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No Bond for Dad in Hot Car Death; Immigration Protests Erupting; Will Military Advisers Join the Fight?; Casey Anthony Trial Riveted America; Attorney Mason: Casey Anthony "Was Afraid"; Brazilian Star Neymar Out Of World Cup; Joan Rivers: "Diary Of A Mad Diva"; Viral Video Redefines "Like A Girl" Stereotype
Aired July 5, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A tragic death with a horrifying twist is grabbing everyone's attention this holiday weekend.
Hello everyone -- I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
As many people spend time with their own families, they are asking could a father intentionally leave his 22-month-old child in a hot car to die? That's the question at the center of a case against Justin Ross Harris. He is facing a murder charge after his son Cooper died last month when he was left in a hot car all day long. And details that came out in a preliminary hearing this week are jaw-dropping. Police say the day his son died, Harris was sending text messages and explicit pictures to six women, including an underage girl.
Victor Blackwell was inside that Georgia courtroom for the hearing. Victor, take us there. What was it like? What was it really like for the courtroom to hear these details, because it certainly caught an awful lot of people, except, of course, the prosecutors and the defense attorneys by surprise -- right?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. No one expected the details about the sexting and one of them being an underage girl. There's no guarantee that even the defense attorney knew, because there's no discovery before a probable cause hearing. First, it was packed. I mean people standing around lining the walls there. A large group of supporters came together, because his church is just across the street.
Leanna Harris, his wife, sat in the third row and she sat there without much emotion for most of this hearing supposed to go 90 minutes -- went on four three hours. There were a couple of gasp- inducing, gasp-worthy revelations from this investigator. Of course, the text messages, but also we're told that a witness at the day care, when Leanna Harris showed up and found out her son was not there. The first thing according to this witness said -- that she said was "Ross must have left him in the car."
There are lots of options. Maybe they didn't come in today. Maybe he decided to spend the day at the park with the kid and take the day off. WHITFIELD: And that's what some of the day care workers were saying.
Wait a minute -- don't jump to that.
BLACKWELL: That doesn't have to be the only option. There's another moment in which we audibly heard people gasp in that courtroom. Remember, lots of media types but also lots of supporters. Here's the moment also involving the husband and wife together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who was it that got emotional?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The father.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And could you tell the judge what was he being emotional about? What was the main thing he was crying about or -- sobbing about or whatever?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was all about him. "I can't believe this is happening to me. I can't believe, you know, think happened to me. Why am I being punished for this?" It continued -- it's all very one- sided.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he talk about losing this job?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He talked about losing his job. What are we going to do? I'm going to lose my job. I'll be charged with a felony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did his wife ever say anything to him about what he said to police?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She asked him -- she had him sit down, he starts going through this and she looks at him, well, did you say too much?
Several marks on the child's face, it would have come from the child or a scratch being made while the child was alive and not healing, not scabbing over or anything like that and just soon after he passed away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where there any injuries to child -- back of the child's head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. There were abrasions to the back of the child's head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So two different thing there's. That first, you know, about saying too much. The wife Leanne saying to the husband, "Did you say too much."
BLACKWELL: Yes. At that point, there were people who started to look around at each other. Not just the reporters but some of the people on the supporters' side because initially going into that room, the question was, why wasn't Leanna Harris making a public statement defending her husband or where is she? I think after leaving that room and all the people who watched her here on CNN, they questioned will she at some point face charges as well?
Also asking about, you know, the life insurance policy. We know that in the days since, there have been questions from Ross Harris, at least according to police, about the $27,000 in those two life insurance policies on the child's life.
WHITFIELD: And then of course, we heard the officer talking about the markings on the child, which exhibited the suffering --
WHITFIELD: --- while, you know, the car was getting too hot, while the child was dying.
BLACKWELL: The struggle in the car. That could be -- you could attribute the marks to that. There's also the toxicology report that's outstanding in this autopsy. What we've received thus far from the medical examiner's office is that the story and the injuries are consistent with homicide as the manner of death -- cause of death, hyperthermia, just the overheating. But those are not official.
