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Telling Your Kids About Cancer; Food Bank Donations for a Birthday; Mother Charge in Jailbreak; "Jeopardy!" Kids Week Controversy; Matt Damon Talks "Elysium"

Aired August 5, 2013 - 08:30   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was tough for me to think about was Kenny's reaction to know that he stuck through your side -- by your side through the entire situation.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": That is a good man, right? You are two of the strongest men I know.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): I need their strength. Nikko's was the last familiar face I saw before surgery and the first when I came out. I was used to caring for my kids, not the other way around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zoraida is a -- is a rock, is a matriarch of this family and to think that you may lose her, that's a very -- that's a debilitating thought at times.

SAMBOLIN (on camera): (INAUDIBLE).

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Cancer has caused a role reversal. Even as he's there for me, I can't always be there for him. I missed his graduation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to be here, but she couldn't, even though I didn't really want her flying after the operation. So --but it's OK.

SAMBOLIN: But I am getting better and it helps that we're in this fight together.



SAMBOLIN: Oh, I did. I FaceTimed the graduation. So I wasn't there physically, but I certainly was there through -- Skype is actually what we did.

I have to tell you, this journey has taught me so many lessons. And one of the most important ones is that your children really, they're really grown up or they can be really grown up and help you get through a process of healing, also. And leaning on your child is not a bad thing. It was a wonderful coping mechanism for him, as well, to be able to be there for me, to be able to help me through the process. So don't underestimate what your children can do for you. That's a big lesson. And one that we were talking about is, those three boys that you see there, which was Miles (ph), Kyle (ph) and Nikko, we had a very frank conversation about a women's breasts. And for, you know, kids that are 14 years old, you know, that's not an easy conversation always to have. But they were very reflective. They thought when I asked them, what do you think about when, you know, I mention breasts, they say they think about their mothers. They now think about cancers. They think about their sisters and they look at things differently. And even Nikko said, as I'm watching little Sofia grow and develop her breasts, I'm worried, I'm concerned. So really it -- your kids are much smarter and much, I think much more reflective than you ever give them credit for being.

PEREIRA: I think parent have the inclination to want to protect kids from these adult kind of things, but you found that it was really important for them to see the truth in all of what you were going through.

SAMBOLIN: Well, for my 14-year-old, yes. And I think that's typically the advice you'll get, especially like a (INAUDIBLE), they'll say, you know, look at the age of the child and you know your child better than anybody knows them, so you know what they can handle and what they cannot handle. For my son Nikko, it was very important that I told him the truth. It was very important that he be present. He was there every step of the way. He wanted to know and understand. So I think you take your cues from them sometimes.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You gauge whether they're a kid who needs to know or who wants to not know, right?


CUOMO: And then you go --

SAMBOLIN: By what they ask.

CUOMO: Right.

SAMBOLIN: My daughter, Sofia, we had talked about her earlier, and for her it was a very, very quick conversation. And, you know, Michaela, you and I were talking about, well, she's a girl, right, so she identifies. On the contrary, I expected that to happen and it didn't.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: There was a little bit of a surprise along this journey, huh?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. And I was very grateful because at nine years of age --


SAMBOLIN: I was so scared of that conversation. So scared.

BOLDUAN: And what was it -- how has the process been? You've taken -- it's a very -- obviously hugely private and very difficult process with or without children. But what's it been like to tell your story publicly and to include your children in that process? Why did you want to do it?

SAMBOLIN: Healing.


SAMBOLIN: It's been healing. You know, at first I was really reluctant to talk about this --

BOLDUAN: Of course.

SAMBOLIN: And I had no idea how to bring it up on the air to let the viewers know that I'm (ph) going away. But Angelina Jolie, when she made her disclosure, her op-ed piece in "The New York Times," she gave me a voice and I found through that voice that it gave other women a voice through FaceBook and Twitter. And men as well. You know, they will write to me and say, don't discount us. I don't. You all are incredible healers and supporters in this process, as well.

But as you go through this journey, and I had questions, there were women who helped me along the way and now I'm paying that forward already. And it really is just, you know, like full circle and it just -- it's been a wonderful opportunity for me. I don't -- I don't consider it invasive at all, Kate. Not at all.

