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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Prince William Speaks Out; Idaho Wildfires; Egypt Security Forces Make Big Arrest; Pistorius Charged with Premeditated Murder

Aired August 19, 2013 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And tonight: Prince William's first interview as a new father, and Scotland Yard investigates new allegations that his mother, Diana, the princess of Wales, was killed by members of British special forces.

Also tonight, the wall of fire now sweeping across the Western mountains. And we're up close with the men and women fighting to save some of the most beautiful and valuable acres on earth.

And later, the tears of a killer. Olympic sensation Oscar Pistorius crying in court. He killed his girlfriend, now, today, officially charged with the murder.

We begin with the newest addition to the British royal family, Prince George, and the first interview with his father, Prince William, and a freshly revived conspiracy theory about the death of William's mother and George's grandmother, Princess Diana.

The royal family releasing a pair of family photographs, one of baby Prince William, and Catherine, the duchess of Kent. The other, your basic photo album classic, the family, the cocker spaniel Lupo getting in on the act there and both were taken in the garden of the Middleton family home in the town of Bucklebury. Both were actually taken by Michael Middleton, and he's Catherine's father.

Meantime, his son-in-law, William, just sat down for his first on-camera interview as a new father.

CNN's Max Foster met with the prince at Kensington Palace and they talked about fatherhood, being a new parent, and that moment when he and his wife , Catherine, brought their son out of the hospital and into the media frenzy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HRH PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES, UNITED KINGDOM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: I think more shock and dauntingness was more like the feeling I felt, but the thing is, it's -- I think I was on such a high anyway, and so was Catherine about George that really we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him. As any new parent knows, you're only too happy to show off your new child and, you know, proclaim that he is the best looking or the best everything. MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You were comfortable there?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes, I felt -- again it's -- it's not somewhere I enjoy being, I know that the position I'm in that's what's required of me to do.

And I think it's, you know, it's one of those things, I'm, you know, it's nice that people want to see George, so, you know -- I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through.

(LAUGHING).

FOSTER: That moment when you came out with the car seat. I mean, we had some warning that you might be doing that. Fathers around the planet will be cursing you for doing it so easily.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Believe me, it wasn't my first time. And I know there's been speculation about that. I had to practice, I really did. I was terrified that I was going to do some -- you know, it was going to fall off or the door wasn't going to close properly. So, I had actually practiced with that seat, but only once before.

MAX FOSTER: And your decision to drive off, I remember that moment as well. That was the most nerve-wracking thing for me, having my family in the car. But that was something that you were clearly determined to do.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Where I can be I am as independent as, as I want to be. And same as Catherine and Harry. We've all grown up differently to other generations. And I very much feel if I can do it myself I want to do it myself.

And there are times when you can't do it yourself and the system takes over or it's appropriate to do things differently. But I think driving your son and your wife away from, from hospital was really important to me. And I don't like fuss so it's much easier to just do it yourself.

FOSTER: And you didn't stall.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I didn't stall, well it's an automatic so it's alright

FOSTER: The interpretation of the imagery we saw there, which went around the world was that this was a modern monarchy and a new way of monarchy, but was it that? We reading too much into it? Is it just you doing it your way? You and your wife doing it your own way?

PRINCE WILLIAM: I think so, and I'm just doing it the way I know this, you know, if it's the right way then brilliant, if it's not, if it's the wrong way then I will try to do it better , but -- no I just, I'm quite -- I'm reasonably headstrong about what I believe in, and what I go for, and I have got fantastic people around me who give me great support and advice.

FOSTER: The prince says baby George is already quite a character.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Well, yeah -- he's a little bit of a rascal, put it that way. So he either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger. I'm not sure. But he's doing very well at the moment. He's -- he does like to keep having his nappy changed, and--

FOSTER: Did you do the first nappy?

PRINCE WILLIAM: I did the first nappy, yeah. Exactly.

FOSTER: A badge of honor.

PRINCE WILLIAM: It was a badge of honor, exactly. I wasn't allowed to get away with that. I had every midwife staring at me, going "You do it. You do it".

But no, he's, he's a little, he's growing quite quickly actually. But he's a little fighter. He kind of, he wriggles around quite a lot. And he doesn't want to go to sleep that much, which is a little bit of a problem. But he's-

FOSTER: So you're up a at night, you're pretty tired.

