Return to Transcripts main page


Magic Johnson Addresses Donald Sterling Controversy With Anderson Cooper "There Is No Privacy"; Privacy Rights vs. the Reality; Cat Saves Child from Dog; Stroke Nearly Ends Career

Aired May 14, 2014 - 12:30   ET



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A couple of stories I want to get you up to speed on, briefly.

We're watching developments this hour in the story of the health officials in the U.S. very worried right now about a sharp spike in measles cases. They're seeing the highest number of people with measles in almost 20 years.

In Ohio alone, at least 68 people are being treated for measles, and doctors say, because the disease is so rare these days, people don't even seem to recognize it when they see it. It is very contagious and a reminder -- measles can be deadly.

The two Florida healthcare workers experiencing flu-like symptoms who came into contact with a MERS patient, happy to report they have tested negative for that virus. The state of Florida conducted the test, and the CDC is in the process of just being extra careful, confirming those results.

Meantime, the Netherlands is reporting that country's first case of MERS. You'll remember it's Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. That happened this morning, and that brings the total number of countries who have reported cases of MERS to 18, believe it or not.

His history, his charity, his very character, all eviscerated by one Donald Sterling, and now Magic Johnson is putting the pieces back together and setting the record straight.

The day after the disgraced and beleaguered owner of the L.A. Clippers sat down with Anderson Cooper, Magic Johnson did the same and had his say, beginning with a very different version of that famous phone call in the aftermath of Sterling's leaked conversation with his girlfriend.

Have a listen.


MAGIC JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: This is what happened. He asked me to go on the Barbara Walters show with him.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "AC 360": This was, what, a week, week- and-a-half ago?

JOHNSON: This was a week ago.

COOPER: Because he met with Barbara on a Friday about week-and-a-half ago.

JOHNSON: Exactly. It was before that.

I told him I wouldn't do it. I said, the number one thing you need to do, which you haven't done, is apologize to everybody and myself. "I'll get to that. I'll get to that."

COOPER: So he wanted you to go on with Barbara Walters, sitting next to him?

JOHNSON: Sitting next to him.

COOPER: To kind of give him cover or --

JOHNSON: Exactly.

So, I said no. Then I told him, I said, Donald, you should consult with your attorneys. I said, this thing is a big thing, and you should deal with your attorneys and let them advise you on what to do. But I said, you need to go public and apologize to everybody.

COOPER: How did he respond?

JOHNSON: "Well, I'll apologize later. But I want you to go on this show." He was adamant about me going on the show with him. And I told him, no, I wouldn't do it.


BANFIELD: Sterling, by the way, also accused Johnson of scheming to buy the Clippers right out from under him, but Johnson says if he coveted any NBA franchise, it wouldn't the Clippers; it'd be the Lakers. He led the Lakers to five NBA championships.

Sterling admits his own character is less than, well, sterling -- I had to go there -- but don't worry, he's got an explanation.


DONALD STERLING, L.A. CLIPPERS OWNER: People say, how do you commit adultery? You justify things. You say, well, every man in Paris or France has a mistress.

I mean, it may make you smile, but when you're so old, you don't think it's wrong anymore if you have a little bit of fun -- you don't have much time -- if you have a little bit of fun. You can't do what you did before, and nobody expects -- but you want to be cared for. Everybody wants to be cared for. I made such a mistake. I thought that woman really cared for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BANFIELD: I wonder if he'd have felt the same way if his wife had had that same philosophy, but thought it was just important to be careful- er.

CNN commentator and defense attorney Mel Robbins joins me again. Oh, man, two girls on the set, I could go off on that justification.

Well, they do it in Paris. You know?


BANFIELD: They slander people in Paris, too.

ROBBINS: Yeah, that's what --

BANFIELD: In the good old United States of America, can you slander someone? By the way, can someone of his ilk now, who's almost been reduced to a comic book character, can he be a source of actual slander?

ROBBINS: Basically what you're asking is, does Magic Johnson have a case against Donald Sterling for slander? Well, it depends. It depends on whether or not there's been any magic done to Magic Johnson. And I think in this case, based on the fact that Donald Sterling, as I said on "NEW DAY" yesterday should change his name to Donald Duck because the guy is clearly Loony Tunes at this point.

