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Home Stretch for California Recall Candidates; Roy Horn Still in Fight of His Life

Aired October 6, 2003 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST (voice-over): Sexual harassment and Schwarzenegger: bad behavior or dirty politics?

A Vegas icon clings to life. What went wrong?

Our special series, Sex, Violence and Favors: Life Behind Bars.

The Kobe Bryant we didn't know: his side of the story.

And Brittany, bachelor Bob, J. Lo and Ben: isn't it about time for some new celebrities?


ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: And a good Monday to you. Thanks for joining us on 360.

Tonight, a lot more on the story of the Vegas superstar mauled by one of his beloved tigers. Roy, of Siegfried and Roy, we're going to bring you the latest on his condition. We'll also talk with someone in the audience who saw the attack up close. And we'll talk with the man who sold Roy his first White tigers.

All of that is coming up ahead. But first, we want to turn to John King, who is standing by in Washington.

John, you're at the White House. What's going on?

And John King is not standing by. Let's go to California.

California cliffhangers: voters hit the polls tomorrow while accusations of misconduct continue to hammer Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are now more than a dozen claims of inappropriate behavior against the movie star. They are serious accusations, but they could mean the difference between winning and losing.

We are going to go to Kelly Wallace for that in California in just a moment. First, we're going to go to John King from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president called it common sense, not a shakeup designed to reduce the Pentagon's authority over post-war Iraq.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know it's common for the National Security Council to coordinate efforts -- inner-agency efforts. And Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, is doing just that.

KING: But other senior officials say Mr. Bush wants a stronger day-to-day White House role in Afghanistan, and especially Iraq. And at times, the security problems and the slow pace of reconstruction and political transition are causing him political headaches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a big deal. You don't change things in midstream of this scale unless you really think you need a major overhaul.

KING: The State Department was the lead in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is trying to reassert itself and one recurring complaint is delays getting a new Kabul to Kandahar highway built. The Pentagon has been running both security and reconstruction in Iraq, where critics accuse Mr. Bush of underestimating both the risks to U.S. troops and rebuilding costs.

Now, National Security Adviser Rice will take the lead role coordinating efforts in both countries, and who is creating a new Iraq stabilization group with four divisions: security and counterterrorism, economic development, political transition and media relations.

BUSH: Listen, we're making good progress in Iraq.

KING: Ambassador Paul Bremer became Iraq's administrator back in May, replacing retired General Jay Garner in an earlier shakeup ordered by the president. Now Bremer will continue to report to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, but both Bremer and the Pentagon also must assign new deputies to the new structure headed by Rice.


KING: Now, the changes will put more authority over that $87 billion the president wants in new war spending in the hands of one of his most trusted aides, but also leaves the White House little room to escape direct blame if things don't improve soon -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, want to turn to Israel now. Did yesterday's strike on Syria put the president in a difficult position?

KING: Enormously difficult position because he cannot come out and criticize Israel, if in fact this is a terrorist training camp. It would be consistent with his own Bush doctrine that you could reach out and strike if someone is harboring a terrorist.

At the same time, behind the scenes, they wish this had not happened. As one official put it, "It happened. We have to focus now on trying to contain the fall-out." The official added, Anderson, "We hope they're not planning to do this again."

COOPER: All right. John King at the White House. Thanks very much.

On now to the California cliffhanger. Kelly Wallace reports from Huntington Beach, California, on a fateful day for Arnold Schwarzenegger.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An unconventional candidate wrapping up his campaign the old-fashioned way, using all the ammunition he has to get out the vote.

MARIA SHRIVER, NBC NEWS: As I say to our kids, who said this morning, "Do you think daddy is going to win or lose, what do you think is going to happen," I said, "No matter what happens in this race, your father has done an extraordinary thing."

WALLACE: At this San Jose rally, no mention of the allegations dogging him, including at least 15 women who accuse him of sexual misconduct. Instead, a seemingly upbeat Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to make the election all about the man he hopes to replace.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Gray Davis has terminated jobs. Gray Davis has terminated dreams. Gray Davis has terminated opportunities. And now it's time we terminate Gray Davis.

The final push: a three-city tour, with the GOP front-runner traveling in a private plane, his aides keeping him far away from the press core. This as the Schwarzenegger campaign continues to say its polling shows the recall passing and the actor turned candidate winning, despite the allegations.

SCHWARZENEGGER: That's what we are going to do tomorrow. We are going to take the government back again. We are going to take it back.

Tomorrow is the time. Do I have your promise?

WALLACE (on camera): The goal in the home stretch, return to the place where he started off his campaign, Huntington Beach, to attract the biggest crowds possible to try to argue the momentum is behind this candidate on the eve of the election.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, Huntington Beach, California.


COOPER: Well, Schwarzenegger is using an exquisitely delicate phrase to describe how the allegations have come to light over the past week, calling it "puke politics." But today, one California woman's group said in a statement, "Stop crying dirty politics and tell us the truth." And that was the message Governor Davis tried to hammer home today as well. That his nemesis isn't coming clean. More from senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These final hours are usually about rallying the base, revving up the foot soldiers, a challenge in Camp Davis.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: That's all right. You can applaud. I never like to discourage that. It's not a regular occurrence in my life, so when people want to start, I do not want to stop them.

