The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Panel Discusses Mauling of Roy Horn; Bob Graham Quits Presidential Race

Aired October 6, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Las Vegas legend Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is mauled by one of his own white tigers in the middle of a show. Hundreds of people watch in horror. Roy is in critical condition. He fights for his life tonight. The white tiger's in quarantine. What went wrong?
We'll talk with two men who were front-row witnesses to the tiger's attack. Also joining us, Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas, a longtime friend of Siegfried & Roy. In Las Vegas, magician Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller, good friend of both Siegfried and Roy, who visited Roy's hospital to show support. From the Wildlife Center in Jupiter, Florida, "Jungle" Jack Hanna, host of TV's "Animal Adventures" and doctor (ph) emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. And from her Shambala Reserve in California, Tippi Hedren, with her own tigers. She's been mauled by a lion. All that and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Welcome to this very special edition of LARRY KING LIVE concerning the near tragedy -- and might still be a major tragedy -- that occurred in Las Vegas late last week.

One quick -- two quick program reminders. This Wednesday night, Siegfried will be here exclusively, his first interview since all of this happened. Siegfried, the special guest on Wednesday night on LARRY KING LIVE. And later in the program tonight, Senator Bob Graham with a special announcement.

Let's first go to Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. He is with us from Las Vegas. Were you at the hospital today, Penn?

PENN JILLETTE, CLOSE FRIEND, VISITED HOSPITAL TO SHOW SUPPORT: I have not been there today. I was there till pretty late last night. But I haven't been over today yet.

KING: What's the latest you've heard?

JILLETTE: The latest I've heard is, you know, critical but stable. And he is reacting to doctors.

KING: Meaning that he's -- he shows signs that he can communicate?

JILLETTE: He shows some signs that he's hearing doctors and reacting to that, yes. Nobody -- nobody really knows except the doctors, and they probably don't know, either.

KING: Penn, what do you make of all this?

JILLETTE: You know, one of the things that's such a tribute to Roy is that he was so good at what he did that we're all shocked. I mean, this is -- he did an incredibly dangerous thing, and he made it look so fun and so easy that it's startling (UNINTELLIGIBLE) this could happen. But that's what he did. He did an incredibly dangerous thing and did it so -- with such joy, you thought he was just dealing with giant housecats.

KING: So is it possible that we -- we didn't think this would happen?

JILLETTE: I -- you know, I -- as long as I've -- when I -- the first time I saw Siegfried & Roy, it was always stunning that he was never hurt. He had an almost supernatural connection with the animals. It was -- he was the best that I ever heard about at handling animals and -- but you should never be shocked. Wild animals are dangerous.

KING: All right, Penn will be with our (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You hold up a minute, Penn. We'll come right back to you when our full panel joins us.

But right now, we want to talk in Las Vegas with Paul D'Antonio and Andrew Cushman. They were spectators last Friday night at the Mirage Hotel. They were seated front center at the Siegfried & Roy show.

Paul, was this the first time you've seen the act?


KING: And for you, Andrew, was it the first time?


KING: OK, tell us what you saw first. Paul, you go first. What happened?

D'ANTONIO: Well, I guess it was around 8:15, about 45 minutes into the show. Roy walked out with the white tiger, about 500-pound tiger. He introduced the tiger and said that it was its first performance. At that point, the tiger playful -- what looked to be a playful swat, swatted at Roy. Roy -- you know, there was a little bit of commotion between him and the tiger. Roy started to bang his microphone on the top of the head of the tiger, making a loud noise coming from over the PA system. At that point, the tiger jumped for his neck and bit his neck. It then picked him up and just walked offstage.

KING: Andrew, now, you'd never seen this act before. Did you at first think this is part of the act, or did you know right away something terrible had happened? CUSHMAN: Absolutely, I thought it was part of the act. First of all, when he brought the tiger onstage, he said that it was the tiger's first act. So I figured these guys are legends, you know, 30,000 shows, and so I figured that he brought -- he brings the tiger out, says it's the first time onstage, and then, you know, all of a sudden the tiger starts swatting at him. And legitimately, I was sitting there afterwards, and you know, after the tiger, this happened, and I'm saying, Now, I know these guys are legends, but how did he go from being onstage with this tiger to disappearing and getting what looked like a rag-doll-like mannequin in this tiger's mouth? It was -- I mean, no one even moved. No one in the audience moved. No one ran. No one screamed. Everyone thought it was part of the act.

KING: So how -- Paul, back to you -- did you discover -- how did they tell you, how did you know something was wrong? How did you know it wasn't part of the act?

