Return to Transcripts main page


Protests Continue in Egypt; Pundits Discuss Future of GOP; Internet Pioneer John McAfee on the Run From Authorities; Man Sues Organization Providing Conversion Therapy; David Beckham Leaves Galaxy; CNN Prepares to Host Ceremony for CNN Heroes; Girl Bullied From School; Former Drug Addict Becomes Dancer

Aired December 1, 2012 - 10:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN Saturday Morning.


JOHN MCAFEE, INTERNET ANTIVIRUS PIONEER: I will certainly not turn myself in.


KAYE: In disguise and on the run. U.S. internet tycoon John McAfee is hiding in Belize from authorities investigating a murder. But CNN found him, and you'll hear his exclusive interview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that what we can conclude is that we've got to be better.


KAYE: An extreme makeover, that's what some Republicans say the party needs after losing the presidency and seats in Congress. All morning we'll look at how the Grand Old Party might be looking for a bold new image.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you do that to me?


KAYE: Humiliating tasks and degrading exercises all part of the therapy designed to turn gay merge straight. Now several men are suing for treatment so controversial we can't even show you the pictures.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Thanks for starting your morning with me. In just two weeks, Egyptians will vote on a new constitution. The constitutional assembly handed the new constitution to the president just a short time ago. But right now Egypt seems anything but united. Supporters of President Mohammed Morsi have been filling the streets around Cairo University just across the Nile river. The opposition is urging anti-government protesters to fill iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo.

CNN's Ian Lee has been at Tahrir Square and joins us by phone. It was quieter at Tahrir Square earlier this morning. Tell me the scene there now.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Randi, it's still pretty quiet compared to what we saw yesterday. A few thousand people in Tahrir Square compared to last night where we saw tens if not 100,000 people. Today the big story is Cairo University and the Muslim Brotherhood protests. This is the first time we've seen the Muslim Brotherhood flex some street muscle and send their supporters out into the street.

From the estimates we're hearing hundreds of thousands of people are at Cairo University in support of President Mohammed Morsi. And this comes as the constitutional draft was approved by President Mohammed Morsi and we will see a vote for it in the next 15 days.

And one thing that should be stated here is that the Islamists should never be underestimated. They've been underestimated since the revolution in every referendum and they've always come out on top despite the large numbers we've seen against them. This may be because they're the most well-organized. The Muslim Brotherhood is the most well-organized political machine in Egypt and they know how to get out the vote. That's something that we've seen the opposition struggle with in the past.

KAYE: And do you think that the protests could actually have an impact on the referendum vote?

LEE: Well, one thing that really could have an impact on the referendum vote would be the judiciary. We've seen in the past, though, the constitutional declaration by President Morsi, a fight between the president and the judiciary as the president took power away from them. In the past we have seen judges oversee every election, every referendum. If they boycott this, this will bring a lot of doubts into the election process, into the referendum process if the judges say we're not going to overlook this.

KAYE: And in terms of why the anti-government protesters are concerned about President Morsi, are they worried that he's going to try and keep his expanded powers, this so called power grab, permanently?

LEE: That definitely has a lot of protesters in Tahrir Square and around Egypt nervous that President Morsi will keep the powers, which are, I have to say, he has more power than former president Hosni Mubarak had. But President Morsi has promised that once the constitution is put to a vote and it has passed, he will hand over those powers, and essentially he would have to because the constitution does spell out the new powers for the president. So he wouldn't have any legal basis, he wouldn't have any real reason that he could continue having those kind of powers.

KAYE: Still, such a tense situation. Ian Lee, appreciate your time. Thank you. To Belize now, where a murder mystery has forced internet mogul John McAfee into hiding. Police want to question McAfee, who is maintaining his innocence following the shooting death of a neighbor. Now he talks with CNN's Martin Savidge in his first sit-down interview about life on the run.



MCAFEE: Wouldn't you be, sir?

SAVIDGE: And what have these weeks been like? It's been three weeks now.

MCAFEE: It hasn't been a lot of fun. I miss my prior life. Much of it has been deprivation, poor food, at least. Here we're in bliss, hot showers, a stove. So we're fairly happy right now.

SAVIDGE: How is this going to end? How do you see this coming to an end?

MCAFEE: I don't have a crystal ball. I'm going to continue to fight until something changes.

