Return to Transcripts main page


Dick Clark's Death; Secret Service Scandal; Missing Marine's Wife

Aired April 18, 2012 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Legendary TV host and producer Dick Clark died today at the age of 82. He suffered a massive heart attack. Those who knew him, whether as a friend or the familiar face who helped ring in the New Year, had a lot of fond memories to share.


DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN AND PRES., THE TRUMP ORG.: I would watch "American bandstand" and I would also watch every New Year's Eve. Dick Clark was the one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it's the main memory of watching the New Year's Eve, "New Year's Rockin' Eve". I guess I'm watching the ball drop and seeing him and even in the last couple of years post stroke, just his strength. And I think that was really an amazing representation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a ritual every year. "New Year's Rockin' Eve," it made New Year's what it is you know and he will certainly be missed.


BURNETT: Well, on Twitter immediately, Dick Clark became a trending topic within just moments of the news. From Ryan Seacrest, Clark's heir apparent on "New Year's Rockin' Eve", he said "I'm deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend, Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."

From Joan Rivers, she wrote "very sad to hear about Dick Clark. What a great life. What a great career relevant until the end. He will be missed" and from Snoop Dogg, as expected with a lot of personality, "Rest in peace to the Dick Clark, double exclamation point. You are a pioneer and a good man. Thank you, sir."

And from Marie Osmond, "In 1974, my first time on "Bandstand" I thought Dick Clark was the most handsome man in show business." And Marie Osmond will be our guest OUTFRONT later on this hour. Dick Clark's life though was an amazing American story.

Richard Wagstaff (ph) Clark, his full name, was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, in 1929. He started working at his uncle's radio station as a teenager. That was a passion he continued to pursue through college and after graduating he moved to Philadelphia where he became a DJ at radio station WFIL. Now WFIL also had a TV station. And it was there that Dick Clark became the Dick Clark we know.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were doing a popular radio (INAUDIBLE) show?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was doing the radio version of it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With kids coming over?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just -- they just called it "Bandstand" --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just tried to, you know lock them together hip-hip (ph) to work off the television --


DICK CLARK: Dan Melacooser (ph), famous producer, came down to watch it and Melnick (ph) wrote a memo saying I don't know why, but I think we ought to buy this. They bought it for a seven-week trial. And keep in mind, Larry, in those days ABC had 68 affiliates, CBS had 150, NBC had 180, huge competition. Within four weeks it went to number one. It can never happen again.


BURNETT: Well "American Bandstand" was on the air for 32 years. Its run ended in 1989. Dick Clark later became the host of shows like "The $10,000 Pyramid", "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes". He also continued his radio duties, hosting "Rock 'n' Roll" and "Remember" (ph). Now, Clark wasn't just a host, he was a producer. He formed Dick Clark Productions in 1956 and there he produced a lot of big name productions. Things like the Golden Globes, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the American Music Awards.

He also produced TV shows including "American Dreams" and "So You Think You Can Dance". Now the Dick Clark Productions also produced the annual special "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and that show first aired on ABC in 1974 and Mr. Clark appeared on it every year except for one in 2004 when he suffered a stroke. He has shared hosting duties with Ryan Seacrest since he returned in 2005.

And safe to say in American television and radio pop culture, he's a true legend. He won five Emmys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and he's been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Let's turn to Paul Vercamen (ph) now who's at the Hollywood Walk of Fame standing by the Dick Clark star tonight. And Paul, what is the reaction there?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, as you look behind me and see this wreath that is honoring Dick Clark, the reaction here is sadness and then fond memories, Erin. People here talking about the Dick Clark that they had a brush with. When you talk to people who had worked with Dick Clark or people who had been behind the scenes with him on his multiple productions and they all talked about how kind he was but also how professional he was.

How detailed he was. How he made sure that everything in a Dick Clark Production went well. And with all that good attitude he also made sure that everything he produced was outstanding. So fond memories of Dick Clark here and of course he's beloved in this town, why, because Dick Clark put a lot of people to work. He created a lot of jobs here -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, well Paul, thank you -- thank you very much and amazing how people already have gathered. A.J. Hammer is with me now. He is the host of HLN's "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT". A.J. good to see you and I know you met Dick Clark personally. What was your impression of him?

