Guest: Tamara Green, Michael Kane, Karen Russell
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Coming up, another ABRAMS REPORT exclusive. Bill Cosby‘s lawyers have a lot of questions about the second woman who accused Cosby of groping her. We direct their questions to the woman at the center of the storm.
ABRAMS (voice-over): Tamara Green joins us live to tell us what she says happened with Cosby and to respond to the new questions about her credibility.
And a new bill in Washington State would allow parents to intercept and record any phone or e-mail conversations their children have. Should kids or teenagers have any right to privacy?
Plus, Prince Charles is planning to marry his longtime girlfriend, Camilla Parker Bowles. I‘ve got just one question, the same question many ask every time a high-profile couple gets hitched.
The program about justice starts now.
ABRAMS: Hi everyone. First up on the docket tonight, new details about the second woman that claimed Bill Cosby drugged and assaulted her. Now Cosby‘s team is fighting back. Within days of the current accuser‘s claim that she was drugged and then molested, a second woman, Tamara Green, came forward saying she, too, had a similar incident with Cosby more than 30 years ago. We‘re going to talk to her in a moment, but first, a letter to NBC from Cosby‘s attorney makes Cosby‘s position clear.
“It says in part Ms. Green is peddling a highly defamatory fictional story about something she claims occurred with Mr. Cosby three decades ago. Her claims are false, fabricated, and defamatory. Mr. Cosby denies her assertions.”
A previous statement from Cosby‘s attorney said Cosby doesn‘t even know Tamara Green. Here to respond to accusations against her from Cosby‘s legal team and to tell us what she says happened is Tamara Green. Thanks very much for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
TAMARA GREEN, SAYS BILL COSBY ASSAULTED HER: You‘re very welcome. I appreciate the opportunity to address these allegations.
ABRAMS: All right, we will spend a good amount of time on that. First, just remind people, lay out what you say happened with Bill Cosby, how you met him, and what happened.
GREEN: Well I met him through mutual friends, but ultimately I was part of a group—I was going to help him along with other people to call his very considerably large number of friends and colleagues to raise a membership and raise capital perhaps to fund and to see what the viability was of a new club, a nightclub on Luciana Boulevard (ph) called The Bayou Club. And one day I called Bill at the restaurant that he owned at the time called Figurose (ph), I believe it was on Melrose. It was a wonderful place and I said I can‘t do this. I don‘t feel well. I‘m sick.
He said please come over to the restaurant. Perhaps if you have lunch, you will feel better. I went to the restaurant and I was ill. I was getting the flu or something. And he said, do you think that some Contac, some antihistamine or something like that would work? And I said, yes, it might be helpful. So he went back and got two capsules and you know, psychologically now I‘m imprinted on a person that I trust and respect and he‘s told me this is going to be Contac, and I swallowed down these two capsules and after they kicked in about 20 or 30 minutes later, they indeed helped me.
I felt great, you know. But about 10 minutes after that, I was almost literally facedown on the table at lunch. And so he said, you know, I‘m sure you are more ill than we first thought and I need to take you home. And clearly I could not drive. I was rapidly losing motor control. So he took me to my house and then he very helpfully told me that he would help me go to bed and tuck me in. And he took off my clothes and he put me in my bed and I—at a certain point I realized that I‘m not being tucked in the way my mommy would tuck me in and that something else was going on here.
And the fact is, is that as a child of the ‘60‘s, I really knew the difference between antihistamines and being really, really stoned, and I was helpless. But I was fighting and struggling with him. I‘m a person who when attacked makes a great deal of noise. I can‘t tell you how long it all went on. He had his pants down. He did all kinds of things to me. He touched me and fondled me and you know, all the stuff that you—that I had never invited, did not want, and was helpless to prevent.
He—I told him, though that if he was going to—if he intended to rape me, he better kill me because I knew what was going on. I just couldn‘t defend myself. I tried to throw a lamp through the plate glass window. Ultimately he was gone. I go staggering into my living room and find two $100 bills on my coffee table. And so that incensed me and I tried to go outside—I literally stepped in front of an automobile and had a guy take me back to Figurose (ph) but by then everybody was gone.
ABRAMS: All right...
GREEN: I tried to drive home and had motor accidents and things...
ABRAMS: All right, let me—I want to ask you—I mean and you say that the reason...
GREEN: That‘s essentially the story.
ABRAMS: And you say the reason that you didn‘t come forward immediately was because he was very helpful. He came to visit your dying brother and as a result, you didn‘t want to move forward at that time.
