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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Unclean Equipment at Dentist's Office May Have Spread Disease; North Korea Continues Threats Against South Korea, U.S.; Republican Congressman Uses Racial Slur; Michael Jackson's Family Suing Company for Wrongful Death; Former NFL Player Comes Out as Gay
Aired March 30, 2013 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN Saturday Morning. Ahead, they say their rockets are ready, aimed right at U.S. cities now. North Korea's revving up their rhetoric even more. Is it time to take them at their word?
Plus, rusty equipment and reused needles, a dentist's dirty secrets exposed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the last thing in the world that you're going to think going in to get your wisdom teeth taken out and you are going to be exposed to HIV and hepatitis.
KOSIK: Today thousands of patients find out if they were infected.
Plus, who is really responsible for Michael Jackson's death? His mom Katherine says she knows and now she's suing for billions.
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KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik. It's 10:00 on the east coast, 7:00 on the west. We're glad you're with us.
New this morning, health officials in Oklahoma say the patient -- health officials in Oklahoma say the patient whose positive HIV test tipped them off to sickening conditions at a dentist's office later tested negative for the virus but is still testing positive for hepatitis c. And today what they are doing is offering free HIV and hepatitis tests to patients of Dr. Scott Harrington. The dentist and oral surgeon stopped practicing after inspectors found filmy, rusty tools at his office and many other problems. CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti has more.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Tulsa they're expecting hundreds of people to show up as free screenings begin for as many as 7,000 patients of Dr. Scott Harrington. The dentist currently is facing 17 complaints filed by the state board of dentistry after inspectors found that he had deplorable conditions in his office, allegedly including use of filthy instruments, improper sterilization of dental instruments, using drugs that were expired, among many other alleged violations.
Now, people will be coming here today to be screened for hepatitis b and c as well as HIV, and I asked one of the officials here what will happen after those tests are taken.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will take approximately two to three weeks for patients to receive test results. If someone receives a negative test result, they'll be notified via mail. If anyone were to test positive, they would receive a personal contact to reveal their results.
CANDIOTTI: Health officials are telling the community they don't believe that they're facing an outbreak of HIV and hepatitis, but they're trying to tamp down any possibility of panic here in this area by organizing these free screenings. And, remember, we're talking about at least 7,000 patients that's dating back to 2007, but there may be even more than that. That's as far back as records go.
Also, Dr. Harrington has voluntarily surrendered his license. The district attorney is looking in to the possibility of criminal charges.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
KOSIK: An E. Coli outbreak has spread to 15 states, 24 cases have been reported from Virginia to Washington state, eight people have been hospitalized, at least one case is linked to farm rich brand frozen foods. Almost 200,000 pounds of meals and snacks are being recalled. Most of those sickened are younger than 22.
Now to North Korea. They say they've entered a, quote, "state of war with South Korea" and are also aiming their missiles at the United States. South Korea and some U.S. diplomats say it's just the usual posturing. The national security council weighed in late yesterday with this, saying, "We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies, but we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats, and today's anno announcement follows that familiar pattern." We're going to have much more on the threat later, in about 10 minutes or so.
A Navy SEAL is dead and another injured following what was supposed to be a routine training exercise. They collided in midair while they were parachute training in Arizona northwest of Tucson. A source tells CNN the SEAL who died is a member of the SEAL team six the squad that went after Usama bin Laden. This is the third deadly military training accident since February.
A serial rapist who spent almost 35 years on the run is finally behind bars this morning. Authorities say Gary Allen Irving went on the lam in 1978 after he was convicted of raping three young women in Massachusetts. New leads led police to the small town of Goram, Maine, where they found Irving, now 52 years old, sitting there watching TV with his wife and grandchild.
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SERGEANT ROBERT BURKE, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: His wife appeared like she was in a state of shock. She was very cooperative, seemed to be a very nice lady. And for all intents and purposes they seemed to be a nice couple that were just living there in downtown.
PATRICIA DIXON, NEIGHBOR: He was always pleasant and nice, always liked him. You never know who is living next door, I guess.
