Guest: Yale Galanter, John Burris, Kato Kaelin, Ronald Slates
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Tonight, more bad news for O.J. as prosecutors file an 11-count indictment against Simpson and his co-conspirators, including one serious crime the police did not file, kidnapping. They are throwing the book, the bookcase and the bindings at the man found responsible for killing Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown in a civil court. In a moment, the first TV interview with O.J.‘s lawyer, Yale Galanter.
Now, according to the indictment, O.J. Simpson and his co-defendants did, quote, “willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and without authority of law seize, inveigle, entice, decoy, abduct, conceal, kidnap or carry away” the two memorabilia dealers who O.J. believed were preparing to sell items that belonged to him. They even charged him with robbery with a deadly weapon for allegedly taking a baseball cap and/or sunglasses from one of the guys. Baseball cap or sunglasses?
Before we talk about whether this aggressive strategy could backfire on prosecutors, the Web site TMZ.com has released more tape they say is from the confrontation itself.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
O.J. SIMPSON: Don‘t let nobody out of this room. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! Think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and sell it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SIMPSON: Don‘t let nobody out of here. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)! You think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you! Mind your own business!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get over there!
SIMPSON: You think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Backs to the wall!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was trying to get past you!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over there!
SIMPSON: Think you can steal my (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike took it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, against the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) wall!
SIMPSON: I know (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Mike took it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Search him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I know what Brian‘s trying to prove.
SIMPSON: I always thought you were a straight shooter!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m cool. I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So—so...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up!
SIMPSON: Don‘t let nobody out of here, man. And you—I trusted you, man!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just—I...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bag this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bag this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SIMPSON: Where‘d you get all my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) personal (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bought it from Mike.
ALFRED BEARDSLEY: Mike sold it all, right? You know...
SIMPSON: Bag this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. Bag it. Bag it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you bring the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in, man?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said they were friends of yours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you bring it in?
SIMPSON: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m going to ask you one more (EXPLETIVE DELETED) time...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The doughboy came and got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although Mike sold this to Bruce, man. He sold...
SIMPSON: No, man. You all didn‘t know about this.
BEARDSLEY: About two years ago, O.J..
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawyer‘s at the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hotel, waiting right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you mad at me?
SIMPSON: I thought you were a straight shooter, man! Bag this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. Bag it. Bag it!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am. I am, man!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘re sitting here with all the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He should be mad at you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) around? Are you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) around?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You only met me a couple times.
SIMPSON: You know, this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ain‘t over with, though.
It ain‘t over with. I‘ll (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Joining me now is O.J. Simpson‘s attorney, Yale Galanter, who has just landed in Las Vegas to meet with his client. He joins us on the phone in his first television interview since O.J. was arrested.
Yale, thanks for coming on the program. Appreciate it. All right. So you hear O.J. on that tape saying again and again that nobody‘s going to get out of here, nobody‘s going to leave, et cetera, and now we learn that there‘s a kidnapping charge that‘s been filed against Simpson. How do you deal with that? Yale, can you hear me?
YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON‘S ATTORNEY: Yes, Dan, I can hear you now.
ABRAMS: All right. I was just asking about fact that on the audiotape that Simpson again and again seems to be saying, Don‘t let anybody out of here. He‘s yelling and screaming. And now this is kidnapping charges been filed against him. How do you deal with that?
GALANTER: Well, first of all, Dan, as you know, the indictment just came down today. The first thing we‘ll be doing is looking at all the police reports, all the sworn statements and all the witness statements. I think that in this case, you have conflicting witness statements. You have every witness has done media interviews, been paid for interviews, and I think that their credibility is certainly in question.
ABRAMS: But there is that audiotape, right? I mean, there‘s a tape of what seems to be the actual event, where O.J. is barking orders.
GALANTER: Well, but the thing about O.J. barking orders is, obviously, somebody made that audiotape. Obviously, this was some kind of a setup because the room was wired for sound, or somebody was wired for sound. And that‘s certainly a legal issue that will be explored.
ABRAMS: Does that provide a defense, though? I mean, even if he was set up—let‘s say someone says, You know what? There are these guys, they got your stuff. We should go in there. And then O.J. and these guys decide to go in there and get the stuff back. Is that a legal defense, with guns?
GALANTER: Well, if the tape gets suppressed, it‘s certainly a legal defense because that tape may never see the inside of a courtroom, and that‘s certainly one of the things that we‘re going to explore. But it‘s too early at this juncture to discuss whether or not that‘s suppressible or not. To give you an example, in most states, it‘s illegal to tape record somebody without their knowledge.
ABRAMS: Look, you‘ve been representing O.J. for a long time now. How does—when you heard about this, you must have thought to yourself, oh, Come on, O.J., not again.
GALANTER: Well, I certainly thought to myself, Oh, come on. I don‘t know that I thought to myself, Not again. And you know, obviously, I was, you know, shocked and displayed at what had occurred and what he was being charged with.
ABRAMS: But you feel pretty confident in the ability to defend it?
