Return to Transcripts main page

Piers Morgan Live

Jaycee Dugard's Mother Speaks Out

Aired November 01, 2011 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, an extraordinary story of survival against all odds. A child abducted in broad daylight on her way to school.

TERRY PROBYN, JAYCEE DUGARD'S MOTHER: You may like her but we love her, too. And it's time that she comes home to her family.

MORGAN: Jaycee Dugard's mother lived a nightmare for 18 years not knowing if her daughter was dead or alive. Then the impossible. Jaycee, her two daughters fathered by her captor, finally saved and rescued. But after all the headlines, how is Jaycee doing now?

Tonight her mother tells their incredible story.

Plus the inside story of Michael Jackson's inner circle. What really went on the hours before Michael died and two men who worked with the king of pop for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said tomorrow, we're going to discuss all the vocals for the tour. You know? And that was the last time I spoke to him.


Jaycee Dugard's mother never gave up hope that she could see her daughter again. But it took 18 agonizing years. Jaycee's story made headlines around the world. And as she and her family are putting their lives back together, joining me now is Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn, and Rebecca Bailey, who's Jaycee's therapist.

Welcome to you both. An extraordinary story. One of the most extraordinary I think I have ever encountered in sort of 30 years of journalism.

The obvious question is, how are things going? I mean how is normal life? Can it be normal for you and Jaycee?

PROBYN: Absolutely. This is what's normal for us and every day is a challenge and we've worked through it and, you know, therapists help us and we help each other and it's one day at a time.

MORGAN: How's she?

PROBYN: Pretty awesome. She's happy. And healthy. And learning and experiencing new things every day. And I get the joy of watching that. I missed 18 years of that kid's life and every day is a blessing in my eyes.

MORGAN: Do you -- I mean, how hard is it to be relentlessly positive given the horrors that she had to endure, given the horror that you had to endure as somebody who didn't even know if she's alive or dead?

Obviously, it ended happily and you got Jaycee back but you've lost this huge amount of time with your daughter. And she must be scarred by what happened to her in ways you may not even realize yet. So how easy is it to just say, OK, we're going to rebuild and get on with our lives?

PROBYN: I think a lot of it depends -- is dependent upon Jaycee and her attitude. She is strong and she's a survivor and she has proved it over and over again. And I actually find her picking me up every once in a while with just her joy of life and her simple happiness that she and I are reconnected and, you know, life is -- life is OK. You know? You can get through the worst of the worst and she's living proof.

MORGAN: She wrote this - again, extraordinary book "A Stolen Life," which I read in one sitting.


MORGAN: And it was searing and incredibly detailed and very self aware, I thought, about what had happened to her and the implications of all of this. But I was struck by something that she said in the acknowledgments about you, which I wanted to just read to you -- just parts of it because it was so moving.

"There are people many people I want to thank. First and foremost, I want to thank my mom. Mom, you're the bravest person I know, the ultimate survivor. If I was ever to harbor any hate in my heart it would be for all that you have suffered because of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Mom, you never gave up hope that I would one day come home. And here I am, so glad to be back.

"You are everything I remember and more and you've embraced your grandchildren in a way I never believed possible. They truly have a grandmother that loves them unconditionally. Thank you for supporting me. As a single mother, you've always been my hero. I knew in my heart when I stared at the moon that you were still holding on to hope and that hope somehow helped me get by."

PROBYN: It helps me get by, too.

MORGAN: I found myself getting emotional. Never mind what you must have felt when you read that. I mean it's -- this picture of your daughter staring at the moon from this awful situation she was in. Believing that you were somewhere there.


MORGAN: Never giving up hope. PROBYN: That's right. I have to share two days before I found out where she was I had worked a double shift. I had come home. I was tired. There was a full moon. I looked up at the moon. I said, OK, Jaycee, where are you? And my younger daughter came out to see who I was talking to. The moon, just the moon.

And so I did that all through the 18 years. That's one of my survival techniques was to just stay connected, finding something that we shared, and stayed connected with that kid. And it got me through and it paid off.

MORGAN: Let me take you back to the awful days she disappeared. And everybody knows the story now but for you that moment when you thought she'd gone, I mean, it's every mother's nightmare, it's every parent's nightmare. Can you remember that feeling?

PROBYN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

MORGAN: I mean, like it was yesterday?

