Return to Transcripts main page
Justin Bieber's Home Raided; Weather Outlook; American Jailed in UAE Speaks Out; American Jailed in UAE Speaks Out; Are Childless Couples Happier?
Aired January 15, 2014 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now the 19-year-old mogul with a top 10 album and a legion of fans will possibly be prosecuted if investigators find enough evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of this has anything to do with him being a celebrity. This is a felony crime.
TURNER: And, by the way, that $20,000 damage figure authorities say comes from the fact that the houses in that area are so expensive that any damage done, the price is escalated. Now, we should say, CNN did reach out to Justin Bieber and his representatives about -- for comment on this incident, or the egg throwing incident. They declined to comment in this matter.
We also reached out to Lil Za's representatives. We should say that he did post bail and was released late last night. There have also been no arrests in connection with the egg throwing incident that the authorities were originally at Justin Bieber's house for.
Chris, we'll send it back to you.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Nischelle, let's take a little bit more on this and what it could mean for Justin Bieber's future and - in the legal sense, that is. So let's bring in defense attorney Debra Opri, joining us from Los Angeles.
Debra, I was -- almost lost myself there for a second. I was thinking about his entertainment future.
DEBRA OPRI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, Chris.
CUOMO: Let's forget about that because there are legalities on the table.
CUOMO: We both agree, I'm sure, that the egg throwing isn't about this. But let's just start there. $20,000 damage. Assuming he didn't break a chandler or something that equates to that cost, does that trigger your first red flag in terms of how substantiated this initial felony is?
OPRI: Well, a felony -- any time something's charged as a felony, you have to take it as serious because there may be jail time. Anything over $950, believe it or not, is categorized as a felony. Why is it so much money in damage? It was a plaster house. My concern as an attorney is not so much that the eggs were thrown, but what were the communications between the parties and what promulgated the egg throwing and the potential harassment back and forth?
Because if you listen to those audiotapes, and there are videotapes, I understand, you can see that there is a back and forth and it's been escalating and that's what I would be looking at if I were the district attorney's office. And as a representative for Justin, I would basically say to him, we have to look at the whole picture over the last year and your involvement in this community.
CUOMO: Well, right. But, of course, the prosecutor can't use his community reputation at this point in time to substantiate the felony charge. I think the eggs wind up being more egg on face for somebody and some type of financial settlement, don't you?
OPRI: Well, I think there should be a settlement. I think there should not be anything drawn out in a courtroom. And I'm hopeful that representatives for Justin Bieber will make an approach to the neighbor to try to work this out.
In terms of his community involvement, I think it's very pertinent as -- in terms of evidence, what was the cause of the escalation in the relationship of the neighbor, such that it escalated now to throwing eggs at each other.
CUOMO: Right. Yes.
OPRI: The relationship is very important to me as an attorney.
CUOMO: No, I'll give it to you. In that context, I - I'll give it to you.
Let's now move on to where we start going down the road of significant illegality. Because they come from the egg throwing, they get access to the house, the authorities.
CUOMO: And in the ensuing search, allegedly for eggs, though I don't know why they'd be looking for eggs, pretty much every house has them. If any house would not have them, it may be Bieber's because he's so young and single. But they say they're looking for eggs. They find drugs. Highly scheduled drugs. Is the search valid?
OPRI: Well, you're a lawyer - you're a lawyer, Chris. They weren't looking for the eggs, they were looking for evidence of what transpired, i.e., this is a very highly secured community and they have videotapes.
CUOMO: So what do you think? Does the - does what they found in the house stick because of why they were there? Do you think it's going to be a lawful search?
OPRI: Oh, I think it's a lawful search when you're looking for evidence of a crime and they had a judge sign a search warrant. And if they found drugs, which were open and obvious, of course.
As far as the videotapes, if I'm representing Justin Bieber, those videotapes of -- is of utmost concern to me. If I'm representing the individual with the drug possession, that's of great concern to me.
CUOMO: Now, let's end on that. The individual and the drug possession, how do you extend it to Bieber? Unless the --
OPRI: You don't.
CUOMO: You don't think you can even though they're in his house, common (ph) authority (ph)?
OPRI: No, I don't. I think if someone said, I was at his home and they find that the drugs were under his control and possession and it's all a matter of Bieber saying, I didn't know anything about that, if they don't find anything else via that search, I think it's going to end there. So.
CUOMO: We have to see. We have to find more evidence. Thank you for the analysis. Appreciate it very much, Debra Opri.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, are parents happier than people without children? Surprising answers in two new studies ahead.
