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Nancy Grace

Britney`s Assistant Subpoenaed in Custody Case

Aired August 13, 2007 - 20:00   ET


MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Tonight: The plot thickens in Britney Spears`s custody war with ex-husband Kevin Federline. Will Spears`s alleged string of wild and erratic behavior cost her custody of her two toddlers? Headlines tonight: Word Spears personal assistant served with legal papers. That`s right, served. Reports Spears assistant, Alli Sims, being subpoenaed. But why? Just what information might she be holding in this all-out custody war?
We hear about Spears`s luxury rehab, late-night parties, and her so- called bad parenting. But are Britney Spears`s kids really in danger, or is this all hype? Remember, reports claim Federline`s spousal support to the tune of 20 grand a year (SIC) runs dry in November. With secret papers already filed and the child custody hearing scheduled tomorrow, what`s it all mean? Tonight, we break it down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Britney Spears -- been a pretty rough year for the fallen pop star, and tomorrow it could get even worse when custody of her two children could be determined at a hearing between Spears and ex- husband Kevin Federline. This weekend, Federline`s attorney subpoenas Britney`s ex-assistant, also her cousin, hoping she will spill the beans under oath about her former boss. So could Britney lose the kids? Is money the motivating factor here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s assume for a moment the best motives here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s say he doesn`t want money. Let`s just say he really wants his two boys away from her until she gets cleaned up.


BROOKS: And tonight, breaking news, another professional wrestling star dead. Former WWE star Brian Adams, also known as "Crush," found dead hours ago in his Tampa home, Adams just 44 years old. You can`t help but ask, could this death be related to drugs? With the prospect of congressional hearings looming, we investigate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news, another professional wrestling star dead. Brian Adams, known to fans as "Crush," died today. Police say he was found by his wife in bed, not breathing. That`s when she called 911. But medical crews were unable to revive the former WWE star, Adams the latest professional wrestling professional star to die at a young age.


BROOKS: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight, Britney Spears`s aide subpoenaed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kevin Federline and Britney Spears are heading back to court. They`re fighting over custody of their two children. Federline had Spears`s former assistant served with a subpoena when she was leaving a party on Saturday night, in full view of the paparazzi, who have posted some of this video on line.

Alli Sims, Britney`s cousin/former assistant, tried to avoid the server but to no avail. She was forced to take the paperwork that would make her testify in what Federline`s attorney called the Spears/Federline issue. Now, the speculation is that Sims is going to be forced to answer questions all about the pop star`s partying and how she takes care of the kids. Sims has publicly defended her cousin as a good mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sympathy is with Kevin, I think. He has toned it down. We haven`t seen him linked with inappropriate women in the press. We haven`t seen erratic behavior. He hasn`t had a DUI. He hasn`t had a car crash. He`s stayed out of rehab. So right now, he has a very good chance of getting those children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve been hearing from lots of people who, on the one hand, think the pop star`s lifestyle raises a lot of questions about her parenting skills. And then, of course, there are plenty of people who are telling us they just think that Federline is doing this to try to get more money out of Britney.


BROOKS: So is the bottom line the bottom line in this custody war between Kevin Federline and Britney Spears? For the latest, we go out to CNN correspondent Sibila Vargas.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Mike. I`ll tell you one thing, though. The gloves are definitely on. He`s got his boxing gloves on right now. He is prepared to do battle against Britney Spears. And if it means putting one of her own people against her, that is what he`s prepared to do.

Alli Sims -- this is a former assistant of Britney Spears, a cousin of Britney Spears -- she was served with papers over the weekend. Basically, what Kevin Federline wants to do is establish that Britney is not capable of being a good mom right now, that he should have primary custody of these children. And again, if it means pitting this woman against Britney Spears, her own cousin, that`s what he`s prepared to do.

BROOKS: Now, isn`t her mom also in Federline`s camp?

VARGAS: Well, I haven`t heard so much about her mom now, but I know that her mom has been in his camp before. Now, when she went to rehab, this was at the insistence of Kevin Federline, reportedly at the insistence of him. He wanted her to go to rehab. This was just after she shaved her head. We all saw a bald Britney. And he thought that, you know, the kids were in danger at that particular time, and he said, Britney, you have to go to rehab, and if you don`t go, I`m taking the kids away. And at that time, reportedly, Britney`s mom was in concert. She agreed with Kevin, and they both forced her to go into rehab.

BROOKS: Now, Alli Sims was served with papers. How did that all go down?

VARGAS: That went down over the weekend. And I tell you, she was not happy. In fact, if you watch that video, you know, people are telling her, Alli, don`t take those papers, Alli, don`t take those papers. She did not want to take those papers. At one point, she says, I`m not touching -- I didn`t touch anything. And then you hear the person who actually served her saying, You saw her, you saw her touch them. She did. It was a big -- it was a big battle to try not to get these -- or she was really trying her best not to be served these papers, but in the end, she was served.

