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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS

Donald Sterling Under Fire; Celebrities Behaving Badly; L.A. Residents Respond to Sterling Scandal; Leaking Celebrity Videos

Aired May 14, 2014 - 22:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN special report. I'm Don Lemon.

We have a live exclusive interview in just moments that you don't want to miss.

But, first, I want to tell you Donald Sterling is not a racist. Well, at least according to him, he's not. But in a more exclusive interview Anderson Cooper, he admits he did make a mistake, but says nothing about selling the Los Angeles Clippers.

And tonight we have an exclusive interview with a man who says he is the one, the one -- he recorded one of those phone calls with Donald Sterling and then released them to the media. We're going to press him on that and what those tapes reveal.

Plus, Donald Sterling says he's not a racist, though his own words tell a very different story. How do any of us really know if we are racist?

Plus, Bieber and Baldwin both in trouble with the law again. Is celebrity behavior get worse or are we just living in a world where cameras are everywhere?

But before we get to all of that, we want to begin with that breaking news I told but about. An aspiring rapper by the name of Maseratimet, who claims to be a friend of Donald Sterling, he also claims to have recorded a phone conversation they had and released them to Web sites.

Maseratimet joins me now with the exclusive interview.

Thank you for joining us here on CNN. You doing OK?

MASERATIMET, FRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: Yes, I'm doing good.

LEMON: How long you have known Donald Sterling? And how did you meet him?

MASERATIMET: Straight off the bat.

I knew Donald about five, six years. How I know him? That's a good question. You know, Donald likes to have fun. Donald likes a lot of -- Donald likes a lot of women. It's obvious. The world knows Donald. I mean, it's no surprise.

LEMON: So how did you meet him?

MASERATIMET: So, how I met him? I met him through a few -- a friend of mine introduced me to him. And I actually ran a service in Las Vegas.

LEMON: OK.

So, in your previous life, let's -- you were involved in an escort service. Is that how you know Donald Sterling?

MASERATIMET: Correct. Correct. That's how I know him.

LEMON: So you introduced him to ladies from time to time?

MASERATIMET: Correct.

LEMON: OK.

MASERATIMET: And...

LEMON: And go on.

MASERATIMET: And after a while, I just -- he didn't show no sign of racist to me. He seemed, you know, straightforward. He didn't have any -- he never showed no sign of racist to me. So, when I heard the tape, it just really threw me off.

LEMON: Did he like a certain kind of girl? Did the race of the girl matter or anything like that?

MASERATIMET: He liked -- you know, he liked them light-skinned. I ain't going to lie. He liked them light-skinned. He always prefer light-skinned women.

LEMON: All right. OK. All right.

So, listen -- and we have not spoken to Donald Sterling about this. These are your claims. What did you think when the recordings first came out? Did you reach out to him?

MASERATIMET: Yes, I was really upset.

I had sent him a text kind of going off. And then I called him. And that piece of the tape is not out. But he just started going, just going crazy, just started going off. So I said, I mean, this guy just took it overboard.

So I just -- I mean, I just hit record. That's kind of how -- it was just something I wanted to capture, and really let people hear the real -- the other side of Donald Sterling.

LEMON: So you didn't think -- he showed no signs of racism until you heard the recordings that were released on TMZ?

MASERATIMET: Yes, correct.

LEMON: And so you were upset and you texted him. Right?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And then who called? Did you call him or did he call you?

MASERATIMET: He said, call me. He's not a texter. He said, call me. And I called him. And he just started going off that, you know I'm not a racist and just going off. And I hit the record button. So, that's how that went down.

LEMON: OK.

You said that you recorded your conversations with Donald Sterling. There have been a few different Donald Sterling tapes to emerge. And so, to be clear, which of those tapes of you and Donald Sterling, which one are you talking about?

MASERATIMET: All the conversations, all -- there's -- every one besides the V. Stiviano -- everyone one besides that -- that girl are me. It's me and him. It's me and his conversation.

LEMON: The one released to Radar Online that was just released today. And then wasn't there one released -- the daily mail today, and then on released on Radar Online about a week ago?

MASERATIMET: Correct.

LEMON: Correct?

MASERATIMET: All the tapes, yes, those are -- it's about -- it's a two-hour -- it's like a two-hour conversation.

LEMON: Right.

MASERATIMET: I mean, those are just minutes. Those are clips of it, yes.

LEMON: Maseratimet, did you get paid for those tapes?

MASERATIMET: Honestly, no. There was no money involved really.

It was -- I mean, anybody who knows me, I got money. I'm already successful. And I'm not -- it wasn't really in it for the money. You could reach out to sources. I didn't get any money for the tapes.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So you didn't -- we have an affidavit here from an attorney that says you that own the tapes, right? But you -- and you're telling the truth that -- because we can find out -- you did not get paid for these tapes?

MASERATIMET: I didn't get paid for the tapes, no.

LEMON: OK. All right.

So then it was -- you said about two hours of tapes?

MASERATIMET: Yes.

LEMON: OK.

So I want you to listen to what Donald Sterling says on the tapes about losing his team and then we will talk, Maserati.

