Return to Transcripts main page


Angelina Jolie has Double Mastectomy; Barbed Wire, Chains and a Barbie Bicycle; Leila Fowler Investigation; O.J. Simpson Back in Court; Prince Harry's Jersey Shore; Boston Bruins' Epic Comeback

Aired May 14, 2013 - 06:30   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A bombshell announcement. Oscar winner and mother of six, Angelina Jolie revealing that she's removed both her breasts after discovering a cancer gene.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Disturbing and revealing new images from kidnap and rape suspect Ariel Castro's backyard. Barbed wire, chains, and a mirror installed in the backyard.

SAMBOLIN: And O.J.'s testimony. Why his legal team says his own words will get him out of prison this time.

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour.

And new for you this morning: actress Angelina Jolie, one of the most well-known women in the world, makes a very bold medical move, having both breasts removed in order to drastically cut down her cancer risk. She says genetic tests showed she had a cancer gene. But what is that exactly?

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us live from Atlanta.

Elizabeth, can you tell us more about this test that Angelina had, this BRCA gene and what do the results actually mean?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the results can be very complicated, and I'm sure she had a great genetic counselor and doctor to walk her through it.

This is a test that looks for a variety of breast cancer genes. And different genes mean different things. You may carry a faulty gene and it doesn't matter, you're totally fine. You may carry a faulty gene and have a much higher risk of getting breast cancer.

So, let's hear in her own words. I'm going to read her words from her "New York Times" piece about what happened to her. She said, "I carry a faulty gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. My doctors estimated that I had a one in 80 -- that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer, and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in each case in the case of each woman." Sorry.

So, in other words an 87 percent increased risk of breast cancer. So she made a decision that a lot of women make, which is I'm just taking these things off. I am removing my breasts so that I can get that risk down.

And she also wrote about getting that risk down. So let's look at that part of her editorial, as well. She wrote, "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I'm very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 80 percent to under 5 percent."

So you can see, for her, this was a very clear decision -- John, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You know, she talked about her children, and how at the end of the day that made this decision a lot easier for her. I'm thinking the same thing. I'm having a double mastectomy. I do have breast cancer.

But that was really -- that's really what you do, right? Every woman is different. But that's what you think about is I want to be here long-term for my kids.

One of the things she talked about, which I thought was fantastic, is that this test is very expensive. It's a $3,000 test.

COHEN: Right.

SAMBOLIN: And insurance companies don't always pay for it. So how accessible is this test for other women?

COHEN: You know, Zoraida, the timing of this, you know, is so interesting, because this is before the Supreme Court. Only one company makes this test, it's called Myriad. That's it. They have a patent. No one else is allowed to make it.

You don't have to be an economist to know when one company makes something, that price is very high because there's no competition. Things may be very different if the Supreme Court decision comes out a certain way, you know, later this spring.

If you don't have insurance or if your insurance won't pay the full cost, a lot of women are really in a pickle. I mean, imagine, let's say if your mother and sister and aunt had breast cancer, you really need to know if you have that gene, but you can't afford it, it's a real problem.

SAMBOLIN: I'm hoping at the end of the day that, because of the fact that she has brought all of this attention to it that maybe it will be help for women who cannot afford to have that test.

Another thing I wanted to talk about, she talks about this high percentage, at least in my opinion, 50 percent ovarian cancer. So, what are her options there? Did she hint at what she will do next there?

COHEN: You know, she said that she has started the process. She used the term "started". "I'm starting with my breasts."

So it made it sound like perhaps she will get her ovaries removed at a later date. Getting your ovaries removed can be a little bit trickier, and that's because it throws you into menopause. So, you know, that's not a small thing.

And so, my guess is, that she might remove those ovaries later. That's what her mother died of, right? Her mother died of ovarian cancer not of breast cancer.

So I imagine that's weighing heavily on her mind. You know, a lot of women in this situation, they do both. They don't do it at the same time, but they do do both.

SAMBOLIN: And, Elizabeth, I know that there's a Web site that's a treasure trove of information for anybody who is going through this. So could you share that with us as well?

It's our own CNN site. I've been using it quite a bit.

COHEN: Right. has all sorts of resources for various diseases, including breast cancer, and it's really important that women be empowered in this situation. And here's why. First of all, I'm just going to be honest here. A lot of doctors don't know a lot about breast cancer genetics. You may go to a doctor who will do this test for you but you really want to see a genetic counselor if you can to get a full discussion of what your genes mean.

SAMBOLIN: And I will also add to that that at the end of the day, we're really in a good position when we do get diagnosed with breast cancer that we really do participate in the decision. We make the decision as to what we want to do with our health. I mean, I think that's really important, as well.

COHEN: That is so true.

