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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for August 8

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guest: Thomas Mesereau, Ellie Cook, Ray Hultman, Linda Allison, Herbert


RITA COSBY, HOST:  Hello, everybody.  This is the premiere of our big show.  I'm coming to you “LIVE & DIRECT” from MSNBC World Headquarters. 

We begin with an exclusive interview that everybody is talking about.  Two jurors in the Michael Jackson case tell me they voted to acquit the pop star, even though they think he's guilty.  What you're about to hear puts the Jackson case in a whole new light. 


COSBY (voice-over):  It was a spectacle that Michael Jackson began with a confident swagger and signature step.  But, at the end of the trial, even with a not-guilty verdict in his pocket, Jackson looked like anything but a winner.  He was acquitted on all 10 counts.  The jury was unanimous. 

ELLIE COOK, JACKSON JUROR NUMBER FIVE:  We certainly have formed lasting friendships. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I made 19 new friends, you know? 

COSBY:  But now, that united front has been shattered. 

RAY HULTMAN, JACKSON JUROR NUMBER ONE:  Yes, I believe that they did let a guilty man go free. 

COOK:  They're the ones that let a pedophile go. 

COSBY:  Ray Hultman, juror number one, and Ellie Cook, juror number five, tonight, they speak out, an exclusive behind-the-scenes account of the trial, the jury and Michael Jackson himself. 

(on camera):  How did you feel when you got picked for the Michael Jackson jury? 

HULTMAN:  I was totally shocked, Rita.  I had never been on a jury before, much less than a high-profile case, like this one.  It's like your whole world changes.  And now you're somebody that you weren't before. 

COOK:  I tried to get off. 

COSBY:  Right away? 

COOK:  Right away.  I stood up and told them that I was opinionated and that I didn't like child—people that mistreated children. 

COSBY:  What did you think of Michael Jackson?  Were you starstruck? 

COOK:  Not at all am I starstruck by anyone like that.  And I wasn't -

·         I'm just not a fan of Mr. Jackson's. 

COSBY:  Do you think some of the other jurors were starstruck early on? 

COOK:  Oh, you betcha.  From the word—from the get-go, they were starstruck, a couple of them, I know.  It just—it just—this one lady I sat next to on the other side of me was just, oh, Michael, you know?  She just really—starstruck.  And...

COSBY:  Which juror was that? 

COOK:  That was the one that we refer as Barbie doll. 

COSBY:  Juror number?

COOK:  Six.

COSBY:  Do you think she was so starstruck so early on that she could never even consider guilty? 

HULTMAN:  I think so. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Juror number 6, 23-year-old  Tammy Bolton of Lompoc, California, Bolton says she felt the pressure of public attention during the trial, but denies being starstruck and says she judged the trial fairly. 

(on camera):  In the videotape that was played in court, Michael Jackson said he would never molest boys, that that wasn't him.  Did you believe him? 

HULTMAN:  Well, Michael Jackson also says he's never had plastic surgery.  Do I believe that?  No.  I don't believe that. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Jackson actually has acknowledged two surgeries, though an expert consulted by NBC News believes the number is higher. 

(on camera):  When the young accuser finally took the stand, what did you think?  Did you believe him? 

COOK:  I did not believe everything he had to say.  I believe he was molested.  But I also think that his mother put him up to some of this. 

COSBY:  You believe the boy was molested? 

COOK:  Yes, ma'am. 

COSBY:  No doubt in your mind? 

COOK:  No doubt in my mind whatsoever.  That boy was molested.  And I also think he enjoyed to some degree of being Michael Jackson's toy and all the goodies that came with being Michael Jackson's toy. 

COSBY:  Do you also believe that boy was molested? 

HULTMAN:  In the end, I did, yes. 

COSBY:  You believe 100 percent this boy was molested? 

HULTMAN:  Yes, I do. 

COSBY:  To this day, you do? 

HULTMAN:  Absolutely. 

COSBY (voice-over):  The boy's mother proved to be a central figure in the trial.  The jurors questioned her credibility and her behavior.

COOK:  And she takes the stand, and, instead of answering the questions to the attorneys, she would get the question, turn to us and snarl her answers and give it this a couple of times.  And then she kept snapping her fingers at me.  And I kept thinking, you snap your fingers at me, lady.  I was really getting very angry, because she was not making points. 

COSBY (on camera):  Thus the phrase that now has become famous. 

COOK:  Don't snap your fingers at me, lady.


HULTMAN:  You know, there are certain witnesses you believe and certain ones you don't believe.  I don't believe Macaulay Culkin when he is saying, I was never molested by Michael Jackson.  I don't believe Brett Barnes.  I don't believe Wade Robson. 

I think they all have something to lose if they admit to that. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Culkin, Barnes and Robson, witnesses the prosecution claimed were molested by Jackson.  They all denied it.  Ray and Ellie suspect that other witnesses may have been paid off.

HULTMAN:  And you say, OK, why don't I believe this witness?  Why don't I believe what they're saying?  Maybe it's because someone has paid them to say what they're saying. 

COSBY (on camera):  Are you suggesting that some of the witnesses in the case were bought off? 



COSBY:  You believe that?