MASERATIMET: All right.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: They think that it's -- it's excessive, far excessive for what happened. For what? Even if he said he hates Jews or he hates Koreans, can you charge him that? Isn't that excessive?

MASERATIMET: Yes.

STERLING: Can you take away his living? Can you take away his living, I ask you? For what? For trying to get a girl hot and trying to make it with her?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

LEMON: So how did that come about? What were you talking about there?

MASERATIMET: At that point, we were talking about -- he was explaining to me that, you know, I was just trying to have sex with her. And I didn't mean -- you know, she baited him in. My understanding is that she -- if you listen to the tape, he talks about also that she didn't like blacks, Mexicans and -- so she was she went on years telling him that, and that she would never date a Mexican or a black guy.

So, in that time, Donald felt comfortable speaking, you know, his real side, of him -- felt comfortable expressing it to her.

LEMON: All right.

She is saying -- he says on the audio that he believed that she was racist, and that she wished that she was white and that she tried to hard to make her skin white and that she actually attempted to bleach it. And so that's what you were talking about, right? Because he's claiming that she's a racist.

MASERATIMET: She -- yes. And I say that's true. Everything on there, everything he says is true about that.

LEMON: OK.

MASERATIMET: Yes.

LEMON: All right. Let's listen to -- there is more of what he said on those tapes. Let's listen. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STERLING: She says, God made me black. I didn't want to be black. I got 15 brothers and sisters. They're all Mexican and I'm the only one that's black.

She said, do you know what it is to wake up every morning and wish you were white? And she tried so hard to make her skin white. And she does it every night, you know?

MASERATIMET: To make it white?

STERLING: Yes, her feet, her hands. What do you think about my skin color?

I really didn't think about it. Well, do you like black skin?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

LEMON: So were you pressing him on, why would you say all of these things when you're dating a woman of color, or is that what happened in this instance?

MASERATIMET: Yes. I'm like wondering, why are you -- you know, you always liked a woman of color.

So, you know, what's going on? I'm hearing this tape from -- with him and her on the phone. I'm like, that threw me off. And it's like, you know, I'm just, well, that threw me off. So, I had to call him. It's like, you always dated. I know you -- I have known him to always want a woman of color.

And then to say what he said, it just -- it just threw me off big time. So now I do believe he is -- you know, he is a racist, because people don't speak that type of language and really don't mean -- you know, you don't speak that type of language and not be racist.

LEMON: OK. So, when you say he liked light skin, you meant light- skinned women of color, not white women?

MASERATIMET: No. Yes, light-skinned women of color, not white women.

LEMON: OK. OK. All right. I got you.

So, yes, I want to read this response. This is from the law firm that is representing V. Stiviano.

"And in response to the recordings believed to be from Sterling claiming Stiviano is a racist who does not like black people, the representative said: 'It's nonsense. She is extremely proud of her heritage and her background, and despite all that has happened, she still cares very deeply for Donald."

(CROSSTALK)

MASERATIMET: I think that's a lie. LEMON: Why's that?

MASERATIMET: I just think it's a lie.

I think -- I believe, you know, Donald expressed to me how -- what she said, that tape -- you know, the whole tape is not out. I have got -- I mean, listening to what he said, I believe what he said.

I think that she baited him in. And I don't think that -- I mean, in California, there's like -- there's always Hispanic and black -- there has always a rival thing going on between those two cultures anyway.

So, you know, I think -- I think it's a lie. I think she did tell him that -- that's just my opinion. I think she told him she didn't like blacks or she wouldn't date blacks, and that's what made him feel comfortable to said the things he said.

LEMON: That's interesting, because you would think that maybe she would, because he said all along, I don't want with you black people. And then he said, I was jealous, and that's why I said that.

But I have to pressure you here, because you taped yourself having a conversation with someone. You called a friend and I guess sort of a business acquaintance from the past, someone who was going through a crisis of his own making, and then you made them public.

Do you have any qualms about that? Do you feel any guilt or...

MASERATIMET: No, no, I don't feel any guilt, just like he -- I don't -- when he apologized, I didn't take his apology serious.

So, you know, he said he was just trying to have sex with her. And in that case, you don't -- you went a little bit too far to -- you know, it didn't take that much. You didn't have to say that much to just get the girl to lay down.

I mean, you know, we call those type of females stocks. We don't -- those -- she's the type of female that don't take that much to have, you know, sex with.

LEMON: OK. All right.

So, listen, did he know that you were recording him?

MASERATIMET: No, he didn't know.

LEMON: He didn't know. So you don't feel like you set him up?

MASERATIMET: No, I didn't feel like I set him up. I really don't.

When I first called him, it wasn't recording. And then he just -- when he started dwelling, just drilling me, I hit the recording button. I don't know. I hit the recording button. And I didn't care at the time.

I mean, you know, this guy, he said some stuff that I got offended to, and then he was talking about Magic Johnson. I look up to Magic Johnson. So, you know, clearly, you know, I believe -- it just really ticked me off. So that's what made me hit the record button. So...