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well he was a really good guy and a real pro. I mean the idea that I got to meet my idol. This was back in the 1990s. But I came up sort of the same way that he did, as did many of my colleagues who do entertainment or music- related reporting. I was 15 years old when I started and from very early in my life he was a huge inspiration, not just from seeing him on "American Bandstand" but listening to his weekly top 40 radio show. So when I found out, Erin, that he was coming on as a guest and this is after I have interviewed some of the biggest stars in the world. It was sort of the run of the day there at VH1 at the time.


HAMMER: I heard Dick Clark was coming in to talk to me about his new book about "American Bandstand" I got nervous man. I was so nervous that my idol was coming in but he made me so at ease. And afterwards, he closed the door of my dressing room, told me what a great job he thought I did --

BURNETT: Did he really?

HAMMER: And really -- really made me believe in myself even more at that point because he showed me that he believed in me. And he has everything to do with why I do what I do and how I try to do it. I hope I can even aspire to the bar that he set so high.

BURNETT: It's amazing. And one thing that I think is interesting from what you're saying or it sounds like you're saying is that he just was a really incredible person. And there were a lot of reasons that he was where he was, that were beyond as he was trying to so self deprecatingly say oh, well, you know, they had the most affiliates, so all of a sudden I could pop and now that wouldn't be possible. It was more than that. HAMMER: Well yes it was because at the end of the day it was a passion. He was living his dream. He always said that. Yes, he was a very sharp businessman. I mean his acumen was incredible, which is why he had such incredible success, gained incredible wealth throughout his life and career. But at the end of the day for him he loved being on TV.

He loved music in particular and bringing music to people and he took a real interest in people like myself, like Ryan Seacrest who has gone on to work with him and became very close with him over the years and really wanted to sort of perpetuate what we do, and that was the other thing that was so relatable sitting at home, whether you were watching him on "Pyramid" or watching him on New Year's Eve. You felt like you were hanging out with a friend and that was real.

BURNETT: And his career lasted decade upon decade upon decade.

HAMMER: And that's why.

BURNETT: Is that sort of thing possible anymore?

HAMMER: Well, it is if you're passionate about what you do. That's really at the end of the day why he was able to sustain such a long career. Because I mean you know in this business in particular, people burn out pretty quickly too.


HAMMER: But if you remain passionate as in anything in life, it can guide you through and I think that's why literally until the end of his life he continued to work.

BURNETT: That's pretty amazing. A.J., thank you very much. I love the story about how he came in and shut the door -- really humanizing in such a special way --

HAMMER: It has always stayed with me. It's the first place my mind went today when I heard the sad news.

BURNETT: Thank you very much for coming on. And of course we're going to have more of our breaking news coverage of Dick Clark's death today, including Marie Osmond who, as we said, first appeared on "American Bandstand" in 1974, plus these stories.


BURNETT: Still OUTFRONT, the Secret Service sex scandal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's time to put somebody else in there and make sure we're getting a different culture in the Secret Service.

BURNETT: Search for a missing soldier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cell phone records from this (INAUDIBLE) were pinging off the cell tower. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to find my sister. That's all I can do.

BURNETT: All this tonight OUTFRONT.



BURNETT: So there are new reports today the governor of the Central Bank of Canada, Mark Carney (ph), has been approached to be the next head of the Bank of England. This is a very big deal. Carney (ph) is one of the world's most respected central bankers and he heads the World's Financial Stability Board. Now the Bank of Canada is responsible for the production of bank notes but not coins, which brings us to tonight's number, $29.95. That's the price of the Royal Canadian Mint's new commemorative glow in the dark dinosaur quarter. In the light the new Canadian quarter features a dinosaur. It's a very strange looking dinosaur, but in the dark the dinosaur is replaced by a glowing dinosaur skeleton. It's just the latest innovation introduced by the Canucks.

Now in addition to cutting out the penny and introducing digital cash, they have struck elaborate coins of Wayne Gretzky. He's got a (INAUDIBLE) hey it's Canada. You know they love their skiers. A bejeweled William and Kate, the birds and the bees, a three- dimensional glass ladybug, Santa Claus and Bigfoot -- yes, Bigfoot got his own coin. I do not know why he did. He's Bigfoot. Now when we called the Canadian Mint today about the dinosaur quarter, they were quick to point out that on the other side of the quarter is actually Queen Elizabeth. That side though does not glow in the dark. They thought that was very important to note. Well we're not sure if that helps or hurts Mark Carney's (ph) chances at the Bank of England but hey, a little creativity might help him.