GREEN: It‘s true, but the thing is that I was—I never—you know it did not—you have to remember that it was a different world in 1970 or ‘72. You know, women did not just go running off to the police station when they were wide-eyed little models...
ABRAMS: All right, fair enough...
GREEN: ... and attack the great movie star...
ABRAMS: But it‘s been 30 years. I mean you‘ve had 30 years of opportunity since then, right, to come forward.
GREEN: I wouldn‘t say so. I mean the girl who‘s being charged in Philadelphia waited 11 months and everybody is sticking their nose saying that she waited too long. Everybody has an idea about how you are supposed to react and what you are supposed to do, what you would have, could have, or should have done, but they have never been there, they haven‘t been molested. They don‘t know...
ABRAMS: Before we talk about...
GREEN: I dispute what you should do.
ABRAMS: Before I give you an opportunity to talk about some of the allegations that are made against you, one of the things a lot of my viewers wrote in and asked is if you were so helpless and so stoned, how were you able to throw all these items around the room?
GREEN: That‘s interesting because that same e-mail came in on another show, so that person is probably tracking me. Well, you know, I still have a prehensile hand. That‘s what I answered that viewer yesterday, and that‘s still true. Even if you‘re lying flat on your back, it‘s not that hard to throw an arm out and close your fingers around an object.
ABRAMS: All right, we‘ve got a limited amount of time, so if you could just respond, I‘m going to go through a number of allegations that have been made against you. I know you want a chance to respond, so let‘s try and go through them as quickly...
GREEN: I do.
ABRAMS: All right, number one...
GREEN: I welcome it and if this is the worst they‘ve got, bring it on.
ABRAMS: The fact—all right, the fact that you were convicted of battery in June of 1990. True?
GREEN: True. And I‘m here to tell you that if I find you in bed with my boyfriend after you‘ve eaten dinner at my house and sucked down my wine, I will punch you in your nose. So that‘s what happened and that‘s why I was convicted of battery. And I‘m prepared to punch anybody in the nose. All you have to do to stay clear of me is not put your paws on my boyfriend.
ABRAMS: All right. And recently 12 charges have been lodged against you by the Bar Association involving three clients.
GREEN: Yes and lodged is the correct term. Three clients—when I closed by sole practitioner law firm, my clients did not want new attorneys. Some of them were angry about their settlements and the amount. The one woman, Magana (ph) I believe her name is, said that I hadn‘t paid her medical providers, and that‘s a fact because she had gotten less money as a policy—what‘s it‘s called—the policy limits were paid and her medical bills exceeded that. You have to give an equal discount to all of the medical providers if you pay less than is owed on liens...
ABRAMS: But the Bar Association...
GREEN: ... and since one of them wouldn‘t agree...
ABRAMS: But the Bar Association doesn‘t lodge charges, complaints, whatever they are, for just any frivolous...
GREEN: Sure they do.
ABRAMS: ... thing that comes up. They...
GREEN: I didn‘t say it was a frivolous...
GREEN: They do lodge charges. I‘m here to tell you they do. The
Magana (ph) case happened as a result of the fact that the money was in the
account, and I had returned retainers to other people who because they had
to get new lawyers were going to have to reinvent the wheel. The best way
to make those people as happy as you can when you can‘t follow—you can‘t
· you‘re not going to handle their cases anymore is to give them back their money. I took, unfortunately, a retainer out of the money, which rightfully belonged to Magana (ph). That‘s called commingling your money and as you know, every state bar in the whole United States takes a very dim view of commingling funds.
ABRAMS: That was only...
GREEN: So, ultimately...
ABRAMS: That was only one of the allegations, though...
GREEN: Yes, but...
ABRAMS: The allegations were failure to pay...
GREEN: ... that was the only allegation...
ABRAMS: Let me just go through them...
GREEN: No, the only...
ABRAMS: Failure to pay client funds promptly...
GREEN: I know what the allegations...
ABRAMS: Failure to perform with competence, failure to maintain client funds in a trust account, failure to refund unearned fees.
GREEN: That‘s right. And what happened is that out of all those charges in that particular case, the only one that I was charged with and placed on probation for, for three months or six months—I think it‘s three or four months—was the commingling of funds in the trust account. I had no—there was no turpitudeness act found. There was no stealing of funds. All of the bills were paid.
Everything was done. There was no money to return. It was perfectly fine. So the—what came out of those charges was one count of commingling funds and a three or four-month probation that came out of that.
ABRAMS: All right. Bill Cosby‘s lawyers wrote us a letter and here is one of the things that they said to us.
“Independent witnesses have confirmed to us that Green‘s behavior in the legal field has been bizarre...
