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Stormy Daniels Discusses Current Career During Controversy Over Alleged Affair with President Trump; Actress Jane Seymour Discusses Her Experience with Sexual Harassment; President Trump Agrees to Meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un; Gunman Kills Three in Veterans' Home in California; NFL Player Malcolm Mitchell Helps Kids Learn to Read. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired March 10, 2018 - 10:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning you to. Thank you for keeping us company here on a Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. CNN Newsroom begins right now.

PAUL: And this morning Stormy Daniels in her own words speaking for the first time to CNN after filing a lawsuit against the president.

BLACKWELL: We'll get to what she said in just a moment. But first, there's also a significant new twist in this saga. We now know President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, used his official Trump organization e-mail account and signature while arranging that $130,000 payment to keep the porn star quiet about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump.

PAUL: Stormy's lawyer goes on to argue Mr. Cohen went to his office that was closed at the time to send that e-mail from his Trump Organization domain. Listen to this.


MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: If, in fact, the payment was being made personally by attorney Cohen, he wouldn't need his office opened in order to effectuate the payment.


BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia is live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with more. Nick, what have you learned?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michael Cohen is responding to that statement, saying this is not a blockbuster development, that he uses his Trump Organization e-mail, his professional e-mail all the time for personal matters.

Here's what he said in a statement, "The use of my company e-mail to communicate with a bank and Miss Clifford's former counsel proves absolutely nothing despite the less than convincing comments offered by Mr. Avenatti. I used this e-mail address for virtually everything as many people do."

Michael Cohen has been accused by Stormy Daniels for trying to keep her silent. In fact, it was earlier this week that she filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles superior court over a nondisclosure agreement between this alleged affair that she had with President Donald Trump. She says that Michael Cohen is trying to keep her silent but she's doing anything but.

It was last night that she performed here at the Solid Gold Gentlemen's Club in Pompano Beach, Florida, and we were told that she wasn't going to be conducting any media interviews, in fact that we shouldn't even ask her any questions. But all that changed after her performance. It was then that she agreed to an audio only interview with CNN so long as we didn't talk about the litigation. I did, however, ask her about how this has all affected her and if she had any message for President Donald Trump.


VALENCIA: So what has this done for your career?

STORMY DANIELS: It's sort of been a double-edged sword where a lot of people are very interested in booking me for dancing and stuff like that. So I'm getting more dance bookings. I usually only dance once a month and now I'm dancing three or four times a month. So that's been really great. But because of that, it's sort of overshadowing a lot of the adult film that's I'm supposed to be promoting. And a lot of the mainstream projects that I was actively working on have been indefinitely put on hold.

VALENCIA: You've gotten a lot of attention, some of it some negative attention. How you are handling everything?

DANIELS: I've been in the adult business for 17 years. So to make it that long in that business, you have to have a really tough skin. And so it's most of it rolls off my shoulders because it's an opinion. Like you think I'm a whore or I'm ugly or I'm old or I'm fat or my boobs are too big or too small, whatever. There is nothing along those lines that someone can say to me that I haven't heard. And so when someone says hey, you're a whore, I'm like that is successful whore to you.

VALENCIA: But this is a little different. Has some of it been hurtful at all? What's your reaction then to it?

DANIELS: Stuff that bothers me is the flat out lies, like people randomly making up stuff.

VALENCIA: Like what?

DANIELS: Like that I'm broke. I've one of the most successful adult movie directors in the business. I have a contract that has been in place for several years. And actually I just renegotiated and got a new contract that was already the terms were already set before this stuff happened. And I have a huge -- I got a raise. So I'm doing just fine.

VALENCIA: What do you think about like the circus that's happening? I mean this was out in 2011 but now it's like a renewed attention on you and somebody else that we'll not name.

DANIELS: I think it's pretty clear with the new developments comes new interest.

VALENCIA: Go ahead?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want people to know you about and what is going on that you think is overshadowed?

DANIELS: Like I just said, that I'm doing what I've always done. I'm writing, directing, performing, dancing, like none that changed. People are under this huge misconception that I just started stripping. And I've been doing this for 18 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like you're taking advantage of the situation.

DANIELS: And that's not true. Now, yes, I'm more in demand, and like I said in the "Rolling Stone" interview, if somebody came up to you and said hey, you no he that job you've been doing forever, how about next week I pay you quadruple? Show me one person who is going to say no.

