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Details Emerge In Robin Williams' Suicide; More U.S. Advisers Now In Iraq; Missouri Police Not Releasing Officer's Name; Lauren Bacal Dies at 89
Aired August 13, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Did they offer too much graphic detail to the millions watching on live television, especially after his family's request for privacy?
Dan Simon is back with us live in California this morning with much more. What are you hearing, Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. The level of detail disclosed by the Moran County Sheriff's Office was surprising and shocking to some. The bottom line here is that Williams' personal assistant found his body after he failed to respond to several knocks on a bedroom door. He was found slightly suspended from a door frame in a seated position.
LT. KEITH BOYD, ASSISTANT CHIEF DEPUTY CORONER: Our indication is it's a suicide due to asphyxia due to hanging.
SIMON (voice-over): Upsetting details released by the coroner reveal comedic legend, Robin Williams, hanged himself with a belt inside his San Francisco area home.
BOYD: The personal assistant entered the bedroom to find Mr. Williams clothed in a seated position unresponsive with a belt around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet and the door frame.
SIMON: Williams who was recently battling severe depression may have also tried to slit his wrist with a pocketknife according to the coroner. The 20-minute long press conference was deemed inappropriate by many taking to Twitter outraged over its gruesome level of detail about the death of the beloved star.
Williams' wife, Susan Snyder, was the last to see the comedic icon alive. The couple retired to different room around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. The next morning believing Williams was asleep, Snyder left the house an hour before his body was discovered.
JIMMY FALLON, "THE TONIGHT SHOW" HOST: We were all shaken up last night. We learned that genius comedian and actor, Robin Williams, passed away.
SIMON: Late night talk show hosts, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien visibly emotional as they paid tribute to the Oscar-winning actor.
CONAN O'BRIEN, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Robin, thank you for so many funny moments and for so much happiness that you brought so many people.
SIMON: Tributes extending across the country from fans grateful for all the laughter he brought.
ROBIN WILLIAMS: There was a time when I found myself funny.
SIMON: The San Francisco Giants holding a moment of silence at last night's game for whom they called one of their most loyal fan. All three of the comedian's children released statements Tuesday. One of the sons describing their father as a best friend who is gentle, kind and generous.
The actor's only daughter wrote, "There's minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss in some small way is shared with millions. To those he touched who are sending kind words know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh."
SIMON: Investigators say they were no signs of a struggle and that toxicology results could take up to six weeks and they decline to say whether or not Williams left a note. We'll send it back to you.
BOLDUAN: Just sweet words and tributes coming from his kids. That's what everyone should remember as more details come out. Dan, thanks very much.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Breaking news now out of Iraq, embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki giving an address about the political moves against him. This comes as the United States military presence is growing in that country.
More troops, about 130 U.S. Marines and special operations forces now on the ground in what the Pentagon is calling advisory roles to help rescue the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by ISIS militants.
Some worry that this move could lead to a direct confrontation between U.S. forces and the ISIS militants. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr joins us to explain this all. We hear advisory roles, but they are very much in a harm's way -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: All of the troops in Iraq are now, John, make no mistake about it. Now with additional 130 in Northern Iraq it brings the total over 900 U.S. troops in Iraq. The Pentagon making it clear that they are headed towards trying to find a way to help get those people off that mountain.
The words from the Pentagon that that troops will develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current air drop effort. What are the two options? Clearly there's two things on the table. Do it by air. Land aircraft possibly for weeks on end to get those thousands of people off the mountain or do it by land. Again, hundreds of vehicles, possibly working around the clock for weeks to drive people out of there and get them away from the mountain. But the key problem is security. You have ISIS nearby. They know they are going to have to step up air strikes against is positions, push them back. They need to keep anything they do safe and secure from ISIS.
That could step up U.S. military action in the air. They also have a problem, they have to keep the ground secure on that mountain. It's going to take weeks to get everybody out of there and as they do people will grow more desperate. They may rush vehicles, rush helicopters.
Who do you put on top of that mountain to keep these people safe, secure, to keep any evacuation organized? It is going to be a tremendous challenge according to all the Pentagon officials we've spoken to -- John.
