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Interview With Mark Geragos

Aired December 6, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive. Winona Ryder's lawyer speakers out after a dramatic day in court. Wash her sentencing real justice or celebrity justice? And how about that prosecution move that got her so outraged in court today?
Joining us to go over this sensation case in Los Angeles, Winona Ryder's defense attorney Mark Geragos.

And later, Marc Klaas led to that intense courtroom moment today.

In Atlanta Court TV's Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor.

Back in L.A., Associated Press reporter Linda Deutch, who's the Winona Ryder trial and many other high profile Hollywood legal matters.

Finally, Ross McLaughlin, correspondent for the syndicated TV news magazine "Celebrity Justice." They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening and welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Naomi Campbell had been the expected guest tonight. The interview with Naomi Campbell will air tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND. Naomi Campbell tomorrow night.

In view of the hearing today and the results of the Winona Ryder trial, we have invited him and he has consented, Mark Geragos, the defense attorney for Winona Ryder to appear with us. It's his first appearance since the verdict came in. He'll be with us for the first half of the show. And then our panel will assemble in the second half.

What's your reaction to what happened today?

MARK GERAGOS, WINONA RYDER'S ATTORNEY: The fact that you bumped Naomi Campbell to put me on was shocking.

KING: Shocking. Get over that shock. What about today in court?

GERAGOS: It was pretty much what I expected in terms of the sentence. I thought that he was going to give a substantial amount of community service. Prosecution asked for that. That was not unexpected. I thought he would place her on formal probation, although I was hoping that he would not put some of the conditions on that he did. He didn't put other conditions on ultimately, he being Judge Fox, so ultimately it was roughly what I expected in terms of the result.

It was disturbing, however, to have to sit there for what I considered to be -- what turned into a dog and pony show, as I have said before and I have complained before. That part of it was disturbing and disturbing in the sense that Winona, I think, was incredibly upset by the comments that were made by the prosecutor. And I'm sure if she could -- I know Ann, I'm sure Ann would take them back.

And ultimately, I think the best thing that happened is Marc Klaas was -- through no fault of his own late in the court room and didn't have to sit through it.

KING: Marc will be here later. He -- she was referring to her -- Winona having contributed to...

GERAGOS: Well, under the California rules of court, at a sentencing what you're supposed to do is pretty much give a overview, if you will, of the defendant, who's going to be sentenced. You're supposed to present to the judge what's this person's life like? What have they done? What good things have they done? What's called factors in mitigation, meaning Judge, I want you to look at this. Factors, if there are any, in aggravation. You have to explain that. And then the judge is supposed to make a decision.

Obviously, from my standpoint as her lawyer, one of the things that you are struck by, one of the things I always knew Winona Ryder about was kind of this selfless act that she had committed herself to involving Mark's daughter Polly.

KING: She put up $1 million to help find her.

GERAGOS: Yes, and when Polly first became missing she -- and Mark will tell you this because I wasn't there. And I have talked to him about it at length. He says that he -- she basically without any wanting to get any attention, leveraged her celebrity.

KING: So you're saying the prosecutor should not have said anything.

GERAGOS: I'm saying that clearly that was something.

KING: Had nothing to do with...

GERAGOS: Yes. That's something that had to be brought to the judge's attention to give a full picture of who this woman is.

Winona Ryder is not what happened on December 12. Winona Ryder is somebody who's got a whole body of work.

KING: But aren't you in a difficult position, since you deny what happened on December 12 as what happened.

GERAGOS: Well, any time you go to trial, you're put in that position. If you go to trial as a defense lawyer, you have a duty. An absolute duty. A sworn oath. You defend your client to the best of your ability. You raise a reasonable doubt, or attempt to raise a reasonable doubt. That's what you do as a defense lawyer.

KING: Why wasn't this case plea bargained?

GERAGOS: That's one of the ultimate balancing acts of this whole thing. From day one in this case -- and one of the things that I think you would debate is, the judge was saying, Well has she shown contrition or this or that?

The fact of the matter is, from day one, Winona said, Resolve this thing. I, you know -- I don't want this to be a circus. This is ridiculous.

You might remember that this was really the first event post- September 11 that kind of broke through the post-September 11 all the time 24/7. I mean, this was the first thing. It was almost 60 days exactly after September 11. And all of a sudden, it knocked September 11 out of the mix.

KING: It became another story.

GERAGOS: It became another story. Part of what people were asking prior to December 12 was, you know, are we ever going to get into other stories?

KING: It's over now. Did you offer something?

GERAGOS: Oh, I -- from day one. I went to the prosecuting attorneys in Beverly Hills. I said, Look, I'd like to resolve this. I'd like to resolve it on some kind of terms that make sense.

We'll plead no contest to a misdemeanor. We'll do this, that and the other thing. I mean, we made all kinds of offers.

Part of what I did was basically go to both the Beverly Hills attorneys who work in the district attorney's office, I went to their bosses, I went downtown. I did everything possible to try to resolve this case.

KING: And they -- why didn't they...

GERAGOS: Well, I never quite understood that. I mean, I've never understood what I considered to be...