The autopsy has not been released. We're still waiting for the toxicology to come back. Was there something inside this child that maybe was used to put him to sleep?
There's also a lot of scowling at the media. We were sitting in the jury box and all the benches were filled with some other reporters and also the family and supporters from the church but there was a lot of looking over at us. Kind of a, how dare you, kind of look at us.
WHITFIELD: It's almost consistent with the funeral. Because we know our Nick Valencia was there in Tuscaloosa and he described as well the people who were at the funeral for the child were very upset that media personnel were there and that supporters of Mr. Harris have been very outspoken about the disinterest of media being there and that's consistent with what you saw in the courtroom.
BLACKWELL: However, if they didn't want us at the funeral they could have said that. I mean this is different because in a courtroom there is a public right you file. It's called the Rule 22. You get in and -- it's a public forum, you can cover it.
However at their funeral if they did not want to make a statement by having that call and having Leanna Harris there to make that statement for the news media, they could have said "no reporters" and reporters would not have been inside that church.
WHITFIELD: It's powerful. All right. Thank you so much for brings that to us.
WHITFIELD: Keep us updated on things. We know he's being held without bond right now.
BLACKWELL: Yes. Will do. WHITFIELD: Thanks so much Victor -- appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Got it.
WHITFIELD: All right. Another story that people are still talking about this holiday weekend -- Arthur, the hurricane which has now been downgraded again, this time to a post-tropical storm after making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. A weakened but fast-moving Arthur swept along southern New England overnight, packing tropical storm force winds. It is now passing over the Eastern Seaboard now. But the danger, not over quite yet.
Joining me right now from the CNN weather center, Karen Maginnis -- I guess there is this relief that it's been down graded but tropical storms still, you know, pack a powerful punch. What's next?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They do. And the remnants of this are we saw flooding, we saw high winds, damage. Some homes were damaged, there were numerous trees down but this is all that's left. You're thinking what is this? This doesn't look anything like a hurricane. In fact, it's not a hurricane. It's not a tropical storm. It is a post tropical cyclone.
This comma-shaped cloud that is mostly impacting Maine and News Brunswick, hardly even Nova Scotia, well, we have seen winds up to around 60 miles an hour.
Now, typically, when we start the season off of hurricane season, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, those are kind of the origin areas. But then as we move into July and this system fits it perfectly, we start to see more of a formation, a little further towards the east; further east in the Gulf, and further east as into the Atlantic.
So it's not totally atypical toll see this kind of development. So, Fredricka, if we get off with this, a 2.5 day hurricane, we will be lucky for the season, but I have my doubts about that.
WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. All right. Thanks, Karen. Appreciate that.
All right. Comedienne Joan Rivers is making waves after she made some rather bizarre comments to a photographer on the street.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And do you think that the country will see the first, the United States will see the first gay president or first woman president.
JOAN RIVERS: Well, we wreaked havoc with Obama. So, let's just calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got it.
RIVERS: You know Michelle is a trans --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry? She's a what? RIVERS: A transgender. We all know it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A representative for rivers says the comments were meant to be a compliment. That quote, the most gorgeous women are transgender, of course, all of this coincides with the release of Rivers' new book -- "Diary of a Mad Diva". And guess what I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rivers to talk about the book and let's just say there were few surprises along the way. Bottom line, it was pretty interesting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: You know, this whole interview is becoming a defensive interview. Are you wearing leather shoes?
RIVERS: Then shut up. You know what I mean -- I don't want to hear it, "You're wearing fur". You're wearing leather shoes.
WHITFIELD: I'm not an activist.
RIVERS: You're eating chicken you're eating meat. I don't want to hear this nonsense. Come to me with a paper belt, and I'll talk to you.
WHITFIELD: But you did hear it in some of those press conferences. There were people upset and you're saying, no way.
RIVERS: You know, I'm going. I really am going, because all you've done is negative. All you have done is negative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And she really did go. Well, you can see the rest of my interview coming up in this hour of the CNN NEWSROOM.
