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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

The Arrest of Lawrence Taylor; The Latest on Bret Michaels

Aired May 6, 2010 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, one of the greatest football players in NFL history is charged with third degree rape of a teen runaway.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARTHUR AIDALA, ATTORNEY: My client did not have sex with anybody. No. Period. Amen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Lawrence Taylor -- he's had a troubled past, but today's news is a shocker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen him this distraught.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And then Bret Michaels is going to make it. A brain hemorrhage almost killed the rocker. Now, members of his band reveal the desperate will to live and how he pulled through.

Plus, we've got the latest on the flooding in Nashville. We're going to go live to Music City, where country's biggest stars are helping their neighbors.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Lawrence Taylor, NFL Hall of Famer, maybe the greatest football player ever, was charged today with third degree rape and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute. He was arrested in a suburb -- a Holiday Inn suburb in New York City. The Holiday Inn was in the suburb.

Taylor was not asked to enter a plea at his court appearance today, but his attorney strongly denies the charges.

Now, his wife was booked to appear on this show. Lynette Taylor called us just 25 minutes ago. She told me that she has complete faith in her husband, that she loves her husband and that she believes he was setup, that this was all a plot to kind of nab him by an enemy. She didn't go into detail. She said she was going to go into detail on this program tonight. Unfortunately, 25 minutes ago, she canceled.

We begin with Mark Geragos, the famed criminal defense attorney.

Later, we'll get into the Bret Michaels' story and, of course, more on this, as well.

What do you make of this?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I -- before you jump to a conclusion, I mean the two people who are claiming to be the accuser and the witness are a pimp -- a self-styled pimp and a 16- year-old runaway. I don't want to blame anybody, but he deserves a presumption of innocence. And it does have the earmarks of a setup or somebody who at least was trying to contrive something.

KING: Now this is not an indictment, right?

GERAGOS: No. They haven't indicted...

KING: This is (INAUDIBLE) the standard in New York...

GERAGOS: This is...

KING: -- you bring a charge.

Do they investigate?

Do they go to the hotel?

What do they do when you bring a charge?

GERAGOS: It doesn't sound like, given the timing of this -- and, obviously, we're speculating -- but it doesn't sound like that there was a whole lot of investigation done. It sounds like there was a 16- year-old who apparently, made a claim. They went to the area where he was...

KING: To the hotel.

GERAGOS: And they found him at the hotel. And then they arrest him. But clearly, there wasn't enough time do any kind of a DNA, unless he admitted to doing something, which would surprise me if his lawyer is out there vigorously denying it. It would appear to me, at least, that there's a lot more going on here than what we're led to believe.

KING: So help me. If someone brings a charge -- any girl anywhere brings any charge against any man anywhere, they have to arrest?

GERAGOS: No, they do not have to arrest. In fact, a lot of times, what they will do, a good police investigation will try to piece together, if it's a he said/she said. They'll try to find surveillance tapes, because nowadays there's tapes everywhere and video mac -- video everywhere. You'll try to get DNA. You'll try to get an admission. Police love admissions from a suspect because that does their job for them.

KING: Now he's had a troubled past. But his attorney stated firmly today that Lawrence's drug days are over.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AIDALA: Lawrence Taylor did not have consensual sex with anybody last night. He is charged with rape. Lawrence Taylor did not rape anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That's a pretty strong statement.

Also...

GERAGOS: I was going to say, that's a pretty strong statement. It leads you to believe that he did not cop out to anything, that he did not make a -- a statement where he said, yes, I did it. Otherwise, the lawyer would have some real problems, I think, later on.

And, I'll go back to it again, somebody in his position is always going to be a target. That's one of the unfortunate problems with being a, you know, larger than life. And he is literally a larger than life sports figure. Everybody knows who Lawrence Taylor is.

KING: The bail hearing took a half hour.

Normally it's four seconds, right?

Apparently, the judge the whole thing read, right?

GERAGOS: That's exactly right.

KING: Is that to get on television?

GERAGOS: Well, the -- sometimes you -- you wonder about certain judges, when it's a media case. The -- we always joke about people say, do you want a sequestered jury?

And I say no, I'd want -- I'd like a sequestered judge, because there are times -- and, unfortunately, that some judges get influenced by the media. I mean there's -- there's other judges -- and I've had the good fortune of appearing in front of them -- who don't do anything different and go out of their way to bend over backwards to do it the right way.

I don't know this particular judge, so I can't judge him at all.

KING: Bail of $75,000, about right?

