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George Wallace is Interviewed about the Mandel's Comments; John Ramsey is Interviewed about JonBenet's Case; Ja'Leah Williams' Story After Scoliosis Surgery. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 05, 2022 - 08:30   ET




AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS AND EX-WIFE OF JOHNNY DEPP: And he's like grabbing my breast, he's touching my thighs. He rips my underwear off.

Why would I hide his drugs from him? Like I -- like he was insinuating that I was doing it or something. It made no sense. And he was telling me, we're doing -- we're going to -- we're going to conduct a cavity search. I didn't stood there staring at the stupid light. I didn't know what to -- you know, I didn't know what to do. I just stood -- I just stood there while he did that.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (voice over): Heard recalled another incident from 2013 where she was on Depp's yacht in the Bahamas with Depp's children. She says Depp's daughter realized her father had started drinking again and Heard says Depp accused her of ratting him out to his kids.

HEARD: He slams me up against the side wall of the bedroom with the -- we were in the bedroom this whole time, but up against the wall of the cabinet and slams me up by my neck and holds me there for a second and tells me that he -- he could (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill me and I was an embarrassment.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: And Amber Heard is expected to resume testimony this morning.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Reactions are pouring in from the comedy world after Dave Chappelle was tackled on stage at a festival for Netflix. The most blunt reaction coming from legendary comedian Howie Mandel, saying in an interview for E News, quote, I think this is the beginning of the end for comedy.

Joining us now with his reaction is comedian George Wallace.

George, it's always great to see you.

And I wonder what you think about this. He said it's the beginning of the end for comedy. Do you think so? GEORGE WALLACE, COMEDIAN: I don't think so. I know there's a trend

going on, but we will continue to do comedy no matter what because that's what we do. And we're going to be observing everything. I'm going to have a -- I'm going to install chicken wire around my stage so you can't get up there. And so I've got to keep it funny no matter what. And I think that's what all the comedians will do.

We are concerned, though. We are concerned. Then put a plexiglass or steel cage like from the WWE, but we are going to continue to perform.

MARQUARDT: George, how much do you think that this stems from the attack by Will Smith against Chris Rock at the Oscars?

WALLACE: Well, this -- the Oscars was the greatest Oscar I've ever seen, and then came Will. So right now I've gotten to the point where, I love Will Smith, but not today. So right now I've become so angry, I say to hell with all the Smiths. I'm angry at all the Smiths. I don't like -- to hell with Jada Jane Smith, to hell with the two (INAUDIBLE) kids. I'm just angry at everybody. His grandmama, Granny Smith, and her apples, to all the Smiths. I'm not going to watch "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." To hell with all the Smiths. I'm just angry. The Smithsonian Institute, I'm going to boycott that. Steven A. Smith over at ESPN, to hell with him. Emmitt Smith, (INAUDIBLE). So I'm not even with the Smiths right now.

KEILAR: All right, you always joke. You're always good for a joke. You say chicken wire. You've tweeted that you're going to go on stage with a joke mobile, like it's the popemobile, which that gave me a chuckle.

But seriously, George, what -- what -- not a joke, not a joke, what are comedians, what do they need to do to stay protected?

WALLACE: Well, Rhett Fox told us long time ago, the mic stand has a heavy base. If anyone comes toward that stage, you take that mic stand and you knock the hell out of them.

It's almost impossible to stop people, to be honest, with -- even with security because most times at comedy shows, someone is sitting right at the center of the stage. So -- but it -- I'm afraid it will continue -- it will happen again. But we've just got to be on our guard and do the best we can with security.

KEILAR: Yes, I mean we saw that, lots -- lots of security.

WALLACE: But we will continue to do comedy acts. I'll tell you what, there's going to be comedy shows tomorrow. Nobody's canceling a show yet.

KEILAR: Yes. Lots of security at that Chappelle show and we still saw that.

George, it is always lovely to have you. Thank you for being with us this morning.

WALLACE: I love you.

There's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Chicago, tomorrow night at Riddles. Tomorrow night at Riddles in Chicago, Saturday also.

Love you.

There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. See ya!

KEILAR: Nothing you can do about it. All right.

Which issue will drive -- he's so fun.

MARQUARDT: He's great. A great attitude, like always.

KEILAR: Which issue will drive voters this midterm election season, inflation or abortion? We have your "Reality Check" next.

And more on the unfolding news out of Ukraine, Mariupol saying the Russians have breached the besieged compound there and a bloody battle is underway.



MARQUARDT: Democrats are scrambling to protect abortion rights in response to the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. Now that draft published just hours before polls opened in the first of this year's midterm primary.

So, what impact will the court's decision have on voters? John Avlon has our "Reality Check."

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, the twin head winds of this political year are abortion and inflation whether you like it or not. The question haunting Washington is, which negative force is going to drive more folks to the ballot box.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin echoed many Republicans when he told CNN that he believed inflation, not abortion, will be the defining issue in the midterm elections. But most Democrats believe that the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade is what's really going to motivate voters.