PROBYN: It was -- I had a really hard time accepting it. I -- it was a nightmare. That I'm going to wake up and Jaycee experienced the same thing at the beginning. You know? OK. I'm going to wake up from this nightmare. I'm going to get through this.

And it -- it was a nightmare. I hate going back and it's really hard for me. I want to live in the present. I want to enjoy every moment I have with that kid but, you know, there's a lot of anger for what happened and I will somehow get through it.

MORGAN: Although Jaycee has been very forgiving, extraordinarily so, of the people that took her, you haven't. I totally understand why. I don't think I could forgive people who did that to a child of mine.

PROBYN: Absolutely not.

MORGAN: How do you feel now two years later? Has your feeling subsided at all or do you feel this awful hate towards them?

PROBYN: I -- the hate fuels the fire for the changes that need to be made. One of my big -- really big ones is that anybody that does a heinous crime to a child or anybody, anything that it's life without parole. You know? Bottom line. You don't give them second and third and fourth chances.

I strongly believe in that and I want to push for legislation and change. I want to -- don't want this to happen to anybody else. How many times -- I'm not here to point fingers but how many times was that house observed and gone through and, you know, the right thing to do is to speak out and say what you believe and if change needs to be made then let's do it.

MORGAN: You know, I mean, there were horrendous failings in the system that allowed this man who was a convicted kidnapper, sexual predator, nobody ever thought to look in the backyard. PROBYN: Nope.

MORGAN: I mean, just extraordinary that that could have happened. But it did end happily for you.

PROBYN: It did.

MORGAN: Unlike many people that go through this where it ends in a terrible way.

PROBYN: It taught us a lesson. It fueled a fire for the need and we formed a Jaycee Foundation where we're asking people to slow down, stop, care. Excuse me. Slow down, stop and care and take a minute and do your job.

MORGAN: And it stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care.


MORGAN: And the pine cones that --


MORGAN: You're both wearing, actually, around your necks. That is the symbol of this foundation.

PROBYN: Absolutely.

MORGAN: And the significance of that is what?

PROBYN: Well, it was not only the last thing that Jaycee touched that was her reality back then but it's also a symbol of new beginnings.

MORGAN: Because she actually touched a pine cone as she was being forced in to this nightmare.


MORGAN: Physically dragged away.

PROBYN: And she has an attraction to pine cones and, you know, delving in to that with Dr. Bailey, just gave us an opportunity to say, wow, this could be a new beginning. We could make these changes. We're very hopeful that, you know, something -- somebody else doesn't have to go through the things that we went through.

MORGAN: I want to play you a clip from the interview you did with Diane Sawyer for ABC. A very moving interview. This is the happy bit so I think you'll enjoy this.


JAYCEE DUGARD, RESCUED AFTER 18 YEARS OF CAPTIVITY: And I was crying, you know, and you're crying, you can't speak. I just said, come quick. I remember saying come, come quick. PROBYN: And I remember telling you I'm coming, baby. I'm coming.

DUGARD: And the rest was a blur.



MORGAN: What a moment. What a moment for you. Eighteen years and you get a phone call. How do you hear?

PROBYN: Wow. Yes. I was at work and the FBI had left me a message saying that it was urgent that I speak with them. And in the --

MORGAN: And what was your first thought when you -- when they did that?

PROBYN: I kind of blew it off because I had heard it so many times. I need to talk to you, Terry. What's going on? We think we have a lead. We don't have a lead. Not really misleading me but keeping me up to date, keeping me informed, and after 18 years I pretty much became immune, and so I didn't feel it was real urgent to call him back.

That I would call him back the next day or whatever or when I got off work and in the interim the sheriff's department had contacted my younger daughter and told her what was happening and she called me and said, mom, you really need to talk to the sheriff. He has news for you but she wouldn't say anything.

MORGAN: She knew?

PROBYN: She knew. She did.

MORGAN: But she wouldn't tell you?

PROBYN: She needed it to come from them. And it did.

MORGAN: So you called the sheriff?

PROBYN: No. The sheriff actually -- I picked up the phone the next phone call because I knew it was important enough to pick up and I did.

MORGAN: I mean, you're sensing it's good news now?

