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Analysis of Michael Jackson Arrest

Aired November 24, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Michael Jackson goes on the offensive against child molestation charges, and his friend, Elizabeth Taylor, comes to his defense, while tabloids report on what they call "explicit love letters" from Michael to his accuser.
Here with all the latest, Diane Dimond, Court TV anchor and host of "Hollywood at Large," she's been on the top of this story since the first child molestation accusation against Michael 10 years ago; Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor; high-profile defense attorney Chris Pixley; Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent with "Celebrity Justice"; Michael Jackson's one-time attorney, the famed Johnnie Cochran. And Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist who counsels victims of sexual abuse -- she'll be with us later. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm going to give you Michael Jackson's statement in just a moment, but I first want to go right Jane Velez-Mitchell, the correspondent with "Celebrity Justice," who broke a story tonight. Which is?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": A major new development in this case. "Celebrity Justice" has learned that at the very same time authorities were raiding Neverland, they were also raiding the Beverly Hills offices of Bradley Miller, who is Michael Jackson's private investigator, hired, according to our sources, long before the molestation issue ever came up, way back in early spring, when, according to our sources, Michael Jackson heard that the mother of this boy at the center of this case heard that Michael Jackson allegedly gave her son wine and was outraged and extremely upset because her son is ill, recovering from cancer. So she gets upset, and Michael Jackson, in turn, hires a private investigator, and around the same time, attorney Mark Geragos, which is a pretty, pretty strong reaction...

KING: Are you saying Mark Geragos was hired long ago?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, this is our understanding.

KING: And the private investigator was hired long ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I mean, either Michael Jackson is saying, Hey, I want to protect myself. I've been down this road before. I've got an upset mother. Or he may possibly have known that this was the tip of the iceberg and decided to make a preemptive strike.

KING: And Johnnie, you can raid a private investigator's office? You can get a warrant?

JOHNNIE COCHRAN, FORMER MICHAEL JACKSON ATTORNEY: Well, I suppose, if you have information that satisfies a judge, you can do that. And it's interesting that they do it. But Tom Sneddon, you know, is a give-no-quarter prosecutor, and he would do that. I mean, clearly, if that -- I'm not surprised by that. I'm surprised that Geragos was in the picture so long ago.

But I would choose to take the opposite tack. I would suspect, if there was an irate mother, that Michael would want to try to protect himself early on, having been down this road before. And I wonder whether or not there are any statements given by any of these parties. There may be a statement perhaps given by this young man, indicating, or...


KING: To the investigator?

COCHRAN: Yes, that he was never molested in any way (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that's one of the rumblings we've been hearing is that what happened between this private investigator and this young man during the course of this investigation -- did he get this young man to sign some sort of letter that says nothing untoward ever happened? We don't know that, but those are some of the rumblings we've heard.

KING: Before I read Michael's statement, I want comments from our panel. Diane, what do you think of this?

DIANE DIMOND, COURT TV: Well, I've heard that Michael Jackson did a two-pronged attack back in February, when he heard that this -- or when he felt that this mother might be taking some steps detrimental to him. No. 1, he hired Mark Geragos. And number two -- actually, he took three steps. No. 2, he brought in a videocamera into Neverland when the family was there, the young boy's mother and their two siblings, and he started the tape rolling and then had them talk about what a great guy he was. So now they have on video the complainants talking about how Michael Jackson was so generous, how they called him Daddy, how Neverland was wonderful and so was he.

And No. 3, I hear that he realized allegations were on the way. He remembered love letters -- that's how they're described, love letters -- that he had written to this 12-year-old boy that were in the boy's home. At the time, the boy, the mother, the family was up at Neverland. Someone somehow was dispatched, I'm told, by the Michael Jackson camp down to their Los Angeles-area apartment, and suddenly, those letters disappeared.

KING: Could that have been this...

DIMOND: That's what Mr. Sneddon and the sheriff were looking for when they went into Neverland, that stack of love letters.

KING: Nancy Grace, do you think that's what they're looking for at the private investigator's office?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: I think that is absolutely what they are looking for, along with any evidence the private investigator could dig up or make up about this boy and/or his mother. And you know, it just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, Larry, because this mother and this child, this cancer victim child, are no match to Michael Jackson and his fleet of private eyes and his lawyers.

Just let me ask you this, Larry. If somebody was angry because their child, their kid had wine at your home, I imagine the first thing you would do is call and say, No, that didn't happen or how sorry I am. What did he do? He hired a private eye to dig up dirt on this mother. And she is so unsophisticated, from what I understand, there's no way she probably even knew what was going on!

KING: We're assuming that. He may have hired the private eye just to find out what they're charging him with. I mean, why are you assuming he hired him to get dirt?

GRACE: This is over a glass of wine! When he found out the mother was upset the child had a glass of wine at his Neverland ranch, he hires a private eye? I don't think so! This is so clearly to dig up dirt. And we're seeing the fruits of it now, hearing the mom portrayed as a money-grabber, hearing reports that she had the boy lie in other legal proceedings, such as a divorce or custody proceeding. This is carefully orchestrated.

KING: Chris Pixley, how do we know what is true?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, I have no idea right now how we know what's true. What we know about this case doesn't even include the charges that have been filed against him, Larry. And we don't know...

KING: We won't know that maybe until next week.

PIXLEY: We won't know that the DA has made a decision to file charges against him until next week. They sure are making noises as though they are. But you know, I couldn't disagree more with what Nancy's saying here simply because, at this point in time, what we know is that Michael Jackson is one of the most famous celebrities in the world. Of course, he has to comport himself differently than the rest of us do when somebody makes an allegation against him. It wouldn't be unusual at all to get a private eye involved when a mother is alleging that he acted improperly with her child. To me, what's interesting here...

