Guest: David Hans Schmidt, Shannon Nowlan, Charles “Choc” Harris, Christopher Darden, Lisa Salvati, Paul Reynolds, Dave Holloway
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Tonight, the latest in the ongoing search for American teen Natalee Holloway, as U.S. search crews are now bringing in the dogs.
Meanwhile, halfway across the world, a family searches for answers in the bloody disappearance of American honeymooner George Smith IV. We‘re going to get you up to date with the very latest.
Plus, our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation. Are cruise lines safe at any speed?
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, good evening. Hope your family‘s having a great evening tonight. I appreciate you being with me.
Now, tonight, new developments in the case of the groom who vanished from his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean. Now a U.S. senator is getting involved.
Now, we—we broke this story and we have got complete coverage tonight, including an inside investigation into whether cruise lines are doing enough to keep you and your family safe.
Plus, he‘s been called the sultan of celebrity smut, the man who buys and sells those celebrity sex tapes, from Colin Farrell to Tonya Harding Paris Hilton. He‘s going to be here to talk about why he sees no problem in profiting from controversial business, selling videos celebrities don‘t want the public to see. It is a multibillion-dollar industry.
But first, we begin tonight‘s news with news out of Aruba, 64 days now. Can you believe it? It‘s been 64 days since Natalee Holloway disappeared. And, tonight, new clues, including one of the suspects‘ missing shoe. Plus, information about one property that still hasn‘t been searched.
Meanwhile, Natalee‘s mother, Beth, has returned to Birmingham temporarily for the first time since her daughter disappeared. We‘ve got the story covered with all the angles.
And we are going to start in Aruba with NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski and also here at home with NBC‘s Martin Savidge in Natalee‘s hometown of Mountain Brook, Alabama.
But first, let‘s go to Aruba, where, two months to the day after her disappearance, there‘s still much to cover.
Michelle, get us up to date with the very latest in Aruba.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Joe.
Well, we heard today from a top police official here on the island that Joran van der Sloot was interrogated this afternoon and that it did include those Dutch experts in interrogation that were flown in from Holland last week. So, we were expecting this to happen, at least over the last few days. They say finally today, it did. Remember, an appeals court ruled last week that Joran can be taken out of jail and taken to different locations and interrogated there.
And that is apparently what happened today. These people know what they‘re doing. They‘re sort of the equivalent of the FBI. And, in fact, they‘re working with the FBI on this island. And attorneys that are associated with the case say that they really can‘t torture them in any way, obviously, but they can do things like withhold food. They can lie to them. They can mislead them. They can make these sessions last eight hours or more.
We don‘t know the details of what happened today, but keep in mind, suspects here have a right to silence, so you can sit somebody down and question them all you want, but you can‘t necessarily make them talk—
SCARBOROUGH: Michelle—OK, let me get this straight, Michelle. It took the Dutch authorities five weeks to bring in their A-team? I mean, any explanation why it took them so long?
KOSINSKI: We don‘t know exactly. They don‘t share their information with us. But it is possible they tried interrogations here on the island. They tried it in the jail. It‘s possible maybe they weren‘t getting enough.
We know Joran van der Sloot‘s attorney has said, hey, everything he‘s going to tell authorities, he‘s already told them. He tried to block the court from allowing further interrogation. So, maybe they decided, hey, now is the time. We‘re going to bring these people in, now that they‘re working very closely with the FBI, and just try this one more time together.
SCARBOROUGH: Explain to us about Joran van der Sloot‘s shoes and how that actually is now a part of this investigation.
KOSINSKI: Police have been pretty tightlipped about this. There have been rumors about them looking for a shoe in various places. Today, we know from police they‘re actually looking for a pair of sneakers, K-Swiss blue and white striped sneaker. We even know the size, size 14. So, they put out some detail there.
We know that, when they drained that field and pond, we‘d been told that they were looking for something like that, some evidence. They won‘t go so far as to tell us that they think these were lost on the night Natalee disappeared. But obviously they see them as having some potential evidentiary value because they‘ve been looking for them, they tell us, along beaches, other locations on this island. And they want those sneakers found.
SCARBOROUGH: And now the search moves from that drained swamp to this landfill dump. They suspended the search today, but that continues tomorrow. Tell us about the latest there.
KOSINSKI: Well, they didn‘t want to suspend it for today, but they had no choice. These volunteer searchers have been going out there now. This would be the fourth day. They tried to get the equipment out there again, but they just couldn‘t secure it today. They‘ve been having this equipment loaned to them. They‘ve been renting it.
