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Attending Olympic Games; Reaction to the Imposter; Bieber Arrested; Friends Discover They're Sisters

Aired January 24, 2014 - 08:30   ET


LZ GRANDERSON, SENIOR WRITER, ESPN: I'm not. You know, my original intent was to go as some sort of political protest because I was not thrilled with the anti-LGBT laws that are in Russia right now and I wanted to go there as a journalist to document what was happening to the LGBT Russians. But this is a different scenario now. This is no longer about Russian law. This is about somewhat of a civil war, if you will, in the region of the country and I just don't feel safe going there now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: No, and that is - that is what is too bad about it.

SHIRA SPRINGER, SPORTS REPORTER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": Yes, and it's a civil war - I was going to say, it's a civil war where they put the fans, the media and the athletes right in the middle.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Everyone is a target at these games.


BOLDUAN: Shira, LZ, great to see you. Thank you so much. Shira, safe travels. LZ, we'll see you soon.

SPRINGER: Thank you. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

GRANDERSON: Thank you.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up on NEW DAY, you saw the film last night right here on CNN. A look at the fascinating real life tale of a Frenchman who passed himself off as a missing Texas boy. You were probably left with a lot of questions, and that's OK because the investigator who uncovered the poster will be here to answer them next.

And then, what are the odds of this? This is a mind blower. Two college freshmen meet. See they have a lot in common. They become fast friend. Turns out, they have so much in common. It's like too much. Not only are they alike, they are related genetically. Wait until you learn how this happened. You're going to meet them straight ahead.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Glad to have you back with us here on NEW DAY.

CNN Films presented "THE IMPOSTER" last night. Did you see it? The riveting, true story about a Frenchman passing him off as a missing Texas boy. If you haven't watched it, we have a few spoiler alerts, so go see it tonight. The film revealed the true identity of the imposter, a wanted criminal by Interpol who had already assumed hundreds, literally, of identities in his lifetime. And once he was caught, he told police that he believed that the boy who he was pretending to be had been murdered by his own family.

Let's bring in the private investigator, Charlie Parker, who helped uncover the truth, joining us once again.

Thank you so much to -- for joining us once again, Charlie. First of all, now that the film has aired, we can talk about some of these details. You really were instrumental in exposing the imposter. And, in fact, when you confronted him about it, he copped to it to you. Tell us how - walk us through that moment.


I -- his mother, the mother of the real Nicholas Barclay, took him by the middle school that he allegedly attended, John Wood Middle School, and he - he did not recognize it. She panicked and called me at midnight and said that he was acting crazy, had a baseball bat, was doing crazy things. I went over and calmed him down and met him the next morning.

We sat together, had breakfast, and I said, your mother was very upset last night. And he said, you know she's not my mother. I'm wanted by Interpol and my name is Frederic Bourdin. So it was a tense moment. A moment I'd waited for all that time.

PEREIRA: And then did the ball kind of get rolling very quickly -

PARKER: And that's how it actually -

PEREIRA: Did the ball get rolling very quickly after that?

PARKER: It got rolling quickly. It did. And I think it's interesting to note, the FBI - I went into the restroom, called the FBI, had to stall him for an hour, took him back home and then the FBI came, did the perp walk.

But I went back into his room where he stayed, and it was a tense moment for me too. The adrenaline was working. And in his closet, where he stayed, was two shirts, one pair of jeans and a pack that he carried all the time. And I - I sunk down and I looked and I thought, oh, my God, what have I done?

There was no bomb inside the pack. There was nothing that indicated he was there to cause any harm. He never did cause any harm while he was here, other than betray the family. And it made me really stop and wonder what in the world was he doing here?

BOLDUAN: Well, and I -- Charlie, that's the thing that I'm left -- one of the many questions that you're left with after watching this is, why do you think, after all of these years, that he did this, and not just one time, spoiler alert, he tried to do this many times throughout his life.