CROWLEY: The truth is, this is not about Republicans who don't like Gray Davis. This race comes down to Democrats who don't like him. To the 27 percent of Democrats who have said they favor recall, Davis offers the starkest of choices in this complicated race: Arnold or me?

DAVIS: It's very hard for me to believe that all 15 of these women were lying. Frankly, hard for me to believe that any of them are lying. But obviously the voters will have to deal with that because Mr. Schwarzenegger refuses to discuss it in any more detail before the election tomorrow.

CROWLEY: Whether it's that he likes the wonk (ph) versus action figure comparison, or that he can't compete with the crowd count in Arnold land, the governor favors small forums. His first event on the final day was an education discussion with children to young to vote. The placard-packed balloon-ridden rallies rely heavily on the most faithful: union leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our opponents don't even know what a union is about.

CROWLEY: Still, even this Monday rally was pumped up with out of state firefighters in San Francisco for a meeting.


COOPER: Candy Crowley is joining us now. Some recent polling shows voters are liking, I guess, Arnold Schwarzenegger a little bit less. That doesn't necessarily mean, though, they like Gray Davis more, does it?

CROWLEY: No. He may -- Gray Davis may, in fact, benefit from it, but it doesn't mean -- even his own campaign admits the favorable- unfavorable are still two to one for Gray Davis. But, look, he could benefit from it in a lot of ways.

First of all, those who liked Arnold Schwarzenegger and thought they would vote for him could just sit at home and say, you know what, they're all the same, politicians, I don't like them that much. That hurts Arnold Schwarzenegger. And the other thing that may happen, and that the Davis camp claims is showing up in their internals, is that Republicans, particularly conservative Republicans, who are already turned off by Arnold Schwarzenegger's stance on social issues, may be so disgusted with this that they will vote against the recall but for their favorite candidate, conservative Republican McClintock, to kind of send a message but to keep Davis in office, thinking that it would be preferable to go another couple years and have another whack at him in another election.

COOPER: All right. A little more than 24 hours from now we should know. All right. Candy Crowley, thanks very much.

That, of course, is the spectacle in California. Now to the spectacle in Las Vegas that ended in horror, the tiger attack Friday night on Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy. Their show is so carefully produced that it is easy to forget animals do not always follow a script. While his prognosis improved a bit today, Roy Horn is still in the fight of his life.

Jeff Flock has the latest from Las Vegas -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF: Indeed, Anderson. Live tonight, an odd scene on the Las Vegas strip. A vigil being kept just outside the Mirage Hotel. Perhaps you can see the folks that have gathered here in front of the statue of Siegfried and Roy, with their beloved tiger in the statue as well.

They all want to know his latest condition. I'll tell you it's this: still critical, but stable. As you report, some positive news today. He was able to communicate with his doctors and able to move both his hands and his feet. They take that as a positive in a tragedy thus far that's been felt on many levels.


FLOCK (voice-over): If you've been to Las Vegas, you've seen Siegfried and Roy. If not their sell-out stage show, then on the countless billboards, video screens and taxicabs that advertise it. It has been simply the hottest ticket in town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are an icon here in Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's part of why people come to Las Vegas is to see Siegfried and Roy.

FLOCK: Six shows a week, 45 weeks a year, in a 1500-seat theater, at $110 a ticket. That's $44 million in annual sales. Still, to Las Vegas, the economic impact of the accident may be small.

Celine Dion and Gloria Estefan have new shows. And there's always Wayne Newton. But, at Siegfried and Roy's hotel home, the Mirage, the fallout could be serious. At a vigil for the 59-year-old Roy Horn, many of the 250 people who worked on his show, now told to look for new jobs since it's closed indefinitely. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now, the strength needs to be pulled together for Roy so he knows that we're here to support him through all of this.

FLOCK: Steve Wynn, who is building a huge new hotel, has offered Siegfried and Roy staff jobs. But Wynn, who gave the duo their first big contract in 1987, won't have his new hotel open for another year.

At the Mirage, the loss of Siegfried and Roy would be huge. The hotel spent $40 million on the theater for the show, another $18 million on this white tiger habitat, and a secret garden where the public can view the exotic animals shown in the show. The hotel's twin themes of illusion and nature fit perfectly with the Siegfried and Roy experience. Replacing it, especially in the fantasy world of Las Vegas, would take some real magic.


FLOCK: And perhaps some magic in order for Mr. Roy, as he's known, as well, Anderson, because he's had a stroke, perhaps some brain damage. Unclear at this point just how much damage was done. But, as we said, some positive news today, so his fans clinging to that out here on the Las Vegas strip.

Back to you.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Flock, thanks very much.

Now, we're going to have more on the tiger attack in a few moments. We're going to talk with someone who was in the audience, on her honeymoon no less, who saw it all first hand. Also, you'll meet the man who sold Roy his first white tigers. He'll have some insights on how well Roy interacted with these animals.

All that's coming up. For other stories around the world, though, let's check tonight's "Up Link."

Southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico: Larry forces residents out. Tropical Storm Larry weakened to a tropical depression, but not before hundreds had to be evacuated in the Mexican state of Tobasco. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt or killed.

Santiago, Chile: celebrating the end of dictatorship. Hundreds of thousands of Chileans filled the streets, marking the 15th anniversary of the vote that forced dictator Augusto Pinochet out of power.

Manila, the Philippines: protesting President Bush. Filipinos burned pictures of the president, some calling him the world's number one terrorist for what they call the American aggression in Iraq. They said they'd keep protesting leading up to a visit by Mr. Bush set for the middle of the month.

Kabul, Afghanistan: justice denied to women. That was the troubling message today from Amnesty International. The group says that nearly two years after the Taliban was ousted, women are still victims of widespread domestic violence, forced marriage, and rape by armed groups.

And Beijing, China: one production of "Aida" that Elton John hasn't gotten his hot little jewel-covered hands on is the largest ever open-air production of the classic opera. The story of an Ethiopian slave girl, her love for an Egyptian warrior, written by an Italian, directed by a Croatian, and performed for the Chinese. If you're confused, so was at least one viewer who said, "I have to admit, I didn't really understand much of the content, but I think it is all quite impressive."

And that's the "Up Link" for tonight.

Our special series "Life Behind Bars" starts tonight. We're going to take you inside the dangerous world of prisons. Tonight, Convict Culture: Surviving Life on the Inside.

Plus, he said-she said. Two different versions of the night Kobe Bryant brought a young woman to his hotel room. Hear his side of the story.

And Las Vegas tiger mauling. What went wrong? Find out from a woman who saw the whole thing happen up close.

But first, a look Inside the Box at the top stories on tonight's network evening newscast.


COOPER: All right. Tonight, we begin a weeklong look at "Sex, Violence and Favors: Life Behind Bars in America." If you want to see a true Darwinian struggle play out, enter the American prison system. To survive inside, a convict needs to understand the code, the culture. And that is what we focus on now. First, though, a quick look at some numbers.


COOPER (voice-over): The numbers are startling. More than two million American are currently locked up in prisons and jails. Per capita, more people than any other nation on Earth. The war on drugs, the war on crime, stricter immigration enforcement, all have led to the surge in the incarcerated population. Federal prison are 33 percent over capacity.

Advocates of the system say tough sentencing works. Crime is at its lowest level in three decades. Critics say the prison population is a time bomb, facilities overcrowded, health care poor.

Like it or not, prisons and jails are not just part of our culture. They are a culture unto themselves. A separate world with separate rules.

Why should you care? Ninety-five percent of inmates are eventually released -- released back into our world, our communities. The question is, what have they learned?


COOPER: Well, few outsiders experience prison culture, in part because it can be extremely dangerous even to try. But earlier today, we spoke with someone who has documented prison life for years, Andrew Lichtenstein, a photographer who has worked in dozens of America's prisons and jails. I began by asking him if corrections officers really control life behind bars.


ANDREW LICHTENSTEIN, PHOTOGRAPHER: Anybody who has ever been to a prison will tell you that the prisoners control the prison, just on the sheer number. People have another misconception of (UNINTELLIGIBLE), is that there's always corrections officers walking around and that, for every 10 prisoners, there's five corrections officers. The reality is the cellblock would house maybe 160 prisoners and will be watched over by a single corrections officer.

COOPER: But there's also a system of favors.

LICHTENSTEIN: Yes. Well, everything in prison is a carrot and stick. This is a management tool, and this is how prisons are run.

COOPER: In what way is the prison culture the opposite of what it is on the outside?

LICHTENSTEIN: The most obvious example that people use and that you feel right away is that America is a white man's world. All prisons are racial cultures. That is just the way it is.

COOPER: How do you mean? You mean -- it's all divided by race?

LICHTENSTEIN: Everybody, everything, every activity, every alliance is divided by race. And it's a numbers game. Who has the most numbers, has the most power within the prison? And white prisoners are often, if not almost always, the minority.

COOPER: Let's talk about tattoos. What is the importance of tattoos?

LICHTENSTEIN: Most tattoos are used for gang affiliation. Or if not gang affiliation, for the region of where you live. Where you grow up is extremely important in prison.

COOPER: And you see the tattoos, a teardrop.

LICHTENSTEIN: And if you see -- a teardrop is a common tattoo in prison. Putting a tattoo on your face is really scarring yourself and identifying yourself with prison culture. So even if you got out...

COOPER: Because, yes, once you go for a job interview or anything...

LICHTENSTEIN: You went for a job interview, you have a tattoo. We have to keep in mind that the prison experience is not always a shameful one, that there are many people growing up in America that have come to feel that the prison experience is inevitable.

COOPER: How common is rape in prison?

LICHTENSTEIN: Homosexuality is extremely prevalent in prison. Of course, it's a man's world. The most oppressive thing about prison, for sure, is this sexual energy that is stored up.

Nobody is having normal, healthy heterosexual sex. Let's put it that way. Because it doesn't exist.