ABRAMS: ... highly—let me finish—has been bizarre and highly unprofessional, including making sexual overtures to opposing counsel and using profanity on the record and exhibiting other unprofessional behavior during depositions.
GREEN: Oh I know exactly who that is. Yes well, that man chews his fingernails down to the first knuckle and he‘s a crazy person. I‘ll just say that right out. And the fact is sexual overtures is really hilarious. I hate him. I would never make a sexual overture to him. But I beat him flat in that case, and he‘s not happy about that. And his—you know, if you want his name and his phone number, you can call him up...
GREEN: He‘s a very interesting guy.
ABRAMS: They supplied a deposition where you were cursing in—as part of the deposition.
GREEN: I curse. What can I tell you?
ABRAMS: All right...
ABRAMS: ... let me take a quick break here. We‘ve got more from the letter from them, more questions for you about exactly what happened and we‘ll talk more about the allegations against Bill Cosby in a moment.
ABRAMS: Coming up, more with the woman accusing Bill Cosby of groping with her. More tough questions from the lawyers, more Bill Cosby have written us a letter, coming up.
ABRAMS: We‘re back...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE CASTOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY PA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: ... in a timely manner and contacts with the alleged perpetrator after the event are factors that weigh in favor of Mr. Cosby in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: That statement is one of the reasons Tamara Green says she came forward to say that the exact same thing happened to her 30 years ago, that she was drugged and then Bill Cosby tried to grope her essentially and we are talking to her about some of the questions about her background, some of the questions about her credibility, giving her a chance to respond to various allegations.
All right, let‘s go to another quote here, Ms. Green. This is from, again, one of Bill Cosby‘s attorneys and they say the following.
“The fact that Ms. Green claims to have come forward with her story after keeping it from the public for 30 years should itself raise enormous suspicion. If her claims were true, there is no plausible explanation for the fact that neither she nor any other independent witness came forward at the time or at any time during the past three decades until now.”
GREEN: That‘s wholly irrelevant. You know, whatever people‘s motivations are, whatever—you know, women have this problem. There are certain criteria that have been established by, I don‘t know what, law enforcement or the district attorney saying women should do this. They could do this. They must do the following. So those things don‘t bother me. You know, when he was accused of sexual improprieties not long ago with regard to a child that DNA proved was not his, I didn‘t come forward then. When he was accused...
ABRAMS: But that wasn‘t...
GREEN: ... of improprieties...
ABRAMS: ... that wasn‘t sexual abuse, though.
GREEN: Yes, it was sexual impropriety...
ABRAMS: Impropriety is very different from abuse...
GREEN: ... it just shows you...
ABRAMS: Yes. Impropriety is very different, yes.
GREEN: Right, but—all right, but even if this case—and by the way, he didn‘t attempt to grope me. He molested me, groped me, handled me, violated me. He did do that. But the thing that I wanted to say is that in this case when I heard the similarity of the facts—the fact that it was pills, the fact that it was in a private setting where there‘s only two people in the room, the fact that now he‘s saying it‘s consensual, I mean he doesn‘t even deny being there with her...
ABRAMS: That‘s according to one report...
GREEN: I realized when I...
ABRAMS: Yes, that‘s according to one report...
GREEN: Right, well I realized...
ABRAMS: We should be clear, yes...
GREEN: Sure. I realized when the D.A. said well it looked like a weak case the thing that really got to me and the reason that I came forward was a combination of those things, but the crowning thing was his attorney coming out and saying it is preposterous that Bill Cosby would do such a thing. And my—this story that I‘m telling gains me nothing except a lot of heat and the dredging up of my stuff. I came forward because it is not preposterous that he would do such a thing. He did do such a thing. If he only did two of these 30 years apart, that‘s two too many.
ABRAMS: All right.
GREEN: But the fact is, is that just today I have received three phone calls from people who are prepared to tell a similar story...
ABRAMS: Yes, well...
GREEN: ... so that he will have to deal...
ABRAMS: Yes—well yes, keep in mind, just a little tip for you and I‘m not saying that they are not true, but in every high profile case, we get a lot of people coming out of the woodwork, say a lot of different things and...
GREEN: Yes and not all of them cry on the phone, too.
ABRAMS: Well, you know, I‘m just saying that...
GREEN: Well one girl, you know...
ABRAMS: I don‘t want to get into what...
GREEN: ... when he put $200 on my table...
ABRAMS: I don‘t want to get into what one person told you on the telephone without being able to verify it...
GREEN: No, I‘m not going to say...
ABRAMS: All right. Let me read...
GREEN: No, I‘m not going to say what it is.
