Attorney confirms reports of meeting with Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez
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On July 27, 2011, HLN host, Jane Velez-Mitchell spoke to attorney Mark Geragos regarding claims made by TMZ’s Harvey Levin that their reporters had spotted Geragos and Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, meeting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York. The TMZ report also said that Baez met with representatives for networks such as ABC, NBC and CBS. At this point, none of the major networks have confirmed they are in a bidding war for Anthony’s first interview, but Geragos did confirm the report that he did have a meeting with Baez in the same hotel.
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Speaking to Jane Velez-Mitchell on July 26, 2011, TMZ’s executive producer Harvey Levin described the situation as follows, “Well, it`s so interesting, Jane. So we have reported today that a syndicated talk show offered Casey Anthony`s parents $250,000 and it was summarily rejected. The bids have gone way higher than that, for the parents, Jane, for the parents. On the Casey Anthony front, we are told, as you just said, that the bidding exceed $1.5 million.
“Now, let me tell you what I know and what I`m not sure of. I know that the big three networks were all negotiating this, as of last Thursday night, and they were doing it at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, very close to where you`re broadcasting, where CNN is. And that Jose Baez actually met with Mark Geragos in the hotel bar and talked about — got pointers from him on how to negotiate the deal.
“I was told big bucks were involved. Now we`re told it`s more than $1.5 million. What I`m not sure of is, I think this deal might be closed, Jane. And the reason I say it is because if you notice today, ABC didn`t say they weren`t involved in the negotiation. They said they will no longer pay for video and photos connected with an interview. That is hugely significant, Jane. Because what they`re saying, essentially, is they`re going to stop the deception that all the networks have been using for years, which is to say publicly, we don`t pay for interviews. But then what they do is, they`ll say to Casey Anthony, we`ll give you $1 million for your high school photo.
“And it`s all a game. And everybody knows what they`re doing, but they`re able to say, we`re not doing it. ABC finally realized what a sham it is. So as of today, they issued a statement. They will no longer do it. That, to me, signals that ABC has probably lost the Casey Anthony deal. I was told all along NBC was the front-runner and I wouldn`t be surprised if that`s closed now.”
Confirming comments made during the interview that Jose Baez met with mark Geragos, Jane Velez-Mitchell followed her show with an interview with Geragos on Wednesday. Geragos also praised TMZ’s reporters for their accuracy. After giving Jane Velez-Mitchell’s producers props for their abilities at tracking down guests for the show, Geragos referred to Levin.
“And you know, Harvey is just as incredible because I don`t know how it is Harvey knows what he knows or when he knows although maybe he has hidden microphones every place in America,” Geragos said. Jane Velez-Mitchell then asked Geragos point blank if he had met with Jose Baez at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Mark Geragos replied, “Yes, I was. I met with Jose. I`ve met with Jose a couple of times. I would never talk about what I talked about with him. I wanted to congratulate him. I thought he did a spectacular job. And I had my daughter who`s in college here in New York with me who wanted to meet him as well. He was very gracious and he`s a wonderful guy. That`s probably all I`m going to say, which will disappoint your viewers.”
What do you think now that Mark Geragos has confirmed TMZ’s report that he was at the Mandarin Oriental? Do you believe TMZ’s additional report that Baez had met with the three major networks there as well?