Also, coming up on a holiday weekend that marks the birth of the nation of immigrants, protests are still erupting in the battle over undocumented migrants.
And then it's been three years since Casey Anthony was handed a not guilty verdict for the death of her daughter. What her life is like today. The exclusive details on this hour of the CNN NEWSROOM.
WHITFIELD: All right. This July 4th weekend a nation of immigrants is in the middle of an immigration crisis. Another flight of undocumented immigrants arrived in southern California Friday from overcrowded facilities in Texas. They were bussed to a processing center in San Diego.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're Americans, too. They're not here destroying --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're breaking the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: This time drivers avoided Murrieta, California where protesters turned away three busloads of immigrants earlier in the week. Protesters on both sides of the issue gathered again Friday in Murrieta, which has become a focal point of the crisis.
Sunlen Serfaty joining us right now from the White House. So clearly, this caught the attention of everyone in the nation, and that of the White House. So what are administration officials saying about what's taking place in that citizens turned out to turn away these buses?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, this morning a senior administration official tells me that they don't believe that the situation necessitates a policy change at this point in time. Now, I have to tell you, Fred there was powerful backdrop to the story here at the White House yesterday. The President attend a naturalization ceremony for 25 new citizens as they took the oath of allegiance. While he was there he talked about how -- he didn't specifically talk about this situation in California but he briefly mentioned how he wants to make the system smarter and more efficient.
Of course, President Obama has already requested $2 billion of additional resources from Congress, in addition to also saying that he will take some executive action later this summer, ways that they can improve the system. Now, the White House was specifically asked about the emotion of the week, but I have to tell you, Fred, they almost seemed to sidestep, touching on the anger that we've seen play really out through those images in California -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: And then Sunlen -- you know, the President is going to be in Texas mid-week, for fund-raising, and apparently the governor has asked the President to visit the border alongside him? Is there a response from the White House?
SERFATY: Well, it definitely was a challenge from Governor Rick Perry in Texas and the White House so far is not taking the bait on that. A senior administration official does tell me this morning as of now, there is no plan for the President to take a side trip while in Texas. The President will be down there for a fund-raiser and the White House almost quipped back. They said, "Republicans should be spending their time working to pass comprehensive immigration reform instead of extending these border invitations -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Sunlen Serfaty at the White House, thanks so much.
All right. Mission creep -- is that what could happen in Iraq? The joint chiefs chairman says, no. Top brass aren't ruling a US. engagement out.
WHITFIELD: They are called military advisors, and the U.S. has up to 300 of them in Iraq, but could we see the role of U.S. Forces in the country expand? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at a briefing Thursday reaffirmed the Obama administration's position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: -- are also evaluating the capabilities and cohesiveness of Iraqi forces. None of these troops are performing combat missions. None will perform combat missions. President Obama has been very clear that American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: At the same time, military, rather, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff army General Martin Dempsey says that doesn't mean engagement is completely off the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: We may get to that point. If our national interests drive us there. If I become such a threat to the homeland that the President of the United States with our advice decides that we have to take direct action, I'm just suggesting to you we're not there yet.
Joining me right now, CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona. Good to see you.
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning.
WHITFIELD: All right. So Colonel what would be an incident or a moment that would trigger these advisors to get militarily involved?
FRANCONA: Yes. I think General Dempsey's comments really bear watching here. He seemed to leave the door open that we could actually change the mission, because he said that the Iraqi forces are not capable of ejecting the ISIS troops by themselves without outside help. Now where is that outside help going to come from? I think he's leaving the door wide open for what we call mission creep. Are we going to put U.S. forces back on the ground?
WHITFIELD: And General Dempsey would still disagree with you in saying it's not mission creep but instead, mission match. What does that mean?
FRANCONA: Yes. I think they're parsing their words there, because I think they realize that as they're doing their initial assessment of the Iraqis, they believe that the Iraqis are not capable as a force to do what needs to be done, and that will probably require some outside help, and that outside help right now looks to be us. WHITFIELD: And then, talk to me about the might and the real threat
of ISIS? Does it pose -- we know it poses a threat to Iraqi forces, why they're asking for assistance, but what kind of direct impact or threat may it have to the U.S.? Or to the U.S. personnel that are there?