PROBYN: I -- no, I -- no. I just said, OK. Something's up. I don't know what's up. I'll figure it out. I'll take care of it. And -- so when I talked to them and they told me that we have your -- we know where Jaycee is, it was that disbelief again. It was not reliving the nightmare but the shock of having this happen and then having her come back was a little overwhelming and I wasn't going to get on that roller coaster and ride.

I was going to be real and then, you know, my excitement, being able to talk to her was phenomenal.

MORGAN: What were the first words that you exchanged? Do you remember?

PROBYN: No. What did I say?

MORGAN: You were too excited?

PROBYN: Too excited. Way too excited.

MORGAN: What did her voice sound like after all that time?

PROBYN: Same, same.

MORGAN: You knew instantly it's this little girl even though --

PROBYN: I knew it was her instantly. Yes, I hadn't seen her in 18 years so -- of course the rest of the evening wasn't anything I remember much of. Just getting on the plane and getting to her as quickly as I could.

MORGAN: Could you -- could you quite believe it?


MORGAN: Could you quite believe it was happening? Was it like some strange fairytale ending to the nightmare?

PROBYN: Yes. It was. It's a good happy ever after.

MORGAN: And it's a fantastic happy ever after.

Let's have a little break and come back and talk about the darker moment when you came face to face with the man that had taken your daughter.



MATTHEW CATE, CORRECTIONS SECRETARY: We agree that serious errors were made over the last 10 years. We obviously deeply regret any error that could have possibly resulted in the victims living under these conditions for even one additional day.


MORGAN: An extraordinary moment in 2009 as California officials admit that mistakes were made in the hunt for Jaycee Dugard. Jaycee's mother Terry Probyn is back with me now and her doctor Rebecca Bailey, Jaycee's therapist.

You came face to face with this guy, Phillip Garrido. You saw him.

PROBYN: I wouldn't say face to face. I watched him being interviewed as sheriff asked him what happened that morning. Trying to get --

MORGAN: What emotions did you go through?

PROBYN: All kinds. Hate, anger, sadness. All of the above. No compassion. I have a lot of compassion and a lot of empathy for a lot of people but not him and certainly not her. How could another woman hold another woman's child for her sexual predator husband? Unbelievable.

MORGAN: Beyond comprehension.

PROBYN: Beyond.

MORGAN: And, you know, he was allowed to do because he'd been let out just 11 years for kidnap and rape, in itself is reprehensible for someone who had done this in that way before, could be back on the streets free to do it all over again. I mean no wonder you feel so anger -- angry.

What's I think amazing about you, you talk about your lack of forgiveness for the Garridos but actually the remarkable compassion you've shown for the two children that Jaycee had.

PROBYN: Oh, those are my grand babies. I love those grand babies.

MORGAN: Yes, I find -- I find that profoundly moving that you can do that.

PROBYN: How can you not? They're innocent children. I -- they're Jaycee's babies. You know? It's funny, you know. We find things that are alike in us and it's just really cool. I have two granddaughters.

MORGAN: Can you block out his involvement in their lives? Can you block it out completely?

PROBYN: I have to. For their sake. For their health. For their wellbeing. They don't need my anger. I need to direct my anger to do the better good of the foundation. You know? We want to service families. In fact, the foundation mandates us to service family that go through this kind of tragedy.

MORGAN: Let me bring in Dr. Bailey here because this -- you specialize in this kind of reunification I think you call it where you have experienced of lots of cases like this, not obviously as horrific as this I would imagine. I mean, a very complex situation psychologically, emotionally, physically.

You know, a young girl taken in her -- before she's even 10 years old and she's had two babies who grow up and still in this captivity, and then she gets saved and, you know, in many cases that's when a lot of the problems really start, when they try to come back to real life.

How's it been with Jaycee? How have you been able to rehabilitate her back to some kind of normality? REBECCA BAILEY, JAYCEE DUGARD'S THERAPIST: We have a fantastic team. We have a great group of therapists. We have a fantastic family. We have wonderful animals. We have a whole group of people and she --

PROBYN: We choose not to be the victim actually.

BAILEY: Right. And as strange as this sounds she was living a life. It wasn't a life she chose. It wasn't a life anyone -- any of us would choose for her either but it was a life. She was getting up in the morning. Going to bed at night.

PROBYN: Surviving.

BAILEY: Surviving. And she's taught all of us an awful lot. And to say the word complex is not even a strong enough word.

MORGAN: Understatement, right?