GERAGOS: That's I believe about the schedule there in New York. The -- you know, if the allegation is that it's -- that it's consensual sex, although you can't give the consent because of the age, then that seems to be right -- just about right.

KING: And is this different than a 18-year-old high school student with a 17-year-old girl?

GERAGOS: Well, the law treats it differently. The law, generally in that kind of a case...

KING: One is they're both still an adult with a minor.

GERAGOS: They're both an adult with a minor. But in the case of an 18-year-old with a 17-year-old, here in California, for instance, there's a way to make that a wobbler or make it a misdemeanor if you want. And a lot of time prosecutors will either not file that or try to -- try to give you some kind of a disposition that makes sense.

This is a more serious case because -- especially, the allegation is, at least, that she is performing sex, presumably with a pimp -- I don't know whether they're claiming that money exchanged hands or something else exchanged. I mean there are terms that are used. The term strawberry comes to light...

KING: Yes.

GERAGOS: -- a woman who trades sex for -- for drugs.

But the -- you just don't know until we get more of the facts. I would -- I would caution everybody to hold judgment. Just because Lawrence Taylor may have had some problems with drugs does not make him a rapist.

KING: I want to ask about that.

When we come back, Robin Sax, the former L.A. County deputy DA, former prosecuting attorney for the Child Sexual Assault Division, will join us.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AIDALA: Mr. Taylor is denying and preparing to fight each and every one of these charges. It's very interesting how the story started off this morning, that he was -- he had physically assaulted somebody. And that has been -- the record has been cleared that Lawrence Taylor didn't assault anybody.

And the record should be very clear as to what the charges are. The charges are that there was a consensual sexual act that took place here. There's no violence. There's no force. There's no threats. There's no weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Mark Geragos with us.

We're joined by Robin Sax, the former L.A. County deputy D.A. and a former prosecuting attorney for the Child Sexual Assault Division of the L.A. County Sex Crimes Unit.

Would it be held against him more because he has had trouble in the past, not of this kind, but of drugs, leaving the scene of an accident, Robin?

ROBIN SAX, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well, I'm sure any excellent defense attorney will go to great lengths to get any sort of criminal background out of the realm of the jury...

KING: But public knows it.

SAX: The public knows it, but that doesn't mean that it's going to make its way into a courtroom. So...

KING: Does it affect the...

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: You know what the problem is?

The problem is, is if you've got a troubled past, the D.A. -- prosecutor knows it. They're much more likely to jump on you if you've got...

KING: That's what I was going to ask.

GERAGOS: -- if you've got an (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Are you more likely to jump on a Lawrence Taylor than a Lawrence Smith?

SAX: Well, I actually prosecuted Lawrence Phillips, too. So let's not forget him in the Lawrences.

(CROSSTALK)

SAX: But -- but, no, Lawrence -- in a case like this, I mean, frankly, the prosecutors that are generally in sex crimes units, if they were like I was in the Sex Crimes Unit, I didn't really care about the drug stuff. If I saw other violent crimes, other crimes against children, you bet you I'd be all over that. But some drug stuff, that's not going...

KING: All right.

SAX: -- to make the decision.

KING: All right. How does a prosecutor view a case brought by a 16-year-old prostitute with a pimp?

SAX: Well, I really resent using the word prostitute when you talk about a 16-year-old, because a 16-year-old, the connotation of prostitution is almost as bad as the connotation drug user/drug dealer from the defense point of view. You can't really be...

KING: Well, what should we call it? GERAGOS: When you trade sex for money, the definition is prostitution.

SAX: Actually, when you trade sex for money and you're under 16 and there's a pimp, it's called human trafficking.

GERAGOS: Not if you're -- under 16. If you're sixteen or over, it depends on the jurisdiction.

SAX: Well, if the jurisdiction is in New York and in New York, the age of consent is 17.

KING: What's the effect on the prosecutor of the background of the accuser?

SAX: Well, the background of the accuser is always relevant in terms of how it goes to credibility.

Is this someone who's going to be credible or is not?

But you can make a case weakness -- I mean, face it, perpetrators look for weak victims. And you can have the most honest, wonderful prostitute ever. If she -- if she gets up on the stand and says, you know, my job is that of being a prostitute. And the prosecutors says, so how many times have you consensually had sex for money, and she says, you know, 500 times. And then the prosecutor says, so, out of those 500 times that you've gotten money for sex, how many times have you called the cops?

And she says once, all of a sudden that's the most believable prostitute...

GERAGOS: Yes, but the...

SAX: -- you've ever met.