LEMON: The Magic Johnson part and...

MASERATIMET: Oh, yes, Magic Johnson part, for serious, really, that was like when he was just -- the way he talked about Magic Johnson, I mean, I have -- I have it on audio I haven't put out.

I'm not going to put everything out. But he's just trashing him. So, I mean, come on.

LEMON: Yes.

So a friend wouldn't do that, but, at this point, I guess you don't feel like you're a friend?

MASERATIMET: No, we're not friends, no, not at all, not anymore.

LEMON: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Have you spoken to him since?

MASERATIMET: No. I haven't spoken to him. I'm going to actually give him a call and see what he says about everything.

LEMON: What do you want to get out of this, Maserati?

MASERATIMET: You know, it's really nothing to gain.

I think, when you listen to what he says, it's -- I mean, the guy -- I think the guy just needs to -- he needs to sit in the background. And he's telling -- you know, he needs to sit in the background and leave the NBA and move on and relax on the beach and just enjoy life. I mean, I don't think he needs to be involved in the NBA. I think he needs to be -- he needs to lose the Clippers, him and his wife.

LEMON: Yes.

MASERATIMET: That's my opinion.

LEMON: So, I have to go back to something, OK?

MASERATIMET: Yes.

LEMON: Because you said you didn't get any money from any of these Web sites, correct?

MASERATIMET: Yes.

LEMON: You asked us for money, if we paid. We did not pay you.

MASERATIMET: I didn't ask you for money. No, they were saying about flying me to New York or something. And I'm like, hey, that's not on my expense. They need to put up some money to get me to New York. And then it just happened to be that you guys were in Atlanta. So we -- we're doing it this way. I didn't -- it was -- I wasn't going to fly to New York.

LEMON: All right. I will take your word for that. We are in Atlanta. We don't pay for interviews.

But it's not out of the ordinary to pay you here to come here to sit on the set with me. I think that would be a fair thing to do if we wanted to interview you.

MASERATIMET: Yes, you -- yes, I wasn't going to...

LEMON: Yes. But that's not -- yes. You're there in Atlanta.

One more question. So you met him a while back. How long ago you said, what year?

MASERATIMET: I didn't give you the year. I said it was about -- it was about five, six years ago. I have been -- ever since I moved to the East Coast. I have been in Atlanta. I haven't been...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, five or six years?

MASERATIMET: Yes.

LEMON: So how many times do you think you saw him and there was an exchange of services over the years?

MASERATIMET: More than I can count on both hands. I mean, the guy has fun. I mean, he's Donald Sterling. You know, so it's more than I can count. I mean, it...

LEMON: All right.

Maseratimet, thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

MASERATIMET: No problem.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much.

Donald Sterling says he's -- quote -- "no Frankenstein" and claims that he is not the racist, but V. Stiviano is, as you will hear or heard from those recordings, and after three decades, he should be forgiven for what he calls a terrible mistake.

I'm joined by Sam Freedman, a contributor to "The Jewish Daily Forward," Earl Ofari Hutchinson, political analyst and author of "How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge," Tim Wise, activist and author of "Colorblind," CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos and criminal defense attorney, and also Sally Kohn, also a CNN political commentator in the hot seat tonight, squirming during that.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: What did you think?

SALLY KOHN, CNN COMMENTATOR: It was all I could do to -- I don't know sign language. But I just wanted to reach in front of your face and do the like WTF sign language during some moments of that.

LEMON: Yes.

KOHN: OK, leaving the painful sexism behind for a moment, because, of course, we're going to talk about racial bias, so it's a great moment to remind us all how often these things are interconnected.

Donald Sterling and this whole conversation is a great example of the fact that white people can be friends with people of color, they can even date people of color and still hold racially biased attitudes. The one does not create an immunity or something like, oh, no, I can't be because I'm dating a woman of color. No, sorry. Not immune.

LEMON: OK.

I want to get to Mark Geragos now.

Mark, I don't -- there is a whole big legal thing going on here. But it was an amazing interview to listen to. What did you make of it?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, if you can't trust your pimp to keep confidences, I don't know who you're going to trust in this day and age.

(LAUGHTER)

GERAGOS: You know, the poor Maserati needed a little bit of legal advice, because he just admitted to a misdemeanor in California, because he -- we're a one-party state, Maserati.

You should have got some immunity before you pressed the record button and then released it. So, tell him to step back. I mean, the whole thing, really, Don, we have kind of -- there...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Even if he recorded this tape in Georgia, he is still exposed?

GERAGOS: Yes, he is still exposed.

LEMON: OK.

GERAGOS: He has got somebody who he knows was in California, and there's plenty of prosecutors around who would love to prosecute something like that.

LEMON: OK.

GERAGOS: But the fact remains, it really is -- it really is kind of stunning, the whole thing. We now have a guy who runs and escort service vouching for the fact that he never saw him be a racist. I -- I don't know. The whole thing is rather distasteful.

LEMON: Tim Wise, he did like light-skinned black women, according to Maserati.

TIM WISE, AUTHOR, "WHITE LIKE ME": Yes.

