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Former Microsoft CEO May Buy Clippers for $2 Billion; Growing VA Scandal

Aired May 29, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, there's breaking news tonight, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is close to buying the L.A. Clippers for a reported winning bid of $2 billion. That's according to a source who have knowledge of the negotiations. It's a deal that could turn the story on its head.

Now a short time ago, Donald Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, made the case on CNN that his client is a man who's been wrong, the victim of a, quote, "kangaroo court," who is now considering suing the league.

What's really interesting, or strange depending on your perspective, is when you listen to this interview, Mr. Blecher sounds like his client is digging in for a long fight. Not a quick sale like the deal with Ballmer. Listen.


MAXWELL BLECHER, DONALD STERLING'S ATTORNEY: The league on Tuesday has a guillotine over Mr. Sterling's head. On Tuesday they will confiscate his team under the terms that are under the constitution and bylaws, they will do that illegally. And if they don't want a lawsuit challenging that conduct they need to let us know before Tuesday.

The league has said in writing to me that that tape recording is the sole basis of the claims against Mr. Sterling. So the sole basis of the claims is an illegally obtained recording which under California law cannot be offered in evidence. So they have no case.

He is accepting responsibility that he made a mistake. He is not consenting to the league confiscating his property which you can now see is worth more than a billion dollars. He is not consenting to pay a $2.5 million fine or to be banished from the stadium for the rest of his life. These are draconian remedies. It exceeds anything. Anybody who's ever done in any professional sport.

And what is the basis for this? An illegal recording.

He's not a racist. He's had five black head coaches. He had a 22- year association with Elgin Baylor as his director of operations. 22 years with that man. He's given huge sums of money to black charities, including the United Negro Fund. He has given tickets away to the inner city people so that the kids can see his games. There isn't any record in the entire 30 years he's owned this team of racism entering into the conduct and operation of the team.


COOPER: Well, that interview was just about two hours ago, and now we have news of this potential $2 billion sale.

To make things even more bizarre, is that that stance you just heard from Mr. Blecher is nearly the exactly opposite turn his client, Donald Sterling, took when I spoke with him just over two weeks ago.


DONALD STERLING, L.A. CLIPPERS OWNER: People want me to hire a wall of lawyers and then to hire a wall of lawyers and to go to war. I don't think that's the answer. The league is a good league. All honest people. And I think that whatever they decide that has to be done I think I should work with them.

You know, I love my league. I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It is a terrible mistake and I'll never do it again. Is it harsh? Of course it's harsh. But it's not like -- I don't deserve -- I thought they were going to do more.


COOPER: Well, that was clearly then, so now either Mr. Sterling is girding for battle or is close to selling the team to Steve Ballmer for about $2 billion. Either way, on Tuesday, the league's 30 owners plan to vote on whether to strip Sterling and his estranged wife Shelly of their ownership rights.

There's a lot going on. Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me tonight, along with Stephen A. Smith, co-host of ESPN's "First Take."

Let's start with Stephen. What do you think of, Steve, this report, Steve Ballmer buying the Clippers for reportedly $2 billion or so?

STEPHEN A. SMITH, CO-HOST, ESPN'S "FIRST TAKE": Well, obviously that's a lot of money, there's no question about that. You certainly didn't anticipate that the Sterling family or the Clippers will be able to be sold for that amount of money. But I can assure you if indeed that is the truth and it's that amount of money, that's just going to give the NBA and its Board of Governors even more incentive to make sure that a sale takes place and that Donald Sterling is out because they definitely like that kind of price tag.

COOPER: Jeff, the report that this sale now is happening just makes this interview with Mr. Blecher that Wolf did all the more bizarre. I mean, this guy Blecher -- it sounds like they're not backing down. What do you make of all this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, yes and no. I thought he said something that was very much in a conciliatory vein. He said the reason we haven't filed a lawsuit yet is that we wanted to give Shelly a chance to negotiate. That's what she's done. She's gotten apparently this phenomenal price from Steve Ballmer.

I think this is what everybody needs to kiss and make up, sell the team, no meeting next Tuesday, all the owners walk away rich and happy.

