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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for May 2

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Wendy Murphy, Geoffrey Fieger, James Clark, Robi Ludwig, Owen Lafave, Terri Seymour, Corey Clark

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Hi, Joe.  And hello, everybody. 

Tonight the sexy cell phone video that has everybody talking, even the cops.  Wait until you hear who this former teacher sent it to and why it could land her back in jail. 

And should Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul go to the couples therapy to stop their feuding?  I‘ll ask Simon‘s girlfriend what he has to say about that.  She‘s going to join me live.

But first, some breaking news in the Duke rape case.  District attorney Mike Nifong has one the election and therefore will remain Durham County‘s top prosecutor.  This information coming into to us within the hour.  He says this will not change for his search for what he calls the truth in this case.

Also tonight, we have learned that one of the lacrosse players has spoken out publicly for the first time.  With me now is NBC‘s Michelle Hofland.

Michelle, first of all, reaction to the election?

MICHELLE HOFLAND, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, reaction from the election right here.  Across the street is the courthouse.  And that‘s where a lot of Mike Nifong supporters were this evening.  And they were absolutely elated.  They were watching every time as the numbers changed.  And they became more and more excited as the evening wore on. 

Right now, he has 45 percent of the vote, but these are unofficial votes at this time.  It has not been certified, of course. 

The nation has been watching this district attorney race here in Durham County ever since his aggressive investigation, the district attorney‘s aggressive investigation into the Duke lacrosse alleged rape case. 

Nifong‘s challenger has 42 percent of the vote, but she right now, Rita, she has not officially conceded.  The district attorney has been widely criticized by both his opponent and also other defense attorneys in this case for the way he has handled—the way they say he has handled the lacrosse case. 

A short time ago he said that he always did what he thought was right in this case. 

Now, yesterday one of the attorneys for one of the Duke lacrosse players filed a motion asking a judge to remove this district attorney from the Duke lacrosse case. 

Just a moment ago district attorney Mike Nifong had this reaction to that.



things, and there is some possibility that there might be a kernel of truth

in maybe one sentence in one of his motions somewhere.  But Mr. Osborn

seems to think that it‘s up to the D.A. to check with the defense council

to see if it is OK to bring charges.  And that‘s not the way we do it


HOFLAND:  Well, one thing, also, that the district attorney told us is that trial of the two players indicted allegedly for raping the dancer in March, that trial may not start until next spring—Rita. 

COSBY:  You know, also we‘re hearing from one of the players, too, breaking his silence.  What do we know about, and what is he saying, Michelle?

HOFLAND:  Well, the player who is speaking out for the first time, he does not want his identity revealed.  He did so in silhouette.  And he said a number of very interesting things.  First of all, he said that absolutely, 100 percent he‘s positive that there was no rape inside that house. 

And he said, quote, “From the beginning, it was rape and these guys did this and this definitely happened, but only now do you see that there are two sides of the story.”

Now this lacrosse team was a nationally ranked lacrosse team when the allegations came out.  The university then cancelled the season, and also the coach quit.  About that, this is what the player said, quote, “He didn‘t resign.  He was forced out.  And the notion that he quit is ridiculous.”

These players that we have talked to really very admire and respect this coach. 

And one more thing that he said.  He was very critical of his university, of Duke University.  He said, quote, “Our university turned its back on us.  They didn‘t stand up for us, and we feel neglected and that our loyalty wasn‘t reciprocated.”

Rita, one thing he did not talk at all about is what happened in that house the night of the party on March 13.  Back to you.

COSBY:  Michelle, please keep us posted on any more details, especially about the election or reaction.  Please let us know.

And now let‘s bring in, if we could, former sex crimes prosecutor Wendy Murphy and also criminal defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger. 

Wendy, let‘s first talk about the election results.  Does it mean that the case is now going full steam ahead?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR:  Well, yes.  I mean, the prosecutor in this case has always said that he believes and he‘s going to proceed to trial. 

And frankly, I‘m not sure if Freda, the really only real competitor for him had won, the woman involved in the race, I‘m not sure if things would have been any different. 

This case is going forward because it‘s been indicted.  Prosecutors can not bring charges unless they believe in good faith they can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Otherwise they can lose their license to practice law.  So there‘s no reason to believe that this election was really going to change the path of this case.

COSBY:  Let me bring Geoffrey in.  Was Duke the deciding factor, do you think, in this case?

GEOFFREY FIEGER:  No.  His re-election was the deciding factor.  It obviously worked for him. 

And I disagree with Wendy.  Prosecutors can bring ill0brought charges all the time.  They never get their license taken away.  They wrap themselves in the flag. 

COSBY:  So Geoffrey, do you think this is ill brought?  Do you that these are not warranted, these charges?

FIEGER:  I don‘t know if they‘re warranted or not.  They‘re precipitous.  And believe me, as a defense council in this particular case, because rape charges in and of themselves are hard.  Let me tell you, the Kobe Bryant case for instance, had way more evidence than this case.  This is a defense attorney‘s dream case in terms of the history of the accuser and in terms of the lack of evidence...

MURPHY:  You don‘t even know the evidence, Geoffrey.  How dare you say that?  You don‘t know the evidence.

FIEGER:  I know the evidence as well you do. 

MURPHY:  No, you don‘t.  You don‘t know about the DNA.

FIEGER:  There is no DNA.

MURPHY:  That may be on the broomstick.  The broomstick DNA has not yet been revealed. 

FIEGER:  What do you mean, broomstick...

MURPHY:  Nor has the full DNA test been revealed. 

FIEGER:  Excuse me.  Excuse me.

MURPHY:  The defense attorneys refused to turn the DNA report over so that we could look at it, Geoffrey.  So don‘t buy into their spin.

FIEGER:  I don‘t know what you‘re talking about, the broomstick DNA.


MURPHY:  ... date rape...

