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Las Vegas Killer Describes Habits in 2013 Testimony; Meryl Streep Speaks Out on Weinstein Allegations; Dove Apologizes for Racist Ad; Frist Lady Melania Responds to First Wife Ivana. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired October 9, 2017 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And he's also spoken to several players who knew and played with the shooter.
And so, Anthony, thank you so much for being with me.
Reading his own words in his deposition, it tells us more. No one knows much. You said -- tell me what your player friends, who actually would see the gunman, was there anything about him that struck them?
ANTHONY CURTIS, PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER & OWNER, LAS VEGAS ADVISOR: No. Nothing at all. He was a big player, as he says. The biggest in the world? No. Absolutely not. He was side by side playing with guys and women who were playing the same levels as he was, but he was a big player along with them. Nothing was exceptional about him. He was very quiet, kept to himself and drank a lot. That's what I've been told.
BALDWIN: He says, he played -- this is from 2006 -- he played 13 hours a day, 365 days a year, gambled all night, slept during the day. How many people do this?
CURTIS: Not many, including him, I would think. Fourteen hours a day every day? I doubt it. He would have been better known in this city. When his name was first mentioned, people I know in the field, contacts of mine, who are active players, didn't even know the name. They recognized him when they saw his photos. I'm sure he played a lot and ran money through the machines, but that sounds like an exaggeration to me.
BALDWIN: Interesting. I've been reading up on video poker. Playing a slot machine is sort of mindless. Video poker requires a little bit of skill in terms of knowing the history of the machine and reading a pay table. What does this tell you if he's a video poker player?
CURTIS: Video poker is a thinking-man's gambling game, especially when it comes to machines. As you say, slot machine, mindless. Pull handles and push buttons. Video poker, there's a great skill set involved. It takes a lot to do well for it. First, you need to know how to read pay tables, and know which ones are the best. Second, you know how to play your hands once they're given to you. And this is something that a calculating person would do, a studied person, who wants to do better or potentially flip the odds in their favor. BALDWIN: A lawyer who was talking to him a couple of years ago
apparently asked him, all right, how much money do you make on a given night, and his response was $1 million. The lawyer said, wow, that's a lot of money. And he flat-out said no, it's not, not to me.
You tell me, in these circles, a million dollars is a lot of money, is it not, in these circles?
CURTIS: Well, it depends on what we're talking about. There's a lot of semantics that go on here. Him winning a million a night? Absolutely not. It's not possible. Him playing a million a night, what they call the handle, what he puts through the machine and coin in, at levels that he was probably playing, maybe, $225 a hand up to $1,000 hand a minute, that's a quarter million an hour. He can do that. In four or five hours, he can put a million. In five or seven or eight hours, he can probably put $2 million through a machine. That's not winnings. That's just handle. That's wins and loses.
BALDWIN: Yes. He said he would wager up to a million a night. That wouldn't be winnings.
BALDWIN: And wager, the fact that this guy was wagering a million bucks, walking around the casinos in sweats and flip-flops. And so cheap to bring his own drink in because he didn't want to tip the waitresses. Is that -- is that an M.O. for someone who lives and breathes by, you know, these machines?
CURTIS: Unfortunately, it sounds very typical.
CURTIS: A lot of these people who play at these levels, they're trying to eke out every advantage and make as much money as they can and give away as little as possible. So to them, tipping is a leak, and they don't want to do that. So it sounds very, very typical, to be honest with you.
BALDWIN: The inside of a gambler.
Anthony Curtis, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. In Las Vegas for me.
[14:34:00] BALDWIN: Ahead here, Actress Meryl Streep speaking out on the shocking allegations of one of Hollywood's most powerful men has been accused of assaulting multiple women. What she is now saying as so many people are staying silent.
Plus, Dove soap playing cleanup after a three-second ad sparking backlash online. A lot of critics saying, check it out, that it's racist. The company has yanked the ad. And how was it ever allowed to go public? We'll talk about it.
BALDWIN: In a rapid fall from grace, movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, fired from his studio bearing his own name amid allegations of sexual harassment. The bombshell revelations coming in a "New York Times" expose revealing decades of settlements with at least eight women. "The Times" reporting that actresses, Ashley Judd, and Rose McGowan, were among his targets.
And with me now, Hadas Gold, CNN politics media and business reporter. And Emily Best, a Los Angeles-based film producer. Emily is the founder and CEO of a Seed&Spark crowd-funding platform.
Ladies, Meryl Streep, let's being there.
Emily, Meryl Streep released a statement pushing back on the notion that everyone in Hollywood knew about Weinstein's actions. But reading what you've said, you say this qualified as Hollywood's open secret. Explain.