So at some point, she -- you know, again, Kevin Federline is hoping that the information that she does give will establish that Britney Spears is not a good mom. And this is interesting because Alli Sims has come in defense of Britney Spears. She says that Britney is a good mom, that she takes care of her kids, and that her kids love her and Britney loves her kids.

So -- but I think that Kevin Federline thinks that there`s enough information there, at least his lawyers think that she has enough information -- she`s privy to enough information to prove that Britney Spears is not capable at this particular moment.

And I got to tell you, Mike, she has been seen, photographed with Britney Spears, so there`s a lot of information that Alli Sims could possibly offer.

BROOKS: Joining us in New York, David Caplan, senior correspondent for VH-1`s David what information do you think that Alli Sims has? And will it be harmful to her?

DAVID CAPLAN, VH1`S 24SIZZLER.COM: Absolutely. I mean, the information that Alli Sims has that Kevin Federline`s camp wants is basically all of her observations working with Britney. What did she feed Sean Preston and Jayden James? Was she around with the kids? Were they ever put in any sort of harm? How did she care for them? Were they left alone? It`s all these sort of anecdotes that they can put together, you know, to paint a negative picture of Britney.

BROOKS: Well, you know, Robi Ludwig, joining me here on set, psychotherapist and host of "Without Prejudice" on GSN, what harm, what overall harm, long-term effect could this really have on the kids?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: You know, it`s very hard to know, but if Britney is somehow addicted and she can`t be available to her children and is not able to truly care for them, then there`s certainly physical harm that can come to them. But it`s very damaging to have a mother who`s in this kind of adolescent state. She`s so really self-preoccupied, she`s not in a position really to emotionally parent, and maybe that`s what everybody is picking up here.

BROOKS: Well, do you think it`s emotion, or do you think that she has some kind of, you know, mental problem?

LUDWIG: Well, emotional problem and mental problem tend to go together. It`s very hard to tell whether somebody has a mood disorder when somebody is actively abusing alcohol. I think we need to weed it out and figure out if there`s an addiction disease here going on. And sometimes you can have both. It`s called a dual diagnosis, where there`s a mood disorder and you have an addictive component where you`re self-medicating.

BROOKS: Ken Seeley joining us from LA. He`s an interventionist on A&E`s "Interventions" and founder of Ken, now, we know that she`s been to rehab, but we don`t know for sure if she`s an addict, if she`s addicted to any kind of drugs, any alcohol. Have you ever heard of anyone going to rehab that wasn`t really an addict?

KEN SEELEY, 911INTERVENTION.COM: Yes, you know, there are people, but like she just said, that`s considered dual diagnosis. And you know, no matter what the issue is here, you know, addict or no addict, she has a major problem that needs to be addressed.

And this is an interventionist`s dream come true, what`s happening right now, because the one thing she does love is those kids, and if you take those kids away, who cares how much that`s going to cost her in the long run, paying Kevin? If it saves her life, so be it. Take away the kids. Maybe that`ll be the thing that`ll jolt her, make her feel the pain, because nobody changes without pain.

That`s what an interventionist looks for. We look for someplace that they`re going to feel some pain and need to change, and I believe it`s her kids. It`s not her mother. It`s not her ex-husband. It`s her kids. And if that`s what`s going to save her, then let`s use this in our benefit and help save this young woman`s life.

BROOKS: Let`s go to the phones. Sue from Illinois, thanks for joining us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. My question is when she was in, quote, unquote, "rehab," who had care of the children?

BROOKS: David Caplan?

CAPLAN: Kevin and her mom split custody of the children.

BROOKS: Now, how long was she -- how long was she in rehab, David?

CAPLAN: This was a month-long period, actually, she was in rehab. And she did see the kids because they brought them by. Lynn, her mom, would bring them by the rehab facility, or Kevin would.

BROOKS: Interesting. Back to the phones. Jamie from Arkansas, you have a question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. If Mr. Federline is so worried about his two kids with Britney Spears, why is he not concerned about his kids with the two -- the two kids with the black young lady?

BROOKS: Oh, Char Jackson. Well, you know, they said that he -- she`s not really saying anything bad about Federline. Ken Baker, editorial director for "US Weekly" magazine, what do you say about that?

KEN BAKER, "US WEEKLY": Kevin does maintain a relationship with the children he has with Char Jackson, who was -- he never married her, but of course, Char was the mother of his children before he got married to Britney and had two kids.