BERMAN: Barbara, serious challenge. As you say we're paying attention the headline U.S. considering what could be a greater role in evacuating the people trapped on that mountain. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Let's get over to senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh who is live in Baghdad for us with the very latest on the ground. Nick, I know that you're keeping an ear to an eye on what Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is saying, some fighting words it seems.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. He just gave a recorded address on state television in which he sound like he was sticking to his guns, but providing a potentially important way out for him given that everybody from Iran to Saudi Arabia to his former Shiite political allies to Shiite religious figures saying it's time for him to step aside.
He called what was happening against him a conspiracy. He sounded angry and cornered, but in many ways too he said that everyone should respect the decisions of the federal court. At some point they may rule on the legality of the nominating of his successor.
But most people imagine given the general swell of opinion against Mr. Maliki it's unlikely the court will choose to keep him in power. But at the same time, this is court let him come to power in 2010.
An extraordinarily messy moments ahead both listening to Mr. Maliki, this isn't the angriest defined speech he could have given. He didn't say, "I'm not going anywhere no matter what.
He instead said the country has come a long way, Democratic institutions need to be respected, and we need to let the federal court have the final decision. So all eyes will be on them. We have to wait and see when they think it is fit to judge on the legality of the nomination.
I have to say really we're looking at a moment where he's already history. It's just a case of when he accepts it -- Kate. BOLDUAN: He has no support from those who once backed him very strongly. Nick Paton Walsh on the ground for us in Baghdad. Nick, thank you very much.
Michaela is here with a look at many of our other headlines this morning.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and we being in the Middle East where the ongoing peace talks continue in Gaza this morning with the current truce set to expire tonight. The Associated Press reports a plan is on the table to bring an end to the month long war between Israel and Hamas.
Negotiators in Egypt are calling on Israel to ease parts of its blockade of Gaza with the border being open gradually overtime. In the meantime in Gaza, six people were killed as police and engineers tried to remove an undetonated explosive device.
Ukraine's interior minister said a convoy en route from Russia will not be allowed to cross the border. (Inaudible) calls out Vladimir Putin saying provocation by a cynical aggressor is not acceptable.
More than 250 trucks are set to reach Ukrainian border today. The Russians maintain it's a humanitarian mission delivering generators, food and water, but there's widespread concerns about Putin's intentions.
Canada will donate up to 1,000 doses of an experimental vaccine to help in the fight of the Ebola outbreak in Africa it comes after the World Health Organization said it was ethical to use the drugs against the virus.
Nigerian officials announced a third death connected to a Liberian- American man who is infected with the virus and died in Nigeria last month. This outbreak now has claimed more than 1,000 lives in West Africa.
Again it's not the serum, ZMapp that we've been talking about, but it's a vaccine and they are hoping that it will do some good in preventing further spread.
BERMAN: Canada is stepping up. The whole world needs to step up right now.
All right, 8 minutes after the hour. Another night of violence in a small Missouri town over the death of an unarmed teenager killed by a police officer. During the chaos, there was another officer involved -- now President Obama is weighing in on the death of Michael Brown calling for calm amid growing tensions and protests.
The identity of the officer involved in the fatal shooting has not been revealed because of security concerns. That's highly unusual according to Ferguson police chief the officer received numerous threats online. CNN's Ana Cabrera has more.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Peaceful demonstrations erupting into violence for the fourth straight night as angry protesters take to the streets outraged over the death of Michael Brown clashing with police throwing bottles.
Police in riot gear deploying tear gas to disperse the rowdy crowds. Police still not releasing the name of the officer involved. Saying they fear for his safety after threats on social media and because at this point, he hasn't been charged. Ferguson police chief saying the officer is horrified by what has happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody comes to work saying, you know, I want to kill somebody. Nobody wants to go home from work having taken a life.
CABRERA: According to the Medical Examiner's Office Brown died of multiple gunshot wounds. Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson, who was with him in the moments leading up to the shooting said there was a scuffle at the police car after the officer asked them to get out of the street.
DORIAN JOHNSON, WITNESSED MICHAEL BROWN'S SHOOTING: As we're walking down the street, the squad car vehicle approaches us, we're on the side of the vehicle and the officer says get expletive verbatim was his words. At that moment, I told the officer that we was not but a minute away from my destination and we would be out of the Street.
At that time me and my friend big mike started to walk again and the officer, he seemed like he was driving off, but then he put the car in reverse and the car almost hit me and my friend we had to step back. We were now front and center with the officer inside the vehicle, but we were so close almost inches away that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted off of me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer.