GRACE: That's not even the headline!

PIXLEY: Well...

GRACE: The headline is...

PIXLEY: What's the headline, Nancy?

GRACE: ... the love letters. Love letters. A 45-year-old man...


KING: Wait a minute! Hold it!

GRACE: ... love letters to a 10-year-old boy...


KING: Do we -- hold it! Does anyone here -- does anyone here -- anyone -- know of the existence of these letters?

COCHRAN: I don't. I mean, I think that's...

DIMOND: Absolutely. I do.

COCHRAN: ... again, speculation.


COCHRAN: I don't know of this.

KING: Hold it!

COCHRAN: I've never seen them. The only...

DIMOND: I absolutely know of their existence!


KING: Diane, have you read them?

DIMOND: No, I have not read them, but I absolutely know that that...

COCHRAN: So how do we know?

DIMOND: ... was tops on the list of the DA and sheriff's department, things to look for inside Neverland. Listen, Larry...

KING: But you don't know what they say.

DIMOND: ... these are letters that are written in Michael Jackson's hand. They are said to be -- no, I've not read them, but...

KING: OK. Well, then...

DIMOND: ... they -- they went after them because they're said to be so sensational and so salacious in nature...

KING: Yes, but how...

DIMOND: ... that this could be a key to the prosecution...

KING: I see. Now, let me...

DIMOND: ... if and when this goes to trial.

KING: I want to get a break, but I want to hear what Michael had to say today. This is the Michael Jackson statement.

It's written, "To my fans, friends and family. As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious. They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court and we'll be able to put this horrible time behind us. Because the charges are so serious, I hope you'll understand, on the advice of my attorneys, I'll be limited in what I can say about the situation. There will be times when I cannot comment at all. No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us. For that reason, I have set up this Web site to serve as a source of official communications on my case. Any statement that does not appear on this Web site must be considered unauthorized. You are right to be skeptical of some of the individuals who are being identified in the mass media as my friends, spokespeople and attorneys. With few exceptions, most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight. We will not engage in speculation. We will not provide running commentary on every new development or allegation du jour. We intend to try our case in the courtroom, not in the public or the media. I thank you for all your support and understanding. God bless you. Michael Jackson."

KING: Comment?

COCHRAN: I think it's great. I think -- we talked last week -- Chris and I talked about -- they're making a statement and then leaving it at that point. There's a -- as you said, there's a statement or a rumor du jour, speculation du jour. And you can't respond to all those things. He's got to get ready...

KING: Now, how does he know...

COCHRAN: ... for these charges that are going to come.

KING: How does he know, Jane -- no one knows what's in the letter, right?


KING: We haven't seen the letter, so we're speculating on the letter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We know that they also raided another location, Michael Jackson's videographer, Hamid Moslehi, and they went into his West Hills suburban Los Angeles home and took seven or eight videotapes. He told "Celebrity Justice" they handcuffed him, they took the videotapes, but those videotapes he says, don't have anything incriminating on them.

But here's the interesting part. They even say the mother and the child apparently on one of these tapes says nothing untoward ever happened. But when was that tape shot? We believe it was shot before the alleged molestations took place. KING: I see. Let me get a break. And as we go to break, here is a clip from the "Celebrity Justice" story that Jane Velez-Mitchell did tonight. We'll be right back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): The evidence was taken from the home of Hamid Moslehi, Michael Jackson's former videographer, seen here on a February Fox TV special talking about working with the gloved one.

HAMID MOSLEHI, MICHAEL JACKSON'S PHOTOGRAPHER: Right now, they're saying that we were secretly videotaping him. But that's not the truth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Neighbors tell us what they saw being hauled off from Hamid's home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw a computer. It looked like a silver- looking, like, suitcase-type thing. It looked like they were taking equipment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hamid tells "CJ" he was cuffed, as investigators confiscated seven or eight videotapes. But he adds those tapes don't show Jackson doing anything wrong, and even showed the boy at the center of this case and his mom defending Jackson, saying nothing sexual ever happened.



KING: That's how the Web site looks, the Michael Jackson Web site. It's I can't read too well. I'm getting old. I'm 70 now. I can't read everything.


KING: Diane Dimond, do you think these letters are going to be leaked?

DIMOND: Oh, gosh, I hope so!


DIMOND: Boy! Man, oh man! I'd be right there. No, you know, I think this DA and this sheriff are really, really careful. I think they have planned this out so close to the vest, there's just a little cadre of people that know what's going on up there. And no, I'd be surprised if they're leaked.

KING: Is Michael right, Nancy, in complaining about all the speculation?

GRACE: Well, of course he is. But the more he complains, the more PR there is focused on everything he says. And if you get a look at him, you have the freaky factor added in.

But Larry, I want to give you a very educated guess. And that is, if Michael Jackson was aware that there were complaints floating around, we think back in February, March, and he hired Geragos and a PI at that time, and these letters disappeared from the boy's apartment, I would suggest that they were not discovered at Neverland because there's no way any lawyer in his right mind would not advise his client how damaging such a thing would be to them. I'm just speculating that they were kept somewhere else.

Now, I'm hearing that there was a raid on the PI's office. So I think this is going to be much more involved than a couple of fondling charges.

KING: Chris, is this beginning to be -- according to Nancy, if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, we could have a duck here?

PIXLEY: I think that's entirely unfair. You know, Nancy's already getting news stories out there, just in the words that she uses on this broadcast to say that letters...

