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PIERS MORGAN LIVE

North Korea's Nuclear Threat; Reagan Blasts Same-Sex Marriage; Rutgers Fires Coach Mike Rice; Conrad Murray on Michael Jackson's Death; Interview of Wynonna Judd and Cactus Moser

Aired April 3, 2013 - 21:00   ET

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


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Come out with some extraordinary views on same-sex marriage. Does he really believe it's a slippery slope as he put it to bestiality, polygamy and murder? Well, he's here to explain.

Also our primetime exclusive with a former Rutgers player who, believe it or not, is defending his foul-mouthed coach.

And you heard Michael Jackson's lawyer tell me this last night about Conrad Murray.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

He can't get out of this. He's responsible for his death. AEG should not have retained him. He's not a good doctor, he shouldn't be a doctor and I think he's where he belongs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Tonight he'll go head-to-head with Murray's attorney, who wasn't happy.

Plus she may be the queen of country but she's been kicked off "Dancing with the Stars." Our primetime exclusive with Wynonna Judd. I'll ask her about that how she and her husband put their lives back together after a near-fatal accident.

This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. We begin with our breaking news. North Korea upped the ante today, threatening what it called a smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear force, and warned the moment of explosion is approaching fast. Pyongyang is also threatening to restart a nuclear reactor that shut down five years ago.

The White House responds, quote, "North Korea should stop its provocative threats and instead concentrate on abiding by its international obligations." Washington is also sending ballistic missiles to Guam.

So where is this drama heading and how worried should we all really be?

Well, joining me now is P.J. Crowley, he's a former assistant secretary of state, public affairs under President Obama. He's also a professor at George Washington University. P.J. Crowley, are we heading to any kind of nuclear conflict with North Korea here?

P.J. CROWLEY, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: I really don't think so. The bottom line is, North Korea is crazy but they're not suicidal. The Kim family business, they want that to continue. The Kim family reign, they want to continue. So they'll make a lot of noise. But I don't think that they're going to jump off the cliff.

MORGAN: We're seeing that the U.S. has been sending a missile defense system to Guam. Clearly some military activity. At what point should the United States consider some kind of military attack, albeit from a defensive standpoint if we can't put up with these saber rattling threats any longer?

CROWLEY: I think we need to be careful there. The last time the United States went across the 38th parallel during the Korean War it didn't work well for us. China didn't particularly like that action. I mean, really, if we -- if we thought that they really were at the point where they were going to fire a missile at us and had some prospect of hitting the United States, obviously, you know, taking action in self-defense is an international, you know, right.

But I think part of what we're doing here is obviously a signal to North Korea. If you pull a trigger, we're going to respond. But it's also making sure that we reassure South Korea and Japan. At the end of this, however it ends, we want to make sure that the -- you know, the security fundamentals that have protected us and our allies, you know, for decades, they continue.

You know, for example, if South Korea wasn't sure about our willingness to protect them, they might say, well, if North Korea is going to hold its nuclear weapons, we need some. If Japan goes the same way, then China has to recalculate. I think we're trying to make sure that there is not a spiral that raises the floor so you have a kind of permanent escalation and a permanent and elevated state of risk.

MORGAN: How important is China in all this? Should China be doing more to get North Korea to put a cork on it, to put it bluntly?

CROWLEY: I think -- I think -- Piers, you're exactly right. Ultimately that's the most likely resolution of this. You know, China doesn't like any of these antics. It probably does not have the same level of influence with the younger Kim that it had with his father. Nonetheless, you know, it's their checkbook that largely, you know, keeps the North Korean government afloat.

At some point, probably after, you know, John Kerry visits the region the next few days, China is going to have a sit-down with North Korea and say knock it off.

MORGAN: Do we really know enough about North Korea's nuclear capability? I mean, do you think they have got active nuclear weapons and how powerful are they? How far could they reach? CROWLEY: Well, they have a nuclear capability. And the longer that they go on with these tests, both missile tests and nuclear tests, they're going to figure out how to do this. So the trajectory itself is very concerning.

I don't think they have the ability to meaningfully strike the United States right now. They can clearly threaten South Korea and Japan. But at some point they're going to be able to miniaturize a weapon, put it on a missile that's more accurate so at some point in time they'll have the ability to threaten the United States.

Now, at the same time, North Korea's eminently containable. Because ultimately -- you know, their interest is survival. If they pick a fight with the United States, then Kim Jong-un's reign is going to be a very, very short one.

MORGAN: Right. P.J. Crowley, thank you very much for joining me.

CROWLEY: All right, Piers.

MORGAN: Now I want to turn to some very controversial comments from the son of President Ronald Reagan, Michael Reagan, on an op-ed in which he urges America's churches to fight against same-sex marriage and calls it a slippery slope, and I'm quoting here, "to polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder."

Well, Michael Reagan is here to explain himself.

Michael, you and I are friends and we have talked about many issues on this show. But I don't come to this particular encounter feeling very friendly towards you, because I found these comments, I'll be honest with you, quite offensive. Likening same-sex marriage in any form to polygamy, bestiality in particular, and murder seems to me at best crass and at worst really very bigoted and offensive.

(CROSSTALK)

MICHAEL REAGAN, PRESIDENT REAGAN'S SON: What's really interesting, to explain this, in fact, that these are the same questions that are being posed in courtrooms across the United States of America and, in fact, posed within the Supreme Court just eight -- eight days ago.

