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CNN Larry King Live
Interview With Michael Moore
Aired July 27, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, Michael Moore, the filmmaker, sounds off on the fortune BP's CEO is being paid to step down and the bombshell leaks about Afghanistan. He'll take your calls. And then --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This crime hurts families and it violates people. It is vile and it is threatening.
KING: Stalking victim, Erin Andrews, implores Congress today, make stalkers pay. It happen to Olympic champion, Shawn Johnson, a mental patient armed with loaded weapons, duct tape and zip ties targeted and pursued her, and she's here to say, "enough." Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
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KING (on-camera): Good evening. Couple of program notes. Laura Ingraham is here tomorrow night and Tony Robins on Friday. And Michael Moore is with us tonight. The Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, founder of the Traverse City Film Festival, an annual event which kicks off right now and runs through Sunday. Michael joins us from Traverse City, his open space outdoor cinema. Why a film festival in Traverse City, Michigan?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Why not? I guess it's because where I live, but it -- you know, it's like a lot of small towns across the country and in the Midwest here where people are just dying to see a good movie, and there are so many good movies that don't get distributed. So, each summer, during this week here in Traverse City, we're on Lake Michigan up at the top of the Lower Peninsula in Michigan here. we bring 80 or so films, a lot of films that people haven't seen before and from all over the world and it's turned -- this is the sixth year of it and it's -- we've got about 100,000 tickets sold here for the festival.
So, it's -- it's quite a -- it's -- it's quite a cool thing. We're actually here on the main street of Traverse City and behind me is the state theater which is the home of the Traverse City Film Festival. It operates all year round. It was one of these boarded up movie theaters in a Michigan downtown a number of years ago. A bunch of us got together and decided to let's get this thing opened back up and let's bring some good movies to town. And since then, it's -- it's sold over 400,000 tickets in just 2 1/2 years. Seven day a week basis.
KING: I spoke in Traverse City, Michigan, it was a convention near there some summers back. I had a lot of fun. You took some flak when you started this.
KING: There were signs saying, go back to Flint and other stuffs. How is it doing since then?
MOORE: Yes. Quite well. The first year I was new here and people -- they didn't quite know. You know, I'm from downstate, you know, the Flint/Detroit Area, and this county here is fairly conservative county. It voted twice for Mr. Bush and once for Mr. McCain, and I decided to come and live amongst them, and so, at first they didn't quite know what was going to happen, but we've pumped about, now in these six years, close to $50 million into the local economy between the film festival and this theater and all the revitalization that's happened downtown, and there's not a day now where a Republican doesn't stop me on the street and give me a hug or shake my hand or whatever.
It's been a very good experience for me to be amongst the people -- you know, we don't necessarily share the same politics, but we're all Americans, you know. We're on the same boat. You know, we have to --
MOORE: -- Americans who would really like to go to the movies this summer. And I don't know about you, I've only been twice, and I saw two good films, but there should be a great film every week coming out. I don't know why that is. Did you ever hear that from people?
KING: Do a lot of stars come to this festival?
MOORE: Yes. We have stars that come here. The stars to us are the -- really the directors and the writers. We had Paul Mazursky here last year. A couple of years, we had David O. Russell. We had the family of Stanley Kubrick here one year --
MOORE: -- and he said he was willing to do it regardless of the consequences. And he essentially followed the Nuremberg principles which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it. You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do.
So, this brave soldier put up on the internet through Wikileaks footage that was just absolutely incredible and sad and pathetic to watch. And for that, now, he's been arrested, he's in jail. This is -- the opposite should be happening. He should be rewarded for saying, I witnessed a lie and I'm going to tell my fellow Americans the truth. KING: Wikileaks will not confirm the source, though. He's been arrested, but the assumption is that he's the source. It is not yet a fact.
KING: All right. You see him as a hero. How do you see the leaks affecting the Obama administration which has condemned them?
MOORE: Well, that's -- that's a bit of an Orwellian moment because -- because you have the Obama administration essentially defending the cover-up and the lying that took place primarily during the Bush years. And, so, for the Obama administration to take this position as just, you know, he should be saying, look, this is exactly who we want in our armed force as we want men and women of conscience and people who will stand up and fight for the things they believe in.
