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Parents Of Gabby Petito And Brian Laundrie Reach Settlement; Major Alabama Health System Pausing IVF After Court Hearing; Davidson Coach McKillop Reflects On His Coaching Legacy And Life. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired February 22, 2024 - 07:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And overnight, thousands of Americans -- maybe, you woke up to your phone not working. What we're learning about his nationwide cell service outage.


HARLOW: Welcome back.

The parents of murdered 22-year-old travel blogger Gabby Petito have reached a settlement with the parents of Brian Laundrie, Gabby's fiance, who killed her during a cross-country road trip in an emotional distress lawsuit that the Petitos claimed the Laundries knew their son killed Gabby but intentionally withheld that information. This agreement means they do avoid a civil trial that was set to begin in May.

Jean Casarez joins us now with more. It was so sad just re-reading about all of this, this morning after the news. Remind people of what happened.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN REPORTER: You know, I think we all remember, right, 2021. All of a sudden, we hear the name Gabby Petito.


CASAREZ: And she had made this travel video blog of she and her fiance as they were out West and they were camping in her van. And I think it caught the country just to watch them because the videos that she had made were just riveting to watch when she was missing and nobody could find her.

And so, a year later, in 2022, the Petitos filed a lawsuit and we then realized that when she was missing and didn't know where she was, they had called, texted, phoned, emailed, Facebook Messenger the Laundries saying do you know anything about our daughter? They blocked them on Facebook. They didn't return any calls. They wouldn't speak to them.


They made a public statement -- please -- to the Laundries. Let us know about our daughter.

They then filed suit. And under Florida law, intentional infliction of emotional distress. The test is outrageous behavior. Was it outrageous that the Laundries never responded to them? They said we never had a duty to respond to you.

But yesterday, there was a mediation conference because this case was proceeding to trial fast. It was going to happen in May.

And here is the resolution. We did get a comment from the Laundrie's attorney, Steven Bertolino. He said, quote, "Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and I participated in a mediation with the Petito family and the civil lawsuit has not been resolved. The terms of the resolution are confidential, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us."

But the question remained what did Brian Laundrie tell his parents --

HARLOW: Right.

CASAREZ: -- about what happened to Gabby? Well, depositions were released right before this mediation conference began. And we now know that on August 29, Brian initially called his mother and she thought something was wrong and she told her husband, "Call Brian." He did call Brian and here is from that deposition what Brian's father asked his son, Brian.

"I asked him, you know, how is he doing, and he -- you know, he was not calm, and he got very excited and told me things had -- you know, 'Gabby's gone' and he got very frantic. Everything was frantic and quick. He said he didn't know what to do. He said, you know, can you help me, you know, and he might need a lawyer." And they retained a lawyer.

And the reason they said they never spoke to the Petitos at all was that their attorney told them just don't talk to anybody. Just don't talk. Keep Brian safe. Don't talk to anybody.

And then he committed suicide. And in his backpack, he admitted he murdered her.


Jean Casarez, we appreciate it. Thank you.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Alabama's Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos are children. That ruling already affecting in- vitro fertilization patients. Ahead, CNN speaks to a woman who is currently in IVF treatment in Alabama. Stay with us.



MATTINGLY: Well, welcome back. This morning, women in Alabama undergoing IVF fertility treatments are facing uncertainty after one of just a handful of fertility clinics in the state decided to pause IVF treatments. The decision was made to give the University of Alabama Birmingham time to review the state's Supreme Court ruling from last week that declared embryos are children.

HARLOW: Our Isabel Rosales speaks to one woman in Alabama who is currently undergoing IVF on what the future of her treatment looks like and the emotional and financial tolls it takes on her family.


ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fallout intensifies in Alabama after the state's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children. One of the fertility clinics in the state pausing IVF treatments while it evaluates the high court's decision.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham writes, "We are saddened that this will impact our patients' attempt to have a baby through IVF, but we must evaluate the potential that our patients and our physicians could be prosecuted criminally or face punitive damages for following the standard of care for IVF treatments."

SEAN TIPTON, CHIEF ADVOCACY AND POLICY OFFICER, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE: It is already leading to fewer babies and fewer grandbabies that are desperately wanted for their parents and grandparents in Alabama. So I think this is the first -- UAB is the first system to stop and I don't think it's going to be the last.

ROSALES (voice-over): This decision leaves Alabamians struggling with infertility scared.

GABRIELLE GOIDEL, UNDERGOING IVF IN ALABAMA: I've been waiting over two years to be pregnant, so I -- there is no world where I could see me stopping this process right now. All we want is to just have the American dream and have a family, and I never thought that this would be something that would be seen as immoral.

ROSALES (voice-over): Gabrielle Goidel just started the shots necessary with IVF one day before Alabama's Supreme Court ruling and is worried her clinic could also pause treatments.