PRINCE WILLIAM: A little bit. Not as much as Catherine. But you know, she's doing a fantastic job.

FOSTER: How is she? Okay?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes, very well, yeah.

me, Catherine, and now little George are my priorities. And Lupo. And so...

FOSTER: I was going to ask you about Lupo. How's Lupo coping?

PRINCE WILLIAM: He's coping all right, actually. As a lot of people know who have got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit of time to adapt, but, no he's been all right so far. He's been slobbering sort of around the house a bit, so he's perfectly happy.

FOSTER: And how are you about going back to work?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Well, as a few fathers might know, I'm actually quite looking forward to going back to work.

FOSTER: Get some sleep.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Get some sleep. Exactly, yeah. So I'm just hoping the first few shifts I go back I don't have any night jobs.

FOSTER (voice-over): One of Prince William's great passions is saving endangered species in Africa. He wants his son to see the same Africa that he saw as a young boy and as man, to spark in his son preserving the rarest animals.

(on camera): You talked about your father possibly whispering quietly in your ear as he --

PRINCE WILLIAM: Sweet nothings

FOSTER: -- as a young boy. Are you going to do the same for Prince George because it's such, it's a cause that you care so deeply about. Would you like him to pick up on it?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Probably. At this rate I will probably whisper sweet nothings in his ear. I will have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We'll cover it in sort of, you know, lots of bushes and things like that. Make him grow up as if he's in the bush.

FOSTER (voice-over): He says the possibility of his son carrying on the royal family's legacy in Africa isn't his immediate concern.

PRINCE WILLIAM: At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to him is to sleep more and maybe not have to change his nappy quite so many times.

FOSTER: Like any new father, parenthood has surprised and amazed Prince William.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience. Something I never thought I would feel myself. And I find, again it's only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Max foster joins us now.

It was a really fascinating interview and a really very human side of him you really see. I find it interesting where he says that he didn't really think -- he doesn't think about it sort of as the next generation too much. It's not so sort of conscious on his part. It's just the way he does things.

FOSTER: Yes.

And this is how he often copes with what is around him. He decides he's not going to be told what to do and he's going to do things his own way. Putting the car seat in and driving off, he wanted to do that. He wants to be the one changing the diapers, the nappies, and he wants to get up at night. Kate is getting up at night. They are doing it all on their own at the moment. The question is how long will it last?. He does have this support network he can lean on if he needs to.

COOPER: Yes. And also this official portrait that's now been released, it's interesting that it's not done by a professional photographer, but done by Kate Middleton's father.

FOSTER: Absolutely a first. And I think is their back garden, the Middletons' back garden in Bucklebury.

And it was done around the time of the interview. And I just don't they wanted to have an invasion of their privacy there. A lot of criticism in the U.K. in the papers just coming out about the quality of these pictures.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I think it's very relatable. It's like everybody else's pictures.

FOSTER: They're charming, they're saying, but they're out of focus. They're into the light and these are really historic pictures, because these are the first official pictures of George. And when he grows up will he want a picture like that necessarily? They are charming and he gets away with it because he's granddad.

COOPER: I think those are good pictures to have. I don't know.

Great interview, Max. Thank you so much. Really fascinating.

And now the new allegations about the death of William's mother and her boyfriend, Dodi al Fayed, in a car crash in Paris back in 1997. Several lengthy investigations, one British, one French, put the blame on the drunken chauffeur and the pack of photographers chasing them.

However, to some, the case is still not closed. Conspiracy theories keep popping up. And now Britain's Scotland Yard appears to be giving one of them actually a closer look. This claim published by a number of British media outlets accuses members of Britain's elite special air service, essentially their special forces, of assassinating the princess of Wales.

It's a convoluted story. The allegation according to a British paper "The Sunday People" in a letter from the parents-in-law of a British special forces sniper who testified in another soldier's court-martial.

Erin McLaughlin joins us tonight to try to make sense out of this confusion.

Erin, what do we know about this letter sent to authorities and the soldier who made these claims?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

According to the British newspaper "The Sunday People," this letter is seven pages long, handwritten by the estranged in-laws of a former British special forces sniper. In that letter, they allege that this sniper told his wife or boasted to his wife that the British SAS was behind the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed.

