Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Allegations Against Herman Cain; Egypt Votes
Aired November 28, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
We begin tonight with breaking news: new explosive sexual allegations against GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain. These, however, do not involve allegations of inappropriate contact, however, or harassment. They're allegations of a consensual affair.
An Atlanta businesswoman claims she had an affair with Cain that lasted 13 years, an affair that only ended some eight months ago when he began running for president.
Here's what Ginger White told WAGA, an Atlanta television station, about the alleged affair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGER WHITE, ALLEGES 13-YEAR AFFAIR WITH HERMAN CAIN: It was pretty simple. It wasn't complicated. And I was aware that he was married, and I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Ginger White on the affair she claims she had with Herman Cain. She also showed WAGA cell phone records showing 61 calls or text messages she claimed were from Cain's private cell phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITE: We've never worked together, and I can't imagine anyone phoning or texting me for the last 2.5 years just because.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Cain upstaged his accuser's announcement when he appeared on the CNN "SITUATION ROOM" before she spoke out. Cain said his accuser was just a friend whom he helped financially.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Tell us about the nature of your relationship with this woman.
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Friend and trying to help a friend because not having a job, et cetera, and this sort of thing. That's all there is to the relationship. And here again, I don't know what's going to be claimed in the story. It was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but obviously, they didn't see it as a friendship.
BLITZER: And when you say friend, was it a -- I mean I'm asking these awkward questions but I will ask you the questions you're going to be asked. Was this an affair?
CAIN: No, it was not.
BLITZER: There was no sex?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: After appearing on CNN his campaign released a statement saying, in part -- and I quote -- "Detractors are trying once again to derail the Cain train with more accusations of past events that never happened. The Cain campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America."
Joining me now, John King from Charleston, South Carolina, in Washington, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, along with Joe Johns.
John, you heard Herman Cain tell Wolf Ginger White's claims aren't true. He and his lawyer don't exactly seem to be on the same page. Here's a part of a statement from attorney Lin Wood.
He said -- and I quote -- "This appears to be an accusation of private alleged consensual conduct between adults, a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office, or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door."
Is he right about this that this -- I mean it's certainly different than the other allegations, but should this matter to anybody? Should this be something that is a story?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that's up for the voters to decide, number one. But what you have in trying to deal with this issue now that it is front and center, now that this woman has come forward, is the Cain campaign frankly has had this problem in the past with being consistent with how it deals with a challenge or how it deals with a crisis.
Now you have the attorney giving what sounds like legal advice saying this is none of your business, we're not going to talk about it and our candidate is not going to talk about it, at the same time Mr. Cain himself was on "THE SITUATION ROOM" talking to Wolf Blitzer in a very public way about it.
So the first rule of politics, Anderson, if you talk to any of our good political strategist at CNN will tell you, get on the same page, be consistent in how you handle this and try to put it behind you. And we did not see that at least on day one from the Cain campaign.
COOPER: Yes, Gloria, I guess Herman Cain could have said to Wolf, look, this is not anything that's anybody's business, this is a private matter, and I'm not going to answer it. Would that --
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
COOPER: Do you think this matters to people?
BORGER: Well, I -- it depends on the person. I mean did people agree whether Bill Clinton's private life was relevant to how he served as president of the United States? No, you have people who disagree on that. It may -- it may matter more to those values voters, those evangelical voters in the Iowa caucuses, which is, you know, coming up in about five weeks.
But I think the problem with what happened today for Herman Cain is yes, he tried to get out in front of this story, but the real problem was that he denied this relationship and his attorney sort of said, look, this isn't relevant to the voters. It shouldn't be relevant to the media. And kind of sidestepped that.
So it raised another question, which is, OK, why then his lawyer come out and deny it if Herman Cain denied it and why weren't they -- as John King points out, why weren't they on the same page here?
COOPER: Joe, do you think this will have an impact? I mean -- the allegation is a 13-year-long affair. There has got to be plenty of -- I mean, over the course of 13 years, there's got to be, you know, evidence built up that will come out if this does have legs.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Sure. And she already has phone records. You alluded to that. But he's got sort of a veracity problem here. And that veracity problem is with Ginger White, the woman alleging this consensual relationship. She says it happened. He says it didn't.
And when you look at the polls, they're pretty clear. Cain's biggest problem is with women, and women just don't believe this guy or at least they're starting to not believe this guy. And until he deals with that, until he deals with the issue of the social conservatives in places like Iowa and South Carolina, he's going to continue to be in the middle of the pack.
So yes, it looks like a problem for him. And like John said at the top, you know, he's got to get on the same page. And he's got to be talking with his lawyer, with his campaign, with his staff, and saying the same thing. That would help.
COOPER: John, Joe mentioned the polls, the latest CNN poll released just a couple of days ago had Herman Cain in the top tier just behind Gingrich, statistically tied with Mitt Romney. Do you think this affects the race?
