ALBANY, N.Y. -- A New York woman who sent away for a videotape about a foundation that helps kids with epilepsy saw an unexpected double feature when she viewed the tape this week.
About two months ago, the Glenmont, N.Y., woman watched a segment of "Dateline NBC" chronicling a special diet and a foundation that helps kids with epilepsy, like her grand-nephew. At the end of the show, a telephone number was offered for those interested in a videotape about the foundation.
The woman, who requested anonymity, was one of about 10,000 people who sent for the tape.
When she viewed the tape Tuesday night, she saw more than she'd expected. About 45 seconds after the 35-minute program, a hard-core pornographic film burst onto the screen. The film, with a Civil War theme, ran about 10 minutes.
"What can I say? I'm shocked," said the woman.
Jim Abrahams, creator of the Charlie Foundation and a Hollywood writer-director of such comedies as "Airplane!" and "Hot Shots," had no sense of humor about the apparent error.
"Oh you're kidding!" Mr. Abrahams said, reached by telephone yesterday in Santa Monica, Calif.
"There's no question our tapes went out in pristine form . . . They were not recycling old tapes, they were using pristine tapes," he said.
Officials at NBC and Johns Hopkins University, after responding with initial shock, said they have never received such a complaint. The tape, which features actress Meryl Streep, describes the foundation and the Ketogenic diet, developed by the university.
Dr. John Freeman, the Johns Hopkins doctor who co-wrote "The Epilepsy Diet Treatment: An Introduction to the Ketogenic Diet," said he has viewed about five of the tapes and saw no problems.
"Hopkins had no direct involvement with making those tapes or distributing the tapes," Dr. Freeman said. "It's possible this [pornography] showed up in only one of them."