At that time, he reached out the window with his left arm. He grabbed on to my friend, Big Mike's throat and trying to pull him in the vehicle and my friend Big Mike very angrily is trying to pull away from the officer. And the officer now is struggling with, trying to hold on to a grip on my friend Big Mike as he pulls away.
In a minute I heard, "I'm about to shoot." I'm standing so close to Big Mike and the officer. I see the officer has his gun pointed at both of us. When he fired his weapon I moved seconds before he pulled the trigger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a struggle over the officer's weapon.
CABRERA: But Johnson says his friend never reached for the officer's gun. Instead Brown broke free and started running down the street while the officer pursued him.
JOHNSON: At no point in time did they struggle over the weapon because the weapon was already drawn on us. So he was more trying to get away out of the angle or aim of the weapon besides going towards the weapon because it was drawn on us already. And I see the officer proceeding after my friend Big Mike with his gun drawn and he fired a second shot and that struck my friend Big Mike and at that time he turned around with his hands up beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting.
But at that time the officer was firing several more shots to my friend and he hit the ground and died. I watch him until his body stopped moving and then I ran. And vomiting in my mouth, hyper ventilating not knowing what to do I just ran.
CABRERA: Was Brown's killing justified? Did his race have something to do with his death? In a town of 21,000 where 66 percent of the population is black, there are only three black officers out of 53 people on the Ferguson police force.
There's still more questions than answers. The FBI is investigating. The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has opened an inquiry as well. Even the president is monitoring this situation, saying in a statement, we should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Brown's parents have called for peace.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need all of us to come together and do what's right, the right way, the right way so we get something done about this. No violence.
CABRERA: As they continue to demand justice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knows he did something wrong. You take your punishment. And if you're a man you stand up, be a man, you say I was wrong.
CABRERA: Ana Cabrera, CNN, Ferguson, Missouri.
BERMAN: We're going to have much more on this story. Coming up, we'll speak to the mayor, a black police official about what's going on. We'll talk about what happened in Ferguson overnight because there was more violence. An unrelated shooting where an officer did apparently shoot a suspect. We'll talk about that as well.
BOLDUAN: A lot going on. And still, to this point what happened that day, what happened Saturday is also not clear.
BERMAN: Next up for us on NEW DAY, we're going to talk more about Robin Williams' suicide. We'll speak with a psychologist about what his death could tell us about his state of mind in his final days.
BOLDUAN: Remembering another lost celebrity. Lauren Bacall was once half of Hollywood's great power couple and known for her very sultry voice. We'll have a look back at her life and her long career.
(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The preliminary and I again say preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams' life ended from asphyxia due to hanging.
BOLDUAN: That was the Marin County sheriff's office revealing a new, graphic detail about the death of the beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): While those details are difficult to hear, they have sparked an important conversation about the actor's struggles with addiction and depression and what many others can learn from it.
BOLDUAN (on camera): Let's discuss all of this with psychologist Dr. Erik Fisher. Dr. Fisher, thanks so much. Its great to have you here.
DR. ERIK FISHER, PSYCHOLOGIST: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Some of what we heard coming out yesterday, we heard it in some say surprisingly graphic detail coming from the sheriff's office. I'm not going to get into further detail of it. But the way that Robin Williams was found, they talked about him even, some superficial cuts on his wrist, a pocketknife nearby. Does that tell you anything about his mental state, what he was going through at that moment? Because some have started to kind of read into this situation as he may have had a way out.
FISHER: Well, I think that we have to look at this, this is obviously somebody that is experiencing a great deal of pain. What we don't know is if the knife there was there as a cutting behavior or as a suicide attempt that the knife wasn't sharp enough. Usually when people are cut as a behavior, they often cut crossways versus long ways when somebody wants a suicide attempt. From his way that he asphyxiated himself by putting a belt in the closet, he did seem to have a way out there. Its possible he could have opened a door. So obviously, this was a choice he made. He may have made this choice long ago. This obviously is not the first time he's thought about suicide. And it might have just been a time where he just felt it was too much and that's the difficult thing is knowing what is exactly in the mind of that individual just before they end their life.