COSBY:  Geoffrey, let me interrupt you and explain because the father came on our air and said she was raped.  Unfortunately, he says, with a broom stick.  We also don‘t know what the second round of DNA has.  We don‘t know if there‘s maybe toxicology.  Is that possible, Geoffrey?

FIEGER:  Of course, it‘s possible.  Anything‘s possible.  But that hasn‘t been suggested by anyone other than what you say the father suggested. 

MURPHY:  Then don‘t call it a weak case, because you don‘t know. 

FIEGER:  It is a weak case.  Listen, when you have a victim, Wendy, who has made an accusation against three other men previously in her life...

MURPHY:  A credible allegation.

FIEGER:  ... has made a accusation against her—against her husband and now has made another allegation where the person who was with her didn‘t believe her at the time.  And the security guard who saw her shortly thereafter thought she was intoxicated.  Up till now...

MURPHY:  Right.  And she was under the influence of a date rape drug.

FIEGER:  Up to now there is...


COSBY:  Why don‘t you—let me interrupt both of you, because we just...

FIEGER:  And you have a potential... 

COSBY:  Hang on guys.  Both of you hang on, because we just got some sound from Mike Nifong, of course, who‘s going to continue as district attorney.  We just got this in, and I want to make sure we play it for our viewers.  I‘ll put it up for you to react.


NIFONG:  There‘s no way to tell if it hurt or helped.  I mean, I really felt like I was by far the best candidate all along so that I should have won the election.  And I‘m glad that the people of Durham agreed with me.  I have no way of knowing what the effect of the case was.  And I‘m just happy that we don‘t have to worry about the election.  I can go forward with the rest of the—you know, running the office. 


COSBY:  Wendy, what kind of impact do you think the Duke issue had? 

It seemed to be the only thing, of course, nationally we were focusing on. 

MURPHY:  Yes, well, I have no doubt it had an effect.  And you know, it‘s funny.  The irony of defense attorneys saying this was all political. 

Let me tell you something.  I was a prosecutor in the county where Harvard University sits.  Prosecutors lose points, they lose votes when they bring charges against people who go to school in wealthy institutions.  He would have rather stuck pins in eyes...

FIEGER:  That isn‘t true in this case.

MURPHY:  ... than bring charges in this case.  And the reason he did it was he didn‘t care about the election.  He was doing the morally correct thing to do.  And he could have lost this election for doing the right thing. 

FIEGER:  That isn‘t true.


COSBY:  On the flip side it was a close race.  It was a close race.  What does that say, Geoffrey, that it was very close?  Obviously, a lot of folks that didn‘t necessarily side with him. 

FIEGER:  Rita, it‘s not just that it was close.  You have to look at the demographics.  There‘s a large African-American population in that county, and he had to beat an African-American opponent. 

COSBY:  So you‘re saying he played politics?  So Geoffrey, yes or no, you‘re saying he was playing politics? 

FIEGER:  Of course it is. 

MURPHY:  You measure who votes, not the skin color of the population.

FIEGER:  He didn‘t need to bring this, based on fact.  Forgetting everything else, forgetting everything else, he didn‘t need to bring it this fast.  He obviously brought it for a reason. 

MURPHY:  That‘s right.  He knows this could have hurt him, and he did it anyway.  And that tells you about the strength of the case. 

FIEGER:  It couldn‘t have hurt him.

COSBY:  Let me go to another issue, guys.  Let me show you one of the lacrosse players also spoke out.  And I want to put up one of the quotes.  He talked—he actually was very critical of the university.  He says, “Our university turned its back on us.  They didn‘t stand up for us, and we feel neglected and that our loyalty wasn‘t reciprocated.”

This is a lacrosse player who spoken to WTVD.  He also further said, “There was clearly a disconnect between student affairs and the athletic department and Pressler”—he‘s the coach—“took the fall for a lot of things he didn‘t know about.  All the incidents he knew about, he dealt with.”

Geoffrey, are we talking about, does it sound like maybe there may be some lawsuits down the road against the university, maybe by the coach?

FIEGER:  No, there‘s not going to—maybe by the coach.  But what you have here is remember, this is America.  People are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  When a school cancels a season and fires the coach as the plaintiff—or the player indicated, that‘s almost presuming that something wrong was done.  And that‘s backwards here in this country. 

COSBY:  Wendy, what do you make the coach leaving?  Because now we‘re hearing, and that is what we always suspected, that he was forced out. 

MURPHY:  Yes, but look at the report that came out said that this was a team out of control.  And I‘m sure they‘re holding him accountable for that, as well they should. 

I feel bad for Duke, you know.  This is a good university that‘s done a lot of good in that environment.  And they didn‘t raise these kids.  They‘re not responsible for the bad character that leads people to do these bad things.

FIEGER:  Why cancel the season?

MURPHY:  And it is exactly the wrong answer Geoffrey just gave you about why they‘re presuming guilt or innocence. 

FIEGER:  Why cancel the season?

MURPHY:  Duke is not the government.  Duke is not the government. 

They don‘t owe these kids due process rights.


COSBY:  Both of you—a university committee came out—hang on, guys.  A university committee came out yesterday and said that maybe it shouldn‘t be cancelled, at least for next term.  Let‘s play what they had to say. 


JAMES E. COLEMAN JR., DUKE LAW PROFESSOR:  We did not find racist behavior.  We didn‘t find, you know, sexual assaults.  We didn‘t find harassment.  Based on the record that we reviewed it didn‘t warrant suspension or termination of the program. 


COSBY:  But is it a little too early to make that decision?  We don‘t know where the case is going. 

MURPHY:  Well, I don‘t know.  I‘m not sure—I‘m not sure what they were looking at.  But you know what?  They‘re letting the criminal justice system run its course for now.  And that‘s fine.  Look, it‘s up to...

