Skip to main content

tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 11, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

5:00 pm
hon west a vague hoipt apology from mitt romney about an incident almost 50 years ago he says he doesn't remember. romney was in north carolina today trying to shift focus back to the economy with his speech at a manufacturing plant. the speech in which he used the word future at least four times. but it is romney's past, his very distant past, actually, all the way back to his teenage years, that got the headlines. it is today's front page, the washington post. romney's pranks could go too far. an article that paints a young mitt romney as remembered by his classmates as something of a bully. romney was asked about it in north carolina today. >> well, i think i was one who did some stupid things in high school, and if anyone feels that they were offended by that, i certainly apologize for that. >> well, the stupid thing in question, the one getting all the attention, concerns a student at the michigan prep school romney attended. a student names john lauber who was reportedly relentlessly teased for his presumed homosexuality and for having long bleach blond hair.
5:01 pm
five of romney's classmates told the washington post what they remembered about a day in 1965, a day that, quote, they came upon lauber tackled him and pinned him to the ground. lauber, his eyes filling with tears, skraemd for help and romney clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. the washington post posted it online ahead of today's printed edition. we did not talk about it last night on this program because we had questions about how valid it is to bring up something someone did nearly 50 years ago when they were in high school. those questions, though have not gone away. so we'll let you decide for yourself tonight whether this story itself is relevant to a presidential campaign or not. what we want to focus on is romney's response to the story. we heard what he said in north carolina today, aapologizing, quote, if anyone feels they were offended, but on fox news yesterday, romney said more, including response to accusations the incident amounted to gay bullying since the victim was thought to be gay. take a look. >> i had no idea what that individual's sexual orientation
5:02 pm
might be. going back to the 1960s, that wasn't something that we all discussed or considered. so that's simply just not accurate. i don't recall the incident myself, but i've seen the reports and not going to argue with that. there is no question but that i did some stupid things when i was in high school. and obviously if i hurt anyone by virtue of that, i would be very sorry for it and apologize for it. >> so romney says he doesn't remember the incident, five of romney's classmates remembered it well enough to go into great detail to the washington post in separate accounts, all these years later. we can't ask john lauber to corroborate the details. the post reports his sister says he died in 2004. memories can fail, no disputing that or the fact that a lot of people do stupid things in high school. romney's far from alone in that admission. which seems contradictory in romney's statement, however, saying on the one hand he does not recall the incident and on the other hand recalling that he had no idea whether john lauber's sexual orientation was what what the sexual orientation
5:03 pm
was per received to be back then. as for saying he's sorry if anyone is hurt or offended, can we retire that apology. we hear it time and time again. it makes it a none apology, a watered down way to say you're sorry that makes it seem like you're not really sorry, even though you may be. most people see right through it because we heard it before, a lot of times. listen. >> i'm sorry that there is at least one of my colleagues that can't take a joke and so i apologize if i offended him. >> anyone out there that feels offended by those comments, i just want to say i'm sorry, i apologize. >> i offer an apology to those offended by my words. >> if anyone is offended, i deeply apologize. >> i'm sorry if i offended a congressman. >> i apologize if it offended anyone. >> if i did really offend you, i am sorry. yeah, i'm guilty of it myself.