It's interesting. When they're posed in a court of law to a solicitor general or to someone else, Ted Olson, that there's no outcry. There's no outrage. But if I quote or I use those same words in an op-ed piece, that are being used in courtrooms across America, somehow there's all this outrage that is out there.

And the whole point of the piece was about the church. Where is the church when it comes to these issues? Why aren't they out there fighting? There are conservative groups and Christian groups who are out there fighting for the Supreme Court across the land. But you don't see the church as a whole in fact fighting. And that was -- that was the part of the piece I was only talking about.

MORGAN: Right. Right. We're both Catholics. And the reality is, the majority of Catholics, 54-34 percent, are actually in favor of same-sex marriage. So maybe the church is going where the flock are going, moving at the same speed that America is moving. And it just struck me that when the Republican Party is trying to reposition itself as a more, I don't know. A more tolerant party, if you like. For you to come out as Ronald Reagan's son, a very respected man, and say what you said.

Let's read it again so I can be precise about this. "It's ultimately about changing the culture of the entire country. It will inevitably lead to teaching our public school kids that gay marriage is a perfectly fine alternative and no different than traditional marriage. There is also very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships, and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, perhaps even murder."

REAGAN: And that's what I said, was the fact that those are the things being talked about in the courtrooms in the Supreme Court. Go back and read the document of --

MORGAN: Right. But you have retracted --

REAGAN: Of the Supreme Court.

MORGAN: Right. But on Twitter, you have retracted the murder bit, right?

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: I retracted that because --

MORGAN: Why? Why did you retract it?

REAGAN: I did retract is because after rereading it and then, you know, hearing from you and other people say, maybe it was a bit crass to use that word. But those words are being used in the debate --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Why is murder -- why is murder --

REAGAN: You tell me. Ask the judges who were in fact --

MORGAN: No, no, that's not my question, Michael. My question is this.

REAGAN: But again I --

MORGAN: My question is this. Why are you retracting murder and allowing bestiality to stay there? As if somehow any kind of similarity --

REAGAN: Once you begin --

MORGAN: -- between bestiality and two loving gay people.

REAGAN: Well, OK. Two loving gay -- I think it's wonderful. MORGAN: Do you?

REAGAN: I have friends together 40 years. Forty years they've been together. Great Republicans. Great friends of my dad. My god, I've been -- I've been with these people for 40 years, love them to death. The reality of it is, I don't believe in gay marriage, as many people don't believe in gay marriage. I think you can have a debate on that. I don't believe in it. I think it does send a slippery slope.

I think if you accept the redefinition of marriage, then you're going to have to accept the redefinition all the way down the line. For example --

MORGAN: But marriage can been redefined repeatedly.

REAGAN: If you, in fact, define marriage as two people getting married, whether male and male, male and female, then at some point you may have to say do you agree with, in fact, polygamy? Do you think it's all right to marry more than one person? Do you think it's OK for a bisexual to, in fact, marry a male and a female? If you are, in fact, consistent, Piers --

MORGAN: But you're likening it --

REAGAN: -- you will agree to that.

MORGAN: Well, hang on.

REAGAN: You will agree to that.

MORGAN: But I'm not. But you're linking --

REAGAN: Do you agree to that?

MORGAN: You are linking --

REAGAN: Do you agree to that?

MORGAN: Let me tell you what I don't agree with. I don't agree with it. I don't agree comparing a man who wants to marry his loving, male partner with a man who wants to have sex with an animal, which is what you've likened it to today.

REAGAN: No, I -- I likened it within -- I likened it within the op-ed piece the way the judges are asking the questions of those in front of them. In fact, fighting for gay marriage to, in fact --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Do you understand why gay people -- why gay people find that particularly offensive?

REAGAN: But it's interesting. They'll attack me for quoting and saying in an op-ed piece what is being said in courtrooms across America. I pay attention what's being said in courtrooms.

MORGAN: Right.

REAGAN: These are the questions being asked of those people fighting for gay marriage. So why aren't you upset with everybody else? Why are you only upset with me? If I don't mention those things also, to tell you the truth, you wouldn't invite me on.

MORGAN: No, no, I think --

REAGAN: You wouldn't invite me on to talk about my feelings about gay marriage.

MORGAN: Now, Mike -- I think there is a perfectly reasonable debate to be had about same-sex marriage. I do. And I totally accept, as a Catholic myself, that many people in my church and many other people who have religious conviction have concerns about same-sex marriage.

I don't happen to have those concerns. But I don't like some of the language that the anti-same sex marriage groups are using and you are a very vocal conservative spokesman on many issues. And when I see someone like you who I really do respect comparing as you -- there is no other way to describe it. You can talk about courts and so on.

But using some kind of analogy to bestiality and perhaps even murder, I'm like, whoa, Michael. That is not a respectful way to make gay people look at their relationships. They're not people who want to have sex with animals.

REAGAN: No --

MORGAN: It's not a slippery slope --

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: And I'm not --

MORGAN: -- to having the law saying a man can have sex with a dog.

REAGAN: I'm not saying they are. I'm not saying they are. I'm not saying that at all.

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN: No, what I'm saying --

MORGAN: If we allow these gays to get married --

REAGAN: What I'm saying is --

MORGAN: -- we could end up with marrying dogs, that's what we're really saying.