GERAGOS: -- the problem remains that you've got somebody who apparently has run away from home, has been found, who's making up stories. The story has evolved. I -- before you start painting this 16-year-old as Mother Teresa's immaculate conception, why don't we wait and see whether or not there's really anything here to this story...

KING: All right...

GERAGOS: -- because, you know, there's something about this story that just doesn't pass the smell test.

KING: And, again, if you joined us late, his wife, Lynette, had agreed to be on this program, canceled 25 minutes before we went on.

You guess the lawyer would have advised her, right?

GERAGOS: I can't imagine that at this point in the inception of the case that the lawyer is going to allow his client's wife to go on TV and have you grill her. KING: All right. She totally, by the way, defends him, says she's in love with him and completely believes in him and says she believes he was set up.

On the other hand, don't you have a plus, as a client, when he is one of the most popular players in the history of New York?

GERAGOS: Oh, he -- he will have a presumption of innocence that, as she says, a Larry Phillips or a Larry Smith would not have. If you are famous, you get a presumption of inf -- of innocence.

KING: (INAUDIBLE).

GERAGOS: If you're infamous, you do not.

Well, there's a difference between being infamous and famous. He is somebody who is, in New York, by all accounts, beloved; always has been; and outside of New York. I mean there's a -- anybody who's a football fan or has a passing familiarity with football has to be impressed by the -- his career and the things he's done since, even though he's had some missteps.

KING: You're watching him on "Dancing With The Stars" right now.

What generally happens in this kind of thing, Robin?

Is there a general story to this kind of charge and where it goes?

SAX: Well -- well, generally, or immediately, what would have happened today would have been a multidisciplinary team would have assembled.

that means members of the prosecutor's office, members of social workers, department children and family services, advocates, so forth, would conduct a one stop interview so that the victim wouldn't have to have multiple interviews. They would have one and all the various agencies that may have an interest in the case would be able to ask their questions. And from those questions, then the investigation would ensue.

KING: Aren't you suspicious, if she is -- or for lack of a word -- a poor working girl -- aren't you suspicious that a working girl brings a charge now?

SAX: Listen, as...

KING: Assuming she's had other work?

SAX: Well, I have to tell you, that doesn't really scare me, especially when you look at a simultaneous, fresh complaint to her uncle at a time where she has run away at -- still at the scene of the crime.

So I would be a little bit more concerned if this was some sort of delayed report a week or two later, oh, let me go back to that Lawrence guy. Maybe he's got some more money and -- and that kind of thing.

But in a case like this, where it's all simultaneous like that, that makes me feel more comfortable.

KING: Is it a crime if Taylor presumed she was not young?

I mean does he have to know the age?

GERAGOS: It depends upon the jurisdiction. And the common law is different depending on the majority and the minority states. The -- in this case...

SAX: This is a strict liability jurisdiction.

GERAGOS: In this case, however, he's taking the position -- or at least he's staking it out -- that there was no sex. So the issue of I thought she was 18 isn't going to come up, apparently, at least, that's what they've staked out both in the bail hearing and outside on the courthouse steps.

KING: Are the...

SAX: That's a scary way to go, don't you agree?

GERAGOS: Well, if they, you know, if you're going to take that position and you're a lawyer...

KING: You've got to be right.

GERAGOS: -- you have talked to your client and assume that there's no DNA.

KING: Does DNA come into this, Robin?

SAX: Absolutely. I mean -- and DNA of any sort. So anything that suggests that the DNA is there, that's going to be a source of corroboration. And in sex crimes, there's really only two defenses. Either it was not me or it was consensual. She's saying that it's consensual. And they're going to, obviously, believe that she's underage, which would be a strict liability.

So the only route that he can go is I didn't do it.

KING: Is the odds are plea bargaining?

SAX: Well, he's only facing, at this point, a maximum of four years. So that -- that doesn't give...

KING: Not only. That's -- four years is four years.

SAX: Well...

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: When you -- when you do what she does for a living, four years sometimes seems like a walk in the park. I mean the -- in California, at least, virtually every sex crime is punishable by multiple variants of life sentences.

SAX: That's true. So when you're starting with the max of four years, I mean, really, prosecutors are somewhat like used car salesman. And so they try to find the best deal, in some cases.

KING: Do you need, as a prosecutor, a very good witness in -- in your client, in a sense?

Does this girl have to be really super on the stand?

SAX: You know, I don't like to look as -- at witnesses as performers. What you need is a super lot of core -- corroboration and something that makes a super lot of sense.

KING: There's only two people involved and a pimp, right?

SAX: Well, you have that. But you also have the chain of events that happened.

Does her story check out and make sense?

Does she admit her weaknesses?

