Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Bernard Madoff Scandal; Oprah, Tyra Talk Tough on Abuse
Aired March 12, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANINE PIRRO, GUEST HOST: Tonight, Bernard Madoff pleads guilty and goes to jail. He swindled $65 billion and never invested a penny.
But the big question remains -- what happened to all the money?
It may be even worse than we think.
Is life in prison pay back enough for the con artist of the century?
Plus, does octo mom finally get it -- that she needs help with all 14 of her children?
Then, Rihanna latest -- Tyra and Oprah join forces to fight dating violence. Their must-see message, right now on LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Judge Jeanine Pirro sitting in for Larry.
Let's get started with Bernard Madoff, an admitted crook. He said in court today that he was: "sorry and ashamed." And then a judge threw him in jail while his victims applauded.
We're joined tonight by Mark Seal, contributing editor of "Vanity Fair." He wrote "Madoff's World," which is in the current "Vanity Fair" issue.
Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist.
And David Kelley, former United States attorney and now an attorney who represents entities victimized by Madoff.
And with us also is Joanna Chung. She's with "The Financial Times" and was in the courtroom today.
Joanna, I'm going to start with you. You were in the courtroom. You were there when Madoff walked in, when he gave his plea allocution.
What was it like in the courtroom and how did he react as he spoke to the court?
JOANNA CHUNG, U.S. CORRESPONDENT, "FINANCIAL TIMES": It was quite dramatic. There was lots of emotion. He actually read from a piece of paper, the -- to describe what he did to the judge, as he pled guilty. And, you know, everyone was -- you can tell everyone was leaning in to hear what he would say. I think that a few of the investors, you know, were quite emotional. When the judge said that he was going to send Mr. Madoff directly to jail, there was some applause and, also, there were some tears.
PIRRO: Well, some of -- Joanna, some of those people had the opportunity to speak to the court, is that correct?
CHUNG: That's correct. There were three people who addressed the court. The first person, actually, a gentleman -- when he went up to the podium, he actually took a step toward Mr. Madoff and demanded that Mr. Madoff look at him and address his victims. At which point, the judge said, you know, go back to the podium and finish speaking.
And that was the only time, actually, that Mr. Madoff turned away from staring straight ahead and -- and took a quick look.
But, you know, most of the time, he was staring straight ahead. And he did not show much emotion. He was quite fidgety...
PIRRO: He used...
CHUNG: ...but he did not show much emotion.
PIRRO: He used the words "sorry" and "remorseful."
Did he appear to be that in terms of his emotion, in terms of how he presented himself to the court or was he just reading?
CHUNG: He was just reading. He was a bit nervous, I felt, because he did fumble over some of the words even as he read from the piece of paper. And aside from the fact -- aside from the time that he was reading his allocution, he was quite fidgety when he was sitting there. He -- you know, he adjusted his tie quite a bit. He touched his face and hair quite a bit. You know, he kept drinking from water. He, you know, adjusted his papers.
But, you know, most of the time, he was quite impassive, just staring straight ahead.
All right, Joanna, thank you.
I'm going to go to David Kelley.
David, you're the former United States attorney for the Southern District, which is the district that has prosecuted Madoff. Eleven counts, he plead guilty as charged to those 11 counts.
How did the U.S. attorney arrive at those particular 11 counts?
DAVID KELLEY, ATTORNEY: Well, I think what they did was to take each count that they could to apply to different segments of the offense. They kind of parsed through his conduct and looked to see which statutes applied to that, trying to get as much exposure -- statutory exposure for a penalty as they could.
So they looked at the money laundering aspect. They looked at the mail fraud aspect. They looked at the false statements to the SEC. They looked at the perjury. And with each element or each part of his conduct, they applied a different criminal statute.
PIRRO: So, essentially, he faces 150 years in prison. I mean he will clearly die behind bars.
What do you think the sentence will ultimately be?
KELLEY: I think it's going to be probably about 150 years.
PIRRO: You think?
KELLEY: I don't think the judge is really going to look at the actuarial chart. They're going to look at the statutes and the guidelines. And in this case, you have the sentencing guidelines. But the statutory exposure goes well beyond that and that's what he's going to get.
PIRRO: OK. All right. And Mark Seal, contributing editor, you -- right after the arrest on December 11 -- went out and started doing an in-depth article on Bernard Madoff. Tell us about this guy.
What is his deal?
