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Parents Allege Clinic Impregnated Mom with Wrong Man's Sperm; CNN Special "Friends Forever: 25 Years Of Laughter" Airs Sunday at 9:00 P.M.; New "SNL" Hire Under Fire for Racial Slur in Resurfaced Video; Felicity Huffman Sentencing Underway in College Scandal. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired September 13, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We are watching the federal courthouse in Boston. At any moment, Actress Felicity Huffman facing the judge in reckoning over the college admission scheme. She got to the court a little while ago there. Prosecutors want this actress to spend one month -- what they're asking, one month in prison and pay this $20,000 fine. Her attorneys are pushing for probation and community service.
We're awaiting the decision to come down. We'll bring it to you any second now.
To New Jersey and this story where this newly divorced couple is suing a fertility clinic after learning a painful truth that the daughter they conceived through invitro fertilization while still married contained zero of the father's DNA. The judge is ordering a clinic to turn over its list of men and women who used this clinic around the same time.
Erica Hill has bene following this story for us. And also with us for legal perspective, Elie Honig, a former prosecutor, now a CNN legal analyst.
I mean, I read this and thought, "what the what?" how could this happen?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They first learned about this, Brooke, almost four years ago. It from confirmed through DNA test. They described it as a nightmare, are devastated. And the father tells me that to this day he has a hard time focusing because it really consumes him.
Here's a little bit more.
HILL (voice-over): Six years ago, Kristina Koedderich and Drew Wasilewski welcomed a baby girl. Conceived via IVF using what they thought was Drew's sperm and Kristina's egg.
KRISTINA KOEDDERICH, MOTHER: When she was born, all my friends said, oh, she looks Asian, she looks Asian. But you just figure every baby like looks different when they're born.
HILL: As she got older, the physical differences were clear.
KOEDDERICH: I would go to a restaurant and they're like, oh, did you adopt her?
HILL: Shortly after their daughter's 2nd birthday, they say DNA tests confirmed Drew had a zero percent chance of being her biological father.
DREW WASLEWSKI, ALLEGED FATHER: It shook my world. That was like the final thing that destroyed everything around me.
HILL: Now divorced, the former couple is united in their fight to learn the identity of her biological father, suing the clinic where she was conceived. A director with the facility in a March deposition maintains there was no mix-up.
In a statement to CNN, that facility, the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science, said it cannot comment on individual patients but says they're taking this very seriously and are thoroughly examining the alleged incident.
DAVID MAZIE, ATTORNEY FOR THE FAMILY: They have known about this since 2015. And they haven't provided any information, any clarity. The only thing they say is we did everything right.
HILL: Then last month, a judge ordered the clinic to turn over records on all the men, both donors and those hoping to be parents, like Drew, who gave specimens around the same time, and all the women whose eggs were fertilized when Christina's were. They have until September 27th.
WASLEWSKI: It hurts every time. It just gets to the heart. Just stabbing and stabbing and stabbing.
Every day, you can't run from this. You can't run.
Hi, daddy. Hi, sweetie. How are you?
And, you know, you see that and she's adorable and it breaks your heart, but the whole scenario is just -- it sucks.
HILL (on camera): Did it change in any way how you feel about her?
WASLEWSKI: No. Everybody is wondering, what are you going to do? What do you mean I'm going to do? I'm going to take her and throw her like a piece of garbage and throw away? You go, she didn't do anything.
She's my daughter. I watched her born.
KOEDDERICH: Yes, yes.
WASLEWSKI: She's the most adorable little kid. I want to be there as long as I can, but still, it doesn't make it right.
HILL: It's heart-wrenching, Brooke, to talk to them.
And part of the reason, too, they're pursuing this is they know their daughter will have questions. They've already talked about how they'll address them. But they want her to know her genetic makeup. They want her to know if there's something in her family history she needs to know about.
And they've also said that if they track down the biological father, and if that person is interested in having a relationship with her, they are open to it, because Drew, if he has children he doesn't know about that he may have fathered, he wants to know, too.
BALDWIN: I'm coming to that in just a second.
But to you, my friend. Jump in on -- so the defense is, you had an extramarital affair.
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It may be the only thing the clinic has. Right? That's the whole ball game. If that is proven out, if that's the fact, then it's not the clinical fault.
Two possibilities. Right? Extramarital affair or the clinic gave the wrong sample. If it turns out the clinic gave the wrong sample, seems far more likely this couple is entitled to enormous damages.
BALDWIN: How do they even put a figure on what they're losing? It's a child. I understand. But it's not his and -- how do you figure out the dollar amount for that?
HONIG: A great question. And it's what makes this case so interesting and difficult. On the one hand, we saw it, you can imagine the enormous pain. Just saw it from the father right there.
