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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
John Edwards' Mistress Speaks Out; Big Giveaway to Pharmaceutical Companies in Health Care Bill?
Aired March 15, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: President Obama's final push for health care reform and a multibillion-dollar giveaway we found in the bill, big money for drug companies to buy their support. How much is it going to cost you, though? We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
Also, "Up Close": the mistress speaking out for the first time -- the presidential candidate, the aide who lied for him about a love child and those pictures, pictures the mistress now calls repulsive. But she didn't look so repulsed taking them.
And what secret church documents reveal about a priest accused of sex abuse, documents unseen until tonight, and you may be surprised to find out what has happened to that priest.
But first up tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": an investigation into lobbyists, closed-door deals, and the power of big pharmaceutical companies. You're going to learn tonight about a big giveaway to drug companies in the health care reform bill, which is now in its final push.
Now, before we tell you about it, I just want to bring you up to date on the effort to get that bill passed, likely this week. Take a look at some of these pictures. These are 37 Democratic congress men and women. They are crucial right now because of -- all of them are either leaning, likely, or firmly saying they're going to vote no on the Senate reform bill when it comes to them. Some voted yes the first time around and are wavering. Some voted no.
Now, if all 37 vote no, TheHill.com estimates the bill will pass by 216-215, one single vote. So, each of those 37 is being heavily courted today. President Obama went to Ohio in part to woo one of the 37, Dennis Kucinich, who doesn't believe the reform bill goes far enough.
Congressman Kucinich got a ride on Air Force One and some public arm-twisting at a campaign-style rally. Others are getting phone calls, face time, really whatever it takes.
So, that's where things stand. But we discovered a deal that was made to keep big pharmaceutical companies on board with the bill. It's a deal that involved a lot of lobbying, a lot of money, and some very influential people.
"Keeping Them Honest" tonight is Dana Bash. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To watch Jim Greenwood is to watch old-fashioned bare-knuckled Washington lobbying.
JIM GREENWOOD, PRESIDENT & CEO, BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION: I went from office to office in the House and in the Senate with my little molecule of...
BASH: And pushed a provision buried inside the health care bill that could save the pharmaceutical industry he works for billions in profits, opponents say, at the expense of you, the consumer.
(on camera): What happened?
KATHLEEN JAEGER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GENERIC PHARMACEUTICAL ASSOCIATION: Well, I think what happened is, unfortunately, politics trumped policy.
BASH (on camera): So, what's this all about? Nothing short of miracle drugs and the crossroads between how much it costs to make them and what you pay for them.
(voice-over): The drugs are called biologics, made from living organisms, and programmed to target specific hard-to-treat maladies.
DR. GAIL WASSERMAN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR DEVELOPMENT, MEDIMMUNE: We have protein biologics now for multiple sclerosis, or for respiratory syncytial virus infection, or for oncology.
BASH: And they sell for blockbuster prices. Biologics are cash cows. Consumer spends more than $40 billion a year on them.
Sharon Brown says the biologic Enbrel rescues her from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. Listen to the cost.
SHARON BROWN, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS SUFFERER: One thousand five hundred and ninety-one dollars, 87 cents. That's for four injections.
BASH: Her insurance has a cap, so she takes the weekly drug every other week.
BROWN: I just cannot simply afford the medication.
BASH (on camera): For chemical drugs like these, there is a law that allows generics, which are cheaper. But it doesn't apply to biologics, like Sharon Brown's Enbrel. So, Democrats, in their health care legislation, which they say is aimed at lowering costs, decided to make a path for generic biologics, which would bring the cost of the drugs down.
(voice-over): To do that, the president wanted to give brand biologics exclusive rights for seven years, before cheaper generics could enter the market. But the pharmaceutical industry lobbied for more, 12 years, and prevailed. Their argument? Development takes an average of 12 years and $1 billion-plus.
GREENWOOD: If we want people to invest in new cures for cancer and for diabetes and for AIDS and all of that, then you have to make sure that they're going to have some chance to get a return on their investment.
BASH: And, "Keeping Them Honest," brand-name biologics had major reinforcements to make their case. Last year, pharmaceutical manufacturers spent more than $263 million in lobbying.
Do the math, that's more than $721,000 a day. And, in 2008, they gave $30 million in campaign contributions, a record half of that to Democrats.
JAEGER: You know, the brand industry, with their deep pockets, have made some really great friends in the Democratic Party.
BASH: To be sure, the generics lobby did have powerful allies, not just the president, but AARP, unions, and more. But brand-name biologics outspent them and worked the system.
Jim Greenwood isn't just the president of Bio. He's a former member of Congress.
(on camera): You're a former member of the club?
BASH: That helps.
GREENWOOD: Well, I -- it helps in this way. It helps -- I know what people want what -- they need, what kind of information they need before they vote.