FRANCONA: Yes, and I think that's important. We have to recognize that if there's a threat to U.S. National interests that would be the deciding factor on whether we go back in. That threat will be, if ISIS is able to set up this caliphate this country in that wide open space between Baghdad and Damascus, this whole desert area where they've established a state.
If they turn this into like Afghanistan in 1996 with the Taliban, they set up camps there, allow groups to form there, and then export terrorism from there, then that becomes as threat to us. But that's -- we're not there yet.
WHITFIELD: This President says, no U.S. troops would be ground forces, but it's a possibility, because we have U.S. personnel there, that something might trigger their engagement. What would it take for the commander in chief to change his mind on this?
FRANCONA: I think he'd have to see a direct threat. Some sort of groups forming or training camps being set up with an intent to actually export this, to become a threat to either Europe or the United States. I think we'll see that.
I think before that, though, they'll try different models. Maybe the northern alliance model, where they have U.S. Special Forces calling in air strikes, try to do this without involving U.S. ground forces, which seems to be the big red line right now.
WHITFIELD: All right. Lt. Col Rick Francona. Thanks so much. Happy Fourth weekend.
FRANCONA: Same to you.
WHITFIELD: All right.
All right. This weekend, sadly, many people are also talking about the Georgia hot car toddler death. But three years ago, it was the death of Caylee Anthony. Her mom, Casey Anthony, faced murder charges, but was handed a not guilty verdict. Coming up, where Casey Anthony is today, and what she's doing. We have exclusive pictures of her. Next.
WHITFIELD: For the second time this week, a flight carrying undocumented immigrants arrived in southern California.
It was not a pretty scene there. The people who had just crossed the border were bussed to San Diego, avoiding Murrieta, California where protesters turned away buses earlier in the week. But protesters were out in force on Friday in Murrieta, expecting the buses to once again pass through. Tensions running high there, and six people in the end were arrested.
And now for some other headlines -- Taliban militants are claiming responsibility for an attack on hundreds of oil tankers outside Afghanistan's capital of Kabul. In all, more than 400 trucks went up in flames. The Taliban said they attacked the trucks because they were transporting fuel for NATO forces.
And convicted killer Joran Van Der Sloot now has a new title -- husband. He married his pregnant Peruvian girlfriend in prison Friday morning. Van Der Sloot is serving time for murder of another Peruvian woman, and he was arrested, but never charged, in the disappearance of this young lady, Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. Holloway vanished while on vacation in Aruba. He body has never been found.
Many people can't turn away from news about the father who left his child in a hot car, and now accused of murder. Three years ago, America was captivated by the Casey Anthony murder trial. Since being found not guilty of killing her daughter, Casey Anthony has really kept to herself. No one has seen her, but now, CNN has exclusive photos of Casey Anthony, plus details about the case that were never revealed before.
Jean Casarez has this exclusive.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, there are so many things that have never been made public about Casey Anthony, and what happened behind the scenes during her very famous trial. What was she like while the case was going on? What is her life like today? Take a look.
CASAREZ: July 2011, hundreds gather outside the courthouse in Orlando, Florida to wait for a verdict in what many say was the death- penalty trial of the century, the case against Casey Anthony.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.
CASAREZ: The case ended as dramatically as it started, with a call to 911 from a panicked grandmother.
CINDY ANTHONY, CAYLEE ANTHONY'S GRANDMOTHER (via telephone): There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today, and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car.
CHENEY MASON, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: We had a missing child that who was absolutely adorable and a beautiful young woman, mother, 22 years of age, and had the grandmother screaming that on the phone.