BOLDUAN: Great. That's great.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it is so great.

CUOMO: You also get the blessing of the strength, right? Like Nikko had said, he was worried about what was going to happen with Kenny, your fiance, but sometimes a situation like this makes you closer to somebody, more love than you could have ever imagined. True enough?

SAMBOLIN: You know I -- he was my first born and he was an only child for five years and I thought there's no way I can get closer to this kid than I already am. I felt like he's attached to -- like the umbilical cord was never cut. Yet it is -- our relationship is just amazing and I just -- yes, I'm so proud of him. I don't know what else to say. But, you know, to me, it's this young man that I have seen develop now and I see how he's going to handle adversity and it's really filled me with joy and pride.

BOLDUAN: Strength --

CUOMO: Stay close to him because he's going to wind up in the league in like five years given his size.

SAMBOLIN: Because he's tall?

BOLDUAN: He's 14 and he's 6'1".

SAMBOLIN: 6'1". 6'1", yes.

PEREIRA: Oh, my.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly, a huge future. It's so great to have you back.

PEREIRA: You are a sight for sore eyes, my dear.

BOLDUAN: Seriously, great to have you back with us.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. Thank you. It's great to be back. Thanks for having me here today.


CUOMO: Stay with us because you're going to wind up being a double dose for us.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, really?

CUOMO: You'll do "The Good Stuff" now. You just gave us the good stuff, so this is like a double stuff "Good Stuff." You ready?

BOLDUAN: I love a double stuff.

CUOMO: Here's our second edition of "The Good Stuff." His name is Mario Martinez. He's from Wichita, Kansas. Mario just turned 10. For his birthday, he didn't ask for the usual stuff, toys, candy and all that stuff that my kids want. He asked instead that people donate to the local food bank.


MARIO MARTINEZ: There was some that their fridge is empty, hardly anything in their cabinets.

SUSAN MARTINEZ, MARIO'S MOTHER: We were surprised, but very proud of him that he wanted to help other people.

M. MARTINEZ: One day I just decide, ah, why not? I already got all the stuff I need.


CUOMO: All right. Already this is amazing. To hear a 10-year-old kid say he already has all the stuff he needs is almost unprecedented of every kid I've ever been around. But here's why it gets better. OK. Between himself and his young friends, Mario raised enough to put hot meals in front of, wait for it, 422 people.

BOLDUAN: I know. "The Good Stuff."

PEREIRA: That a boy.

BOLDUAN: Obviously, Zoraida --

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) M. MARTINEZ: How many people is this going to feed? Is it going to feed that many or is it just going to be like five people? I was like, is this serious?

KEVIN ENZ, KANSAS FOOD BANK: It's just heartwarming. I mean of all the things this kid could ask for, and he didn't want anything. He's got what he wanted. He just wanted to help people.

S. MARTINEZ: If a 10-year-old can do this, what else can the rest of the us do? Just can't wait to see what he does next.


CUOMO: You know, and with Zoraida here, we know we're always trying to teach our kids the one lesson is to learn to have dedication to something bigger than yourself. And for Mario and his buddies to do this, they didn't -- he didn't end up completely empty handed, though. His family still kicked in a few gifts, you know, just because they felt so good about what he had done.

BOLDUAN: He really earned those gifts. Exactly.

CUOMO: But it was just an amazing example of the love of others and the sense of yourself and the bigger community. And that was from a 10-year-old. Imagine what the rest of us can do.

It's a great story. We got it from you. Let us know what's going on in your lives and your communities. Tweet us, FaceBook us, go to and we can keep telling you good stories.

SAMBOLIN: Our future is in good hands, right?

CUOMO: Right.


CUOMO: Even had the American flag on his chest.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, I loved that.

BOLDUAN: It's not all gloom.

CUOMO: He's an Ameri-can.

PEREIRA: With Mario and Nikko, we're in good hands. We really are. We really are.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, Matt Damon sitting down with NEW DAY talking about his new film "Elysium." What he had to do to get all buffed up for the role.

CUOMO: Plus, John Berman is here with his award of the day. You might remember him from the frosting on the nose, making him the brown noser that we all know him to be.