SAVIDGE: You won't turn yourself in?

MCAFEE: I will not.

SAVIDGE: So it will either be that somehow you get away or the authorities come and get you.

MCAFEE: One of those two. Get away doesn't mean leave the country. It means that number one, they will find the murder of Mr. Fall. Number two, the people of this country who are by and large terrified to speak out, will start speaking out and something will change.


KAYE: McAfee had a dispute with his neighbor after dogs belonging to the anti-virus software pioneer were poisoned. That neighbor was found shot to death in his home shortly after that.

North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-un is raising the stakes with the U.S. and South Korea. North Korea state run media says a rocket carrying a satellite into orbit will lift off within three weeks. South Korea warns if Pyongyang goes ahead with that, it can expect a strong response. This would be North Korea's second attempt at a rocket launch. The first was the rocket launch in April that failed. The U.S. State Department is calling the planned move by North Korea a highly provocative act that would threaten peace and security in the region.

Back here at home, issue number one is reaching a deal on that fiscal cliff. Just 31 days left until we hit those $7 trillion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases if negotiations break down. And both sides of the aisle are going straight to the public in order to plead their case, or rather tell us why the other side is to blame. This is President Obama in his weekly radio address.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Both parties say we should keep middle class taxes low. The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle class families. Democrats in the House are ready to do the same thing. And if we can just get a few house Republicans onboard, I'll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way.

But it's unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans.


KAYE: In the Republican response, Senator Orrin Hatch takes that hostage metaphor one step further and brings to mind a memorable movie scene.


SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) UTAH: Unfortunately, some on the other side of the aisle are offering a disastrous Thelma and Louise strategy that would take us over the cliff, putting millions of middle class families, small businesses, and our already weakened economy in further jeopardy.


KAYE: Negotiations will continue on Capitol Hill next week. President Obama has said he wants to get a deal done by Christmas Day.

There is no way to avoid the elephant in the room and the GOP knows it. So what do they need to do to change? What issues do they need to focus on? We'll talk about that next with Amy Holmes and Maria Cardona.

But first, a brain teaser for all you political junkies. When was the last presidential election Republican Party won without a Nixon or Bush on the ticket? Give it some thought. You can tweet @RandiKayeCNN and we'll have the answer for you on the other side.


KAYE: Before the break, I asked you if you knew the answer to this question, when was the last presidential election the Republican party won without a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket? There's the answer. The Republican ticket of Hoover and Curtis back in 1928. I was checking my twitter feed. I did see one answer of Hoover. So congratulations. Nicely done.

Well, the Republican Party is certainly at a cross roads. They lost the presidential race and lost seats in both the House and the Senate. But they've got a plan - change, change who they target, change what they talk about, change the attitude. It's a grand plan. But will it work?

Joining me now as they do every week are CNN contributor Maria Cardona and Amy Holmes, anchor for "Real News" on "The Blaze." Let's hear the assessment from John McCain.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: There is no doubt whatsoever that the demographics are not on our side and we are going to have to give a much more positive agenda. It can't be just being against the Democrats.


KAYE: All right, seems simple enough, doesn't it? But how do they do it? Amy, I'm going to start with you on this one.

AMY HOLMES, ANCHOR "REAL NEWS," "THE BLAZE": How they do it is actually what we've been seeing happening on the House side, since the Republicans started laying out their vision for the future, entitlement reform, Social Security, Medicare. I think comprehensive immigration reform is something that needs to be addressed. I'm glad that you used Senator McCain, because when I worked for Bill Frist, he worked very closely with Senator McCain and then President Bush to get immigration reform done. This is something they'll have to tack until a proactive and positive way in order to reach out to voters for whom these are very important issues and concerns.

KAYE: All right, well, let's talk about women. House Speaker John Boehner announced the committee chairman of 19 committees earlier this week. All but one are white men, actually. Although just yesterday, as I said, he did appoint this woman representative of Michigan as chair of the administration committee in the incoming house, there will be only 20 Republican women, that's compared with 58 Democrats, the same story in the Senate, four Republican women, 16 Democrats. So Maria, how do you fix that?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, and this goes to the problem that the GOP has, which is an issue of credibility. And John McCain is right, that the GOP absolutely has to change the way that they reach out to the changing demographics of this country, Latinos, African- Americans, women.