COOPER: Let me play that sound bite from Blecher that you're talking about.


BLECHER: We have an option of filing it before Tuesday or we have an option of filing it after Tuesday. There is no detriment to our filing it either way. So we'll make that decision. We haven't made it yet. We did not want to interfere. Be very candid with you. We did not want to interfere with Mrs. Sterling's efforts to sell, to try to arrange for a sale of the team.


COOPER: So, Jeff, you're saying basically -- if the sale is done to Ballmer they're just going to go along with it?

TOOBIN: Absolutely, that -- you know, if he didn't want to sell the team he wouldn't give his wife space to sell the team. That is what he did. That is what she has done. And it looks like a deal is in the works.

COOPER: Steve --

SMITH: Jeff, I'm not sure I completely agree with that. The fact of the matter is Donald Sterling is in a no-win situation, regardless of what claims he wants to make. In the end, although everybody is preaching about the U.S. Constitution, there's also something called the NBA constitution, which was basically allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

You want to join the NBA fraternity, there are rules and regulations, there are stipulations that come along with it. Although he purchased the franchise for about $12.5 million in 1981, he understands -- he has always understood the rules and regulations that come along with it. If you impugn or sully the integrity of NBA, they have a right to vote you out.

Now you can try to fight and talk about how he was illegally taped, and you know, you were set up and all of these other stuff, but in the end your name, your pariah right now. You're persona non-grata. You're one of most hated men in America.

TOOBIN: Stephen A. is exactly right. This is -- he has no case. Donald Sterling has never had a case. Shelly Sterling has never had a legal case. If they want -- if the NBA wants to throw him out, as they do, they're going to throw him out. So why not make a deal now avoid the embarrassment, avoid the legal trouble, and you know, get $2 billion in the bargain?

COOPER: Stephen, does $2 billion surprise you? I mean, a lot of people were talking about, you know, $600 million, $800 million, a couple of weeks ago. I didn't hear a lot of people talk about this $2 billion figure until just the last few days.

SMITH: Anderson, I got to confess to you. It's blowing me away. I've got to admit it to you. Now obviously having a franchise in Los Angeles, you have considerably more value in terms of what your franchise was compared to let's say if somebody was in Milwaukee, or Charlotte or whatever the case may be. We've seen the elevation and price tags of other NBA franchise.

COOPER: Jeff, this lawyer, Blecher, brought up the argument mentioned in the letter that they sent to the NBA that this is all based on a recording that was made illegally. Again, that doesn't matter.

TOOBIN: I have never thought that mattered. You know, if he thinks that this recording was made illegally he can go sue V. Stiviano, and much as I would enjoy watching the lawsuit of Donald Sterling versus V. Stiviano, that is neither here nor there as far as the NBA is concerned. The NBA knows that their reputation has been damaged. Sponsors left. Players have threatened not to play. That is a direct financial threat to the NBA regardless of the legality of this taping.

COOPER: What would be great about -- I mean, if they get $2 billion this is a great opportunity for Mr. Sterling, as he said he wanted to do, to try to show what a good person he is, this is a prime opportunity for him to kid of spread the love around. There's a lot of communities, there's a lot of folks who could use some of that $2 billion.

SMITH: Well, there's an opportunity for him to exercise common sense and just move out the way. You have to recognize that you're not wanted and more importantly this is America, people have the right not to want you. And that's one of the things that hasn't been mentioned enough here.

You talk about country clubs or whatever the case may be. The fact that somebody has the right to simply and say we don't want you as a part of our club. You're not throwing the man in jail, you're not confiscating his civil rights or his legal rights, or whatever the case may be. You're simply saying to him, take your money, take your close to a billion if not more than a billion in profit, and go on with your life. We just don't want you to be a part of this organization.

COOPER: Stephen A. Smith, great to have you. Jeff Toobin, as well. Thank you, guys.

Well, we'll see if this deal actually gets done. A quick reminder, make sure to set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you want.