ABRAMS: All right. Let me read you another statement from Cosby‘s attorney.
“It is all too transparent that Ms. Green is seeking proverbial 15 minutes of fame and is using media outlets such as the “Today” show and MSNBC as her bully pulpit to pedal an unbelievable story while she faces investigation, suspension, and possible disbarment by the California Bar Association.”
GREEN: That‘s a lie. I‘m nowhere being disbarred. I‘ve never been inactive. I‘ve never been suspended. I‘ve been exonerated of any accusations of turpitude with regard to any nonpayment or refunds or any other thing...
ABRAMS: But they‘re still investigating, right...
GREEN: That‘s a total lie.
ABRAMS: I mean they‘re still investigating...
GREEN: No, it‘s over. No, not, it‘s over, it‘s done, finished. And I have been exonerated. That‘s not true. It‘s a total lie.
ABRAMS: So, why is the Bar Association saying that there are still outstanding issues?
GREEN: I doubt that they are.
ABRAMS: They are.
GREEN: I doubt that they are. Fine, then it didn‘t hit the computer, but I would suggest to you that you will be find that I am not going to be suspended. I will not be disbarred. I am still presently as we speak an active Bar member. That is not true. It‘s not true and besides, it‘s just not true.
ABRAMS: Let me let you respond to one other issue that has come up and again, you know...
GREEN: Oh well don‘t forget my DUI because I want that to come out right now. That would be nice...
ABRAMS: Go ahead.
GREEN: ... my DUI. I blew a .08 in the mid ‘90‘s coming home from a dinner party. I pled up. I didn‘t fight it and I did 48 hours in jail, which I want to tell you is a life-changing experience. You become very polite after that. And I want to tell you that the search that was performed on me before I went into jail was less intrusive than what Bill Cosby did to me.
ABRAMS: Tamara Green will join us again in a minute. We‘re going to take a quick break. More questions for her and you know again, this is—these are the questions that everyone wanted to know and no one has asked directly and not afforded Ms. Green an opportunity to respond to directly, so we will continue with this interview in a moment and we‘ll be back.
ABRAMS: We‘re back with Tamara Green, woman saying that Bill Cosby groped her 30 years ago and we‘ve been talking to her about various allegations that have been made against her and questions about her credibility. Before we get back to that, let me just ask you, how much contact have you had with the prosecutors in Pennsylvania and have you provided them with the names of people that you say can corroborate the fact that you have been talking about this over time?
GREEN: Yes. Well first of all, when I decided to call the district attorney in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that that‘s no easy feat. I‘ve received information today that other people have tried just today to call the district attorney in Pennsylvania and you just—you get machines and referred—nevertheless, after a week of calling the district attorney I spoke to a detective and gave a full chapter and verse statement, full of people, full of names, full of witnesses.
ABRAMS: And when you say full of names, meaning including people who you have told over the last 30 years that this happened?
GREEN: Yes. My mother called me today and she saw the show on the news this morning and she said I remember when you came to the hospital after Bill had come and given your brother an autographed picture of himself and how your brother was over the moon about it. And I said, isn‘t Bill Cosby a wonderful guy and that very day I said to my mother, he is not a good man. He is a bad man. And I didn‘t say anymore about it to my mother and my brother at the time, but my mother remembered today and told me today that she remembered that and she made that statement herself.
ABRAMS: But there were people who you say you specifically told about what happened, right?
GREEN: Yes. Yes.
ABRAMS: But not your mother.
GREEN: I didn‘t tell my mother that a man had sexually molested me, no. I didn‘t tell my brother on his deathbed with an autographed picture of Bill Cosby that this man that he was so bright eyed about, who had taken the time to honor him as my brother saw it had—was a bad man and had sexually molested his sister. No, I did not.
ABRAMS: All right, we‘ve got to deal with one other issue that has come up about your background and that is...
ABRAMS: ... in October 2004, that you entered a program for lawyers with substance abuse and mental health problems. True?
GREEN: No, actually, that‘s part of the probation for the business of the charges that you were reading. And by the way, those were charges ultimately there was one charge which was commingling of funds, but as a term—in the terms of probation for that offense, you go to a place where lawyers once a week, where lawyers sit around—either they have—and they are including people who have substance abuse problems, mental health problem, but you basically sit around once a week and talk about what a joy it is to practice law. And it‘s part of the terms of my probation that I have to participate in that program.
GREEN: I was not a substance abuser and I am not mentally deficient.
GREEN: I‘m a person given to depression.
ABRAMS: But I‘d assume that not everyone who is accused of the charge you are talking about has to go to mental or substance abuse programs, right?
