msnbc.com
updated 6/2/2006 11:07:24 AM ET 2006-06-02T15:07:24

Guests Elliott Yamin, Marty Keely, Marcus Jones, Ashley Ellis, Erica Cooler, Christina Morello and Jon Voight.

RITA COSBY, HOST: And good evening, everybody.

Tonight, it’s love American style, “American Idol” style, that is.  Right in the middle of my interview with second runner-up, Elliott, a special “Idol” tonight guest surprised us and jumped in the conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don’t have to tell me I’m cute, man. ELLIOTT YAMIN, “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT: Well — well, I think you are, man. And, you know...

(LAUGHTER)

COSBY: I can set you guys up on a date, if you want to.

(LAUGHTER)

YAMIN: I had to tell you firsthand.

That would be great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)  (LAUGHTER)

COSBY: And for the first time on television, Angelina Jolie’s father, actor Jon Voight, is talking about the birth of his granddaughter Shiloh, and his fascinating new movie.

But we begin with major developments tonight in the vicious murder of a Clemson University student, murdered with her own bikini. Tiffany Souers was found strangled to death in her own apartment.

And new tonight, police say they have got something the public needs to see.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)  ROBERT ARIAIL, GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOLICITOR: We plan and hope that, by tomorrow, we’re going to be able to release to you a photograph of the perpetrator of this offense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)  COSBY: And that was the solicitor.

NBC’s Michelle Hofland has the very latest.

Michelle, what can you tell us about it looks like a photo or two?

MICHELLE HOFLAND, NBC CORRESPONDENT: It is a photograph actually of the man that the police say killed Tiffany Souers.

It’s not a great photograph. The solicitor, or county district attorney, here says that they are working right now to enhance the photograph before they give it to us tomorrow. They say that the photograph is — has — it’s not readily identifiable, but that he has some identifiable characteristics in this photograph. And when Bob Ariail was asked where this photograph was taken, he carefully chose his words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIAIL: The photograph is going to be of an individual who was specifically candidly photographed undertaking a transaction that specifically connects him with the victim post her death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOFLAND: Post her death. So, that means the photograph was taken after she died.

Now, this goes with the information that Bob Ariail told us just yesterday, when he says that he believes the killer is still in this area because of some evidence or some transactions that have occurred since she died.

And there’s more. There’s one other photograph, a photograph that they say is of the suspect’s car. They say it has some — quote, unquote — “specific characteristics” that may help somebody in this area identify that car.

And there’s one more thing. The solicitor promises that, tomorrow, he’s going to give us a profile of this man’s behavior that was put together by a state profiler. He says that it was based on information that was gathered at the crime scene. Ariail also describes this man as a young man.

So, Rita, tomorrow, some time, this is what we are going to get.  We’re going to get two photographs, one of the alleged suspect, one of his car, and then the profile of this man’s behavior. And Ariail is hoping that these three clues will be enough for somebody here in this area or perhaps a Clemson University student somewhere in the country right now, enough for them to actually put a name to this killer.

COSBY: Boy, that would be great, if they could solve this.

Michelle, thank you so much, my friend. I appreciate it.

And let’s now go to former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.

Clint, let me play another little clip. This is of the prosecutor just talking a bit about the case.

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST: Yes. Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIAIL: The photograph is not going to be a guy standing up there smiling. It’s going to be a candid shot. It is not going to be — parts of it are going to be readily identifiable to somebody that knows him.

It’s not going to be readily identifiable to anybody in this room.  And you certainly can’t tell who he is from — and when you see the photograph, you will understand why.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Clint, how do you read this?

VAN ZANDT: Yes. Yes.

Rita, you know, to me, this is kind of investigator talk suggesting maybe the assailant had an ATM card of hers and used it or a credit card they used at a 7/Eleven where they had a surveillance camera.

It sounds like there’s this back camera picture of this guy where it shows up. And when they talk about characteristics, you know, that are going to show up, it could be a scar. It could be a mustache. It could be a baseball cap, something that somebody’s going to say, yes, you know, I know that guy. I know a guy who wears a hat just like that, and they are going to start to put two and two together.

But the other side of this, Rita, is that, more than likely, this assailant came from a local area. And if you’re him right now and you’re listening to your show, you have got to think, my God, tomorrow, the whole world is going to come down on me. So, this guy is going to have to make some type of move. And when he does, the police are going to be ready.

COSBY: And that was my thought, Clint. You know, when this whole thing came out, Clint, I said, why are you telling everybody now? Why don’t you wait until you can release the photo? Aren’t they giving this guy 24 hours notice to escape, to get out of town?

VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, sometimes, Rita, like in World War II, you wanted the German submarines to surface, so you can see where they really are. You wanted to give them a chance to pop to the surface.

I think, right now, the authorities are giving this guy a chance to pop. Right now...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: What, to come in and turn himself in maybe?