Coming up, the growing chorus for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign over delays in care for our nation's veterans. Lawmakers asking how this could have happened. They're not satisfied with the answers they've been getting so far. We'll talk to one ahead. And later, a survivor's story. A young man who was injured in Friday's rampage in Santa Barbra, speaking out about being hit by the killer's car and it turned out and living to tell the tale. Why he says he wanted to come forward.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, there are growing calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to lose his job over the scandal we've been reporting on this program for months now. Veterans waiting endlessly for care at VA hospitals with sometimes fatal consequences.

Today members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America met with Shinseki met and other top VA officials, and the head of that group says the meeting did nothing to restore confidence that the problems would be fixed.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now calling for Shinseki to resign. Eleven Democrats, 13 Republicans, and a White House official tells CNN that Shinseki is on, quote, "thin ice" with President Obama.

Senior VA officials were called to testify at a House hearing yesterday evening and lawmakers were not at all satisfied with the answers they got when they got any answers at all. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone from the VA or a third party conduct some form of verification prior to the list's destruction?

DR. THOMAS LYNCH, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: I don't have knowledge of that, Congressman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know their names?

LYNCH: No, I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, I don't review the e-mail files.

LYNCH: I do not recall at this time.


LYNCH: But I don't have the policy available.


LYNCH: I don't have that information. I don't know, Congressman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not -- I'm not sure.

LYNCH: I cannot comment, Congressman, at this time. I don't know. I cannot tell you under whose authority they were formed. I don't know the specifics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any reason that somebody would come to the emergency room at VA and then sent home for several months?

LYNCH: Congressman, I don't have an explanation for that.


COOPER: Well, senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has been "Keeping Them Honest" since the beginning. He joins me now.

In any part of that hearing, was there an explanation of why or how this happened at the VA?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: There was an apology, a pledge that this message is going to get fixed, and a partial explanation but not before the VA's assistant deputy undersecretary of health that you saw there got an earful from both sides -- Anderson.


REP. PHIL ROE (R), TENNESSEE: What I don't understand as a veteran, a doctor, a practitioner, how you can stand in a mirror and look at yourself in the mirror and shave in the morning and not throw up knowing that you've got people out there? And I can't go to a VA, I make too much money, I'm perfectly OK with that. I have good insurance.

But how in the world -- I see some of these people out there. They live in my communities and they can't get in. And they're desperate to get in, and someone who is making $180,000 a year gets a bonus for not taking care of the veterans. I don't get that.

LYNCH: Congressman, what's happened is unacceptable. But I have to go beyond that because I have to figure out how to fix the system. And that's my goal and purpose is to understand the problem and assure that it doesn't happen again.


COOPER: And, Drew, you said there was some sort of explanation. Now we've been asking for one for weeks. What is it?

GRIFFIN: A partial explanation and it's tied, Anderson, to that goal the VA has of seeing every patient within 14 days which we pointed out as simply unrealistic. But instead of standing up and declaring that that goal could not be met, it appears administrators and staff just fudged the numbers, took out their erasers, and on paper and in reports made it look like the goal was being met.


ROE: I get being overworked, having more work that you can do. And patients than you can take care of. I've got that. I understand it completely. What I do not understand is creating a list right here that have people waiting until they can get on another list to show that they can get an appointment in the time, in the metrics the VA put up and then someone gets a bonus, benefits when veterans are suffering. Is that what happened? I think it is. LYNCH: Congressman, as I mentioned earlier --

ROE: Is that what happened?

LYNCH: I mean, I think --


LYNCH: I think we elevated a performance measure to a goal. I think people lost sight of the real goal of VA which is treating veterans. They began to focus on achieving a 14-day -- achieving care within 14 days.


GRIFFIN: Anderson, what Dr. Thomas Lynch would not or actually says he could not say is that the performance measures were tied to actual bonuses. Many in Congress believe that the awarding of these bonuses, money, is what is behind this. We may not learn about that until the final Office of Inspector General report later this summer.

COOPER: Drew, stay there, because I want to bring in congressman Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, as well as CNN senior political analyst David Gergen.

Mr. Chairman, let me start with you. After yesterday's preliminary inspector general's report revealing what is clearly, obviously disturbing systematic problem at the VA, you called for Shinseki's resignation. How in your opinion will that help solve the problems at the VA?

