tv Piers Morgan Live CNN January 22, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
for what? >> it might be you, because you keep me here in the snow. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> i have to say, that's my favorite gesture. i'm don lemon. thanks for watching. this is "piers morgan live." welcome. tonight the rant that everyone in america is talking about. rich sherman's extraordinary trash talk on fox sports after the seahawks' amazing victory. >> i'm the best corner in the game! that's the result you're going to get! don't you ever talk about me! >> tonight, what was he thinking? richard sherman explains all, exclusively to cnn. also the olympic gold medalist who says chris christie wanted him out of new jersey's senate race. carl lewis is here to explain. and olympic-sized security scares for the winter games in sochi. president obama talked to vladimir putin about it today. i'll talk to meredith vieira tonight. she is headed there in a few days. we begin with the remarkable
rant heard around the world. richard sherman mouthing off to fox sports' erin andrews following the seahawks incredible victory sunday to take the nfc title. the game ended with this, a play for the ages that put sherman's team in the super bowl. but the icing on the cake was surely this. sherman blasting the 49ers' michael crabtree moments after victory. >> well, i'm the best corner in the game. when you try me with a sorry receiver like crabtree, that's the result you're gonna get! don't you ever talk about me! >> who was talking about you? >> crabtree. don't you open your mouth about the best! or i'm going to shut it for you real quick! >> sherman went on to apologize. and i talk exclusively to rachel nichols. rachel, before we get to your interview, which was a great coup for you and cnn, what was your reaction when you were watching it live to what he did? >> reporter: well, actually, we hear things like that all of the time. so i was a bit surprised at the reaction that mushroomed out from what richard sherman said.
and here's what's fascinating about richard sherman. he is definitely one of the brashest, most outspoken guys in the nfl. but he's also one of the smartest players in the nfl. this is a guy who graduated from stanford while he was playing, and even started on his masters while he was there playing football. so not a surprise that while this a very emotional moment, when he sat down to talk to me, he was very reasonable and thoughtful. take a listen. there was the moment on the field when you made the play. there's the choke sign. there's the interview on the field post game. and then there's the press conference interview. what do you regret about all of that, what do you not regret about all of that? >> well, there isn't much i regret. mostly i regret the -- i guess the storm afterwards. the -- you know, the way it was covered, the way it was perceived, and the tension it took away from the fantastic performances from my teammates, you know.
and that would be the only part i regret. the way it's covered. it is what it is. what i said is what i said. i don't say -- i probably shouldn't have attacked another person. i don't mean to attack him. and that was immature. and i probably shouldn't have done that. i regret doing that. but i just felt like my teammates deserved better. and i -- you know, i have to apologize to them. and i have. >> reporter: your brother has said that michael crabtree was rude to you at an event this past summer, a charity event, that he shunned you, he wouldn't talk to you. and that you said at the time, all right, i'm going to show him on the field. is that the background of all of this? >> yeah, that's the short version. >> reporter: that's the clean version? >> and we're going to keep it clean. >> reporter: all right. did it get nastier than that? >> we're going to keep it clean. >> reporter: okay. >> and i told -- i said, i would keep it on the field. i will show you on the field. and that's always been my thing. everybody is like, oh, man, these guys push you in the face, doing this, doing that. i'm not going to fight anybody and embarrass myself, embarrass
my family, embarrass my organization like that. there's no need for that. there's no need to be that kind of barbaric human being. but on the field, we're playing a very barbaric sport. you can do what you please. and that's when i take all of my animosity and all of my anger and all my frustrations out on the field with disciplined football, sound football. you know, it takes -- it takes a different kind of person to be able to turn that switch on and off. and be able to step into the ring or step on the field and be the intense, incredible, focused, and kind of, you know -- i guess angry human being that you have to be to be successful in those atmospheres. >> reporter: how do you do it? >> you just have to have that switch. you take it off. you treat it totally different. and that's why sometimes it crashes and doesn't go all so well. because if you catch me in the moment on the field when i'm still in that zone, when i'm
still as competitive as i can be, and trying to be in a place where i have to be to do everything i can to be successful on the football field and help my team win, then it's not going to come out as articulate, as smart, as charismatic. because on the field, i'm not all those things. i'm everything i need to be to be a winner. >> reporter: you know, we have seen this. we have seen deion sanders and terrell owens and scott, michael jordan, muhammad ali. we have seen guys get excited in the moment, make big pronouncements. what interested me about what happened to you was the reaction afterward. the way it mushroomed and the fact that race so quickly became involved. >> yeah, you know, it was really mind-boggling. and it was kind of -- it was kind of sad that the way the world reacted -- you know, i can't say the world. i don't want to generalize people like that, because there are a lot of great people who didn't react that way. but for the people who did react that way and throw the racial slurs and that out there, it's