PARKER: I think now, after really looking at it, that in some of the cases he wanted to be with a family. He's swaggering now. In the movie he swaggers and laughs. There was no laughter back then. It was all serious. When he was sentenced, he broke down. I went to his sentencing. His shoulders sagged. He had a rough time in prison. Prior to that, no one had ever sent him to prison for all of the impersonations that he had done and he served hard time in Texas.

CUOMO: So where's the real kid? What do you know about it? Is there anything to his speculation?

PARKER: I walked in the tracks he walked in. I went to the middle school that afternoon and walked the mile to the phone booth that he walked. I ran background checks on everybody in that block. I found no predators back then. I found nobody of real interest that might have taken him. I know he made it home.

When we ran the record of police reports to the house, you saw what we found in the movie. We found where there had been family disturbances constantly, where he had been arguing with Jason, the older brother.

PEREIRA: Well, and the movie points to -- or at least one of the paths they point to is the older brother, Jason, perhaps being involved.

BOLDUAN: And that comes from Frederic, right?

PEREIRA: Frederic - and it comes from Frederic. Now, that's the thing I wanted I wanted to ask you about. This imposter himself says that he, in the movie, he says that he believes the family killed this young boy. Is that him just leading us down another trail of lies?

PARKER: I don't believe it is. I believe there's a possibility. Jason is definitely a person of interest. I -- because it is a closed case on Jason, because they believe, the police believe it was just an overdose, I was able to obtain the photos of the crime scene where Jason died. I went to the motel, laid the photos out exactly as they would appear.

Jason was a skilled addict. It didn't look real to me. The drugs were laying out in the open. Any addict would have hid them in a vent. He would have hid the drugs in the trunk. I believe Jason went to that motel on WW White Road (ph) to die. And I believe he took his own life. I was questioning hard, Nancy Fisher (ph) was questioning him. I think - I think he realized what happened and went there to die.

PEREIRA: Charlie Parker, again, you have been so good to talk to us about this film and give us further insight. Thank you so much for joining us. Again, you are the one that really opened that case wide up. "THE IMPOSTER" is going to re-air, if you didn't get a chance to see it, so you don't really - aren't following all the points that Charlie's making with us, "THE IMPOSTER" presented by CNN Films will be re-airing 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

Charlie Parker, thank you so much for joining us again.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, this is an incredible story. College friends find out they're sisters. And we're going to talk with them live next about how they figured it out. It's an amazing story.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody.

It's a story we all can't stop talking about, or at least we're not allowed to stop talk about, Justin Bieber's arrest. The 19-year-old pop star charged with drunk driving and resisting arrest. But what about that mug shot? Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his jail jump suit, Justin Bieber faced the music. And we don't mean his own.

JUSTIN BIEBER, MUSICIAN (singing): Baby, baby, baby, oh.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Baby, this is the biggest mistake you could make.

MOOS: At 19, his first mug shot. Anchors alternated between analyzing his expression -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's smiling from ear to ear.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: Well I wouldn't be smiling if I were you young Justin Drew Bieber.

MOOS: And analyzing his hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at that hair. I mean, really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His hair looks spectacular.

MOOS: Reminiscent of young Frank Sinatra when he was arrested for adultery in 1938. One joker tweeted, "the Justin Bieber mug shots are in and they're incredible." The press wanted more than a mug shot. Photographers clung desperately to police station gates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Justin.

MOOS: They rested their cameras on their heads, got yelled at by police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, got off the freaking car.

MOOS: They peered through jailhouse chain link fencing.


MOOS: And when Bieber was freed, they finally got a decent shot when he momentarily perched on top of an SUV. Remind you of anyone? Say Michael Jackson waving after pleading not guilty to charges of child molestation?

Bieber sped off, leaving photographers in his dust.

(on camera): And then there's the minor matter of how to refer to the pop star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We have to talk about Biebs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say the Biebs friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he was apparently with the Biebs this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bieber, you are charged with the following.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on with Justin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I would say Justin Timberlake, if he decides --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin Bieber. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Timberlake's a great guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize Timberlake.

