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Syria Denies Stalling Inspectors; Yosemite Wildfire; Chaos In The Court; Deen Lawsuit Dismissed; "Forbes" Top Earning Celebrities; Trump University Lawsuit; Grand Sham?; Damon Bourne Again?; Comedy's Golden Girls; One "Bad" Villain; She's Just Being Miley

Aired August 27, 2013 - 07:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is new day with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY everyone, it is Tuesday, August 27th.

Coming up in the show, an Olympic speed skater has been banned from the sport for two years after tampering with another athlete's skates. We'll talk with him live about the controversy.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And listen to this: a new report says the legendary 1973 battle of the sexes between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King was fixed. The details, amazing. We're going to tell them to you.

A lot of news as well, let's get the top stories from Michaela -- Mick?.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's take a look at the things that are making news at this hour, Syria's foreign minister denying charges that Syria is stalling. He says the regime is not delaying U.N. weapons inspectors' access to the site of suspected chemical weapons attacks. U.N. inspectors were supposed to visit sites today, but postponed their plans now. Secretary of State John Kerry calls evidence of the attack undeniable, says President Obama will be making an informed decision on a response in the coming days.

Progress slow but steady on the fire lines near Yosemite National Park, 3,600 firefighters actively involved battling one of the largest wildfires California has ever seen, it has scorched more than 160,000 acres, right now just at 20 percent containment. But that has more than doubled what firefighters had in terms of containment yesterday.

Moments of chaos in a Revere, Massachusetts courtroom, the murder suspect is accused of stabbing his friend to death nearly 70 times, hearing all the details in the case apparently just too much for the victim's brother. Tom Russo had to be taken into custody after attacking Deconic in court. The court officers suffered minor injuries in that episode. Russo was later released on his own recognizance.

The racism and sexual harassment lawsuit against celebrity cook, Paula Deen, has officially been dismissed, a federal judge signing off on a deal between Deen and a former employee. No word on a possible settlement, but the suit was dismissed with prejudice so it cannot be re-filed. During a deposition in that case Deen admitted to using racially insensitive language in the past, that admission sent her career into a tailspin.

It would appear the material girl is living up to her name, "Forbes" says Madonna took in more cash than any other celebrity over the past year between June of 2012 and June of this year. She earned about $125 million.

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg came in second on the list. "Forbes" estimates he made about $100 million and rounding out the top five, we have a three-way tie, E.L. James, the king of all media, Howard Stern and "America's Got Talent" executive producer, Simon Cowell, each making about $95 million over the past year. Those are our headlines at this hour. Let's go over to Chris.

CUOMO: All right, thanks, Mic. One of the former students at Trump University is speaking out about the lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general against Donald Trump. Kevin Scott says he dropped 25,000 bucks on those courses and now calling it one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Alison Kosik is here with more on Scott's story. What do we know?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, it's interesting to read about the allegations and the lawsuit and hear about them from one of the students and you know, it really is stark that we've heard from Donald Trump, we heard from the attorney general and once again hearing from one of his students who says that he thought or he was led to believe that he would get rich, but wound of thousands of dollars in debt after he took those classes.


DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL (via telephone): People loved the school. The school was terrific.

KOSIK (voice-over): As Donald Trump went on defense new details emerged from the lawsuit filed against America's most famous billionaire, as former students start speaking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I am a victim and a lot of other people are victims, too.

KOSIK: The lawsuit alleges that students were misled in an elaborate bait and switch scam originally signing up for a three-day course for $1,500, but being pressured to pay for the full year-long elite course for a whopping $35,000. The lawsuit even alleges students were guaranteed they'd get their investment back with one student saying he was promised the money would be recouped within 60 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end it was false hope and empty promise.

KOSIK: The suit also says that students were promised access to hard money lenders that would be ready to invest in their plans. KEVIN SCOTT, FORMER STUDENT AT TRUMP UNIVERSITY: The problem is they weren't presenting to hard money lenders. What's the harm in me contacting them directly? Nope, you got to bring us the deal first. In the end did they ever exist?

JEFFERY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: If the attorney general can prove that this was a fraudulent attempt to defraud students, there is the possibility that Trump could pay compensatory and punitive damages, perhaps even $40 million.

