Return to Transcripts main page


Cherokee Girl Custody Battle; Justin Timberlake Opens Up; Justin Timberlake One-on-One; "American Idol" Winner Gives Back

Aired September 24, 2013 - 08:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A little JT, apropos (ph) of his being with us.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: A good way to start the day.

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, September 24th.

Coming up this half hour, it appears to be over, once and for all. The little girl in the middle of a year's long custody battle now back with her adoptive parents. The question now is, will the girl's father really end his fight? What will happen going forward? We'll take you through it.

BOLDUAN: And, you was mentioning it, fresh off his big concert tour with Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake is making a return to the silver screen. JT stars in the new thriller "Runner, Runner" and he's telling CNN's Nischelle Turner all about it. We'll have that.

CUOMO: First, we have the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. Michaela has that.

Hey, Mic.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's take a look.

Topping our headlines, the standoff between security forces and militants continues at Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Gunmen are believed to still be hiding inside the building. Bomb squads now removing explosive devices that have been set all around that mall.

President Obama addressing the U.N. about 90 minutes from now. The White House says it has left the door open for a face-to-face meeting with Iran's president.

A big earthquake has hit southern Pakistan. The U.S. Geological Survey says it measures a 7.8 magnitude. We're awaiting word on damage and casualties. We will be sure to bring that to you when it comes and if it comes.

Closing arguments begin in just a few hours' time in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. Attorneys for the Jackson family go first. Lawyers for concert promoter AEG will then deliver their closing tomorrow. Jurors should get the case by Thursday.

And the $400 million Powerball winner steps forward, but the South Carolina man wants to be -- remain anonymous, rather. We do know one thing, it was just his second time ever playing the lottery.

We always update those five things to know. So be sure to go to for the very latest.


BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

A bitter custody battle, it appears to be over for good. The little Cherokee girl who became known as "baby Veronica" is waking up with her adoptive parents this morning. She was returned by her biological father last night. It comes two years after he got her back claiming it was to protect the girl's Indian heritage. "Early Start" co-anchor Zoraida Sambolin has more on this very complex case.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CO-ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": You know he never really had her, so getting her back is, you know, kind of an unusual way to state it. He never really had her. It's been a complicated and heartbreaking custody battle four years in the making. Veronica's biological father, Dusten Brown, and her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco have been fighting over this little girl since she was born. Now it may finally be over.


MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Why are you standing by and watching our daughter, Veronica, being held against our will?

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Just six weeks ago, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, dismayed and heartbroken that their adopted daughter, Veronica, was still not home. On Monday night, year's long battle coming to an end, when Veronica's biological father, Dusten Brown, handed her over to her adoptive parents after a state supreme court ruled that it could not intervene in the case. The Brown family watched from the front window of their Oklahoma home as a deputy and marshal led her away.

TODD HEMBREE, CHEROKEE NATION ATTORNEY GENERAL: Very courageous and took this action, what he believed it was in Veronica's best interest.

SAMBOLIN: In these photos provided to CNN by the Copobiancos, Veronica is seemingly all smiles during visits by her adoptive parents over the last few weeks. It has been a complex ordeal for both sides. Veronica, born a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, was placed in the Capobiancos home at birth in 2009. Just a few months later, her biological father changed his mind and sought custody under the Indian Child Welfare Act. That's a federal law that protects Native American children from being separated from their families. Brown was awarded custody in December of 2011.

The two families have been in a nationally publicized legal battle over Veronica ever since. For the last two years, Veronica was living in the Cherokee Nation with her biological father. The court's ruling cleared the way for the Capobiancos to take Veronica back to South Carolina where they raised her for the first two years of her life. A spokeswoman for the Capobiancos says "Veronica is safely in the arms of her parents and has been reunited with her family. Our prayers are with everyone involved this evening. There is no happy ending in this travesty, only closure."

The case made it all the way to the nation's highest court, which ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply in this case. Brown was ordered to return Veronica back to her adoptive parents but refused to give her up without a fight.

DUSTEN BROWN, BIOLOGICAL FATHER: I'm going to fight until I have no fight left in me and till they say you can't fight no more.