KING: Did they just flat out refuse?

GERAGOS: Just flat out refused. And that was extremely disconcerting because she never wanted to kind of turn this into the spectacle that it became.

KING: You said you expected -- it's three years supervised probation. What does that mean?

GERAGOS: Supervised probation means you have a probation officer. The probation officer will tell you to do this or do that or will supervise, in this case, community service.

The judge picked three different agencies that she's going to do community service with. This person will supervise that and will supervise things of that nature.

KING: He ordered drug counseling, but that was not part of the charge.

GERAGOS: Yes, and that's one of the thins that was extremely distressing to me personally.

KING: Never came out to the jury, right?

GERAGOS: Right. It never was...

KING: There were drugs found in her bag.

GERAGOS: The drugs were found in the bag. The drugs were all legal. The one...

KING: Prescription drugs.

GERAGOS: Prescription drugs. All legal. There were two pills that they couldn't find the prescription for. I kept telling them, Look, we've got the prescriptions. It was percasense (ph). She's got prescription. They said, Well, no these are endocets. This is a generic version.

I said, So? She's trying to save a little bit of money.

And finally, we were able to convince them that the endocets were legal as well.

KING: So why does she need drug counseling if that had nothing to do with the case?

GERAGOS: You tell me. I mean, all of a sudden we get close to sentencing and there's a string site in the probation memo of the prosecutor that lists all this thing, that throws it all back in.

If they were so concerned about it -- implying it to be so disingenuous. If they were so concerned about it, why dismiss the drug count? Let it go to the jury. Let the jury decide.

KING: This sentence was based, I'm told, on grand theft, right?

GERAGOS: That's correct.

KING: That's a pretty rough sentence for this.


KING: What would -- what, in honest -- taking a step back -- objectively, if it were Mrs. Joe Smith.

GERAGOS: If this were Winona Hamstead, if this were Winona Hamstead, this would have been settled sometime in January. She would have received a misdemeanor sentence. The misdemeanor sentence would have had some community service, probably 100 hours. She would have been placed on summary probation. And when she was done with the summary probation, she would have been on her way. That would have been the end of that.

And I'll tell you something, Larry. This month is the 20th year that I have been doing this in this town. Never -- this is the first time I've ever had a case where in a shoplifting situation somebody has been hammered this relentlessly.

KING: How's she doing?

GERAGOS: You know, up until today, with that comment in court, she was doing as well as any client I have ever had. That -- in the interesting thing is she wasn't upset for her today. What she was upset is the implication that she had somehow used Polly Klaas to avoid responsibility. And she was upset as to what that would do to Marc Klaas.

KING: And how was she after it?

GERAGOS: After it -- I talked to her an hour and a half ago and she's, you know, back to her classy, funny self.

KING: Has she got a film role coming?

GERAGOS: She does. But we've got to get through the community service. She's got quite a few that are in the offing.

KING: You can't do it while you're doing the movie?

GERAGOS: The community service, as the judge ordered it, was 480 hours. He's ordered that to be done by April 7. My calculations that's about 40 hours a week for the next 12 weeks so, No, you're not going to be able to do the movie at night unless somebody wants to do a documentary.

KING: Back with more of Mark Geragos. The panel will join us later and, again, Naomi Campbell tomorrow night. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that Mr. Geragos would say because she's a celebrity that she should be treated differently than any other convicted felon is inappropriate and offensive. What else is offensive to me is for someone to trot out the body of a dead child and in some way say because she supported...

GERAGOS: That is so outrageous. That really is. She hasn't listened to anything for a year. She's only been on this case for four months.



JUDGE ELDEN S. FOX, CALIFORNIA DISTRICT COURT: Ms. Ryder will be placed on 36 months of supervised probation under the following terms and conditions: She is sentenced to one day in the county jail. She will receive credit for the one day she has already served. What that means, Ms. Ryder, is that a future petty theft conviction as a result of this can result in felony prosecution and felony sentence.


KING: We're back with Mark Geragos. The panel will assemble later, and Mark will remain and be part of the panel as well.

What part did Saks Fifth Avenue play in this sentencing today?

GERAGOS: You know, a number of years ago in this state there was a proposition that was passed that added to the California Constitution, something called a victim impact statement. And it was a wonderful thing. It was kind of a way for California to say look, at a sentencing it shouldn't be all about the defendant. It should also kind of incorporate the victim as well.

Well, that was designed for serious violent crimes. And today, Saks Fifth Avenue got up and sat there -- not Saks as a whole, but one of their -- as the victim. And I truly was amazed by this lawyer who was reading a prepared statement about the impact that this had on Saks. Horrible thing this has happened to Saks. And how much this has impacted their profits and their business and this and that.

When I finally got my chance to respond, I said, judge, you know, the last time I looked, I looked at their stock this morning. It appears to me that the first time they've had a profitable quarter has been this last quarter in the last year. So this guy is going to cry (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

KING: So that surprised you then?