REP. JEFF MILLER (R), VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: It's not going to solve the problem. I've said it for a long time that this is much larger than one man. Secretary Shinseki obviously has lost the ability to lead his agency. Nothing is going to change with the secretary being gone but that is still no reason to leave him in place.

COOPER: And in terms of who would replace the general at this point does it have to be someone outside the VA?

MILLER: Well, that's the president's decision. This is the choice that the president is making. Either you stick with the status quo or you bring somebody in that's going to shake up the system from the very bottom to the top. And unfortunately, you have a bureaucracy out there today that will not listen to their leadership.

The secretary -- I have been telling him for years -- is being poorly served by the mid-level management. These are the people that have been making the line folks change numbers and manipulate the dates and the wait lists.

COOPER: And Mr. Chairman, I mean, at the root of this, what to you is the problem? Is it these unrealistic wait times? Is 14 days simply too short a time? Is it officials wanting bonuses to make these wait times? Is it too much of a centralized bureaucracy? Is it underfunded? What is the core issue?

MILLER: Everything but the underfunded side. Look, the president wouldn't be traveling around the United States saying that we have given record funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs if he thought they needed more. They actually have more money in their health care budget than they can spend. They're prepared to carry over almost one half of a billion dollars this year in health care funding which makes the delays and the waiting lists that much more egregious. They have the money to send the veterans out into the private sector.

COOPER: David, I mean, you've served in White Houses that have had problems that rise to the level of an agency head or Cabinet official being forced to resign. What's the internal debate like? I mean, do you think it's inevitable that Shinseki is gone?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the situation has become untenable, Anderson. And it's a tragedy. In one sense he is one of the finest soldiers of his generation, served the country well. But unfortunately, sadly, he has lost the confidence of the Congress. 24 senators now against him. He's lost the confidence of veterans. He lost the confidence of a growing number of Americans who are watching this with some horror.

So in that situation you do need new leadership and it has to come from the outside. And I think what the White House is now doing is how to -- figure out how to make that transition. My expectation is that General Shinseki, a patriot, will voluntarily fall on his sword.

COOPER: And -- I mean, why do you think, David, that President Obama has not let him go at this point?

GERGEN: That's a big -- that's a good question. We went through the same thing with Kathleen Sebelius and they strung it out. I think in this case this is so acute and so obvious that they need new leadership that I think this has to end within the next 72 hours or so.

You know, this is only going to get worse and more bogged down. We're going to be talking about the past instead of the future and how to fix the system. And that's not healthy for the veterans.

COOPER: Mr. Chairman, you know, I was really struck that the representatives from the VA in the hearing last night, who were supposed to be in charge of figuring out how veterans are processed through the VA facility in Phoenix, and really seemed -- really seemed to have no knowledge of the details of the problems there.

Do you get a sense even now that officials at the top of the VA understand what's happening?

MILLER: They have not understood the gravity of the situation from the very beginning. Why would the president wait three weeks to come out and talk about the issue? And the unfortunate thing about Dr. Lynch last night, it was apparent when he went to Phoenix he thought it could be swept under the rug. Instead of asking questions of the appropriate people, who destroyed the lists? What was on the list?

He didn't do any of that. That's why we subpoenaed them. They were supposed to bring us information last night about the list. He wasn't able to answer a single question that we asked.

COOPER: You're still waiting for documents, Mr. Chairman. What happens now? I mean, what is the next step beyond Shinseki?

MILLER: We do continue to wait for documents even though the Office of General Counsel said that they had complied totally with the subpoena with a cover letter. I threatened legal action, and we jointly -- Mike Michaud, my ranking member and I, are going to put out a release that basically says if by the time we return back from the break next week we don't have 100 percent of the items that we've asked for we're going to petition the federal court to force the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide the information that we're asking for.

They are stonewalling us and have been doing that for several years.

COOPER: Congressman Miller, I appreciate you being on again. Drew Griffin, as well, David Gergen, as well.