GRACE: That's not true, Chris! That is not true!

PIXLEY: ... have somehow been stolen from the child's apartment. Where does that come from? Where do we -- how do we have that kind of dialogue going on in this case? We know nothing about these letters. We know that this child reportedly had cancer.

GRACE: You know nothing because...

PIXLEY: Maybe the letters say, I love you, Get well soon...

GRACE: ... you don't want to see!

PIXLEY: ... and they've been characterized that way. I think Johnnie will agree with me, Larry. It comes down to what the letters actually say.

KING: If we don't know what the letter says, why are we talking about the letter?

COCHRAN: I don't even know how you characterize them as "love letters." We don't know what they're saying. I mean, that's the spin we put on that. And so...

KING: But Nancy's saying, if they're not in the boy's -- assuming they're not in the boy's possession, they have to be damaging.

COCHRAN: And who knows that? You know, that's speculation. Now, many prosecutors engage a lot in speculation. But you know, there's got to be some facts, actually, when they get to court. Now -- and Sneddon, I'm sure, was looking for those letters. Whether or not they're love letters or whatever, I don't know. Only time will tell. But it's not fair to this young boy or to Michael Jackson or the process if we speculate too much. We've got to wait until we see what happens, I think.

KING: You carry a thin line here as a reporter, as to what is news and what is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure. And we try not to speculate. But let's be honest. There's speculation on both sides, at this point. While Michael Jackson is saying on his official Web site, This is the only comment I will have, there are Michael Jackson backers that are going out there. And I know because I've gotten some of the phone calls disparaging the mother, saying she's an unfit mother. And I just spoke to someone today who knows the mother very well and says this woman is a clear-eyed women who has the best interests of her children in mind.

DIMOND: That's exactly what I'm hearing, Jane!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she is not the person that they are painting her out to be.

DIMOND: That's exactly what I'm hearing! I'm hearing, Beware the Jackson spin. And you know, Jane, because you covered it in '93 and '94 and I covered it back then, beware the spin from all sides, not just the Jackson side. But the Jackson tactic has always been, attack the messengers, attack the people who say things you don't want to hear. Doesn't do Michael Jackson any good.

COCHRAN: I don't -- I don't think that necessarily follows. No, I think that's probably the -- all cases. You look at the other side, and you find out whether or not they're vulnerable. I mean, it's not just Michael Jackson. But I think that -- you said something I agree with, Diane, that you got to beware of the spin on all sides in this case.

DIMOND: That's a first!

COCHRAN: We got to decide -- that's where we agree, on this one thing. Beware of the spin on all sides. Let's just get the facts out there and then we'll decide what -- you know, at some point...

GRACE: You know what, Johnnie?

COCHRAN: ... a jury has to...


KING: Hold on! You had a weak leak in Mark Fuhrman. You attacked him.

COCHRAN: You go after the other side. What do you want to do, sit back? That's malpractice if you do that.

KING: What were you saying, Diane?

DIMOND: Are you saying if the letters don't exist, you must acquit? Is that what you're saying, Johnnie?


COCHRAN: Not yet. I'm not -- I'm not trying this case, Diane. I'm telling you that.

DIMOND: Oh, I wish you were!

COCHRAN: I bet you do.


KING: Here's Elizabeth Taylor's statement made November 22. "I believe Michael is absolutely innocent and that he'll be vindicated. The press has behaved so abominably towards Michael. Their whole reaction is that he is guilty. I thought the law was innocent until proven guilty. I know he's innocent. I hope they all eat crow."

DIMOND: Oh, baloney!

KING: Are we judging -- are we prejudging him, Nancy Grace?

GRACE: Well, you know what, Larry? I am a huge, and always have been a huge Michael Jackson fan. And I do...

KING: So you want him to be innocent.

GRACE: I do. But let me tell you this, Larry.

KING: As a fan, naturally.

GRACE: I have been stunned, stunned by his talent, his incredible talent. There's nobody like him in the world. I think the whole panel will agree with that. But having dealt with my whole career child molestation victims, and what it does to them for the rest of their life, I can be stunned by his talent, but I'm not going to be blind...

KING: But don't you...

GRACE: ... by the facts that I see! A 45-year-old man having sleepovers with 9-year-old boys? There's something wrong with that! If the rest of you are afraid to put it out there, be afraid! But that's not right!

KING: But as a fan, you hope these charges are wrong, right?

GRACE: Well, of course!


GRACE: I don't want this boy to have been molested!

KING: All right.

GRACE: But I'm not going to blind myself to what I see!

COCHRAN: Well, you know, I would agree with -- I would agree with Nancy that everybody on this panel agrees that Michael Jackson is one of the most talented entertainers in the history of the world. We also, all of us on this panel, are opposed to child molestation. But that's -- we can stop our agreement there. From that point on, you can't engage in all this speculation. At some point...

GRACE: Do you agree he has...

COCHRAN: At some point, they got to...

GRACE: ... sleepovers with little boys...


DIMOND: ... words that he used himself on the Bashir documentary...

COCHRAN: If you let -- you know...

KING: One at a time!

DIMOND: ... when he said that it's OK...

COCHRAN: Certainly. If you look at the words that he used on the Bashir tape, clearly, there were things that maybe you and I -- we talked about this before on this program. We may not conduct ourselves that way. But that's not necessarily criminal because the he lives his life, the way he was raised -- we have to look at him, the way he is. That is not criminal. And at some point, people will come to understand that, I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it's, at the very least, inappropriate to say it's OK to have sleepovers with young boys and tuck them in and it's all very innocent when you're a 40-some-year-old man. Now he's 45...


