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Rutgers Team Accepts Imus' Apology; Paul Wolfowitz Under Fire; Reverend Soaries Talks About Imus; D.C. Madam Reveals a Name

Aired April 13, 2007 - 15:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen. A shock jock's thoughtless ad lib touches off a pop culture firestorm. We're reading more of your e-mail about remarks and the reverberations.

LEMON: And he admits he signed off on his girlfriend's promotion and raise at the World Bank. Now bank employees want Paul Wolfowitz fired. But he's still got a friend at the White House.

NGUYEN: Plus: The tin man would hardly recognize this modern decadence.


NGUYEN: We will take you do a convention for the unconventional.

Recharge your batteries, because you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: That's cool.

NGUYEN: It is the top of the hour.

And we start with this. Don Imus is out of a job, but his apology is accepted. The head coach of the Rutgers University basketball team said today her players are trying to forgive Don Imus.

Just hours after he was fired by CBS, Imus met with the team at the New Jersey's governor's mansion. He offered his apologies.

The coach says they accepted.


C. VIVIAN STRINGER, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: He was remorseful. He expressed his apology. we have accepted his apology.

This team and I would like to heal. We are in the process of forgiving. We have accepted his apology. We really are. And I think that's what everybody needs to do.

These young ladies don't need to receive anything more. They're innocent, you know? Let's give credit to everyone, including MSNBC, CBS, everybody. Give credit to all these people. For once, people are standing up. And, for once, I just want to say to all of you guys, like I said, those of you who are handling the camera and those of you who are doing anything else, those of you who have children, you are for once taking another level of moral standard.

So, just be and do the right thing. Don't try to sell a 35 cent newspaper. Don't try to make big headlines, at the expense and off the backs of these young women or at the expense or off the back of Mr. Imus.

Let this man have some level of integrity. Let him grow. Let us all learn from this.

We don't -- you know, we seem to like, as spectators sports, putting people down, stomping on their throat, and making sure they are dead. And, if they're not, we're going to follow it up with, how well were they dressed in the coffin?

We have got to stop.


LEMON: Don Imus is already off the air. This morning, his wife, Deirdre, talked about the meet with the Rutgers player.


DEIRDRE IMUS, WIFE OF DON IMUS: They gave us the opportunity to listen to what they had to say and what -- why they're hurting and how awful this is.

And I have to say that these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful women. And one thing I want to say is that the hate mail that's being sent to them must stop. It's -- this is -- this is the wrong -- if you want to send hate mail, send it to my husband.


LEMON: CBS fired Don Imus yesterday afternoon, one day after MSNBC canceled its cable simulcast of the Imus radio show.

NGUYEN: Well, the custody battle involving Anna Nicole's little girl is taking place in the Bahamas. In fact, though, it has adjourned for the day, and it won't start up again until next Friday.

But Howard K. Stern did take to the microphones today. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.


HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S PARTNER AND ATTORNEY: What I will say is, if it were up to me -- first of all, let me say that, at least informally, the transition period has already begun. Larry spent the majority of the last few days over at the house, getting to know Dannielynn.

He's been changing diapers. He's been feeding her. He's been playing with her. And, if you ask my opinion, he's doing a great job. If it were up to me, the formal order, in terms of giving Larry full custody, would have occurred today. But, unfortunately, it didn't. And this court adjourned things. And people kind of can draw their own conclusions.

Thank you.

QUESTION: How disappointing are you (INAUDIBLE) Dannielynn that Virgie is standing in the way of a smooth transition that you're now a part of?

STERN: You know, unfortunately, there are some things that I can't control. And, in terms of Virgie's actions, or the actions of her attorneys, this is one of them I can't control.


NGUYEN: So, this is the latest in that custody battle.

As we learned a little bit earlier this week, Larry Birkhead, according to DNA tests, is the father of Dannielynn. And this custody battle will continue, although Howard K. Stern says he would give up full custody, yet Virgie Arthur, Anna Nicole's mother, is seeking custody as well.

And, so, we will see what happens next Friday.

LEMON: Yesterday was a bad day, a very bad day -- those words from an Army three-star general in Baghdad, as dust and echoes linger from a deadly suicide bombing deep inside Iraq's parliament. One person was killed, a Sunni lawmaker, and more than 20 were injured.

Investigators are working on that -- working on the theory that the bomber had help on the inside. Now, showing their resolve to not be pushed from their work, parliament did hold a session today to condemn those who attacked the heart of the new government.