COSBY:  Should they play next year, Wendy?

MURPHY:  You know, I don‘t know how bad they‘ve been. 

FIEGER:  Of course.

MURPHY:  And I‘m not going to judge this rape case based on how bad they‘ve been in the past, because that‘s not fair to the team either.  Just like it‘s not fair to judge the victim‘s credibility based on irrelevant nonsense.

COSBY:  Geoffrey, go ahead.  Should they play?

FIEGER:  Not only should they play, but what‘s really playing out is there‘s a racial tension, if you will, between a fairly wealthy, a very wealthy well known basically white school, Duke, versus other parts of the community, including the school in which the alleged victim goes to school.  So...

COSBY:  Geoffrey, should the coach get his job back?  Should the coach get his job back?

FIEGER:  Well, he may—he should but he‘s not going to.  Duke isn‘t going to admit it made a mistake.  And he may have a lawsuit.

But beyond that, they should play a season.  Why should they have ever cancelled the season in the first place?  Why presume somebody did something wrong?  I don‘t even understand that thinking. 

MURPHY:  Schools are allowed to control the behavior of their students.  And when they act badly there should be swift punishment.  It is a privilege to go to Duke, not entitle. 

FIEGER:  Who said they did anything wrong?

MURPHY:  They have done a lot of things wrong. 

FIEGER:  What?

MURPHY:  And you know what?  Geoffrey, stop with the presumption of innocence.  It doesn‘t apply to Duke. 

FIEGER:  I see, OK.

MURPHY:  When they make administrative decisions about student behavior they don‘t owe them any due process and you know it. 

COSBY:  And Wendy, I‘m going to make a decision.  I‘m going to go to commercial break and we‘ll have you both back in a second.

Still ahead a big interview with actress Denise Richards about her breakup with Charlie Sheen.  And also more drama on “American Idol.”  Take a look at more.


COSBY (voice-over):  Still ahead, what kind of teacher would send this raunchy video to a 14-year-old student?  Cops say the same teacher who‘s already in trouble for having sex with the boy.  What‘s really going to make you mad is her punishment. 

And an undercover investigation answers the question we all want to know.  Can a psychic help you contact the dead?  Let‘s just say that in this case she didn‘t see it coming. 

And “American Idol”, on LIVE AND DIRECT. 

PAULA ABDUL, JUDGE, FOX‘S “AMERICAN IDOL”:  You‘ve moved me from the beginning. 

COSBY:  Does Paula Abdul need an intervention?  Corey Clark, the former contestant, who says Paula seduced him, joins me live. 

Plus, if you think watching Simon is tough, imagine dating him.  The TV correspondent who is taking on that challenge joins me live.  She‘s coming up.



COSBY:  And now to an undercover investigation on psychics that may make you think twice before you ask them to look into your future or contact someone from the grave.  Their services are legal in most of the country, but trusting a psychic can cost you thousands, and as you‘ll see, some should instead be called rip-off artists. 

NBC‘s Katie Couric has the revealing details.


KATIE COURIC, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  It may sound ridiculous but psychics are cashing.  Some do tarot card readings for $10, while others make house calls, charging huge fees. 

For Julia Marcelino (ph) trusting a psychic cost her thousands. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  She read my cards and she gave me such intimate details about my family‘s history that I was a little freaked out.  She told me that something had happened in the past in my family that had caused this bad omen.  And that if I didn‘t do something about it soon with her, all of us would be dead.  She asked me for $18,000 to get rid of the curse.  I wrote her a check for $18,000. 

COURIC:  Under cover security specialist Bill Stanton invited a psychic who called herself Miss Sarah (ph) to a home in Washington, D.C. 



COURIC:  She stepped into a house filled with cameras hidden in cabinets, a desk, even an ice bucket.  Bill told her his wife had died and he couldn‘t recover. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I miss her.  This was her picture, and this was always her favorite memento.  You know, I just wanted to reach out. 

COURIC:  Our psychic explained how she could do just that. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I feel the presence of her.  That is very warm.  The problem is she didn‘t want to die.  Her soul is not peaceful.  She‘s very angry, very upset with you, because she wanted a life with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What do I need to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We‘re going to do the tarot cards, and we‘re going to find out what‘s going on.

COURIC:  Her reading preyed on Bill‘s loss. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m going to tell you what God is telling me to do for you, because if you don‘t get any type of help do you know what‘s going to happen to you?  There‘s going to be a tragic death.  You‘re going to either lose all your money, all the things that you work with all your life.  You‘re going to lose everything.  You need to cleanse your spirit.  Remove the evil spirit that is around you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How do I do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I am going to help you.


COURIC:  She was happy to help for a price. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s going to be a lot of money.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s going to be about $34,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I guess I‘d be an idiot not to ask what the money gets me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Protection.  Get that spirit out of there.  I don‘t want you to talk to me about money.  I want you to talk to me about love, cause your whole life is going to turn around. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re sure you feel her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can I ask her anything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes, go right ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Lynn, I hope you can hear me.

COURIC:  Lynn could hear him from our surveillance room upstairs. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I feel the presence from her.  It‘s very warm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I miss her.  This is her picture.

I know I‘m going to see you soon.  In spirit or body, I know I‘m going to see you soon. 

This is not my wife.  This is my producer from “The Today Show”.  Why would you pay upon my weakness?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m one of the poorest psychics, and I‘ve been through a lot.  Right now I have my family at home and let me tell you one thing right now I am going through poverty, you know.  And I said that price to you for a reason, because I knew people were playing with my mind. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you weren‘t going to take that money?  Sarah, don‘t go that way.  Sometimes you got to know when to raise the white flag and say I‘m sorry. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s the right thing to do.  Then say it. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m sorry and I do apologize. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If you have problems or you‘re vulnerable, go to your priest, go to your shrink but do not give anybody any money. 