VAN ZANDT: Exactly.

He knows this is coming up. He knows that his days, maybe 24 hours or less, are limited. Tomorrow, there’s going to be good information and bad information, Rita. People are going to come up and say, I know who it is.  They are going to be right, and they are going to say, I know who it is, and they might be wrong, too.

So, you know, this — this police department has got this major homicide. They only have 10 officers. Now, they have got other county, state and federal agents and officers backing them up. But they want to resolve this quickly.

And if it’s like the prosecutors says, this is a young assailant, probably doesn’t have a prior criminal history. So, that means the DNA that they may have got at the crime scene has not been matched to any of three million DNA samples that are in the FBI’s data bank.

But, nonetheless, between the investigation they have done on the ground, the photograph, the description of his car, the physical characteristics, all of this is going to come together tomorrow and hopefully they are going to have their man.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: No, absolutely.

Real quickly, we were showing the apartment complex, because this is the incident report. We got a copy of the incident report. And, on it, it says that they seized the dumpster. And I thought that was interesting.

VAN ZANDT: Yes.  COSBY: That’s pretty standard procedure. But what do you think?  Maybe they found something in the dumpster, something near her apartment?

VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, it could be anything, from a murder weapon — now, we know he used the top of the bikini as a garrote to choke her out. But he could have used something else, could have been clothing, something from the area. Anything that he might have disposed of could have his fingerprints on it.

COSBY: All right, Clint, thank you very much.

Well, it sounds like police are getting closer to tracking down the killer. Meantime, family and friends mourned the loss of Tiffany Souers today at a funeral mass just outside of Saint Louis, Missouri. With me now are three of Tiffany’s friends, her best friend, Erica Cooler, who was the last person to have seen Tiffany alive. And also with us is Tiffany’s roommate, Christina Morello, and another very good friend, Ashley Ellis.

First of all, my prayers are with all of you.

You know, Erica, you were her best friend. How are you holding up?

ERICA COOLER, BEST FRIEND OF TIFFANY SOUERS: Well, I guess it’s just one day at a time right now. We’re trying to celebrate her life and just let everyone know what she meant to everyone.

COSBY: She sounds like just a very special person, and just a beautiful smile. We had her dad on. He was talking about her background.

And what were the last things that you said to each other when you saw each other, Erica?

COOLER: Well, I dropped her off. And we had, had a great night, you know, just talking with friends. And I dropped her off.

And we were just talking, you know, like we usually do. And I was actually able to tell her that I loved her. And she told me that she loved me. And I watched her walk to her door, and I left. And that was it.

COSBY: Did — you went to a restaurant earlier. Was it a regular restaurant? Did you see anything unusual?

(CROSSTALK)  COOLER: No. I mean, we went there quite often. 

(LAUGHTER)  COOLER: Too much.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: A lot of times, huh, right, based on the reaction there?

(CROSSTALK)

COOLER: Yes.

COSBY: Did you see any — was there anybody unusual there, though, or maybe a worker or a guest that looked out of place to you, Erica?

COOLER: No. Actually, when we left, there were only employees there, but no one suspicious. I mean, it was a routine thing. I mean...

(LAUGHTER)

COSBY: And when you dropped her off that night, was she planning to go anywhere or was she expecting anyone else to come to her place?

COOLER: Well, according to Tiffany, she — we were just dropping her off. I mean, she didn’t express to me any reason to go out or anything.

But, I mean, talking with friends later, she said she was talking about going out afterwards. She didn’t tell me any of that, but I was tired and I was ready to go home. Maybe she didn’t want to make me feel bad.

COSBY: Do we know, Christina, do you know who she was maybe planning to see that night?

CHRISTINA MORELLO, ROOMMATE OF TIFFANY SOUERS: Honestly I don’t know.  I talked to her earlier that day. But, it’s easy for Tiffany to make plans with people. Everyone wants to call her and hang out. So, there’s un — limitless possibilities of who she would see.

COSBY: But you understand that she was planning on maybe seeing someone else that night. Do we know if it was a male or a female?

MORELLO: I don’t know. I mean, it could have been anyone. She has so many friends that she could have seen, so...

COSBY: Do we — and, Christina, when was the last time — you were her roommate.

MORELLO: Yes.  COSBY: When was the last time that you saw her, and did you see her the night that she died?

MORELLO: No. 

I saw her, I think it was — we went to the lake together on Sunday of that week. And I saw her Sunday. And Erica was with us, too.

(CROSSTALK)

MORELLO: And I had moved out, because I signed a nine-month lease.  So, we were supposed to live together our junior year. So, she was going to live there over the summer, and we were going to change and move to a different apartment.

COSBY: And how did you find out, Christina, what happened to her?

MORELLO: Erica actually called me. I had been working. And, so, I was wondering why people kept calling my phone, and just weird. Why is everyone calling me? And, so, I mean, she told me on the phone, and...