GERAGOS: Right, so did plantation owners during slavery. So, what difference does that make?

(CROSSTALK)

WISE: Yes, a lot of slave owners were sexually attracted to their chattel and of course also took liberties violently with them. It didn't change the fact that they were embedded in a system of racial subordination.

And I think, really, to be honest, that is the bigger issue. It sort of gets boring to discuss whether this doddering old man is a racist or not. That is sort of a boring conversation for me. What I'm interested in is, here is a guy who we know, based on his past legal history, has a history of institutional mistreatment of black and brown peoples.

He paid the largest settlement fine in history of any housing discrimination case that the Justice Department got involved in about a decade ago. So we're talking $2.5 million, not to the NBA, but to these 19 plaintiffs who sued him. This is somebody who had violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The NBA apparently didn't think that was something for which he should be disqualified as an owner.

All of the sudden, we're talking about blatantly racist remarks. The bigger issue is that he's been embedded in a pattern and practice of discriminatory treatment for a long time.

LEMON: Right.

WISE: That's what makes this a race story, not whether he's a bigot. And I wish we would focus more on that, rather than as him as an individual personality.

LEMON: And we will. That's why we have you here, Mr. Wise, and the rest of our panel. We are going to focus on that and much, much more. If you didn't get a chance to speak, you will throughout the show, stand by, Earl. And stand by, Sam. You will get in.

Everybody, stay with me here.

We will have more from Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper. And that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We're back now with my guests.

And I want to get reaction to that indeed just had with Maseratimet, the man who says he recorded his conversations with Donald Sterling, the latest leaked audio to come out now.

I want to start with Sam Freedman, who is a contributor to "The Jewish Daily Forward."

What did you make of the interview? He said, listen, I didn't get money for it. I released it because I was upset at what he said, and I thought that he was a racist after talking to him, but before I did not because he liked black girls, according to Maserati, but he liked them light-skinned.

SAM FREEDMAN, CONTRIBUTOR, "THE JEWISH DAILY FORWARD": Well, I think that there is a particular American psychosis about race that he's part of.

I think of Donald Sterling being akin to Strom Thurmond, the segregationist senator from South Carolina who we found out had had a biracial child by his family's African-American maid.

I think of him akin to Lee Atwater, who was so renowned for his love of blues music, but was the person who put the Willie Horton commercial on TV to play race card in the George H.W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis election.

So, I don't find anything at all odd. In fact, it's, sadly, very real to me that someone who is attracted to black people or people of color as lovers, as sexual playthings, as entertainment on a basketball court is repelled by his own attraction and reviles those people when they're his tenants or his would-be tenants in his rental properties.

And, you know, as Tim said before, why does it take, you know, the salacious things, the secret taping, the talk to the mistress, the talk to the escort service operator to raise this issue?

LEMON: Right.

FREEDMAN: There's a long track record of discriminatory charges against him that go back 12, 13 years.

LEMON: So, Earl, I want you to listen to another sound bite. Then I want to get you, what you have to say on this. This is Anderson Cooper, that released new sound from his exclusive interview with Donald Sterling. And I want you to listen and then we will talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think that is a problem in America, racism? Do you think it...

STERLING: I don't think so. I don't think there's any -- I think it's better than any other place in the world.

COOPER: You don't see it as a big problem here?

STERLING: I don't see it.

I'm not, you know, an African-American. You know, take Judaism. And, well, I don't think the Jews have any problem. I mean, there's a couple of people that they killed the Jews coming out of a synagogue, and you remember all this?

(CROSSTALK)

STERLING: But, in general, I think America handles everything well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Earl, Sterling doesn't believe racism is still a problem in the United States. Is he naive, or does he just not understand the concept of racism?

EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON, AUTHOR, "HOW OBAMA GOVERNED: THE YEAR OF CRISIS AND CHALLENGE": Well, probably all of the above, but why would we be surprised at that?

You know, one thing I'm mindful of when I heard him say that -- and, by the way, I heard him say similar things before and others like him. You know, poll after poll after poll, survey after survey after survey has shown one thing, that, when you look at race and racism, many whites are in deep denial: In fact, everything is fine.

So what happens is, you see an Oprah, you see a Magic, you see a Bob Parsons, or you see multimillionaires, you see corporation heads and executives that are African-American. You see those in -- personalities and celebrities all over the place. So there is the illusion, maybe the delusion, in America that everything is fine.

How can you say an Oprah or how can you say someone like a Bob Johnson or Denzel Washington suffers racism? Look at them. Look at their status. Look at their position. Look at their wealth. Look at their power. Look at their influence.

So it's easy to be in denial. So, Sterling is no different than anyone else. We hear this over and over and over again. So it's no surprise. You can say...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Before -- before you jump in, Earl, do you -- you said you have heard him say things like that before. Do you believe this Maseratimet?

HUTCHINSON: No.