GALANTER: I think that based on the witness statements that have come out so far and the affidavits and the police reports that I‘ve reviewed so far, yes, I feel very confident in being able to defend him.
ABRAMS: And that‘s assuming you‘re able to get that—keep that tape out, right?
GALANTER: Well, it‘s assuming a lot of things. It‘s assuming that the media reports are accurate about the witnesses changing their stories and the credibility of the witnesses, and it‘s assuming that there are legal grounds to keep certain pieces of evidence out of trial, which is what criminal defense lawyers look at all the time.
ABRAMS: Yale, yesterday, I speculated a theory on the show that it‘s possible that the reason Simpson was so angry was that he knew that some people were holding assets of his, memorabilia, that he was trying to hide it from the Goldman family because he knew that if any items of his are out there, he‘s got to sell them because he‘s got to pay off the civil judgment, and that maybe what happened here is that he knew these guys had the items, but that was OK, but then he found out that they were trying to sell them, and he went crazy, saying, Hey, these are mine, these are mine, as part of an effort to hide the assets from the Goldmans. What do you make of that?
GALANTER: You know, it‘s a good theory, but that‘s not what occurred here. Now, I cannot tell you now, because I don‘t want to try the case on the air, what O.J. was told by Mr. Riccio before he went into that hotel room, but I can tell you that this did not have to do with footballs or T-shirts. I mean, obviously, those footballs and T-shirts have no value at all to O.J. Simpson because he‘s—he literally, you know, can sign a football any time he wants. So this was not about footballs and T-shirts. This was about other things that I can‘t discuss at this juncture.
ABRAMS: Tomorrow there‘s a bond hearing. You expecting that O.J. will be released on bond?
GALANTER: We‘re confident that we will be able to obtain a bond for Mr. Simpson, and we‘re hoping that things go well tomorrow morning.
ABRAMS: How‘s he doing in jail? We‘ve heard a lot about the fact that he‘s held in isolation. We‘ve been told about the sparse conditions. He‘s been in jail before. But have you talked to him?
GALANTER: I have spoken to him daily. As you know, I left Vegas yesterday. I had a hearing in Ft. Lauderdale this morning that I attended, and I just landed in Vegas again and I‘m actually on the way to the detention center to see him now.
ABRAMS: All right. Yale Galanter, thanks very much for coming on the program. We appreciate it.
GALANTER: Dan, my pleasure.
ABRAMS: Let‘s bring in Susan Filan, MSNBC senior legal analyst, and John Burris, a criminal defense attorney.
All right. Susan, so it sounds like Yale is going to go after the witnesses and he‘s going to go after the tape.
SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It does. And it sounds like he‘s not really off the mark here. That‘s exactly where you have to go with this. One of the things I think, if the tape does come in—and even if it‘s suppressible, Yale may want it to come in because what you don‘t hear on the tape the whole time is anybody saying, Oh, my gosh, there‘s a gun. There‘s no reference to a gun, which means that it‘s either going to be witness testimony that—as Yale is calling it, flip-flop testimony. He can cross-examine and try to impeach. On the other hand, there is that corroborating co-defendant who gave police the information that led hem to the three search warrants that yielded two guns. It is going to be very interesting, Dan, to see how this unfolds.
ABRAMS: You know, John, because this is not a slam-dunk case.
JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I agree it‘s not a slam-dunk case at all. I think that this is a case where there are a lot of different kinds of theories that can be used. But first off, you‘ve always got to attack the credibility of the individual witnesses. And these witnesses have issues up front. I mean, you have the basic question of, How did O.J. even get to this particular place? What was this person—what was he told? He might have been told that these people have guns and they have weapons and they have all kinds of things.
So—and then that person happens to tape—up front, so you have this question of, Is he really being set up? I don‘t know that that‘s a total defense, but I‘ll tell you, it would have a lot of play for a jury if it turns out all these people are very shady and he was set up to go—and people made money off of it. So from O.J.‘s point of view, he has a lot to talk about.
But I will say—tell you that kidnapping charge is a very serious charge, and it may be one that the prosecution wants to use in order to keep the bail very high, and also as a chip to use...
ABRAMS: Yes. Yes.
BURRIS: ... for the other people so that they might plea bargain and testify against O.J.
ABRAMS: Here is a little bit more of that audiotape of the incident from TMZ.com.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s me. That‘s me, O.J.
SIMPSON: How do I know that‘s you, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) me. You try to take my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) shirt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you like that (EXPLETIVE DELETED), (EXPLETIVE
BEARDSLEY: Are you and I cool or what?
SIMPSON: I thought we were cool, man!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J., O.J., what about that leather jacket?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
SIMPSON: You know Mike sold you that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) jacket!
BEARDSLEY: I never got it. I don‘t have it. I thought you still have it. I don‘t have it. I thought you had it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want him to keep the phones?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s just my personal phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, you know...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put those (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phones on the bed. Put your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phone on that bed. Put your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phone on the bed! You, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don‘t break it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, man, shut your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mouth before you get your ass broke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J., I‘ll give you Mike‘s number, if you want it.