HULTMAN:  I believe so.  And I believe one of the biggest ones was Debbie Rowe. 

COOK:  Oh, yes. 

COSBY:  His ex-wife. 


HULTMAN:  She had—OK, it may not have been money.  Maybe Debbie Rowe has got enough maybe the way it is, but it was through promises, promises that she was going to be able to see her children more often. 

COOK:  Right. 

HULTMAN:  I think she was going through some sort of court proceeding to get her custody restored or something on the children. 


COOK:  Child visits.

HULTMAN:  She had some reasons for saying what she did. 

COOK:  No, she looked at Michael Jackson and the adoration and the love absolutely poured from every pore in her body.  She looked at him with adoring... 

COSBY:  But that's different than being paid off. 

COOK:  Well, she sure did a back two-step.  She didn't come up with anything that the prosecutor said she was going to tell us. 

COSBY:  You believe something happened?  Someone got to Debbie Rowe?

COOK:  Yes. 

HULTMAN:  She had something to gain. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Despite their suspicions, Ray and Ellie offered no evidence of payoffs to anyone involved in the Jackson trial.  There was another woman in the courtroom who caught the attention of these jurors, not a witness, but Michael Jackson's mother. 

COOK:  I look at Mrs. Jackson like a wonderful mother, because all good mothers, no matter what our kids do, no matter how they hurt us, no matter how ashamed we are, if they're our kids, we stick by them.  And that's what Mrs. Jackson did. 

I prayed every night for that lady, because I think she needs all the prayers, because she has a very sick son. 


COSBY:  We did reach out to Debbie Rowe for reaction to these explosive claims.  Her attorney told us—quote—“These questions about the allegations do not dignify any response.”

Someone I'm sure who has a lot to say about this interview is joining me now live, Michael Jackson's attorney, Tom Mesereau.

Tom, could any of the main witnesses, like Debbie Rowe, some of the others, the former manager, Bob Jones, could they have been bought off in some form? 

THOMAS MESEREAU, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON:  I have no knowledge of anyone being bought off.  I don't believe anybody was bought off.  And I think these allegations by these former jurors are embarrassing and outrageous. 

They're embarrassing themselves.  They're embarrassing the system.  These people voted not guilty 14 times, not just 10.  There were 10 counts, but the last four counts allowed them to vote guilty on misdemeanor counts.  And they even voted not guilty on them.  So, they said not guilty 14 times. 

Judge Melville looked at them in open court and said, is this your verdict? 

And they said yes. 

They then gave interviews and said the proof wasn't there.  Now, almost two months after being discharged from their responsibilities as jurors, they're now changing their tune.  I think it's laughable. 

COSBY:  Now, do you—did you know?  Did you get the sense that you had some of these jurors in your pocket, I mean, juror number six, the one who Ellie says kept saying says, oh, Michael?  Did you feel that you had these jurors? 

MESEREAU:  Well, I felt that this was an intelligent, responsible jury that could see the problems with the prosecution's case.  See, what these two jurors are...

COSBY:  Did you think some of them were starstruck, you know, because they make the allegation they were starstruck? 



It doesn't—you don't have to be starstruck to look at a videotape when the accuser is saying Michael Jackson did nothing.  You don't have to listen to an audiotape when the accusers say Michael Jackson did nothing.  They then went to social workers and said Michael Jackson did nothing.  You saw the contradictions on the witness stand, the changed positions they took throughout the trial. 

We put on numerous witnesses who questioned their credibility and their ethics in many other situations.  You didn't have to be starstruck to look at all this and say, I don't believe these people for a second. 

COSBY:  Did you notice any of the interaction that we heard from Ellie Cook with her and Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, or any interaction with any other jurors? 

MESEREAU:  I did not.  I saw this jury as being extremely attentive, extremely intelligent.  We had people with advanced degrees, people with very, very good employment.  They were very attentive.  Not one of them fell off the jury during a five-month trial.  Not one alternate was needed. 

And we thought it was an extremely intelligent, responsible jury.  And I still think they are.  And I think these two jurors are embarrassing themselves. 

COSBY:  All right, Tom, stick around, if you could. 

And also, all of you at home, what you've heard so far is just the beginning. 


COSBY (voice-over):  If these two jurors believe Michael Jackson is a pedophile, what would make them vote to acquit? 

COOK:  The air reeked of hatred. 

COSBY:  When we come back, the inside story of what really happened behind closed doors. 

Plus, an exclusive in the Natalee Holloway case.  You've heard from Natalee's family as they wait for answers, but, tonight, the story from the other side.  This girl dated the prime suspect and, for the first time, what she knows about the young man at the center of the investigation. 

You'll only see it here when “LIVE & DIRECT” comes right back. 



COSBY:  And welcome back to our exclusive interview. 

So, what would cause two jurors to change their convictions in the Michael Jackson case and, in their words, let a pedophile go free? 

Here now, the pressure you never saw behind closed doors. 


COSBY:  Was the jury one big happy family when you went into the deliberation room? 

HULTMAN:  I think, prior to deliberations, I think that there was some camaraderie.  It wasn't really until we got into the deliberation room and found out what was in people's minds that we realized that, we're not all in the same key here. 