For more on the story, of course you can go to

Coming up, a young man who survived the rampage in Santa Barbara after being hit by the killer's car. His injuries are serious, he is in a lot of pain. But he says it's nothing he cannot manage and we'll tell you why he wanted to speak out tonight.

And later, a senior reporter allegedly jumps a rope on a red carpet, hits Brad Pitt in the face. Not the first red carpet stunt this guy has pulled. The details on that ahead.


COOPER: We have breaking news tonight about Friday's rampage that left six people dead near the UCSB campus. The sheriff's deputies who were at the killer's apartment about three and a half weeks before the killings, we've known that, but they did not see the disturbing videos that he posted online or checked for weapons.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department has just released new information about the so-called check the welfare visit the deputies paid to the killer based on information from his mother and a friend of his.

Deputies questioned him about the videos but concluded that the killer was not an immediate threat to himself or to others. Something we now unfortunately know was not true. Six people killed, 13 injured.

One of those survivors is Nick Pasichuke, a student from another college who just happened to be in town visiting a friend. Nick was riding a skateboard when the killer hit him with his car, shattering his right leg, breaking his left leg, and leaving him with facial fractures and abrasions all over his body. To put it simply he is very lucky to be alive. He is out of the hospital back at home tonight and I spoke to him just a short time ago.


COOPER: Nick, thanks so much for joining us. You obviously look, you know, like you've been through a nightmare. First of all, why did you -- why were you willing to speak? Why did you want to talk?

NICK PASICHUKE, UCSB RAMPAGE SURVIVOR: You know, I just kind of want to come out here and, you know, not -- you know, not like shed light on the situation but really just like show kind of a positive side to it, you know? It's a time where a lot of people are feeling sad and a lot of people may be feeling down. But I just -- I just don't want people to be so distracted by that whole side of it that they forget like that people are still alive. People survived this thing.

And like although we still should mourn those people it should be something that we kind of look towards to better ourselves in a way.

COOPER: How are you doing? How are you feeling?

PASICHUKE: I'm in a bit of pain. But it is nothing I can't manage. Nothing that can't be fixed over some time.

COOPER: I know last Friday you were visiting your friend on campus and you guys had just gotten food and were skateboarding down the street. What happened?

PASICHUKE: We had just eaten at Free Birds, got like a little late- night snack. We're actually heading over to our friend's house going down. I believe it was Del Playa Road. We were just chatting about surfing and like how our day had gone, and stuff, and about the drive down, and next thing we know, a car comes and just swooped me up in the air.

COOPER: Did you -- I mean, did you get a look at the car? Did you see who was driving it or anything?

PASICHUKE: Oh, not at all. It was one of these things where -- I'm on a long board and I'm not really thinking like, oh, the car behind me is going to come up and bear right into me. So I didn't really think about it. I was just talking to my friend.

COOPER: So the car came from behind and hit you?

PASICHUKE: Yes, it did.

COOPER: Wow, so you had no warning at all?

PASICHUKE: None. Didn't even hear anyone yell like hey, look out, or -- anything prior to that. Just hit by the car.

COOPER: I read that your friend that you were with, he came over to where you were laying trying to comfort you, and that he heard a series of pops. Did you hear that, as well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we actually heard pops before, and we didn't really think much of it. First time we heard it, we were like, probably firecrackers or something and before, the police and paramedics had told us -- we had just thought it was all like some commotion in the streets. You know, with Deltopia, a few weeks before.

We were not thinking somebody was running around shooting in Del Playa, but we did hear it afterwards and thought, there is more that is a little strange. But we actually didn't find out it was gunshots until probably 15 or 20 minutes after I was laying on the ground.

COOPER: We have a picture of you giving a thumbs up right after your surgery. And I know you're a big water polo player. I heard you have already sent word to your coach about next season. You hope to get back in the water. Are you planning on it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm definitely planning on it. I can't imagine life without water polo. It is one of those things like not even a second guess. All I wanted to do was get back in the water. It has kind of been my life since I was little. That is just all I really want to do right now.

COOPER: Well, Nick, I look forward to you getting back in the water and thank you so much for talking with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, thank you.