5:04 pm
for that, i apologize. a lot to talk about. i spoke with gloria borger, cnn contributor, eric erickson, and cnn political contributor and democratic strategist james carville. james, this is something that allegedly happened 50 years ago. should there be a statute of limitations on things that happened to candidates when they were in high school, or even college? >> you know, i guess so. look, things happen in the '60s, certainly wouldn't be acceptable now this being one of them. but i don't find -- what i found kind of troubling was his response. all his responses are kind of predictable and political. and probably would have had been able to give him a better response. but i don't think is going to be a big issue between now and the end of the election. the only caveat is people are going to start looking for other stories like this. that's the result of this. >> his response, what, that he doesn't remember it, but it wasn't anything about whether or not the guy was gay and he's
5:05 pm
sorry if somebody was offended. >> sorry if it happened if something likthis happened, i'm a little bit olr than romney, i would have remembered something like this in high school. that's not -- you -- that's something that you wouldn't forget. and the idea that the response is just so harsh and so political and so predictable, well, i don't remember it happening, but, if it did happen, feel bad about it, i'm sorry for it, that doesn't seem like a very good response. now, it is not the end of days, just like his response from rush limbaugh, calling that woman a bad word, he says, well, i wouldn't have said that. just everything that he does just oozes predictability and just politics. it is kind of different if he would have a different take other than the predictable take. >> eric, is this a valid story, and, b, what do you think of his response? do you believe that he didn't remember? >> i think the story -- yeah, i think the story is bs. i think his responses is the
5:06 pm
response you give when you think a story is bs, given by a bunch of story that the washington post danced around the fact they're all largely democrats now and won't vote for romney. one guy told another magazine, the washington post failed to respond that he hadn't liked mitt romney since mitt romney refused to give him a car ride when he was 16 years old. >> the romney campaign is not denying the story. you're saying it is bs. they're not saying it is bs. they're saying -- >> i think it is absolutely bs. of course they don't want to say. he doesn't remember it, so they want to say that he doesn't remember it because then of course the washington post begins the infamous reporter tactic of dribbling things out and trying to make it sound like there is something there when i don't think there is something there. >> but, eric, i mean, if it was something that happened, do you believe he wouldn't remember it? if somebody held somebody else down and cut their hair, do you think that is something that would be remembered? >> oh, if it happened, he would absolutely remember that. everybody remembers things like that from when they're in high school.
5:07 pm
>> gloria, what do you make of this? >> i think what is relevant here, and we have no way of knowing, you know, did mitt romney really remember, didn't he remember, what is really relevant here is how he talks to me is how he talks about it now, that's how people make decisions when they vote about a candidate's character. and the way he's been talking about it is just odd to me because he could say, you know, i don't remember it, when i was a teenager, i was kind of a jerk sometimes, and what were regarded as pranks then are completely abhorrent now. if it did occur, i'm horrified by it. i would never want a child of mine to behave that way -- to behave that way. and use it as a teachable moment to say, i'm against all forms of bullying, it is unacceptable to me, it should be unacceptable in this country. >> eric, go ahead. >> well, james would be familiar with this back in 1992 when the
5:08 pm
george h.w. bush campaign decided they wanted to run on bill clinton being a draft dodger, a womanizer, not a good governor of arkansas and all sorts of things and the bill clinton campaign kept the focus on the economy. and the question for me is will mitt romney be able to keep the focus on the economy this time around. >> well, you know what, i think -- i remember that campaign fairly well. and when we had the draft dodger story, we had a press conference and took out an ad in the paper, bill clinton went on "60 minutes." we dealt with it and compare this to jeremiah wright story and president obama goes right out and deals with it. every time it is something comes up -- if a democrat did this, i would still vote for them. this is not like a voting issue. what it is is i don't remember it, but if it did, it didn't happen, and could have done something along the lines of what gloria talked about, something that joe talked about in his column, everything -- it is everything is so weasely and parsed and political. and that's all. it is not the kind of event
5:09 pm
itself, you know? >> remember george w. bush's response on the i story, ich came in the 11th hour of the campaign and if i recall, it was when i was young and irresponsible, i was young and irresponsible. i don't think that explanation would sit today. do you? >> better than the one that romney gave. >> well, there is a difference -- to some people there is a difference between something, you know, somebody does to themselves and something, you know, a physical act somebody does to somebody else. >> absolutely. >> right. >> totally agree. >> i don't think -- again, i go back and my point is that the actual what he did is abhorrent and people's lives, but people 50 years ago in high school, i think -- i just think the response is ill lust tiff of something not very good. >> i think it is the response you give when you don't believe
5:10 pm
the story. >> or when you want to end the story. one or the other. >> yeah, that too. >> eric, james, gloria, thank you. >> sure. also today, mitt romney talked more about his views on same sex adoption and for a candidate who gets dinged by his opponent for flip-flopping this probably won't help. listen to what he said in an interview with wbtv in charlotte, north carolina, when he was asked how his opposition to same sex marriage squares with his support for gay adoptions. >> actually, i think all states but one allow gay adoption. so that's a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators and legislatures, rather, including the one in my state some time ago. so i simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one. >> he's not saying whether or not he supports it there, he's saying he's acknowledging where gay adoption is legal. yesterday, the romneys seemed to go farther saying he does support. here is what he said on fox
5:11 pm
news. >> if two people the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship and want to adopt a child, in my state, individuals of the same sex are able to adopt children. in my view, that's something which people have the right to do. but to call that marriage is in my view a departure for the real meaning of that word. >> back in 2005, romney seemed to oppose the idea of same sex couples raising kids. at an event in south carolina, he wrote, today same sex couples are marrying under the law in massachusetts. some are actually having children born to them. we've been asked to change their birth certificates to remanufacture phrase mother and father and replace it with parent a and parent b. it's not right on paper and it's not right in fact. the first national poll since the president's comments has just been released and the gallup poll, 13% said the president's support for same sex marriage makes them more likely to vote for him. 26% said less likely.