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KOSIK: Authorities in Maine and Massachusetts plan to use DNA to see whether Irving can be linked to any unsolved rapes.
Tomorrow millions of Christians around the world will celebrate Easter or Resurrection Day. Pope Francis is getting ready for a special Easter vigil this afternoon at the Vatican.
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KOSIK: And there were crowds last night, look at that, outside the Coliseum in Rome. The Pope spoke at a special ceremony for Good Friday. He told people that Christians must respond to evil with good.
We've got an update from South Africa on Nelson Mandela's health. A spokesman for President Jacob Zuma said Mandela is resting comfortably in the hospital. The 94-year-old former president was admitted this week because of pneumonia. Doctors say the treatment is going well and he's able to breathe without difficulty. The presidency wishes to acknowledge and thank all who have been praying for and sending messages of support.
A historic collection of letters is said to hit the auction block at the end of May. An anonymous seller is listing 250 letters plus other items from cultural figures from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and former Italian dictator Mussolini.
Most -- some of the biggest interest have been letters from Marilyn Monroe to her acting coach Lee Strasberg just before her suicide, and here's some of what she wrote. Look at this. "I'm embarrassed to start, this but thank you for understanding and having changed my life. Even though you changed it, I still am lost. I mean, I can't get myself together. I think because everything is pushing against my concentration, everything one does or lives is impossible almost."
And she continues saying, "My will is weak, but I can't stand anything. I sound crazy but I think I'm going crazy. It's just that I get before a camera and my concentration and everything I'm trying to learn leaves me. Then I feel like I'm not existing in the human race at all."
The collection also includes a letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney around the time the Beatles broke up and you can see the animosity in this. In this letter, Lennon writes "Do you really think most of today's art came out because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane, Paul. Do you believe that? When you stop believing it, you might wake up."
The items will be exhibited April 8th to the 16th in New York City.
Let's go ahead and turn to the weather. Temperatures kind of getting back to normal after a late season blast of winter, but a band of storms from Minnesota to the Gulf Coast could make it a rainy weekend across much of the country. Let's go to the CNN weather center and meteorologist Alexandra Steele. Alexandra, what's in store for us this weekend?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A lot. We've got a lot of everything. What do you like for Easter candy?
KOSIK: I like it all.
STEELE: Me, too. We seeing soggy treats or will they be dry? We've got the band from the upper Midwest to the gulf coast. This line of showers and storms, hail and some wind a part of the picture today. But then it moves to the Eastern seaboard for tomorrow. It's funny, it's kind of going to break up. It will be a little less intense tomorrow, but we're going to watch it move eastward, so no real washout throughout the day but just kind of hit or miss. So that's what the day will be about.
Big picture today, a line of severe storms. This is kind of where the greatest theft is from Kansas to Oklahoma eastward into Missouri, also in toward little rock potentially. And we're going to see sunny skies today in the northeast. But this is where the line of showers pushes eastward. Tomorrow very unsettled here, again, no major washout but the line pushes east.
Also some very needed rain in northern California moving in today into tomorrow. Northwest, you're dry for Easter Sunday, southwest, sunny and warm as well. But here's a look at the bigger picture for today and tomorrow in terms of the temperatures. Very warm, Alison, attempt finally where we should be. Watch Minneapolis 51, 41 tomorrow, Kansas City, 65 today. By Monday they get into the 30s and that's the cold arctic air. One more cold blast moves in and spreads eastward. A very cold first week of April.
KOSIK: Thanks, Alexandra.
Let's go back to North Korea for a moment and those threats from Kim Jong-un, he said he has his missiles pointed at Austin, Texas, of all places, is he ready to push the button? We'll go ahead and examine the options with two of the world's leading experts on the subject.
KOSIK: North Korea is preparing their missiles and aiming them at American military bases in the Pacific. That is actually the word from the secretive nation. It's their response to the U.S. bringing stealth bombers to the region for military maneuvers with South Korea. This is just the latest threatening move from North Korea in recent weeks.
Joining me now is former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and lead negotiator on North Korea, Christopher Hill, and Joseph Cirincione, a former adviser to President Obama on nuclear issues. Thank you for joining me.