COSBY:  And that was NBC‘s Katie Couric reporting and also investigator Bill Stanton in that story. 

Now to another disturbing story.  You have to wonder what former teacher Pamela Rogers was thinking when she sent this video to a former student she had sex with.  As you can see, here‘s Rogers wearing a bra and a thong and not much else.  It‘s just one of 20 videos that she sent the young 14-year-old student after being forbidden to contact him when she was released from jail, where she spent six months.  As a result she now faces charge for violating her probation. 

Meanwhile, the video is popping up everywhere. 

Joining us now on the phone is James Clark.  He‘s editor of the “Southern Standard” newspaper.  He‘s been covering the Rogers case from the courthouse in Tennessee. 

James, how did this video get transferred, and where did she make it

JAMES CLARK, EDITOR, “SOUTHERN STANDARD”:  I‘m sorry, what was that?

COSBY:  How did this video get transferred?  Where did she make it? 

Give us the back ground on it. 

CLARK:  Well, from what I can tell, Pamela Rogers made this video from her house using a cell phone.  And reports are mixed on exactly what happened to it.  Some people say that she transmitted it to her teenage victim, and other people have said that she put it on her web site.  It‘s not for sure exactly where she sent it.

COSBY:  So either she transmitted it to him or put it on a public web site.  You know, how outraged.  Apparently this is all over the place being sent to lots of young students even.  How outraged is the community?

CLARK:  People are pretty much stunned.  With Pamela Rogers it‘s always been a case of what is she going to do next and each time it‘s a little bit more extreme.  And that‘s certainly the case with this.  Now there‘s some videos of her.  She‘s dancing around.  She‘s in a bikini.  There‘s other videos of her doing other things. 

Each time it just seems to get worse and people just roll their eyes and say can you believe it?  But then it seems a couple weeks later something else comes out that she‘s done—or I should say, allegedly done, that just makes people do it all over again. 

COSBY:  It‘s clear she‘s doing something wacky here.  You spoke to the victim‘s mother, and I‘ve heard she‘s angry.  And one of the things she said, and I want to show a quote.   “I just want people to leave us alone.  We can‘t go anywhere.  We can‘t do anything without people getting into our business.”

How is she dealing with this latest revelation of this video?

CLARK:  Well, I know they‘ve just been bombarded with calls from around the world like we have at the newspaper.  I talked to somebody from Poland yesterday and I‘ve talked to people from Germany and England.  And it‘s just the same with them. 

They‘ve had to change home phone number twice.  Everywhere they go around in the community, people are always asking them about it.  It‘s just really a living nightmare.  The boy is trying to live a normal life in school, but of course you know how kids are.  They can be cruel, and everybody around here knows who it is. 

COSBY:  Now, have they seen this video?  Has the mom and her family and the boy seen this video?

CLARK:  Yes.  Everybody—it started circulating around the community Monday or Tuesday.  And I think just about everybody seemed to have it on their cell phone, it seemed, by Friday.  And the high school prom was Friday evening.  And it seemed like just about everybody had seen it by then. 

COSBY:  Disgusting timing.  You know her mom, Pam Rogers‘ mom, as we‘re looking at a picture of her, she‘s backing her daughter.  In fact, she says, “We love our daughter and we‘re standing behind her.  She does have a problem,” understatement, “and it‘s more than what we thought it was.  We just need to get her some help.” 

Does her mother and family realize that this woman needs to be taught a lesson, too?

CLARK:  I‘m not exactly sure.  That was the first interview that she‘s, done and everybody has been trying to get a hold of her.  So I‘m not really exactly sure what her feelings are on this. 

But yes, I think my thoughts exactly.  She just needs to do some hard time.  If this was reversed, and this was a male just badgering a female that was 14-year-old like this, sending pictures of himself dancing around, scantily clad, he would probably be hung by now.  So there‘s no denying the fact that she has some serious problems.  And yes, she needs to do time in jail. 

COSBY:  James Clark, thank you very much for keeping us posted. 

And everybody still ahead, more on this teacher sex scandal.  Does Pam Rogers fit the profile of a classic sex predator who can‘t stop destructive behavior after releasing this videotape and other things?  That‘s next.

And later, for the first time actress Denise Richard is speaking out about her messy breakup with Charlie Sheen, their shocking phone messages and even her relationship with rocker Richie Sambora.  The inside scoop when we come back.


ANNOUNCER:  From MSNBC world headquarters, here is Rita Cosby. 

COSBY:  Back now with more on former Tennessee teacher Pamela Rogers and this incredibly provocative video that she sent to a former student.  Prosecutors say she violated her parole when she was sending these sexually explicit images, but it didn‘t stop there.  Rogers even sent him e-mails and also text messages. 

With all these new allegations against Rogers, you have to wonder what this woman was thinking.  And should she be thrown in the slammer again?

Back with us, Wendy Murphy and also Geoffrey Fieger and also here with us, our psychotherapist, Dr. Robbie Ludwig, and Owen LaFave.  His former wife, Debra LaFave, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student. 

Robi, what is wrong with this woman?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST:  You know, you would want to rule out if there some kind of mood disorder. 

Having said that, there‘s no excuse for what she did.  Clearly, she has an impulse-control disorder, where she is not in control of her impulses, and there‘s probably a gross immaturity, where, psychologically, she is probably more in syndicated columnist with the child that she is pursuing than in synch with the age that she really is, because, clearly, she‘s not acting like an adult.

COSBY:  Yes, to say the least.

You know, Owen, you have unfortunately lived through this before.  Eerie similarities, of course, between your former wife‘s behavior and Pamela Rogers.  What is it?  Are they addicted to these kids?  What—what is going through their minds? 

OWEN LAFAVE, EX-HUSBAND OF DEBRA LAFAVE:  Well, I think—and that is one of the things that is—it‘s very confusing to us all, is, why would an attractive woman go after a child?