5:12 pm
60% said no difference. california could soon be the first state to put serious restrictions on the controversial practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation. 360 followed the impact this therapy had on former patients coming up. we're on facebook, google plus. should this story about what romney allegedly did 50 years ago in high school, should it matter to voters? follow me on twitte twitter @andersoncooper. let's tweet about this. up next, a shocking confession from jpmorgan chase. the bank lost $2 billion in a risky bet. and the banks learn anything from the financial meltdown five years ago? we'll talk to congressman barney frank next. all multivitamins give me the basics.
5:13 pm
they claim to be complete. only centrum goes beyond. providing more than just the essential nutrients, so i'm at my best. centrum. always your most complete. so i'm at my best. kiwi. soy milk. impulse buy. gift horse. king crab. rhubarb pie. lettuce shower. made by bees. toucan sam. that's not cheese. grass fed. curry. gingersnaps. soup can tower. 5% cash back. right now, get 5% cash back at grocery stores. it pays to discover.
5:14 pm
5:15 pm
[ male announcer ] remember when you were a kid? you liked getting dirty and building things. there were no limits -- you could move mountains. the john deere 1 series subcompact tractor -- the way grownups move mountains. and with autoconnect implements, it's the easiest tractor to use yet. what will you create? discover the 1 series at great financing available very serious questions whether this country's biggest banks learned any lessons from the fiasco that brought the country to its knees five years ago. jpmorgan chase made a shocking confession, lost a whopping $2 billion over the past six weeks. $2 billion. the massive loss stems from the very risky bets the same kind
5:16 pm
that cratered the economy in 2007. how did the banks learn anything? investors seem to ask the same question today as shares of jpmorgan chase fell 9%. dow tanked when the opens opened, rebounded but closed down 35 points. the debacle by jp morguen is so bad that the ceo held an after hours conference call with reporters and industry analysts. listen. >> we've had teams from audit, legal, risk and various control functions all from corporate involved in an extensive review of what happened. we have more work to do, but it is obvious at this point that there are many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment. >> ceo jamie dimon admitting errors, sloppiness and bad judgment. a confession from him, keeping him honest, dimon downplayed concerns calling the buzz about potential losses a tempest in a teapot. quite a big teapot right there. we wanted to talk about this with congressman barney frank. dimon and executives at other banks have been furiously lobbying lawmakers and regulators to weaken new rule
5:17 pm
scheduled to take effect, the volcker rule. and it aims to end risky trading. the rule is part of the dodd-frank act passed after the financial meltdown. it was co-sponsored by congressman barney frank. i spoke to him earlier. this is this a specter of the repeat of the financial crisis of 2008? >> no, we have things in place that will prevent that from happening. it is a reminder, however, that it was important that we adopt the rules we adopted, that mean 2008 can't happen again or unlikely to happen again and those who said, oh, you overreacted, we know what we're doing. >> the ceo of jpmorgan, jamie dimon, actually argued the law likely caused his bank up to $600 million a year. i want to play something he said in the conference call last night about the company's losses. >> we operate in risk business and obviously it puts egg on our
5:18 pm
face and we deserve any criticism we get. so feel free to give it to us, we'll probably agree with you. but we think we run a good company with risk good control and risk management. we're not in a business where we're not going to make mistakes. it is unfortunate, flaz into the hands of a bunch of pundits out there. that's life. >> what is your take on his explanation? >> first, i want to say to a certain extent he's right. he's a good ceo and it is a well run bank. that's why we need regulation. in other words, what he's telling us is even in a very well run institution, as his is, unlike a kind of rogue operation like countrywide, these kind of mistakes will happen. that's why we have safety nets. that's why we say to him, you have to hold more capital than you would have on your own because these mistakes will happen. that's why we say when you're engaged in these derivative trades, we want people to post margin so if somebody can't make it up, we don't have all these kinds of problems. i would say and you quoted the
5:19 pm
right figure, the economist, british magazine the economist joining in this criticism of how we overrated these guys said, you know what, it is going to cost jpmorgan chase 400 to $600 million a year as if that was an enormous sum. well, they just lost $2 billion. they just lost about five times that or four times that through their own errors. what it shows is that in fact if we have made them spend 400 to $600 million a year in the first year, it costs more to set these things up, to comply and save billions of dollars in losses, that's a pretty good deal. >> for a lot of people who don't follow this as closely as you do, can you explain how a big bank like jpmorgan losing $2 million, how it affects people out there, how it affects regular people who don't own stock in the company? what is the danger? >> the danger would be none of this is $2 billion, but if they lost so much that they couldn't pay their debts, that's why i
