Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
White House Party Crashers; Tiger Woods Hurt in Crash; A Priest's Secret Son
Aired November 27, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good evening from New York. I'm Erica Hill sitting in tonight for Anderson Cooper.
"Up Close": Tiger Woods hurt in a car crash but back home tonight. And we're learning more about what happened very early this morning. And why the news sent shock waves too far beyond the sports world.
We have live coverage for you from his hometown in Florida including details from the local police chief and a closer look at Woods himself: the sports legend, the star personality and of course, the marketing mega-brand.
Also, some major new developments in the White House party crashing saga. Photo proof tonight that the couple managed to score face time with President Obama and the Secret Service today admitting it dropped the ball. We're "Keeping them Honest."
And then later, the priest had a secret, a son. We'll see what the church did to keep it hidden and why this young man's mother is still demanding answers.
But first up tonight, the security breach now even more clear; Michaele and Tareq Salahi seen here face-to-face with president -- the President of the United States. India's Prime Minister you see right there in the background Manmohan Singh. It all happened Tuesday night at President Obama's first state dinner, the worst security breach in White House memory.
Also new tonight is a statement from the Secret Service taking full blame noting, quote, "Established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint" end quote. "That failing is ours."
A couple of party crashers at the White House publicity seekers seemingly harmless but they could have been anyone. In a moment, the man who has known Mrs. Salahi for 15 years and spent hours with her preparing for that state dinner on Tuesday.
But first, the very latest from Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The stunning image of the Salahis meeting President Obama after slipping into the White House state dinner only reinforces the seriousness of the questions surrounding them. The Secret Service director now admits, "They should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. and Mrs. Salahi.
FOREMAN: How the couple made it so far is under investigation and more clues are emerging about the run-up. At a D.C. hair salon, witnesses say Michaele Salahi showed up for a last minute appointment excited about her invitation.
PEGGY IOAKIM, HAIR STYLIST, ERWIN GOMEZ SALON & SPA: I asked her, do you have it with you? She said, yes. She tried looking for it and didn't find the invitation. So I never saw it, she didn't have it. She thought it was in the car or something.
FOREMAN: The cable network Bravo says the D.C. socialites were being considered for a new reality show. And a TV crew was following them. NBC anchorman Brian Williams, another guest at the dinner, says he saw their car turned away by security but then the Salahi's hopped out with a camera man and makeup person and walked to the entrance.
And "Keeping them Honest," the real question is what happened there? This is where witnesses say guests were checked off of a list. They were checked out by the Secret Service and walked through metal detectors. Then it was on up here to the east entrance. This is apparently where Michaele posed for that photograph with the Marines that she later posted on Facebook. And then on inside down this hall into the White House proper and to the introduction point where that video was shot that we've seen so very much of.
Sometime around this point, all indications are with White House staff and security people all around, the couple joined the line going up to the blue room to actually meet the president. And then after that is when they would have gone back outside here to meet many other White House dignitaries including Vice President Joe Biden.
Secret Service agents visited the Salahis winery south of Washington telling the staff according to a manager quote, "If they do not sit down with us and talk, we will take whatever action is necessary." Faced with possible criminal charges, the Salahis are not talking publicly. Although their publicist insists they did not crash the party and are eager to explain the events around this extraordinary, and for the White House, unwelcome picture.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
HILL: "Digging Deeper" now into how this happened and what could happen to Michaele and Tareq Salahi, we are joined by stylist Erwin Gomez -- you saw his salon in Tom Foreman's report; also with us, national security contributor and former White House Homeland Security adviser, Frances Townsend and CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom. Good to have all of you with us.
Fran, I want to start with you. Because now we have this picture, this picture proof of the Salahi's face-to-face with President Obama. So there is no question as to how far their unchecked access got them really to the highest level.
How does this happen? And what should happen now to both the Salahis and perhaps the Secret Service folks who were on duty that night.
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Sure. Well, you know, Erica, what happens is once you come up to that initial point that Tom Foreman mentions, that perimeter point where you go through a magnetometer, once you're through there, nobody really checks you again. Because the presumption is if you've gotten inside the perimeter, inside the White House grounds, you've been cleared.
So no one would have checked them again. And so they would have come into the White House. They would have gone up stairs. They would have gone to somebody at a social secretary's desk to get a card before you go in for your photograph with the president.
