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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for April 3

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Rucks Russell, Vito Colucci, Stacey Honowitz, David Feige, John Q. Kelly, Steve Cohen, David Breitbart, K.W. Dennison

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  Tonight, death and destruction across much of the U.S., a series of violent tornadoes ripped through the Midwest and the South, killing at least 27 people.  Is there more wicked weather headed our way?

And it could be the final search for missing teen Natalee Holloway.  Aruban cops follow up on what they say is a promising tip, combing the sand dunes where she may be buried.  And they’re getting some unusual help in the search.  We’re going to tell you who’s now playing a role.

But first, tensions running high now on and off of campus at Duke University in North Carolina after a woman says she was gang raped by members of the team’s lacrosse team.  In just a moment, we’re going to hear from her father in his first national television interview.  We’ll be breaking some big and some surprising news in that interview that may bolster the woman’s claims.

But first, some duke students have reportedly been attacked physically, while others worry about rumors of gang violence breaking out in light of the rape allegations.  Meantime, a candlelight vigil was held just a short time ago on campus in support of the alleged victim.

Joining me now with the late-breaking details is reporter Rucks Russell with NBC station WNCN out of Raleigh/Durham, where just I came back from literally a few hours ago.  Rucks, what are the tensions going on there?

RUCKS RUSSELL, WNCN-TV:  Well, right now, you’ve got some tensions that are kind of boiling over off campus.  Over the weekend, there were two female Duke student who reported to police that they were physically and verbally assaulted at a local fast-food restaurant by some individuals who identified themselves as attending North Carolina Central University, basically telling them, Hey, you’re on the wrong side of town.  Go back to the Duke side of town.

There have also been threats of violence that the Duke University community has been warned about by the resident life folks.  They’ve told individuals to be careful about violence in the area where the alleged assault is said to have taken place, along Buchanan Street in town.

Tonight, there was a vigil, a candlelight vigil over at North Carolina Central University.  Of course, this is the school where the alleged victim attends and takes classes.  Her supporters gathered there en mass, basically saying, Hey, we’re not going to take this.  They’re going to watch this process as it unfolds.  They want to see justice prevail here.

COSBY:  You know, Rucks, what is the latest in terms of the DNA results that we’re all waiting for?

RUSSELL:  Well, we’re hearing Tuesday, possibly Wednesday of this week, but may not get those results from the DA.  He has indicated he’s not going to release them, so we’re probably going to have to get them from a member of the defense team.

COSBY:  And what are we hearing about the defense team?  There’s some word that it’s beefing up.

RUSSELL:  It’s beefing up, indeed.  In fact, last week, they had about three, four members to that team.  Now there as many as 14 members on the defense team, who met behind closed doors this afternoon for some sort of a strategy session.  It’s a big week, so clearly, the defense is getting themselves organized.

COSBY:  You know, when you talk about the DNA, are you hearing what, sort of privately—we were hearing from the DA maybe next week, end of this week.  Is it more likely that they’ll physically come back this week?

RUSSELL:  Well, we’re still hearing this week, so that’s what we are going with, at this point.  Now, the DA himself is going out of town at the end of this week, and then he’ll be gone all of next week.  So we’re still hearing that those results should be back this week.

COSBY:  How are members of the faculty dealing with, you know, the tensions?  And also, these allegations are very serious.

RUSSELL:  Well, good question.  We have received probably about a dozen e-mails, but the most scathing comes from an American literature professor at Duke, who basically takes the entire administration to task.  He says that they have botched this situation in terms of the way they have mishandled it, in his judgment.  He calls it a big embarrassment, and says that members of the Duke athletic department ought to have been more vocal about these allegations and come out and said, Hey, we don’t tolerate this kind of behavior involving Duke athletics.

COSBY:  Rucks Russell, thank you very much.  Please keep us posted. 

We appreciate it, Rucks.

And the father of the alleged victim in this case speaks out in his first national television interview.  He does not want his face to be shown in order to protect the identity of his daughter.  He told me what she says happened the night she was allegedly raped.  And some big news.  For the first time, we’re learning that the woman, his daughter, says she was able to immediately identify three boys in photos supplied by authorities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She’s a well-spoken girl.  And she’d take care of her kids.  She’d go to school.  She’s just a good child.  I mean, she’s my baby girl.

COSBY:  She’s a mother?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, she’s a mother, too.

COSBY:  How old are the children?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They’re 5 and 7.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, she is.  She just believes in—you know, she believes in God, and she don’t believe in doing anything wrong.

COSBY:  Did you have any idea that your daughter was an exotic dancer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I didn’t.  No, I didn’t.  I mean, that’s where she was going when she said she was going to work, but she didn’t ever tell me what kind of work she was doing.

COSBY:  Why do you think she did that line of work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think she was trying to make extra money because she was in school, and she was trying to make extra money for her kids.  And I think that’s why she did it.

COSBY:  What day did she call you when she was at the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was on the 14th, in the morning, I estimate around about 8:00 o’clock.

COSBY:  So that was the morning after the incident?


