Return to Transcripts main page

Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield

Fetal Tissue Research; Who is Melania Trump?; Latest Cosby Accusations Examined; New Clue in an Old Major Art Theft. Aired 12:30- 1p ET

Aired August 13, 2015 - 12:30   ET



[12:30:10] BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I'm -- if it were the only way to do something and there was no other way that might be an argument. But under these circumstances it really is not legitimate argument.


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: So this was Ben Carson last month on CNN's THE LEAD with Jake Tapper, again last month on THE LEAD with Jake Tapper.

But now Dr. Carson says this to The Washington Post. And I'll just quote him directly as the paper says. "You have to look at the intent. To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you're killing babies and taking the tissue, that's very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it."

Carson is among many Republicans calling for planned parenthood to lose its federal funding. But he told The Post he doesn't believe fetal tissue research is wrong or should be banned.

He is by the way in second place among likely Iowa caucus source in the new CNN poll.

Just take a look. Donald Trump still well out ahead at 22 percent but Ben Carson coming right up behind him at 14. And you can see the others in single digits playing out behind the doctor.

Well, Donald Trump leads in the Republican polls. Most voters don't know a whole lot about his third and current wife Melania, she's a former fashion model, and she is also the mother to Trump's fifth child. She's a businesswoman herself and likely his closest confidante.

CNN's Randi Kaye introduces us to a potential first lady named Melania Trump. Meet Mrs. Trump number three.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To some she is just known as Mrs. Trump, the quiet, impeccably dressed force behind her husband. But Melania can now so she was formally known is much more than just a sideshow to her husband's business empire and presidential ambitions. There is glitzy and glamorous magazine covers and her own line of jewelry on QVC.

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: I want all of women to have a piece of my jewelry because it will make them feel special. We make them feel elegant.


KAYE: She also took a silly turn in an Aflac Insurance Commercial.


KAYE: Before becoming Mrs. Trump, Melania had long been a fixture on the modeling scene beginning her career at just 16 in her native country of Slovenia.

By 18 she had a contract with an agency in Italy jetting as her biography puts it between Milan and Paris, building a career before moving to New York in 1996. That's where just two years later she met her future husband, Donald Trump.

MELANIA TRUMP: We met in 1998. It was a fashion week. And it was a fashion party dance. We were both invited. So that's where we met.

KAYE: It was her first marriage to a man known for his famous marriages. And even more for his infamous splits.

Larry King interviewed the newlyweds back in 2005.

LARRY KING, TELEVISION HOST: Do you worry about women and him being attracted to them?

MELANIA TRUMP: No, I don't worry about that at all. I know who I am. And if a man doesn't want to be with me or I don't want to be with the man...

KING: Good-bye and good luck.

MELANIA TRUMP: That's right.

KING: Do you worry about her with men?

DONALD TRUMP (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I know her. That's the rock.

KAYE: A successful relationship that produced a son, Barron, born in 2006.

MELANIA TRUMP: The energy of the children and my son. I love it.

KAYE: And one of her husband's bombastic style?

KING: Is he a control freak? Does he make demands? MELANIA TRUMP: I don't think so. Maybe he makes demands in his business because he needs to, you know, he's kind of a general. He needs to, you know, have people in line but not at home. We are very equal in the relationship, and that's very important.

You know, to marry a man like Donald is, you know, you need to know who you are, and you need to be very strong and smart and, you know, he needs to know that he could rely on me sometimes, you know. And we share a lot of stuff together.

I don't think he's a control freak at all.

KAYE: An equal relationship, she says, and a supportive spouse.

In his wife Melania, Trump may have the secret weapon he needs to help keep that Trump surge going strong.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


BANFIELD: And just a reminder, CNN going to host three Republican debates. The first taking place in September and then in October CNN will host the first Democratic presidential debate.

[12:35:06] Stay with us here at CNN for the very latest on the race for the White House.

Coming up next, three more women join the list of Bill Cosby accusers. Have you lost count yet? A lot of people have. Some of these allegations are things we've never heard before. And some of them are extraordinarily familiar. Is it a pattern? Does it matter? And what exactly do they want out of coming public?


BANFIELD: In case you have lost count, more than 35 women say they are victims of Bill Cosby. Victims of sexual assault and, in some cases, of being drugged, in others, it's harassment, inappropriate touching. And while Cosby admits that he gave drugs to some of them for sex, he has said time and time again he is not a rapist and that he didn't drug women against their will.

Well, now three more women are coming forward via their Attorney Gloria Allred. She is representing several other alleged victims as well.

The three new women include two actresses and a flight attendant for American Airlines.

[12:39:59] CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of their claims, but it is clear they were beautiful young women, women who say they were afraid to speak up until now.

This is Eden Turl, she was cast to play a police officer in an episode of "The Cosby Show" when it was in its fifth season back in 1989. In the middle of rehearsal she says she was summoned to Cosby's dressing room. In fact she said that happened three days in a row and he didn't show up but that on the fourth of happen he did show.