really sad. especially that close to martin luther king day. you're not judging a guy. i'm not out there beating on people or committing crimes or getting arrested or doing anything. i'm playing a football game at a high level. and i got excited. but what i did was within the lines of a football field. what they did was an actual reality. they showed their true character. those were real comments, not in a moment, not in a -- you know, they had time to think about it. they were sitting at a computer and expressed themselves in a true way. and i thought society had moved past that. >> reporter: you know, it's interesting. this backlash against sherman, the racial aspect, is what is so striking to me. because you have people tweeting him, reaching out to him over e-mail, text message, basically using monkeys bananas and a lot of language i can't say on television. and then you had even more veiled criticism, calling him a thug. certainly you could make the case he was a bad sport in that moment. but thug seems to be an
underlying way to bring it back to race, and something that sherman is not only offended by, but he told me he was surprised by. >> here's the thing, rachel i don't even think he was a bad sport. i'm a passionate soccer fan, cricket fan, and i watched it live. let's watch it again. we just had the calm and nice version of mr. sherman. let's watch the rant again and i'll say what i want to say about it. >> well, i'm the best corner in the game. when you try me with a sorry receiver like crabtree, that's the result you're gonna get! don't you ever talk about me! >> who was talking about you? >> crabtree. don't you open your mouth about the best! or i'm going to shut it for you, real quick! >> you see, i absolutely love that. i love the passion, the drive, the total commitment. but i love it in the context of what he just said to you, which is, when i'm on a football field, that is what i have to be to win. when he's off the football field with you, lovely guy. but i would -- if i was a fan of
his team and they're in the super bowl for a reason, because of winners like him. >> reporter: we asked these guys to be gladiators on the field. that's a pretty common expression, right? we ask them to put their bodies at risk. it was just a few minutes earlier that another player on that same field had his leg bent in a direction that legs are not supposed to go in. they risk limb and, you know -- if you took their future life, their future life for this, there are people who have suffered severe reactions after playing football. and they have to go out there, and they have to get themselves in a mental state to do that. another interesting aspect of that that he brought up to me was, you are going against the best. he said, you have to have so much confidence. >> right. >> reporter: to think that you can go beat the best. you have to think of yourself that way. you have to think that you are invincible and say that to yourself, and sometimes say it to other people to think that you can back that pass out of the air. that he did. he saved the game for the seahawks. he put them in the super bowl. >> right. and talking a beat, he's in the
beats headphone commercial. let's take a look at this. quite entertaining, actually. >> do you have a problem with aggression? >> not off the field. >> did you fight a lot as a kid? >> not everybody in conference. >> have you gone downhill since college? >> no. >> as an athlete, do you feel you're untouchable? >> i'm not afraid of anything. >> i'll be honest, rachel i didn't know a lot about mr. sherman before i was watching live when all of this happened. i now know a lot about him. and i rather like what i know about this guy. he seems to me to be a good family guy, a good community guy. does a lot of work for charity. and yet on the football field, he wants to crush his opponents, and win. and that's what it's about. isn't it? >> reporter: well, it's interesting you showed that advertisement. yeah, it is a national campaign that he's in, which is pretty unusual for a defensive player, especially a fifth-round draft pick. so you can see, he is smart and
canny. all of these things he says, all of the attention he gets for being outspoken and brash. it gives him more leverage when it comes to endorsements. it's gotten him this national campaign, and his agent has come out and said in the past 24 hours that the reaction has been that he's gotten more endorsement offers since all of this happened on sunday. so richard certainly knows what he's doing. we saw that with another great athlete, reggie miller, when he taunted spike in the garden. they know where to pick their spots. and certainly richard knows where to pick his spots with this one. >> well, if he's watching, mr. sherman, i salute you, sir. long may you continue. i'm going to be rooting for you in the super bowl, purely because of the passion you show for your game. i like that. terrific interview, rachel a lot more in it will be appearing on friday in your show "unguarded" at 10:30 p.m. eastern time. rachel, thank you very much indeed for that. a great scoop by you. and i'm thrilled to have it on our show. because i like that guy. >> thanks. when we come back, nine-time olympic gold medalist, carl lewis, his reaction to what sherman said.