You know what, I think when you mention naivete, I think there was naivete there, that you would have someone like him, and there are some other African-Americans I have heard during the Sterling drama over the last couple of weeks that essentially are giving him a pass. So I think there is naivete on all sides. But, at the end of the day...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But I don't think Maserati was giving him a pass. I think Maserati thought he wasn't a racist and then -- and in the subsequent...

(CROSSTALK)

HUTCHINSON: No, I meant in the beginning. No, I meant in the beginning, in the beginning.

(CROSSTALK)

HUTCHINSON: Then he walked it -- but he walked it back after that.

LEMON: I got you.

HUTCHINSON: But he had to, because he could hear it himself.

LEMON: Got you.

(CROSSTALK)

HUTCHINSON: So, I think that was a shock to him.

LEMON: Go ahead, Sally.

KOHN: This jumps off what Earl just said, which is, you know, when you listen to Donald Sterling, it's like listening to a dinosaur breathing its last gasp.

LEMON: Right.

KOHN: He does feel like an ancient form of overt and explicit racism that hopefully is dying.

But we people and especially white people need to realize that racial bias in its more subtle and hard to notice and far less talked about on television news, it is all around us. It's like the water we live in.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You realize that, by talking about this, Donald Sterling, like he called Anderson a racist in his interview, Donald Sterling and others will say that we're racist for talking about this.

I'm going to get -- and we're going to get the response on the other side of the break. But, you know, my thing is, what is the definition of -- I want to tell you about a very important e-mail that I got from a friend.

KOHN: Let's go there.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: So, we're going to do it.

Tim and Sam and everybody, Earl, stand by.

Of all Donald Sterling's shocking quotes -- and there are plenty -- the ultimate could be, "I'm not a racist," right?

Yes, Donald Sterling and I'm not black either. At this point, it's pretty obvious, yes, he is a racist. And that's an easy one.

But how do we really know if we're racist? It may be a tougher question than you think. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: My panel is standing by now. But first, I want to tell you about this.

Magic Johnson has long been a popular figure in Los Angeles, not only for his great career with the L.A. Lakers, but for his business success. CNN's Stephanie Elam joins me now.

So Stephanie is in Los Angeles. You know, you went out into the Los Angeles area to get reactions to the scandal and Sterling's derogatory comments. This is clearly sparking a larger discussion on race and racism in our country. Did that come up in your conversations when you spoke to people?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It did, Don. In fact, we went out to this community in Ladera Heights, which is traditionally known as a black community in L.A. We went to the Starbucks and found some people who were outside of it -- this was the Starbucks that Magic actually first established -- to get their take on race relations and how this has impacted it. Take a listen to what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: Has this brought to the forefront the current state of how the races are getting along here in L.A.? That there may still be this undercurrent that we're not seeing on the day to day but that still exists?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it still exists. And I would agree with you when you say it's just an undercurrent. It's just not as prevalent; it's still there. There's a lot of work still to be done, I think. On both parties, you know. If you're minority or if you're white.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Race relations are definitely getting better. The overwhelming majority in this city are damn good people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are who they are. And what the Sterling thing has done is caused people to talk about it and look at it possibly from a different angle, a different light.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it's changed. I just think that the people that are racist are going to be more secretive with it. And I mean, it might open up a little more discussion about it and then, you know, in front of the public eye they may treat black people a little different.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ELAM: And these three men on the left, they're all retirees. And the gentleman on the right, he told me he works.

And it's interesting to hear how they discuss this and they said that this discussion part is what needs to happen here and not just in L.A. But across the country, Don.

LEMON; All right, Stephanie Elam. Thank you very much. I'm back now with my panel here. And I want to get to Tim Wise first. Tim, the whole question about people not knowing or denying that they're racist, how does one really know?

WISE: Well, I mean, there are lots of different ways. There are lots of research, of course, saying that a vast majority of us have been exposed to racial biases and stereotypes and, to some extent, we've internalized them, because that's so ubiquitous. That's why I'm so bored with the conversation about who's a racist and who's not.

I'll tell what you to me was the most racist comment Donald Sterling made. It's not the obvious blatant ones. It's the denial that he issued about racism being a larger social problem. Now, you may think, well, why is that in and of itself racist? Here would be what I would say about that.

It seems to me pretty clear: if you go and ask people of color in this country -- and polls have done this -- do you think racism is still a big problem in your own experience in this country? The vast majority will say yes. So when white people like Donald Sterling, but not just him, the vast majority of whites -- say that it's not a problem, that's like telling black and brown folks that they are not smart enough to intuit their own lived experiences. It's like saying, "You know, you're not rational enough. You're too emotional. You're not intelligent. Let me, the superior white person, tell you your truth."

To me, even though it may not seem racist, the undercurrent of that denial is itself a form of white supremacy. We ought to be talking about that.

LEMON: So you can send your tweets to Tim Wise saying that he's a tool and a racist, and I'm not.

KOHN: Tim is so right on there that we don't -- we don't realize. It's like the proverbial fish in the fishbowl, right?

LEMON: Yes.

KOHN: You grow up in America. You have to remember, it wasn't very long ago that white people could own people of color. It wasn't very long ago in our history that we legally segregated schools and public accommodations. This is a part of our history. It is the water we swim in.