EMILY BEST, FILM PRODUCER & FOUNDER, CEO, SEED&SPARK CROWD FUNDING: Well, my own experience coming into Hollywood really with an attempt to change the culture with new business models, that's what we're working on. I had an opportunity through my mentors to learn about how this sort of prolific figure was discussed, and at least in my experience nobody had really positive stories. There were stories about fist fights and inappropriate sexual behavior. And all of it was danced around --
BALDWIN: All about Weinstein specifically?
[14:40:58] BEST: All about Weinstein specifically. One of the challenges is no person is any one thing. There is a long history of sexual predators being pillars of the community. And so that while you can point to a name, lots of incredibly inappropriate behavior systemic through the years, you can point to a name with good works that were done. But this is a pattern that has been repeated. You don't have to think back very far to other sexual predators who were in some ways using their good works to cover their bad behavior.
BALDWIN: Right. Right. Right.
So many questions about who did or didn't speak up.
Hadas, Miramax Partners. How did they know which was happening? We had "The New York Times" piece on Thursday. Was it that Weinstein used his own personal money to settle this out? I mean, how did people not know?
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS MEDIA & BUSINESS REPORTER: You're asking a lot of the right questions, and a lot of the questions that we don't know the answers to. But it is clear that some executives knew about this behavior. In fact, in that "New York Times" piece, a former president of Miramax, Mark Biel, was quoted that they knew this was going on. How many people knew and how far up did it go? Miramax is now owned by Disney, so who knew within the Disney corporation? Where did this money coming from? Even if it was coming from his own personal money, it had to have been known because there were memos going around and all of these settlements being made. And that doesn't reflect well on these companies.
But as Emily said, this is something we've seen elsewhere. You don't have to think back very far to think of other companies where they've had incredibly powerful people commit these sorts of acts and cover them up with the settlements and, suddenly, people are amazed at these reports that come out.
BEST: This is also a question of culture.
BALDWIN: Go ahead, yes.
BEST: This is also a question of culture. We have somehow all agreed that non-disparagement agreements are par for the course where a victim comes forward with an allegation, they're tackled by a giant, powerful team of lawyers, and then essentially subdued into silence, so that later they can point to it and say she took a little settlement. which is part of the culture of not believing victims in the first place. Because by virtue of taking the settlement, they can point to someone and said she must not have meant it that much anyway. Not taking it all into consideration and the repercussions that someone might suffer for coming forward when they're literally being told things like you will never work in this town again, right? That's a movie troupe and that's something that gets tossed around. And when it's tossed around by lawyers bankrolled by people with endlessly deep pockets, I don't see what other choice those victims have faced. And we see this in the tech industry, as well. My company straddles film and tech. I'm deeply enmeshed in that cultural conversation, as well. And we see this there. That non-disclosure agreements are something that are continually used to keep victims already in positions of -- of terrible power dynamic silent.
BALDWIN: What about -- we're going to tackle the deafening silence within political circles in a second, but what about "Saturday Night Live,"
Hadas, we all love our "SNL." And they've thrown comedic jabs against Bill O'Reilly and President Trump a year ago over their alleged misconduct with women. But just this past Saturday, shied away from spoofing this whole Weinstein story. And reporters asked Lorne Michaels why, and his response, and I'm quoting him was, "It's a New York thing." Huh? What?
GOLD: The silence on Saturday night was deafening from "Saturday Night Live." Lorne made those remarks as he was exiting the after- party early in the morning on Sunday. And later on, in "The New York Times," his associates explained that he meant that the national audience might not have understood what was going on with Harvey Weinstein. "The New York Times" also reported they had tried out jokes in the dress rehearsals and it fell flat. But it wasn't mentioned in the weekend update, which is the sort of place you would expect that to be mentioned. And it wasn't just "Saturday Night Live." We saw quite a few late-night hosts, not mention it at all. I think it was only "The Daily Show" and John Oliver that mentioned it --
BALDWIN: John Oliver.
GOLD: -- on HBO that really even mentioned it. Clearly, it's maybe it's the fear of the power of Harvey Weinstein. Maybe they don't think the audience gets it. But I think we'll see that change because now that you have these very powerful women, which is usually what happens in these cases, who aren't afraid to stand up, and have their own deep pockets, like a Meryl Streep and like an Ashley Judd, are coming forward to make statements about this. And now we're going to see this come up on the late-night shows.
Hadas Gold, thank you so much. You were excellent.
GOLD: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Emily Best, thank you very much as well -- for both your voices.
BEST: Thank you.
[14:44:46] BALDWIN: Still ahead here, a soap company trying to clean up its issue here, making its own mess after it posted an ad online that critics are calling blatantly racist. How did Dove get this so wrong?