So you will find in prison gay people who went to prison who all of a sudden are the center of attention in a way that they weren't before, and quickly become women. They wear makeup, they essentially play the roles of women.

A more common thing that nobody talks about is heterosexual prisoners having homosexual relationships while they are in prison and then returning to their normal life after they leave. And then the worse case scenario is somebody who comes in straight and is turned or they punked, and this is a process by which you basically become somebody's property.


COOPER: We're going to have more on the controversial topic of prison rape as our special series "Inside America's Prisons" continues this week.

Tomorrow, "Inside Gang Life and Gang Death Behind Bars," how a battle from the streets continues to rage on inside the cellblocks. That's tomorrow, "Sex, Violence and Favors: Life Behind Bars."

Time now for a quick check of other stories making headlines "Cross Country."

Concord, New Hampshire: suing big oil. New Hampshire is suing 22 major oil companies. The state says the firms have stepped up their use of the additive MTBE (ph), knowing it would contaminate water supplies. That's what they say.

Charleston, West Virginia: a reward in sniper case. There's $50,000 waiting for anyone who can help police identify a person responsible for three sniper shootings. A taskforce probe in the August shootings announced the reward today.

Atlanta, Georgia: hockey player dies after crash. Dan Snyder of the Atlanta Thrashers has died from injuries suffered in a car crash last Monday. Police today charged his teammate, Danny Heatly (ph), with a vehicular homicide.

And that's a look at the stories "Cross Country" tonight.

Rape or adultery in a Colorado hotel room? Two very different versions of one night. Find out Kobe Bryant's side of the story.

Also, blaming the parents. A mom faces serious jail time over her son's suicide.

And a little bit later on, Arnold Schwarzenegger's alleged groping problem. Dirty politics or bad behavior exposed? Ann Coulter weighs in. Stay with us.



KOBE BRYANT, BASKETBALL PLAYER: In this environment, in this world, people think like a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) game is pressure. Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kobe, you say you're terrified. What about it scares you the most?

BRYANT: Just my family, people dragging their name through the mud for no apparent reason. Myself, I can deal with this.


COOPER: "Justice Served" now. That was basketball star Kobe Bryant. Security will be tight in Eagle, Colorado, for a preliminary hearing which is Thursday in the Bryant sexual assault case. There have been dozens of death threats against the prosecutor, the judge, and the NBA player's 19-year-old female accuser.

In its current cover story, "Newsweek" takes an in-depth look at Kobe Bryant from his childhood to his criminal charge. Joining us, our 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom, and "Newsweek" national correspondent, Allison Samuels, who wrote the cover story.

I appreciate both of you joining us.

Allison, let me start off with you. A fascinating article you reported in this week's "Newsweek." Two very different pictures of what happened in that hotel room. You heard from friends of Kobe Bryant, from sources, basically his side of the story. What was it?

ALLISON SAMUELS, "NEWSWEEK" REPORTER: Well, their basic understanding is that it was a situation that wasn't planned, happened very quickly. He, you know, hadn't thought it all the way out. He obviously had a different understanding of what was going to happy that night than she did, and it turned into a different situation.

And from her friends, of course, they feel like it was more unexpected for her than anyone else. She wasn't given time to sort of think about it or to say OK, and then of course it turned into a very ugly situation as well.

COOPER: But as her account in the "Newsweek" story that you report, I mean, it's basically, according to her friends, as soon as she entered she was basically attacked. And then according to Kobe Bryant's friends and/or sources, it was more consensual, no condom was involved, and she began to cry. SAMUELS: Right. I mean, his friends are sort of making it very clear this is not a guy who has been violent, he is not the kind of guy that would obviously assault a woman. I think, from her standpoint, her friends were saying, well, in fact, he did. She did walk into the room and it happened very suddenly without warning.

So it's definitely a case of he said-she said. I don't think anybody actually knows what happened except those two, obviously.

COOPER: Well, let's talk to Kimberly about that. Kimberly, I mean, as Allison said, a typical he said-she said. How does that play out in the courtroom?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: It's all about credibility. And who are you going to believe at the end of the day, the NBA superstar, the "most talk about man in sports," as "Newsweek" has referred to him, or this sort of impressionable 19-year-old that allegedly has a history of mental instability>--?

It's going to come down to corroboration, Anderson. Whose story makes sense? And if someone saw her when she left that room and she was crying, that's going to be very damaging evidence against Kobe Bryant, because why are you crying if it was consensual sex? So he's going to have to show...

COOPER: How important are these photographs that the prosecutors are apparently going to show with some sort of photographic evidence taken from the accuser's body?

NEWSOM: They are going to be huge in the courtroom. That is enough evidence, physical evidence in and of itself to corroborate her story that this was against her will. So -- and there's also, according to information, other evidence of maybe injuries, et cetera.

So we're just going to have to wait and see. But if there's anything like that to suggest that her version is the truth and is accurate, that's going to be tough for Kobe Bryant to overcome.

COOPER: Allison, "Newsweek" learned that in March apparently Kobe Bryant met with a divorce lawyer. How bad was their relationship going into this?