D'ANTONIO: Well, Siegfried -- I guess, two minutes later, Siegfried walked out, and he was definitely distraught. You could tell, you know, he was upset. He said that, you know, the show's canceled. At that point, the audience still didn't move. No one went anywhere. They still thought it was part of the show. I guess a few minutes later, someone came over the PA and said that, you know, the show's canceled, and the house lights went on. That's when people -- I think it started to register that this was for real.

KING: So Andrew, you never saw any blood drawn or anything? You never saw any -- you never heard any screams or anything of that kind.

CUSHMAN: No, there was no blood because it happened so fast. The tiger grabbed him by the throat and just ran offstage, right where all the tigers exited the stage. They all went off to stage left for the tigers. I'm looking at it, it would be off to the right. But I mean, it happened so fast. And plus, the room is kind of dark. So no, there was no blood. No one moved. Even after Siegfried came onstage, no one was still sitting there. It wasn't until the guy came on the PA system and started talking about refunds that I realized something was really -- was really wrong. And that's -- you know, that's when I left the arena.

I write for a newspaper in New Jersey, a local paper outside of Philadelphia, "The Burlington County Times," and I ran to the nearest phone and then started making phone calls saying, There's major news here.

KING: Yes. You're not kidding. Thank you both very much. Paul D'Antonio and Andrew Cushman, eyewitnesses and excellent reporters on the scene, one of them an actual reporter.

Now let's assemble our panel. In the Wildlife Center at Jupiter, Florida, is Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." In Las Vegas, Penn Jillette remains with us, of Penn and Teller. In Acton (ph), California, is Tippi Hedren, the actress and animal activist, president of the Raw (ph) Foundation. She maintains the Shambala Preserve. That's a sanctuary for exotic wildlife. She's also a good friend of Siegfried and Roy.

And three of the cast members, here in Los Angeles, Mary Bryan, line captain in charge of acrobats for the Siegfried & Roy show, has been with it since it came to the Mirage February 1 of 1990. Michael Del Carprini, acrobat with the Siegfried & Roy show. He joined about four months after it started. And Cheryl Gardner, head pyrotechnician for the Siegfried & Roy show, has been with the show since it started at the Mirage.

Let's talk first to our people here. Mary, where were you when this happened?

MARY BRYAN, WORKED IN SHOW FOR 14 YEARS: I was outside on a break period, getting some fresh air.

KING: So you -- you weren't -- you didn't have to be onstage at that time or involved in that thing.

BRYAN: No. It was in the second half of the show.

KING: How did they let you know something happened?

BRYAN: We saw people running outside to get all the doors open, and an animal handler came out and said that Roy had been attacked.

KING: Where were you, Michael?

MICHAEL DEL CARPRINI, WORKED IN SHOW FOR 14 YEARS: I had just got offstage, and I was taking my makeup off and getting ready to go back onstage to do the other part of the show.

KING: And what did you hear?

DEL CARPRINI: I just heard the -- some commotion going on over the monitors because each dressing room has monitors. And then next thing I heard was Siegfried saying the show is canceled.

KING: Wow. Cheryl, where were you?

CHERYL GARDNER, WORKED IN SHOW FOR 14 YEARS: I was stage right. I had just got done doing a set of cues and was walking to stage left when I came upon the whole situation.

KING: You saw it?

GARDNER: No, I did not see it. I was there at the -- probably the last three or four seconds.

KING: So none of you -- did you see Roy later?


KING: Where did you see him?

GARDNER: I actually saw Roy on the ground as our stagehands were working on him, trying to subdue him and keep him level. And I also saw him as paramedics were taking him out.

KING: Was he bleeding a lot?

GARDNER: Yes. Not as much as you would think because I had -- because they had him packed in ice and towels and all of that, so...

KING: It had to be horrific for you.

GARDNER: It really didn't sink in.

KING: Really?

GARDNER: It really hadn't sunk in that something was critically wrong with him. You know, we've had situations like this, where there's been small bites or small injuries before, and it has never been a -- you know, a big deal until -- I didn't realize that it was as big a deal as it was until later.

KING: All right, Jack Hanna, how dangerous is that? Have you ever seen, Jack, the Siegfried & Roy show?

JACK HANNA, DIR. EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: Well, I've seen the show several times. And earlier tonight on a newscast not on your network, I stated that a wild animal's like a loaded gun, it can go off at any time. But I also stated that Siegfried & Roy had done more to educate and entertain people about the tiger, the Bengal tiger, the white tiger, than anyone else in the world. You got to remember, Larry, there's less than 4,000 left in the wild, and they say maybe by the year 2016, they could be extinct in the wild.

These guys treated these cats better than most people treat their families. Their lives were these cats. And when it comes to that situation, I have no problem with what they do, and I hope that someone continues to do what they do because many people were entertained and educated, Larry, around the world during the years that they did this.

KING: So you have no qualms with it. Tippi Hedren, do you have any problems with the act?