BALDWIN: The company Dove is now apologizing for a body wash ad that sparked accusations of racism. The ad posted on Facebook shows a black woman removing her T-shirt to then reveal a white woman. Critics say the ad is loaded with racist implications by showing a black woman transforming into this white woman.
You take a look and judge for yourself.
BALDWIN: So reaction to this? Swift and scathing. Prompting this apology from Dove. Quoting them, "An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color. Thoughtfully, we deeply regret the offense it caused."
Joining me now, P.R. and brand strategist, Marvet Britto. She runs the Britto Agency.
It's nice to see you.
MARVET BRITTO, P.R. & BRAND STRATEGIST, BRITTO AGENCY: Good to see you, too. BALDWIN: Listen, you think of Dove, they're a mega company and represents all kinds of women, shapes, colors and now this. How did they get it so wrong?
[14:50:34] BRITTO: They got it real wrong. Dove has been on the forefront of creative that has stretched the boundaries of stereotypes and beauty.
BRITTO: And they made over $4 million on the campaign since it launched in 2004. A good stretch with being successful with another misstep several years ago. For Unilever, the parent company, they have the second-largest advertising budget in the world, $8.7 billion, excuse me. And each time they're culturally insensitive they're turning off the very consumer they're looking to celebrate. And so, for them, it's really about bringing in experts and bringing in and hiring people of color to have a seat at the table when these decisions and these creatives are being developed.
BALDWIN: How many eyeballs would have had to have been on this that would have passed all of them to make it out?
BRITTO: Several, because even the actress who is in the campaign said that when she did it, she didn't feel any, you know, she didn't feel it was racially insensitive when she filmed it. However, context is everything. And now that you see it, juxtaposed against the other images, it appears to be insensitive, which was probably not their intent. However, perception travels half way around the world before reality gets out of bed. So for us, we see the end result, and it's coming across as their intent is not to be racially insensitive, but it came off that way.
BALDWIN: You mentioned the racial insensitivity from Dove a couple of years ago. I think it was 2011, and it shows these women, left to right, before and after, right? And the before is the African- American woman and the after, presumably, after she's cleaned using her Dove, is the white lady.
BRITTO: Right. Again, they're tone deaf. And you have to have people of color involved in the process. And we don't know that they were or weren't, but the end result seemingly is that there was no one to actually say, this is going to, you know, tick some people off.
Marvet, thank you so much.
BRITTO: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Appreciate you.
Just into us here, our first look at how President Trump is spending his Columbus Day on the golf course in Virginia, along with Senator Lindsey Graham. This, as the president engages in this war of words with his own fellow Republicans. Senator Bob Corker calling the White House an adult day care center. How this feud could potentially impact the president's agenda going forward.
And speaking of feuds, President Trump's first wife, Ivana, claims she is the first lady, and also claims she has a direct line to the White House. Guess who responded to that? The first lady, Melania Trump.
[14:57:43] BALDWIN: All right. How about this one? First lady, Melania Trump, is now hitting back at President Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, who referred to herself as the original first lady.
Ivana Trump made those comments on "Good Morning, America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANA TRUMP, FORMER WIFE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Talk about once in 14 days. I have the direct number to White House. But I don't really want to call him there because Melania is there, and I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I'm basically first Trump wife, OK? I'm first lady, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right. So White House reporter, Kate Bennett, is with me now.
So she said she's got the number to the White House and she said she's the first lady. How did Melania Trump respond to that?
KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: So we reached out pretty much very quickly to see if the first lady had a response and she did. She's firing back. She says that Mrs. Trump -- this is via her communications director, Stephanie Grisham, saying on behalf of Mrs. Trump: "Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the president. She loves living in Washington, D.C. And is honored by her role as the first lady of the United States. She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books. There is clearly no substance to the statement from an ex. This is, unfortunately, only attention seeking and self-serving noise."
So it's a pretty tough hit back here from the first lady, from Melania Trump, someone who is usually pretty quiet. She was obviously cared enough about the statements from Ivana Trump to --
BALDWIN: Why do you think she did, Kate?
BENNETT: She has a new book coming out at midnight tonight. And sort of Donald Trump, Ivana Trump is known for saying what's on her mind and talking about what she wants to talk about. And I think perhaps Melania Trump wanted to make it clear, early in this book tour process, that she disagrees with some of the things that Ivana Trump might be saying. It certainly feels defensive, but also maybe a little preemptive on Melania's part. But we'll just see how it unfolds.
BALDWIN: Step off.
Kate Bennett, thank you.
All right. We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Bolduan. Thank you so much for being with me.
Here's what we have from a source. A source tells CNN President Trump is not finished with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. This, after this --