and he also tells me what he thinks chris christie did to drive him out of the new jersey senate race. plus, escape from polygamy. the woman who risked everything when she fled warren jeff's sect at the age of 16. gotand such. works for me. turn to the camera. ah, actually i think my eyes might ha... next! digital insurance id cards. just a tap away on the geico app. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that. well, did you know that when a tree falls in the forest and no one's around, it does make a sound? ohhh...ugh. geico. little help here.
the kind of weather that nfl cornerback, richard sherman, could face in the super bowl across the river here in new jersey. i'm in new york. it's down the road. breaking news tonight, someone who may have had some advice for sherman. nine-time olympic gold medalist, carl lewis, and ben ferguson. big burly ben, host of "the ben
ferguson show." always a delight. and let's start with you, carl lewis. what do you think as an athlete, who has been at the very, very top of your game for a very long time. when you saw richard sherman go off like that, did you empathize? did you understand what he was doing? >> well, you know, it's really interesting. because people are quick to judge and they don't know the back story. so obviously, there was something between he and crabtree that went back a while. number one. number two, this is a very intelligent, articulate guy who does a lot of things and understands what he's doing. i've been in that situation where you make a play like that for the super bowl. the super bowl is something you only have one shot at. and understanding the olympics, i get it. so the emotion of that moment i think overtook him. and i think it was emotion. >> yeah, completely agree. let's move quickly carl, to the very reason we've got you on tonight. chris christie still engulfed in this bridgegate scandal, and you were loosely caught up in a battle with his administration. tell me in very brief terms
exactly what happened with you, and why you think it was wrong. >> well, what happened is that i met governor christie back in 2009 when i was named new jersey hall-of-famer. and so i reached out to him about being involved in physical education in the state of new jersey. and we came up with a great idea, making me kind of an ambassador and the governor's office came up with a great program, which i was really excited to be a part of in the state of new jersey. and i really commended him for that. but then i decided to run for state senate. and that came out of just wanting to do more in my community, as well. and when he found out about it, he called me and kind of pushed me to get out of the race. he said, we're going to go after you. now, i understand politics, because i follow politics and i get it. but it was also a personal thing, because he was trying to push me out of there, and use the physical education thing as kind of a carrot to do it. and it was his friend running and it was difficult for him. but i felt like he was trying to intimidate me to get me out. i didn't feel -- >> just to clarify, carl. chris christie personally said
to you, if you run, we're going to come after you. >> oh, absolutely. he said that on the telephone call. and i didn't -- you know, and it was obviously clear, and he also said that we'll kill the program, because obviously, we can't work with you on the other side of the line. so those are things that were clear. it didn't bother me in the sense of it was going to stop me doing what i thought was right. because i wasn't about political politics. i wasn't about partisanship. i was about the people of new jersey and i tried to keep it that way. >> he -- i think his people have denied this today. and i guess it's your word against his. what is your reaction to that denial? >> well, it isn't really a surprise. this is a story that came out in 2010, and if you go back to 2011, you can see how the story worked out. starts a denial, and then it goes to, well, it wasn't what they remembered. and then it changes. so the reality, this is what happened. and just a few days ago, i was on the track practicing with some of the athletes, and i get a call from someone that brought
the story back to me. because i had really moved on from it. >> they said in that statement, unfortunately this coming now is obviously a sour grapes rehash of the clear-cut legal issue which didn't fall his way. mr. lewis was disqualified and lost, including all of the appeals. just as an overview before i move to the others, do you think chris christie thereof is a bully, as many are trying to portray him? >> well, you know, i -- actually, i want to kind of get to what their comment was, because the reality is that i was approved by judges, and also the law judge. the -- guadagno is the one who actually pulled me off the ballot twice. so let's be clear about the reality of what actually happened. but more than that, i wouldn't call him a bully. what i got out of him, he's very insecure, someone using his power as governor now, because of his lack of security. and that's the way i see it. >> okay. let's talk to ben ferguson. ben, here's the thing about