VALENCIA: So it has helped you financially?

DANIELS: It's helped me in the short immediate time because obviously more people are coming out and more people in the clubs. That's the more tips. But I have yet to see how it is going to play out long term.

VALENCIA: When you look back at this stage of your life, this period of you life, what do you think you're going to think about? What are you going to think about what you're going through right now?

DANIELS: Holy -- Is there anything else to say?

VALENCIA: Is there anything I haven't asked that you is important to know, anything you'd like to talk about while we have a chance?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any more news this week?

VALENCIA: What else should we expect?

DANIELS: I'm not sure what's coming this week, honestly.


DANIELS: I mean you work at CNN, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We kind of know. That's our job.

VALENCIA: Any comments to the president?


VALENCIA: So you heard there Stormy Daniels refusing to comment to President Donald Trump. I did talk to a handful of patrons inside this gentlemen's club last night and they told me they were here to witness history, to be a part of history. Somebody drove -- flew as far away from Texas. We were told by Stormy Daniels team that in her tour, so to speak, that people have come from all across the country just so see her and you get the sense talking to her, Fredricka, that she understands she is part of history. She has two more performances here tonight later this evening. Fredricka -- Victor, Christi? Sorry.

PAUL: That's OK. I know, it's been a long night. It's all right, Nick. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. Nick Valencia there.

VALENCIA: You got it.

BLACKWELL: Joining us now is Rebecca Berg, CNN political reporter. Rebecca, good morning to you. Think what you will about Stormy Daniels, she at least has an advocate in her attorney who is speaking out and sharing her narrative. The White House is trying not to talk about this. They don't appear to have a narrative. There is no offense. The president hasn't tweeted about this. Is this sustainable for the White House to have no strategy, or do they have a strategy we just haven't seen rolled out yet?

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: It doesn't look like they have a strategy, Victor. And I don't think it's sustainable because you have these ongoing legal proceedings between Stormy Daniels and the president or Michael Cohen and the president's team. And so this is going to continue.

The White House as this develops is going to continue to get questions about this case. Even this week we have learned some new developments including Michael Cohen's role in all of this, some details about that. And so every time we get one of the new details or there is a development on the legal side of this, the White House is going to get asked about this.

But so far they are trying to dodge the questions, either sending them over to the president's legal counsel personally or saying they've already addressed this which they have not. The president has not addressed this himself. Sarah Sanders from the White House podium has barely addressed this, not given any sort of answers to the questions that people have about the money that was used to pay off Stormy Daniels or her relationship with the president. And they're going to keep getting those questions. But they're trying not to answer them.

PAUL: OK. And you mentioned Michael Cohen. I want to listen to something Jeffrey Toobin said about Michael Cohen and this $130,000.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This whole idea that Michael Cohen has to go into his equity line, it's not like he has $130,000 sitting around. He has to take a home -- in effect, a home equity loan in order to pay Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet for an affair or relationship that she had with Donald Trump, lawyers don't do that. They don't do that with their own money. It's not ethical. It's not proper to do that without talking to the client. And it also just doesn't make any sense.


PAUL: This brings into the legal arena. At some point just on that alone will the White House have to say something?

BERG: You would think so. Depending on where this case goes from here, it just doesn't pass the smell test, the story that we're hearing from Michael Cohen regarding this payment. Look, it's likely that there were other people who knew about this at the time in the campaign or in the Trump Organization, and so it's possible that they will come forward and share details they know about this payment.

But I completely agree with what Jeffrey said, which is that a lawyer would not do this for a client without the client being looped in, without some sort of authorization or thumbs up to go forward with such a plan. And the idea that Michael Cohen would spend his own money, take out a money from his home to pay for this, is just absolutely absurd if he didn't think he was going to be reimbursed later.

BLACKWELL: So Rebecca, we will hear from the president today. He is going to be rallying in Pennsylvania, 18th district, special election there on behalf of the Republican Rick Saccone. But the president's record on the stumping for GOP candidates has not been great of late. Two losses in the Alabama Senate race primary and general. And then the loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race. And Republicans in Washington say that the Republican candidate there, Rick Saccone, really is not that strong. What's on the line for the president and on Tuesday in this special election?