Based on the fact that the source is Donald Sterling, and also the fact that I think, if anything, this has made Magic Johnson's ship rise and more "magic" and just the way that he's responded to this, the fact that he says he feels sad about it and that he's going to pray for him -- and if anything, it's raised the stakes of Magic Johnson. So there hasn't been any damage.

BANFIELD: Ironically, I think Mr. Sterling may have just done wonders, you know, for how wrong adultery is. While trying to suggest it's OK because they do it in Paris, he may have just shown the rest of America, oh, if Donald Sterling does it, I better stay far away.

ROBBINS: It's just really pathetic. I mean, he's basically admitting he was buying companionship because he wants to be cared for. I mean, that's what he just said, that as you get older that they're doing it in Paris so you know.

And also that I'm not going to change my ways. What he's said is I've gotten so old that I've always thought that it was OK, and there's nothing wrong with it.

BANFIELD: I just needed to be careful-er.

ROBBINS: Did he say careful-er or cared for? I thought he said cared for, because that's when he starts to get choked up.

BANFIELD: I'm going to have to listen to that again. I could have sworn I heard I need to be careful-er. ROBBINS: One of the things I think that's interesting, Ashleigh, from a legal point of view, is people talk about this case with V. Stiviano and whether or not he was taped illegally, right? Because it's a crime in California to tape somebody.

And he says he didn't know, but if that was the case, don't you think the moment that those tapes were leaked, given what a litigious guy Sterling is, the moment that that happened, don't you think he would have been in court?

BANFIELD: I would.

ROBBINS: Don't you think he would have been suing and going for the injunction?

BANFIELD: These are crazy times. I would have said yes, but he has such bigger fish to fry on his skillet right now. That man's about to lose a billion-plus if Mark Cuban's right, a billion-plus valued team, and his wife could be about to file a divorce that will eviscerate everything he owns.

ROBBINS: Sounds like he's about to make a ton of money. He might lose a team but he's going to make a big fat profit. Like Magic says, he should probably just take the money and go enjoy retirement.

BANFIELD: Not sure he's completely with it when it comes to the things happening around him. I've got to go, but this obviously isn't over.

Mel Robbins, thank you.

Donald Sterling's taped phone calls are a lesson in the fact that almost nothing, for you, me, anybody else out there, nothing is private these days. Can we really have any expectation of privacy? I know you've heard that legal term, but do you have an expectation of privacy anymore? You might be surprised what you're about to find out.

Also, want you to take a look at some video. It's just striking. A young boy, just innocently on his tricycle, and stalked and attacked by a vicious dog.

Oh, I can't even look at this video! But you are going to be amazed at what you see, what comes to that boy's rescue. It's amazing. Coming up.


BANFIELD: Here is a piece of advice that moms across the country should be passing on to anyone who will listen, there's really no such thing as privacy, not anymore.

With cameras and recording devices everywhere and social media part of our DNA, it's a lesson you think Donald Sterling might have learned by now.

It is certainly a lesson that Beyonce sister Solange should have already known. But just what exactly is your right to privacy? Here's CNN's legal correspondent Jean Casarez with a little wake-up call for all of us.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From a private conversation --

STERLING (voice-over): If you don't feel it, don't come to my games. Don't bring black people and don't come.

CASAREZ: -- to an alleged elevator brawl, is nothing private anymore?

ALLAN MAYER, 42 WEST P.R. FIRM: Well, there may be a right to privacy, but there is certainly no reality to privacy anymore.

CASAREZ: Donald Sterling says he had no idea his conversation with V. Stiviano was being recorded.

COOPER: Did you know you were being recorded?

STERLING: No, of course not. Of course not, no.

I just wish I could ask her why and if she was just setting me up. I think that people say she was taping me for two years.

CASAREZ: Sterling's fellow NBA owner Mark Cuban, who has never shied away from the limelight, says the red light of the camera is always on, no matter where you are.

MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: First of all, you have no privacy, from the little things like license plate cameras, to walking down the street. There are sensors everywhere. There's cameras everywhere.

CASAREZ: Case in point, what seemed to be a private elevator ride in New York's Standard Hotel turns out to be anything but, when TMZ posts the security video purportedly showing Beyonce's sister Solange attacking Jay-Z, kicking him multiple times.

Entertainment attorney Jeff Biederman says expectation of privacy in an elevator may not be warranted.

JEFF BIEDERMAN, ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: You raise the question of being in someone's home. That is a different level of privacy you'd expect than, say, an elevator, which is a public place. Anybody can enter that, and of course many elevators in modern buildings do have cameras.

