OTR Interviews

Aruban Group Threatens to Sue Greta

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," March 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Well, hold on to your seats. someone, actually a group, wants to sue me — sort of.

Well, get this: Just hours ago I got a letter from an American lawyer who represents the Aruba Hotel and Tourism association. In the letter, the association accuses me and other members of the media of slanderous statements about their Aruban tourism industry and the Natalee Holloway investigation, and they are threatening to bring legal proceedings if we don't stop our false and malicious rhetoric.

Huh? Let's see what the legal panel thinks of this letter. Joining us live in San Francisco, criminal defense attorney Michael Cardoza, and here in Washington, criminal defense attorneys Ted Williams and Bernie Grimm.

Ted, my first call, of course, is to my husband John Cole. He is going to be my lawyer. He has saved me on more than one occasion. But what am I going to do?

TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The first thing you need to do is file something against this ignorant, incompetent lawyer, who would send a letter — you cannot defame and sue a country. There is a lawyer should have a —

VAN SUSTEREN: He is suing me.

WILLIAMS: Even you, on behalf of this country? Get real.

VAN SUSTEREN: Can I tell you, my response to this, Ted, is "bring it on." Will you please sue me? Sue me right now? I will wave all requirements, because I want to get all of these people under oath and depositions, because I would love it.

WILLIAMS: This guy is stuck on stupid, and Bernie will take it from there.

BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: OK, thanks, Greta. Greta just hired me. That's 200 bucks I made.

Ted is right. I think, and Jim Hammer counseled me on this —

VAN SUSTEREN: He isn't here tonight.

GRIMM: Oh. Well, Jim's watching — that I am going to resign from the practice of law because I feel like an idiot that I even share the same membership of this guy.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, we want this guy to sue me. Michael Cardoza, can you make this guy sue me? Do you realize that if I get sued, I get to prove everything? I get to depose police. It is a field day.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If you are sued, you can talk about it even more. This law suit is about as well thought out as their investigation was, or this threatened lawsuit.

How are they going to prove damages, number one? Damages cannot be speculative. I know tourism went —

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait — that is the best thing. Tourism, we found out today, is up eight percent. That is the second thing.

WILLIAMS: And it may now go down, because he is now refreshing the public memory that they could not find Natalee Holloway in Aruba, and so now he may have hurt tourism in that country by this idiotic letter.

CARDOZA: How do you prove proximate cause, too? How do you prove that your statements were the cause of what they say is tourism going down there?

VAN SUSTEREN: Whose side are you on? White a second. I want them to sue me. Do not tell them not to. I want them to.

WILLIAMS: Is this a real law firm? Where did they get their law license?

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know, but think of the discovery —

CARDOZA: You know what I think?

VAN SUSTEREN: What?

CARDOZA: One thing I do now, that when things happen, like Aruba — people forget about them rather quickly. In a year or so, even if, assuming, which I doubt, tourism went down for them, people would be flooding back there.

Now everybody listening is probably saying, what are they doing? Now I am really not going to Aruba. So they themselves are driving tourism down because of this silliness.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie?

GRIMM: After reflection, I think there is actually a cause action, and they should sue you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Bernie.

GRIMM: Greta has made some statement, and I think I have made statements as well that are false.

VAN SUSTEREN: I just asked the questions.

WILLIAMS: I have never called for a boycott of Aruba, but I can tell you —

VAN SUSTEREN: What a coward he is.

CARDOZA: This is one where the only ones that are going to make money are the lawyers involved.

WILLIAMS: But this lawyer should give the money back to his clients, because he is stealing money from them in this circumstance.

CARDOZA: And certainly do not mention the guys name and give him the credit of doing that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie, what possesses a lawyer to send this?

GRIMM: It is something that possess nine out of ten lawyers, which is money.

WILLIAMS: Money.

GRIMM: And it is unfortunate because they make money by exploiting people and convincing them that they can win a case. It is sad.

VAN SUSTEREN: The other thing is that nothing is stated in here, nothing specific, nothing at all. What is it that we said? That they have not solved the case?

WILLIAMS: That there are idiots down there doing the investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ted keeps saying horrible things.

GRIMM: FOX News appears to rely on false information, speculation, and reckless accusations. Hold up, here is the last part — Bernie Grimm is a very handsome.

CARDOZA: — intimidate FOX.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the thing is — I do not know. Maybe they did solve the case and we are wrong.

WILLIAMS: No. This is just idiotic incompetence — an incompetent attorney. Let's put it that way.

GRIMM: Ted, do you think that the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, what should they do about their legal fee?

WILLIAMS: Get it back quickly, or retain me to get it back for them.

VAN SUSTEREN: And John Cole, my husband, a very busy man if we get sued. We'll have fun.

Panel, thank you.

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