TIPPI HEDREN, ONCE MAULED BY A LION: Oh, no, I didn't have any problems with the act at all. In fact, Roy is probably the consummate animal trainer of big cats. What he was able to accomplish with these animals is absolutely miraculous. Why it didn't happen sooner than this, who knows? He was just lucky. But when you're dealing with animals as vital as this, as -- with instincts that are so strong that -- you know, they can harm you without us ever knowing why they do it.

KING: Yes.

HEDREN: And the power that they have, you really don't have a chance.

KING: We'll go to break, and we'll come back with our entire panel. We'll be including your phone calls. As we go to break, Roy Horn introducing Montecore to the audience. This is the tiger that would later attack him. Watch.


ROY HORN: This is Montecore. He's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) white Bengal tiger. And tonight is his first appearance in front of an audience.




(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - September, 1999)

HORN: I was not very good in communicating with people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) because we came from Germany after the war, so we didn't have a whole lot. And I trusted more in my animals than I trusted in people. And what...

KING: It's still true?

HORN: That's still true.

SIEGFRIED: More, actually. Much more.

HORN: It's true. Animals are my passion, so -- and magic became my life.


KING: Penn Jillette, you're one of the great, great magicians, the act Penn and Teller is brilliant. Did you consider Siegfried & Roy -- how do you -- how does a magician look at them?

JILLETTE: Well, you know, I can't remember a time when I wasn't making fun of Siegfried & Roy, you know?


JILLETTE: If you wanted to comment on Vegas and you wanted to comment on magic, you -- you made fun of them. And what surprised me most was just how completely cordial they were about it. I would say something very insulting about them, and the next thing I knew, there would be a phone call or see them backstage, and they'd be laughing about it. They have a perfect sense of humor about all this.

So over the years, you know, backstage and different functions and stuff, we got to know them fairly well. They're one of the few teams in show business that have been going longer than we have. And we talk about that a lot. They're a real inspiration. And they defined magic and they defined Las Vegas. You cannot do a show in Las Vegas without having a reference to them of some sort.

KING: Are they magicians or illusionists?

JILLETTE: Oh, I would say they would probably call themselves illusionists. They do much bigger things. But Siegfried also does some hand stuff. And he -- mostly -- mostly, Roy did the animals and Siegfried does the magic.

KING: Yes. Mary...

JILLETTE: But they are magicians. You can't even think about it -- I mean, you know, every single magician in Vegas -- we were all talking Saturday -- we all had to rewrite our acts. There was not one show in Vegas...

KING: That doesn't kid them.

JILLETTE: ... that didn't have a Siegfried & Roy joke or comment.

KING: Mary, why does he say Montecore is his first appearance on stage all the time? Why does he do that, just for show biz?

D'ANTONIO: It's part of the -- part of the show, part of the shpiel. I'm not familiar with the cat. I've never been on stage at the same time as the cat.

KING: Do you know why, Michael? Just for a show business little schtick?

DEL CARPRINI: Yes, I think just for part of the act, the audience...

KING: Because once the audience realized it, they probably said to themselves, Why did they put him on stage so soon, this tiger who's never been on stage before.


KING: Right?

DEL CARPRINI: Right. I think when the audience sees -- they feel they've seen, you know -- Oh, we saw (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Siegfried & Roy and we saw this tiger for the first time on stage. And it was, like, you know, a big deal for them and...

KING: I'll pick up with Cheryl in a minute. Jack, you have a white tiger, don't you, Taj, raised by Jack Hanna and his wife?

HANNA: We raised a white tiger in Columbus, Larry, for the Columbus Zoo back in 1985 And Taj was -- still is a magnificent creature. There's...


KING: We're looking at him live now, by the way. Yes.

HANNA: Exactly. At the Columbus Zoo...


KING: Are you afraid of him?

HANNA: ... creature -- no, I respect the animal. You know, I don't go in with the animal anymore. I respect the animal because I'm not an animal trainer. You know, I help run a zoological park. And these animals are very dangerous, as you know. We filmed these, Larry, in the wild, in Nepal and India. And a white tiger -- not a white tiger, a Bengal tiger, a tiger this size, can take down a water buffalo in less than 30 seconds to a minute. I mean, it's that quick.

People ask me, what would have happened if -- this animal wasn't hungry or anything, Larry. If this animal was hungry and making a kill, we wouldn't be talking about Roy today. This was something that happened. What set the animal off, we really don't know. It could have been a movement. It could have been a voice command. Who knows? But when it happens, it happens quickly and...

KING: How about hitting him on the head with the microphone?

HANNA: That might have -- you know, I'm not saying that's what made him upset, but it could have. I'm not the trainer. Again, a trainer, Larry...