And that's what this soldier, this young soldier, 22 years old, has done. And he deserves our support, our gratitude. His legal defense fund now deserves our help, whatever we can do. I'm just disappointed the Obama administration doesn't give him a profile in courage award as opposed to the way he's being treated right now.
KING: Let's get a break. Michael Moore, the founder of the Traverse City Film Festival, now in its sixth year. We'll be back with Michael, and we're going to talk about BP and the oil spill and Shirley Sherrod and a whole lot more with Michael Moore next.
KING: We're back with Michael Moore. You backed Obama in 2008. More people on the left angry at him than appear on the right. How do you feel now? Do you think that possibly --
MOORE: That's impossible. That's impossible.
KING: Do you think a person left of Obama politically might challenge him in 2012?
MOORE: No, I think what needs to happen is those of us who voted for him need to get him to do the things we elected him to do and to not be afraid to do those things. It -- it -- I think that's probably been the disappointment, but to say that people on the left are more against him than people on the right, trust me, we know that isn't true because all the craziness that he's had to put up with, all the racist comments he's had to put up with, all the questioning whether or not he's even an American citizen, all this stuff is just so, you know, our criticisms on the left are because, you know, he is -- he is of good heart, and we believe that he'll do the right thing.
If he doesn't do the right thing, he will probably depress the vote on the Democratic side this November, and the Republicans could take back one or two Houses of Congress. I'd hate to see that happen. So, Mr. Obama, now is the chance to be all that you can be and do the things that we elected you to do. And if I can say, this incident last week with Shirley Sherrod and Fox News was a good example of how the White House seems to be so deathly afraid of the other side that they were willing to get rid of this woman before Fox even ran their attack.
I mean, that -- if that's really where we're at, where the majority of the country has said we want a Democrat in the White House, we want a Democratic House, we want a Democratic Senate, and we want them to do these things regarding jobs, the economy, the war, et cetera, and then they cower in the oval office worrying about what Fox News is going to do starting at 5:00 p.m. and then react in this crazy-making way, I mean, I hope they got a bit of comeuppance this week with this and will get back to doing the job we elected them to do.
KING: Concerning Sherrod, what does that say about race in America?
MOORE: Well, we still have -- we still have a big problem. That's what it says. We all know that. I mean, we know we've had a big problem for a long time. It's gotten better. Things usually do get better, and hopefully, this will continue to get better. Our best hope really are the younger generations who've grown up in a much better environment where their friends, their relationships, their culture does not have racism as any building block of their foundation. And so -- so the future for me, I think, it looks good. Right now, we still have obviously a problem.
KING: OK. Let's turn to the oil disaster. It's day 99. What are your thoughts on this whole mess?
MOORE: Well, I have a number of thoughts. All the obvious ones I don't need to say about British petroleum or, you know, the corporate -- the conglomerates, the oil companies that essentially call the shots. They buy our politicians. They buy the government. They buy the rules. They rig it in such a way where when the inspectors come to inspect these oil rigs the -- the corporation already fills it out for them and then they just, you know, they pencil it in and then they ink over it, so they don't have to really do inspections. And that's just how pathetic it's gotten in terms of how the oil companies are running the show.
But what I've wondered is, it took -- what was it, 85 days almost before they were able to plug the leak? I mean, Larry, this was a seven-inch hole at the ocean bed, 36 inches in the pipe where we saw the oil gushing out, 36 inches, 7 inches. We're Americans. I mean, for crying out loud, I mean, have we forgotten how to do anything? That it would take us 85 days to figure out how to plug a seven-inch hole? I mean, really, what has happened to us? And you could make a list of so many things of how our culture has just, you know -- I mean, it just nothing works anymore.
You can't get anybody on the phone, you know. If you do get anybody on the phone, you know, they're in the Philippines or some place. I just -- I just -- I just think that historians when they write about us are going to say that we allowed these corporations to become the government. And we, the people, thought we still had a say, but really don't. and that's -- KING: When we come back.