CHRISTOPHER HILL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: My pleasure.
KOSIK: Joseph, let me start with you. We've heard threats before from North Korea, how serious is this latest one?
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, FORMER OBAMA ADVISOR ON NUCLEAR AFFAIRS: I think we have to take this seriously. These threats are more bellicose and coming at a higher level than previously. Still, I do not think the North Koreans intentionally want to start a war. I believe this is mainly for domestic politics, domestic politics in North Korea to shore up Kim Jong-un's leadership role. The danger is that it could spiral out of control. This is how wars start, by miscalculation, by accident. So, we have to be very careful, very measured in our responses to this bluster.
KOSIK: How effective is this tactic even domestically for that country?
CIRINCIONE: Oh, I think this works. You can see the mass demonstrations that are in the squares at Pyongyang. Even yesterday they whip up this fervor of North Korea being attacked by the aggressive imperialist west, being defended by the young, strong leader. I think this has proven over the years to be a very effective tactic for the Kim dynasty. Kim Jong-un is the third Kim to be using this to prop up his rule.
KOSIK: OK, Chris, should we worry as much about an attack on U.S. bases? You know, what really should we be worried about?
HILL: Well, I think it's very unlikely that there would be an attack on U.S. bases, especially this idea they're going to hit the mainland. I think the real issue is very much on the Korean peninsula, whether you could have an incident on the demilitarized zone or offshore. It's well known the South Korean Navy has just had it up to here with the North Korean provocations.
So I think what is very interesting about this is how prolonged this propaganda campaign has been, how intense it's been, and the big question will be when the exercises -- when our exercises wind down, which is toward the end of April, will the propaganda wind down. In the meantime, will it continue through what is really going to be several more weeks?
KOSIK: Yes. I mean, Joseph, the Pentagon has already announced that it's going to start beefing up its missile defense system. Is that the right move knowing that this may be all posturing at this point?
CIRINCIONE: I think the U.S. has taken appropriate measures at this point. You are directing it to me, right?
CIRINCIONE: Appropriate measures at this point. It isn't that the missile defenses work, they don't really, but it's a gesture on the part of the United States. I thought the bomber drills sending the B- 52s and the B-2 bombers over South Korea was appropriate at this point. It's mainly directed at North Korea drawing a line saying you are playing with fire here, but more to our south Korean allies, to reassure them that we have their back, that they in turn can be a little more confident in their responses to North Korea.
So, you see the South Korean president, Mrs. Park, still even during this period offering diplomatic exchanges, offering an olive branch to the North Koreans, that's because she knows that the United States is behind them with any military measures should those be required.
KOSIK: OK, so, Chris, met me ask you this, what is the end game for North Korea?
HILL: Well, you know, I think we shouldn't just get in to the notion that somehow this is the same old, same old. We have a very untested leader. They're obviously trying to show that he's a wartime leader. You know, I don't think we should assume that this is necessarily going to be a success for them.
I think what is also interesting is that historically the North Koreans have really tried to play off the idea that there's a left wing in south Korea that they can sort of use as their fifth column. And yet they seem to have really written that off. So, I think we're into an era right now where the North Koreans have essentially kind of cut off any possibilities or hopes of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.
In the meantime, I think it's been important that we -- that our reaction has been very measured. You noticed White House press secretary, state department, have been very careful. And the reason for being so careful is not necessarily dealing with the North Koreans. It's to try to make sure that the Chinese understand that this is all with the North Koreans and the Chinese really need to step up. So, I think it's been a -- we've done well and I think we ought to continue this.
And by the way, I completely agree with Joe on the point of the B-2 bombers. This is no time to be cutting back on exercises to show that somehow we're intimidated by the North Koreans.
KOSIK: OK, Christopher Hill, Joseph Cirincione, thanks for your time.
HILL: Thank you.
CIRINCIONE: Thank you.
KOSIK: Let's move on to sports, shall we and March Madness? Florida Gulf Coast University, the biggest surprise in the NCAA, took on in- state rival Florida. But did the magic continue or did the clock strike midnight on this year's Cinderella? We'll have highlights coming up next.