CASAREZ: Security cameras are ubiquitous, capturing our every move, yet most people never feel their privacy violated because the pictures never go public.

But when the famous and the powerful are involved, the right to privacy is often trumped by the public's appetite for the tape. But Mark Cuban says celebrities have learned to expect this kind of exposure, and now you should, too. CUBAN: I'll give you another perfect example that should terrify you, right? If you tweet, if you post on Pinterest, if you have public postings on Facebook, all of that information and your footprint will know more about you than you know more about you.


BANFIELD: And Jean Casarez joins me now with Danny Cevallos, as well.

What is the recourse for victims or perhaps who are perceived to be victims?

CASAREZ: The experts are divided. Some believe that, if you do or say nothing, that implies you're guilty.

But others say if you immediately say something and put that out, then you're fueling the fire and it just keeps going.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We need to make a huge distinction between the Jay-Z situation and the Sterling situation. Donald Sterling had probably a reasonable expectation of privacy in a phone call.

When you get into an elevator in a public place, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and we know that because there are video cameras everywhere in the public.

BANFIELD: Yes. And, by the way, as a good rule of thumb, if there's a chance for the public to see you in that spot, that's your expectation of privacy, gone. If you're in a bathroom, there should never be a chance for someone to see you there. You should have that expectation of privacy.

CASAREZ: But, remember, Donald Sterling was in a home -

BANFIELD: Which he should have had the expectation, right?


BANFIELD: I think in a court of law he would have gotten it.


BANFIELD: Jean Casarez, thank you. Danny Cevallos, thank you.

CASAREZ: Thanks.

BANFIELD: Coming up, I've got to show you this incredible surveillance video, speaking of scary moments on tape. A little boy on his tricycle and suddenly he is attacked by that stalking dog. He is dragged off. An incredible rescuer comes. You're going to see it in a moment. And then you're going to find out why that is a legal story waiting to happen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: So we have all heard the fabled tales of dogs saving children, like Lassie and Old Yeller. And guess what, I'm here to tell you that there is another house pet that may just be about to take over that mantle. Check out this video. It is hard to watch, surveillance video. It's of a family's home in Bakersfield, California. You can see that dog checking out what's going on with the neighbor.

He sees a kid on a bike. And for a few seconds he heads around that car, decides to come upon that boy, and attack the child, drag the child. Look at that. The cat - the family's cat named Tara (ph), comes to the rescue, chases the dog off. Darting onto the screen, knocking that dog away, saving that little boy. Yes, I said cat. It's unbelievable. I'm glad to report that boy is OK, but he did have a couple of stitches. And the mom is saying that the dog belongs to a neighbor and that that dog is now under observation.

Joining me to talk about this, CNN commentator and lawyer Mel Robbins, as well as CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos.

Danny, first to you, what does "under observation" mean? Meaning that dog is a goner?

CEVALLOS: I think we're going to see the same fate that befell Old Yeller. I think this is a -- this dog is probably doomed. The cat, I suppose, is a hero, although at the same time who knows. I often think that cats just wish they were as big as us to eat us, but Mel and I disagree on that.

MEL ROBBINS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well you (INAUDIBLE) - he's a - he's a cat hater. (INAUDIBLE).


CEVALLOS: Yes, I know, Mel.

BANFIELD: When I look at that unprovoked attack on a child, when I look at that, it reminded me of the exposure legally -


BANFIELD: That a California dog owner had, charged with manslaughter, after the death -- because of that dog owner's mauling of a neighbor. I mean could this dog owner be charged with any kind of assault?

ROBBINS: Should be.

CEVALLOS: So under California Penal Code Section 399, if your dog seriously causes bodily injury to another person, you can be guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony. But the key is whether or not you had notice. You knew that your dog had abnormally dangerous propensity. So that's a tough one.

ROBBINS: Right. Right. Yes.

CEVALLOS: Or, as California defines it, if your animal is mischievous. What that exactly means is probably to be determined by a court.


CEVALLOS: But they will look at whether or not this dog has bitten somebody before.

BANFIELD: Every time I see it, I mean I just get so distressed (ph).

ROBBINS: Or if he's been menacing. I mean there's going to -- this is going to be a case that comes down to the facts and whether or not the owner of that dog knew about prior behavior of the dog.

BANFIELD: What if that dog --

ROBBINS: So unlike human beings where we don't look at prior bad acts -

BANFIELD: What if that dog had never bitten?