BAILEY: It is the understatement of the year. This -- the experience has been incredibly challenging. At the same point, my approach and the approach of the therapists that I work with has always been to take each case individually and let the families teach us about themselves.

MORGAN: What advice do you give in terms of how the family should think of the people that did this to them? And also, the guilt that came through clearly from Jaycee's book that she didn't try and get away when she had maybe some opportunities? The guilt that she feels to her children that she didn't somehow get out of it. How do you tackle that kind of emotional dilemma?

BAILEY: Well, I think guilt is your word. I think that, again, when people are in a situation, they do what they have to to survive and in many homes in this country, in this world, there are horrendous things happening, and people come out scarred certainly but nevertheless people survive through amazing circumstances so I think Jay is -- Jaycee is -- the most important thing she has taught all of us is in the word she said during her interview is that she refuses to give them one more moment of her time.


BAILEY: And these children are signs of hope. They are not signs of despair.

MORGAN: How are they dealing with the reality of discovery of the whole thing?

BAILEY: I think it's been extremely important that the media has respected -- thanks to the fabulous PR person, has respected their space.

MORGAN: I found her amazing in that interview. Her poise. Her intelligence. Her -- you know, her confidence almost actually which I really wasn't expecting. You expected to see a broken woman. Were you surprised by --

PROBYN: She could have been.


PROBYN: But I think that immediate response to our needs, our dilemma was what saved us. We had a team of specialists come in and just pretty much take over and spend time with us and care for us.

MORGAN: Hold that thought for a moment. Let's have a break and come back and talk about what the future holds for Jaycee, for the girls, for you.



PROBYN: She's pretty, young, innocent child, and you may like her but we love her, too. And it's time that she comes home to her family. Her sissy's been asking for her. And she needs to be with us.


MORGAN: That was Terry Probyn just days after her daughter Jaycee Dugard was abducted in 1991.

I'm back now with Terry and Jaycee's therapist, Rebecca Bailey.

I mean hard for you to even look at that, isn't it? Unsurprisingly.

PROBYN: Yes. Just brings back all the haunting nightmares and the memories and, you know, reading her book validates what she was going through. You know, all of the imaginations, the truth.

MORGAN: The one big positive out of this is this foundation. We discussed it earlier. It was called JAYC, Just Ask Yourself to Care. And I want to play a little public service announcement which is --

PROBYN: That would be great.

MORGAN: It's very powerful.


DUGARD: Hi, this is Jaycee Dugard. Just ask yourself to care. If you see something that looks wrong or amiss, speak out. You might be wrong but you might just save someone's life.

This is presented by the JAYC Foundation.


MORGAN: What's been the best thing do you think for Jaycee since she came back to you and her old life? What's been the thing that she realized other than just seeing you again that she missed the most?

PROBYN: Having a life. Not being told what to do, when to do, how to do, where to do. She pretty much makes her own decision. She's an adult woman.

MORGAN: Can she lead any kind of -- does she want to work? Does she want to -- well, she works for the foundation but does she want to do anything else with her life? Does she have ambition now?

PROBYN: Absolutely. She truly believes in this foundation. She wants to pay it forward. She wants -- she doesn't want somebody else to go through what she had to go through even for a moment and I think caring about people and working with animals has been her whole life dream.

The diary that she kept while in captivity, you know, all of her dreams are coming true. That's what makes Jaycee happy.

MORGAN: What's been the best part of it for you?

PROBYN: Being able to hold her. Kiss her, hug her. Yes. I miss that kiss good-bye that morning. It's a constant reminder, constant, you know, guilt thing but I see she forgives and I can forgive and forget.

MORGAN: Do you think she'll -- may meet a Mr. Right, get married, live a fairy tale life that you would imagine you wanted for your daughter?

PROBYN: I hope so. I hope so. That's her decision, though. You know? It's what makes her feel comfortable.

MORGAN: And Dr. Bailey, is it very hard for someone like Jaycee in this position to form a normal relationship with a man again? I mean what advice do you give for that aspect of her life? Because she's 31 now?

BAILEY: I don't think -- she's had a normal relationship with a man at all. She has her horse and she's passionate about her horse and working with her horse. I think that that's a question best left unanswered. Who knows? She lives fully and she's extremely happy. She embraces each other day with an awful lot of joy and excitement, just the little things that we take for granted.