COSBY:  What did she say to you as to why she was in the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, she said, Dad, it’s something bad happened.  And I said, What was it?  She said, Well, I’ll have to talk to you later about that.  I’ve got to go.

COSBY:  Her boyfriend brought her to your home that day.  What time on the 14th did he bring her to your house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  About 11:00 o’clock that day, on the 14th.

COSBY:  And how did she look?  How did she sound?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, she (INAUDIBLE) like she was in a lot of pain, and her face was swolled up.  She had bruises on her eyes.  And she just looked awful, and you look at her, you could tell she had been beaten up.

COSBY:  How would you describe the way she looked with her bruises that day when you saw her after the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She looked like she had been in a fight.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the boxers on TV.  She looked like she had been in a real good fight and lost.

COSBY:  And where else did you see the bruises?  You said you saw them on her face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just on her face, and I remember seeing a bruise on her—or a scratch on her arm.  (INAUDIBLE) But she said she had—

(INAUDIBLE) she had a cut on her leg.  She said, My leg is hurting real bad.  She said, I think it was thrown out of joint.  As a matter of fact, she told me the doctor had tried to put it back in, in the joint.

COSBY:  And when you saw her on the 12th, a day before the incident, did she have any bruises on her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  No, she didn’t have no bruises.  As a matter of fact, we were laughing and talking.

COSBY:  And did you see a very different daughter of yours on the 14th?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, on the 14th, she was a whole lot different. 

She wasn’t the same person.

COSBY:  When you finally confronted her, what did she say to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said that she had got raped by three men.  They had took her pocketbook, her cellular phone and her money and all the stuff she had.

COSBY:  How did you react when you hear from your own daughter that she’s saying she was raped by three men?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE)  I just—I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  It was just (INAUDIBLE) a terrible feeling.  A person would to have to go through it to know, you know, exactly how it feels.  It’s hard to explain (INAUDIBLE)  I didn’t want to believe it.  And at the same time, I knew it was true.

COSBY:  What did she say that the men said to her in that house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said they were making racial slurs.  They was calling her (DELETED) and all that.  She said she remember that was while they were beating her.

COSBY:  What else did she describe about what it was like in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She did tell me she thought she was going to die. 

She said she thought they were going to kill her.

COSBY:  And why do you think she felt that way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I thought it was—from what she was saying, I thought it was because they were beating her and she didn’t know if she was going to get out of there alive or not.

COSBY:  Why did they take, you know, the pocketbook and her money and the cell phone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said they took her cell phone because she was trying to call 911.

COSBY:  When, she was trying to call 911, what did she say the young men did?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They snatched the phone out of her hand.  She said they told her that she wasn’t going to call nobody.

COSBY:  Would she be able to ID them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said she did.  She ID’d them to the (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  Was she able to ID all three?


COSBY:  Positively?


COSBY:  No doubt in her mind it was those three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No doubt in her mind (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  And why is she sure that those are the three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, she said she’d know their face.

COSBY:  Do you know if anyone heard or saw anything else beyond these three boys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I had talked to a lady (INAUDIBLE) next door.

COSBY:  And what did this woman say she heard?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said she heard screaming, heard somebody crying in the house.  And she heard a lot of noise, like something was breaking or somebody was falling over.  And I asked her if she talked to anybody, and she said no.

COSBY:  Why did she tell you she didn’t call police?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said she didn’t want to get involved in it, said she didn’t want to go to court, she didn’t want to be on TV or nothing (INAUDIBLE)  She said she didn’t want to have anything to do with it.  And I asked her, I said, What if it had been your daughter?  And she turned and walked off.

COSBY:  How tough is it for you when you hear this woman say this to you, and maybe she knew something, maybe she saw something that could support your daughter’s claim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE), you know, please come forward.  You know, I would do it if it had been her daughter.

COSBY:  Do you believe that your daughter may have participated in some consensual sex...


COSBY:  ... sexual activity that night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I don’t think she would have.  I think she only went there to dance, and that was it.

COSBY:  You know they did DNA testing with the boys.


COSBY:  What do you think that test will show?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think it will show that they did rape her.

COSBY:  Do you believe your daughter was definitely raped?


COSBY:  One hundred percent?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (INAUDIBLE) I believe she was raped.

COSBY:  No doubt in your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  I think she was beaten and raped.

COSBY:  What do you think should happen to the boys who may have been involved in this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think they should be prosecuted, I really do, because they—what they did was wrong.  And I hope they, you know, come forward and just admit it.

COSBY:  What do you think should happen to the other boys, if there are other boys who may have seen something or heard something that night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, I think if they were there and they had seen something or heard something, if they don’t come forward, I think they should be tried, too.

COSBY:  As accomplices?


COSBY:  Why do you think that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, because if they were in the house, they could have stopped it, if they had wanted to.

COSBY:  Do you believe this was a hate crime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I don’t.  I think this is an isolated incident, and I don’t think it’s a hate crime.

COSBY:  How do you feel now when you hear that there are some people threatening violence, even some African-Americans, as payback, that they want to do something to that house or that neighborhood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, I don’t think (INAUDIBLE) I don’t know they should do that.  I want to tell them just be patient and let the DA and the police and the lawyers do their job.  And for now, that’s all we can do because violence, that’s not going to solve anything.