BERG: He certainly is under a lot of pressure to motivate the Republican base in this district. Republicans in Pennsylvania and here in Washington, D.C., not very excited about Rick Saccone, their candidate in this race. And so the president does have to get out there and try to energize people, make them aware of this race.

But you're absolutely right, Victor, that the president doesn't have a great record on this when you look at the special elections we've so far as well as the Virginia governor's race. But this is something that all presidents struggle. You look at what Barack Obama faced when he was president, some of the campaigning he did in elections when he was president for Democratic candidates, and he was also not successful in many of those races in bringing his very unique Obama coalition to the polls for other Democrats. And so Trump is facing now the same challenge. He can bring his Trump coalition out for other Republicans who are not Donald Trump? So far the answer has been no.

PAUL: And if it is no again this time, political ramifications of that as we head closer and closer to the midterms. We're having a conversation about midterms. The planning has begun. BERG: Right. And so the big takeaway from this race might be the

energy that we're seeing from Democrats. And that's what we've seen in some of the other special elections and the Virginia governor's race, just really unusual energy among the democratic base, especially in an off year or a midterm election. And so that's probably going to be the theme moving forward as well. That is what is on Republicans' radar, and they're trying to figure out how do they handle that energy from Democrats in 2018?

PAUL: All right, Rebecca Berg, always good to see you, thank you.

BERG: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Attorney General Jeff Sessions this morning defended his decision again to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Here he is at the federal society just a short time ago.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: No. I think that's what I had to do. I did not realize, I knew you have to deal with those questions. I told the committee that I would consult with top officials in the department about any recusal issue. But there is a specific regulation that says if you participate in a campaign, it explicitly says that then you can't investigate the campaign of which you are a part. Pretty reasonable thing.

And I was chairman of the national security committee on the Trump campaign and participated in it, so I didn't feel like it was -- that was what I was advised by the professionals, career people in the department. I felt like I had to recuse myself.


PAUL: And, of course that question was most likely came up because remember his recusal is something that president criticized. President Trump saying that he would have picked someone else to be attorney general had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the investigation.

Today Britain's home secretary is holding a meeting on attempted murder of a former Russian spy.

BLACKWELL: Sergei Skripal and his daughter are in serious condition after being poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury, England. Authorities are inspecting the cemetery where his wife and son are buried to determine how that nerve agent was used.

PAUL: In the meantime British troops trained in chemical warfare are being deployed to help police in their investigation. Western intelligence officials consider Russia to be a suspect but it's too early in the investigation to determine anything. The U.K. says it is prepared to respond to the attack with, quote, "full force."

No U.S. leader has ever agreed to meet with a North Korean leader until now. Is President Trump heading into a dangerous diplomatic playing field, though? Our next guest has some insight about Kim Jong-un's unpredictable behavior and what we can expect.

BLACKWELL: The NRA is suing the state of Florida over a new gun law raising the minimum age for purchase of a firearm from 18 to 21.

PAUL: And actress Jane Seymour shares her me too moment in an exclusive interview with CNN.


JANE SEYMOUR, ACTRESS: He basically threatened me. He said if you ever let anyone know ever that you were ever here at my house, I will guarantee you will not work again anywhere on the planet.


PAUL: So President Trump says his meeting with Kim Jong-un is happening even though his press secretary said it would not happen without, quote, "concrete action."

BLACKWELL: Sarah Sanders said a promise to freeze nuclear tests is not enough.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The understanding the message from the South Korean delegation is that they would denuclearize. We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through with concrete actions on the promises that they made.


BLACKWELL: So after Sanders said that, the president tweeted this, "The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be if completed a very good one for the world. Time and place to be determined." Now under the ongoing headlines about a possible meeting or missile test, there are the people of North Korea. You see them here from space. That dark space there, that's what it looks like, an island without electricity in one of the brightest parts of the world.

PAUL: Barbara Demick is with us now. She's the author of "Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea," and she's telling the stories of people who escaped the regime. Barbara, thank you for being with us. You've talked to, I know, many defectors. Help us understand what has struck you most about the stories you are hearing.