COOK:  So, it really surprised me when everybody seemed to turn and get so mean. 

COSBY:  You go back into the jury room, start deliberating.  After a few hours, you have sort of an unofficial vote.  What were the results? 

HULTMAN:  About two-thirds of the jury were considering Michael Jackson as not guilty at that time. 

COSBY:  And where were you? 

HULTMAN:  I was on the guilty side. 

COSBY:  Now, you were the first one to say...

COOK:  Guilty. 

COSBY:  ... guilty.

COOK:  Yes, ma'am.  And I...

HULTMAN:  She said it in a big way. 

COOK:  I said...

COSBY:  Right away. 


COOK:  I said it in a big way.  And they came after me with a vengeance.  I really got attacked. 

COSBY:  How so? 

COOK:  I didn't understand.  I didn't know.  I was too old. 

COSBY (voice-over):  And there was a third juror, Katharina Carls, a 39-year-old government worker, who tells us that she too initially believed Michael Jackson was guilty. 

COOK:  Very bright lady.

HULTMAN:  She was very bright.  She had taken a lot of notes.  She knew exactly what was going on. 

And it amazed me when one of the other jurors challenged this particular juror, that—that she may not really know too much about the American justice system, because she'd only been a citizen for two years. 

COSBY (on camera):  How tough did it get for the two of you and this other juror?  There you are, three of you, holding out and the other nine are livid.

HULTMAN:  You wind up thinking, OK, if I stay with my convictions that I believe that Michael Jackson is a child molester and that he did, in fact, molest this accuser, then what's the next thing that could happen?  OK, you will probably wind up with a hung jury.  You wind up with a mistrial.  Whatever. 

With this kind of cloud hanging over your head and you're thinking, I have spent five months of my life in this trial, and nobody is going to kick me off of this trial until it's over. 

COSBY (voice-over):  I then asked Ray and Ellie about the jury foreman, 63-year-old Paul Rodriguez, a retired school counselor.  To hear Ray tell it, it was Ray himself who sometimes acted as foreman. 

HULTMAN:  The person that was selected as the foreperson, I think he was overwhelmed with his responsibility into thinking that he was primarily a go-between between the deliberators and the judge. 

There was one point where Ellie had stated her opinion.  It was very early in the deliberation.  And, immediately, the foreman starts complaining about inflexibility.  And I just, quite frankly, turned to the foreman and said, I think you're being totally unfair to Ellie. 

COSBY (on camera):  You say that you were threatened by the foreman. 

What did he say to you? 

COOK:  He said, if I could cannot change my mind or go with the group or be more understanding, that he would have to notify the bailiff.  The bailiff would notify the judge, and the judge would have me removed.  I kept my position that I felt Michael was guilty. 

COSBY:  So, if you stuck to your guns...

COOK:  Yes. 

COSBY:  ... that Michael Jackson was guilty, the foreman said, you're going to be kicked off?

COOK:  I'm going to be removed or kicked off, yes. 

COSBY (voice-over):  A judge can discharge a juror for refusing to deliberate, but a juror cannot be discharged simply for disagreeing with other jurors.  Jury foreman Rodriguez declined our request for an interview. 

COSBY (on camera):  How angry are you at the way you were treated by other jurors? 

HULTMAN:  The thing that really got me the most was the fact that people just wouldn't take those blinders off long enough to—to really look at all the evidence that was there. 

COSBY:  So, what happened that day, when the verdict came down?  How bad was the air? 

COOK:  The air reeked of hatred.  And people were angry.  And I had never been in an atmosphere like that before.  I just felt that I—that they could turn on me any minute and there wasn't anything I could do about it. 

COSBY:  Did you tell anyone how bad it was for you? 

COOK:  I called my daughter.  And she was very comforting.  She said, mother, you've done right.  Your conscience is clear.  You're a strong lady, and you can handle it.  And you can handle them. 

COSBY:  But you didn't. 

COOK:  I didn't.  I caved in. 


COSBY:  So, what gets someone thrown off a jury? 

Joining me now is MSNBC's Dan Abrams, host of “THE ABRAMS REPORT.”

Dan, what causes someone to get thrown off? 

DAN ABRAMS, NBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT:  Well, they would have had to have complained about it at the time. 

You can't get thrown off for disagreeing.  You really have to do something pretty awful to get thrown off a jury.  It's a very extreme measure to throw someone off a jury.  So, basically, someone would have to, for example, bring in outside material and say, look, I've been researching this, and I can tell you, for the amount of time we've been deliberating, we've been focusing on the wrong issues because of what I saw on the Internet. 

That could get someone thrown off the jury, someone who simply refuses to deliberate.  And we say refuses to deliberate.  That doesn't mean saying, I don't agree with you.  I'm not going to go with you on this.  It means saying, I'm not going to talk to you about it.  It's very rare. 

So, how preposterous is it, if you believe these individuals—and, also, Katharina Carls apparently confirms, as she did with us—that the foreman said, look, if you don't agree with me, you're going to get kicked off.  If that is true, that's preposterous. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Yes.  It's preposterous.  But the...