BOLDUAN: I'm sure those that are close to him, those who were around him in the days prior have wondered this as well. But, Robin Williams, he was very open about his struggles with addiction as well as depression, even adding it into some of his comedy routines quite obviously. He spoke very publicly about it which makes you wonder could, should those close to him have seen this coming? There's no way really, right? FISHER: No, I mean, because there's years and years of humor that he
added to this. Like I said, people who commit suicide in his manner and even through his own comedy routines and one of the interviews. There was a podcast he did that I heard that he had an inner dialogue about suicide in his voice he had, this discussion he had. So there's no way to know it. The line from the "Goodwill Hunting" movie where he says to Matt Damon, "It's not your fault." If there was ever a prophetic message that he could have given to his family he gave it in that movie..
BOLDUAN: And he also seemed like the guy who had it under control. If you can't completely ever put it aside or beat it, he had it under control. I mean, even recently, even in July checking himself into a treatment center which has a lot of people wondering. How then do you explain this suicide?
FISHER: Well, I always tell people control is an illusion. It's not really a reality. We just see it as that. We manage situations moment to moment, and day-by-day. Also, often people who commit suicide commit it coming out of a depression.
BOLDUAN: That's interesting. Explain that.
FISHER: When they are in the depths of depression, often there's such a level of hopelessness that they don't feel they can do anything right or complete anything. When they're coming out of a depression they feel hope and sometimes the fear is I don't want to go back to that deep dark place again as well as they often can feel like they see things more clearly, this is what I need to do. But the key that I always tell people who want to commit suicide or attempt suicide is to tell them that you just want the pain to stop you don't see any other way. So it's possible that there definitely were other ways for that pain to stop. We know that. But for him he didn't see another way and as many bouts as he had with it, he might have felt like he was just done, and that's the hard thing to interpret is how he felt just before this happened.
BOLDUAN: And another hard thing is that he's far from being the only person dealing with severe depression on a daily basis. What do you want the message to be? This does draw the attention, the public eye to this situation like this. If someone is watching who has a loved who's also facing severe depression what do you want the message to be?
FISHER: For those people who have loved ones who face depression, make sure that you work to get them help as much as you can and make sure that they get the help they need. For those who have experienced depression and feeling suicidal, sometimes people see the success of somebody else's suicide as an opportunity to say hey, I can do this now, and I can be successful at it, or I want to be like this person. Don't see this as an opportunity to end your life. See it as an opportunity to live it more fully, get the help you need, to recover and work through it. Know that it gets better with medication and therapy. Therapy is a key to getting better and working through this.
BOLDUAN: And hopefully someone, or many people, will learn something good from the loss of someone who is so loved. Dr. Erik fisher, thank you for your time.
FISHER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Of course. Taking a break here. Coming up next on NEW DAY, will they hug it out? President Obama and Hillary Clinton going to the same party in Martha's Vineyard after a foreign policy spat you could call it. Could politics be behind this meet? We'll discuss.
And the loss of another celebrity. We're going to look back at the life of Lauren Bacall, one of the last links to Hollywood's golden age.
LAUREN BACALL, ACTRESS: You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.
PEREIRA: Welcome back. Let's take a look at your headlines here on NEW DAY.
PEREIRA (voice-over): 130 more U.S. military advisers have arrived in northern Iraq to evacuate refugees under siege by ISIS militants. The expanded U.S. has some concern there could be a direct confrontation between American troops and ISIS. All this unfolding as the country's embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks out this morning calling moves to replace him a conspiracy. Add to that Iran and its most loyal militia now turning their backs now on al- Maliki, endorsing Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi instead
Primaries in several states have whittled down the field for November's elections. In Minnesota, businessman Mike McFadden easily won the Republican Senate nomination and the right to challenge incumbent Democratic senator Al Franken. In Wisconsin, former Trek Bicycles executive, Mary Burke, won the Democratic nomination in the governor's race. She will face Scott Walker in the fall. And we are headed for a rematch in the Connecticut governor's race. Tom Foley won the Republican nomination will face Dan Malloy who squeaked by four years ago. You can hear a collective sigh of relief coming from the West Coast. The Donald sterling era officially over. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now the new official owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The $2 billion sale was finalized Tuesday. The most ever paid for an NBA franchise, by the way. That sale was negotiated by Shelly Sterling, but not without objections from her estranged husband who, you'll recall, was banned for life from the NBA back in April for making racist remarks.
PEREIRA (on camera): She was one of Hollywood's all time the leading ladies. This morning we remember the legendary Lauren Bacall who died Tuesday at age 89.