They need some big stuff, backhoes and trucks, so they can dig down into this 10 feet or more of garbage. So, they had some trouble today. They just couldn‘t get out there. In fact, they went so far as to put an ad in the paper and say, please, somebody on this island, help us out; lend us this equipment. We know they were able to secure some for tomorrow, so they plan on being right back out there in the morning—back to you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Michelle Kosinski, thank you so much for the report. We greatly appreciate it.
And now let‘s turn from Aruba to Natalee‘s hometown of Mountain Brook, Alabama. For those of you who know about Mountain Brook, right outside of Birmingham.
And, in Birmingham, NBC‘s Martin Savidge.
Martin, we heard Beth talk about how she was going to stay down in Aruba until Natalee was found. She‘s up in Birmingham tonight, but apparently she‘s going right back there tomorrow. Tell us about it.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, the belief is and always has been, according to family members, that Natalee Holloway‘s mom, Beth Twitty, was going to come home, recharge, rest, and then return to Aruba to pick up once more trying to find the trail of what happened to her daughter.
We‘re standing in front of what is referred to locally as the wall of hope. It‘s been erected at a local church here. It‘s a place where many people come to pause, to reflect, to pray, to leave notes of encouragement and hope for family members. It‘s written all over the walls behind us here.
But Beth Twitty had been told by mental health experts for some time that she needed to take a break. She needed to get away from the island of Aruba and just have a moment to reflect on everything that‘s happened. She has another special reason to come back home; 15 -- or, rather, 16-year-old son, Matt, who is preparing to head back to school. She wanted to spend time with him. She has been gone, after all, all summer long.
And then, on top of that, a number of other reasons. Remember, this was a period of very high hopes that you had going here. Family members believed, with the witnesses that have come forward, they might find some significant. You had the draining of the pond that later literally came up empty. You had the ongoing search of the landfill that so far has found nothing. You had the strands of blonde hair found on the duct tape. Turned out not to be Natalee‘s hair.
Then you had the turndown in court, where family members had been hoping for DNA. Now it‘s been ruled that it was gathered improperly. So, all things that had their hopes up so high now have been dashed. Here in the community, hopes are still strong that she will be found in some way, but alive and well, like the yellow ribbon, that hope has faded—back to you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Martin, Martin, briefly, can you tell us how Beth is holding up tonight?
SAVIDGE: Well, she has gone immediately into seclusion. And we‘ve been told that she spent all day with her son, Matt, wanting to be with him and prepared to get him back to school.
She is strong. She‘s a very tough woman, as we know from personal conversations. She‘s had a hard time. She is regrouping, family members say, and planning to go back very soon—Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Martin Savidge. We greatly appreciate that report tonight from Mountain Brook, Alabama.
Now, Joran van der Sloot had his own apartment on the grounds of the family home over the weekend. Private investigators and EquuSearch tried to get in and look around. Take a look at this tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. van der Sloot, everybody is letting us search their property, even your next-door neighbor. Everybody‘s cooperating. Can we search your property, sir?
TIM MILLER, FOUNDER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: We asked Mr. van der Sloot if
· we said, you know what? There are several rumors going on about you.
And we‘d like to help you clear your name. Everybody in the neighborhood heard him screaming at us, so...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was he yelling?
MILLER: He said no, no, no, just screaming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let‘s go back now to Aruba and bring in Natalee Holloway‘s father, Dave, and uncle Paul Reynolds.
Dave, let‘s start with you. How are you all holding up? We heard Martin Savidge‘s report talking about how a lot of great leads last week, they all seemed to turn up empty. Do you still have hope that this investigation is going in the right direction and that they‘re going to find your daughter?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, you always have hope that there will be a resolution. The problem is, when is that going to happen? And you‘ve got to prepare yourself on a daily basis that, you know, is this going to be the day or tomorrow going to be the day? And, you know, you just hold hope that today will be the day.
SCARBOROUGH: How do you go through the emotional roller coaster day in and day out? I mean, so many people getting their hopes up that they have a lead. They drain the swamp all last week. At the end of the week, comes up empty. Now we understand that there‘s hope because a witness comes forward and says that they saw something happen at this landfill.
And yet, it seems like it‘s been an up-and-down trip for you for, you know, for the past several months. How do you do it? How do you endure day in and day out? How does the family endure day in and day out?
HOLLOWAY: Well, for myself, you know, you just have to believe in God and pray that he‘ll give you the strength to get through this. And you also have to have a group of good friends, the community support, all the people, you know, across the nation sending cards and letters.