KING: Anecdotally, when you talk to people, Anderson, even before this, set the specifics of this aside for a minute, they said Herman Cain was a candidate heading down, heading in decline, in part because of the sexual harassment allegations that came up but more importantly, at least anecdotally, when you talk to voters in the states, when you talk to activists in key states -- some with his campaign or some at least affiliated with his campaign -- and others on the other side, of course, they're partisans.
But they say that the debate performances, the inability to answer the Libya question in that Milwaukee interview not that long ago -- that yes, he's still in the top tier of the national polling, still in the top tier in most state-by-state polling, but his position is lower now than it was two weeks or a month ago.
And in terms of enthusiasm, if a month ago, six weeks ago, people were saying who is this guy? They were attracted to him, they were reaching out to try to find out more about him, you get a sense that that has stopped.
Now I'm in South Carolina. And South Carolina votes third 54 days from now. A state where Herman Cain was on the rise. Talking to people here today, you get a sense that that momentum at a minimum has halted and now he has the challenge to try to re-energize.
BORGER: You know, Anderson, I think the Republican voters that I talk to, they don't want a candidate they have to worry about. They want someone who can go up against Barack Obama and take him on. And they worry that if these kinds of stories keep surfacing, that Herman Cain's message, no matter what it is, whether it's 9-9-9 or whatever, saving the economy, just gets derailed totally, and they don't want that.
And so when you look at the question of electability or somebody who could be a plausible president, this isn't the kind of baggage that I think Republicans want to go up against an incumbent president with.
COOPER: And I guess, Joe, the other question for Herman Cain, what do you do tomorrow about this? Do you -- do you just -- from here on say look, I have answered that, I'm moving forward, or do you try to pivot somehow?
JOHNS: Well, yes. Well, number one, it's about proof, it's about evidence. But also you have to realize some of the voters have at least sent a signal that they're willing to give a candidate a break who's had -- you know, gone outside of his marriage or whatever.
A good example of that is Newt Gingrich. I mean, he has a long history of issues, if you will. And he's doing very well. You know a month ago nobody would have imagined he was in the top tier. But that was after basically confessing that he'd had an adulterous relationship, converting to Catholicism and taking a whole bunch of other steps to show he's changed.
And you know, those are the options for Herman Cain, I would say, at this stage.
COOPER: Joe Johns, appreciate it, John King, Gloria Borger.
Let us know what you think. We're on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I already tweeted about this. Let us know what you think. Does this matter? Should this matter to voters?
Also follow us on Google+. Join -- join us -- let us join your circles.
Up next -- also on Facebook -- the sexual abuse allegations rocking Syracuse University. Associate basketball coach Bernie Fine has been fired after ESPN and a local newspaper report on a phone conversation his wife Laurie Fine had with one of his accusers.
We're going to play you some of the call ahead.
The question is why didn't the school and police know about it when it was reported nearly a decade ago? "Keeping Them Honest."
And later the crisis in Egypt -- anger in the streets and voters heading to the polls today. What can be done to fix this mess? We're going to talk it over with Thomas Friedman of "The New York Times."
First, let's check in with Isha Sesay -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, is there a culture of cover-up at Florida A&M University? The parents of a drum major killed in an apparent hazing incident say yes, and they're suing the university to get some answers about how their son died -- that and much more when 360 continues.
COOPER: We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight with new questions about who knew what and when about the scandal that's now engulfed Syracuse University. The allegations deal with this man, Coach Bernie Fine, associate men's basketball coach who's been accused of sexually abusing young boys.
Fine was fired last night after 35 years on the job. Syracuse University cut -- cut ties with Fine after ESPN and "The Post Standard," a local newspaper, reported on a 2002 phone conversation one of his accusers had with his wife Laurie Fine. ESPN says audio experts confirmed her voice is on the taped phone call. This is undercover video of Mrs. Fine also obtained by ESPN.
As for the accuser in question who reportedly talked with her, that's Bobby Davis, a former S.U. ball boy who is now 39 years old. Back in 1985, according to the "Post Standard" when Davis was 13 he attended Bernie and Laurie Fine's wedding. But Davis told ESPN the abuse started a year earlier when he was 12 and continued for more than a decade. He's one of three men who accuse Bernie Fine of molestation. The others are Davis' stepbrother, 45-year-old Mike Lang, on the left of your screen, and a 23-year-old man named Zachary Tomaselli on the right. Tomaselli's father says he doesn't believe his own son's story.
Now we should point out Fine has not been charged with any crimes and he denies the accusations.
The story surfaced amid the Penn State sex abuse scandal earlier this month. A Syracuse spokesman said that prompted University police to revisit the allegations brought to their attention six years ago in 2005.
The spokesman says earlier this month police told Davis back then they would not pursue the case because the statute of limitations had expired.
The questions tonight, however, why didn't the police, the DA or Syracuse University know of this taped phone conversation between Fine's wife and one of his accusers back in 2005 since it was recorded three years earlier? Could the tape have changed the way the case was handled? And did it take the Penn State scandal for Syracuse to take the allegations seriously?