But it's going to take a lot more than just talking about a new agenda. And it will have to be a new agenda. They actually have to reflect what this country looks like. So when you have John Boehner basically leading the House of Representatives with virtually all white men in leadership positions, and as I understand it, the position that Candice Miller now has is pretty much a consolation prize and it happened after all the of the news that all white men are going to be in leadership positions, that goes to an issue of credibility.

And women look at the House and Latinos and African-Americans and they say nobody there looks like me, they don't understand me, they're not going to know thousand govern to what my interests are. That's a big problem.

HOLMES: But Randi, Republicans never get credit from the media when they do have a diverse roster of politicians that are winning elective office. For example, Susanna Martinez, the first Latina governor in America of New Mexico, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Michael Steele, who was the African-American RNC chair. We also have in Louisiana, the governor there, Mr. Jindal. Republicans never get credit. Nikki Haley, she is a Republican female governor and yet you don't see her on the front pages.

Instead, what you're talking about is this nonstory about whether or not House Republicans have women in leadership positions. But you never mention all of the minorities of women who are leading this party forward. At the Republican convention, just this last summer, you saw such a diverse roster taking that stage. But what are we talking about today? White males.

KAYE: Well, that happens to be the topic today. I can't say we never address that. We've talked a lot about Nikki Haley and others on this program. But we've also talked a lot about abortion in the past and how some controversial comments about it cost a couple Republican hopefuls. So Amy, two question for you here, is there room in the party for a pro-choice candidate. And could they actually win?

HOLMES: Indeed, I think there is room for a pro-choice candidate when Mayor Giuliani, he's pro-choice, he's a Republican, he won here in New York City as a Republican, and he was a frontrunner back in 2008, if you remember. And before we went into the primaries and had such a disastrous campaign, he was a pro-choice candidate who was 22 points up among evangelicals because they saw him as such a strong and courageous leader and America's mayor.

I think that there is room for that. I think those two candidates that you mentioned, it wasn't so much their position on abortion or being pro-life per se. It was one had a much more extreme position and the other one was just sort of medieval. He had this really bizarre idea about women. I don't even want to get into it. It was ridiculous. And, in fact, as you saw, the GOP absolutely denounced his views on that.

KAYE: Let me very quickly let Maria weigh in here and give you the final word.

CARDONA: Well, so I agree with Amy that the GOP should get credit for the diversity that they have in governorships, but it's not enough, because leadership positions do actually happen to be very important in Congress where you actually pass bills that are going to affect what the changing demographics of America.

So until the GOP understands that and until they deal with the agenda as well, not just on immigration but on women's issues and economic issues as well, they're going to have to change their symbol from the elephant to the woolly mammoth because they're going to go extinct if they don't make the change they know they need to make.


KAYE: What a great note to end on.


KAYE: Thank you. Oh, my goodness. You have been working on that one. Maria Cardona, Amy Holmes, nice to see you both. Thank you.

CARDONA: Thank you so much, Randi.

KAYE: A best friend even more loyal than you could ever hope. We'll tell you how this family dog helped save a lost little boy.


KAYE: You are looking at a hero right there. Here's why. Imagine the panic when the grandfather of a toddler in South Carolina -- that toddler -- lost track of him. Two-year-old Peyton went missing in the woods for more than four hours on Wednesday. But he had a guardian angel. The family's dog Ashpu never left the child's side.

Eventually, the dog brought rescuers to Peyton who had fallen asleep near his granddad's barn. Peyton's parents say there isn't a steak or a bone big enough for that wonderful guardian angel Ashpu.

What a great dog to do that?

Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, we honor our CNN Heroes in an all-star tribute. It's our annual broadcast saluting the top 10 heroes of the year, and one man or woman will take home the title of CNN hero of the year. CNN entertainment Correspondent Kareen Wynter is at the site.

Kareen, I see that you have a special guest with you.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I sure do, Randi, and she's quite a lady. Taryn Davis is one of our top 10 heroes, it's such a pleasure to have you with us this year. One day away.

TARYN DAVIS, 2011 TOP TEN CNN HERO: I can't wait.

WYNTER: You did something so special. This is why you were honored. You were recognized, you established an organization in honor of your late husband Michael who lost his life in Iraq on the battlefields and so you wanted to provide that support for widows out there. How did the CNN heroes platform help you elevate, create more exposure for this important meet?