5:20 pm
say we begin with the requirement they keep more capital. as far as the average individual, if you're not a shareholder in jpmorgan, it won't hurt you. if you're trying to get a loan from jpmorgan chase, this may make it tougher because the funds they have available for loans may shrink. that's why we said we want you to have more capital, we want -- here is what we said in the bill to a great extent. we want you to be better prepared in case you make mistakes. they were arguing, oh, no, don't worry about it, we know what we're doing. even the smartest of you, you're doing things that are so inherently risky, you've got to be better protected. and as they said, we said to the republicans, the fact that the american institution is doing this overseas is no reason to say they're not subject to regulation. >> congressman frank, appreciate your time. thank you. >> you're welcome. two girls are safe tonight after a terrifying ordeal with a man who kidnapped them. tonight, new details about heiress cue in thei their rescue in the woods of mississippi next. [ female announcer ] research suggests
5:21 pm
the health of our cells plays a key role throughout our entire lives. ♪ one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin, designed for many of women's health concerns as we age. ♪ it has more of seven antioxidants
5:22 pm
to support cell health. that's one a day women's 50+ healthy advantage. [ male announcer ] for our families... our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more low- & no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories, america's beverage companies are delivering. with more choices and fewer calories, you do a lot of no.aking? look i'm going through the rapids. okay... i'll take it. sync your card with facebook, foursquare and twitter for savings. that's the membership effect of american express.
5:23 pm
california could be the first state to put serious restrictions on the controversial practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation. a follow-up and the impact this therapy had on some former patients.
5:24 pm
crime and punishment, new details about what went down in the mississippi woods where arlyo week manht for this man, adam mayes, ended 24 hours ago. we reported the breaking news as it was unfolding last night. mays had been on the fbi's ten
5:25 pm
most wanted list for a day when a tip led a s.w.a.t. team to mayes and his captives. mayes allegedly killed their mom and older sister, strangled them. both girls are safe now with relatives, what they have been through is hard to imagine. here is how a police sergeant who took part in the rescue described the moment they were found. >> i began giving commands, the little girl picked her head up, the other little girl picked her head up after another command, mr. mayes began to raise his head, i could see a weapon in his hand, i yelled gun three times loud to let my team know there was a weapon involved. we ordered mr. mays to drop the weapon numerous times, mr. mayes raised to his knees, never pointed the gun to us or any of the children. at that time he took his life. >> martin savidge has been covering the story and retraces the final minutes. >> reporter: the manhunt for adam mayes ended on a
5:26 pm
mississippi dirt road. despite a nationwide alert, authorities felt mayes hadn't gone too far and turns out they were right because where we are now is barely two miles away from where his victims' bodies were found, at his home. authorities say it was a tip thursday that led them here, as it happened there was a s.w.a.t. team nearby. police patrols have been through this area, at least once before. with no result. and it is ease why toy see why. because of the thick underbrush, it is possible for them to walk within a few yards of somebody and not even know they were there. and other than some general directions, we don't know where in the woods the final drama played out. but there are signs we're getting close. i found this, a military style red smoke grenade and if you take a look on the ground here, you can see where it was set off. now, according to the fbi, when mayes was found, they set off red smoke to alert other authorities and search crews in the area. this means that we're close, but we're not there. that's when i meet ronald roberts. you lived here all your life. >> all my life. >> reporter: he was having
5:27 pm
dinner when he realized something was up. >> blue lights, sirens, gravel flying, screaming cars, all turning in front of our house. >> reporter: roberts knows these woods like the back of his hand. and we pick up a trail. >> there is a boot print right there. >> reporter: yeah. also looks like there is dog prints. >> you got some. >> reporter: according to authorities, the s.w.a.t. team divided in two and made their way through the woods. the trail we're on shows a lot of foot traffic. >> see that? >> reporter: a lot of boot marks? >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: stepped on branch and things. the s.w.a.t. team knew they were on to something when they came across one of the kidnapped girls laying on the ground, alexandria. and then they saw mayes. they told him to put his hands where they could see them, instead he shot himself. >> walk down there and see what you see. that's obviously been somebody down through there. >> reporter: and suddenly there it was, the tip with all the