MORGAN: Does she have terrible days? Sort of awful flashbacks, nightmares?

BAILEY: She worked through some material early on and that's where the horse work was tremendously useful with her was that some of the early difficult experiences she was able to get in touch with in the arena with the horses, with my assistant and the other therapist assistants and --

MORGAN: What's the idea behind that? When you bring in horses to somebody who loves animals, loves horses and so on, what's the concept for how that acts as therapy? BAILEY: It's actually so simple that it's hard to describe sometimes.

PROBYN: I would say insight.

BAILEY: Insight into to your own. Horses are archetypes. They represent the themes we see over and over in our life. The best example I can give you is of a young girl that I was working with whose best friend had been murdered by her mother, and one day we walk and she wasn't able to talk about it. It was a 6-year-old. We walked down in to the arena and laying in the arena, in the sand were the horses, the dog and the cat flat out in the sand and this little girl's jaw just dropped as did mine, and she looked at me and she said, I think that's what happened to my friend.

It was sort of you can't describe some of the things that happen. You can't really put a word to it. It's certainly not magic but it has the ability to bring forward images that might be -- they're difficult to sit in an office and talk about so for Jaycee to go in to the arena and work through some of these experiences.

I was asking her to give me an example of one that she particularly liked. And it was when she first came out the first week, she made a box out of posts in the sand. And after the first day, the horse wouldn't come out of that for the next four or five sessions. And she said she was able to look at that and say, well, that's how I feel. It's really hard to be out of that box which she just in talking, sitting in the office we weren't getting to that.

MORGAN: How important finally is the love and the strength of a mother like Terry who just never gave up, who made sure this picture of Jaycee that the famous iconic images were seen again and again and again?

How vital is that do you think to what happened?

BAILEY: You can look at this wonderful woman right here, and you can see where so much of Jaycee's strength comes from, in her poise, in her ability to stare things straight down. So everything, everything to come home to a mother who you talk about forgiveness, to come home and have a mother who didn't even skip a beat in accepting those two daughters. Didn't even skip -- didn't even --

MORGAN: It's been an amazing thing that you have done. I think you're a remarkable woman. Your daughter's a remarkable woman.

PROBYN: Thank you.

MORGAN: And I'm just so happy for you and your family that it ended the way it did.

PROBYN: Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you very much for joining. It's been a real pleasure.

PROBYN: Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you for joining me.

BAILEY: Thank you.

MORGAN: Coming up, Michael Jackson's last days from two of the men who really did know him best.


MORGAN: Joining me now two members of Michael Jackson's inner circle. Men who may have known him better than even his famous family. Lavelle Smith and Michael Durham Prince worked with Michael as he prepare to go on tour and with him in those fateful, final days.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining me.



MORGAN: Having followed Michael a long time and reported on him and see him in concert, I know how integral you guys were to his world. Strange times for you it must have been.

SMITH: Very strange.

MORGAN: Since the death.

SMITH: Very strange.

MORGAN: I mean, how would you sum up your feelings?

SMITH: Sadness. Sadness but I do feel really blessed because the happiness that he left with me was all the work we did together. You know? That won't go away. But the sadness that we don't get to create anymore with him. That's sad.

MORGAN: You were dancing with him since 1987.

SMITH: Yes. "Smooth Criminal" was actually the first video. The first tour was "Bad," and then "Dangerous," and then "History." And then we started working on "This Is It." When he called that in 2008 in Vegas, and that was going to be -- he was excited. You know?

We were both bringing out costumes, picking props. You know, thinking about what that show could be. Had no name. And just had a great time for six months in Vegas working like crazy. He was excited. I was excited. You know, whenever he gets excited, I get excited.

MORGAN: Michael, you can't believe what happened? I mean, you guys, had been working with Michael right to the end. Was there a massive shock? I mean, were there any signs that he was -- you know, I've heard contrary views. I heard that he was very frail, that the stuff you didn't see in the movie, he was fainting. He was always kind of faint. That's what some of the family believe.

What did you see?

PRINCE: All of 2008, I was in Vegas along with Lavelle. He'd show up on dance days. I showed up on music days. And I just had the feeling, Michael is getting ready for his close up. He just started looking better. You could tell he was -- his energy was going up. And then in 2009, extremely excited. You know?