CASAREZ: Suspicion fell on Casey Anthony. Police believed her stories weren't adding up, her little girl Caylee taken by the nanny that no one could find. And pictures like these suggesting that while her daughter was missing she was partying sparked public outrage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you kill Caylee? CASAREZ: Cheney Mason, an experienced death penalty lawyer, was watching from the sidelines while Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, was coming under scrutiny for his lack of experience. Baez asked for help, Mason decided to meet with Anthony.
MASON: They brought her into the room, and I'm sitting there looking at this child herself and saying this can't be.
CASAREZ (voice-over): But it was. The state gave notice they were seeking the death penalty against Anthony for the premeditated murder of Caylee, whose skeletal remains were finally found close to the family's home in Orlando, Florida, about five months after she went missing.
(on camera): Could she look you in the eye?
CASAREZ: What was her demeanor?
MASON: She was afraid. Unsure about really anything and what was going to happen. How it's going to happen.
CASAREZ: Mason, in his new book, "Justice in America," describes for the first time calling Casey's parents, George and Cindy, to his office late on a Friday afternoon, shortly before jury selection began. Mason had just received word that Casey's hand-written letters describing sexual abuse by her father were about to be released publicly.
MASON: We had them one at a time come into my personal office, and made the announcement and told them, you know, I -- this is going to be a bad day for you, George. And I felt man to man, I'll tell you in advance.
CASAREZ: What was his reaction?
MASON: Basically, none. He looked at me, and kind of turned sideways a little bit and clapped his hands down on his thighs and let out a big sigh and didn't say anything.
CASAREZ (voice-over): George Anthony never admitted to mason any inappropriate conduct with Casey.
MASON: Then called mom in, Cindy, and told her, and she immediately welled up with tears and emotion and cried and was very upset.
CASAREZ: Once a jury was selected, this death penalty trial began. And Jose Baez turned the case on its head by announcing this bombshell in his opening statement.
JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY'S ATTORNEY: It all began when her father began to touch her inappropriately.
MASON: I didn't know he was going to say that. I was concerned about that because I knew we didn't have the ability to prove that, unless George got on the stand and confessed.
CASAREZ: Prosecutors made George Anthony their first witness.
UNIDENTIFIED ATTORNEY: Have you ever sexually molested your daughter, Casey Anthony?
GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY'S FATHER: No, sir.
CASAREZ: Testimony in the case continued for weeks, as witness after witness and forensic experts from around the country took the stand in this circumstantial case. While the trial was being hotly contested in and out of the courtroom, secret plea discussions that would have spared Anthony's life were beginning. It was Anthony who shut them down.
MASON: Casey wouldn't have any part of it. She was very angry -- she didn't want to talk about it. She didn't want to hear it.
CASAREZ: So the trial went on, and then that verdict heard round the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 12, were these your true and correct verdicts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
CASAREZ: Anthony was free, but the hatred against her was stronger than ever. The public's opinion of Casey Anthony hasn't changed much. They share these pictures exclusively with CNN.
MASON: She does not have any blood family anymore. She has no contact with them.
CASAREZ: No contact with her mother.
MASON: I think a few conversations with her over the years. That's it. No contact.
CASAREZ: Her father?
CASAREZ: Her brother?
MASON: None. Not likely to ever be. She hasn't been freed from her incarceration yet because she can't go out. She can't do anything.
SHIRLEY MASON, CHENEY MASON'S WIFE: I know that she has very, very strong feelings about what has happened to her. I also know she's very saddened by her loss, and she never will forget her daughter, Caylee, ever.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CASAREZ: Casey lives in an undisclosed location in Florida. Some of her form other attorneys do what they can to help her. She denied a request for an interview -- Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Jean Casarez, thank you so much.
Coming up, a World Cup injury, Wimbledon finale, and the beginnings of a cross-country cycle, all the details in our "Bleacher Report." Next.
But first, on today's "American Journey," we take to the skies and one of the great American traditions, fireworks on the 4th of July. Here's how they looked around the country.
WHITFIELD: Guess what? There is a new queen of the court today. Lara Rutledge, a queen in our studio, but not on the court. Introduce us to the new queen at Wimbledon.
LAURA RUTLEDGE, CNN SPORTS: Yes.