5:28 pm
flies, the exact place in the middle of the woods. judging by this blood on the ground that we found here, this would be the spot that according to authorities adam mayes shot himself. now, in keeping again with their account, the young girls would have been laying on their stomachs directly in front of it. you realize two things. that phone call tip that came in from the public probably saved the lives of kyliyah and alexandria bain but not before the two girls witnessed the deaths of their mother and older sister had to watch one other person die. >> i wish it hadn't happened. i wish those other two lives could be brought back. but it can't. they met their maker. i hope they were ready. >> martin savidge joins me now. three additional arrests have been made in connection with the case. what do we know about them? >> reporter: well, authorities maintained that even though their prime suspect killed
5:29 pm
himself, that there is still an active investigation under way. so now we have these three arrests announced. apparently one person was accused of giving false information, misleading information to authorities. the other two are thought to have been some way provided the weapon to adam mays that he eventually used to take his own life. >> there is also a $175,000 reward for whoever gave up information about mayes' whereabouts. what do we know about that? >> reporter: of course, you know, the finding of these two girls alive and well is the answer to just about everybody's prayers here. and that's the first thing they say. the next thing they talk about is they wonder who is the person that gave that information that led to the finding of mayes and who is going to get that $175,000. they are still waiting to hear the answer to that. >> all right, martin, appreciate the reporting. tragic story on so many levels. bobby booth is adam mayes' sister-in-law, we talked to her this week. she joins me again for another exclusive interview. what do you know about where alexandria and her sister kyliyah are tonight, how they're
5:30 pm
doing? >> i'm not. i have no idea. i haven't got any reports on the girls more than you have. >> you spoke to the sheriff's office today about possibly visiting your sister teresa in jail. what did they tell you? >> that she has to be in jail for seven days before i'm able to visit with her. but that she was able to make phone calls. >> she's charged with -- >> sorry, she's charged with first degree murder. you're saying your sister doesn't remember what? >> she doesn't remember numbers well, so i don't think she's remembering any of the phone numbers to contact anybody. >> if you're allowed to visit her, what do you want to say to her? >> i want answers. i want to know if adam forced her to do this, you know, if so how did adam force you to do this. i'd like to know, you know,
5:31 pm
details as to what happened. >> what was their history like? >> and understand more. he was abusive to her. >> physically abusive? >> physically abusive, mentally abu abusive, very controlling. >> and what is she like? you said she has trouble remembering numbers. >> right. she graduated from high school, but she graduated with a special ed diploma. she's mentally challenged. she's always been a slow learner. she's dependent. and i think adam has always kind of fed off that because, you know, if he beat the mess out of her and then say i love you, honey, she kind of accepted it and went on. >> police say she was in the garage when adam mayes strangled the two women. >> that's what i've heard.
5:32 pm
>> does that seem possible to you? >> no. i don't want to believe that. >> they also say she was in the car, even drove the car with the girls in it. >> yes. >> if she -- >> then again, i don't want to believe that. i want to believe that she was forced to do that in some way. >> when you heard that adam mayes had shot himself, taken his own life, what did you think? >> i didn't care. the kids were safe. >> were you surprised that he would kill himself? >> no. he's a coward. he didn't want to accept in face what he had done. so he took the easy way out. >> and now your sister and his
5:33 pm
mom and some others are facing the law. what do you think is going to happen to your sister? >> my sister and his mother is going to carry the weight because people want justice and i understand it. if my sister took part in this, i want her to be punished, but i want her fairly punished. and i want people to understand the whole story and not just bits and pieces of it. like the sheriff's department has been feeding us. >> well, bobbi booth, sorry you've been going through this. thank goodness those two girls are safe. thank you for being with us tonight, bobbi. >> thank you. california lawmakers are taking on controversial therapy that claims to turn gay people straight. despite evidence some people say it ruined their lives. we'll take a closer look. our "360" follows next.