Now, this information according to "The Sunday People" was introduced as evidence in a trial, the court-martialing of this unnamed sniper's former roommate. He apparently was a witness in this trial. Unclear that if British military officials knew of this information in 2011, why it's just reaching Scotland Yard now. Scotland Yard at the moment is not commenting, Anderson. COOPER: It all seems really dubious to me. It's like the estranged family of this person said the ex-wife said this and the roommate. How seriously are the British authorities actually taking this?

MCLAUGHLIN: At the moment it's unclear, though they're obviously taking it seriously enough to assess. Over the weekend Scotland Yard releasing a statement saying that they are scoping this information, assessing its relevance and credibility.

This is also the first information that they are looking at in this way since the conclusion of the inquest into Princess Diana's death.

COOPER: There have been other conspiracy theories in the past surrounding Princess Diana's death.

MCLAUGHLIN: Absolutely. In fact, there was an entire investigation called Operation Pageant here in the U.K. and it lasted two years long. It looked specifically into conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death.

In addition to that, there was a separate investigation in France as well as an exhaustive inquest. All three point to the same conclusion, that Princess Diana died as a result of the gross negligence of her driver as well as the paparazzi that tragic night in Paris.

COOPER: Erin, thanks very much for joining us.

Joining us is Katie Nicholl, CNN's royal commentator and royal correspondent for Britain's "Sunday Mail," and Lana Marks, a close friend of Diana, princess of Wales.

Katie, what are your sources inside Buckingham Palace saying about this Diana news? Because I'm not much a conspiracy theorist. This whole thing just sounds kind of ridiculous to me.

KATIE NICHOLL, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, ridiculous, to be honest, is the word that is being used at Buckingham Palace, at Clarence House, at Kensington Palace.

I have spoken to a couple sources today who have just said don't read too much into this. Look at the timing days away before the 16th anniversary of Diana's death. Has this been done to maximize some level of publicity? It's just extraordinary.

Actually, all of the reports in the papers here in the U.K. are saying just don't read too much into it, frankly.

COOPER: It's interesting how much coverage it's gotten here in the United States. As Erin just reported, this is not certainly the first conspiracy theory surrounding Diana's death and over the years they have all basically been shown to be false. What motivations have people bandied about for someone wanting to even murder? I don't understand the theoretical motivations. NICHOLL: You know, I think a lot of it is Diana was such an iconic woman that for many it's not enough that she just died tragically in a terrible accident. People want reasons.

They want conspiracy theories, they want something with all of the drama that I suppose accompanied Diana's life.

COOPER: Lana, for you as her friend, go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

LANA MARKS, FRIEND OF DIANA: You know, Anderson, I was supposed to be with Diana on vacation at this very time. We had planned a four-day vacation in Milan and Lake Como. And only due to the sudden passing of my father did I have to cancel with Diana at the very last minute and fly out to South Africa to my father's funeral.

When you think of what circumstances would prevail that one would cancel a personal vacation with the princess of Wales it would have to be extraordinary like that. And only at the very, very last minute -- she had four days free and at the very, very last minute did she go back with Dodi and this most unfortunate accident happened and so last minute and so changing of, you know, going on vacation with me and then going with Dodi.

And it's just so unfortunate that William and Harry, who have shown immense dignity and decorum, through all of this awful stuff they have to go through all the time once again to have to go through this rehash of some publicity seekers again. It's so sad.

COOPER: Lana, do you think it is just that, publicity seekers, or do you think that some of the traction it's gotten is, as Katie was saying, people who can't believe that somebody who was so special died in such a tragic way and there's not more to it?

MARKS: I think because of who Diana was, it's so immensely difficult to believe that she was in a regular accident, a horrible accident. And it's hard for people to accept that.

COOPER: Yes.

I want to turn to Prince William. Katie, you thought the idea that these new photos were taken by Kate Middleton's father instead of a royal photographer, as has been the tradition, kind of underlines this idea of William as part of a new generation.

NICHOLL: I do, actually. I think the pictures are gorgeous but they are not professional pictures. Some might say they're slightly too overexposed on the right-hand side of Kate's face. They're not completely in focus.

But for me that's the absolute charm of these pictures. These are taken by Michael Middleton, Kate's father, in their back garden of their manner house in Bucklebury, the same manner house where they moved to immediately after the birth of Prince George and have spent the last couple of weeks with Kate's family. It's completely novel. It's wonderfully fresh and the two of them look so very happy and one suspects that's probably because they have been allowed to enjoy this freedom, this time together.

