Guests: Stacey Gualandi; Corey Clark; Angeline Hartmann
RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. Six inmates who made a daring jailbreak apparently had some help. The most disturbing part of the story isn‘t who helped them by why they did it. And a big scandal on ice. Wait until you hear what happened when a pro skater with a pregnant wife was paired up with a beautiful actress for a reality show.
But first tonight, the vice president speaks out for the very first time about shooting his friend while out hunting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The image of him falling is something that I‘ll never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there‘s Harry falling. And it was, I‘d have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: In an interview on Fox News Channel‘s “Special Report With Brit Hume,” the vice president also took full responsibility for the accident.
With more on what the vice president said and the condition of the man he shot, his friend, Harry Whittington, let‘s go to NBC‘s Janet Shamlian in Corpus Christi—Janet.
JANET SHAMLIAN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Rita, good evening to you. Harry Whittington remains in stable condition tonight. He‘s still in the intensive care unit. However, his heartbeat has normalized following yesterday morning‘s heart attack. He‘s expected to stay here six more days before returning to his home in Austin, Texas, a couple hours north of here.
As for the vice president, we heard from him, as you mentioned, for the first time publicly today. And in doing so, he spoke about being responsible for what happened in that hunting field on Saturday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: It‘s not Harry‘s fault. You can‘t blame anybody else. I‘m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend, and as I say, that‘s a day I‘ll never forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAMLIAN: The vice president also defended how the news was released, and that was through a private citizen calling the newspaper here in Corpus Christi. He says he thinks it was still the right way to go—Rita.
COSBY: Janet, why is he still in intensive care, if his condition is improving?
SHAMLIAN: They say it‘s purely for his privacy, that the ICU here offers a higher level of security. It‘s hard to get into. There‘s a lot of interest in him. And they feel he could be in a private room, but feel like he needs that added level of security right now. At least, that‘s what they‘re saying and said during the news conference today, Rita.
COSBY: So what happens to him now? How much longer could he be here?
SHAMLIAN: They‘re saying six more days, though it‘s possible he could go home earlier. He‘s said to be anxious to get home to Austin, Texas, but they want to monitor that pellet which has lodged itself into his heart.
COSBY: And what is his family saying today, in light of the vice president now speaking out?
SHAMLIAN: They‘re not speaking out at all. They‘ve really kind of closed ranks around him and what happened. We‘re only hearing from the hospital. Family members really are offering no further comment. We did hear from Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the ranch, right after it happened, or a day after it happened, Sunday night. That‘s been as much as we‘ve heard since then.
COSBY: All right, Janet. Please keep us posted.
And with us now live on the phone is the woman that you‘re seeing there with the vice president today, the former Cheney adviser, Mary Matalin. Mary, you were with him, I know, all day long. How is he doing?
MARY MATALIN, FORMER CHENEY ADVISER: Hey, Rita. Well, you know, despite this being a Washington political story, he‘s very much in the human being mode. And his highlight of the day for him was getting a report from Anna Armstrong, who‘s Katharine Armstrong‘s mother, who‘s the now famous Armstrong family, of the ranch, who called in early and (INAUDIBLE) report—the report from Cheney‘s own doctors that Harry is doing great, and as you just reported, is—you know, has had a precipitous uptick in his condition here, that was the highlight of his day. So he‘s doing a lot better.
COSBY: That‘s great to hear. You know, he did speak out and talked about why he didn‘t address this himself right away, why he didn‘t talk about it sooner. Let‘s play that, and then I‘ll get you to respond, Mary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting, and then it would immediately go up to the wires and be posted on the Web site, which is the way it went out. And I thought that was the right call.
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What do you think now?
CHENEY: Well, I still do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, Mary, in hindsight, do you think he would have done something differently? What do you think, as advising him?
MATALIN: No, I don‘t think so. I mean, we live in an age that we think we‘re accustomed to, but it‘s really different. The Information Age technology has accelerated the process with which we can receive information, which sometimes makes the press go towards speed rather than accuracy. And in this case, we were wanting accuracy, a full accounting, a witnessed account, and all of that was available in the person of Katharine Armstrong, who is a friend of ours and was an eyewitness, was the number one thing, versus—you can get it out fast or you can get it out right. And the Cheney MO is to get it out right, when that‘s an available option, as opposed to speed.
And we can argue over it, but if you consider who the objective audience was, or who we were trying to reach and get the information to, and to whom we have an obligation—that is, the American people—they got the story. And so far, I haven‘t gotten any reports from any American who would have rather had it at 11:00 o‘clock on Saturday night and was dissatisfied that they, you know, got it at 2:00 o‘clock Sunday afternoon.
COSBY: But Mary, was the White House out of the loop? I want to show
this is a comment from the vice president about his contact with the White House. He said, “The White House was notified, but I did not discuss it directly myself. I talked to Andy Card, I guess it was Sunday morning.”
And lot of people are wondering how come it took the White House itself to get all the details so late? Was the White House sort of out of the protocol loop?