DAVIS: In five years, or four years, we had around 900 widows. We were up to 1,500 after the CNN Heroes show. Besides that, the site is making more widows aware and we were able to find more resources for individuals who tuned in. I think the majority of the causes being showcased, they're grass roots. And CNN, they just take it to the next level.

WYNTER: And in such an incredible way. Randi, before we came on, Taryn said -- she was referring to one of our heroes from 2011, a chef feeding so many children in need here. She said that's a prime example of what you can do in terms of elevating your crusade. No, you are. You also launched widow you. Tell me about that.

DAVIS: It's a new program with the American widow project. We've allowed these women to see that they can survive. The next step is giving them the tools to thrive in four areas of their life. Education, health and fitness, entrepreneurship and overcoming obstacles and we do it in a tangible way that really wasn't there before, and we're able to do it because of CNN.

WYNTER: Absolutely incredible. You've been so busy. We've put you to work. She is our special backstage pass reporter, so she's getting the scoop on all the action backstage. You've even been interviewing some of the honorees for this year, 2012. What's that experience been like for you?

DAVIS: For me, I'm glad I can take a step back this time and watch them go through what I went through last year and know that their life and their cause is about to change in so many ways.

WYNTER: And you're tickled by this.

DAVIS: I love it. I'm having way too much fun. And I'm just honored to be there and to reunite heroes from the past. I'm just really pumped.

WYNTER: We can't wait and we're so proud of you. Randi, you see some of the things set up behind us. We're going to have a little bit of rain tomorrow, but that won't spoil any of the festivities at all. Our CNN Heroes banners are up. Things are taking shape here. We can't wait. Big countdown under way to this heroes event, "CNN Heroes, and All-Star Tribute."

KAYE: And I'll be joining you out there, flying out right after CNN Sunday Morning tomorrow morning.

WYNTER: Fantastic! You'll be joining us. We can't wait to see you.

KAYE: Don't want to miss that show. Thank you to Taryn Davis, wonderful work that you do.

Tomorrow night, be sure to catch the pre-show special, sharing the spotlight at 8:00 p.m. eastern. At 9:00, the main event, "CNN Heroes, an All-Star Tribute," it all happens tomorrow night right here on CNN.

Some people believe that you can turn gay men straight through intense treatment called "conversion therapy." But now a group of men is filing suit, comparing the tactics to mental torture. I'll talk with one of them right after this.


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Here are five stories that we're watching this morning.

Mass demonstrations are happening in Egypt right now even as the country prepares for a referendum on a new constitution. Hundreds of thousands of supporters of President Morsi have packed the streets around Cairo University at Giza. The president's Muslim brotherhood affiliated party is calling for two one million man marches today. It's considerably quieter across the Nile River in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, despite opposition calls for more protests following days of anti-government rallies and clashes.

Fighting continues to rage in Syria's civil war. Syrian rebels say they have surrounded the country's main airport on one side. They say they're trying to keep the country's war jets grounded and stop its flow of weapons. Syrian state run TV insists the airport is running normally.

Ford is issuing a voluntary recall of its ford escape models today following reports of overheating followed by vehicle fires. No injury is reported. If you own one of these models, Ford advises you to consult your dealer immediately. You'll get some alternative transportation at no costs. The repair procedure is still not known.

For a small fighter, Hector Macho Camacho often seemed larger than life. That life ended early for the boxing champion. He was shot last week outside a bar near San Juan and died a week ago. He will be buried in the Bronx.

And today marks World AIDS Day, the White House marking the event by displaying a red ribbon, an international symbol of support and awareness. In a proclamation President Obama says in part that the United States is committed to preventing the disease's spread and "end this pandemic once and for all."

This week, a controversial therapy is getting a lot of attention. It's called conversion or reparative therapy. Some people believe you can convert homosexuality through intense therapy. Come January, the practice will be banned in California for anyone under the age of 18. And now in New Jersey four gay men have filed a lawsuit against JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing. These men and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is representing them, are claiming that JONAH falsely promised cures and used tactics that sound less like therapy and more like mental torture. I want you to listen to this.