One of the lawmakers who came to work today was badly hurt in the explosion.


NADA MOHAMMED IBRAHIM, NATIONAL DIALOG FRONT: And after I had, you know, concussion, and I have injury in my neck, they took me to the hospital.

I never, ever think about myself or the other injured people who I have been with them in the hospital. I don't know why, because -- maybe because I am a doctor. I always think that -- about the other Iraqis who have been for the last four years hit and killed, and they couldn't have the chance even to go to a decent hospital to have good treatment.


LEMON: Authorities have detained several people already. All of them work inside parliament and are under investigation for possibly helping the bomber.

NGUYEN: President Bush recommended him, and White House staff say he continues to support Paul Wolfowitz, as the chorus grows louder for the World Bank president to resign.


DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The president has full confidence in Paul Wolfowitz. He's done a remarkable job at the World Bank, where they are working to lift people up out of poverty from around the world.

He's apologized for the matter, and his board is undergoing an internal review. And we expect him to remain as World Bank president.

He has the president's support. But for more details and questions, I would have to refer you over to the World Bank, who's conducting that independent review.


NGUYEN: Now an independent review into what's being described as an ethics scandal involving Wolfowitz and a female love interest.

Here's CNN's Jim Boulden.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz spent his two years in the job trying to build his credentials as the banker to the developing world.

But one of his first decisions back in 2005 put his job on the line. On Friday, the World Bank released documents showing Wolfowitz signed off on the promotion and pay rise of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza. Wolfowitz apologized for his involvement.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, WORLD BANK PRESIDENT: In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations. I made a mistake, for which I am sorry.

But let me also ask for some understanding. Not only was this a painful personal dilemma, but I had to deal with it when I was new to this institution, and I was trying to navigate in uncharted waters.

BOULDEN: The board said proper procedures were not followed, noting -- quote -- "The ethics committee had not been involved in the discussions with the concerned staff member," and that "neither were the terms and conditions of the agreement commented on, reviewed or approved by the ethics committee."

Wolfowitz's move from the Pentagon to the World Bank was controversial from the moment President George W. Bush nominated him in 2005. Wolfowitz was one of the principal architects of the Iraq war. But he has also spearheaded an anti-corruption drive throughout the World Bank.

JEFFREY ROBINSON, AMERICAN COMMENTATOR: He wanted the countries where there was enormous corruption to clean up their act before he would give them the money. Now, that's not a bad idea, because the money gets into these countries and goes into corrupt pockets. So, he had the right idea. But, when you take that kind of a holier-than- thou attitude, you better not have your own hands in somebody's cookie jar.

BOULDEN: The bank's employee association called for his firing. Wolfowitz said he wanted to focus on what the bank does.

WOLFOWITZ: In the larger scheme of things, we have much more important things to focus on. For people who disagree with the things they associate with me in my previous job, I am not in my previous job. I am not working for the U.S. government. I am working for this institution and its 185 shareholders. I believe deeply in the mission of this institution, and I have a passion for it.

BOULDEN: The World Bank will have to rebuild its reputation, now tarnished by the Wolfowitz controversy.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


LEMON: A Tennessee jury heard a tearful taped testimony today. Mary Winkler made it one day after she allegedly murdered her minister husband. She told police -- quote -- "My ugly came out."

Here's part of the interrogation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) kind of set you off? Had you all argued the night before? Is it a daily -- a daily thing...


WINKLER, DEFENDANT: Not necessarily.

I guess that's just the thing, my nerves. I never know what's coming next. And I will think we're having a good day, and then, bam, I'm nervous about something, and he's aloof about it. There's just no excuse for anything. (INAUDIBLE)


LEMON: Well, defense lawyers say Mary Winkler was an abused wife. While they are not denying that she confronted her husband with a gun, they say the gun discharged accidentally.

NGUYEN: Bonnie Schneider is in our Severe Weather Center, tracking everything from blizzards to tornadoes. And, in fact, tornadoes are on the map today -- Bonnie.


We are getting some reports, according to Doppler radar, that there's some rotation in the cloud that is over Haskell County in the northern part of that county. And that's in Texas right now. The area you see highlighted in red, that is where we have a tornado warning in effect. It's about to expire.

But this may be one of many we see before the evening is over, because we have a tornado watch for a good portion of Texas. You can see it highlighted here in red. And we will be watching this throughout much of the evening.