Well we have some breaking news tonight in the Secret Service prostitution scandal because just moments ago the Secret Service announced that three members have left or are being pushed out of the agency following a prostitution scandal which erupted in Colombia ahead of the president's visit last weekend. Now, the agency reported that one supervisory employee was allowed to retire. Another supervisory employee was proposed to be removed for cause and a third has resigned. Now, those words, retire, resigned, fired for cause are very important because, obviously, when you retire, you get to potentially keep your pension, health care, everything else.

So we're going to look into this. And at least one congressman, Randy Forbes (ph), a Virginia Republican, has called for Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to be replaced. Joining us tonight is the author of "In the President's Secret Service" and chief Washington correspondent of "", the man who actually broke this entire story from the beginning, Ron Kessler. So Ron, let me just get straight to your reaction to what we have just heard tonight. Obviously they're saying eight of the Secret Service employees they haven't decided what they're going to do with. But what do you make of this some being allowed to -- or at least one being allowed to quote unquote, "resign" who John King has reported someone with 26 years of service which would mean you are eligible for full retirement benefits.

RON KESSLER, AUTHOR, "IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE: You know it depends on just how egregious each particular case was. Clearly they're all toast, one way or another.

BURNETT: And how much further do you think this is going to go? I would imagine the assumption is that all at least 11 of these individuals will be gone one way or another, right?

KESSLER: Yes. When I first broke the story, the Secret Service said they are being removed for misconduct and I think at that point they knew already what the facts were. So they are gone, there's no question. The question is how did this happen, why did it happen. It's not that the Secret Service agents are typically animal house people, just the opposite. Most of them are so overworked and have -- are forced to do so much overtime they barely have any life whatsoever.

But I think it is a symptom of the management culture of laxness and corner cutting. I documented in my book "In the President's Secret Service" dozens of examples of corner cutting, such as letting people into events without magnetometer screening. It's just like letting people into an airplane without magnetometer screening. That alone should be so shocking that there would be a huge shakeup in the agency. And then we saw the Salahis go prancing into the White House, the party crashers --


KESSLER: Again, totally shocking.

BURNETT: So let me ask you about something else. We just received a letter that Darrell Issa wrote to Mark Sullivan, the chief of the Secret Service. And in this he's requested about 10 points of information. Outlying what happened that night, who did what and what Mr. Sullivan knows. But one thing that is really important in here, point number eight, has the U.S. Secret Service been able to determine that all women involved in this incident were at least 18 years of age? Obviously if they were not, that would make this illegal for any U.S. citizen to have participated in. Do you have any sense of whether any of these women were under 18?

KESSLER: I know they were looking into that. I believe by now they have determined that they were over 18.

BURNETT: All right. So that obviously would make -- I mean I guess in some case marginal better for some of these individuals. What do you think about Director Sullivan himself? I mean many people have come to his defense and said he is an honorable man doing a great job running the Secret Service. Others are saying if this kind of a thing could happen there, it must happen elsewhere and he needs to go as part of this. What do you think should happen?

KESSLER: You know, he is an honorable guy. He was very respected as an agent. He is a very nice guy. I had a great interview with him for this book, but you have to look at the results. Look at what's happened and do you hold the head of the agency accountable or not. Clearly, the standards are lower than they used to be. Each of these episodes is shocking. In my book I go into the fact that they're not even insisting on regular physical fitness testing and regular firearms re-qualification testing and then they cover that up by asking the agents to fill out their own test scores, so there's dishonesty going on. Also they're not keeping up to date with the latest firearms.

The FBI uses more recent, more powerful weapons. One anecdote that tells you a lot, I think, is when Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary, was under protection, she would insist that her agents take her friends to restaurants. They refused, as they should. They're not taxi drivers. But she threw a fit and as a result the detail leader was removed by management. So that tells -- sends the message, gee, if at the White House gate we turn away this glamorous couple, the Salahis, who were party crashing, turns out they were supposed to be on the guest list we could be in trouble and our management will not back us. So that's the kind of atmosphere, that's the kind of culture that I'm talking about where we see corner cutting and laxness and it leads to all of these fiascos.

BURNETT: All right, well thank you very much, sir. We appreciate it. Of course as we continue to follow the story and the fallouts. Again, three of the 11 Secret Service employees are losing their jobs, one through retirement tonight.

Well, the disappearance of a Marine's wife is looking more and more like murder and two people are in custody tonight. And more of our breaking news coverage of Dick Clark's death, Marie Osmond and Neal Sedaka are going to be coming OUTFRONT with their memories of a legend.