GERAGOS: Yeah, it was so over the top. It was so embarrassing, I thought, for them. Especially in light of the fact that early on as well I had talked to the general counsel in New York. I talked to the chairman in New York. They didn't want anything to do with this prosecution.

KING: They didn't?

GERAGOS: No. On at least seven occasions they said they tried to get this case just resolved and the DA just wouldn't let go of it.

KING: They would have been happy if there was a bargain, a plea bargain?

GERAGOS: Happy? They would have done handstands. I mean, you know, ultimately, they wanted nothing to do with this. And so the idea that somehow it was us dragging this out or that they were just in the criminal justice system brought along unwittingly, I think, was to some degree a misnomer.

KING: Were you helped or hurt by the fact that there were show business people on the jury, including a prominent movie producer?

GERAGOS: Ultimately, I think the jury -- I never second guess juries. I second guess myself all the time, but not juries. I think this jury and I think that going into this case, the perception was that she was overwhelmingly guilty. The perception was -- there was a number of polls that said that she could not get a fair trial.

There were so many leaks. I mean, there was a similar acts type evidence, what we call (UNINTELLIGIBLE) evidence here in California, which involved Barney's and another location. And that was excluded and the judge kept it under seal.

KING: That she had had problems at other stores.

GERAGOS: They said -- problems in other stores. The fact of the matter was, she'd never been arrested, she'd never been charged and there was nothing to it. So the judge excluded it.

Well, three days before the trial starts, the details of these things are leaked in the paper, could have only come, I believe, from one source and one source only, and that would have been the prosecution side of the aisle. And so that was played up. There was all kinds of other things that were constantly leaked out.

KING: So Peter Goober wasn't a factor to you, that he was on the jury and he had produced some movie with her?

GERAGOS: No. I didn't think -- I mean, I thought that was much to do about nothing ultimately. Jurors are very, in my experience, certainly, very conscientious. When they take that oath, they go over the evidence.

KING: You appeared -- and I have come to know you pretty well -- to take this loss very hard.

GERAGOS: I did. I took it tremendously hard.

KING: Why? Since you were up against it. They had film. You were up against it to begin with.

GERAGOS: Well, I'll tell you why. Normally, the cases that I feel the most pressure on are what in California what we call life top cases, where if you lose, your client conceivably is never getting out of prison. And that's the hardest case.

This case was the hardest because I felt -- hardest in this sense, emotionally, because I felt that she was just not getting a fair shake. And I felt that from the beginning. And I could never pinpoint why that was. I couldn't quantify it. I couldn't articulate it, I don't think, sufficiently. But I never felt like I could get -- I could shake loose a fair shake for her.

And I'll combine something else with it. I'll tell you, I came to know her over this year, and she truly is one of the classiest, funniest, giving, outgoing, wonderful women that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. And I have had some wonderful clients that are women.

KING: So you were hurt for her?

GERAGOS: Yeah, I was hurt for her. I felt like I let her down in a lot of ways.

KING: You did not expect a not guilty, though, did you?

GERAGOS: I'll tell you -- look, Larry, you get into trial -- what I call trial psychosis. I fully expected that at all times -- I thought that commercial burglary, the idea of charging her with commercial burglary was over the top. I thought that that would be a not guilty. I thought that at the very least the jury would hang on the other two counts, and I wouldn't have argued that...

KING: So you were surprised?

GERAGOS: Yeah, I was surprised. I thought they'd hang. I knew once they came back and said they have a verdict on all three counts, that it wasn't -- that wasn't going to be for us.

KING: Do you tend to blame yourself?

GERAGOS: I always blame myself.

KING: You say I could have, should have, would have, did have?

GERAGOS: I will re-examine a case a hundred different ways. As soon as you finish your closing argument and you're driving down the freeway that night, you're saying to yourself, I could have said this, I could have said that. I take losses hard. I have said before on this show when I'm commenting -- and I think Nancy and I have kidded about it -- there is not a trial that you lose that you don't feel like there's a year or two years taken off your life for the anxiety that's involved.

KING: Mark Geragos, the attorney for Winona Ryder, is our guest. We'll do solo with him the next segment, and then at the bottom of the hour the panel will join us. We'll include your phone calls later. Don't go away.


FOX: I don't intend to treat you any more harshly or any more leniently than I would any other defendant that was convicted for these crimes, any different than anyone else that would come before this court. Ms. Ryder, your actions on December 12, 2001 have been some of some concern to the court and have raised many questions in my mind, as I'm sure many other people.



ANN RUNDLE, PROSECUTOR IN RYDER CASE: We are hopeful that she will finally take a moment and examine her own conduct, reflect upon her behavior, comply with the court's conditions and successfully complete probation, and go on with her life and her career. We have made all of our further comments in the courtroom and in our recommendation, and we will be making no further comments with respect to this case.


KING: Are you appealing this case?

GERAGOS: I don't think that -- we've got 60 days to do it. But I don't see any point in it. I mean, it's not like she was sentenced to jail. I believe she's going to successfully complete the community service and at some point we're going to have this reduced to a misdemeanor.

KING: Is she seeking help?