SIMPSON: Give me—give me that (EXPLETIVE DELETED)‘s number. Give me Mike‘s number. I want Mike‘s number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where can I find it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who or what.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) him.
SIMPSON: I thought we were cool.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never had the chance...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s time to grab that. Get that. Let‘s go.
It‘s time to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He asked me to get Mike‘s number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s time to go. It‘s time to go. Now. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if I could—I could leave them untampered with...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bought them from Mike, OK? He sold it to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m sorry. What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Montana thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They took the box of my Montana lithographs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s my baseball bats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he was going to buy it to give to you.
SIMPSON: I want that (EXPLETIVE DELETED)‘s number!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he was buying it to give to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, dial the number. Dial the number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s what I‘m doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can collect this at the front desk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under? What is it under?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s under Gilbert. It‘s a 559 number.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They took one of my bags. They took one of my (INAUDIBLE)
BEARDSLEY: Hey, Tom, man, you set us up, man, didn‘t you?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Well, you hear them referring to Mike Gilbert there, an old friend of O.J.‘s. He and O.J. have parted ways since then. He was on the program last night. And remember, we‘ve been talking about one of the items that O.J. supposedly wanted was that suit that he was wearing when he was acquitted. Last night on the show, Mike Gilbert talked about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE GILBERT, O.J.‘S FORMER SPORTS AGENT: The suit was given to me by O.J. the day after the criminal verdict, which was, what, October 3, so October 4 of ‘95. He‘s never asked for it back. And so he storms the hotel room with a gun, trying to get something that wasn‘t in Las Vegas. It was in California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: OK. If that‘s the case, Susan Filan, you know, it does seem to support, at least to some degree, the allegation that maybe O.J. was set up. Maybe somebody said to O.J., You know, this stuff that you really want is there that we got to get. And maybe that they arrive, and some of those items aren‘t even there.
FILAN: You know, Dan, you can‘t set somebody up to do something that they wouldn‘t ordinarily do. If I told you that somebody had a very important book of yours, a first edition signed book, maybe a book written by your dad that was stolen out of your office, and I really upset you and told you who took it and how they took it and when they took it and I got you pumped and I got you riled, and then you go storm into that room with a gun to get it back, am I responsible for your actions? Did I set you up? Absolutely not.
I mean, look, I‘m not going to say that this case doesn‘t have something fishy to it, because it does. And something stinks, and I don‘t know what it is. And I am afraid that audiotape may never be heard in the courtroom, but...
ABRAMS: All right. Hey, John...
FILAN: ... you couldn‘t...
ABRAMS: John, real quickly...
FILAN: You can‘t set him up.
ABRAMS: John, do you think it‘s going to hurt the prosecutors that one of the charges here is for armed robbery of sunglasses or a baseball cap?
BURRIS: Not in the grand scheme of things because there are a lot of different charges there. But those kind of charges I think are overstatements in one sense, but in the larger sense, it‘s just part of the overall case. And so a lot of it is trivial.
FILAN: Dan, if I pointed a gun at you, it doesn‘t matter whether I took your glasses or your wallet.
ABRAMS: No, you‘re right.
ABRAMS: Does not give you permission to go and do it. Susan Filan and John Burris, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
FILAN: You bet.
ABRAMS: Up next, the return of everyone‘s favorite house guest. Kato Kaelin is in the house. We‘ll ask him what he know about O.J. and the memorabilia. He‘s live after the break.
And later: Portuguese investigators now being pressured into clearing the parents of Madeleine McCann in connection with their daughter‘s disappearance. Now Britain‘s prime minister may be getting involved. It‘s heating up. Coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATO KAELIN, O.J. SIMPSON‘S FORMER HOUSE GUEST: O.J.‘s kind of crazy right now, and he‘s got people with guns getting all of the stuff that belongs to him. All right? I lived there in the guest house. And OK, I was in the house once or twice, and I do have stuff from O.J. that doesn‘t belong to me. I‘m going to give it back, O.J. I‘m giving it all back. I‘m not—don‘t shoot me. You‘ve got friends with guns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Remember him, Kato Kaelin? He‘s with us in the studio.
Kato, good to see you.
KAELIN: Good to see you, Dan. A pleasure.
ABRAMS: So this is good for Kato, Inc., isn‘t it? I mean, when O.J. does something bad, I would think that that‘s good for Kato Kaelin.
KAELIN: Whoever his publicist is, first he should fire him because he‘s getting the wrong advice. But yes, I work at “National Lampoon.” This is made for O.J., our stuff. It‘s just—he‘s just doing...
ABRAMS: Were you surprised—I mean, look, as someone who knew him -
and I—you know, look, you didn‘t know him that well...
ABRAMS: ... but you knew him well enough that at least—when you heard this, did you think to yourself, You‘ve got to be kidding me, or did you think, Oh, I—yes, I‘ve got new material?