But really, what`s going on is Kevin`s lawyer is basically on an old- fashioned, you know, dirt-digging, dirt-finding expedition. And what`s happened is that ever since Britney got out of rehab about three or four months ago, she has really made her world very small. There`s a handful of nannies, some bodyguards and Alli Sims.

So what you`re going to see over the next month or so are depositions are going to be taken of this very tight-knit circle of people who have knowledge about Britney`s behavior, what she`s putting in her body, what she`s putting in the kids` body, and generally, what kind of environment these kids are in.

And Kevin Federline, meanwhile, is sitting back. He just -- lookit, they`re splitting custody right now. As David said, he did have full custody when Britney was in rehab. This is not unprecedented. This just happened a few months ago that Kevin had the kids full time and would take them to see Mommy in rehab.

So really, what`s going to happen is that I think this is really going to come down to substance abuse. That`s basically what the point is going to be and what Federline`s attorney is basically angling to find in this dirt-finding expedition.

BROOKS: But again, we have no evidence whatsoever of any alcohol abuse, any drug abuse. Ken, who else could be subpoenaed and brought in? I mean, I`m sure there`s going to be more than just Alli Sims. Who do you think else is on this list that Federline`s attorneys might have?

BAKER: Well, I`d imagine -- first of all, there`s been a few bodyguards. One in particular is a guy named Damon Schippen (ph), who you might recall was the bodyguard who caught one of her sons when she tripped on a Manhattan street -- there`s a famous photo of that -- who`s been around her very intimately and was actually rumored to be romantic with her. There`s another guy, Julio Camera (ph), who actually beat up a paparazzi in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, when Britney took the kids to Las Vegas against a custody agreement that said she wouldn`t take the kids out of state and they had a big run-in. Also there`s a bunch of nannies who`ve come and gone through Britney`s life in the last year or so, and they`re not employed by her anymore.

BROOKS: And there`s the picture you were just talking about. There`s the bodyguard -- you said we`ve seen that picture a number of times of her almost dropping the baby right in the middle of the street.


BROOKS: So -- but I`m sure there`s going to be other people, too, but it should be interesting who`s going to be on this list. You know, let`s talk about this serving of the papers. Let`s -- I want to say uncage the lawyers tonight. Joining us is Susan Moss from New York, family law attorney and child advocate, Randy Kessler, defense attorney in Atlanta, and Carmen St. George, defense attorney out of New York.

Susan, you know, what do you think about all this? I mean, do you think that she`s going to lose custody of the kids? Do you think Kevin`s going to get custody of the kids? Are either one of them any better than the other?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Real simple. If these allegations are legit, Brit is unfit. All of these allegations that Britney`s erratic behavior, her coming in and out of bathrooms and coming out pretty much out of her mind, her eyes rolling to the back of her head -- these are very, very bad indicators that there`s a real problem, whether that be mental illness or a substance problem.

BROOKS: And again, Susan, we have no indication of any alcohol or any drug, but you know, it is, it`s bizarre behavior. But also, everybody`s talking about, Oh, is she an unfit mom? Now, giving soda to the child, is that -- you know, is that against the law? No.

MOSS: Absolutely not. And if that was the only indication that there`s a problem, there would be no court hearing tomorrow or any other day. It`s her erratic behavior. It`s her eyes rolling to the back of the head. It`s her driving erratically with the children and without the children. It`s her saying strange things to the paparazzi. It`s her threatening to kill a paparazzi member in front of the children. It`s her ignoring a court order and traveling out of state without court permission. All of these come together and signify bad news for Britney.

BROOKS: Carmen St. George, now, her assistant was served with a subpoena. Now, everyone around her said, Oh, don`t take it, don`t take it. Tell me what happens during a subpoena service, and how does it usually go down?

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Mike, what happened in this particular case is that Kevin`s lawyers hired the best security team to serve these papers because they had a feeling that she would be apprehensive and they thought that maybe she may not accept. So typically, anybody who`s old enough and not a party to the action, a process server, is usually used to serve the subpoena. And in this case, it was served at 3:00 AM while she exited the club, and most intentionally, to be able to show that she received it, and now cause for her to be produced for her deposition because she has relevant evidence.

I mean, Mike, let`s look at it. She`s the one who was closest. She`s the assistant and she`s a cousin. So she`s going to be -- Britney`s going to divulge information to a family member moreso than she would to a stranger. So she knows the with who`s, the what`s, the when`s, and Kevin Federline`s attorneys are doing the best thing to get her in on this action.

BROOKS: Absolutely. And Randy Kessler, just in the short time we have before we break here, if you`re the attorney, what would you be asking Alli?

RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`d be asking her anything that could possibly shed bad light on what a bad mom Britney is because you know what? Whatever she says is not going to help Britney. She`s the other side`s friend. She`s a friendly witness to the other side. If you can get the other side to concede facts, wonderful. It`s a stroke of genius by K- Fed`s lawyers.

Sometimes we do that when we represent the wife. We subpoena the receptionist for the businessman husband because the receptionist will know who`s been calling, what`s he been doing, where`s he been going, those kind of things. If you can get the other side or the other side`s close friend to even acknowledge or concede certain behavior, that`s 10 times better than he said/she said. So it`s a stroke of genius.

And if she says anything -- if she doesn`t say anything that helps K- Fed, that`s to be expected. If she says one or two things that they get out of this, it`s been well worth the effort.

BROOKS: Now, in a deposition, are they also going to be able to ask - - subpoena witnesses from Federline`s camp?

KESSLER: Certainly. They`ll be able to subpoena witnesses from any side, anybody that has not only relevant information but anybody that might be able to help them get to relevant information. You have a wide discretion when you`re subpoenaing for deposition. You don`t have to limit yourself to those people who would have relevant information, you can take the deposition of somebody who night know somebody who might know somebody who would have relevant information.

And I also want to get back to that caller`s question, who said why is K-Fed interested now and he wasn`t interested before. You know what? He is interested, and it seems like the legal posture of this case is just a fascinating posture. It sounds like he said, You know what? I`m going to let her try and we`ll see if it works, and I`ll give the court this little test tube period to see how she reacts when she has time alone with the kids. And now he`s saying that she failed, but give me credit, as K-Fed, for letting her try it. And now everybody can see that she can`t live up to what we need her to live up to as a mom.

BROOKS: It should be interesting to hear what all these witnesses are going to have to say.

And we`re going to be right back, but first to tonight`s "Case Alert," An arrest warrant issued for a fourth suspect in the execution-style killings of three coeds (SIC). Newark, New Jersey, police hunting tonight for Rodolfo Godinez, age 24. Three others already arrested in connection with the murders of Dashon Harvey, Terrence Aeriel and Iofeme Hightower. Two 15-year-old boys currently in custody and 28-year-old Jose Carranza.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An assistant to Britney Spears was subpoenaed Sunday. The Associated Press says Alli Sims is expected to be asked to offer a deposition in a legal matter concerning the pop star and ex-husband Kevin Federline. It was unknown if the testimony was connected to the child custody hearing, scheduled for Tuesday. Spears and Federline have shared joint custody of their two sons since February.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for joining us tonight.

The K-Fed and Britney`s battle continues on, a hearing tomorrow in court. We`ll see what happens with that.

You know, but my question to Mr. Howard Bragman from LA,, Hollywood PR consultant, with everything that`s going on with her, and if, you know -- if she keeps the kids, he gets the kids, how was she ever, after shaving her head, all the erratic behavior, how is she ever going to really be able to get her image back as a true entertainer?

HOWARD BRAGMAN, HOLLYWOOD PR CONSULTANT: Well, it has to be by entertaining. She has to get back to what it was that made her one of the top 10-selling pop stars of all time, and that is record good music. And we just haven`t seen that.

BROOKS: Haven`t seen much of that, have we.

BRAGMAN: You know, when you`re a publicist, you want your client to be known for something. Fame is not enough. Fame is not the end point. Fame is what you use to get money, to get respect. And she`s just being famous for fame`s sake, and that`s what`s screwing up her career. But she does have some innate talent, and if she gets -- she has a new manager now, and hopefully, he`ll get her back on track to her music, and that`s what can resurrect her financially and her image. But most of all, people want to see a good mother, even more than they want to see good music, and that`s what we`re not seeing out here.

BROOKS: As a Hollywood PR consultant, what would you be telling her right now?

BRAGMAN: You know, I`d say, You should do things that show you as a mother. You should take your kids to the park. You should be at your kids` school and nursery and play dates instead of being out at nightclubs, instead of the erratic behavior you`re seeing. And there`s another good thing that happens. When you start taking your kids to the park, the first time all the cameras are there. By about the fifth time, the paparazzi and the media are going, This is boring. Let`s go cover someone else. And...


BROOKS: She can`t even put her kids in a car seat, you know? So how -- she doesn`t seem like somebody -- you know, Let`s take the kids to the park and let`s push her on a swing. She doesn`t seem like that kind of mom to me.

BRAGMAN: You know, that`s not how I`m seeing her, either, but you know, there are people who think she`s a good mother, and let`s hope she can get it together for the kids` sake.