WHITFIELD: How are you? And welcome.
RUTLEDGE: Thank you. It's great to be here. Not Serena Williams, but you might want to remember this name, Petra Kvitova, she's won her second Wimbledon title just a short time ago. She beat 20-year-old Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, in straight sets. It made look easy, cruising to victory in less than an hour. She also won on the grass courts in 2011 and it didn't end well. A bright side. She is the first Canadian man or woman to reach the tennis grand slam final.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Congrats to her.
RUTLEDGE: Yes. A bittersweet moment for soccer fans in Brazil. The host nation advances to the World Cup semifinals, but they will be without star striker, Neymar. He fractured a vertebrae during that collision in the closing minutes their win over Colombia. It looks terrible, and he's not out for the rest of the World Cup.
WHITFIELD: The way he's grimacing. A knee to the back. Doesn't that come with the sport, maybe it doesn't hurt, but then you see that, that hurts.
RUTLEDGE: Well, sometimes soccer players are a little dramatic, but he should have been dramatic there. The question now, who will step up and take his place. Neymar has four goals and one assists in the tournament. So it's going to be tough to see if they can rebound from this.
WHITFIELD: I know for him, it's a drag to not go on in his home country.
RUTLEDGE: He's an exciting young player, too. I think. The Super Bowl of bicycle racing gets underway today. This year the Tour de France will actually starts in England. That's not unusual for the race. Sometimes they pass through neighboring countries. Two years ago the tour began in Belgium. The 21-state tour finishes in Paris on July 27th. Prince William and his wife, Kate, actually have a big part in this and Kate Middleton today cut the ribbon to start the race. Looks fabulous as usual.
WHITFIELD: She never has a bad day. How does someone photograph so beautifully?
RUTLEDGE: Can we get her wardrobe, too?
WHITFIELD: That, too. She's quite stylish. All right, thanks so much, Laura. Good to see you. Welcome again.
RUTLEDGE: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Very fun. Laura -- are you a fan of Joan Rivers?
RUTLEDGE: I am but I don't know. She says crazy things.
WHITFIELD: Well, who isn't a fan of hers? At least admire the trajectory of her career? I had the honor, pleasure of talking with her. But, let's talk. Shut up! There were lots of surprises along the way. No joke. She pokes fun and also a little serious about the whole thing about aging.
WHITFIELD: Comedy trailblazer, Joan Rivers, recently celebrated her 81st birth, and she is one of the hardest working people in show business. We set up an interview with her to discuss her new book "Diary of Mad Diva." She was funny, engaging, and then something set her off and she stormed off the set. No joke. Here's the interview in its entirety.
WHITFIELD: I am so underdressed.
JOAN RIVERS, ACTRESS: You're not underdressed. It's hot. It's a steamy summer weekend. A nice way to put it.
WHITFIELD: It is indeed. Look what is it about the year 2013 that you focus on in this diary, when you thought, man, there was so much material. I can't help myself. I've got to write about it in "Diary of A Diva."
RIVERS: My last book was on the best-seller list 19 weeks. My produce sir not a fool. She said, write another. I said, about what? She said, you're funny every day, write about what annoys you or makes you laugh every day, and that's how the book came about and it was so great to write. Every day the life of a bitch put down.
WHITFIELD: All in there. Your experiences, your observations. Things ripped from the news or entertainment headlines. For example, you write this. I'm back in L.A. for a minor cosmetic procedure. I'm having a brow lift, tummy tuck, chin job and lip implant, or my plastic surgeon likes to call the "The Usual." Joan, you joke about yourself. Joke about yourself, about these surgeries. Everything is on the table?
RIVERS: Not on the table. We're taking all that skin off the table and made another little person that works right beside me. I am never lonely.
WHITFIELD: And you're so honest about this plastic surgery. Usually people get plastic surgery and don't want to tell anybody about it. Are you still getting them and is it an addiction? What's going on here?
RIVERS: No. In California, and I'm sure you, too, I don't know you specifically, but how old are you?