MICHAEL FERGUSON, PLAINTIFF: In another exercise, a man had to break through a human barricade that I was a part of in order to seize two oranges that were meant to symbolize his testicles. He was then instructed to squeeze the juice from them and drink them and put the oranges in his pants in order to gaining his testicles, the symbolic absence of them supposedly being a cause of his homosexuality.

In retrospect, these practices fall in a range between absurd to disturbing.


KAYE: That was plaintiff Michael Ferguson, who joins me now along with SPLC staff attorney Sam Wolfe. Good morning to both of you. Michael, I'm sure that was a very difficult time for you to come out and speak that way. Can you tell us more about these techniques that you say the group JONAH asked you to perform?

FERGUSON: Sure. So the basis of these techniques is, of course, the idea that there's something broken inside of you. The model that's asserted is often that your parents failed you somehow, that your father was too distant or your mother was overbearing, and so a lot of the exercises involve developing rage and anger toward your parents, which, as you can imagine, can ultimately be very disruptive to what could be supportive and healing relationships within families. Lots of exercises involve nudity between much older counselors and younger clients, in addition to holding exercises, and, as was mentioned before with the oranges exercise.

KAYE: Wasn't there a cuddle time and visits to bathhouses as well?

FERGUSON: There's, you know -- like I said, there's definitely a lot of nudity that's involved in some of the exercises, holding exercises where men are encouraged to cuddle one another, yes.

KAYE: To many, this sounds awfully bizarre as a form of therapy. But you did at the time agree to pay for this therapy. Why didn't you stop doing it?

FERGUSON: Sure. This is one of the things that's a little bit difficult to convey. When you're in a place where you've been told repeatedly that there's something inside you that needs to be repaired, and you're also promised that there are authorities who have done research and have methods that are proven to fix what's broken inside of you, when you're coming from a place of desperation and really wanting to believe that, then there are a lot of things you can convince yourself are true.

KAYE: I want to ask you more about this. But Sam, let me bring you in. What exactly is this lawsuit about? What are they suing for? Is that these men tried the program and they're still gay?

SAM WOLFE, STAFF ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Yes, we're suing JONAH in order to seek justice for our clients who were lured in to JONAH's conversion therapy practices through false and deceptive promises that essentially if they would follow the program, if they would come to weekly individual and group sessions, subject themselves to these techniques, that essentially they would change their orientation, their internal attraction from men to women and become straight. And instead of any sort of benefit, they were left with really emotional scars, and this was quite damaging to them.

KAYE: Michael, I've done some reporting on this issue over the years. And I spoke to one gentleman who went through this, and he said it drove him to want to end his life. He was suicidal. He was depressed. Did you experience anything like that?

FERGUSON: I did definitely go through dark periods where levels of anxiety and depression and thoughts of hurting myself did start to proliferate. And fortunately I was able to seek services from someone who is a licensed therapist. KAYE: It sounds like there is some belief that the folks at JONAH are scam artists. But do you think -- do you see any good intention here at all, Michael?

FERGUSON: You know, it's tough to try and speculate on motives. There are some definite disturbing things when you look at the fact that one of the founders of the organization was convicted of fraud and served prison time for fraud. I mean, that doesn't speak very well of core intentions.

KAYE: Sam, the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 70 conversion therapy providers across the U.S. are you saying that all conversion therapies are frauds or just this one group JONAH?

WOLFE: This lawsuit is part of a broader campaign by the Southern Poverty Law Center to help end conversion therapy, but we're taking this one step at a time. The defendants in this lawsuit are JONAH, so we're focusing on them.

As you mentioned before, has been mentioned, they base their practices on the teachings and precepts of the godfather of conversion therapy, and these are based on common misperceptions and misrepresentations underling conversion therapy, for example, that being gay is a kind of mental disorder, something that's false, that the mental community has known for 40 years that that's not true, and also that somehow that by therapy you can change your core orientation, and, thirdly, that JONAH somehow has the magic answers to change people from gay to straight. So these types of misrepresentations violate the consumer fraud act and we're taking them to court over it.

KAYE: And I've interviewed him at his office and he does stand by this. He believes this reparative therapy does work. But a page on the website touts success stories with letters from participants and their family members. What do you make of these? Do you not believe that those are really from those people?

WOLFE: There's a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in these types of claims in. One of his more revealing moments, for example, defendant Downing, a counselor at JONAH, he told one of our clients that in order for conversion therapy, you have to believe it already worked. So it's kind of like a brainwashing where you have to somehow believe that worked in order for it to work.