DIMOND: I think everyone would agree with that. Everyone would agree with that. But you know, Elizabeth Taylor is his very dear friend, and I respect her loyalty to him. But I really take umbrage with the fact of the media should eat crow, they've been attacking him unfairly. You know what, Liz? We're just doing our job. What kind of reporter would I be if I knew that the Neverland ranch was going to be raided last Tuesday morning and I didn't do everything to get there and report that to the people?

KING: Yes. Chris Pixley, isn't the media doing what the media would do, that's -- - this is a big story?

PIXLEY: I think it's inevitable that they're going to report the story in one way, though, Larry, and that's to say that Michael Jackson is guilty of these charges...


PIXLEY: ... before there are even charges. I'm sorry, Diane... DIMOND: Baloney!

PIXLEY: ... have you entertained for a moment...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I actually think everybody's pretty fair.

PIXLEY: ... the idea that these love letters...

DIMOND: Absolutely!

PIXLEY: ... that you know nothing about may be just that, nothing?

DIMOND: First of all, Chris, I...

PIXLEY: We found out over the past 10 months...

DIMOND: ... do know about them, and I know about them from high law enforcement sources. But I have always said, I don't know if...

PIXLEY: The DA that's playing it close to the chest?

DIMOND: ... Michael Jackson is a pedophile. This charge...

PIXLEY: You said they play it...

DIMOND: ... should go to court.

PIXLEY: ... close to the chest. You think this is a...

KING: All right...

PIXLEY: ... good DA's office that doesn't leak stories, that play it close to the chest. But you know from high-ranking officials exactly what these letters say, or at least...

DIMOND: I didn't say I know what they say!

PIXLEY: ... what they are likely to say...

DIMOND: If you're going to...

PIXLEY: ... that they're salacious.

DIMOND: And you know what, Chris? Get it right!


KING: One at a time! One at a time!

DIMOND: I get it right when I quote somebody!

KING: One at a time.

DIMOND: You get it right when you quote me!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The media has also...

PIXLEY: Who are you quoting about the letters, then, Diane, so we can get it right? Who is it that you're quoting?

DIMOND: I'm not going to...

PIXLEY: You don't have anyone to quote.

DIMOND: ... give you my sources! I'm not giving you my sources!

PIXLEY: Then why are we talking about this as though it's a fact?

KING: All right, let me -- I'm going to get a break...

PIXLEY: It's wrong.

KING: ... and then Jane will comment. We'll be taking calls in a while. As we go to break, here was Elizabeth Taylor on a similar matter two years ago. We'll be right back.


ELIZABETH TAYLOR, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FRIEND: He's so tender. He is so compassionate. He hurts, literally pains for other people's suffering. If there is -- oh, like the starvation of children in this country, in India, in Africa...

KING: He feels it. It's not just...

TAYLOR: He reaches out. I've been to the Orient with him, and he said, Roll down the window! Roll down the window! And he -- he reaches his hands out and just touches a baby's face.



KING: We'll be going to your calls at the bottom of the hour. We'll get the comments of Dr. Ludwig later.

It has to be asked, Johnnie. Have you been called back?

COCHRAN: I've talked to Michael several times and -- but I can't reveal, you know, anything about the nature of that. But I am not part of the team. I'm not going to be part of the team in this case. I can tell you that.

KING: All right. And Jane, you were going to say?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I was going to say that everybody's criticizing the media, or some people are, but the media has also been a little tough on Mr. Sneddon when he made comments in the news conference that some considered disparaging toward Michael Jackson's music and seemed too jovial and gleeful during the news conference to some. We reported that. We talked to people. And we set the record straight on that. So we don't decide who we're going to criticize. We just follow the flow.

KING: Nancy Grace, as a former prosecutor, was there anything about that press conference -- I think you already said there were things you didn't like, right?

GRACE: Yes. You know, Larry, in all the many, many years that I prosecuted high-profile cases in that region, I never, ever gave a pre-trial press conference for this very reason. A, you can't comment on your evidence. You'll be looking right down the wrong end of a barrel of a venue change.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he did not.

GRACE: And B, you don't want to look flip. You don't want to be too, too pleased with yourself.

DIMOND: Look at what Michael Jackson's doing when he comes out. He's flipping the peace sign and...


KING: But he's the accused, Diane.

DIMOND: Right. I know. But he -- these are very -- as he said on his own Web site, Larry, these are very serious charges, and he understands that. But he's being almost as flip and happy and smiley as people are accusing Sneddon of being, no?

COCHRAN: Well, Diane, I don't think he's happy and smiling. He's just posted $3 million bail, at that point. He's trying to -- he's getting out. He shows the victory sign. He does that all the time. I think that would be much more appropriate than a DA who comes on and, you know, he's smiling, talking about spending your tax dollars and he's laughing inappropriately and saying he doesn't really think about Michael Jackson. I mean...

GRACE: You know what, Johnnie?

COCHRAN: ... I don't think people believe that, do they?

GRACE: That's all well and good. You can throw a stone at the DA, if you want to. And you know what? You've got a point. I disagreed with this press conference, too. But that's not what this is about! Good try at hiding the ball, but it's not going to work tonight! This is about a 45-year-old man...

COCHRAN: Nancy, I'm not hiding any balls.

GRACE: ... having sleepovers...

COCHRAN: There are no balls being hidden here.

GRACE: ... with 9-year-old boys...

COCHRAN: Nancy, we're not hiding any balls.

GRACE: ... about reports of love letters...

COCHRAN: Nancy...

GRACE: ... of secret bedroom chambers. You know what?

COCHRAN: Nancy...