BROOKS: I sure hope she can, too.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just July 30, which is what, two weeks ago, that the divorce was official. We believe he got $14 million in that case. He`s living right now, by the way, in a $3.2 million mansion in Tarzana, California, that he`s just renting, so -- but he told the realtor that he`ll buy it in six to eight months. So does he have enough money to buy this place, or does he need more? That`s the suspicion here.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for joining us. As the war continues on between Mr. Federline and Britney Spears, with two children as pawns in this chess match, if you will, you know, there`s a lot of questions that remain unanswered.

To David Caplan. David, how come child protective services in LA has never been called in to investigate any of this bizarre behavior? Why didn`t, you know, Kevin Federline call them if she was such a bad mom?

CAPLAN: Well, interestingly enough, last year, actually, the LA child protective services did visit Britney`s house after there were some incidents there, one of which was when one of her sons fell on the floor from the highchair. And that was blamed on a nanny at the time. But oddly enough, no one has called in a complaint recently, given the bizarre behavior.

But again, all the behavior, though, has not been targeted necessarily at the children. The children were not hurt. They were not abused. That`s why the agency hasn`t come in. Last year, a child falling on his head and hurting himself, that`s different. But I mean, these reports that are not really confirmed about what the kids are eating and her going to a nightclub -- there`s nothing really for an agency to, you know, look into that.

BROOKS: Well, you know, it`s amazing to me that the nannies -- why haven`t they called? That`s a question I ask. David, what do you think?

CAPLAN: Confidentiality agreements, probably.


CAPLAN: They`re well-trained. They probably would like to work again in Hollywood, so I don`t think ratting out Britney Spears is the best career move.


BROOKS: No, you`re probably right.

When we come back, another pro wrestler drops dead. Tonight, we investigate.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some fans knew him as Crush. Others remember him in Demolition, but 43-year-old Brian Adams` life was cut short today after being found dead in his Tampa home. Cops say the former WWE star had no visible signs of injuries. The former tag team champion`s body is now in the custody of the Tampa medical examiner`s office.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Another professional wrestler dead at the age of 44 years old. What`s the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely, everyone`s going to think, especially after the Chris Benoit story we just went through recently, probably drugs. Steroids, other drugs? We don`t know. But for the latest, we go to mark -- sorry, Eben Brown, reporter from Newsradio 970, WFLA.

Thanks for being with us.

EBEN BROWN, NEWSRADIO 970 WFLA: Hi there, Eben, but close enough. Everyone gets it wrong.

BROOKS: Sorry.

BROWN: Good evening there. This was a bit of a surprise for the family of Brian Adams, who is his real name. People from the early `90s might remember him as Crush, one of the three members of Demolition, complemented by Axe and Smash. But he was found dead by his wife, or at least not breathing, by his wife in their home here in Tampa in an area called Tampa Palms, and she called 911. Rescuers came, performed CPR, tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

BROOKS: Eben, do we know if police have ever been called to his house for any other calls for police service, if you will?

BROWN: That information is not available as of now. We asked police about that. They said they`d have to go look through their records. The only thing that we could find was that, I think in 1994, Brian Adams was arrested for possessing steroids and a stun gun. Eventually the stun gun charge, I believe, was dropped, one of the charges was dropped, maybe the drug charges. But since then, there hasn`t been too much heard from him. He had been working again with wrestling, I think most recently as a bodyguard for Randy Savage, otherwise known as Macho Man.

BROOKS: Macho Man Randy Savage, everyone, I remember that, even when I first started watching wrestling. What were the circumstances surrounding his arrest back in 1994?

BROWN: We`re still kind of digging through that, since it`s been a while. But he had been holding some steroids. He had also had a stun gun. And you can`t have steroids and you can`t have a stun gun, so he was eventually caught with those things. They were on his person, and he was arrested, but I don`t believe he ever did any real jail time. We`ll have to check up on that. I know one of those charges was dropped.

BROOKS: Now, wasn`t there a package or something that had come from overseas, and basically law enforcement found out that it was illegal steroids, and they basically pulled the sting on him, and then they did a search warrant of the house and found the stun gun, is that how it went?

BROWN: It went something like that. We`d have to go back and review the case. This came as a surprise to everybody. It happened originally around 11:30 this morning. And by the time the information was released, it was late this afternoon, so we`re still trying to sort everything out. Again, it was a real bit of a surprise to most people in this area, where we do have a lot of wrestlers who`ve taken up residence in the Tampa Bay area, so it`s hit us all as a bit of surprise.

BROOKS: And going out to Dave Meltzer from from San Jose, Dave, why do so many wrestlers wind up in Florida?

DAVID MELTZER, WRESTLINGOBSERVER.COM: I think it`s a couple of reasons. The climate, also the tax laws, you know, sales tax, and it just becomes one of those things. A lot of wrestlers have resided in Arizona especially, and Florida is the two main places. Some of them got scared off by the hurricanes and stuff and went to Arizona, but it`s the Tampa area in particular, it`s a community with tons of wrestlers. And also when they would tour nationally, the Tampa airport was very convenient to fly out of because so many of the shores are on the northeast seaboard.

