updated 6/9/2005 2:24:06 PM ET 2005-06-09T18:24:06

Guest:  Susan Filan, Jim Moret, Chris Lejuez, Iva Bradley, Ron Bradley, Stacy Brown, Bob Rothstein

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, new details about two men now in custody in connection a missing American high school senior in Aruba. 


ABRAMS (voice-over):  Virtually the entire island is still searching for Natalee Holloway.  Authorities must decide by tomorrow if they have enough evidence to keep two suspects in custody.  We got the interview with their lawyer.  And it turns out Natalee‘s not the only American missing in the area.  We‘ll talk to the parents of another. 

Plus as the jury deliberations continue in the Michael Jackson case, we now know who the jury foreman is.  And a Jackson insider says he and others around Jackson have known for years about his unusual relationships with young boys. 

Plus a whistle-blowing scientist at Los Alamos scheduled to testify before Congress brutally attacked.  His lawyers say the assailants told him to keep quiet. 

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  Welcome to the courthouse where the jurors have just completed their second full day of deliberations here at the Michael Jackson case.  Fourteen hours of deliberations with no verdict and no questions from the jurors. 

But we do know who the jury foreperson is and we are also going to tell you about a new book that has been written about Michael Jackson.  There you see the jurors being ushered out of this courthouse.  Question, of course, is what does it mean that these jurors have not reached a verdict yet. 

Now the jurors arrived this morning in sheriff‘s vans are whisked into the courthouse and started deliberations at about 8:30, heading home just six hours later.  Outside the courthouse, fans showing their support for Jackson who is reportedly waiting for news of a verdict at Neverland. 

And while all of this is going on, NBC News has learned who the jury has chosen as its foreperson.  It is juror number two, 63 years old, the married father of two adult sons.  He is a retired school counselor and attendance director with a graduate degree.  Never served on a jury before and says he knew nothing about the allegations against Jackson before this trial started. 

So what does all of this mean?  No jury verdict?  Who the foreperson is?  Joining me now from Santa Maria, people who have been inside the courtroom, Mike Taibbi our friend from NBC News; MSNBC legal analyst and former prosecutor, Susan Filan; and attorney and senior correspondent for “Inside Edition,” Jim Moret.

All right, so all three of you have had the opportunity to watch this juror.  Mike Taibbi, what are your sources telling you about how each side is reacting to the fact that juror number two is the jury foreperson? 

MIKE TAIBBI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well I was able to speak today to a prosecution source, who had no real reaction to it.  He felt that all the jurors have paid a lot of attention throughout this trial.  That certainly was our experience watching them directly.  I would try, Dan, at every key point in testimony or at least the point in testimony that seemed key to me to look over in the jury box and see how they were reacting and this particular juror was one who took notes insidiously. 

In fact, at one point about three weeks before the end of the trial, I went over there because in the morning the bailiff would lay out all of the notebooks the jurors had filled to that point on their armrests.  You can see the armrests right there.  And that juror had, I think, five at that point and that was about as big a number as there was, five or six were the most notebooks, at least stenography notebooks had been filled, and he certainly filled his on a regular basis.  And took notes, frankly, at points when I made sure that I took down verbatim concordance notes about what was going on from the witness box, so this was somebody who paid attention.  Perhaps befitting someone who has a graduate degree and masters at least with his background in education.

ABRAMS:  Let me read some of what this jury foreperson said during the jury selection process.  When asked, “do children lie?”  Key question in this case.  Of course the accuser is a child.  Here is what he says.

It depends on the nature of the situation.  Depending if a child comes home, should have been home earlier and he‘s late and it‘s going to benefit him or her to maybe get away with something.  You might have a little white lie there, but I think most often than not children do tell the truth.  But I think once in a while if it benefits them, they might twist it a little bit.

All right.  So Susan Filan, you know look, that particular line seems to be good for prosecutors in this case.  How important is who the jury foreperson is? 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  It‘s very important.  This is a case where things could get ugly quickly.  Things could break down.  This person struck me, and I watched him, as very levelheaded, very steady, very calm.  The most of the jurors—the most poker-faced of the jurors I think.  And with his background working in a school, I think he‘s very suited to handle the key issue in this case.  Do you believe this boy or do you think he‘s lying for gain? 