GREEN: There‘s a thing called the pilot program, which is relatively new in the California State Bar where there are—in fact, it‘s almost like a diversion in a criminal case where you go and you—or traffic school—you go and you work off by going to these—what are meant to be helpful therapy meetings in order—you know as a result of the offenses with which you are finally charged.
ABRAMS: Are you sorry you came forward? I mean I‘m not the first one
· you‘ve been—I think you were almost relieved that we were going to let you respond in depth to all these issues...
ABRAMS: So I mean...
ABRAMS: ... are you sorry now that you came forward and having to have your whole life...
ABRAMS: ... dredged up and questioned?
GREEN: I would hardly call that my whole life. Somebody said to me earlier that they‘re going to find everybody you ever slept with and I thought well that will be an impressive group. I liked them then. I like them now; you know that‘s not a problem. You know, running—if you‘ve practiced law more than 20 minutes, you‘ve got clients that call up usually when you try to give them the bill and go I never liked her. She‘s a lousy lawyer.
In fact, this morning I appeared on my own motion for summary judgment against a client who is suing me for malpractice because I didn‘t want to be his lawyer anymore. And because he got me sued for malicious prosecution, which case I beat by way of judgment on the pleadings. And so you know, the reason he‘s suing me is because he didn‘t want another lawyer. Go figure.
ABRAMS: We are...
GREEN: So if you‘ve practiced for almost 20 years, you know what that‘s like.
ABRAMS: All right. We are doing to take a break. We‘re going to come back and talk about—a little bit more about the substance. We sort of veered off into talking strictly about Ms. Green‘s credibility and her background. We‘re going to come back and talk about the significance of the allegations that she‘s making with our legal panel. She‘s going to actually stick around. One of Bill Cosby‘s friends is on our panel. That could be interesting. Coming up.
ABRAMS: The woman accusing Bill Cosby of molesting her 30 years ago joins our legal panel coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTOR: The failure of a complainant to bring allegations of criminality to the attention of law enforcement in a timely fashion does tend to make—to suggest that the complainant did not think the conduct was as offensive as a person who immediately reports it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: And that‘s—after that statement was made, another woman came back. We‘re going to talk about a lot of time passing, 30 years. Tamara Green joins us again. She says that Bill Cosby groped her many, many years ago and is coming forward now because she said she was concerned that the D.A. was not going to act on current accusations against Cosby from another woman.
We‘re joined also by former Pennsylvania prosecutor Michael Kane and trial attorney and friend of Bill Cosby, Karen Russell. All right, Mike, you have been listening to half an hour of the—sort of the questions a prosecutor might be asking. You might be hearing responses. What do you make of Tamara Green‘s story?
MICHAEL KANE, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA PROSECUTOR: Well I guess it really doesn‘t matter what I make of it. It matters what Bruce Castor makes of it. He‘s the district attorney who‘s going to make the decision, but you know, obviously I‘m sure he‘s watching this and I‘m sure he‘s assessing based on her demeanor and her explanations and her discussion about her own problems and deciding whether that weighs into his determination of whether she‘s telling the truth or not. And ultimately he‘s also got to make the legal determination whether it‘s ever going to be admissible in court and whether if it was, would you want to have this person testifying in front of a jury on behalf of his case.
ABRAMS: We have statements from prosecutors today. One of the prosecutors in that office making it quite clear—this is from number eight—if we can just find this one—from Risa Vetri Ferman from the Montgomery County D.A.‘s Office.
“Generally an accusation from over 30 years ago is not going to be considered admissible in court or relevant to an investigation.”
All right, Karen Russell, you were very dubious of Ms. Green‘s claims.
You‘ve now listened to her for half an hour. What do you make of it?
KAREN RUSSELL, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well she, you know, obviously has practiced the story and I think she probably believes that this happened. But you know, you have to—I have to agree with the prosecutor and say whether it‘s completely irrelevant. It‘s not admissible. And when you have stale accusations like this, a defendant has no ability to defend themselves and so it‘s really unfair.
ABRAMS: But what about the idea that the prosecutors are going to take this into consideration—I have to say, from this statement coming out yesterday and today from the D.A.‘s Office, it sure doesn‘t sound like this is going to make or break it for them. But you‘ve been listening to her, are you more convinced or less convinced now after hearing her talk?
RUSSELL: I‘m not more convinced. And I think it‘s ironic that she is coming forward she says to help the other accuser, and I think that the sideshow of this story of 30 years ago that can‘t be corroborated is eclipsing the real issue about whether or not there was improper behavior a year ago.