And I think it‘s—it is a true illness.  And they should be punished accordingly.  They are sexual offenders.  And, obviously, I mean, she spent a very short period of time in jail, and she was released.  And it didn‘t take her long to actually go back and—and seek that child out again.  And, you know, we all watch this video.  And I—I‘m confused by it. 

COSBY:  Yes, what do you make of the video, Owen, the fact that she actually—and we were just hearing from James either she put it on her own Web site or she sent directly it to the boy.  Either way, it‘s kooky. 

LAFAVE:  It is.  It is.

And I think James actually touched on a—or actually referenced kind of everybody‘s reaction to it.  I mean, we all sit here and roll our eyes.  And my question is, is, you know, this—this sense of apathy we have. 

And we all should be outraged.

I mean, here she is, again, seeking out, you know, her victim, after she was punished in jail.  And, you know, I think the reaction of our society is—is misplaced. 

COSBY:  You know, Wendy, she also sent text messages.  And I want to put up one of the text messages. 

She put—this is to the boy directly.  She said: “Good morning, and I love u always.  Thank u 4 makin me the happiest person in the world.”

And look at the last line: “I have 2 go 2 because I have to see a counselor, a sex one.”

So, she was going through therapy. 

Clearly, it wasn‘t working, right, Wendy?

MURPHY:  Yes.  You think?

COSBY:  I mean, how big of a trouble is this woman? 

MURPHY:  Look...

COSBY:  She pleaded not guilty. 

MURPHY:  I don‘t care if it is a disorder, or if she is inherently evil, or both.

I don‘t care.  She thumbs her nose at the system.  She was told to have no contact at all.  That means don‘t even write a letter that says, how is your lunch?  And look what she sent instead.  You know, the thing that galls me the most is that doesn‘t even appropriate the wrongfulness of her act.

Forget the fact that she was hired to be a teacher.  He was 13 when she started raping him.  Why aren‘t they screaming for baseline maturity before they hire these dopes, who think they can get away with it because they cute?

And, look, the message if out there.  If you‘re cute, if you‘re blonde, if you‘re a bombshell, and it‘s a little boy with tingly parts going on, maybe you can get away with it. 

And I agree with Owen that what would we be saying ourselves if this was a guy and he happened to have, you know, ripped abs and a dream-date hairdo?  Would we be going, well, you know, the girl must have liked it, because we tend to like those kind of guys?

No.  We would be saying, it doesn‘t matter if she is fat and ugly or wearing a bikini, stripping naked, and blonde with buxom parts. 

COSBY:  Geoffrey, good point.  Double standard, right, Geoffrey?  How do you defend someone like this? 

FIEGER:  Because we‘re different.  Men and women are different. 

COSBY:  Yes, but that‘s no excuse.  Come on.  It is supposed to be equal standards, Geoffrey.  Come on.  You know that.


FIEGER:  No.  I‘m sorry.  No, I don‘t know that.

COSBY:  Oh, come on. 

FIEGER:  This society has gone crazy. 

You can go on the Internet and see 10 times, thousand times worst things than that.  And I‘m not going to convict her if she put it on her own Internet site.  She hasn‘t committed any crime whatsoever.


COSBY:  But she sent the e-mails, Geoffrey.  She sent the e-mails. 

And we know that.

FIEGER:  Now, wait a second.  I‘m not defending...

MURPHY:  She violated her probation.

FIEGER:  I‘m not defending that.

But if that‘s all that can be shown, that she made contact with him and sent him e-mails, first of all, there is—if you are asking me—and if you want to hear it, I will tell you—there should be a double standard.  This country has gone crazy. 

There is a difference between boys and girls.  You could line up a million 13-year-olds to have an affair -- 13-year-old boys. 

COSBY:  So, what are you saying, Geoffrey?  Are you saying...


COSBY:  But wait a minute.  She‘s still a teacher. 

FIEGER:  I‘m telling you...

COSBY:  She‘s still in an authoritative position, Geoffrey.

FIEGER:  I understand.  I‘m not defending that.

I‘m just saying there is a difference between 13-year-old boys.  And if you could line up 10 million of them to have sex with her, without any evilness or any medical problems...

MURPHY:  That doesn‘t make it right.

COSBY:  Yes, but it doesn‘t make it right, does it, Geoffrey?

FIEGER:  ... as a result—what?

COSBY:  Does it make it right?  Come on.

FIEGER:  What do you mean?  We artificially in this country...


MURPHY:  That‘s just exploiting the fact that they‘re horny at age 13.


FIEGER:  I‘m not defending her.  Please, let me finish.

I‘m not making—we artificially set limits.  The idea that older women can‘t be with younger boys is artificial.  That isn‘t necessarily true.  There‘s a lot of...


COSBY:  ... let me bring in—let me bring in an expert.  Let me bring in Robi Ludwig, because, Robi, there is a difference.  This is an authority figure. 

LUDWIG:  Absolutely.

COSBY:  And this is a young boy.  Come on. 

LUDWIG:  And—and, let‘s say, even if the boy came on to her, the fact that she broke a boundary that she should not have broken can clearly have emotionally negative consequences on students. 


COSBY:  So, Robi, how do you treat someone like this? 

LUDWIG:  Well...

COSBY:  How do you?

LUDWIG:  ... I think, part, we need to do it institutionally.  So, we need to educate our teachers on, you know, what happens when you are teaching adolescents.  I think we do need to screen teachers, educate them.

COSBY:  What do you do in this case, though, Robi?  What do you do, as we are looking at this video?


LUDWIG:  Well, this woman should not be allowed to be a teacher, because, clearly, she can‘t handle it. 

COSBY:  Should she be allowed to walk the streets, Robi? 

LUDWIG:  Well, you know, that‘s a...

FIEGER:  Of course.

LUDWIG:  That‘s a legal issue. 

