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Entries in Interview (16)

Wednesday
Aug172011

Casey Anthony's Parents to Tell Their Story to Dr. Phil

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- George and Cindy Anthony, the parents of acquitted murder defendant Casey Anthony and grandparents of murder victim Caylee Anthony, will tell their story to Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview to air on his show's season premiere Sept. 12.

"We appreciate the way in which Dr. Phil has helped others, and we trust him enough to completely open our hearts in telling our story," George Anthony said in a written statement released by Paramount Television on behalf of the Dr. Phil show.  "He is a professional that understands the uniqueness of our family situation.  There's no one better to do this interview than Dr. Phil.  We knew he would ask the difficult questions, and we were right."

Both George and Cindy Anthony were key witnesses at their daughter Casey Anthony's trial, at which Casey Anthony, 25, was acquitted on July 5, 2011 of charges she killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but convicted of charges she lied to authorities about the case.

During the trial, defense attorneys accused George Anthony and other members of the Anthony family of abusing Casey Anthony, accusations that were denied.

In the Paramount release, Dr. Phil expressed sympathy for the Anthonys' "ordeal."  But he added that "nothing is off limits" during the interview.

"Cindy and George have suffered a horrific loss with the untimely death of their granddaughter Caylee, and they have since endured an unprecedented public attack on their family," Dr. Phil said.  "Have these attacks been warranted, or not?  I looked them straight in the eye and asked some very tough questions.  Despite living under a 'media microscope' for years, THEIR story has never really been told and there's so much more to it than we've heard in the media."

Cindy Anthony offered her own reasons for breaking her silence about the trial and its verdict.

"We knew that we'd want to speak at some point, and we figured there was no better place than with Dr. Phil," she said in the written statement.  "We are hoping that by doing this interview, we will be able to help other people who may be experiencing struggles of their own.  We certainly don't want anyone to experience what we have these last three years."

Paramount emphasized that the Anthonys did not seek payment for the interview, but they asked for an unspecified donation to "Caylee's Fund," a separate charity that will honor their granddaughter, argue for missing and abused children and grandparents' rights.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

Warren Jeffs' Niece to ABC News: Uncle 'Needed To Be In Prison'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The niece of polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs said Wednesday that she is pleased that her testimony about how her uncle molested her helped send him to prison for life.

"I feel a lot stronger now that I've put the man that needed to be put in prison in prison," Jerusha Jeffs told ABC News.

Jerusha's testimony against her uncle revealed for the first time that she too was sexually assaulted by Jeffs, the leader of a radical polygamist sect of Mormonism known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

Jerusha, who grew up in the FLDS church, revealed in court for the first time that Jeffs raped her when she was a 7-year-old, second-grade student in the Utah elementary school where he served as principal.

"Warren told me to come sit on his lap and I didn't know why," she tearfully recalled to ABC News. "He said, 'You're a special girl' and that he would help me to go heaven. And he had a certain way of making me feel like I was special and he told me I'll go to heaven if I, for sure, just don't tell anybody."

A Texas jury found Jeffs guilty Aug. 4 of forcing two teenage girls into "spiritual marriage," and fathering a child with one of them when she was 15.

He was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 45 years. Jeffs, 55, must serve at least 35 years of a life sentence on one of the child-sex charges, and at least 10 years on the other.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul252011

Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Accuser Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room is ending her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God Knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I turned my head, he comes to me, and grab my breasts," she said. "I said, 'Stop! Stop! I don't want to lose my job.'"

Diallo said she did not know who Strauss-Kahn was prior to the encounter May 14. Once she learned his identity she said she thought she would be killed.

"And then they say he's going to be the next president of France. And I say, oh my God! And I was crying. I said, 'they're gonna kill me.'"

Until now Diallo's identity had been protected. She said she is coming forward now to defend her story and her reputation, which has been besmirched by tabloid headlines calling her a prostitute.

"I'm not," Diallo said.

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have suggested what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on the interview.

"This is a pending criminal case," DA spokeswoman Erin Duggan said. "To protect the integrity of the criminal justice system, the rights of the victim, and the rights of the accused, we will not discuss the facts or evidence in what remains an ongoing investigation."

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf within days.

"There's no mystery. There's no hiding the fact. This man attempted to rape her," Thompson said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul242011

Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Tells Her Story to ABC News

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Heidi Gutman/ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room has broken her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts in an interview to air Monday on Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, and affiliates of ABC News Radio. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

There were no restrictions on the interview, and Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding, "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have said what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May242011

Exclusive: Return to Normal 'Many Months' Away, Missouri Gov. Says

Julie Denesha/Getty Images(JOPLIN, Mo.) -- The death toll from a vicious tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, has risen to at least 122 as searchers claw through rubble hoping to find survivors.

The search for survivors is gaining new urgency with the forecast of another storm bearing down on the city with the threat of more tornadoes.

The massive Joplin tornado was rated as an EF-5, the strongest classification with winds greater than 200 mph. The nearly mile-wide funnel touched down at 5:41 p.m. CT Sunday and blasted a six mile wide path through the city and left trapped survivors crying out for help.

In an interview with ABC News Radio, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said the Tuesday morning sunrise gave crews a boost, but also a dose of reality.

"Over these last two dark and windy and rainy days, everybody's been focused, kind of looking," the governor told ABC News. "They can only see three feet in front of them. That's where they've been working. This morning, as the sun rose and you see the sun on this devastation, you realize it's going to be many, many months before this is back to normal."

Asked whether he thinks rescue teams will be able to pull any more survivors from the devastation, Nixon said, "We still think there's a chance."

"We've got two sectors we're trying to clear…We had seventeen folks that were saved yesterday. We're hoping that we can dig out some others that are in the bottom of some apartment complexes," the governor said.

President Obama said he plans to visit the twister-torn area on Sunday after he returns from his trip to Europe.

"Knowing that the full power of FEMA and the federal government will be here to assist us is a calming influence," Nixon said.

Donate to the Tornado Relief Effort

To make a donation to the American Red Cross' Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

To donate to the United Way, visit its online donation page.

The Salvation Army's emergency disaster services teams are helping to feed residents and first responders in Joplin, Reading, Kan., and parts of Minnesota affected by the storms. To donate to the The Salvation Army's efforts, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org and click on the donation page. You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Bernard Madoff Says Banks Had to Know He Was a Crook

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Convicted Ponzi scheme swindler Bernard Madoff says some banks and hedge funds he dealt with had to have known he was up to no good, but chose to look the other way as the former money manager swindled billions from unsuspecting clients.

In his first jailhouse interview since being sent to the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina for 150 years, Madoff contends that unnamed financial institutions showed a “willful blindness” to his crimes and were therefore “complicit.”

According to Madoff, the attitude of banks and hedge funds was “if you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.”

In correspondence with The New York Times, Madoff said he was surprised by the number of people who are now saying they suspected him of wrongdoing before he came clean to authorities in December of 2008.

On other matters, Madoff exonerated New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and his business partner, Saul Katz, who are being sued by a trustee assigned to recover money for Madoff’s thousands of victims.

While Irving Picard claims that Wilpon and Katz profited from Madoff’s scam, the 72-year-old convict insisted, “They knew nothing.”  Picard is suing the men for $1 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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