BASH (voice-over): The result in this committee and others, many Democrats voted to give brand-name biologics a longer corner on the market.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: This language now is anti- competitive. It will help the drug companies reap billions of dollars more in profits. It will restrict access to all kinds of life-saving drugs for people, and too many Democrats have sided with the drug industry.
BASH: Thanks in large part to the money and manpower behind their Washington lobbying.
COOPER: So, Dana, there's no doubt that this restricts access, because some of these drugs just cost much too much to people. On the flip side of that is the argument, though, that, without the ability to make a big profit on these drugs, that -- that drug companies would have less of a motivation to research and develop, to develop new life-saving drugs. BASH: That is precisely what the argument that Jim Greenwood and pharma makes. That is the argument that they made going door to door here on Capitol Hill. And it is the argument that prevailed.
The other side, the generics lobby and the people who are involved in that and support that point of view, they say that there is plenty of time, if they have seven years of exclusivity, plenty of time to get back the money for the investment and also to make a profit.
So, you know, it's very interesting. This is one of those issues, Anderson, that there's so much money at stake that both sides really have funded a lot of their own studies.
BASH: So, it is very difficult to get the real deal on what the numbers are here.
COOPER: I want to bring in Candy Crowley.
Candy, big picture here, the president delayed the trip to Asia. It seems likely there's obviously urgency to get this done now. What's the likelihood this -- this will get done and get done this week?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think that the House is quite likely to do this. Dana may have a different opinion.
But, when they count votes, they have what they call soft votes, which are those people that say: I got -- I would like to vote no because of my district. It's going to be tough for me to vote yes. If you absolutely, positively have to have me, I will be there.
I think there are also Democrats -- I know there are also Democrats out there who are simply waiting for the money report, the CBO, to look at that, so that they can say, OK, to their constituents.
CROWLEY: I looked at it. It's done. We're going. I think they will get it this week.
COOPER: Dana, you agree with that?
The -- the name of the game right now is trying to turn, as Candy said, some of those soft votes into hard votes, especially turning them yes. But Candy mentioned the Congressional Budget Office. The Democratic leadership, they're hoping to get that -- that number tomorrow. And that will be -- make it a whole lot easier for them to sell this when they're actually talking about hard figures, hard facts, hard legislation, as opposed to general ideas.
A lot of these folks, they know from recent history that they can't really trust what they hear from anybody.
BASH: They have to see it in black and white.
COOPER: Dana Bash "Keeping Them Honest" tonight -- Dana, thanks.
We will have -- have more from Candy in a moment.
A quick reminder: The live chat is up and running at AC360.com. Joining the conversation. Talk to folks around the world watching the program right now.
Up next: what Rielle Hunter says about John Edwards, Johnny, to her, also what Edwards' loyal aide now says about both of them, and what the author who got the inside scoop on all of it says about Edwards' future -- "Raw Politics," all of it, coming up.
And, later: Why did the Catholic Church pay more than $1 million to settle a sex abuse case, and should the priest still be a priest?
Tonight, thanks to secret church documents, some answers.
COOPER: Well, she is the woman at the center of the scandal that killed the political career of former presidential candidate John Edwards. But we haven't heard her story in her own words, until now.
Rielle Hunter spoke out in a stunning interview to "GQ" magazine and revealed intimate details about her affair with the man she calls Johnny. She also posed for pictures, which are getting almost as much attention as the article itself. In a moment, we are going to talk to Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide who at one time claimed to be the father of Rielle Hunter's child.
But, first, let's take a closer look at what Rielle Hunter is saying now.
Here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rielle Hunter, mistress of John Edwards and mother to his daughter, bares plenty in this photo shoot for "GQ" magazine...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That looks beautiful.
KAYE: ... and bares it all in her accompanying interview, claiming that her affair with John Edwards, who she calls Johnny, began hours after they met in 2006 -- quote -- "I had never experienced anything like what was flowing between us. It was just this, this magnetic force field. It terrified me."
Hunter says she wasn't the one to hit on Edwards -- quote -- "I'm not a predator. I'm not a gold digger. I'm not the stalker." And when they first met, she says she told him -- quote -- "You're so hot."
From that first night, she said, Edwards predicted the peril Hunter could put him in -- quote -- "Falling in love with you could really (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up my plans for becoming president." Hunter says Edwards is a great father to their 2-year-old daughter, Frances Quinn, especially since he and his wife, Elizabeth, separated, but that, while she was pregnant -- quote -- "I believe, on some level, he was hoping I would get an abortion."
She says one of the toughest moments of the scandal came in this 2008 interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "NIGHTLINE")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A report has been published that the baby of Ms. Hunter is your baby. True?