COSBY: You know, can you — as you guys sit here today — and, Ashley, you know her well, too.

ASHLEY ELLIS, FRIEND OF TIFFANY SOUERS: Yes.

COSBY: Is there anyone that was stalking her, anyone that was bothering her or just making her uncomfortable?

ELLIS: Not to our knowledge.

I mean, there’s no one that we’re friends with that could have possibly done this. I mean, everyone who knew Tiffany loved her. I mean, no one had anything negative to say about her. And I just can’t imagine, I mean, who could have possibly been able — capable of doing something like this, especially to her.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: Was there anyone, you guys, even in the area that made her feel uncomfortable? We know there was new construction in the area.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: Anybody — anybody moving in?

ELLIS: The construction was — the construction was in the next-door apartment complex. So that was another apartment — a college apartment complex. And it was fenced off. So, I mean, that was never — seemed like a threat.

And there was quite some distance, I mean, a lot of, let’s say, obstacles in between. So...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: You know, Christina, what made her such a special person? And do you think she was someone who would not let a stranger in?

MORELLO: Yes, definitely.

And there are so many things that made Tiffany such a special person, and we all got to opportunity to know her. And we have known her since, gosh, we were freshmen. And, I mean, I couldn’t even, like, explain to you, like, the — even just starting, I mean, she was there for everyone, always there for us.

She was that like person to laugh with, shoulder to cry on. I mean, she was...

ELLIS: Best advice.

MORELLO: Best advice.

(LAUGHTER)

ELLIS: She gave great advice. I mean, she really was. She was everything to us. And there’s not enough things we could say about her.

(CROSSTALK)

ELLIS: You know, there’s not enough time.

COSBY: Well, I hear you guys have a beautiful poem.

And, Erica, I’d love for you to read it. I know you wrote a beautiful poem about your friend.

(CROSSTALK)

COOLER: Excuse me if I choke up.

COSBY: No, understandably.

COOLER: The title is “More Than a Person, an Inspiration.”

She was more than a person, an inspiration. Her life was full of determination, a beauty within that shined through her eyes for all to see without compromise, the all-American girl who knew how to have fun, never gave up until the job was done.

(CROSSTALK)

COOLER: I’m sorry.

The first to give you a hug, but the last to let go, strong in her faith, and didn’t do it for show, a friend you could go to for the best advice. She’s everything you needed, especially nice. She cared about others more than herself. As guaranteed, Tiffany was like no one else.

She touched people’s lives and provided so much hope. No matter the issue, she knew how to cope. She lived every day as if it were her last and didn’t regret anything she learned from the past. Her life was full of determination. She was more than a person, an inspiration.

COSBY: That’s beautiful.

Well, all of you, our prayers are with you and, of course, Tiffany’s family. And let’s pray that by police putting out this information tomorrow that whoever did this horrible crime is going to be put behind bars and punished for what they did.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: Thank you all very much.

ELLIS: Thank you.

COOLER: Thank you.

MORELLO: Thank you.

COSBY: Thank you all, you guys.

And, everybody, I want to make sure I put up the information, because if you know anything about this case, have any idea who may have done this, saw anything unusual, please, please call Crimestoppers. You see the number there on the screen, 864-898-KOPS, again, 864-898-KOPS.

And, everybody, still ahead: For the first time, we’re going to show you startling new evidence in the dramatic kidnapping of an attorney in broad daylight. That’s coming up. And that’s not all.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY (voice-over): Still ahead: The “American Idol” love fest is not over. Elliott joins me, along with a special “Idol” guest. Wait until you see just who had to join in on the conversation.

And, for the first time, Angelina Jolie’s father talks about his new granddaughter.

JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: It’s so wonderful, isn’t it? It’s so sweet.  Shiloh is here.

COSBY: And that’s not all he had to say. Plus, there’s news of another baby on the way.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, ACTRESS: I have been hearing a lot of gossip in the papers.

COSBY: Anna Nicole Smith’s poolside pregnancy press release — coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.

SMITH: Well, let me stop all the rumors.

(END VIDEOTAPE)  (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNETTA NUNN, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, POLICE CHIEF: Just have to wait until the investigation is complete to see what evidence they have of what all crimes may have been committed. And then it will be presented to the district attorney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Well, today, we’re getting our first look at the 35-year-old parolee arrested for allegedly kidnapping an Alabama attorney at gunpoint.  Remember, it all took place on the surveillance video.

Dedrick Griham is now behind bars, after investigators stormed a Birmingham-area hotel. But even though he’s in custody, he still has not been officially charged with any crimes connected to this.

Meanwhile, the victim, Sandra Gregory, is reportedly in good spirits today, this after being tied up and even hit during her nine-hour ordeal.

Live and direct tonight is Sandra Gregory’s boss and friend, attorney  Marcus Jones.

Marcus, you talked to Sandi a few hours ago. How is she doing? How are her spirits?