COSBY:  And it's also improper, too.  I mean, that's not the jury rules. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  But you know what?  Improper things happen in the jury room all the time.  And that's the thing I think people fail to recognize in some cases, is that people—if you really go through each and everything that jurors say behind closed doors, if you go back and you evaluate it, you're going to find that, in many cases, jurors say things, they do things that they're not supposed to do. 

The problem here is that Michael Jackson was found not guilty and, as a result, the prosecutors can't appeal it.  And so there's really nothing as a legal matter that can be done as a result of these jurors engaging in this sort of conduct, unless you're talking about prosecuting individual jurors for their actions.  Did they engage in perjury, jury tampering, something like that?

COSBY:  Now, what about—you covered this case from the beginning, basically, to the end.  You know, I was stunned.  We all saw that wonderful picture of one big happy family.  Clearly, it was not.  Were you shocked to hear this? 

ABRAMS:  I was surprised to hear the level of the discord, particularly because you heard these jurors after the verdict, in particular Mr. Hultman, talk about the fact that he thought that there was reasonable doubt here. 

You didn't hear him the next day saying, I got pressured into doing this.  You heard Ellie talking, as you pointed out before, talking about the mother in this case, saying, I didn't like the way she did this.  I didn't like the way she did that. 

COSBY:  All right, Dan, thank you very much.  We appreciate your perspective. 

And you can catch Dan weeknights at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time right here on MSNBC. 

And, up next, the question everyone wants to know:  Why are these two jurors telling their story now?  What is in it for them?  And some new details on what Michael Jackson is doing now. 

Plus, the mother of missing teenager Natalee Holloway confronts one of the suspects in her daughter's disappearance.  And NBC is the only team there to catch it all on tape. 

And why isn't it always easy being a cop?  Oh, my gosh—the story behind these dramatic pictures, “LIVE & DIRECT,” is up next. 


ANNOUNCER:  From MSNBC World Headquarters, here is Rita Cosby.

COSBY:  And welcome back, everybody.  I'm Rita Cosby, “LIVE & DIRECT” tonight from MSNBC World Headquarters. 

Now back to my exclusive interview.  What would motivate two of the Jackson jurors who set the pop star free to speak out now and tell the world that they think he's a pedophile? 


COSBY:  What kind of a person is Michael Jackson? 

COOK:  He's a sick person.  He's really sick.  He's got issues that I wouldn't want on my worst enemy.  And he needs to get help.  If he really loves children, he needs to get help. 

COSBY:  What would you say to him? 

HULTMAN:  Michael, come on, get in tune with the rest of the world.  Change your behavior.  Don't sleep with boys.  I think I even mentioned it in the deliberation room, that, if he's not convicted for these crimes now, that it's going to happen five years from now. 

COSBY:  Are you saying that Michael Jackson is a serial child molester? 

HULTMAN:  Yes.  I think he is. 

COSBY:  So, why didn't you come up with a compromise verdict, push them to find him guilty on the alcohol or the conspiracy, but not on the molestation?

HULTMAN:  We tried.  We tried. 

COOK:  You couldn't get them to compromise on anything.  Not one thing did they compromise.  But no one ever threatened to have them removed and alternates come in. 

(on camera):  But people at home are going to say, you two have no backbone, that you caved? 

HULTMAN:  You know, you have to be there. 

COOK:  Yes.  

HULTMAN:  Yes, walk in our shoes or whatever.

COOK:  Yes.  You have to be there.  Walk in our shoes. 

HULTMAN:  And we were trying to keep this from becoming a mistrial. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Ray and Ellie both expressed doubts about the impartiality of some of their fellow jurors. 

HULTMAN:  It was—it was unbelievable to me when I found out that one of the jurors had actually attended the victory party for Michael Jackson after the trial.  I mean, it was—that was inconceivable to me. 

COSBY:  He was talking about juror number 10, 45-year-old Pauline Coccoz, who said after the trial that she could relate to the stress Jackson was feeling, because she felt it, too.  Coccoz didn't respond to our request for an interview. 

(on camera):  The other jurors who are going to be watching this are going to be angry at you.  Are you ready for the onslaught? 

HULTMAN:  Yes, I'm ready.  I...

COOK:  They can be as angry as they want to.  They ought to be ashamed.  They're the ones that let a pedophile go. 

HULTMAN:  I would say they made the wrong decision. 

COSBY:  Some of your words may come back to haunt you, Ray.  You said a day after the verdict...


HULTMAN:  I'm not uncomfortable with the decision that we made. 


COSBY:  It's very different than what you're saying today. 

HULTMAN:  Like I said, I'm not uncomfortable with it, because I felt I did my job.  I did my job as a deliberator, in trying to bring the issues to the table and to make sure that everything was looked at. 

COSBY:  But you're telling me that you let someone you believe is a child molester go free.  You should feel bad about that, if that's the case.

HULTMAN:  I think that Michael Jackson is going to be back in court again if he doesn't change his behavior, if he doesn't wake up to what's going on. 

COSBY:  Do you regret letting Michael Jackson walk? 

COOK:  Yes.  I do regret letting him walk, but I don't think I could have done anything different. 

COSBY:  Do you believe Michael Jackson is a danger to young boys? 


COOK:  Boy, I do.  I don't have to hesitate on that one, Ray. 