MARK SEAL, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": Well, you know, I concentrated on the victims across America. I interviewed 40 victims. And each -- each person was worse than the next. You would open the door and there would be varying scenes of devastation. People were screaming, crying, cursing, plotting revenge. These were people that will never get to see him, as they did today in the courtroom.
And everybody was saying who is this man?
Is he a Jekyll and Hyde?
Is he one person one way and the next another?
PIRRO: What is he?
SEAL: I mean, nobody could figure it out in the beginning.
PIRRO: Tell us.
SEAL: Well, I think -- you know, as the man in London who knew him very well said, he's a Jekyll and Hyde. He said: "I know Madoff very well," for 30 years. But the man who's being led away in handcuffs nobody seems to know.
PIRRO: Well, what's interesting, though, also, is that you considered investing with him.
SEAL: Well, I did. At first, I didn't have enough money to invest with him, mainly. (LAUGHTER)
SEAL: But, also, he worked on the power of no, you know -- the most seductive power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
SEAL: If you can't get into something -- a restaurant, a club, an investment opportunity, you want to get into it all the more. So I think that was the seduction.
PIRRO: And, you know, when you talk about, you know, the fact that so many people are devastated -- and I'll go to you, Dr. Welner.
You know, are we dealing with evil here?
This man pulled off the biggest fraud, not just on Wall Street, but in American history. He was a respected member of the community. He attracted celebrities and famous people.
How did he do this?
WELNER: Well, you know, there are -- that's a complicated question, because if the market doesn't crash, then Bernie Madoff has got a lot of happy investors who are still working with him. And that was the secret. He kept everybody happy. And so he didn't have disgruntled investors. And the secret was the word of mouth.
And what many people misinterpret about this situation is that, like other Ponzi schemes, people were exploited for their greed.
No, it worked because Bernie Madoff was trading safety, much the way a televangelist or a priest offers people salvation and, in a corrupt way, takes advantage.
He offered them safety and security. And people invested thinking that they were not taking risk. And this is why it is so especially traumatic for them.
PIRRO: OK. All right. Well, we're going to come back in -- in a moment to continue talking about this.
As some of Larry's viewers may already be aware, Larry, too, was one of the many people who lost money while investing with Bernard Madoff. Luckily, his loss was not significant.
We'll be right back.
PIRRO: Welcome back.
We're talking about Bernard Madoff and what the attraction was to so many investors, who tried so hard to become clients of his.
And, maybe, you know, Mark Seal, who has done an incredibly in- depth article on Madoff for "Vanity Fair" magazine -- why, Mark, did people trust him?
I mean these are not ordinary people. I mean these are like, you know, titans and masters of the universe.
SEAL: Exactly. It's a hard mentality, when you see people who are rich or smart or more successful than you are, you want to be with them.
You kind of trust their judgment, you know?
And so that's what happened with -- in this case. Bernie had two men whose -- he was the surrogate sons of these two wildly successful men who started him in business who considered him a son. And with these two men's blessings -- just these two...
PIRRO: How interesting.
SEAL: ...people saw wow, I want to be with him. Look how rich he made them...
PIRRO: It was almost as though...
SEAL: ...maybe he could do it for me.
PIRRO: ...he was anointed.
PIRRO: Yes. Yes. And, Dr. Welner, I mean you talk about an analogy to organized crime -- to a family. Not -- we're not suggesting that -- that this was organized crime. But tell us about that.
WELNER: Oh, I'm suggesting that it's organized crime.
PIRRO: Oh, good.
WELNER: I think that what distinguishes this is that you have a business which was closely held, closely protected, evidence being destroyed, someone who positioned himself very close to regulators who would otherwise be in a position to provide oversight. And that's the way organized crime runs. It's the appearance of legitimacy. It's not the guns and the shoot them up, it's the appearance of a legitimate, low key businessman with unspeakable scale of corruption.
PIRRO: OK. David, let me ask you. I mean you've done many RICO cases as a the United States attorney. You know racketeering. No RICO here, no racketeering, no conspiracy, which allowed him to allocate in court and not identify anyone else.
KELLEY: And you know why?
They kept it simple. And they kept it simple but yet at the same time got him 150 years of coverage.
So why -- why bring in all those elements that just complicate things? Now, on the conspiracy charge, they didn't bring it in, number one, because they haven't yet -- they may not have completed their investigation, number one.
But number two, he may not have wanted -- and reports are that he didn't want to plead to a conspiracy charge because he didn't want to implicate others.