COOPER: Very brave young man. The killer's family said in a statement that their hearts are broken on a level they didn't think was possible. Simon Astaire, a friend of the family is acting as their spokesman, I spoke to him earlier.


COOPER: Simon, I spoke with Richard Martinez, the father of one of Christopher Martinez, one of the six people killed by the shooter and one of the things that he said is he expressed concern for the family of the person who did this saying that in their grief they wouldn't be offered the same kind of condolences that other parents are being offered right now. So with that in mind, let me just start by asking how is the family handling all of this? How are they holding up?

SIMON ASTAIRE, FAMILY SPOKESMAN: They are crippled with grief. I saw them a week ago and then saw them on the Saturday hours after it happened and they are half the size that they had been. They have diminished literally in front of my eyes. Being in their company is unbearably painful.

COOPER: I have talked to a number of families who have had children with mental illness, who have had children they tried to get help for. How concerned was this family about the mental health of this young man and how long did that concern go back for?

ASTAIRE: I mean, from what I understand he has been in therapy since he was 9 years old. I'm Peter's friend and it was of concern to him. When I saw him, first thing I would say to him was, how is Elliot? And he would go he is OK, you know, he is getting on with this or that. I mean, our conversation was always opened up about how Elliot was, because in a way he shadowed their life. He was a very different boy.

COOPER: Peter obviously is this young man's father. I understand that his mother had reached out to his therapist back in April after becoming concerned about some videos on the YouTube channel that this young man had. And that that spurred the police to go to his apartment. Do you know what was in those videos that concerned her?

ASTAIRE: I know because I have spoken to her. He was behaving in a sort of odd manner. It was not aggressive. The videos contained him being sort of arrogant. Telling people to look at his clothes, his sunglasses. It seemed very different to who he really was and he was able to tell the police that everything was right to the extent that the police rang the mother up in front of Elliot and said you know, said to the mother, you have got nothing to worry about. Your son's fine.

And there are two things here. One, there is no blame, I hear from the Elliot's towards the police. That was clearly a pivotal moment because Elliot writes in his manifesto, which may I say, I hate the word that even describes it, but it is his life story. That you know, there were weapons and ammunition under his bed. But he fooled them and he had fooled people for many years with what was really going on in his head.

COOPER: The night of the killings, I understand his mother and eventually both parents actually raced to try to prevent him from carrying out the massacre. They called the police in advance of that after their son's therapist alerted them to an e-mail he had sent. Is that correct?

ASTAIRE: That is correct, so she ring the police, they get in the car. They say we're worried about our son, he has left a very foreboding video on YouTube and we're coming to Santa Barbara and we need to find him. And clearly the massacre had just taken place. And on the radio they hear bloodshed and death on the streets of Santa Barbara.

And then they hear that a black BMW, which is Elliot's car, was driven by the perpetrator. And Peter said to me that he knew at that moment driving to Santa Barbara, hearing the news, flashing on the radio that his son had killed people and had died.

COOPER: I know Mr. Martinez has reached out to the shooter's father. Have they -- I assume they have not met yet, but is that something you think Peter would like to do?

ASTAIRE: I know he would like to do and I will do my best to bring that together. That will happen. And I know that he wants to meet him and talk to him and it will be a very, very poignant moment.

COOPER: To me, I was stunned when Mr. Martinez says that you know in the middle of his grief the worst possible grief that he reached out a hand to this young man's father and to the parents. I just thought was an extraordinary act and that would be extraordinary that they get together. Simon, thank you very much. I know it is difficult to talk about it and I appreciate you coming on. Thank you.

ASTAIRE: Thank you.


COOPER: Simon Astaire, spokesman for the family.

Up next, a scare factor, Brad Pitt, he was attacked while signing autographs in Hollywood. We have a report on that.

And the NTSB is investigating another near collision, this one involving Alaska Airlines jet. We'll have the story on that ahead.