SAMBOLIN: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you. I appreciate all the information this morning.

BERMAN: You know, talk about empower. Let me just say this, you are one incredibly strong, tough --

SAMBOLIN: Listen, this is a process as Angelina said. And I was not in the beginning. Because all you do is think about your children and think about what is a decision that I can make so that it could be the best outcome for them. And I want to see them grow up, and you know, at the end of the day, that was the toughest decision.

BERMAN: We know --

SAMBOLIN: I've come full circle and I'm ready. BERMAN: We're all incredibly proud of you.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

I got to add that when I told Berman that I had breast cancer, I thought I was going to have to pick up the pieces, because, yes --

BERMAN: Well, you make it easier on all of us. Your strength makes it easier for all of us. So thank you.


BERMAN: We do have other news at 34 minutes after the hour.

We're getting a first look this morning into the backyard of Cleveland kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro. Take a look at these photos were taken by a neighbor last week and they show piles of debris behind the home, including barbed wire, chains and this, a pink Barbie bicycle. Also there's a mirror installed on the back porch, apparently to detect any visitors from coming down the driveway.

Right now, Ariel Castro is on suicide watch, jail logs reveal that he likes to walk around his cell naked. He frequently makes himself Kool-Aid, and get this, he's using strings from a floor mat to floss his teeth. We're told he's being checked by guards at this point about every 10 minutes.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thirty-five minutes past the hour.

New information this morning about the brother of Leila Fowler, who is under arrest in the stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister. A fellow student and a school administration source says the 12-year-old boy was suspended for five days earlier this year after bringing a pocket knife to school.

CNN's Dan Simon is live in Valley Springs, California, with the latest on this. What can you tell us, Dan?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Zoraida.

The fact that the suspect was suspended for bringing a knife to school is a noteworthy development given that he's accused of using a knife to stab his sister. We're also getting a better sense of what the suspect may face in the months ahead.


SIMON (voice-over): Chris Peifer knows the 12-year-old suspect from gym class.

(on camera): You said he made threats to you and to others in gym class?


SIMON: Can you tell me about the threats? PEIFER: He'd say like I'm going to stab you if you don't -- he just said he was going to stab us and messing around.

SIMON (voice-over): Peifer called the threats lighthearted, but told us of an incident earlier in this academic year when the 12-year-old brought a knife to school.

(on camera): Did you see the knife?


SIMON: Did he show it to friends and classmates?

PEIFER: Yes. He showed it to kids.

SIMON: It was a little Swiss army knife like just little pocket knife?


SIMON: And what happened?

PEIFER: He's like showing it to people and so then he gave it to -- someone told on him and he went it the office.

SIMON (voice-over): It landed him a five-day suspension. The boy seen here at a candlelight vigil days after the killing had some people suspicious at the outset.

PENNY KILGORE, PARENT: We kept kind of behind closed doors as saying, you know, we thought it was him.

SIMON: The young boy told investigators an intruder stabbed his eight-year-old sister, Leila, while his parents were at a little league baseball game.

Penny Kilgore's daughter also knows the suspect from school. She thought it seemed strange that the killer would only target Leila and spare the brother's life.

KILGORE: You don't kill a person and then leave a witness, you know? And that's why we kept saying that, you know, they're not going to leave him alive if there was somebody else that did it. He witnessed this guy.

So in my heart, I thought it was him from get-go.

SIMON: The boy is currently being held at a juvenile detention center.

BRIAN CHAVEZ-OCHOA, ATTORNEY: Because the child in this particular case is 12 years of age, he cannot be tried as an adult. If he was 14 years of age or older, of course, and because of the allegations that will be raised here, he could have been tried as an adult.

SIMON: Attorney Brian Chavez-Ochoa has represented minors in cases involving serious crimes.

CHAVEZ-OCHOA: These proceedings are going to take place behind closed doors. This isn't going to be an open trial like it would be if he was an adult. In this case, the public is not going to be allowed into the proceedings.


SIMON: Well, if the 12-year-old is charged and convicted of murder, he would remain in custody until the age of 25. That's the law here in California.

And, Zoraida, we should point out that the father told "The Associated Press" that he believes his son is innocent, and he'll continue to believe that until he sees some evidence that proves otherwise -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Dan Simon live in California -- thank you.

BERMAN: In just a few hours, O.J. Simpson will be back in a Las Vegas courtroom. Simpson is appealing for a new trial on a 2008 conviction for robbery, assault, and kidnapping.

We got our first look at O.J. Simpson yesterday, this after a 4 1/2 years. Look at that. Noticeably older, gray hair, moving slowly, not getting around well at all. Like I said, it's been four years since we've last seen him. He could testify at this trial as early as tomorrow.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is live in Las Vegas. Good morning, Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. In the courtroom yesterday, O.J. Simpson sometimes slightly nodding in approval as his attorneys hammered away at witnesses.