COSBY:  If they’re watching right now, what would you want to say to the three boys who your daughter says raped her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I would just (INAUDIBLE) why.  Why did they do this?  And what drove them to this?  Right now, all that I can do for them is pray for them.  And then again, I feel sorry for them, too.

COSBY:  You do?


COSBY:  Why do you feel sorry for them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because, evidently, they way they were doing that, they don’t have no conscience whatsoever.  And that’s why I feel sad for them.

COSBY:  How is your daughter doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, she’s sad, and she don’t do a whole lot of talking, like she used to.  She’s just—to me, she’s just changed.  It’s a big change in her.


COSBY:  And next on LIVE AND DIRECT: Can prosecutors prove the victim in the Duke case was raped without DNA evidence?  We’re going to ask our expert panel next.  And that’s not all.  Take a look.

Still ahead: Violent storms killed dozens in America’s heartland.  We’ll head live to one of the hardest-hit towns to show you just how bad the damage is.  Plus: Are more killer tornadoes on the way?

Also combing for clues in Aruba.  Police conduct a brand-new search for Natalee Holloway, hoping a new tip will crack the case.  You may be surprised to hear who’s getting involved now.

And is she a beauty or a beast?  Supermodel Naomi Campbell could be in big trouble for throwing a cell phone at her assistant.  But tonight, her defense attorney tells us what really happened behind closed doors.  That’s all coming up LIVE AND DIRECT.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don’t know what went on there, but I’m just glad I wasn’t around here.  I’m ready to—I’m ready to—I’m ready hit the road.  I think everybody is.


COSBY:  Forty-six Duke lacrosse team players are waiting to get back the results from the DNA tests that could or could not physically link them to the woman who says she was gang raped by some of the team members.  And now the big news that we just broke, that the woman was able to identify three boys in a photo line-up given by police, telling her dad, I’d never forget that face.

Joining me now is sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz, also criminal defense attorney David Feige, and also private investigator Vito Colucci.  Vito, let me start with you.  I want to play, first of all—this is the important clip, I think, that we heard from the father.


COSBY:  Would she be able to ID them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said she did.  She ID’d them to the (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  Was she able to ID all three?


COSBY:  Positively?


COSBY:  No doubt in her mind it was those three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No doubt in her mind (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  And why is she sure that those are the three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, she said she’d know their face.


COSBY:  You know, Vito, we heard before that she remembered the names, but now for the first time, we’re hearing that she actually saw pictures and said, These are the three.

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  Yes.  I’m having a lot of trouble with that, Rita, and here’s why.  Three different things in here is really bothering me.  She names these people right away.  It takes them over two days, the police, to search the house.  Even the DA said a lot of evidence could have been destroyed, taken care of at the time.

And you know what else is bugging me?  I realize the DA has a conference to go to, but there’s—we’re almost in the middle of some race riots, where there could be a loss of life.  I really think he should cancel this conference and stay where he belongs right now, Rita.

COSBY:  And you know, Vito, to the father’s credit, he said he is urging calm.  He doesn’t want to see anything—even the father said he doesn’t think it’s a hate crime.  I thought that was really powerful, Vito.

COLUCCI:  Oh, that was very powerful.  But you know, either side here can look for any reason, an excuse to do something here, like you said before, burn a house down or do anything.  Either side can do this.  I think he’s making a big mistake by going away.  Over two days to search a house?  You do this as quickly as possible, Rita.

COSBY:  No, and I agree, but Stacey, let me go back to the photos because this is the first time that we heard that she’s able to say these are the three guys.  And we heard before she may have remembered the names, but if she was able to pinpoint these guys without any names underneath and then say these are the three guys to match, that does sort of bolster the case, or at least help her case, right?

STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR:  Oh, that’s fabulous for her.  Bottom line is everyone kept saying the DNA’s going to be dispositive of this case, whether or not a rape took place.  If she identified these three guys, the DNA, while it’s crucial evidence, isn’t going to make the prosecution.  She can identify them, and the state certainly can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt with the IDs, the bruising, the acrylic nails that were left there, the fact that her wallet, her ID—all these things that were left there would go to show that there was not consensual sex.

COSBY:  And David, let me play the comment.  This is what the dad said about what she looked like when he saw her right after she got out of the hospital.  Looks like she got beaten pretty badly.  Let’s play it.


COSBY:  How would you describe the way she looked with her bruises that day when you saw her after the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She looked like she had been in a fight.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the boxers on TV.  She looked like she had been in a real good fight and lost.

She said, My leg is hurting real bad.  She said, I think it was thrown out of joint.  As a matter of fact, she told me the doctor had tried to put it back in, in the joint.


COSBY:  You know, David, when you hear this, it sounds like, you know, again, it’s the physical evidence and the hospital tests show it, sounds like she was beaten pretty bad.  I mean, the question is to prove who did it, right?