MATALIN: You know, I don‘t think—I think we need to look back at it. I don‘t think that was the case. I know, and I—there was a rendition of this in the vice president‘s accounting tonight, that what they were concerned about—they being he and all of his friends there—this is an outing of friends on a private ranch and a private event—was the health of their friend, who was not just (INAUDIBLE) was fallen. So there was lots of details to attend to, not the least of which was getting his wife to the ambulance, notifying his family so his kids didn‘t hear it on TV. I think he spoke to Andy and Karl sometime in that—in that—in that timeframe.
And the—no one disagreed with—this is—we‘re not parsing here. Everyone agreed, and the objective was the same for everybody, to get the story out. They question was, What‘s the best way, the fullest way, the—not the quickest way, the rightest way, if you will, to get it out? And thank God for Katharine, who is a—was there, was a witness, who can attest to what was going on.
You know, the vice president really didn‘t see it. He only—he knew what he did, and he spoke to that tonight, but he didn‘t see the whole event, which Katharine did and has some—not some, but a very big context of what hunting is.
So the press has made much ado about some dissension between the White House and the vice president‘s office. Everybody was shooting for the same goal—though I‘m loath to use that word in this context. But we got to the goal, and the vice president‘s decision and opinion, and which he still agrees with, and so do I, and how to get to the best goal, which is the most accurate and fulsome accounting of the events for the American public, was through Katharine Armstrong, who was an actual eyewitness.
COSBY: Now, Mary, of course, a lot of people were asking, Was he drinking? What could have led to any of this? He put that to rest today, but I want to show what he said. He said, “I had a beer at lunch. After lunch, we‘d take a break. We go back to the ranch headquarters. We didn‘t go back into the field to hunt quail until sometime after 3:00 PM. Nobody was drinking. Nobody was under the influence.”
You know, we got a couple calls from people who said, Is he still on heart medication? And should he be drinking at all with heart medication?
MATALIN: Well, I have known the vice president for a long time, and you know, there‘s been plenty of instances where I wish he would drink more because I needed more to drink. No, he‘s not—he—beer at lunch—this happened six hours after that. The—as he said today, maybe there in another context, you don‘t hunt and drink and you don‘t hunt with drinkers. And that‘s always been his rule. That‘s the rule with his daughters, with whom he hunts. And you know, a beer at lunch, I think is completely digestible there...
COSBY: Is he still taking heart medication, Mary?
MATALIN: I don‘t know what his medications are. I do know that he‘s in as good a health as he‘s ever been, according to his doctors, with whom I am friends. And I do know that Lynn Cheney, if there‘s any great heart monitor in this interplanetary system, it is she who serves nothing but heart-friendly food.
COSBY: Let me—let me play also—because I—obviously, this has deeply affected the vice president. This is what he had to say, talking about how this has impacted him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: The image of him falling is something I‘ll never be able to get out of my mind. I fired, and there‘s Harry falling. And it was, I‘d have to say, one of the worst days of my life, at that moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, Mary, how much did you advise him? You‘re the former adviser, but you were pulled back in. Is this crisis management?
MATALIN: You know, I don‘t—you don‘t have to advise Dick Cheney. And as we say when we work with him and when we remain in his circle of friends, because we do love him for good reason, he‘s his own best staff guy. He knew what he had to do, but he had, as I hope—I would always gravitate to people who are like this—his priority was Harry.
So he—it—I can only tell you this, Rita. The first time I talked to him on Sunday morning, the -- 90 percent of the conversation was about Harry. You know, Don‘t let Harry get blamed, it wasn‘t his fault. There‘s (INAUDIBLE) know where we‘re going to go on this, he‘s a great guy, I love him. And it was all about Harry, and 90 percent of every subsequent conversation was about that.
So I don‘t advise him. He doesn‘t need advice. He knows what to do. This was his decision, and he did the right thing. And all we do is help facilitate what he knows to be the right thing. And I‘ll agree with him because I‘m a Kool-Aid drinker for him. I‘m a Kool-Aid drinker for him because he‘s always right.
COSBY: Well, Mary Matalin, we really appreciate you being with us on a busy night. Thank you so much, Mary.
MATALIN: Thank you, Rita. Appreciate it.
COSBY: Thank you.
And now let‘s go to the other side. LIVE AND DIRECT right now is former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, Sydney Blumenthal. He‘s author of the book “The Clinton Wars,” and also a columnist for Salon.com. Sydney, let me play a little bit—this is the vice president saying, Look, I made the mistake. I take responsibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: It‘s not Harry‘s fault. You can‘t blame anybody else. I‘m the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. And as I say, that‘s something I‘ll never forget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Is that enough, Sydney?
SYDNEY BLUMENTHAL, FORMER Clinton SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I wish he had done that earlier. He‘s the second highest-ranking official in the country as an elected official, and instead of coming out right away and alerting the public and telling the press corps that he had shot this individual, a strange series of events happened that really illustrated his extraordinary, unprecedented power and penchant for secrecy, including misleading the White House chief of staff, Andy Card, and the White House press secretary.
COSBY: But how do you think he misled them? Was it just that he gave somebody else to be the messenger? That‘s different than misleading.