They didn't need to do it here.
PIRRO: Well, they didn't need to do it, but you see, you represent entities -- and there are thousands of people who want money. This indictment is not the end. We've got Ruth Madoff, who's, you know, got $68 million, apparently; who was moving money at very significant times in the investigation. His brother is the chief compliance officer. His sons are part of the organization...
WELNER: The old man falls on his sword...
PIRRO: ...and it's...
WELNER: ...and takes the fall.
PIRRO: Right. Right.
WELNER: ...for the rest of the family. And that's a very patrician thing to do, even in organized crime.
PIRRO: But they're not going to let that happen, are they, David?
KELLEY: They're not going to let that happen. And, you know, look, this is a big bang theory of -- of cases. This walked in the door back in December. And the fact that they charged him now -- it happened very quickly, without cooperation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
KELLEY: The fact -- I mean, typically, a case of this -- this scope would take us so long to investigate. They've got a lot of work to do. This is just a tip of the iceberg, I think. And they have an awful lot of -- an awful to do to ferret out all those questions that you just raised -- who was involved, who was cooking the books while he was off in the Riviera and so forth?
There had to be someone watching the shop and they had to know what they were watching.
PIRRO: There's no question, David. They had to create the false documents, the bogus financial statements. Hundreds of millions of dollars going through Chase Manhattan Bank.
Who's watching the bank?
Who's watching the money? He lies and perjures himself at the SEC. No one catches this guy.
SEAL: It's Shakespearean. You know, nobody is going to -- it's going to be so interesting to see how this plays out.
PIRRO: What about the wife?
You saw the family...
PIRRO: You spoke to people who've known them for decades.
SEAL: I mean they grew up...
PIRRO: Did she know?
Did Ruth know?
SEAL: We don't know yet. But they grew up together. They worked together. They had offices side by side with each other. I mean, they couldn't have been closer.
PIRRO: Thank you.
Now, final question. His life has changed forever today. Bernie Madoff goes to jail. He's now living in a seven-and-a-half by eight cell.
What does -- what does he get up to every morning?
How does he survive here?
WELNER: He was detached in crime and he is detached in confession.
PIRRO: A sociopath?
WELNER: I don't think we can say that about him. He had a successful family life. He ran a successful social life. Not everybody who commits a crime of large scale is a sociopath. And that's the lesson. Crime doesn't start with sociopathy, it starts with selfishness. And this is a crime of selfishness.
PIRRO: Enormous, enormous selfishness.
And so then, to you, it's about evil?
WELNER: I think that if we were to take a depravity scale look at this, that what distinguishes this crime from other white collar crimes, besides the scope of it, is that he may well have enlisted people who scammed others without even realizing that they were responsible for liquidating charities and others of their life savings... PIRRO: The fingers (ph)?
WELNER: They never even knew that they were part of a criminal enterprise.
PIRRO: Well, you know, as my mother always said, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And I wonder about those investors.
Should they have known?
And who were really the victims here, the people who've been invested for years and years and have pretty much gotten their money out already or the newest investors, who have not seen any interest on the principal, you know, investors at the end -- at the beginning of the Ponzi?
You know, they've been paid over and over, David.
I mean do you see the newer ones suing the older ones?
KELLEY: I don't think that -- I don't think that can happen at all. I don't think the law or the facts really are going to support that.
I think that you -- that you are right, there may be people who invested. I think you'll -- you'll find, as this investigation goes forward, a closer look at intermediaries -- some of the feeder funds or some of the...
KELLEY: ...the people who are -- who are steering investments into this.
PIRRO: Good. Good.
All right, thank you to my panel.
Next, Oprah and Tyra team up against domestic abuse.
We'll have that in 60 seconds.
PIRRO: Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks continue to shine the light on dating violence.
Let's look at today's Oprah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW," COURTESY HARPO PRODUCTIONS) TYRA BANKS: As -- as much as we look to celebrities as role models, we have to remember that Rihanna is a singer -- a very successful singer. She's not a politician. She's not somebody that came and said I'm going to change the world. Rihanna is here to entertain our world.
So sometimes we hold these celebrities up to a higher standard. But we have to look at her as a human being and understand that she is no better or no different than any other girl.
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: That's right.
BANKS: She's just as vulnerable...
WINFREY: She's just a girl who sings and is famous for singing.
BANKS: Exactly. And she is just as easily pulled into the cycles of abuse, of going back, just like everybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Why do women like Rihanna return to their abusers?