BARBARA DEMICK, AUTHOR, "NOTHING TO ENVY, ORDINARY LIVES IN NORTH KOREA": Thanks very much. I think what I've come to learn from defectors is how much North Koreans, ordinary North Koreans yearn to be part of the modern world. As you showed in that very vivid display, there's this black hole in the middle of Asia in this very prosperous region where people don't have access to the Internet, to modern films, media, to Coca-Cola, as it were. And I think especially for the younger generation it's been very difficult for them to feel so cut off. And I think Kim Jong-un realizes that he cannot make his country a normal country. He can't make his people really citizens of the world without a deal with the United States.

BLACKWELL: You know, there's a story you told of a doctor who escaped across the border into China. And she assumed that people in China were just as poor as people in North Korea. Then she saw a bowl of rice on the ground. And this is what you write. Let's put it on the screen. "Dr. Kim couldn't remember the last time she'd seen a bowl of pure white rice. What was a bowl of rice doing there just sitting out on the ground. She figured it out just before she heard the dogs bark. She couldn't deny what was staring here plainly in the face. Dogs in China ate better than doctors in North Korea." I mean, that is just striking.

DEMICK: Yes. And that is, you know, we really have no idea how difficult it is to be a North Korean. You know, North Korea has come up since the great famine of the '90s. But these people are in the middle of greatest economic miracle in the world, what has happened in northeast Asia.

And, yes, rice is a luxury. I've met North Koreans in northeastern China who, you know, just go crazy when they see an apple because they have never had an apple or a banana. These people are very, very deprived. And, you know, they are the ones who really suffer the most because of the North Korean regime. We in the U.S. are worried about, you know, rightfully worried about a North Korean attack. But it's really the North Koreans who are suffering.

PAUL: What do they say about Kim Jong-un? What do they think of him?

DEMICK: You know, this is not going to be a popular thing to say, but he's been quite well liked by ordinary people.

PAUL: Even the defectors?

DEMICK: Even defectors. I have often talked to North Koreans who are working in China. And they were very optimistic about him because he's young. He looks like his grandfather Kim Il-sung. And actually despite all the sanctions, the North Korean economy improved quite a bit under Kim Jong-un. He's opened up the markets. He's not really, you know, following this undiluted brand of socialism of his father Kim Jong-il, and that has helped things. Public opinion doesn't matter much in North Korea because it's a totalitarian state, but I think it's much better liked than Kim Jong-il, and I think part of his initiative to the U.S. is to show the younger generation that there can be change, that they can be part of the world.

BLACKWELL: Let me read something that came out from the president via Twitter. "Chinese President Xi Jinping and I spoke at length about the meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea. President Xi told me he appreciates that the U.S. is working to solve the problem diplomatically rather than going with the ominous alternative. China continues to be helpful." That in just the last minute from the president.

But what I want to ask you, Barbara, was about this propaganda from the Kim regime. Kim has been feeding the people of North Korea this, vilifying the president. How will they receive now the president -- their leader now sitting down with the man who he's vilified for his entire term?

DEMICK: I hate to say this, but I think the North Korean people will follow whatever lead comes from their leadership. North Koreans have no access to any outside media. Their television is fixed on one station. They can't get foreign newspapers. They're not seeing all this, you know, back and forth on Twitter. And if Kim Jong-un says this meeting with President Trump is a good thing, that's what North Koreans will go with.

PAUL: Wow.

DEMICK: They love the idea that the president of the United States is meeting with their leader which they see as, you know, a tribute to North Korea being a superpower because, of course, they think that they're the center of the world, they always do.

PAUL: Right. Well, boy, Barbara Demick, author of "Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea" is the book. Thank you so much for sharing.

DEMICK: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Three women were killed at a veterans' home in California. We'll have details on how they all ended. That's next.

PAUL: Also a new gun law in Florida is raising the minimum age for purchasing a firearm, that age from 18 to 21. And the NRA, they're doing something about it already.


PAUL: Just about 10:30 on Saturday morning. And this morning President Trump is tweeting about the victims who were killed in the shooting at a veterans home in California. He said this, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic situation in Yountville and mourn the loss of three incredible women who cared for our veterans."

BLACKWELL: The shooter who was also found dead had been suffering from PTSD and had been treated at that home. Let's bring in now CNN's Dan Simon there in Yountville. Dan, what else have you learned?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, once again you have somebody in this country who is apparently having mental health issues and was receiving treatment and somehow he was able to get ahold of a gun and inflict this tragedy. In this case you're talking about an Army vet who served time in Afghanistan who was getting treatment for PTSD.