And also this, more of our NEW DAY exclusive. A Minnesota man finally back home after nine months in a United Arab Emirates prison. Shezanne Cassim and his family who fought for his release, they are joining us live to talk about this terrifying ordeal.
CUOMO: Well, it's hard to see clearly now because the weather is up and down and all over the place. So let's get to Indra Petersons and figure out where we're headed.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Smooth. All right, I want to show you what it looks like on the water vapor satellite because it's very easy to see how much moisture is in each one of these systems that's expected to make its way across. Remember yesterday on the East Coast, you had some rain. That would be number one.
Number two, you can barely see this, guys. You know, all we're really expecting are some cooler temperatures, but not really a lot of rain out of it.
And then, voila, number three, very easy to see this is going to be the bigger system that will start to dump some heavier snow and even bring some blizzard conditions by tonight out towards the upper Midwest.
So let's take it again. We know the first one's already offshore. Here comes number two. Again, very light, producing just a little bit of light moisture. The bulk of it actually staying offshore. So just mostly cloudy conditions and cool temperatures.
So let's jump all the way to number three out there. There you can see coming from Canada, bringing a lot of cold air with it. So with that we're going to talk about this huge temperature difference once it makes its way to the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes. So with that, very strong winds are going to be expected.
Yes, we are going to see some snow out there, but the blizzard conditions are really going to be coming from blowing snow. After that, it's all going to be about the temperatures. It's going to dry out as it makes its way towards the east. The Ohio Valley, maybe four to six inches of snow. But, again, it's just going to be temperatures back in the 30s in the east by the end of the weekend.
BOLDUAN: Indra, thank you.
So more now on our NEW DAY exclusive.
Shezanne Cassim is finally back in America after spending some nine months in a United Arab Emirates prison. He was jailed for posting a parody video online. And we have been following Shez's story very closely here on NEW DAY, speaking with is family as they worked really tirelessly to get his release. Well now, after months of uncertainty, Shezanne is finally free. We spoke with him exclusively in our last hour and he's now back with his entire family.
Mother Jean, I didn't even think - I thought when he came out you weren't even - you were going to be with him because I was pretty positive you were never going to let him leave your side again.
JEAN CASSIM, MOTHER OF SHEZANNE CASSIM: Yes. I'm so glad he's back. And I didn't expect to see the day so soon.
BOLDUAN: You all look 20 years younger from the last time that we talked. Talk to me, Jean, first about what it has been like to have your son finally home and back under your roof.
J. CASSIM: Relief, relief, relief. And I'm so overjoyed at having him back.
BOLDUAN: Yes. You - you missed -- we talked about it, so many holidays passed without your son. You had said over and over again, you wanted him home for Christmas. That passed as well. So I guess this new year is looking up for you. J. CASSIM: Oh, yes, certainly. And so, again, I'm so happy to have him back.
BOLDUAN: I'm sure you know that. I'm sure she's told you that many times.
Sanath, you went to the UAE to fight for your son's release and you really kept your presence there quiet, pretty secret. Why was that?
SANATH CASSIM, FATHER OF SHEZANNE CASSIM: Just that I just wanted to get him out. I didn't want any sort of attractions. And I was with the other parents. So we (INAUDIBLE). We just wanted to get him back. That's all (ph).
BOLDUAN: After months and months and months, you talked - you kept in touch with your wife and with your children. You're there seeing it. You're there seeing these court proceedings. Did you - did you lose hope? Did you think your son was just going to be stuck there?
SANATH CASSIM: No, I never lost hope. No.
BOLDUAN: What kept - what kept hope alive for you? Watching it from the outside, it's tough.
SANATH CASSIM: Yes, it was tough. And like I said, the other parents, you know, we support each other and then they sort of looked pretty strong inside. So as long as they looked inside strong, we were strong outside and really wanted to show them that we were not (ph) weak outside. So that's how.
BOLDUAN: And during this time, you were -- during the time that you were there, you worked to sell off most of Shez's belongings, most of his stuff, because I'm sure, as soon as he got out, whenever that was, you wanted to be wheels up as quickly as possible out of there. What were your concerns about? What were you nervous about?
SANATH CASSIM: Well, like those were sort of material things. I just wanted to get him out. I just thought maybe I'll give them away to somebody. That's my - as long as it could get him on a plane.
BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely.
And, Shervon, we've talked many times. You've kept your cool a long time and you said you had to. What does it feel like for you now?
SHERVON CASSIM, BROTHER OF SHEZANNE CASSIM: I feel like I can breathe for the first time since April. When this all happened, you know, my eldest brother instincts kicked in and it was a feeling of, OK, now I just got to do -- get this job done. Work - you know, work -- do everything we can to get him out. And now it's happened and I can take a few breathes.