MOORE: A pretty sad statement. I hate to make it. But --
KING: When we come back, we'll get a tweet on this question of BP right after this.
KING: We got some calls for you, Michael, but first, what are your thoughts about Tony Hayward, the CEO, stepping away with $900,000 a year in pensions and stock options worth millions?
MOORE: So, what's new? I mean, that's -- that's what they do. That's why every time you fill up at BP, you'll help contribute to his pension fund. And now, here comes the fan mail from the independent gas station owners who really have nothing to do with BP. OK.
KING: Let's get a call. Orlando, Florida. Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. Michael, when Obama was running for president, he received a record number of small donations from average-income Americans like myself. The Supreme Court has now ruled that corporations can spend unlimited amounts toward campaign advertising. Do you believe that the rich and powerful are trying to marginalize average voters by outspending them in campaign elections?
MOORE: Yes. Next question.
KING: All right. All right. Another question would be, and this is a Twitter, if you were the new CEO of BP, you were taking over, what would you say to the American people?
MOORE: I would -- wow. I would apologize. And I would say that Americans, we left your shores back in 1784, made a little return visit in 1812, sorry about that, but the Gulf and the natural resources that surround your country belong to you and to the people of the world. Not to a corporation. I mean, frankly, Larry, I don't think any corporation, any oil company should be able to own this precious and disappearing resource. It's a fossil fuel. There's only so much of it. We're not really doing anything about what the real issue is, which that is the real issue.
And, I mean, if I were -- if I were in Congress, if I were president, if I were Prime Minister of Great Britain, I would get together and say, you know what, this stuff belongs to the people, just like the air belongs to the people, the water belongs to the people, the resources under the ground, the minerals, all of that belong to the people. Not to any one company. By letting them make the decisions, we are on a ruinous path that has consequences far, far greater than the oil that's leaked in the Gulf.
KING: Huntsville, Alabama. Hello. Huntsville, are you there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
KING: Go ahead, what's your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My question is, I am an up and coming author -- yes, I'm here.
KING: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question to Michael Moore is, I have a book that's coming out, first-time author, very controversial called "Black Kings in America." I want to know what was the driving force behind your very first film, knowing how controversial it is?
MOORE: The driving force behind "Roger Me" was that I -- I grew up in the hometown of General Motors, Flint, Michigan, and I saw what happened to the people in my town, and I thought I should try to make a movie about it and I did. And now, some 20 years later, the town is still struggling, lots of good people there trying to make it work. General Motors, of course, has gone kaput. As far as Flint goes, very few jobs left there now. Very few jobs left in the state of Michigan with General Motors, but, you know, it's a sad story that has hit many towns across this country. It's not just Flint, Michigan anymore.
KING: You could get up to $1 million in state subsidies for making capitalism a love story in Michigan. Given the film's critique of government handouts to the rich, is it hypocritical of you to take their money?
MOORE: Yes. It would be. That's why I'm not taking it. In fact, what I did was I set it up so that the -- the tax rebate money doesn't go to Hollywood, doesn't go to any producer, doesn't go to me. 100% of it for this film that I made here in Michigan is going to go to the people in Michigan. We sat up a non-profit here that's going to help depressed downtowns in the state of Michigan who have, for instance, closed down movie theaters who want to re-open them, to try and stimulate the local economy. And we're going to be announcing that project here. It's called the state theater project, here at the film festival this week.
And we think -- we know the millions of dollars that's helped here, the jobs it created here in Traverse City, and so, now we want to share that with people in other towns across the state of Michigan who are going through tough times. We got unemployment rates here that have hovered between 15 percent and 22 percent, depending on what county you're in. That's the official rate.
So, we're taking 100 percent of that money and putting it all into -- that's the only way I would do something like that, obviously, Larry because, I mean, these are the things I believe about and speak about, make movies about and that's how I live my life. So, but thank you for asking.
KING: Arizona's illegal immigration law goes into effect tomorrow. A federal judge might rule sooner. We'll talk about it next.
KING: We're back. Michael, Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law takes effect this week. Polls show a solid majority of Americans support it, although, a large degree of people favor the idea, it's okay if you're illegal if you're working and paying taxes, but it's the rest that bother most. What do you make of the law?