DAVID FEIGE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  That’s exactly right.  But I just want to react to something that Stacey just said because this is classic prosecution think, and it’s exactly what the prosecutor in this case did, which is, Well, if we get the DNA, that’s really great.  And if we don’t, well, that doesn’t matter.  If I’m right, I’m right.  If I’m wrong, I’m right.  And that’s one of the problems with this case, and with many of them.


COSBY:  But what about the evidence on her, David?  And also, let me say...


FEIGE:  We don’t know whether there’s any evidence there, Stacey!

COSBY:  Well, let me just come back—what we’re hearing is, and the DA came out and said this, even on this show, David, that there was definitely tearing, some very—you know, serious.  But the question is again, by whom?  But there’s a very short window.  Either you have to believe she was beaten right before she went out and danced at this party, or there’s a short window afterwards, very short.  You know, if you can put this timeframe—the question is, who did it, right, David?  If you can narrow it down, that could be bad news for the boys.

FEIGE:  There’s—look, there’s no question that could be bad news for the boys.  There’s lot of things that could be bad news for the boys.  But the question remains, and it’s an open question, did they do this?  And this seems to me once again not only to be a rush to judgment, but a situation where the DA’s already made up his mind.

COSBY:  Now, Stacey...

HONOWITZ:  Now, David, you have to realize...


COSBY:  Stacey, the boys have said that they didn’t have anything to do with this, you know, and they didn’t even have consensual sex.

HONOWITZ:  Right.  I mean, you know, this—the way this is going to play out—and what I was saying was you never in a rape prosecution ever need biological evidence.  Lots of times, you’re not going to have it.  Forgive me for being graphic, but they might not have ejaculated.  They might not have ejaculated on her, near her or around her, so you might not have that kind of evidence.  You certainly can prove the case if she identifies them...

FEIGE:  The district attorney says...


HONOWITZ:  ... there’s proper medical evidence, if there’s tearing in the vaginal area, in the anal region.  There are certain things that certainly could bolster this case.  So you don’t need DNA.  It’s not going to be dispositive of whether or not a rape took place.

COSBY:  And David, are they locked in?  Because they said not even consensual sex.  Some of their attorneys have said that, if, indeed, it comes back to these boys.  And again, it’s a big if, at this point.

FEIGE:  Look, if they’re saying it never happened, there was nothing -

there was no consensual sex and there’s DNA, that’s problematic.  No question about it.  But if they’ve said it throughout, despite all of this hoopla, and it comes back that there’s nothing, that seems to me to be significant.

COSBY:  OK, guys.  Hang on one second.  I want to play another clip.  This is, I thought, very powerful.  The father said that she was actually trying to call 911 at the time that she says she was being raped.  Let me play that clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She just told me that she was trying to call 911, and they snatched the phone out of her hand so that she wouldn’t call the police.


COSBY:  You know, Stacey, I think that was—I was stunned when I heard that.  I mean, that this girl—again, you know, this is her story, and again, these are just her claims.  Again, no one has been charged at this point.  But if she’s actually trying to call 911 -- and we know from search—we know from the information—I’ve read a lot of the information of what was seized and what they were looking for, but they actually found her phone.  They found five of her fingernails.  They found her ID.  Does that help corroborate her story at all?

HONOWITZ:  Well, absolutely.  I mean, you know, Rita, in any of these rape cases, people always say it comes down to a “He said, she said.”  So you need something to bolster the victim’s credibility.  So she’s speaking.  She knows the identity.  She said she was beaten up.  That corroborates the bruises that she has about her body.  She says there was nonconsensual sex.  She has ripping and tearing in the anus and in the vaginal area.  She leaves the house without her wallet, her ID.  The acrylic nails are on the floor.  She tries to call 911.  She tells the police this, they go back and they find everything that she says.  Does it help corroborate her story?  Absolutely.

COSBY:  Vito, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What you need in this case to put this case over the top, Rita, is interrogation skills.  And what I mean by that, to get at least one of these kids, if not more, to flip and verify some of these things, OK?


COSBY:  Now, Vito, what if it happens and they get to a place where they say, OK, we found out from one.  If you saw something, you heard something fishy, we’re going to charge all of you.  We’ve even heard the DA talk about accomplices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That’s standard police work.  You walk in the room and you say, Bill, you’re in a lot of trouble.  All the guys are pointing to you.  But you know, 27 of the kids are on scholarships there.  You dangle that in front of them, too.  The other daddy and mommy is paying a lot of money.  You dangle that in front of them, too.  But you work them against each other.  You got to get the one or two to flip, and that’ll be the thing, with Stacey and your other guest, that put its over the top either way.

COSBY:  Let me play another comment.  This is—and I thought this was outrageous, if this is true.  The father said that he actually went around—he didn’t say that he was a neighbor, but he actually started canvassing the area, talking to different people in the area.  And one neighbor actually, according to him, is holding back information.  Let me play it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She said she head screaming, heard somebody crying, and she heard a lot of noise, like something was breaking or somebody was falling over.


COSBY:  You know, Stacey, when you hear that—and again, she—he’s saying the words “heard somebody crying” in the house.  That doesn’t sound like someone having a good time and partying.  If that’s true, that’s appalling.