GOIDEL: Right now, I am -- I'm probably 15 shots in and my body is bruised and hurt. And it's not been great physically. I don't feel the greatest.

Financially, we've invested over $20,000 into this process. We paid that again on Thursday, the day before the ruling came out.

ROSALES (voice-over): Gabrielle and her husband have been trying for two years to get pregnant and suffered three miscarriages. They're returning to IVF to secure a genetically viable embryo.

GOIDEL: It just feels like it's been months long, and then to be told that there is a possibility that we would have to stop this in the middle of one of the most important parts of it is really terrifying.

ROSALES (voice-over): Gabrielle is just days away from her egg retrieval and is worried what she will do with her non-viable embryos.

GOIDEL: Do I have to keep those on -- frozen forever? Do I get to let the ones that are genetically abnormal pass naturally? Is my doctor going to be in any sort of danger by doing this procedure to me? It just -- there's so many questions in the air right now.

We love it here but it definitely has made us think about whether or not we'll stay here long term. And for sure, we are going to try to transfer our embryos out of Alabama as soon as possible.

ROSALES (voice-over): Isabel Rosales, CNN, Atlanta.


HARLOW: Our thanks to Isabel for that piece.

It's so important to hear from the humans affected by this and people on both sides of this debate. We'll keep following it very closely.

Also, this ahead. Bob McKillop racked up over 600 wins as a college basketball head coach, and you don't get that kind of milestone without being a strong leader on and off the court. Just ahead, our one-on-one with the Davidson legend.


BOB MCKILLOP, DAVIDSON COLLEGE HEAD COACH 1989-2022: The power must always be in harmony with truth. And if you take those principles and you apply them to leadership today, I believe we'd have a different world.




HARLOW: NBA superstar Steph Curry and legendary coach Bob McKillop's legacies are forever linked. When others doubted Curry's potential it was McKillop's unwavering belief in him as a high-schooler that made all the difference. He recruited the future four-time NBA champion to Davidson College. You'll remember -- 2008. They would lead Davidson on a magical NCAA Tournament run reaching the Elite 8.

Curry credits McKillop for helping him overcome self-doubt during his basketball career and instilling a trust that Curry didn't need to be anything other than himself to succeed.


STEPH CURRY, 4-TIME NBA CHAMPION: You've built the total human being as an athlete, as a citizen. And I know I can speak for everybody that's played for you, none of this is possible without you. So, thank you so much for your leadership and your example.


HARLOW: McKillop led a winning program for over three decades -- a program built on character. And now, after leaving the court, he reflects on what he calls life's two greatest gifts, time and love. And I sat down with him for the latest in our Coaching Life series.


B. MCKILLOP: And I can remember Steph Curry making the play in that corner and going down and shooting a lay-up. Coming down this, stealing the ball, and going down and shooting a 3-pointer. And me standing down at that other end as a defender is running back down court -- me turning to the bench and saying, "Don't they know that's Steph Curry."

It never surprised me what he did because Matt, as an assistant, and I, as a head coach, saw this every day in living color. And now to see what he has done in the NBA, you can't step on this court without thinking of him.

ANNOUNCER: History. History in the making right here.

B. MCKILLOP: I had the great fortune of being in Madison Square Garden when he set the record for 3-pointers and the fans were up on their feet cheering. How many opposing players can walk into an opposing arena and create joy for the fans that are rooting for him to lose?

HARLOW: Yeah, absolutely.

B. MCKILLOP: That's the power that he has.


HARLOW (voice-over): Basketball is life in the McKillop family. For more than three decades, Bob McKillop was the head coach of Davidson's men's basketball, winning more than 600 games and leading his team to 10 NCAA Tournaments.

B. MCKILLOP: We built our program with character. That was the foundation for everything we did.

HARLOW: Do you think character is the single most important trait in a leader?

B. MCKILLOP: Without a doubt, a leader has to first coach himself. And until you coach yourself, you cannot coach anyone else. And that's the same way leadership is. Until you lead yourself, I don't believe that you can lead anyone else.

HARLOW: It takes a lot of humility to coach yourself.

B. MCKILLOP: Well, that's one of the first traits that a leader must have is humility. When I learned, only after I was brought to my knees with failure, that confidence had to be balanced with humility -- when those two things are in harmony that's when you're truly leading.

HARLOW (voice-over): Trust, commitment, care -- a motto that Coach McKillop has passed on to his son Matt, who is now following in his dad's footsteps as head coach.


I'm still learning day-to-day who I am as a coach and how I can best be the coach that I need to be for this team. And I had an idea this is who I am. I've got to be myself. But more and more, I'm, like, I've got to be more like this guy.

B. MCKILLOP: I carry these cards around with me.

HARLOW: What are those?

B. MCKILLOP: These are cards that I carry on the bench during games that I eventually have now carried in my life. And the first heading is leadership, so I have a group of statements written about leadership.