MOOS (voice-over): Online jokes like this circulated, caption photo of Justin Bieber being arrested. The arrest and mug shot will have the impersonators mugging -- from "SNL" to Jimmy Fallon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Justin Bieber and I'm going to reflect for a minute if that's cool with you.

MOOS: But will the real Justin Bieber reflect on his downward spiral? While we obsess about his hair or PhotoShop his makeup? At least his mug shot didn't look like Nick Nolte's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of volumizer that Justin Bieber uses in his hair. Because a lot of us go through great lengths to try to get that sort of height.

MOOS: Height? Seems like a new low.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BOLDUAN: I like that one comment. Get off the car, Justin Bieber.

CUOMO: Last line is the best in the piece, it is a new low for the kid. You know, there's a tendency with the entertainers to mock it but you got to be very careful. It could turn very bad real fast.

PEREIRA: Well, he's 19 years old. He could turn things around. He could.

CUOMO: It's true.

BOLDUAN: Let's hope.

All right. Let's check in with Christi Paul in Atlanta for a look at what's coming up on NEW DAY weekend. Good morning -- Christi.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Good morning guys. Hope you're doing well. Well, we're talking about celebrities -- surprise, surprise, right? A whole lot of dogs too because we got the Super Bowl ads -- they've just come out. We have your first look at them including Stephen Colbert's pitch for pistachios.

CUOMO: Surprise.

PAUL: Arnold -- surprise -- Arnold Schwarzenegger's bizarre Bud Light plug. So I'm going to be with Victor Blackwell tomorrow beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern here on CNN. I know you guys won't have to be setting alarm clocks but, you know, if you just happen to be wide-eyed at that time or any time after we would love to see you.

PEREIRA: We might be up.

BOLDUAN: We always are. You can't get off the schedule too far. You can't sleep in too much or then Monday it's rough.

CUOMO: I'll be watching. You guys are doing great. Say hello to Victor. Continued success Christi. It's good stuff.

PAUL: Thank you. Thank you -- you too.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Christi. You have a great show.

PAUL: Thank you. You too. Good weekend.

CUOMO: You too.

All right. Let's take a little break here. Coming up imagine going to college and meeting a sister you didn't even know you had. It happened to our next guests. We're going to talk with them live about their amazing story. Look how close they are, hand-in-hand.

PEREIRA: Oh my goodness.

CUOMO: My sisters don't sit like that.


PEREIRA: It might not be the most appropriate story or is it? The song rather -- or the story.

Welcome back.

We are about to tell you a story that's amazing and probably to some of you, it might seem unbelievable. Two freshmen at Tulane University had a burgeoning friendship when they discovered that a series of coincidences that they were noticing and similarities that became too hard to ignore and their lives changed forever when they realized they both had been conceived using the very same sperm donor at a California cryo bank.

CUOMO: I don't believe it.

PEREIRA: He doesn't believe it people but it's true because look at them. You can tell -- we have on the right side of your screen that's Emily Nappi. Mikayla Stern-Ellis is on the left side. You can tell that these two half-sisters, who happen to be friends, are sisters just by looking at them. Ladies welcome and good morning.



PEREIRA: How long ago did you find this out?

STERN-ELLIS: Two weeks.

NAPPI: Two weeks.

STERN ELLIS: January 7th.

PEREIRA: And you probably haven't stopped spinning since then?

NAPPI: There was a little moment of lull but then once our school newspaper did a story --

CUOMO: Spill it. Spill it. How did this happen? How did you figure out?

BOLDUAN: What are the similarities? Tell us this journey.

STERN-ELLIS: So basically it started over the summer. I was trying to find a roommate and so --

NAPPI: I think it was back in April.