BOLDUAN: And, Shalali, you're just 13 months apart and you talk about that, that connection with your brother. What is next for your family? Have you even begun to think about that? SHALALI CASSIM, SISTER OF SHEZANNE CASSIM: I think we're just going take it one day at a time. I think we're still in disbelief that he's here. We're still getting accustomed to even sleeping at night. It's just comforting knowing that he's in the same house. So, again, a day at a time. We'll figure it out. We always do.
BOLDUAN: Not top of mind right now for sure, as you're just finally seeing your brother again, but are you considering any possible legal action for what happened?
SHERVON CASSIM: All options are on the table. We have a great attorney, so all options are on the table.
BOLDUAN: You know, Shez, we've talked about this a lot when you were over there. What is so confounding about this experience is that, yes, you are always subject to local law when you are abroad, when you're in a foreign country, but you were in a country that holds itself up as -- and projects this image of being so moderate and progressive and a stable actor in this region. When you take all of that into account and you know the country so well, what does that say to you? What have you learned from all of this?
SHEZANNE CASSIM, IMPRISONED IN UAE FOR NINE MONTHS: So it's a very good question and actually to answer that in a complete way would, again, I would need to really think about that. I need some more time before I can get back to you on that.
BOLDUAN: Do you have even your initial thoughts of -- you spent a lot of time thinking about why this happened to you, I'm sure. Have you even initially reached any kind of conclusion of what you take away from this experience?
SHEZANNE CASSIM, IMPRISONED IN UAE: Well, as far as I know the family has made some comments recently to the UAE Prime Minister. And to a limited extent, I do agree with him that it was a mistake. But really I feel that it was more than just a mistake. Nine months in prison is not just a mistake.
BOLDUAN: And you probably -- a lot of thinking of what's beyond me, why did this happen to me in almost an existential, spiritual sense. You've been kind of struggling with that and thinking about that as well?
CASSIM: Not too much. I haven't really gone that deep. Just really focusing on being back home and how good it is to be here.
BOLDUAN: How good it is. You're 29 years old. When is your birthday?
CASSIM: July 18th.
BOLDUAN: July 18th -- very close to mine. This is quite a way to enter into your 30s, my friend.
CASSIM: Yes. I'm glad I didn't spend it in jail.
BOLDUAN: I think everyone can say hear, hear to that.
Thank you guys so much, the Cassim family. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for fighting for his release. Good luck to everything. It's been wonderful meeting you.
CASSIM: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks Jean.
All right. Chris, back to you.
CUOMO: All right. It's great to have him home, isn't it?
All right. So coming up on NEW DAY we have a couple of provocative questions for you. What do you think -- kids, right? We love our kids. Don't they make us happier than if we didn't have them? When it comes to marriage doesn't having kids make marriage even better in a way. Isn't that what marriage is all about?
There're a couple of studies that may knock you right on your back side in terms of what the correct answers are supposed to be. We'll lay out and debate when we return.
CUOMO: It turns out that may not be so easy. Welcome back.
Two new studies are painting a confusing picture of what it means to be a parent today; one from Princeton and one from Stony Brook University. They say that parents are just as satisfied with their lives as people without children. The other by Open University in Britain says that couples who have children are less happy in their relationships than couples without children.
Let's make sense of this. We have Kelly Wallace here, our editor-at- large for CNN digital covering families and parenting issues. She's written a column about these two surveys. You can read it on CNN.com. So lay out the basic premise please.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN DIGITAL: Well, you just painted that good picture because you have that one study that said that once you factor out issues like income, education, health and religion which could affect how you feel about your life overall, once you factor those out, no difference really at all between people in terms of those who have children and those who don't have children, in terms of their overall happiness.
The other study was measuring something else which was relationship satisfaction. How happy are you in your relationship and with your partner? There was a very big difference -- those without children much happier in their relationship with their partner than those with children.
BOLDUAN: So can we say these studies contradict each other or are they looking at different shades of the same topic.
WALLACE: They are looking at different things. Also in that relationship study, interestingly enough when asked overall who was the happiest, mothers were happiest overall over any other group including childless --
CUOMO: But that one's a play against you in what I was reading from you Kelly because the mothers say they are the happiest because they say the most important thing in their life, the people, are the kids which runs counter against the spouse.
WALLACE: Exactly. And the fathers are saying the most important things in their lives were as their partners. The other thing that was really important I think --
CUOMO: Really? Wait, the husbands say the most important people to them are the wives or the partners?