KOSIK: Good morning, New York City, my home. A beautiful day looks like is in store there. It looks like it will be about 52 degrees. It's 52 right now, 56 for the high today. Ah, sunshine, that's what we want to see in New York.
The magical run by the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles is officially over. Yes, this year's Cinderella team has been knocked out of the big tournament by in-state rival Florida. Andy Scholes is here with this hour's bleacher report. I tell you what, this really has been an unbelievable story, hasn't it?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it has. Good morning, Alison. This story of this year's run by Florida Gulf Coast will be a tough one to match for a future Cinderella team. The eagles accomplished more than any other 15 seed in tournament history, and for a while last night it looked like the run may not be over just yet. The Eagles came out on fire, getting out to an early 11-point lead. But FGC's carriage would eventually turn into a pumpkin as Florida went on a 16-2 run to end the first half. It was too much to overcome for Florida gulf coast. Their Cinderella run ends in the regional semifinals with a 52-50 loss to Florida.
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ANDY ENFIELD, FGCU HEAD COACH: Our plan was to go in and compete and win games. But it was unbelievable to see the excitement and passion not only of our local community and the students but also on a national level.
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SCHOLES: The Kansas-Michigan matchup was built up to be a good one and it did not disappoint. The Jayhawks were up eight with a 1:20 left, but the wolverines came storming back with this three pointer. That sent the game to the overtime. Michigan would go on to win 87-85 to reach the elite eight for the first time since 1994. For more on this game, head over to bleacherreport.com.
So, with Kansas now out, that leaves Louisville as the only number one seed left in the tournament. Last night the cardinals continued to play like a dominant number one seed led by Russ Smith's 31 points. Louisville jumped on Oregon in the first half and they never looked back on their way to a 77-69 win. They advanced to the elite eight for the second straight year.
And their opponent will be the two seed from their region, Duke, behind a hot-shooting night. The Blue Devils defeated Michigan State 71-61. That sets up a Rick Pitino versus Mike Krzyzewski coaching matchup in the regional finals since Christian Laettner's game-winning shot in 1992.
Later on today two teams will punch their ticket to the Final Four. Syracuse will square off against Marquette at 4:30 eastern and followed by Wichita State taking on Ohio State.
Alison, everyone loves the Cinderella teams and with Florida gulf coast out, there's only one Cinderella team left.
KOSIK: Andy, thanks.
Another politician trying to dig himself out of a hole that his big mouth dug. His fellow Republicans, they're now up in arms demanding apologies, but is their anger genuine? We're going to take a look.
But first I've got a question for you if you're a political junkie. Since 1930 which president has taken the most vacation days during his time in office? If you know the answer, go ahead and tweet me. Be the first to tweet the right answer and I'm going to give you a shout-out after the break.
KOSIK: Bottom of the hour now, welcome back, everybody. I'm Alison Kosik. We're looking at some of the stories this morning. First up, 35 educators in Atlanta have been indicted in one of the biggest cheating scandals to hit the nation's public school system. They face charges of corruption and racketeering accused of fabricating test scores for years and profiting from it. That includes formerly superintendent Beverly Hall who once won national superintendent of the year. She faces up to 45 years in prison.
Starting Monday, New York City will start a new effort to sift through debris of 9/11 to identify victims' remains. Remember, remains of about 1,000 victims from the World Trade Center attack have not been identified, but the city has newer sifting technology. Crews will search through 60 dump truckloads of debris for about 10 weeks.
In Georgia a city commissioner is in trouble with the law for speaking with the family of a suspect accused of shooting a baby boy in his stroller. City Commissioner James Henry Brooks is charged with influencing a witness. His attorney says it's a misunderstanding.
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ALAN DAVID TUCKER, ATTORNEY: It wasn't his intent to interview with the investigation. What he was trying to do at that point in time that he was approached at the courthouse was just tell these folks, you have the right to remain silent and don't talk to police unless you have an attorney present. And I think that was the crux of what caused the problem.