HONOWITZ:  Absolutely.  And these are—all these are the building blocks, Rita, that go to show that there was nonconsensual sex.  Those are all the things to show a jury that this is not consensual, if she was screaming and crying and left all these things at the house.  Why would she do that, if she was enjoying herself and went there to have sex with them?

So once again, we don’t know all the facts.  We know what’s in the warrant.  Some of the things have been published.  We’re going to have to wait and see how this case unfolds.

COSBY:  David, real quick.  Logical explanation for why all that stuff was found in the house?

FEIGE:  I have no idea why the stuff was found at the house, and I wouldn’t speculate.  But the one thing I agree with Stacey on is we’ve got to wait and see.

COSBY:  All right, everybody.  Thank you very much.

And everyone at home, we are going to continue to follow this case as we wait for the DNA test results and also any other important information.  Stick with us.  We will be following it very closely.

And still ahead, everybody, digging for the truth in Aruba.  Police call in some unusual experts to help them look for Natalee Holloway.  We’re going to bring you the very latest on the search for Natalee right after the break.

Plus, new photos and new allegations against supermodel Naomi Campbell.  Her defense attorney responds to what some are saying is proof she attacked her assistant.  Did she?


COSBY:  And now, the increasing efforts in the search to find missing teen Natalee Holloway.  They include a new team of Dutch experts scouring sand dunes and beaches in Aruba.  A Dutch TV show and a brand new image, also, from inside the casino, and some big questions about that, as well.  Some say they show Joran Van Der Sloot’s father, Paulus, talking with Natalee the night that she disappeared. 

Let’s bring in the attorney for the Holloway family, John Q. Kelly.  John just returned from Aruba with information on a lot of different developments. 

John, first of all, is there a possibility that Paulus might have been talking to Natalee the night that she disappeared? 

JOHN Q. KELLY, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY:  Well, if you look at the surveillance video footage, it appears that he’s the one sitting directly next to her and tries to engage her in conversation a couple of times.  And it’s sort of ironic that it’s his father who brought his underage son to a casino and left him there after he left, with access to his line of credit, to put this unfortunate chain of events in process. 

You know, if Joran had never been there, not been allowed in there, because he’s underage and wasn’t accompanied by his father, the whole rest of the night wouldn’t have happened. 

COSBY:  You know, and, John, also, why would that be a significant—why is that in conflict to something else we’ve heard maybe from Paulus before? 

KELLY:  Well, he’s just claiming that, you know, he’s kept an eye on his son, you know, he’s kept him on a short leash, and, you know, his son is very well-behaved.  And it turns out that he’s, you know, got him at casinos.  If you’re under 18, you’re not legally even allowed in casinos, so his son was breaking the law with him enabling it. 

COSBY:  And did he ever say that he had talked to Natalee or not before? 

KELLY:  No, it’s never even been addressed before whether or not that’s Paulus in the videotape there sitting next to her.  And it certainly appears to be to me. 

COSBY:  Let’s talk about it—there was supposed to be a decision today in the civil suit.  What happened?  That was the Paulus, the civil suit that he was waging in Aruba there.

KELLY:  Yes, it’s my understanding that the judges were waiting for a final determination from Karen Janssen, the prosecutor, whether she was going to continue with the prosecution of Paulus Van Der Sloot.  And it’s my understanding she also asked for a delay, asked for additional time, because they’re in the middle of what appears to be the final throes of the investigation right now. 

COSBY:  You know, one of the things, John, is this Dutch TV program.  We know that they were filming through the weekend.  They’re recreating the events, you know, leading up to when Natalee disappeared.  Have they contacted the family at all?  And how does the family feel about this? 

KELLY:  Well, you know, they had contacted me.  I actually, you know, worked fairly close with Karen Janssen on certain aspects of the reenactment and provided her a bunch of information and some other things that I won’t get into right now. 

So I was well aware of it.  We’re more than happy to help her with it.  Anything that advances (INAUDIBLE) we’re cooperating with.  And, you know, I’ve got my own thoughts on the likelihood of success of it, but that’s another thought.  But, you know, whenever they’re actively pursuing something, they want help, the family is always there to help them in it.

COSBY:  You know, we were just getting some pictures of the search efforts, too, John.  I understand some interesting, you know, sort of different types of people have been coming and helping in the search in recent days.  Who are they? 

KELLY:  Well, they have the ground-penetrating sonar equipment.  Along with that came eight individuals from the Dutch Forensic Institute, including an archaeologist and a forensic pathologist. 

The archeologist, my understanding, is to sort of take a survey, the lay of the land, and determine what, you know, vegetation, what dunes have shifted, or, you know, changed since nine or 10 months earlier based on surveillance photographs to sort of zero in and assist in the search with the sonar equipment.

And the forensic pathologist is there, obviously, in case of, you know, Natalee would be located. 

COSBY:  Have you heard if there’s been any progress whatsoever, John, or anything unusual? 

KELLY:  Nothing unusual.  The progress is that, for three days now, they’ve been searching the sand dunes.  And it’s my understanding they’ll be completed by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday. 