Now, this is a very strong system that's not only producing rain and wind, but also snow on the back half of it. Right now, it's tapping into the warm, moist air ahead of it in the Gulf of Mexico, and also producing snow behind it.

To the Northeast, we have windy conditions. And that has been affecting those of you that are traveling, because we're expecting, certainly, a lot of delays this afternoon. But I want to break down the extreme weather straight through the weekend, because we have a lot happening. And it all starts with today.

I mentioned the tornado watch into Texas. That goes through until 7:00 tonight. But it's not over yet. Once we get to tomorrow, the threat of severe weather will push to the east, all the way into Georgia and South Carolina. And, then, Sunday and Monday, that will be the day -- the days we're watching closely for a nor'easter to develop that will bring high winds, heavy rain and coastal flooding to some major populated areas across the Northeast and into New England.

We will even see snow through interior sections of New York and Pennsylvania, so a very stormy next two days across the country -- Betty

NGUYEN: Brace yourselves. Thank you, Bonnie.

Well, the D.C. madam names a name. But the alleged client scoffs at the notion of involvement. We have the latest on this case just ahead.

LEMON: We have come a long way for the days of Robby the Robot. Look at this. This is a live picture. Just how far have we come? You know what? I'm kind of a geek. I would like to be down there. Wouldn't you?

NGUYEN: Yes. What is that? We will find out in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Gaga for gadgetry.


LEMON: That's what it -- that's what it is.

NGUYEN: And straight ahead: entertainment news with Sibila Vargas.

Hi there, Sibila. What's on tap?


Anna Nicole Smith, her personal diaries up for grabs -- but who is saying hands off? I will have more details on the nasty battle that is heading to the auction block -- straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


NGUYEN: Time now is 3:15 Eastern. Here are three of the stories that we're working on here in the CNN this hour.

The Rutgers women's basketball team accepts his apology, but Don Imus is still out of a job. Later in this hour, we are going to talk with a man who mediated between Imus and the players.

And, despite yesterday's bombing in Iraq's Green Zone, the Pentagon says the Baghdad troop buildup is showing some early progress.

Plus: Where is spring? The Midwest digs out from a midweek snowstorm, as New England braces for possible heavy snow this weekend.

LEMON: Well, talk about a hot item. I'm not talking about Betty Nguyen or Sibila Vargas. I'm talking about Anna Nicole Smith's diary. They go on the auction block this weekend.

CNN's entertainment correspondent, Sibila Vargas, joins us now.

You liked that, didn't you?

VARGAS: I sure did.


VARGAS: I mean, come on. Bring it on.


VARGAS: It seems the world just can't get enough of Anna Nicole Smith, Don. And, come tomorrow, one lucky bidder could get their hands on some of Anna's most intimate possessions.

Two diaries written by Smith in the early '90s will go up for auction, despite a claim by her lawyer and companion Howard K. Stern that the journals are stolen property and should be returned to Anna's estate.

Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas says they obtained the diaries and other personal artifacts from an anonymous German businessman who bought the items on eBay for more than $500,000. The auction house says they believe the journals, which cover a range of topics, including Smith's love for her late husband, J. Howard Marshall II, and concerns about her eating habits were legitimately obtained by a dealer in Los Angeles before making their way to eBay.

Opening bids will start at $20,000, with each diary expected to sell for as much as $100,000.

I have got a diary. Any bidders?


VARGAS: Maybe not.


LEMON: You are like, is this mike working?

VARGAS: In my dreams.

LEMON: This story just will not end.

VARGAS: No, not all.

LEMON: Yes. All right.

Well, her diaries aren't the only private collection items up for sale this weekend, right -- or this week, I should say?

VARGAS: Yes. Apparently, all you need is love and a large chunk of cash, Don.

LEMON: Oh, geez. Don't quit your day job or your night job.


VARGAS: Oh, stop it. You are the only one that says that.


VARGAS: Well, you need a big chunk of cash to own a piece of Beatle history.

Julian Lennon, the 44-year-old elder son of John Lennon, had sold a financial stake in his late father's Beatles compositions to Primary Wave Music Publishing. Now, according to "The Wall Street Journal," the deal relates to the songwriting income generated by a collection of Beatles music, as opposed to the publishing for songs written by Lennon and Paul McCartney. Those rights are already owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

No word on how much the Lennon collection sold for, but we have heard it was pretty significant -- Don.