ABRAMS: What do you make of that, Ms. Green?
GREEN: Well, the fact that it‘s not admissible doesn‘t make it irrelevant. You know, if a district attorney comes out in advance of filing his case and announces to his potential jury pool that it‘s a weak case and that she should have or would have or could have done something differently in terms of reporting it, notwithstanding her condition, her psychology, her ability, her courage, he‘s tainting the jury pool. And so if it helps from—for the jury pool in Pennsylvania to hear that it is—and then, of course, the attorney comes out and says it is—it‘s preposterous that anybody should even think that Bill Cosby could do such a thing, then I would suggest that my story is relevant for those two issues.
ABRAMS: Mike, what do you make of that?
GREEN: It is not preposterous.
KANE: Well it sounds to me like she‘s just saying that she‘s—you know I got to be—I got to tell you, Dan, I would—if I were the prosecutor in this case I‘d have a problem with a couple of things. One is I don‘t know why she keeps referring to him as Bill when she alleges that he sexually molested her. I‘d also have a problem with the fact it‘s one thing to call up the prosecutor and say, hey, by the way, don‘t just pooh-pooh what this woman is saying. It happened to me. It‘s another thing to then go on a public campaign and you have to start to question what‘s her motives for doing that. And if I were in the prosecutor‘s shoes right now, these would all be things that would be going through my mind.
RUSSELL: I would also add, you know, allowing her brother to have contact if this did happen, and she feels that Bill Cosby violated her in this way and her brother is on his deathbed, then to have him come and talk to her brother seems absurd to me. I can‘t imagine putting my brother in that sort of situation.
ABRAMS: Ms. Green.
GREEN: I wasn‘t in the hospital when he came to the hospital to see my brother. I was indisposed with the flu and being hung over from whatever it was that I took that time. He went there without me, without my permission, and he did exactly the right thing in terms of what—of how I would react because—and you know, he knew what he was doing.
ABRAMS: Ms. Green, at this point, do you care if people believe you?
GREEN: You know, some people will and some people won‘t. You know and nobody was there—the problem with a sexual assault case is that there‘s only two people in the room. One of them is the great and truly great and important man Bill Cosby. He has done wonderful things in this world for education, for children, for his community, for all kinds of things. I‘m not saying that the man is thoroughly evil.
I‘m just saying that it is not preposterous, as his lawyers contend, for him to be accused of these kinds of crimes because these crimes were committed by him. I know of one in particular, that‘s mine. If the only other one that he committed is the new one, that‘s two too many. And I have to tell you that just today more calls are coming through. One of the reasons that I came out and remained out was I knew that these people would come after me when I made this statement to say, well, she‘s a lousy lawyer, she was a rotten person, you know, whatever it is.
But the reality is that I think that it will give women courage, if not related to Bill Cosby, to say this is what happens to you when you come out. And not referring to me, but referring to the new victim. They will say, you should have, would have, could have done this and you didn‘t and therefore you are discredited, and I think that‘s terribly unfair.
RUSSELL: How can people defend themselves if there‘s no investigation, there‘s no evidence. We don‘t know about the witnesses. There‘s no corroboration. How can—you know, you can‘t just expect that years after the fact that people are going to take you at your word. If the defendant doesn‘t have a chance to...
GREEN: I don‘t expect them to.
RUSSELL: Oh, so then to what end, you know, so...
GREEN: What I‘m—no, what I‘m saying is, is that some people will believe me and some people won‘t. There will be women out there who have been sexual molested or raped by other people besides this who will see that a person can weather this storm, that a person can tell the truth. And even though the other person on the other side has the weight and power of wealth and a battalion of lawyers, important friends to say you‘re a liar and you are incredible because on X and such a date you didn‘t document your pain and your trouble, I never intended to come out against him.
GREEN: In the 70‘s, people didn‘t do that.
ABRAMS: I‘m just about out of time. But Ms. Green, do you expect Bill Cosby to sue you?
GREEN: Well I‘m sure he‘s going to be put in the position of saying if she‘s lying, why don‘t you sue her for defamation? I would suggest he proceed down that road very carefully.
ABRAMS: Tamara Green and Michael Kane, thanks very much. Ms. Green, you know, thanks for taking the time and answering all the questions and you know, who knows? You guys out there, you get to make up your own minds on this one.
Karen Russell is going to...
GREEN: Thank you for the opportunity.
ABRAMS: Karen Russell is going to stay with us and answer the “Just One Question?” segment. One of the questions—should a University of Colorado professor under fire for calling the victims of September 11 “little Eichmanns” be fired? Can the state university legally fire him for what he said?