HARLOW: Can you read me --

B. MCKILLOP: I am the leader. They need my help. Lead them.

How is my face? Greet them. Welcome them. Smile them to the huddle.

This is a good one. Maggie, why is Baba so grumpy? Maggie is our oldest granddaughter and she would always say to me after a game why are you so grumpy after a game? So I wrote that down --

HARLOW: To be happier.

B. MCKILLOP: Yeah. In the heat of battle, I need a reminder about that. That's why I kept those cards.

HARLOW (voice-over): His success on the court came with failure that pains him to this day. Failure at home as a father.

B. MCKILLOP: I was so consumed with that power that I neglected our daughter as she grew up because I had recruits to see. I had games to prepare for. I was not there for her youth. That's pretty tough. Yeah, I had the power of being a coach but I couldn't represent the truth in the way I dealt with our children.

HARLOW: How did things change with your daughter when you realized that? It sounds like you missed --


HARLOW: -- the most with her.

B. MCKILLOP: We lost in the semi-final round. Instead of me being on the court on national TV, I'm in Charlottesville, Virginia at Martha Jefferson Hospital as Kerrin, our daughter, was giving birth --


B. MCKILLOP: -- to her first child.


B. MCKILLOP: So, God said you weren't there in the beginning but now you're here --

HARLOW: You made it.

B. MCKILLOP: -- at this most important time. So that's the way I've made it up to her.

HARLOW (voice-over): Today, Coach McKillop's focus is bigger than the court.

B. MCKILLOP: I think the biggest disease that we have in our world today is the disease of me. It's cancerous, it's infectious. It has eroded the honor, and the dignity, and the respect that was once a part of our life.

HARLOW: I've never heard it put so well -- the disease of me.

B. MCKILLOP: I, again, go back to my concept of coaching ourselves. If you sweep in front of your door the world will be a clean place. The concept of leading yourself becomes such a vital component for a better future.

HARLOW: I wonder how you think about leadership now -- and specifically, arrogance -- when you observe leaders around us right now. Do you have a warning for other leaders on arrogance?

B. MCKILLOP: I sure do. Leaders must have this balance between confidence and humility. Once the confidence doesn't have humility it becomes arrogance. And power must always be in harmony with truth. And you take those principles and you apply them to leadership today and I believe we'd have a different world.

HARLOW (voice-over): In 2018, Coach McKillop took his team overseas -- not for basketball but for a lesson they would never forget at Auschwitz.

HARLOW: Why did you take your team?

B. MCKILLOP: Leaders are supposed to educate. Leaders are supposed to take people from point A to point B to point C as they share experiences in life. It's one thing to read something in a history book or watch "Schindler's List" and see a movie. When you walk through the gas chambers, and the barracks, and the front gate, and you see the train where the Jews came in, you get a different perspective on how heinous an experience and record that is of the history of our world.


There are a lot of chapters that you can open up a book and share with your players, and the more chapters you give them the better they'll be.

HARLOW (voice-over): Decades of success have left Coach McKillop certain of this.

B. MCKILLOP: The two greatest gifts you have are time and love. You can make more money but you can't make more time. If I had to live my life over again I would use those gifts more wisely. I would use those gifts with greater emphasis. I would give those gifts to our children, to our players, to our fans. But time and love -- you can't replace those two gifts.


HARLOW: My thanks to Coach McKillop. He sent me a note. I'll never take it off my office wall. And he reminded me time and love -- the most important gifts.

I also want to take a minute to thank the amazing team behind this Coaching Life series. They made it happen. Dan Moriarty brought his editorial expertise and his heart to every single conversation. Our phenomenal editor Alex Close (PH) brought these interviews to life. And our remarkable editorial producer David Lauterbach who helped convince all these men, and women, and coaches to sit down with us and to share their worlds with us. It takes a village and I am so lucky to work beside all of them.

MATTINGLY: It's fair to say I was always very jealous of this series because I'm a sports nut and I love listening to coaches and people who are successful talk about life. But it was also -- there's something in every one of these pieces that stuck with me. There was always a quote --

HARLOW: Right.

MATTINGLY: -- or something.

And none more so than Kevin O'Connell, the Vikings coach, who said when he comes home and he's exhausted, and he feels like he can't do anything at all, and he looks at his kids and they just want to play, to always remember that that's their Super Bowl.


MATTINGLY: And I was -- I think about it constantly now and it's really --

HARLOW: But that's you. That's the kind of dad you are.

MATTINGLY: (INAUDIBLE). But it -- they've been a joy --

HARLOW: Thanks, Phil.

MATTINGLY: -- to watch.

HARLOW: Well, it's been an honor to share them with everyone. MATTINGLY: Well, also this morning, reports of outages continue to

pour in for tens of thousands of mobile phone customers this morning. More coverage coming up next.