BURNETT: A missing person case has turned into the apparent murder of the wife of a deployed Marine. Just days after Brittany Killgore filed for divorce from her husband she disappeared after a casual date. Now two people are in custody, her husband is on his way home from combat and investigators won't say how it all fits together. Casey Wian though went OUFRONT to get the story and Casey, what did happen in court today?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a very interesting case, Erin. In court today there was an arraignment for a man named Lewis Perez (ph). He's a 45-year-old Marine staff sergeant based at Camp Pendleton near here in Vista, California. He was, according to police, the last person to see Brittany Killgore alive. That was Friday night. And they went out on what investigators describe as a casual date, headed for the Gas Lamp (ph) district in San Diego. According to investigators, Brittany Killgore never made it to downtown San Diego, but her cell phone did. It was found by a transient, turned over to police. A friend of Brittany Killgore's the next day filed a missing person's report. Based on what she had to say, investigators keyed in on this Marine staff sergeant, Louis Perez (ph), who was arrested on charges of having -- being in possession of a stolen Marine AR-15 assault rifle and other stolen property. Investigators also believe that he is somehow connected to Brittany Killgore's disappearance. So at his arraignment today, they asked that he be held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Now Staff Sergeant Perez (ph) pled not guilty to those weapons charges and the judge granted that bail request by prosecutors because, they said, he is a person of interest, a possible suspect in the disappearance of Brittany Killgore -- Erin.

BURNETT: And Casey, I know there's another woman, a woman found at a motel is also facing murder charges. Apparently she's related to this case. Do you have any sense as to how?

WIAN: Investigators are not telling us how she is directly related to this case. It's very bizarre. She was staying at a Ramada Inn near the airport in San Diego. She was found on a medical call yesterday. Paramedics responded. Reportedly she had slash wounds. Reportedly there was a suicide note. She was taken to the hospital and was there for several hours yesterday, then was transferred to jail. She has actually been charged or is facing charges, being held on murder charges related to the disappearance of Brittany Killgore.

What's so strange about this is the coroner has not even determined that a woman who was found in nearby Riverside County yesterday is Brittany Killgore, so they haven't even confirmed the identity of the victim in this case. But this 27-year-old woman who lived nearby, near where Brittany Killgore lived with her estranged husband is going to be facing arraignment here tomorrow.

BURNETT: All right, Casey Wian, thank you very much. We're going to continue to follow that rather strange and sad tale.

But still OUTFRONT, we have news in the Trayvon Martin case, a development with the judge that we can report tonight. And we continue to talk about Dick Clark and his life. We'll celebrate it with Marie Osmond OUTFRONT with her memories. That's next.


BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting, do the work and find the "OutFront 5".

First, the U.S. military condemning photos that show soldiers posing with body parts of Afghan suicide bombers. A warning, the images are gruesome and we have not independently confirmed their authenticity. One of the 18 images taken in 2010 -- that's when these come from -- shows -- these are disturbing -- soldiers holding severed legs. The newspaper says a U.S. soldier came forward with the images to draw attention in a breakdown in leadership and discipline within the military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta condemned the images today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: This is not who we are. And it's certainly not who we represent when it comes to the great majority of men and women in uniform who are serving there. I expect that the matter will be fully investigated. If rules and regulations are found to have been violated, then those individuals will be held accountable.


BURNETT: Number two, North Carolina police say a new lead has led them to a pond in the search for a missing soldier from Ft. Bragg. We are told the dive team is searching for Kelli Bordeaux in the water. An Army official told CNN the 23-year-old private had been at a bar early Saturday and was given a ride home by an employee. She did not report for duty on Monday. Her sister, Olivia, came OUTFRONT last night and said she talked to Kelli on Friday night and has not heard from her since then.

Number three: Americans see Iran as a bigger threat to the United States than North Korea. This is according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. Eighty-one percent of Americans see Iran as a very serious or moderate threat to the U.S. compared to 76 percent when it comes to North Korea -- which attempted to launch a long-rain rocket last week.

As you may be aware, it broke shortly after liftoff. Several countries including the U.S., though, are holding talks with Iran about its nuclear program and its possible pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Number four: the company building the Keystone XL Pipeline proposed a new route today. We've learned the new pipeline would actually be a little east of the initial route. That's the route that drew criticism for traveling over an environment alley sensitive aquifer in Nebraska. President Obama blocked the initial permit in January but later approved a portion that would have run from Oklahoma down to the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline would carry as much as 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada's oil sands, all the way down to refineries into the Gulf Coast.

Well, it's been 258 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner speaking at an event today said the government will be facing a big test on how the country governs itself at the end of the year.