COOPER: Yes. If he were truly next generation, he would Instagram a selfie of him, the baby, and his wife. But maybe we will have to wait for that for the next generation.

But, Lana, I got to say, watching the interview, I just kept thinking, he sounds like a normal dad. A very likable guy. A very normal sad. Do you think that's part of his mother's legacy to him? Do you see a lot of her in him?

MARKS: I see so much of Diana in William and one of the things she told me is that she so much wanted William to have a normal life with his family in the future with whoever he wed and had children with and all of her dreams have come true.

And her legacy is coming true and all of the influence she's had on William and all of the normalcy is showing through so greatly now. She would be immensely happy.

COOPER: She lives on in her children. Thank you so much, Lana, for being with us, Lana Marks, and Katie Nicholl as well. Thank you.

Let me know what you think. You can follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper.

Coming up next, a very dangerous day on the line of the fire lines. We will take you to one of the worst wildfires burning for an up-close progress report.

And later breaking news tonight with Egypt's old dictator possibly getting out of jail, a leader of the people who drove him from power has just been arrested. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is now in custody. We have late details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back.

If you're almost anywhere in the west, chances are there is a wildfire somewhere within driving distance. And for tens of thousand of people, the flames are a whole lot close than that.

Take a look. Dozens of wildfires consuming hundreds and thousands of acres. Each of those flames on the map represent a fire, obviously. The big pink area running from Southern California up into the northern tier, red flag warnings, conditions ideal for new fires to spread and spread they have.

This is the Beaver Creek fire consuming more than 100,000 acres in Idaho's Sun Valley area, and less than 10 percent contained and more than 2,000 homes under evacuation orders. Some of those dwelling vacation spots for some pretty big names, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis. Richard Dreyfuss' family hails from Ketchum, Idaho, which is under siege. More than 1,000 Hot Shots, smoke jumpers and other crews on that fire line alone. Gary Tuchman spent today with some of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The amount of land that has been in flames is an area of larger than many big cities, over 100,000 acres. But as dangerous and concerning as the Beaver Creek fire in Idaho has been, there is this gratifying fact. There have been no deaths or serious injuries so far.

TRACI WEAVER, BEAVER CREEK FIRE INFORMATION OFFICER: People in this whole valley have been really listening to the warnings, evacuating when they are asked to, some of them even evacuating before they had to and not trying to stay home and be a hero and save their own house which is a high risk. A one-inch garden hose is not going to save your house.

TUCHMAN: Choppers swoop down to the ground to pick up retardant and drop it on the flames. Those efforts and the efforts of firefighters across the U.S. have succeeded in dramatically improving the situation on the ground as this week begins.

WEAVER: The weather is helping us out a little bit and we have the resources we need, which has been crucial. Just the little bit of cloud cover we had today has made all of the difference in the world in how things look out there right now.

TUCHMAN (on camera): The mountainous terrain here is very dangerous, many gulches and ravines. There are more than 1,050 firefighters on the scene now, including Hot Shot crews. There are also 15 helicopters.

And according to authorities, there are more than 10,000 homes, businesses, and other types of buildings that are officially considered threatened.

(voice-over): But amazingly, almost all of those structures remain undamaged. At least one house and several other buildings have been destroyed and it's possible others have also in areas that have not been reached yet, but as of now the people in this part of Idaho, while still nervous, are hoping that they have seen the worst.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Gary Tuchman now joins us from Hailey, Idaho.

Gary, you mentioned in your piece there are more than 1,000 fire personnel out there fighting the fire. Some of them are actually private firefighters, right, who were hired.

TUCHMAN: Well, that's right.

When you get your insurance for your home in this day and age, you can buy a rider that includes private fire protection for your home. And in well-heeled areas like Sun Valley, Idaho, where you have a lot of celebrities and successful businessmen, what they do is they pay the extra money and then train firemen who are hired by the insurance companies to come to your house and they guard it.

Now, they have to work in cooperation with the city, county, and state officials. But it's not only to the benefit of the homeowner, it's also to the benefit of the insurance company because by spending a few thousand dollars to save an $800,000, $1 million, $2 million house, the insurance companies can save a lot of money and meanwhile the homeowners can save money if they have that private protection right there. And that's indeed what we're seeing in this area.