Oftentimes there will be an administrative slipup. There won't be one. Someone will just write it out by hand for you. And the only purpose of that is to put the picture and the name together and make sure you're introduced to the president.
What happens to them now, well I'll tell you, if they lied to get their way in that is, if they made a statement to someone at the gate, a Secret Service agent and said that they were there because they were invited, that's a lie. And so it would be a lie to a federal official. And that's a felony.
So in addition to a publicist, I hope they have a good lawyer.
HILL: Well, apparently they have a lawyer who's been speaking out.
Lisa, as an attorney, looking at this, should they be facing federal charges for this?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they certainly could be. Federal charges not only for lying to federal authorities if they did lie. But it looks like they gave their own name, for example, when they walked in. Also for trespassing, although, they went past the checkpoints. They didn't scale a wall. I mean, I think it's important to keep in mind what the actual facts are here.
Yes, they could have grabbed a knife, they could have broken a glass, they could have committed an act of violence. But they didn't do any of that, they were friendly. They posed for pictures. And the law deals with what is, not what could have been. I mean, these are people who walked in, crashed a party and then left.
And in my view, this does not rise to the level of a federal crime. I think we have more important things to worry about; certainly the Secret Service needs to do a review. But what these people did, in my view, no harm, no foul.
HILL: So this isn't really a big deal to you? Because you said, somebody could have picked up a knife. They could have brought in anthrax probably -- they were face-to-face with the president. The Prime Minister of India...
HILL: ... was right behind them. That's a pretty serious security breach, Lisa.
BLOOM: Yes, that's what could have happened. But that's not what actually did happen. What actually did happen was they walked in, they pretended like they belonged there. They looked nice. They smiled for some pictures. And then they left.
I mean, they didn't even steal any china, as far as I know.
Now next week they're clearly dragging story out because they want the story to have legs. Next week, we're going to hear their side of the story. Whether they were even invited or not, whether there are other allegations, but so far based on the facts that we have so far, to me, this does not seem like a major crime.
HILL: Fran, though, what kind of message does that send about security, not only to the American people, but also to the Indian government, for example?
TOWNSEND: No, that's absolutely right. And I know that the Secret Service has begun their own -- not only an internal inquiry of the facts of what happened but they've also referred the matter at their office of professional responsibility.
At best, the uniformed division Secret Service agents who let them on to the property will be disciplined. And at worst, they could potentially be fired.
I will tell you, it is a very serious security breach because after all, bad people will watch this and watch how they did it and learn. And they may test the Secret Service and other understands if not at the White House as a result of this. And so it is a very, very serious case.
HILL: And we're going to continue to talk more about it. Also we want to learn a little bit more about the people at the center of this controversy; as we mentioned, Erwin Gomez with us. And well we're going to speak with him in just a minute.
And you can join the live chat now happening at AC360.com. I'll be logging on during the break.
When we return, more on that couple as we mentioned who may end up chasing publicity straight into prison and also the man who tries to avoid publicity despite being perhaps the best known and the richest athlete in the world: Tiger Woods' car crash very early this morning. What we do and what we still don't know about it. That's tonight on 360.
HILL: Continuing with our look now at the major White House security breach at Tuesday's state dinner for India's Prime Minister. The evidence just out tonight; you see it right here on your screen. That Michaele and Tareq Salahi made it all the way to the receiving line. You see her right there shaking hands with President Obama.
And yes, they had been through a metal detector. But no, they never should have gotten past the front gate let alone to the president. The Secret Service tonight is taking the blame. But there is still much to discuss.
Joining us: Erwin Gomez who got Mrs. Salahi ready for her big night; Frances Townsend who advised President Bush on Homeland Security and knows White House procedure first hand; and CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom.
Erwin, I want to talk to you, you have such a history with Mrs. Salahi. You've known her for 15 years.
ERWIN GOMEZ, SALAHI'S HAIR STYLIST: Yes.
HILL: And you know what pride she takes in her appearance. You did her makeup for their wedding. Yet, she didn't call you until Monday frantically trying to get an appointment for a White House state dinner. Did that strike you as odd that she wouldn't have planned out a little bit more?