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Not true. Not true. Published in a supermarket tabloid. But, no, that's -- that -- that is absolutely not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: She says Edwards was furious about this spread in "The National Enquirer" -- quote -- "Johnny was screaming at me about 'The National Enquirer' finding me and photographing me. He was very angry, and Johnny doesn't scream," and that Elizabeth Edwards' interviews to support her book in 2009 were devastating, like this appearance on Oprah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW")
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS: I have seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look my children, but I don't have any idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Hunter claims the Edwards had a toxic relationship and that Elizabeth was abusive -- quote -- "Infidelity doesn't happen in healthy marriages, so the home was wrecked already. I was not the home-wrecker."
And here's what the "GQ" reporter told Larry King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
LISA DEPAULO, POLITICAL REPORTER, "GQ": This isn't a new, novel idea that you believe, you know, the man's version of what is terrible about his marriage that is not terrible about your wonderful romance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: John Edwards finally admitted paternity this past January. For the future, Hunter denies rumors that she and Edwards are engaged, but this steamy photo shoot and tell-all interview have reignited a political sex scandal now going on four years.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, there's another person who played a major role in the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter scandal, Edwards' former aide Andrew Young, who at one point claimed that he was the father of Hunter's baby.
In the "GQ" interview, Hunter claims that Young was, in her words -- quote -- "in love with Johnny" -- Johnny is what she called John Edwards -- and even goes as far as to say that Young loved Edwards more than he loved his own wife.
Andrew Young tells his version of the story in his fascinating book "The Politician." He joins us now for the "Big 360" interview.
First of all, when -- your response to her claiming that you loved him more than you loved your life.
ANDREW YOUNG, FORMER AIDE TO JOHN EDWARDS: You know, I had a 10- year career -- almost a 10-year career with him.
To say that I -- you know, of course I loved John Edwards, but to say him that I loved more my wife is just -- like a lot of the rest of her stories, just patently stupid.
COOPER: So, she -- Rielle Hunter is claiming that you would put, like, $5,000, $6,000 into an account for her, but that you and your wife were -- were pocketing most of the money.
YOUNG: Well, again, I mean, that's just -- it's absurd.
I mean, Rielle -- Rielle had anything and everything that she could conceivably want. And, as you have seen from the court actions over the last week, you know, here she is, an unemployed mother living off child support, and she has seven attorneys in court, ripping me to shreds.
COOPER: She also says that it was your idea to claim paternity of her baby. True?
YOUNG: It's as -- it's as ridiculous as the claim that they didn't know that all of this money was coming in and that John Edwards didn't know anything about it.
COOPER: How did you end up with a sex tape of John Edwards and Rielle Hunter?
COOPER: I mean, I'm not going to even -- I'm not going to even ask why they would have made a sex tape, because it boggles the mind that a guy running for president would make a sex tape. Nevertheless, they have apparently done -- they did that. Why did you end up having it?
YOUNG: When Rielle Hunter was initially discovered, and when she was pregnant, she stayed for about a week, 10 days up in our guest bedroom. And then we rented her a house close by.
While she was there, she left a box there that contained the missing Webisodes. Remember, she was hired as a videographer. But it also contained a tape that said "Special" on it. We found it the following July when we were packing up the house to move out.
COOPER: You did, though, at one point, consider selling it?
YOUNG: When somebody comes up to you and says, here's millions of dollars, will you sell it, I would be lying if I didn't say, hmm. But did we ever seriously consider selling it? Of course not.
COOPER: And, so, at this point, the sex tape, what has happened to it? Where is it?
YOUNG: The grand jury is investigating John Edwards -- who I assume is investigating John Edwards has a copy -- has requested a copy of it. The court has the other remaining copies of it.
COOPER: Does it make sense to you that Rielle Hunter did this interview? I mean, I -- I don't quite understand why she -- why she did it.
YOUNG: The words and the pictures really don't come anything -- anywhere close to what I expected.
I mean, I expected her to come across as trying to be a -- you know, kind of a soccer mom, and it does anything but that. The pictures are extremely bizarre. So...
COOPER: It was interesting to me that Rielle Hunter saying about that first interview that John Edwards did, which was supposedly the tell-all interview, the confessional in which he revealed, not only was he lying, but that he immediately called her up afterwards and said: Well, you know none of this matters. Nothing I'm saying matters. It's all just basically for show.
YOUNG: But, again, a lie is a lie is a lie.
And John Edwards has strung her along for years now. I just think that John, Elizabeth, and Rielle are all -- are all working in coordination to try to figure out -- they believe that John Edwards is going to come back and be a world leader. They do.
COOPER: You think they still believe this?
YOUNG: I -- I completely do.
COOPER: Even after all of this broke, that he could still kind of speak at the Democratic Convention, that he could become attorney general, I mean, that shows a certain level of -- of denial.
YOUNG: Well, but he -- he would refer you back to any number of politicians who have had scandals that have built their way back up, you know, Bill Clinton and you name it.