He gave us a speech about how important this was to him. That he could spend the rest of his life doing his greatest hits, but that's not what he wanted to do. He said, I want to write new songs. I want to have better songs than I ever had. We're going to add those to the show. And I really have never seen him that energized before. That in the moment before, right up until the last night when I gave him a hug and he gave me a hug, you know. And he felt strong. He said tomorrow we're going to discuss all the vocals for the tour, you know. And that was the last time I spoke to him.

MORGAN: I mean, from a dance point of view, from a voice point of view, where was he do you think given all the experience you have had with him? Was he ready to go?


SMITH: There was no stopping him.

MORGAN: To do 50 shows?

PRINCE: Oh, yes.

SMITH: Yes, 50, but at first --

PRINCE: Remember his pace -- not to interrupt, but his pace was going to be two, two and a half shows a week. His family was going to be there. He was going to have a house in London, outside of London. And we had a good chat. He and I about that.

How this was the hard part, rehearsing is the hard part. You know, four, five, six nights a week. Doing videos during the day. Once we got to the U.K., once we started the shows, that was going to be almost a vacation. Truly, you know. I don't want to say that because they were going to pay me, but I mean, honestly, it would have been. And he knew that.

MORGAN: So originally it was ten shows.


MORGAN: Then he got made in to 50. I remember that happening. I think, you know, Michael, you're talking about a guy who was not as young as he used to be. 50 shows is pretty demanding, even if you're only doing 2, 3 shows a week.

PRINCE: Absolutely. SMITH: I remember him saying there's ten shows. It's going to be fantastic. And I do remember a day when the ten shows turned to 34. He said, Lavelle, you know, there's 34 shows, I got to do them. That seemed to be a little bit like, you know, wow, this is a lot. And Then I remember it kept growing.

What I remember is that he was really honored that that many people wanted to see him.

MORGAN: I had tickets to the first one.


MORGAN: I was excited. I mean, he -- I saw him in Paris once. It was the best concert I ever saw.

SMITH: Men, he was just honored that people wanted to see so as much as maybe 34 or the 50 shows were like, oh man, this is going to be crazy. The smile on his face showed me that he felt so honored that people really wanted to see him.

MORGAN: Let me ask you a different question. Did you ever see him taking drugs of any kind?

PRINCE: Never.

MORGAN: He seems to have been a very closed world. What we're hearing from all this trial that's happened and from interviews of people involved is that there were two Michaels.

There was the Michael that people thought they knew and there was the guy who chronic pain from when he had the terrible Pepsi accident and then to counter this, the terrible insomnia he used to get, mixed with the pressure and everything else, and so he got more and more into sleeping medication ending up with Demerol for the pain and the Propofol for sleeping.

I mean, you put it all together and he was leading two lives. I mean, there was a night time Michael Jackson that you guys I assume didn't see.

PRINCE: Did not see. And honestly, most of the time, when we were with him, I don't think that night time Michael Jackson was around because he had the kids around. We were at the ranch. We were at a hotel almost like a vacation and we're working on new songs. And there was no pressure on him. He didn't have to get up the next day if he didn't want to. He didn't have to perform the next day. I think that pressure comes in to play when there's a show. You know? When there's a huge tour.

SMITH: Exactly.

MORGAN: Let's take a little break. I want to come back and talk to you about the dreadful day that you both found out that Michael died. And how you see his legacy developing. How you would like it to develop. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Breaking news on "360." At 10:00 p.m. Eastern, we'll talk to an attorney for one of Herman Cain's accusers. He says his client is, quote, "very upset" and believes Cain is not telling the truth about the sexual harassment allegations against him. Cain is also speaking out tonight saying he's the victim of a smear campaign. Does he have the facts to back that up? We're keeping him honest.

Also tonight, more fallout from the investigation of "Fast and Furious," the botched operation to let guns go to the hands of Mexican drug cartels. New information about how that disaster could have been prevented. Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour.

PIERCE MORGAN back in a moment.



MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: Yes. That's a cool move.


JACKSON: Cool move.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just spreads out too much at the end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to stop it.


JACKSON: Go to infinity.


MORGAN: Back with two of Michael Jackson's closest work colleagues. Lavelle Smith and Michael Prince.

I've got to ask you a difficult question because I know how close you were. Where were you both?

I'll start with you, Lavelle, when you heard that Michael had died.

