please don't worry about sharks when you go to the beach.

But sharks do need to fear from us, because we are killing them at a rate of 250,000 a day.

MORET: You clearly have to have a great deal of respect for them and be mindful that they are stronger than you. Thank you all for joining us.

One week from tonight, Larry interviews Jermaine Jackson. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."