HULTMAN:  No.  No.  I mean...

COOK:  I just really think he's a danger to young boys.  And I—I—it breaks my heart to even think about him being around young boys. 

COSBY:  But you both let him...

COOK:  go.

COSBY:  ... back on the street. 

COOK:  Because we had no choice. 

COSBY:  Why are you coming out now and speaking? 

HULTMAN:  It's because there were a lot of people that were interested in this case from day one.  People expect to know what's going on with their justice system and how things work. 

COOK:  I'm speaking out now because I believe it's never too late to tell the truth. 

COSBY (voice-over):  Ray and Ellie are writing books about their experience, as are several other members of the Jackson jury. 

(on camera):  People watching this at home are going to hear a book.  They're going to hear a movie deal.  They're going say, you're motivated by money now to talk. 

Are you motivated by money?

HULTMAN:  No, I'm not motivated by money at all. 

COOK:  No.  No. 

COSBY:  I see you and I think, this is a woman feels guilty, who is at home at night.  You probably cry about what she did. 

COOK:  Sure.  I sure do.  But God has forgiven me.  And now I'm going to have to forgive myself.  And I will. 

COSBY:  If the boy is watching right now, what would you want to say to him? 

COOK:  What would I want to say to him right now?  COSBY:  Do you feel you let him down? 

COOK:  No, I did the best I could with—in my surroundings.  And I have prayed for that young man every night, as I have prayed for Mrs.  Jackson. 


COSBY:  Elly Cook has trademarked her now famous words “Don't Snap Your Fingers at Me, Lady.”  The line will be printed on t-shirts she plans to begin selling in the fall with proceeds going to the charity Feed the Children. 

Both Elly and Ray have separate book and movie deals in development with Larry Garrison, president of Silver Creek Entertainment.  Elly's book will be called “Guilty as Sin, Free as a Bird.”  Ray's book will be called “The Deliberator.”

And joining me again is Michael Jackson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, whose client, we should point out, from the beginning has denied all of these charges. 

You know, Tom, these two jurors don't mince words.  I mean, you could hear I repeatedly asked them.  They say your client was a serial child molester. 

MESEREAU:  Well, they voted not guilty 14 times, each one of them.  They've stated in open court that this was their verdict.  They gave interviews after the trial and said the case was not proven.  They seemed to get along with their fellow jurors right after the trial. 

They went on “Larry King” with their fellow jurors and seemed to get along quite well.  And, you know, now they've changed their tune two months later after they've been freed from their responsibilities as jurors and after they've talked to various people about book and movie deals. 

I don't buy what they're saying for one second. 

COSBY:  But now, Tom, in fairness to them, these other jurors, there's a lot of other jurors that are looking at book and movie deals, not just these two jurors.  And they're going to donate some of the proceeds to kids' charities. 

MESEREAU:  Are the jurors changing their story?  Are those jurors running to TV sets to try and become controversial and be seen?  And what do you think of someone who changes their position that radically within two months? 

The fact of the matter is, they've been talking to people that they were not allowed to talk to when they were jurors.  They've been reading material and watching material that they were not allowed to do when they were jurors.  They have no more responsibility to the system, to the trial judge, to the parties or to their fellow jurors. 

They're free as can be.  And now they're going on television and changing their positions 1,000 percent.  I don't think anybody else does. 

COSBY:  But tell me, what do you say, though, to these two people?  I mean, Elly—I can tell you, I spent some time with them.  And Elly, in particular, you know, both of them, you know, seem obviously upset about it.  Elly just seems completely guilt-ridden, feels terrible.

And she says, “Look, I was 79 years old.  I didn't want to die in the jury room.  This was a horrible experience for me.”  Is it fair for to you judge their experience? 

MESEREAU:  Well, I was not in the jury room, so I can't say anything about what happened there.  But I can tell that you they seem like mature, intelligent people. 

COSBY:  But they also seem fairly sincere. 

MESEREAU:  They were a stone's throw from the bailiff.  They could have complained to the bailiff any time.  They could have sent notes to the judge when they wanted.  They could have lodged all sorts of complaints.  They didn't do anything like that.

They came in and said not guilty 14 times, 10 felony counts and four misdemeanor counts.  That says it all. 

COSBY:  All right, Juror Number 10 went to the victory party afterwards.  This was talked a little bit about in the piece.  You know, obviously, it's not illegal.  But isn't there something sort of unseemly and in bad taste?

You know, the verdict comes down, and then she goes to a victory party? 

MESEREAU:  No, it's not, because I think she knew Michael Jackson was completely innocent, that he was falsely accused, that he should not have been put through this ordeal.  And if she knew that, she knew the truth. 

COSBY:  But doesn't they—don't you want your jurors, just like you're accusing these folks, you want to keep a distance of impartiality?  That is obviously the best juror.  That's why we Americans put them there. 

MESEREAU:  Judge Melville looked at the jury when he discharged them and said, “You're free to talk to anybody you want,” and they were.  The juror who attended that party did nothing wrong.  She knew Michael Jackson was innocent.  Judge Melville said she was free to associate with anyone or talk to anyone.  Why not?  She went to the party for an innocent man. 