chris christie. he's in the news all day, every day at the moment. he's a huge beast in the jungle and getting pounded by every other animal out there. how is this all going to shake out, and what do you make about what carl lewis said, about his own personal involvement? where carl said you run against me, i'm going to come after you? >> carl, i'm a huge fan of carl. but welcome to the world of politics, carl. it's a lot like sports. you picked a team. you were going to run as a democrat. you're gonna have republicans come after you the same way that i guarantee you, as a candidate, being a fighter, we're going to go after a republican, if it all panned out at the end of the day. i mean, this is normal political actions. and to imply that somehow there was something underhanded here is kind of to me, to be honest, laughable. because if you want to play with the big boys -- >> well, wait. >> i don't know why you didn't expect this in the political realm. >> hold on. no one is implying anything. i stated the facts as they were.
there is no implication. i'm just telling you what happened. and in terms of -- i just said it. hold on. he didn't intimidate me. i just said these are the facts. and i went on and ran my race. i've never criticized the governor. even now i'm not criticizing the governor. i'm just stating the facts. so we can't change what i'm saying. because what i just said are the facts. >> okay. ben -- >> carl, if i may. on a wider point about chris christie, all of this is damaging. whichever way you look at this, he's getting pounded, his poll ratings are coming down. how do you see this playing out in the bigger picture for chris christie? because a lot of conservatives at the moment are refusing to put their heads out for him. >> look, we're a long ways from the presidential election, and that's what really this is about. and you see politicians come back all of the time. the republicans got beat up after the government shutdown. now they're approval rating, they're fine.
the president got beat up recently with the affordable care act. and guess what, he's up a little bit. people have very short memories. and chris christie, the reason why someone is obsessed with him right now, and democrats are doing everything they can to try to destroy him, they're terrified of him. because he is a super bowl player, if you want to use a sports analogy, in the political world. and so any shot they can take at him, they're going to do it. >> okay. >> but i don't think this is going to be any type of tko for his career. >> okay. >> if anything, he's going to fight back. >> i want to move on. i sort of agree with you, actually. there is something that comes out to contradict what he has been saying, in a way makes him more famous and perhaps a more potent competitor for the big election. but let's go on to an interview i did last night with jordan belfort, real life wolf of wall street. very compelling. leigh, i want to come to you on this, and play you one of the most riveting moments, when i talked to him had he talked to any of the victims about all of the pump and dump stuff he had been doing. watch this. >> i think it's awful.
>> losing a lot of money, in some cases, having their lives turned upside down. >> it's terrible. >> on a human level, have you met one of them? >> i have not. >> why not? >> no one has sought me out. >> why haven't you sought them out? >> you know, i don't want to intrude on anybody's life, and you know -- >> come on, that's a cop-out. >> no, it's not. i don't think it's appropriate. >> what was your reaction not only to that, but to the interview as a whole? >> i thought the interview was fascinating. i felt like you could really see how he is somebody who has a lot of success on the speaking circuit. he's one of these people you just kind of can't take your eyes off him when he's talking. he has that kind of magnetism. i thought that question was very interesting. and to me, it looked like he had never been asked that or never thought about that before. >> never crossed his mind. >> never crossed his mind, exactly. that's what i'm trying to say. yeah, exactly. >> and yet i found him very engaging, very likeable in parts of the interview. i'm sure you wouldn't like him as much if you lost tons of money to him.