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KOSIK: Two teens are charged with the murder in last week's death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago. The accused shooter's mother, sister, and aunt also face charges they have hindered the investigation.
Number four, a stranger on the Philadelphia subway saves a man who falls onto the track. Look at the surveillance tape. It shows the victim stepped right off the platform, then this man rushes over. He jumps after him. He got other passengers to alert subway workers to stop the trains. Then he kept the man still so he wouldn't touch the high voltage third rail. The victim is expected to be OK. The rescuer said he was just trying to pay it forward.
Number five, a Buffalo zoo welcomes its newest member, four-month-old polar bear cub Luna. She made her debut on Friday. Crowds waited all morning to meet her and they weren't disappointed. She delighted everybody, playing with her toys and swimming in her own personal pool, hanging out.
All right, before the break, I asked you if you knew the answer to this question. Since 1930, which president has taken the most vacation days? Drumroll, please. The answer George W. Bush, who took more than 1,000 vacation days. The only president who came close to that total was Franklin Roosevelt, who served three terms.
Longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young has come under fire for this comment. Listen --
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REP. DON YOUNG, (R) ALASKA: My father had a ranch. He used to have 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. You know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It's all done by machine.
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KOSIK: Since saying that he apologized that, saying he didn't mean to be disrespectful. But members of his own party have been hammering him over the slur. House Speaker John Boehner said congressman young's remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds. "I don't care why he said it, there's no excuse."
Let's talk about this. Joining me now is Amy Holmes, anchor of "Real News" on "The Blaze." Good morning.
AMY HOLMES, ANCHOR, "REAL NEWS" ON "THE BLAZE": Good morning.
KOSIK: And Jason Johnson, he's with me now, professor of political science and chief political correspondent for Politics365.com.
Amy, is this an overreaction at this point, condemning this comment by a congressman who has been around the block a few times?
HOLMES: I don't think it's an overreaction. I think it's totally appropriate for Republican leadership and Republicans more generally to denounce these remarks. They're completely beneath the dignity of the office, as speaker John Boehner had to say, and absurd in this day and age that a public official would use such a term. You know, I think deservedly he has been condemned and rightly he's apologized.
KOSIK: So, Jason, let me ask you, would we have heard this -- let's say ten months ago, would we have heard such a strong condemnation for this?
JASON JOHNSON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICS365.COM: Yes. The Republican Party is serious about trying to court minority voters. They lost the last election because they continued to offend and annoy African-Americans, Latino Americans, and women. You had Rick Santorum saying I don't want to give money to black people. So this is part of the Republican Party's rebranding. I don't know if it's going to work, but I think it's sincere.
KOSIK: It's not part of their rebranding, they don't want this kind of thing. What is going wrong here? Why can't they really listen to what they're saying or think about what they're saying before they talk? What's going on here? What's wrong?
JOHNSON: Because you have racists in the party. It's really that party. It's really that simple. You have people who are racist and they still say racist things. It's not unique to Republicans. There are Democrats who do it, too, it's just the Democrats seem to be keep better at keeping their mouth quiet when they're in the press.
So again, I think the party itself is trying to change their image from being the party that says things like this, and that's where the condemnations come from.
KOSIK: Let's move on.
HOLMES: I don't want to move from that remark. I think that we see that the outrage generally goes in one direction. We had Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat in California, back in 2010, talk about how the Vietnamese were taking over her seat, a very racially charged comment she made on Univision. We also have our vice president of the United States who is quite infamous for his, let's say, uncouth remarks like walking into a 7-Eleven and all you hear are Indian accents. I think what we hear one party gets the public condemnation and the other party slides away.
JOHNSON: One party has a long-term reputation of saying these things over and over, and that's why they are in trouble. I made a point saying the Democrats do it, too, but the Republicans have a worst reputation, and that's why they have to spend $1 million in order to get minority voters. That's their problem, and it doesn't mean that's how everyone feels.
KOSIK: Let's let Amy talk. I asked Jason a question, let me ask you. What will it take for a turnaround in the Republican Party? The Republicans have had big issues, they're trying to do this turnaround, they're just not doing it. What will it take?