Some insight when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
PIRRO: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Jeanine Pirro sitting in for Larry.
Chris Brown and Rihanna have brought dating violence into the spotlight.
And we're now joined by Tanya Brown. She's the sister of the late Nicole Brown, murdered ex-wife of O.J. Simpson.
Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychiatrist and contributing editor to "Cookie" magazine and author of "'Til Death Do Us Part."
And Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief of "Essence" magazine.
We'll talk with our guests in a second.
But first, let's take another look at today's Oprah with Tyra Banks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW," COURTESY HARPO PRODUCTIONS)
BANKS: I look at Rihanna, you know, for never deserving for a man to put her hands on her. And looking at those pictures and how horrible...
WINFREY: But if you grew up in an environment where you've been around abuse, then it's more acceptable to you. BANKS: It's -- it's more acceptable.
BANKS: And then I looked at Chris as being a victim, but at the same time -- because of what he experienced. But at the same time, even though I feel he is a victim of his circumstance, it does not give him or anyone the excuse to put his hands on a woman -- ever, ever, ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: You know, Robi, I mean you and I both know that what is happening here is something that has been happening for years.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yes.
PIRRO: But what's unusual about this is that we have a woman who's at the top of her career. She's got money. She doesn't need a man. She doesn't have children with him.
Why is she staying with him?
What is it about her circumstance that -- that -- does she think that she deserves this?
LUDWIG: I mean, that's one possibility. And also how someone seems on the outside is not necessarily how they experience themselves on the inside. So it's very possible, as a famous person, she feels that people love her for who she's really not.
And there's something about Chris' love that feels real. Sometimes these abusive people feel very loving. And they feel, gosh, he really cares about me, that's why he's hitting me.
PIRRO: And then they go through the honeymoon period. For her 21st birthday, they get back together. And now there's talk that they've actually recorded an album together.
PIRRO: They did a duet.
LUDWIG: That'd disturbing.
PIRRO: Does she not think that she's going to be hit again?
Does she think it truly is the last beating?
LUDWIG: She could be in denial and feel like, oh, he apologized. Next time is going to be different. I really understand him. He's got problems. I'm going to help him. Because you have to remember, abusive people are also very dependent personalities. PIRRO: Well, and I think -- I think that the sad part about this is that she is such a -- she is someone who is idolized by young people. And, Angela, I think that, you know, you have written about the fact and talked about the fact that in the African-American community, this is a concern.
ANGELA BURT-MURRAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "ESSENCE" MAGAZINE: Absolutely.
BURT-MURRAY: Well, African-American women are 30 percent more likely to be involved in abusive relationships and less likely to report their incidence to the police. So there has been this longstanding kind of conflict within the African-American community, where women are loathe to bring the police into the conversation. They don't want to see another black man, you know, get involved in the criminal court system.
PIRRO: Go to jail.
BURT-MURRAY: But what you have to understand is this is a criminal act. You must do this if you want to save yourself. And it's not, you know, putting him in front of yourself.
PIRRO: And, you know, what is so disturbing about this, as well -- and, Tanya, I'm going to go to you on this one -- is that today, the Boston Public Health Commission came out with a survey of Boston teens about Rihanna's beating. And nearly half said that Rihanna was responsible for the beating. And 52 percent said both of them were to blame.
I mean, we thought we'd come so far. And now we've got young people who are seeing this for the first time saying she's at fault, she provoked him.
What's that about, Tanya?
You talk to young people all the time.
TANYA BROWN, NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON'S SISTER: All the time. And, you know, you don't actually even need to be a teenager to -- to even believe those statistics. Grown-ups also believe in those statistics.
PIRRO: How true.
BROWN: You do. You take responsibility for all the actions. There comes a point in time in this -- in a relationship such as this that...
BROWN: ...you know, maybe if I just keep my mouth shut, maybe this will never happen again. Like Robi was saying earlier, you know, it's -- it's -- it's, you know, not believing that -- that they won't be able to do this again or maybe -- maybe it won't be that bad this next time around.
PIRRO: And, you know, Tanya...
BROWN: But what makes the...
BROWN: Oh, I'm sorry.
PIRRO: ...even with respect to your own sister, I know that you were young at the time, were members of your family telling Denise to extricate herself from any relationship with O.J.?
BROWN: Oh, Nicole, you mean, not Denise.
PIRRO: Yes. I'm sorry. Nicole, yes.