here's a question i asked this morning. someone asked me, would i now invest money with him and i think in all honesty, 17 years clean, looks to me like he's learned his lessons. i think i probably would. am i mad, leigh? >> i think you're mad, yeah. and you're not the only one who likes him, by the way. he's got 38,000 likes on facebook. there are comments on his facebook page that are like -- >> my twitter blew up. >> you're a legend. >> ben ferguson, did you like "the wolf of wall street?" >> i think he's one of those classic narcissistic train wreck -- can't take your eyes off him. but i wouldn't give him a dime of my hard-earned money, because he's a scum bag. he stole money from people, ruined their lives and still kind of grinning about it. that's an insanity x factor about people like him. how could you knowingly do that to people and take their life savings and then do speaking engagements saying you got clean. you weren't an addict of drugs. you were a corrupt human being
who stole people's money, and you love the fact a movie was made about you. i wouldn't give him any of my money. >> predictably unforgiving ben ferguson. final word to carl lewis. carl, many sportsmen hit the rails, either professionally or personally. they get caught cheating or whatever it might be. or they have personal crises. and they have comebacks and most of the time if it's a first offense, american people are much more forgiving than ben ferguson just was about him. why should it be different rules for a traitor, given that it seemed to me like he was certainly pretty sincere with the remorse he showed? >> well, i think that the difference in a lot of ways is the way you affect other people's lives. you know, as an athlete -- >> amen. >> we do affect our lives. really, it's something we do. but that is a deliberate attempt to affect other people's lives. whereas we're not doing that. an athlete makes a mistake or falls out, but man, it's pretty tough. and i'll give the bipartisanship, i wouldn't give him my money, either.
>> no one is saying this about bernie madoff. nobody is liking bernie madoff. >> here's the difference. thought about this. madoff was 100% a completely scam from start to finish. clearly, the wolf of wall street, as he said, and i don't know exactly what the split is. but the vast majority of what he did was legitimate. the bit that wasn't was extremely bad -- >> i don't know that it was the vast majority. but what he did was stealing money. it wasn't insider trading or mortgage securitization fraud. it might as well have been bank robbery. he was stealing other people's money. >> okay. you've made your feelings clear. he did is he me i had to sell a pen. carl lewis, leigh, ben ferguson. great panel. gold medal superstar like you, carl, on a panel. what a moment for this show. thank you all very much. coming up, meredith vieira is headed for sochi. i want to know what she thinks about the security threats to the games, because she'll be right in the middle of it. that's coming next. ♪ female announcer: get beautyrest, posturepedic,
i want to turn to olympic-sized security concerns. president obama called vladimir putin today and offered u.s. help to keep the winter games in sochi safe. that's after russian police passed out posters of several women they fear are planning terror attacks on the games. and the jihadi video targeting tourists. meredith vieira joins me along with her husband, author of "blindsided." welcome back to both of you. i love having you both on my show. you because you're so irascible and you -- because you're a saintly figure who puts up with meredith. >> puts up with me, exactly. you're not asking me to answer that question, is sochi safe, because i have no idea. >> what is your feeling about it? it's been so much terror activity.
>> sure. >> around the russian border and russia itself. there is obviously a clear concern now by the world leaders there may be some form of attack. >> absolutely. and by legislators in our own country, some of whom i would never go. it's been a concern of mine since the beginning. we had a lot of conversations at nbc news about it and sports. and after a certain point, it's a bit of a leap of faith. you know. you hope the security is there. i hope they share information more than they have with the u.s. right now that's kind of a rough point. but i'm going. i'm going, and, you know, they talk about that ring of steel, and i hope it's there. >> the only good thing, it's likely to be significantly warmer than new york today. >> that's right. it's like 50, and the palm trees are swaying. >> freezing out there. richard, how do you feel about your wife going to sochi with all this terror talk? >> well, i think -- i think it gives us pause. i don't trust the russians. that's my problem.
>> just generally. >> just generally. no, but they have never shared with the united states. they have turned down u.s. help. any number of times before. and you know, so i don't have a lot of faith in them. but part of me also thinks that life is all about taking chances. and -- >> with my life. >> well, you would like to take chances back here in new york. leave meredith -- >> i think there is so much writing on this for president putin, obviously. and he does not want to take any chances. so there's going to be a lot of security there. >> they've got this massive security operation at the olympics. >> that's right? >> in sochi. but russia is this vast country. clearly, their resources will all be focused there. but they could strike anywhere. >> absolutely.