BROOKS: That makes sense. Now back to Eben Brown, reporter from Newsradio 970 WFLA, what are Tampa police saying about this? And has there been an autopsy done yet?

BROWN: The autopsy will begin tomorrow. By the time the body was transported to the Hillsborough County medical examiner`s office, it was kind of end of business for the day. So they already have possession of the body. They`re going to begin their work starting tomorrow. Autopsies can take many weeks, in many cases, so it may be a while to find out -- before we find out what the cause of death is, because it`s not known yet.

BROOKS: Now, going out to Dr. Marc Siegel from New York, he`s internist and author of "False Alarm," former E.R. doctor, NYU Bellevue, Dr. Siegel, and it says in the police report, and I`m looking at it right here, that it says there were no visible sign of injuries, and they`re calling the incident an unexplained death. When they finally do get to the autopsy tomorrow, what are they going to be looking for?

DR. MARC SIEGEL, AUTHOR OF "FALSE ALARM": Well, Mike, I don`t think when they`re done they`re going to end up with an unexplained death. And the fact that there`s no signs of trauma initially, that`s very significant that it probably is what we`re thinking, that it may very well be drug- related. They`re going to test his blood for steroids, they`re going to test his urine, they`re going to look in his hair, they`re going to look on his skin. They`re going to look for signs that there may have been use of drugs.

Now, you should realize that, as steroids are bulking up the muscles, they`re also bulking up the heart. And probably the leading idea here is that you could have an arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac death could occur from a lot of the drugs we`re considering here, including steroids. That doesn`t mean this is what it is, but this is what`s on an autopsy person`s mind right now. Forensics is going to be looking very closely at this.

BROOKS: Joining us from Orlando, Florida, a very, very special guest, Marc Mero, he`s a former WWE wrestler and friend of Brian "Crush" Adams. Thanks for joining us, Marc.

MARC MERO, FORMER PRO WRESTLER: Thanks for having me.

BROOKS: Marc, as a former wrestler -- and I know every time something like this happens, and we`ve talked about it before, you take it personally, because you`ve got -- you had a list. I remember it really made an impact on me, a list of people that you`ve wrestled with that have died from a number of different things. Tell us a little bit about Brian Adams, what kind of person he was, what kind of wrestler he was. Just kind of give us a little background.

MERO: Brian was a super guy. He was kind of a quiet guy, but he loved to play little practical jokes, but he was a good person. And I spoke to Brian on the phone a couple weeks ago, and we talked about possibly doing a business venture together with my Body Slam Gym. And, you know, he was going to come down and see me here in Orlando, and obviously that`s not going to happen, but Brian is number 27 on my list of dead wrestlers that I have wrestled against.

BROOKS: Twenty-seven?

MERO: Yes, 27, and of course, you know, Elizabeth, Sherry and Nancy Benoit were also with me (INAUDIBLE) that`s 30. Now, when you think about this, what other professional athlete can say that he played against or knows 30 people that died in his business? It`s ludicrous. Something needs to be done. I mean, you look at a combat person in Iraq, he doesn`t even know 30 people that are dead.

BROOKS: Now, do you think that the WWE and professional wrestling let him down?

MERO: Well, you know what? There`s certainly a personal responsibility, but there is an industry responsibility, because we have seen what happened with Chris Benoit, where he was able to get a 10-month supply of steroids every two or three weeks, and still pass the WWE drug policy. It`s ludicrous. And you know what we`re also seeing, is we`re seeing the trickle-down effect of one million high school kids, from sixth grade to 12th grade, that are now taking anabolic steroids, and it`s doubled in the last 10 years, because it`s saying it`s OK to do anything it takes to get to the top.

BROOKS: But who`s saying it`s OK? These kids, where are their parents? Who`s letting them get these drugs and take these steroids? Is it high school coaches? Is it kids that want to go on and do what you did?

MERO: Well, when you look at your superstars on television, and they look better than their action figures, and these kids emulate that, they want to look like that. They want to be like that. And they`ll do anything it takes to get to the top.

That`s what I did. When I got into professional wrestling, I see what it takes or what the look was to making the professional wrestling, and that`s why I did anabolic steroids to make it. And when I made it, you do everything you can to keep your spot.

BROOKS: Now, do you think Brian Adams was taking steroids?

