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Paula Poundstone Comments on Charges of Child Endangerment

Aired July 3, 2001 - 10:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIAN NELSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We want to break in right now and go out to Malibu, California, where Paula Poundstone, the comedian, is making a statement to members of the press before her arraignment. Let's hear what she has to say.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: The district attorney's has taken the position that we are not entitled to any discovery prior to our first court appearance. And rather than sitting in the dark any longer we asked the court yesterday, and the court agreed, to advance the case to today's date for her arraignment. Paula is eager to have her day in court and we're ready to get started.

We are anxious to find out what the basis of these allegations are. When we go into court, we are going to plead not guilty, and we are confident that when all the facts come out Paula will be exonerated of all the charges against her. Lastly, we have received a phenomenal amount of support from people around this community, around the country and, indeed, around the world, people who know and love Paula and stood by her at this time of need. Paula has asked me to convey her heartfelt thanks to all those who have stood by her and support her. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Can Paula tell comment on her supporters...

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: You've seen them here today. This is just a small fraction of people that...

PAULA POUNDSTONE, COMEDIAN: I've got thousands more.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: My office has been inundated with letters, e-mails, faxes from people all over letting us know that they support Paula.

QUESTION: Paula, what does it mean to you to see them?

QUESTION: Ms. Poundstone, what was your reaction coming to court and seeing a group waiting for you? They've been waiting for problem 45 minutes to show their support for you today?

POUNDSTONE: This is not the first time I've been late.

UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Thank you all.

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTER: We love you, Paula. NELSON: An anguished Paula Poundstone, the comedian letting her lawyer do most of the talking before she appears in court in Malibu for her arraignment on charges of child endangerment. She is charged with three counts of committing a lewd act on a girl under the age of 14 and endangering two other girls and two boys. She'll be arraigned now and she said very little, but her attorney did say that they're anxious to get started and to find out the basis of those charges, and that Paula Poundstone plans to plead not guilty -- Daryn?

KAGAN: All right. With more on this, let's bring in Laurin Sydney in New York -- Laurin?

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what was unusual, Daryn, is that we were told a couple of minutes ago that Paula was not going to speak to the press prior to the arraignment. But everything changes. So everything now at this hour, as you just saw, the comedian is in a Santa Monica courtroom where she will finally hear the official accusations against her.

Poundstone was arrested last week and charged with committing a lewd act on a girl under 14 and child endangerment. Her three adopted children and two foster children are in protective custody.

Poundstone's lawyer had her arraignment moved up to today from July 27, and you've just heard, he says that his client wants to know now what the exact allegations are against her so that she can begin her defense -- Daryn?

KAGAN: Well, since this does involve a juvenile I know there's very few details out there and, in fact, you heard Paula Poundstone's attorney, as you said, saying they want this arraignment moved up so that they can learn some more because they feel a little bit in the dark.

SYDNEY: That's right.

KAGAN: But have we at least heard, though, that the allegations do, are somehow connected to one of her foster children?

SYDNEY: We've heard that but until we hear exactly what goes on in that courtroom today, Daryn, let's just not guess. We'll know in a very short amount of time.

KAGAN: OK. And as I -- no cameras in this courtroom, though?

SYDNEY: No, none.

KAGAN: OK. But reporters in there, so we'll have more in just a moment. Thank you very much, Laurin Sydney in New York.

SYDNEY: OK. And Daryn, just one more thing. There are cameras in the courtroom but they're not live cameras. But we do have a reporter there and we will be there with all the facts as soon as they come.

KAGAN: OK, very good. Laurin, thank you. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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