REAGAN: Where do we stop the redefinition of marriage? Where does it stop?

MORGAN: Let me talk about redefinition of marriage.

REAGAN: Where does it stop?

MORGAN: You've raised a good point. You've raised a good point. You may remember that in 1967, it was illegal in 16 states in America for black people to marry white people.

REAGAN: All right.

MORGAN: Marriage got redefined.

REAGAN: And you're --

MORGAN: By the Supreme Court.

REAGAN: Absolutely right.

MORGAN: In --

REAGAN: You want my --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Now, black people can marry white people.

REAGAN: You want my answer?

MORGAN: What is your answer to that?

REAGAN: Those are laws that were made by man. Man is sinful, as you know, you're Catholic and I'm Catholic. I believe marriage was defined and blessed by God. Two different things. Man is the sinner, Christ just died --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: The trouble is --

REAGAN: And rose again last Sunday for our sins.

MORGAN: Right.

REAGAN: The fact of the matter, man will always sin and make mistakes.

MORGAN: Right.

REAGAN: I'm glad the Catholic Church has taken a stand and is at least in this -- in this day and age of the world in turmoil, they are taking a stand for rights to this, and I happen to like the new Pope.

MORGAN: I like the new Pope, too. And I think that he is going to be -- I think quite forward-thinking about this. What surprised me again was your father, for example, and this has been pretty extraordinary, 1978, in his very state of California, he was the governor. He almost single-handedly got thrown out a law that was about to come in that was going to prohibit gay teachers from teaching in California. And it was a pretty heroic political action by your father. I don't think he would have liked you, his son, who he loved, to be using comparative words like bestiality and murder when debating same-sex marriage. That's where I honestly feel you crossed a line.

REAGAN: Well, you feel I crossed the line. But again, it allowed me a point to come on and talk to you about where I feel about this issue. About gay teachers, I don't care about gay teachers. I don't ask a teacher if they're gay or straight. I want to know if they're good teachers.

MORGAN: But you do care about it.

REAGAN: That's the issue.

MORGAN: You do care about it because --

REAGAN: No, I do care about it --

MORGAN: Wait, wait, wait.

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Let me read you again what you said. You said ultimately it's about changing the culture of the country, it inevitably lead to teaching our public school kids that gay marriage is a perfectly fine alternative and no different -- why shouldn't they be taught that gay marriage is a perfectly fine alternative?

REAGAN: I don't think it's a perfectly fine alternative.

MORGAN: All right.

REAGAN: I don't think we should be, in fact, teaching about marriage in the school room where our kids can't read, can't write, and sure as heck can't add.

MORGAN: Did you see it as a crime against nature?

REAGAN: Hmm?

MORGAN: Same-sex marriage. Is it a crime against nature?

REAGAN: I'm not going to get into if it's a crime against nature, whatever.

MORGAN: You know why I'm asking that.

REAGAN: My mother, Jane Wiman, gave Rock Hudson his first job in Hollywood.

MORGAN: Yes.

REAGAN: So I'm very familiar with the gays in Hollywood. I have no problem with gays in Hollywood. I used to have problems with, in fact, gays getting married and changing the culture and redefining the institution of marriage.

MORGAN: But it reminds me a little bit -- my last point on this. You know, there were people in America and throughout America in the '50s and '60s saying, yes, I know a few black people, but I don't want them marrying our white girls.

REAGAN: And I think that was wrong. I would have agreed with them.

MORGAN: And --

REAGAN: Because that was made by man. Man is inevitably wrong.

MORGAN: And the racists in the south -- the racists in the south would even use the phrase it's a crime against nature. And you know what, they changed the law, the Supreme Court stepped in and said no, this is wrong.

REAGAN: And they were right to do that.

MORGAN: And guess what the --

REAGAN: But they were -- they were right --

MORGAN: Guess what, Michael, the world didn't end. We all got used to the idea of black people marrying white people.

REAGAN: And I -- I don't have a problem with it. As I told you. Man is sinful. Man makes mistakes. That's why we have laws.

MORGAN: OK.

REAGAN: And God, I don't think, ever made one.

MORGAN: Michael, I -- you may be right about God. Maybe he never made a mistake. I suspect he would say he did or she would say that she did. But that may be another debate that we'll have.

Thank you for coming in. You braved me down and I appreciate it. I think you knew where I come from. And it'd be good to talk to you again soon.

REAGAN: Good to see you.

MORGAN: Coming up, is the GOP splitting at the seams? Our last guests on both sides to react to what Michael Reagan just said about same-sex marriage. And we'll talk about Obama's dramatic pay cut. Very big of him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: You just heard Michael Reagan defending his comments on same- sex marriage. Lots to react to there. Marjorie Clifton, Democratic strategist and founder of Spikethewatercooler.com. And Elise Jordan is a former director of communications for the National Security Council and contributor to The Daily Beast. Welcome to you both.

Let me start with you, Marjorie Clifton. Pretty shocking stuff from Michael Reagan, wasn't it?

MARJORIE CLIFTON, FOUNDER, SPIKETHEWATERCOOLER.COM: Yes. I don't really know what his intention was, and I think, again, as you pointed out, making the link to bestiality and polygamy is a little bit problematic and I think isolates a big audience there. I mean, the point he is making is one of there is still a movement within a lot of the faith communities around sort of, you know, is this something that is undoing the institution of marriage.

