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LEGAL VIEW WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Dylan Farrow Again Accuses Woody Allen of Past Sexual Abuse 20 Years Ago; Investigating Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death
Aired February 4, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: So was she molested by Woody Allen or was she brain washed by Mia Farrow? Or was it something else entirely. Is that couple's adopted daughter, her detailed account of a sexual assault a made-up memory or a bona fide rape? Purposely, was that memory planted in the mind of a 7-year-old? The filmmaker's lawyer is making his case. Our experts are going to weigh in.
Also this hour, what happened in the final hours before Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead with a needle sticking out of his arm? Why were there six ATM withdrawals, one after the other, totaling $1,200? And who were the two men with him wearing messenger bags at the time?
And a former teacher is under arrest, accused of befriending and assaulting girls in their middle-school class, facing 16 counts of child sex abuse, but is it possible that a YouTube video could be enough to convict?
Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And it's Tuesday, February the 4th. Welcome to LEGAL VIEW.
Let's start with Woody Allen. His lawyer said that he has a logical explanation for the sex abuse claims that are coming from his adopted daughter, Dylan.
He says his ex-, Mia Farrow, brainwashed her, planting false memories in the mind of her when she was just a 7-year-old child.
Allen's attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, says that Farrow was out for revenge and still is, 20 years after the fact, and he laid out his case this morning on the "Today" show.
Our Jean Casarez joins me live now. She's been following the back and the forth, and it has become ugly, almost as ugly if not more so than two decades ago.
Lay it out from the beginning and tell me where we are going with this case now, jean.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Where we're going now is that it's the response that everyone has been waiting for, response from Woody Allen through his attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, today on the "Today" show, very specifically, laying blame not at all on the adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, but on one other person, Mia Farrow. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELKAN ABRAMOWITZ, ATTORNEY FOR WOODY ALLEN: His reaction is one of overwhelming sadness because of what has happened to Dylan.
She was a pawn in a huge fight between him and Mia Farrow years ago, and the idea that she was molested was implanted in her by her mother. And that memory is never going to go away.
In my view, she's not lying. I think she truly believes this is. That's what the vice of this is.
When you implant a story in a fragile 7-year-old's mind, it stays there forever. It never goes away.
Soon Yi was not Allen's daughter, was Mia Farrow's and Andre Previn's daughter, but in many people's minds, everybody believe, or too many people believed that Soon Yi was his daughter and he was having a relationship with his adopted daughter.
That is just not true. It never was true. And I think a lot of the confusion that has arisen around the case and particularly in the custody case arises from that fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CASAREZ: The letter that was published over the weekend in "The New York Times" by Dylan Farrow was extremely specific with actual allegations of conduct that would amount to criminal behavior, sexual molestation, sexual abuse.
Woody Allen's camp is now saying that none of that was founded. While we do know factually, there was an investigation beginning in 1992, the Connecticut state police.
There was a rape kit examination. No forensic evidence was found of sexual abuse, but the prosecutor at the time, the former state attorney of Connecticut, said there was probable cause for arrest. He determined not to do that, to not put the child through that.
But, Ashleigh, what that may mean, that even though it was believed that misconduct occurred, they could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, and that may be what the prosecutor is alluding to.
Also want to tell everybody that the attorney this morning said that Woody Allen would not file a defamation case.
BANFIELD: And, also, we should just note that the judge at the time, as well, a team of experts may have concluded that Dylan was not abused, but the judge in the case said that he simply found the evidence inconclusive, so it's a far cry from there was just nothing there.
Jean Casarez, thank you for that. I want to bring in attorney and Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, who's the author of "Taking the Stand -- My Life in the Law." He joins me live now.
And I always love speaking to you about these complex cases, but particularly this case because, two decades ago, you were integrally involved.
You represented Mia Farrow. You discussed these charges, these accusations with her personally before it ever got out into the press.
Take me back and tell me what it was, when things happened and why you don't believe this was part of a custody-dispute strategy.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: First of all, the facts as Elkan Abramowitz stated them this morning on television are simply and demonstrably false.
The chronology is all wrong and the facts are all wrong.
Mia Farrow did not initiate these charges. The first charges of abuse were made by a nanny, a nanny who had seen them in an inappropriate setting, and that was the beginning of the situation.
And there was no custody fight when that allegation was made. I know because Mia Farrow called me one day and told me about these allegations and asked me to come down to her house in Connecticut.
And I brought my wife with me, who's a PhD. in neuropsychology.
We met with Dylan. We met with Mia. They showed us the room where the alleged abuse occurred, where the train was, where his fingerprints were dusted for. It was very, very, very specific.
Look, I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. But I can tell you the chronology, and the chronology just is very, very different.