When you lie repeatedly to the public, and when you cheat on your -- your cancer-stricken wife, and then you make a sex tape months before the Iowa caucuses, he is -- I mean, he took over $100 million from people, a lot of people who could not afford to give $10, $25, $50, and he hasn't done anything to sincerely apologize.
COOPER: I don't think -- the American people are willing to forgive somebody who apologizes, and, you know, says what's -- what's truth, but then to say you're apologizing, to say you're telling the truth, and then to lie again, that's -- that's -- that's a hard thing to overcome.
YOUNG: It used to be you had to be a proven Democratic or Republican official or a military leader. People knew who you were.
Now, somebody like John Edwards, who didn't even vote before he got elected to the Senate, three times in nine years, he was almost V.P. or president. And I just -- I hope that people do something to really vet the candidates that are going to -- that are going to be the leaders of the free world...
YOUNG: ... because we came very close to getting somebody in there with no scruples.
COOPER: And, finally, you don't think John Edwards will end up with Rielle Hunter? You think he's...
YOUNG: Absolutely not.
COOPER: ... giving her a line, that you've now...
YOUNG: Absolutely not.
COOPER: I appreciate you -- Andrew, appreciate you being with us.
Thank you very much, Andrew Young.
YOUNG: Thanks, Anderson. It was an honor to be here.
COOPER: Up next, we're going to dig deeper with "Game Change" author Mark Halperin. His bestselling book gave a behind-the-scenes look at -- look at the 2008 presidential campaign, including -- had a lot of details about the Edwards affair. We will get his take on the Rielle Hunter interview and why he thinks we will hear from Elizabeth Edwards perhaps soon.
And remember the dramatic story of the California man who lost control of this Prius on the freeway? Or was it all a hoax? Toyota is trying to put the brakes on the story, saying it could not have happened. The proof -- proof they say they have, we will show you that, coming up.
COOPER: Hey, we're back now with more on John Edwards' former mistress Rielle Hunter.
In a revealing interview with "GQ" magazine, she's talking about her affair with Edwards, his presidential campaign, the child they share, even the sex tape they made. Even though Edwards lied to his wife, his party, his supporters, countless reporters, and the entire American public, she insists he doesn't lie to her.
They first met in February 2006, when, after seeing him in a hotel bar, Hunter ran into him, she says, on the street. "He lit up like a Christmas tree," she says, "and I just uttered to him, you're so hot, and he almost jumped into my arms, literally."
Hunter also talks about Edwards' relationship with his wife, Elizabeth, saying, "It was a toxic relationship and very abusive. It's interesting, though, that he allowed himself to be abused" -- strong words coming from the other woman.
Let's dig deeper now with Mark Halperin, author of "Game Change," a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 campaign that has remarkable details about the relationship between John Edwards, Rielle Hunter, as well as Mrs. Edwards. He's also the editor at large and senior political analyst for "TIME" magazine.
I found this interview fascinating and just amazed. I -- I cannot wrap my mind around why Rielle Hunter gave this interview. Does this make sense to you?
MARK HALPERIN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, "TIME": Well, look, she's clearly very strong-willed. I don't mean that in a negative way, but the portrait of the woman who comes across there, very similar to what John Heilemann and I wrote about in "Game Change," someone who has a spiritual side that maybe makes people think she's not a focused person.
There's a lot in that interview that's very focused. And I think she decided, after John Edwards had established that he was the father of her child, after our book, and after Andrew Young's book, that she wanted to have her own voice in this. She didn't want to be silent and let people define her.
COOPER: What does it say about John Edwards that he would begin this, not only while married -- I mean, plenty of people do that -- but -- but while running for -- for president, not only pick up this woman in the hotel, but, I mean, pick her up, she goes up to the room that night; they -- you know, and embark immediately on a physical relationship?
COOPER: I mean, he's literally, like, kind of growling across the room to her, like, come closer to me, baby, kind of stuff.
HALPERIN: Well, this -- this is the part of his relationship with her. It's fitting that it started that way, as you suggest, a very reckless act that evening that led to a months-long affair that was conducted in part with money given by wealthy contributors.
And then, as we report in the book, and you know well, even after her child is born -- and her child is clearly extraordinarily important to her -- even after that child is born that she has had with John Edwards, John Edwards is still trying to figure out how he can perhaps be vice president -- the vice presidential running mate or the attorney general for Barack Obama.
She clearly has an effect on John Edwards that causes him to do loopy things.
COOPER: What does Elizabeth Edwards do now? I mean, they're separated as a couple, reportedly. Clearly, if Elizabeth Edwards reads this interview, I mean, there's several slaps in the face to her, talking about their relationship as being toxic and dead for a long time.
Do you think now she comes forward and says something?
HALPERIN: The portrait that Hunter sort of pushes off of and keys off of is of an Elizabeth Edwards who was very belittling and demeaning to her husband in front of other people on a regular basis over a long period of time.