But, you know, as Jon Stewart has pointed out, you look at a lot of the reality TV shows today and you look at some of the heterosexual marriages profiled there, and I can't say the institution of marriage even among heterosexual couples looks so good sometimes.

But I think the bigger thing he needs to look at is some of his facts. Because in fact, polygamy is something that is actually talked about in the Bible. But some has to do with timing. Back in biblical times, the survival rate of an average child was one in ten children actually lived to adulthood. And they were polygamists by proxy of trying to survive.

So comparing things -- after looking at even Islam today, polygamy is part of Islam today. But the argument is sort of unjust. Because polygamy if you look at it is actually a choice. You aren't born saying --

MORGAN: Polygamy, to be honest with you -- I thought polygamy was the least offensive analogy. I thought the bestiality and murder were extraordinary --

CLIFTON: Well, that's true. Right. I mean, even the constitutionality. Yes.

MORGAN: Well, let me turn to Elise for a moment. Because it seemed to me what this -- another example of and it's been a series of these of slightly older, white Republicans coming out with really odd language in the middle of these debates. And all it seems to do to people is reaffirm a kind of bigotry that pervades the party.

ELISE JORDAN, CONTRIBUTOR, DAILY BEAST: Well, I think right now we really are seeing a generational split with views on gay marriage among Republicans. Younger -- the younger generation, millennials such as myself, are very supportive of gay marriage and overwhelmingly poll in -- are much more open-minded. But it just -- I think that it's this gradual shift we're seeing within the Republican Party of are we going to move in a more libertarian direction of personal freedom, getting the government out of our business? Or are we going to try to, you know, keep the government in, you know -- more in our lives than ever. And I just think that the Republican Party is hopefully moving out of that direction.

MORGAN: Yes. We all hope that.

CLIFTON: I don't even think --

MORGAN: If we can, let's move on. We could talk about it all night. I think we've made a few points on that.

Let's turn instead to Barack Obama today. We'll start with his appearance in it Colorado. It seems to me on this whole gun control debate that President Obama, he's talking a lot about what he would like to happen. But quietly, beginning to realize very little of anything he's talking about is actually going to happen.

And Marjorie Clifton, I find it very frustrating, and I'm getting very angry about it, the fact that the president of the United States seems so powerless to actually deliver on any of the things he promised those families at Sandy Hook.

CLIFTON: Yes. And I think this speaks to the greater challenge we're dealing with in our Congress. And as you were interviewing one of the family members of -- from Aurora the other night, you know, he was talking about how is it that we've created a system where members of Congress can't even act on their own conscience and things they actually believe in, representing the voice of the American people as we're seeing in this gun debate.

And I think the conventional wisdom was, even as all of these tragedies were happening across the country, there wasn't really the thinking that there were going to be enough Democratic -- even Democratic votes to get this through the House and the Senate, to actually make it happen. And so you know, it's sort of -- it puts him in a very challenging position, and it does feel powerless. It's absolutely infuriating.

MORGAN: I think the whole thing is pathetic, I have to say. Elise Jordan, when the squabbling even over background checks, I think what is the point? What more has got to happen? How many more children have to die in one shooting before these politicians get together and do something? You know, never mind -- assault weapons that's been long put off the table. High-capacity magazines, long off the table. Background checks, oh, we're not happy about that. And it's all driven by the NRA.

JORDAN: But it's another issue where President Obama has lost his will, it looks like. He sees that this is not a great issue for Democrats in 2014. A lot of red state Democrats, it isn't going to be good for them if they're pushing, voting for gun control. And so they're backing away. And, you know, is this another case of President Obama, where is his political conscience, what's he following? So I --

MORGAN: I think it's -- it's a collective, gutless political nonsense. I really do. I mean --

JORDAN: It's actually interesting. There was a Washington Post poll today --

CLIFTON: You know what --

JORDAN: -- that 73 percent of Republicans actually approve of universal background check. But from the rancor in Washington, you don't see that poll reflected at all. MORGAN: Over 90 percent of the American public are in favor of background checks. It is actually an insult to the American people that none of these politicians could even deliver on that. I rang -- got my team to ring all of the senators to say, would you have supported an assault weapons ban? Twenty of them still haven't bothered to reply. Ten days later. The arrogance of these people. Paid by the taxpayer. They don't think they have to even answer the damn question. Absolutely extraordinary.

Final question. I've got to move on, because otherwise I'll bend a spleen again.

(LAUGHER)

MORGAN: Let's move on to Barack Obama's dramatic decision to cut his pay by five percent of his $400,000 paycheck. This is to show support for furloughed federal employees. To me, it's another really pointless exercise in -- rather like shutting the White House doors, isn't it, Marjorie? I mean, this isn't going to make any difference. It just annoys people, doesn't it?

CLIFTON: Well, I don't know. I think there's a lot of criticism of are you taking accountability? Are you still taking vacations, or, you know, and it gets pointed at the president. And so I think, you know, a lot of these types of decisions are basically trying to get people invested in the idea of we are actively doing things. Because a lot of cuts are happening behind the scenes. So, these are very visible ways the president can sort of say --

MORGAN: Yes, but if he actually gave up the holidays -- if he gave up the vacations, which is costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars, it might have more impact than a five percent of $400,000.