COOPER: Tomorrow in Los Angeles, a 25-year-old man will appear before a judge. He is accused of striking actor, Brad Pitt in Hollywood. Randi Kaye has the story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brad Pitt was so busy signing autographs on the red carpet he never saw it coming. Suddenly he was hit in the face, either slapped or punched. Police are not sure. But they say this guy, a Ukrainian reporter named Vitalii Sediuk, jumped the rope and struck the actor in the face. This video captures the moment.

Pitt's bodyguards jumped and Sediuk was hauled away. It all happened at the premier of Angelina Jolie's movie "Maleficent." Unfazed the couple continued to walk the red carpet. How this guy was able to get so close to a Hollywood star and why he attacked Pitt is anyone's guess especially since he has been in hot water for stunts like this one before.

Two years ago, May 2012, at the premiere of "Men in Black 3" in Moscow, he made headlines after kissing actor, Will Smith, who didn't take too kindly to the PDA. Smith told reporters Sediuk was lucky he didn't sucker punch him.

(on camera): Perhaps his biggest prank took place at last year's Grammy awards, not only did he elude security to get a second row seat. But despite having no credentials, he jumped on stage. He tried to grab a Grammy Award from Jennifer Lopez, who presented to the singe, Adele. He was arrested off stage, but only after telling Adele he loved her.

(voice-over): After that he accepted a plea deal for probation agreeing to stay out of the trouble for three years, that didn't last. After being denied credentials at the Oscars just weeks later, in March last year, Vitalii Sediuk showed up on the red carpet wearing this.

He called it a protest after being black listed by award show producers. Police ordered him to leave. Just this year in Los Angeles he grabbed a hold of actor, Bradley Cooper's leg, holding on for dear life. Security had to pull him off. The next month, he got a little too close for comfort for actor, Leonardo Dicaprio at a Santa Barbara film festival.

Earlier this month, he was at it again, trying to crawl under actress, America Ferrera's dress at a Cannes Film Festival red carpet event. He was dragged away and later fired from his reporting job with the Ukrainian television station.

After this latest prank on Brad Pitt, Vitalii Sediuk is facing a misdemeanor charge and perhaps months in jail. The actor has been granted an emergency protective order against him. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Lot of people have time on their hands. There is a lot more happening tonight, Susan Hendricks has a 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Ford is recalling 1.4 million vehicles, Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners from 2008 through 2011, as well as Ford Explorers from 2011 to 2013. They are being recalled due to steering issues and Taurus sedans from 2010 through '14 are also being recalled due to corrosion problems.

While federal officials are investigating a near-collision in the skies over Anchorage, Alaska, they say that on Tuesday, an Alaska Airlines flight and a cargo plane came within a quarter of a mile of each other.

And the number of measles cases in the U.S. has reached its highest level in more than a decade. Federal health officials say it is due to people who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown. In the first five months of this year, 288 cases of measles have been reported.

COOPER: Scary. Susan, thanks very much.

Up next, a preview of tonight's premier episode of CNN's original series "The Sixties." And I'll talk to Dick Cavott and the mark he made on TV.


COOPER: Well, CNN, ten-part documentary series "The Sixties" premieres tonight at 9:00 Eastern. It was the era that transformed the civil rights and pop culture, all of this played out on television as never before. At the same time television itself was becoming something entirely new. That is where the 60s begins tonight with a show that pushed the boundaries. Here is a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you watch it closely, he is gauging how much longer he can wait to let the laugh die before what he says will be irrelevant to what happened. And had he gets it just on the nose. It is beautiful to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't even know you were Jewish.


COOPER: The TV icon, Dick Cavett hosted the show from 1968 to 1974. You will hear more from him in the premier episode of "The Sixties." He brought his conversational style to in-depth discussions on late night television. It was revolutionary at the time. Dick Cavett joins me tonight. You actually were up against Carson in the late '60s.


COOPER: On ABC. Yes, that must have been quite daunting.

CAVETT: Yes, it was in fact. Are we on?


CAVETT: You're Anderson Cooper, I thought you were just kidding.

COOPER: When ABC said to you --

CAVETT: A crude joke on your show. You don't want to ever think you're on opposite Carson.

COOPER: You just try not to think about it.

CAVETT: And Johnny did not do a Joan Rivers on me, we were great friends.