We may see a chain reaction here. Elizabeth Edwards, as your viewers know, wrote a book dealing, somewhat elliptically, with John Edwards and his relationship with Hunter. I think we will see now, perhaps, just as Andrew young's book and, to some extent, our book led, I think, Hunter to decide she wanted to speak out, Hunter speaking out may well lead Elizabeth Edwards now to come forward and to try to define her own -- herself and some of these issues in reaction to Hunter.
One -- one thing that's true about Elizabeth Edwards, from our portrait, at least up until the presidential race, she was a voracious reader of anything related to her family, particularly on the Internet. So, I suspect, if she hasn't read this story yet, it's only because she hasn't had Web access...
HALPERIN: ... if that's the case. Otherwise, you can bet she's read it.
COOPER: Andrew Young says that he thinks there's no way that these two will end up together, John Edwards and -- and Rielle Hunter, that -- that he says that he believes John Edwards is just telling -- you know, telling her what she wants to hear and that he's just basically manipulative.
Do you think they can end up together? HALPERIN: I think that the reality is, that is the big missing piece here. There's nothing that Hunter says about their relationship and the prospects of a future that strikes me, based on what I know, as farfetched, but John Edwards has been silent in the face of this.
The fact that his marriage appears to be over means that, at least as a possibility, this could happen. You know, there are other children involved. John and Elizabeth Edwards have three children, besides Wade, who passed away in that auto accident.
So, he's got a lot of variables here to work on. But -- but, again, one of the things that struck me most about her voice coming through in that "GQ" interview is just how confident she is on this, how solid -- about how solid their relationship is and the prospect, if not the probability, that they will get together.
COOPER: Well, it's just fascinating.
Mark Halperin, appreciate it. Thanks, Mark.
HALPERIN: Anderson, thank you.
COOPER: Well, what do you think? Has the mistress been misunderstood? Go to AC360.com. You can actually read the full "GQ" interview, Rielle Hunter in her own words.
A lot of folks talking about it on the blog right now at AC360.com.
Up next: that runaway Toyota Prius. Remember that story last week? The driver said he couldn't stop. Well, now Toyota is saying it could not have happened the way he says it did -- did. We have details ahead.
And, also, a story: The priest accused of sex abuse, he denies it. The church paid a huge settlement, more than $1 million, but nobody really knew why, until now.
What secret documents reveal -- tonight on 360.
COOPER: Coming up, he secretly shot nude photos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. Now the stalker is paying the price. His sentence, just ahead.
First, Candy Crowley has the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
Toyota today challenged a California driver's report that his Prius sped out of control. The automaker says a joint investigation with federal officials found the accelerator and backup safety systems worked properly. The government is currently investigating similar claims by more than 60 other Toyota owners. A top Israeli diplomat says ties with the U.S. are at their worst in 35 years. This as the Obama administration delays the start of indirect peace talks until Israel halts a new settlement project, announced during Vice President Biden's visit to the country last week.
And in a startling discovery, NASA finds higher life forms beneath 600 feet of ice. In a first look under an ice sheet in Antarctica, scientists found a shrimp-like creature and a jelly fish where only simple microbes were believed to exist.
COOPER: Mm, shrimp.
CROWLEY: Yes. Very, very cold shrimp.
COOPER: Not a big fan of the shrimp, so I'll going to let that -- going to let that one live.
CROWLEY: Yes, OK. Well, there's jellyfish, too.
COOPER: Candy, thanks very much. We'll see you in a moment. You can join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Ahead, a trendy restaurant in a big American city. This is unbelievable. Guess what they were serving illegally? Whale meat. You will not believe where the endangered species was actually on the menu.
And a stunning story of a Catholic priest still working, still holding mass, even though the church paid more than $1 million to a man who accused him of abusing him as a child. So how come the priest is still a priest, and how come the church kept their records secret for so long? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
COOPER: The priest sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church reached directly into the pope's past today. A priest who once had served under him was suspended for sexually abusing minors. Pope Benedict, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, approved the man's move to another parish, but the archdiocese says he was never personally aware what of the details of the case.
I know you probably feel like you've heard plenty of these stories before, about priests who molested kids or were accused of molesting kids. But we were stunned to read some newly-released Vatican figures. It turns out that more than half the priests accused of sexual misdeeds in the past decades were never prosecuted, more than half of 3,000 cases.
We were even more surprised to learn of one priest whose accuser was paid more than $1 million by the church, but the priest is still a priest. He denies the allegations. He holds mass. He even has altar boys. What's even more stunning is that the church kept their records secret as long as it could.
Gary Tuchman tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chester Przybylo is a Catholic priest who celebrates his masses in Latin.
FATHER CHESTER PRZYBYLO: (SPEAKING LATIN)
TUCHMAN: He says he wanted to be a priest since he was 4 years old.