KAELIN: Exactly. No, I thought it was a YouTube joke. I couldn‘t believe it. I said, There‘s no way there could be a gun involved because it‘s going to mean (INAUDIBLE) one, with a gun, he‘s going to go to jail. I‘m, like, Oh, my God. It‘s stupidity. It‘s—but you know what, Dan? It‘s inevitable. It was a 911 call from his daughter. He had the DirecTV he was pirating. He got a $60,000 fine. He had the Christie Prouty, his ex-girlfriend, called him in on 911. All these bad things, and it‘s, like, What‘s the next bad thing that‘s going to happen? It‘s like a trilogy of “Godfather I,” the first trial, “Godfather II” was the civil trial, and now “Godfather III,” the robbery trial. It‘s like (INAUDIBLE) trilogy (INAUDIBLE) Well, what‘s going to happen?
ABRAMS: Did you know any of these characters who were involved? Did you—I mean, did you—any connection with memorabilia when all this was happening?
KAELIN: Nothing. I never...
ABRAMS: He had it all over the house, right?
KAELIN: He had lots of his trophies.
KAELIN: I think...
ABRAMS: Not in the guest house, though.
KAELIN: Not in the guest house. No, no, no.
ABRAMS: The guest house...
KAELIN: I just thought I was lucky just to steal toilet paper.
ABRAMS: Yes. Yes. Exactly.
KAELIN: And so...
KAELIN: But yes, he had a lot of memorabilia stuff. He has, obviously, the Heisman trophy, went to Fred Goldman. And—but these people that do this, I don‘t think—I think they‘re—I‘m not all of them, but I think the characters are—you know, involved in this possibly, in my opinion, it could be shady. I don‘t know.
ABRAMS: Yes. Yes. No. I mean, it seems pretty clear that there‘s some shady characters involved here. I mean, a good number of the people involved had criminal records.
KAELIN: Oh, OK.
ABRAMS: So this is not...
KAELIN: I think the circle of friends, too—circle of friends probably (INAUDIBLE)
ABRAMS: He needs more—but he needs Kato Kaelin.
ABRAMS: When you want to talk about friends, Kato Kaelin‘s the ultimate friend.
KAELIN: I am. I‘m a good friend to people. I‘m not his friend right now, but I‘m a good friend.
ABRAMS: But he—right, he needs more Katos in his life.
KAELIN: I 100 percent agree with you. What are you doing later, man?
Let‘s get dinner!
ABRAMS: No, but it‘s true. I mean, he needs—you know? I mean...
KAELIN: Right. It‘s...
ABRAMS: You stayed out of his way. You were always nice, and you know, didn‘t get him into trouble.
KAELIN: Exactly. No. Not me. And I‘ll tell you something else, is I have not even had a speeding ticket in 20 years of driving. The first time I was in court, Dan, was right there in the trial in LA, first time ever.
KAELIN: So you know, sitting here, I feel like I have to swear in with you right now. It‘s like the same seat.
ABRAMS: Yes. Well, the good old days, Kato. The good old days.
ABRAMS: Kato Kaelin...
KAELIN: It‘s crazy stuff, though. And what do you think is going to happen?
ABRAMS: We‘ve got to wrap it. You know, I‘ve already said what I think is going to happen.
KAELIN: Oh, you did?
ABRAMS: Yes. You got to watch the show more, Kato.
KAELIN: Well, you know...
ABRAMS: Good to see you.
KAELIN: ... I was waiting for the holidays.
ABRAMS: Thank you, Kato. Yes, watch the show...
KAELIN: I will watch the show. I love your show!
ABRAMS: ... you‘ll learn everything you need to know about this case.
KAELIN: And I love your crew.
ABRAMS: And about your life.
We‘ll have more on O.J. later in the show. We‘ll talk to his civil attorney about my theory that the whole case stems from O.J. trying to keep his assets from the Goldman family.
Plus, new develops in the search for 4-year-old Madeleine McCann, including the family‘s explanation of that so-called smoking gun. Her father will finally explain why Madeleine‘s DNA may have been found in the back of a car rented after she disappeared.
But first: A reporter gets a little too involved in the story he‘s covering and winds up literally fighting for the truth. That‘s next in “Beat the Press.”
ABRAMS: It‘s time for tonight‘s “Beat the Press, our daily look back at the absurd and sometimes amusing perils of live TV. First up: A lot of the time, conversations on ABC‘s “The View” aren‘t exactly intellectual. But one interchange today would suggest that their new co-host needs to review her 3rd grade color-coded books.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, “THE VIEW”: Do you—is the world flat?
SHERRI SHEPHERD, “THE VIEW”: Is the world flat?
SHEPHERD: I don‘t know.
GOLDBERG: What do you think?
SHEPHERD: I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: I don‘t think about it, either. I just know. Even the show‘s mother hen seemed stunned about Sherri Shepherd‘s apparent ignorance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, “THE VIEW”: You‘ve never thought about whether the world was round?
SHEPHERD: No, because—but I‘ll tell you what I‘ve thought about, how I‘m going to feed my child...
