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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Entertainer Dick Clark Dies
Aired April 18, 2012 - 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: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And we begin tonight with the breaking news, the passing of man who once confessed in dealing in light things that didn't really count, Dick Clark. In fact, as you will see, Dick Clark, who died today of a massive heart attack at age 82, was wrong to be so modest. Those light things he said he dealt in, not only did they count, they counted a lot and some changed the world.
He recognized the power of youth long before the youth movement even existed. He integrated a corner of the media watched by the entire nation while a third of that nation was still segregated. He turned a beat as he put it that kids could dance to into the motivating force of a business empire and made singers into stars.
The legendary Aretha Franklin and Richard and Little Richard will join us in a just few minutes to talk about Dick Clark.
But here is a look back at his career by Kareen Wynter.
KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was known as the world's oldest teenager. Dick Clark began his career on the weekly dance party that would later be known as "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia in 1956. The show became a national and later an international sensation, after it was picked up by ABC one year later.
In spite of racial attitudes at the time, Clark was a pioneer in promoting African-American artists like Percy Sledge, the Silhouettes, the Supremes and Gladys Knight and the Pips. An appearance on "American Bandstand" launched many a musical career and from Jerry Lee Lewis to Janet Jackson, they all wanted Dick Clark to give their record a spin.
DICK CLARK, ENTERTAINER: If you look at the history of "American Bandstand" it covers everything from popular music back to the big band days. When we started in 1952, it was Perry Como and Eddie Fisher and the Four Aces and so forth, through the rock 'n' roll period, country music, rhythm and blues, rap music, heavy metal. It is everything.
WYNTER: But music wasn't his only beat. Clark proved to be a prolific businessman and television icon hosting the game show "The $25,000 Pyramid," "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" and of course the annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" broadcast.
He turned his Dick Clark Productions into a multimillion-dollar media empire.
CLARK: There will be some other surprises along the way.
WYNTER: Clark created the American Music Awards In 1997 as a rival to the Grammys. Clark also had a hand in the global fund- raising Live Aid and in the grassroots farm aid. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll hall of Fame in 1993.
CLARK: It has a nice beat. See, you said the magic words.
WYNTER: From the early days of rock to the present, Dick Clark had a way of bringing us the tunes that had a good beat and memories of Saturday afternoon sock hops.
Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.
COOPER: An extraordinary career and an extraordinary life.
Our next guest needs no introduction, royalty seldom does. The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, joins us now by phone.
Ms. Franklin, you knew Dick Clark. You were interviewed by him on "American Bandstand." So what did he mean to you personally?
ARETHA FRANKLIN, MUSICIAN: Oh, my God. He was such a nice man.
Well, good evening, everyone. I'm sorry.
Such a nice and very easy man to work with, a very warm and classy and just an ageless person. And if you didn't go on "American Bandstand" you just hadn't made it yet. You had to go on the "Bandstand."
COOPER: He was that important in American music?
FRANKLIN: Absolutely. If you didn't go on there, you hadn't made it.
COOPER: The fact that his appeal spanned generations from music shows to game shows and New Year's Eve and so much more, it's a tough business, what made him such a success?
FRANKLIN: I think that he was just so industry savvy and he was such a warm and personable kind of person, very, very well liked by everyone, the artists, industry people, everyone. Even the parents loved watching the "Bandstand."
As a teenager I loved it. I started with him when the "Bandstand" was in Philadelphia and that was long before he moved out to Los Angeles. But I started with him there, and just so likable. It's just very sad to hear that. COOPER: Were you nervous the first time you were on the show?
FRANKLIN: You know it. You know it.
FRANKLIN: But I made it. I made it and I went back a number of times after that. He made you very comfortable.
COOPER: He introduced so many musical acts to the American public including many African-American performers at a time when they were not being given equal treatment on the national stage.
FRANKLIN: Yes, that is true.
He, as well as Mike Douglas, out of Cleveland, who I saw when Tiger Woods first came on the scene -- I ran into Mike Douglas and it was so great just seeing him after all of those years. But, yes, they both were really, really fabulous.
COOPER: He also had integrated audiences. He had African- American dancing with white couples as well, which again you just didn't see on TV at the time.
No, you didn't and he very easily did it. He crossed that with no sweat.
COOPER: Did you know at the time when you first started going on the show what a good businessman he was? Because there are a lot of people who are TV hosts, but he produced, he owned content. He was very savvy.