TRUMP: We got sued for lots of different reasons primarily want to get publicity.

KOSIK: That's Trump's view of Kevin Scott's claims. Meanwhile, he denies all of the charges and told NEW DAY students at his school are overwhelmingly supportive.

TRUMP: We sort of gave a report card on ourselves to every student who took the course. We had 98 percent.

SCOTT: They sold us a whole bunch of nothing. They got a lot of money out of a lot of people in a fairly short period of time and in the end delivered nothing.


KOSIK: And right here on NEW DAY yesterday asked if he would accept a plea deal the attorney general said he's open to a discussion about it, but at this point it's a pretty straightforward case. Trump said, quote, "if I thought I was wrong I would settle." What do you think?

CUOMO: He says it would have been easy for him to settle it, but he believes it's politically motivated so he's going to fight it. The question is when you look at the papers from the attorney general he seems to have a number of Scotts, and a number of sets of proof that prove his allegations.

KOSIK: You think about the PR, it's not good PR even for Donald Trump who doesn't shy away from the spotlight. This is not good for his image.

CUOMO: You never know, the Donald has a great way of turning a negative into the positive. You know, he could become the outsider, the rebel, the government didn't want me to give you these secrets, but he has to balance that against how much he's antagonizing the law. The attorney general is nobody to play around with.

KOSIK: We shall see.

CUOMO: Thank you very much because seeing the person behind the lawsuit is helpful.

KOSIK: Makes all the difference.

CUOMO: Alison Kosik, thank you very much -- Kate. BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, an American Olympic speed skater is banned from the sport for two years after tampering with a competitor's skates. We'll talk with him live.

Also ahead, did Robby Riggs take a dive when he played Billy Jean King during their famous 1973 Battle of the Sexes? We'll tell you about a fascinating new report ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. A stunning new report says the iconic 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was rigged. Fifty million people tuned in to watch this televised event. CNN's Rachel Nichols has more on this. Say it isn't so.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of people will tell you this is sour grapes. In fact that's what Billie Jean King says. There are a lot of men out there who at the time didn't like the fact that she beat a man on national television. They don't like it now and this is a little bit of sour grapes that you want to believe this. There is compelling evidence in this ESPN report.

They interviewed very thoroughly a man who said that he was a witness to a meeting of several mobsters setting up this event, but also Bobby Riggs' son who said that some Chicago mobsters visited his father in the weeks before the event. But, you know, we can't ask Bobby Riggs now unfortunately. He is not here with us anymore so for now it's going to have to be speculation.

BOLDUAN: This comes from someone who worked at the -- at the stadium where the match was going to be held, right?

NICHOLS: This is someone who worked at a club nearby where the people were meeting and said he mistakenly overheard a shadowy meeting in the darkness.

BOLDUAN: But do we know now why did it is coming out 40 years later? Why not right after it happened?

NICHOLS: The witness is approaching the age of 80 and said he finally feels can he get this off of his chest. He told a friend last year. That friend told someone else of course and made its way into the media. So he felt as if now he is free to say this. He was scared before to say anything else because of the people he said who were involved.

PEREIRA: For the benefit of the folks that weren't alive when all of this happening he was known as kind of a hustler and he had a gambling habit, did he not?

NICHOLS: He gambled all the time. Bobby Riggs was a gambler. He bet on his own matches, something that has gotten Pete Rose out of baseball's hall of fame in tennis, that doesn't do that for you, but he bet on his own matches. He was known to bet on golf, known to bet on horse racing so he was a gambler and the article postulates he was in debt to some Chicago mobsters and that is why he agreed to fix the match.

It's interesting he played Margaret Court, then the number one women's player in the world a few months earlier. He beat her handily. In the time in between he gained weight, was partying a lot and sort of took Billie Jean King lightly and there were people who feel that because of that which is why he looked so bad. Other people will say he did all of that on purpose and that he threw the match.

PEREIRA: So the buzz around the time, was there?

CUOMO: No. The buzz was they couldn't believe that Billie Jean King was going to beat him. That's why it became so important.

NICHOLS: She was a very heavy underdog. He took all the money in the betting parlors so that feeds into this report, but you have to also remember what that match meant to people.

BOLDUAN: This report diminishes what Billie Jean King did.