GOMEZ: I find that really odd and there's -- if I got invited to the White House, I would be -- I know I would have gotten the invitation right away. And I would have planned my hair and makeup if I was a girl. But I would definitely get it planned out.
HILL: And you spent several hours -- she's in your saloon for I believe seven hours that day. Obviously there was some discussion. I know one of your hairstylists asked her to see the invitation. She didn't have it. Was there ever a point though, where you questioned whether or not she was in fact invited to this event?
GOMEZ: I did ask her. I mean, how did you get invited? And she was just more in awe of what I was going to wear and how I was going to make her look. And she knows I'm very familiar with the Indian culture. And she kept asking me if you think the costume should be perfect for the event. And I said, of course. I mean that will be a good respect for the Prime Minister.
And, of course, we made her look beautiful. As you can see, she stands out so beautiful.
HILL: She did look great. But nothing really stood out and said maybe not.
As we look at this picture of the Salahis, Fran and we and the president. Go over the procedure. You talked a little bit about once you get to the White House what happens. But before that point, the security checks the background checks to go on gone once you are invited to a White House event, take place far in advance of any event, correct? TOWNSEND: That's right. You're typically asked for your name, your social security number, your date of birth, all those three have to match together when they run you into their system. It goes into a computer system. So that when you approach the gate, you produce your picture ID. And they check it against the information they have.
If those match, you then go through the magnetometers. If those don't match, you're referred to somebody from the social secretary's office. The Secret Service, I want to point out, has said they didn't refer this to the social secretary. Clearly the breach, the failure was on the part of Secret Service. And the Secret Service now has gotten very clear that this was their problem.
Clearly they let them come in without having their data inside the computer system; just based on their word that they were invited. Now to be fair to the Secret Service, let's -- remember, they show up. There is a camera crew and makeup artists. They look like somebody important. And after all, they figure if they turn them away in the rain and their tuxedo and finery, this is all going to be filmed and they're going to get in trouble.
HILL: But Fran, what did someone know, I mean, shouldn't there be some sort of an alert to the Secret Service, to the White House grounds staff that somebody will be arriving with a camera crew. You can't just show up on the White House lawn with your own camera? Can you?
TOWNSEND: No, that's exactly right. There would have been. You notice Brian Williams and Katie Couric were there that night. And they didn't show up with their camera crew.
And, so, no, it should have sent off all sorts of flags. And I will tell you, I expect that the uniformed division Secret Service folks are going to be in lots of trouble.
HILL: Still plenty of discussion.
Lisa, looking at this from another angle, there is so much talk these days about everybody sort of wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Is this is just another way, and it could perhaps set off some ideas of other people of hey, this is a way for me to be a reality TV star?
BLOOM: Sure. You mean like the balloon boy gang, for example?
BLOOM: Others have already thought of this, right? Doing some kind of crazy hoax and getting their name in the news and here we are all going along with it showing her over and over again. I think if you're a tall, thin, dazzling blonde and you look the part and you walk in, you can get into a lot of places. And she even got into the White House.
And look, this may help her on the reality show. I understand she's auditioning for it. I think really it's all Erwin's fault for making her look so good. Maybe she just dazzled those agents, they couldn't see anything but how great she looked and they just waved her right in.
HILL: Erwin, is there anything about this couple, or about Michaele specifically, because you've known her for 15 years that makes you think, A, she's got a connection to somebody in the White House or one of the government's representative that would kept her in and B, that she would, if not, try to pull off a stunt like this?
GOMEZ: Well, that's really -- first that's a really good question. I mean first, I know Michaele that, that she's always know a lot of people in the Washington, D.C. area. And she's always hanging out with the biggest socialites and events. And they also mentioned that they were, they got invited because they're getting involved of the Indian polo that they charity and that they're very well known of.
But it really strikes me so odd. Because when find out this news, I mean, I myself, as a makeup artist, I was there at the first -- with the first family up in inauguration. I knew how tight security is. And I was even afraid that I was not going to get in, that's how tight they were.
GOMEZ: This just blows my mind. And -- but I know -- I don't know if she knows a lot, but she knows a lot of people. That's all I can tell you.
HILL: And as we've been told, they enjoy the limelight. And Lisa, as you mentioned, we're giving them a little bit more of it, aren't we?
HILL: But still, lots of it. But there are some important questions behind it. Lisa bloom, Fran Townsend, Erwin Gomez, I appreciate your time all of you this evening thanks.