MOORE: I think the law is just absolutely disgusting. You know, we are all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of immigrants. Unless, you're a Native American or if you're African- American, you were either here originally or you were forced to come here. Everybody else is here as a result of being the children of immigrants. For us to have this attitude toward people coming here, now that we're here, slam the door, it's a huge country. There's lots of room. I mean, have you ever driven across Kansas? It goes on forever.
KING: Michael, most of our -- most of our ancestors came legally.
MOORE: Well, I don't know about yours. Can you prove that, Larry?
KING: Yes, I got the documents. They came on a ship. They registered. I've been to Ellis Island. Yes, they did.
MOORE: OK. All right. You came the right way. Some of our people didn't. Listen, you know, and what was legal then, of course, is different from what it is now, but my point is that, look, yes, there needs to be some rhyme and reason to all this and we need to come up with a solution, but not the sort of bigoted solution that Arizona's come up with. And in fact, when my next film comes out, I'm going to try and have it as part of my deal with the studio that, unless this law changed, I don't want my films being shown in Arizona. I'm boycotting the state. I've joined the boycott with lot of musicians and others who will not support the state as long as they have this attitude.
KING: Do you think the All-Star baseball game should not be played there next year?
MOORE: That's correct. I think it should not be played there. I know a number of baseball players are going to boycott it and I support that boycott.
KING: Let's take another call. Toledo, Ohio.
CALLER: Yes, Michael, would you consider doing a documentary exposing Fox News, the Tea Party and the radical right wing radio movement?
MOORE: They've already been exposed. That job's been done. I don't have to do that. The majority of people in this country know that these people are up to no good. They're a bunch of liars. They support the corporate powers that be over the working people of this country. And I think the majority know that now. That's why they -- that's why they try to support -- there's a campaign going on here. There's a governor's race primary next week here. So they're -- I think -- I don't think actually he's running for governor, the guy they're shouting about. Anyway, so -- maybe he'll run next time.
KING: He's getting some press now. Couple of quick things. You've been elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors. How did that happen?
MOORE: The majority of people in my branch, the documentary branch, voted for me. I was honored by this. I didn't run. They just voted for me and I -- I'm going to look forward to being part of the Academy's board, so that I can do something to help really make this art form -- this is an American art form, the art of cinema -- thrive.
That's what we're doing here at this festival here this week. And we're going to start -- the sun's going down now. We have 10,000 people out in this park on the bay, on Lake Michigan here. We're going to show "Twister" tonight. So, you know -- and we have people campaigning for various representatives and governors and whatever back in the background there.
KING: Michael, thanks as always. I hope it will be --
KING: It got a little annoying. Michael Moore, congratulations on six years.
MOORE: Vote for the Democrat. All right. Thank you. Thank you so much, Larry. Come on to Travers City sometime.
KING: Michael Moore. We're making a big turn. We're going to talk about stalking next. Olympic champion Shawn Johnson is here with her frightening story on the day Congress is asked to take a stand with tougher laws. Don't go away.
KING: We go now to Des Moines Iowa, where we welcome Shawn Johnson to LARRY KING LIVE, She's a gymnast, of course, Olympic gold medalist. She was the winner of "Dancing With the Stars" Season Eight. She was targeted during the show by a stalker. She can relate to Erin Andrews' experience. The ESPN reporter, was on Capitol Hill today urging lawmakers to pass a tough new anti-stalking bill.
Last year, nude video footage of her taken through a hotel peephole went viral on the Internet. The man who shot that video is now serving 30 months in prison for interstate stalking. Here's some of what Erin Andrews had to say about her ordeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN ANDREWS, ESPN: There have been times over the past year that I have screamed, I have cried, I have said to my family, why me? Why is this happening to me? And the senator mentioned it doesn't just happen to people that are in the limelight. It mostly happens to people that are just trying to live their everyday life. And when my experience was brought out into the public spotlight -- and I didn't have a choice about it -- I received countless and countless amount of letters -- I'm still receiving them -- from women that say please go out and fight this; please go out and show your face; please lend your voice; and please help strengthen laws, because we're not able to do it.