GERAGOS: A long time ago, I mean, months ago, without getting into all of her privacy issues -- because that was one of the things that was so irritating about all of this. I mean, I understand, you get arrested. But you know, here in California we do have a right to privacy. And if you're not charged with something, I found it completely offensive -- I mean, how many people do you know would like to have their medicine cabinet opened up and have that put on the front page of the "L.A. Times" and beamed around the world?

So when you say, is she getting help -- she had a legitimate injury. She had prescribed medication. She had been prescribed medication. It was something that she was dealing with.

KING: Is she an addict?

GERAGOS: No, no.

KING: She's not addicted?

GERAGOS: She's not addicted.

KING: So these pills were all commensurate with injury and the need to take them?

GERAGOS: With the injury and the need and she's got doctors...

KING: So why did it come up in court?

GERAGOS: Because it's a wonderful way to smear her going into the sentencing. Who tonight is talking about the things that happened or focusing on whether or not it makes sense that we spent millions of dollars here in Los Angeles on this prosecution when we're closing down courthouses because we don't have enough money? Who's talking about that? Instead people are talking about the string citation of legal drugs that she had.

KING: They talk about being contrite, that that's kind essential. How could she be contrite if she's pleading that she didn't do it? It's a catch 22.

GERAGOS: Right, I've understood that. We have this, as you know, the Ramparts scandal here in L.A. over the last couple of years. One of the thins that -- the lessons of that was that there was one judge who had hammered some kid who got shot by and was then convicted after he'd been shot in a supposed gun battle with the cops. Well, it turned out, and the judge says, I'm going to give you the maximum because you're not being contrite. Well, eight years later after he had been in joint and they released him, the reason he wasn't contrite is because he was truly innocent.

So it's kind of a disingenuous position to put somebody in. I mean, you're entitled, you have a constitutional right to trial. If you lose the trial and you go to sentencing, it is your right to sit there and embrace your position.

KING: What does she have to do now?

GERAGOS: Well, she's got 480 hours, which you can do over roughly 12 weeks. The 480 hours is broken down into 240 hours at the City of Hope.

KING: She has to go there?

GERAGOS: She has to go there. One hundred and twenty hours in another place, caring for babies with AIDS, and 120 hours at the Juvenile Foundation for Diabetes.

KING: Does she have to report to probation officers?

GERAGOS: Yeah, we'll go over and check her in, if you will, with the probation officer.

KING: She'll have to do it on a regular basis?

GERAGOS: Generally, it's once a month, although the probation officer can tailor it to your schedule.

KING: What do you gather will be the career effect?

GERAGOS: My opinion, I think that Winona is going to be bigger and better than ever. I have got the utmost confidence in this woman's ability to withstand something. I'll tell you, at times, I did not understand how she could go on under this torrent of publicity and in this eye of the storm. I have seen people wilt under infinitely less, and she just maintained class and dignity throughout.

KING: What did she say after the guilty verdict?

GERAGOS: You know, it's interesting. Without getting into attorney/client, she was more worried about me than herself. It tells you everything you have to know. If you take a look at the tape, she actually put her arm on me and said, you know, it's not about you. Don't worry about. I mean, she was concerned about me, which is basically what happened with her today.

That comment -- the reason that she jumped up at the comment had nothing to do with her. It was because of her belief that it would be perceived that she was treading on Mark and how it was affecting Mark.

KING: How did the judge do?

GERAGOS: The judge -- I have known Judge Fox since he was a DA. And I know his wife who is also a DA., and I have the utmost respect for him. I think that it was an extremely trying, no pun intended, experience for him. I think at one point he and I were at each other during the trial. We have enormous, I think, mutual respect for one another. But he did as good as he could.

KING: What about the prosecutor?

GERAGOS: Ann I have a great deal of affection for. This is the first case I have ever tried with her. She is a worthy adversary. I think that she -- I think if she could take it back what happened in the courtroom today, she would in a heartbeat. She's been battered. And I think that ultimately, though, that she's one of the premiere lawyers they got in that office.

KING: We'll take a break and when we come back, Marc Klaas. He's been mentioned a lot, he'll join us, so will Nancy Grace, Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press and Ross McLaughlin of the TV news magazine "Celebrity Justice." Mr. Geragos will remain. Don't go away.


FOX: Ms. Ryder will be ordered to perform and complete 240 hours of community service at the City of Hope, located in Duarte. She will be ordered also to perform and complete 120 hours of community service at the Foundation for the Junior Blind. And she will be ordered to complete an additional 120 hours of community service at the foundation identified as Caring for Babies With AIDS.




MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: I am totally by side myself that Ann Rundle would drag up the memory of my daughter in such an unsavory and such an uncharacteristically mean spirited manner, but quite frankly, it is reflective of the way the prosecution has been treating my friend, Winona Ryder, for the past year. This trial has been rife with rumor and innuendo and lot of unsubstantiated information that basically continues to kick this wonderful young lady as she's down.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We now welcome our complete panel to LARRY KING LIVE. Here in Los Angeles is Marc Klaas, the friend and supporter of Winona Ryder. Of course, Mark Geragos remains with us.