>> the world's attention on russia and get the same kind of headlines. >> absolute. and there are a lot of soft targets out there. so if they want to, and these are people who are determined, they will make every effort. >> an even bigger threat to you, richard, meredith is being reunited with matt lauer out in sochi. i mean, that's enough to make any husband feel a little twitchy, isn't it? really. >> no, i think they deserve each other. >> you're going to be doing a lot of co presenting with him out there. how do you -- >> the opening ceremony, yeah. >> how does it feel? >> you know, it's funny, we had a meeting today with david resnick, as well, joining us in the booth. and it is like riding a horse -- a dead horse, but it's a horse. no, it's nice to see matt again. he's the best at this. of anybody i've ever worked with. and i think that it will be a lot of fun. and it's also very reassuring to have him there. >> is that beard staying for the sochi games?
>> no, she is shaving it. >> why do you encourage? >> i think he looks very good. don't you think he looks good in that? >> no, i'm not convinced by the beard, no. and i love matt lauer. >> i was with him today and i can't remember if he had the beard. >> wow! meredith! that's a terrible admission. >> i don't focus on the superficial like you, apparently. >> the other big issue in russia, of course, is this ridiculous law they passed banning the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations. americans who are gay could be committed of breaking the law, facing fines of up to $3,000 or 14 days in jail. >> that's not going to happen in the olympics, i don't believe, at all. >> the mere fact that it could happen. >> right. >> pretty extraordinary in the modern age, isn't it? >> yeah, although i -- help me out here. i heard somebody talking about this the other day and i thought it was cnn saying that if you went back to england in 1987, a similar law was on the books there. do you remember that? is that accurate? >> we had a lot of crazy laws in our country, yeah. i think -- to me, it's moved so fast in britain and america. this debate. it's interesting, isn't it, richard, that even in -- you talk about russia before in quite scathing terms, but the fact they're still prepared to have a law outlawing homosexuality, as the rest of the civilized world moves on -- >> right, but --
>> although they would say they're not outlawing homosexuality. if you would ask president putin, he said that's not what we're doing. he said we're outlawing the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations. >> but i think he's going to back-pedal. >> you do? >> he already has. he said people can protest -- >> i would imagine, there are going to be some gay athletes who are going to make a stand. >> i think there will be gay and straight athletes wearing the rainbow ribbon, for sure. and what's interesting about sochi, historically, one of the most tolerant cities for gays in all of russia. it's the place where they would go in terms of going for a resort. and one of the coolest nightclubs for gays is in sochi. >> how do you know that? >> i watch cnn. honestly, that's where i saw it. >> you can't blame us. you've clearly got a deep knowledge. >> i study this stuff. >> of the gay scene in sochi. which i find quite fascinating. richard, are you aware of your wife's knowledge of the night life in sochi? >> more than you know. >> let's take a break and come back and talk more seriously about multiple sclerosis, the
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>> i'm trying to be helpful. there's some big thing sticking out of your chest. trying to be calm. >> that's perfect. >> from richard's video blog at richardmcohen.com, undergoing a procedure to remove bone marrow and stem cells to be infected into his spine, part of a clinical trial to combat ms. it looks bloody painful. is it as painful as it looks? >> not at all. it was uncomfortable, but there is a big difference between pressure and pain. they kept saying, it's going to feel like your chest is being crushed. >> you've written this -- this incredibly brilliant blog in many ways. and you talk in this remarkably frank way about what you've been going through. because it's almost the ultimate nightmare, isn't it? your brain is completely unaffected. you're exactly the same guy. smart as a whip.
and yet physically, each time i see you, i can see there has been a slight deterioration in you physically. how do you deal with that on an emotional level? >> well, i think you just accept it. you know. it is what it is. and i've never stopped fighting it. and this stem cell trial is really a break with traditional therapies. i've had -- first of all, i've had the illness for 40 years. second of all, the traditional therapies have done little if anything for me. and when i was offered the opportunity to join the trial, i decided to do it instantly. i mean, this is -- this is the future as far as i'm concerned. >> did they make any promises to you? can they tell you, look, you're going to walk perfectly normally again in a year, if this is all successful? or is it kind of open-ended? >> no.