FRANKLIN: Yes. I had no idea, but as time went along, you began to see different things emerge, like the "Pyramid" and his business enterprises. Had a beautiful office out in Los Angeles. I saw that, dropped by there. Of course, that was one of the highlights to see. And no one knew that. Who knew, you know, that he was that savvy.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, just stay with us.
Also joining us on the phone, another guest from "American Bandstand," the man who made rock 'n' roll scream. Little Richard joins us right now.
Little Richard, thanks for being here.
What did Dick Clark mean to you?
LITTLE RICHARD, MUSICIAN: Oh, he was a real, real personal friend of mine.
We had an office at 9000 Sunset and he had the Dick Clark Productions right across the street from us. And I knew Dick way back there when he first started with "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia before Chubby Checker and all. I knew him way back there.
COOPER: His move to integrate his show, his move to give voice to African-American artists when they weren't getting on television in the same way, do you think that was a risky move at the time? Was it a surprising move to some?
LITTLE RICHARD: No. Dick has always been a beautiful person. He loved everybody. He was an all-around person and his wife, they was just -- they were good people and they loved everybody. If you had it, you had it. If you didn't, he still gave you a chance.
COOPER: Were you get nervous the first time you went on his show?
LITTLE RICHARD: Yes. I always be nervous. I get nervous. Before I get to the piano, my hand goes to shaking. I always get nervous.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, you know, Dick Clark seemed to make everything seem easy. He had the ability to make it just seem like he was just talking to you and just talking to the viewers as well, but it is not that easy. I mean, he was really -- he had a very specific skill.
FRANKLIN: Yes, he just had it like that. Very easy manner and (INAUDIBLE) was what he was doing. He was a master at it.
COOPER: I also want to bring in 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's with us tonight.
The statement from his spokesman, Sanjay, says that Dick Clark suffered a major heart attack while at a hospital for an outpatient procedure. I want to show to play a clip of him discussing his health, particularly his type 2 diabetes, with Larry King back in 2004. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARK: Well, after 10 years, I'm -- this is the first time I have talked about it, Larry, I have got type 2 diabetes, which isn't earth-shaking news, but what got me shook up when I was in 10, 11 years ago, and they told me I had it, I didn't much anything about it, do a little exercise, watch my diet, take medication if necessary and all would be well.
And about four or five months ago, they announced that two-thirds of the people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. And I thought, whew, I better get more serious about this thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sanjay, he suffered a stroke shortly after that interview. How at risk is someone with type 2 diabetes and a history of stroke for a massive heart attack?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A pretty significant risk.
I will add a couple of more things. One is his age. Just once you get beyond 70 and you go from 70 to 80, your risk of having an event like this, some sort of significant heart event almost doubles. It goes up significantly.
But simply having diabetes puts you at the same risk of a heart attack as having had a previous heart attack. It's significant. As you saw there, Anderson, it was 10 years at the point that he was talking about it, he already had the disease for 10 years, and also the fact that he had a stroke in the past indicates that the blood vessels could develop what is known as atherosclerosis, something you know about.
Most people know of it. It's hardening of the arteries. Because he had had that stroke, it was shows that his blood vessels had developed that even back at that time, several years ago and then he had this outpatient procedure, and that could put him at increased risk.
You start adding all these things up, it's something that doctors would obviously be very concerned about because of his age and his past history.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, did you surprise you, even in the last few years, even after his very serious stroke, he was still doing the Dick Clark's rockin' -- the New Year's celebrations? Did it surprise you that he wanted to keep on working?
FRANKLIN: No, it did not.
The industry is something that keeps one young and, of course, he had to have had a love for it to have done it as long and as well as he did it. No, I was not really surprised when he made such a courageous effort in coming back to the "Rockin' New Year's Eve." I did see that. And I just wished him well.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, I have never seen anyone who stayed as youthful looking as Dick Clark did through decade after decade after decade. It's pretty remarkable.
FRANKLIN: Ageless. Ageless. Yes. Ageless.
COOPER: Yes. We have to take a quick break and we will be back with much more about Dick Clark. More of Ms. Aretha Franklin and Little Richard and Sanjay Gupta. Also, Andy Cohen from Bravo will join us and the conversation next.
He's the latest in a long line of TV personalities who counted Dick Clark as an inspiration. So did Ryan Seacrest who's lucky enough to work alongside him. Ryan Seacrest wrote today: "When I joined his show in 2006, it was a dream come true with work with him every New Year's Eve for the last six years." He continued to say: "He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world. We will all miss him." President Obama also paying tribute tonight. "He reshaped the television landscape forever as a creative and innovative producer and of course for 40 years we welcomed him into our homes to ring in the new year. But more important than his groundbreaking achievements was the way he made us feel, as young and vibrant and as optimistic as he was."