In fact, I wrote a letter to Woody Allen when nobody knew about this, when it was still very confidential, and in my book "Taking the Stand," I quote from the letter.
I said, "I still believe that matters can be resolved without even more escalation and damage of all the parties.
"As you and Mia both know, I am an admirer of your work. I did not want to see your career and life destroyed.
"Right now, you're on that road and something must be done to head it off, not only for your sake but for the sake of the children and for Mia."
And at that point, nobody knew about this. It was a family matter. And, yet, Woody Allen then held a press conference in which he announced that he had been accused of abuse. In fact, he announced that he was accused not only of abusing Dylan, but of abusing one of the other children, and there had never been any such charge.
And he also announced, and his lawyers did, that he was filing a lawsuit against Mia Farrow for custody of the children, children he hardly even knew.
So, the chronology is all wrong as it was announced by Elkan Abramowitz
BANFIELD: And, in the interest of full disclosure, I just want to make mention that the passage you were reading in your book, that was not just some discussion.
That was actually presented in court, because their side accused you of actually offering a payoff to make these charges go away.
That never ended up amounting to anything. However, there is something very, very --
DERSHOWITZ: No, the judge found that to be false.
BANFIELD: That's why I said it didn't amount to anything.
But there is a very strong fact in Woody's column, and that is this, that a team of experts concluded back then that Dylan was not abused.
That is very, very difficult to counter when you have an independent team of experts from Yale that determined that this little girl was not abused.
How can then you and Mia Farrow and this young woman then claim all of that is just a lie?
DERSHOWITZ: First of all, I'm not making any claim. I wasn't there. I don't know what the facts were.
I know that the Yale study destroyed their notes. Nobody ever saw their notes. As far as I know, the Yale study never interviewed Dylan.
And, so, what they said, basically, led the judge who heard all the evidence, to conclude that the evidence was in conclusive. The prosecutor thought the evidence was strong enough to have probable cause.
I don't know what the facts were. All I know is that it is impossible that Mia Farrow implanted this memory or made it up, because the chronology just doesn't support it.
There was a nanny who made the initial observation. The nanny had no connections to Mia Farrow directly. She was somebody else's nanny, in fact, a friend's nanny, who made the observation.
And then, Mia did what any person would do under those circumstances, took her daughter to the doctor, had her examined. There had never been any allegation that there was any specific -- I don't want to get too clinical here -- penetration, so there wouldn't be -- a rape kit would not produce anything.
I think, look, nobody will ever know for sure what happened, if anything happened in that room where the trains were and where Dylan made very specific allegations.
I can only tell you this, that what she told us about that day 20 years ago and -- is exactly what she said 20 years later. Her story hasn't varied at all.
And the circumstances at the time were such that they could not have been implanted in her head by Mia, because the initial allegations, as I said, were made by somebody other than Mia.
And the chronology was such that there was no custody fight going on at that time. This was completely independent and before there was another custody fight.
BANFIELD: I do find that absolutely fascinating. So much of this may have gone under the radar for a lot of people, that many of these claims preceded the custody battle.
Professor Dershowitz, thank you so much, author of "Taking the Stand -- My Life in the Law." Always good to speak to you.
And when Professor Dershowitz says the story this young woman is telling, is it a story? Is it a fantasy? What is it exactly?
I'm joined by psychiatrist, Gail Saltz, who has extensive experience treating adults who were sexually abused by children.
Gail, that's the question on so many people's minds. If Woody Allen says Mia Farrow implanted a lie into this child and made it a memory, 20 years later, can that really be true? Does that really happen?
DR. GAIL SALTZ, PYSCHIATRIST: It can happen. I really can't say about this case. Obviously, I have not spoken with any of these parties.
But, you know, decades ago, there were therapists who were seeing patients and reportedly recovering memories of sexual abuse that, in fact, they were implanting.
And this was sort of -- this was a big deal.
Memories are not stored or housed in such a completely different way than thought or fantasy.
It is possible to think something, visualize something, to fantasize something and lay it down in such a way that it feels like an actual memory.
I am not talking about brainwashing, a mother who intends to implant that. It is possible when various parties are involved and there is great emotionality going on, it is possible that something that is maybe more of a thought or a fantasy could feel like a memory.
Again, I'm not saying that.
BANFIELD: The accusation from Woody Allen is that this was an intentional affliction of a fantasy, a fantasy memory, in order to actually go after Woody Allen and get custody of this child.
Are you saying this could have been a byproduct of the conversation that was going on in an ugly affair and ugly relationship that was going sour?
This young girl could have overheard enough for her to create a memory like that. Is that what I'm getting from you?