BOLDUAN: Right. That was great (INAUDIBLE). SAMBOLIN: That was so fantastic when I put on --

PEREIRA: And that's love too. He didn't even fight it, right?

SAMBOLIN: No, he didn't fight it, Michaela. It was a record. Yes. (INAUDIBLE).


PEREIRA: All right, welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's get a quick look at your top stories this hour.

Nineteen U.S. consulates and embassies in the Mideast and Africa closed by the State Department. U.S. officials say they're exercising an abundance of caution after intercepting an al Qaeda threat.

The man accused of running down people on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, in custody this morning. An Italian woman on her honeymoon was killed. Eleven other people were injured. Police say the driver was bent on doing evil.

The jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball stands at $400 million. The jackpot went up by $100 million after Saturday's drawing produced no grand prize winners. That means we still have time to run down and buy a ticket. Because if you don't have one, you can't win.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: You've got to be in it to win it, you're saying? Is that what you're saying, Michaela Pereira?

PEREIRA: That's why I'm here. That's what word is on the street.

BOLDUAN: You need to be in it to win it.

CUOMO: That is a coinable phrase.

BOLDUAN: In it to win it.

CUOMO: All right. You know what time of the morning it is?

BOLDUAN: What time is it?

CUOMO: Oh, it's the time for J.B. to be here. I'm just waiting for his music. There it is.

BOLDUAN: That theme song.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, I actually did know it was that time of morning. They ran me in here all of a sudden. It apparently is time for the "Award of the Day." I didn't have time to tighten my tie.


CUOMO: Rifling through my breakfast bars when he was told, get back up here, you're going to do "Award of the Day."

BOLDUAN: Berman, sweating to the oldies.

BERMAN: Here I am.

SAMBOLIN: Sweating to the oldies.

BERMAN: I am here. We're going to start with something extraordinary this morning. Partial nudity. Look at this, folks. This guy is a Czech high diver. He always wanted to fly like Superman. And I think we can all agree --

CUOMO: He nailed it.

PEREIRA: That's awesome.

BERMAN: He does, right?


BERMAN: Yes, pretty good, right?

PEREIRA: How was the landing?

BERMAN: Oh, that's the hard part.

On the subject of naked cape wearing acrobats, let's talk about Congress now, folks. I'll make a bold prediction. Today will be one of the best, brightest and most productive days Congress will have all year. How can I be so sure? They're in their summer recess, folks. An empty Capitol means bipartisan harmony. Guys, keep up the good work. We're all pulling for you here.

You know, it should be a model for them today, a day like today. Neither an absent Congress nor a flying naked Czech diver, though, no matter how awesome they might be, neither of them win the award today. Our winner is that woman you just saw on set with a little while ago, my "EARLY START" co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin. She's the good one right there. You know, as we know, these awards aren't my only job. I anchor this show at 5:00 a.m. called "EARLY START."


BERMAN: Zoraida's been away for a while. She was back today and I could not be happier. So happy I even put frosting on my nose.


BOLDUAN: How'd that taste?

BERMAN: It tasted pretty good, actually. I had it after we (INAUDIBLE) camera.

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) able to lick it off his nose, which was an extraordinary thing.


BOLDUAN: Well, there is the hidden talent.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) qualities.

BOLDUAN: You're going to wait for at least six months to tell the viewers about Berman's hidden talents.

BERMAN: The -- the award today is the apply named, I am so freaking happy you're back, never leave me again award. It goes to Zoraida Sambolin. We're thrilled to have her back. It's a great day here.

CUOMO: Well done.

BOLDUAN: We are.

CUOMO: That's the best reward today.

PEREIRA: It really has been.

CUOMO: Best award. Best award.


BOLDUAN: Yes, Berman, good stuff.

CUOMO: Really, it's great to hear her story. It's great how she's sharing the family dynamic. People need to hear it.


CUOMO: And the cake on your nose was literally the frosting, not the cake.

BOLDUAN: Was, yes, literally.

BERMAN: I know, the frosting on the cake. My face being the cake.

BOLDUAN: It's the frosting on the cake. It was a cute cake.

BERMAN: It's a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.

BOLDUAN: Much like you.

BERMAN: Think about that for a second.