(CROSSTALK)

JORDAN: I think it comes out to about $1,700 a month for him? That's nothing! He lives in one of the most posh places in the world with his every need taken care. And I just don't see why he thinks this one meaningless gesture is really going to resonate with the American public.

MORGAN: Yes, I'm afraid I have to agree with you. Marjorie, Elise, thank you both very much. Got to leave it there. But come back soon.

Coming up, defending the indefensible. The former Rutgers player who is defending foul-mouthed coach Mike Rice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE RICE, FORMER RUTGERS BASKETBALL COACH: I've let so many people down. My players, my administration, Rutgers University, the fans. My family, who is sitting in their house, just huddled around because of the fact that their father is -- was an embarrassment to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: An emotional former Rutgers basketball coach, Mike Rice, apologizing this morning after he was fired. Rice was caught on camera repeatedly abusing players during practice and using some pretty foul language.

But my next guest, who played for Rice, is defending him. Tyree Graham joins me now in a primetime exclusive.

Welcome to you, Tyree. So it's not as bad as we think, this guy?

TYREE GRAHAM, PLAYED FOR FORMER RUTGERS COACH MIKE RICE: No, sir, not at all. He's not as bad as the media right now is making him seem. It's actually kind of sad to the point where, you know, how the family has basically been misconstrued. Coach Rice, he's one of those guys - you know, he's very passionate. Don't get me wrong. But at the same time, a lot of those times on the film when he was jacking up a player or throwing a ball at a player, he was really joking.

MORGAN: Joking? Well, I mean, we're watching some of the footage here. He doesn't look very funny. I mean, he's hurling balls at their heads, shoving them around, using some pretty bigoted language, which I won't repeat. And all pretty unpleasant. I mean, I suppose the obvious question, though, is how unusual is this kind of -- I mean, he's kicking somebody there. This can't be right, can it, Tyree? I mean, this is unusual behavior, even by sporting coach standards, isn't it?

GRAHAM: Yes, it is. And I think he has come to the conclusion that he, you know, made a mistake or whatnot. But at the same time, if you was at the -- in the gym at the time and really around Coach Rice and knew Coach Rice as the person that I know him as, you understand that he was just probably seeing something that day that you was lagging and he was trying to motivate you.

I mean, we all have different ways of motivation. You know, of motivating others. And that was one of his ways to try to motivate players.

MORGAN: When you were in the team playing with him, how did everybody feel about him? Did most of the players agree with you? Did they feel motivated? Because there was an argument being put forward by some commentators that his firing is indicative of a -- as he put it, one of the critics, a "wussification" of America, we're all getting a bit of soft. This is real sport, real men, this is what goes on.

GRAHAM: I do feel the Big East is a very physical conference. And I do feel that, as you know, to play in the Big East and be a successful player in the Big East, you have to be tough. So by him doing that and trying to install that into his players and his team because of what, again, you know, as to the basketball world, Big East basketball is one of the top conferences in the country. And Rutgers basketball does not get respected, you know, at all.

And him, as a coach, he didn't get respected either. So I feel like he just had an edge. And that edge, you know, it did cross the line. MORGAN: I mean did -- did other players feel that he went too far?

GRAHAM: Yes, sir. Players did feel that he went too far. Yes, sir.

MORGAN: And how would he react if anyone tried to stand up to him?

GRAHAM: You know, he would get into, you know, heated argument. But at the same time, after the heated argument, after practice was over, we would have a tray table where we all go eat and we would talk about football, basketball, what's going on. And he would -- you know, he would call that player to the side and just try to talk to them and calm them down and let them know that it's not personal. I just feel that you can be a better player and continue to work hard at being a better player.

So I took it as, you know, strictly trying to motivate guys. And at the same time, I do understand that the way he motivated some guys was wrong.

MORGAN: He used some pretty emotive language, some would say homophobic language. Was he ever homophobic when you were playing in terms of the way he spoke to players and was he ever racist?

GRAHAM: No, sir, not at all. He was never -- he didn't say things like that to me at all. I think it's because of my background. He understood that, you know, I'm a tough kid, I come from a tough background and that, you know, stuff like that really would not fit well with me. And I really think he -- you know, he didn't want to disrespect me in that type of manner.

MORGAN: Did he motivate you?

GRAHAM: Yes, he did. He motivated me -- not necessarily just on the court, because I was hurt for two years. He motivated me to get back. But he also motivated me in the classroom. And I mean, that year when I graduated in 2012, three guys graduated in that class. He did motivate me on and off the court, I can say.

MORGAN: Well, fascinating perspective there, Tyree. Thank you very much for joining me. And you've given us a real insight there into perhaps another side of Mike Rice who has been fired for his coaching methods. And I appreciate you joining me.

GRAHAM: Thank you for having me, sir.

MORGAN: Coming next, things are getting pretty weird in the Michael Jackson case. You know, Conrad Murray singing from behind bars. Now hear his attorney go head-to-head with the man who defended Jackson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FORMER PHYSICIAN: (Singing) He's a little boy that Santa Claus forgot and goodness knows he did not want a lot, he wrote a note to Santa for some crayons and a toy, it broke his little heart when he found Santa hadn't come.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: A surreal moment from Anderson Cooper's interview with Dr. Conrad Murray when the convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death burst into song on live television last night. Meanwhile, jury selection continues in Katherine Jackson's lawsuit against AEG, seeking $40 billion.