ABRAMS:  And here is another thing that this jury foreperson said about parental influence.  Remember that‘s one of the crucial issues in this case.  The defense is saying mama convinced the accuser and the family to lie about Michael Jackson in order to get money. 

So, what does he think about parental influence on children?  Number five.  It depends on the circumstance, what kind of upbringing they‘ve had in the past.  If the parents are real understanding and they support their children, then I think parents can have a lot of influence.  If there‘s abuse in the family, I think that‘s a lot of influence too.  The child might want to lie about something to the parents if they know they‘re going to get beat up or something.

So, Jim Moret, that too relevant in this case, possibly helpful for the defense.  I mean are we just reading tealeaves here, Jim? 

JIM MORET, “INSIDE EDITION” SENIOR CORRESPONDENT:  I think in a way we are.  And the reality is when you talk about what you notice about jurors there was more that I didn‘t notice about this particular juror.  There were several people on that jury panel that appear to be getting along quite well.  They would walk in and it certainly seemed like this panel was happy to be together. 

This person, I agree with Susan and Mike, frankly both, that one, he took a lot of notes and two, was somewhat poker-faced and that may be good.  The fact is if you are the foreperson you have to be focused.  You have to be a leader.  You have to direct the conversation...


MORET:  ... and you have to be fair and listening to his answers...

ABRAMS:  Bottom...

MORET:  ... it sounds like somebody who has insight into being a parent and being around children. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Bottom line, Jim, on the jury not reaching a verdict today, it‘s now been two and a half days.  Already everyone here is saying, oh, my goodness the jury‘s been deliberating for two and a half days.  What does it mean—look, the bottom line is it doesn‘t mean anything, right?  I mean... 

MORET:  You‘re right...

ABRAMS:  ... they deliberated for six hours today, six hours yesterday, what‘s the big deal, right? 

MORET:  I agree.  You know my own experience on a jury, I was a jury foreperson on a very small case and I can tell that you it was miniscule compared to this case and it took us...

ABRAMS:  Right.

MORET:  ... two days to reach a verdict.  It means nothing.  This is a very complex case, three and a half months of testimony. 

ABRAMS:  Yes...

MORET:  Two and a half days...

ABRAMS:  Susan Filan, do you agree? 

MORET:  ... that‘s all it means.

ABRAMS:  Susan, you agree, right...

FILAN:  I‘ll tell you, Dan, it does mean something. 

ABRAMS:  What?

FILAN:  No, it does mean something.  Here is what it means.  They declined Mesereau‘s invitation to throw this case out instantly.  He said if you find a lie, 10 lies, 20 lies, how many lies is it going to take...


FILAN:  ... before you throw it out?

ABRAMS:  They weren‘t going to do that no matter what...

FILAN:  They have declined that invitation.  Well whether they were or they weren‘t, Dan that sends a message.  They are not doing the Mesereau thing, tossing it instantly...


FILAN:  ... that‘s what the defense was hoping for and they didn‘t get it. 

TAIBBI:  I disagree with that absolutely with that...

ABRAMS:  Well...

TAIBBI:  ... I disagree...

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, very quickly...

TAIBBI:  ... Dan.  Very quickly, Mesereau did not use the word instantly.  He said just decline it.  He said if you don‘t believe them, you don‘t believe them and that‘s it.  He didn‘t say do it immediately.

ABRAMS:  All right...

TAIBBI:  I don‘t think the time has anything to do with it yet.

ABRAMS:  Now Mike Taibbi, I‘ve got to talk to you about some timing issues, all right?  Two weeks ago today I asked you for your prediction on when you would be going home in connection in this case.  You were hesitant to make that prediction, but here is what you said two weeks ago. 


TAIBBI:  The other prediction I‘ll make is that within two weeks I‘ll be working out of my 30 Rock (ph) office and walking my dog at night. 

ABRAMS:  Really?  Within two weeks, all right...

TAIBBI:  In New York City...

ABRAMS:  You heard Mike Taibbi and Mike Taibbi predicted that Michael Jackson would testify, so—no I‘m just kidding, Mike. 


ABRAMS:  All right, so Mike, you fell short on your prediction, as I predicted.  You are not home in New York walking your dog.  So we didn‘t tell you we were going to do this, very quickly we thought we‘d bring a little bit of home back to you.  This is your life, Mike Taibbi.  Joining us from MSNBC World Headquarters is Scoop Taibbi, there he is...