Among the issues, of course, we're going to have the Bush tax cuts, the debt limit and automatic spending cuts.

And the breaking news tonight, television legend Dick Clark died today at age 82. He was the man behind the Golden Globes, the American Music Awards, "Bloopers", "Pyramid". His annual Dick Clark's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" was the place to ring in the New Year and his groundbreaking television show "American Bandstand" helped introduce rock 'n' roll to America, launching the careers of dozens of legendary artists, including Buddy Holly, the Jackson Five, Neil Sedaka, Madonna, Prince. In 2010, Clark and "American Bandstand" were honored at the daytime Emmy Awards. The tribute included performances by Tony Orlando, Chubby Checker and Marie Osmond.

Two of the singers whose careers Dick Clark helped launch are Neil Sedaka and Marie Osmond and they join us tonight.

And it's such a pleasure to talk to both of you. Obviously a sad occasion but so many incredible memories we're hearing about Dick Clark. And, Marie, I know you debuted your single "Paper Roses" on the show when you were 13 years old.

What was it like?

MARIE OSMOND, ENTERTAINER: That was about five years ago, about five years ago.

BURNETT: Yes, it looks that way.

OSMOND: Dick -- I've known Dick for 40 years. And, you know, the love I have for him -- the people, the careers that he launched. I remember going down to the beach, Santa Monica, and, of course, you know, "American Bandstand" was huge before I was even born.

But I'll never forget that experience, to sing a number one record, my first. And I had a crush on him. He was the most handsome man. And it was just one of those things that started the connection.

And we worked together for years. We did so many shows over the years together. We did the Dick Clark show that we did, the "Donny & Marie" talk show, that was a Dick Clark production.

And it was so funny because I was doing "King and I" on Broadway and he called me. Dick really believed in face-to-face relationships. He said I need to talk to you about doing this talk show. I said, I love you, dick, but I'm very happy and this is a comfortable thing I can do for 10 years and my kids are very happy and I like New York. And I had to go to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to record a song.

The next thing I know there was a helicopter flying in in this little town and it was Dick Clark to tell me, you are doing this talk show. That's just how Dick was. He was very loving, kind, persistent, professional. Very funny, funny man.

BURNETT: I love that story, and the helicopter lands.

Neil, what about you? I know he launched your career.

OSMOND: Yes, it's like who's landing in your backyard? Oh, it's Dick Clark.

BURNETT: Oh, of course, right?


BURNETT: Neil, what was your story? I know your career also launched on "American Bandstand." What was -- what was that memory like for you?

NEIL SEDAKA, MUSICIAN: Well, he epitomized polish and class. He had me on in 1958. He called me and he said, I'm going to take a chance on you. And he took a chance on a new singer-songwriter, put me on "American Bandstand" and on "The Beechnut Show".

I think he legitimized rock 'n' roll. He made it very polished, very respectable. Even the dancers had to wear ties on the show. And I think it was the first time that black dancers danced alongside white dancers.

And he -- he just was a wonderful friend and my condolences to Kari and the family. I did the first rockin' New Year's Eve show and he wrote the line of notes. I remember he said, "I like your style, I'm going to write the first line of notes on your L.P.'

So I have some wonderful, wonderful memories. I'll be eternally grateful to him for starting my career.

BURNETT: And, let me, you know --

OSMOND: Hey, Neil, I just have to say hi to Neil, too. Hi, Neil.

SEDAKA: Hi, Marie. How are you?

OSMOND: I love him. I'm great. It's good to hear your voice.

SEDAKA: Thank you, same here.

You know, when I look back, I remember singing "Oh Carol," there was a steady dancer on "American Bandstand," I think her name was Carol Scaliferi (ph). I sang "Oh Carol" and dedicated it to her. And Dick Clark was the director. He went back and forth with the camera showing Carol and showing me. It was one of those memories that you always are fond of.

BURNETT: I want to play a little clip --

OSMOND: Well, you know the last time I saw --

BURNETT: Yes. Let me play a little clip and then, Marie, I want you for tell your whole story. I just want to play Neil, you were 19 years old on "American Bandstand," just show a little bit of it here if I could.


DICK CLARK, TV HOST: We take you to a song called "Bad Blood" recorded with Elton John. Did anybody else ever record that song?

SEDAKA: No. I had the only version and Elton was kind enough to come on.

CLARK: Would it ever -- would it intimidate you to sing it with a composer? ANDY GIBB, MUSICIAN: If he let me, I'd dearly love to.