BOLDUAN: You know, I'm going to marinate on that one and we'll be right back after this.

CUOMO: We'll be right back.

You better not have been going through my breakfast bars, by the way.


CUOMO: That was you when you realize your tie wasn't buttoned up too --

BERMAN: I look so great I didn't know I was going to be on TV. I know I'm in high school.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY everybody.

We have a twist in the case of that dangerous inmate who popped through a slot and beat feet out of an Arkansas jail. Derrick Estell is his name and he is still on the run, but now police have charged his mother with helping him escape.

CNN's Nick Valencia has the latest.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN ANCHOR: Derrick Estell is on the run after this brazen jail break last week in Garland County, Arkansas. Now, police have identified another possible accomplice. His mother, Glenda Estell, has been arrested for allegedly helping her 33-year-old son escape.

According to the police report between June and July, a total of 40 calls were made between Estell and her son, detailing a plot to break free from the jail.

VITO COLUCCI JR., PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: This guy escaped just in March from another prison. Now, you think when he went to this new one, they would have said this guy is a runner. We got to make sure we keep our eyes on him all the time.

VALENCIA: Police say that Estell seen on this surveillance video talking on the phone right before his escape was speaking with his mother. According to a review of the call his mother asked if he's still shackled. A short time later he jumps out the sliding glass window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had their back turned at that time.

VALENCIA: Police have also arrested 58-year-old William Harding suspected of distracting the guards and providing the getaway car and an arrest warrant has been issued for the driver of that car, Tamara Upshaw. As for Estell, he was being held for allegedly stealing a car in March and leading police on a chase that ended with a standoff.

DEPUTY SCOTT HINOJOSA, GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT: Typically in the past any dealings with Mr. Estell -- there's been -- he's had in possession of firearm.

VALENCIA: Estell's lengthy rap sheet includes 26 charges of aggravated robbery, breaking and entering, burglary and fleeing.


CUOMO: All right our thanks to Nick Valencia for that. I hope you are watching that guy's face. Estell is still on the loose in Arkansas, police could use your help.

BOLDUAN: Yes absolutely. All right on to a story that we've been having a little bit of fun with and we want to get your opinion, as well. That's why we bring in, who else? John Berman. All right you hear -- you hear it right this is final "Jeopardy". Answer, he is the contestant least likely to be invited back to "Jeopardy" and also who is the most likely to not want to be invited back to "Jeopardy".

BERMAN: Who is Thomas Hurley?


BERMAN: All right, let me tell you about young Thomas Hurley here. He's an eighth grader from Connecticut and a lot of people on the Internet and sitting in this chair right here are in his corner. He was sent home from final "Jeopardy" despite the fact that he and many others say he got the question right.


BERMAN (voice-over): It's being called the saddest moment in "Jeopardy" history. And eighth grader loses his Final Jeopardy during kids' week for misspelling a word.


Well because he misspelled it badly "emanciptation". You put a "p" in there. Proclamation that's unfortunate. The judges are ruling against you.

BERMAN: Thomas Hurley III held back tears after his loss. He later told his local newspaper, "I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final "Jeopardy" question. It was just a spelling error. The incident blew up over social media with many commenting on "Jeopardy's" Facebook page. "When did Jeopardy become a spelling bee?" And "He got the answer right, he misspelled it. Big deal."

Hurley's parents claiming they were less upset about the loss and more upset about how Alex Trebek and company handled it, telling CNN they were quote, "smug".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- because he misspelled it badly. "Emanciptation".

BERMAN: "Jeopardy's" producers released a statement: "If Jeopardy were to give credit for an incorrect response, however minor, the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment."

Last year a contestant was penalized for mispronouncing the word "Wimbledon".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is "Wimbledon".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to take some money away from you, Reid. I am informed you very clearly said "Wimbleton" not "Wimbledon".

BERMAN: But no one has lost as badly or boldly as Clint on an episode of "Cheers."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You bet it all why would you do something like that?

BERMAN: But this is real life for Hurley and his family, who are still smarting from the loss.