no, there are no guarantees. look, in some ways we're pioneers, because we're at the very beginning. there's been very little stem cell therapy of this kind. and we don't really know it's out there. but it's an adventure. and for the -- and it's a wonderful feeling for the first time in literally decades. >> given you hope. >> but it's given hope, but it's a chance to be proactive. it's a chance to do something. >> meredith, he's such a gutsy guy. you know that, because you're married to him. he wrote this in one of his blogs. i've picked up the pieces and reinvented myself as physical deterioration redefined what i can do. friends are noted how many times i've been rein car natured. the freelance writer turned into an author. my trek has not been linear. but my parachute continues to open. it's a beautiful way of describing it. what frustrations are there for both of you about this ongoing, relentlessly tedious process, which is what it must be?
>> that's part of the frustration, that it is ongoing and tedious. and you don't know from one day to the next what you're going to get. and there are exacerbations. a couple months ago, richard was in a bad place. and i think we were both very low about it and depressed. and then he had a steroid treatment, and came back to where he had been prior to that. but you never know whether those are going to work. or we're going to see yet another -- problem developing. >> you have to learn to live with ambiguity. >> but this could be, meredith, a hugely significant moment in the treatment of ms. >> absolutely. >> if in a year's time we're back here doing another
interview and you've made significant progress suddenly, this could be the one breakthrough everyone has been waiting for. because 3 to 500,000 people in america have a form of ms. >> and when you have secondary progressive like richard, as he said, there is nothing out there. so this would be huge for people in that position. >> so people who poo-poo stem cell research, what do you say to them? >> i say they're wrong. i don't know why you would poo-poo stem cell research. and this is using his own stem cells. so you don't have the argument of embryonic stem cells. that's out of the equation. >> you don't want any other richards? >> not really. one is enough. i don't want people to think this is easy and we're strong. there are days when we're both upset, when richard has said, i wish i were dead. i mean, it's that level of frustration, and depth of sadness. and then he pulls himself out. but i totally understand why people go to that dark place, because we go to it. and you really have to fight to get out of that place. and appreciate your life and -- >> what's interesting about this situation now is, the expectation game is really dangerous. >> yeah. >> you know. it's -- neither of us is willing to go there. you know? >> right. >> neither of us is willing to -- i'm not even willing to fantasize, you know. i'm not willing to imagine putting down the cane. i'm not willing to imagine i'm legally blind getting eyesight back. it's too dangerous. it really is.
i think it just can set a person up. >> but our doctor said if there is no change, if richard plateaus right here, that will be seen as success. >> right. >> to him. clearly. >> because it would be a break in the deterioration. >> stops the process. >> best of luck with it. i think it's all very exciting.
you're the perfect guy to be a guinea pig for this, because you've got the right attitude, richard. and for what it's worth, i like your cane. i think it adds a little british -- >> it's all pretension. >> yeah, it should be in "downton abbey" or something. >> either way, i'm keeping it. >> you can read more on richard's blog, richardmcohen.com, and it's very exciting. and it's a terrific read for anyone going through any illness, to be inspired to keep
this is one example of when they do leave the flds. every government agency within the bounds of colorado city, from the mayor to the police, are flds member loyal to warren jeffs. >> they are ex-members of warren jeff's polygamist sect and they have dedicated themselves helping to free the group. welcome to both of you. there are a few people who got out of this polygamist sect, notably rebecca muser last year. you escaped around the same age,
15, 16, but ten years apart. tell me about your story, how did you eventually make that break? >> the pain in what i believed was heaven got willing to the point where i was willing to go to hell to escape it. good requires suffering in order to get to heaven. >> in terms of the detail of your suffering, how bad was it? >> my dad was sexually abusing me starting at 8 years old, continuing into my teenage years. begged for help. nobody would listen, and i think that's why i come back and i fight for the abuse victims now. it's just -- not just the flds kids but abuse victims everywhere need a voice and they need to know they're not alone. >> you were impregnated at one stage.