VERCAMMEN (voice-over): Heavier and grayer disgraced football legend, O.J. Simpson slowly stepped into a Las Vegas courtroom after 4 1/2 years in prison for kidnapping, assault, and armed robbery. The new Simpson legal team is presenting 19 claims it says showed he was so poorly represented in the 2008 kidnap by Yale Galanter that he should get a new trial.

New lead attorney, Patricia Palm, argues Simpson was never told about an offered plea deal and should have taken the witness stand. Gabe Grasso assisted Galanter in 2008 and emphatically told the court Monday he wanted Simpson to testify then.

GABE GRASSO, FORMER SIMPSON CO-COUNSEL: O.J. is a very eloquent person. And he can explain himself very well. And so, I thought he'd be a great witness.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson's lawyers also tried to show the former Heisman trophy winner had been drinking alcohol which impaired him from seeing his cohorts carry guns into the confrontation. The new Simpson team argues that Galanter knew about Simpson's plans to get back some of his memorabilia.

Simpson's daughter, Arnelle, took the stand saying she was with her father and Galanter at dinner the night before the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was your dad drinking alcohol that evening?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you recall overhearing any conversation about your dad's to go look at his property the next day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who did you hear talking about that?

SIMPSON: My dad was talking to you.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson is waiting to testify in this hearing.

PATRICIA PALM, O.J. SIMPSON LEAD ATTORNEY: This will be his first time to be able to tell what happened and, you know, instead of hearing it in bits and pieces and, you have to remember the evidence in this case was extremely conflicting from all the witnesses.

VERCAMMEN: Simpson may take the stand as soon as Wednesday.


VERCAMMEN: And he could be on the stand for a very long time. They say they expect that Simpson's testimony could spread out over two days, John.

BERMAN: And where is Simpson staying while this whole trial or court case happens?

VERCAMMEN: Well, according to his attorneys he took a long bus trip from northern Nevada down here to the Clark County courthouse. And the reason you don't see him on the street for example is because they have tunnels that lead from that jail to the courthouse. That's why he came in through that side door yesterday, John.

BERMAN: All right. Paul Vercammen, again, stunning to get our first look at O.J. It's been a long, long time.

Paul Vercammen in Las Vegas, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: It will be interesting to hear him, as well.

Up next the no shenanigans tour. Prince Harry teaming up with Governor Chris Christie. Boy, I bet you want to watch that. We have a live report coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Brand new this morning, a stunning revelation by Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, opening up in a "New York Times" op-ed about choosing to have a preventive double mastectomy. She says she carries a gene that sharply increases her risk for breast and ovarian cancers.

She describes the procedure in vivid detail and says, quote, "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy but is one I am very happy that I made." Jolie says because of the treatments she chose to have, she dramatically cut her breast cancer risk from 87 percent all the way down to under five percent.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-six minutes past the hour. Prince Harry has been in the states for six days without any of the shenanigans of his last visit. Today, he heads to Seaside Heights to tour areas hard-hit by hurricane Sandy. He will be accompanied by Governor Chris Christie.

And Poppy Harlow is live in Seaside Heights for us this morning. And Poppy, he's getting a lot of praise because he's putting a big spotlight in an area that hasn't gotten it recently.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Good morning, Zoraida. He absolutely is. As you've said, Prince Harry will be here in Seaside Heights with Governor Chris Christie. This comes on day six of his whirlwind U.S. tour. We have seen him in Washington, D.C. at the White House with the first lady.

We've seen him visiting Arlington National Cemetery. He then moved on to Colorado Springs where he participated in the warrior games for wounded veterans. Of course, he serves in the British army, so he -- that is something very close to his heart, and now, he's coming here. Something that he is very concerned about in terms of the rebuilding process here in New Jersey.

Seaside Heights is one of the places hardest hit by Sandy. First, we're told that the Prince will tour one of the very devastated areas close to here with Governor Chris Christie. A source close to Prince Harry on this tour told us that Chris Christie is very grateful that Prince Harry will put a spotlight on the rebuilding process, bring it back into the news because even seven months after hurricane Sandy, this area is still ravaged.

Business owners here saying, "we are open for business, but we need your help." Listen.


NICK SPINO, SEASIDE HEIGHTS RESIDENT: I'd been staring at this house for 6 1/2 months. And every time I come here, I say it looks like the Wizard of Oz. I'm selling (ph) the T-shirt. I'm selling them for $20 each. And it's the only income I have until the wood shop gets back in business and I can start making my picnic tables again.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: So, the crowds will come out. They will fill this board walk. After the prince leaves here, he will head into New York City. He's going to go to an event with Prime Minister David Cameron focusing on British trade. And then, he will go to Harlem for a baseball event with inner city youth. Finally, a fundraiser tonight for his foundation -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: So, Poppy, a couple of things that you cannot take away from the people of Seaside Heights, and that is a strong constitution. That man in spite of everything still selling that T-shirt and that gorgeous view behind you, which is really spectacular.