SAMBOLIN: Brown now has no visitation rights, but his attorney is hopeful that Dusten will remain a part of Veronica's live. For the Copabiancos, it is a bittersweet ending to a four-year ordeal.


SAMBOLIN: So sad, isn't it? And the big question still is whether or not the biological father will get to spend any time with baby Veronica. We don't know the answer to that. There's a gag order in this case, so we're not really sure. The Cherokee Nation, the attorney general of the Cherokee Nation says this fight is not over. So, we have to wait and see.

BOLDUAN: OK, Zoraida, thank you.


CUOMO: A bad situation any way you look at it.

So we counter with "The Good Stuff." In today's edition, I scream, you scream, we all scream for Joey Prusak. Why? The 19-year-old Dairy Queen manager recently serving a blind man -- listen to this, OK. The blind man gets his ice cream, leaves the counter, accidentally drops a $20 bill on the ground. It's OK, right? The customer behind him in line immediately sees it, picks it up, gives it back to him, right? Wrong. She pockets it. You might expect that from a guy, but a woman? But that's when Joey goes into action.


JOEY PRUSAK, DAIRY QUEEN MANAGER: And he just kept walking. And that's when the lady picked it up. I was like, oh, she's going to give it back, because she picked it up so quickly. I was like, ma'am, I'm not going to serve someone as disrespectful as you. So you can either return the $20 bill and I'll serve you or you can leave. And she goes, well, it's my $20 bill. And I go, well, then you can leave.


CUOMO: I mean we don't know what was going through that lady's mind if it unfolded the way Joey says it does, but we do know what was going through his. OK. So, the guy is out the $20. I guess he loses. Talk about bad karma for her. But what about for the blind man? That's when Joey says, OK, I'm going to be the hero. He approaches the blind man, who was still in the Dairy Queen eating his ice cream, and did something extraordinary.


PRUSAK: I told him, you dropped $20. I would like to give you $20 on behalf of myself and Dairy Queen.


CUOMO: The money didn't come from Dairy Queen, though. It didn't come from the register. It came out of Joey's pocket. For the record, that would be two hours pay for him. Another customer saw Joey's gesture, wrote into Dairy Queen. The story has obviously gone viral. Joey is getting praise, duly so. Phone calls. One from, wait for it, Warren Buffett, who owns Dairy Queen.

PEREIRA: Come on.

CUOMO: Called him an example to everyone, even getting job offers.

BOLDUAN: He's 19. I wanted to make sure I got that right.

CUOMO: The butterfly effect with "The Good Stuff."

SAMBOLIN: Did he get a raise?

PEREIRA: I was going to say, that's the other point -

BOLDUAN: Coming in your futures.

PEREIRA: $20 to him is two hours pay.


PEREIRA: And to just easily give it away, that's - what a great kid. (INAUDIBLE). Stellar!

BOLDUAN: Good kid.

CUOMO: And that's why it's "The Good Stuff."

PEREIRA: Look at you with "The Good Stuff."

CUOMO: These stories come from you. We want more of them. We just announced a brand new CNN iReport campaign to catch all of your good stuff.


CUOMO: Go out there and get it. Send it to us. Log on to to find out how.

PEREIRA: I know that picture. That's when we were doing math. Math's hard.

CUOMO: Yes. I was - I was trying.

BOLDUAN: Math is hard. I (ph) got it right.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, Justin Timberlake has a new album streaming on iTunes right now and he also has a new movie coming out next month called "Runner, Runner." Nischelle Turner goes one on one with the very busy superstar.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

When it comes to Justin Timberlake, the phrase triple threat doesn't even begin to cover it, it seems. Singer/actor/dancer. The list goes on and on. Now the superstar has a new thriller in theaters. It's called "Runner, Runner." And CNN's Nischelle Turner got a chance to go one on one with him. And she's in Los Angeles with more.

Good morning, Nischelle.


You know, this was a huge week, Kate, for Justin. Actually, it's been a huge year for him. He performed at iHeartRadio this week, he's got a new movie premiering, part two of the "20/20 Experience" releases, and tonight he's shutting down Hollywood Boulevard here in L.A. for an outdoor concert. But somehow he also found a little bit of time to sit down and chat with me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "RUNNER, RUNNER": All things are possible.