In Atlanta is Nancy Grace, the anchor for "Trial Heat" on Court TV and a former prosecutor.

Here in Los Angeles is Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press. She's covered this trial as well as many other high profile trials, including the famed Simpson case.

And Ross McLaughlin, correspondent for the syndicated TV new magazine program "Celebrity Justice."

Marc, you were very upset. Have you calmed down a bit?

KLAAS: Well, I have calmed down, Larry, of course. But, I mean, for them to -- for her to say things like that about my child, whatever the words were, dragging a dead child in my face for the past year. You know, Polly has been more significant in her death than Ann Rundle will ever be in her life and I think she should consider that when she's making statements like that.

KING: Because Winona posted dollars to help find -- that doesn't mean she didn't do what she was charged with.

KLAAS: It doesn't mean that at all, but as Mark said earlier, you look at the package. Winona is a complete package that has really brought a lot of beauty into the world and gotten an awful lot of good in the world during the course of her lifetime. And one day and they're taking her down and turning her into a horrible criminal.

KING: Nancy, what did you make of all this?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I see that the attention is being taken off of what happened in a court of law, regarding a simple shoplifting case. And it is being focused on the tragedy that the Klaas family went through. I think that is very, very wrong.

And I think all this crying about how bad she's had it -- I disagree with that. It's a simple shoplifting case. She got straight probation. A lot of the evidence was kept out due to her expert defense attorney, Mark Geragos, so I don't see what she's possibly got to complain about.

KING: Mark?

GERAGOS: Isn't that a shocking sentiment from Nancy? Although...

GRACE: Come on. Three similar transactions.


GERAGOS: Nancy Grace a prosecutor in a million years never would have forced this thing to a trial. Nancy would have sat down with me. Nancy would have resolved this case initially. It would have -- as she said, it's a shoplifting case. It would have been resolved. It would have been over with. And it wouldn't have been, what I believe, a massive waste of taxpayer money.

KING: Would you have, Nancy?

GRACE: Well, I can tell you this much, Larry. With a shoplifting case, first time trial. Now, I'm not saying there were not three priors that Ann Rundle tried to get into evidence but Mark Geragos expertly kept them out. That being two at Barney's in New York and one at Neimen Marcus in Beverly Hills. Jury never heard about that.

He also kept out not one, but I believe two statements that were deemed admissions. All of that kept out of evidence. Excellent job.

KING: The question to you was would you have plea bargained?

GRACE: I would have plead to exactly what she got at the end of the trial, probation, stiff community service, restitution and a fine.

KING: By the way, had you offered that?

GERAGOS: I had offered anything that would result ultimately in a nonfelony.

KING: Let's get the opinions of our journalists. Ross McLaughlin, is that a fair sentence today?

ROSS MCLAUGHLIN, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": I believe it was and Larry, I want to address something that "Celebrity Justice" brought out today is that -- it came out in the probation report and I know Mark Geragos didn't want this to come up in trial. But the fact that the judge issued counseling for a drug problem, possibly, and psychological counseling.

It came up in the probation report that Winona Ryder was perhaps doctor shopping. A Dr. Lussman (ph) was her doctor who prescribed some of these narcotics for her for pain lost his license today. The medical board of California pulled his license. He's a doctor who practiced in South Africa and apparently lost his license there. Hair and tattoo removal doctor. He lost his license for overprescribing narcotics.

There was a file that Winona Ryder had her personal information under the name of Emily Thompson, apparently using a name to get these drugs. Now, this name Emily Thompson did not appear in the medical roar but there is an initial of a patient named E.T. And the patient also, who was a famous entertainer...

KING: Are you saying you conclusively believe she was addicted to prescription pills?

MCLAUGHLIN: I believe that perhaps Winona Ryder may be addicted to these drugs.

KING: But that had nothing to do with shoplifting.

GERAGOS: The only problem was that she wasn't tried on that. She wasn't charged on that. Other than that it makes great tabloid titilation.

KING: Let's get what Linda thinks. Linda, that's a good story.

LINDA DEUTSCH, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, you know, all of these cases that involve celebrities -- the celebrity becomes larger than life. We're talking about her as if she is a cutout figure. She's not. And these details that have come out about drugs -- she filled 37 prescriptions from 20 doctors in the space of three years according to this report.

KING: That's a separate case though.

DEUTSCH: That is. But I think all of us are concerned about Winona Ryder. About this human being. You know, what is going to happen to her? What is she feeling? Nobody's been looking at any of that. It obviously -- you know, we talk about the strain on the justice system and what this has done to the vision of justice, but what has this done to this beautiful young woman?

KING: Are you saying to Mark that he should be more concerned about his health than about what happened today in court?

DEUTSCH: I would never tell Mark what to do.

MCLAUGHLIN: You know, Larry, I want to also say that, you know, I received a call from Mara Buxbum (ph), Winona Ryder's publisher today -- publicist today who said that she felt that the D.A. had brought out these drug charges included it in the probation report because they were trying to embarrass her, trying to smear Winona Ryder, defame, slander her.