BROWN: No, that's OK. You know, I was way too young. I learned about Nicole's abuse when I was sitting in court one day. I had no idea any of this stuff was even going on. So I can't really even speak for my family.
But when I found out about this, I -- you know, it was common sense to me. You hurt somebody, you beat somebody up, that's not right. I don't care how old you are, if you're a preschooler playing in a sandbox or you're an old person, you know, living on your last leg. It is inappropriate, it's unacceptable and unexcusable.
PIRRO: Go ahead.
BROWN: You know, it's -- I think it's time now, with our society, to really reach out.
How I like to view this now is that Nicole was the domestic violence icon -- and still is, for her generation back then, when she was 35.
And now Rihanna has such a huge platform right now to turn this experience around to really help people her age. I heard on "Oprah" today, that a young girl in a group of -- in a group of girls that were being interviewed earlier today, one of them said she's a role model. And they were talking about that, even though Rihanna is not a role model per se. She just has a job, she's well-known and she gets paid a lot for it.
But that -- that was disturbing for me, because how many other girls out there are looking at Rihanna as a role model?
PIRRO: Oh, there's no question. There's no question.
PIRRO: And we're going to talk about the fact that with celebrity and all the benefits come certain obligations as a role model.
More talk with the women who, sadly, know this topic.
Stay with us.
PIRRO: Welcome back.
I'm Judge Jeanine Pirro.
And we're talking with my panel about Rihanna, Chris Brown and the fact that young people are thinking that maybe the victim here is responsible for what has happened to her.
And, so, Angela, I'll go back to you -- Angela Burt-Murray from "Essence" magazine.
So many young people from this study are saying that Rihanna is the one at fault.
With her celebrity, does she have an obligation -- since she is held in such high esteem by young girls, even some as young as six -- to come out and say domestic violence is wrong, never let a boy beat you?
Does she have that obligation?
BURT-MURRAY: Well, I think that we have to understand, she is a victim right now. So she may not be ready to take the step and say, you know, I am the face of domestic violence and this is wrong and it should never happen again, because, first, she has to focus on healing on herself.
But she does need to think that I'm sending a very dangerous message by going back to Chris. And you have to wonder -- look at the people who are advising Rihanna at this point.
Are they advising Rihanna, the woman, or are they advising Rihanna, the brand?
And Rihanna the woman is a person that needs to be attended to at this point.
PIRRO: And that's an excellent question. And I think, unfortunately, what we see with celebrities too often are the people around them are just telling them what they want to hear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Um-hmm.
PIRRO: And, you know, I started one of the first domestic violence units in the country in 1978. My belief is that Rihanna is in danger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
PIRRO: That the last beating will not be the last beating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
LUDWIG: And he's somebody who could kill her.
PIRRO: Well, anyone who takes you and puts a chokehold from the biceps and the forearm and bites your ear at the same time...
LUDWIG: He was out of control...
PIRRO: ...is capable of killing you.
LUDWIG: ...and he said: "I'm going to kill you." And what we know about homicide cases -- intimate partner homicide -- is very often the partner will say, I'm going to kill you. And then they follow through with it...
PIRRO: They do.
LUDWIG: ...at some point.
PIRRO: I have tried too many of those cases. Angela, back to you for a second, you said that she might be considered the face of domestic violence. What she is, Rihanna, is the face of Covergirl. How does this impact her contract with Covergirl?
BURT-MURRAY: Well, it's very interesting. She's been positioned as very independent and empowered young woman, who was a perfect representation for that brand. But right now there's a conflict, because she's gone back into, you know, what is obviously a very dangerous situation. So what advertiser is really going to want to have their product associated with this sort of conflict, when, you know, who knows when there could be another incident.
So I think it's very difficult for her to recapture all of that right now.
PIRRO: I think it is as well. I think that the visual in the public consciousness is when you see that Covergirl face, you see that photo from the LAPD.
LUDWIG: It also seems irresponsible from an advertising perspective. What are you supporting? If we associate her with going along with getting beat up, and we know people are looking to her as a role model, what are you really saying? It's unfortunate, but it's the reality.
PIRRO: You know what that brings into play, Robi, is what happened at Nickelodeon, when Chris Brown ends up being in the Kids Choice Awards on Nickelodeon. They don't decide to take him off. He decides to take himself off for consideration. Why did he do that?