HANNA: ... if you talk to Gunther Goebbel (ph) Williams (ph), a famous trainer, they've got a -- they have a feel for animals. They -- as Tippi knows, you have a feel for animals like this, and maybe...

KING: Let me get a...

HANNA: ... Roy was -- felt something that wasn't unusual.

KING: Let me get a break and come back, and then we'll check in with Wayne Newton, has to go onstage where he's performing tonight. And then we'll come back with our panel. Don't go away.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - September, 1999)

KING: Any fear of your animals, Siegfried?

SIEGFRIED: No. I started to say...

KING: You have the respect.

SIEGFRIED: ... I have -- I have respect. That's all. But they're used to it, you know, and...

KING: You're not worried that anything...

SIEGFRIED: Well, you can do no mistakes.


SIEGFRIED: I mean, you know, you make no mistakes. KING: Have you been hurt?

SIEGFRIED: So far, so good. No. No.

KING: Have you been hurt?


KING: Nobody ever clamped down on your arm or anything.


KING: All right. Do you respect them, though?

HORN: Oh, yes. They...

KING: You can't take them lightly.

HORN: It's respect and understanding. Animals have a language by their own. And if you watch them close enough, you can learn that language.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from Hilton Head, South Carolina, where he's performing tonight, is Wayne Newton, the acclaimed entertainer, nicknamed Mr. Las Vegas, longtime friend of Siegfried & Roy. One reminder. Siegfried will be here Wednesday night, in his first appearance since all of this.

Wayne, where were you, and how did you hear about this tragedy?

WAYNE NEWTON, FRIEND OF SIEGFRIED & ROY: Well, actually, I was home watching television. It was the one night I had off. And a little crawl came across the news channel that this had happened. And I immediately called Bernie Newman (ph), Siegfried & Roy's manager, who also is a dear friend. And he informed me that they were taking it a moment at a time.

KING: Did you ever think about this before, working as they do with the kind of animals they do?

NEWTON: Yes, I think that it's probably crossed everybody's mind. But there's no one in the world that I know that loves those kind of big cats more than Roy and does a better job, in terms of handling them and working with them.

KING: What, Wayne -- and no one knows better in Vegas than you -- is the importance of that act to Vegas?

NEWTON: Well, I think it's almost impossible to articulate, Larry, when one considers that they've been there over three decades, have meant probably about a billion-and-a-half dollars to the commerce of the town, the amount of people that they employ. And they are part of Las Vegas. Vegas has been good for them, and they certainly have been good to Las Vegas. KING: And specifically, what will this mean for the Mirage Hotel?

NEWTON: I think that it'll mean something that's impossible, again, to articulate, not only to the Mirage but to the entire town because whenever one loses, even for a short period of time, the kind of star that Roy and Siegfried are, it hurts the entire town, in terms of the amount of people who come there, the amount of people who are big fans. And I just will certainly keep Roy in my prayers and hope that he recovers fully and gets back onstage.

KING: If that show closes down, if there never is a Siegfried & Roy performance again, the impact economically will be tremendous, right?

NEWTON: It certainly will be tremendous. And it's not to say that Vegas will not recover from it because I think Vegas can recover from anything, when you consider the greats that have been lost in Las Vegas, in terms of entertainment, over the last 10 or 15 years. However, that void will never be filled, in my opinion. And just the thought of it is not something I like to think about.

KING: How long have you known them, Wayne?

NEWTON: I've really known the guys practically the entire career in Las Vegas. They, of course, were at the Stardust for a long, long time, and then the Frontier (ph), which I had been at for a long time, and then moved over to the Mirage. So they've done in excess of probably 35,000 shows in Las Vegas. And when you consider, Larry -- and I was kind of contemplating it today -- you consider they've done it without a hit record, without a hit television show, with just sheer talent and sheer hard work.

KING: And also terrific guys. I've seen this show. My children have seen this show, have gone backstage. I've spent time with them. They've both been on this program. I've been at their home. How would you describe to people who've never seen them what that act is?

NEWTON: Well, the act absolutely epitomizes what an illusionist, I guess, aspires to be. And they took just sheer magic and turned it into a multi-million-dollar business and really opened the door for so many people in show business who wanted to get into being a magician and an illusionist. So I think that they single-handedly together made it possible for guys like Lance Burton (ph) -- and Lance will be the first one to tell you because he's a dear friend -- and all of the people that kind of came along after that.

KING: Also, they are an extremely professional act, are they not? They don't miss performances?

NEWTON: Not only professional, everything is absolutely timed to the Nth degree. They're -- they work hard. And when you consider one and two shows a night, seven nights a week or six nights a week for 40 years, they certainly have paid their dues.