HOLMES: I think we saw in the last election cycle that President Obama was very successful in reaching out to the Hispanic vote, to the female vote. The African-American vote tends to go 90 percent plus for any democrat.
I think for the Republican Party what they need to do is to make really concerted efforts not just for the talk and the rhetoric but to really reach out into the community, talk to folks and find out what are the problems you're facing, what do you need from your public officials, and have a real conversation and inviting everyone to the table. So often we get focused on the national stage, what's going on in Washington, D.C., without getting in there and doing the hard work of representing everyone. I think Republicans need to do that. I think it's a fair critique.
I think it's unfair, however, to be slandering the entire party without being handed a note and noticing, for example, Robert Byrd, a member of the KKK, retired in very good standing with the Democratic Party.
KOSIK: It goes both ways. Let's go ahead and move on, Sarah Palin, always a good talker here, her PAC put out an ad this week. Look at this --
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Palin jumped in early and supported Rand Paul. She supported Marco Rubio, Jim Scott, Pat Toomey, Nikki Haley, Jeff Fisher, Jeff Blake and myself.
SARAH PALIN, (R) FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: The next election is 20 months away. The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for governor Sarah Palin.
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KOSIK: Jason, what's the point?
JOHNSON: I think it's a great ad. And I think it's a good commercial for Sarah Palin. Look, she's out there trying to make sure that she stays relevant, and that's really important for somebody who hasn't served in office for several years, who actually had a bad record of endorsing candidates in 2010.
The issue is Sarah Palin she's a bit old hat. She's, like, boy bands and "Desperate Housewives," and she's not that relevant today. But I think it was an important part of the process.
KOSIK: Amy, what do you think?
HOLMES: I would agree with that she's trying to stay in the mix. Sarah Palin is able to chip up crowds and raise a lot of money and was very influential in the last two election cycles in her support. I think of Nikki Haley, for example, in South Carolina, if you remember the momma grizzly bear contingent from Sarah Palin, so I'm sure that these politicians are very happy to have her help particularly in the Republican primary.
KOSIK: All right, Amy Holmes, Jason Johnson, thanks for a nice fiery discussion.
JOHNSON: Thank you. KOSIK: Michael Jackson's death trial begins next week and you won't believe how much his family's asking for in the billions of dollars. More's coming up next.
KOSIK: It's been 30 years since the king of pop first moonwalked across the stage and almost three years since he died after taking a deadly dose of sedatives. But Michael Jackson's wrongful death civil trial is expected to begin as soon as next week. His family said promoter AEG Live bears the responsibility for his passing and that they need to pay up big time. We're talking billions of dollars here. The lawsuit claims AEG live hired and supervised former doctor Conrad Murray who gave Jackson the powerful drugs to induce sleep and prepare him for a series of concerts.
You may remember for his role in this Murray is now serving a four- year sentence for manslaughter. An official panel of Michael Jackson experts joins me now to talk about this. Debra Opri is a former Jackson family attorney, and Diane Diamond is a reporter and author of "Be Careful Who You Love, Inside the Michael Jackson Case." Diana, I want to begin with you. Does the multimillion dollar case come down to who hired Murray? How do you prove that?
DIANE DIAMOND, AUTHOR, "BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LOVE": The case had a lot of other components to it in the beginning, but it has been reduced to that. Who actually hired, who was going to pay Conrad Murray and I should tell you right off the top there were no contracts ever signed and Conrad Murray for all the time he worked for Michael Jackson expecting $150,000 a month salary never got paid a penny, so how do you prove with no contract signed who hired him, who paid him, whose responsibility he was?
He was actually Michael Jackson's friend, doctor friend, who he had met many years prior because he'd taken care of his children and it was Michael Jackson who brought him into this sphere, but where's the responsibility? That's up to the court.
KOSIK: So, Debra, knowing that there were no contracts signed, what chance to the Jacksons have in winning this case?