LEMON: Well, could I...

KOHN: And it's not just people's experience. Could I just say to what Tim said, it's the facts, right? People are -- people have very different experiences in hiring and income and in their ability to get bank loans based on race. It's embedded in our society.

LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead, Sam.

HUTCHINSON: So it's how it -- it's how it plays out in law and public policy. Look, I could care less in many ways what Donald Sterling says. I don't care about that. What I do care about is what he does, the consequence of his actions, and how it impacts on literally thousands of people's lives.

Listen, he said the mistress, girlfriend, whatever you want to call her, she's a racist too. But here's a problem with that. She doesn't own a professional sports team. She does not own thousands of housing units and apartments. She does not have a position in the NBA officialdom, the establishment. In other words, she does not have power. So she doesn't -- she can have any view she wants. She cannot like anybody she doesn't want, and so can Sterling.

But the point is, when you have power to actually implement and control not only public policy, law, but people's lives and directly influence them, you ask a question how can you tell a racist? Forget the words, it's their action and the consequences of those actions.

LEMON: Mark, we heard the last man that Stephanie spoke to -- spoke with say maybe this will open up a larger conversation about race. I mean, has it, do you think? And are the right people listening?

GERAGOS: I don't know. I mean, we talk about -- we talk about race all the time. We talk about, well -- and people say, "Well, it's getting better. It's getting better."

My limited experiences when I walked in yesterday to the criminal courts building here in Los Angeles, and I see that 80 percent of the people that we're processing are people of color; when I'm in the jail over the weekend in the visiting room, and I see that virtually 90 percent of the people who are there visiting their loved ones who are locked up in custody at the county jail, 90 percent, it seems like to me, appear to be people of color.

I mean, for people to say that we are past racism, we're hoping that there's going to be a conversation, all I know is I see on a daily basis what looks like to me the white overlords processing the same people of color through the criminal justice revolving door. I mean, it just -- to me, this whole conversation is almost ludicrous, because we haven't asked it.

LEMON: Sam, what about the things that Donald Sterling has said about Jews in contrast with African-Americans? He's comparing races. Inherently, isn't that racist?

FREEDMAN: I don't think it's racist to make that comparison. I think that he's actually correct about the fact that anti-Semitism is an experience for Jews on a day-to-day basis in this country declined a great deal, and where he's really erred egregiously -- and this came out in the first taped conversation -- is what he takes as the lesson of the Holocaust and of Jewish suffering is unique in our suffering. And you can't compare it to the suffering of blacks. That is part of his exchange.

And it's his seeming mistress who's the one who draws the correct conclusion, which is that, while on one hand the Holocaust is a peculiar parochial Jewish experience, the lesson is to be applied universally. And you're supposed to take a stand as a Jew against other forms of discrimination because of what we've experienced...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amen.

FREEDMAN: ... and not to wall yourself up. And I just thought it was incredibly ironic moment in that conversation that it took her to tell him that lesson about being a Jew.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you all. I want Mark and Sally to stay with me. Everybody else, thank you. I really appreciate this conversation. As you know, we have very limited time here.

Coming up, celebrities behaving badly. Are celebrities acting worse than ever or is it just that they're so easily caught these days? We're going to get into that, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We're back, and we have breaking news to tell you about.

The Standard Hotel has identified the person who released the recording of Jay-Z and Beyonce in a brawl in an elevator with Solange Knowles. The person has been terminated, they say, and charges will be pursued.

It is an example that, in this day and age, a TMZ age, and with cameras everywhere that no one is safe, especially celebrities. But is it the celebrities' behavior that's getting worse, or is it just that there are -- there is so much demand to catch them doing something wrong?

CNN's Jean Casarez has more now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: Are you kidding me?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another day, another celebrity caught in the web of ever-present cameras.

For Justin Bieber, it was supposed to be a night with friends at a batting cage in California. But an alleged altercation on Monday night changed everything.

A bystander tried to take pictures of him with her phone. Bieber allegedly tried to take the phone. Now he is accused of attempted robbery.

(on camera): Is any publicity good publicity? DAVID CAPLAN, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Any publicity is not necessarily bad publicity. Even though that's an old adage and people believe that, it's not the case. Because it does ruin your reputation. You know, for example, Beyonce doesn't need a video of her sister attacking her husband.

CASAREZ (voice-over): But that is exactly what hotel security cameras apparently captured. The video, leaked to TMZ, went viral.

CAPLAN: The media is definitely taking advantage of the new technology. And, you know, celebrities' privacy has always been under attack. And right now there are so many Web sites and magazines. They're all competing for this, you know, amazing secret footage. And a lot of these outlets pay. So really, that's what's driving market demand.

CASAREZ (ON CAMERA): So the question is, are more celebrities behaving badly or it is just harder than ever to get away with it?

Cell phones are everywhere. And they've got cameras. So anybody can be that reporter. And you better watch out or you'll be on camera.

(voice-over): For Alec Baldwin, it was just fifa simple bike ride along Fifth Avenue in New York City. Pulled over by the police, cited for riding the wrong way and disorderly conduct.