Now in a moment we're going to talk with our Gary Tuchman who is in Syracuse trying to get answers. We'll also talk with Mark Schwarz, the ESPN reporter who broke this story. But first we want to play portions of the ESPN tape for you.
We want to warn you, if you have young children in the room, you may want them to leave. Some of the talk is graphic."Keeping Them Honest," when it comes to the question who knew what and when -- when you listen to the tape, it does seem Mrs. Fine did know and never told police or anyone else, or at least had some suspicions. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LAURIE FINE, WIFE OF BERNIE FINE: I know everything that went on, you know. I know everything that went on with him. Bernie has issues. Maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues. And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted.
BOBBY DAVIS, ACCUSES BERNIE FINE OF ABUSE: Yes.
FINE: Bernie's also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: There's more. Laurie Fine also believes Davis is not her husband's only victim. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DAVIS: Do you think I'm the only one that he's ever done that to?
FINE: No. I think there might have been others, but it was geared to -- there was something about you.
DAVIS: Yes, that's what I'm wondering, like it's -- like I'm wondering why I was like the worst one.
FINE: I don't know.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: In another part of the tape obtained by ESPN, Davis and Fine also discuss a $5,000 loan Davis received from Coach Fine in the late 1990s when Davis was about 27 years old. The money was for paying off student loans. At the time of the phone call, Davis had not repaid Coach Fine.
Here's that exchange.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
FINE: When he gave you the money, what does he want for that? He wants you to grab him or he wanted to do you?
DAVIS: He wanted to do me. He wanted me to touch him, too. He tried to make me touch him a couple of times, he'd grab my hand and then I would pull away. And then he'd put me in your bed, and then you know, put me down, and I would try to go away, and he'd put his arm on top of my chest. He goes, "If you want this money, you'll stay right here." You know?
FINE: Right, right. He just has a nasty attitude. Because he didn't get his money nor did he get what he wanted. He didn't get --
DAVIS: It's not about the money.
FINE: It's about the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I know that. So you're -- I'm just telling you for your own good, you better off just staying away from him.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: "You're better off staying away from him."
Laurie Fine also offered some advice for her husband in the audio tape played by ESPN.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
FINE: You know what? Go to a place where there's gay boys, find yourself a gay boy. You know, get your rocks off, have it be over with. DAVIS: Yes, but --
FINE: You know. He needs a -- that male companionship that I can't give him nor is he interested in me and vice versa.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Laurie Fine on the troubles with her marriage. Adding yet another twist to the story, Bobby Davis says he and Laurie Fine had a sexual relationship that she initiated when he says he was 18 and a senior in high school.
As for the sexual abuse allegations at one point she says on the tape obtained by ESPN that she did confront her husband. Here's that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
FINE: I said to him, you know, Bobby and I talked, and I know some things about you that if you keep pushing are going to be let out.
FINE: He didn't even flinch.
DAVIS: I know. That's what I'm saying. He doesn't --
FINE: He says, "Beautiful, let him go ahead. Sure, let him go right ahead."
DAVIS: He doesn't think he can be touched like --
FINE: He thinks that -- I think he thinks he's above the law.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: According to Bernie Fine's wife, he thinks he's above the law.
His attorneys released this statement last night. Quote, "Mr. Fine will not comment on newspaper stories beyond his initial statement. Any comment from him would only invite and perpetuate ancient and suspect claims. Mr. Fine remains hopeful of a credible and expeditious review of the relevant issues by law enforcement authorities."
Now to what Gary Tuchman uncovered today in Syracuse, he joins us now.
Gary, I understood you spoke briefly with Bernie Fine's wife today.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. We went on a search for Bernie Fine and Laurie Fine. We did not find Bernie, but we did find Laurie. We thought that was very important because of her alleged role in this disturbing affair. And why did she say these things she said on the tape ,or would she deny she said them, or just say it was creative editing?
We did hear from a nephew of her earlier today, she was going to come out with a statement that said it was misinterpreted. But we didn't know when this statement would come out, it was supposed to be on paper.
We wanted to see her in person. So we walked up her driveway today here in suburban Syracuse, an upper-middle class neighborhood. We weren't sure if she was going to be home but I knocked on the door of her house, and to my surprise, she came in the door -- she came to the door, that is, and had a short conversation with me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Hi, I'm Gary Tuchman with CNN.
TUCHMAN: I'm sorry to bother you.
FINE: You're not bothering me.
TUCHMAN: But I was hoping I can ask you -- your nephew was saying that you might have a statement.
FINE: We have no statement.
TUCHMAN: You're not going to make a statement.
FINE: Not today.
TUCHMAN: Is that tape -- is that misinterpreted though?
FINE: I have no comment.
TUCHMAN: How come you can't comment?