ABRAMS:  ... Mike Taibbi‘s dog Scoop.

TAIBBI:  I can‘t believe it.  I can‘t believe it.

ABRAMS:  Mike, you want to say hello to Scoop real quick? 

TAIBBI:  I just can‘t believe it. 

ABRAMS:  There he is.

TAIBBI:  Well he doesn‘t respond to me when I‘m six inches away from him.  He‘s not going to respond at this point.  I can‘t believe that. 

ABRAMS:  All right. 



TAIBBI:  I‘m glad to see he‘s still bopping around. 

ABRAMS:  Yes and you‘ve got to love the little...

TAIBBI:  All right.

ABRAMS:  ... you‘ve got to love the little set-up they made there. 

Mike Taibbi... 

TAIBBI:  That‘s the best shot of him right there.  Yes.  Absolutely. 

ABRAMS:  ... and his dog—Mike‘s dog Scoop Taibbi at MSNBC Headquarters.  Susan Filan, Jim Moret...


ABRAMS:  ... Mike Taibbi, thanks a lot. 

Coming up, a Jackson insider speaks out saying he and others around Jackson have known for years about Jackson‘s special relationship with children.

And breaking news in the search for a missing American teenager in Aruba, two men held in connection with the case expected to be charged tomorrow.  One of the charges, according to their lawyer, is homicide.

Plus it turns out Natalee is not the only American missing in the area.  We talk to the parents of a young American woman who‘s been missing for years. 

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.



ABRAMS:  Breaking news out of Aruba where two men are being held in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, not yet charged, but according to the public defender in Aruba, the two suspects are being held on suspicion of homicide, accessory to homicide and kidnapping.  Now no charges have been filed yet, but they are expected to come tomorrow.  Now missing for eight days, Holloway was last seen May 30 while on a senior class trip in Aruba. 

Authorities arrested the two men, former security guards at a hotel two blocks from where Holloway was staying.  These men reportedly not strangers to police.  Apparently have a habit of going around to hotels trying to meet female tourists, asking them for cigarettes, et cetera.  Natalee‘s family has not given up hope as the search efforts continue.  And the number of people coming to the island for the Alabama high school graduate grows. 


PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S UNCLE:  It‘s an amazing thing to see, the participation.  I saw people out there trudging through the rugged terrain looking for her.  It‘s hot; they are carrying a bottle of water, absolutely dedicated to finding her.  People are willing to do whatever is necessary to find her.  And watching people come to us and ask how to participate is just hope renewed to us on a daily basis. 


ABRAMS:  Joining me now for another ABRAMS REPORT exclusive, the attorney for the two men held in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, Chris Lejuez.  Thank you very much, sir, for coming on the program.  We appreciate it. 


ABRAMS:  All right.  So you are convinced that your clients are going to be charged tomorrow with homicide and some of those other charges that we laid out? 

LEJUEZ:  Tomorrow the clients will have to appear in front of a judge.  This judge will rule if the detention of the clients is according to our legal system rightfully done or not, if they are legally detained or not.  If they are legally detained, the detention will be extended for another eight days. 

ABRAMS:  And lay out for us, if you will, what the charges are as far as you know. 

LEJUEZ:  They have been charged with several accusations.  One of them would be what we call here murder.  That would be premeditation, and accessory to murder.  The second one would be homicide.  That would be the same thing but without premeditation and also accessory to homicide.  And a third one would be what you call capital kidnapping in the United States. 

ABRAMS:  Now, have the authorities provided you with evidence, information?  Have they found any evidence to suggest that Natalee is dead? 

LEJUEZ:  They have not—I have not received any kind of information regarding that fact.  So I have no reason to believe that we are dealing here as yet with any dead person.  What I do know is that I received the documentation from the prosecutor‘s office approximately one hour ago.  I haven‘t been able to go through all the documentation as yet.  And I hope to be able to do so tonight before tomorrow, then we go to see the judge. 

ABRAMS:  What is the evidence that they have against your clients?  I mean obviously they‘ve arrested them.  They believe that they have what they said is reasonable suspicion to detain them.  What is the evidence...


ABRAMS:  ... upon which they are basing that? 

LEJUEZ:  I have only knowledge from my clients.  I have no knowledge from any documentation or from the prosecutor‘s office.  Perhaps I do have it not in my possession, but I haven‘t been able to study it yet.  The clients have told me that they have been told by the police that they would fit a description of people that were seen in the company of the person missing. 