TURNER (voice-over): Justin Timberlake's new thriller "Runner, Runner" is the cautionary tale about the desire for wealth and what we'll do to keep it once we get it.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER/ACTOR/DANCER: The first thing you hear in this movie is, you know, it could be the stock market, it could be real estate, it could be online - online -- it could be dating, you know, you're gambling.

TURNER (on camera): Are you a gambler at all? Are you a risk taker at all?

TIMBERLAKE: Probably more methodical, little more thought out. I like to rehearse. I like to know where every spot on the stage is going to be. So I would say I'm a well calculated risk taker.

TURNER: I love that.

TIMBERLAKE: you know what I mean?


TURNER (voice-over): I caught up with him the morning after the movie's premiere in Las Vegas, where the usually extremely private superstar opened up about fame, family and finding his focus.

TURNER (on camera): It's just this drive, this determination, where does that come from?

TIMBERLAKE: I don't know. I guess my - I guess I got it from my mama. No, I don't - I don't know. I don't know. I just think - I don't know. I've just always been that way. Always been kind of a - I don't know, I grew up an only child and I've always kind of like -- you know, when you grow up that way, it's like you get all the perks, but you also get all the responsibility. Like there's no one else to blame the vase getting broken on.

TURNER: I feel like maybe that's where creativity comes from, because I had to do a lot of stuff on my own.

TIMBERLAKE: Sure. I had imaginary friends. I was weird.

TURNER: I did, too.

TIMBERLAKE: I could tell. You look like you had imaginary friends.

TURNER (voice-over): A jokester, yes. Whether it's giving me grief --

TIMBERLAKE: This is going to get awkward.

TURNER (on camera): It's going to get weird.

TURNER (voice-over): Or creating the latest installment of "Tuesdays with Timberlake" on his friend Jimmy Fallon's show. You see he's a natural performer, most comfortable when he steps on the stage. It started early, as seen here in this rare video of one of Timberlake's very first performances.

TIMBERLAKE: Good evening, everybody. My name is Justin Timberlake and I'm going to sing "Please Don't Go Girl".

I grew up in a small town and I definitely felt like I was an individual always.

Please don't go girl.

But the way that you're brought up in a small, Smallville, Mid-South USA, you're taught more about how you're similar to your neighbor.

TURNER: Even though he was raised in a small town, he had big dreams of stardom from an early age.

TIMBERLAKE: It's down at the end of lonely street at heartbreak hotel --

TURNER: At some point a lot of kids like him, growing up in Memphis, want to mirror Elvis, but not everyone is able to break out of what Justin sees as somewhat of a small town mentality.

TIMBERLAKE: There's a lot of pride but there's also -- and don't, you know, don't take this the wrong way, Memphis but -- but you know, there's also -- there's also a little bit of a defeatist attitude like you feel like you're not good enough for the big lights, per se.

TURNER: Right and that's changing there now, too because you've got I mean --


TIMBERLAKE: Oh absolutely. Well, the world is becoming -- the world is becoming more connected now.

TURNER: And he connected to the entertainment world through the Mickey Mouse Club, then 'N Sync and now a stand out solo career.

TIMBERLAKE: I think if there's anything that I've learned in my experience, it's to try to like stop and enjoy those moments because, you know, they're over before you know it. They really are. So I think that's another thing that that I have always tried to do, is share all of this with my family and my friends.

TURNER: Like the highly anticipated 'N Sync reunion at the MTV Video Music Awards, which for Justin was about paying homage to the era that took him from teen idol to music mogul.

TIMBERLAKE: I just thought it was a nice tribute you know we're not -- we're not going to go on tour, I mean I'm glad people are excited about it but funny enough it was more for us -- it was more for us to enjoy that moment because I felt like I really in my heart shared that award with those guys.

TURNER: According to Justin Timberlake, the best is yet to come.


TURNER: And for Justin Timberlake, that's the 2020 experience part two that is about to be released next week. Part one, was a little bit lighter I thought in some ways it was a love letter. And speaking of love, which he doesn't do much, his lovely wife, Jessica Biel was at the interview when we did it. And she came into the room after we were done.