SMITH: I was at home in my bedroom watching CNN and I heard Michael Jackson went to the hospital with a heart attack. And I thought, OK. That's -- kept watching and it kept getting worse and worse. And I just thought this really either is a really bad publicity stunt or something is desperately wrong.

MORGAN: And you knew that Michael, you know, he could do publicity stunts.

SMITH: Of course. He's a show man.

MORGAN: I mean, he'd been in wheelchairs before to create an impression that he was somehow in a terrible state.


MORGAN: And then the next -- because he always had this thing, make the public go low in expectation and then dazzle them with the high. This was

PRINCE: Absolutely.

SMITH: P.T. Barnum. That's what you do as a showman. Yes, you build it.

MORGAN: A part of you is thinking --


MORGAN: -- Is this another Michael stunt?

SMITH: Yes. And I really was hoping for that. I kept hoping, and then it got worse. And then when they finally said, dead, of course, even that I didn't believe until it stayed there.

MORGAN: You saw that on CNN?

SMITH: Yes. It all went up from heart attack to something happened.

PRINCE: Not breathing.

SMITH: Not breathing, and then dead. And I was like, OK, just wait a few more minutes. And then it didn't go away. And I thought this is really crazy. I called his assistant. And she said, it's a madhouse around here. And I thought, OK, this is the real deal. I just went numb. I remember being numb for days and days. I couldn't cry. I think anger. Just every emotion except I couldn't cry.

I didn't cry until I did the TV shows with Jermaine in London. "Move Like Michael Jackson," and I was doing a little outtake like, you know, how you do for the show reading something that said Michael Jackson was -- I kept saying Michael Jackson is -- and they're like, you have to say was. I said, I got it this time. Michael Jackson is -- OK. Finally when I got was, it was over. It was over.

MORGAN: And for you? Where were you?

PRINCE: I was at the Staples Center. I was getting ready for that day's rehearsal. I had a list of changes to do from the night before, instructions from Michael. And when they said that the first thing I thought was he wants two more weeks to rehearse, you know.

And then when they finally announced that he was D-E-A-D, I still -- I went back to my computer. I made all the changes from the night before, because I was stunned. I said, well, no, he might come back, you know. And later that day, I just -- I finally had to ask somebody what to do? And he said pack your stuff up, you know? And that was -- it was dreadful.

For anything, I feel for his children, you know? He was the greatest dad in the world. Those were the loves of his life. You know? And --

MORGAN: They are extraordinary children.

SMITH: They are.

MORGAN: When I saw them in public recently, at the concert, I mean, they had remarkable confidence. And I guess you might expect it from Michael's --

PRINCE: They were brought up so well. So much love. They read a lot.

SMITH: Disciplined.

PRINCE: A lot.

SMITH: It's amazing.

PRINCE: Well-spoken, beautiful children. And I just want them to know how much he loved them. And I saw the love that they had for him. And he and I talked about that in his dressing room, you know, about when we get to the UK, and when this seven-day week thing is done, you are going to be with your family, you know, again and have a lot more quality time with them.

MORGAN: What do you guys make of the trial? Did you know Conrad Murray? Did you see him much?

SMITH: No, not at all.

MORGAN: So all this was sort of brand new to you?


PRINCE: Right.

SMITH: To me it is simple.

MORGAN: Does it seem like a weird other world?

SMITH: It does. It is a world that I'm forced, I don't know why, but I'm drawn to I have to have the information, and the stuff that I'm hearing is out of this world. Out of this world. To me, it is really about a legend, a doctor and something going horribly wrong that I feel like none of us will really ever get to the bottom of. There's more that --

MORGAN: My gut feeling is, I mean, Michael Jackson is not going to want to kill himself. There's no way he was in any kind of suicidal mood. SMITH: Absolutely.

PRINCE: Oh my God, no, no, no.

MORGAN: He was enjoying the preparation. He was enjoying being a father, and so on. And just from everyone I have talked to about Conrad Murray, he didn't want to kill Michael Jackson.

SMITH: Why would he?

MORGAN: So you're left with a terrible accident. And I think you are left with the technicalities of how this happened and who did what, and so which we may never know answers to.

SMITH: I have a feeling, I've said, we may never know.

MORGAN: But was it a shock to you when the tapes were played? I mean, I was staggered.

SMITH: I had no words.