ROBBINS: This is a case -

BANFIELD: What if that dog had only growled and appeared menacing?

ROBBINS: Yes, but if that dog -

CEVALLOS: Well, that's the thing. If you come out into your yard and you see your Bichon Frise every morning gnawing on the femur of a freshly killed moose, well then you probably know that your animal has dangerous propensity, even without biting anyone.

BANFIELD: Bichon Frise, really (ph).

CEVALLOS: Well, they're deadly.

BANFIELD: Bichon Frise, Bichon Frise. Next you're going to say Chihuahua.

CEVALLOS: You never know.

BANFIELD: All right.

ROBBINS: Yes, but that dog should be put under. And that cat is going to, I think, eclipse grumpy cat and be the next Internet sensation. Fancy Feast, if you're watching, I think you've found your next sponsor.

BANFIELD: That cat - that cat should be lionized. I'm just saying.

Mel Robbins, Danny Cevallos, I heard ugh from the control room. Was that really a groan? I thought that was actually kind of clever. It just came to me on a whim.

All right, so, there's this incredible other picture that came across our screens today. Those bouncy houses that many of us, me included, have rented for our kid's birthday parties, look at that one, and look how high in the air. An inflatable room that kids jump in taken off with kids in it.


BANFIELD: Kids were in that. I'm going to tell you what happened and how those kids are in a moment.


BANFIELD: I want you to meet a man named Eric Jordan. He is an amazing opera singer. And, in fact, he had an incredible career with the Metropolitan Opera right here in New York City. And then a stroke. The stroke turned everything upside down. But I am happy to say that he actually has fought back and Dr. Sanjay Gupta has how it all turned out in this week's "Human Factor."


ERIC JORDAN, NEARLY DIED AFTER STROKE: Every time I sing, my soul is bared.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When he had a stroke a year-and-a-half ago, opera singer Eric Jordan's ability to bear his soul, to sing, was stifled. 5:30 a.m., the morning of the stroke. Eighteen-month-old Gabrielle (ph) crawls into bed with his parents. Then everyone goes back to sleep, except Eric.

CHRISTINA ARETHAS, ERIC'S WIFE: I thought he was just trying to settle down again and get comfortable. He never stopped kind of moving around and jerking around. Then I realized, there is something wrong.

GUPTA: Then the jerking around stopped abruptly.

ARETHAS: I slapped him. He wouldn't wake up. He couldn't open his eyes.

GUPTA: Later at the hospital, a doctor revealed three large blood clots in Eric's brain.

ARETHAS: I explained to him that Eric was an opera singer. I urged him to do whatever it took to get the clots out of his brain, especially in the speech area of his brain.

GUPTA: Doctors removed the clots, saving Eric's life. And against the odds, his ability to sing. Only eight weeks after his stroke, the base was back on stage at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

JORDAN: This is a very magical house.

GUPTA: Singing again somehow came easy. Speaking is still difficult. So is (INAUDIBLE).

JORDAN: You are my sunshine.

GUPTA: But those are minor challenges considering he's alive. And it's not lost on him that one reason why is Gabrielle crawling into bed with is parents that morning. JORDAN: He saved my life and -

ARETHAS: We look at him and we're just reminded of our blessings, right?

JORDAN: Yes. Every day.

GUPTA: Eric says that the incremental nature of his recovery has taught him to slow down, to savor life's small blessings.

JORDAN: I can say that it's better to be thankful for the little things, all these little victories, add (ph) up (ph).

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


BANFIELD: Way to go, Eric.

A gust of wind in Sutherland (ph) Falls, New York, sent a bouncy house flying. And what's tragic is there were children inside. Look how high. The two boys who were inside dropped out about 10 to 15 feet off the ground. This happened Monday afternoon. And those kids were seriously injured. The bouncy house continued to travel hundreds of feet in the air.

And that's not the first time we've seen something like this. Back in 2011, there was another bouncy house that went flying at a fifth grade graduation party. And more than 40 people were injured in several incidents that year. But every time you see it, it is a cautionary tale to parents who often rent those, myself included, for their kids. Be very careful, especially if you're operating your own that you've purchased.

Thank you, everyone, for watching. It's been nice to have you with us. My colleague, Wolf Blitzer, starts right now.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, Bill Clinton pushes back. He says Hillary Clinton's health is strong.