Our own tribute continues after a short break.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight, the passing of Dick Clark died today at 82. He left behind legacies in music and pop culture and as we have been saying the media business. He was part of perhaps the only legal pyramid scheme in American history, "The $10,000 Pyramid," also, bringing the Golden Globes to TV and the American Music Awards and blooper shows.
He even took time to put together a collection of his own bloopers on "American Bandstand." Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARK: What do you think of girls in bikinis. Do you endorse this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like it.
CLARK: I'm with you. You know? But it will be interesting. I honestly don't think American girls are going to go for this stuff.
Then there are some really good old everyday mistakes.
They roll along once again with -- this should be Jerry Lee -- no, Danny and the Juniors.
We have so much to remind you about. The Monkees today on "Bandstand." There's the slip. The Beatles today on "Bandstand."
For first time, we have two of the top 10 songs here tonight. You have heard "Johnny B. Goode." Not yet. I gave it away.
CLARK: How about the manual dexterity?
Take a look at a very nice machine provided by the Ross Electronics people of Chicago. They give us three of these a show. Whoops, what have I have here? You can run it on batteries too. Take the little top off here. I will show you the top.
CLARK: I got this microphone tucked under my arm. And I can't do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The joys of live TV in the golden age. Some moments from the early days of what he would turn into a media empire.
More now on the business of being Dick Clark from Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Clark was from the very start of "American Bandstand" a fresh-faced young man with a wise old head for business.
It was Clark who convinced ABC in 1957 to take his local TV dance show to a national audience five days a week. Clark who focused on the biggest acts turning it into an instant hit and Clark who played off of his rising fame by hosting dances off camera to make extra money.
CLARK: Can I have the mike back just for a second?
FOREMAN: Making money was always Clark's admitted goal. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in business administration and formed his own company the very year "Bandstand" went national, investing in music publishing, record production and distribution.
Year later, he would tell "The Los Angeles Business Journal": "I knew being a performer does not necessarily carry it with a lot of longevity. That's why I became a producer."
And what a producer. Dick Clark Productions grew into a Hollywood powerhouse. Clark over the decades became involved in hit game shows, prime-time reality shows, awards programs, holiday specials, feature films and TV dramas.
By the late 1970s, he had signed one of the biggest production deals ever with NBC. The Museum of Broadcast Communications estimates Clark's company produced more than 7,500 hours of programming and there is, of course, "New Year's Rockin' Eve." That program's been a mainstay of ABC's lineup every new year since 1972.
(on camera): At times there seemed no end to how big Dick Clark's empire might grow. He produced concerts, wrote books, hosted radio shows, opened restaurants, bought real estate, sold skin care products. Through it all, he was renowned as no-nonsense stickler for details who started and ended meetings on time.
(voice-over): So how much was he worth? "Forbes" notes that he recently put just one of his houses up for sale in Malibu for $3.5 million and estimates at his peak Dick Clark was making what today would be around $60 million a year.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Back now joining us on the phone, the legendary Aretha Franklin and also Little Richard and also joining me here in studio Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live."
Andy, for you, how influential was Dick Clark?
ANDY COHEN, BRAVO: He was amazingly so, because he was not only a great host, but he was also a producer, as we just saw.
And when you look at the breadth of shows that he produced, he came up with an awards show to compete against the Grammys, which is you would think unheard of, the American Music Awards, now I think in it's 30th year or more, which is a huge show for ABC.
COHEN: Just everything that he did it was an incredible breadth of work.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, were you surprised when he came up with the American Music Awards? It really was a competition to the Grammys. That's a tough thing to do and yet he made it a success.
FRANKLIN: He certainly did.
No, I was not surprised. If Dick Clark did it, if he touched it, it turned to gold. After the American Music Awards, those after- parties were too, too fabulous.
COOPER: Oh, really?
FRANKLIN: Everything was wonderful at the American Music Awards after-party.
COOPER: Tell us. I want to hear the details on this, Ms. Franklin.
FRANKLIN: Really good. Really good. Great after-parties. Spent a lot of money.
COOPER: Little Richard, do you remember these after-parties as well?
LITTLE RICHARD: Oh, yes. I didn't ever attend any because I was traveling and going to other places, but anything Dick Clark touched, it becomes a success. It becomes gold overnight because he's a very successful businessman.