LUDWIG: I think he didn't want the additional attention on the night of the Kids' Choice Awards to have his name announced in some way. It's a young, fan-based audience. And he wanted to step away from that. PIRRO: Which, of course, is a smart move. I would have thought that Nickelodeon should have done it sooner. He's charged with --
BURT-MURRAY: And they're taking flak for not doing that.
PIRRO: One last question here. Rihanna now goes forward. If she has done this duet with Chris Brown, and there's talk of her doing all kinds of things with him -- is she, if she does not testify -- does she hurt herself in the court of public opinion by not going forward?
BURT-MURRAY: Yes, I think she does.
PIRRO: Your final thoughts?
LUDWIG: I think nobody should stay quiet in this cause, especially if it's happening to you. And you're not alone. There are so many people here to take you through the entire process. I think that's one of the many reasons why women don't want to come forward, and young girls like Rihanna's age. They're scared. They feel alone. But just to know that there's people out here, like you all and myself and people out here on the West Coast, people who care. You're never alone in this as long as you reach out for help.
PIRRO: And I think that Oprah, Tyra and the panel tonight has reinforced that concept.
Next, the octuplet mom admits she needs help with eight new borns. The angels who are helping are here next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The single mother gave birth to octuplets in January.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Octo-mom, her 14 kinds and the media frenzy that followed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about your neighbors not wanting you here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: When the octuplet mom cried for help, some angels came to the rescue. Our next guests know all about it. Here are Gloria Allred, attorney for Angels in Waiting, Linda West-Conforti. She founded the group that's providing round the clock care for the octuplets. And Annie Young, a registered nurse with Angels in Waiting. And welcome to all of you.
My first question is to Annie. Have nurses from Angels in Waiting been interacting with the babies yet?
ANNIE YOUNG, ANGELS IN WAITING: No, the nurses from Angels in Waiting, we have just met with Nadya Suleman on two different occasions. We also met with a multi-disciplinary team from Kaiser and helped to bridge the transition to get these babies home with Nadya. We have not yet met with the babies themselves.
PIRRO: OK. Linda, I'm going to go to you. As the founder of Angels in Waiting, when did you start this organization, and what was the genesis? I mean what caused you to start it?
LINDA WEST-CONFORTI, ANGELS IN WAITING: I started the organization back in 2005 because I was a medically fragile foster parent and I was shocked with the lack of services that was available to premies, to children that had medical needs, especially the medically fragile foster care population. So I initiated Angels in Waiting to recruit nurses to become foster parents, to take these under-privileged children into their homes, nurture them, get them back to health, and preferably find an adoptive homes for these children.
PIRRO: What would be the scenario, Linda, with respect to the octuplets? You have spoken to Nadya Suleman?
WEST-CONFORTI: Correct, I have.
PIRRO: And what is the proposal that is on the table right now?
WEST-CONFORTI: The proposal on the table was kind of a slim down proposal from their original proposal of supplying her with a home and the nannies and the wrap around services. The proposal that she has accepted was just providing the wrap around services, meaning neo- natal intensive care nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and an early intervention specialist, that will be working with all 14 of her children, primarily the children that are on the autism spectrum.
PIRRO: Gloria, you're the child care advocate here. When are the babies coming home? And what is Nadya saying about Angels in Waiting?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY, ANGELS IN WAITING: Well this week, Jeanine, Nadya did accept the offer of Angels in Waiting to be part of the team, to train her, to train her care providers. There are going to be nannies and there are going to be others in the home, so that these babies will get the very best care. And also the nurses, Linda and Annie, who are so wonderful, are going to be monitoring to make sure that the training that they give to the care providers is actually going to be implemented. And that's very important.
We are also going to be depending on public donations. So we hope that everybody will go to the Angels in Waiting USA.org website and donate, because if this plan can work, then these baby also not have to go on Medi-Cal. The nurses, the care providers will not have to be a burden to the tax payers. This can be done completely through public donations. We can give you a little example of what Annie is going to train. Here's a little doll -- here's a little premie, and Annie -- show and tell here tonight. Annie, what do you plan on doing?
YOUNG: Well, It's very, very important. Premature babies are completely different than term babies. Premature babies do not have any tone. And a premature baby's tone if I can demonstrate, is like this. A term baby is able to hold itself and have some muscle. As you can see on your screen, these babies don't have any muscle. They don't have any fat, ligaments and tendons.
So it's going to be my job to teach the care givers how to handle these babies and how to help these muscles, ligaments and tendons to form.