MARCUS JONES, COLLEAGUE OF SANDRA EUBANK GREGORY:  Her spirits are high. Sounded like the Sandi I talked to 48 hours ago, very uplifting, very uplifting.

COSBY: What message did she have to say that she wanted you to pass on to everybody?

JONES: Well, obviously, no one has talked to Sandi in the last few days. And she just wanted to let me express to you, as well as everybody else, the appreciation she has seen and the way that the news media carried this yesterday.

She believes, we all believe, that this had a direct impact on her getting found yesterday alive in the condition she did. It was reported immediately in Birmingham. The news media picked it up and followed it.  It hit the national news, as well as the local news. And I think that ultimately got us a quick response.

And I — we were blessed with that. We also had the Birmingham Police Department she wanted to thank, as well as all the local law enforcement officers, from the sheriff and the marshals, that were involved.

A strong support of friends have been calling and giving her support in any way they can to her. And there was a lot of prayers.

COSBY: That’s great. You know, I wanted to ask you about prayers, because it sounds like she’s also a woman of a lot of faith. Did faith help her get through this?

JONES: I think faith helps anybody get through this. And especially what she went through, faith was crucial to her, as well as the child.

COSBY: You know, this guy — you know, this guy, you know, as we’re finding out, has a prior record. We know, you know, he took her at gunpoint.

We’re now hearing reports, Marshal (sic), that maybe he hit her. We know she was found bound. How worried was she, though? I mean it’s got to be a scary experience.

JONES: We didn’t — we didn’t get directly into the facts.

There’s investigations still going on. And I didn’t want to find out any of the facts. My thoughts and prayers and my concern was with Sandi at that point.

COSBY: You bet. You know, what — what is she planning on doing the next few days?  And do you think it’s going to take a bit to recover just from this, you know, frightening ordeal?

JONES: Sandi will recover. And she will be back soon.

I’m assuming the next few days — number one, she doesn’t have to worry about coming to work. And I am assuming she’s with family and friends, and they are taking care of her, and being with the support people that she’s got with her right now.

COSBY: Well, Marshal (sic) Jones, we thank you very much. She is an amazing woman. And our prayers were with her yesterday. And so nice to have such a great news story, too, after all of this.

Thank you, Marcus, very much.

JONES: Thank you.

COSBY: Thank you.

Well, as you heard from Marcus, many different law enforcement agencies aggressively searched for Sandra Gregory, including the brave men and women at the U.S. Marshals Service.

Joining us now is U.S. Marshal Marty Keely. He was at the Birmingham hotel when the suspect was taken into custody.

Marshal, what was that scene like?

MARTY KEELY, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: Well, it was a scene where many law enforcement officers were gathered, as you can imagine, dealing with a case of this magnitude, officers from the Birmingham Police Department, United States Marshals Service, and from the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with many other federal agencies, state agencies, the sheriff’s department.

Once assembled there — and it all infolded very, very quickly — a decision was made to gain entry into the room and make the arrest.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: Now, Marshal, you first said, what, you were going to break down the door? Is that what we were hearing? Marshal, is that what we were hearing?

KEELY: Well, actually, we intended to breach the door. We were able to gain entry without breaching the door.

The suspect was immediately apprehended and taken down. The victim, at that particular time, was not visible to the deputies. However, they did hear her and located her behind a bed, where she was partially hidden, tied, and gagged.

COSBY: What kind of condition was she in?

KEELY: She was in good condition, considering what she had been through for the past nine hours. She was very happy to see us and very relieved that we were there.

COSBY: I heard that she was even, you know, in good spirits, as we just heard from her boss.

But when you were in there with the other Marshals, I heard that she also even made a few jokes when you said, we have been looking for you.

KEELY: Well, in fact, one of the Birmingham police officers, a sergeant that was on the entry team with our deputies and deputies from the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the sergeant got to her first.

And he told her, “I have been looking you — looking for you all day,” at which time, she responded: “Well, I’m glad you’re here. I’m very relieved that you’re here.”

COSBY: Boy, I bet you guys were the most happy faces that she has seen in a long time.

You know, one of the things today, Marshal, I understand you cannot rule out the fact that there might be another arrest. There was a guy who drove them to the hotel, who even spoke, did an interview today. Do we know what role someone else may have played in all of this?

KEELY: Well, you’re correct.

There is an individual that did drive the suspect and the victim to the hotel. The Marshals Service, along with the Birmingham Police Department, did develop information at a housing project that led to that individual. And he, in fact, later gave information that led us directly to the suspect and the victim.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY: Do you believe he’s involved? Or — or do you believe he just was an innocent bystander who got taken in?

KEELY: Well, that investigation continues. And that is the responsibility — as far as the follow-up investigation, it’s the responsibility of the Birmingham Police Department and the FBI at this time. So, they will follow up with that. And if charges do evolve from this, it would come from the United States attorney and the district attorney of Jefferson County, Alabama.