DEBRA OPRI, FORMER JACKSON ATTORNEY: The remaining cause of action, which is the negligent hiring by AEG, would fall down to the evidence. It would be in the form of testimony. It would be in the form of e- mails. If there's no signed contract, was there an unsigned contract?
From what I understand, Conrad Murray will not be testifying, so you won't hear from him. Naturally you're not going to hear from Michael Jackson. So I would look to any e-mails or intercommunications between AEG and Conrad Murray if they, in fact, exist. My understanding is there may, in fact, be an e-mail from the CEO or an executive at AEG which discusses who Murray worked for, so these are evidence pieces that are going to be absolutely important for the trier of fact.
KOSIK: And actually, Debra, the family does say they have an e-mail proving AEG Live was paying Dr. Murray's salary. Here's what the AEG Live CEO wrote about Murray just 11 days before Jackson's death. It said, "We want to remind Murray that it is AEG, not Michael Jackson, M.J., who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him." Could this -- could this be the smoking gun?
OPRI: Absolutely. This piece of evidence if it goes to a jury and those 12 jurors are inside a deliberation room, they're going to say why would this e-mail have ever been sent if AEG was not taking the position that he was employed? Remember, under the negligent hiring cause of action which is the only remaining cause of action left, they have to prove that AEG had hired him. When an executive at AEG says, remember who hired you, that's a piece of evidence.
DIAMOND: Yes, but Alison, let me jump in here. This is an e-mail sent to Kenny Ortega who is the director of This Is It concert tour and Michael Jackson was not showing up for rehearsal. So the CEO wrote to Kenny Ortega this threat, hey, tell that guy that, you know, we're the ones who are paying his bills. Well, nobody was paying his bills. I read this e-mail really as sort of an empty threat to a doctor to try to get the star back on track again.
Again, if it comes down to a contract, well, there isn't a contract. So, Debra's right, though, it's going to be entirely up to the jury and she's in California. I used to live in California. I've covered lots of cases out there. You never know what a California jury's going to do.
KOSIK: I'm getting the feeling, Diane, this trial could get ugly. Should Jackson's kids really take the stand in this?
DIAMOND: The two older ones have both been deposed, Blanket -- I'm sorry, Blanket has not, Prince and Paris have. At least prince is scheduled to testify. It is going to get ugly. I think the judge ruled recently that AEG can bring up the child molestation trial. I don't think she's ruled that they can talk about the finances at the time of his death. He was $400 million in debt when he died. He had a tremendous amount of stress put on him. Was it is by AEG or was it by his own circumstances in life, that's what they're going to have to decide. But yes, it could get really ugly.
KOSIK: Debra --
OPRI: Anytime children --
KOSIK: Go ahead.
OPRI: Anytime children testify, it's uncomfortable and I don't sympathize with them if they do have to testify. I hope they don't.
KOSIK: Debra, do you think there's going to be any regret when you are getting the kids involved in this, talking about the molestation charges?
OPRI: It's the goal of any litigation attorney representing the family who has children, you don't want them to testify. It's the goal in AEG in this instance to put everybody on the stand. But I personally don't think the two children should testify because of the remaining causes of action -- one remaining cause of action which is the negligent hiring, what, in fact, would the children know about daddy or AEG hiring this doctor?
KOSIK: Very quick answer, I want to hear your predictions for the outcome of this, Diane, you first.
DIAMOND: Katherine Jackson is seeking up to, my understanding, $40 billion in money her son would have made had he lived. That's going to be really hard to prove. I don't think she gets $40 billion, I don't think she gets multiple billion.
OPRI: If a jury rules that Katherine Jackson on the wrongful death action for negligent hiring wins, it's a win no matter how much she's awarded.
KOSIK: OK. Thanks for your time.
DIAMOND: You bet.
KOSIK: Let's go ahead and switch topics to sports. A former NFL player is now openly gay, but not because he chose to come out. Just ahead an exclusive interview with Kwame Harris about how he was outted and why he's now speaking publicly about his sexuality.