There's a real ease between the two of them. A lot of love there, it was real neat to see the smile that he gets on the space when she walks in the room and sit beside of him that we don't see often, guys. It was very, very sweet.

But here is what I wanted to know. Did Justin Timberlake tell me I looked like I had imaginary friends?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: No. Maybe. Not sure.

TURNER: You weren't listening. That's what it is, Kate. Good-bye. BOLDUAN: I was listening. I was a little distracted by the look back of JT, and Chris and I were discussing his dance moves and if we could pull them off, but that's for later.

TURNER: There you go.

BOLDUAN: Thanks Nischelle. It was a great interview.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It was good excuse you came up with there by the way, I respect it.

BOLDUAN: That's my job.

CUOMO: So we're going to just take you from one singer who is doing big things to another singer who is doing the right thing.

In today's "Impact your World" "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery has partnered up with Major League Baseball to help inner city kids develop their skills and their minds. Check it out.


SCOTTY MCCREERY, "AMERICAN IDOL" WINNER: I could have never imagined or prepared for what was going to happen to me. At 17, I was planning on just being your average high school student. And then all of a sudden, "Idol" happened. I love the fact that nowadays kids get to look up to me. I love that responsibility and I embrace it.

And it seems like the only stories we hear in the news are of child stars now going crazy. So I want to be the opposite of that.

You know, right out of the gate, we've had opportunities to do different things with charities. I grew up having to loves in life, baseball and music, so (inaudible) program and the MLB it just seemed like a natural fit for me and to provide a lot of baseball in the inner city.

When I was growing up, I learn a lot of my biggest life lessons from -- from playing ball, whether it was perseverance, or whether it's just competition or just hard work, you know, team work. It was my best memories made there.

So just making sure these kids get the same -- the same opportunities. I can relate to these kids. Not just handing the money I can talk about what they're doing and the experiences they share and to kind of share my stories with them. So it's cool to have a kind of connection there with these kids.

I'm Scotty McCreery and together we can make an impact on America's children.



CUOMO: You can see it, you can hear it, some say you can even feel it, it is the presence of John Berman, with his NEW DAY award of the day.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right guys I want to introduce you to the most talked about freshman now playing football for Michigan. He might be very good at football. I don't actually have any idea because that's not what people are talking about mostly. No, it's his name. His name is Jake Butt. And guess what -- guess what position he plays --

PEREIRA: Tight end.

BERMAN: Exactly. He's a tight end.

PEREIRA: I hate that I know that, I don't even follow football.

BERMAN: Is it an awesome coincidence or destiny really? No doubt that something Mr. Butt has had to deal with his whole life, something like a modern day equivalent of a boy named Sue. He had to deal with it his whole life.

But recently he took to Twitter to address the issue head on. He writes, this, he writes, "Yes, I'm a tight end. Yes, my last name is butt. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

I also want to draw this to your attention here. Look at his Twitter handle Jbooty-88 which is pretty awesome. You know in my book that makes him an early Heisman candidate.

BOLDUAN: I agree.

BERMAN: But until then we have another award for Mr. JBooty. He wins the Anthony Weiner award -- it's a special award we have for people with incredibly appropriate names. Jake Butt is a tight end and Anthony Weiner takes pictures of his -- and Jake Butt is a tight end.

PEREIRA: Right. And he backs it.

BERMAN: You know, it's the Anthony Weiner award.

BOLDUAN: -- wants the award.

BERMAN: He's got to. Why not?

PEREIRA: How do you end the show on this note today?

BOLDUAN: I don't know but we went there.


BERMAN: There's one thing people love.

BOLDUAN: JBooty. BERMAN: JBooty, they love JBooty.

BOLDUAN: Thoughts?

CUOMO: It's easy to defend himself when he's 6'4", 250 pounds of muscle.



BOLDUAN: And that does it for us, unfortunately. Carol Costello and "CNN NEWSROOM" begins right now. Take it away, Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: You guys have a great day. Thank you.

PEREIRA: You too, darling.

COSTELLO: "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM", get ready. It's U.N. time. President Obama shares the limelight with the Iranian president. Should they sit down together and talk nukes?

Also --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This weekend's terror rampage in Kenya has many Americans wondering how long until those behind it come to the US.