5:34 pm
fore! no matter what small business you are in, managing expenses seems to... get in the way. not anymore. ink, the small business card from chase introduces jot an on-the-go expense app made exclusively for ink customers. custom categorize your expenses anywhere. save time and get back to what you love. the latest innovation. only for ink customers. learn more at are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
5:35 pm
the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. ah, welcome to i get it...guys weekend. yeah! if you're looking for a place to get together, you came to the right place. because here at, we're only about hotels. yeah! yeah! noooo. yeah! finding you the perfect place is all we do. welcome to
5:36 pm
justice for jennifer hudson and her family, a verdict in the murder trial. we'll have the latest ahead.
5:37 pm
lawmakers in california are moving forward with the bill that if it passes would make the state the first in the nation to put strict limits on so-called repair tiff therapy. those who practice this repair tiff therapy claim they can change people's sexual orientation, turning their gay patients straight. some people who underwent repair tiff or conversion therapy said they feel they benefitted from it. there are some who feel it caused them irreparable harm.
5:38 pm
one family we spoke with last year, randi kaye has our "360" follow-up. >> when ryan kindle was 13, his mother read his diary and discovered he was gay. that was the beginning of the most painful years of his life. >> for years i thought that god hated me because i was gay. >> reporter: ryan says his parents were determined to change him, they signed him up for what is called repair tiff therapy, with the national association for research and therapy of homosexuality. otherwise known as narth. the therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation has been used for decades as a way to turn potentially gay children straight. >> every day i would hear this is a choice. this could be fixed. >> reporter: did you believe that? >> i never believed that. i know i'm gay just like i know i'm short and i'm half hispanic and i never thought those facts would change. it is part of my core fundamental identity. so the parallel would be sending me to tall camp and saying if
5:39 pm
you try really hard, one day you can be 6'1 ". >> reporter: ryan says he was treated by joseph nickleosi who today is still associated with narth. >> the refrain was the religious one this is something that makes god cry that this is something your family doesn't want for you. >> reporter: at his office, outside los angeles, we asked if he remembered treating ryan kendall about 14 years earlier. >> i'm not familiar with the name at all. >> reporter: his parents have provided bills from your office, there have been checks written to your office. but no record? >> no. >> reporter: he says that your therapy was quite harmful. he said you told him to butch up, quote/unquote. >> that's not our language. >> reporter: when somebody says people like yourself, others are trying to get the gay out of people. >> that's a terrible way of phrasing it. i would rather say we're trying to bring out the heterosexuality in you. >> reporter: he says he's kept hundreds of children from growing up to be gay. he credits this man, george
5:40 pm
reekers, a researcher area big believer that homosexuality can be revented. he worked as a doctoral student. he treated a boy named kirk murphy. to turn around kirk's so-called sissy behavior, kirk was repeatedly asked to choose between traditionally masculine toys like plastic knives and guns or feminine ones like dolls and a play crib. if he chose the feminine items, kirk's mother would be told to ignore him. kirk's siblings told anderson, his outgoing personality changed as a result of the therapy. >> he had no idea how to relate to people. it is like somebody just walked up and turned his light switch off. >> reporter: his feminine behavior was gone, proof he said that homosexuality can be prevented. kirk's family says he was gay,
5:41 pm
and never recovered from the attempts to turn him straight. in 2003, kirk took his own life. he hanged himself from a fan in his apartment, he was 38. our producers tracked george down in florida. what do you say to the family if they say the therapy you did with him as a child led to his suicide as an adult? >> well, i think scientifically that would be inaccurate to assume it was the therapy. but i do grieve for the parents now that you told me that news. i think that's very sad. >> reporter: according to the american psychiatric association, the potential risk of repair tiff therapy is great. including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior. the association says therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce the self-hatred already felt by patients. the doctor says his therapy
5:42 pm
isn't harmful. and he only treats people who want to change. not true, says ryan kendall. >> it led me to periods of homelessness, to drug abuse, to spending a decade of my life wanting to kill myself. it led to so much pain and struggle and i want them to know that what they do hurts people, hurts children, has no basis in fact, and they need to stop. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, los angeles. >> digging deeper now, i'm joined by dr. jack drescher, psychiatrist who has written and edited many books and rind keya kendall, studying political science at columbia university, hoping to be a lawyer one day to advocate on behalf of kids. ryan, you were in this therapy for years, correct? >> i was in the therapy for a period of a year to a year and a half, from about the age of 14,
5:43 pm