So in terms of completing the long-discussed search of the sand dunes, which first came out in December that they wanted to, at least they’re searching that and, if nothing else, they’ll eliminate that as a possibility right now. 

COSBY:  John, keep us posted.  Thank you very much.

KELLY:  I sure will, Rita, sure. 

COSBY:  And let’s now bring in Steve Cohen.  He’s a spokesman for the Aruban government.  Steve, we were just hearing from John that he thinks the sand dune search will be completed by Wednesday or Thursday.  What happens after that? 

STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT:  Well, I think John really has stated it very clearly for your audience.  It took it a while for this to be put together, but now it is commencing. 

I do think that there are some other ancillary sites on the island, as well, that I am sure that they will take a look at, since they have such strong forces on the island right now to help out. 

I’m just returning from a week there myself where I had an opportunity to observe, as John has, as well. 

I think something that is really important to note is the spirit of cooperation by the family and John Kelly with the prosecution and the chief inspector, Dompig.  I mean, this is unprecedented, actually, in the nature of this case, as long as it’s gone.  And the government of Aruba quite appreciates this cooperation.  It puts us all on the same page and, I think, puts our spirit in the right place to really see if we can solve this.

COSBY:  But, Steve, do you think you’ll find anything?  Do you think -

I mean, are you optimistic? 

COHEN:  I’m not going to characterize my feelings.  I think that, you know, this is a tough search.  It’s been a very difficult case.  I think we just have to wait and see what the results are going to be, Rita.

COSBY:  You know, Steve, have you heard these claims that, in this video—there’s this surveillance video that we saw in the casino that was showed a while back—that Paulus Van Der Sloot may be in the casino actually even talking to Natalee.  And what we just heard from John, it doesn’t sound like that was asked of him before, if he actually even engaged in some conversation with her that night. 

COHEN:  I have to say that, unfortunately, I have not had a chance to view that tape.  I’ve been in transit in the last 24 hours.  Once I get a look at it, I think I’ll be able to give you a better comment.  But I don’t think it would be outside of the realm of possibility that Paulus Van Der Sloot would have been with his son that evening at some point.

COSBY:  If that’s the case, if he was indeed talking to her on the videotape, will the Aruban government re-question Paulus Van Der Sloot and say, “Was there something she said to you?”  Just it could be something helpful.

COHEN:  Well, that could happen, but you know that we are involved in some legal machinations here, as you just discussed with John, which has to do with the case that Paulus is bringing.  And I think that we’re going to have to go through very careful ground here before we would think about any other steps. 

COSBY:  Real quick, let me also play—this is a clip.  We had the director from the Dutch TV on our show last week.  I want to play a little clip.


FRITS SISSING, DUTCH TV DIRECTOR:  We ask the police of Aruba to find some people who will look like the people who are in the reconstruction.  And they told me that they found people who would seem like Natalee and the other people. 

Because we will ask people if they can remember something.  And, of course, you can remember something if you see on television what you could have seen in real. 


COSBY:  Steve, do you think that it could jog someone’s memory?  A lot of people think this is a big lead. 

COHEN:  I think we just want to be hopeful here.  Anything that can help is what we want to do.  And, again, we’re very thankful that the family and John has come forward to help us in this pursuit. 

COSBY:  All right, Steve Cohen, thank you very much.  Of course, we wish you luck.  And, of course, we hope that this gets solved one way or the other.  Thank you very much.  We appreciate it.

And still ahead, everybody, the terrible toll from killer tornadoes which have hit all across the U.S.  We’re going to bring you to one of the hardest hit towns for a firsthand look at the devastation.

Plus, a LIVE & DIRECT interview with Naomi Campbell’s attorney, as new allegations of bad behavior surface against the supermodel.  What really happened behind closed doors?



HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM:  There are two things about Naomi Campbell for me.  One, I would never work for her.  And, two, I especially would never work for her when she has a cell phone in her hand.  I mean, there’s a pattern here.  I think Naomi Campbell is in trouble here. 


COSBY:  No model behavior once again for supermodel Naomi Campbell.  Campbell was arrested last Thursday and charged with second-degree battery for allegedly throwing a cell phone at her maid.  The maid claims that Naomi hit her after an argument over a missing pair of designer jeans.  Campbell, who vehemently denies the allegations, faces up to seven years in prison, if she is found guilty. 

And joining me now LIVE & DIRECT is Naomi Campbell’s attorney, David Breitbart. 

David, let me start with you.  What happened in that room? 

DAVID BREITBART, NAOMI CAMPBELL’S ATTORNEY:  I think the most important thing to understand about the situation like this is that we’re not going to know what happened in that room until we get into a courtroom. 

COSBY:  What does Naomi say happened?  Because we’re hearing two very different stories.

BREITBART:  Well, Naomi pleaded not guilty in court, and that’s the most important thing that I have to go by.  Too much has been going on in the media.  Too much has been going on in the press.  And every report I read is so inconsistent and so unable to fathom that it’s absurd.  Naomi said she had nothing to do with hurting this woman; that’s the critical aspect of the case. 