KING: Are animal acts in trouble, do you think? NEWTON: I don't know that I would go so far as to say that people who work with animals and the realm of show business could be in trouble as a result of this. I think it just, again, polarizes the possibility that when you do work with animals, that they are exactly what they are. They -- you can never take it for granted. You have to be on your toes every second.

KING: I know you own a lot of horses. You never stand behind a horse close, right?

NEWTON: Well, actually, if you consider that that tiger weighed about as much as a small horse, that gives you some idea of the power that they possess.

KING: When do you get back to Vegas?

NEWTON: I'll be back Wednesday night at the Stardust, and then straight on through for about the next three weeks.

KING: So I imagine you'll be at the hospital on Thursday.

NEWTON: I absolutely will. And I have been talking to Bernie Newman daily for updates and letting Roy's friends and family and Siegfried know that my prayers, best wishes, and embrace them all.

KING: We don't want to be too optimistic, but he may have turned the corner here.

NEWTON: Well, I tell you something, Larry. I think with the grace of the good man upstairs, it's -- it would be a miracle. And we're due a miracle after all that's been going on. So it would be an incredible revelation.

KING: Thank you, Wayne. Thanks for joining us and spending the time with us.

NEWTON: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Go get 'em onstage.

Back with more from our panel right after this. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let the light shine from not only our hands, but our hearts for a man who has shared his own love and light with us, the cast and crew of the show.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

Reminder, Siegfried will be on the LARRY KING LIVE show live on Wednesday night. We'll be taking your phone calls. His first appearance since all of this happened.

Let's reintroduce our panel.

In Wild -- in Jupiter, Florida at the wildlife center is Jack Hanna the host of TV's "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," the director emeritus, Columbus Zoo.

In Las Vegas, the brilliant Penn Jillette. He's the Penn of Penn and Teller, good friend of Siegfried and Roy.

In Acton, California, the wonderful Tippi Hedren, actress, animal activist and president of the RAW Foundation.

And here in Los Angeles, Mary Bryan, the line captain in charge of acrobats for the Siegfried and Roy show.

Michael Del Carprini, one of those acrobats bats.

And Cheryl Gardner, the head pyrotechnician for the Siegfried and Roy show. Myron (ph) and Cheryl have been with the show from the get- go when it came to the Mirage, February 1 of 1990. Michael joined four months later.

Are you out of work, Mary?

BRYAN: Yes, I am out of work.

KING: Michael?


KING: You're out indefinitely?


KING: You're employed by the hotel, right, Cheryl?

GARDNER: Yes, sir.

KING: So you will do other things?

GARDNER: Yes, sir.

KING: Does the hotel said anything about they're going to do with that room?

GARDNER: They are -- no. The room, no. The room will stay as it is until further notice. Of course, we're only days out of this. So they haven't had a whole lot of time to get it in process.

But the hotel -- we had a meeting with Bobby Baldwin on Saturday night. And we were able to at least discern that they are attempting to put us -- replace us in other positions in other properties. Mr. Cocorian has ...

KING: A lot of property. GARDNER: Has six properties in the city. So there are possibilities.

KING: And they're going to put other acts in that room?

GARDNER: That has not been determined.

KING: Tippi Hedren, are you -- are you careful around animals?

HEDREN: Oh, very much so, and especially after the completion of our movie, "Roar," in which I was hurt. I was bitten in the back of the head by a lioness. My daughter was scratched, my beautiful daughter Melanie (ph), and her beautiful face. And that was just -- that was just play. Two of my stepsons were hurt. My then husband.

So, you know, we work the preserve entirely differently now. And security is very, very important to us.

It -- you know, along with what happened to Roy, and how proficient he is with animals, and that this could happen to him, I so often think about all of the animals that are being sold as pets, lions and tigers, and, you know, I fear so much for the people who buy these animals, and are being told that it's a good pet.

You know, I've been working on legislation, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act for a long period of time. And my own Congressman, Buck McKeon, introduced the bill. And it's passed the...

KING: They're not pets.

HEDREN: ...committee in the House.

No, they're not pets, and they shouldn't be pets. And it can only be legislation that's going to stop it.

KING: Yes.


HEDREN: The only reason all of these...

KING: Go ahead. I'm sorry, Tippi.

HEDREN: The only reason these atrocities happen out with -- in -- you know, out in towns and cities and whatever with private citizens, who -- citizens who acquire these animals, is that nobody has stopped the breeding and the selling of these animals.

KING: Yes. Are you -- Jack, are you wary of animals?

HANNA: Oh, yes, you have to respect them, as we all know.