GRACE: You can all pretend nothing's wrong...


COCHRAN: We cannot -- we can't speculate, Nancy. This is all speculation. Why don't we wait for the facts? Isn't that what we want to do? Isn't that the American way? Wait for the facts and then let a jury decide.

GRACE: You know what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can't restrain myself, Johnnie!

GRACE: I still say...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Johnnie, I have to ask you...

KING: One at a time!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You talked to Michael Jackson. What is his mood? I think that's what the entire world wants to know.

DIMOND: Great question, Jane!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How is he feeling right now?

COCHRAN: I think he's concerned. I think he's concerned. Wouldn't you be? I mean, he's like the rest of us. He's concerned about this. He's concerned about what's happening to him. He's concerned and he -- you know, he wants to get this behind him, clearly...

GRACE: He's been concerned since February!

COCHRAN: ... and he maintains his innocence.


COCHRAN: Well, wouldn't you be? Wouldn't you be? Wouldn't you be?

GRACE: You know what? If someone accused me of giving a kid a glass of wine, I would call them immediately, tell them it's not true.

COCHRAN: How do we know he didn't do that, Nancy?

GRACE: Or if somehow, it had happened... COCHRAN: How do we know he didn't do that?

GRACE: ... I would have explained it.

KING: Hold it! Hold it! Hold it!

GRACE: Instead, he hired a PI and got...

KING: Hold it, Nancy!

GRACE: ... lawyered up!

KING: Nancy, how do you know what he did?

COCHRAN: How do you know he didn't do that?

KING: How do you know he didn't call the mother?

GRACE: Because I know instead...

KING: You don't know. You don't know.

GRACE: Can I finish?

KING: Yes.

GRACE: Because instead, he called a PI, OK?

KING: How do you know instead? How do you know not both? How do you know he didn't call the mother?

GRACE: You know what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that raises a point. Why call a PI?

GRACE: You're right, Larry, he did call the mother, and he got her on video denying any kind of wrongdoing.


GRACE: That's what I know. And I think that is an overreaction to a glass of wine. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm wrong. But I just see two plus two equals four.

KING: All right, we'll take a break and come back. We'll be including your phone calls, reintroduce the panel. Don't go away.



CROWD CHEERING: Michael, Michael, Michael, Michael.


KING: How big a story is this? This is a rally supporting Michael Jackson in Paris, France. Let's reintroduce our panel: In New York, is Diane Dimond, Court TV anchor, host of "Hollywood at Large." She's been covering the get go back in 1993. Nancy Grace, Court TV anchor, former prosecutor. In Atlanta, Chris Pixley, the defense attorney. In Los Angeles, Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent for "Celebrity Justice." And in Los Angeles, Johnnie Cochran, the former attorney for Michael Jackson. He represented him in connection with the settlement of that '93 lawsuit.

Vancouver, British Columbia as we go to calls. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Speaking as a parent, I think that all parents who allow their children to sleep with any 45-year-old needs their head examined. Shame on the parents. If Michael Jackson is found guilty, can charges be also brought against the parents for reckless endangerment of their children, gross negligence, or willful blindness? Surely, these parents...

KING: All right, Nancy, can they?

GRACE: Man, how many times did I wish I could charge many, many mothers and girlfriends for turning the other way when their kids were being molested by a boyfriend or father. Unfortunately, I don't see that in the law books. I don't think it will happen. I agree with the caller.

KING: Do you agree, Johnnie?

COCHRAN: I generally agree. They're not going to charge -- they're considered victims, and it's not going to happen, I think.

KING: But it may be considered.

COCHRAN: It may be considered, some negligence along the way there, you know. But it assumes that Michael Jackson would molest the child. It assumes that. I don't want to -- that's hypothetically speaking.

KING: Brooklyn, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: This is for Johnnie Cochran. I know that he had a bad childhood, because he became a star at a very young age. But I feel that he's such a good-natured person. What bothers me is that the mother would allow the kid to be there and then take him back, and then allow him to go back there again. If he did anything wrong to the child, why did she take him back the second time?

COCHRAN: I think that's a valid point and one that should be looked at. Here's a situation where this child has cancer. In Neverland, they have basically a facility for cancer patients. And, you know, it's a marvelous great facility from that standpoint when you look at it. The mother was there. There's nothing barring her from there. I think she'll have to answer those questions: Why she allowed this, why this happened, I think, clearly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Jackson says he has a tendency to pick out very vulnerable children from broken homes. Yes, this is a cancer survivor. The family is shattered. They're in the process of a divorce. They have money troubles. So this is the type of person that Michael Jackson, apparently, gloms onto, or however you would describe it, and these are vulnerable parents who are desperate.

COCHRAN: There's a man who went to all kinds of lengths to reach out to Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson didn't call them, they called him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he's a 12-year-old kid saying, "I want my dying wish to be meeting Michael Jackson."


DIMOND: Somebody at the hospital where the kid was called a staffer at Neverland and said, "This kid is about to go. He is close to death. He just wants to see you." And Michael Jackson came to see him. So don't make it sound like the kid...

KING: Diane, was that the truth? Is the kid terminally ill?

DIMOND: From what I understand, he's in remission. He was, quote, "close to death." But he had some surgery. He had a growth removed from his stomach, I understand. I've heard various spleen and/or kidney cancer. But I hear he's in remission now.

KING: Chris Pixley, when things get -- when somebody's doing it every night, and stories are breaking and leaking, is that more troublesome to the defense?