14 1/2 to 16. >> and the doctor, he essentially -- what was he saying was the cause of you being gay in. >> i know that he tends to blame the parents in his therapy saying that a distant mother or overbearing mother and distant father caused that. i didn't really engage on the issues of homosexuality with him because i just didn't buy what he was telling me, which was once again that being gay is -- there is something wrong with it, it can be fixed. >> this idea that he -- that this doctor knows the origins of homosexuality and that it lies in the parents, a distant father, that seems antiquated and without evidence. >> there is no evidence the people who practice these therapies tell the families they're beliefs, nothing based on fact. we don't know today what cause homosexuality. we don't know what causes heterosexuality. i think it is a shame, you know, for parents who love their children to take their -- to take those children to
5:44 pm
therapists who are going to blame the parents when it is not their fault. >> hearing your story, it is so horrible to think about for years you considering suicide based after going through this therapy that what did it make you feel about yourself? >> it is a terrible world when you think there is something fundamentally wrong with you, when you think god doesn't love you because of who you are, when you think you're perverted or dysfunctional. you grow to hate yourself in a lot of ways. you internalize all of that messaging that you're not good enough, you're unloveable and that plays out in very damaging emotional consequences and lgbt people's lives. it did mine. >> some still claim to -- that it worked, claimed they're no longer gay. and the more you talk to them, they'll admit they still have same sex orientation, they're still attracted to people of the same sex, they're just forcing themselves, repressing themselves so they don't act out on it. that doesn't seem like a healthy way to live.
5:45 pm
>> people who have been through the treatments don't call themselves heterosexual. they call themselves ex-gay. >> they don't have that, like, in the -- their heart is not attracted to somebody of the opposite sex. >> usually not. some people -- some people may be bisexual by nature, they have attractions to both, but the truth of the matter is that their identity, who i think i am as a person doesn't necessarily have to match what their attractions are. that's how people survive in this way. they say, you know, i used to be gay, i'm still attracted to men, but i'm not gay anymore. they're still attracted to men. so what does that mean? >> if they're entering into marriages or forced not to have relationships with people they're attracted to, what does that do to a person? >> for some people, it can be very harmful. some people have gone into marriages, had children, never lost their attractions, then got divorced, sometimes religious people who get divorced. >> a number of the people who even have run these so-called
5:46 pm
ex-gay organizations have now come forward and said, actually, it doesn't work. >> many of the leaders of the ex-gay movement are stepping away from their earlier claims that everybody can change. most people believe that very few people can really change. >> for you, what was the hardest part, ryan? >> there is no way to tell you what was the hardest part. was it losing my family? was it hating myself? was it being suicidal or depressed for 12 years, not being able to go to school until now? there is no worst part. it was a terrible decade in my life. and i'm one of the lucky ones who survived. so, you know, the therapy itself is a terrible thing to do. it lets families believe there is this false hope that their kid can be straight and normal and it is damaging, it destroyed my family. >> we did this piece on the sissy boy experiments and some of the allegedly scientific research that is used by this group narth, when you start to scratch away at it and look at the details, they were still
5:47 pm
using george rekers experiments and he was claiming success with kirk when in fact kirk had committed suicide and his family didn't even know until the years later that kirk was this alleged success story of george rekers. >> there is a lot of misinformation transmitted by the people who offer these treatments. the american psychological association had a report that came out in 2 09 no scientific base this is a any of these treatments work. >> is legislation the right answer? do you believe it is in california? >> i believe that legislation is appropriate in this instance. what is at stake here are lives. especially kids' lives. i think it is irresponsible for organizations to offer this therapy when it is not supported by science, when there is anecdotal evidence of harm, when we know that changing someone's sexual orientation is not an appropriate goal. recently president obama came out in support of marriage. that's because society increasingly realizes that lgpt, people gay like myself, are are
5:48 pm
just like anyone else and pretty soon we'll realize that means we treat them equally, we don't try to make them who they're not because it is not possible and we give them equal rights. >> do you think there should be legislation? >> i've been speaking with my colleagues in california, psychologists and psychiatrists, there is concern about the wording of the particular legislation. something has to be done. the legislation is one good thing, it made it a national issue. we're talking about it on the air tonight and in the newspapers. i think my personal opinion is that if you have the regulatory agencies, the people who watch people's medical licenses, psychology license, if those people are informed about the issues, then perhaps those people can take it up when the complaint is made against someone who does this kind of treatment. >> we'll continue to follow it. thank you very much. a verdict today in the murder trial of jennifer hudson's brother-in-law. did the jury find him guilty of killing the oscar winner's mom and brother and nephew? the latest ahead. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
5:49 pm
5:50 pm
a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief
5:51 pm
for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you.