PIRRO: Let me ask you something. What happens if the group doesn't get enough contributions? Then who takes care of the babies? Are you responsible to the court? Who makes the decision as to whether or not the people that you are training are proper care givers? And of all the 14 kids that are in the house, who is responsible?
YOUNG: Well, our job is going to be help her transition these babies to come home. Our job is going to be to train Nadya and to train the care givers and to make sure that what we train them, they're going to be doing. If at any time that we have any problems with that or if we have anything that we're concerned about or that we're worried about, we know what steps need to be taken as far as the safety of these babies.
These babies are innocent and that's why we are here. We're nurses. We are NICU nurses. And we are here because of the innocence of these babies.
PIRRO: That has to be directly applauded, I have to tell you. So many people want so much for these babies to have the good care that they deserve. Irrespective of the controversy, Gloria, what people want is for good people to get involved. That's what's happening here.
Here's my concern. I have watched as two publicists represented Nadya and then got out, the last one saying not such nice things about her, and then you hear the 911 call where she freaks when she's got six kids and one disappears. What she's going to do when she's got 14. What happens if she freaks? What do you do? What is your obligation there and the that you train? Do you report something to the courts?
ALLRED: That's a great question. And the answer is, these nurses, who have for so many years been dealing with high-risk infants, as these are high risk octuplets, because they were born two and a half month prematurely and of low birth weight, they are going take their obligations seriously, as they have for their entire careers, to these infants. And if the infants are endangered or any of their six siblings are endangered in any way, they will take their job, as mandated reporters seriously. They will report it to authorities. They're not going to tolerate it for one minute.
PIRRO: And by law, Gloria, as you and I well know, they're obligated to make that report. Finally what about the possibility of a reality show with Nadya and her family? And would Angels in Waiting, Gloria, participate in such a reality show?
ALLRED: Well, Linda as a registered nurse has said that she doesn't think that that is in the best interests of the babies, because she is naturally as a nurse concerned about the health risks to the babies and to the other six siblings of camera equipment coming in, of cords. There are going to be in the home not only 14 children, not only the mother, not only other relatives, but all of the care providers, the nurses, the nannies and others. And during a flu season or any other season, she wants to put the health of the babies and the other children first. And unless their health can be protected and their safety and their welfare, Linda is not going to go for it.
PIRRO: And I think the good news here is that it is the concern and the well-being of the children that is the priority. Sometimes we have gotten maybe mixed messages that the priority of the mom might be a reality show. But in any event, I want to thank you for being with us this evening and explaining this. Good luck to you. It sounds like a terrific program, I hope it works out.
So what are you saying on Larry's blog? We'll be back in 60 seconds.
PIRRO: Let's meet the Harris family. Chris and Diamond Harris are the parents of sextuplets, born in 2002. The sextuplets also have a teenage brother. The Harris family is the focus of "Then Came Six" on the Discovery Network. And it airs tomorrow night. Welcome everyone.
PIRRO: How are you tonight?
CHRIS HARRIS, FATHER OF SEXTUPLETS: We're all doing great. And yourself?
PIRRO: Very well, thank you. And I guess being on television is nothing new to you. But I want to welcome you to LARRY KING LIVE tonight. And I guess I'll start with both mom and dad. Look, when you first heard about Nadya Suleman having eight more kids after having six under the age of seven -- you have a frame of reference. You can relate to this. What did you first think?
C. HARRIS: My first thought was wow, much prayer needed for that lady.
PIRRO: Did you wonder? I mean, when you came home with sextuplets, I guess you figure out how many diapers you need a day and multiply it by six. Can you imagine doing that by 14?
C. HARRIS: Well, honestly, when we first brought the kids home, we had an overwhelming thought of just trying to make it. How are we going to support all these kids were coming home. It's just an overwhelming thought coming from the hospital.
PIRRO: And Diamond, what was it like? Did you know that you were carrying sextuplets?
DIAMOND HARRIS, MOTHER OF SEXTUPLETS: I didn't know in the beginning, but later on I found out. And through the whole pregnancy, I thought it was five. And the day of delivery, they pulled out Kal.
PIRRO: And why don't you tell us the names of your children. They all begin with K, right?
D. HARRIS: Right.
PIRRO: Can they tell us their names.
D. HARRIS: Tell the cameraman, what's your name?
That's Kiara. Tell her your name. Karen.
PIRRO: I think, Mom, you're going to have to give us the names.