And, you know, I‘ll just say this, that, if I didn‘t have that, I would have probably fell out the first week.
SCARBOROUGH: Paul Reynolds, you were there at the scene over the weekend, where there was the shouting at the van der Sloots‘ house, EquuSearch begging, EquuSearch begging the family to allow them to search the grounds. Take us to that scene. Tell us what was going on there.
PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: It was an effort to access the property. This is something that we‘ve been trying to do for several weeks now and weren‘t allowed to do it.
So, this was a—kind of a desperate effort to go and ask permission to search the property. It was—Tim from EquuSearch was given the OK by the investigators. And he actually went up to the door and confronted Mr. van der Sloot and asked him for permission to search his property. And, you know, he was—adamantly said no. You know, it was not really unexpected, but certainly not indicative of someone that didn‘t have something to hide.
SCARBOROUGH: And anger is obviously building up within the search group and also some family members toward this family because of the—possibly the cover-up of information that could lead to the finding of Natalee? Is that the case?
HOLLOWAY: Well, he knows what‘s going on. There‘s no doubt in my mind. You know, if my child would have done something like this, you know, as a parent, you would know about it and you would go to the authorities and that type thing.
But you‘re dealing with a judge and you‘re dealing with somebody that has coached his son on a daily basis. You know, they go through the interrogation process. The next day, the father visits with the son and he coaches him. You know, this kid is an athlete, and he‘s used to coaching. And his dad—he depends very heavily on his dad‘s advice and coaching.
And to go through the interrogation process and then turn around and have daily visits, you know, no wonder we‘ve not ever been able to get anywhere.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I don‘t want to sound naive here, Dave, but how does that make you feel? I mean, I can‘t imagine me instructing my son, if he were involved in something like this, on how to cover up a disappearance and a possible murder. Just on a personal level, as a father, how does it make you feel, looking into the eyes of another father, of another 17- or 18-year-old who‘s got the information on where your daughter is tonight, possibly, and yet it seems like he‘s doing everything he can to hide that truth?
HOLLOWAY: It‘s hard. And you‘ve got to obey the law. And that‘s one of the reasons I brought him some spiritual books to look at. And maybe he‘ll have a change of heart. It all comes down to morals.
And, you know, his—you can see where he‘s heading. You know, it‘s
· he made a lot of statements to me that day. And one of the statements that I really remember, and it sinks in, is, he can understand my position as a father, but, as the father of Joran, he‘ll do anything to protect his son. And I believe that he will, unless he has a change of heart.
SCARBOROUGH: Man, I‘ll tell you what. Well, let‘s hope so. It doesn‘t sound that way, though.
Dave Holloway and Paul Reynolds, thanks for being with us tonight. Obviously, you know, all of our prayers are with you all and will remain with you in the coming days and weeks.
Coming up next, they went on their honeymoon cruise together, but the bridegroom never made it home. Tonight, we‘ve got new information in the shocking case of missing American groom George Smith IV. Now a United States senator is getting involved.
Plus, why some say cases like this can never get solved and why cruise liners are not safe at any speed.
We‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY in a minute.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, the mystery that we broke a couple of weeks ago, the missing honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean and George Smith IV. We have some late-breaking information we‘re going to pass along to you about a U.S. senator that has gotten involved in this case, plus obviously a lot more straight ahead, an investigation on whether cruise lines are safe at any speed, that when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: Tonight, more new details in the investigation of George Smith IV. Now, of course, he‘s the guy who vanished on his honeymoon cruise in the early hours of July 5. And, in a minute, we‘re going to be talking to a former security chief for a major cruise line. And you‘re not going to believe what this guy‘s got to say.
But, first, let‘s go live to Lisa Salvati from WVIT in Hartford.
She‘s been covering the story locally.
Lisa, what‘s the very latest in this investigation?
LISA SALVATI, WVIT REPORTER: Well, hi, Joe.
I was in Cromwell today. That‘s where Jennifer Hagel, George Smith‘s wife, grew up. I spoke to the police captain there. As you know, Jennifer Hagel‘s father is a former police sergeant. He‘s retired now. And I asked him if he‘s seen John Hagel, Jennifer‘s father, or the family. And he said, no, he hasn‘t seen them. And he‘s continuing to give them their space and respect their privacy, which is exactly what the police chief told me a few weeks back.