Does she try not to come out as Mother Teresa?

Does she say, listen, I did this, that, whatever?

Does it ring true?

I mean it's really the -- the peeww (ph) test is going to be a big test here.

GERAGOS: Well, the real question here is when he's saying he didn't do it and she's saying that she did, if there's no DNA anywhere that links it to -- that links it to him, there's no case.

SAX: Oh, I -- I don't necessarily agree with that.

GERAGOS: I'll take that case all day long.

SAX: Of course...

GERAGOS: If there's no DNA, that case -- this case doesn't get anywhere.

KING: OK.

SAX: Injuries that have -- that are consistent with what she said...

GERAGOS: There's no DNA. She's (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: We're sorry that Lynette Taylor decided to cancel.

We thank Mark Geragos and Robin Sax. And, obviously, we have not heard the last of the Lawrence Taylor story. Bret Michaels' band mates are breathing sighs of relief because he's going to make it. They're here next, along with his doctor.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: And the attorneys, by the way, for Ms. Lynette Taylor, Matson Marcellus (ph) and Peggy King (ph), have decided not to speak to the media concerning the allegations that her husband faces at this time.

Ms. Taylor stands vehemently behind her husband's innocence. There are a plethora of issues that need to be resolved before Ms. Taylor can make a statement. And they apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Ms. Taylor has agreed to come on this show next week.

Bret Michaels was released from a Phoenix hospital Tuesday after spending 12 days there being treated for a massive brain hemorrhage. The rock and reality TV star has several weeks of recovery ahead of him. He told "People" magazine: "I'm lucky to be alive."

We're joined by Pete Evick. Pete Evick is the lead guitarist for "The Bret Michaels Band." He's tour manager for Bret Michaels. He's been in Phoenix with Bret since the brain hemorrhage occurred. This is his first TV interview about what happened to Bret.

Dr. Joseph Zabramski is chief of serobrascular -- serovascular (ph) surgery at Barrow Neurela -- Neurological Institute, head of the medical team that treated Bret and quite an occupation. And Rikki Rockett, longtime friend and band mate of Bret Michaels, drummer for the band Poison.

Doctor, how is he doing and what -- how do you rate this recovery?

DR. JOSEPH ZABRAMSKI, BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE: Oh, he's doing really well. You know, it's -- it's been a -- quite a battle for him. We were really very concerned initially. And once we were able to rule out the fact that he did not have an aneurysm or other problems affecting the blood vessels, we were able to downgrade his condition and release him.

Right now, he's continuing, although he's doing well mentally, he's suffering a great deal with the effects of the hemorrhage. I've mentioned before that there was blood released around the brainstem. And this blood is now dissolving. That blood did its job initially. It formed a clot around the brainstem and it stopped the bleeding. But now -- now that the bleeding is completely stopped, the blood is breaking down. And this -- when the blood is released, Larry -- Mr. King, it's -- it really, it causes severe irritation to the coverings of the brain and the spinal cord.

KING: All right. Pete... ZABRAMSKI: And so...

KING: Pete Evick -- hold it a second, doctor.

Pete, have you spoken to Bret?

PETE EVICK, LEAD GUITARIST, "THE BRET MICHAELS BAND": Yes, sir. Yes, I have.

KING: Tell me how he's doing.

EVICK: You know, Bret's the kind of guy whose will to live is amazing. So for anybody in this kind of situation, I'm sure that he is doing spectacular. But the Bret that's, you know, my best buddy and everything is a little slower, you know, in motion than I'm used to seeing him.

KING: Where is he right now?

EVICK: He's in a rehabilitation center right now.

KING: Is he -- does he regard him -- he said he was lucky.

Do -- did he express that to you?

Does he feel lucky?

EVICK: Absolutely. I mean, you know, I can tell you that sitting in the hospital and seeing some of the other patients that were there before him and after him that, quite honestly, didn't get out, really hit home to him. It really -- I don't know if the word shook is the right way to say, but he -- he has definitely realized how lucky he is in his life and walking away from this situation and continuing to see his daughters and his family.

KING: Rikki Rockett. Rikki Rockett is in Harrisburg, a longtime friend and band mate of Bret Michaels.

Have you been in touch, Rikki, with Bret?

RIKKI ROCKETT, BRET MICHAELS'S FRIEND AND BAND MATE: I have been. As a matter of fact, I talked to Bret this morning. After this occurred, I came in I think a day after it occurred. And I spent a couple of days with him. And he's doing a whole lot better today than he was when I -- when I saw him a couple of weeks ago.