BLUMENTHAL: Well, what happened was that a traveling aide with the vice president called the Situation Room in the White House and then spoke with Andy Card, who is the president‘s chief of staff, and told Andy Card that there‘d been an accident in Dick Cheney‘s hunting party and did not say that it involved the vice president and that the vice president had shot Harry Whittington.
COSBY: So what is the protocol, Sydney? As someone who‘s been in the White House, what do you think the protocol should be?
BLUMENTHAL: I think the protocol for a serious incident like this, which might involve the law and certainly involves the integrity of the White House, is that it is the White House itself that responds. And it is the whole White House that comes together and tells the press corps and then tells the American people. Individuals who are members of a hunting party are not used as representatives of the office of the vice president.
COSBY: In fact, Sydney, let me play—this is the vice president‘s comments about why he didn‘t release the information himself. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: There is, obviously...
HUME: Well, obviously, you could have put the statement out in the name of whoever you wanted. I mean, you could put it out in Mrs. Armstrong (INAUDIBLE) Obviously, that—she‘s the one who made the statement.
CHENEY: Exactly. That‘s what we did. We went with Mrs. Armstrong. We had—she‘s the one who put out the statement, and she was the most credible one to do it because she was a witness. It wasn‘t me in terms of saying, Here‘s what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, Sydney, based on this, is this going to sort of stick with Cheney for a little bit?
BLUMENTHAL: Well, I think that this is a difficult problem for him. And you know, I think it illustrates—these kinds of human interest stories really tell you a good deal about politics, as well. And they tell you about the person...
COSBY: What does this say about Dick Cheney‘s role? Sydney, what does this say about his role?
BLUMENTHAL: It tells you that he is a person that has extraordinary power in the White House and that other people in the White House couldn‘t interfere and get him to tell a straight story here about what really happened and go through normal channels and that he operates through incredible secrecy.
COSBY: Sydney Blumenthal, thank you very much. Great to have you here tonight.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: And still ahead, everybody, a hard-to-believe tip has the FBI getting involved in the hunt for a woman who mysteriously disappeared. Her family wants your help, and that‘s coming up. And that‘s not all tonight. Take a look.
Still ahead: Six inmates that made a daring jailbreak apparently had some help from the inside. And what‘s going to shock you more than who helped them is why they did it.
And Neil Entwistle is now back in the U.S., accused of killing his wife and daughter. Tonight: Why are police worried for his safety?
And two reality TV scandals. Corey Clark joins me live with details about his alleged affair with “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul, who just broke her silence about relationship disaster. Plus, a sexy actress gets paired up with a hot ice skater, but did he leave his pregnant wife in the cold? It‘s ahead LIVE AND DIRECT.
COSBY: And late developments tonight in the case of a father accused of murder in Massachusetts. Neil Entwistle, the man accused of viciously killing his wife and 9-month-old baby, is returned to the United States to face murder charges. We‘ve also learned tonight that defense attorney Elliot Weinstein has been appointed to represent him in the case.
Joining us live is NBC‘s Lisa Daniels, who‘s at the Hopkinton police station right now. Lisa, tell us about this evening‘s dramatic arrival of Neil Entwistle.
LISA DANIELS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Rita. It has been a very long day for Neil Entwistle. It began in England and ending right here behind me at the Hopkinton police headquarters. It was a five or six-hour flight. The plane landed in Bangor, then took off and landed at Hanscom Air Force Base. And Rita, that‘s really where we got our best look at him. We do have some video to show you. It was taken at about 5:15 PM Eastern time at the Air Force base, and it was the first time we got to see Neil Entwistle‘s face after arriving on American soil. His hands were shackled. It‘s hard to tell from that video, but his legs were shackled, too. He was surrounded by state law enforcement officials and then put into a cruiser.
About an hour later, that‘s when this dramatic arrival happened. It was really a five-second dramatic entry because we didn‘t get a very good look at his face. Between the police car sirens, Rita, and the photographers, camera bulbs, it was very hard to tell what his demeanor was.
But once he got here at the police station, he was whisked inside. He was booked and processed. Many of us know what that entails from watching TV shows. His photo was taken. He was fingerprinted. He was asked to supply a bunch of information, like his name, his date of birth, his Social Security number. And then he was read his Miranda rights.
You mentioned his attorney, this man named Elliot Weinstein. He is a private attorney who was appointed by the court because the Entwistle family said they couldn‘t afford to hire one on their own. And he arrived here, I‘d say, about an hour-and-a half ago. He‘s still inside.
And this is really Neil Entwistle‘s time to see a friendly face besides his parents. He wants to share his story. He needs advice. He isn‘t an American citizen. He doesn‘t know how this legal system works. And so this is the first time that he will be able to see a friendly face across the table to give him some advice. So we don‘t know when he‘s going to leave. We do have a camera positioned outside to try to talk to him. But that really is the latest, Rita.
COSBY: And very briefly, Lisa, we hear that he‘s suicidal. There‘s some extra precautions?