BURNETT: You haven't changed at all, Neil.

SEDAKA: Oh, absolutely. As gorgeous as ever. That was the great Andy Gibb who we miss a lot.

OSMOND: One of my dear, dear friends.

SEDAKA: And we're playing for Robin now. But it was a wonderful time in music. The music was happy and carefree and very innocent. You can understand all the lyrics.

Marie, what happened to the music?


OSMOND: Do you know what? It's interesting, but you know, you know, Neil, we grew up working with the best. I mean, I worked with -- I grew up on what I call the tail end of the greats, working with Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr., I mean, you name it, go on and on and on, that's who -- Neil Sedaka.

And, you know, working with those people, Dick Clark is truly going to be missed because dick had an eye. He had a vision. He could -- he could smell a star. I swear he could. He could just -- he could hear it and he knew it in their personality. Not a celebrity, but a star.

And he was -- he was the most funny man. I'll never forget when we were doing our talk show, he had a great sense of humor too because we kept saying, OK, come on, Dick, everybody teases you because you look like you've got a picture up in the attic.

And we said we want to do this spoof on you on the show, this skit, finding out really how old Dick Clark is. He goes, yes, sure.

So he let us cut him in two because we were going to count the rings like, you know, on a tree and see how many rings there really were to find out how old Dick Clark was. And Kari was there on the set and Rack (ph), who is just darling, his son, who I -- my heart -- you know, goes out to him.


OSMOND: And one of the things that when I went through my postpartum and everything, he said, Marie, the best way to get through anything difficult is to keep working. And he worked until he couldn't anymore.

SEDAKA: And I remember coming home from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, running to that television to watch "American Bandstand." Little did I know that I would be on that program. And he went out on a limb and put me on.

And I started as a concert pianist. I had to make a decision whether to become a concert pianist or whether to sing my own songs and become a musical ambassador and go around the world. And it was Dick Clark who made that decision for me. Absolutely.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Well, thank you so much, both of you, for taking the time and sharing. It was a lovely, lovely set of stories to hear.

We do have some breaking news just coming in right now, I want to update you because we have more fallout at this moment from the Secret Service prostitution scandal. The Secret Service has just responded to a request for more information from the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

You may recall I mentioned earlier that Republican Congressman Darrell Issa sent a letter earlier this evening to Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. I have it here, requesting a detailed description of what happened, summaries of any disciplinary action taken against agents while on overseas trips since 2007, ages of all the women involved in the incident. He was concerned that some could have been under 18.

The Secret Service literally just in the past couple of moments says that they're going to comply with al requests and provide all the materials to the Hill as requested. No pushback on any of the ten items in Mr. Issa's letter.

And we have an update to a story we told you about just a couple of moments ago. An investigation into Brittany Kilgore, the missing military wife.

I want to go back to Casey Wian -- Casey.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. Just after I got off the air with you a few moments ago, I got a call from the San Diego County sheriff's department and they tell me that the San Diego coroner has positively identified the body that was found yesterday in Riverside County as that of Brittany Kilgore, age 22.

Her husband, several days ago, was contacted on duty in Afghanistan. He's with an artillery unit. He was placed on emergency leave, started the process of heading back to the United States. When he started that process, it was a missing person's case. Now even before he's arrived back in the United States, his estranged wife is confirmed to be dead.

One person is in custody on murder charges, a woman, 22-year-old Jessica Lopez. Another potential suspect, arraigned today, that is 45-year-old Louis Perez. He has pled not guilty to unrelated charges.

But sheriff's investigators say they are continuing their investigation into the circumstances of Brittany Killgore's death -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much to Casey Wian.

And next, the latest on the Trayvon Martin case. The judge has made a decision today and we're going to explain.


BURNETT: New developments tonight in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. There's a new judge in the case tonight, Kenneth Lester. He's been assigned to the case involving 28- year-old volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. This comes after Judge Jessica Recksiedler decided to withdraw because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. Recksiedler's husband is law partners with Mark NeJame who was asked to defend George Zimmerman but declined.

So, what does this mean for the case?

Mark NeJame has known Judge Lester for 35 years. He's a legal analyst for us.

Paul Callan is a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

Good to have both of with us.

Mark, obviously, you are on the show talking last week about why you chose not to take this case of the defense of George Zimmerman and also about Judge Recksiedler and her husband. You've known now Judge Lester for 35 years, I guess.

So, what can you tell us about him?