PIXLEY: It is. And it's one of the reasons that I tend to disagree with the statement that Michael's camp may today, which is that they were going to try the case in the courtroom and not in the press, I think that was an admirable thing to say. It will be interesting to see if they're able to do that. We don't even have a charging decision made in this case yet, and yet, we already have leaks of material evidence that has come from the State. And -- or has come from some source. So, you know, when we talk about things like the love letters, it's a reminder to all of us that one approach for the D.A.'s office -- and we've seen it in the Scott Peterson matter for the last ten months -- is to leak all of the evidence they have and to get as many stories out there as they can to kind of penalize the defendant and help potential jurors to make up their minds ahead of time. So it's very damaging.

GRACE: Gee, I wonder, Chris.

KING: Hold it. One at a time, one at a time. Johnnie and then Nancy.

COCHRAN: I think Chris is absolutely right. That's one of the problems. You know, it's kind of almost like trial by ambush. What will happen? The court will somewhere along the way say, "Hey, I'm going to gag you lawyers." And when he says that to the defense and prosecution, they say, "OK, fine." The police will continue, these stories will come out. In this case, those letters, or some portion of those letters, will probably get out before this is over. I mean, clearly. And Diane's going to publish them or someone's going to publish them.

DIMOND: From your lips to God's ear.

COCHRAN: That's going to happen. And it's always when the defense is -- when you're leveling the playing field. If something comes out -- and Chris is absolutely right -- then the defense has to go back and try and address that also. Everybody on each team is playing, Larry, to level this playing field for a jury.

KING: And to be honest, Diane, if the letters are nebulous, like, "I care for you," you'd release those right away, right?

DIMOND: Absolutely, because then that would go to what Michael Jackson says, that this could just be extortion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A British tabloid has already claimed to have some information on the letters...

KING: So why didn't they print them?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and they said that he calls -- Michael calls this boy, special friend, Ruba Ruba (ph).

DIMOND: Oh, he calls everybody Ruba Ruba.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There's all sorts of stories that are out now.

KING: Nancy, is there any way to prevent leaks on both sides?

GRACE: No, I don't think there is, because it's not just the district attorney who has his hands on the documents, it's the clerk, it's the law clerk, it's the messenger, it's the person, the secretary, the guy who's stapling it together. But I just wanted to point something out to Mr. Pixley and to Johnnie Cochran. You keep talking about the State leaking information. You know what? Do you think the State leaked information that this boy's mother was a money- grabber, or that this boy may have lied in some other legal proceeding coached by the mother? I don't think so. I think this is part of the Jackson camp leaking, leaking very damaging information.

PIXLEY: And if we were going to be fair to Michael Jackson, we would talk about those leaks as well, and we'd talk about those stories as well.

I mean, Nancy, wouldn't you agree that this case plays out more like...

GRACE: I am bringing it up, Chris, because I'm not afraid of it. I'm bringing it up myself. Whatever the mother may...

PIXLEY: Then let's talk about it after you get done pointing out that you brought it up. The fact is this case -- the evidence is coming out right now plays more like a civil tort case than it does anything else. Have we heard the last week from Diane Dimond is we...


KING: Don't interrupt.

PIXLEY: We have heard that this boy was allegedly a prisoner at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch. Now that sounds to me like a false imprisonment, intentional inflection of wrongful and intentional infliction of emotional distress kind of civil claim. And we also have an allegation -- an allegation in the arrest warrant.


KING: Don't interrupt.

DIMOND: Yet if he filed the civil suit, you guys would be complaining that he was after money if he filed a civil suit.

PIXLEY: I'm sorry?

DIMOND: If he filed the civil suit like you're saying this is a civil claim, everyone would be complaining, "See, he's just after money. He filed a civil suit." And everybody says that there's two sides. But there's more than two sides.

PIXLEY: And so you'll do that. You'll complain next week or next month or six months from now when the civil suit is filed.

KING: Well, there's what? One side and the other side.

DIMOND: Oh, you bet. Absolutely, I'm a reporter. I report everything.

KING: Pine, Oregon, hello.

CALLER: I really enjoyed your birthday party.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is for anybody on the panel who can answer this. I understand that it is illegal, I'm not sure if it's just in California or everywhere, to get a mug photo with makeup on. Is this true? And if it is, why was Michael allowed to?

KING: Jane, I heard that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he did have his makeup on, and yes, normally they require, especially men, to take makeup off if they have makeup. But they want people who are not disguised in any way. Now, we've heard all the stories that Michael Jackson may have a prosthetic device on the tip of his nose, so if they had required him...

DIMOND: And tattooed eye liner. You can't take tattoos off. VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to take all his makeup off, he could have actually been deformed on this mug shot. So that could be one of the reasons they allowed that.

KING: Does this have deference to the client, Johnnie?

COCHRAN: I don't know about what the -- whether he wears makeup. I don't know anything about that. But I think that it was certainly easier under the circumstances where somebody surrenders themselves. First of all, keep in mind, what is Robert Blake's bail? A million dollars? This man's bail is $3 million on these charges? I mean, they're serious charges, but $3 million? And so I think they just wanted to make it smooth as they could and get him out of there.

KING: That's high bail?

COCHRAN: I think it's very high bail.

KING: What were you going to ask Diane? What were you going to ask Johnnie?

DIMOND: I was going to ask Johnnie Cochran if -- OK, I know you're not involved, but if you were still his lawyer, would you have advised him to perhaps look a little different for that mug shot?

COCHRAN: I don't want to criticize any lawyers in this case, Diane. You know, you have to look at the time. And I just wouldn't comment on that.

KING: By the way, does the client make up his own mind how he looks?

COCHRAN: Well, very often they do. You know, you can't really dress your clients. You can say, "Hey, wear a suit."