You said something earlier, Larry, about horses. Horses cause a lot more injuries than tigers or any other animal act anywhere in the world. But the one word that was said earlier is the word love that Siegfried and Roy had. And I always use that word love, because we teach love when people want to try and save an endangered species. The Siegfried and Roy showed that love. I mean, these animals had it better, Larry, than most people in the world have it. I mean, it was incredible how they took care of these animals. These animals were their families. And when you see people like that, that's what makes a difference, where the guy in New York, as you heard, where he had a tiger in an apartment. That's when, as Tippi knows -- that's got to be stopped.

It's not a matter of what the education -- go ahead.

KING: Go ahead. I'm sorry.

HANNA: It's a matter of the education that I think that goes through, when you see that magnificent tiger on Siegfried & Roy jumping, you see the leaping ability. Animals in a captive situation are ambassadors for the cousins in the wild. These animals are there -- there are about 160 white tigers left in the world or so -- and they're there to teach us about the love. And people leave that show loving and appreciating the tiger, then I think they've done their job.

KING: Mary, is there a dart gun backstage?

BRYAN: I have never seen anything like that.

KING: Michael?

DEL CARPRINI: Never seen any.

KING: Cheryl?


KING: Penn, does that surprise you?

JILLETTE: What? That there's no -- I don't think there's a tranquilizer that would work quick enough to help anybody. I mean, there's always rumors about that. But I can't imagine that that would ever be true.

KING: Because you would think that tiger could jump in the audience couldn't they? They could, couldn't they?

JILLETTE: Yes. You know, things -- things can always go wrong. I mean, they certainly did everything they could to protect the audience. And I would have said at any time, if it was going to be hurt it was going to be Roy. I mean, he was -- he was right there with them.

KING: Yes, I know.

JILLETTE: I mean, I would never work with a tiger on a bet. When I was at Ringling Brothers, you couldn't get me into the room with the tigers. Those things are terrifying.

KING: Good thinking, Penn. Let's take a call. Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Go ahead. Los Angeles, are you there?

CALLER: Yes. Larry, since the tiger attack, wasn't it possible it was just hungry?

KING: Tippi, what do you think?

HEDREN: No, I don't believe so.

KING: Jack says no.

HEDREN: No, they'll do that without -- with any -- without any way that we could understand what they -- why they're doing it or whatever. They could just be irritated. You know, and this is the way they retaliate. There's nothing you can do. My -- the -- one of the veterinarians...

KING: Kingston, New York, hello. Kingston, New York, you're on, go ahead. All right. They told me two. They told me four.

CALLER: Can you hear me?

KING: Kingston, New York, I think you're there, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Yes. I'd like to know if the cats were irritated or nervous before the show? And also, what kind of safety features they do have at these shows?

KING: Cheryl?

GARDNER: As the cat came out of the same box that he normally does, he was calm, easy. He was released to Roy. Roy picked him up, took him downstage, exactly the way -- after that, I don't know if there was something in the audience, whatever, if it was a loud noise, whatever it was that irritated the cat.

I don't believe the cat was irritated. I believe the cat was trying to protect Roy. Roy fell down. The cat was dragging him offstage to get him away. That's what I....

KING: Roy fell down?

GARDNER: That's what I have been told, he fell down. He wasn't pushed down by the cat, but he fell down. So I personally think the cat was trying to protect him.

KING: Jack, what do you think happened?

HANNA: Well, it's hard to say. As you say, I wasn't there. But one thing for certain, Larry, when I film in the wild, as I said, they can take down a 2,000-pound water buffalo in a matter of seconds. So if the animal was hungry, it would have been over with in a matter of seconds. It wasn't, as Tippi said. These are wild animals. I -- who knows? Maybe it was a voice command that he might have given the animal and the animal didn't respond and the animal might have grabbed his arm, like somebody said, and he just said another command with the microphone, I understand, tapped his nose or whatever. And then the cat said, Well, enough of this, and grabbed his neck.

You got to remember, Larry, that tigers kill by grabbing the neck. The jaguar in South America kills by crushing the skull. The cheetah kills by doing the esophagus. The lion kills by breaking the back. Every cat has a different ability. This animal wasn't out to just kill Roy or anything like that. He was out to jump on him. He might have been upset. See, I don't know. Animals -- they're like people, why do people go off the deep end sometimes and do something?

KING: By the way, do you guys know the tricks? Mary? You don't have to tell them. I mean, do you know them?

GARDNER: A couple.

KING: Do you?



KING: To Elliot Lake, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Mr. King?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering if, what will happen now to the lion? Is he -- he's in quarantine now. Will he be disposed of or will he go to a sanctuary? And our prayers are with everybody involved.

KING: Does anyone know? Tippi, do you know what they'll do with the lion?

HEDREN: Yes, I do. Yes -- I do -- with the tiger you mean?

KING: Yes, with the tiger, I'm sorry.