PRZYBYLO: I had a call. I know I had a call. I heard the call. I mean, some people don't, but I did.
TUCHMAN: So as a man of God, he says, he was shocked and saddened when he was accused in 2006 of molesting an altar boy two decades ago.
PRZYBYLO: I don't think I really wept, but maybe shouted at our Lord a little bit so he could hear me a little better.
TUCHMAN: He insisted he was falsely accused and, shortly after the accusation, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services issued a finding saying "credible evidence of child abuse has not been found."
PRZYBYLO: I was elated.
TUCHMAN: The priest considered it such a victory, he actually posted the agency's findings on the door at his church, right near a picture of him with Pope John Paul II. The parishioners at his church, the Shrine of Christ the King in the suburbs of Chicago, think he's a great man.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's a very holy priest. I think he says a very beautiful mass.
TUCHMAN: Three generations, this current altar boy, his mother, and grandmother have never believed the allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like Father because he is a holy priest.
TUCHMAN: And yet that former altar boy, the one he said he was molested, is still speaking out.
(on camera) Does your mother, like, ever wonder why you were away so much?
PETER GALICA, FORMER ALTAR BOY: I was in the rectory of a church. I was in the best place I could ever be.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Peter Galica was 13 when he says he started spending time in the rectory with Father Chester, the worst place he says he could have been.
GALICA: He would take me up to his room. He would first feed me some alcohol and undress me, you know, perform sexual acts on me, you know, oral sex.
TUCHMAN: And there's another man speaking out. Paul Gil says he was molested beginning at the age of 9 by Father Chester.
PAUL GIL, FORMER ALTAR BOY: Fondled me, oral sex, and put the bench seat down and sodomized me.
TUCHMAN: Both men say they endured years of molestation from Father Chester, a priest who is still preaching the word of God today.
(on camera) This is hard to talk about, but we must, because you are...
PRZYBYLO: I know.
TUCHMAN: ... especially for you. But Peter and Paul...
PRZYBYLO: Yes. Peter and Paul. I just can't get over it.
TUCHMAN: They both tell us that they were molested by you.
PRZYBYLO: Yes. Mm-hmm.
TUCHMAN: Sodomized by you.
TUCHMAN: When they were children.
PRZYBYLO: Oh, come on.
TUCHMAN: Nine, 10, 11 years old.
PRZYBYLO: I mean, it's -- it's -- I don't want to say laughable, but it's so ridiculous.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Peter Galica says the first time he was molested, it happened in a downtown Chicago health club. Father Chester acknowledges taking Peter to the health club but says it was innocent.
PRZYBYLO: Who would be so stupid in the locker room, where there could be a policeman right there?
TUCHMAN (on camera): What were you doing at the health club? Why did you take him to...
PRZYBYLO: I just wanted to show them how we -- bring them into manhood, in a sense, to go exercise and things like that.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): So is it all ridiculous, like Father Chester says? If so, it begs the question, why has the archdiocese of Chicago made the decision to pay Peter Galica more than $1.3 million to settle a molestation lawsuit? And why, then, is Father Chester still allowed to be a priest?
(on camera) What is the real story?
PRZYBYLO: Now, I really don't want to say it.
COOPER: Well, we're going to make him say it, up next. Part two of story, including documents the church kept secret for more than a quarter of a century. What they reveal about Father Chester and just how long his fellow priests suspected he was molesting children.
Also ahead, the man who took nude photos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews -- remember that guy? -- and posted them on the Internet, well, he has learned his fate, and we'll tell you, tonight.
COOPER: We're talking about the alleged sexual abuse of an altar boy by a Chicago priest and how the local archdiocese paid out a massive settlement in the case. And the priest denies any wrongdoing, still to this day. A state agency appeared to clear him, so why did the church pay? Well, that's what we wondered.
And tonight, through church documents revealed in court, seen here for the first time, some possible answers and, as you'll see, they are damning. Here's part two of Gary Tuchman's "Keeping Them Honest" report.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): It is odd to see a document like this posted inside a church: an Illinois state agency declaring "credible evidence of child abuse has not been found." The priest of the church, Father Chester Przybylo, wants everyone in the church to know molestation allegations against him are false.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have any doubts about Father.
TUCHMAN: And yet there is this question: why did the archdiocese of Chicago agree to a huge settlement with a former altar boy, who accused Father Chester of molesting him for years?
(on camera) You're angry with the officials for the settlement?
PRZYBYLO: Yes, yes! Because they never really had to do that in the first place.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Father Chester claims the archdiocese paid the settlement not because he did anything wrong, but to get the case out of its hair.
Notably, the archdiocese of Chicago is not in control of Father Chester's church. The church is independent, so neither the archdiocese nor the Vatican can stop him from preaching. The archdiocese kicked him out of the church when the allegation molestations happened, before these allegations became public.