And to build on that, defendant Goldberg, also he doesn't even believe that gay people exist at all. In fact, he said that being actually -- people who are heterosexuals with a homosexual problem. I have a message for him, with all due respect, gay people do exist. And his conversion therapy that is focused on eradicating a core component of who we are, who my clients are, is destined for the trash heap of history.

KAYE: I do want to point out that the defendants did not respond to CNN's calls and e-mails for comment on this lawsuit, but they did put out a press release saying that the lawsuit is without merit and is designed to create a chilling effect upon speech and programs that assist people in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions. But before I let you go, I want to point out that the American Medical Association opposes so called cures or therapy like this, saying they are a serious threat to a person's held and well-being.

Michael Ferguson, thank you for sharing your story, and Sam Wolf, appreciate your time as well. Please do keep us posted as this lawsuit moves forward.

FERGUSON: Thank you.

WOLFE: Will do.

KAYE: Got some holiday shopping to do today? Target is teaming up with some of the world's most famous designers to fill your Christmas stocking. Details next.

And for the Galaxy, he was a shooting star on the pitch and a catalyst for MLS. We'll discuss the David Beckham era in L.A.


KAYE: Welcome back. So how would you like a lunchbox designed by Tory Burch? What about a yoga mat created by Diane Von Furstenberg? Target and Neiman Marcus have teamed up in a holiday collaboration. And you can see the results for yourself at Target and Neiman's, if you can get past the crowds, of course. Two dozen well-known designers have created more than 50 limited edition gifts. Prices range from $8 wrapping paper to a $500 bike.

When he joined the Galaxy more than five years ago, David Beckham sent the MLS into another stratosphere. Later today he will play his final game for the Galaxy. He could go out as a champion. Paul Vercammen has more on Beckham's impact on soccer in the U.S.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, when Beckham started playing soccer in America in 2007, there were only four stadiums dedicated only to soccer. Soon there will be 15. The MLS says the Beckham experiment worked.

From the second he arrived in America to his now final hours with the L.A. Galaxy, David Beckham got people talking about major league in both the United States and he says overseas.

DAVID BECKHAM, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: There's interest over there now. So if that's what I brought to this league, then great. Hopefully it's in a great position now to continue to grow.

VERCAMMEN: That was the plan. Grow the MLS, America's struggling professional soccer league, with help from a global superstar.

DON GARBER, COMMISSIONER, MLS: We were in a board meeting. We said why don't we just try to sign David Beckham. And here we are five and a half years later and that experience with David has far over-delivered on the expectations we had when we sat in that meeting in probably 2006.

VERCAMMEN: The MLS commissioner explains with deck cam at the forefront, the league jumped from 12 to 19 teams, average in total attendance also rose.

DEBBIE SIEFRIED, GALAXY SEASON TICKET HOLDER: He's the one reason that we started coming to the games and to see him leave now is just very sad. But at the same time, it's going to be good for him.

VERCAMMEN: Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, grew in celebrity from Hollywood's red carpets to the White House. Americans seem to notice that Becks, as he is called, had an "it factor" and more.

SIEFRIED: Very easy on the eyes, very easy.

VERCAMMEN: Visions of Beckham will disappear from the MLS after the championship.

LANDON DONOVAN, L.A. GALAXY MIDFIELDER: The saddest part is we're losing a teammate that we really like. When you think of it on a bigger scale, it's differently for our league to lose a player like that and a personality like that. But we all wish him well. He's certainly earned the right to do whatever he wants in his life and we just want him to be happy.

VERCAMMEN: So Beckham goes on hi merry way and leaves behind scenes like this, young players at the L.A. Galaxy Academy working on their own dreams of someday kick starting a league.

Paul Vercammen, CNN, Los Angeles.


KAYE: She was not only a victim of bullying, she saw others being tormented as well. How one girl was bullied out of school and how school leaders are now responding.


KAYE: A junior high school girl in Indiana was bullied so much her mother had her switch schools. And now administrators say they are trying to prevent more incidents from happening.


KAYE: Heather Collins' daughter doesn't live at home anymore. She says bullying at school is to blame.

HEATHER COLLINS, MOTHER OF BULLIED SCHOOLGIRL: She just couldn't stand to be there. The kids were so mean to her.