That's why I'm here today. I'm showing my face. I'm lending my voice. And I'm here to give this law some teeth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Shawn, what are your feelings as you watch her?
SHAWN JOHNSON, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: You know, it's -- it's true. You know, you need somebody to go out there and stand up for everybody that's been in this situation, in this scenario. And it's a scary thing, but it's reality. And I think Erin's doing an amazing thing and I think it needs all the support it can get.
KING: You were stalked on the CBS lot, right, where they were doing "Dancing With the Stars." It's not on CBS, but they do it at that lot. What happened?
JOHNSON: It was during one of the shows. He -- the stalker -- he didn't actually get to me, but got close enough. You know, it's something I found out about afterwards, but it was something that completely changed my life, because, you know, we went through all the trials and all the -- you know, all the legal things. But I had to completely turn my life around for a while.
And it was scary, but he definitely had bad intentions and it's something that, you know, has changed the way I look at everyday life.
KING: He turned out to be -- have a mental problem, right? Got five years in a mental hospital.
JOHNSON: Yes. He did.
KING: Did you have to testify against him?
JOHNSON: Yes, I did. I had to go and, you know, face him and see everything that he brought with him, see, you know, everything that had gone on, the things that kind of -- my parents had try to, you know, keep me away from just to kind of, you know, ease my mind a little bit. But seeing it all definitely brought it to reality and made it even more -- even that much more scary.
KING: Shawn, what do we know about the whys? Do we know why Robert O'Ryan was stalking you?
JOHNSON: He said he was stalking me because he was in love with me. It was just a -- he was a fan and he was going to do anything he possibly could to be with me. And it's those kind of things that you see over and over again, especially with celebrities. And, like Erin Andrews, people just go crazy and they'll do anything to get to that person. But what they don't know is it happens in everyday life also. That's what's hard, because people can go off the edge all the time.
KING: We're going to show another clip of Erin Andrews. Then I want to ask you what we can do about this. Here she is on Capitol Hill talking about the emotional impact of being stalked. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREWS: This crime hurts families, and it violates people. It affects your everyday life, the way you communicate, the way you travel, the way you take double glances at people. It affects everything in your life. It is vile and it is threatening. A lot of people who are targets of stalkers and of crimes have said to me, they live in constant fear. They are always afraid. And unfortunately now I understand that. And I always will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, in her case, Shawn, her stalker was arrested and is doing time. In your case, the stalker was arrested, is in a mental hospital. What legislation do you want?
JOHNSON: You know, I want -- I want this to go through for Erin. Not only for her, but for everybody else out there, only because we need more security and more help with this because there are a lot of people out there that are going through the same thing. And it's hard to go about everyday life just looking over your shoulder and being that cautious and being afraid. And we shouldn't be like that anymore. We should feel safe and comfort in our own home.
KING: Are you saying if someone calls the police and says, I think I'm being stalked, there's no security setup?
JOHNSON: Can you rephrase the question? Sorry.
KING: Oh. If someone calls and says I think I'm being stalked, do the police do anything?
JOHNSON: I think so. I mean, people could definitely take advantage of that, but there's a lot of people out there that are going through this. And it's hard for somebody to reach out to the police or to somebody who they feel will help and say I think I'm being stalked, because it is an uncertain thing. But just knowing that they're there to help you and make you feel a sense of comfort, I think that's definitely needed.
KING: The woman who prosecuted the case against Shawn's stalker is here next, along with a protection expert. Stay with us.
KING: Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson remains with us. Joining us here in Los Angeles, Aaron Cohen. He is founder of IMS security, specializing in elite protective services and counter- terrorism training, a former Israeli special forces operative and author of a brilliant book "Brotherhood of Warriors." Also in L.A., Wendy Segall, the deputy district attorney for L.A. County. She is it with D.A. stalking and threat assessment team. She's the team. And she prosecuted the case against Shawn Johnson's stalker. What legislation do we need, Wendy?
WENDY SEGALL, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, I think the new federal statute that is being heard is sufficient. The one that we have in California operates well. It operated really well in the Shawn Johnson case.