HARLOW: It's pretty great.

SAMBOLIN: It is very nice. Thank you for that, Poppy Harlow live in Seaside Heights for us. Thank you so much.

BERMAN: All right. Forty-eight minutes after the hour. And this is the tease I've been waiting for the entire show.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my goodness.

BERMAN: Coming up, epic comeback! How the Boston Bruins, the Bs, they rewrote the record books in game seven in their playoff series.

SAMBOLIN: He's done so much research for you, folks. You're going to want to come back. He's doing sports this morning.

BERMAN: The most stunning comeback ever when we come back.


SAMBOLIN: Here we go.

BERMAN: OK. It was an historic comeback for the Boston Bruins last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins did something in a playoff game seven that has never been done before in the history of ever. Jared Greenberg is here with more on this wonderful story in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Jared.

SAMBOLIN: I suspect this is all you have in sports this morning.


JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: You guys read the scripts wrong. It says John Berman is here with sports.

SAMBOLIN: Right, right.


GREENBERG: I'm out of here. See you guys later.

SAMBOLIN: I know. I agree.

(LAUGHTER) GREENBERG: All right, John. The sports gods sent us a message last night. Don't go to sleep early and even non-hockey fans are going to want to see this comeback in a win or go home decisive game seven. The Boston Bruins a.k.a. the fighting John Berman, found themselves in a deep hole then this happened. The Toronto Maple Leafs built a three-goal third period lead. Boston got within one under a minute to go, Patrice Bergeron fires on net. Tie game. An amazing comeback.

We go to overtime where it's that man again, Bergeron, comes flying in and he finds the back of the net. Game over. Series over! Bruins become the first team to ever win a game seven when trailing by three in the third period. Boston advances to face the New York Rangers.


PATRICE BERGERON, PROFESSIONAL ICE HOCKEY: I guess, that's what I can say is, we found a way, and you know, not necessarily the way we would have liked to play the whole game. But you know, like I said, we showed some character coming back in the game.


GREENBERG: The comeback theme continues. Kevin Durant and the Thunder blew a 17-point first half lead now down two, Durant ties the game with under seven seconds to play and to overtime we go. The Memphis front line continues to be too much for Oklahoma City to handle. Zack Randolph had 23 points and 12 rebounds. A strong second half rally leads Memphis to a six-point victory. The Grizzlies are now just a win away from advancing to the conference finals.

Now, on to the fashion portion of the program. Apparently, Dwyane Wade got into John Berman's closet. A polka dot suit with Capri pants and loafers. That is what we call a confident man. And things only got weirder in Chicago. Finally back to hoops we go where the Bulls possibly distracted by Wade's attire, nothing went right for Chicago, including putting the ball in the wrong hoop.

The Bulls only scored 33 points in the first half, and nine in the third quarter. The Heat win easily, and lead the series three games to one.

Number one right now on's lineup, Bryce Harper with an uncomfortable meeting with the outfield wall. The right fielder for the nationals going back on a fly ball. The Nats star runs right into the wall. Dazed and confused, Harper would leave the game under his own power. He would receive stitches to his chin, but Harper, fortunately, did not sustain a concussion. And by the way, the Nats did go on to beat the Dodgers.


BERMAN: Oh, that could leave a mark.

GREENBERG: it's public service announcement for you guys up in New York and for our viewers around the world. I, too, like Dwyane Wade have Capri pants on, but fortunately -- SAMBOLIN: Oh, let's see. Let's see. Do show. Show and tell. Hey, is there anything else you want to add on the Bruins?

BERMAN: No. I just want to see the Capri pants. That's awesome.


BERMAN: All right. Jared, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: All right. And coming up, is this Disney princess a little too sexy? Some of you are telling me on Twitter. The controversial makeover that is causing an uproar this morning.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. A little controversy this morning claiming that Disney sexed up one of its signature princesses. The director of the Oscar-winning animated movie, "Brave," is blasting the makeover of the film's heroine, Princess Merida, saying it is sexist.

So, let's show this to you. On the left is what she looked like originally. On the right is Disney's new makeover. You can see that she has a lower cut, a little bit tighter dress, and she's wearing a lot more makeup.

Coming up in the 8:00 hour, we'll hear live from "Brave" director, Brenda Chapman. It is creating quite a discussion this morning on Facebook and Twitter. So, I appreciate you chiming in.

That it is for early start. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT" starts right now.