COSBY: We will be watching this case.

Marshal Keely, thank you very much. You guys always do a great job, and, again, did a wonderful job on this case, too. Thank you very much.

KEELY: Thank you, Rita. Thank you for your support.

COSBY: Thank you so much. And still ahead, everybody, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s child is finally here. And, tonight, Angelina’s father, Jon Voight, couldn’t be happier. He tells me why in his first TV interview.

And, next, just when you thought the “American Idol” love fest was over, look out. We’re not only bringing you contestant Elliott, but a very special surprise guest calls in. You have to stay tuned for this one, folks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE TODAY SHOW”)   (MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Well, Taylor Hicks, as you saw there, may have been crowned the winner of “American Idol.” But “Idol” mania is far from over. And fans of the show are eagerly waiting to hear the next song from their favorite “Idols,” including the ultimate undergo, Elliot Yamin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “AMERICAN IDOL”)

RYAN SEACREST, HOST: Elliott Yamin, the journey ends. But you have a lot to be proud of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Well, I asked Elliott what’s next for him and if he has a record deal in the works.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELLIOTT YAMIN, “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT: I am looking forward to hitting the studio and working on my own project. That’s not going to happen, obviously, until we’re done with the tour. During this time as we speak I’m working on getting my team built and in place so we can get the ball rolling as soon as the tour ends.

COSBY: At one point in the competition, Simon Cowell, as you know is the toughest critic in the world, I think, out there. He said you were the best male vocalist. How did that make you feel and were you bummed that you didn’t win when you hear it from somebody like Simon?

YAMIN: Well, first, it made me feel great. I’m used to being the guy with a lot of potential and never reaching it. I feel like I’ve actually reached it. I followed through and I accomplished my goals and my only goal in this competition when I first started was to get enough recognition and notoriety and exposure to obviously attain the ultimate goal, which is to become a professional recording artist, and I can actually taste that now, and it’s real. It’s becoming real.

(MUSIC)

COSBY: I’ve followed you throughout the season. You’re a diabetic.  Correct me if I’m wrong. You’re 90 percent deaf in your right ear, how difficult is that then? A lot of people look at you as boy, what a role model from that to where you went.

YAMIN: It’s just been a part of my everyday life. You get used to doing things you have to depend on to survive, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, my Elliott Yamin.

COSBY: One of the things we got to know during the season was your mom. How neat was it to be able to share this experience with her?

YAMIN: It was out of this world. It was very special.

COSBY: It was like a package deal. With Elliott and his mom. You know that.

YAMIN: I did. Exactly. You wouldn’t see me without seeing her out there. And I’m just thankful she had the opportunity to be out there and just being able to realize my dream and share it with her has been very special.

COSBY: Someone else will see you got to spend a lot of time with is on the phone, with a bit of a surprise phone call for you your room mate, Ace Young.

Ace, are you with us?

ACE YOUNG, “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT (on phone): I’m here. What’s up?

YAMIN: What’s up, bro? How you going?

COSBY: Going to ask you, how is Elliott as a roommate? Give us the inside scoop. What was the room like? Who was the messier roommate, Ace?

YOUNG: Well, the funny thing is that Elliott is really actually clean. I’m really clean but if Elliott gets a lot of free stuff, then it’s everywhere because he doesn’t have room to put it. I was really happy to be with Elliott and he let me sleep and if I would snore he would nudge me and flip me over but the fact that he has 90 percent hearing loss in one ear helped me because if I was snoring he wouldn’t even hear it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner of “American Idol” season five is Taylor Hicks!

COSBY: The finale, 36.4 million viewers.

YOUNG: Isn’t that amazing?

COSBY: It’s incredible. Let me ask you first, Ace, why do you think this group, and they are even talking about the tour coming up that might outsell big names like Bruce Springsteen, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Mariah Carey. What is it about this particular group, Ace, that just fans just love you guys?

YOUNG: It’s the first year of musicians. We have people that all get together and we’ve all been writing, we’ve been working on music our whole lives, so when it came to putting our spin on somebody else’s songs, I think that this year out of all the years was the best year for being able to relate to the music.

COSBY: And Elliot, what do you think?

YAMIN: I think the talent pool has increased, you know? The show gets bigger and better every year, but I think the thing that’s added the most validity to it is just the talent that they found this year, and I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to be around this group of talent.  Everybody is great. Ace is a great guy, man. I love being around him. We have a great time together. Us and the fellows all together. There’s just no stopping us.

(MUSIC)

COSBY: I have a question for both of you guys. Have you both give each other advice? Let me start with you Elliott to Ace. Where do you see Ace’s future heading and what advice do you have for him? Real quick, Elliott.

YAMIN: Real quick I would say to Ace to just continue what he’s been doing. If you’ve heard Ace’s stuff in the studio, I mean, he’s an amazing producer, writer. He’s super-talented and I foresee him having a huge career.