I also spoke to U.S. Senator Chris Dodd from Connecticut and asked him if there was anything he can do to expedite the investigation. And he offered his help to the family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: Certainly, the family could be in touch. And if they think there‘s things we can do, we‘re happy to help on these matters. And we‘d urge them to do it. We‘ve been involved in all sorts of cases like that over the years.
And, certainly, where—when someone like that is lost in international waters, getting cooperation of other countries, usually, we get that cooperation. I‘d be surprised if we were not. But if we‘re not getting the cooperation and the family thinks we can help somehow, I would invite them to be in touch with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SALVATI: Yes, Joe.
And Senator Dodd says he hasn‘t heard from either family. In fact, no one has, even though it‘s been almost a month since George Smith has disappeared—Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s so fascinating. Here, we have a possible murder mystery in the Mediterranean. Everybody‘s talking about it, but these families—these two families are in seclusion. And you certainly haven‘t seen the bride at all.
Here‘s somebody that many people, whether it‘s fair or not, are suspecting may have been involved in his disappearance. And yet has there even be a sighing since she‘s come back home? Does anybody at least—do you know where she is?
SALVATI: No, Joe, I don‘t.
I have been in Cromwell, and we went to the house a couple of weeks ago. There was no one—no one answered the door. I did speak to Jennifer Hagel‘s grandfather, as I reported back a couple weeks ago. And she—he did say at the door that she‘s coping. And that was the last I heard from anyone from the family.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s remarkable, another vanishing act in this bizarre story. We greatly appreciate it, as always, Lisa. Thank you for the update.
SALVATI: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, we‘ve obviously been on this story since it broke, bringing you exclusive—last Monday, I talked to a passenger who stayed in the room right next to George Smith. And he told us what he heard on that fateful night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLETE HYMAN, PASSENGER ON CRUISE: It actually reverberated in the room and on our balcony. So, I thought maybe someone had literally fallen on their balcony or that they had thrown furniture overboard. Because of the impact, it sounded like something very heavy. And my first thought was maybe throwing furniture overboard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, we‘ve been breaking news on this story every night. And a lot of people are listening, because, right after that interview, Clete says the FBI called him. I wish they would have called the people that were in the adjoining rooms before they watched it on TV four weeks later. And they asked him to keep his mouth shut. Nice job, FBI.
The next night, I talked to a passenger who was also on that ship. She stayed below George Smith. And her daughter took a picture that could prove to be vital to this investigation. She gave it to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusively. And I talked to her mother, Barbara.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA, PASSENGER ON CRUISE: We got up early for a tour in the morning. I believe we left the ship before 8:00. And, within the hour, my daughter showed me her camera, and showed me a photo she had taken that morning. And, at first, I didn‘t really realize what she was trying to show me, and then she pointed to the picture and said, this is outside my balcony. I think it‘s blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And you‘re not going to believe this. They also told authorities that they had this bloody picture. They had not been contacted by the FBI or any other law enforcement agencies either. And, of course, we found out later that immediately after that picture was taken, the cruise line came along and washed the blood away.
Talk about contaminating a crime scene. This is shocking.
And last Thursday, I spoke to another passenger on that cruise who said she was in contact with people who could have been the last to see George Smith alive. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
“H,” PASSENGER ON CRUISE SHIP: A friend of theirs has been in contact with me via e-mail.
And what I—what I blogged about is why he contacted me. There was a couple of incidents that happened. They were definitely questioned in relationship to George‘s disappearance. But they have consistently insisted that all they simply did was take him back to his room, make sure that he was on the bed, you know, that he was OK, and that—and then they left shortly after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: How remarkable, talking to all these people last week, that a TV show, a news show, puts together a better investigation than the FBI, that we talked to all of these people that were in adjoining rooms, that were downstairs, that took pictures. They got all this evidence together about something that obviously went terribly wrong, and yet these people haven‘t been contacted by the FBI.
Now, you put all this together and you‘ve got a remarkable story that‘s emerging from that cruise.
With me now to talk about what it means, former prosecutor Christopher Darden.
Christopher, thank you so much for being with us tonight.
This really is remarkable information. Put on your investigatory hat here and tell me, how in the world do you reconstruct a crime scene that the cruise line washed away, when you‘ve got guests scattered—or you‘ve got people that were possibly a witness that night scattered all across the globe?
CHRISTOPHER DARDEN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, it‘s shocking.