COOPER: Wow. It's like the old fire patrols that used to exist in America. Gary, thanks very much.

Back east, the problem is too much rain, a massive storm system lingering, flood watches and warnings up from the Alabama Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle all the way into South Carolina. Take a look, Gulfport, Mississippi, yesterday, floodwaters receding there, but with more rain in the forecast, they may rise yet again.

(WEATHER UPDATE)

COOPER: For more on the story, you can go to CNN.com right now.

Up next, breaking news out of Egypt, reports of a big arrest made and a rising death toll, latest developments ahead.

Also, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius in court today indicted in the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: There is breaking news tonight in Egypt.

State television is reporting that security forces have arrested the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. That's him right there, the picture just out on state-run Nile TV.

This development comes in a new round of deadly violence. I want to warn you the next video we're about to show you this is graphic. State TV reports that 25 soldiers were ambushed and killed by armed militants this morning in the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai is generally considered a lawless region.

Since last Wednesday, violent clashes between Egypt's military and supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsy have killed around 900 people. Morsy has not been seen publicly since he was forcibly removed from office on July 3. Today, prosecutors extended his detention for 15 more days while they continue their investigation of him, and today a criminal court acquitted Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, in a corruption case and ordered his release.

However, he's still in custody tonight. Meanwhile, there are growing calls for the Obama administration to cut off aid to Egypt.

A lot of ground to cover. Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Cairo.

The arrest of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, what more do we know about it, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, state media is saying he was picked up in a residential apartment in Nasr City, not far from the Rab'a al-Adaweya mosque, where that large sit-in protest by the Brotherhood was disrupted five days ago, causing a significant number of dead.

They have been showing pictures of him on state television a little disheveled in a lengthy white shirt next to, in fact, a man guarding him with an AK-47, these images very much part of the government's narrative over the past few days that they are fighting terrorism. And that's obviously their word now for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now, a key figurehead, Muhammad Badie, in their custody. He's been wanted for a number of charges, a whole scope of things the Brotherhood are accused of, well encompassing terrorism in there. But this, of course, will feed into the fears that now the Brotherhood are going to be pushed underground.

There's no scope for negotiation. That's been off the cards for a number of days, if not weeks. We've seen the violence of the past week. And now we have the majority of their leaders in state custody and these images which are, frankly, him on parade. The army, interim administration making it quite clear that they have the upper hand, Anderson.

COOPER: Calls do seem to be growing for the U.S. to cut off military and economic aid. But that's going to run into a snag involving a key Arab ally. What's the latest on that?

WALSH: What's remarkable is that we keep hearing these calls and we keep hearing the U.S. saying that it's reviewing its aid. But the State Department quite clear today it's not made any change to its $250 million financial economic assistance, the $1.3 billion worth of military aid. So that is still under review. There's been no specific change.

But each time that Washington makes hint at this, we hear from Arab backers of the military and the interim administration here, specifically Saudi Arabia, who quite explicitly said today if the E.U. or the U.S. cut any of their aid to Egypt, they'll make up the difference. And that, of course, is going to insulate General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi here from any future western action but, of course, part of the relationship with Washington is about prestige. And the Egyptian army will be unwilling to jeopardize that if it possibly can.

COOPER: And amidst all this turmoil, has there been a lot of reaction or any reaction to the idea that Hosni Mubarak would be a free man any day now?

WALSH: That came from his lawyer. It was his lawyer saying, as many attorneys would do for their client, that he thinks he can be out in a few weeks because, one, sort of the corruption charges against him were dropped.

There's still a retrial set for accusations that he committed violence in 2011 and/or other corruption charges on the books, too. While we saw a lot of noise in the state media about the potential for him to be released, in reality that's a pretty far way off, many see today.

The noise around this is perhaps a distraction from the problems on the street and the fact that the administration really has to get Egypt on its feet again. Raising the ghost, if you like, of a Mubarak reign, perhaps in one way, and making them seem potentially more viable -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh, live for us in Cairo. Stay safe, Nick. Thank you.

Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks is here with a "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, investigators from the United Nations are in Syria to determine if chemical weapons have been used in the long-running civil war. The Obama administration says that Syria's government has used them, but Syria claims those weapons have been used by opposition fighters.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story about NSA leaker Edward Snowden, is vowing to write aggressive stories about Britain's espionage program, this after his partner, David Miranda, was detained for nine hours by authorities at London's Heathrow Airport. His laptop and phone were confiscated.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that outlaws gay conversion therapy for minors. The therapy is highly controversial. Supporters claim gay people can change their orientation through counseling. But Chris Christie sided with opponents who say it is harmful.

And you've got to see this. The Obamas have a new dog. She's a little more than a year old. Her name is Sunny, and she arrived at the White House today. Like the first family's other dog, Bo, Sunny is a Portuguese Waterdog, and it looks like Bo is happy. Good stuff.

COOPER: All right. Thanks a lot. Appreciate it, Susan.

Just ahead, to his fans, Oscar Pistorius is a hero, a role model. He's also now an accused murderer with a trial date set for March. We'll show you what happened at his indictment today and what his girlfriend's killing has exposed about his past.

Also ahead, just days out of her sixth stint in rehab, Lindsay Lohan sat down with Oprah Winfrey. She's vowing things will be different this time, and the reason she gave might surprise you, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A terrifying car accident involving a TV legend. Details on the rescue when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" now. South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged today with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Now, if convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

The formal indictment comes six months after Steenkamp's death on what would have been her 30th birthday. The family was not in the court. Pistorius has never denied he killed Steenkamp but claims it was an accident.

Before the charges were read, the double amputee athlete held hands with his sister and brother and appeared to be praying. Pistorius then wiped away tears.

He's revered by many as a role model for disabled athletes. Many of his fans are standing by him as he faces the legal battle of his life, but troubling details about the athlete are also now emerging. Drew Griffin reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a scene most South Africans still have trouble comprehending. The Blade Runner, who dazzled the world with his Olympic quest now standing accused of murder.

Charming, smiling, seemingly a perfect ambassador for his country and for the disabled worldwide. But those who knew him, like professional soccer player Marc Batchelor, say Pistorius had a dark side.

MARC BACHELOR, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: He would have a trip switch and, you know, he'd get violent and angry, and he'd fight with people and cause a lot of problems. And, I mean, that's what happened with me and him, because he was drunk at a party and he started shouting and swearing on the phone.

GRIFFIN: Since his arrest, there have been other stories of angry outbursts, accidental gunfire, boating accidents, car wrecks, all with details conspicuously left out of the press, says South African sports journalist Graeme Joffe. Oscar Pistorius' lifestyle was covered up or, more accurately, covered very little by an adoring news media.

GRAEME JOFFE, SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS JOURNALIST: On record, there really isn't a problem.

That's the thing. So many incidents have happened. They have been well-documented. Things that have happened over the last five or six years with Oscar Pistorius, and these kind of cases have disappeared.

GRIFFIN: That is, until now. Beloved or not, hero or not, South Africans are having a hard time understanding this Olympian's tale that on a February night a scared Oscar Pistorius shot through the closed door of his own bathroom, not knowing who or what was on the other side.

(on camera): That doesn't sound like what you would advocate as responsible gun ownership?

ADNAAN JACOBS, SOUTH AFRICAN SHOOTING ASSOCIATION: Sir, I'm going to be very honest and very frank -- very frank to you. It was very tragic that this happened, but in South African Practical Shooting Association, we teach you if you do not see a target, do not engage it. Bottom line. So shooting, for us to shoot through a door, what do we know what we're shooting at on the other side? You don't know what you're shooting at.

MIKE STEENKAMP, REEVA'S UNCLE: You sort of wake up in the morning expecting Reeva still to give a phone call.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): For Reeva Steenkamp's family, most are determined not to attend any trial. Last spring her uncle, Mike Steenkamp and her cousin, Kim Martin, told CNN the less they hear about the details, the better.

STEENKAMP: None of us are going to be represented at the court or the trial. None of us in the family are going to go up. We won't be present. I can tell you that now. And for that reason, it's not about the court case. It's about Reeva.

I would like to be face-to-face with him and forgive him.

GRIFFIN (on camera): You would forgive him, Mike?

STEENKAMP: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Whether this was a tragic accident or whether this was...

STEENKAMP: Whatever -- whatever the outcome, I feel that my belief -- and if Christ could forgive when he died on that cross, why can't I?