SIMON: Tragedy at the veterans' home of California in Yountville. Three women hostages and a gunman dead. The nearly eight-hour standoff with police apparently started when the suspect barged into a going away party.

LARRY KAMER, WIFE WORKS AT FACILITY: They were having cake and, you know, toasting and all that. And then apparently he just walked in with this rifle.

SIMON: The three victims were employees of the Pathway Home, a counseling service for veterans located on the campus of the nation's largest veterans home. They helped veterans who suffered with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

ASST. CHIEF CHRIS CHILDS, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL, GOLDEN GATE: It's a tragic piece of news, one that we were really hoping we wouldn't have to come before the public to give.

SIMON: Authorities have identified the victims as 42-year-old Jennifer Golick, Pathway Home clinical director, 48-year-old Christine Loeber, executive director, and 29-year-old Jennifer Gonzales, a clinical psychologist. In a statement, Pathway Home said these brave women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation's veterans.

REP. MIKE THOMPSON, (D) CALIFORNIA: They were three wonderful, professional, talented young women who get up every morning and go to work to help veterans, and sadly they're gone.

SIMON: The gunman has been identified as 36-year-old Albert Wong from Sacramento. Police say Wong, who had served in the military, was a former program participant at the Pathway House. He left two weeks ago. Early in the standoff Wong and officers fired at each other. After the building was put in lockdown, hostage negotiators spent hours trying to make contact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just a lot of, you know, like the residents, they were just like -- they were calm. And they just didn't know what to expect or anything like that. But I was thinking, wanting to go home to my son.


SIMON: Well, we're told that gunman was asked to leave the facility a couple weeks ago. We don't know what led to him leaving. Obviously there was some sort of discord inside and that's likely what caused him to come back and took those three women hostage and killed them. Victor and Christi, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Dan Simon, thank you so much.

The NRA has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Florida law that raises the minimum age to buy a gun. Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the bill yesterday. This is the first gun control legislation since the Parkland School massacre. The law races the minimum age to purchase a firearm of any kind from 18 to 21. Now the NRA suit says the law punishes law abiding gun owners for someone else's criminal acts. The new law also allows some teachers to be armed.

PAUL: And we want to talk a little more in depth about what is included in this law. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act is what it's called. It's the first gun control legislation enacted in Florida after the Parkland School massacre on February 14th. So let's get right into some of these changes. Victor mentioned one

that the NRA is really paying attention to, raising the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21. It also requires a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases. There are some exceptions included there, but it also bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks.

It also funds more security and mental health services in school, including more funding for armed school resource officers and gives police more power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit. There is also, we should point out, a new program named after the coach who died shielding students with his own body during that massacre, Aaron Feis, remember. This is going to arm some teachers if both the local school district and local sheriff's departments agree to do so. Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right, you may remember the name Martin Shkreli. He is the hedge fund manager who jacked up the price of a lifesaving drug back in 2015. Now a federal court has sentenced him to seven years in prison for defrauding investors out of more than $10 million. The CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval joins us with more details. We're learning this was an emotional day in court for him. And this is not a man who typically shows this type of emotion.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An about-face that we saw yesterday, Victor. Martin Shkreli, you may know him as the so called pharma bro from his days of jacking up the price of a lifesaving HIV drug from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Important to point out, though, this federal fraud conviction is not related to that controversy. You remember in August a Brooklyn jury convicted the 34-year-old of securities fraud, for mismanaging two investment funds, and also lying to investors.

Shkreli usually maintained a smirk on his face during the last year's proceedings. But yesterday a very different guy here. That smile had been replaced by tears as he pleaded with the judge, asking for leniency. This once defiant defendant changed to an apologetic tone during his hearing yesterday, telling the judge, quote, "I look back and I'm embarrassed and ashamed."

He went on to say, "There's no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions." He had previously referred to the charges against him, this investigation that he was a target of as a, quote, "witch hunt of epic proportions." And this really has been an eventful week in court for Shkreli. Earlier this week a judge ordered he forfeit about $7.4 million in assets, this included a sole copy of a Wu Tang Clan album, a piece of music memorabilia that is said to be worth about $2 million. He is also expected to give up a Picasso painting as well if this forfeiture goes through.

