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August 22nd, 2013
03:13 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": The Family of Audrie Pott remembers the teen, Andrew Spanswick on requests for Anderson children DNA

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • The Pott family on the damaging pressure of social media

Last year, 15-year-old Audrie Pott attended a small party where she spent the night drinking with friends. By the time she woke up the next morning, pictures of her being sexually assaulted by three teenage boys the previous evening had already begun surfacing on social media. After days of suffering ridicule from those that saw the photos, Audrie committed suicide.

On Wednesday evening, “Piers Morgan Live” invited Audrie’s parents to discuss the painful loss of their daughter, and to remind parents to maintain an open dialogue with their children about the pressures of social media:

“There were several chances for young men and young women to be heroes, to step up, to do the right thing,” Audrie’s father Lawrence Pott said, referring to the events at the party. “Nobody did. It was a terrible, terrible situation. Audrie woke up the next morning. She had no idea what had happened that night. She found writing all over her body, and she started to ask questions and started to piece together what had happened.”

Nearly a year since the incident, Audrie’s mother looks back on the tragedy with overwhelming guilt, regretting that she didn't learn of the sexual assault until after her daughter’s memorial service:

“It wasn't until we uncovered some Facebook messages," began Sheila Pott, "that we realized what had happened and how she felt, and how that had a direct correlation as to why she took her life. And she didn't confide in us so that we could take steps to intervene.”

  • Spanswick on the relationship between DiMaggio and the Andersons

The Anderson abduction saga continued on Wednesday, as reports surfaced indicating that James DiMaggio’s sister Lora Robinson was seeking DNA tests on Ethan and Hannah Anderson.

On the heels of this latest development, DiMaggio family spokesperson Andrew Spanswick, a man who has revealed some of the most intimate details about DiMaggio exclusively to “Piers Morgan Live,” returned to the studio with some additional perspective:

“There is a leak through social media that Lora DiMaggio [Robinson] picked up on that there was a possibility that either Ethan or Hannah," began Wednesday's live guest, "may have been the children of James DiMaggio, but it's not something that she actively believes. She already has DNA samples and has not asked the Anderson family at all for DNA samples.”

Continuing, Spanswick offered an important distinction:

“There is a difference between trying to explain a tragedy and condemn a tragedy,” the long-time friend of DiMaggio told Piers Morgan. “Certainly, we condemn James for the actions that he took. This has been a horrible tragedy for everyone. There's a lot of victims involved. Lora, as well, has been a victim. She can't leave her house. She's afraid to start her car. She's being hounded by the media.”

But with the recent updates in this ongoing story, some believe this hounding is warranted.

“There is a lot of speculation,” Spanswick fired back. “Lora DiMaggio has been picking up on any clue she can get. The sad fact of the matter is that both the San Diego police and the FBI have not spoken to Lora since this tragedy began.”

The only verified fact about the relationship between DiMaggio and the Andersons', Spanswick said, is that “Jim played a very key role in the family and was seen as an uncle, obviously. But there is no direct evidence that he had a relationship with the mother now.”

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Robert Johnson

    Mr. Morgan I am sending you this outline because like myself we are not Americans, I am an a Australian and have live in the United Sates for many years and have watched the main stream media such as your employer CNN wash or cover up the true stories on what is really happening on the streets of the city's and towns of the US that as I moved to Oklahoma to be safe from the thugs who roam the streets of our big city's I am on the road every day stop in a new city each night and watch the local news and every night there in front of local viewers is stories of black crimes of murder robbery and other crimes these stories do not make it to your employer or if they do they wish not to hurt their friends such as the most important and most knowable people like the Rev Al, and all these rich ex talk show, hosts, or singers the most important people, your station covered the Martin trial and your talking legal heads felt so bad for the loss of that young man which it was but do you know the real background of that young man if you did the story maybe different, One should now ask the President the same question about this Murder in Cold Blood I bet he will not say that if I had a son he would look like this young man who hurt no one and was a great person in one of our schools in a small town where he should have been safe, So my friends and I are going to send recordings of these Local News broadcasts to Australia for Australians to see the real truth not the white wash your daytime newscasters put over the air today one of your newscasters made FUN of an article in the Wall Street Journal when it criticized they way the main stream media is covering this story. I hope you understand the disgust we have for the one-sided news reporting, you on the other hand I feel drag the truth out and I hope you will continue to do. Thank You RLJ

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