DANIELS: Yes, you know, this is what a source told me, and want to read it directly. The quote is, “He‘s extremely suicidal, at the danger level.” What this may translate into, Rita, is that after the 2:00 o‘clock arraignment tomorrow, he may be undergoing some sort of mental evaluation. This could play into a bigger role later on, whether he pleads something like an insane defense, we don‘t know. But he is said to be extremely suicidal. We‘ll have to see exactly where that takes us later on.
COSBY: All right. Lisa, thank you very much.
Well, what‘s expected at tomorrow‘s arraignment? Let me bring in former Middlesex County prosecutor Gerry Leone. Gerry, it‘s got to be a big relief to have him back on U.S. soil, right?
GERRY LEONE, FORMER MIDDLESEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, now you can initiate the process on your soil. Rita, it‘s difficult when you‘re across the pond and you‘re trying to get the evidence in place here and the body isn‘t in the country. So yes, the process will begin now, and we can begin to play the case inside of the courtroom, where it belongs.
COSBY: Yes, walk us through the process for everybody watching at home. What‘s going to happen tomorrow at this arraignment?
LEONE: What‘ll happen is he‘ll be brought before the court. Normally speaking, he will enter a plea of not guilty. The prosecution will then give a brief recitation of the facts that led to the complaint. At that point, the judge will take into consideration a bail argument. Defense counsel will usually make an impassioned plea for some type of bail. I expect the government to ask that no bail be issued. And then after that, they‘ll set a date to come back to court. And in the meantime, you would expect that the government will probably indict the case, bringing the case to the superior court in Cambridge.
COSBY: Are we going to hear from him at all, even to day, I understand the charges?
LEONE: No, you will either hear a defendant say “Not guilty,” or more usually—and Elliot Weinstein is a very experienced lawyer. You will usually have him speak on behalf of his client.
COSBY: Yes, tell us about this attorney. You know Elliot Weinstein.
LEONE: Very good...
COSBY: Why would you take a case like this? He was appointed, right?
LEONE: He was—because Entwistle is indigent, they look for somebody like Elliot who‘s very experienced, a very good trial lawyer, someone who is going to give someone who‘s charged with first degree murder the best defense possible. And Elliot‘s a pro. He‘s one of the best in the business.
COSBY: I want to talk about some of the challenges ahead from the prosecution, from some of the details we‘ve heard, Gerry, in the last few days. The alleged murder weapon—now we know that the father-in-law, his father-in-law, actually touched the, you know, believed-to-be murder weapon the next day. Time of death is still a little bit in question. We heard from the DA, saying she believes sometime Friday morning. Motive, combination of financial—we know he was looking at escort services. Are some of these things a little fuzzy?
LEONE: Well, you have means, opportunity, motive, the defendant‘s actions and the defendant‘s statements. Most important pieces of evidence right now probably the computer, the contents of the computer, the gun, the timeline, and then this defendant‘s statements and actions after the killings. Each one of these things, based upon, as we know them now, provide for a very strong prosecution case.
However, not unlike any case, there are issues with each one of these components, and you can expect somebody like this defense counsel to try and punch holes in each one of those very important components.
COSBY: Do his own words hurt him? Because he said, I left, and then I came back and my wife and baby were dead. Then I went to, like, go to the house to—couldn‘t get in—all these things. It‘s a wacky theory, Gerry.
LEONE: Well, you know, I always call it the phenomenon of half-truths, half-lies. I mean, there‘s a certain level of fact in evidence that a defendant will know, and they will try to tailor their story to the facts in evidence which is known. You know, unfortunately for defendants, when they choose to talk to the government, usually, they‘ll make inconsistent statements or they‘ll make statements that is then contradicted by the evidence. And you‘re seeing some of that here.
COSBY: Yes, a lot of it‘s going to come back, I think, to bite him.
Gerry, thank you very much, as always. It‘s great to have you on.
And still ahead, everybody: a skating scandal for a blockbuster reality show. A sexy ice skater paired with a hot actress is apparently on thin ice with his pregnant wife all because of what supposedly happened off camera. And Paula Abdul opens up about her relationship nightmares. What does her alleged fling from “American Idol” have to say about it? I‘ll ask Corey Clark, that fling. He‘s coming up next.
COSBY: Tonight, some startling new details in an all-points bulletin for a convicted killer in Kansas. It‘s a case that we‘ve been tracking for you right here on LIVE AND DIRECT. Kansas jail officials now say that guards didn‘t properly inspect a van carrying 27-year-old murderer John Manard to freedom on Sunday. Had guards really checked the van, they would have found alleged accomplice Toby Young at the wheel and Manard instead inside a dog crate. You‘re looking at a photo of Manard and Toby Young at a jail training program for dogs, which he was involved in.
Authorities also say at least seven inmates helped Manard escape. He was convicted of two counts of murder. Both Manard and Young are considered armed and dangerous. If you know anything about this case, have any information about Manard or Toby Young, be sure to call the Lansing, Kansas, Correctional Facility at the number you see there on your screen. It is 913-727-3235 -- again, 913-727-3235.