5:52 pm
visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. the ridiculist is coming up. first, the "360" bulletin. >> i deadly bomb blast in syria exploded at an office of president bashar al assad's ruling baath party. it happened in aleppo where state media reported authorities foild a suicide bomb plot. guilty on all counts, the verdict in the trial of jennifer hudson's brother-in-law. the jury convicted william balfour for the murders. a "360" follow-up, a florida judge handing out a 20 year sentence to a woman who fired a
5:53 pm
warning shot in an effort to stop her abusive husband. marisa alexander tried to use florida's controversial stand your ground law. the judge in the john edwards trial refused a motion to throw out the charges against him and sets the stage for edwards' lawyers to start lying out their defense very soon. a new record in the world of surfing. after months of -- look at this guy. months of dwlieliberations, a gp of surfing experts announced that garrett mcnamara rode the largest wave ever last november off the coast of portugal. the wave was 78 foot high and, let me see, carry the one, plus two, that makes it a foot and a half higher than mine. that is a new world record. >> that's amazing. incredible. i understand you do, like, huge ultra marathons. is that true? >> i do those. not on waves. >> what is the longest you've run? >> 55 miles. >> that's crazy. >> it took a while. >> you should come out. we would have a good time.
5:54 pm
>> right. how long does 55 miles take? >> 12 hours. 55 miles took 13 hours. >> was it flat? >> good lord, no. it is through the woods, on dirt trails, you go over rocks and leaves and fall down and run through creeks. >> that sounds cool, but crazy. >> it is a lot of fun. very good fun. you should come out. we'll have a good time. >> i don't think so. i don't think i could do it. tom, thanks. we'll be right back. >> see you. an audience, all we'll ever do is rehearse. maybe you should try every door direct mail. just select the zip codes where you want your message to be seen. print it yourself or find a local partner. and you find the customers that matter most. brilliant! clifton, show us overjoyed. no! too much! jennessa? ahh! a round of applause! [ applause ] [ male announcer ] go online to reach every home, every address, every time with every door direct mail.
5:55 pm
i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening.
5:56 pm
if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. my inspiration for quitting were my sons. they were my little cheering squad. [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
5:57 pm
time for the ridiculist.
5:58 pm
tonight we're adding shows that book kids on live tv. don't get me wrong. kids are great. i love kids. i know they say the darnedest things but they have the darnedest bathroom emergencies. take for example, this morning's third hour, not confused for the fourth through tenth hours of the "today" show. natalie morales was attempting to interview the world's youngest member of mensa, a 3-year-old named emmy lynn who has an iq of 135, pretty impressive. turns out she had more important things on her mind. >> my belly hurt. my belly hurts. >> oh, no, too many doughnuts in the green room. that's not good. >> right there, i would have bailed. al roker and i would have been halfway to the emergency exit. not natalie morales. she was not letting the world's smartest toddler dump out of that interview. >> does she like these other cards here. what is this one? >> oh, no. >> oh, sweetie, obviously to
5:59 pm
raise a 3-year-old with such a high iq, it takes a lot as a parent, right? >> i have to go poop. >> she has to go to the bathroom. >> that would have made a segment, uh-oh, where are kathie lee and hoda when you need them. i'm not saying you should have pooped on the set, but they have plenty of money for a new sofa, if you want a lesson on how to get out of an interview, look no further than the vomiting balloon boy, falcon heene. >> they told me it was for some tv show. that's what he was running to. that's what he was referring to when -- when he made that statement. >> and i know i want to point out that the sheriff's office said last night, a few moments ago, he got hill. let's take a break so your family can gather itself. >> that's how it's done. when you're up agns