COSBY: And the girls think he’s cute, Elliott.

YAMIN: In music and television. I was going to get to is that.

YOUNG: You don’t have to tell me I’m cute, man.

YAMIN: What did you say, Ace?

YOUNG: You don’t have to tell me I’m cute, man.

YAMIN: Well, I think you are, man. And .

COSBY: I can set you guys up on a date if you want.

YAMIN: I have to tell you firsthand — that would be great — Ace, when we get back to L.A., man, it’s me and you, bro.

YOUNG: We’ll get two honeys and we’ll do a double date.

COSBY: What advice do you have for Elliott?

YOUNG: Elliott, what I have to say to you, man, I got to meet you on so many different levels, and when I got to see how you reacted with Stevie Wonder, seeing your idol and literally breaking down and being the biggest heart in the world and that humble kid that loves music. When I got to see that, I knew you could do anything that you want.

YAMIN: Thanks man.

COSBY: Both of you guys, thank you so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY: And that was Ace Young and Elliott Yamin. We wish both of them lots of luck. What a fun interview for me to do.

And there is a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight. Let’s check in with my pal, Tucker Carlson. Tucker, what do you have on tap?

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Rita.

We have got details about a violent incident surrounding Taylor Hicks and “American Idol,” and I know your viewers want to stay tuned for that, plus, Robert Kennedy Jr. joins us and says he has got evidence the 2004 presidential election was stolen. He has the numbers, he’s got the data.  That’s what he claims. We’re going to talk to him about it.

COSBY: We’ll be tuning in. Sounds like an interesting show.

CARLSON: Thanks, Rita.

COSBY: Tuck, thank you, very much.

And still ahead, everybody. They said it wouldn’t last. Mary Kay Letourneau and her former student turned husband Vili Fualaau have survived one year of marriage and tonight they are telling us all about it.

And what does Angelina Jolie’s father have to say about the new baby?  Actor Jon Voight, Angelina’s dad, joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY: Well, he’s known for his great roles in such movie classics as “Midnight Cowboy” and “Deliverance,” and also “Mission Impossible.” Now actor Jon Voight is taking on one of the most important roles of his life.

Voight is Angelina Jolie’s father so as of a few days ago he’s now grandfather to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s new baby girl, Shiloh. Today I spoke to the legendary actor about the new bundle of joy and about his fascinating new movie, the “Legend of Simon Conjurer.”

I asked him what was it like playing a 400-pound character.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VOIGHT: It was meant to make me 400 pounds; the fat suit was somewhat lighter. But it was still pretty hefty. And I put all the stuff on, and as I do it, I kind of get into character. It’s fun. Acting — they call actors “players,” because they’re playing. And a big part of us is the child in us that’s fooling around and having some fun.

COSBY: How much time does it take to put on that fat suit, how much work does it take?

VOIGHT: Well, to put on the suit is not so bad, because once you get a design, they make a suit — you know, these tailors make a nice suit out of it and then they zip it up the back and you just step into it.

But the prosthetics for the character took quite a lot longer, and that’s a much more difficult and painstaking process, because everything has to — all the pieces have to fit, and you shouldn’t look like you’re wearing makeup, if that’s possible.

COSBY: What was it like for you to look in the mirror and you see yourself wearing this enormous suit, looking not at all like yourself?

VOIGHT: Well, it’s fun, and you know, as an actor you work on this and that, but then when you put that suit on, you put the makeup on, the character starts coming alive and it makes you do things. I mean, you look in the mirror and you start seeing what happens if you scrunch your nose up or this or that, and you get ideas as you’re watching yourself being made up, too.

So, it’s quite interesting — interesting process.

COSBY: How did you come up with his character?

VOIGHT: And I came upon this character who spoke in this extraordinary way and was described as a 400-pound, chocolate-addicted, Pulitzer Prize-winning fellow who was hiding an evil side.

And I looked at that and I looked at the words and I said, you know, I put the thing away. I loved the script. It’s got so much philosophic stuff in it. It provoked, you know, many, many questions about life itself, about good and evil and all of this. And then I said, you know, that character — I think I could play that character. Maybe you could let me play that character in the film. And that’s how I got to be in it.

COSBY: Well you’ve done a lot of great work and you’ve got a lot of exciting things. You’re a grandfather just recently. Congratulations.

VOIGHT: Thank you very much.

COSBY: How do you feel about that? Was that exciting for you to hear that?

VOIGHT: Oh my gosh. Well, you know, I can’t even describe — I’m almost unable to describe how deeply happy I am for both — for the parents and so happy to have this new little one in the world. And I just wish — you know, my love is always with them both, and I’m wishing them all the happiness in the world.

And I’m sure they’re on cloud nine. I’m sure they’re completely in heaven right now. I mean, the birth of a child is always a miracle, and a most magic moment. It was in my life. My two children — that’s the greatest moments in my life, when I have my kids.