CAPLAN: For Alec Baldwin the focus is now not on his art, craft, which is -- he's an actor. Now when you think about Baldwin, he's synonymous with temper tantrums.

CASAREZ: A war on two fronts for Baldwin, captured in cuffs on the scene; confronted by paparazzi at home. "Meanwhile, photographers outside my home once again terrified my daughter and nearly hit her with a camera. The police did nothing."

ALLAN MAYER, AZ WOOD PR FIRM: Well, we live in a world of such, you know, prepackaging. And I think there is in the public a real desire to see the real story, what's going on literally behind closed doors. So any time we have an opportunity to do that, you know, we jump at it.

CASAREZ: And as long as the public eats it up, expect to see more caught on tape.

Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: All right. Jean, thank you very much.

I want to bring my guests back in now. Joining me now is Kathleen Hessert. She's a president of Sports Media Challenge. Jim Moret is a chief correspondent for "Inside Edition." Elaine Lui from LaineyGossip.com. And back with me now, Mark Geragos, of course, and Sally Cohen in the hot seat tonight. So Elaine, are celebrities really misbehaving more or is it just that we have all joined the ranks of the paparazzi, whether as photographers or as consumers?

ELAINE LUI, LAINEYGOSSIP.COM: I think celebrities are behaving the way they've always behaved. It's just that now we have more ways than ever to observe them.

In the past, they had people who'd help them cover it up or at least help them remain behind the veil. But they're participating in these new social media ways, too. Many celebrities have joined Twitter. Many celebrities are posting very personal photos and intimate moments on Instagram. It's like they can't help but share their lives with us, too.

So it's a give and take. The consumer wants more, but they're wanting more because they're responding to a stimulus. And that stimulus is being thrown out there by many celebrities.

LEMON: Yes, they want what they want. You know, to be photographed in the best light.

Mark, you know, then there are the leakers, though. Someone leaked a video from the Standard Hotel of the elevator fight between Beyonce's sister and Jay-Z. You have represented numerous celebrities throughout the years. Do you expect privacy and confidentiality in a place like that? I think you have an expectation of privacy in an elevator?

GERAGOS: Well, you would think when you get into a hotel that you're going to have some privacy. But the fact is all you have to do is look up into the corner of the elevator and you see that there's a security camera. And you know that that could be leaked.

And the amounts of money that are being paid for these tapes are astronomical. I mean, five or six years the -- during the initial stages of the Chris Brown case, when the two police officers who leaked the picture of Rihanna, it was reported then -- and I had pretty good evidence -- that they had made $62,500 back then for leaking that picture. That's a lot of money. That's -- for two people who are on the LAPD payroll that's virtually a year's salary. So, you know, it's tough to compete with that.

LEMON: Well, this is reportedly. This isn't CNN's reporting, but w we're hearing $250,000, possibly, for this video of Solange Knowles in that elevator. That's a lot of money, even if someone doesn't...

GERAGOS: That's a lot of -- and I will tell that you the V. Stiviano original tape to TMZ exceeded that amount if you'll believe the lawyer who confided in me that he was the one that sold it to TMZ. So those are real. That's real money.

LEMON: Oh, my goodness. Jim, listen, I want to get -- talk about this. There might be other reasons why people leak things. And I want you to listen to what Maseratimet told me tonight about why he released tapes of himself and Donald Sterling. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MASERATIMET, FRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: I didn't set him up. I really don't. When I first called him, it wasn't recorded. And then when he started dwelling or just drilling me, I hit the recording button. I don't know. I hit the recording button.

And I didn't care at the time. I mean this guy, he said some stuff that I got offended to, and then he talked about Magic Johnson. I mean, I look up to Magic Johnson.

So, you know, clearly, you know, I -- it just really ticked me off. So that's what made me hit the record button.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He says he...

KOHN: When you offend a pimp, you know you've gone too far.

LEMON: He says he didn't -- yes. So Jim, he says he didn't get paid. Do you believe him?

JIM MORET, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Do I believe that he didn't get paid? Look, he says he didn't. I don't know.

I'm absolutely stunned that he would announce on television that he committed what Mark aptly, correctly said earlier is a crime in California. You need to have both parties' permission to record a conversation, especially when you have an expectation of privacy in a phone call.

And that's why I look at the Justin Bieber situation, where somebody was out in public, trying to take a picture with her cell phone and Bieber allegedly tried to take the phone. That's different than a conversation on a telephone or even in an elevator.

And I'm glad that this hotel is taking action against the employee. Because that's really -- you know, it's a crime.

Celebrities are behaving badly all the time. We cover that daily. But everybody is a paparazzi now. And the second I go out from my house I know I can be on camera. I'm on the best behavior all the time. And I'm not a celebrity.

LEMON: Yes. I want to get to Kathleen, because she's sitting there very patiently. You represent celebrity athletes. Can celebrities tell the difference between a fan and amateur paparazzo? You said everyone now really has a camera, and they're kind of paparazzi.