SALTZ: I'm saying it is possible. Again, I don't know. She could have been abused. She could not have been. I don't know. Clearly, she believed so.
Does that have to be from somebody purposely doing something? No. It can actually -- yes.
You can feel that you have a memory from listening and participating in something and putting those visual and fantasy and thought pieces together and feel that it is a memory. That is a possibility.
One thing that seems clear, it seems as though everybody believes their own position. You know, I have to tell you. That's all also. Denial is very powerful. It is so powerful. We have seen this in other cases in the past that one can come to believe whatever one's story needs to be.
BANFIELD: I have to leave it there.
SALTZ: It is very possible everybody believes what they are saying.
BANFIELD: Dr. Saltz, thank you for your insight. I do appreciate it. Obviously, that story not going away any time soon
We saw it on YouTube, the face of a young woman as she taped her telephone conversation with a former teacher who allegedly sexually abused her when she was in middle school.
Now, we get to see this face. This is the face of the teacher she confronted, that teacher, now under arrest and charged with some of the most serious crimes on the books.
The LEGAL VIEW on the case just ahead.
BANFIELD: If the crime was a long time ago, the punishment may never come. That was the fear of a California woman that posted this shocking video of a speaker phone confrontation with the teacher she says sexually abused her more than a decade ago when she was in school.
This woman is now 28. She thought it was just too late to be able to get any criminal charges involved in her case, that she would just have to settle for publicly shaming her alleged tormentor. It turns out, she was wrong.
Today, that former teacher is in a jail cell, now proudly sporting a mug shot. She is charged with multiple felonies against two former students. We get the details from CNN's Stephanie Elam.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The video is raw, emotional.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know that I am completely messed up, that I have so many issues because of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to help you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is having a sexual relationship with a 12- year-old student helping?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn't anything that I intended.
ELAM: This videotaped conversation posted on Youtube led Riverside County deputies to arrest former school teacher, Andrea Cardosa, on Monday night. Cardosa is accused of sexually assaulting two female students between 1997 and 2010.
Jamie Carillo says Cardosa began assaulting her in middle school and it lasted through high school. The case came to light when Carillo, now 28 years old, posted the secretly recorded conversation.
JAMIE CARILLO, ALLEGED SEX ABUSE VICTIM: I kept thinking about my own kids and how I wouldn't want anything to happen to them. It made me sad when I found out that she was teaching at this school.
ELAM: Carillo tracked down Cardosa, then a high school administrator in another southern California school district, and called her at work.
CARILLO: She made me believe that she was my only friend and that I could trust her.
ELAM: 40-year-old Cardoza is charged with 16 counts of aggravated sexual assault and lewd acts on two underage girls while she was a teacher and school administrator. The second accuser came forward after Carillo's video went viral.
CARILLO: Do you realize you brainwashed me and manipulated me, and that what you did was wrong?
ANDREA CARDOSA, ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: Yes. I regret it. ELAM: After Carillo sent the Youtube link to Cardoza's employer, she resigned. Carillo's attorney tells CNN that his client is gratified that charges have been filed.
CARILLO: You should be so ashamed and so disgusted with yourself.
CARDOSA: I am, I am.
CARILLO: How (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dare you.
CARDOSA: I regret it every day.
ELAM: Cardosa is expected to be arraigned on Thursday. Her attorney says they plan to challenge the statute of limitations on the case. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
ELAM: At this point, what we do know is that authorities are asking for any other people who may have been victims of this alleged teacher -- sexual abuser that they do come forward. At this point, though, they are saying it is not likely that could happen. They may just be going with these two women that have spoken up so far Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: And yet, Stephanie, that video is viral and it's now all over cable news, do who knows who may come out of the woodwork as this case progresses.
Stephanie Elam live for us, thank you for that, in Los Angeles.
I want to bring in my legal team on this one, because this is not such a simple case. Defense attorney, former New York prosecutor and CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan is with me in the middle. And defense attorney and HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson on the right.
Paul, let me start with you - wow. One-party communication, one viral video. Unbelievable comments like, 'I regret it every day.' But can you enter that into court, and how strong is that evidence?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: All that is very strong evidence. I mean, what's interesting about it is that California is a state where it is technically a crime to record somebody else without them knowing it. In some states, you can. People might think, you can't introduce that in court, won't it get thrown out of court? Well, no. That - it won't get thrown out of court because that only applies to the police and the government, when they illegally obtain evidence. If you, as a citizen, do something illegal and you get evidence of a crime, you could be prosecuted for taping it. I don't think they will do that. But the evidence is useable in court and it is going to make for a very strong case here, I think, because it is on tape.