MARK NEJAME, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Great person, great judge. We actually graduated from law school with each other. We're good friends in law school and have been good friends throughout.

He is a wonderful man. He's a great father, been married to Dorothy Sedgwick for 29 years. Dorothy is an experienced prosecutor in Orange County, the adjoining county from Seminole County where he sits as a judge. Dorothy was a homicide prosecutor for many, many years.

He has got a great demeanor, doesn't miss a trick, lots of common sense, a legal scholar on top of it. So, he's really an excellent judge. I mean, his brain is as good as anybody I know. He's the kind of guy that can literally name the capital of every country in the world.

He truly -- he's not going to let anything get by and give both sides an absolute fair hearing whenever required and give an absolute fair trial throughout this matter.

BURNETT: And, Paul Callan, you've been exploring this judge's past. What does it tell you about how he'll handle the case and what he'll do?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Some interesting things. His daughter, who was a lawyer, was asked does your dad agonize about making decisions when he's a judge?

You would think, you know, when you have to sentence somebody in a murder case, you'd be up all night deciding on what the sentence is. His response to her was: it's easy. All you have to do is apply the law.

So I think what that says to me about this case is he's not going to be agonizing about public sentiment or how the Martin family is going to react or the Zimmerman family is going to react. I think he's going to look at the facts and apply the law and whichever side wins is going to win. That's my read on it. A non-emotional guy.

BURNETT: That sounds like what the country wants, to get to the truth and take out the passion, emotion which is so --

CALLAN: Exactly.

BURNETT: I mean, everyone has a feeling about this case.

CALLAN: It's what a judge is supposed to do. He's made some controversial decisions. I found one, schizophrenic woman who murdered her father and her mother found not guilty by reason of insanity. And years later, decade later, they wanted her to be released from jail because she appeared to be OK mentally.

He ordered her released. He said the law allows it. I'm going to order her release. That couldn't have been a very popular decision.

So I think he's a judge who just applies the law. So if the law is on the side of the Martins, the Martins will win. If it's on the side of the Zimmermans, the Zimmermans will win. That's how the system is supposed to work.

BURNETT: It will be interesting to se how it pertains to stand your ground and other things and laws. It sounds like this is going to be very interesting now, and a lot of people would want to be there on the bench.

Paul, Mark, thank you.

And, of course, George Zimmerman could be released in two days if the judge chooses to grant him bail at his bond hearing on Friday. Where he will live, though, if he is released is a question that really has not been answered because threats have already been made on his life. Returning to his home in a gated community where he shot and killed Trayvon Martin is obviously not an option.

His former neighbor Frank Taaffe has been one of Zimmerman's strongest supporters. He said after attending a homeowners' association meeting last night, the shooting is an issue which is dividing the community.

And, Frank, thank you for coming on. Tell me about the meeting last night and what happened.

FRANK TAAFFE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S NEIGHBOR: Hi, Erin. Glad to be here with you.

It was very tense. It wasn't a happy place to be. We discussed the media, the presence of the media. The subject of George Zimmerman never came up. The president established a quorum at the beginning of the meeting and the liaison for the management company was there also.

But I would like to add this, that it was drawn down racial lines last night. There were some black homeowners that were there that really weren't too receptive to the fact that I went on national TV, only because they had another agenda, as I was sharing with the nation about our crime-ridden neighborhood, that we had eight burglaries in 2011. We had two more in 2012.

And I was verbally accosted or assaulted by this black female who had another agenda. She didn't even live there other than the fact she owned a property. And because I outed the community to the crime, she couldn't sell her property. So, she had another agenda.

Another black female renter brought up the point that she was adverse to the fact that HOA, people that were renting, that own homes, were not abiding by the HOA restrictions and requirements to do --

BURNETT: Homeowners association?

TAAFFE: Yes, HOA, homeowners association. And she got a little perturbed over that. She felt that ensue a civil suit, or the HOA would be sued because I guess the big buzz word not around here is racial profiling.

And you know, she had her two minutes, but it was not a happy occasion.

BURNETT: And let me just bring Paul Callan in here -- because, Paul, I mean, I think it's interesting from what Frank's saying. This is a very racially divided situation, the homeowner's association. You know, the fact that this would even be coming up in this context.

So, what do you think this means when this actually goes --


CALLAN: You know, ultimately, it's a demonstration of a social importance of this case.

I mean, you know, cases are supposed to just be decided by a judge on the facts. But this case is going to have implications across the country.