LEMON: Oh, yes, of course.


LEMON: Anything to do with John Lennon or the Beatles, really expensive. OK, Sibila, so we're only about just over a month away from the sweeps period.


LEMON: And I hear there's a report that the Nielsen rating system may be changing the procedure? Is that true?

VARGAS: Absolutely.

Yes. you know, the Nielsen Company is the ratings giant behind the collecting of all the hours of data that helps station owners sell advertising time. Under the current system, that is done in TV boxes in homes and random polling.

But what about those of us who watch television in our offices, at a gym, at a bar, or even at a Super Bowl party. Well, according to Nielsen, soon, you will be counted in the poll.

According to -- well, starting this fall, Nielsen Company says they will arm thousands of people with new gadgets designed to detect what's on TV screens wherever they are. The roaming panelists will carry special cell phone devices that record sound around them. The new technology is so advanced, it can even cut through the noise of a party to get an accurate reading.

Big winners of the new procedure are expected to be Super Bowl broadcasters, daytime soap operas, and cable news programs.

Now, it might be several years before the system is fully operational. But that shouldn't stop you from tuning in to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," guys, where we will have even more on the Anna Nicole Smith diaries. Howard K. Stern claims that were -- that they were stolen, but "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" has the man who is selling them. And he says that's nonsense.

The explosive interview on TV's most provocative entertainment news show, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," 11:00 Eastern and Pacific on Headline Prime.

Happy Friday, Don.

LEMON: Happy Friday to you. I will have my popcorn tonight, along with, you know, an adult beverage. And I will be watching your show.

VARGAS: All right.


LEMON: All right. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

NGUYEN: Might want to take it easy on those adult beverages, Don.

But, in other news coming up, we have come a long way from the days of Robby the Robot. Just how far? Well, we're going to show you. That's ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And, like the crocodile that got Captain Hook, the clock is about to stop ticking on the tax deadline -- ahead in the NEWSROOM, the procrastinator's guide to last-minute filing.


NGUYEN: All right. Take a pile of nuts and bolts, add a lot of creativity and teamwork, and this is what you get, a trip to the national finals of the Robotics Convention. It's taking place today in Atlanta. It is also called the Super Bowl of smarts.

And where else would we find our very own resident geek, Reynolds Wolf, but down there?


NGUYEN: And he joins us live on the floor.

I'm hearing, Reynolds, though, this could be breaking news. Is there a robot down?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Betty. There's -- there's all kinds -- you know, I have to be honest with you. I can barely hear you, because this is a competition of creationism. And these kids can create a lot of great robots.

They can also create a great deal of noise, which has been a big issue today. But, still, it's a lot of fun.

Let me tell you about this competition. The first robotics competition began back in 1992 in a small gymnasium in New Hampshire. And, since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds to a competition that involves students from around the planet, from places like Novi, Michigan, to places like, say, Mexico, even in Canada, the U.K. They all get together and they compete here.

And let's give you an idea of what this competition is like. This all started for all of these students about six weeks ago. They all received this big kit in the mail. And the kit has basically the -- some of the same type of engines and whatnot. But they have to create a robot that weighs around 120 pounds.

It's got to have, of course, a bumper and a battery. But then, after that, the rest of the design is up to the ingenuity, the imagination and the creativity of these kids. And the robots are as different as the students themselves.

What you are seeing here right now is, you have got two different teams on either side of this small arena. And what they are doing is, they're trying to fix these robots. These robots are trying to pick up these different colored rings on this -- looks like -- almost like a spider, this big spoke device that you see right here in the middle of the court. The one who gets the most up there is going to be the winner. The thing that is really important about this is not just the competition that you have on the court. It's about teamwork. On either end of this court, you will see three teams. They are called alliances. And what is interesting is, they switch many of these teams up.

So, while one group, say, again from maybe Nebraska may be against a team from, say, Kansas city in one competition, but, the next time around, they may be on the same team. Teamwork is incredibly important in this. And you really can't succeed, get to the next level, without the help of other teammates. And that's what this is all about.

This is going to continue through the rest of the afternoon, into the evening, and through much of tomorrow. What is also interesting about this is, it's not just the creativity that you see with these machines. It's the creativity that you see with what these kids are wearing.

I mean, it's the kind of thing that would make Anderson Cooper's mom very, very proud. We have seen from sombreros to feather boas, to kilts, to -- you name it. We even saw one guy walk by with something that looked like a chicken on top of his head.