STERN-ELLIS: It was back in April. Right after I decided to go Tulane I was trying to find a roommate and I was looking at this survey that Emily had taken and a bunch of other students had taken. And we had so much in common that I decided to e-mail her, Facebook message her and see if we could be roommates. She said she actually already had a roommate. But we kept talking because we had a lot in common. She saw a post that I made on Father's Day that said something like "Thank you so much Colombian sperm donor for the x chromosome." She messaged me right after I posted and said "I don't want to be creepy but I also have a Colombian sperm donor. And wouldn't that be funny if we were sisters?"

PEREIRA: And you both thought at that point that it couldn't possible.

NAPPI: No, we definitely -- we just ignored it. We went all first semester being like that girl might be my sister -- we're like trying to trick people.


NAPPI: We just thought it was a joke until winter break. It was a good ice breaker.

CUOMO: Then what happened? What happened?


NAPPI: Winter break her mom sits down with her and goes, you know what, that's too much coincidence. You should really check that out. Mikayla was like hey, do you have your number? And I didn't. And I was like it doesn't matter. We're not really sisters anyway.

BOLDUAN: You don't have the number, right?

NAPPI: I don't have it -- right.

So then finally I'm like, you know what, let me just find it. My mom had access to it. And so I found it. I texted her and she went "no way".

STERN-ELLIS: I was sitting in the dermatologist's office and it was super quiet in there. And I was by myself and Emily said she had found the number. And I said text it to me. I texted my mom and I said text me my number. And they both text me at the same and it's the same number. I was just staring at my phone. I didn't know what to do. I think the only way to describe it is mind blowing. Because it's just --

NAPPI: I thought she was joking. I thought that she was teasing me.

PEREIRA: Deep down inside did you somehow think it could be looking at each other.

NAPPI: Looking at each other's pictures definitely.

STERN-ELLIS: Yes, I mean that's why we checked.

NAPPI: There was something familiar in her face when I look at her face. And obviously I don't what that is because we don't know what he looks. But we always thought we looked exactly like our moms but when you look at us we look exactly like each other. STERN-ELLIS: Exactly. It's crazy now to look at our moms and look at us and like everything you don't see in our moms you see in us.

CUOMO: How did your families take it?

BOLDUAN: That is a very good question.

STERN-ELLIS: They are very excited. Very, very excited. They got to meet -- since we're here in New York all together. And so everyone is meeting. It's really exciting.

BOLDUAN: And what has it been like going from acquaintances, becoming friends and now half sisters in two weeks?

STERN-ELLIS: It's a wild ride, yes.

NAPPI: It's been a crash course. But like because of all of the media attention and because of all the stuff that we've been having to deal with it's brought us really, really close together.

PEREIRA: Do you have other siblings each of you, or no?

STERN-ELLIS: We have other siblings but none of them are biological. So we're each other's first biological siblings.

CUOMO: What's the age difference?

NAPPI: I have --

STERN-ELLIS: Seven months I think.

NAPPI: Between us -- yes.

PEREIRA: And the other part of it that's really interesting too, I'm adopted, I made it very public about this, I know my story. Did you always know your story growing up? Obviously you guys seem very well versed I know my number. When did you first become aware of all of this?

STERN-ELLIS: I can't remember learning about it. I just always knew. My brother is four years younger than me and so when my parents had him they were explaining everything to me. And I was really young so I didn't know a lot about it but I don't ever remember being confused about where I came from.

CUOMO: This is where the roads kind of diverged a little bit, right. You have different feelings about how much you want to know about the biological father.

STERN-ELLIS: Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to find him. I wasn't looking for a father figure I just knew that was a part of me and I wanted to find him.

Since this has happened I'm definitely going to wait awhile because Emily is more than enough. I definitely do want to find him. NAPPI: I don't. I want to see what he looks like because I really want to just like stare at his face and I'll stare at our faces and see what I got from him. But I don't have a desire to meet him. I don't feel lacking in any way.

BOLDUAN: When all of the craziness of this attention that this has gotten kind of goes away, what's next for your guys?