COOPER: "The Smothers brothers," which finally were taken off the air I think in violation of their contract. How significant were they at the time?

CAVETT: They seemed terrifically significant at the time. We all loved them. They were fighting the establishment. Remember that tired old word?

COOPER: Racism. The president of the United States, the Vietnam war?

CAVETT: Yes, they had all of those topics that were their meat. They went too far, not in taste by my standards, but anything almost that takes place on Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert any night, there is something far worse than in those eyes, than anything the Smothers did. It was so harmless.

COOPER: You actually had a show, the Woodstock show. It was directly from the show and the audience came from Woodstock.

CAVETT: There was talk of my going to Woodstock, which never happened.

COOPER: And Joanie Mitchell, her agent prevented her from performing at Woodstock because she didn't want to miss your show because there was -- that's really interesting.

CAVETT: Imagine the dialogues, I wanted to go to Woodstock with my people. And I'm sure some jerk said, or maybe her esteemed manager said, you need the Cavett show, you don't need to go to a farm and perform for probably 250 people.

COOPER: Do you think television is better now or worse?

CAVETT: I came up with an outrageous statement for you in the car. Almost all television is crap. As are any medium or any art. Most of it is worthless. Get near the top you start to get really good and then of course like the cream at the top there are the fine artists and people, writers and musicians. Sports people and politicians and television shows. You know what is really missing? Live drama for God sake. Is there no place for that now in television? We had seven or eight live dramas and you knew they were happening.

COOPER: What is so compelling about you on television is you had actual conversations.

CAVETT: I've told you this before. But Jack called me before I first went on my daytime show. And he said, as nervous and dangerous as he always was, he said kid, don't do interviews. Have you ever noticed when the lips stopped moving and everybody listened to what he said?

COOPER: There have been a few of these early on.

CAVETT: A very hip woman on my staff said have a question ready when that happens that you can ask anybody. And I said like what? She said like, do you pee in the shower? That always works. Of course, I tried it on April Harriman and that different work.

COOPER: Dick Cavett, it was an honor to have you here. Thank you.

CAVETT: Thank you, that was painless. You should be a dentist.

Well, stay tuned for the top of the hour, the premiere of the CNN original series "The Sixties." It's at 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Up next, an update on tonight's breaking news, ellipses of the L.A. Clippers, they may soon have a new owner. Who it is and what they paid in a second.


COOPER: Welcome back, an update on our breaking news, the L.A. Clippers could be close to getting a new owner, former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. CNN's Brian Todd and Poppy Harlow have been working their sources. They both join us tonight. So Brian, what is the latest?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, just got this from a source familiar with the situation. The source says that a binding agreement has just been signed between the Sterling family trust and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the price tag, $2 billion, that is according to a source familiar with the situation who said that binding agreement was just signed a very short time ago.

COOPER: And Poppy, how do we get there?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, even just hours ago, we know that there were two major bids, one for $1.8 billion coming from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and one coming from a group of people including media mogul, David Gaffin, Oprah Winfrey and Guggenheim Partners and Investment firm for $1.6 billion.

My source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told me that Shelly Sterling and her attorneys and her bankers at Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, quote, "wanted something that started with the two." It appears they got that. The question is still will Donald Sterling sign off on it.

COOPER: And we don't really know the answer to that at this point.

HARLOW: We absolutely don't. My source doesn't know the answer to that and my source is very close to these negotiations. But again, hours ago you had a bid of 1.6 billion and Steve Ballmer of $1.8 billion. According to Brian Todd's reporting apparently, he came up to two.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff. We'll see what happens. Brian, what else -- do we know -- has there been any reaction from any of the people who lost the bid?

TODD: There seems to be, Anderson, Magic Johnson has just tweeted this out, quote, "Congrats to my friends, Steve Ballmer, on buying the Clippers for a reported $2 billion. That from Magic Johnson who was among the bidder. He was in one of the groups who was bidding for this franchise.

COOPER: All right, fascinating details. Brian, thank you so much. Poppy, as well. That does it for us, we'll see you again at 11 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. CNN original series, "The Sixties" starts now.