You know, I have investigated this thing from the beginning. Mark knows this. That she was -- and I do believe she was hammered by the d.a.'s office. I believe she was aggressively prosecute by the D.A.'s office. But the fact that this issue has come up and it is now public is an issue. And the judge didn't address it today.

KING: Nancy, let me ask. If you have one person accused of shoplifting and you get evidence to your belief, Nancy, that she may be addicted to prescription drugs, what part does that play in your prosecution if it's not part of the arrest?

GRACE: That's an interesting question. And I think that once again certain evidence was kept out of trial here. I have got the motion in front of me where the prosecution agreed to drop the charges on these drugs.

Now, very often this type of evidence will come in as part of the apprehension. When Ms. Ryder was apprehended at the store, these drugs were in her pocketbook, all right? That is an incident of arrest that should come in front of the jury.

Now, she wasn't prosecuted on those. The state dropped the charges. There's no reason for it not to come into evidence.

KING: If they're legal prescription drugs, in other words, if a person shoplifts and they have a prescription drug, they get arrested for that too?

GRACE: No, no no.

KING: It's eggs and apples -- it's apples and oranges, isn't it?

GRACE: No, the fact that they were simply on her person at the time of the arrest is, in fact, of arrest.

I think that she benefited by the fact that, for instance, using a different alias, several aliases as a matter of fact the investigation uncovered that.

KING: Mark, do you want to respond to that?

GERAGOS: The problem with all of that, Nancy, is that there was nothing illegal, No. 1. The problem is is that she does have a right to privacy because they didn't charge her with any of this.

GRACE: Well, you mentioned her medicine cabinet, Mark. That you didn't want her medicine cabinet open. This was her pocketbook at the time of arrest.

GERAGOS: Well, when people leave the house, they're able to take their medicine with them. And to kind of introduce this at the end as if-- instead of prosecutor you become a psychoanalyst or psychologist, I just think is improper.

KING: Let me get a break and come back with more. Marc Klaas, Nancy Grace, Linda Deutsch, Ross McLaughlin and defense attorney Mark Geragos. We'll get some of your calls in too. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "Saturday Night Live")

TRACY MORGAN, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": They watch everybody. Nobody thinks you're going to take anything. Everything's going to be all right.

WINONA RYDER, ACTRESS: That's -- you know, Lorne told me that last night.

MORGAN: I got that on tape. Do you want to see it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friday is the hard day. I think we're going to be all right tomorrow.

RYDER: Thank you so much for having me. And thank you for being so great about everything. You know, everything. I love you, Lorne.




RYDER: You guys are not going to believe this, but I don't have my wallet either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what are we going to do?

RYDER: What are you looking at me for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, I know. Why don't we just steal the stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a great idea. I'm up for it. You, Winona?

RYDER: You guys, absolutely not. I'm ashamed of you both. Stealing is wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess I see your point, Winona. But what the freak, let's steal (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, good call, Mingo (ph). You go first. The coast is clear. I'm right behind you. Go!


KING: We're back. Let's take some calls for the panel in Houston. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, I have a question for Mr. Geragos. Do you feel that Winona should have shown some contrition considering the other incidents at Barney's and Neeman's? Isn't it just obvious at this point?

GERAGOS: Contrition in what sense? Because the fact of the matter is is that at every stage she had given me a kind of a mandate, if you will, to enter into these negotiations, to try and plea bargain this or do whatever we could to resolve the case. Just could never get any kind of an offer that was any different than what she was sentenced to today out of the D.A.'s office. So -- and ultimately, it goes back to what Larry was saying. You have a situation, where if you're forced to go to trial in that sense, because otherwise you're going to end up as a felon, you're not in a position where you can do that.

KING: Marc was saying during the break, the ACLU, you think should stand up for her for her denial of privacy?

KLAAS: Well, I think absolutely, because what we find that the Supreme Court has heard a couple of cases on Megan's Law, which is -- which deals directly with the privacy of convicted sex offenders, people who are going out and committing heinous crimes against little children in this country, but I haven't seen them take a stand on the invasion of Winona Ryder's privacy for simply doing a shoplifting. And quite frankly, Larry, also, this whole business of plea bargaining -- we are plea bargaining violent criminals down all over the place in this country.

KING: It happens every day.


GERAGOS: I am here in the California system and I'll tell you, you don't see this kind of stuff happen if it's somebody else. You just don't.

KING: Would you agree with that?


GERAGOS: I'll say celebrity justice tends to be celebrity injustice.

KING: Would you agree, Ross, that if this were Winona Jones, this would not have happened?

MCLAUGHLIN: Would never have happened. And early on, and I have said this to you before, Larry, that we investigated and determined that she had been hammered. No other shoplifter in all of L.A. County last year had three felony offenses filed against them. Grand theft, vandalism...

KING: Doesn't this shock you, Linda?

DEUTSCH: Well, I think that people look at celebrity cases differently. There's no question about it.

KING: But you shouldn't, should you?

DEUTSCH: Well...