FINE: I cannot comment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: She did ultimately slam the door, but I was surprised at her disposition. She didn't look angry to see me, she kind of had a little slight smile when I came to the door. But we still don't know what her statement will be and if she will come out with a statement.
Now we can tell you something very interesting, you've heard throughout the time now that her husband Bernie Fine and Jim Boeheim, the head coach of the Syracuse University's basketball team, have known each other for almost 50 years. Fine is coach for 36 years.
Believe it or not, right across the street from where the Fines live, there is another house, and that's where Jim Boeheim lives. That's right, the Boeheim families and the Fine family live across the street from each other. They each have basketball hoops on their driveways.
Jim Boeheim came out of his house when we were standing on the streets today. We wanted to get a chance to talk to him to see what he had to say about the situation, but he got in his car and he drove off very quickly -- Anderson.
COOPER: What do local police have to say about the investigation, Gary?
TUCHMAN: We went to the Syracuse City Police Office today hoping to get them on camera. They did not want to talk on camera. But police officials tell us something very interesting. They say they had never conducted an investigation into the allegations by Bobby Davis. They say in 2002 that alleged victim came forward and asked what the statute of limitations was. The Syracuse Police said they told him five years and that was the extent of their investigation.
They say they have never heard this audio tape until the other day. And the same thing with Syracuse University. The university said it did conduct a four-month investigation in 2005. It's not clear why their investigation was in 2005, but they, too, say they never heard the audio tape until most of you, our viewers, heard the audio tape, too.
COOPER: So these -- the alleged victim here who, I guess, supplied the tape to the newspaper or ESPN, he didn't give it to the university or to police?
TUCHMAN: No, he did not give -- he didn't give it to the university. He didn't give it to the police, according to the university and police. He gave it to ESPN. And he gave it to the newspaper, the 'Syracuse Post Standard."
Now you may be wondering why didn't they do a story on it back in 2002? The fact is, you know, courts have statutes of limitations, journalists don't. We do stories when they're good, when they're important, when we have the facts. Now the obvious answer would be that both of those news organizations felt like they didn't have the facts back then.
But it's fair to ask them, were there other pressures, other reasons you didn't do the story back then. We went to the "Syracuse Post Standard" newspaper today, they told us they would have a statement within 24 hours, but we really wanted it earlier since we're on the air at 8: 00 p. m. Eastern Time. We wanted this statement tonight.
So we went to the newspaper, we asked them to come down and talk to us on camera. They're fellow journalists. They made the decision not to talk to us on camera. We ended up leaving. We took pictures of the newspaper building and a guard from the newspaper kicked us off their property, said don't take any more pictures of our building. So we still don't have a statement from the newspaper, but they did say within 24 hours, so maybe tomorrow night, Anderson, we'll have a statement from that newspaper.
COOPER: And is Mr. Fine still married to his wife?
TUCHMAN: That's a very valid and good question. And we just don't know the answer if the Fines are still together. We can tell you that Mr. Fine did not appear to be in that house today. Mrs. Fine did.
COOPER: It does seem, though, when that tape was made, though, if in fact that tape is accurate and it was made when it's reportedly been made, that they were married at that time?
TUCHMAN: It appears they were married at that time. There's no records of them getting divorced, but we just don't know if they live together today.
COOPER: Right. OK. Gary, appreciate it.
Let's get more insight now on the scandal that's rocked the university and frankly still has a lot of questions outstanding.
Jim Boeheim, the head coach, as Gary mentioned, of the men's basketball team is expected to talk to reporters tomorrow.
Joining me now is Mark Schwarz of ESPN who broke this story. Mark, Laurie Fine's nephew alleges that portions of that tape were tampered with essentially. They say they may have a press conference or something tomorrow. You've heard the tape. What's your reaction to the idea that it may have been tampered?
MARK SCHWARZ, ESPN: Well, I did speak with Bobby Davis about exactly that earlier this afternoon, Anderson. I said that Laurie Fine maybe about to allege that the tape was tampered with. And he was sort of stunned by that concept of that, he goes, what do you mean? I said, I'm not sure what she means, because I haven't spoken with her.
But I guess Bobby Davis said, look, I'm not real good with technology. If there was equipment in front of me, I wouldn't know what to do with it. I only recorded one time a phone call with her and, you know, if Laurie want to put her foot in her mouth, that's OK with him.
COOPER: Why did Bobby Davis give you the tape?
SCHWARZ: Well, at the time, Anderson, back in 2003, when he contacted "Outside the Lines" he made allegations against a very popular and established figure here in Syracuse, Bernie Fine, the associate basketball coach. And he told us the story at first on the phone. I came out to meet with him out in Utah where he lived at the time.
And he also mentioned that he had in his possession a tape that was recorded before we had ever met with him a year earlier in 2002. We don't know exactly how he recorded the tape. The tape was purportedly a conversation between Laurie Fine, Bernie Fine's wife, and Bobby Davis. So he supplied us with this tape which we listened to, but at the time certainly we had no way of verifying that it was indeed Laurie Fine.