Now, I can't tell you if it was original recipe or maybe extra crispy, but it was definitely a chicken, and pretty tasty looking at that.


WOLF: Let's send it back to you in the studio.


NGUYEN: You know what? It's probably a good thing that you can't hear us, since I not only called your ow resident geek.

But it appears that...


NGUYEN: ... this is just an excuse for him to get out of the office and go play a couple games for the day.

LEMON: Mm-hmm. I wish I was down there.

NGUYEN: Yes, we should have thought of that, Don.

LEMON: It looks like a lot of fun.

All right.


LEMON: Thank you, Weynolds -- Reynolds Wolf, as we call...


NGUYEN: Weynolds Wolf.


LEMON: All right. Have a great weekend, guy.

When it comes to celebrity divorces, it's not so much who did what to whom, but who gives what to whom, right?

Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us about the most expensive celebrity divorces.

Hi, Susan.



LEMON: Are you one of them?




LISOVICZ: No, I know better, Don. So do you, right?

LEMON: Prenup.


LISOVICZ: Exactly. Both my brothers are lawyers. OK?

LEMON: All right.

LISOVICZ: So, we will just start right there.

Divorce happens every day, but, when there's a celebrity involved, it's more than just big news. It's big dollars, too. Tabloids cover them. Fans follow them, and lawyers get rich from them.

Case in point, one of this year's settlements could top the list of the most expensive celebrity divorces over the past 25 years, as compiled by "Forbes." The number-one spot could go to someone known simply as M.J., or his airness. Of course, we're talking about Michael Jordan.

Jordan earned most of his fortune during his 18-year marriage to wife Juanita, a good portion of it coming from lucrative endorsement deals with Nike and others. If she presses for half of his assets, Juanita Jordan could -- well, she could do a slam dunk. She could get more than $150 million.

And now it's my time to ask you guys the question you usually ask me.

LEMON: All right.

LISOVICZ: Betty and Don, can you take a guess?

LEMON: Yes. Can Betty help out?


LEMON: OK. Good.

LISOVICZ: You can -- you know, it's like that robotic challenge.


NGUYEN: ... what that's worth.



LISOVICZ: Name one -- one couple in the top five, one other couple in the top five here.

NGUYEN: OK, Steven Spielberg and his first wife. Then...

LISOVICZ: Absolutely right.

LEMON: But the one we have been talking about all along, Heather Mills and...

NGUYEN: And Paul McCartney.

LEMON: ... and Paul McCartney.

LISOVICZ: That is pending, and they are just out of the top five. She won't have to do that reality...


LEMON: What about the...

NGUYEN: Tom Cruise and his first? Was that Mimi Rogers?

LISOVICZ: It doesn't factor in there, no.

NGUYEN: Really?

LISOVICZ: Don't see it.

LEMON: The guy who -- what's his name? Harrison Ford. Didn't he have a huge...

NGUYEN: Oh, and his wife.

LISOVICZ: Yes, yes. There we go. I have to... (CROSSTALK)

LISOVICZ: ... remind myself.

NGUYEN: OK. We have got two.


LISOVICZ: Number two, Neil Diamond's ex, Marcia Murphey, got $150 million. Number three, Steven Spielberg. That woman was Amy Irving. It did have a prenup. This was interesting. But it was reportedly written on a napkin.


LISOVICZ: So, Irving successfully contested it. Hey, rule number one, don't write it on a napkin. She ended up with $100 million. That was 15 -- I don't know, like 15 or 20 years ago.

The ex-Mrs. Harrison Ford, Melissa Mathison, got more just a one- time payment. She actually negotiated a piece of Ford's future earnings from films he made while married, which means DVD sales of some big money makers, the "Indiana Jones" trilogy and "The Fugitive."

Talking about big money, well, let's take a look at -- well, let's take a look at Merck shares. They are up 8.5 percent today, a 52-week high. That's really helping the Dow industrials, up 51 points. The Nasdaq is up 11. They are each up about a half-a- percent.

It's been a seesaw week here on Wall Street. I will be back with the closing numbers in 30 minutes, see if the bulls can prevail on this Friday the 13th.

But, meantime, Don and Betty, kudos. You know your celebrity divorces.

NGUYEN: Well, we got two out of five. That's not really passing, but, OK, thank you.

LISOVICZ: Not bad.



LEMON: Thank you Susan. We will see you in a little bit.