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The trial is now scheduled to begin next March. The formal accusation of premeditated murder, filed today, came on what would have been Reeva Steenkamp's 30th birthday.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, as we said, if convicted of the charges filed today, Pistorius faces a mandatory life sentence. Let's dig deeper now. I'm joined by CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, and also Kelly Phelps, a law professor from the University of Cape Town.

So Kelly, you say the prosecution is being too aggressive. How so? KELLY PHELPS, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN: Well, they -- they keep pursuing this charge of premeditated murder, and they've taken that line from the very beginning at bail. And from bail right up until now, it doesn't seem to be any significant evidence that would support that version of events.

COOPER: Jeff, do you think it's an uphill climb for the prosecution?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's hard to know. I mean, the news in the indictment, the piece of information that we had not had before, is the government's claim -- and it's only a claim at this point -- that there was evidence of an argument first. Because that would be very significant. If they could prove that there was an argument first, that would certainly...

COOPER: If neighbors heard a woman screaming and yelling...

TOOBIN: Screaming.

COOPER: ... before the shooting that contradicts his story?

TOOBIN: And that's -- and that's a new claim in the indictment. And that -- obviously, we'll see whether they can back that up. But if they can, then I'm not sure it's such an uphill claim.

Also, remember, I mean, he did shoot repeatedly behind a closed door. What they did is what we would call a lesser included offense. The idea of recklessly shooting anyone behind a door, even if it's not premeditated murder, is criminal behavior, and so that's what they're trying to do, is essentially cover their bases.

COOPER: People all along, though, Jeff, said his story was sort of beyond belief?

TOOBIN: I think his story is pretty incredible. Now, there's obviously a lot we don't know. One of the things in South African law, they list the witnesses. There are, I think, almost 100 witnesses listed. I'm not sure they'll call all those people at trial, but that suggests that the prosecution has a full story to tell.

And I still think it is a very difficult claim for the defense, for Pistorius, that he took all these shots just on the off chance there was some intruder in his house without knowing anything more.

COOPER: Well, also, the whole -- Kelly, the whole notion that he thought she was still in the bed, that he would have gotten out of bed without even looking to see if this woman is still sleeping next to him when he thinks there's an intruder in the house, that seems hard to imagine.

PHELPS: I actually take a slightly different view on this in the sense that, from a cultural perspective in South Africa, cases similar to the version of events that Pistorius is putting forward have happened before fairly frequently. You have to remember that we're living in an environment where people are paranoid about violent crime and, in fact, about house breaking in particular. And there have been many other cases where a person has been killed having been mistaken for an intruder.

With regard to the issue of him not checking when he got out of bed, we have to go back to what his original affidavit was at the bail hearing. According to that affidavit, he originally got out of bed to go out onto the balcony and bring in a fan and then close the balcony door. And it was at that point that he claims that he heard a noise in the bathroom. He didn't have his prosthetics on, was filled with a sense of terror. It was dark and then, according to his version, this tragic accident occurred.

So he wouldn't have necessarily checked for Steenkamp in the bed when he first got out because, according to his version of events, he wasn't yet fearful of an intruder at that point.

TOOBIN: It still raises a question of how do you notice there's no one in bed with you? I mean, it's one bed. And that's -- I think that's a pretty difficult claim to sustain.

COOPER: We also don't -- at this point we don't know much about the forensics, and that can be -- that's obviously going to be a huge thing.

TOOBIN: Very important. The angle of the bullets.

COOPER: If he didn't have his prosthetics on or he didn't -- his version is he didn't. Where does the angle of the bullet relate?

TOOBIN: And the other issue that I find interesting here is that South Africa, like a lot of other former British colonies, does not have a jury system. So arguments that might emotionally appeal to a jury won't necessarily work. So I just think that the issue of judge- only trials presents a complexity that is just different than here.

COOPER: Jeff, thanks very much.

Kelly Phelps, thank you so much.

PHELPS: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, new developments in the case of a doctor accused of prescribing chemotherapy for patients who didn't even have cancer.

Plus, scary moments on a California freeway when a television legend's car goes up in flames. How Dick Van Dyke got out alive.

And in a revealing interview, actress Lindsay Lohan admits she is a drug addict. Hear her in her own words, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A black bear attacks a 12-year-old girl during an evening jog. She survives. Her story ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HENDRICKS: I'm Susan Hendricks with a "360 Bulletin."