To see that photograph and to realize that the crew came along and washed away all the blood, washed away all the forensic evidence and completely destroyed this crime scene, it‘s just incredible. And to think that these photographs are out there and no one in authority has gone to retrieve them as yet—I mean, that photograph is the best piece of evidence we will ever have, unless someone comes forward and talks, someone with personally knowledge. But that photograph is the best evidence we will ever have as to what may have happened to this man.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Chris, what do you do? I mean, let‘s say you have a lead on a suspect that was on that cruise. You want to move forward and prosecute. I mean, can you do it? Is it possible to do it, again, with the crime scene cleaned up by the cruise line and with all of the—with all your witnesses scattered all the way, you know, all across the globe?
DARDEN: Well, you know, I don‘t think that you can. I mean, number one, we don‘t know what happened. Did he fall? Did he fall to the edge of the ship? Did he climb over? Did he commit suicide? Who was in the room when these bloodstains were left on the rail? Was it the wife? Was the wife there? What about these other three or four men that allegedly took him to the room? Who was there?
We don‘t know how he got there. We don‘t know how he sustained his initial injury, because clearly he sustained an injury prior to leaving the ship. We don‘t know. And we don‘t know where he is. We have no body. We have no crime scene. And, as you say, we have witnesses spread all around the world. You know, those witnesses should have been stopped and interviewed on the ship. They never, ever should have been allowed to leave the ship. I don‘t know that you can ever put a case together here.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. I‘ll tell you what. It‘s looking awfully bad.
Christopher, stay with us. We‘re going to keep talking about this case and we‘re going to find out possibly what happened that night, but probably not, as Christopher Darden says, because my next guest used to be in charge of security for a huge cruise line.
Plus, this woman is still searching for her brother who vanished from a cruise last year. She‘s here to tell us her story.
And making millions from smut in Hollywood. We‘re going to be talking live to the man who‘s making public videos stars don‘t want you to see. It is a billion-dollar business.
SCARBOROUGH: Is a cruise line guilty of covering up the disappearance of U.S. honeymooner George Smith IV? We‘ll tackle that and other tough questions when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know.
SCARBOROUGH: They were young. They needed to make a lot of money, or maybe they had a momentary lapse of judgment. Either way, if you‘re famous and naked, there‘s one guy who is going to get the hands on the tape and the pictures. And he‘s making a killing off of it. We‘re going to investigate the naked truth about America‘s celebrity‘s smut broker—that story in minutes.
Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. And let‘s go back to the missing groom George Smith IV, who disappeared from his honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean.
Now, here‘s a question. Do cruise companies really want to get to the bottom of these crimes on board or cover them up? You may be shocked when you hear what some experts have to say and my next guest has to say about investigations on these cruise lines. His name is Choc Harris. And he‘s a former chief security officer for Carnival Cruise Lines, and he joins us now.
Mr. Harris, thank you so much for being with us.
And, you know, I got to ask you the first question. Are these cruise lines interested in breaking these cases or covering them up, so there won‘t be bad publicity?
CHARLES “CHOC” HARRIS, FORMER CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, CARNIVAL CRUISE
LINES: Well, let‘s look at it.
You know, here, you had a crime scene, coming off of it. There‘s a big crime scene sitting there. They didn‘t secure the crime scene. They didn‘t protect the evidence. They didn‘t go in and get all the people around it. So, you know, what are you going to do? If you have to FBI come into it, you know, 48, 72 hours, you got a cold crime scene, no evidence. Where‘s the problem? They don‘t want trained...
SCARBOROUGH: But, I mean, you‘ve been there. I mean, you‘ve been behind the scenes. You know how this works. Be a whistle-blower for us tonight. What‘s going on? Why do they cover this information up?
HARRIS: We have been saying this ever since ‘99, 2000. Cruise lines do not have qualified people in the security industry running their security departments on ship. They‘re not conducting investigations when they‘ve had sexual assaults or rape.
They don‘t try to. They just go in there and try to go in and protect themselves from litigation. That‘s it. They don‘t want the criminal investigation for the adverse publicity. I‘ve watched it happen when we‘re trying to do a criminal investigation. They‘re moving the passengers out, moving them to other staterooms, not preserving the scene, cleaning it. It‘s very simple.
All you have to do is just lock the door and call the authorities, but they don‘t.
SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Harris, I have got to ask you this question. I want to ask the control room, put up the picture of the blood. This is right after, apparently, allegedly, after—after George Smith fell out.
We have got a scene up right now on our screen. It appears to be the bloody outlined image of a man that fell down. And most people believe that it was the honeymooner. Now, how in the world could any cruise line, how could any investigator, how could anybody employed by the cruise line allow that crime scene to be cleaned up? I mean, is there absolutely no police training or do they know exactly what they‘re doing?