BERMAN: And a lot of people have pointed out if that even if Hurley spelled the answer correctly, he would not have won. The boy who did win, 12-year-old Skylar Hornback (ph), set a kid's week record winning $30,000 in one episode; he won $66,000 in one day. Which is the third highest one-day winnings in "Jeopardy" history but you look at poor Thomas Hurley and how sad he was there. It makes you feel bad for him.

I will say people on Twitter have been tweeting me all morning.

BOLDUAN: What do they say?

BERMAN: They're saying the rules are the rules. And that "Jeopardy" did the right thing.

BOLDUAN: Unless it's your kid sitting there --

PEREIRA: And they're on that podium.

Spelling does matter. I didn't know that.

CUOMO: What bothered Berman is that Trebek -- he's got a little thing about it -- said you misspelled it badly. And that got in Berman's craw and he hasn't been able to let it go because the kid was only a letter away.

BERMAN: He was only a letter away and he really looked heartbroken. I think maybe when there is a kid that looks that sad, a little bit of sensitivity goes a long way.

CUOMO: But when Trebek said misspelled it badly, a little part of you died that day.

BERMAN: A little part of me died.

PEREIRA: It was you. You were him, weren't you?

BERMAN: I am him every day.

BOLDUAN: Yes, we've seen his spelling. It's that bad. All right, John. All right. We were going to bring you -- word is the operative word at this point -- the interview with Matt Damon this morning but we had some technical issues, welcome to live TV.

So we're going to bring the full interview to you tomorrow, we promise. Here is a little sneak peek.


BOLDUAN: -- Matt Damon in this film. Was there a lot of physical training for this?


BOLDUAN: That's not just every day?

DAMON: Yes. No, that's not how I roll.

BOLDUAN: What was it like? I'm always curious because it becomes part of the job. The training to get to --

DAMON: Definitely, definitely. It's not something that I particularly enjoy. The diet part is not something I enjoy. But (inaudible) had a whole kind of graphic novel that he put together on his computer, like a homemade thing and there was a picture of Max with his shirt off staring into a mirror with tattoos all over and really good shape and they hired this unbelievable trainer.

I went to the guy with that picture and I said, I need to do this. He kind of looked at me and said, OK, you know.

BOLDUAN: We have a lot of work to do.

DAMON: We have a lot of work to do and that's what we did.


CUOMO: How about you disrespecting Matt Damon?

BOLDUAN: I wasn't disrespecting.

CUOMO: Saying he has a lot of work to do.

BOLDUAN: No, he said he's not into the whole diet and work out thing. I was just playing along.

CUOMO: Poor Damon.

BOLDUAN: Poor Damon, yes. Poor, poor Damon. It's actually -- I saw the movie, it's coming out very soon. It's called "Elysium". And it's a fascinating sci-fi flick. If you're into sci-fi, you'll be into this.

Set in 21544, a wasteland planet earth and Matt Damon fighting his way to the paradise, the manmade place called Elysium.

BERMAN: You have a future in like movie trailers. That was astounding.

PEREIRA: That was solid Kate.

BOLDUAN: I was practicing.

PEREIRA: Really good.

BOLDUAN: And because of that, we're going to call this a really, really deep tease because we're going to have that whole thing for you tomorrow.

CUOMO: I think it makes it even more interesting. I want to watch it even more now.

BERMAN: Can I say it? We saw a shirtless Matt Damon, what's the one thing you guys agreed on when you're looking at it?

PEREIRA: He has a nice shaped head. So he said.

BOLDUAN: I know what Berman and I were staring at.

CUOMO: Jack. I stood clear of the violation of man law by commenting on the shaved head.

BOLDUAN: Berman busts through man law. That's what he does.

CUOMO: You know what?


CUOMO: I'll tell you why it's important. He works really hard at the craft and you're right, it is a lot of work and also lets everybody at home know that this is like a job when they get to look like that way. An artificial line for people with a regular life --

BOLDUAN: Right. You're not expected to look like that.

PEREIRA: You have the same --

CUOMO: I got the man --

BOLDUAN: Rationalization. We'll be right back.


CUOMO: That's it for us here on NEW DAY. It's time for "CNN NEWSROOM" with Brianna Keilar. When does it begin?

PEREIRA: Right now.

CUOMO: There it is.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there guys. See you tomorrow morning. Thanks so much.

And the "NEWSROOM" starts right now.