Now Conrad Murray's attorney, Valerie Wass, is here to go head-to-head with Michael Jackson's attorney, Tom Mesereau.

Welcome to you, Valerie Wass. You weren't happy watching Tom and I discussing this last night. Why not?

VALERIE WASS, ATTORNEY FOR DR. CONRAD MURRAY: Well, I felt that he was -- he was viewed in a -- in a wrong manner. I feel very strongly about Dr. Murray, and that he's a compassionate man and I believe that he is an innocent man. I believe he was wrongly convicted. And I don't know if Tom really knows the facts of the case and has read the record and all of the evidence, such as I have done for the last year.

THOMAS A. MESEREAU JR., DEFENDED MICHAEL JACKSON IN MOLESTATION TRIAL: I haven't read -- I haven't -- I haven't read the record, but I watched a lot of the trial. And every single physician in this courtroom, including the -- including Murray's own expert, thought that having propofol in the home and administering it the way he did was a gross deviation from the medical standard of care.

Nobody justified having propofol in their house. Nobody justified administering it the way he apparently did. He didn't have the equipment, he didn't have personnel assisting him. He didn't have backup equipment. He didn't have the medications you need if something goes wrong. He didn't have the power supply if something goes wrong. Everything he did, in my opinion, was a disgrace, and I think he caused the death of Michael Jackson.

MORGAN: Valerie?

WASS: Well, even if he deviated from the standard of care, he didn't cause the death of Michael Jackson because on the night Michael Jackson died, he was not on a propofol drip. And that's what nobody understands. And using propofol in a home is not -- is not illegal. It's not -- it's not illegal. It's an off-label use. And off-label use --

MESEREAU: Did you read the toxicology?

WASS: Absolutely.

MESEREAU: The toxicology -- the toxicology examined eight specimens from his body. The stomach, the liver, the heart, the veins, the femoral artery. He had propofol in every single of the eight specimens, OK?

WASS: That's correct. And the toxicology results are -- MESEREAU: I mean, he was loaded with propofol.

WASS: He was loaded from propofol from a 25 milligram bolus injection that Michael Jackson self-administered shortly before he died. It matches up with all the toxicology findings.

MESEREAU: First of all the -- the amount of propofol grossly exceeded the 25 that Mr. -- Dr. Murray said he administered. First of all. Second of all --

WASS: That's right. Because Jackson administered another 25 milligram dose.

MESEREAU: Well --

WASS: And when he administered rapidly, that's what caused cardiac arrest and it comports with the toxicology results.

MESEREAU: Well, the jury came back in eight hours, finding that Michael Jackson did not self-administer propofol, that your client was grossly negligent and caused his death. And now listen, I don't think he intentionally did this. He wasn't charged with premeditated murder, he was charged with gross negligence, involuntary manslaughter, and every single expert that testified admitted he had committed gross negligence in a variety of ways.

One expert said there was 17 acts of gross negligence. Propofol in the home, administering it the way he did --

WASS: That's right. But he was not on a propofol drip on that night, how can he be -- there was no cause.

(CROSSTALK)

MESEREAU: Your client told the police --

WASS: No, the two months that Dr. Murray administered propofol to Michael Jackson on a drip, Michael Jackson was fine. It was after he stopped administering the propofol drips that he died.

MESEREAU: Well, that's your argument. I understand that. And I think you're doing a commendable job defending him. The problem is, the jury rejected it in eight hours and every single medical expert rejected it as well.

WASS: I actually spoke to one of the jurors last summer and found it really interesting that they adopted this slit saline bag theory. It was a ludicrous theory that was -- that probably came about because the prosecutor popped the tab on the Exhibit 30 bottle and they were forced to find another way to hang the bag. It was an absurd method. No -- even the prosecution's expert had never heard of such an absurd method of hanging a drip.

MESEREAU: Well, your client ordered propofol, took it into his home. I think he had it delivered to his girlfriend's apartment, took gallons into his home and that alone was a gross deviation from acceptable medical standards.

WASS: That's right. But it's not -- it's not a causative factor. That's the difference.

MESEREAU: It's not a causative factor? Then what caused his death? Every single specimen was loaded with propofol. It was a propofol induced death. That was the cause of death and nobody really disputed that. The argument was, where did the propofol come from, and Murray should not have brought it in the home. It doesn't belong in the home. It's not a treatment for insomnia.

(CROSSTALK)

WASS: Michael Jackson had his own stash of propofol when Dr. Murray first started treating Michael Jackson. There's evidence that he was on propofol --

MORGAN: OK. Let me -- let me jump in and speak -- it's been fascinating to watch you both go at it. He's obviously already been tried and is in jail as a result. Let's move to what this new trial is basically going to come down to, which involves a responsibility aspect of who was really employing Conrad Murray.

And I'll remind you of an e-mail from the AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware, which has emerged. We simply want to remind Murray that it's AEG, not MJ, Michael Jackson, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him.

Now, Valerie Wass, what did that e-mail mean? What was expected of Conrad Murray, and is it true that it was AEG paying Conrad Murray directly, not Michael Jackson?

WASS: First of all, I'd like to point out that Conrad Murray never received a dime for caring for Michael Jackson. He took care of him for two months and was not paid a dime. The contract was supposed to be retroactive to May 1st and he still has not been paid a dime for his care of Jackson.