>> yes, by my father. >> you had the double blow, i guess, of you are a nephew of warren jeffs. you're part of the family. how does that stigma make you feel? >> the stigma of having a last name jeffs is a double edge sword. everybody sees my last name and i'm pretty sure that there's going to be a preconceived notion of who i am and what i stand for. but it also gives me the power and the voice to say it's okay to stand up against the abuses that happened to me and others in the flds. >> you were sexually abused? >> i was sexually abused by warren jeffs when i was 5 and 6 years old and physically abused by my third mom. it was very abusive growing up. >> people know about this sect, everyone in america knows about it. warren jeff is now in prison for sexual assault of numerous
children. to have lived through it, how bad was it for you? >> it was completely horrible. i grew up with three moms and 20 siblings. there was no time to be raised. it was children raising children, and i was a number. >> obviously you worked together on this show, "escaping the prophet," do you feel a bond with other people that went through it? >> that's exactly what it is. you feel a bond and you can understand what they're going through, why they're acting the way they are and help them understand that it's okay to reach out and have a voice and choose a different lifestyle that can make them happy ultimately. >> you both believe that the power of warren jeffs continues from even inside prison. >> yes. >> how does it manifest itself? >> warren is still doing church services from his prison cell. my sister told me about church
services where warren would call in and for 15-minute phone call, they would record it and play it over and over and over for like eight hours. the babies would be crying and they would have to sit there until it was drilled into their heads. >> do you believe that abuse is still going on in his name, sort of indirectly ordered from inside prison? >> absolutely. >> this is terrifying that this could be possible that it's happening. >> when my sister and her six children first came to my house, i put the babies in the bathtub to give her a bath, and her 2-year-old child, i put the soap in her hair, went to rinse it and this child went into full-blown panic. it took my sister and i to hold her down to rinse the soap out because she had been water boarded so severely inside the group.
>> was that part of the technique, brandon, to keep everybody under control? >> it was a scare tactic. it was a fear tactic. they use the fear that you would burn in hell in you ever turn your back. >> let's take a short break and come back and discuss what it takes to break out, because you're very keen to help other people to do what you have the courage to do. i'll get into that and how successful you've been and how much more you think you can do. ♪ ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good for me around ♪ ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit tired ♪ ♪ of craving something that i can't have ♪ ♪ turn around, barbara ♪ forever i've been praying for a snack in my life ♪ ♪ and now i have a brownie ending all of my strife ♪ ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ ♪
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chillingly, that part of being part of jeffs' sect is that you're encouraged to believe that one day you will go and kill to achieve the second coming, right? >> we are to become god's army. it is our duty to become god's army to cleanse the north american continent of everyone except those people. >> how many people are out there who are still disciples of warren jeffs would you say? >> i would say there's still about 10,000 plus. >> how many of those from your knowledge, from your instinct, would, if it came to it, be capable of killing? >> they would obey him blindly. they would no questions asked, every single one of his loyal followers would do what he says without question. >> not with standing the fact that he's your uncle, you think he still wields the same power even though he's in prison? >> he wields the exact same power. he told the people that he's the second coming, he's jesus christ.
>> you got out. brandon, you got out. to anyone who may be watch thing who is part of this sect, and completely brainwashed, even to the point of being murderous potentially, what do you say to trigger a different thought process that may make them make the break and escape? >> i want them to realize that their brain was not given to warren jeffs. it was given to them. use it. start finding your voice. make your choices, become your own hero, and stand up. stand up for you and for your children. it's not warren jeffs doing this, it's the people telling him, yes, you are god, that are enable thing to continue. >> this is a fascinating show, "escaping the prophet" airs on tlc tuesday night. you both are courageous to do this. >> i just want to say one more thing, for abuse victims everywhere. be your own hero, because nobody
is going to fight harder for you than you. >> perfect way to end. thank you both very much indeed. that's all for us tonight. the northeast buried this morning. more than a foot of snow falling in some places. this brutal winter storm shutting down schools, offices, roads, grounding thousands of planes. indira peterson is outside tracking the storm in boston. rene marsh keeping us updated on flight from washington, d.c. and live in the cold streets of new york where i've got to say the snow is everywhere. good morning, everyone, welcome to "early start." i'm john