COSBY:  What do you think people can learn from these jurors?  I mean, clearly, there is some sort of positive message you can portray from them? 

MESEREAU:  Beware of the lure of fame and fortune.  Beware of the lure of publicity.  Beware of the lure of cameras. 

COSBY:  All right.  Let's talk about Michael Jackson, speaking of someone we have not seen in the cameras.  I thought it was fascinating.  Recently, we saw some coverage that he was actually in the hospital after the verdict came down.  We didn't know that until recently.  What happened? 

MESEREAU:  Well, he was dehydrated.  He was malnourished.  He hadn't been able to sleep.  He was deteriorating physically and emotionally.  And he needed medical attention. 

COSBY:  How's he doing now? 

MESEREAU:  I'm told he's doing quite well.  He's sleeping better.  He's eating better.  He's gained weight.  He's with his family, and his children, and he's moving on in life. 

COSBY:  And, in fact, we were reading some reports today, the paper was saying he got a brand-new red Ferrari.  So he seems to be doing pretty well.  Is that your understanding? 

MESEREAU:  I know nothing about that. 

COSBY:  Are you going take a spin in the Ferrari at some point? 

MESEREAU:  I have no idea. 

COSBY:  All right. 

MESEREAU:  I don't even know if it exists. 

COSBY:  And what about Bahrain?  Do you think he will absolutely take up residence?  There's been a whole bunch of reports.  Do you think we're going to see him back-and-forth?  What can we expect in the future? 

MESEREAU:  I really don't know, Rita.  I haven't discussed his future with him.  I don't know. 

COSBY:  All right, Tom, we do appreciate you being with us tonight. 

Thank you very much. 

MESEREAU:  Thank you for having me.  And congratulations on your new show. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much, Tom.  We appreciate it. 

And by the way, we did repeatedly ask the prosecutor from the case, Tom Sneddon, to also join us this evening.  He declined.  But we always have tomorrow night, where on LIVE & DIRECT you will hear from that person there, that's the third juror in the Jackson trial, who also believed he was guilty, Juror Katharina Carls, her first TV interview since the verdict. 

You'll also hear live from one of the other jurors who's furious about what Ray and Elly had to say. 

And coming up next, an interview in the Natalee Holloway case you'll only see right here for the first time.  Hear what the prime suspect's ex-girlfriend has to say about the case of missing Natalee Holloway. 

And police officers and their cruisers take a beating from a woman who goes to jail kicking and screaming.  Their dramatic story is coming right up.


COSBY:  Well, it's been a day of new developments on the island of Aruba, complete with a LIVE & DIRECT exclusive.  NBC News got the only pictures of Natalee Holloway's mom, Beth Holloway Twitty, confronting one of the men held in connection with her daughter's disappearance, one of the men who was held at one point. 

She met Deepak Kalpoe face to face.  Beth asked him what he knew about the night Natalee vanished.  She says Kalpoe dodged her question. 

Meanwhile, volunteers are back at a landfill searching for any clues in Natalee's disappearance.  The group had stopped working over the weekend, but is refusing to give up home. 

Plus, Joran Van Der Sloot is again being interrogated by Dutch investigators.  It's the second straight week the 18-year-old has faced some tough questions.  While he remains behind bars, one young woman is speaking out on his behalf for the first time.  It's his ex-girlfriend. 

We sent NBC's Michelle Kosinski out for this LIVE & DIRECT exclusive. 

Michelle, tell us about it. 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS:  Hi, Rita.  Well, you know in this case, it's been tough to find out anything about these three suspects.  As young as they are, people have been really reluctant to come forward and speak for or against any of them. 

But we were able to talk to someone who knows Joran Van Der Sloot, the key suspect, very well, his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend.  Now, she says he was her first love.  And for eight months, she and her entire family loved him.  She describes him as gentle, playful and child-like. 

And she didn't want her face shown, but she says she finds it impossible to believe that he had anything to do with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. 



KOSINSKI:  You fell in love with him? 


KOSINSKI:  What did you like so much about this boy? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  I don't know.  He's really playful, and sweet, and fun, and spontaneous.  We would always go at his house and watch movies, just, you know, sit and talk.  I loved talking to him for like hours.  And he's very sweet to talk to. 

KOSINSKI:  Does it make you sad to think about it now? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  Of course, devastated. 

KOSINSKI:  When did he...

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  He doesn't deserve this. 

KOSINSKI:  Why do you think he doesn't? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  Because he would never on purpose hurt someone.  He's not like that, especially another girl.  And, like, he's always very protective of his gal friends.  And so you would never think this of him. 

KOSINSKI:  Do you think, if an accident did happen—just if—do you think this is the way he would handle it, would he sort of not say anything? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  He's not the type—he would have given in, like, a long time ago. 

KOSINSKI:  Was he very protective of you? 


KOSINSKI:  But he was sort of a flirt, wasn't he? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  Yes, he is.  He's, like, I don't know, like a charming guy.  He likes to flirt a lot.  That's the way his personality is.  He's always very flirtish with girls. 

KOSINSKI:  Did it make you mad while you were dating that he liked to flirt a lot? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  Oh, kind of, not really, because I didn't mind.  It was just—he was just being friendly.  He was not that flirtish, just very friendly. 