She needs treatment.  And what we do know is that, when we put people in prison, I don‘t know if they necessarily get cured.  So, this is a girl that needs to be in therapy.  She needs some psychoeducation.


COSBY:  Let me get—you guys, let me get in Owen.  Let me get in Owen.


FIEGER:  Who would want to pay $40,000 or $50,000 a year to imprison her?  Not me.  You couldn‘t get me to pay it.

MURPHY:  Keep her away from my kids.  I would pay.

COSBY:  Let me ask you Owen, you guys, because Owen experienced this firsthand.

Owen, what do you think should happen to her?  You said she could get the full punishment.  She could get—we are looking at seven or nine years. 

LAFAVE:  Look, I—I think she needs to go to jail.  There‘s no question.

And we need to send a message to our educators that this is wrong.  It is illegal.  You know, these aren‘t artificial boundaries.  These boundaries are set in place, morally and legally, for a reason.  And when you do violate those boundaries, I mean, you—there should some sort of punishment.  And that punishment should be jail.

FIEGER:  Obviously, jail doesn‘t prevent her behavior, obviously.

MURPHY:  Yes, it does.  Yes, it does. 


LAFAVE:  Only six months of jail.


COSBY:  Owen points out she only got six months, right, Owen?

LAFAVE:  Exactly.  Exactly. 


LUDWIG:  But you know what?  She was sending a message...


FIEGER:  Did it change Mary Kay Letourneau‘s behavior? 



FIEGER:  Did it?

LUDWIG:  Right.  Exactly. 


LUDWIG:  I‘m in agreement with you.


COSBY:  You guys, I‘m going to go around.  I‘m going to go around. 


COSBY:  Geoffrey, what do you think is going to happen, and what do you think should happen?  Real quick.

FIEGER:  Well, I think they will react as a society, and they will say, in lockstep or—or reactionary, that she has to be punished.  What should happen is, she needs help.  She needs medical help. 


COSBY:  Let me bring Wendy...

MURPHY:  She should—she should—she should get both.  She has absolutely no respect for children, the vulnerabilities of children, boys in particular.

COSBY:  Throw the book at her, Wendy?

MURPHY:  She has no respect for the law.  Lock her up and treat her while she is in prison, and then worry about her when she gets out. 

COSBY:  And, Robi, go ahead.

LUDWIG:  I think she needs treatment.  I don‘t know whether she needs prison or not. 

But, clearly, after she got out of prison, it exacerbated something, because she made it clear to the world:  I‘m sick and I still need help. 

COSBY:  And, Owen, you get final thoughts.  Real quick, Owen.

LAFAVE:  You know, I think it‘s a very naive point of view that these boys aren‘t affected.  I think she needs to go to jail, and she needs treatment, also. 

COSBY:  And, unfortunately, you experienced it firsthand what happens to the other side, the other side of the family. 

All of you, thank you very much. 

Now to a very messy and also very public, public case between actress Denise Richards and also Charlie Sheen.  In the breakup, which is the talk of all Hollywood, there are allegations of gambling and drug addiction, and now a love triangle between Richards, her former best friend, Heather Locklear, also an actress, and also rocker Richie Sambora. 

Richards is finally breaking her silence and telling her side of the story to our friends at


DENISE RICHARDS, ACTRESS:  I wish Heather well and happiness.  And it‘s really unfortunate that it has gotten to this point. 

And Heather knows, you know, why we aren‘t friends.  And I don‘t want to get into with all of that. 

But I‘m sad that Heather has come out and portrayed it differently than it is.  And Heather knows why and when her marriage ended with Richie.  And she knows when and why my marriage ended with Charlie.

It‘s unfortunate that our friendship ended and the reasons why.  And she knows exactly why that is.  So, I think it‘s best for everyone involved to just focus on our kids.  We‘re both going through divorces. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But you‘re a person.  Does this feel at all like a betrayal to you? 

RICHARDS:  Yes.  I think any time, you know, even David Spade saying stuff, and, you know, whoever else that has gotten back to me, saying things, it is—it is a betrayal, because a lot of it isn‘t true.  And—and they know that.  And that is what hard. 

But, you know, I have to try and just stay focused on my kids and forget that part of it, as difficult as it is, and just focus on my children and—and getting through this—this really bad time. 


COSBY:  And the actress also says that she stands by her allegations against Charlie Sheen in their divorce. 

And, still ahead, everybody, we‘re taking on “American Idol.”  If Simon Cowell is tough on TV, what is it like to date him?  His girlfriend is going to join us live. 

And, then, what about Paula Abdul?  Does her erratic behavior continue off the air?  Corey Clark, who claims he had an affair with Paula, he‘s going to join us live as well. 


ANNOUNCER:  If you have a story you want Rita to investigate, call our tip line, 1-877-TIP-RITA, or log on to our Web site,



SIMON COWELL, JUDGE:  Very simple.  By choosing that song, it is like coming out here and saying, I am as good as Whitney Houston.  You‘re not. 


COSBY:  Well, he is the “American Idol” judge that everyone loves to hate.  But what is it like to be in love with Simon Cowell?

We are joined now by his girlfriend, Terri Seymour, who is also a correspondent for “Extra TV.”

You know, Terri, before we get to Simon, you just came back from the show tonight.  Any surprises?  I understand that—was it Katharine sang on her knees a whole song? 

TERRI SEYMOUR, CORRESPONDENT, “EXTRA TV”:  Is there anything that happened?

It was very erratic.  Or at least that‘s how Simon described the shows.  There were some ups and there were some downs.  But, overall, I really enjoyed it.  I thought it was a great show. 

COSBY:  If you had to guess, who is going to get kicked off tomorrow? 

SEYMOUR:  Rita, it‘s so hard at this stage to say who I think it would be. 