NGUYEN: You got it.

LEMON: The mediator becomes a gladiator, and says he will do battle in the pop culture arena. Ahead in the NEWSROOM: Reverend DeForest Soaries believes Don Imus isn't the only person who needs to change.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Hello. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. How many red faces result from her little black book? Well, so far, the so-called D.C. madam has only revealed one man's name. What he says about her claim. Well, we'll tell you here in the NEWSROOM.

The Reverend DeForest Soaries has been a key player in the Don Imus controversy. He attended last night's meeting between Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. And last hour he announced a new initiative of ministers and media officials and young people to combat racist and sexist language. He's also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey.

Reverend Soaries joins me now from Somerset. Reverend, we really do appreciate your time today. Thank you.


NGUYEN: First of all, I want to talk to you about that meeting last night between Don Imus and the players, as well as the coach and the players' parents. He was there for three hours. It had to be very tense, especially when he first walked into that room. Talk to me about how that transpired.

SOARIES: Well, I think it was more intense than tense in that the players were thrilled to finally have a chance to face the man who had complicated their lives. And I think Mr. Imus was equally relieved to have finally an opportunity to apologize directly to these ladies. The meeting was honest and open and frank. The team members were quite vocal, but they were not vulgar. They were passionate in what they said, but they were polite. They were gracious. They received him courteously and they sent him off, I think, compassionately.

NGUYEN: The Rutgers coach today made it very clear and public that the team, as well as she, accepts his apology. I want you to listen to what she had to say earlier today.


VIVIAN STRINGER, COACH, RUTGERS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM: We, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights basketball team, accept Mr. Imus' apology, and we are in the process of forgiving. We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget.


NGUYEN: How did you help that forgiveness begin, this healing begin? Because I imagine the exchanges last night had to have been very difficult at some times and you had to mediate that. How was that? SOARIES: Well, Coach Stringer, in the first instance, is a very spiritual woman. She, herself, has come through great hardship, having lost her husband, having a very sick daughter who is confined to a wheelchair, having been a breast cancer survivor. She is a very deeply spiritual person.

And so forgiveness is not a stranger to her. Likewise, these players of hers are people that she recruits that are like her. I mean, young people grow up to be like their role models. And before we went into the room with Mr. Imus last night in the governor's mansion, we held hands and prayed.

There's no mean-spirited streak in these young women. They are not glory seekers. They are not committed to anger. This situation was dropped on them. They didn't volunteer for it. And what they've tried to do is to respond with grace and with dignity, but also with truth.

And so last night, exactly what coach stringer said happened, it was a productive meeting. They were able to begin the process of some kind of closure. And in so doing, they really earned my respect even more because these young people were more mature than many of us.

They were more civil under fire than many people would be. And I think both the Democrats and Republicans and people from a variety of parties could really learn from their behavior. The Bible was right when it really said a little child shall lead them.

NGUYEN: Well, you know, in that truth that you speak of, the Rutgers coach also said that the team at no point wanted or asked for Imus to be fired. Take a listen to what she had to say about that specifically.


STRINGER: We didn't -- if you noticed, there was no time -- at no time did the Rutgers University women's basketball team ask for, you know, his job. And it would sadden me for anyone to lose their job. And I do mean anyone to lose their. You know, good things have got to come from this. So don't make a mistake and think that this is the Rutgers women's basketball team that has called for his job.


NGUYEN: And she went on to say that Imus really deserves some credit here because he came to meet with this team, even after he was fired. Did he get that credit last night?

SOARIES: Yes, he did. They acknowledged the fact that it took great courage. They appreciated his coming and told him so. What you heard from coach Stringer's mouth were words that are consistent with the Christian tradition. All of us make mistakes and all of us at some point will need forgiveness.

It's consistent with the highest ethic of the human spirit that we are not animals in a jungle that eat each other up when something goes wrong. We are homo sapiens. We are reflective creatures. We build universities and libraries, we paint pictures. And so coach Stringer represents, I believe, what should be normative behavior in the human experience.

Having said that, it's so rare because we really have become kind of an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth society. We would rather invade than to talk. I think we need more people who are role models in moral decency rather than superstars of frivolity.

NGUYEN: Well, reverend, just very quickly, the coach also said that she wants to see something good happen of this. And in fact, you are working toward that. Tell us very quickly what your efforts are and how you hope this will create some kind of social change.