KOSINSKI:  What is it about this guy that makes you say he couldn't do have done it? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  I don't know, his innocence?  Like I say, he's just a kid. 

KOSINSKI:  What do you feel for him being under so much pressure right now and interrogated every day? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  I think it's unfair. 

KOSINSKI:  How so? 

UNIDENTIFIED EX-GIRLFRIEND:  Nobody deserves that, especially—I feel he's innocent.  And it's like, he's so young, and his name is all over the world.  And people see him as a criminal.  And it's not fair. 


KOSINSKI:  We've heard that word “flirtatious” used many, many times to describe Joran Van Der Sloot.  And this girl says it was his infidelity that helped bring an end to their eight-month-young relationship. 

Back to you, Rita. 

COSBY:  Sounds like he's been flirting for a long time.  Michelle, I think there's an irony here, too.  She was involved in the search for Natalee, too? 

KOSINSKI:  In some way, yes.  And, you know, that search is still going on to this day on this island, even though all those volunteer searchers have left this morning, there was only one of them left in the end. 

Now, a local man is picking up where he left off at the landfill.  He's going to be there every day until they can clear an area where they feel dogs picked up a very strong scent the other day.  And it's a big job, but now local people are continuing to do that work. 

COSBY:  All right, Michelle, thank you very much.  Keep us posted.  We appreciate it. 

And joining me live is Linda Allison, one of Natalee's aunts who just returned from Aruba last week. 

Linda, I got to ask you, first of all, this interview with Joran's ex-girlfriend, is she missing something here?  She says wonderful guy, couldn't do anything wrong. 

LINDA ALLISON, AUNT OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, I tend to think so.  I think that Joran has proven himself to be more of a predator.  She refers to him as just a young boy.  And, again, here's somebody who has been frequented in casinos and also at Carlos and Charlie's underage drinking and such that, obviously, she's missed something here. 

COSBY:  No, good point.  He's old enough to drink and certainly gamble. 

Is it possible, though, that authorities are zooming in on the wrong guy?  Or is this maybe someone who has two sides?  Look at the BTK killer, went to church, lovely guy.  No one knew about that. 

ALLISON:  Well, obviously, we have these three suspects that we keep going back to, that they were the last seen with Natalee.  And they keep changing their story.  And that seems to be the most difficult part of this to swallow, is that they keep lying.

And so what have they got to hide here if, you know—they should be telling the truth.  And it should only be one story and not multiple stories. 

COSBY:  Now, your former sister-in-law—I want to show you this, in fact, if we could—she confronted Deepak Kalpoe, one of the guys, one of the brothers.  She questioned him. 

And our understanding is that he just dodged all the questions, wouldn't answer.  How frustrated is the family?  I mean, look, here it's been over two months and they're still not saying a word? 

ALLISON:  Yes.  When you look at this particular situation, where Beth actually came in and tried to ask questions, here's his opportunity that he could say, “I'm sorry, I had nothing do with this.  I'm innocent.  I wish you could find Natalee Holloway,” but none of that.

He refused to answer any questions.  So, again, it makes me believe that there is more to this.  His demeanor and everything, Beth said, you know, obviously he's involved somehow. 

COSBY:  Are you concerned—because Joran's going to be back in court September 4th—are you concerned at that point he could walk free? 

ALLISON:  Yes, that is that possibility, because we don't have any information to know what the prosecution attorney has, as far as evidence leading up to this point.  So, yes, there is a certain amount of frustration and concern that what's going to happen September 4th may not be something that we want to think about at this point. 

COSBY:  And are you still keeping up hope?  It's been two months now. 

We're all praying for you.  How tough is it? 

ALLISON:  Absolutely we have hope for finding Natalee Holloway.  We've got to continue to keep that hope.  It just keeps us going every day.  We don't know what else to do but hope. 

COSBY:  All right.  Thank you very much.  And also Joe Scarborough's going to have an interview with Beth.  That's coming up in the next hour. 

Linda, we appreciate it.  Our prayers are with all of you tonight. 

ALLISON:  Thank you, Rita. 

COSBY:  And coming up, talk about resisting arrest.  Two tough cops bring in a suspect gone berserk.  And the whole thing is caught on tape.  Look at this.  This is incredible. 

And coming up tomorrow night, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss is going back into the business.  How does she plan to pull it off and where?  She'll tell us tomorrow in an interview you will not see anywhere else. 

You have to stick around for that.


COSBY:  Well, police work is often said to be a thankless job.  And we have the video to prove it. 

Take a look at this.  A female suspect in the back of a police cruiser breaks off an antenna, repeatedly bangs it against the window, and then—you'll see this in a second—smashes the window—here it is—to bits. 

She had to be maced before she eventually calmed down.  And all of this happened after she was accused of beating up a 13-year-old girl. 

We're joined now by the two officers who had to put up with this out-of-control subject, Kurt Bohman (ph) and also Herbert Jackson, from the Upper Arlington, Ohio, police department. 

Guys, let me start with Officer Bohman (ph), first of all.  Were you just stunned to see this woman smashing the rear window there? 