But anyway, I’m just sending all of my love, all the time to her and to Brad and to the new baby, and to the other two children too.

COSBY: Your daughter has such a generous heart.

VOIGHT: She does.

COSBY: She’s done so much great charity work.

VOIGHT: Yes.

COSBY: Do you think she’s following in your footsteps, because that’s something you’ve always believed?

VOIGHT: Well, you know, you always — I’m proud of her for her compassion for other people, and for the way she goes about in helping.  Because I must say, you know, I’ve heard her speak in many instances, you know, about suffering souls and making a plea on their behalf, and she always does it very eloquently. She always is very prepared when she speaks, and she doesn’t overstep her bounds. She never speaks more than from her own experience and from the heart. So she’s quite impressive, I’m very proud of her.

COSBY: Do you think she has the right guy now?

VOIGHT: I like Brad Pitt. Yes, I like him. I’ve always thought highly of him as an artist and as a person. I thought he was a good guy.  So I’m happy that, you know, if they find love and happiness together, I’m for it.

COSBY: You’ve always, from “Midnight Cowboy” in ’69 , people have always been following you, paparazzi. But what is your life like now, under such a microscope, not only being Jon Voight but being the grandfather now of Shiloh, being the dad of Angelina Jolie ...

VOIGHT: You know it’s the greatest thing when you say, “being the grandfather of Shiloh.” I mean, it’s hysterical, isn’t it. Here’s this little tiny thing and all of the sudden she has this big presence and identification and nobody’s even seen her.

COSBY: It is amazing.

VOIGHT: It’s so wonderful. It’s so great. Shiloh is here. Oh, that’s great.

COSBY: What did you think of the name “Shiloh”?

VOIGHT: Well, a lot of things — first of all, I think it’s an interesting name. Of course it’s an interesting name. Has a varied background. This name means many things. It was a place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept for a while, a place of refuge for the Hebrew people.  Then it means peace and then it has some — peaceful one, or person of peace so it has wonderful, wonderful meanings and it has — I don’t know.  I think it’s obviously a name that both of them got together on and I can just think that one day I’ll say, hey, Shi, come over here.

COSBY: Are you surprised at all the attention? It is incredible.

VOIGHT: These guys have caught something of the public’s imagination so they’re getting all this attention.

Well, if they use it well and I wish them well and I know it must be at sometimes very draining for them but they seem to want to use it wisely and that’s the very best thing. They’re doing a lot of good with it.

COSBY: Is there a gift you have for your granddaughter or words of wisdom?

VOIGHT: Do I — I don’t know. As she grows older hopefully I’ll be able to give her everything that I’ve got but right now I’m just very — I’m feeling very blessed myself that I can see this day for the happiness of my daughter.

COSBY: Have you picked out a baby gift yet?

VOIGHT: No. I — I’m — this little one can have anything she wants of me, of course, and hopefully I’ll be giving her many gifts along the way.

(EDN VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY: And our thanks to Jon Voight. A great actor, and sounds like he’s going to be a great grandfather as well.

And when we come back, they said it would not last. It’s happy anniversary time for America’s original hot for teacher duo. Mary Kay and Vili make it through one year of marriage. And they are sharing it exclusively with us at NBC.

And former “Playboy” playmate Anna Nicole has a secret to share with the world and this one has nothing to do with the Supreme Court and she delivers it from her sales (ph) guide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY KAY LETOURNEAU: I have a job, and I was determined to do it.  And he wasn’t taking it seriously.

JOSH MANKIEWICZ, NBC CORRESPONDENT: He was 13.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Well, it’s been one year since grade school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau married her former student, Vili Fualaau. Now the couple is sitting down for their first prime time interview since their wedding and they’re opening up about their illicit relationship which began when Vili was just 12 years old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VILI FUALAAU, MARRIED SCHOOLTEACHER: I remember I used to, like, plan the next day, like, what I was going to do, what I was going to say, what I was going to — what surprise I was going to leave on her desk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: And we’re joined now by “Dateline NBC’s” Josh Mankiewicz who conducted that exclusive interview with the couple. Josh, before we get started I want to play a little more of your interview with the couple.

MANKIEWICZ: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETOURNEAU: I didn’t want to lose him as a friend, I have wanted him as my friend forever because we just got along so well, and he wanted forever in a different way, so — and then he just pretty much swept me up and — anyway.

MANKIEWICZ: And your tearing up now.

LETOURNEAU: Yeah. Got my friend forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: Josh, when you see this, it’s been a year since they have been married. What are they doing with their lives now?

MANKIEWICZ: Well, right now they are trying to sort of figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They’ve done everything they can to get the two daughters they had together back under their roof.  Those daughters have been under the temporary custody of Vili’s mother for a while, and now there’s been a sort of court-sponsored transition plan getting the two of them back with Vili and Mary and they’re sort of deciding what they want to do next.