I mean, but at the same time, I don't think that he should be operating, you know, heavy machinery or going on "Dancing With The Stars" anytime soon. But he's doing a lot better than he was.

KING: Would you say he's upbeat?

ROCKETT: At times he's upbeat. I think he's, you know, look, he was -- he was going crazy in that place because, you know, you have a Code Blue here and another emergency coming in there. And it can -- it can be depressing. And I think for him just to get into a rehabilitation center where people are getting better, I think, was a huge step for him, because now he sounds a whole lot better on the phone than he did even a few days ago.

KING: When we come back, we're going to show you Bret's brain, really. And the doctor will explain to us what we're seeing.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZABRAMSKI: I really expect that he will, fortunately, make a 100 percent recovery. And, again, he's just one of those lucky people -- the 20 percent or so, the 10 to 20 percent, who have a subarachnoid hemorrhage who make a complete recovery and they're able to resume all of their normal activities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're now going to show you Bret's brain and we're going to ask Dr. Zambraski to tell us what we're looking at and -- well, give us the left and right.

Can you see it, doctor?

ZABRAMSKI: So on the left hand side, we have a normal scan from a -- a patient who does not have a subarachnoid hemorrhage. And on the right hand side, you see the scan at about the same level through the head, which is Bret Michaels' scan.

And you can see the difference immediately between the two scans. In the center of the scan on the right, there is an extensive area of white. And that white is the actual clotted blood that escaped from the vessels and was the source of his hemorrhage.

KING: Do we know the cause?

ZABRAMSKI: No, we really don't know the cause of his hemorrhage. And this is one of those rare situations where it's not bad that we can't identify the cause. About 15 to 20 percent of the patients that present with subacnoroid hemorrhage under initial studies have -- we are unable to identify a cause and then if that continues, then those patients have no further risk of bleeding.

KING: Pete, Bret says that when he went to the emergency room he felt like someone shot him in the back of the head. Were you with him then or did he describe it to you shortly thereafter.

PETE EVICK, LEAD GUITARIST, "THE BRET MICHAELS BAND": No, sir, I wasn't with him. I was on the East Coast. But I was on my way out to finish working on our new record when all this happened.

He did describe it to me and the look in his eyes was pretty -- pretty amazing and scary. I mean, you know, he -- he was very aware that something was incredibly wrong. And that he could possibly die. You know the one thing he described to me was the will to live was that -- you know, Christie and his daughters would not see him dead. So whatever it took at that moment to get him to the hospital, something intervened and he knew that it was tragic and terrible and it's amazing that it was dealt with the way it was.

KING: Rikki, you talked to him while he was in the hospital. Did he ever think that he was going to buy it?

RIKKI ROCKET, BRET MICHAEL'S LONGTIME FRIEND AND BAND MATE: You know I don't think so. I mean if he did, he was covering it up pretty well to me. You know I said it before and I'll say it again, he's kind of like the Evil Knievel of hard rock singers, you know.

EVICK: That he is.

ROCKET: He can get busted up but you just -- you just don't kill him, you know? So no, I don't think he believed it for a second that he was going to go down. And you know what? Honest to God, I really didn't either.

I'm not going to say I wasn't concerned and I wasn't scared because I was. But if he was giving me the impression that he wasn't going to go down, I was going to give him the impression right back out that he wasn't going to go down. And that's just how we are as a band.

KING: Doctor, how was this treated?

ZABRAMSKI: Well, you know, the first thing we did, Mr. King, was that as soon as we transferred him to the Barrow Neurological Institute we began a series of examinations looking at his blood vessel and we did two angiograms within hours of his admission.

One is called a CT angiogram and it really doesn't involve any injections through the arteries. And when that was negative -- it's a very good screening test. It's probably positive in about 95 percent of patients. But when that's negative we move on to a second more invasive and risky type of angiogram.

And these tests were also somewhat more dangerous to Mr. Michaels because he suffers from type one diabetes and the kidneys can be damaged by these dyes, so we were very concerned about limiting the amount of dye we gave.

After that second angiogram was negative we kind of -- you know had a good sigh of -- we breathed a sigh of relief, but we know that about, oh, maybe 10 percent of the time, we miss the aneurysm on that first series of studies so he wasn't out of woods yet at that point, and we still remained, you know, very, very concerned for him.

KING: Still concerned?

ZABRAMSKI: No, not at this point. Now his seventh day in the hospital, we did a third angiogram. And our experience is that if a third angiogram is negative, then there's really nothing wrong with the blood vessels.

As I mentioned about 10 percent of the time we miss an aneurysm or some other problem with the blood vessels on the first set of studies, but if we do this delayed second set of studies seven days out and it's negative, at that point we downgraded his condition from critical to stable.