NAPPI: School. We haven't been able to focus on that.

STERN-ELLIS: That and just I think getting to know each other because we're really close now but there's little things that are really, like essential about our being that we don't know about each other.

BOLDUAN: Like what's your favorite color.


NAPPI: I did that the other day.

Her favorite color is purple and mine is gray.

CUOMO: Gray?

PEREIRA: Gray and purple look nice together.

BOLDUAN: Gray is my favorite color.

PEREIRA: One thing we do know is that birth father, sperm donor has strong chin. You guys have the exact --

NAPPI: The dimple -- what's it called.

STERN-ELLIS: I don't know.

NAPPI: The cleft chin.

PEREIRA: Cleft chin, yes.

NAPPI: None of our parents have that. I think the hair, too.

BOLDUAN: We can thank him because they created two beautiful women.

STERN-ELLIS: Thank you so much.

PEREIRA: What a ride. I hope you guys write a book.

CUOMO: Not only do they have the same chromosome, you know, not to make it so impersonal but the timing of the age is so close also because who knows what the donation period was. That would have been remarkable.

STERN-ELLIS: It's a couple of years for each donor but the fact that we're so close, yes.

BOLDUAN: Do you see this as -- I get the sense that it seems like a real gift.

STERN-ELLIS: Absolutely. I love my brother so much but I mean it's incredible just having another sibling.

NAPPI: And my siblings are a lot older than me so I've always been raised as an only child.

PEREIRA: And I imagine the friends and everything. I'm thinking about all of the extended family because it's not just happening to the two of you or even your parents but there's community and the reaction from them --


STERN-ELLIS: It's everyone at Tulane. Everyone at Tulane is watching right now and like, it's insane. Everyone is going crazy. We'll be stopped in the middle of campus, like oh my gosh, you guys are the sisters.

NAPPI: And it's not really a joke anymore. Congratulations going on.

That's what we get. Congratulations on finding your sister.

STERN-ELLIS: We're like sure.

BOLDUAN: Are you both studying the same thing?

STERN-ELLIS: No. We're both into science but I'm more into animals and she's more into psychology.

NAPPI: We're both science majors and we have a class together.

CUOMO: Did you grow up in the same state?

NAPPI: Yes. Same state.

STERN-ELLIS: Both California.

NAPPI: But like eight hours apart driving.

STERN-ELLIS: San Francisco and San Diego.

PEREIRA: Northern and southern California. That's so interesting. Both end up at Tulane.

STERN-ELLIS: And we didn't really know what.

BOLDUAN: Tulane your first choice.

CUOMO: I don't believe it.


STERN-ELLIS: The thing about Tulane is I got a free application one day. I never heard of it. I just applied, and I got in, got a scholarship and I got in the honor's program. So I was like I should probably look into it.

BOLDUAN: Hello, meant to be. That's all we can get --

PEREIRA: All the universities in America.

CUOMO: Especially from California.

STERN-ELLIS: There's no particular reason why I chose Tulane. I just felt like I needed to go there.

PEREIRA: Or was there.

BOLDUAN: It's a good choice. Tulane is a great university.

STERN-ELLIS: We love it.


PEREIRA: You found a piece of you that you didn't even know was there.


CUOMO: Now you have all this fighting to make up for.

BOLDUAN: I know. It's crazy.


BOLDUAN: You guys have all that to look forward to.

NAPPI: It's a really wonderful thing.


STERN-ELLIS: We can't have everything.

BOLDUAN: I know, I know. Exactly.

PEREIRA: What a delight. Mikayla, Emily -- enjoy your lives together.

STERN-ELLIS: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: We'll join the chorus of congratulations.

PEREIRA: This is awesome. Awesome. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

CUOMO: Great way to start the weekend. Can't do much better than that.

BOLDUAN: That was good stuff.

CUOMO: There's other news. So we'll keep trying. We're going to send you to the "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: That's right. Because having a sister is the best. Thanks so much.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.