MESEREAU: But he was supposed to be paid. He signed an agreement prepared by AEG which said AEG would pay him. He signed it.

WASS: He did sign it --

MORGAN: So he was going to be paid. The reason they haven't -- the reason they haven't paid since -- obviously he was paid to take care of Michael Jackson. And Michael Jackson died in his care. So --

WASS: Isn't a doctor paid -- if you render services for two months, aren't you paid for those services if your patient dies and suddenly you aren't -- you don't get paid for the two months that you took care of a patient?

MORGAN: But that becomes an issue of litigation between Conrad Murray and AEG, I guess. But -- so what you're saying is --

(CROSSTALK) WASS: You're assuming that he was -- you're assuming that he was employed by AEG. I don't think that's been established. I don't think it's a slam dunk case like Tom believes.

MORGAN: Well, all I'm assuming is that -- I'm not assuming anything. I'm reading an e-mail from one of the bosses of AEG, saying we want to remind Murray that it's AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. It's pretty clear --

WASS: Well, AEG was advancing all three production costs. I believe it was $40 million of pre-production costs were paid at the time Michael Jackson died. Just because they were advancing those costs doesn't mean that AEG was the employer of Conrad Murray.

MORGAN: So when AEG say -- they should be reminding Murray it's AEG, not Jackson, who is paying his salary, they didn't know what they were talking about.

WASS: Well, for one thing, that e-mail did not come out in trial. Suddenly all these e-mails appeared that the defense did not have during the trial. And I'm curious why those e-mails were not produced during discovery in the criminal trial. But any event --

MORGAN: Well, Tom, I mean -- Tom, from a legal point of view, that e- mail is going to be pretty significant, isn't it?

MESEREAU: Very significant. Because AEG's lawyers drafted an employment agreement, they sent it to Dr. Murray and Dr. Murray signed it. I don't know if he actually returned it or not, AEG is now saying we never actually signed it. But that's not going to hold up. Under the law, all of this evidence, the agreement they prepared, the fact that Dr. Murray signed it, the e-mails, the discussions that took place, all of this is going to show there was an employment understanding between Murray and AEG.

WASS: Right, but --

MESEREAU: Look --

WASS: But don't you know that in Dr. Murray's statement to the police two days after Michael Jackson died, he stated that he was -- it was his understanding that he was employed by Michael Jackson, and he subsequently learned that he was to be paid by AEG. So he said Michael Jackson's --

MESEREAU: How long was the agreement --

WASS: -- lawyer and AEG was going to be paying his salary.

MESEREAU: He may have said it, but who prepared the agreement and who was the agreement with? It was with AEG. In fact, that agreement, as I understand it, required AEG to provide medical equipment to Dr. Murray. And when the agreement terminated, the equipment was supposed to revert back to AEG.

MORGAN: Well, doubtless we will -- we will find out more of this as this trial develops. So it's been great talking to you both. And a good legal battle there. And there will be more to come the next few weeks. And please come back and we'll debate it again.

Thank you both very much.

MESEREAU: Thank you, Piers.

WASS: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: Coming up next, my primetime exclusive with country queen Wynonna Judd and her husband Cactus Moser. How they put their lives back together after a nearly fatal accident that cost Cactus one of his legs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BERGERON, HOST, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": Wynonna and Tony, Andy and Sharna, on this third week of competition, the couple with the lowest combined total of scores and votes, and therefore leaving right now is -- Wynonna and Tony.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Five-time Grammy winner, Wynonna Judd, last night getting voted off ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." It's been an emotional rollercoaster for Judd and her husband Cactus Moser. He's recovering from a near-fatal motorcycle accident that took his left leg and began walking again just a couple of days ago with a prosthetic limb. And Wynonna and Cactus join me now in a primetime exclusive.

Welcome to you both.

WYNONNA JUDD, COUNTRY SINGER: Thank you.

MORGAN: Who cares about "Dancing with the Stars"?

JUDD: Hey, you know what I thought about on the way over here? I finally found something that I can't do well, and why not just figure that out on national television?

(LAUGHTER)

I mean, if you and I had done the cha-cha, we would have gotten voted off.

MORGAN: We would have won. I'm very good at the cha-cha.

(LAUGHTER)

JUDD: You really? My gosh.

MORGAN: Yes, I'm pretty nifty on the old cha-cha.

JUDD: Now we can do the cha-cha, honey. CACTUS MOSER, WYNONNA JUDD'S HUSBAND: I know.

MORGAN: But in all seriousness.

MOSER: I haven't had the leg for it, baby.

MORGAN: Well, in all seriousness, I mean to put it in perspective. You were in this dance show. OK, you came off last night. But it's great while you're in there, and great fun and so on. But it pales into significance compared to what you've been through. You got married in June 2012. Two months later you're in this awful accident.

JUDD: Life changing.

MORGAN: Right. And you'd lost your left leg and nearly died?

JUDD: And he's a drummer. And for people who don't know -- I mean I respect the military so much because of what they go through, have been to Walter Reed and Bethesda, I've seen the -- you know, the guys, and you never in a million years while you're saying your vows think you're actually going to enter into the better or for worse.

MOSER: No.

JUDD: In sickness and in health.

MOSER: For really worse.