On the other hand, ultimately butting a dollar amount on damages. Not a typical personal injury. Saying I was physically injured in this was and I lost X amount of income. This is an emotional damages case. Ultimately, it's up to a judge and jury. But that was compelling, a big reward I think.
BALDWIN: Moving back to you, I'm the father, if my sperm didn't make this baby, did my sperm get switched up to make --
HILL: That's one of his questions, right? He says, I want to know, too, what happened to my sperm? It wasn't used to conceive my daughter as I believed it was, and does he have other children?
(CROSSTALK) HILL: I asked him about an extramarital affair.
HILL: As Kristina said to me, from the moment they got married, she learned she was infertile. She said, in her words, "They took all of my eggs at the clinic. It would have been impossible for me to get pregnant. If I had an affair, because I'm not able to get pregnant.
BALDWIN: Got it.
Erica and Elie, thank you both so much. Thank you, thank you.
Keeping a close eye, again, on this federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, where Actress Felicity Huffman is about to be sentenced in that massive college admissions scandal. Stand by for that.
BALDWIN: It who been 25 years since "Friends" become a must-see TV show every Thursday night. It started as a young ensemble sitcom transformed into one of the most popular TV shows of all-times. :"Friends" was produced by Warner Brothers, part of CNN's parent company, Warner Media. A new CNN special, "FRIENDS FOREVER: 25 YEARS OF LAUGHTER," looks at how it all began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Shut up. The camera adds 10 pounds.
MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: So how many cameras are actually on you?
DAVID CLAIRE, CO-CREATOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: It was all about getting the joke right. Can this be funnier?
SAUL AUSTRALITZ, AUTHOR: These are incredibly funny people all gathered in a room together. All doing their utmost to kind of win the game. Right? To tell the funniest joke, come up with the funniest line to win over fellow writers.
The challenging part is that the hours and the intensity were so brutal.
CLAIRE: Very often we would stay all night trying to get it right because our feeling was, you know what? This is good to shoot end of the week. Better get it right now.
If it's not funny. They would be there after midnight, 2:00, 3:00, and sometimes that's
when the best punch lines emerge.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: What was it like in the writers' room? What were those hours like?
MARTA KAUFFMAN, CO-CREATOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Rough hours. I had nights where I'd be driving home, sun coming up. Get my kids ready for school and have to go back to work.
KEVIN BRIGHT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I would say three years I didn't sit down to one meal with my children.
LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Give me the modus operandi. Take me through the week, David.
DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR: We would have table meetings with the whole writing staff, the heads of productions, the executive producers.
LISA KUDROW, ACTRESS: If it gets a laugh, then it's worth keeping.
If we were in prison, you guys would be like my bitches.
BILL CATER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: It was an absolutely insane experience, because Marta and David were never satisfied.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: OK. We're celebrating "Friends" here.
Alisyn Camerota hosting this special.
I'm supposed to ask you all of these questions. High hard-hitting question. The Rachel haircut. Did you -- did you go there?
CAMEROTA: Of course I did.
BALDWIN: I knew it!
CAMEROTA: I wish I brought photos, because I supported the Rachel --
BALDWIN: You probably rocked that.
CAMEROTA: Oh, I did. I had the Rachel haircut. I'll bring you a picture.
BALDWIN: Please do.
CAMEROTA: I had it like two years. Everybody would be like, oh, you're Rachel.
BALDWIN: Yes, yes.
CAMEROTA: I did. BALDWIN: How -- who -- I mean, I love listening to the writers saying
there through the night. If it got it laugh, it was in. Who did you want to, what did you learn?
CAMEROTA: You'll hear all the behind-the-scenes juicy stuff. We talked to writers and critics at the time who didn't know it would be this kind of runaway hit and those who did. We talked to special guest starts, from Kathleen Turner to Morgan Fairchild, Janice, one of the great character.
BALDWIN: Your friend does a good Janice.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Fantastic.
Everybody -- turns out something very magical happened on that set, that people couldn't have predicted. A certain alchemy of these actors coming together. The minute they all do a table read, one of the things we learned, trying all sorts of different actors. Others could have gotten these parts.
The first time these six did a table read, everybody stopped and realized they had a chemistry that wouldn't be able to be re-created.
BALDWIN: When they knew. I was going to ask, how would they know these particular six? The six in the room that was the special sauce?
CAMEROTA: Yes. Then the problem was that those six were committed to other things. Almost every single one of them had a different show at that time or had already committed, signed a contract to a different show.
Somehow these stars aligned. Different shows canceled, studios allowed them out of contracts to do this to do this. So close to not being those six.
BALDWIN: And I mean, were any of them really, really known prior to "Friends"? How did they -- I mean, mega stardom?
BALDWIN: -- they deal?