WALTERS: Well, you can do both.
SHEPHERD: ... how I‘m going to take care of my family. The world—is the world flat, has never entered into—that has not been an important thing to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Neither is if the sky is blue or that gravity keeps us from floating to space, but that doesn‘t mean you get a pass on knowing one of the basic truths of the world we live in.
Next up: Memphis CBS affiliate WREG reporter Andy Wise was following a repeat DUI offender after a court hearing to, quote, “make sure he wasn‘t driving.” As Wise chased after him, the man apparently bumped the reporter, which started a fight. It then led to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let him go. Let him go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off me (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: He took a knee to the face there. Wise was not seriously hurt, but he did need stitches. Police charged the man with assault yesterday. Newschannel 3 on your side!
Finally, to Fox and “The Big Story” with what was John Gibson and is now John Gibson and Heather Nauert. They celebrated her return to Fox like a royal arrival.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GIBSON, “THE BIG STORY”: Hi, everybody. I‘m John Gibson, welcoming my new co-anchor of “The Big Story.”
BILL HEMMER, FOX ANCHOR: And Heather, welcome back to Fox.
GERALDO RIVERA, “GERALDO AT LARGE”: Welcome back, Heather.
GIBSON: It is my honor to be sitting next to my new co-anchor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: OK. Yes, yes, yes. Look, I consider both John and Heather old friends. I wish them all the best and ask that they provide me much fodder for “Beat the Press.” Good luck to both of them.
We want your help beating the press. If you see anything amusing, absurd or just right or wrong, go to our Web site at Abrams.msnbc.com, leave us a tip in the box. Please include the show and the time you saw the item.
Coming up: The cloud of suspicion may be lifting for Madeleine McCann‘s parents. A Portuguese judge rules that they do not have to return to that country for further questioning. And Madeleine‘s father is now expected to explain why his daughter‘s DNA may have been found in the family‘s rental car.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW MEYER, UNIV. OF FLORIDA STUDENT: Don‘t tase me, bro! Don‘t tase me! I didn‘t do anything! Ow! Ow! Ow!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: The University of Florida now investigating why campus police tasered an outspoken student who was trying to question John Kerry at a student event. But as everyone talks about the end of free speech, it seems the real question is being ignored. Did the police really do anything wrong? Coming up.
ABRAMS: Coming up, the University of Florida is investigating if campus cops used excessive force when they Tasered a student who had been asking John Kerry a long question.
But first, breaking tonight, police are looking for the remaining suspects from O.J. Simpson‘s alleged crew. Police releasing these photos of two men leaving the hotel with boxes of items. Police believe they were taken during the alleged robbery.
Meanwhile, police arrested a fourth suspect in the case just hours ago, and the legal wrangling continues over O.J. Simpson‘s assets. There is a continuing battle going on over how much O.J. Simpson has and whether he‘s going to have to turn over more of those items.
We‘re joined now by O.J. Simpson‘s civil attorney, Ronald Slates.
Thank you very much for coming on the program. We appreciate it.
RONALD P. SLATES, O.J. SIMPSON‘S CIVIL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you for the invitation.
ABRAMS: Let me ask you this. I know you‘re not defending him in the context of this criminal case, but my theory in this case has been that this related to O.J. Simpson hiding assets, and that he got angry that these guys may have been trying to sell assets that he believed belonged to him. Has part of your job been to follow Simpson‘s assets?
SLATES: No. We are basically protecting those assets that he has and those assets that he earns through occasional appearances and so forth. It‘s Yale Galanter who is really focusing on the criminal aspect and any aspect of, you know, hiding assets. We have no information that O.J. is hiding any assets at all.
ABRAMS: When he owes as much money as he does, I mean, $33.5 million judgment, don‘t any of his assets apart from his pension and his home, shouldn‘t they automatically go to the civil judgment?
SLATES: No, they wouldn‘t. In fact, California has a law that tells you, you can choose which, if any, of your creditors you would like to pay. We were willing to sit down, make a deal with them. They turned down $5 million, plus probably 20-plus percent of his income, way back 11 years ago when I was trying to settle the case with them then.
ABRAMS: They, of course, say that‘s not true. We asked Fred Goldman about that, he said that that‘s a lie. But why would they settle? I mean, there‘s a huge judgment. Settlement to me is before a case is resolved, not after there‘s been a judgment. After there‘s been a judgment, it seems there‘s payment, not settlement.
SLATES: You look realistically at what you can collect. The biggest amount of money they can collect is allowing O.J. to work, allowing him to use his skills, his talent, and even though he‘s a very controversial person, allowing him to maximize that and take a percentage of that.
ABRAMS: But he has said he is not going to work a day in his life for any money that will go to the Goldman family. O.J. said that himself.
SLATES: Trust me, we can talk otherwise, and trust me, if they were in the least bit interested, we‘ll sit down at a table. And even the judge in this morning‘s court, who basically ruled entirely in our favor, has said he would serve as a settlement judge, a very fair gesture on the behalf of that judge.