BANFIELD: Joey, maybe weigh in, if you would, please, on the issue of the fact that there are two accusers now. I always wonder when you start to heap on the cases and heap on the witnesses and the victims, where there is smoke, there is fire. Where there is a lot of smoke, is there an inferno? Is that how this works?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it really is, Ashleigh. The problem is when you have multiple victims, of course, the problem for the defendant, that is, is corroboration. And in any case, what you're going to do it you are going to evaluate the witness, even if there's one witness. Do they have a motivation to lie? What is their credibility? What is their bias, if any? And so, any one witness will be evaluated on the merits of that one witness.
However, where there is another witness that may come forward, there is corroboration. And just quickly to Paul's point, the other corroboration, of course, would be, if it is introduced, and I fully expect the defense to try to get out that Youtube video or any recording, notwithstanding the fact that as Paul mentioned there is no state action and it is still a crime, and why should we admit that, they'll argue, but if that is admissible, now you have that force as well. When you have the coming together of all these forces, it could be difficult for the defense to overcome.
BANFIELD: Just quickly, I want you both to weigh in on this, five seconds a piece. Why were we so wrong on the statute of limitations? What happened that all of a sudden these felonies were all levied against the teacher when only two weeks ago, we thought it was too late?
CALLAN: Well, I've gotta tell you, this statute of limitations stuff will make your head spin because the states have been changing their statute of limitations in criminal cases to allow victims of sexual abuse to bring cases, because this is the kind of crime where victims are afraid to come forward. A lot of times, they are much older by the time they get the courage to come forward. In this case, they are charging aggravated sexual abuse of a child. There is no statute of limitations on that.
BANFIELD: So that changes it.
BANFIELD: Just a few seconds. Do you agree?
JACKSON: Yes. To the extent they could be facing life sentences in California, that is something that waives any statute of limitations, that's number one. Number two, even if it is beyond the statute of limitations, we have to point out, if you are a minor, you have until your 28th birthday. She is 28. However, even if you report it, you have a year after that if you have independent corroborating evidence. There are exceptions that allow people who face this abuse to come forward and have successful persecution.
BANFIELD: Maybe that independent corroborating evidence came in the form of, oh I don't know, accuser number two. It's entirely possible. Joey and Paul, thank you both. Good to see you. Thank you for the info. We will continue to watch this.
Another big story that's making big headlines. Could ATM withdrawals in the hours before actor, Philip Seymour Hoffmann's death be the key to figuring out who sold him the killer heroin? Some brand new clues in this case coming next.
BANFIELD: Police investigating Philip Seymour Hoffmann's death are one step closer to tracking down the soulless drug dealers who sold the actor the heroin that appears to have led to his death. A witness told investigators that he saw Hoffman at the supermarket, withdrawing money while talking to two men wearing messenger bags. All the night before he was found dead.
Law enforcement officials told us a search of Hoffman's bank records shows us that he withdrew $1200 from that ATM, but he had to do it in six different transactions. All of that between the hours of 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. Saturday. As you well know by now, Hoffmann was found dead about 11:00 the next morning with close to 50 envelopes of what investigators believe was heroin.
Whomever dealt him those lethal drugs better be on notice. The police are looking for you right now. You could be in some big trouble. There is precedent for locking people up who kill addicts by helping them to OD. After actor/comedian John Belushi died of a heroin and cocaine overdose back in 82, the woman who injected him served 15 months in California state prison because of that death. Hoffmann's struggle with heroin is something a lot of people from all walks of life, and all parts of country can relate to. Gary Tuchman talked to one man who found himself immediately and hopelessly addicted, and he was just 16.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you feel lucky today to be alive?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: 23-year-old Phil Drewiske. Was a heroin addict for almost six years, in what seems to be the most unlikely of places, tiny Hudson, Wisconsin. It's the kind of place families move for a peaceful, wholesome lifestyle. But over the last few years, Hudson has seen an inordinate number of not only heroin use but heroin overdose deaths.
How many of your friends have died?
PHIL DREWISKE, RECOVERING HEROIN ADDICT: In this Hudson community alone, I have lost seven friends in about a year.
TUCHMAN: Seven friends in a year.
He started injecting heroin when he was 16. He was already addicted to meth and cocaine. Sometimes he would shoot up heroin 15 times a day.
TUCHMAN: How scared were you when you put it in your vein for the first time? DREWISKE: Petrified.
TUCHMAN: When you did it, your friend did it for you the first time? What was the feeling you had?
DREWISKE: After he did it, this rush I had, I can't find the right word to explain it. It was out of this world.
TUCHMAN: Drewiske says he was immediately hopelessly addicted, spending up to $1300 a week, eventually dealing heroin so he could get his fix for free.
And did you realize how crazy and dangerous this was getting?
DREWISKE: Deep inside I knew.