ABRAMS:  All right, so let me ask you straight out.  Do your clients...


ABRAMS:  ... know her?  Have they ever met her?  Have they told you anything about any interaction that they may have had with her? 

LEJUEZ:  Well up to now and up to the last conversations we have had with the clients, both of them have categorically denied any wrongdoing, any involvement in this case.  Both of them have independently denied knowing Natalee Holloway. 

ABRAMS:  And have they denied ever meeting her or ever having seen her? 

LEJUEZ:  Both of them have denied ever meeting her, ever seeing her, ever spoken to her.  They have told us that they know her only from the newspaper and the news media here in Aruba. 

ABRAMS:  And have they told what you they were doing around the time she went missing?

LEJUEZ:  Yes, they did give an explanation, both of them have, and they have given the same statement to the police here in Aruba.  Both have a very reasonable explanation for what they were doing and that would not involve being anywhere near the Holiday Inn hotel at the moment of the disappearance of Natalee. 

ABRAMS:  What is it—what do they say they were doing? 

LEJUEZ:  Well, one of them has said that he was—he had been to a beach, Soul Festival, Soul Beach Festival it‘s called in Aruba.  And after that he went back home with his wife and they picked up their little child they have at their grandfather‘s house, and they went home to sleep.  I have been able to confirm this statement independently and without telling the wife and without telling the mother-in-law, and they both confirmed that this has—this was the case. 

ABRAMS:  And the other is telling you he‘s got an alibi, as well. 

LEJUEZ:  The other one I have not been able to find any confirmation of his story as yet. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well that‘s interesting.  All right, Mr. Lejuez, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the program.  We look forward...


ABRAMS:  ... to having you back as soon as we get more on this case. 

LEJUEZ:  Thank you.  You are welcome. 

ABRAMS:  Natalee Holloway is not the first young woman to disappear in this area.  Seven years ago, then 23-year-old Amy Bradley went missing while on a Caribbean cruise with her family.  March 24, 1998, Amy was seen by her father at about 5:30 in the morning on her cabin‘s balcony.  Now at 6:00 a.m. or around there, father apparently woke again, Amy was gone. 

Two women on the cruise reported seeing Amy riding the elevator to the top deck just before it docked at the island of Curacao at 6:00 a.m.  She was apparently with a musician from the ship‘s band.  Curacao cab driver told Amy‘s father that Amy approached his cab the morning she went missing and said she urgently needed a phone. 

Now two strangers say they saw Amy on Curacao, one in August of 1998, the other in January of 1999.  Amy is still missing.  There is a $260,000 reward for any information leading to her whereabouts.  And joining us now are her parents, Iva and Ron Bradley.  Thank you both very much for coming on the program.  We appreciate it. 


ABRAMS:  Now this has been a while now.  I would assume, first of all, that you are pleased that at least your case is getting the attention that it deserves. 

IVA BRADLEY, DAUGHTER MISSING FOR SEVEN YEARS:  Yes, we have fought for seven years to get the attention that Amy needs to be found.  When we discovered Amy missing, we begged the ship‘s personnel to not put the gangway down, to not allow anybody to leave the ship, and we told them that if Amy had left the room for anymore than 15 minutes, she would have left us a note.  And they put the gangway down anyway. 

People left the ship in Curacao.  And please keep in mind that Curacao is part of the Netherlands Antilles.  They‘re within miles of each other.  It‘s the next island over from Aruba.  We spent the entire day in Aruba the day before.  We rented a jeep.  We went out all day long. 

One side of the island is for tourists, obviously.  The other side of the island is destitute as far as desert and tumbleweeds, goats, dogs.  We get back on the boat.  We are there that afternoon.  That evening one of their waiters came up to us as we were in the Atrium.  He specifically asked for Amy by name. 

I asked him why he wanted Amy.  He said because we want to take her to a bar.  And I said she‘s with her brother in the casino.  So when they came out, we told her about the waiter wanting to take them off of the ship and she screwed her mouth up and said no way.  That‘s too creepy.  We suggested being in a foreign country that they not leave the ship.  We came to find out that the same bar that they wanted to take Amy to was the same bar as Natalee Holloway was in.