EDEN TURL, FORMER "COSBY SHOW" ACTRESS: After 25 minutes of interviewing me, he said something that let me know he was done bantering. I had one last deterrent up my sleeve. Bill, you are jell-o pudding pops and fat.

Just I've told this story a couple of times. Bill, you are jell-o pudding pops and fat over to me. You are my childhood. He barked back instantly, "Don't say that." They all say that. The mood in the room turned. I wanted out. I knew I had to walk a line though. I had handled being hit on many times in the industry, but this had far surpassed that. I felt dominated.

He then said, "Come here." Everything now seemed to slow down and I had to decide swiftly what I would do. I stood up. Bill came toward me. When we were face-to-face, he asked me to turn around. "How was I maintaining my decorum," I asked myself. How -- I will be in a completely powerless position if I turn around. I wanted to smack him.

My mind raced and concluded I could knee him. I'm 6 feet tall. I could elbow him, run out if he tried to touch me. So I turned around. I felt him step towards me and put his hands over the back of my hands. He began to move our hand together like an exercise many know as the mirror exercise. I played along and made sure that his lower body stayed away from my bottom.

When he was finished with this, he then pulled me into him, wrapped both our arms around me like lovers would, and whispered in my ear, "See, this is all that we were going to do, make love." This is making love. He turned me around, hugged me, and I left without saying a word.

BANFIELD: Just ahead, the woman who was on the right-hand side, Gloria Allred, is going to join us to share more of those stories.

And as the attorney for these women, she also has a challenge for the attorney representing Mr. Cosby. You're going to hear it next.


[12:46:30] BANFIELD: Statute of limitations for most of Bill Cosby's accusers has expired when it comes to taking legal action. But attorney Gloria Allred says there is no statute of limitations on free speech.

She's representing a number of Cosby accusers including the three women who just came forward with their account this week.

And Gloria joins me live now from Los Angeles.

As always, Gloria, thank you for being on the program.

I have this question for you. So often when you and I have talked over the years about the cases that you represent lawsuits that are filed, it's usually because a lawsuit has filed but in a lot of the cases that the women you're representing they are not taking legal action. They're taking public action. But what do you hope to get out of that?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, of course, empowerment of women and empowerment of those who alleged they are victims of Bill Cosby.

Accountability for Mr. Cosby in the court of public opinion if they can't file a lawsuit because it's too late, because the statute of limitations has run on their ability to file a civil lawsuit or because it's too late. The statute of limitations has run on any criminal prosecution of Mr. Cosby.

They can still speak out in the court of public opinion and that's what they're doing. It has been empowering. They have lived in fear. They have kept the secret. They want now to be out and to help to support other persons who allege they are victims and also to tell what they say is their truth.

BANFIELD: So I know that you have a challenge for Bill Cosby's attorney. Let's just be clear Bill Cosby has said almost nothing to so many of these allegations time and time again as they come out. But he has dispatched his representatives and you have something you want them to do. What is it?

ALLRED: Yeah. His recently newly hired person who is going on television, Monique Pressley, who's been on CNN and other outlets defending Mr. Cosby, I challenge her to debate me.

Let's say right here on your program or right here on CNN. Come on with me anytime anywhere because you have been out there a lot of the victims feel that you've been attacking them, have been filibustering reporters' questions, have been avoiding and evading and giving Bill Cosby like evasive answers.

Come on, I don't think you're going to be of to do that in a debate with me. I will debate you it doesn't --not about the case I am currently litigating, Judy Huth versus Bill Cosby, but about any other allegations of the victims. You say it's too late for them to come forward or they shouldn't wait 10, 20, 30, 40 years.

I want to talk with you about that. If you have the courage to come on with me, let's do it. Let's get it on. But don't just be out there all by yourself circling giving these ridiculous explanations and defense of Mr. Cosby.

BANFIELD: Well, we thought it would be a great idea. We actually invited Monique Pressley, Bill Cosby's attorney to join us today but, you know, it didn't happen. As she did do one thing for us to Gloria as she gave us a statement of so if you permit, I want to read her response to that Monique Pressley says, "Well I do appreciate the temptation that may exist for some to turn this matter into a public spectacle, lawyers representing clients resolve matters in court not debates," and we were declined -- our invitation was declined from Monique Pressley to come on the program. Gloria, always -- as always thank you so much for coming on.

We'll continue to follow the case that you mentioned to Judith Huth.

ALLRED: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Thank you.

[12:50:01] I want to bring you now HLN Legal Analyst and Defense Attorney Joey Jackson to weigh in on this as well.

The court of public opinion, we were just talking about this and then as you set up in the set with me, as we are both of the same age, we talked about how the jell-o pudding man and Fat Albert.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Big part of our childhood.

BANFIELD: It's her childhood.

JACKSON: Absolutely, and it's a big part of America. It's a big...