WHITFIELD: Not yet. I'm near 50. How about that?
RIVERS: Well, I'm sure you've had your Botox.
WHITFIELD: Nothing yet.
RIVERS: Well, whatever.
WHITFIELD: Not that I don't need it. I'm a chicken.
RIVERS: No. You look good. Every woman -- don't put your money in a car. Put your money on yourself and leave your car at the curb. In California, the women look extraordinarily beautiful, that, of course, is they're pulled so tight sometimes, they go to the bathroom through their ears, but it does the matter. They look good. They look good.
WHITFIELD: My gosh, you're right, everyone look goods in L.A. You also write, really, about these interviews that you're constantly on junkets whether talking about your books, your TV shows, all your enterprises and you write, I must say, I hate going on shows where the interviewer just reads the questions, regardless of what's being said. Me, I just killed my mother. Interviewer, I understand you like shoes. I hate that, you write at least link it up with, did you get your mothers?
RIVERS: Yes. Exactly. No. You know that. It's always so easy to tell who's a good interviewer and a bad interviewer, when he follow what the guest has just said. You know? If John Travolta says I was coming out of the closet today, you have to say, with --
RIVERS: Looking for a suit or looking for a young guy? I mean, you have to -- follow up on the question.
WHITFIELD: Right. And do you feel like, I mean, you have been, you know, a trailblazer in so many different ways, and you know, it seems like you've covered it you a, but then I wonder, are there projects and, involving you, perhaps alongside your daughter, Melissa, is there anything else on your list that you feel like you've got to tackle? That you hope to do one day soon?
RIVERS: Everything. We're in the fourth year of "Fashion Police." We're in the second year of the internet show "In Bed With Joan." I'm going back to Broadway starting in Washington, at the National Theater, in November. I want to do another book. I want to do another book. You just want to keep doing things. It's so much fun to make people laugh, and get a check.
WHITFIELD: Wow. And so, you know -- yes. In all of these -- you know, I guess foray, it's been very -- very good to you, and you know, you've got best-selling books. You sell out on stage. Even with your fashion critiquing, while it's very mean in some ways.
RIVERS: It's not mean. It's not mean.
WHITFIELD: Really? Not mean?
RIVERS: It's not mean. I tell the truth. I'm sure I say the same things that all of your viewers say to their friends sitting to them on the couch. You know, we're one of the few shows that says, that's an ugly dress. And that's OK. These ladies make $28 million a picture. You really think that Nikki Minaj cares, I didn't like her dress? You know, in that kind of a bracket, you don't really care.
WHITFIELD: You're not really worried about feelings being hurt?
RIVERS: Well, not when it's about dresses. It's not about them. It's about clothing.
WHITFIELD: OK. What about when it is about something, you know, that really does seem off limits to that really does seem off limits to a lot of people. Even in your book, you kind of joke at the death of Casey Anthony's baby, Princess Diana surviving so many land mines and who she dated. Do you feel there are boundaries ever?
RIVERS: Life is very tough and if you can make a joke to make something easier and funny, do it. Done. Do it. But darling, I don't know what your life has been like, but I have a lot of people who have gone through hell and if you can make, Winston Churchill said if you make someone laugh, you give them a little vacation and maybe you take the worst thing in the world and make it funny, it's a vacation for a minute from horror.
WHITFIELD: And people love to laugh, clearly, that's why people love you. But you have some shock value to you. On cover of your book, you're wearing a fur and owe probably knew there would be animal rights --
RIVERS: This whole interview has become a defensive interview. Shut up. You are wearing fur. You're eating chicken. You're eating meat. I don't want to hear this nonsense. Come to me with a paper belt and I'll talk to you.
WHITFIELD: But you did hear it in some of those press conferences. You're just saying --
RIVERS: You know, I'm going. I really am going because all you have done is negative.
RIVERS: All you have done is negative. I make people laugh for 50 years, I am put on earth to make people laugh. My book is funny. I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago. I work for animal right, stop it with and you do this and you're mean, you are not the one to interview a person who does humor. Sorry.