NICHOLS: This was a time where a woman couldn't sign for her own credit card without her husband signing for her. This was a time when women in the workplace were told, of course, you're not equal. That's ridiculous. They were saying we can compete on the same field as men in all kinds of areas and here was a woman who was competing on the same field as a man and when she won, it was amazing. Women marched into their offices the next day and demanded raises. Secretaries said you can't touch me there anymore, boss.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

NICHOLS: All kinds of things, empowered women all over the country and increased the legitimacy of tennis as a sport.

BOLDUAN: What does Billie Jean King say? She needs to have her say on this report.

NICHOLS: She says, sour grapes as this started with. She says look, I understand. I get it. I've been hearing it since the beginning, since this happened that men don't want to hear that a woman beat them, that I actually pulled this off.

CUOMO: I thought one of the things that helped her during that match, I watched it a lot growing up, was that, if anything, when you watch the match it looked like she was taken it a half a step easy on him especially during the end of the set she was putting the ball closer to him, giving him a chance.

NICHOLS: It's funny. We have the U.S. Open on right now and if you look at the strategy Billy Jean employed in that match she ran him around the court in a way that Margaret Court hadn't done a few months earlier. She took advantage of the fact he was fatter and older and slower and she played smart and that was another thing that was such a win for women.

BOLDUAN: That is how you win games.

CUOMO: Kind of like when we compete.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

NICHOLS: You take advantage of him being older.

PEREIRA: A big discussion at the U.S. Open this week I'm sure.

CUOMO: Well put, well put. Rachel, thank you very much. We're going to take a break.

Coming back on NEW DAY, we're going to meet the fisherman who fell overboard, survived nearly 24 hours treading water, no life vest. How did he do it? We'll talk to him exclusively.

BOLDUAN: And also we're going to be talking about Miley Cyrus taking plenty of heat for her raunchy appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards, but it looks like she's laughing all the way to the bank.

CUOMO: Sex sells in America, say it isn't so.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's time for the "Pop Four" with our Nischelle Turner.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I get introed with the slow jam this morning. We like that. Let's get to the "Pop Four," the fourth story this Tuesday morning, will Matt Damon be born again? Universal Studios has denied it, but rumors are swirling that Matt Damon could sign back on to the Jason Bourne franchise. No word on what it might mean for Jamie Rainer's character. We love Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.

Our number three story, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler maybe Golden girls a second time. CNN has confirmed that the Hollywood Foreign Press has asked the comedy duo to host the Golden Globes once again. This after 20 million people tuned in the first time.

Bryan Cranston has reportedly signed on as Superman's arch enemy Lex Luther in the upcoming sequel to "Man of Steel." The deal according to cosmic book news includes at least six appearances as the iconic character in a variety of films and if people didn't like the Ben Affleck casting they will love this one.

The number one story popping this morning has just burst, the controversy surrounding Miley Cyrus' performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, people called it disturbing, lewd, weird, those are some of the things I've heard used to describe her act, but the outcry maybe exactly what Ms. Miley wanted.


TURNER (voice-over): It's the performance everyone's still talking about, former Disney darling Miley Cyrus twerking her way into infamy with this outrageous performance on Sunday's MTV's Video Music Awards. All that twerking set a Twitter record with more than 306,000 tweets a minute, many by celebrities. "New Girl" actor Max Greenfield tweeted "Billy Ray sigh-rus." Actress Nia Vardalos is worried, "Got to go, Miley's at my door waving that giant finger and twerking my dog."

Miley weighed in, as well, tweeting, smilers. My VMA performance had 306,000 tweets per minute. That's more than the blackout or the Super Bowl, hashtag fact. The Parents Resource TV Council was not happy about the raunchy performance releasing a statement saying, "How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14 year olds?"

Ironically, Miley's father, Billy Ray Cyrus, is a member of that group's advisory board, but it's not clear he had anything to do with the statement. Robin Thicke's mom said she wasn't impressed by Miley's dirty dancing to her son's hit "Blurred Lines."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she's misbegotten in this attempt of hers. I think it was not beneficial.

TURNER: But maybe all this controversy is what Miley was looking for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a calculated business and PR decision. Of course, to help her album, but to advance her second career, as well. I can guarantee you this, E! MTV, and Bravo, are all talking to her people about a reality show right now.