But, first, if you're planning a vacation getaway, you may want to consider the Florida Keys. Look at this in this week's "On the Go."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a great time to head to the Keys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's perfect in March, April, and May. You're talking about shoulder season, so the weather is still great, high 70s, low 80s. Avoid the crowds, and you'll have less after spring break.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Keys is a string of islands just off south Florida. U.S. highway one connects the bigger islands to the mainland.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a curlicue group of islands in Florida and it starts with the upper seas. This is home to the sport fishing capital of the country, Islamorada. It's great for diving. And you get to the middle Keys, there are places to bring the kids to explore the white sand beaches. The lower keys are known to be green and white except, of course, for Key West which has festive atmosphere, that really fun and different Queen Anne and Victorian architecture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Key West marks the southernmost point of the continental U.S. and has long been a haven for artists and writers including Ernest Hemingway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to go to Hemingway house, that's Ernest Hemingway's former residence when he lived in Key West. It's home for his six-toed cats. And then you'll want to go to Mallory Square where all the crowds converge to see the blood orange sky.
KOSIK: A report from CBS Sports this week shocked some people. It said one NFL player is considering out the next few months and the player would try to continue his career. There are no openly gay players in the NFL, and some gay athletes say they felt pressure to keep quiet during their careers, like former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris, who admitted on camera for the first time to CNN that he's gay. His former teammate Coy Wire talked to him about it.
COY WIRE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Kwame Harris was always a standout football player. From high school to Stanford University to first round pick in the 2003 draft. He played six seasons in the pros, five with the San Francisco 49ers and one with the Oakland Raiders.
KWAME HARRIS, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I love football. It provided me with some experiences and some opportunities that I wouldn't trade for anything else. But at the same time the cost was great in asking me to not speak candidly or be able to be open about myself in this complete manner.
WIRE: Harris is gay. He says he's always known this, but concealed it until recently.
HARRIS: I wasn't publicly out until about, I don't know, beginning of the super bowl when it was publicized.
WIRE: It was publicized after an alleged altercation with an ex- boyfriend outside a restaurant. Not long after current 49er Chris Culliver made this comment on Artie Lange's radio show.
CHRIS CULLIVER, SAN FRANCISCO 49ER CORNERBACK: They ain't got no gay people on the team. They got to get up out of here if they do.
WIRE: Culliver ultimately apologized, but the sentiment is not uncommon in the sports world. Last baseball season Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended for three games for a gay slur written in Spanish in the grease under his eyes. Escobar apologized as well. But it does explain why no player in any of the four major male professional sports in the U.S. has ever come out while playing.
Did you ever consider coming out while you were a player?
HARRIS: Man, no, not while I was playing. I didn't see those two things as being compatible, but now when I look back in hindsight, if I could have done it differently, I would like to think I would find the strength or find the fortitude or the grace to kind of make the hard decision.
WIRE: The Last Closet is an organization to encourage the end of homophobia in male pro sports.
FAWN YACKER, "THE LAST CLOSET": You have to look back to Jackie Robinson's days when he came into baseball. He had some trouble, but it was the management that really took care of him and made it OK. WIRE: For many players it's a nonissue.
BRENDON AYANBADEJO, BALTIMORE RAVENS LINEBACKER: We're going to support him, and we're going to treat him just like we treat everybody else, every other teammate with love and fairness and kindness and compassion, because we know it's going to be a tough burden on that person.
WIRE: For Harris, the burden almost became too much to bear.
HARRIS: You want to escape the despair, the turmoil, and maybe your mind goes to dark places sometimes. But I would just say that I -- I'm happy today. I'm glad that, you know, I didn't actually. But those are just ideas and I didn't act on any of those things and, you know, it does -- it does get better.
WIRE: You haven't spoken to this to any media at all. So why now?
HARRIS: I want people, athletes still in the closet or youth who aren't quite sure what their sexuality is to realize that not only is that not unique, that those feelings are common feelings. Don't feel incredibly alone in having these questions. And, secondly, that I'm gay and I'm a former athlete and I think I'm a pretty normal guy.
WIRE: Coy Wire, CNN, Stanford, California.
KOSIK: We have much more ahead in the next hour of CNN Saturday Morning which begins after a quick break.