SAMUELS: I think that, you know, one of the fears that his parents had, obviously, was that they were both too young. Neither had had a very serious relationship prior to this, and they weren't ready for what the pressures of marriage are. I mean, they had just had a baby a couple of months before, and obviously that brings a whole other set of issues for a young couple.

COOPER: It certainly does, yes.

SAMUELS: Yes. And so I don't know if it was any different than any other couple experiences, but I think they were just so young they were not adequately equipped.

COOPER: Kimberly, does this make it into court, the fact that he met with a divorce attorney, according to "Newsweek?"

NEWSOM: Well, maybe not necessarily that fact. But you have to understand that Kobe Bryant has been vocal in the media about his marriage in saying it's a strong marriage, a good marriage, his wife is his number one priority. So this is something that suggests different than what he's been saying. So that is kind of a credibility issue.

Also, it makes it more plausible that perhaps if the defense tries to say that the accuser was the aggressor or was compliant in this situation, maybe she wasn't. Maybe Kobe Bryant was seeking out the comfort and company of another woman because he was having marital problems. So it makes it a little more believable how this went down.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom, thanks very much. And Allison Samuels, fascinating article in "Newsweek" this week. Thank you very much.

Still a lot ahead.


COOPER (voice-over): Still ahead: wild animals and show business. A dangerous mix.

The allegations against Schwarzenegger: real trouble or dirty politics?

And sick of reading about the same old celebrities? In search of new superstars.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: Time for the top stories tonight's reset. Sacramento, California -- is the recall race tightening. As sexual harassment allegations pile up against Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis is predicting a come from behind victory tomorrow that will keep him in office. That's what he hopes.

White House leak probe: President Bush says he expects all his aides to cooperate fully with the investigation of a leak revealing a CIA operative's identity. Some 2,000 white house staffers have until 5:00 p.m. Tomorrow to turn over relevant records or certify they don't have any.

Washington: full power in Iraq. The U.S. says Iraq enjoyed full electrical power last night for the first time since before the war. An army officer just back from that country made the announcement at the White House today.

Washington: the Pentagon and a questionable sale. The General Accounting Office says the Defense Department sold it the general public, equipment that can be used for making biological weapons. Pentagon agency responsible has halted the sale pending a review.

As in Washington, a tobacco verdict vacated. The Supreme Court has vacated a jury award of nearly $80 million in punitive damages against cigarette maker Philip Morris. The high court ordered lower courts to review the size of the settlement.

New York: Martha Stewart case. The home decor maven asked a federal judge to drop two of the five counts against her. Indictments arose from her sale of ImClone shares in 2001, just before the stock tanked.

And that is the "Reset."

More on the Tiger attack Friday at the Siegfried and Roy show. We are reluctant to use honeymoon horror because it sounds like a screeching tabloid headline, but how would you describe what happened to Denise and Frank Previti. They went to Vegas in part to see Siegfried and Roy only to see Roy get mauled. The couple was traumatized, they left a day early. Frank Previti didn't want to talk about, but his wife Denise does. She joins us now. Denise, thanks very much for being with us.


COOPER: So, you are sitting in the first row of the second tier. The show is going fine and you are enjoying it.

What happened?

PREVITI: There was a little break in the show. The whole thing is all glitz and glamour and smoke and costumes. And about halfway through the show they kind of turn the lights up a little and Siegfried and Roy came out and welcomed the audience and said thank you for coming and Siegfried exited the stage and it was just Roy. He said, I'd like you to meet a very special friend of mine. He brought out the tiger on a little leash and he walk the tiger out to the front and introduced the tiger. And he let the leash go, and I guess the tiger was supposed to sit down beside him. But instead it started going off the stage. So, he went over and tried to redirect it back, and it -- you could tell it didn't want to go. So he had the leash. He was trying to get it to sit and face the audience and he had his arm out in front of him. And I guess the tiger, I guess, bit his arm. He is hitting the nose of the tiger with the microphone.

COOPER: While it's biting his arm.

PREVITI: Trying to get it off. After that, it's kind of a blur. But it seemed like he almost sat down or leaned back gradually and...

COOPER: He went limp basically?

PREVITI: Almost. And then the tiger bit his neck, shoulder area and drag him off stage. And it was very strange...

COOPER: Were people screaming?

Were people...

PREVITI: No. Because the whole time he never seemed to struggle. And he never seemed to freak out in any way. You would think, you know, he'd be screaming or his arms and legs would be waving.

COOPER: Were people say in fact that may have saved his life. And you were supposed to do is go to limp and to resemble a dead animal or something. I don't know. At the time you didn't know something was wrong. They said the show was canceled, but you didn't realize really what had gone on.

PREVITI: No, we didn't. And it's funny because earlier in the show they had a segment where the had the tiger in the cage and were showing the audience, look how scary this tiger is. And they were taunting it from outside the cage making, you know, claw his arms out of the cage and growl. So there was a point in the show when they were showing the tiger was dangerous. So it almost in a way seemed to fit. You could justify it that way.

COOPER: Well, we appreciate you coming in and telling us the story. I know it's not a great way to end a honeymoon but appreciate you talking about it. Thank you.