He's a tycoon in business. He knows what he's doing and he knows how to do it. And if he touched you, you're moving up. You're going up. COOPER: Little Richard, did you know even back when you first started being on his show and stuff back in the day that he was as savvy a businessman?
LITTLE RICHARD: Yes, I did because, you know, Dick's is not far from mine. I just made 79 myself.
COOPER: That's amazing.
LITTLE RICHARD: I have had two heart attacks and God brought me through. And Dick Clark saw me and told me one time what I needed to do -- I had pain. He told me what I needed to do. And I started doing it. Dick Clark is a great businessman. He knows what he's doing.
COOPER: One of the best things that's happened to me in the last couple of weeks was just listening to you and Ms. Franklin talking during the commercial break to each other.
If I could just ask when -- do you remember the first time, Little Richard, you met Aretha Franklin?
LITTLE RICHARD: Oh, I have been knowing Aretha for years. I have always loved Aretha, even if -- I knew she had a son way back. Never grows old. And she is filled with so much spirit. She has got so much spirit (INAUDIBLE) she sends chills through my toes that ain't moved in months, moves when she sings. She makes my toes move.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, do you remember the first time you saw Little Richard?
FRANKLIN: Yes. Many years ago, I met Richard at the Apollo Theater. He came backstage and we met. There was something that he wanted me to record and I think it was "You Saw Me Crying in the Chapel." I think that was it.
FRANKLIN: That's where we met.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, what do you think...
FRANKLIN: Not that many years ago.
COOPER: Not that many years. OK. Five years ago maybe.
LITTLE RICHARD: She's way, way younger, way younger.
FRANKLIN: Yes, I was a baby then. LITTLE RICHARD: She is way younger. She was -- but she's a young girl. Dick's age is not far from mine, but Aretha is a baby to us.
COOPER: Ms. Franklin, what do you think Dick Clark's legacy is going to be?
FRANKLIN: Oh, my God, I think just that he made such a great contribution to the health and welfare of the young adults across this country and out of the country.
COOPER: We have got a digital dashboard question from one of our viewers, from Facebook. Shirley asks was he as kind off set as he was on set?
FRANKLIN: Yes, he was the same man off camera that he was on camera. His manner never changed. Very mild-mannered. Just a warm and beautiful man.
COOPER: I think, Little Richard, that's one of the things that really came across on the screen. Even if viewers didn't know much about his personal life, who he was in person, but he came off as sort of the everyman that was just very likable, a person you wanted in your home.
LITTLE RICHARD: Yes.
What you saw, what you see is what you get. What you see is it with Dick. He's a real, real, real good man and I'm not just saying that because he's passed away. I hate that he's passed away. But he's a good man that loved people and he showed his love and his joy to you.
The last date I did with me, he called me and said, how are you? That's the last time I seen Dick. He and his wife, he had a party. And I played for the party.
COOPER: You played for the party?
LITTLE RICHARD: I think I said shout about 100 times.
COOPER: That must have been quite some party.
Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, thank you so much for talking with us tonight. I appreciate it. I know you have got to go.
FRANKLIN: Thank you.
Richard, it sounds like you said you paid for the party. You didn't pay for the party, did you, Richard?
LITTLE RICHARD: I have been screaming here, Aretha. FRANKLIN: OK.
COOPER: All right. Have a good night.
LITTLE RICHARD: And nice hearing you, baby. And I love you, and God bless you so much.
FRANKLIN: Thank you so much, Anderson. It's a pleasure speaking with you. I'm sorry that it had to be on a sad occasion.
COOPER: Thank you.
I am as well, but it's an honor talking to you and talking to Little Richard as well. Thank you.
LITTLE RICHARD: Thanks for bringing me on, Anderson.
COOPER: I appreciate it, Little Richard. Thank you.
LITTLE RICHARD: I love your show. I always have loved it.
COOPER: Thank you very much. We'd love to have you back some time. Take care.
Andy Cohen is going to stick around with us.
It is amazing because there are very few people who are sort of broadcasters in the broad sense that he was. I mean, you think about Regis Philbin, Larry King, people who could kind of span the range of doing a serious thing, doing a dance show, doing a game show, doing all the variety.
COHEN: Absolutely. I think the key word and you have said it a couple of times is likable. He was so likable. There was nothing offensive about this guy and President Obama used a word that has been on my mind for the last few hours, which is optimistic.
There was an optimism about him that I think spanned his entire career. When I was a producer at CBS News, he was creating a show called -- it was a competition for "The View." It was an all-male version.