SOARIES: Within 30 days, a coalition of leaders right here in New Jersey will reconvene on Rutgers campus, not to protest someone like Imus, but rather to begin a broader dialogue around right and wrong, good and bad. Civil society requires a moral consensus that's applied consistently.

We can no longer be angry when whites kill blacks but not be angry when blacks kill blacks. We can no longer be angry when a white radio announcer insults our young people but we ignore or turn our heads when black entertainers ignore our young people.

We must be morally consistent, and I think this incident has served as a kind of wake-up call to re-motivate us towards moral excellence. We had an excellent vision at the beginning of the founding of this country. We had to work towards accomplishing it. I think now it's time to renew our commitment to higher moral standards so that we can be the beloved community that Dr. King dreamed of.

NGUYEN: Reverend DeForest Soaries, said very wonderfully there. We appreciate your time. Thank you.

SOARIES: Thank you very much.

LEMON: This just in to the CNN NEWSROOM. Thursday was a very deadly day for U.S. soldiers in Iraq, specifically Baghdad. Five U.S. soldiers killed on Thursday. Three soldiers were killed Thursday in two separate incidents south of Baghdad. That is according the military.

In first incident, a soldier was killed, and another was wounded when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb while they conducted a security patrol in the area. In the second incident, two soldiers were killed and seven wounded when their patrol base came under attack. Two Iraqi interpreters were also killed in that attack.

And then earlier on Friday, the military announced that a soldier had been killed by small arms fire north of Baghdad. That's four soldiers and then another deadly -- another soldier died Thursday in a non-battle related cause. And that was the fifth soldier. So five soldiers dead in Iraq on Thursday. That information just in to the CNN NEWSROOM. NGUYEN: Well, the D.C. madam names a name. But the alleged client scoffs at the notion of involvement. We have the latest on the case just ahead.

But first, we are celebrating Larry King's 50th year in the broadcasting industry. And today, we look back at one of Larry's most memorable interviews, Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot debating NAFTA.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": The NAFTA became a major issue in America. The idea of NAFTA and Mexico. And the Democrats were going to lose. And Al Gore called me up, the vice president of the United States. Mr. Perot has been taking the lead in anti-NAFTA. I'll debate him. And I said, you mean the sitting vice president will debate an ordinary citizen? He said, yes, I'll do it if he'll do it.

But all of this is without NAFTA, right?

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. Now let me respond to this, if I could, would you?

ROSS PEROT, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Larry, this is after years of U.S. companies going to Mexico, living free.

KING: But they could do that without NAFTA.

PEROT: But we can stop that without NAFTA and we can stop that with a good NAFTA. Just because.

GORE: How do you stop that without NAFTA?

PEROT: Just make -- just cut that out. Pass a few simple laws on this, just make it very, very clear that if any ...

GORE: Pass a few simple laws on Mexico?


GORE: How do you stop it without NAFTA?

KING: And that night changed NAFTA. That single debate switched the vote in the Senate. No doubt about it.



LEMON: The so-called D.C. madam makes good on a threat. Deborah Palfrey said she was going to name names, and she used court records this week to claim a highly respected military strategist was one of her regulars. That accusation has lots of people talking about shock and awe to CNN's Brianna Keilar now standing by for us in Washington.

Hi, Brianna. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Don. You know, you may not recognize his name, but many a Washington insider does. It's Harlan Ullman. He's one of the leading theorists behind the shock and awe strategy of military dominance. Now that probably does ring a bell for you.

It, of course, was associated with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Ullman has appeared on a number of news shows, including CNN, as a defense expert. According to his Web site, he's a former Navy commander and also a highly respected and widely recognized expert in national security whose advice is sought by governments and businesses.

Court documents show alleged madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey names Ullman as a regular customer of her upscale escort service, and of course, that service is one that the government says was actually a prostitution ring that Palfrey ran in the D.C. area for about 13 years.

Palfrey's civil defense lawyer says Ullman was a client but that he did not engage in sexual contact with escorts. Actually talked with Mr. Ullman and he gave me a brief statement saying: "The allegations do not dignify a response. I'm a private, not a public, citizen. Any further questions are referred to my attorneys."

Ullman also told me he's considering some sort of legal action himself. And when I spoke with his attorney, I asked him if his client was a customer of Pamela Martin and Associates, that of course, the name of Palfrey's company. He said, no comment -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Are we expecting other names to come out of this?