KING: Pete, would you say Bret is an upbeat kind of guy?

EVICK: Absolutely. You know when you meet Bret Michaels under whatever circumstances you meet him you're instantly -- you're instantly drawn to the fact that he lives every day like -- I've said before like it's his first and his last.

He has no room for laziness or any kind of just dragging your feet around. Bret is a very upbeat guy. Take the day and run with it type of -- wonderfully inspirational to be around.

KING: So therefore his personality would help?

EVICK: Absolutely.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE on CNN. Still lots more to come. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Rikki, has the band Poison remained close over the years?

ROCKET: Well, we've had our ups and downs, but I think when something like this happens, you know, things that really matter, you come together.

You know, Bret and I have a lot of things in common. One of the biggest things we have in common is that we're both fathers. He has two daughters, I have a 10-month-old son, and all of a sudden when you're facing death, things change.

You know, you -- you become a little more of a fighter. And I think that's one of the things that really pulled him through was for his daughters. I think that was a big, a big count for him.

KING: Pete, has girlfriend Christie Gibson, she took him to the hospital. How is she doing?

EVICK: You know, she's shown incredibly -- an incredible amount of strength through all of this. You've got to attribute her to saving his life because of her calmness during the event probably kept him calm.

She was the one that said let's not panic and let's get you to the hospital right away. And even -- even at the hospital -- Bret is a -- I mean you can't believe how much of -- I guess you'd say just a man Bret is and growing up on the East Coast, you know, that he didn't even -- once they were at the hospital, he still didn't want to get out of the car, and he was like maybe this will just go away.

And it was Christie that was able to tell him that you've got to go to the hospital and do this and so she stayed strong and had to take care of the children through this and there was a lot of -- I would imagine there was a lot of turmoil in her head.

Do I take care of my daughters? Do I take care of Bret because they weren't in the same places? And -- you know, so she did a wonderful, wonderful job in all of this.

KING: You mentioned, Doctor, that you were thankful it was not an aneurysm. What is an aneurysm and if he had had an aneurysm would it have killed him?

ZABRAMSKI: Well, an aneurysm is a weak -- weakening of the blood vessel and the blood vessel balloons out. And as it enlarges the wall becomes weaker. And at some point the aneurysm can rapture.

If you're lucky the bleeding stops, and -- but the problem is that there's a very high risk of re-bleeding. And for that first -- each day the risk continues. So it's very important if we find an aneurysm that we treat it right away.

We either clip the aneurysm or coil it. So the fact that he didn't have an aneurysm means that the risk of re-bleeding was smaller, but as I mentioned earlier there's about a 10 percent chance from that first series of studies that we might miss the cause. So --

KING: He had undergone an appendectomy a week before. Would the two at all joined together? Any leading one to the other?

ZABRAMSKI: No, I don't believe they were directly related to each other. The problem is that, you know, he was still recovering from the appendectomy. And then he has this second insult -- you know, another major insult to his body. And ends up back in the hospital, critically ill. You know, this is -- this is a lot to ask for anyone.

KING: Pete, what's the story with the career now?

EVICK: As far as -- I mean, Bret has every intention of continue on as everybody's ever known him. That's his life and it's his passion. You know Rikki can tell you Poison is looking forward to their 25th anniversary next summer.

That's a huge deal. I mean who gets to have a rock and roll career for 25 years? Most people get a year or two if they're lucky and Bret is -- been a superstar, an incredible shape for 25 solid years. And us with this solo band this summer, we were going out with -- you know, with Lynard Skynyrd which is one of Bret's favorite bands.

They're legends and Bret, you know, is very excited to get out and perform with his heroes and his legends and peers like that, and so, as far as the career goes, he's going to take care of himself. He's going to heal and he's going to come back and show the world that he's completely unstoppable. I'm sure of that.

KING: Rikki, is Poison going to do something next year?

ROCKET: Yes, sir. As we have every intention of doing it. Bret and I as a matter of fact talked about it this morning when we were on the phone. And we have every intention of doing a 25th anniversary next summer and I -- you know, I really strongly believe he's going to make it, and that's what we're going to be doing next year. We're going on keep working.

KING: Doctor Zabramski, what are the odds on a recurrence?

ZABRAMSKI: Fortunately for this type hemorrhage once we've done the three separate angiograms the chance for recurrence is no higher for the general population, and this includes of course, you, Mr. King, and myself.

So any of us could have this happen and Bret is really at no higher risk.

KING: Is it the same risk for men and women?