COOPER: I remember Danny Bonaduce, Mario Lopez.
Through a crazy set of circumstances, I went in for the show and became a finalist to be on this show.
COOPER: Oh, really?
COHEN: And wound up with Dick Clark and spent a day with him in a room. I had never met him before, obviously.
He was so nice to me and so kind and he also was -- he was on air, but he was really there as a producer. So he was going to be the Barbara Walters of the show. And he did. It ran for a couple of years I think on NBC. But he was giving me these amazing notes and he was bringing things out of me that I didn't know how to even be or act.
COHEN: He was incredible just in that room that day and so nice.
COOPER: Andy, stick around. We will continue the conversation.
We have also got Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, another legend, on the phone. He is going to join us in just a moment. We will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, the death of Dick Clark.
The Jacksons tonight releasing this statement on his passing -- quote -- "Not only did he create a beloved platform that allowed numerous gifted artists to break through. He single-handedly redefined popular culture. His legacy will endure and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."
It's really mind-blowing the number of musical giants, the Jacksons included, who played "American Bandstand" in the decades it aired on network television.
Here's a moment from 1970.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARK: Ladies and gentlemen, would you greet the Jackson 5?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's amazing. I was watching some clips of Madonna earlier from a few years ago. Andy Cohen from Bravo TV, "Watch What Happens Live" is joining us here in the studio. Joining us also on the phone, the legendary Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records and the hit maker behind that song and so many more.
Mr. Gordy, thanks very much for being with us. What are your thoughts tonight about the impact that Dick Clark had on the music in America and particularly Motown?
BERRY GORDY, FOUNDER, MOTOWN RECORDS (via phone): Well, first of all, Anderson, I'm so saddened and devastated over the loss. I heard about it this morning, and I just could not get myself together for a while.
But Dick and I were friends for over 50 years. And I was -- you know, I was from Detroit, and he was from Philly. And we wound up being next-door neighbors in Malibu, California, for a long time. So we had a lot of time together, and I knew him very well.
And what he did for music was just beyond even explanation. And what he did for me personally was the same way in terms of the acts that I had on his show. If it were not for Dick Clark, I do not believe Motown would have been the company it was.
COOPER: Because he was willing to put so many African-American artists on the air and, I mean, his program was integrated, people -- black people, white people in the audience dancing?
GORDY: Well, I don't think he really -- you know, it was kind of who he was and it was like music overcame everything. You know? You know, the "Bandstand" platform was such that he brought in from the top to the lowest, from -- from the Beatles to Aretha Franklin and the Beach Boys to Little Richard. I just think that he didn't do it from a soap box. He just did it. That's who he was. You know, it was about music, and he knew music brought people together.
And I don't think that he thought as much about it as the public did. Obviously, he got some flak for it, I'm sure. But he continued, and he just broke barriers without -- without doing it the way other people do it, and emotionally, the music brought people together. Emotionally, before integration laws and all the people were about that, he was just doing it.
GORDY: He did it. And that's just -- that was just Dick Clark. He was a wonderful, wonderful man. And he did everything with class and style and integrity. If he gave you his word, you could count on it. You know?
COOPER: Which is -- that's high praise in the TV business. There are certainly a lot of people who -- it's not that way.
You know, Andy, I was thinking about this earlier today. I mean, in many ways he paved the way for, certainly, someone like Ryan Seacrest. Or -- you know, I'm doing multiple -- I work for multiple -- I'm doing work for "60 Minutes." I have a syndicated show. You're an executive at Bravo, but you're also on the air at Bravo. You've hosted the Miss Universe pageant. I mean...
ANDY COHEN, HOST, BRAVO'S "WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE": By Dick Clark productions.
COOPER: And when Dick Clark started to do this, there really, other than Merv Griffin, I don't think there were many people who were on air and also working behind the scenes.
COHEN: You're absolutely right. And when you look at his career, we were trying to think of other people who have done this. I mean, Merv Griffin, what an amazing legacy. But look at what Dick Clark has done. That's like Merv Griffin supersized in a weird way, in -- just in terms of the breadth.
But no, it's -- and Mr. Gordy, if you look at the career that he's had. And he always was a -- has produced incredible shows along the way, as well.
COOPER: Yes. Did -- Mr. Gordy, did -- was he always a good businessman? Was he always? I mean, how did he know how to do all this stuff?
GORDY: Yes, he was born with the knowledge. Not only was he a good businessman but he knew how to deal with people. And he always had that humility about him that -- you know, that comes natural with being -- being who he was.