Here's the real deal. Neither party is going to be able to spin their way out of their problems on this one. Democrats have got to confront the fact that Americans have a dismal view of the economy right now. And most of that drag is due to inflation.

Check out the data from the new CNN poll, 63 percent of Americans say they've had to reduce non-essential spending, change their grocery buying habits, while 54 percent saying they're cutting back on driving to save gas.

Inflation is crowding out other good economic news, like hitting the lowest number of jobless claims since 1969, strong wage growth, or the deficit for this fiscal year, which is projected to decline by 1.5 trillion, that's with a "t."


But, as Democrats are learning, the silver lining in the storm cloud doesn't mean any if the water in your living room is rising. While inflation is up in countries around the world because of backed up supply chains, rising food and energy costs related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic, there's still a reason that inflation is rising faster in the U.S. Many analysts believe that's largely due to the fault of Covid stimulus packages or, as "New York Magazine" put it with great understatement, maybe we should have listened to Larry Summers about inflation.

Because more than a year ago the former treasury secretary was warning of the unintended consequences of these Covid emergency policies. Remember both parties initially worked together to stabilize the economy and help workers during the lockdown. That's good. But there's also no such thing as a free lunch, which is why the Fed rate hike is being seen by some as just too little, too late.

But on the other side of the aisle, Republicans are confronting the real political costs of trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now, you might have noticed that Republicans seem a little muted on Capitol Hill. They're complaining more about the leak than celebrating the substance of their alleged win.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This lawless (ph) action should be investigated.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Whoever did this leak should be prosecuted.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): This is unconscionable.


LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS: That was a line that could never be crossed.


AVLON: Stop playing the victim, people, because this really isn't about the leak. Let me be the umpteenth person to say that a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion is flat out wrong because it undercuts the ideal of a non-partisan judiciary, completely ignores precedent, as well as the justices expectation of privacy. Which also sounds a lot like why people have a problem with the draft opinion in the first place, right?

So, Senate Republicans quickly passed around three pages of talking points to defend against the political fallout, first published in Axios, and it is stunning to see the parade of alternate facts. Like, the top line advice to be compassionate consensus builders on abortion. That's a little late, folks.

Some of these new state laws would ban abortion altogether or (INAUDIBLE) or after six weeks. And many bans have no exceptions even for rape or incest.

And while the talking points assure us that Republicans do not want to see doctors thrown in jail, someone should probably tell that to Alabama, where abortion providers could spend 99 years in prison under a 2019 law. Now, a court put that on hold, but another ban is already on the books.

Republicans know that overturning Roe v. Wade is deeply unpopular. Not just CNN polling showing that nearly 70 percent of Americans support upholding it or the nearly 40 percent of Republican women who believe that it should be legal in all or most cases according to Pew. It's the fact that repeal is unpopular in each of the 2022 battleground states. Just look at this "New York Times" graph. That's 18 points Florida, 35 in New Hampshire.

So, be careful what you wish for. Democrats are confronting the real cost of their stimulus packages, while Republicans are confronting the fact that their ideological crusade over abortion is deeply unpopular with the vast majority of Americans. Common ground and common sense are hard to find once the parties get dug in. But they need to remember the first law of recovery to deal with this. The first step of dealing with a problem is admitting that you have a problem and then trying to do something about it.

And that's your "Reality Check."

MARQUARDT: Our thanks to John Avlon.

AVLON: Be well.

MARQUART: All right, the father of JonBenet Ramsey is calling for a new round of DNA testing to be done to find his daughter's killer more than 25 years later. He'll be joining us, next.

KEILAR: And we continue to follow the news out of Mariupol, where officials say intense attacks continue on the besieged Azovstal steel plant a day after Russian forces breached its perimeter.



KEILAR: More than 25 years ago, six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home, the day after Christmas. No one was ever charged and the investigation remains open. Now there's a new push to solve this murder mystery. JonBenet's father is calling on the governor of Colorado to intervene and let an outside agency take over DNA testing in the case.

With us now is John Ramsey, the father of JonBenet Ramsey.

John, thank you so much for being with us. And all of these years later, you're still searching for answers.

Can you tell us what you want here? JOHN RAMSEY, FATHER OF JONBENET RAMSEY: Well, we know -- and thank you

for having me. We know that there are items from the crime scene that have never been tested for DNA. And what we're asking the governor to do is to have those items tested, sampled for DNA, using the latest technology. And the latest technology is only available through some independent cutting-edge labs. The government does not have that technology yet. So, it's got to go outside. And we've tried for years to get the Boulder police to move on this, and have been unsuccessful.

So, we mounted a petition to the governor and have, I think, over six -- close to 6,000 signatures asking him to act on this issue.

KEILAR: Explain this potential genealogical path that you think might be helpful.

RAMSEY: Well, you know, the federal government has a DNA data base, CODIS, and it has samples of DNA, but it's normally felons or ex- released felons. It's not a real big database. Some states contribute. Some states don't.