And we spent some time with Bobby Davis in Utah. We also came back to Syracuse with him. We interviewed him extensively. And he actually told us at the time that he was not the only one that was sexually abused by Bernie Fine. He told us that he could produce others. He knew that there were others or at least strongly suspected that there were others, and he led us to three or four individuals who we did contact, and all of those people at that moment in 2003 either would not speak with us or would not corroborate Bobby Davis' story.
COOPER: And that's what the university has also said. They said, look, we conducted an outside investigation for several months, and all the people who Mr. Davis said for us to talk to did not corroborate the story.
SCHWARZ: Well, I have a source that is familiar with that report, and I think what really happened, Anderson, is not that Bobby Davis supplied people to the university that would corroborate his story, I think it's more accurate to say that Bobby Davis made a list of several names of people who might be familiar with the allegations that he was making against Bernie Fine.
COOPER: OK. Now you waited eight years to make this reporting public. The police didn't even know about the tape until very recently. Was there -- I mean -- and obviously they're very serious accusations. There is the possibility that other boys -- if this is true, that other boys were victimized or being victimized. Was there a discussion at ESPN about releasing this tape at the time or about even telling the authorities about the tape at the time?
SCHWARZ: Well, you know, journalists are not necessarily required or expected to hand over evidence that they did not obtain or create themselves to the police, Anderson. I'm sure you know that. But I think at the very highest levels of our network, the best and brightest talked about this story, and it was worthy of some serious debate.
We talked about it. We had Bobby Davis, who made very serious allegations, who made them consistently over the course of many different interviews, his story never varied -- if he didn't have an answer, he would not supply one. He would say he did not know. However, we did not have a second corroborating witness.
We did have that audio tape which we did not produce. But until we have a second corroborating witness -- and that turned out to be his stepbrother who we did speak to briefly in 2003 -- we would not go forward with the story. That was our decision as a company. It did not meet our standard of reporting.
COOPER: And in 2003 did the stepbrother have a different story or did he not want to talk, or what did he say back then?
SCHWARZ: Well, I remember speaking with him briefly on the phone. Bobby Davis put us in touch with Mike Lang. And I asked him what his experience has been with Bernie Fine. He said, well, you know, Bernie used to grab my leg. I said, did he do anything more than that? And he said, no, not really, I don't really want to talk about this any more.
And that was our experience with a lot of the young men that Bobby Davis introduced us to eight years ago.
COOPER: How much did the Penn State scandal, that story breaking, affect or impact your decision to go forward with this story now or revisit this story?
SCHWARZ: Well, it didn't affect our decision to go forward with the story at all, but what it did do, when that scandal broke, Bobby Davis texted his stepbrother, Mike Lang, and said, here it goes all again. This sounds just like what happened to me with Bernie Fine. Mike Lang remembered talking to me in 2003, he called his brother, who he says he's only spoken to three times in the last eight years, and he said, Bobby, this Penn State thing makes me sick.
This Bernie Fine thing makes me sick. We've got to do something about this. I want to talk about what happened with me, Bobby. What do I do? Bobby said, well, what I would do is possibly call Mark Schwarz, who was fair to me the first time.
I got a tearful call, Anderson, from Mike Lang. I was sitting in a satellite truck covering the Penn State scandal in State College. And a man calls and says, Mark, I'm Mike Lang, do you remember me? And I said, I very much do, Mike. He says, this has got to stop. Bernie Fine abused me, too. We've got to do something to stop this.
So that is the first time that Mike Lang came forward and corroborated what his stepbrother had said happened to him eight years before.
COOPER: And have you looked into all this new accuser who's now come forward?
SCHWARZ: I have spoken with him. Zachary Tomaselli from Lewiston, Maine. I have spoken with him. The police have spoken to him. And you know he's told his story to me in depth.
COOPER: All right. Mark Schwarz, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, we're going to have more on this Syracuse sex abuse scandal. Where do the stunning developments in the story leave Bernie Fine? He hasn't been charged with any crime so far. Could that change?
Our legal panel joins us ahead, Mark Geragos, Sunny Hostin, and Jeff Toobin as well.
Plus: violence in Syria, as a new report from the U.N. blames that country's government for gross violations of human rights. We've been reporting on this for months now.
"The New York Times"' Tom Friedman gives us his take tonight, also weighs in on Egypt's historic election today.
COOPER: More on the Syracuse sex abuse investigation. The university has fired associate basketball coach Bernie Fine after ESPN and a local newspaper reported on this 2002 phone conversation with -- between one of his accusers and the wife of Bernie Fine, Laurie Fine. That's her. ESPN says audio experts confirmed it is her voice on the tape.
During the phone call she tells accuser Bobby Davis, a former ball boy for the team, that she knew, quote, "everything" that went on with her husband. She also said Bernie Fine thinks he's above the law.