ZABRAMSKI: For this type of hemorrhage, it does seem to be about the same risk. Now for aneurysms women outnumber men 2 to 1.

KING: Wow. We don't have much time, but why?

ZABRAMSKI: Just a genetic predisposition to aneurysm formation in women versus men. For example, men have a higher incidence of heart disease. Women have a higher incidence of disease affecting the blood vessels in the brain.

KING: Thank you all very much. Pete Evick, lead guitarist. Dr. Joseph Zabramski and he treated him of course. And Rikki Rocket, longtime friend, band mate the band Poison. Would have been together 25 years next year.

We're going to Nashville next. We'll see how country music is lending a helping hand to their waterlogged friends and neighbors. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Anderson Cooper is in Nashville tonight, reporting from one of the neighborhood's hardest hit by the devastating floods.

I know you've got a big show tonight, Anderson. What's it like?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, I've never seen a community come together so quickly as the folks here in Nashville has. I mean there are thousands of homes here which have been destroyed, people's possessions out on the streets, but there are thousands of volunteers, individuals, church groups which have just come together to help complete strangers, to help their neighbors, their fellow countryman.

It is an incredible thing to see. We're going to be showing you a lot of that tonight, as well the search for some of those still missing. We're out on the river today searching for a 39-year-old man by the name of Danny Tomlinson who is still missing now.

His family is desperate. They were out on the river today, cadaver dogs with them, we were with them. We'll show that to you as well.

We'll also talk to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Brad Paisley, we'll be talking to here live, and Kenny Chesney as well, about what they have seen in their community and how this city is rising.

The water is falling and this city is rising. It is coming back strong and it is something to see and we're going to be broadcasting that tonight.

We'll also bring you the latest on the oil spill in the gulf. Some new developments there to tell you about so it's a full night here on "360," Larry.

KING: Got about 30 seconds left. Was it worse than you expected?

COOPER: You know it's strange after a flood because -- I mean the water is gone in a lot of these areas and you go by and the houses from the outside look like they're OK and then you walk inside and they're just completely devastated inside. And already people have been, you know, yanking out the drywall, taking out the insulation so that the mold and the mildew doesn't spread.

But the response has been incredibly strong, but there is so much need here and a lot of these folks do not have flood insurance. And so, you know, for a lot of folks it's going to be a complete loss.

They never expected to have -- you know this is more than a 100- year flood. Never expected to have flooding in a lot of these regions so it is -- it is really tough to see and to see that family out today on the river still searching for their son, it just breaks your heart.

KING: Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific, as always on the scene.

Tonight "CNN Hero" is a young man who's using the sun to light up the night in rural Kenya where more than 27 million people live without electricity. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EVANS WADONGO, YOUNG WONDER: I have problems with my eyesight due to prolonged exposure to smoke. And I had to use firewood to study during my childhood.

In rural area, they don't have electricity. It's only kerosene and firewood that they use for lighting, cooking.

It's very, very frustrating, I couldn't compete effectively. A lot of other kids just drop out of school. So they remain poor for the rest of their life.

My name is Evans Wadongo.

When I made the first lantern, I thought I must find a way of using solar to light up rural homes.

The amount of money that every household uses to buy kerosene every day. If they can just save that money, they can be able to buy food. It gives me satisfaction knowing that I'm lifting people out of poverty. I just feel like it's right.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: That's pretty amazing to watch our hero build his solar- powered lanterns. So to nominate someone who you think is changing the world, get on board. Go to CNN.com/heroes.

Back with more from Nashville after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's now go to Nashville to the Ryeman Auditorium at the Grand Ole Opry -- it's the Grand Ole Opry relocation.

Larry Gatlin is on stage, my old friend, a member of the Opry since 1976.

Now where physically are you? This is a substitute for the Ryeman?

LARRY GATLIN, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Well, no, this -- Larry, this is the Ryeman Auditorium. The Opry was here for 50 or 60 years. They later moved out to the -- what they called the new Opry out on the Cumberland River but we've been having the Opry Country Classics right here at the old Ryeman where I first sang with Dotty West back in 1971.

So we do the Thursday night Opry here. And we want everybody to know people have been asking us about the condition. The Grand Old Opry is not a building. The Grand Old Opry is a show and it's people with heart and soul and talent.

So the Grand Old Opry is continuing. We're going to have it -- yes.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GATLIN: Yes. Yes. There they are. Yes, God love them.

KING: Wow.

GATLIN: And so -- OK, OK.

KING: How's the --

GATLIN: But tomorrow night right here from the Ryeman -- go ahead, Larry, I'm sorry.