HARRIS: Well, the biggest thing is, their security officers don‘t have police or security training, in the—like our industry standards are for private security guards or anything. They know that‘s a crime scene. They know there‘s something the matter there. You should at least—a common person—it doesn‘t take a genius. A little girl said there was a bloody scene. It should have been roped off. Some questions should have been asked. But they didn‘t.
The next-door neighbors should have been talked to. Upstairs, downstairs, should have been talked to. You know, there‘s all these questions. But why didn‘t they fulfill it? You know, do they—the DNA evidence in there could have linked and given us positive stuff. But do they care? They‘re not trying to do it. They‘re saving their image. And they‘re trying to protect it.
SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Harris, a lot of people watching tonight are probably thinking it‘s dangerous to go on cruise lines. I have got to ask you a question. How common are rapes, sexual assaults, burglaries, murders on cruise lines?
HARRIS: Well, murders, very few and far between. You know, but we do have people who disappear.
There‘s been seven people in the last five years go off the ships that have disappeared. But we‘ve had sexual assaults. They had to—when “The New York Times” published a list of a number of people sexually assaulted on Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Premier Cruise Lines, people read all about it. But they have all got complacent about it. It‘s still going on. It happens.
There‘s cases in Miami, West Palm Beach, Florida. They‘re all being filed yearly on sexual assaults. I hear of 12, 14 cases a year of this going on. Why don‘t we stop it? Why haven‘t the cruise lines tried to do more?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, that‘s a great question. We‘ve been trying to get the cruise lines to send a representative on the air. They will not do it. We‘re going to keep asking.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re laughing. We‘re going to keep asking until they come on.
Chris Darden, I‘ve got a quick question for you, final question. In a case like this, you don‘t have any leads, but obviously some people are trying to investigate this case, what went on, right now. Is the wife, for better or for worse, is the wife always the primary suspect in a case like this?
DARDEN: Well, not just the wife, but any spouse in circumstances like these are going to be the primary suspect. Now, as I understand it, she woke up that next morning, left the stateroom and went to the gym without even stopping to consider or think of her husband, in terms of where he might be and whether or not he was OK, which is very strange given what went on the night before, which is that he had been drinking heavily.
And, like, I would think that she has a lot of information and could very—be very helpful to police investigators.
But I got to tell you something else. You need to get a blood spatter expert in to take a look, a blood spatter expert to take a look at that—that bloody stain out there on the deck, because it‘s interesting. It‘s an interesting kind of stain.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. It is absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead.
DARDEN: On the one hand, it looks like, you know, someone apparently bled out there in the—right there in the middle of the bloodstain. But then, when you look in the—to the right of the screen, you go out a little farther to the right and you see those two large blotches that seem to be separate from what appears to be the long drag mark. And, you know, it makes you wonder.
I mean, did this person fall, fall on the deck twice?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. I‘ll tell you...
DARDEN: Was the person moved, picked up, sat down, picked up again?
Did the person get up on two separate occasions?
DARDEN: ... occasions, then eventually fall there? It‘s interesting.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you what.
DARDEN: It‘s very interesting.
SCARBOROUGH: It is a fascinating story, a frightening story. Thanks for being with us, Chris Darden. We greatly appreciate it.
And, Choc, thank you also. Greatly appreciate you all coming back.
I want to move on now. And let‘s move this story forward and talk about a similar story, but one you haven‘t heard yet. It‘s the story of Christopher Caldwell. He vanished from his Caribbean cruise on July 23, 2004, and he‘s never been found. And his family has no answers.
With me now to talk about it is Christopher‘s sister, Shannon Nowlan.
Yes, Shannon, thank you so much for being with us tonight.
It sounds like a similar story in your case. Tell us about what rMD-UL_happened.
SHANNON NOWLAN, BROTHER VANISHED FROM CRUISE: Well, basically, my brother and his fiancee went on a cruise to celebrate their engagement.
On the last day of the cruise, he presumably went over the—overboard. His fiancee woke up in the morning, realized he wasn‘t there, went to find him. And after a day-and-a-half of searching the water for the Coast Guard, they called off the Coast Guard search on that Saturday and basically said that nobody could survive in the water that long, and so that he was presumed to be dead at that point.
SCARBOROUGH: And you can‘t get any info, can you, from the cruise lines? I understand you‘re still having trouble getting a death certificate because...
SCARBOROUGH: ... you call up, try to get information, and all they‘re interested in doing is telling you that it‘s either suicide or he got drunk and fell overboard.