Plus, a royal wedding is in the works. Charles and Camilla are getting hitched. I‘ve got just one question and it‘s a legal one. It‘s next.
ABRAMS: Back with our “Just One Question?” segment. We lay out today‘s legal stories and ask our guest just one question about each case. Back with us is attorney Karen Russell.
Issue one: New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi held a press conference today apologizing for any—quote—“distractions” he‘s caused in the last year. In December it came out that he apparently admitted using illegal steroids to a grand jury. “Just One Question?”—if the Yankees didn‘t know Giambi was doing—was on steroids when they signed him and he admits doing them now and isn‘t playing well because he‘s off of them, can they get rid of him contractually?
RUSSELL: Well you know Dan, we actually have a local case here with the former Husky coach, Rick Neuheisel and Neuheisel had an honesty clause in his contract, so I think it might be related to Giambi‘s contract. But it also says no matter what happens that the Players Union is going to back him up and so, if they proceed down this road, they‘re going to have a big team against them.
ABRAMS: Yes. Word is the Yankees have tried to think of ways to get out and apparently, it‘s going to be real tough for them.
ABRAMS: Issue two: Colorado Governor Bill Owens is calling on the University of Colorado to fire Professor Ward Churchill over a controversial statement he made in an essay where he referred to some victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns”, referring to the organizer of the holocaust, not to mention other inflammatory statements that Churchill has to his credit.
Churchill told his supporters earlier this week he owes no one any apologies. The University of Colorado Board of Regents is investigating whether Churchill should be fired. So one question—can the University of Colorado fire him based on what he writes or what he says?
RUSSELL: Well, I think it‘s going to be a question about whether or not he‘s tenured. But beyond that, I think, you know, I think about the First Amendment and if there‘s going to be a place for the First Amendment, it should be alive and well it should be at the colleges. So I would be happy to defend him on this case, even though I don‘t agree with his message.
ABRAMS: Really? I would—I mean, look, as a legal matter, I don‘t think they‘re going to be able to fire him, but I wouldn‘t be happy to defend him.
RUSSELL: You know what? I wouldn‘t say I would be happy, but I would be happy to defend the First Amendment.
ABRAMS: Yes, you can defend the First Amendment...
ABRAMS: ... but I wouldn‘t be happy to defend this guy.
All right, it‘ll be wedding bells for the royals this spring. It was announced today Prince Charles will wed his longtime girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles this April. So one question—is it possible to structure a prenuptial agreement for the future king of England?
RUSSELL: Well Dan, I have one question for you. Who really cares?
RUSSELL: I think they would be, but I don‘t know why anyone would care.
ABRAMS: I care immensely.
ABRAMS: I want to know every detail of it.
RUSSELL: I am so over the royals...
ABRAMS: I‘m just kidding...
RUSSELL: ... and I think a lot...
ABRAMS: Yes, I mean I‘m not...
RUSSELL: ... of other Americans are, too.
ABRAMS: Yes, well you know, it‘s—I‘ve got to tell you, a lot of people are very interested—I‘m not particularly one of them. I kind of agree with you, who cares? But you know what? I‘ll answer the question. It‘s not going to happen I don‘t think. I don‘t think—I mean I don‘t think he‘s going to really have a prenup? I don‘t know.
RUSSELL: Well he has assets...
ABRAMS: Oh yes, he‘s got assets.
RUSSELL: I mean he seems very devoted to this woman, so...
ABRAMS: All right.
RUSSELL: ... he may not feel that he needs that protection.
ABRAMS: Karen Russell, thanks for joining us.
Coming up, he has been on the run for close to 30 years eluding justice after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Now Oscar winner Roman Polanski is trying to use the courts for his own benefit. It‘s my “Closing Argument”.
And your e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
ABRAMS: Coming up, why Oscar winner Roman Polanski is using and abusing the law.
ABRAMS: My “Closing Argument”—it seems Director Roman Polanski has once again managed to outwit the legal system, remaining a fugitive from justice in the U.S. while also suing “Vanity Fair” magazine from the convenience of his own home in France. Remember in 1977, Polanski invited a 13-year-old girl over for a photo shoot. After giving her alcohol and apparently drugs and taking topless pictures of her, Polanski had sex with her and then drove the ninth grader home to her mom asking her to keep what had happened a secret.
She didn‘t and Polanski was charged with six felonies. He pled guilty to one, having sex with a minor as part of a deal with California prosecutors. But Polanski fled before his sentencing hearing he says because he feared the judge might not adhere to a deal that would have landed him a light prison sentence. He‘s stayed out of the U.S. ever since. For the past 30 years, the director has lived in Paris and made movies like “The Pianist”.