You know, he was -- he was honored at the 1993 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. I mean, Television Arts and Science Hall of Fame. That's what it was. The Hall of Fame. And I presented him with the award, and he was so humble that he cried like a baby. It meant so much to him.
I mean, and as great as he was, he would always be humble to people. You know? And...
GORDY: And always talked to people. Always would take pictures. Always make people feel that they were a good friend, and he was interested in them. Dick was an amazing, amazing man.
COOPER: Well, I think that -- that really came across on TV. And I think it's why so many people wanted him in their homes. He seemed like somebody who you would want to entertain in your home, who you'd want to just have a conversation with and who was genuinely likeable.
Berry Gordy, I know it's been a difficult day for you, and I appreciate you being on the program to talk about -- about the Dick Clark that we knew and the Dick Clark that you knew, your friend, for so long. Thank you so much, Mr. Gordy.
GORDY: My pleasure. You're welcome.
And Andy, thank you.
COOPER: I appreciate it. Really interesting. Let us know what you think on Facebook, Google Plus. Follow me on Twitter, @AndersonCooper. We're tweeting about Dick Clark tonight. Let us know your memories about him. What do you think his legacy is going to be.
There's also breaking news in the Secret Service sex scandal. We're learning new details about what 11 Secret Service agents were allegedly doing before President Obama arrived at Colombia last week for an international summit. Three of those agents are now out of the jobs. We'll talk to a "New York Times" reporter in just a moment who actually interviewed one of the women, and the story she tells is unbelievable.
The latest, ahead.
COOPER: Well, there's breaking news in the sex scandal that's put the Secret Service back in the hot seat. Tonight, three of the 11 Secret Service sergeants who allegedly brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia, well, while they were on the job, no longer have those jobs. According to the Secret Service, one agent was allowed to retire. Another has resigned, and a third has been put on notice he'll be fired.
That leaves eight agents on administrative leave, their security clearances pulled while the investigation continues.
Now, as many as ten military personnel are also under investigation, including five Army Special Forces members. The alleged misconduct unfolded last week in the hours before President Obama arrived in Colombia for an international summit.
Now by the time his plane touched down, the agents and officers caught up in the scandal had already been sent home. The source tells CNN that investigators are now looking into whether drugs were involved in the incident. What's more, we learned the allegations are even worse than first thought.
Joining me now, CNN national security contributor, Fran Townsend, who's just learning more details. You found out more information about the specific team these service members were on. What can you tell us?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, you know, we talk about these guys, this group of Secret Service agents being part of the advance team. I think the common assumption has been they had been there for some time in advance of the president's arrival.
What we're learning now is that this group of the agents, at least some portion of them, were part of what's called a jump team. The jump team arrives only in the last 36 to 48 hours before the president's arrival, typically bringing the presidential limo with them. At least a portion of this team brought the limousine in with them. They had just arrived the morning of this incident.
So you arrive, you drop the car off. The car is being protected. That's not an issue. They go to their hotel; they check in. There's a -- there's a control room where you can get rid of any sensitive documents and weapons. Shower up. Get ready and you go out to dinner. And that's -- it's the evening they arrived in country...
COOPER: The same day they arrive, they go out and pick up these women, allegedly.
TOWNSEND: That's exactly right.
COOPER: And they obviously had some knowledge of where to go or somebody had local knowledge of where to go or they asked around, I guess.
TOWNSEND: Well, it's not clear. Presumably that will come out as part of the investigation. What we do know is that the Secret Service, like many law enforcement agencies, has an office in Colombia at the embassy in Bogota. And so there would have been agents, local agents who are also working on -- before the president's arrival.
COOPER: I've been in Cartagena, and it's an amazing place, and Colombia is an amazing country. But plenty of people will come up to you on the street, identify you as a tourist, and come up and say, "What are you interested in? Where do you want to go? I'll help you." The local people who are paid by these clubs to encourage people to go. That's also a possibility.
TOWNSEND: Sure. Absolutely. You know, we know certain details of the investigation so far have leaked. There weren't women who are under the age of 20. All the women seem to have been of age, if you will.
One source said to me there is no indication -- they've interviewed maids. They've interviewed others. There's no indication of drug use involved. But there is clearly, we know from sources and witnesses, there is a lot of drinking going on. And there was a dispute over the payment. In fact, you have to wonder, Anderson, if there hadn't been a dispute over the payment of the one prostitute, if any of this would have come to life.