All of the things that I have read have been—from the spokesperson from Carnival have been that, when people go overboard, it‘s either because they were drunk and fell accidentally overboard or they committed suicide. When that may be—very well may be the case, that‘s not exactly what we want to hear, and it sort of adds insult to injury dealing with the fact that my brother is dead.
And so, because of the fact that there‘s no security and there‘s no way to know what happened to my brother, it‘s been very painful and very hard for us to, you know, take that my brother committed suicide or that he was drunk and accidentally fell over.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, a final question here. Do you think—and this is the $64,000 question—do you believe that there‘s a cover-up involved whenever somebody goes on a cruise line and disappears?
Or do you—do you think it‘s a cover-up or do you think they‘re just, again, just giving you the runaround because they don‘t want to face the fact that maybe something very bad happened on their cruise line?
NOWLAN: I think it‘s probably both. The statistics that I have found in my research is that in—since 2000, 14 passengers have gone overboard and died. Those are Americans; 11 of those were on Carnival Cruise Lines. Six of those have been within the last year, since my brother has gone overboard. And Carnival Cruise Lines still says it‘s a very rare occurrence.
They have no protocol set up for families to deal with getting help to settle the estates. I only know of one person who has gotten a death certificate for the—for their person who has gone overboard. And everyone that I‘ve talked to says that it‘s so rare that they have no idea how to start, where to start. And the cruise lines have been anything but helpful in getting us that information or helping us figure that information out.
So, I think, yes, that they are afraid of litigation, so they just completely shut us all off completely.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m afraid that‘s what it‘s looking like.
Shannon, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
If you look at pictures of Shannon‘s brother, it‘s pictures that we‘ve been showing throughout this segment, pictures on the cruise line, the guy does not look like a candidate for suicide. He looks like a very happy guy, a very contented guy, very pleased to be where he is, on the cruise line. And, yet, you have family members call up to try to get information and they immediately just start spitting out, oh, it had to be a suicide or he got drunk and fell overboard.
As Shannon said, it‘s adding insult to injury. And, you know, just my opinion, friends, but it all looks like a big P.R. spin. They‘re trying to cover up the fact that sometimes very bad things happen on cruise lines.
Now, if you have a similar story, or if you can shed any light into the case of the missing groom, send us an e-mail. Obviously, we read them all.
And, tomorrow night, another SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY exclusive. We‘re going to hear from a good friend of the missing groom. And he‘ll tell us about George Smith IV.
Stay with SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY for angles on this story you are just not going to see anywhere else.
Coming up next, he capitalizes on putting most celebrities lives and some of their most private moments on the Internet. Next, we‘re going to be talking to a man who makes no apologies for being called the so-called sultan of celebrity skin.
And, also, a teacher accused of having sex with a student, but that‘s just the beginning of this remarkable story.
SCARBOROUGH: Many may remember Tonya Harding‘s raunchy wedding-night video sold to the public for the world to see. You know, celebrity smut videos are big business these days. The sex tapes of Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson spread all over the Internet.
Now Hollywood star Colin Farrell is in a legal battle to stop steamy footage of him and his ex from hitting the World Wide Web.
With us from Phoenix is a man at the center of that lawsuit, Hollywood smarm broker David Hans Schmidt.
Thank you so much for being with us tonight, David.
DAVID HANS SCHMIDT, CELEBRITY PORNOGRAPHY BROKER: Good to meet you, Joe. How you doing?
I want you—first of all, let‘s put this thing in perspective. How big is this business? I‘ll ask you why in a second, why it‘s so big. But how big is celebrity smut in America today?
SCHMIDT: Well, like Bob Wilkos (ph), in his excellent article on us last Friday in “The L.A. Times,” kind of basically said is that America has this kind of mixed obsession. We like our Internet culture, this new Internet culture that we have. And, obviously, we like sex because it‘s so readily available. And 80 percent of the Internet, Joe, is, in fact, pornography.
SCARBOROUGH: So—so, tell me, how big of a business is it? How much money do you make off of this stuff? How much money—and, again, I‘m talking specifically on celebrities. I mean, how profitable is this business?
SCHMIDT: Well, every deal is customary, Joe. There‘s never two alike.
Like, when we put Katarina Witt in “Playboy” magazine in 1998, that was a record payout at that time. When we did the Tonya Harding- Jeff Gillooly wedding night videotape with Bob Guccione and “Penthouse” magazine, that was also a multimillion-dollar arrangement as well.