COSBY:  Did they have an argument?  There seems to be some consensus that—one of the things I was seeing is that she said—and this was even a statement released by one of her representatives—saying that she had fired the woman and she thinks this was payback. 

BREITBART:  That sounds to me as the circumstances.  I didn’t get there until after that incident occurred.  I got there around 10:30 when the police were in the apartment. 

But it’s my understanding that this woman was fired.  There had been things that were missing from the apartment and could only be explained by the conduct of this particular assistant.  And she was let go, and she couldn’t deal with it and threw a temper tantrum and a hissy fit, and I guess decided that the best defense was a good offense, and went about accusing Naomi of having thrown a phone at her. 

COSBY:  Well, now, she has had a little history of temper tantrums in the past.  At least she’s been—let me just show a couple of things. 

October 2005, she allegedly spat at a security guard’s face at a U2 concert.  A couple incidents, if we look back, in July 2005 ‘04, allegedly attacked an aide, allegedly attacked a personal assistant.  Does she have anger issues herself?  I mean, these keep coming up in her background. 

BREITBART:  These come up in her background, but one has to assume that there has to be some questions that have to be answered. 

COSBY:  But are these all made up?  I mean, is everybody just sort of jumping on the anti-Naomi bandwagon or...

BREITBART:  That’s what it sounds like to her... 


COSBY:  ... a lot of allegations, you go, “Wait a minute; there’s a lot of them here.”

BREITBART:  That’s what it sounds like to her attorney.  Somebody had a good idea and thought that this was the way to accomplish it. 

I have to use a much more analytical approach in looking at the situation.  I have read the newspaper publications.  I’ve seen what the poster said.  I’ve seen what the daily news has said.  If we’re going to believe those particular newspapers, this woman was hit in the head with a BlackBerry.  She was hit in the head with a Nokia.

COSBY:  Yes, a diamond-encrusted BlackBerry.

BREITBART:  She was hit in the head with a Nokia.  She was hit in the head with a Motorola.  There’s a suggestion in these papers that there was an attempt to hide these phones, yet I was present when all of these phones that that Naomi owned were proffered to the police, and they chose a little Motorola Sliver to take with them. 

COSBY:  Real quick, did she ask her to go to a private hospital and keep it quiet, versus go to a public hospital?  That’s one of the other allegations.

BREITBART:  The newspapers again and the TV reported that all of these things went on. 

COSBY:  Did that happen, yes or no? 

BREITBART:  No, no.  But I didn’t get there.  There was only one person in the apartment besides Naomi and this woman.  I’m told that there were numerous individuals.  And when I say I’m told, I’m told by the newspapers that there were numerous people that were told or asked that they lie about the situation.  There was only one other person in the apartment. 

COSBY:  And I’m sure that you’re going to be talking to that person. 

David Breitbart...

BREITBART:  I’ve already spoken to that person, and so have the police.  He went voluntarily down to the police...

COSBY:  And is he consistent with her story or the maid’s story? 

BREITBART:  Well, I had no opportunity to compare the two, but I know that he was fully debriefed by the police department and he was sent on his way.  So I’m not concerned about him being a negative witness, as far as Naomi is concerned. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much for being here.  We appreciate your insight.  And thank you for being here.  We’ll be watching the case.

And still ahead, everybody, on LIVE & DIRECT, a terrifying scene as cameras capture the dramatic moments before a tornado strikes.  Plus, an up-close look at some of the worst devastation from this violent series of deadly storms.  And later, clueless criminals caught in the act.  Why cops didn’t have to go far to catch an accused car thief. 


COSBY:  “Caught by Cosby” tonight, home video of funnel clouds forming, as a line of thunderstorms, and also deadly tornados battle eight Midwestern and southern states, killing at least 27 people. 

Tennessee is the hardest-hit area, with at least 23 people killed in that state alone, including an 11-month-old infant and a family of four.  The worst damage coming in Dyer and Gibson Counties, where roofs were ripped off homes and also homes were torn from their foundations along a 25-mile-long stretch between the towns of Bradford and also Newbern. 

And joining me now is the mayor of Newbern, Tennessee, K.W. Dennison. 

Mayor, what did it look like when the tornado was coming through? 

MAYOR K.W. DENNISON, NEW BERN, TENNESSEE:  Well, at the time being, when the tornado was coming through, I was in my home.  And we was watching the television that came out of Memphis, and it was pretty well exactly on line, exactly on time, and we did not have a storm cellar or anything to get in.  And we heard it coming, and we went in and got in the hall, and tried to do the best that we could do. 

COSBY:  Yes, what is the situation like right there now?  And what kind of damage are you seeing firsthand, sir? 

DENNISON:  The damage that I rode and checked out today, I’m saying that we probably got at least a hundred homes that’s been destroyed.  And when I say destroyed, I’m saying majority of it can’t be built back.  So many of them are just ripped off the foundation.  So many of them has got the roof or half of the back of the house knocked off or something like this.  And it’s just trees, after trees, after trees that’s been torn down and thrown everywhere. 

COSBY:  It must be devastating for you to see.  And I understand that, you know, a lot of people, as you’re saying, have lost their homes.  And I hear that you might even be opening up and making sure that some of those folks have shelter. 