If I was saying on tonight‘s performances, oh, my goodness, I would say either Paris—I don‘t want to say Elliott, because I love Elliott.  But I would say either Paris or Elliott. 

COSBY:  And who is your prediction who is going to take it all? 

SEYMOUR:  What was that?

COSBY:  Who do you think is going to win?

SEYMOUR:  Who do I think is going to win? 

I would like to see Chris or Katharine win. 

COSBY:  Well, you know, we asked your boyfriend, Simon Cowell.  He was on my show not too long ago. 


COSBY:  This is what he had to say of who the finalists were. 



COSBY:  You know, Simon, what about your top three predictions?  You made a prediction a while back of who you think is going to be the top three.  Are you sticking with that same prediction now? 

COWELL:  Yes, I will stick by it.  It was Kellie, Taylor and Chris.  I think that sounds fair.  That sounds safe.


COSBY:  He was wrong, of course, on the Kellie, because, you know, she got kicked off.

How often is he right on about who is going to take it all? 

SEYMOUR:  Do you know, I hate to say it, but he is normally right, I mean, every season so far, until up now, because, obviously, Kellie is gone, so he‘s got it wrong. 

But every season so far, he has got it right.  I hate to say that, because his big is head enough as it is.

COSBY:  Yes.  What is it like to date him?  We are looking at pictures of the two of you.  Is it Simon says, or do you get to have a say in this, Terri? 


SEYMOUR:  What is it like to date Simon Cowell? 

I would say it is interesting, hard work.  And I keep him grounded.  I like to think I keep him grounded, or at least I try. 

COSBY:  How did you two meet?  Tell us about how the relationship started and bloomed. 

SEYMOUR:  We have been together for three-and-a-half years now.

But I have known Simon for 15 years.  We were friends in London.  And he actually went on a couple of dates with my best friend.  And that‘s how I met him. 

COSBY:  Oh, OK.  So...


COSBY:  So, he went on a date with your best friend and ended up with you. 


SEYMOUR:  Exactly.  I must be crazy, right? 

COSBY:  No, you know what?  He‘s a lot of fun.  When we had him on, I really enjoyed him. 

SEYMOUR:  He is.

COSBY:  What is he like off camera?  Is he—is—I want to show a little clip, because he got cut off during one of his reviews not too long ago.  And he seemed a little bit upset.


COSBY:  Let me play it and let me get you to respond.


COWELL:  You were like a robot during that performance.  It was like you—I‘m finished. 


COWELL:  I finished. 

RANDY JACKSON, JUDGE:  Ryan says you‘re done.

RYAN SEACREST, HOST:  Unfortunately, if we don‘t speed up, we‘re going to go off the air very soon. 



COSBY:  Terri, is he like that at home?  “I‘m still talking.”


SEYMOUR:  Absolutely, all the time.  He hates it when he gets cut off. 

He has to have the final say, as you know. 

COSBY:  Yes, what is he like?  What is he like?  You know, is he tough?  Is he a tough critiquer?

SEYMOUR:  You know, off camera, at home, he is exactly the same as when he‘s on TV.  He‘s always very honest, can say things in, you know, maybe not the way that we would say them.  He can be a little harsh sometimes.  He just says things the wrong way. 

COSBY:  And how do you deal with that? 

SEYMOUR:  But he is always critiquing me. 

COSBY:  Yes.  How do you deal with that?  


SEYMOUR:  I give him as good as he gets.

COSBY:  Good for you.

SEYMOUR:  But he‘s not good at taking—he‘s not good at taking it, though.  He can dish it out, but he doesn‘t like taking it. 

COSBY:  Well, good for you.  So, you are standing up for—for all the rest of us out there, which we appreciate.


SEYMOUR:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

COSBY:  You know what?  It‘s amazing.  You look at some of the polls. 

And I want to put up these numbers.

You know, there was a poll recently, “American Idol.”  It actually came out today.  And it said, whose opinion counts the most?  And this is staggering: Simon, 58 percent, Terri; Randy Jackson, 26 percent.

SEYMOUR:  Oh, no.

COSBY:  And poor Paula here, 6 percent. 

Why do you think people care so much what Simon thinks? 

SEYMOUR:  I think it‘s just because he is really honest.  And I think people just admire him for his honesty.  But he is going to love that poll.  Let me assure you, he will love that poll. 

COSBY:  Yes.  Is he going to plaster it all over the home and everywhere else, and his car?

SEYMOUR:  Oh, yes, absolutely. 


COSBY:  He will be rewinding the TiVo, pausing. 


COSBY:  Not a bad—not a bad poll to be posting.

Is he watching tonight, Terri? 

SEYMOUR:  He will be watching, yes.  He was leaving the show to rush home to watch.  So, he will be watching.

COSBY:  OK.  Good.  And I—I want a good critique from you after the show, OK, how we did.         

SEYMOUR:  OK, 10 out of 10. 


COSBY:  Thank you very much, Terri.  And please tell him we said hello.  We enjoyed having him on.

SEYMOUR:  Thank you, Rita.

COSBY:  Terri, great to have you on.

And there is a lot more coming up right here on MSNBC, another guy whose opinion counts a lot.  Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson with a preview.

What do you have ahead, Tuck?

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”:  Well, I can‘t count too much, Rita, because Mike Nifong won again today.  He‘s again DA of Durham, North Carolina.  Should there be an official investigation into his conduct, though?  He seems to have violated the ethics rules of the state of North Carolina.  We will get into details tonight.

Plus, a new survey shows that most American students, high school

kids, can‘t find Iraq, Afghanistan, Louisiana, or—brace yourself, Rita -

New York. 

COSBY:  Hey, as long as they find MSNBC, we‘re OK...



CARLSON:  That‘s the spirit. 

COSBY:  Tucker, thank you very much. 

CARLSON:  Thanks, Rita.