They’re living off the money that they got from selling the rights to their wedding. That was a year ago. But eventually they’re going to have to figure out what they want to do next.

COSBY: And they also want to have a baby, right?

MANKIEWICZ: They say they’re trying. We thought they had something to announce, but they’re definitely trying. I think they would like to have one more. Vili says he wants a son.

COSBY: Let me play a little bit more of the interview. It’s fascinating. This is where they talk with you about how they sort of started the relationship.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FUALAAU: The kiss was only going to last for, like, a couple of seconds, but it ended up lasting for, like, 30 minutes. It could have lasted longer but I had to go home. Then I got in trouble when I got home.  It was, like, 11:30 at night. Way past my curfew.

MANKIEWICZ: Did you think “I’m going to get in trouble or I could get her in trouble”?

FUALAAU: The most I really was in afraid of was getting a whooping from my mom.

MANKIEWICZ: What were you worried about?

LETOURNEAU: His mother getting angry.

MANKIEWICZ: That’s it?

LETOURNEAU: Uh-huh.

MANKIEWICZ: You weren’t thinking to yourself “I could be fired, I could go to jail”?

LETOURNEAU: Oh, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: You know, Josh, that’s an interesting response, especially when you see it. Were you surprised that — you know, she didn’t seem too bothered by the fact that here she was with a student 12-13 years old?

MANKIEWICZ: You know, nothing about this story surprises me anymore.

COSBY: Good point.

MANKIEWICZ: She — you know, she has said sort of from the beginning that she reacted to him from the beginning as a man and not as a boy. Now, we can argue whether or not that’s appropriate under the law, it clearly — is not appropriate, she says she always saw him as a man and people tend to sort of bring their own feelings to this story like they do with a lot of things. It’s common for people to sort of believe that it was her idea to go into this relationship. It seems, in fact, that they both say that it was Vili’s idea. Mary Kay did not initiate him in sex. He says he was already not a virgin at the time he was approaching her.

So this is kind of an unusual story from the beginning. She clearly did not think of it as a crime, because I think she believed that the fact that he was a sort of willing participant in this affair made it not a crime. Under the law, of course, consent it not a defense against statutory rape.

We just have a few seconds left, but real quickly, I also understand that she admitted she sort of snuck notes to him even when she was in prison against sort of the order.

MANKIEWICZ: When she was in prison and he was on the outside, she sent notes to him in the breast milk she was pumping and sending out for the newborn baby.

COSBY: In the breast milk?

MANKIEWICZ: Little codes and titles of songs. These two are — have had this relationship for a long time. I mean, this is 10 years old now since all this started, and now they are married, living under one roof.  They say very happy. And I can tell you, looking at it from the outside they seem very happy.

COSBY: They absolutely do and Josh, thank you. It’s a really interesting interview, and everybody, make sure you tune into “Dateline.”  It’s going to be on tomorrow night as you can see the headline right there, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, “Dateline,” Josh’s great interview there with Vili and Mary Kay Letourneau.

When we come back, from “Playboy” playmate to billionaire’s wife to taking on the Supreme Court, Anna Nicole Smith once again making headlines tonight. This time it’s from the poolside.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY: She’s graced the pages of “Playboy” magazine, even won a legal battle at the U.S. Supreme Court, but now Anna Nicole Smith has a new project in the making. She’s pregnant. The former Guess model made the announcement with the help of her personal Web site. Anna Nicole said it was time to put the recent rumors about the pregnancy to rest. She didn’t divulge information about the child’s father during her poolside announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, CELEBRITY: Well, let me stop all the rumors. Yes, I am pregnant. I am happy. I am very, very happy about it. Everything’s going really, really good. And I’ll be checking in and out periodically on the Web. And you’ll just see me as I’m growing. That’s it at this time.  Bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: That from the poolside. She already has a 20-year-old son from her first marriage.

Well, as many of you know, I took a little vacation last week and went to Hawaii. I went there to relax, and I attended the wedding of my pal, Dog the bounty hunter and also his long-time crime-busting partner Beth.  So much for laying low on vacation. I also ran into Ross, the famous intern from “The Tonight Show” and ended up on Jay Leno. Take a look, everybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: I have known Dog and Beth for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love your voice.

COSBY: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you think about it, we really should swap voices.

I’m Rita Cosby.

COSBY: I’m Ross the intern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY: That felt good.

My debut on “The Tonight Show” and roses was a lot of fun. He and his gang were out there and lots of fun spending time with them in Hawaii. And that does it for me on LIVE & DIRECT, everybody. I’m Rita Cosby. THE SITUATION with Tucker starts right now.

Tucker, what do you think of my new friend Ross the intern?

Watch “Rita Cosby Live & Direct” each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

Copyright 2006 MSNBC and Voxant Inc.

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