We want to point out Coach Fine has denied the allegations against him. He's never been charged. The wife is apparently going to hold some sort of a press conference or a statement tomorrow, maybe saying the tape has been doctored in some way, according to a nephew of hers.
There are a lot of legal questions surrounding this case. Here to talk about them, criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos; senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin; and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, a legal contributor for our sister network, TruTV.
I mean, Jeff, what do you make of this? It is bizarre all the way around. Yes.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: But the thing that's so peculiar about it is every person who heard about this, or every organization -- ESPN, Syracuse -- seemed to act rationally with the information available to it. Different pieces were available to different parties.
And frankly, I can understand why no criminal case was brought. I can understand why ESPN didn't go with it in 2003. I can understand why ESPN didn't report it.
SUNNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": I don't understand that.
TOOBIN: We disagree about that. But also, it's just a shame that this has gone on for so long when, at least based on this evidence, he could have been abusing more people.
COOPER: Sunny, you believe that ESPN should have, at the very least, went and reported the tape to authorities?
HOSTIN: I think so. I mean, certainly a journalist perhaps doesn't have the legal reporting requirement, but what about doing the right thing? I mean, you have someone in a position of power around young boys, who has been accused of being a pedophile, who has been accused of molesting. I think as a human being, certainly you have -- you have to do something about that. If you see something, if you hear something, you have to say something. Why not just report it to the police? Why not just say, "We've heard about this and there are tapes"? And I believe those tapes corroborated in large part that something happened here.
COOPER: Well, she never said that -- she had never had actual eyewitness on anything necessarily happening.
HOSTIN: But she did, I think, imply that she had some sort of relationship with him. And I think she also, Anderson, implied that she knew what was going on between Bernie Fine and these young boys.
COOPER: Mark, what do you make of this from a defense attorney's standpoint?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I tend to agree with Jeff, and I've been saying for a number of years, there's -- we've seen a sea change in what happens in the media, in terms of reporting on stuff and a lack of sourcing. We've evolved to the point now where, if this tape had been presented now to some outlet without Penn State being in the background, I don't think that there's any way that this thing would have just been shelved. I think it would have been reported immediately, No. 1.
No. 2, and this is a non-legal comment. I think you're going to see a "Saturday Night Live" skit that imitates this tape, because I don't know why they had to hire audio experts. That is a rather unique voice on her part. And there's going to be -- there's going to be a lot of chatter about this tape.
COOPER: But Mark, if she's making an allegation that this tape has been doctored, which is what her nephew says she may say tomorrow in a statement, can I -- I don't know, you probably looked into this kind of thing -- can you tell if a tape has been edited?
GERAGOS: Absolutely you can tell if a tape has been edited. It wouldn't be the first time that we've had some scandal du jour, where there's been an edited tape. That same thing came out with the Mel Gibson tapes.
So I -- I assume that, if somebody's going to say it, there's a very easy way to test it. You take the tape. Audio experts can tell you immediately by playing it back and doing the things that they do so well whether or not somebody spliced and diced it.
The fact of her voice and what they -- remember, what's been done so far is ESPN says they've got somebody who says that it is her voice. That doesn't tell you if somebody spliced and diced the tape.
HOSTIN: Well, her nephew admitted it was her voice.
TOOBIN: I think it's important to point out, I don't see any way Davis [SIC] can be criminally prosecuted at this point. This goes back to the '80s.
COOPER: You mean Davis, the accuser?
TOOBIN: I'm sorry. Fine. Because you can play with statute of limitations in various ways, but I don't see any way you could stretch it back to the 1980s. So he can lose his job. I suppose there could be some civil lawsuit, although the statute of limitations might well bar that.
COOPER: The question, though, is are there -- I mean, if this is, in fact, true, then this isn't generally the kind of behavior that just stops all of a sudden.
COOPER: So there might be more people out there, and the statute of limitations for them might be...
TOOBIN: Right, but I mean, you can't -- you can't talk about prosecutions of -- where you don't even have an allegation of a crime.
COOPER: So legally, there's nothing.
TOOBIN: I think legally there's really nothing that can be done except that he could lose his job, which is very important since it's a job that's being surrounded -- being around kids. And it's a good thing that he lost his job. There's no proof-beyond-a-reasonable- doubt standard for losing your job.
COOPER: Sunny, another man now, a third man, has come forward who says that, at age 13, he had an interaction with Fine.
HOSTIN: That's right.
COOPER: But his own father is saying he's completely -- this is not true. And he himself, this man who's now 23 -- this is him being interviewed by the local affiliate. He himself is facing accusations of inappropriate conduct with a child.
HOSTIN: That's right. And some people are calling into question his account. But the bottom line, Anderson, is unfortunately, some that are abused become abusers.
COOPER: Mark Geragos, appreciate it. Jeff Toobin, Sunny Hostin, as well.
Still ahead, the first elections after the revolution in Egypt. Will the military keep its promise to hand over power to new government? We're going to talk to "The New York Times'" Tom Friedman about Egypt and Syria, ahead.