GERAGOS: Do you know what my problem is? My problem is when they say we're treating you no different. I don't -- if they're going to treat you different, just do it. But don't treat you different and then say you're not going to treat them differently.

KING: Nancy, do you treat a celebrity differently emotionally?

GRACE: I think that she has been given incredible leniency. And I'm in shock. The woman is on video, all right? And I am a Ryder fan. I like her. I like her work. I like her movies. She's been not charged, three prior times. You're talking about bringing in the ACLU to protect her? From what? Straight probation? Please. The woman walked out of the courtroom, all right? She has not been harmed. Get a grip.

KING: Let's take a call from Tucson, Arizona.

CALLER: Hello, thank you for taking my call. I was curious as to whether or not you all feel that she was treated more harshly because of the "Saturday Night Live" skit?

KING: OK, was that a mistake, Ross? MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I don't think it helped her, to go public early on and I think to make light of it. I think the best thing that she could have done in talking to image consultants would be to lay low and not say anything.

KING: Did you advise her not to do it?

GERAGOS: No. Remember, the people have said that both the "W" and the "Saturday Night Live" were early on. They weren't. It was fully six months after. After I had banged my head against a wall repeatedly trying to get some kind of a resolution in this case.

The other thing I'll tell you, when people say was she treated any differently -- last week, for the last week I have been in Orange County. And in Orange County, they had scheduled this week the preliminary hearing for Samantha Runnion's accused killer, Mr. Avila. The defense lawyer got up at the preliminary hearing and offered to waive the preliminary hearing in a death penalty case. Prosecutor in Orange County, Tony Racaucas, said absolutely, why wouldn't we want to waive the preliminary hearing?

I got up in this case and offered to waive the preliminary hearing because I wanted to resolve this case. I didn't want to make it any more of a dog and pony show that it was. For the first time in my career, the DA said no. We are not going to waive preliminary hearing. We want to put the preliminary hearing on, and then proceeded to put on witness after witness after witness, including the chemist, who I offered to stipulate to. So you tell me.

DEUTSCH: Can I ask Mark a question?

KING: Sure.

DEUTSCH: Why did Winona not make a statement in court today? She could have.

GERAGOS: She could have made a statement in court. He was -- we went into chambers beforehand. I knew what he was going to do. We had argued or hashed it out, if you will, in court. I didn't think at that point that it was going to do any good, although I had contemplated it until the point where she got so upset over the comment. And she wanted to. And she was tugging -- you might have noticed -- tugging at my elbow to talk. She wanted to say something, but it was just so emotionally charged at that point, I didn't think a whole lot of good was going to come from it.

KING: Were you in court, Marc, when the reference was made to your daughter?

KLAAS: You know, I wasn't in court. And if I had been, I probably would have been much more upset than Winona was.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with our panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MERMAIDS") RYDER: This is not about him. This is about me. OK? That's over. He is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surprise, surprise.

RYDER: No, it's not like that. Look, maybe your life worked for you, but it doesn't work for me. And I want to stay!


RYDER: Finish high school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great start. What's your major, town tramp?

RYDER: No, mom, the town already has one.



KING: We're back in Los Angeles. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Is it possible that Winona's aggressive prosecution had nothing to do with her celebrity but rather prior incidents that the prosecution knew she had done it before and wanted to make sure she didn't continue and do it again?

KING: Is that a possibility, Nancy?

GRACE: I think it's highly likely. And you know, we keep talking about was she treated differently? I think in this particular trial, no. But in another way, very much so. Do you want to tell me, Larry, that someone that was poor, someone that was uneducated, possibly a minority could walk into Neeman Marcus, Beverly Hills and shop lift and not be charged? Three times before? No way.

GERAGOS: Nancy, let me tell you something. First of all, the so-called prior incidents, there was no arrests, there was no detention.

GRACE: I know, because she's Winona Ryder.

GERAGOS: Number two, number two, they were never brought to the prosecutor's attention.

GRACE: Because she was Winona Ryder.

GERAGOS: No -- five months afterward. She had been charged with four felonies as of February 1. So no, I don't think one had anything to do with the other. In fact...

GRACE: I bet if you shop lifted, you'd get busted, Mark.

GERAGOS: Well, I don't think...

GRACE: Me, too.

GERAGOS: Maybe the answer is that she didn't shop lift on the previous occasions.

KING: Ross, you look troubled. Is something bothering you?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes, something is bothering me. We had information at "Celebrity Justice" from inside the district attorney's office that the district attorney was saying he was upset with the fact that the prosecutor, Ann Rundle, hadn't asked for jail time. Now, on one side of their mouth, they're talking about the fact that Winona Ryder has not been treated any differently than anyone else, and yet at the same time, you've got Steve Cooley, the D.A., aggressively wanting a stronger sentence.

KING: Does that surprise you, Linda?

DEUTSCH: Well, you know, everybody keeps talking about, are these people treated differently? Of course they're treated differently. We know them better. We feel almost like they're a member of our family. And the judge said today he was not going to make Winona Ryder an example for others. And yet that's what these trials are about.

GERAGOS: It's a show trial.