KEILAR: Well, I wouldn't completely rule that out. And I say that because I spoke with Palfrey's civil defense lawyer. And she said -- or pardon me, he said in the short term he doesn't think that is the direction his client wants to go. But he also told me, hey, it's possible.

LEMON: All right. Brianna Keilar, thank you so much.

NGUYEN: Well, they could see it coming. But were just powerless to prevent it. The crash that couldn't be stopped. It's next in the CNN NEWSROOM.


NGUYEN: And speaking of "Life After Work," a woman who faced death now devoting her life to helping others do the same.

Here's Mary Snow.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You have cancer. Three words that changed Monica Knoll's life. MONICA KNOLL, FOUNDER, CANCER101: I think everybody can -- will attest that when you hear those words, "you have cancer," you really -- you feel like you've been kicked in the stomach.

SNOW: It was October 2000. And Knoll was only 36 years old, working as a marketing executive for a health club chain. As she began treatment, Monica realized how difficult it was keeping up with the details of her care.

KNOLL: It was so overwhelming to manage the multitude of doctor's appointments with my business responsibility.

SNOW: So after finishing her treatments, Knoll launched Cancer101 to help new cancer patients deal with the disease. There's a Web site culling the mountain of information on the Web to key resources and support groups, podcasts outlining what to do in the first 24 hours of your diagnosis. And the central part of the program, a custom planner.

KNOLL: This is a cancer planner. It really allows the caregiver and the patient to get organized, a place to keep their notes. A place to keep business cards, addresses, telephone numbers, billing information as the invoices start to come in.

SNOW: But in the midst of launching Cancer101, knoll faced another challenge.

KNOLL: Just as I was about to launch the program, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had the opportunity to actually test pilot breast Cancer101 this past fall. And I know now more than ever that Cancer101 really does help others and does need to grow to provide the tools for other cancers.

SNOW: Knoll recently finished her chemotherapy, and she's focusing on the future.

KNOLL: I have to say with -- in light of Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow, both recently being diagnosed again with their second cancers, you know, I related with their experiences 110 percent. Cancer doesn't stop you until you let it stop you.

SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Well, check out this video. This was an accident waiting -- ooh.

NGUYEN: Oh! Right there.

LEMON: Waiting to happen. And as the television camera recorded that scene, it did. That car that you saw was stalled in the middle of a busy road in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the pre-dawn darkness. That was this morning. As the videotape rolled, another car slammed into it. There's no word on possible injuries in that one. NGUYEN: Yes. Hope they are OK. Do want to let you know that the closing bell and a wrap of the action on Wall Street is straight ahead.


LEMON: Time to check in with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

NGUYEN: That is right. He's standing by in "THE SITUATION ROOM" to tell us what is coming up at the top of the hour. Hi, Wolf.

BLITZER: Hi, guys. Thanks very much. Coming up, critics of the Bush administration are asking if the White House has something to hide. Some are claiming that millions, yes millions, of White House e-mail simply vanished. And presidential adviser Karl Rove's name is at the center of this controversy. We're standing by for details.

Also, a comedian takes on a sitting senator. Former radio talk show host Al Franken calling Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman a cheerleader for President Bush. Franken is pondering a run for Coleman's seat. I'll ask Senator Coleman for his reaction.

And why is the governor of California going on a show called, and I'm not making this up, "Pimp My Ride"? We'll tell you why Arnold Schwarzenegger is raising some eyebrows, maybe awareness over his planned appearance. All of that coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

NGUYEN: Wait, what is that show called again, Wolf?

LEMON: Say that again, Wolf?

BLITZER: I believe it's called "Pimp My Ride."


NGUYEN: You know you watch that show every day.

BLITZER: I don't.


LEMON: They should get you to do the opening to that show. Wolf Blitzer, "Pimp My Ride."

NGUYEN: "Pimp My Ride."

BLITZER: Thank you.

LEMON: All right. Wolf, thank you. We'll see you at 4:00.

All right. They didn't wait until the last minute apparently, the president and Mrs. Bush, because their income tax return information is out. You know, it has got to be public. President and Mrs. Bush reported taxable income of $642,905 for the tax year 2006 resulting in a total of $186,378 in federal income taxes paid by the president and Mrs. Bush. It included a salary earned as president, investment income from trusts in which their assets are held. And here is what's important. The president and Mrs. Bush contributed $78,100 to churches and taxable -- charitable organizations and so on and so forth.

NGUYEN: And there you have it.