COOPER: In a moment, we're going to talk to a "New York Times" reporter who's interviewed one of these women who's really at the heart of this scandal, because she's the one who had the dispute over the payment. And the story he's going to tell us in just a moment is really stunning about the details of this, that it went on for so long.
But I've got to say, just hearing the details that we know so far, and we don't know everything yet, it's hard to believe this is an isolated incident. I mean, it's hard to believe a bunch of guys just hit the ground running in Cartagena. It makes you wonder what else has gone on, on other trips.
TOWNSEND: Absolutely. I will tell you, Anderson, when I was in the government, and I was a protectee when I was traveling internationally, I saw no sign of anything of the sort. They were incredibly professional, everything I saw. But you're not there for the advanced team and what happened there.
I do think, though, the fact that it's 11 people, two supervisors, and they -- this happens, as you say, so close to the time of their arrival, explains why the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, has said he's going to appoint this external panel to look at this. Because I think there are some concerns about whether or not this is an isolated incident.
COOPER: Fran, appreciate your being on and talking to your sources. Thanks very much.
As we mentioned, one of the prostitutes allegedly hired by the U.S. Secret Service agents and brought back to the hotel room has gone public with her story. She's 24 years old. She says she didn't realize the American man she met last week was a Secret Service agent.
William Neuman, a reporter for "The New York Times," interviewed her. I spoke with him just shortly before air time about what she told him.
COOPER: William, you spoke to the woman at the heart of this, who was involved in the argument over payment with the Secret Service agent. What is her side of the story?
WILLIAM NEUMAN, REPORTER, "NEW YORK TIMES" (via phone): One of the things that she said is that she had no idea that these guys were Secret Service agents. She said she only found out a few days later when the news broke and that she was really stunned by that.
She says that she met up with a small group of Americans in a discotheque here in Cartagena, and one of them was eventually hitting on her and said he wanted to be with her. And she says that she told him, "Well, that's great, but you have to give me a gift."
And he said, "Well, how much is the gift?"
And she says that she told him, "$800."
And then a lot of drinking happened, and at some point, she and him went back to the hotel. And also, there was another Colombian woman who hooked up with another one of the Secret Service agents. And they all went back to the hotel together.
And the next morning, this woman asked for her payment, and the guy says -- he became angry, and he said, "I was drunk, and you can't expect me to pay that." And she insists, and he calls her names and gets angry and throws her out of the room.
And then she -- then sort of this bizarre scene unfolds where she enlists the help of this other prostitute and the other American, and they sort of knock on the door. She says they were discreet and, you know, weren't trying to make a scene. But they spent a couple of hours trying to coax this guy to open this door. And according to her, he wouldn't even say a word.
And finally, she gets fed up and goes to leave and then runs into -- runs into a police officer in the hotel, tells him the story and he goes back with her. Then you have this bizarre scene where you've got two Colombian police officers now, these two prostitutes, a hotel security guy shows up. And then at some point, more of the Americans come out of their hotel rooms. And they -- and according to her, three of these guys are standing in front of this one guy's door, sort of blockading it against all these other people around there. And this is all going on in this very fancy, beachfront hotel, the day before President Obama shows up before the summit meeting.
COOPER: The scene you describe is unbelievable. I mean, the fact that it went on this long.
There are reports that the president's schedule may have been in the room, which would obviously, you know, be a security concern. Did she see the schedule or anything else that could have jeopardized the president's security?
NEUMAN: No, there's no indication of that. As I said, she says she had no idea at all that these guys had anything to do with the government or Obama or any kind of security thing.
COOPER: This woman, she was very clear with you that she was an escort and not a prostitute. This may be a dumb question, but what is the difference?
NEUMAN: It was extremely upsetting for her, even though she hadn't ever been identified in any of these reports, that -- that people were talking about her as though she was a common prostitute. And she insisted, "I'm not a prostitute." She said, "I'm an escort."
And she said the difference is that she gets paid more money and has a better sort of clientele.
COOPER: You say the woman was still angry, but also seemed scared, fearing some kind of retaliation from the U.S. government?
NEUMAN: You know, I think that she's scared of a bunch of things. I think she's scared to find herself at this -- you know, the person in this sort of kicked the hornet nest and started this thing off.
She's scared, she says, of, you know, that maybe this guy is now in big trouble and could lose his job and would want to retaliate against her. She says this is the U.S. government; this is a huge deal.
And, you know, I think that this is -- you know, this is just a society where, often for good reason, there's been a reason to be afraid of authority and of, you know, government security apparatus. So there's a sort of -- she's just afraid that somebody might, you know, want to do something.