DENNISON:  Naturally, we’re working with the Red Cross.  And we’ve been kind of familiar with this since the hurricane season and stuff has just came, you know, this past year.  So definitely, our people are concerned about it, and we’re going to do the best that we can.  And naturally, you know, it’s just sad and it hurts to see something like this. 

COSBY:  And I hear, Mayor, that you have a great community and there’s a lot of neighbor helping neighbor though now, right?  There’s at least some beautiful stories coming out of there. 

DENNISON:  Oh, it sure is.  This is a close community.  In other words, it’s not, you know, really over large in population or anything.  So everybody knows each other.  The families have been tied together for years and years.  And like I said, a lot of people had lived around here their entire lives. 

COSBY:  Well, our prayers are with you, sir.  And thank you so much for being with us, I know, at a very busy time.  We appreciate it.

And NBC WeatherPlus meteorologist Bill Karins is going to join me now live. 

Bill, have we seen the worst of this storm system? 

BILL KARINS, NBC WEATHERPLUS METEOROLOGIST:  Yes, it looks like we’ve turned the corner, Rita.  Earlier this afternoon, it looked like North Carolina and Virginia, we were going to see another tornado outbreak.  The thing is it didn’t materialize.

You have to have conditions kind of perfect to get a bad weather day like we did on Sunday night.  It just hasn’t materialized here.  We have seen severe weather in this region, very strong thunderstorms, Washington, D.C., earlier down to Richmond and eastern North Carolina, but we haven’t seen any tornados, and that’s very important. 

We still have this tornado watch up here until midnight, but this will be dropped here shortly, because we haven’t seen any tornados reported or even had any tornado warnings.  We still can see some strong gusty winds in eastern North Carolina. 

We’ve had numerous reports of hail, and also we’ve had reports today of dangerous winds.  But this is nothing like what we saw on Sunday, where we saw 63 reports of tornados in all of these highlighted states, from Iowa to Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

And the difference with this tornado outbreak that was on Sunday, compared to other ones, is that we had tornados on the ground for a long, extended period of time. 

You can almost draw a little line.  If you follow this storm right here, this is the one that went through Dyersburg in Dyer County, Tennessee, and it started actually in Missouri, hopped to the Mississippi River, and then continued its damaging path.

And then we also—the video we saw right in the beginning when Rita came back from the commercial break, that was the pictures from right here, up right around—we’re in Marmaduke, where we had that horrible tornado.  And that is the same one that went through the Memphis area with all the devastating weather.  So it was really two big super cells that caused so much damage out there on Sunday. 

So what does this mean for the rest of our severe weather season?  Well, we’re on record pace to break our all-time tornado record.  In January, we had a pretty active season with 45 tornados.  February, not so bad, 14.  But in March, we had 226 tornados reported.  April—we’re only a couple days in—we’ve already had 64. 

So for the year so far, we’ve had 350 tornados.  And the scary thing about these numbers is that, in May, it’s typical of our month that we have the worst tornado activity.  Usually in the month of May the last three years, we’ve averaged about 350 tornados.  And so, usually, we don’t get going this early in the severe weather season, Rita. 

It looks like we’re in for a long spring, just like we were in for a long hurricane season last fall.

COSBY:  Unfortunately.  Bill, thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

And still ahead, everybody, right here on LIVE & DIRECT, grand theft auto.  The bizarre story of a car thief who may not know when to quit stealing.  


COSBY:  And tonight, a Miami man is in hot water, accused of stealing a car to get to court.  It is not the first time that Thomas Minks was accused of car theft.  In fact, he was headed to court to face charges of stealing a different vehicle. 

Police say they got tipped off after the owner of the car used a GPS tracking system to locate the vehicle.  When cops tried to surround the car, Minks attempted to escape, nearly running over two officers.  He was eventually cornered and arrested. 

But before he was dragged away, he made this unbelievable admission to a local TV reporter.  Take a listen. 


THOMAS MINKS, ACCUSED CAR THIEF:  I was coming here to court because I had filed some—my P.D. had filed some motions, and I had to be in court today for it.  And I stopped by a crack house up in Alapavit (ph) to get a couple of rocks. 

And after I did, I went to the bus stop.  And I waited for about a half-hour.  No buses ever came, so I went back to the crack house.  There was a guy in there, just nice, you know, said that he would loan me the car to come down here for a two dime rocks and $50. 


COSBY:  He’s got some rocks in his brain.  Minks faces a number of charges, including aggravated assault, grand theft auto, and also trying to flee from police. 

And also, everybody, stick with us, because coming up tomorrow night, the family of the graduate student murdered in New York City is going to be speaking out.  Be sure to tune in for that one.  Imette St. Guillen’s sister is going to be talking with us.  It’s going to be her first TV interview since the prime suspect was indicted.  We’re going to talk about how her family is doing and what they want her sister’s legacy to be.

That’s coming up tomorrow night right here on LIVE & DIRECT.  And that does it for me, everybody, on this time on LIVE & DIRECT.  I’m Rita Cosby.  Joe Scarborough with “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now—Joe?



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