The golden state killer, if you recall that case, a very old cold case, was solved by going to the -- basically to the public DNA database, which is -- has millions of samples in it. They find a similar match, not an exact match, but a similar match, and then basically create a family tree going backwards from that point.


And they've had amazing success with that technique in, gosh, probably a dozen cases now where police have made the efforts to do that. And DNA is the answer in our case. I've been told that by experienced detectives. They said, this is a DNA case. It will be solved by DNA.

The police knew they had unidentified male DNA literally within days of JonBenet's murder. And to this day it's still unidentified. And, in fact, it's been supported by some testing that the new district attorney did about ten years ago. But that's the last --

KEILAR: Can I -- can I -- can I ask you, John, why -- what is Boulder saying to you about why they won't let this go outside? And what is the governor -- what is the governor's stance so far on your request?

RAMSEY: Well, we haven't had any communication with the Boulder police in probably three years. The last time we talked to them was when I asked for a meeting with the chief of -- the new chief of police at the time, and they've gone through four police chiefs during the last 25 years. The governor said he would look at it. At least that's his public statement. And we're grateful for that.

But, you know, what we've asked for is people to get behind this petition, and, you know, government react to public pressure. And that's what we're asking for. It's the right thing to do. And if it's not done, it's tragic.

KEILAR: John, you deserve answers and we're going to keep looking at what happens with your request here. John Ramsey, thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you for having me on the show.

MARQUARDT: Now, you'd never know it to watch her on the court, but a University of Miami basketball player had a medical issue in high school that almost kept her sidelined.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on how she's bouncing back in today's "The Human Factor."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The basketball court is a second home for Ja'Leah Williams.

JA'LEAH WILLIAMS, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI BASKETBALL PLAYER: If something happened with a family death, or you're just emotional or depressed, sometimes I'd just come here and just shoot and listen to music. Like basketball gets my mind clear.

GUPTA: Early on, Ja'Leah figured out that she was a little bit better than most of the people she played against.

WILLIAMS: What made me fall in love with basketball is, I would like I would take the ball from somebody and I would just run up the court but they couldn't catch me. So I'd just make the layup.

Not even. I'll miss it and like I still have a second chance to go back up.

GUPTA: It's a sport she's lucky to be playing.

WILLIAMS: My mom, as I got older, she saw that I would have a little lean and my bone was popping out. And she eventually got it checked out.

GUPTA: The diagnosis, scoliosis.

WILLIAMS: It was like a snake. I was tilted.

GUPTA: Ja'Leah had a severe curvature of her spine. Surgery was her only option.


GUPTA: The surgery was a success. And there was an unexpected upside to the operation. She was a couple inches taller.

WILLIAMS: I think it really helped because, like, the inches, and the way I jump, it helps. Like, I get rebounds. I'm trying to dunk. Yes, that's what I'm really trying to do.

It just feels amazing that God just gave me a chance to play the game I love again.


KEILAR: Amazing to watch her play it.

Next, this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame includes a rapper, a heart breaker, a ceiling dancer, and --


DOLLY PARTON, MUSICIAN (singing): Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living, barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving, they just use your --




KEILAR: It's time for "The Good Stuff."


DOLLY PARTON, MUSICIAN (singing): Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living;

LIONEL RICHIE, MUSICIAN (singing): All night long, all night, all night, all night, all night long.

PAT BENATAR, MUSICIAN (singing): Hit me with your best shot. Why don't you hit me with your best shot.

EMINEM, MUSICIAN (singing): Cause I'm Slim Shady, yes, I'm the real Shady. All you other Slim Shady's are just imitating. So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up.

DURAN DURAN, MUSICIAN (singing): Who do you love when you come undone


KEILAR: Music is the soundtrack of our lives and doesn't that mashup bring back some memories. Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, Eminem, Duran Duran, just some of the big names that are being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2022.

MARQUARDT: What a lineup.

Now, ever the modest rock star, Dolly Parton actually had reservations about accepting the nomination earlier this year. Now she is saying that she feels honored to accept this award.

Now the formal ceremony will be held later this year on November 5th. That will be fun.

KEILAR: Who's your favorite there?

MARQUARDT: Dolly Parton. KEILAR: No hesitation.


KEILAR: But doesn't Duran Duran kind of take you back?

MARQUARDT: Eminem takes me back.

KEILAR: Eminem does?

MARQUARDT: Eminem was my childhood.

KEILAR: Where are you? You're in -- you're in your childhood?

MARQUARDT: Exactly. In middle school.

KEILAR: And, Duran Duran, I'm like in junior high.


KEILAR: Which was, you know, it had its ups and downs, I'm not going to lie.


MARQUARDT: Yes, but Dolly Parton definitely takes the cake.

KEILAR: I know. I agree with you on that one. Love Pat Benatar as well, though.


KEILAR: Alex, it's been awesome having you.

MARQUARDT: A lot of fun.

KEILAR: Yes. Thank you so much.

MARQUARDT: Be back tomorrow.

KEILAR: We'll see you tomorrow.

MARQUARDT: Looking forward to it.

KEILAR: And we'll see you tomorrow.

CNN's coverage continues right now.