It just so happens that in France, having sex with a minor is not considered an offense serious enough to justify extradition. So he conveniently shoots his movies in countries that won‘t send him back. But now he has the gall to sue “Vanity Fair” magazine over an apparently false report in the July 2002 issue that he tried to seduce a woman within weeks of the murder of his wife Sharon Tate who was killed in ‘69 by followers of Charles Manson.
But he didn‘t sue in France. No you see libel laws work better for him in England, so he sued there. Of course, the Brits would send him back to the U.S., so what is a fugitive to do? How about testify via video link since he can‘t attend the trial? In a 3-2 decision Thursday, a British court ruled that he can do just that.
Great to hear that the Brits are so concerned about preserving the—quote—“civil rights” of fugitive sex offenders. Winning an Oscar shouldn‘t entitle you to pick and choose which parts of the legal system you want to use and which parts don‘t apply to you. Picture this. Polanski ends up getting—quote—“justice”, winning big bucks because his reputation was allegedly damaged, while the state of California continues to wait for justice as he sips Bordeaux along the Seine River with his newfound cash.
Coming up in 60 seconds, one couple that drinks together and drives together also gets ticketed for a DWI together. Our “OH PLEAs!” is next.
ABRAMS: I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”. Last night we debated laws that make it a far less serious crime for a husband to rape his wife. I said it‘s a violent crime. If you assault your neighbor, it‘s the same as assaulting your wife. Why doesn‘t the same apply to rape?
Andrew Hopkins from California writes, “Equating penalties for rape and spousal rape would simply open the floodgates for an endless amount of frivolous criminal prosecutions. If an otherwise happy couple has a fight, a disgruntled wife can run to the law and cry rape just to get back at her husband.”
First of all, Andrew, that would be a crime. Second of all, why can‘t that same disgruntled wife just cry assault? It‘s a violent crime either way.
Lee from Virginia. “There‘s a difference between being beaten and raped by a stranger and being raped by a friend or husband. Both are traumatic and wrong, but not the same. If you‘re raped by someone you have had consensual sex with in the past, it‘s not as traumatic as with a violent stranger.”
Really, Lee? Let me give you an example. A woman remarries, let‘s say. A few years later, her ex-husband decides you know what? I‘m going to head over there, break into her new home and violently rapes her. That‘s less traumatic?
Lyndsay Bowes writes, “The betrayal of being raped by the man who is supposed to love, cherish and protect you would be even worse in many ways than being raped by a stranger. When you‘re raped by a stranger, at least you have your husband to turn to.”
Terry Nell Morris from Tennessee responds to the man in a wheelchair who says the rules to get a—quote—“interview” as part of “The Apprentice” show discriminates against him based on his disability. I didn‘t buy it. “It‘s an application to be on a show, he writes. I‘m 50 years old. I don‘t fall into the eligible group either. Should I file a suit for discrimination? Maybe I should apply to be a Victoria‘s Secret too. Oh wait, I don‘t fit their requirements either. Oh darn. Give me a break.”
Your e-mails email@example.com. We go through them at the end of the show.
“OH PLEAs!”—here‘s a story that proves why it‘s not always a good idea to get out from behind the wheel if you‘re drunk. Michael and Brenda Wilbur decided to knock a few back before knocking down some pins at the local bowling alley. They pulled in the parking lot. Another couple was leaving. Michael crashed into the departing couple‘s car.
He soon realized oh you know, it might not be such a good idea to keep driving thinking he‘s been drinking, hands the keys over to his wife Brenda who also happened to be his drinking buddy. Hey, she did have one less beer than he did. Several miles later, the Wilburs were pulled over. It seems someone reporting their driving to the police and Michael and Brenda were both arrested for DWI.
Michael had a .18 alcohol level, Brenda a .16. You know what they say. A couple that drinks together, sinks together. But that doesn‘t mean that they both had to get behind the wheel.
That does it for us tonight. Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. I‘ve got a minute left here before the end of the show. So every once in a while, ladies and gentlemen, we don‘t time out the show perfectly or I speak too quickly or I speak slower than usual.
That means we have an extra minute here for me to just talk to you guys one-on-one. So let me tell you something, yes, this is an opportunity that I‘ve been waiting to have to thank my staff and I want to thank everyone on the set. You guys have been great, really. Everybody. Thank you so much.
How much time do we have left? Thirty more seconds. OK. All right. Got to go. Thanks for watching. And I‘ll see you tomorrow. Let‘s make this really slow. The wave, bye.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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