KING: What does the federal statute say?
SEGALL: The new federal statute allows for stalkers to be prosecuted when they use the Internet. They don't have to cross state lines the way the old statute --
KING: For federal?
SEGALL: Yes, for federal.
KING: What is a stalker, Aaron?
AARON COHEN, IMS SECURITY FOUNDER: A stalker is an individual who repeatedly harasses another individual against their will with the intent on, I believe, trying to get close to them and almost, in a way, terrorizing them.
KING: Is it a thin line between a stalker and a paparazzi?
COHEN: No, I think there's a thick line between a stalker and a paparazzi.
KING: Thick line?
COHEN: Thick line. I do. I think the paparazzi's intent is not to harm the celebrity. I believe they're a different kind of animal out there, in their cars, breaking lots of traffic laws and will eventually hurt someone. But their intent is to sell photos for the purpose of profit. And I believe that a stalker's intent, again, is to physically get close with the possibility of harming an actual victim.
KING: Are ordinary people stalked, Wendy?
SEGALL: Yes. I think the majority of stalkers do stalk ordinary people.
KING: The case -- the person with Shawn Johnson was obviously a mental case?
SEGALL: Yes. He had mental issues. Most of the celebrity stalkers have mental issues.
KING: Shawn, were you aware of him at all? Or did you just learn that he was stalking you?
JOHNSON: I wasn't aware of him during the show. But afterwards, when everything was brought to my attention, I learned about everything and how close he had gotten.
KING: How -- how was she able to testify, Wendy?
SEGALL: The law in California allows for a victim to learn about the stalker's actions after they can occur. There's a famous case where Stephen Spielberg was the victim, and that case allows for that.
KING: Even if you don't know it or never saw the action?
SEGALL: Exactly. So what Shawn had to testify to -- and she was very brave in doing this -- was coming to court and saying that the actions of the stalker put her in fear for her safety.
KING: Suppose a man gets -- sees a pretty girl, gets fixated on her. And he -- all he does, doesn't have a camera, but he follows her. Is that illegal?
COHEN: I don't believe that's illegal. It's no different than a paparazzi following a celebrity. You have the right to conduct yourself in the streets --
KING: When does that follower become a stalker?
COHEN: When that -- when that individual is no longer either trying to sell a photo and is crossing into that gray area of, hey, it's time to call someone in security or call the police and have a closer look at this guy.
KING: What does a police do if someone calls them? It's mostly women that are stalked?
KING: All right. A call comes in and says, this man's been following me for two, three days. What do you do?
SEGALL: The police will take a report. Just being followed is not stalking. Most people believe that -- we use the term loosely when someone is being stalked. The law says that in order to be stalked, the defendant has to cause reasonable fear, has to intend to cause reasonable fear. Most stalkers don't really intend that just by following their victim. They may be in love with the victim.
So, we have to -- we can suggest that possibly go get a civil harassment order. Once that's violated, then it turns into stalking or can lead up to stalking.
KING: Shawn's case was bad. how, since she didn't even know about it? What did the guy do?
SEGALL: Shawn's case was severe. The defendant drove across the country from Florida, moved all of his belongings here, drove with two loaded weapons, duct tape, a wooden club, zip ties, numerous items, love letters to Shawn. And then he -- after being turned away from CBS Studios on three occasions, jumped over the fence and got into the studio Shawn was performing in within ten feet of her.
KING: Do stalkers ever kill?
COHEN: Yes, they do. We've seen it happen before. If you don't have the proper security plans in place, then you might be in a situation that involves the use of lethal force, which is why you really have to keep a close eye on a stalker the moment it starts to permeate, and make sure that everything is being done so that you can reduce the possibilities of that stalker coming with a gun, driving on a freeway and getting pulled over. Then, hey, we've got a shotgun, and we've got weapons and duct tape and other Steven Spielberg type --
KING: Couldn't we make a case, Wendy, that every stalker is a mental patient?
SEGALL: We could. I think the celebrity cases they are -- there are severe mental issues. It doesn't make someone not liable for their crime.
KING: Can you be a stalker if you broke up with your girlfriend but you follow her around?