ABRAMS:  And that struck me, Mr. Bradley, when I heard about that.  I mean when you heard about this story, obviously the location, you know, must have made you sort of particular attuned to this story, but then when you heard the name of that bar, you know.

RON BRADLEY, DAUGHTER MISSING FOR SEVEN YEARS:  Well that‘s true.  And we‘ve maintained from the beginning that someone saw Amy and took Amy from that ship in some way.  There are several way by boat, through cargo, the cargo doors that open and close.  And then when I just recently heard you say about the possible kidnapping, it just brings everything home as to what we expected the whole time.  And I certainly hope that that‘s not the case and I certainly hope that Natalee will be found. 

ABRAMS:  What do you make, Mrs. Bradley, of the reported sightings of her?  How reliable do you think that they have been? 

I.                BRADLEY:  Well I believe the reported sightings are from people that have come forward that have seen Amy.  The two Canadians that saw Amy on the beach in 1998, they described her, her tattoos, her demeanor, and did not know she was missing.  The naval person who went to Brothel (ph) and Curacao said that Amy asked him for help, told him her name.  She said, “my name is Amy Bradley, please help me.”

He didn‘t know anybody was missing.  He told her there was a naval ship five minutes down the dock that she could leave and she said no, you don‘t understand, please help me.  My name is Amy Bradley.  At that time two men in the bar removed her, told her to move and go upstairs.  He did not report anything.  He had been on the ship and being a petty officer, there were certain unauthorized areas that he could not go into and that‘s where he was. 

When he saw Amy on the front cover of a major magazine, he has since retired and he contacted us and he said, we—I have seen your daughter.  I have seen her.  I have talked to her and she was in trouble.  And he said, I apologize for not doing anything about that.  There‘s one thing I want to make clear here to parents and to people that are traveling. 

Venezuela on a good day from Curacao or Aruba is in sight.  We have been old by locals and been told by investigators there are boats incoming.  They come and go freely.  We also know there is a tremendous amount of drug trade.  That‘s not a secret from Venezuela through those islands up through the United States or wherever they are going with the drugs. 

ABRAMS:  All right...

I.                BRADLEY:  So...

ABRAMS:  Well...

I.                BRADLEY:  So we are putting our families and our children in danger, and because of the situation with the United States being in a position where they say they have no jurisdiction, it hurt us terribly and it hurt Amy.  And we‘ve not gotten the help that we need. 


ABRAMS:  Well I‘m hoping that, you know, it‘s hard to say this, but that this other story, which is a horrible, horrible tragedy, that you know hopefully that both can somehow end in a positive way and that one may be able to help the other.  We are going to...

I.                BRADLEY:  I certainly hope so.

ABRAMS:  We are going—we are putting up the tip line.  We‘ve been putting it up throughout this interview with you all.  I know how difficult this is for you to still talk about it to this day.  But I think, you know, you would agree this is the only way by going public.  And I wish you both the best of luck.  Thank you so much for taking the time...

I.                BRADLEY:  I have one more thing to say if I could, please?  I‘d like for people to know that when you travel aboard a cruise ship, when you leave the dock and you‘re in international waters, you‘re in no-man‘s land.  You are governed by the flag that that ship flies and you are in trouble if you need help.

ABRAMS:  Iva and Ron Bradley, thank you so much.  Good luck...

I.                BRADLEY:  Thank you.

R.        BRADLEY:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, the allegations against Michael Jackson have been around for years.  Now a Jackson insider admits people around Jackson knew about what he was doing.  It was their job to keep the boys out of the limelight. 

And a whistle-blowing scientist at Los Alamos scheduled to testify before Congress brutally attacked.  His wife says the assailants told him to keep quiet.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, surprising information from Michael Jackson‘s former publicist.  He worked with Jackson for 35 years.  Now there‘s a book out that‘s talking about Jackson‘s relationships with young boys.  The exclusive details after the headlines.


ABRAMS:  We are back live in Santa Maria, California, where the jury in Michael Jackson‘s trial has finished its second full day of deliberations.  The jury will report back here tomorrow morning. 

Now tonight, new revelations about the life of Michael Jackson are out in a new book from one of the men who may have known him best.  Bob Jones, Jackson‘s long-time publicist worked for the Jackson family for 35 years, handling the early press appearances of the “Jackson Five”.  It was Jones who apparently coined the name “King of Pop” for Jackson and saw him through his rise to stardom and later through the charges of sexual molestation from young boys in the 1990‘s. 