PREVITI: Thank you.

COOPER: That was the perspective of an eyewitness. Now we go to someone who knows Siegfried and Roy and knows plenty about tigers as well. In fact he says he sold Roy Horn his first pair of white tigers back in the 1980s and can tell us what Roy Horn was like with his animals.

Ed Maruska is the director emeritus at the Cincinnati Zoo. And he joins us now.

Ed, thanks for being with us.

I understand you were a little bit wary about selling them two white tigers.

But when you met them, your fears were abated, why?

ED MARUSKA, DIR. EMERITUS, CINCINNATI ZOO: That's correct. I guess it was the first meeting with Roy. They came out to the Cincinnati Zoo in the early '80's with the hope of buying a pair of white tigers. And I was reluctant to selling white tigers into the entertainment industry. And after a day with Roy, and an invitation to come to Vegas to see where they were going to keep these animals, I felt very comfortable that Roy was a good person. He had good animal knowledge. He was bright, articulate and had a special way with animals.

COOPER: Well, you say a special way. What does that mean?

MARUSKA: There's an undefinable quality that some people have. And it's the ability to have a special rapport with animals, and they can be domestic or wild animals. In my business, and I've been in the wild animal business a long time. We have a term for that. We call them animal people. People that can get -- they read subtle changes in behavior of an animal and after walking Roy, Roy spent several days with me at the Cincinnati Zoo. After walking around the Zoo and watching his and listening to him in the way he approached animals, and the concern he had for their care and behavior, I thought it was a -- probably a good move. Then after visiting Vegas and seeing the area they were going to keep the animals in, no zoo could afford that, I mean...

COOPER: What do you think went wrong?

MARUSKA: Well, it could have been, from what I understand, from what I'm hearing it could have been a subtle change in the routine of the animal. You have to understand that Roy and Siegfried have gone through many, thousands of shows with these animals without a single scratch. And it could have been just a subtle change in the animal's routine and that upset the animal. And, you know, wild animals are wild animals and I think Siegfried and Roy in working with these animals recognized that.

COOPER: Ed Maruska, I appreciate you joining us to talk about your perspective. Thanks very much.

MARUSKA: Thank you.

COOPER: How often can we say we have two unbelievable stories about tigers on the same day. The other story happened here in New York. And if you haven't heard about it yet -- keep listening. A tiger was found Saturday prowling around a Harlem apartment. Its owner was apparently feeding it live chickens. Only in New York, folks. Tossed through the door, police had to repel from above, shoot a tranquilizer dart to get the poor tiger out. The police commissioner said this is an only in New York story. Not quite. A lot of people are buying exotic cats as pets and sadly abandoning them as well. Here's Ed Lavendera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This sanctuary north of Fort Worth Texas is where tigers come to grow old.

RICHARD GILBRETH, INTL. EXOTIC FELINE SANCTUARY: All of the sanctuaries in the United States right now are full of unwanted, abused and abandoned exotic cats. And they are still breeding them and people are still buying them.

LAVANDERA: Richard Gilbreth is the caretaker of this sanctuary. He cares for more than two dozen tigers here. He often gets five calls a week looking to get rid of the tiger they just bought as a pet.

GILBRETH: Lots of people are buying these as ego trips and to show everybody, you know, Look, I've got a tiger.

LAVANDERA: The best estimates show that some 15, 000 people in the U.S. have tigers as pets. Less than 20 states in this country have banned the practice altogether.

Tigers can be bought for less than $1,000, and they can show up in unusual places. This tiger was found in Antoine Yates' Harlem apartment.

ANTOINE YATES, KEPT TIGER IN HARLEM APARTMENT: I realize that this is my calling in life, you know what I'm saying? I'm trying to create a garden of Eden, something that this world lacks.

GILBRETH: I don't think people have any idea what they're getting into. When a private individual is buying these animals, they are buying potentially a loaded gun with a hammer cocked.

LAVANDERA: While humans seem excited by the idea of having human pet tigers, the tigers really don't appear to be that interested.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Wise County, Texas.


COOPER: All right. Media circus, political zoo. Is Arnold Schwarzenegger the victim of dirty mudslinging or is his own bad behavior coming back to haunt him? We're going to hear from both sides of the debate.

Stay with us.


COOPER: Well, with the California recall election now just hours away, aides to Arnold Schwarzenegger deny that his campaign has been hurt by charges he groped and harassed women. Are the allegations serious charges or just dirty politics?

Author Ann Coulter is in New York joining us, and political strategist Carlos Watson is in San Francisco. Appreciate both of you being with us.

Ann, let me start off with you. What do you think? Is this much ado about nothing? Are these allegations serious?

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR: Well, I think it is definitely political. It's hard to say whether it's much ado about nothing to some extent since it's just a few days before the election. I mean, a lot of these are 20 and 30-year-old charges. To be bringing this out now -- why not -- why not a month ago when we could have evaluated them a little bit more? The voters don't have a chance to do that. And I think it is striking that even stipulating that all of the allegations are true, which we do not have an opportunity to evaluate, this is -- this groping and boorish behavior, according to Gloria Steinem, writing on the op-ed page of "The New York Times."