The prosecutors actually wanted 15 years here, Victor. The defense wanted one year. But there certainly was an in between here, seven years now and he will be given six months credit for the time he served in a Brooklyn cell. Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right, Polo, thank you so much. PAUL: Police in Pennsylvania need help finding a missing teenager.

Allentown police say the 16-year-old Amy Yu and Kevin Easterly who is 45 haven't been seen for nearly a week. And here's what's strange about this situation. Authorities say Easterly signed Amy out of school many times in the last year without her mother's permission. Now records show police told Easterly and his wife to stay away from this child's home. Easterly's wife says $4,000 was taken from her bank account the day they disappeared.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Jane Seymour explains the moment that made her think about quitting acting forever. How she hopes what she has to say will resonate and inspire other women.


PAUL: Can you imagine somewhere in time where "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" without Jane Seymour? She had a moment, I don't know if you know about this, early in her career that shook her up enough so that she considered leaving the acting profession. It's her me too moment and this week she got real candid with me about that and why this movement matters.


JANE SEYMOUR, ACTRESS: I was in my early 20s. I had redone the Bond film and some other things. And I was very excited. I was asked to come to Hollywood. I tested for a major motion picture with a major producer. And then another producer came to my agent and said she's in town. We want her for our movie.

So producer number two has me meet with the director, writer. We rehearse. I'm scheduled to do a screen test. It's all everything very much aboveboard. And then my agent said, oh, he wants to see your previous screen test. He's going screen you at his house before everyone else arrives. Would you go to his house and do this?

So I thought nothing of it. So I went. And he screened it. Then I'm waiting for the other people to arrive and no one shows up. And then he looks at me and he just says, look, I persuaded everyone that you should star in my movie. But it was really hard to persuade them. But now it's your turn. And I looked at him and I went, yes. I mean to do a great screen test. And he said, no, you know what I mean. He put his hand right inside, you know, my thighs and my thigh and I just thought, OK, being British I cross my legs and move down the couch and maybe we can pretend this didn't happen.

But it continually happened until I kind of had to get off the couch. And, of course, no cell phones in those days. I didn't have a car. I had to ask him to call me a cab. And he basically threatened me. He said if you ever let anyone know ever that you were ever here at my house, I will guarantee you will not work again anywhere on the planet. And the man was that powerful. And I've since found out that he was consistently did this kind of thing with people.

Anyway, the reason I found out was the next yearly to lie to my agent and this other producer, and when they said how did it go last night with so and so? And I said, well, I didn't go. They went that's probably a good thing. I said what do you mean? Why would I not go?

They said, well, we don't want to get into it, but, you know, you could have been difficult. It could have been difficult circumstances, and if things hadn't quite gone a certain way, you know, you probably wouldn't have got the role. And I think the thing that really upset me is the people supposed to protect me, my agent and this other producer didn't protect me. It was a lose-lose situation. I should have never gone there in the first place.

PAUL: So anything that you would say to women who are trying to advance in the climate that they're in? Do you have faith that things are truly changing or is this just going to be cyclical in your opinion?

SEYMOUR: This is -- this doesn't just happen in show business. It happens in every walk of life. I talk to people I know who are doctors, nurses, lawyers, businesswomen. They look at me like really, you don't think it happens in our work every single day? And I think because all of this is now exposed and people are talking about it, I think men are going wait a minute. We might think twice before we approach certain people certain ways.

PAUL: She says Frances McDormand's recent Oscar moment spotlights something we need more of -- women lifting up other women.

SEYMOUR: I was so thrilled to see it, because when women grow together, we blossom. We bloom. There is the most amazing talents out there. And actually before the Oscars, people said what did do you to get ready? Actually I spent the day before in the desert with my daughter who is 36 and 17 of her friends sleeping on the floor out there in the desert. Some of them were naked hiking. I was not naked hiking. But we were doing meditating and whatever. And then we all sat around a fire and we did called let's burn this. Let's burn this was we all wrote on this origami thing what we never want to do again, where whatever it is that has been consuming us and holding us back. And we blew in this thing and put it on the fire and we spoke for a few minutes, each one of us in the circle about what we were letting go of in our lives.