But in June of 2004, Jones was abruptly fired by Jackson only months after he was indicted on sexual molestation charges.  Just when Jones thought Jackson would need him most.  Jones has penned a new book, “Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask”, which includes numerous excerpts from Jones‘ personal journals going all the way back to 1970 when Jones was executive director of publicity at Motown Records up to his recent appearance on the witness stand for the prosecution in the Jackson case where he was called to testify about what he saw happened between Jackson and the ‘93 accuser. 

He said in that book that he couldn‘t take his eyes off of Jackson during his testimony.  Quote—“He should never have been there in the first place.  I thought about the many times I had warned him about his interaction with these little boys.  Perhaps he thought it was innocent behavior, but I‘d reminded him that not all would see it that way and that he was opening the door to unnecessary trouble.”

Joining me now is Jackson family friend and MSNBC analyst Stacy Brown, who co-wrote the book with Bob Jones.  Stacy, good to see you. 

All right, so look, let me—let‘s get this out of the way right at the top.  The Jackson team is going to say that Bob Jones is a disgruntled employee, I assume, who is now writing this tell-all book to make some money, and the reason he is writing this is because he got fired.

STACY BROWN, JACKSON FAMILY FRIEND:  Well, absolutely.  And you know they have already told you that I‘m an ex-Jackson family friend, so you know it has already began.  It began last year actually.  Debra Opri, who I happen to like, Joseph and Katherine‘s attorney, went on another network and said you know Bob Jones is an ex-employee.  You can‘t put merit into what he said.  So the strikes began immediately. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  So let me read some of what Bob Jones says and then I‘m going to ask you why you think people should believe him. 

It ate at me.  Time after time.  Should I quit this job?  But I had to remember a couple of things.  For one thing I was assuming Michael was doing something criminal with these young boys.  Even today I have no concrete proof.  Sure, I‘d see these boys go into his private quarters and stay for hours, days, weeks at a time.  The parents of these boys would also see these bizarre scenarios unfolding and they too said nothing.  I had no real evidence.  Furthermore, I couldn‘t afford to quit and become an outcast.  Jobs for black public relations men in Hollywood are extremely scarce.

So what exactly is Bob Jones saying?  He‘s saying that he was suspicious all this time and he remained suspicious, but he never saw anything criminal? 

BROWN:  Well, Bob has made it clear that he was not always on board with these sleepovers.  He wasn‘t on board with the kids traveling with Michael.  The book talks about how there was this one kid who traveled with him to Gabon in Africa and how he stayed in a room and locked away.  He talked about another kid over in Monaco where they term that trip to Monaco the honeymoon because of the way they—Michael and this particular young boy behaved.  It alarmed everyone around him, Dan.

ABRAMS:  I read on.  For several years Michael had to be careful.  People, perhaps prosecutors were watching him.  But his habits didn‘t change.  He still paraded around the globe with little boys.  What many people didn‘t know too was that not only did he pay the Rent-A-Wreck family millions, he had paid a couple of more million to his maid and the son had claimed that something happened between him and the king.  These little boys were costing the king millions upon millions of dollars.

So how do you defend Bob Jones against those who say, OK, yes, he‘s saying this, but he just can‘t be believed? 

BROWN:  Well, he‘s the one, and you know, that‘s to be expected.  He‘s the one that was there.  He was the one that Michael Jackson would call to set up a lot of these, if you will, rendezvous.  He was the one that Michael Jackson would call to grease the skids, if you will.  He was the one Michael Jackson would call to set up certain appearances, certain visits, unexpected visits to the hospital. 

Michael used Bob Jones a lot.  Bob Jones was extremely loyal.  And Dan, I have to tell you, there is a show that they did about Bob Jones on the Black Entertainment Television network in 1995.  Michael Jackson appeared on that show and he—in his own words said Bob Jones is the most loyal person I have ever known and he is the most honest person.  Bob Jones will not lie.

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, Stacy, can you remain a Jackson family friend after co-authoring this book? 

BROWN:  Well, Dan, you heard.  You—you know Luanda Lane (ph), Jermaine‘s assistant, approached you in a very hostile way today and told you in no uncertain terms that that should no longer be the case.  Look, you know, I have not lied about anything.  I‘ve not been dishonest about anything.  I went to the—certain members of the Jackson family before taking on this task. 