The boss gets one free grope. That's what she said about the charges of Kathleen Willey after Clinton pushed her up against the wall and groped her when she came to apply for a job after her husband had committed suicide. Well, after he groped her, he -- he stopped. He didn't apparently actually rape her at that point and so Gloria Steinem said, Well that's not sexual harassment because he took no for an answer after one free grope.

COOPER: Well, Carlos, let me bring you in here. Ann is quoting Gloria Steinem, but, you know, there are some people who say, Look, this is illegal behavior. These charges could be brought up if they were investigated and found to be true.

CARLOS WATSON, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: They are, and I think what's significant here, Anderson, is that we don't have one charge or two charges. We don't even have 10 charges. We have now no fewer than 15 charges.

Also, it's worth noting that Arnold has actually admitted to some of the behavior. So this isn't purely scandal monger. Arnold has actually stepped forward and said I did behave badly.

But here's what I think is important about these charges. Sure, they're coming late and sure they're going to affect the vote. But I think they're going to do more than affect the vote. I think they're going to affect conservatives who have to ask themselves, You know, are we embracing a guy who is really bad news? And so even if Arnold wins, will this be the kind of present they don't want to have?

COOPER: Ann I mean, do you take these -- these charges, these allegations seriously? I mean, is -- are they just bad behavior, or are they something more serious than that? If someone groped you in an elevator, is that OK?

COULTER: Well, it's hard to evaluate the credibility of the charges in such a short period of time. But, again, stipulating without conceding, for purposes of argument that all of the allegations are true, it is boorish behavior, a lot of it going back 20 and 30 years. It's not adultery. I don't think it is illegal, unless any of these were his employees, and I don't think...

COOPER: But wait. Wait, but if...


WATSON: I think we have to be very careful here because while Ann is right that some of the charges go back 20 or 30 years, a number of the charges are actually very fresh and very recent. A number of these charges are only two or three years old. And we're not done hearing about these charges. So I'd be very careful to try and dismiss these all as 20 and 30-year-old charges.

Also, make no mistake about this. If this was someone's wife, someone's mother, someone's child, these aren't just boorish behavior, or behaving badly. I think people will think about them more seriously than that.

But here's -- here's the bottom line. And here's where I think we turn. Unquestionably, the race has gotten tighter since this information has come forward. I think this race is going to be fought not until tomorrow morning, but literally until tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. I think you'll see both sides spend somewhere between $5 million and $10 million, Anderson, in ads, not over the course of the last week, literally over the course of the final 48 hours of this campaign. And that's really unprecedented in non-presidential politics. This is a big race that will have lots of ramifications.

COOPER: And should this have an influence on how people vote? I mean, is it serious enough to influence a vote?

COULTER: I think it should have an influence on how people view the mainstream medium, which is, as an adjunct, working overtime for the Democratic Party.

COOPER: Wait -- so that's what's behind it all? This is a plot -- this is mainstream media plotting with liberals?

COULTER: Some of the allegations may be 30 years old. But the most recent ones are about two or three years old. So why does it come out four days before the election? Why not a month ago? Why not six weeks ago when we had time to deal with this?

WATSON: I keep hearing people say that. And as someone who's managed campaigns before, I've got to say, if this was really coming from the Davis campaign, you would be stupid, literally incompetent to wait and not release this information until a week before.

As you see in most campaigns, you don't start slinging mud literally a week before Election Day. You start way before then. I mean, look at the Democratic presidential election. Wesley Clark has barely been in that race two weeks and they're already slinging mud at him. So if this really came from Gray Davis, he would be incompetent to wait until a week before. This is an "L.A. Times" story, and I think it's worth paying attention ti.

COULTER: I didn't say they came from Gray Davis. What I said was "The L.A. Times" is operating as an adjunct of the Democratic Party. There's no question....

COOPER: And we're going to have to leave it there. Ann Coulter, appreciate you joining us.

COULTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) little more time next time.

COOPER: All right. Carlos Watson, thanks very much.

WATSON: Good to see you.

COOPER: All right. Time for a quick check of "The Current" now.

"Kill Bill" opens this weekend, but the film is being revealed in two parts and the second comes out early next year. A producer tells Reuters the first movie's final print still wasn't done the day before the world premiere. Did they make it? Find out in the second installment of the "Kill Bill" item coming soon.

"Charlie's Angels" will be the subject of a behind-the-scenes TV movie. According to "The Hollywood Reporter," the NBC movie is expected to answer long-standing mysteries about the series such as whether any episodes had a plot.

The Cartoon Network has released images from its upcoming animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." The series is expected to do for the franchise what the cartoon of "Star Trek" did -- namely, invite further ridicule.

And now the exciting conclusion of "The Current" "Kill Bill" item, was producer Lawrence Bender able to finish the final print of the first installment in time for last week's world premiere? The answer is yes.

Worth the wait, wasn't it? See if the movie is.

Coming up next on 360, controversy and comic strips. We'll ask Aaron McGruder how he draws the two together and get his take on today's news.