(on camera) But the implication is, they said, you did this.
PRZYBYLO: They said it's believable. They didn't say I did it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But the church did pay the settlement, despite the state agency issuing that finding.
However, the agency did not know a lot of the story. The church did not provide it with this stack of papers we now have.
(on camera) For more than a quarter century, the archdiocese of Chicago had documentation about Father Chester, but it was all kept secret until it was subpoenaed.
(voice-over) The records, obtained by the former altar boy's attorney, showed the archdiocese had serious concerns about Father Chester for many years, allegations from other priests who suspected he was a child molester. A priest who said he saw Peter Galica in only his underwear sitting on Father Chester's floor.
(on camera) It says in the documents that Peter was spotted in his underwear inside your bedroom.
PRZYBYLO: Yes, I mean that -- no. Absolutely not. And the only thing, if there was anything that, you know, he could have had short pants on, so could a person who just passed by could have thought that.
TUCHMAN: I guess here's an important point, though. Why would he be in your bedroom?
PRZYBYLO: No, he wasn't in my bedroom.
TUCHMAN: So you're saying the bedroom part's not true.
PRZYBYLO: You couldn't see my bedroom from the door.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But a bit later in our conversation, Father Chester did say sometimes there were boys in his private quarters.
PRZYBYLO: Yes, I had them in my bedroom. We watched TV, that's where my TV was, and you sat on the bed. But we were dressed. That's all.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Would you do that today? Have an altar boy in your bedroom?
PRZYBYLO: No, because I don't have -- that's -- I don't have any TV there.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Another document indicated a different priest declared that Father Chester is paranoid, is crazy, and that he tried to proposition a priest.
(on camera) What is the real story?
PRZYBYLO: Now, I really don't want to say it.
TUCHMAN: It's probably important that you do, if you -- I mean, this is serious stuff here.
PRZYBYLO: Well, how about when a priest comes you when you're in your room in his underwear, and I told him, "I'll take you back to bed," because he was drunk.
TUCHMAN: So you're saying this priest propositioned you?
PRZYBYLO: No -- I don't know. I just said, "I'll take you back to your room. I'll take you back to your bed." That didn't mean, "I'm going to go to bed with you."
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And then there is this document from the church archives. A group of parents writing to then-Cardinal Joseph Bernadine, alleging that six altar boys and one little girl were struck, punched, and kicked by Father Chester.
(on camera) Did you hit those children?
PRZYBYLO: Well, I went in there to just, yes, hit them a little bit.
TUCHMAN: Like all seven of them?
PRZYBYLO: Well, because the bishop wanted me to discipline the place.
TUCHMAN: What does a little bit mean? Hit them a little bit?
PRZYBYLO: Just a little whack or something. You know.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Bishop Abramovitz (ph) has since passed away. But Peter Galica said that bishop was the only person he ever had the guts to tell about the molestations in the years they went on.
GALICA: He just started yelling at me. He said, "Let's go to confession, confess your sins." That was the end of it.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So why did the archdiocese of Chicago settle this case? Does the man in charge, Francis Cardinal George, feel Father Chester is a dangerous predator? Or does the cardinal just want the case to go away? Or is it something else entirely?
(voice-over) There has never been an explanation to go with the large cash settlement. So "Keeping Them Honest," we repeatedly pressed the cardinal for an answer.
Finally, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese gave us a statement acknowledging something publicly for the first time. The archdiocese independent review board received an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor regarding Father Przybylo. In March of 2007, the review board found reasonable cause to believe that abuse occurred and the allegation was substantiated.
So the church now tells us it does, indeed, believe child molestation occurred.
But the priest's attorney, Walter Maksym, tells us the archdiocese has thrown the priest under the bus: "They did no investigation. There's never been a hearing. They never even discussed this with Father Przybylo."
Both Peter Galica and Paul Gil says they've tried to kill themselves over the year. They are bitter and angry.
(on camera) If he walked into a room you were in now, what would happen?
GALICA: I would rather not have that happen.
GALICA: Because I would hurt him. I would hurt him gravely.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Paul Gil hasn't filed a lawsuit as of yet, but the archdiocese is paying for counseling for him.
(on camera) How does it make you feel that he's still an active priest?
GIL: I just can't believe it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Father Chester says this is all a conspiracy between men who are trying to make money from the church and church leaders who feel threatened by him, including one whom he said was senile.
PRZYBYLO: I should be the leader. I should be guiding priests.
TUCHMAN (on camera): But I'm saying all these things to you. They're either senile. They're out for revenge, or they're angry. Why is everyone out to get Father Chester?
PRZYBYLO: Because I have to pray and find the answer, and I have my answers.
TUCHMAN: And what is the answer?