JUDD: Two months later, I go from newlywed to nurse and it just changed our lives forever. And "Dancing with the Stars" was my attempt at self-care and get back to moving and grooving. You know what, I had the time of my life, and anybody who thinks that they can dance better and do it better, good luck.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: I believe you're a very slinky mover.

MOSER: She is.

MORGAN: It's probably a shock watching Bruno take his top off, wasn't it?

(CROSSTALK)

JUDD: There are no questions hard. That's all I'm going to say.

MORGAN: No one should be exposed to that.

MOSER: That was a scarring event.

MORGAN: He did that in my wedding party actually in 2010. I'm pretty recovering myself.

MOSER: And you're still marries.

MORGAN: Yes. Amazingly I still went ahead. Let me talk to you.

MOSER: Yes, sir.

MORGAN: When this accident happened, did you both feel that this could be it, that you were going to die?

JUDD: I was behind him 10 feet.

MOSER: I didn't ever feel that. I -- in the moment, it was all kind of slow motion. You hear the stories so classically, but everything happened as I -- you know, I went up on the hood of the car that we -- that I hit. I was concerned where she was at. I had just come around her, past her, and I'm watching the motorcycle tumble, and I'm laying on the hood, seeing the sky and feeling myself start to slip off the car.

And even as I stopped, I still kind of assessed myself and felt like, maybe I'm OK. Maybe we can play the show we're talking about. My next thought was, I set up, trying to figure out where she was. Saw her bike tipped over 100 feet down the road and was --

JUDD: I threw it down and ran upon him, and thought he was dead. There was no sign of life. When you have an impact like that. From a Harley into a car.

MOSER: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

JUDD: There's no way -- there's -- well --

MORGAN: You're a newlywed.

JUDD: It traumatized me. Yes. I saw the whole thing happened, I was enough behind him where I could see him.

MOSER: I think everyone around, because we'd met some of these people and herself, she was right there, everyone had spoken how amazed they were at her calm, her resolve. Everybody around me thought I was dying. Every -- all the EMTs said you had lost so much blood, it was so traumatic. I still lay there and was just --

JUDD: I don't know how you made it, honey. I really don't.

MOSER: I've got to get home and my hand was crushed, and I remember thinking, I've got to get this working first.

JUDD: And you're a drummer, so there's that. It's like (INAUDIBLE) for a year which would -- I don't even know -- I would go in such a deep, dark night of the soul. He in eight months beat all the odds and is literally -- the doctor --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: Well, it's fantastic to see you.

(LAUGHTER)

JUDD: The doctor --

MORGAN: You are tonight. What an amazing thing.

MOSER: Well, this past Friday I walked -- I flew back from Nashville to L.A. and I had coaxed them to give me a cane because I said, I can do this. I know I can. My guys said, no, stay on the walker. And I said no, I'm going to walk in it for my wife. I'm going to walk to her on a walker. And it was just --

MORGAN: How did that feel watching him walking in? The man you thought you --

JUDD: It took my breath away. It was one of the few times I didn't speak in my life. I just stood there and went, how far we've come? You know, life is about a journey, not a destination, it's corny to say. It's so true in our case. You know, you go -- when you have a child you go by hours, by days, by weeks, that's what we were in was the fight of our life.

To watch him after eight months walk towards me was something I didn't expect in eight months, I thought -- they said a year before he could even play drums. He was on the road with me, three and a half months later.

MOSER: Three and a half months during the day.

MORGAN: Amazing. Well, let's --

JUDD: We are turning our mess into a message.

MORGAN: Well, you are. Because you've got this great documentary, "The Road Back." Let's take a little look at a clip from this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDD: Just happy as can be, thinking oh, my god, we're going to have such a great show tonight. And all kinds of stuff is going through my head that day about, you know, I love this man, I'm so blessed. Thank you, God, for the fact that I get to work with my husband. And I'm in this real state of being grateful.

Then all of a sudden I look up. And I see his bike start to drift into the oncoming traffic lane, and I'm like, I don't understand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: It's a very powerful and very actually inspirational documentary. It's about really life after what could have been death for you guys. And it's great to see you are where you are. How is the leg?

MOSER: The leg is wonderful.

JUDD: He is bionic, by the way. (LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: $6 million man?

MOSER: The leg is a -- every hour it feels like, you know, it's Christmas Day to me right now.

MORGAN: Great.

MOSER: You get to walk, it's -- after you have -- it's amazing.

MORGAN: Well, it's great for you, guys. "The Road Back" as the Great American Country Network throughout April.

Wynonna, your new single, "Something You Can't Live Without" is available on iTunes and Amazon.

I've interviewed your mother, Naomi, your sister Ashley, who's sadly not going to be a senator at the moment, and now you. I feel like I've done the trio --

JUDD: Your life is complete.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: My life is complete. That's right. But thank you both for coming in, and don't worry about the dance, you got this guy. He'll dance for you.

MOSER: Right.

JUDD: He's my inspiration. He's my inspiration.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: It's great to see you both. Thanks very much for coming in.

And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Tomorrow night, the odd couple, Lance Bass and Newt Gingrich. If that doesn't get you watching, nothing will.

That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts at 11:00 tonight. Now let's "GET TO THE POINT."

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RICK RILEY, HOST: I'm an ESPN columnist, essayist and author. I've been covering the world of sports for more than 30 years. Life is just like sports, only with less padding.

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