COOPER: Well, it has been a chaotic couple of weeks in Egypt. The military violently cracking down on Egyptians who are demanding the military regime running the country step aside, demanding the democracy they fought for last January actually be put in place.
Today was a step towards that democracy, with regular Egyptians actually voting for a new parliament, the first voting since revolution brought down President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Now, election officials sealed ballot boxes with candle wax. The turnout was big. Long lines of voters showed up at polls. In places, some voters said they were willing to wait as long as it took. They said they believed for the first time ever their votes would actually count.
Still, there are fears the military won't make good on its promise to turn power over to the new government. I spoke earlier about it all with Thomas Friedman of "The New York Times." He's also the co-author of the book "That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World and How We Can Come Back."
COOPER: Tom, it seems, by most accounts, right now, there's sort of calm on the streets of Egypt. What's your assessment of the voting today and the importance of it?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN, "NEW YORK TIMES": It's very exciting. It shows you, Anderson, how much pent-up demand there was in Egypt for people to be able to vote in a legitimate election. By all reports they waited in long lines to be able to cast their ballot.
This is the beginning of the process. It's going to take a long time. We've now seen these scenes going back to Iraq. We know it's just the beginning. But it's a good beginning, and I think we should hail it.
COOPER: There are a lot of folks, though, on this side of the world who say -- who look to what's happening in Egypt and see large groups of Islamists, hear about the power now with the Muslim Brotherhood -- they're working with the Egyptian military -- and say, well, look, we're going to see, you know, a hard-line Islamic government in Egypt.
FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, it's interesting. Again, I go back to Iraq because Iraq, you know, is an interesting example of what happened. You recall the first elections there, people really voted almost straight sectarian lines.
Second election, you saw mixed parties. And then suddenly, you saw mixed coalitions of even Islamists and secular people. And I think that's the process we're going to see in Egypt and these other countries.
I think one thing we've learned, you know, Anderson, from all these events is that you don't go from Saddam Hussein to Thomas Jefferson without going through Khomeini. You don't go through -- you know, from one process -- from an autocratic regime to some kind of multi-party consensual democracy without going through some religious phase.
Because after all, these regimes, basically, when they cracked at the top, the elevator went straight to the mosque. There was nothing in between, because they never allowed anything in between. COOPER: We've been covering Syria a lot on this program and trying to keep focus on it as much as we can. Obviously, Arab League has now imposed sanctions over the weekend. A pretty remarkable move, given where they were even a short time ago.
You wrote -- one of the things you wrote this weekend is that there's a particular danger in Syria, that in Libya, in Egypt, those revolutions imploded, but that if -- if Syria goes into revolution, it will explode. What's the difference?
FRIEDMAN: Well, the reason is, you know, Syria is so much more a patchwork of ethnic groups. First of all, you've got Alawite, this is sort of Shiite offshoots, the ruling Assad family. You've got a big Sunni majority. You've got Christians there.
You then have, also, many parties that have a huge stake in Syria. You have Hamas has its headquarters -- external headquarters there. You have Hezbollah with this huge stake in the stability of the regime. Syria is the launching pad for Iran into the Arab world. Turkey has a huge stake in Syria because of the Kurdish population there and a history of Syria harboring anti-Turkish Kurds.
So if the lid blows off in Syria, all the different factions in Syria will reach outside to get external support inside. And all these surrounding countries, which have an interest where Syria goes will reach inside. It will look, I would suggest, a lot like Lebanon only much bigger. Just kind of a big regional brawl. And that would be very dangerous.
COOPER: Is it -- you know, we're now seeing and hearing reports about the opposition in Syria starting to arm themselves. Is that a mistake or is that just inevitable, given that there's not some group like the Egyptian military which was -- you know, they didn't side with the demonstrators. They at least kind of stayed on the fence?
FRIEDMAN: Again, you know, I think it's inevitable because you have a regime that really is offering no kind of legitimate transition to a more open politics and is basically killing people, you know, right and left. Now in the thousands.
And so it was inevitable that the resistance movements would begin to arm themselves. But again this is the beginning of potentially a civil war which makes it so dangerous, which is why you hope Assad would leave, turn it over to a kind of transition authority that can hopefully, you know, create a peaceful transition. But the odds of that are -- one has to be realistic -- you know, I think, diminishing every day. And that -- that makes it very, very scary.
Syria, you know, Anderson, is the centerpiece of the whole region. If it collapses, that's going to be an extremely dangerous situation.
COOPER: All that's happening, though, is this something that the U.S. really can impact? Or is this something that the U.S. has just basically -- and has to kind of stand by and just watch it play out? That these are things that are happening internally, which we don't have much impact on?
FRIEDMAN: We learned how to impact it. We learned that in Iraq. It takes a trillion dollars, seven years, more than 4,000 casualties, 20,000 wounded, a civil war and a conflict that kind of tests the other: "What you got, baby? What you got?" They get exhausted and then we help them midwife a social contract.