It was so incredibly inspiring that when I drove back from the desert and had two hours to put myself together for the Oscars, I was beaming from inside. I thought how cool is this, that I'm here with all these 30 somethings and we are letting go of stuff we don't need anymore in our lives.


BLACKWELL: All right, this next story is inspiring. A Super Bowl champion who overcame a struggle with reading is now helping others. Andy Scholes is here with more.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, Malcolm Mitchell went from not being able to read to writing this children's book right here. Coming up, how he is now inspiring kids across the country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: On the field Malcolm Mitchell a Super Bowl winning wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Off the field he is helping kids learn to read.

PAUL: Andy Scholes has more.

SCHOLES: Tell what you, guys, Malcolm Mitchell is one inspiring guy. This Difference Makers is brought you to by the new 2018 Ford F-150. It takes a lot of courage to admit you have a reading problem once you reach your teens. But that's exactly what Malcolm Mitchell did. He completely hit the reset button. In college he started over, learning to read with children's books. By doing that he developed a love for reading and now he's on a journey to inspire kids everywhere to learn how to read.


MARTIN MITCHELL, NFL PLAYER: I started all the way over with children's books, and then started building my way up. And eventually reading became easier. The children's books that stuck out to me most were "Giving Tree," "Hungry Caterpillar." I went and bought all the Dr. Seuss books, I can think of a ton that, you know, made me laugh, made me smile, gave me courage to keep going.

SCHOLES: And reading the children's books, I'm guessing you kind of developed an affinity for them because you ended up writing one yourself.

MITCHELL: For sure.

SCHOLES: So you really enjoy reading the children's books whether you started?

MITCHELL: Yes. They had an impact on the way I viewed just the world entirely. That's something that I wanted to do in "The Magicians Hat, a book I wrote, send a message to kids that reading can help you accomplish your goals.

SCHOLES: Do you mind reading us one of the favorite passages?

MITCHELL: Yes, I don't mind. "Whoa, whispered Ryan, how did do you that? I'm not doing anything, the magician said. You are. I am? asked Ryan, but there is got to be a secret trick in those books. The desires that are within you bring out the magic in these books. Follow your dreams and they will take you wherever you want to go."

SCHOLES: How hard would it have been for you to read what you just read for me now back when you started college?

MITCHELL: I would have never done it.

SCHOLES: It would have been a struggle.

MITCHELL: It would have been a big struggle, just wouldn't have been able to get it out as fluently, wouldn't have had the confidence to even begin the passage. You know, even reflecting on that reminds me of some of the struggles I had in high school. I just remember always shying away from it.

SCHOLES: What is your message to those kids who are just like you, that are shying away from having to read in public and what not? What do you want to tell those kids?

MITCHELL: I'll tell those kids, I understand. I understand the struggle. I understand it being difficult. And I understand that reading may not seem as cool as other things in life. But I promise you if you read you give yourself a better chance to be successful and make your dreams become reality. And I know this because that's exactly what happened to me.


SCHOLES: And here's Mitchell's book that he wrote, "The Magician's Hat" right here. And Mitchell actually travels from city to city holding reading rallies at schools and libraries. And for a whole hour he has fun with the kid. It's all about reading. And guys, today Malcolm Mitchell's book "The Magician's Hat" is going to be read at Barnes and Nobles all across the country during story time.

PAUL: That's awesome. Thank you, Andy.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Andy. We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: Next week we reveal our first CNN Hero of 2018. Before we do, we have an update on last year's hero of the year.

PAUL: Amy Wright, of course, she was honored for opening a coffee shop that employs people with disabilities. She has expanded her mission. Our Anderson Cooper has an update.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 2017 CNN hero of the year is -- Amy Wright!

AMY WRIGHT, CNN HERO: Oh, my gosh. I cannot believe this is happening.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Incredible night, but two months later Amy has opened a second coffee shop, this one in Charleston, South Carolina. For most of the 17 new employees, this is their first job.

WRIGHT: People with intellectual disabilities aren't valued, and so this coffee shop has created a place where people see their value.


BLACKWELL: Be sure to nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero. Right now you can do it at

PAUL: Love to see. That all right. We are so grateful that you spent time with us on the weekend. Thank you for being here. We hope you make good memories today. BLACKWELL: There is much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's

newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield coming up after a quick break.