SEGALL: The majority of stalking cases are, in fact, that, Larry.
COHEN: A million women a year and almost half a million men a year are stalked by former spouses or a former boyfriend. Over 70 percent of them had some type of prior relationship with them, and over half of those have children together. So of all -- of the 3.4 million cases last year, the celebrity stalking or what we refer to as the erotomaniacs is a very small percentage of the actual stocking cases.
KING: Wendy, how -- Shawn, how has this changed your life?
JOHNSON: It's just made me more cautious, especially driving, going on trips, just going to the mall. If I'm by myself, I know my surroundings. I look over my shoulder. I make sure I have a cell phone just in case of an emergency. It's always having that, you know, just awareness of what's around me.
KING: We'll get tips on what to do. What do you think about stalking and tougher laws? When we come back.
KING: There she is, Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist who was stalked by a mental patient. Is he now in a mental hospital, but he got way too close to her with loaded weapons. How can people protect themselves? I'll ask it of Aaron first. What's a good thing to do if you think you're being stalked? COHEN: The first thing you want to do is report it. I think it's important to draw a legal line in the sand immediately and get the authorities on board. Remember, there are units such as Wendy's that are designed to handle stalkers. Use the law to your advantage. Get that temporary restraining order filed and draw that legal line in the sand. Then what you want to do is -- you know, if you're in a high-profile case, you obviously want to look at security, especially if you're on a show or you're involved in a situation where somebody is repeatedly attempting to try to get to you. Have some type of security in place.
Things like cell phones, things like making sure that you have a small emergency kit in your car, and making sure that you take off the 900 keys on your key chain, so that there's one you need to get into your car, have that flashlight if the lights go out.
Again, get law enforcement on board and, you know, get involved with a security firm if you have someone -- you can also find out how risky the actual stalker is, because there are cases where you've got schizophrenics, but they might not necessarily be dangerous people. Then you have people who will show up with a gun. So you want to do that active surveillance and really have a look and see who they are, so you can determine the level of threat that you're dealing with.
KING: Are police well prepared to handle it, Wendy, the average policeman?
SEGALL: I think they are. They're getting more training in this. A lot of times it crosses over with domestic violence and there has been a big push for officers to be trained in that area.
KING: Do you have protection now Wendy -- Shawn?
JOHNSON: I live at home with my parents, so my parents are my protection. But it's just having that extra caution every day and awareness. I did -- during "Dancing With the Stars," I had a bodyguard. After that, it was kind of -- we're taking it over in our own hands.
KING: But you are careful?
JOHNSON: Yes, very careful.
KING: Wendy, you prosecuted someone who stalked Ryan Seacrest?
SEGALL: I did.
KING: What was that case?
SEGALL: That was a case where Ryan Seacrest had done a charity event in Orange County. The defendant tried to get too close to Mr. Seacrest. And he ended up in a scuffle with Ryan Seacrest's bodyguard. That defendant plead guilty to a battery against the bodyguard, and also was ordered to stay away from Ryan Seacrest.
About a month later, the defendant came to the studios where Ryan was -- he wasn't recognized at the moment and he was turned away. He came back a second time a couple of weeks later and he was recognized at that time, because the studio knew there was a restraining order. And they detained him and he had a knife on his person.
KING: Was he prosecuted?
SEGALL: He was, and he's in a mental facility as well.
KING: Does Ryan have to press charges in that kind of case?
SEGALL: The victim -- we represent the people of the state of California and Ryan is the victim in that case. He did not have to come to court to testify in that case. The defendant plead before we went to trial.
KING: But he would have had to come --
SEGALL: Yes. He was cooperative.
KING: Are any of the stalkers ever eventual rapists?
COHEN: I believe there's been dozens and dozens of cases where you have stalkers who have quite thick criminal backgrounds, including rape, including assault and other felonies.
KING: Best of luck to you, Shawn. Keep on keeping on. Thanks, Aaron, and thanks so much, Wendy. Laura Ingraham is here tomorrow night. Tony Robbins Friday. Now it's Anderson Cooper on "AC 360." Anderson?