Basically, the value inherent within the price tag is constituted by the exact fame, if you will, of the particular celebrity. If it‘s a A-list celebrity, big bucks, B-list and on down.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ve got to ask you this. You tried to sell topless photos of Jessica Lynch, when the rest of the world was calling her a war hero.
SCHMIDT: I did sell them. I did sell them.
SCARBOROUGH: A lot of people would ask the question, have you no shame, sir? Have you no shame? What‘s the response to that?
SCHMIDT: Well, you know, the shame is measured by the marketing receptibility of the paying public.
And that is, i.e., all of your viewers, Joe. And if they stop buying it at the checkout stands, I‘ll look for another business.
SCARBOROUGH: So, how much—how much money did you make off of poor Jessica Lynch, West Virginia, POW, turned into American hero?
SCHMIDT: I mean, I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division myself. I have got a lot of respect for Jessica, Joe. I do.
But you know what? That wasn‘t a huge money deal. It was just kind of—they were little cheesy tabloid shots, nothing overtly pornographic, you know? And Larry Flynt did the honorable thing. He took them off the market to safeguard her image, if you will.
Way to go, Larry.
SCARBOROUGH: Way to go Larry.
I want to ask you, also, a lawsuit, Colin Farrell going after you.
How often—wait. Wait. You know what?
SCHMIDT: I have a big exclusive for you on that, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, I want you to give me an exclusive. But I just got to say this first, before I go to that.
SCARBOROUGH: A lot of people out right there right now are saying to me, David, why is he not yelling at this guy? Why is he not waving his arms? Why is there no moral outrage?
Well, my feeling is this. If you don‘t want your nude picture on the Internet or your nude video, don‘t take it. And, I mean, the story, Colin Farrell, what, a 15-minute video, sex video?
SCARBOROUGH: And now he‘s shocked that people may see it?
SCHMIDT: You know, I mean, nobody puts a gun to Colin Farrell‘s head to do this stuff. He does it at his own risk and his own volition.
And then—then he wonders why, if it pops out there, why a bell is not going to be unrung or something, you know?
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait, like, what, a Playboy star, right?
SCHMIDT: Well, yes, exactly. You know, I mean, he‘s sitting here holding a camera, videotape...
SCARBOROUGH: Gee, that‘s not marketable.
SCHMIDT: Well, yes, right.
SCHMIDT: Of course it‘s marketable.
SCARBOROUGH: So, give me the inside scoop on that.
SCHMIDT: Well, I‘m going to make a settlement offer here tonight live on your show, Joe. And...
SCARBOROUGH: My mom will be so proud. Go ahead.
SCHMIDT: Under the...
SCHMIDT: ... procedure on behalf of all parties involved, Colin, buddy, we got to get together. Come down to Phoenix and have a cool, refreshing Bud Light with me at Amazon‘s (ph) bar in Phoenix, and, by golly, we‘ll put the ink to the paper and we‘ll do a fair deal, Colin.
SCARBOROUGH: How much?
SCHMIDT: Hey, you know what? I‘ll tell you this, and I‘ll say this on your air right now. Colin, you get between $10 million and $15 million up front per movie.
If you sign a joint venture agreement with me and my partners, I will pay you. I swear to God I‘ll pay you. I‘ll raise the funds in one phone call. I wouldn‘t even have to make the phone call. If you go into a preliminary J.V., joint venture with me, Colin Farrell, I‘ll give you $25 million cash up front and a percentage of the royalties on the back end.
All right, David Hans Schmidt, thank you so much.
SCHMIDT: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: My mother‘s so proud of me.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘m a mediator between smut peddlers and Hollywood stars. Thanks a lot. Greatly appreciate it.
We‘ll be right back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? Not only am I a mediator for Hollywood sex tapes. I also have my own podcast. You can take my show on the road. Download the SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY podcast. Plus, check out my morning read for all the hot stories. You can find it at Joe.MSNBC.com.
We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: A 42-year-old English teacher in Upstate New York was apparently doing a lot more than just teaching three R‘s.
Sandra Beth Geisel turned herself over to New York authorities today on charges of having sex with a kid, and not—it‘s not an isolated incident here. This same teacher was fired from her job at Christian Brothers Academy in suburban Albany when she was busted for having sex with a 17-year-old student in a parked car. But he was of legal age.
Today‘s charges result from having sex with a 16-year-old student who came forward, saying he also had sex on two separate occasions with the disgraced teacher, one more reason to be afraid of sending your kids to school this fall.
That‘s all the time we have for SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We‘ll see you tomorrow night.
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