COOPER: With California recall election generating headlines every day and the administration hunting someone in the administration, you'd think these would be boom times for politically oriented cartoonists. Take Aaron McGruder. His "Boondocks" strips like Osama bin Laden's old ties to the U.S. generated so much controversy after September 11, it was banned in some New York publications. Now he's compiled some of his cartoons in the new book "The right to be hostile." And we've asked him to tell us about the task of taking on today's current events.

He joins us now. Thanks for being with us -- Aaron.


COOPER: Is it easier now or harder given that real-life events have taken on almost a cartoonish quality?

MCGRUDER: Yes, a lot of people think it's an easy time to be a political satirist. I think what you want is for the world to be kind of stupid so when it gets to the point it's insanely stupid it doesn't leave a lot of room for you to actually to do your job, which is to exaggerate events and tell jokes.

COOPER: We know, you've recently moved to Los Angeles. Your new adopted state, California, is obviously going through some interesting political times. What's it like watching all of that?

MCGRUDER: You know, on the one hand, it's amusing until you realize that, you know, what's ultimately going to happen, which is more than likely Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to be governor, and this -- it's not that funny. I mean, I think there's a certain joke quality, which I think people are getting a kick out of, like, hey, let's vote for the terminator and then they kind of laugh. Once they wake up and realize that their governor is actually the terminator, it's going to be like a really old joke that just isn't amusing anymore. COOPER: I think a lot of news writers are out of their clinched ways to link Arnold Schwarzenegger's run to his old movies. So, I think it's perfect timing for the election. What about Rush Limbaugh.

Does it surprise you him being in the news lately the way he has?

MCGRUDER: You know, Rush, making the news as a racist, no. I mean, that's Rush. That's why they hired Rush. They hired him to be a racist. He isn't much else but a racist. So, that wasn't surprising. Now Rush as part of a drug ring and as a drug addict, that I think is very interesting.

COOPER: It's all alleged at this point. It's not really known. I think a lot of people take issue with you calling Rush Limbaugh racist.

But is this going to get in your cartoons or how current are you?

MCGRUDER: The daily strips that I do. The Monday through Saturday strips are usually done about six days in advance usually, meaning you look at a news story. You have to figure out if anyone is going to care, you know, seven days from now. And also, if something could change between now and when it runs, you have to be careful in how do the strips so that it's not obsolete by the time it hits newspapers.

COOPER: Aaron McGruder, we appreciate you joining us tonight. We're a little pressed for time, but I appreciate you taking the time.

MCGRUDER: Thank you.

Reading the celebrity tabloids for today's "Fresh Print" I came to the conclusion we need some new celebrities. "Us Weekly", "In Touch Weekly," "The Star," they all graze on the same field and the grass ain't that green. Take a look. In "Us Weekly," bachelor Bob is in love, in "In Touch Weekly" he's afraid to marry. And in "The Star" he breaks down altogether. JLo and Ben also hit the glossy trifecta this week. Sadly it's not just the covers that are so similar. Here are Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz after they saw a movie. The same moment was captured in all three celebrity tabloid. "Us Weekly" has Britney Spears and her alleged new Beau throwing paper airplanes. And here they are again in "In Touch Weekly." I felt bad for this guy though. "In Touch" doesn't even name him. He's not famous so they pretend he doesn't exist. "Us Weekly" seemingly took a more aggressive stance, they seem to have air brush him out of the picture altogether. There he is, there he isn't.

If somebody invented new celebrities we wouldn't have this literary logjam. I think the new celebrities should be people who have really done something with their lives. Teachers or scientists, like the chemists and physicist who were awarded the Nobel Prize today for their MRI work. Wouldn't it be great if "Us Weekly" trailed them around like they were sitcom stars?

Look what Dr. Paul Lauterbur is wearing today. Peter Mansfield Ph.D. is crazy in love. I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

Coming up next on 360, will the White House leaker turn in documents that are self-incriminating? Maybe. But if not, we might have the thing to catch them anyway.

And tomorrow, how do some of America's prison gangs run live thriving businesses while they are behind bars?

Our series on "American Cell Block" continues.


COOPER: Tonight taking responsibility to the "Nth Degree." By tomorrow night, 2,000 White House staffers are expected to reply to the Justice Department's inquiry into who leaked the name of a CIA officer to journalist Robert Novak. Now the idea is that whoever did it, but has refused to say they did it, will turn over evidence that says they did it. On the off chance this fails, however, we've come up with a questionnaire suddenly designed to trick the leaker into revealing themselves. We urge you to take it along at home just in case it is you.

Question no. 1, do you know Robert Novak?

Question two, is Robert Novak protecting your identity?

Question three, are you that leaker person everyone is all fired up about? If yes, skip to question five.

Question five, who are you?

Now, what if the leaker isn't sure they are the leaker? That's why we've developed the 360 S.A.T., the sudden amnesia test.

Question no. 1, do you recall ever having forgotten being the leaker?

Question two, when you go home at night are you at the leakers house.

So how did you do?

If you answer yes to at least three question, you are entitled to a special prize which you can pick up right now in John Ashcroft office.

That wraps up the show for tonight. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


Still in Fight of His Life>

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