TURNER: So she believes, of course, all publicity is good publicity. OK, we've had a day to digest. Anybody feel any differently after 24 hours of Miley's twerk?

CUOMO: Never bothered me. I thought her singing was a bit of a problem, especially compared to Robin Thicke. That's what she should be embarrassed about. The idea we're going to turn our nose up because this is too much. She's being too sexy, hypocritical, that's such a joke, especially the music business. It's how they get known. Then you get this faux outrage. Please. How do they enforce this outrage in their business? It's a bunch of hooey.

BOLDUAN: I'm not expecting MTV to change anything, but I still think it was pretty raunchy and I did not enjoy watching it.

CUOMO: When these insiders come out, it's too much, please. You're all trying to find a way to get ahead. She found one. It's common sense.

BOLDUAN: We change the channel.

CUOMO: When we see these images, of course it makes families upset, of course, you don't want those images, but that's what the culture is becoming.

TURNER: That is true. That is true. It's interesting to hear all the different perspectives. I've heard every perspective in the last 24 hours. For me it was just a foam finger. It was just weird. BOLDUAN: Miley's happy we're still talking about her. Do want to remind our viewers, though, tonight Billy Ray Cyrus will respond on "PIERS MORGAN LIVE," that's 9:00 Eastern. I'm very interested to hear what he has to say.

CUOMO: His opinion matters the most. My daughter, we'd have a different discussion.

TURNER: There you go.

CUOMO: Unless it makes her successful --

BOLDUAN: You stop right there.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, firefighters are making progress against the wildfire threatening Yosemite National Park. That's good, but the massive blaze is spreading. We'll show you the latest.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, the Obama administration convinced the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people. How will the U.S., how will the president, respond now?


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. That music means it's time for the rock block, a quick roundup of stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: First up in the papers, in the "Washington Post," baby boomers who held on to top federal jobs during the economic downturn retiring at almost double the rate of 2009. Newspaper citing retirement accounts.

In "The New York Times," charter schools are changing the rules. The average at a traditional public school is 14 years.

And in "USA Today," the Virginia parking garage where deep throat revealed the secrets of Watergate will soon be demolished. Reporter Bob Woodward held late night meetings there with his mysterious source identified years later as FBI official Mark Felt.

Time for business news and Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right, the debt ceiling dance has officially began. The treasury secretary warns the U.S. reaches its borrowing limit mid-October. That's earlier than many thought. Legally, U.S. can't borrow more than $16.699 trillion. Republicans say no debt ceiling deal without spending cuts.

Get ready for the iPhone trade in program, the blog say this is a done deal, you'll be able to walk into a retail store, trade up from an old model to a new one.

There are McNuggets and McBites, how about mighty wings? Several McDonald's restaurants in Atlanta testing out deep fried chicken wings. Reports say the chain will introduce them next month, just in time for football season. Deep fried chicken wings. Yum.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Can't have chicken wings, you have to deep fry them. Yes, a lot of mixed weather today, still looking for flooding into the southwest, a lot of heat into the Midwest and storms into the northeast. Let's take them one by one. Speaking of the heat, unbelievable amount of heat, 20 degrees above normal, look at Des Moines today, 103. This heat is not expected to go anywhere, look for it to stay another two days.

Farther east, we're looking at some severe weather around the Great Lakes and some scattered showers in the northeast, and down to the southwest, flooding concerns. All that tropical moisture kind of fuelling, but does mean a chance of rain around Yosemite where they need it, but of course, too much rain leads to flash flooding, as well.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thanks for that update. We're now at the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up.


CUOMO: The point of no return, tensions rising as the U.S. ratchets up its language against Syria. A military strike could be next. We're the only network live inside Syria.

BOLDUAN: The battle for Yosemite now turning in the firefighters' favor. But the park is not in a clear yet. Across the Midwest, a scorching heat wave is forcing schools to cancel classes.

PEREIRA: Speed skating scandal. He's the American Olympic champion, now suspended for tampering with a competitor's skates. Why did he do it? He joins us live this morning.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody who lives here and owns businesses here is terrified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'd love for them to come forward and tell us who they are so that we could give them some gift certificates.