COSBY:  We will be tuning in, in a few minutes for “THE SITUATION” with Tucker at the top of the hour. 

And, everybody, still ahead, more “American Idol.”  We‘re turning to Paula Abdul and her out-of-control behavior.  Does she always act like that?  I will ask a contestant who claims that he got to know her very well.  Corey Clark is coming up.


PAULA ABDUL, JUDGE:  Watching the tapes of when he—when everyone first started.  And you have moved me from the beginning. 




COWELL:  It was not a winning performance. 


ABDUL:  ... the entire season.


COWELL:  Paula, I am—I am the one who is talking.


ABDUL:  And we love you.



COSBY:  Have Paula Abdul‘s “American Idol” outbursts gone way too far?  Paula‘s increasingly erratic behavior is catching a lot of people‘s attention. 

And with us is former “American Idol” contestant Corey Clark, who claims that he had an affair with Paula Abdul.  Paula has denied it.

You know, Corey, what do you make of her behavior? 


Pretty normal. 


COSBY:  Pretty normal.  


COSBY:  Normal for her or normal for who? 

CLARK:  Pretty normal for her.  You know, that‘s pretty normal for her. 

We can stop saying “I claimed.”  We can started saying it happened, too.  You know, like, this is a guy that was with her.  We can start saying that.   It‘s OK.

COSBY:  About the affair...

CLARK:  It‘s all right.

COSBY:  ... even though, you know, she—you know, she—why do you think she still denies it, then? 

CLARK:  I—I don‘t know.  I don‘t know.  That‘s—you know, maybe they wouldn‘t have a show if she accepted it, you know?   

COSBY:  Well, she has been very emotional on the air, Corey.

Let me play a little clip of her.  This is where she—she sort of surprised everybody.  She cried on the air.  And I want to get your insights.  Let me play it first. 



ABDUL:  You move me.  You celebrate what this competition is all about.

And, you know, I spent the day yesterday watching the tapes of when you—when everyone first started.  And you have moved me from the beginning.  But you are this handsome, evolved performer that isn‘t—you are an “American Idol.” 


COSBY:  Corey, I got to get your reaction to that. 


COSBY:  What do you think? 


CLARK:  I mean, like, that—that—like, I talk about that on my C.D., you know, on number five, on number—on number five, “Paulatics.”  I talk about the her that people never get to see on TV.  And it looks like a little bit of it is starting to leak out. 

COSBY:  So, what is it?  Is she just extremely emotional?  Or it ratings?  What is it?

CLARK:  She‘s very emotional.  She‘s a Gemini.  Geminis are—you know, they got—they have different personalities to begin with.

But she is just—she is an extremely emotional person.  That‘s a very tense situation up there at that show for her.  She doesn‘t really get along with the producers a lot. 

So, I don‘t know.  That‘s her—that‘s her normal M.O.  You know, it‘s—if it‘s not there, at the house, you know? 

COSBY:  Yes, speaking of which, I want to show—this is wild.  This online gambling site actually is taking bets on Paula, Corey.

I want to show—it says...


COSBY: has 5-1 odds that Paula Abdul will check into rehab before “American Idol” ends. 

Which way would you bet? 

CLARK:  Well...

COSBY:  Corey?

CLARK:  I‘m—I‘m—I‘m going with the odds favorite. 

COSBY:  Oh, so, you bet that she will? 

CLARK:  Yes.  I‘m going with the odds favorite. 

I mean, I don‘t know if she‘s going to end up there or not, but she‘s got—she‘s got a better chance than some people do. 

COSBY:  And why—what is it about her?  Why—I‘m you know, she has also been fighting a bit with—with Ryan lately.  There‘s word from “In Touch” magazine saying that they‘re having couples therapy.  What do you make of that?  And—and would she be receptive to something like that? 

CLARK:  I don‘t know if she would necessarily be receptive to it.

If they‘re really doing that, then, that is probably so that their—their work relationship can become better. 

I was watching the show a couple weeks ago.  And, as he introduced Randy, he skipped over Paula when the camera showed her.  And, then, when it got to Simon, he introduced Simon.  So, he totally left her out of the introduction.  So, there‘s—there‘s been a little—little heat going on in that relationship, I think, since—since the article came out that I was letting people know she was telling me some stuff about him. 

COSBY:  Hey, real quick, I got to ask you, who do you think is going to win “American Idol”?  Real quick, Corey. 

CLARK:  I—I think the—the bald kid, Chris, has a good chance of winning it.  He doesn‘t really conform to what anybody has to tell him.

He reminds me a lot of myself.  So, I think that he‘s probably going to be able to take it.  He has got a decent voice.  And—and he does his own thing.  So, that‘s what the music industry is all about, being unique and doing your own thing.  But own up to being unique.  And if it someone else‘s work, give them the credit. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And you are certainly unique. 

And, Corey, we always love having you on.  Thanks so much.


CLARK:  I always love being on.  Thanks, Rita.

COSBY:  Thank you, Corey.

And, still ahead, everybody, a homeowner takes the law into his own hands to catch a thief.  Tonight, it is “Caught By Cosby,” some incredible video—coming up. 


COSBY:  Tonight:  In Texas, a homeowner took matters into his own hands to catch a crook.  And it‘s “Caught By Cosby.”

Marty Testerman (ph) installed a surveillance camera on a bedroom window and caught a burglar red-handed.  He says it is the sixth time someone targeted his truck and his daughter‘s car.  Testerman (ph) plans to give a copy of the video to police and says he‘s going to install a few more cameras and a few more lights. 

And, tomorrow, illusionist David Blaine, he‘s living under water for a whole week and will attempt to break the world record.  We‘re going to have David Blaine LIVE & DIRECT from an underwater bubble tomorrow night.  You don‘t want to miss that. 

That does it for me. 

Let‘s now go to Tucker and “THE SITUATION”—Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thank you, Rita.



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