We talked about it.  No, they did not agree with it.  However, I decided that it would be ludicrous for me to not do this.  Bob trusted me, as they trusted me.  I don‘t think I betrayed anybody‘s trust. 

ABRAMS:  Stacy Brown, thanks.  Appreciate it. 

Coming up—a whistleblower about to testify before Congress allegedly lured to a bar and beaten, according to his lawyer all part of a plan to keep him silent.  We‘ve got the story coming up next.

Your e-mails, send them to abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, was a whistle-blower lured to a bar then beaten?  Allegedly told to keep his mouth shut.  The pictures are gruesome.  His family is furious, coming up.



ABRAMS:  The pictures you are about to see, it hurts really just to even look at them.  They are brutal.  This is Tommy Ray Hook, a 52-year-old former auditor and whistleblower at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  He was supposed to testify before a House committee this month about alleged financial irregularities at the lab.  Hook was brutally beaten by as many as four to six men in the parking lot of a Santa Fe topless bar Saturday night. 

Hook‘s family says he was lured to the bar to meet an anonymous caller who claimed to have information about problems at Los Alamos.  When the caller didn‘t show, family says Hook went to the parking lot and was dragged out of his car.  This is his wife Susie.


SUSIE HOOK, WHISTLEBLOWER‘S WIFE:  He has a fracture down in his jaw down here and under his eye.  He was swollen really, really bad.  His teeth are pushed back and some are broken.  He‘s going to need—he has a therapist coming in to help him talk.  And he has a loss of memory right now, but you know it‘s starting to come back because he‘s had a terrible concussion.  He has a disk, herniated disk now they found from this. 


ABRAMS:  Apparently the attackers left Tommy‘s wallet and watch and

his car, and according to his wife, Hook was warned to keep his mouth shut

·         quote—“if you know what‘s good for you, you won‘t say anything.”  But NBC News has learned that the FBI and the Santa Fe police have interviewed one of the alleged attackers and he says the assault was—quote—“just a bar fight”.  University of California, which runs Los Alamos under contract at the Department of Energy and the Los Alamos Lab have said they are outraged and they‘re cooperating with the investigation. 

Bob Rothstein is Tommy Ray Hook‘s attorney and represents him and another former auditor at Los Alamos in a suit they filed against the University of California.  All right, so Mr. Rothstein, thank you very much for coming on the program.  Let me ask you about this information that we are just getting in and that is that one of the alleged perpetrators is claiming—quote—“it was just a bar fight.”

BOB ROTHSTEIN, TOMMY RAY HOOK‘S ATTORNEY:  We have not heard anything to verify that.  The Santa Fe police have declined to provide us with any information regarding the developments in the criminal investigation.  It would be interesting to learn this, particularly since the people involved in this incident fled from the scene, which suggests that they were guilty of something more than an ordinary bar fight.  We‘ve done some...

ABRAMS:  And...

ROTHSTEIN:  ... investigation of our own.  Our initial...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead...

ROTHSTEIN:  ... conversations with some of the employees at the club where this took place was that there had been no altercation, there had been no provocation, nothing untoward inside the bar.  That Mr. Hook had sat there quietly and waited for quite a while, and then left the bar by himself, and was not followed by anybody. 

ABRAMS:  Now the statement about, “you better keep quiet” et cetera, that was according to Mr. Hook himself? 

ROTHSTEIN:  That‘s what he has told us.  That‘s what he told his wife and we‘ve told other authorities immediately after this happened. 

ABRAMS:  So you are convinced that he was attacked by people trying to get him to shut up? 

ROTHSTEIN:  Tommy Hook is a man of enormous personal integrity and has an excellent reputation for truthfulness, for honesty.  He has a long career in administration at the laboratory and held some of the most responsible positions there.  He is not a man who I would believe would make up these type of things to get himself out of an unpleasant incident. 

ABRAMS:  Here‘s what his wife said about that. 


S.     HOOK:  He was brutally attacked because he is trying to do the right thing and do what he thinks he needs to do.  And he has suffered a great deal by trying to do his job. 


ABRAMS:  And so no chance, according to you, that you know he‘s in some topless bar and just gets in a fight?  I mean the position that you are taking and that his wife is taking is that he never wanted to be there in the first place, but that he was effectively lured there, correct? 