Well, an unbelievable motive leads a prison guard to actually help a half dozen inmates escape from a maximum security jail. The six inmates escaped in the middle of the night on Saturday, according to the guard who assisted. The plan was to tarnish the image of the sheriff in Cook County, Illinois, Michael Sheahan. An angry sheriff says he‘s get to the bottom of this jailbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SHEAHAN, COOK COUNTY SHERIFF: We want to investigate how these guys got out, and we‘ll have more to say once we‘re through with that investigation.
Oh, it‘s very frustrating. I‘m very upset that someone could get out. I said earlier today that we went 10 years without an escape from the county jail. That was an all-time record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And joining us now is crime reporter for “The Chicago Sun-Times”, Frank Main. Frank, how surprising is this motive for the guard to assist them?
FRANK MAIN, CRIME REPORTER, “CHICAGO SUN-TIMES”: Well, a lot of people think it‘s incredible, as you just said. The motive doesn‘t, at this point, have anything to do with money and it doesn‘t have anything to do with, you know, bribery. It simply had to do with them trying to gin up one of their own political candidates who‘s running for sheriff in March.
COSBY: And it‘s surprising—let me show the charges, if I could, against the guard, because they‘re pretty serious. This is again Darin Gater, the guard. And apparently, it‘s escape, official conduct, aggravated battery, also aggravated arson, possession of contraband, bringing contraband into the penal institution.
These are pretty serious stuff, right? How much assistance did this guard give to these escapes?
MAIN: Well, they say that there are at least six correctional officers who are suspended now because they may have had some role in this.
Gater is the first one to go down because he was in the tier with all of these guards who are considered to be the worst of the worst in Cook County. And from what the charges were yesterday, he gave them substantial assistance. He essentially allowed himself to be attacked and handcuffed and gave another inmate a uniform and keys to get out of the jail. So they‘re saying that he was a key player in the escape.
COSBY: And sort of where was he in relation to the inmates and in the facility itself? I think we have a little sketch.
MAIN: Yes, they‘re in a special unit that‘s reserved for people who are escape risks, ironically, and the worst murderers in the jail and that kind of thing. And so he was in a small unit by himself. And behind him, there were 16 inmates who were locked up.
And what happened is he apparently, allegedly allowed one of the inmates out at an unscheduled time for a shower, was in the shower with this guy, and told the investigators that he essentially kind of created this rouse where he would look like he was attacked. The guy had a shank, had a knife, and he also poured soapy water in his face. And then he wanted everybody to think that he was overcome by this inmate and the inmate then let the other people out.
But very quickly, on Sunday, investigators decided this guy‘s story just didn‘t stack up. And then they got this incredible story that he was essentially trying to engineer the election hopes of a former guard who‘s running for sheriff.
COSBY: First of all, what‘s the buzz on the sheriff, bad reputation? I mean, why would they go after this guy? And also you said they‘re questioning a lot of people. The guy who‘s vying for the position, is he going to be questioned for the involvement? Was he aware of this?
MAIN: The investigators at this time say that they haven‘t really connected any of this to Richard Remus, who is the guy who‘s running for sheriff.
He was a former leader of this special operations response team. They call it SORT. It‘s the most elite group of guards in the jail. And what happened is that he wound up resigning in 2003 because he was accused of being involved in brutality against the inmates in the jail.
MAIN: A lot of the other guys, guys in SORT, thought that he got a raw deal and the allegation here is that they thought that they could get this guy, they could make the sheriff look bad, make his hand-picked successor look bad, and get Remus in office, and then things would be better for the SORT unit.
COSBY: Well, glad they caught these guys. Just an amazing story, especially here guards playing this kind of a role. Frank, thank you very much.
And still ahead, everybody, two reality TV scandals, one involves a sexy ice skater who apparently got hot with the actress that he was paired with. But wait until you hear about his wife.
And then Paula Abdul opens up about her relationship nightmare. Hear what the guy who claims she seduced him has to say. He‘s coming up, LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: A big controversy in the world of reality TV tonight. Things have apparently been getting hot off the ice on the show “Skating with Celebrities.”
Skater Lloyd Eisler and actress Kristy Swanson from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” have reportedly gotten hot and heavy off camera, even as Eisler‘s wife was pregnant. Joining me now is “Inside Edition‘s” senior correspondent, Stacey Gualandi, who talked to Eisler‘s wife, Marcia O‘Brien, on the phone.
You know, Stacey, it‘s pretty incredible. I want to play you this little clip. It‘s amazing sort of how she found about it. Let me play. This is from your show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCIA O‘BRIEN, WIFE OF ICE SKATER: ... forwarding me some e-mails that Lloyd had been sending to her. He wrote, you know, “I love you very much.” Anybody that could do this to their pregnant wife, so I just think good riddance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, Stacey, it‘s weird. So was she saying that the wife got these e-mails from Kristy Swanson, the actress?
STACEY GUALANDI, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, “INSIDE EDITION”: Exactly. She said that she would come down every weekend during the taping of “Skating with Celebrities,” and she kind of suspected there was some sort of an emotional connection between her husband and Kristy, but she didn‘t have the proof until Kristy forwarded these e-mails to her that were actually sent to her by Lloyd. So, in essence, Kristy is showing Lloyd‘s wife these e-mails, these intimate e-mails that he himself wrote.