CUOMO: And the mothers say it's the kids.
WALLACE: Exactly. And what that might mean, according to people you talked to and many of us right here are parents during those years especially when the kids are younger we're spending a lot more time perhaps on the children and maybe not as much time on our partners.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Perhaps? There's no perhaps.
WALLACE: No, that's been pretty much declared and ceded. But here's the other thing in the British study. When asked what's the most important thing in your relationship and this was both from parents and even people without children, it was the simple things. "I love you. Thank you."
In Britain, making a cup of tea -- women said making a cup of tea and bringing it to them in bed was even more important than sex. OK, that's a whole other story. But I think what it says is that when we think of what constitutes relationship work, sometimes we think we got to do this big romantic gesture, the big date night. It might just be those every day things we can all do more of that might foster better relationships.
BERMAN: You've written about this obviously online. It got a lot of reaction. It seems very controversial? Why do we get under people's skin, you think?
WALLACE: It's very controversial. Many people who don't have children react because they say they go through life and if they choose not to have kids people say "What's wrong with you? Why don't you like kids?" One person online was so funny, he said, "I like kids. I also like elephants, but I don't necessarily want to have an elephant."
I think that there's --
CUOMO: The study gives them a boost.
WALLACE: It does. But I think there's a frustration that people think -- some people who have kids think you can't be happy unless you have kids. Some people who don't have kids think how can you be happy with kids? And I think a lot of it is that individual choice and that -- if you decide something that might decide if you're going to be happy with that decision.
CUOMO: I'll tell you one thing for sure, marriage is hard. Any relationship, deep friendships, intimacies are hard. Having kids is hard. I don't care what anybody says. It's hard work.
BOLDUAN: But they also say the rewards are never better.
CUOMO: You know, that's what you say. It takes time for you to see it especially when they are young but the love, the devotion is unique. You put the two together and it's always about the work. It's about the little things, about doing those things. That you certainly realize once you get into it. They don't tell you before you're in it.
WALLACE: No, they don't. And you know the first day the Princeton and Stony Brook study said they didn't find any big difference between parents and those without children. What they did find with parents higher highs and bigger lows and I think any parent can relate to that.
BERMAN: The grunts and nods.
BOLDUAN: That means you've definitely done your job today -- Kelly. That's a compliment. Thanks Kelly.
WALLACE: OK. All right.
CUOMO: This is good stuff. Thank you Kelly.
BOLDUAN: Good discussion.
CUOMO: If you want to read Kelly's op-ed, and of course you do, you simply go to cnn.com/living.
Now coming up the Olympic spirit lives on in one very special athlete -- a story you have to hear to believe. Coming up.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The luge is one of the toughest Olympic sports. We all agree. And Julia Clukey is one of the best in the business despite a serious brain disorder. Here's CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with this week's "Human Factor".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: As she jumps into her sled, Julia Clukey has one focus getting down that track as fast as possible. Clukey says her life experiences help give her perspective when she's on the track.
JULIA CLUKEY, ATHLETE: I think any time something happens to you, you have to decide what you're going to do get there and then stick to the plan everyday.
I was diagnosed with Arnold-Chiari syndrome shortly after the 2000 Winter Olympic games.
GUPTA: Chiari is a disorder in which the fluid around her brain doesn't circulate properly.
CLUKEY: A lot of the symptoms that I was having were severe headaches and pressure in the lower part of my skull and a lot of problems with the right side of my body.
GUPTA: For her, surgery was the only option.
CLUKEY: They go in and removed little under a centimeter of my skull bone to create access for the spinal fluid to flow freely.
GUPTA: She didn't let that stop her thought. Just 14 months later she was back on the sled.
CLUKEY: I never lost sight of where I wanted to be after my surgery and that was back competing in the sport of luge.
GUPTA: While Clukey fell short of making her second Olympics by just a fraction of a second she's staying sharp as the team's first alternate.
CLUKEY: I wake up every day knowing that I'm training for something I love.
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- CNN, reporting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: 14 months later she's back at it. Amazing.
CUOMO: Impressive. And that is an impressive sport. No joke when you get on the luge, I'll tell you that.
BOLDUAN: There is no room for error there.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Scary being on the ice after a head injury, that's for sure.
BOLDUAN: Yes, that's the plan. Absolutely right.
CUOMO: A lot of news this morning. The Asiana crash -- there's new tape to tell you about. So let's send to you to the "NEWSROOM" and Miss Carol Costello. CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much. Have a great day. "NEWSROOM" starts now.
Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.
We begin with new video of a truly heartbreaking tragedy.