KING: Go ahead. Tomorrow night what?

GATLIN: Well, tomorrow night they're going to have the Friday night Opry right here on this stage. And that Phil -- was it Brad -- Brad Paisley, that's it. Brad Paisley will be here tomorrow night for the Friday night Opry right on the Ryeman stage.

On Saturday night, Alan Jackson will be here for the Grand Old Opry. On Tuesday night, the old possum, George Jones will be right here on the Ryeman. And like I say, during all that time, the Grand Ole Opry will keep going.

Nashville is alive and well. We are in business. So you people who have airline tickets and -- well, maybe not hotel tickets, but anyway --

(LAUGHTER)

GATLIN: At least one hotel is about that high in water. But you know our mission -- out mission is to clean it up, to restore it, to rebuild it and to move back. So that's what we're going to do with the Old Opry out on the Cumberland River. So we're not going to quit.

(APPLAUSE)

GATLIN: These --

KING: How's your -- Larry, frankly, how is the -- how is city holding up? That was pretty horrific.

GATLIN: Well, it was horrific, Larry. I was in Austin, Texas when it all came down and I woke up one morning to these floods in Nashville and the pictures were incredible. My son Josh sent me a picture of the 13th Fairway at the Brentwood Country Club, it looked like the Mississippi River, except it was flowing faster.

Today when I came in, when I flew in, I couldn't really -- didn't really see a bunch of water.

Here's the thing. Thank God the water is down, but thank God the people are not down. They have arisen and they're helping each other.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GATLIN: And they're praying for each other. So like I say, we're open for business. These Tennessee folks, they're a hardy breed of folk. They're helping each other. I went over today -- the Lipscomb College today.

They opened up the gymnasium and had 150 people in there with little kids eating oranges and bananas and listening to this country singer they've never heard before. So people are helping out.

And in times of trial, I think that's what Americans do. We stand shoulder to shoulder and we help each other out. And that's what this city is doing and we're going to get passed this.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Is this -- is the Country Music Hall of Fame, is that still closed?

GATLIN: I will ask someone. Country Music Hall of Fame, is it -- it is open -- huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Electricity is back.

GATLIN: The electricity is back. So that's good. That means they've got lights on. So yes, the Country Music Hall of Fame just a few blocks from here. So I think most of the things downtown are open again.

Tootsies is open, huh?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

GATLIN: Well, yes. You can get a cold beer and a bowl of chili at Tootsies. So main street, you know, Broadway is open. And like I say, we're open for business. So come on down and we'd love to have you. We really would.

KING: I understand 10 areas have been declared disaster areas. Is help coming quickly in your opinion?

GATLIN: Well, I believe -- first of all, I believe people are supposed to help themselves. And your neighbors are supposed to help you. And you know, whether you want to depend on the government or whatever.

(APPLAUSE)

GATLIN: But as far as I know -- as far as I know, the statewide help and I guess federal help has come to this little bird.

KING: Yes.

GATLIN: But like I say --

KING: Larry --

GATLIN: -- people in this town, they didn't wait around for anybody. They got shovels and got after it.

KING: Hey, Larry, you go back to work, we'll go back to work. Go get them, Larry, baby, you're the best.

GATLIN: God loves you Larry. Thank you for coming to Nashville. We appreciate it.

Give him a hand, folks. Everybody likes King.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) KING: Larry Gatlin, on stage in the middle of his concert.

A sad note here in the closing. The brutal murder of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love has shaken a lot of people. Her family has remained silent in their grief until now.

They've reached out to this program because our executive producer, Wendy Walker, is a family friend. They want to share some pictures of Yeardley, who was only 22 years old, when she was taken from them.

She lost her father to cancer a few years back. Her mother Sharon is a teacher for deaf and hard of hearing children in the Baltimore City Public School System.

Yeardley was a hard worker. She had a job every summer. Yeardley's mother and her oldest sister, Lexy, tell us that Yeardley is the kindest, most gentle daughter and sister and we can't imagine our lives without her. Her aunt Debby said she was an adorable, fun- loving darling angel.

Yeardley's family knows she's in heaven and they're praying for her. They also ask that members of the press respect their need for privacy in this terribly painful time.

At the family's request, we are posting their photos of Yeardley Love on our Web site, so people can remember her as she was in life.

Contributions in her honor are made to the Yeardley Love Memorial Fund at her high school, Notre Dame Proprietary School, in Baltimore, or to the Yeardley Love Women's Lacrosse Scholarship Fund with the Virginia Athletic Foundation.

Now time to go back to Nashville. Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?