ABRAMS: Final question...
SLATES: They just don‘t want to sit down.
ABRAMS: So Simpson has assets then that are subject to negotiation?
SLATES: No, he doesn‘t have assets other than his pension plan, but he has the ability to work.
ABRAMS: So why do they want to sit down at the table if you‘re saying he doesn‘t have any assets anyway?
SLATES: He has the ability to work, and he has the ability to make good if, in fact, he works and they get a piece of the action, because he‘s in public demand, whether you like him or don‘t.
ABRAMS: That‘s true. I just don‘t think that he will work—I believe him. One of the things I do believe O.J. Simpson on is that he won‘t work a day in his life.
SLATES: And, Dan, I‘m telling you, give us a chance. We‘d make a deal that would make sense.
ABRAMS: Yes, well, I think the deal should start with O.J. Simpson beginning to pay off what he owes. But we shall see. Ronald Slate, thanks a lot for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
SLATES: Thank you so much for your time.
ABRAMS: New developments in the case against the parents of missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann. Last week, it felt like the parents could be charged at any moment. Now it seems the tides have changed with a judge stepping in. Here‘s what‘s happened over the past 48 hours.
The Portuguese judge reviewing ten boxes, 4,000 pages worth of evidence against the McCanns, has refused to order them back to Portugal for more questioning, spurring speculation the couple will not be charged and the case against them could be thrown out soon.
Tomorrow, Gerry McCann will lay out an explanation for the DNA found in the back of his rental car that he says will prove his family‘s innocence. And a top media consultant has come to the McCanns‘ defense. Clarence Mitchell left his six-figure salary at the British cabinet‘s media monitoring unit to become the McCanns‘ official spokesperson. He spoke out today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARENCE MITCHELL, MCCANN SPOKESPERSON: I will soon be representing Kate and Gerry as a private individual, one who believes utterly that they are entirely innocent of any involvement in the disappearance, let alone the death, of their daughter, Madeleine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Joining us to discuss the new details, Sarah Baxter with the “Sunday Times of London” and former FBI profiler, MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt. Thanks to both of you for coming on. Appreciate it.
All right, Sarah, very intriguing, this idea that Gerry McCann is going to make some sort of statement tomorrow which he says will explain the DNA that was found in a rental car that they rented 25 days after Madeleine went missing?
SARAH BAXTER, “SUNDAY TIMES OF LONDON”: Absolutely. What we‘re now seeing is the McCanns coming out fighting, after reeling from scurrilous leaks and allegations from the Portuguese police last week. Everyone was very dismayed by the idea that there was DNA found in this rental car. No one knew what to make of it. If it was really Maddy‘s DNA, then how could it possibly have gotten there?
But he now has come up with an explanation that, on the face of it, just might be credible. The McCanns used this car to move a whole lot of stuff, all their personal belongings from their apartment, the apartment where Maddy disappeared, to a villa when they made a more permanent camp out there in Portugal. And they removed the back seat, which could explain some of the traces of stuff around a spare tire, which, if you remember, came out last week, and they poured a whole load of their family belongings in that car, including things like Maddy‘s old sweaty flip-flops, a pair, I‘m told, of dirty pajamas, and they even at one stage had some soiled diapers—I nearly called them nappies, which is what we call them in England, some soiled diapers from the twins who may have similar DNA to Maddy and may account for this bodily fluid that was found in the back of the car.
ABRAMS: That is an interesting, interesting development.
Clint, what do you make of it?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: I think it‘s all logical. You know, you do a segment called “Beat the Press.” I think anything that comes out in the Portuguese press should be beat on right now. Their whole case, Dan, is like a sand castle that‘s built next to the ocean. Well, the water is coming in, and it‘s washing everything away.
You know, I‘m not taking sides on this, but right now, other than this little girl being missing, I haven‘t seen one piece of evidence that can link this family to it, other than being the parents and making this terrible mistake of leaving this little girl by herself that night.
ABRAMS: And, Clint, it‘s a big deal that this Portuguese judge seems unwilling to effectively side with the Portuguese investigators.
VAN ZANDT: Well, thank God somebody is taking a stand, Dan, and said, “You know, show me the evidence.” And right now, there doesn‘t look to be any. We‘ve got the Portuguese police waving their arms around, looking for somebody to blame, and they haven‘t got anyone, so right now they‘ve come up with the parents. I think the Portuguese police did everything they could to chase the parents away, to chase them out of Portugal, hoping that, once they were gone, the case would go away and they wouldn‘t have to investigate what they‘ve already screwed up.
ABRAMS: Sarah, there‘s a real sense in London, is there not, that these parents are being unfairly targeted?
BAXTER: Yes, sometimes public opinion has swung against them, because there was always that sense that maybe they shouldn‘t have left their daughter alone, but, really, the allegations made by the Portuguese police have become so far-fetched. If you look at the big picture, the idea that somehow they killed their own daughter with accidental design, were then able to pull off the most audacious cover-up, and have the sheer nerve to seek all kinds of endorsements from celebrities all over the world, including the pope, to assist with her disappearance, to assist with appeals to find her, it just beggared believe.