MERO: You know, I don`t know. It`s too early to speculate on that. You know, how does a guy die at 43 years old mysteriously? It`s a typical M.O. of a professional wrestling. Something needs to be done. And I start a school program on Friday where we start talking in schools all over the country, and it`s called "Choose Not to Lose." Please go to our Web site, We want to come and speak to your school, because it`s about choices.

BROOKS: Now, it`s about choices. And what are you going to tell the kids when you go out to the schools? What`s going to be your main message?

MERO: Well, the thing is the truth, OK? It`s all about choices in life, OK? If you`re going to do something to cheat to get to the top, people don`t realize the long-term effects of this, of what we experience now in our forties of what we`re going through and seeing so many of my friends die.

BROOKS: To "Case Alert." The last two codefendants in the dogfighting case against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick reportedly agree to plea deals. A plea agreement hearing is scheduled for Purnell Peace Thursday and for Quanis Phillips Friday. Another co- defendant, Tony Taylor, also known as "T," has already pleaded guilty. Just last month, Vick, Peace, Phillips and Taylor pled not guilty to operating a dogfighting ring.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news. Another professional wrestling star dead. Brian Adams, known to fans as Crush, died today. Police say he was found by his wife in bed not breathing. That`s when she called 911. But medical crews were unable to revive the former WWE star. Adams, the latest professional wrestling star to died at a young age.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thanks again for joining us.

Another professional wrestler, 44-year-old Brian "Crush" Adams, found dead in his Tampa home this morning, not breathing, unresponsive, 911 was called. EMS came to his house. They could not revive him. He was pronounced dead right there at his house. Very, very sad story.

But just another one, another list, another person added to the list that Marc Mero was just talking about. But, Dave Meltzer, I want to ask you, you know, when Chris Benoit died, Vince McMahon and the WWE, they came out and they held a little memorial service. Do you think they`re going to do that for him?

MELTZER: Not a memorial service. It might be acknowledged in a graphic at the start of the show. I don`t know for sure one way or the other. Their show actually starts in just a couple of minutes. And, yes, if I was going to guess, I don`t really know. I mean, (INAUDIBLE) guess, but usually when a wrestler dies -- and it happens all the time -- they do a brief video of the person and on occasion they`ll acknowledge him again in the show. I doubt that they would do it with Brian on the show tonight, but...

BROOKS: Well, you know, it looked to me today in their statement right after it happened, WWE on their Web site put a statement up, and it looked to me like they were just basically trying to distance themselves from this, because they don`t want any more heat.

Back to Marc Mero, former WWE wrestler and friend of Brian "Crush" Adams, you know, just the other day, talking about Vince McMahon. And Vince McMahon, I think he`s not stepping up. I don`t think -- he`s not stepping up to these people. And just recently, he was on his show kind of making a mockery of these congressional hearings. Do you know anything about that?

MERO: Absolutely. You know, I`ve talked to Congressman Clifford Stearns. I also had a conference call with Waxman and Davis` group. And they sent letters to Vince McMahon, congressional letters asking for specifics, and Vince McMahon made a mockery of it on national TV. And it just goes to show where his values are, because he just looks at everything as just entertainment. It`s about getting ratings, it`s about getting numbers, it`s about making money.

This is now about saving lives. Something needs to be done. He needs to be held accountable. And I believe we`re going to have congressional hearings, and I look forward to testifying at Capitol Hill.

BROOKS: Now, do you think these congressional hearings will do any good, or do you think just by shedding light on this, it will put some pressure on the WWE to really do something?

MERO: You know, Mike, I`m such an optimist. I`m so positive I believe something good`s going to come out of this. I really believe that, because the same guys who might despise me now, might be the same guys in the future, these guys have no health insurance, no retirement. They have nothing. And something needs to be done. This industry needs to be regulated. They obviously haven`t policed themselves very well, so something needs to be done. Someone needs to step up to the plate, step in, and get involved.

BROOKS: Now, are you taking a lot of heat from some of the WWE current wrestlers and former wrestlers? Are you taking a lot of heat from them? Tell me about that.

MERO: Yes, you know what? It`s a small price to pay if you`re going to save just a few lives out there, and that`s what I really look forward to do. You know, Mike, I hate to say this, but in the end, wrestlers may be just wrestlers. They may be the same old thing going through the same stuff, but there are a lot of kids that we`re able to really help out in the future, and those are the people that I`m really hoping to save in the future.

BROOKS: You know, Marc, you were in the WWE. You were in professional wrestling for a number of years. Take us inside a locker room before a match. Are steroids, human growth hormone, pills, are they used out in the open and everyone knows it`s happening?

MERO: No, not at all. It`s the code of silence in professional wrestling. You never see people shooting up on steroids or taking steroids. And certainly, if you had some good pills on the road, you don`t want to tell anybody about it, because you don`t want to have to hand them out.