COOPER: I've been to Cartagena several times. I'm not familiar with this place where they met. Is this a place one would go to specifically meet a woman you could hire? Or is this a discotheque where lots of different kinds of people go?
NEUMAN: Well, you know, there's been a lot of clubs named in news reports and stuff. A lot of these clubs are literally whorehouses dressed up -- not even dressed up but several of these bars and a very abbreviated way as sort of strip clubs, but primarily they're whorehouses.
This particular place was not. This was a fairly high-end disco in the -- right in sort of the tourist part of town.
COOPER: William Neuman, I appreciate your reporting on this. Thank you.
NEUMAN: All right. Thanks very much.
COOPER: We'll continue to follow the story as it unfolds.
In Texas tonight, police say they know why this baby boy was stolen from his mother's arms moments after she was gunned down outside her pediatrician's office. The baby is safe tonight. His life, however, has changed forever. Details ahead.
COOPER: Incredibly disturbing story out of Texas tonight. There is, though, one piece of good news in it. This baby boy is alive and safe. His name is Keegan, and he's back in his father's arms. Keegan's mom, however, is dead.
Police say she was gunned down by the woman who then snatched up Keegan and drove off with him. She's in custody tonight, charged with a crime almost too terrible and too bizarre to contemplate.
Here's Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kayla Golden was doing what mothers do: caring for her newborn baby, taking her three- day-old son Keegan to a doctor's checkup. That's when police say she was confronted by another woman, a stranger. Witnesses say an argument erupted. Then horrifying sounds.
TIA COLLINS, EYEWITNESS: They was struggling. I didn't know what was going on. But after I heard the -- after the fourth gunshot, then I knew something was going on.
LAVANDERA: The attacker shot Kayla Golden several times in the chest, then snatched the baby. Witnesses say Golden, even after she was shot, could be heard screaming, "My baby!"
LT. DAN MORRIS, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The mother of the 3-day-old child has been shot, and she tried to get the child from the vehicle. And she was dragged to the ground as the car took off.
LAVANDERA: An Amber Alert is issued and just a few hours later, detectives searching for a description of the subject's getaway car and find it near an apartment complex in Montgomery County, Texas, near Houston.
A SWAT team descends on the apartment, and arrest 30-year-old Verna Dian McClain. A short time later, they find baby Keegan alive and unharmed with McClain's sister in a neighboring county, and that's when investigators say they begin to unravel McClain's shocking motivation.
CAPTAIN BRUCE ZENOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Initially, information is that she did have a miscarriage. She needed to justify having a child to her soon-to-be fiance. They were going to get married in May. And she had led him to believe that she was pregnant and had a child. So she needed a child. She needed to produce a child.
LAVANDERA: Oddly, investigators say McClain had told her fiance she had given birth to a child. Both McClain and her fiance are black. Three-day-old Keegan is white.
It's not clear how long McClain planned this attack.
ZENOR: Investigations so far would indicate that this was a random choice on her part. I think she knew the patterns at the pediatric center where she was at, because she had taken her children there in the past. But there's nothing to indicate that this was anything beyond planning further than that.
LAVANDERA: Investigators are still trying to make sense of this motive. McClain is a registered nurse who is already the mother of three children herself.
Kayla Golden's husband, Keith, is left to raise their three children and to wonder why a random tragedy would strike his family this way.
KEITH SCHUCHARDT, WIDOWER: It's tough. She was nice, sweet, loveable. I loved her. She loved me.
LAVANDERA: And a little baby has been robbed of his mother's love.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.
COOPER: More news tonight. Up next, new developments in the Trayvon Martin case and a new judge.
ISHA SESAY, CNNI ANCHOR: I'm Isha Sesay. Back to Anderson in a minute. But first a "360 News & Business Bulletin."
The judge in the Trayvon Martin shooting case has recused herself because of a possible conflict of interest. George Zimmerman's defense team asked that she be taken off the case after she revealed that her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.
Forty-six people died in Syria today. That's according to opposition members, who say security forces fired at demonstrators near Damascus, right in front of U.N. observers monitoring the ceasefire that seems to be true in name only.
And heavy weather. A storm in Turkey has destroyed a set for the new James Bond movie. Winds reaching 62 miles an hour in Istanbul where the film is shooting -- Anderson.
COOPER: Isha, thanks. We're out of time. No time for "The RidicuList" tonight. We'll have one tomorrow night.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.