It was pretty amazing to see, but it's not all that uncommon.  We've seen people actually take out the side windows and the rear seats, as well. 

COSBY:  You have? 

Officer Jackson, have you seen this, too? 


Oh, yes.  I've seen it. 

COSBY:  You know, walk me through, you guys, because it's pretty incredible.  Here's this woman.  She doesn't look that big, but she was able to break through the window.  Explain what she did with the antenna.  And I understand you actually brought the antenna with you. 

JACKSON:  Yes, we did.  It's a rear—we have rear and front radars that we usually measure speeds.  And she was able to take radar just like this one off of its stand, and it's attached to a long cord, and she was able to swing it, and bust right through the rear window. 

COSBY:  How heavy is that?  I mean, that's something that clearly can break a window. 

JACKSON:  Absolutely.  We never really thought about it before this incident, but, yes, it definitely went through that window easily. 

COSBY:  Now, this woman was totally out of control.  I want to show a little clip, just some of the things that she was saying and some the things she was doing.  Everybody just listen it with us.




COSBY:  Now, Officer Jackson, clearly, this woman was out of control.  Why didn't you guys—why weren't you able to calm her down before this point? 

JACKSON:  Well, she was definitely intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, or a combination of them both. 

COSBY:  Do you know what it was?  In fact, before air time, we didn't know what she was on. 

JACKSON:  I believe she had told Officer Bohman (ph) that it was morphine, something that—a pill that she had crushed up and snorted while out on a boat with some friends. 

COSBY:  Wow. 

And, Officer Bohman (ph), any idea of this woman's history?  Did she have any criminal background? 

BOHMAN (ph):  I believe she may have had a criminal background, but I'm not quite certain what it is.  And I don't believe it's anything related to today's incident, or actually the other day's incident. 

COSBY:  Now, both of you had to calm her down with some mace.  Show us the mace.  And I understand that this also affected both of you, it's just so powerful. 

BOHMAN (ph):  That's correct.  It's very irritating and potent foam. 

Basically, it's designed to be a skin irritant, as well as an eye irritant. 

If it gets in your eyes, it's going to make your eyes water quite a bit. 

And it kind of makes your mucous membranes fire up, as well. 

COSBY:  Officer Jackson, you know, we look at this, we see this woman, not a big lady.  What are you guys going to do if you have a 300-pound man who's in the back of one of your patrol cars? 

JACKSON:  Hopefully, if we had to use the pepper spray again, it would be just as effective.  It did its job.  She was compliant.  We were able to retrieve her from the vehicle, and she followed our orders after that. 

So it did what it was supposed to do.  And it kept us safe.  And that's the most important thing. 

COSBY:  It absolutely is.  Officers, thanks so much for your time and service and for being with us tonight.  We appreciate it. 

JACKSON:  Thanks for having us. 

BOHMAN (ph):  Thank you.

COSBY:  Thank you guys. 

And coming up, what we can all learn from the legacy left behind by anchorman Peter Jennings.  



WILLIAM TALMAN, ACTOR:  I've got lung cancer.  So take some advice about smoking and losing from someone whose been doing both for years.  If you don't smoke, don't start.  If you do smoke, quit. 


COSBY:  Well, we all strive to leave behind a legacy.  That's why actor William Talman, who played the always-defeated D.A. on TV's “Perry Mason” tried to warn the public about smoking before his death.  But, sadly, not enough people listened. 

With his passing, ABC anchorman Peter Jennings will be remembered for so many things.  He was a great journalist, true to his viewers and trusted by millions around the world.  He was also a role model for people like me. 

On several occasions, he was very kind to this young journalist, which I still appreciate to this day.  And as we all know, he was a brave man who eventually lost his battle with cancer.  Even though Peter quit smoking for some time, he was never able to fully kick the habit. 


PETER JENNINGS, FORMER HOST, “ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT”:  As some of you now know, I have learned in the last couple of days that I have lung cancer.  Yes, I was a smoker until about 20 years ago.  And I was weak, and I smoked over 9/11.

But whatever the reason, the news does slow you down a bit.  I've been reminding my colleagues today, who have all been incredibly supportive, that almost 10 million Americans are already living with cancer and I have a lot to learn from them. 


COSBY:  Well, my own mother added—there she is there—also died from lung cancer.  That was two years ago.  She always regretted being a smoker.  And even as a kid, I tried to get her to quit.  She eventually did, but it was too late for her, as well. 

In the days to come, as we celebrate the life of Peter Jennings, we should always remember what led to his death.  And like that famous ad from William Talman in the 1960s, hopefully, Peter's untimely death and that of my own mom will be a powerful lesson on the dangers of smoking and the blessing of life with family and friends. 

We'll miss you, Peter, very much. 

And that is it for this first edition here of LIVE & DIRECT.  I'm Rita Cosby.  We're going to be back tomorrow night.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now.

Joe, it is great to be part of the NBC family and also working with you especially. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  Boy, great to have you as part of the NBC family.  Welcome aboard.  Great show.  I know you're going to have a lot of them ahead.  Thanks for being with us.

COSBY:  This is only the beginning, Joe.  Come on. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Only the beginning.  You're exactly right.  Thanks, Rita.  Greatly appreciated.



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