WHITFIELD: Are we serious?
WHITFIELD: Boy. Yes, she was serious. I thought she was joking the whole time, but in the end, we wondered was this a stunt? Well, Rivers didn't return to the interview, but off camera, she kept her microphone on as she continued to talk and drop some unflattering four letter words. She was serious.
As for the question I asked Joan Rivers about the fur, earlier in the week, TMZ released video of animal rights protesters crashing Rivers book signing in New York. Putting her on the spot about her fashion choice and at the time, she treated it with humor that only Joan Rivers can do and I thought during our interview, I would simply ask her about that moment. And about her sentiments and that she might give us an encore of the kind of humor she displayed there.
And the humor that we know is that of Joan Rivers and you see what happened when I went there. She went there. We wanted her to go there with us and instead, she went there somewhere else.
All right, well, coming up next, how a powerful new television ad is redefining the phrase like a girl.
WHITFIELD: This independence weekend, an intriguing and provocative television ad showcases the power of women and girls. This is what happened during the making of an ad for Always. Young women were asked to run like a girl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me what it looks like to run like a girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My hair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And then girls ages 10 and younger were asked the same thing. Run like a girl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me what it looks like to run like a girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Powerful and strong. Kelly Wallace was touched to learn that girls under 10 see themselves as strong, fast, and seemingly unbeatable. So Kelly asked women and men what happens after puberty. Why are so many girls and women critical of themselves?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we get older, we're more worried about what people are thinking about us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a hard time with all the changes and all the contradictions society throws at us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thousands of years now they've been trying to make us think we're the weak sex. I guess it's had an imprint.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They think today's parents see things a lot differently. I think kick like a girl might have been from 40 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should be a compliment. We are amazing and beautiful and we are meant to be strong and meant to be a girl.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out there and do your thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So Kelly, I found this remarkable as well. Women are powerful in so many ways, at home, in the classroom, on the playing field and of course in the board room, but why is it there remains this perception that anything like a girl can be interpreted in an unflattering way?
KELLY WALLACE, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: It is incredible, in 2014, why does this still exist? Is it a carryover from a time when girls didn't play as many sports as boys? When gender roles were narrowly defined. Girls were supposed to grow up and be mommies and boys, the breadwinners. It is so obvious these stereo types still exist.
And what I found really powerful is how the add lens enter girl, when they thought about how they responded and wanted to do it again, the second time, they did it with that full throttle girl power, which was amazing, so it shows how deeply engrained these stereo types can be, but also how people want to change them, too.
WHITFIELD: Yes, so I wonder if this really is a generational thing, in other words, are the chances pretty good these girls 10 and under will grow out of puberty and maintain that strong exhibition of doing something like a girl.
WALLACE: We hope so, but I think we have a lot of work to do as parents and women because look again at how those adolescent girls responded with their arms flailing and slapping instead of punching. Just a few years earlier, they would have responded in confident and empowering ways. What happened to those girls after puberty? That's the big question. We've got to talk to our girls, have them look critically about how girls and women are portrayed in the media and have them get back that full, confident self they have when they are young with them into their teenage years.
WHITFIELD: I know you're a mother of girls, did you notice the dynamic, their confidence changing based on you know, what kind of, I don't know, what their family experiences? Their school experiences or is it just you know, who they are?
WALLACE: Well, it is so interesting because my girls are 8 and 6 and my 6-year-old loves sports, right, and she might be I don't use the term, but some would probably give her the term tomboy, so I asked her, I said, Lily, run like a girl and she ran, but not as fast as she normally runs and I asked her about it and she sort of even at 6, in her mind, boys run faster, throw harder or stronger than girls. So I feel like I have a lot of gender stereotype work to do in my own household.
WHITFIELD: Lots of work to do. Thanks, Kelly. Keep us posted on that.
WALLACE: I sure will.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up next hour, Facebook says sorry for its social experiments. Why not everyone is buying that apology and why federal regulators may be getting involved? We have so much straight ahead in the NEWSROOM and it all begins right now.