DIMOND: Yeah, but the Lana Turner look is not great for a mug shot. I'm sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It raises an interesting question of the trial. What kind of Michael Jackson are we going to see if this trial occurs? Are we going to see a toned-down Michael Jackson who suddenly is going to wear a business suit and short hair?

KING: How would you advise in the trial, Johnnie?

COCHRAN: Well, I think, you know, I would say, you know, that first of all, he's got to be himself. You know, you can't just have him come in a cardigan sweater if he's never done that, you know. But you've got to be yourself. You can't come to court, you know, in some wild outfit.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But he did at the civil trial in Santa Maria.

COCHRAN: I think that -- I wasn't his lawyer at that time. I think you have to relate to the jurors, I think.

KING: Virginia Beach, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry. Belated birthday greetings.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: I'd like to know -- this is for Chris and Johnnie. I'd like to know what they think about Gloria Alfred's campaign to have Michael Jackson's children removed from his custody before there's even been a hearing, weird or not. Weird doesn't make guilty.

KING: All right, Chris?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good question.

PIXLEY: Well, we talked about this off the air, actually, in prior shows on Michael's case. And it's true that California has very strict child endangerment laws. And I think that there is something to be said for a full investigation here. But, you know, it's -- I think it's very early for Gloria to be making the statement that Michael's children should be potentially taken from the home. Remember, children are only taken from the home basically for two reasons, either they're being deprived or they're being abused. I don't think anyone's going to argue, and I don't think there's going to be any finding that Michael Jackson's children are being deprived. And given that it's taken ten years for the D.A.'s office to find another child that would come forward and bring allegations against Michael Jackson, I doubt that there's really any evidence that his children are being abused.

KING: What do you make of Gloria Allred?

COCHRAN: I think it's an unseemly rush to judgment on her part and will not work.

KING: As we go to break, the aforementioned Miss Allred. We'll be back with more calls. We'll also talk with Dr. Ludwig. Don't go away.


GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: I believe that the children should be temporarily removed from Mr. Jackson's care and custody because of the history of Michael Jackson with children and his statements that I have outlined, combined with the present criminal allegations. Further, removal of the children from Mr. Jackson need not and should not await the outcome of the criminal case pending against him.



KING: We're going to spend a few moments with Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, who has counseled child victims of sexual abuse and adult survivors of molestation and incest. We have a couple of calls for Robi. I'll take them in a moment.

But, Robi, first, what do you make of these calls about the responsibility of parents?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, it's a very good point, but one thing I have to say, that pedophiles are very good charming single women who are very vulnerable. And again, pedophiles are very glib, they're very bright, they're very seductive. So they usually choose single women that have a hard time managing on their own. And then they're very grateful to have this help from another male adult. So, again, I'm not saying that Michael Jackson is a pedophile. I don't want to rush to that judgment. But that is typical of pedophiles. They do target vulnerable people who are inclined to except a handout.

KING: Does pedophilia cover the whole area of lewd and lascivious? Can you be a pedophiliac without penetration or without sexual content?

LUDWIG: Yes. In fact, you can just ask a child to undress and enjoy looking at them, and that is considered...

KING: That's pedophilia?

LUDWIG: ... part of pedophilia. You can masturbate in front of a child, asking a child to undress. Just even caressing a child is considered all part of pedophilia. And when there is penetration, then it jumps to child molestation.

KING: Let's take a call for you from Skokie, Illinois for Dr. Ludwig. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi. You're kind of touching on what I was going to ask. Since both Michael and several kids have stated that when the kids stay in his room, Michael insists the child stays in the bed, and then Michael sleeps on the floor. And I was wondering if even this act -- you know, the kid falls asleep and Michael -- I don't know -- auto eroticism. This is a pedophile fantasy to have a child in his bed whether he does anything at all. Could that be a case there?

LUDWIG: Well, yeah, it's an interesting question. Very often, pedophilia is stimulated by the fantasy. And it would be very interesting to see what type of books and videos and images are on Michael's computer, because that would indicate what drives his fantasy. That's a really good question. I think your question is primarily legal. However, if I were Michael Jackson's therapist, assuming he's innocent, I would ask him, or I would basically make the recommendation, "Michael, if you love children, and I believe that you do, could you find a way to give to children that's not harmful to yourself, because being a famous person in the public eye, you're going to have a lot of aggression directed your way." And also, it's not good to be an adult role model who gets himself in trouble all the time.

KING: Good advice. Palm Coast, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'm not a psychiatrist, but obviously, Michael lives in a child's fantasy world. So is it possible he could be asexual, with no sexual desires, and therefore, could not be a sexual predator?

LUDWIG: It is absolutely possible. If he, in his mind, is more like a 13-year-old mentally, and somehow being around this age group fulfills a need, what they found with pedophiles is that very often, there was a deficit in terms of their peer group, that during their childhood, somehow there wasn't enough of a childhood connection to peers. So it's not clear if Michael is just truly innocently enjoying being around boys, because that's where he feels most comfortable.

KING: As a 13-year-old would enjoy being around 13-year-olds.

LUDWIG: That's right. That's right. That's exactly right. That it just feels psychically comfortable, and it doesn't have to mean that something horrible is going on.

KING: Thank you, Dr. Ludwig, as always.

LUDWIG: Thank you.

KING: We'll be calling on you again. We'll be back with our panel for our remaining moments, some wind-up thoughts as well. Don't go away.


KING: Charlotte, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how you all?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: My question is for Diane Dimond.

KING: Yeah.