PRZYBYLO: My answer is Christ called me to be a priest, and I will stay a priest. And it will not be an easy priesthood.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And because his own church is happy with him and his parishioners are apparently comfortable...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's very good to everybody. And he loves kids.
TUCHMAN: ... you can still see him here, celebrating mass every Sunday. No matter what the archdiocese or his accusers think.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Winfield, Illinois.
COOPER: Let us know what you think on the AC 360 blog right now. A lot of people talking about this.
A few other points to clear up. Father Chester will not face criminal charges. The statute of limitations has expired on all the allegations.
Peter Galica not only filed suit against the archdiocese. He also filed one against Father Chester. However, that suit was dismissed because too much time had passed. And earlier this year, Father Chester filed a defamation suit against his accuser.
Next, a stalker is sentenced. Did the guy who filmed ESPN reporter Erin Andrews through that peephole get what he deserved? We'll let you decide.
And the Great Cookie Face-Off, take two. Last week Kelly Ripa and I competed to see who could play a ridiculous game of getting the most Oreos from our foreheads to our mouths with no hands. It's actually quite fun. Now the 360 crew takes up the challenge.
COOPER: All right. We're following a bunch of other stories tonight. Candy Crowley has a "360 Bulletin" -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Hey, Anderson.
A quick bit of breaking news out of Chile. A large aftershock hit it just a short time ago. The estimated magnitude: 6.7. For perspective, the initial quake last month was a whopping 8.8. So far in this aftershock, no reports of injuries or damage.
Child star Corey Haim will be buried in his hometown of Toronto, Canada, tomorrow. Corey Feldman, his longtime friend and frequent co- star, said he will not attend the funeral so the family can have privacy. Haim died last Wednesday in Burbank, California. An autopsy revealed he had an enlarged heart and water in his lungs.
The Illinois man who secretly shot nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in hotel rooms is headed to prison. A judge sentenced Michael David Barrett to 2 1/2 years behind bars.
Protesters targeted a trendy sushi restaurant in Southern California, demanding it take whale meat off the menu. Prosecutors charged the parent company of Santa Monica's The Hump and one of its chefs with the illegal sale of a marine mammal product. Today the restaurant apologized, saying it ignored its responsibilities to an endangered species.
COOPER: That's so crazy, that they would sell whale meat.
CROWLEY: Well, yes. I mean, I think protecting endangered species ought to start with not eating them. Hello. COOPER: Yes. All right, so Candy, I know you're a loyal "360" viewer, but just in case you were out -- out on the town Friday night and missed our "Shot," here's a little recap. And this is something you may want to try with one of your big-name newsmakers on your Sunday morning "STATE OF THE UNION" program.
COOPER: So Kelly Ripa and I on "Live with Regis and Kelly," doing a little challenge called Face the Cookie. Kelly and I had 60 seconds to move as many cookies from our foreheads to our mouths, using just facial muscles, no hands. And it's actually most harder than you might think.
This looks like Kelly was about to get it, but as you all got to see, she failed there. And I actually, I succeeded, and she failed. I basically won. I got two cookies in my mouth in a minute. She got none, zero, zip.
So -- that, by the way, was Guy Fieri from the new show called "Minute to Win It."
Tonight we thought we'd do our own little Face the Cookie challenge. Our contestants, members of the 360 direction crew, Bob Engle and Seth Greenspan.
All right, guys. Are you ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready.
COOPER: All right. You have one minute, as many cookies from your forehead to your mouth, starting now!
COOPER: See, not as easy as you might think. Do we have one yet? Looks like -- oh!
CROWLEY: Jeez, I can't believe I'm laughing at this.
COOPER: I know. You can't help but sort of laugh. And you can't help but sort try it at home. I had a woman in a restaurant came up to me the other night and said that she was doing this at home. You see, Bob, it's not that easy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not.
COOPER: You almost got it. He tried to use the shoulder as a little cheat there. Didn't work. Twenty-one seconds left to go. We hope you're trying this at home.
CROWLEY: Has either one of them done it yet?
COOPER: No, that's what's so sad about this. Look, Bob's almost got it! Yes!
Two, one! And Bob wins with one. Very nicely done. Wah, wah, wah!
So I'm thinking, Candy, do you have a -- who's your -- do you know yet who you have on Sunday this week?
CROWLEY: I don't. You have some big...
COOPER: All right.
CROWLEY: And I'd just like to say, I may have laughed, but it was really stupid, OK?
COOPER: Well, when you're booking whatever big-name guest you're going to have, just let them know they might have to play the Oreo game.
CROWLEY: And it has to be Oreos, right?
COOPER: I think Oreos, the weight is the right consistency.
CROWLEY: Ginger snaps or nothing like that?
COOPER: No. They fly off the forehead.
Candy, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
CROWLEY: Thank you.
COOPER: We have a lot more at the top of the hour. Perhaps some milk, as well.