D. HARRIS: Kiara, Karen, Kal, Kalen, Kaleb and Koby.
PIRRO: The two of you have some special needs children. What can Nadya Suleman expect with special needs children?
C. HARRIS: The thing about expecting these children is that you don't know exactly when the children will develop the special needs. It's kind of hard to tell right off. It's something that normally happens you know around the age of two and three. We were able to catch Kal's autism around the age of two and begin to get special help for it. So it's nothing that you're going to be able to tell right up front.
PIRRO: So I guess that means constant monitoring, constant doctor's appointments and keeping an eye on them and how they're advancing. But the two of you are not only part of a show called "And Then Came Six" on the Discovery Channel. But you were also in an episode of "Extreme Home Makeover." Why allow cameras into your home and into your lives?
C. HARRIS: You say why?
D. HARRIS: In the beginning, you know, it wasn't a choice. I mean, if it was up to me, I would have been left alone. But we found out early on that we needed whatever help we can get, even if it was helping with changing diapers, with bottle feeding. So why not allow the cameras in our home? People want to know. People want to understand what it's like to raise multiples.
PIRRO: I think we're seeing it firsthand, here. But people want to know, how do you keep a marriage together with so many children? I mean people with one or two kids have a lot of trouble. How do you guys do this when so much of your lives are public and exposed?
C. HARRIS: Honestly, it takes a lot of collaboration. It takes a lot of talking back and forth with each other. It takes a lot of communication. The thing there is that you establish a team. And when you're able to establish a team, it makes it a lot easier.
PIRRO: I can see from the two of you that you're very calm with all this motion around you, and all this movement around you. You are calm parents. But my final question, what is the best advise that you would give to Nadya Suleman?
C. HARRIS: Oh, wow, there's so much advice that we would give. But the best thing that we got when we first became parents -- the first thing that we got when we became parents was that I had a cousin tell me, keep them on a schedule. The NICU puts them on a schedule, and that's how they're able to maintain theirs. So we found out that that was the best way to keep ours as well. Keep them on a schedule, keep them on track and things seemed to work out pretty good.
PIRRO: OK, well, I want to thank the Harris family and all of you for joining us, and good luck to all of you. Thanks for being with us.
Psychotherapist Dr. Robi is still here. She'll wrap things up for us when we come back.
PIRRO: Welcome back. I'm here with Dr. Robi Ludwig. In wrapping up, I want to talk about Nadya Suleman. Why do you think there was so much outrage? People were so horrified and some worse with her? And do you think it's going to last?
LUDWIG: The anger? Will the anger last? I think people don't like mothers who have children for what we perceive to be the wrong reasons. So it seems like Nadya is a very manipulative person, who might have had children because she didn't want to be abandoned or she wanted to feel loved or special. But it didn't really have so much to do with being a good parent or the right parent or really her kids at all.
PIRRO: How do you judge whether or not she's fit as a mother?
LUDWIG: I guess that would be people around her to see if she is meeting the legitimate needs of her children. And I think it's a good thing that she is getting help, because kids really do want their parents to be the right enough parents for them. They don't want strangers. So hopefully she'll get the help and maybe she'll grow in the process.
PIRRO: The only alternative is foster care, and that's not a good one. Even though Larry's not here, we still want to introduce you to one of CNN's heroes. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Our hero this week comes from Guatemala City. He is Paul Endleton (ph), CNN hero nominee and president of BRAVE Foundation. That stands for Bavaros Resourceful and Valiant Efforts, an organization dedicated to improving training and emergency services in third-world countries. How did this start, Paul?
PAUL ENDLETON, BRAVE FOUNDATION: It actually started about 13 years ago when I was invited to come down with a medical team that was performing surgeries on children. At that time, I was introduced to the volunteer firefighters in Guatemala City and got an opportunity to ride out with them for a few days, and see how they were working in their difficult jobs, with very limited equipment and training.
At the time, they only had pick-up trucks to transport patients to the hospital. So in those few days I rode with them, I saw several people die in the back of those pick-up trucks, with very limited pre- hospital care. So it kind of touched my heart, because I have been a paramedic for many years. In the states, we may have been able to save some of those people if they had the proper training and equipment.
KING: Great story, Paul, of people helping people. Paul Endleton, president of the BRAVE Foundation in Guatemala City. Thanks Paul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Thanks to all our guests tonight. A special thanks to Larry for letting me fill in. Time now for "Anderson Cooper 360."