BANFIELD: It's a court of public opinion though. If you're facing something a behemoth like that, a loving behemoth like that, doesn't Gloria have her work cut out for her?

JACKSON: Well, she is absolutely does, Ashleigh. But, I think the more women come out, the more it appears to corroborate each and every one of their stories.

Now, of course to be clear, there are those two courts that we like to talk about. There's the court of law and in a court of law never found guilty. Of course, there was the settlement that he engaged in would end to your constant. It's a sealed settlement. Well was, we saw parts of the deposition in other things. And then, of course there's that other court that so valuable and it's the court of public opinion.

And, I think the more people that come out and apparently Gloria not only represent those additional victims, but three others that have now come forward, two actors and one stewardess with other stories. It seems to really give credence and credibility to the other women.

The ultimate thing is to what end? At the end of the day, what can happen? I think clearly in the court of a public opinion, that's changing and turning. People are believing what's going on here even though there has not been an official adjudication Ashleigh, in that other court we know as the Court of Law.

BANFIELD: And, this is where you and I come in with the stories that we cover every day. There is often adjudication and people find their justice. You know, and thank the judge. But, in this particular case, do you think and so many of these cases that the only justice they may ever hope to find is on T.V.?

JACKSON: You know, unfortunately, because, according to our process, there are time limitations that you have to move forward. And to be fair to women who engage in or suffer from, you know, some type of sexual abuse or harassment is an embarrassment fact that they don't want to come forward. There's a repression of exactly what occurred.

And, interestingly enough that having defended these cases, you'll have an expert witness come in, and tell that jury, looking them in the eye that, listen, this is a result of women who do feel embarrassed, do feel ashamed who don't want to be forthcoming because of what people will think of them. But unfortunately based upon the way the laws are structured, I think its limited redress in the court of law.

Now, Gloria Allred of representing Judith Huth, of course that case deals with the merits. And I think one of the claims there is that her client did repress that memory, and will or will not have an opportunity to move forward to see whether those claims are meritorious.

BANFIELD: Joey Jackson as always, thank you.

JACKSON: Thank you Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Thank you so much.

BANFIELD: Up next, it is one of the greatest art heists in history.

A half a billion dollars worth of masterpieces sliced out of their frames from a Boston museum, and it happened 25 years ago. Do you think it's unsolvable? Well, guess what, there's a brand-new clue. Might you be a part of helping to solve this case?


[12:56:44] BANFIELD: It is the art heist mystery that had puzzled police in Boston for more than a quarter of a century. But, now there is a new clue that can help to solve this mystery.

CNN's Randi Kaye reports.


KAYE: On this never-before-seen video, a man who may have pulled off the biggest art heist in history.

Take a good look. The grainy video is from March 17, 1990, the night before two men broke into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Those men made off with 13 works of art valued at $500 million. Rick Abath was one of the guards on duty that night. He was just 23-years- old then. We spoke to him back in February 2013, his only television interview.

He admitted he let the thieves into the museum on the night of the heist.

RICK ABATH, FORMER NIGHT WATCHER: And, they buzz -- the buzzer and I just kind of leaned over to the intercom and said, "Yeah" And they said, "Boston police, we've got report of a disturbance on the premises." So I buzzed them in to the dead room. KAYE: Rick Abath has always maintained he had nothing to do with the theft, but this newly released video shows a guard resembling Abath just 24 hours before it.

At the start of the tape the unidentified man is seen backing up his car to the museum side entrance. After the first guard leaves to do his security rounds, the man outside approaches the museum. The guard at the desk presses the door's buzzer, but the man doesn't enter. Instead, he returns to his car and turns on the parking lights.

After, he heads back to the museum, and he is once again buzzed inside. This time he does enter through the same door the thieves would enter through the very next night.

The man appears to go through some paperwork at the guard desk and then disappears for about three minutes inside the museum out of view of this particular security camera.

Its unclear what he was doing or why he was there in the middle of the night.

Investigators want to know if this video was some sort of dry run for the real thing. They say the car seen in the video even matches the general description of the vehicle seen parked outside the museum the night of the theft.

The FBI released the tape hoping the public can help identify the mystery man. Could this man have anything to do with the break-in on the night of the heist? And, why did the museum security guard let strangers into the museum two nights in a row.

Rick Abath, who says he was handcuffed during the heist, has never been charged in connection with the crime, but he's never been officially cleared either.

ABATH: Once I sat, you know, sat down with the FBI, I think the first thing I said was, what do you want to know? Because, I knew, I mean I was like, well I'm the guy who opened-up the door. They are obviously going to be looking at me.

KAYE: Our calls to Abath this week were not returned.

On the night of the theft, the panic button at the desk was never activated allowing the thieves to take their time spending nearly an hour and a half in the museum collecting the artwork. That was 25 years ago. And, despite a $5 million reward, the artwork has never been returned.

[13:00:01] Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

BANFIELD: That's all the time we have.

Dana Bash is coming up next.