BROOKS: Now, was there any particular -- was there a group of doctors that the different wrestlers would have that would prescribe these drugs to them?

MERO: Absolutely. You know, Dr. Atkins, the only reason they even found out about him was because of the double murder-suicide, but, you know, there`s probably hundreds of other doctors out there that are doing the same thing, and that`s what`s unfortunate. I remember being backstage where I`ve seen doctors just write scripts for the wrestlers, and it would be a joke. It`s like, "I got Percocet. I got Soma." And it was like candy.

BROOKS: Now, you know, we talk about all these different drugs, and you said before, you do, what, about 200 shows a year, 365 days in a year, and you`re all doing 200 shows. It`s got to take its toll.

MERO: Absolutely. You know, when I was there, we used to do about 250 cities a year. I know that the travel isn`t quite as extensive now, but there`s still no off-season. Remember something, I`ve said this over and over again, is that the Super Bowl of professional wrestling is Wrestlemania. The next night, they do Monday Night Raw, and the season continues. Can you imagine the Super Bowl and the same two teams played Monday Night Football the next night, and the season continued? It`s unheard of. These guys need a break. It`s mental and physical.

BROOKS: You know, and it sounds like the bottom line is the bottom line when it comes to Vince McMahon. Now, you were just talking about it`s physical and mental. What kind of mental? I mean, you know, talk about drugs. It`s physically addicting, psychologically addicting. What kind of mental pressure are put on the professional wrestlers?

MERO: Well, it`s the pressure of not only obtaining one of those few spots that are available on television, but it`s staying with it and maintaining and keeping your body and your mind in top shape. You know, doing that many cities, your body definitely breaks down. And, of course, there goes the anabolic steroids to help you recover quickly. And then obviously the road, the pain that you`re involved in, I mean, there`s no time to get surgery because, if you`re out, someone`s going to take your spot.

BROOKS: Sure. Now, are there any kind of psychological services that are offered to professional wrestlers?

MERO: Well, when I was there, there was none. I understand they have a wellness program, but I don`t know how well that`s been working. You know, they need help. They really do. Remember something, there`s no retirement. You know, there`s no health insurance. We had to buy our own health insurance and, you know, there`s nothing.

BROOKS: To Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and host of "Without Prejudice" on GSN, Robi, what do these guys need?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: They need to be taken care of by the industry. They need to be given health insurance. You know, God bless Marc and what he`s doing. He really has it right. Perhaps they need some education here, too, but they`re basically being abused by the system. The system is making money, and they are dying early. This is what we know about taking steroids. The addictive quality is very different than other drugs, because it doesn`t give you the high. It`s that sense of strength that people get and want to maintain that keeps them hooked, and that`s the danger.



SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM, FORMER WRESTLER: The problem we have in professional wrestling is it`s considered to be a circus. We are no more than soap opera actors. It`s nothing more than a Broadway play. So the foolishness of professional wrestling degrades the actual people who are involved in it.


BROOKS: And that was Superstar Billy Graham, who is known to a lot of wrestling fans as one of the top wrestlers ever to have lived.

And I want to go out to the attorneys. I`ve got a question for you. Let`s un-cage them one more time. Susan Moss, family law attorney and child advocate, Randy Kessler, defense attorney, and Carmen St. George, another defense attorney, let me ask you, do the families of these wrestlers have any kind of case against the WWE, especially with their, you know, lack thereof of a drug policy, if you will, Randy?

RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the first thing a lot of lawyers are going to ask is, where are the deep pockets? And the WWE has deep pockets. You know, the bottom line is, it`s not just good law and good common sense and good morality. It`s good business: Protect your employees, protect the people that make you money and make sure that they don`t get into trouble. They have the resources. Pay the money up front or pay lawyers later to defend you.

BROOKS: Carmen, what do you think?

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Mike, I think this situation is one where we don`t know what substance, if any, was in his body. I mean, look at the Chris Benoit situation. It was just determined last month that none of the drugs found in his body caused `roid rage. So let`s wait and see.

BROOKS: No, and right now we want to reiterate, we do not have a cause of death. Tomorrow is going to be the autopsy, and we`ll learn more from the toxicology.

But tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Captain Maria Ortiz, 40 years old, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, killed, Iraq. The first Army nurse killed in combat since Vietnam, Ortiz remembered for her dedication and warm heart. Born in New Jersey and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz enlisted in the Army in 1991 and worked around the globe, from Korea to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is survived by fiance, Juan, her parents, Jorge Ortiz and Juan Casiano, and four sisters. Army Captain Maria Ortiz, American hero.

Thank you to all our guests for joining us, but our biggest thanks to you for inviting us into your homes. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. Until then, stay safe.