CAMEROTA: Some dealt better than others.
CAMEROTA: Some took to it, or at least managed it well. We have a few interviews in here that talk about how Matthew Perry struggled. That's pretty public. He struggled with addiction and talk behind the scenes what that was like during those episodes and seasons Matthew Perry was struggling.
What's interesting is -- obviously, lots of actors and people struggle with addiction -- and sometimes shows ought to get rid of that person and they made a different decision. Had to talk about how the cast and how everybody on the set had to come together to help him basically.
BALDWIN: What are you most excited for people to see in this?
CAMEROTA: Well, I have had to go back and watch a million episodes.
BALDWIN: Really tough.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Thank you. Research has been exhausting for this.
CAMEROTA: But what you find out is that it holds up kind of magically. It's 25 years ago that it started. But somehow when you watch it, it doesn't feel dated, and it has evergreen themes. You know? Evergreen themes about -- about emotions and about relationships and about your first job and about your Friends and everything. It really holds up.
I think that you'll hear what all of the creators and stars think about that.
BALDWIN: I love how you're asking prior to the interview, were you a "Friends" person? I watched some "Friends." I mean, smelly cat, of course.
CAMEROTA: Yes, broke into "Smelly Cat". Spontaneously.
BALDWIN: I did, I did.
I look forward to seeing your Rachel haircut. We'll share on Instagram.
CAMEROTA: Very good.
BALDWIN: Thank you very much.
And we'll be watching the special report, "FRIENDS FOREVER: 25 YEARS OF LAUGHTER." That is Sunday night at 9:00 eastern, right here on CNN.
And again, right now, Actress Felicity Huffman in front of a judge, a federal judge, in Boston learning her fate in the college admissions scandal. Will she serve time? Prosecutors asked for a month. We're told the "Desperate Housewives" star has about a dozen family members are inside the courtroom this moment where she could be sentenced to a little time behind bars.
Also ahead, NASCAR shifting gears on guns. CNN has new details on a plan to ban some weapons advertising.
BALDWIN: "Saturday Night Live" kicks off its 49th season in a couple of weeks and there's already a bit of controversy. One new cast member, Shane Gillis, is under fire for using a racial slur against Chinese people in an old podcast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHANE GILLIS, COMEDIAN: Chinatown is (EXPLETIVE DELETED) nuts. It's crazy. It's full (EXPLETIVE DELETED) China. And (EXPLETIVE DELETED) down there. I wonder how that started built. They just built one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) building and people we like, all right, no one said anything.
Why don't the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) live there? Huh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The video resurfaced days after "SNL" announced the hiring of two other co-stars. One, Comedian Bowen Yang, who is "SNL's" first Chinese-American cast member. CNN reached out to both "SNL" and NBC but has yet to receive a response.
Gillis is responding in a tweet, quote, "I am a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you'll find a lot of bad misses. I'm happy to apologize to anyone offended by anything I said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can and sometimes that require risks."
XiXi Yang in an independent journalist, TV host, and host of a podcast, and she's with me.
XiXi, not a great look to start with supposedly a star-studded season. With Eddie Murphy, Taylor Swift. Your reaction to this apology?
XIXI YANG, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Let me say, when I woke up and saw the headlines, I was livid and fired up over this story. His apology sounds like a complete load of B.S. Since when is racist in the category of pushing boundaries and taking risks?
When I saw the podcast, he was calling Chinese food cheap, making fun of the Chinese accent, and even used a derogatory "C" word to describe Chinese people. This is beyond forgiving him. I just couldn't believe it.
BALDWIN: And just, you know, the fact that, you know, that Bowen Yang is joining as this writing and should be celebrated but there's a dark cloud hanging over this cast and this season because of this.
YANG: Absolutely. I'm hoping Bowen Yang can make us proud. Not only is he the first actor to be on "SNL" of east Asian descent, but a member of LGBTQ, and very, very talented, and hoping he can make us proud.
As far as I'm concerned, Shane Gillis is totally canceled on behalf of the 17 million Asian-Americans in the U.S. and five billion Asians around the world. We can't forgive him.
BALDWIN: XiXi, thank you for your opinion. Appreciate it.
Stand by. We have breaking news. Let's roll on.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BALDWIN: We've back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Here's the news. Emmy-award-winning actress, Felicity Huffman's, sentencing is under way for her role in the scathing college admissions scandal. We're told the "Desperate Housewives" star has about a dozen family members inside the courtroom now. The key question, will she serve any time?
Huffman pleaded guilty to paying a fake charity $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT scores. Her attorneys are asking for probation. They want her to serve community service, pay a fine, but she could be the first parent in this huge scheme to actually serve time behind bars.
Let's go straight to Brynn Gingras with breaking details.