KAYE: Heather relieved Riley last week and sent her to live with her dad in another district. She says for more than a year her daughter was called names and threatened at school and on social media. She claims the school largely ignored the allegations.

COLLINS: At one point, the principal had threatened to kick my daughter off of the cheer team if she continued to report these cases. And her words exactly was that they were not severe enough and that no further cases would be investigated.

KAYE: Then Heather says her daughter witnessed violence in the hallway, another 13-year-old beaten up and sent to the hospital.

COLLINS: The little girl was on the ground and wasn't moving at one point, and they just kept kicking her and hitting her.

MELISSA POGUE, PRINCIPAL, EDGEWOOD JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL: I think it's common. We see the same thing at other schools.

VERCAMMEN: Edgewood's principal says they've had six bullying incidents this year and that students were suspended after the most recent attacks. She says administrators do respond but may not share that with parents.

POGUE: Because we are held by confidentiality laws and sometimes that hinders us for parents to think that we haven't done anything because we don't report back to them.

KAYE: Now the school is working on new ways to train teachers and students on bullying, much of that in response to parent complaints. Heather Collins wants to see change.

COLLINS: This is real violence. They're being targeted every day on a daily basis.

KAYE: A parent pleading for student protection.


KAYE: And our thanks to Jenny Rinovich with CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis for bringing us that report.

In Canada, one town is trying to learn a lesson from a bullying tragedy. Amanda Todd posted this video on YouTube shortly before she committed suicide. We showed that video to you here on CNN Saturday Morning. In it she recalled years of abuse and how she felt there was really no one to help her. Now her hometown has launched a new anti- bullying campaign called "Be Someone" that will allow police to issue fines to those caught bullying in public or online. That is an incredible move.

That campaign also calls her businesses to place snow flake details in nod to Amanda's nicknames in their windows to be a signal of a safe haven for those being bullied.

If you'd like to sound off on stories about bullying, you can tweet me now. Use the # bullyingstopshere @RandiKayeCNN. I'd love to what you think about this type of thing going on in our schools and communities.


KAYE: News just in to CNN. Police in Missouri are investigating two deadly shootings. They say the shootings involve a Kansas City Chief's football player and his girlfriend. We'll bring you the details on this story as we get them.

Now Dr. Sanjay Gupta with this week's "Human Factor."


JOE PUTIGNANO, GYMNAST: I started gymnastics when I was 9 years old and I was watching the 1984 Olympics, and it spoke to me as if it was like broadcasted directly to me. And I immediately took the cushions off the couch and started jumping around.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Joseph's foray into gymnastics got serious after that. at the Olympic training center just two years later he realized he had had a natural gift. But his insatiable need to perform perfectly took over his life.

PUTIGNANO: For me, it kind of became a darkness that I have to be perfect.

GUPTA: That's where his downward spiral began.

PUTIGNANO: I had my first drink and all that desire for me to be perfect and to be the best was just washed away in the moment.

GUPTA: Within months, things got worse.

PUTIGNANO: I was drinking and using prescription drugs and a lot of cocaine. And it was that thing where I came to a crossroads where it was like I can't use and perform, so something's got to go. One of the worst moments in my entire life, which I'll never forget, is actually calling the coach up and quitting because it's like you're giving back your gift.

GUPTA: Alcohol, pills, and cocaine led Joe to heroin. In 2007 after several failed stints in rehab and two life-threatening overdoses, recovery finally stuck.

PUTIGNANO: I'm 27 years old. I hadn't done a handstand in almost ten years. I started to do the handstands and the splits. The more sobriety I maintained, the more this light, I call it, I don't know what else to say, kind of pulled me in a better direction.

GUPTA: Joe honed his body and his mind and he started to work on Broadway as a dancer. But it was a chance meeting with Cirque du Soleil producer that changed his life forever.

PUTIGNANO: He saw something in me that was sort of inspiring.

GUPTA: Today three years after that chance encountering five years after sobriety, Joe is starring as the Crystal Man in the Cirque du Soleil Crystal Show.

PUTIGNANO: He is the spark of change. The darkest of men carry the light. Now I get to come down and shine.

GUPTA: Reporter: And while he says his addiction will never disappear, he's now living a life he thought he'd lost forever.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.