CALLER: I want to know why Tom Sneddon -- I guess I pronounced his name right -- chose her to have the interview within 24 hours after making a statement that he would not be giving any? Is it because he knows she dislikes Michael, too?

DIMOND: I don't dislike Michael Jackson. I'd like to know the truth about him. Why did he give me an interview? Because I asked him. I had the story. I said, "Are you going to comment or not?" I've known him for ten years. Not that we're good buddies or anything. But I think he felt that I was going to report it. And if I was going to do it, I should have as many facts as he could give me.

KING: Johnnie, do you expect charges to be filed next Monday?

COCHRAN: I do. I expect charges to be filed. We'll know more at that time and some of the speculation. And we'll have to see if he can prove it or not.

KING: Toronto, Canada, hello.

CALLER: Hi. How are the kids selected that stay at his home? KING: Do you know kids selected that go to Neverland?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, we saw an example here with Children's Hospital. I mean, the young boy was sick. He was a cancer patient, and...

KING: Do you have to be an ill patient?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He does work with a lot of children who are wanting to go to Neverland as a final wish. There's a lot of charity groups that go. There are kids even from the area of Neverland who go there on field trips; a lot of people who live in the neighborhood allow their children to go there on field trips. And they spend days, school visits, I mean, the works. Halloween, there's a special open house. So the sky's the limit. But generally, it's almost like there's a public admission. And the question is -- and one of the things that I've wondered why Michael Jackson never did this is, after these first allegations surfaced, why not say, "Hey, Neverland's a public park. And no child that goes to Neverland will ever sleep in my bedroom." That would have ended the confusion and the questions.

KING: Do you know why, Johnnie, that he didn't do that?

COCHRAN: Because he doesn't think he's done anything wrong. If you think about it logically, you might say, "Hey, that would be a good idea." But if think that you never did anything wrong to start with, that's probably a little more difficult, you know. But, you know, clearly, reasonable minds may differ about that.

KING: Nancy, what do you think the public feels? Is there a majority the public rooting for him, do you think?

GRACE: You know what?

KING: As you said, you're a fan of his.

GRACE: I think they feel really the same way I feel. I don't want this to be true. I grew up loving Michael Jackson. But on the other side, especially as a former prosecutor, how many children will it take claiming molestation? How often can we explain it away or discount it? And what are we willing to close our eyes to?

KING: Chris? Do you think the public's for him?

PIXLEY: I think that there are a lot of people who understand that being eccentric or childlike doesn't necessarily make you a pedophile. But I also think the public is honest with itself and understands when you see someone walking a fine line between behavior that's acceptable and behavior that's criminal, that you need to treat them with some suspicion. I think that on a general level, that's why it is appropriate to be suspicious of Michael Jackson at this point in time. I think when we go beyond that, and we start convicting him with absolutely no information, I think the public may actually lash back against that, and that may be why we're seeing these rallies.

KING: Johnnie, why do you think the bail was so high? COCHRAN: I think that because of Tom Sneddon. I think it's been ten years he thought about this. I think that's beyond...


KING: He didn't choose the bail.

COCHRAN: No, but I think he recommends it, though. I think it's beyond the pale. If you're going to surrender your passport, you can't leave the country. Why $3 million bail?

DIMOND: Well, because of the Max Factor case, Johnnie, the Max Factor heir case. They gave that man a million-dollar bail. He put up a million dollars, and he fled to Mexico. So I think that -- don't forget -- and you know this, Johnnie Cochran -- the judge also had to agree to that $3 million figure, so it wasn't just Tom Sneddon.

COCHRAN: I think the prosecutor asked for it and the judge agreed. But I still that that's exorbitant, though, Diane. I look at Robert Blake. I look at so many other cases, homicide cases, where the bail is so much lower. And I think they really tried to really give him a -- the bail's too high.

PIXLEY: And I think Johnnie would agree, no one knew what Andrew Luster looked like. He wasn't a public figure. Everybody in the free world knows Michael Jackson. Where is he going to go?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Although he was, apparently, able to dress up as an elderly woman and slip out while the entire world was looking for him in Las Vegas to go to his family's condo and have a meeting with his family.

DIMOND: I thought that was Robert Durst. Wait a minute.

KING: When do you think this is all going to come about, if the charges are filed next week? Give me a ballpark figure, Johnnie, as to timing here.

COCHRAN: I think it's going to drag out for quite a while. If Mr. Geragos is still on the case, he's got some unfinished work to deal with. That's going to be a real issue as to when this case could be tried. I would suspect that it's going to go on for a while, even though I think that I'm sure Michael would want to get it over with sooner than later.

KING: No chance of plea bargain here is there, Nancy? Neither side is going to give in that regard unless Michael admitted to something, but he wouldn't.

GRACE: I don't see any plea bargain on the horizon. And regarding the timing, I would say the D.A. is going to come out with formal charges the week following Thanksgiving on Monday. I think the D.A. will want to go straight to trial, because delay is a prosecutor's worst enemy. Geragos, on the other hand, will want to delay, and he will use his trial schedule. The lord only knows what to delay. And I would say, though, at best, within the year.

KING: More tomorrow night. Our panel will reassemble. We thank Diane Dimond, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Johnnie Cochran, and also the contributions as always of Dr. Robi Ludwig. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, and I'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night and have some closing thoughts right after this.


KING: Aaron Brown has the week off this week. He is on vacation. So tomorrow night, more on the Jackson case. So I will tell you this. The set of "NEWSNIGHT" is much more attractive. No slight to Aaron Brown. But the host tonight and all this week is the lovely and talented Carol Lin.

Ms. Lin, it's a pleasure to turn the podium over to you.


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