HEDREN: When Roy was on his way to the hospital, in the ambulance, he said, Don't do anything to harm that cat. I mean, he truly, truly loves that animal. ...

KING: Really?

HEDREN: ...and he knows that -- Yes. And he - he said, Please, do not do any harm to that cat.

KING: Wow. HEDREN: So I would -- and, you know, there's no better place for him to be than at the compound with the Siegfried and Roy animals. The best care ever.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with some more moments with our panel, some more of your phone calls. And then Senator Bob Graham will be with us at the end of the show for a special announcement. Don't go away.


KING: How did you two meet?

HORN: Well, we met on an ocean liner. I run away from home. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was a young boy.

KING: Where was home?

HORN: North Germany, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And on the ship, I met Siegfried. He did a magic act.

SIEGFRIED: It was on the side, it was my hobby. Magic was my hobby.

KING: Were you working on the ship doing another job?

SIEGFRIED: Yes. I was a steward and bartender. And I entertained the -- one day the captain saw me and he says, well, can you do it for the passengers and I became very successful. And one day Roy saw me there. And he said, if you can do that with a rabbit, could you do that with a cheetah? And I didn't know he had a pet cheetah.




HORN: Well, hello! who do we have here?

Here is our home. And this is our family.

Come visit. Good morning. There you go, yes. And I love you, too. Give me a nice smile. Give me a nice smile. Yes.

I have a response to animals because I'm just like them. I trust my emotions. I trust my instincts.


KING: Brookfield, Connecticut, back to the panel, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I have two question. Are the shows routinely videotaped and if so, will they use that to study the animal and possibly figure out why it attacked him? The other question is, shortly after it happened, after the brain surgery, the second surgery, Robin Leach was on TV. He gave a lot of details that I haven't heard anyone else say. He said that he had suffered several strokes. And that the tiger had cut the artery to the brain. That seems like a lot more detail than anyone else has revealed.

KING: Do we know that, Cheryl?


KING: You never heard that?

GARDNER: I've never heard that.

KING: He has had surgery?

GARDNER: He had emergency surgery as he went in. Last night, at the vigil we got an update on his progress and he was awake, moving fingers and toes. I don't know about any brain surgery. We haven't been told that.

KING: What was last night like, Mary?

BRYAN: Last night was wonderful.

KING: What happened?

BRYAN: We got the cast and crew together, former cast, crew people, fans, for years and years. And we all got together and did a vigil for Roy outside of the trauma center.

KING: Do you like working with Roy, by the way?

GUY: Oh, tremendously.

KING: They're good guys?

GUY: Great.

KING: Olathe, Kansas, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry, I was wanting to know if anyone on the panel knew where Siegfried and Roy got their start in show business.

KING: They started in Germany as they said on the show, right?

GARDNER: On a cruise ship.

KING: They were what?


KING: On a cruise ship, right. That's where they met, I think.


KING: To Pulaski, Tennessee, hello. CALLER: Could someone have, in the audience, have done something to startle the tiger?

KING: Tippi?

HEDREN: It could be anything. I don't know. I wasn't there. I have no idea what it could be. But whatever it was, it's all -- all of these things are an accident waiting to happen. It's like race car driving, you're doing something that's dangerous, but you love it, and that's where Siegfried & Roy were with these animals. They just -- it was their life.

KING: Same with you, right?

HERDEN: Whatever happened, happened.

KING: It's the same with you right, Tippi?

HERDEN: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

KING: Animals are your life?

HEDREN: I will spend the rest of my life trying to take care of them. And trying to get laws passed for their special care and treatment. Yes.

KING: Jack Hanna, do you show anger at animals?

HANNA: No, no. You know, the Gunther Williams, he is probably one of the most famous animal trainers in the world, says you can usually, train a wild animal but never tame a wild animal. At that point that's what Siegfried & Roy knew. It's a matter respect. It's a matter of trust. That's what they had with these animals. And as Tippi said, race car drivers, and once in a while something will happen. And hopefully nothing will happen the next 30, 40 years, Larry. The entertainment and education these guys brought to millions of people will never be forgotten. And I think it will help preserve the tiger in the long run.

KING: Penn, do you think we'll see that act again?

JILLETTE: I have no idea. There's -- as they were saying, there's rumors going around about all sorts of things. You can only believe what the actual releases are. He was hurt badly. I mean, I'm unable to envision the Las Vegas scene without Siegfried & Roy. I haven't gotten to the point where I can even accept imagining that.

KING: And certainly there will be no replacement for Roy, Siegfried and someone else?

DEL CARPRINI: No, never.

KING: That would never work?


KING: Never work.