We begin in Houston, where Vice President Biden's son, Beau, is in the hospital tonight. Doctors there are evaluating him after he suffered what the vice president's office called an episode of disorientation and weakness last week. The vice president is by his side. Beau Biden is Delaware's attorney general. You may remember he suffered a mild stroke back in 2010.

A Georgia woman charged in connection with her husband's 2010 murder was convicted today of perjury and several other counts. Prosecutors say Andrea Sneiderman lied to investigators because she was having an affair with her former boss, who a year ago was found guilty in the murder.

A "360 Follow." The Michigan cancer doctor charged with intentionally misdiagnosing patients with cancer and then prescribing them unnecessary chemo pleaded not guilty today. He's accused of bilking Medicare of $35 million.

A 12-year-old Michigan girl is one of seven people in five states who have been attacked by bears since Thursday. Abby Wetherell suffered a deep cut in her thigh when a black bear ambushed her while she was jogging.

Lindsay Lohan says she is ready to rebuild her career. After her sixth stint in rehab, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the 27-year- old actress talked about why things will be different this time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL: Are you an addict?

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: Yes.

WINFREY: And what is it you are addicted to? What is your drug of choice or drugs of choice?

LOHAN: Alcohol.

WINFREY: Alcohol?

LOHAN: Yes. Because that's -- and that's -- that in the past was the gateway to other things for me.

WINFREY: What's going to be different this time?

LOHAN: I'm not taking Adderall. That's a big deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENDRICKS: Oprah says she hopes she hopes she wins that battle. And a close call for actor Dick Van Dyke. He was pulled from his sports car today after it caught on fire on a California freeway. His wife tweeted this photo of the scorched wreckage and said her husband is doing fine.

Stay with us. Anderson is back next with "The RidicuList."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding Connecticut cable junkies.

here's what happened. Last night the cable went out in Fairfield, Connecticut. It's something that most of us deal with from time to time. So what did some people do in Fairfield? Well, naturally, they did what any normal citizen would do: they called the police. That's right. Not only did several people call the police department's nonemergency line-- and I think even nonemergency is an over statement for a cable outage -- but one person even called 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fairfield 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm just trying to figure out what's going on. We have no TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am, 911 is for a life-threatening emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that. I know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a life-threatening emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we're just trying to find out what's going on? Is it a life-threatening time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I suggest that you call Cablevision or whoever your provider is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have a good night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Unbelievable.

All right. So here's what I think happened. Apparently, there were some comments on social media that line up with this. I think this was all about my favorite program, "Breaking Bad." It's the final season. Last night was the second episode of the last season and all you Brian Cranston fans up in Connecticut could not handle missing out on your fix.

Look, I get that. I get it. I love "Breaking Bad," but seriously, people, you're so obsessed with the show, you have to call the police when your cable goes out? Give me a break. You probably tweeted about it, too.

GRAPHIC: Anderson Cooper - Can't wait for the new... BreakingBad AMC.

COOPER: OK. Fine. That was my tweet, actually. It's fine. I'm a big "Breaking Bad" fan. So what? So what? So I tweet about it. In fact, I might have considered calling 911 for maybe a split second if my cable went out last night or, I don't know, at least I would have invited myself over to Blitzer's house to watch his TV.

Now Fairfield authorities understandably annoyed about last night's calls. And as "RidicuList" knows well, this is not the first time people have called 911 for a reason that is, shall we say, less than urgent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're dying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. How much did you guys have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. We made brownies, and I think we're dead. I really do. Time is going by really, really, really, really slow.

What's the score on the Red Wings game?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: In case you didn't realize, that guy was really stoned, and I'm guessing that guy is still waiting for the Red Wings to score.

But it's not just TV or sports or even very special brownies that prompt people to call 911. Oh, no. Nothing gets people fired up quite like a food fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you need the Thiensville Police Department for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm eating at this restaurant, all-you- can-eat fish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh-huh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just asked for some more fish. They gave me four pieces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they refused to give me any more fish. And it's right out on the sign in front of the building, "All-you-can- eat Friday fish fry." (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It said all you can eat.

Anyway, all you Connecticut cable junkies, I assume your service is back on by now, or else you probably wouldn't be able to see me, and I appreciate you not wanting to miss "Breaking Bad." I understand that. But next time your cable is out, leave the 911 operators alone and just call us on "The RidicuList."

OK, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.