COSBY: And why did she do that? Was she exposing, saying, “Look, he‘s playing both of us”?
GUALANDI: Obviously, Kristy wanted the wife to know. And so I don‘t know what that says about Kristy. But I don‘t know if Lloyd knew that she was doing this.
But it seems—it‘s funny. On one hand, they seem to be trying to keep it under wraps, but also, but on the other hand, they were also trying to sort of—not really being protective of this, quote, unquote, “secret” that they had.
COSBY: Now, it‘s interesting, because Kristy Swanson‘s publicist came out and said they started dating after Lloyd officially separated from his wife. What‘s the wife‘s response to that? Does she buy that?
GUALANDI: No. In fact, Marcia says it‘s a complete lie. She says that they separated around November. She was suspecting something in October. The e-mails came, and she actually found those in the beginning of November.
But the situation is, is that Lloyd and Kristy were sleeping together in September and October. So she knew about this. But yet Lloyd is now saying that this was a relationship that didn‘t start until after he and his wife separated. But that is, in fact, according to Marcia, absolutely a complete lie.
COSBY: Well, that‘s funny. You talked about sort of everybody who is talking about this. I loved some of the comments from some of the judges, former, obviously, skating great, Dorothy Hamill, says, “The chemistry between Lloyd and Kristy was crystal clear.” After Monday‘s show, she said, quote, “The connection was there. It was really hot. It was sexy. It was seamless.”
Are a lot of people saying that the sparks were just so obvious?
GUALANDI: You know, it‘s funny, because a lot of people were saying, “Wow, these two have really connected.” And even Marcia, Lloyd‘s wife, thought that there was definitely some kind of connection there.
And I don‘t think you really think for sure until this last episode on Monday, that you see this embrace that they made after their performance, you look at it now and you think, yes, that there definitely seems to be something a little deeper between these two than just a celebrity and a skater coming together for a television show.
COSBY: So now, what‘s the deal? They have kids, right? Lloyd and Marcia have kids.
COSBY: Are they planning on filing for divorce? Where does it stand?
GUALANDI: Well, Marcia says that they have a 21-month-old son and now they have an 8-week-old son. At the time that the affair she says was occurring...
COSBY: Eight-week-old son? Oh, my gosh.
GUALANDI: Yes. She gave birth in the middle of December. And of course, so Lloyd is allegedly having this affair with Kristy when his wife is due in a month. And she says now, because she lives in Canada—they‘re from Canada—that she can file for a legal separation but she can‘t actually file for divorce actually for a year.
So it‘s something that she has to wait for a year, but she says it‘s done. She said, you know, in fact, how could any man do this to his wife and his two children? Her words were, “Good riddance.”
COSBY: You know, what‘s the impact on the show? You know, in America, it seems like sometimes when there are these controversies, more people are tuning in?
GUALANDI: Yes, I mean, the ratings have been good for the show. But I imagine now that Kristy, as one of the two finalists on the program, I imagine now people maybe have this curiosity factor, they‘re going to want to watch the show now, just to see, is there chemistry? What do they see?
Because this, again, was taped back in September and October of last year. So they know who the winner is. I think now maybe people are going to be really curious. Did Lloyd and Kristy actually win this competition?
So I think that there‘s definitely going to be a curiosity factor and people are going to want to tune in to see who is this guy who cheated on his wife and now, you know, he‘s together with Kristy Swanson? Because apparently they are saying they are dating now. So they‘re still together as of this moment.
COSBY: And again they‘re saying it happened after the separation.
Kristy Swanson, we know her, obviously, from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” What else is she doing? What does this do on her career, from your perspective, too?
GUALANDI: Wow. You know, I don‘t know. It certainly puts her back on the map. I don‘t know if it‘s necessarily in a good way. But I think she certainly has gained new fans watching her and performing on the show.
But the interesting thing about Lloyd is he will not retract the statement, saying that they only dated after that he and his wife separated. He‘s saying that that‘s when they started dating. But they actually were sleeping together beforehand, but he doesn‘t consider that dating. So he‘s saying, while they did sleep together beforehand, they didn‘t actually start dating until after he and his wife separated.
COSBY: Sounds like a lot of semantics, Stacey.
GUALANDI: Exactly. I think we‘ve heard this before perhaps? I don‘t know.
COSBY: The definition of what “is” is. All right, Stacey...
GUALANDI: Exactly, yes.
COSBY: ... thank you very much. Fascinating story. We appreciate it.
And everybody, there‘s a lot more coming up here tonight. We will also talk about the Paula Abdul scandal, and that‘s coming up.
But, first, let‘s check in, if we could, with Joe Scarborough now with a preview of what‘s happening on “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”—Joe?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Well, Rita, I mean, we don‘t have a sexy skating scandal.
COSBY: Oh, forget it then, Joe. Forget it.
SCARBOROUGH: And John Wayne Bobbitt, I‘m still hearing about that from last night.
COSBY: No, you called him (INAUDIBLE) that was hysterical, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mispronounced his name. These things happen.