We did it in Iraq. We're not doing it anywhere else. All these Arab revolutions -- and God bless them, you hope they're going to end positively, but you have to be very, very sober about the prospect. They're all going to have to do it without a midwife, without any external, kind of impartial arbiter.
The only question now is the instability we're having. Is it going to be that kind of instability that leads ultimately to a kind of Indonesia, South Africa transition to democracy? Let's hope so. Or will it be a downward, you know, instability that leads to a Pakistan, Somalia kind of military or failed state? You hope it's not the latter, but stability has left the building.
COOPER: Tom Friedman. Tom, thanks.
COOPER: Still ahead on the program, fallout from the death of a drum major. Florida's A&M University officials have called Robert Champion's death hazing related. Now the student's family wants to expose what they call the school's culture of cover-up.
Plus standing up for freedom of speech when it comes to Twitter. We'll tell you the surprise ending to a story of a high-school senior who was called on the carpet for dissing the governor of her state in a tweet.
And we're sure J. Lo meant no disrespect to her hometown, New York City. Tonight, we'll tell you why the controversy about a commercial she made ends up on "The RidicuList."
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson is back in a moment with "The RidicuList." But first a 360 news and business report.
The family of 26-year-old Robert Champion, a drum major who died after suspected hazing at Florida A&M University, plans to sue the school. The lawyer says they want to expose an alleged culture of cover-up that allows hazing to continue.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has apologized for what he called his staff's overreaction to a tweet. Eighteen-year-old Emma Sullivan fired it off to her 65 followers during a field trip to the state capitol. Let's just say she's not a fan of the governor. Brownback's staff notified Emma's principal, who asked Emma to apologize. She refused. She now has more than 4,000 Twitter followers.
Stocks surged on reports of strong Black Friday weekend sales. The Dow added 291 points. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 both rose about 3 percent.
And actor Tobey Maguire has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit over hundreds of thousands of dollars he won in secret high- stakes poker games. It turns out the winnings were paid out by a convicted Ponzi scheme operator. At least ten others are facing similar lawsuits, seeking money for the conman's victims.
That's the latest. Now back to Anderson.
COOPER: Coming up, Jennifer Lopez. A commercial she made causing all sorts of controversy. The whole controversy ends up on "The RidicuList." Not J. Lo herself, just the controversy. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Time for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding J. Lo's commercial controversy. Perhaps you've heard about this. In a commercial for Fiat, Jennifer Lopez is seen driving through the streets of Manhattan to the Bronx, the neighborhood she grew up in and immortalized in song when she implored listeners not to be fooled by the rocks that she got. She's still -- she's still Jenny from the block.
The commercial features a dramatic voice-over, filled with even more dramatic pauses in which Lopez she extols the virtues of her beloved Bronx. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER LOPEZ, SINGER/ACTRESS: This is my world. They may be just streets to you, but to me, they're a playground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, J. Lo -- behold, I hope you're sitting down -- turns out that, by all accounts, Jennifer Lopez did not actually drive through the Bronx for that commercial. I know. Reports are, a body double shot the Bronx scenes while Lopez shot her scenes on some block in Los Angeles.
And some people seem shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
The backlash over this has gotten big enough that Lopez's reps issued a statement about it, saying the commercial was, quote, "indeed filmed in the Bronx," as well as outside locations. The statement went on to stay, quote, "As you may know in today's world people are increasingly mobile, and their work takes them to a variety of locations. As a result, we took the opportunity to film wherever Ms. Lopez was working at the time to accommodate her schedule." Now, the revelation apparently has some people's world turned upside down. I for one just don't know what to believe any more. What about J. Lo's razor commercial, for instance?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOPEZ: A goddess is when you put your best foot forward, followed by your most beautiful leg. Your smooth, sexy Venus leg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, I can't be sure. Was there even a blade in the razor that Jennifer Lopez ran over her smooth, sexy Venus leg?
And what about her Kohl's ad?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I see your I.D., please?
LOPEZ: I know it's in here. It's Lopez, Jennifer, the 23rd floor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still need to see your I.D.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What are we supposed to think? Does Jennifer really get carded at Kohl's or not? Does she even really work on the 23rd floor? America needs answers.
Lopez re-created her Fiat commercial during a performance at the AMAs, so clearly, her affection for Fiat is genuine, and I'm sure her affection for the Bronx is, too. Why not?
But how are we to function in a world where we can't rely on the truth and sanctity of television commercials? I mean, if you can't trust advertising to give it to you straight, I ask you, who can you trust?
Before we know it, we're going to find out that the AFLAC duck doesn't really talk. The bands in those free credit report commercials, they're lip-syncing. And every kiss does not, in fact, begin with Kaye.
You know, what? I bet that "where's the beef?" lady, I bet she knew where the beef was all along.
As for the J. Lo commercial scandal, let's give Lopez a break. Who cares if she was there or not? She's still -- she's still Jenny from the block.
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.