And I‘m very glad to see that they‘re fighting back now, because there‘s a lot at stake for the McCanns, not just their own personal liberty, but they do risk losing their own twins who are all they‘ve got left at the moment if they are charged, and those twins could be taken into care. And then, of course, there‘s Maddy herself. Possibly valuable time is being lost when the police could be out searching for her.
ABRAMS: And the police, of course, you know, failed to secure the crime scene. They failed to conduct a thorough neighborhood investigation, failed to seize surveillance cameras, failed to notify ports and borders about a possible abduction. There were a lot of problems early on in this case, and a lot of people saying that the Portuguese police are now just looking for somebody to blame.
Sarah Baxter, thank you so much for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
BAXTER: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Clint‘s going to stay with us.
Up next, a University of Florida student winds up Tased and confused after campus cops stop him from questioning John Kerry. The university is now investigating. The question, though, did the police really go too far or not? We‘ll debate.
And later, the latest face in fashion, a supermodel turning heads and eyebrows. She is just 13. Is that tonight‘s big winner or loser? The answer, ahead.
ABRAMS: On tape, a University of Florida student Tasered during a forum featuring Senator John Kerry. It started after 21-year-old Andrew Meyer asked the senator several long-winded questions, including one about impeaching President Bush, and here‘s what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW MEYER, STUDENT TASERED IN FLORIDA: Are you kidding? They‘re arresting me. What have I done? What have I done? Get away from me, man. get away from. Get off of me! What did I do? What did I do? (INAUDIBLE) They‘re arresting me!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘ll be Tased if you do not...
MEYER: I‘ll walk out of here.
MEYER: Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off me, man. I didn‘t do anything. Don‘t Tase me, bro. Don‘t Tase me. I didn‘t do anything wrong! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! What did I do? What did I do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: The student spent the night in jail, booked on one felony charge of resisting an officer with violence and a charge of disturbing the peace. He was released today. Florida‘s conducting an investigation into the police response of the incident, and the two officers involved have been placed on paid leave, pending the outcome.
But Their reports indicate that they believe the whole thing might have been a set-up. With everyone going now after the police and asking whether freedom of speech is being restricted, we asked, did the university police actually do anything wrong?
Joining me now is Rick Robinson, a former West Virginia state trooper, and Clint Van Zandt, MSNBC analyst, formerly with the FBI. Gentlemen, thanks a lot for coming on.
All right, Rick, let me start with you. We‘re going to continue to play this in slow motion as we talk about it. The real question here is the Tasering, right?
RICK ROBINSON, FORMER WEST VIRGINIA STATE TROOPER: Yes.
ABRAMS: I mean, it seems to me—in hearings and in Congress all of the time, we see people pulled out for making too much noise, for disturbing the peace, for disorderly conduct, et cetera. It happens regularly. The question is Tasering the guy. Too much?
ROBINSON: Well, I look at the whole picture. Of course, it really comes down to, was he resisting arrest? And that‘s even more important to me in this particular case. But he approached after everybody was told there were no more questions. He‘s yelling and screaming. He says something to Kerry about, “I‘ve been listening to your crap for two hours, and now you‘re going to listen to my questions.”
And the officers came up to him after the microphone was shut off and apparently asked him to leave or walk away or whatever, and he didn‘t. So cops were left with really only two choices at that point. Either they walk away or they make an arrest. In this particular case, they decided to arrest the guy. But as you can clearly see, he is resisting arrest.
ROBINSON: And when they get him on the ground, they‘re telling him, if you don‘t comply, we‘re going to Tase you.
ROBINSON: And then they Tased him.
ABRAMS: But, Clint, I would assume the standard for Tasing someone has got to be pretty high.
VAN ZANDT: Well, it is, Dan, but, look. We‘re looking at this histrionic behavior. I mean, this guy was playing to the cameras. You know, you talked earlier about, was O.J. or was O.J. not set up? These cops were set up. This guy was there. Whether he had a predisposition or whether he made up the idea when he was there, he passes the camera to someone. He says, “Take my picture when I‘m doing this,” and then he starts playing to the camera. This guy looks like he‘s in a third grade school play, waving his arms around.
But the point here, Dan, is that the police said, “You‘re coming with us. You‘re leaving.” He fought against them. He wrestled them. And the reality is, this 21-year-old spoiled kid is a lot bigger than these cops, and they had a hard time with him.
ABRAMS: Well, but there are six of them. I mean...
ABRAMS: There are a good number of cops there. The notion that they had to Taser him with that many cops on top of him?
ROBINSON: See, here‘s my theory. You‘ve got an ambassador, a United States senator there. You‘ve got a guy that‘s fighting. You get one cuff on him. Clint, you know from experience, you get one cuff on a guy, he‘s got a weapon he can use against you.
VAN ZANDT: He‘s got a weapon. He‘s got a weapon.
ROBINSON: You don‘t know what this guy is thinking of doing.