CALLAN: Everybody's watching it, there's a division around racial lines, I have noticed it in my own law firm, among lawyers, among support staff, there's a division.

It reminds me of the O.J. Simpson case when that verdict came down. There are not a lot of cases where you seek --


TAAFFE: Erin, she was asked to leave the meeting, by the way, and it really got pretty heated because her agenda was different. You know, I'm a resident there, I have been there for six years.


TAAFFE: She's been there a little under three years. So she really didn't have the slightest iota as far as the extent of the criminal activity that had been perpetrated in our neighborhood over the prior six years.

CALLAN: And, you know, it's one of the things too. It's why I think this has got to be a public trial. We've got to see the documents released. Everybody should see all of the testimony. And if it's an open proceeding and you see a judge who's fair and gives everybody their say, it's going to go a long way to help the system.

BURNETT: It will go a long way with a lot of these passion and frustration.

Well, thanks very much to you, Paul. And, Frank, thank you for coming on.

Now, let's check in with Anderson.

Anderson, what's on "A.C. 360" tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": We've got more breaking news obviously following the death of Dick Clark, no one like him. I'm going to be joined by legendary voice whose talents were showcase in Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, is going to join me at the top of the hour, sharing her thoughts on how he changed the music industry. We'll also speak with the legendary Little Richard, and Motown Record's Barry Gordy.

We also have breaking news tonight, the Secret Service sex scandal, where agents allegedly brought prostitutes back to their hotel in Columbia. Tonight, three of the 11 are out of the job. We'll talk to the reporter who actually interviewed one of these women. The story she tells is really frankly stunning, what actually occurred.

We also have a new exclusive detailed account from what happened in that hotel, new reporting from CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend as well. It's been thought the Secret Service agents were part of the president's advance team. Tonight, disturbingly, we're learning that is not the case. We'll tell you who they actually are.

Also, the "Ridiculist." A lot ahead, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Looking forward to seeing in that in a few minutes. Thanks, Anderson. We're going to take a brief break and we're going to be back. A chilling video about the wife of Bashar al-Assad.


BURNETT: We're back with tonight's "Outer Circle", we reach out to our sources around the world.

And tonight, we talk about a new viral video. The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nation are putting the burden on the first lady of Syria to stop the violent crackdown at her country.

It's a four-minute video and it really -- it contrasts images of a truly glamorous Asma al-Assad, a woman who, by the way, is taking on women's issues and abuse around the world. And then it contrasts that with images of mothers and injured children in Syria, urging viewers to sign a petition for Asma to stop the bloodshed.

It's already racked up more than 75,000 hits in just two days and Huberta Wittig is one of the women behind it. We talked to her just a couple of moments before the show and asked why she thought this video would make a difference.


HUBERTA WITTIG, WIFE OF GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think it can make a difference because she should speak out. She used to be a leader in her society and she's a leader beyond her society in the Arab world. And only if she pronounces herself for peace, other women can come out with a same wish.

And we feel that a message from civil society could really make a difference. She has been an asset of the regime. She was the outward face. So they're very much concerned about her image.

We're not concerned about her image, we're concerned about her action. And we think it is time for her to pronounce herself very clearly for peace.

BURNETT: She came on CNN, Asma did back in 2009, and I wanted just to play a little clip of it and get your reaction to this exact part.

WITTIG: Thank you.


ASMA AL-ASSAD, FIRST LADY OF SYRIA: I believe that each and every one of us, regardless of we are men and women, young or old, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, it doesn't matter, if we believe in the future of humanity, if we believe in -- for the sake of our children, we need to stand up and make sure that this stops. The massacres need to stop, the embargo needs to be lifted, peace needs to be given a chance.


BURNETT: She was talking about the Gaza Strip.

WITTIG: Here we are. Here we are. We're actually with our message reminding her what she was standing for before, and this is why we thought it makes really sense to get in touch with her. She was one of the champions of women's rights. She spoke out for peace many times.

And we are reminding her to think a little bit about who she was before. People are never just black and white. And I do think she is in a big dilemma. And it might be a big conflict for her to come forward with a very clear message. But women out there are taking amazing risks to save their wives, to save the lives of their children.

So compare to the risks that other people are taking at this very moment, we think she could take a little risk herself as well.

BURNETT: Huberta, thank you very much. It's a really powerful video. For those who haven't seen it, please go to YouTube and check it out.

WITTIG: Thank you very much.


BURNETT: You can also go to if you want to view the video. It's just over four minutes long.

Thanks so much for watching.

Anderson Cooper starts now.