Someone tried to take pictures of Justin Bieber while he was out with friends, and then he allegedly tried to take the phone from her, and now he's being accused of. I mean, isn't that what being a celeb is about? That you are part of the public, and they kind of can take pictures of you when they want to? KATHLEEN HESSERT, PRESIDENT, SPORTS MEDIA CHALLENGE: Absolutely. There's no way that you can expert, when you go out in public and you make your living based on the favor of the public, that you can expect them not to do something like that. So you have to be on your guard all the time. There's no way that any client of mine can go out in public and not be on their guard, because anybody could pick up on them.

And when it comes to somebody taping on a telephone, I mean, who -- what normal person has a tape recorder next to the telephone and just automatically clicks on it anyway?

LEMON; It's on phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

LEMON: The tape recorder is on the phone.

HESSERT: It's got to be there for a purpose.

LEMON: Yes.

HESSERT: It's there for a purpose. It wasn't just -- it didn't just happen to be there.

LEMON: Yes, yes, yes. Obviously, he thought it out.

So listen, stand by, everyone, because coming up, you know, in an age where everyone has a pocket-sized high-def camera at their fingertips at every waking hour, have we all become paparazzi? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: How many of you would be willing to exploit a little bit of a celebrity's private life for a six-figure paycheck? Be honest.

Back with my guests now. So first question to Elaine. Most everyone has a camera and a video on their smart phone these days, posting them on social media sites all the time. Is there a limit, really, to people's obsession with celebrities? Have we created monsters out of everyone, pretty much?

LUI: I don't think we've created monsters out of everyone. You can use it effectively. You can use it to your advantage, and many celebrities do. They use their own cameras to post videos on their own sites so that they can promote their projects.

I think that the difference is that we're not really having a discussion about privacy. We're having a discussion about control. What celebrities are bucking against isn't the fact that their privacy is being violated. They're bucking against the fact that they're not able to control every time somebody walks around a mall or Justin Bieber goes to a batting cage. He doesn't get to control the mother and the child who are photographing him. That's the difference. It's not about privacy.

LEMON: Yes.

KOHN: Something tells me he was missing too many shots and he was embarrassed.

I mean, there's another part of this, Don, which is these aren't all celebrities that people are chasing down and posting these videos of. Like there's a lot of celebrities, very famous people, who are allowed to live their lives privately. The celebrities who have value in the TMZ world are the ones who are simultaneously exploiting their own social media capital and constantly posting stuff about them. They're superstars. They want to be, but they don't want to pay the price.

LEMON: Yes. This goes beyond celebrity, though. Because I don't know if you guys heard about this. It's a tendency to whip out your cell phone and shoot everything. It has a real down side.

I don't know if you guys remember last week in New York when this young woman, she fainted onto subway tracks and she hit her head badly. A father of three jumped in to save her. And as he pulled her back to the platform, he looked up to see everyone with their cell phones out, and no one else was helping. That's disheartening, Mark.

HESSERT: You know, but there's something that can happen there. There is a camera...

LEMON: Go ahead, Kathleen, if you want to. Go ahead.

HESSERT: You have -- you have a camera, and you've got something between you and what's going on. So they can be in the middle of it, but they can distance themselves with that camera or with that phone. So I think that makes it easier for people to say, "I'm here but I'm not here."

LEMON: Mark.

GERAGOS: I was just going to say, in the interest of full disclosure, I've got no problem with celebrities behaving badly. It's my full employment act. So I really don't -- I have no criticism for it. Go out, behave badly.

LEMON: Come on. You just criticized Maseratimet, though. I mean, come on. That's a potential new client.

GERAGOS; Unless I've seen his PNL, I don't think it's a future client.

KOHN: It's all about the money. We know.

LEMON: Jim, is it ridiculous for celebrities to expect the same right to privacy as the rest of us? I'm asking you the same question in a different way over and over?

KOHN: No.

LEMON: That's for Jim, Kathleen. MORET: Do I think -- well, look. You know, you live by the sword; you die by the sword. You can't -- you can't demand attention and then say, "No, no, no, put the cameras away when I'm not ready."

You go out in public. I know a lot of celebrities lead normal lives, and they don't worry about cameras. There are going to be cameras wherever you go. But there are another group of celebrities that fan this disapproval of all the cameras and yet secretly want it, too.

And I do believe it is an issue of control. I think ultimately that's really what we're talking about. Control of the message, which they lose when everyone else has a camera, and we're all voyeurs now.

LEMON: All right. You're sending us your questions, and we're going to answer them right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So we're back. And I have less time than I thought. So I get to ask a question tonight to all of you. By a show of hands, our expectation of privacy, is it really over for everyone not just celebrities?

No? You guys don't believe that?

KOHN: Yes.

MORET: It's over. We're raising hands for a yes or no?

LEMON: Yes. For a yes.

MORET: It's over.

GERAGOS: Over.

KOHN: Yes.

LEMON: Everybody. Oh, everybody.

HESSERT: It's over. Done.

LEMON: Thank you for joining us. I'm Don Lemon. I appreciate it. "AC 360" starts right now.