DEL CARPRINI: I mean, they invented the art form. They invented the idea of magic and animals in that kind of spectacular. I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) used an elephant once or twice. Few other magicians did. But that idea, you know, you said, are they illusionists or magicians, they were Siegfried and Roy. They did this incredible animal act with incredible illusions and no one else is doing that. No one else is even pretending. No one else could even rip them off.

KING: Yes. Thank you all very much. Jack Hanna, always good seeing you.

Penn Jillette in Las Vegas.

Tippi Hedren, always great. You do noble work, Tippi.

HEDREN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: And we've got three people from the cast, Mary Bryan and Michael Del Carprini, and Cheryl Gardner, all of whom came from Las Vegas to be here tonight.

Siegfried will be with us Wednesday night.

Senator Bob Graham with an announcement next.


KING: A long time ago when he first ran for the state legislature, Bob Graham made his first media appearance on my old radio show back in Miami, that was back in the '60s. He's become a governor and a senator since. And he's with us tonight from Washington.

Senator Graham has an announcement to make. What are you going to tell us, Robert?

SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: Larry, first I'm going to thank you for giving me this opportunity.

I have made the difficult decision to withdraw my candidacy for president of the United States of America.

But let me say this, I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during this campaign, extremely gratified at the number of people across the country who believed in us and supported us, and committed to see that America take a new direction.

KING: Why are you leaving?

GRAHAM: I'm leaving because I have made the judgment that I cannot be elected president of the United States. Primarily because of a late start, the result of completing my duties as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the investigation of the events around 9/11, heart surgery, and then the delay caused by the war in Iraq. All of those things combined to make it difficult for us to have the time and to close the gap in organization and fund-raising, which have led to this difficult decision.

KING: Fund-raising very difficult?

GRAHAM: Yes, particularly with as many candidates as are in the field. And from our standpoint, especially because we did not have the time to lay the foundation across the country in order to finance what is a very expensive campaign.

KING: Are you going to endorse any of the nine?

GRAHAM: Not at this time. Larry, we have an excellent field of Democratic candidates. All of them would be superior to the current incumbent in the White House, and I am anxious to give my full support to whichever candidate the people of the United States, the Democrats of the United States, select to be our nominee.

KING: Will it have to be a candidate, who, like you, opposed the war?

GRAHAM: No, I think...

KING: ... for you to endorse them?

GRAHAM: I think it can be a candidate who took whatever position they wanted on the war. I believe that the war was a mistake, and I voted against it. I thought it was a distraction from the war on terror, and that we have seen a resurgence of international terrorists as a result of that distraction. But good people of good will could have reached a different conclusion on that. I do not think that is a determinative vote in terms of who the Democrats should nominate as their next president.

KING: Any thoughts on the leak of the Wilson's wife story?

GRAHAM: Yes, I think it is a very serious matter. Some of the best intelligence that we do is human intelligence, particularly people who operate undercover at great personal risk. They often do it with the knowledge and support of the host country. If we have the reputation of being unreliable, that people who work in those difficult circumstances can be outed, it will severely diminish the ability to gather the intelligence which we need to secure the people of the United States.

KING: How much years left in the Senate?

GRAHAM: My Senate term runs until January of 2005.

KING: And anything after that? Will you stay?

GRAHAM: I have not yet made a decision as to whether I will seek reelection to the United States Senate. That is going to be a decision that I will make very soon.

KING: Will you accept the vice presidency of your party if offered?

GRAHAM: Larry, that's not a decision for anyone other than the nominee to make.

KING: I mean, if asked?

GRAHAM: I am prepared -- I am prepared to do whatever I can to contribute to a Democratic victory next November, and a moving of this nation onto a new and better track.

KING: Any thoughts on the California election tomorrow?

GRAHAM: Well, I'm disappointed that they're going through this recall process, which I think is contrary to the spirit of our form of government, and is going to result, among other things, in driving political courage to new depths, as no candidate would be willing to run the risk of doing something unpopular early in their term if they felt that it might cause them to be in a position that they would be recalled for political reasons rather than some personal malfeasance.

KING: Senator, thank you so much for sharing time with us. Thank you for choosing this program to make the announcement. Continued good luck in whatever you do.

GRAHAM: Thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Go back a long way. Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, announcing that he is withdrawing from the race. Officially, he's out. So the debate that you'll see on CNN Wednesday night starting at 8:00 Eastern will not include Senator Graham.

We'll be right back to tell you about tomorrow. Don't go away.


KING: I incorrectly said the Democratic debate was Wednesday night. It is, of course, Thursday night, for 90 minutes. We'll be on 90 minutes after that, at 9:30 Eastern on Thursday night, with a follow-up to the debate and then a complete hour on the Kobe Bryant story, and I'm sure Aaron will follow us then. Tomorrow night, election night coverage. And Wednesday night, Siegfried.


Presidential Race>

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.