VAN ZANDT: With those arms and legs flailing around, Dan, you‘ve got to stop him before he hurt himself or somebody else.
ABRAMS: Yes, look, I just don‘t know about the Tasing part, but, look, we‘re giving two law enforcement guys an opportunity to defend law enforcement.
VAN ZANDT: What about this, “Ouch, oh, ouch, oh. Don‘t Tase me, bro”?
ABRAMS: Clint Van Zandt, otherwise his acting name is Clint Von, and Rick Robinson, thanks a lot. Appreciate it. That wasn‘t very funny, but anyway.
Up next, will tonight‘s big loser be Pluto the dog caught on tape running after a child angrily, a monkey running around a hospital, literally trying to keep out other primates, or a runway model who is becoming a runaway hit at the age of 13? Isn‘t that too young? We‘ll ask a former big-time model next in “Winners and Losers.”
ABRAMS: Time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers” for this 18th day of September, 2007.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS (voice-over): Our first winner, an Asian monkey who is serving and protecting at a hospital in northern India. The long-tailed Langur was brought in to police smaller monkeys for actually biting and attacking patients while trying to take their food. It‘s almost Disney-like. Apparently, the presence of the bigger monkeys kept the smaller ones away and the patients safe.
Our first loser, the real Disneyland, where apparently some kids need a Langur -like monkey to protect them from Pluto. An employee dressed up as a Disney dog apparently became so upset at a boy visitor that he chased him around the park, only stopping when confronted by what appears to be the child‘s mother. She didn‘t appreciate what seemed like more than just monkeying around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on. You‘re just a big bully.
ABRAMS: The second winner, a Nevada black bear who survived a death-defying fall from a tree on Monday. First, rescue workers coaxed the bear down from its perch in this tree, tranquilized, and prepared to drag it away. But the fearless grizzly had other plans. It managed to climb another tree before the drugs kicked in. The rattled bear dropped to the ground, dazed but alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That‘s the most powerful tranq gun on the market.
They say it can puncture the skin of a rhino from...
WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN: Ow!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! That‘s awesome!
ABRAMS: The second loser, a dazed and lucky to be alive Oregon man who put his pet rattlesnake in his mouth. Now, Matt Wilkinson says he was just drinking and messing around with friends when he decided to test the not-so-charmed snake. That‘s when it got grisly. The snake locked onto the back of his throat, pumping enough venom into his body to easily kill. Wilkinson miraculously survived after spending three days in a tranquilized, medically induced coma.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: I‘ve had it with these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) snakes on this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) plane!
ABRAMS: But the big winners of the day, over-eager city workers in Farmers Branch, Texas. They begun putting up the city‘s Christmas lights now, three months early. The crews are installing 300,000 lights in Farmers Branch, then moving onto surrounding towns, proving it‘s apparently never too early to see those flashing holiday lights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody come out and look at the lights!
ABRAMS: The big losers of the day, organizers of Australia‘s Gold Coast Fashion Week who don‘t seem to realize it may be way too early for a 13-year-old to see the flashing lights of a catwalk. Underage supermodel Madison Gabriel was chosen to be the face of the Australian fashion event. That means looking and acting like a sexy adult, a move that‘s inflamed child labor advocates and bucks the trend across most of Europe, which bans models under the age of 16.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... during commercials, you tell me. What is too young?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Joining me now, former model and author, Kelly Killoren Bensimon. Thanks a lot for taking the time. Appreciate it.
All right, what do you make of this, 12, now 13 years old, too young, right?
KELLY KILLOREN BENSIMON, STARTED MODELING AT 16: Way too young. I mean, 13 is three years older than 10, so that‘s really way too young.
ABRAMS: So why do you think that they did this? I mean, do you think that they knew that there would be this sort of controversy? Are they trying to get controversy? Do they think, “We just needed this beautiful 13-year-old girl”?
BENSIMON: No, I mean she‘s a gorgeous, gorgeous girl, and I think basically they, you know, they just wanted a beautiful face. I don‘t think they were thinking about her age. They were thinking they wanted a beautiful girl.
ABRAMS: Much of Europe, 16 minimum for models. Do you think it‘s a good idea?
BENSIMON: Absolutely. I mean, at 16, you can make proper decisions.
But at 13, you‘re still a child. I mean, you‘re just a teenager.
ABRAMS: And they‘re also dressing her up to look sexy and sexual.
BENSIMON: I have two young girls, and if they wanted to model at 13, I would forbid them. I think it‘s really inappropriate. I think they should be young and be having fun. They should be playing soccer, not trying to be sexy.
ABRAMS: Would something like that ever happen here, you think?
BENSIMON: Absolutely not, not in America, they wouldn‘t allow it.
ABRAMS: Kelly Killoren Bensimon, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
BENSIMON: Thank you.
ABRAMS: That‘s all the time we have for tonight. Up next, “Hollywood Vice.” MSNBC takes you along as police try to clean up Tinseltown, as cops wage a losing battle to get sex workers off the street.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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