MORGAN: When I first heard this, I thought this can't be Michael Jackson.

SMITH: But, listen, I know that voice, over 23 years. I knew that was him, but I didn't know why it existed. Why do that tape exist.

MORGAN: Have either of you ever heard him speak like that?

SMITH: Never. Never.

PRINCE: Never. And honestly, I told Lavelle this, I said, I think the doctor might have made that to show Michael maybe the next day, Michael, you did fall asleep, because Michael might have said I didn't fall asleep, you know.

But no I mean -- I would have never made that recording.


SMITH: I mean who knows what he could have done with it later. That is the only --

PRINCE: That's sort of weird.

SMITH: It is weird, but it's -- it happens. Things happen that way.

MORGAN: I mean, Michael's whole life was a bit crazy, ever since the people around him and the circus element and, you know, I just felt the whole thing just unraveled in a very, very strange way and we will probably never know what really happened.


PRINCE: I don't think so.

SMITH: I hope we get to. But one thing I know is important is that, what Michael taught me, all the dance and all that stuff will live on because his -- his goal was to take dance and continue to take dance to higher and higher levels.

MORGAN: There were lots of theories about what Michael was planning to do. What was he planning to do?

SMITH: We were going to do short films. You know, Michael loved the short film. We were working on a cowboy film.

PRINCE: Legs Diamond --

SMITH: Legs Diamond.

PRINCE: He wanted to do like a modern musical on "Legs Diamond." Because Michael already had some gangster-ish, sounds like "Smooth Criminal."

SMITH: Yes, "Dangerous" and "Criminal."

MORGAN: I heard he also wanted to release singles every few months.


And at the end of that have an amazing album. It could be a very unusual way of doing it.

PRINCE: Right. And that way you don't get compared to "Thriller" every time you put out an album. So he was going to do it while we were on tour, maybe a single every eight weeks. And then once you had ten out, you add two new songs and you have a record.

He also wanted to do a children's album. Because he loved to write these, you know, beautiful, innocent songs for children. He wanted to do a classical album, because he had a lot of melodies that he didn't want to write words to.

MORGAN: How good was Michael Jackson, as an entertainer?

SMITH: The best.

MORGAN: Let's talk voice, first of all, his voice. How good a singer was he?

PRINCE: Amazing. I mean, he could go from a ballad, a soft song, to -- he had one of the best rock voices. I mean, I would compare it to, you know, somebody like in -- not like Led Zeppelin, but I mean, he could sing rock 'n' roll like you wouldn't believe, you know. I always wanted to like get him on some really hard rock stuff.

MORGAN: And dance-wise, mesmerize?

SMITH: Top. Just top of the line, you know. MORGAN: Have you ever seen a better dancer?

SMITH: A better natural dancer? Not in my life so far ever. I mean, I was trained ballet dancer and we would share, he would teach me, because his stuff was always so strange to me, but once we started sharing, I shared ballet moves or technical things, and he would share his stuff. And that's where our bond came from, just a sharing of dance and a love of dance.

MORGAN: How do you think, finally, Michael would like to be remembered?

SMITH: I think he would like to be remembered as someone that was always, you know, making sure that what he delivered to his fans and to his audience was original. It was innovative. And he didn't mind if people copy it, but he would always wanted to be the one that did it first.

MORGAN: Michael, you were going to say?

PRINCE: I was going to agree with that and say that anything he wanted to do, he wanted it to be the best. He wanted himself to be the best, every dancer behind him, every musician, down to the lighting, down to whoever was running what piece of equipment, they had to be the best.

SMITH: Cameras. Everything had choreography. I love it when he use that word. The cameras have choreography. The light have choreography. And that's kind of stuff he taught me.

MORGAN: That's what he was. He was remarkable. I mean, to me, he achieved that. He was the best. The best entertainer I ever saw.

PRINCE: He really was.

MORGAN: Lavelle, Michael, thank you both very much. A pleasure meeting you.

SMITH: It has been my pleasure.

PRINCE: My pleasure.


MORGAN: Tomorrow, I'll talk to Condoleezza Rice for a live, no- holds-barred interview. She was the ultimate Bush White House insider. So I will ask her why she says former Vice President Dick Cheney attacked her integrity. And why she threatened to resign after 9/11. Condoleezza Rice live tomorrow night.

That's all for us tonight.

"AC 360" starts right now.