ROTHSTEIN:  That‘s correct.  That we have received...


ROTHSTEIN:  ... no information from any person claiming to be a witness that supports any of those allegations. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Mr. Rothstein, we will continue to follow this story.  Thank you very much for taking the time to come on the program. 

ROTHSTEIN:  My pleasure, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, bad boy Russell Crowe in cuffs charged with assault.  Why I hope the latest Hollywood celebrity is not being treated differently because he is rich and famous. 


ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—why I‘m tired of the glorification of some of Hollywood‘s so-called bad boys.  The latest example, actor Russell Crowe accused of throwing a telephone into the face of the concierge at a New York hotel.  Crowe was led out in cuffs and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.  His spokesperson says the concierge gave the star—quote—“attitude.”

Last week, actor Christian Slater was in court after being arrested for groping a woman on a New York City street.  I‘m betting both incidents will only add some Hollywood cache to the stars‘ bad boy resumes.  But these types of cases should be different.  We‘re not talking about battling paparazzi or downing a few too many drinks one night.  If true, these cases just show disrespect for fellow human beings, average, every day citizens. 

There seems to be a sense that these celebs are above it all and that in Hollywood it may just help them, some sort of weird bad boy credibility.  After all, many in Hollywood still revere director Roman Polanski even though he‘s a wanted fugitive in the United States.  He pled guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old, who said he plied her with drugs and alcohol, but he fled the country before being sentenced. 

The term Hollywood bad boy connotes a sort of James Dean or Steve McQueen like  toughness.  But why?  It doesn‘t mean you‘re tough when you physically lash out at the people who are working for you or physically harass people you don‘t know.  That‘s just pathetic.  It would be nice if the—quote—“industry” would treat these people accordingly. 

Coming up, a hint of families with criminal trouble in their past. 

When you plan a family reunion, you might want to do so within state lines.

Our “OH PLEAs!” is coming up. 


ABRAMS:  I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  Last night I asked my guests to predict when the jury would reach a verdict in Michael Jackson‘s case. 

Barry Johnson in Palatka, Florida, “Predicting what the California jury is like predicting the next earthquake.”  Quite true, Barry. 

Also last night my exclusive tour inside the Santa Barbara County jail, which would likely be Jackson‘s first stop if convicted.  Cheryl Vetter in Lafayette, Indiana, “Shame on you.  Tonight‘s piece in which the sheriff detailed Michael Jackson‘s potential jail accommodations and your discussion of which prison he might then be sent to was way out of line in my view.  I‘m left wondering whatever became of the presumption of innocence.”

So Cheryl, I would assume then you‘d think we can‘t even discuss what would happen if Jackson is convicted?  I guess that means we can‘t discuss a possible sentence, either.  Come on!  I‘m just saying if. 

Finally, I spoke with Michael Jackson‘s spiritual advisor, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. 

Gretchen Albright in San Diego, “I caught three interviews today with the reverend on other channels and then on your program.  Gee, if I didn‘t know better, I would think that the Reverend Jackson had been scripted.”  A number of you wrote in saying his words sounded familiar. 

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show. 

“OH PLEAs!”—with the arrival of summertime, there are bound to be many picnics and family reunions.  But one family from Massachusetts redefines family reunion.  It seems that the only picnic this family will be having is at the jail‘s cafeteria.  Forty-one-year-old Joanna Snyder apparently wanted a summer vacation so she left her supermarket job April 26 in hopes of heading off to New Hampshire, but she didn‘t want to go alone. 

She convinced her 14-year-old daughter and 34-year-old friend James Hussey to join in on the trip.  All would have been fine if all three members of this reunion were allowed to leave Massachusetts.  See Snyder was an inmate at the Women in Transition Center, a prerelease facility for a falsified document.  Her teenage daughter was in a residential program because of her mother‘s incarceration. 

And Hussey was under house arrest for check larceny.  Well the three -

·         quote—“bandits” skipped town to Grafton, New Hampshire, where they were found Tuesday night staying with relatives.  The police were tipped off to the triple breakout because of Hussey‘s electronic monitoring bracelet.  They were taken into custody without incident.  I guess a family that runs together stays together—in jail, that is. 

That does it for us tonight.  Thanks for watching.  Have a good night.



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