It‘s live television.
But we are going to be talking about Dick Cheney. Obviously, as you know, Rita, a big dust up over the vice president of the United States shooting a man in the face. Imagine that.
Well, of course, he came out today, told his side of the story. And if you go on the blogosphere, you‘re going to see a lot of people talking about the fact that Dick Cheney admitted to drinking a beer earlier in the day before the shooting. We certainly had some people talking about that last night.
I‘m sure we‘re going to have a lot of discussion about that and much more with an all-star panel. I‘m going to ask: Does the vice president‘s interview with FOX finally put this matter behind him?
Also, I‘m sure you saw the news today, Rita, of the Saddam Hussein tapes that have come out. And intelligence experts say this is a man who throughout the 1990s appears to have been obsessed with obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
And in these tapes, you can clearly hear him predict that Washington, D.C., and other American cities can be leveled by nuclear weapons, biological weapons, and chemical weapons. It certainly is an explosive new chapter in the story of Saddam Hussein. We‘re going to be talking about that and much more tonight in “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”
Now, Rita, back to you.
COSBY: Thank you very much, Joe. We‘ll be watching.
And still ahead, everybody, Paula Abdul let‘s loose about her love life and why she‘s had some disastrous relationships. The “Idol” contestant Corey Clark, you‘re going to see him—there he is, smiling; there he is live—who says she seduced him. He joins me next.
COSBY: And now to another reality show scandal. Paula Abdul has let loose with her relationship nightmares. Now on LIVE & DIRECT, the “American Idol” contestant who says she seduced him is reacting.
Corey Clark is probably one of the best-known “Idol” contestants because he claims to have had an affair with Paula Abdul. Paula denies any involvement with Clark and is judging the show‘s fifth season.
In an attempt to put that sex scandal to bed, Abdul is telling Dr. Phil about her relationship disasters. And joining me for the first time since Paula‘s interview is none other than the former “American Idol” contestant Corey Clark.
Corey, let me first show just a little clip. This is Dr. Phil talking to Paula Abdul about her relationship problems. She‘s pretty emotional. Here‘s what she had to say last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA ABDUL, JUDGE, “AMERICAN IDOL”: I want to be able to have someone that accepts me for me and that doesn‘t think that when I cry that it‘s too much.
I have a fear of abandonment. So when I feel that the guy‘s going to leave because I‘m crying, I get very emotional. And then I think inside, “OK, Paula, stop. Stop right now.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Corey, what‘s your reaction to that? Was she that emotional with you?
COREY CLARK, FORMER “AMERICAN IDOL” CONTESTANT: That was light-hearted. That was light-hearted compared to what I got to hang out with.
COSBY: Oh, my God! What did you get to hang out with?
CLARK: You know, she was very colorful. She was very colorful. You know, that was a very cool special. You know, I was riveted.
COSBY: Yes, where you glued last night watching?
CLARK: Not really. Not really. No, not at all. I mean, I was watching because I knew I was going to be talking to you tonight. And the only thing that I kept thinking the whole time was, “Where is the brand-new model guy that she said she was dating?” You know, like, where did he go so quick?
So I don‘t know. She was running back and forth between two guys that were not him, so I don‘t know. It was funny, though. It was cute. It was cute.
COSBY: Now, what kind of advice would you give to her? It seems like she‘s sort of all over the place emotionally.
CLARK: I don‘t know. I wouldn‘t talk to Dr. Phil about how to crack a date, though, you know? I was like—I would talk to somebody a little more personal. You know, I would keep that, like, at home. I wouldn‘t have put it out like everything like that, I guess. I don‘t know.
But she does what she wants to do. And it was cute. It was light-hearted, I guess. It wasn‘t necessarily promoting the best relationship habits to young girls. But, you know, what can you say?
COSBY: In fact, she even sort of goes as far, Corey, and she sort of says, look, people take advantage of her. Let me play another little clip from the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDUL: That‘s where I messed up. I‘ve allowed too many people into that private thing and then it was—and they took advantage of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Do people take advantage of Paula Abdul, Corey?
CLARK: Some people can. I remember that part of the show. I was thinking—I was like, “What private thing is she talking about? Like, what is”—I didn‘t know.
But I don‘t think nobody takes advantage of her. I think that she‘s a big girl, you know. Paula is—they said she was, like, 43 or 44, something like that. So she‘s a big girl. You know, she definitely knows what she‘s getting herself into.
COSBY: Now, do you have any contact with her at all now? And are you hoping to at some point to say something to her?
CLARK: No, no, not really.
COSBY: You don‘t even want to see her? Are you curious even to see her? And what would you say if you did have that chance?
CLARK: If I saw her, wow, I would just ask her, you know, why is she, you know, lying to everybody? Why is she letting the show lie to everybody? Pretty much, like, I would go that route with it. It wouldn‘t be nice. I would be, like, why are you letting these people do this? You know, like, I would try to get the real story from her, I guess.
COSBY: Now, Kelly Clarkson, of course, another big “American Idol” person, was at the Grammys. You‘ve got, what, a new CD out. Tell us what‘s cookin‘ with you?