DEUTSCH: They are show trials. And we learn from them. They're instructive. They're educational. And we do learn what happens to people that do the wrong thing.

KING: Greensboro, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I thought that I heard a news report that statements were attributed to Winona Ryder that she shop lifted because of a movie role. My question is a two parter. Is that true, and was the director ever named?

GERAGOS: No. That's the -- the testimony in the trial was that the Saks security guard and -- Saks security guards said that that's what she said at the time. She never embraced that. The defense never embraced that, and, no, there was nobody called who made that statement or said that they had sent her in there for that purpose.

GRACE: Those statements were kept out of evidence. Detective Mark Parker (ph) stated he heard that comment, that she was trying to find out what it felt like to be a shop lifter. I have got it right here in my hand, a pretrial motion.

GERAGOS: They weren't kept out of evidence; they were in evidence.

GRACE: And also civil -- civil admissions as well. "I, Winona Ryder, agree I have stolen these items." It never came into evidence.

GERAGOS: That was kept out of evidence. The statements by Mark Parker (ph) and the statements by the security guards were in evidence. That's how it played out.

KING: Brooklyn, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi, I'd like to know if she would have admitted to stealing in the beginning would there have been a plea bargaining and not gone to trial?

GERAGOS: Within 24 hours I was on the phone with the D.A., the filing deputy in this case, saying let's work this thing out. I called repeatedly. In fact, in the motion that I did to recuse the D.A.'s office some three or four months later, actually, it was longer than that, it was six months later, I detailed 18 specific instances in which I tried to resolve this case and I met with absolute intransigence on the part of the D.A.'s office.

DEUTSCH: But you were unwilling to plead her to a felony, is that right?

GERAGOS: I was willing to plead her to a felony if they would reduce it to a misdemeanor based on certain conditions. And they just never -- the DA's office would never agree to that.

MCLAUGHLIN: So you rolled the dice and gambled. You rolled the dice and gambled -- what have you got to lose?

GERAGOS: I rolled the dice -- I have got nothing to lose. I am in a situation -- if you're being offered a felony and leave it up to the judge as to what the sentence, or if you can go to trial and get the same result -- and in this case, remember, she was acquitted of the commercial felony and the drug count was dismissed. So originally she was charged with four felonies.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mark, the medical examiner's report, the probation report, all this talk about drugs, and all of this never would have come out had she not gone to trial. Do you regret...

GERAGOS: That's not -- that's not true. the probation report has to be filed. Take a look at the date of the probation now.

MCLAUGHLIN: It's all now public. Do you regret...

GERAGOS: It's all public. Just listen to me for a second. The probation report has to come out. It's called a pre-plea report. Under California law, it's a public record. Any sentence had to have a probation report.

KING: Marc, we're running short on time. When she came forward to offer that $1 million reward, did you know her?

KLAAS: No, sir, I had never met her before. And in fact, last week she told me an incredible story. She said that one day in 1992, she was in the front yard of her parents' home in Petaluma and a couple of little girls walked by. And one of them waved to her and then shyly hid behind her smile, and she said that it was a year later that she saw that little girl on TV, and that that little girl had been kidnapped. That's an extraordinary story that I had never heard before. But you know what, that's Winona Ryder.

KING: So out of the blue, she comes to you?

KLAAS: She came out of the blue and she never pursued celebrity. She absolutely didn't do that. She did extraordinary things on Polly's behalf, but they had a lot more to do with going out in the field and offering her celebrity to get Polly back on the front pages. She was ready to disappear like every other child.

KING: And wasn't she, in fact, Linda, a popular celebrity?

DEUTSCH: Oh, absolutely.

KING: Well liked in the industry?

DEUTSCH: Very well liked. And she's been nominated for Oscars. She is very talented. She's extraordinarily beautiful. She's more beautiful in person.

KING: So people are sad over this?

DEUTSCH: I think people are very sad, and I think people are...

KING: Do you agree with that?

DEUTSCH: People are going into Saks and saying, why did you do this to this nice girl?

MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I do agree with that, Larry. I think that she's still a very sweet person. I think that she's done a lot of good for the community. And it's unfortunate -- and I think Mark did the best job he could. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep the probation report out. He couldn't keep these things out, and now it's going to stick.

KLAAS: She never threw my daughter in front of anybody's face this entire time. I approached Winona when she got in trouble because she had helped me when I was in trouble. And I said, I want to do this for you.

KING: You're a standup guy.

KLAAS: Well, you know, I'm the one that kept bringing it to people's attention that she had done this for my family. It's not something she did and it's not something that Mark did.

KING: Thank you all very much, Marc Klaas, Nancy Grace, Linda Deutsch, Ross McLaughlin, and we especially thank Mark Geragos for coming and staying with us for an hour. His first appearance since all of this.

Come back in a minute and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Tomorrow night, Naomi Campbell, due to be with us tonight, will be with us tomorrow night on LARRY KING WEEKEND. "NEWSNIGHT" -- Aaron Brown is off somewhere again, but sitting in tonight is stalwart pinch hitter, is my man Anderson Cooper.


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