CLARK: Yes, man, my new CD. It‘s right here. It‘s out in stores right now. You can go to Best Buy, Tower Records, Wal-Mart, anywhere pretty much. You can get it online at Amazon.com.
COSBY: And what‘s happening with you, Corey? Real quick, are you hoping to be—has this helped or hurt, the whole Paula stuff? It‘s got to have helped.
CLARK: Well, the situation—I mean, it is what it is. You know, a lot of people just really want to know the truth, because they see that FOX and Paula are trying to cover up a lot of stuff. And they see that I‘m still out there hustling my music and doing the best that I can with that.
And, really, the people on the street, they just want to know, hey, what the truth is, you know? We know what the media is saying, but we want to know what the real is. And a lot of people respond good to my music and they respond good to what I have to say to them. Usually, you know, when they get me in front of them, they know that I‘m telling the truth.
COSBY: Well, Corey, it‘s great to have you with us. Thank so much.
CLARK: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. It‘s been great.
COSBY: You‘re welcome. And, everybody, still ahead, find out why a disturbing tip has the FBI on the case of a woman who vanished seemingly into thin air. Tonight, her family needs your help. And that‘s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOGAN KESSE, MISSING GRADUATE‘S BROTHER: I know the cops and everyone, all of our family and friends, are doing as much as they can, but I honestly feel that it is just, by far, the hardest thing I‘ve ever done in my life and gone through, and I could imagine the same thing for her. But that‘s the toughest part, is not knowing anything and not being able to be told anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that was Logan Kesse who appeared on our show earlier this month. He‘s talking about the investigation of his misting sister, Jennifer Kesse.
Jennifer has been missing for over three weeks. Now some anonymous tips have come in and the case is getting some big-time help from the FBI and also the TV show, “America‘s Most Wanted.”
Joining us now from that show is Angeline Hartmann. Angeline, why are you guys getting involved now?
ANGELINE HARTMANN, “AMERICA‘S MOST WANTED”: Well, investigators asked for our help. And they feel, with these surveillance photos that have been released lately, that needs national attention. A show like “America‘s Most Wanted,” as you know, reaches out to people all across the country.
We‘re very successful. And it‘s time. It‘s time we do this story. She is up on our Web site right now. But come Saturday night, we have invited the investigators to come out to the hotline, and our operators are ready to take the calls.
COSBY: You know, there was this anonymous tip that said she might even be alive. What came about that tip, Angeline?
HARTMANN: Well, investigators aren‘t saying a whole lot, Rita. We just don‘t know what to take seriously at this point.
COSBY: Is it possible she might be alive?
HARTMANN: Certainly. And that‘s what family members and everybody else, that‘s what we are all hoping for at this point. But again investigators are working carefully, and they‘re being very, very cautious about what they release right now.
COSBY: Why do you think the FBI is finally entering the fray? I know that there‘s some new surveillance video.
HARTMANN: Well, what we understand is that the FBI has assisted in this case in various ways. But when we‘re talking about the crime lab, the FBI decided to go an extra step.
Just yesterday, investigators with the FBI went out to this area, the apartment complex where Jennifer Kesse‘s car was found. They surveyed that area. They took particular measurements, and they‘re taking into account the angle of the camera, the time of day, lighting.
They‘re gathering the elements they need to put a formula together to come up with a better, more accurate description of this person that investigators want to talk to.
FBI and Orlando police are certainly hoping that they can come up with an exact height and weight of this person of interest.
COSBY: And, Angeline, why do they think this guy is significant? Again, it‘s hard to look at. You just sort of see a couple of shadows of him between the bars there. But why do they think this guy particularly could be someone of value?
HARTMANN: Well, the Orlando police are again being very general when they talk about this case. What we do know is that this person was seen in the area during the time that her car was found, during the time of Jennifer‘s disappearance. So that‘s all investigators are saying at this point.
COSBY: Do we have any, anybody who might want to harm her, or what a motive could have been? Is there any clue?
HARTMANN: No, family members say she has no enemies. Nobody really knows anything. This is a girl you‘re talking about in the prime of her life. She‘s got a good job. She just came back from vacation. There are no issues here. And, you know, investigators are open to everything at this point.
COSBY: Well, let‘s hope the family gets some answers. Angeline, thank you very much. I‘m glad you guys are helping out.
COSBY: And, of course, if anybody has any information about the whereabouts of Jennifer Kesse, obviously make sure you watch “America‘s Most Wanted.” Also call the tip-line. This is set up by the authorities, 1-800-423-TIPS. That‘s 1-800-423-TIPS. There‘s $115,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts.
And tonight, the hunt is on for some brave jewelry store thieves who struck in broad daylight. Take a look at this, pictures of a heist at a mall in San Diego. Police say the two crooks barged in around 6:30 afternoon. The thieves got away with more than half a million dollars in Rolex watches, diamond jewelry, and also loose diamonds.
And that does it for me on LIVE & DIRECT. “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” with Joe starts right now—Joe?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Hey, thanks so much, Rita.
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