TOWNSEND: Thanks Erica.
BLOOM: Thanks Erica.
GOMEZ: Thank you, thank you so much.
HILL: And there is actually much more to cover on this Friday night including late new details about that car crash that sent Tiger Woods to the hospital. His condition at the scene and his reported rescue by his wife with the help of a golf club.
And a bit later, what's happening in Dubai? One of the wealthiest places on the planet sending waves of terror today through Wall Street. Could your 401-k be riding on it -- when 360 continues.
HILL: The headlines tough to ignore. Snippets came in on the wires today. First, we hear Tiger Woods is involved in a car accident. And then that he's been seriously injured. Well, thankfully the news that followed was better. The golf superstar was treated and released from a hospital near his Orlando area home.
But the details of this early morning crash are far from clear. Perhaps not a surprise considering the man involved is known for doing all he can to maintain his privacy.
Gary Tuchman is on the scene in Windermere, Florida where he's gathering the latest for us. And he joins us now -- hi, Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erica hello to you. Tiger Woods, the most famous golfer in the world, one of the most famous people in the world and here's what we know about what happened with him. Gated community here in Windermere, Florida, one car accident, hit a fire hydrant. Hit a tree; was said to be semiconscious or unconscious for a number of minutes.
His wife came, bashed in the back window with a golf club to rescue him. Was brought to the hospital and the hospital now says it was minor injuries.
So what the heck is happening here?
With us right now, the police chief here in Windermere, Florida. This is Daniel Saylor. Chief thank you for talking with us.
CHIEF DANIEL SAYLOR, WINDERMERE, POLICE DEPARTMENT: You've got it.
TUCHMAN: This sounds like a really unusual case. I know this was unincorporated Orange County. It wasn't your territory. It wasn't in the city limit but you responded to it through accident.
TUCHMAN: How often do you have one car accidents and somebody bashing in a window to rescue someone in a subdivision that's gated and something like this?
SAYLOR: Not very often. We responded on a mutual aid after the 911 call was made and Orange County broadcast it across the radio.
TUCHMAN: Now, the first question I want to ask you, if this was a common citizens, I would ask you did you do what a DWI test?
SAYLOR: No, because it's not in our investigation; it's Florida highway patrol's investigation. We respond as mutual aid to Orange County. And being there first to the scene, we rendered first aid to Tiger Woods. And basically secured him until FHP Orange County got there and it's their investigation. So we leave it to the agency.
TUCHMAN: So you're saying that if it was a common citizen, someone in a one car accident bashing over a fire hydrant and treated and went to a DWI test even if it isn't within your city limits?
SAYLOR: No, he was on the ground semi-unconscious and had lacerations with his upper and lower lip. So our first response was to render first aid to him.
TUCHMAN: We certainly don't know what happened here. The hospital says it's a minor injuries, the injuries were just seen on his mouth. Why do you think he was semiconscious or unconscious?
SAYLOR: It didn't know, the officers over there said he was semi-unconscious and then out of it for several minutes. And he did have blood coming out on his mouth but the officers also said it did not look life threatening, his injuries.
TUCHMAN: The car was drivable. So why did his wife have to bash them the golf club with that window?
SAYLOR: From my understanding she explained to my officers that the doors were locked and she could not gain entry. So she used the golf club to smash the window off to gain entry to unlock the door.
TUCHMAN: Did she have a golf club with her at the time?
SAYLOR: I don't know where the golf club came from.
TUCHMAN: I mean, she went back again, she could have gotten the keys and opened the door maybe.
SAYLOR: And it sounds like that's part of what you would do.
TUCHMAN: I mean, does this sound - I certainly don't want to put words in your mouth but does this sound a little unusual and suspicious this case?
SAYLOR: It sounds unusual but, like I said, we're not the investigative agency. So we were first responders on our mutual aid to help him out. And we didn't know it was Tiger Woods. We just knew that there was a male down.
TUCHMAN: And final question did his wife make a statement you to?
SAYLOR: No, the only statement she made was that she was upset and that she broke the window and forgot the keys and she took him out of the vehicle and laid him down on the street.
TUCHMAN: Chief, thank you very much for talking with us. I appreciate it.
SAYLOR: Thank you. Yes sir.
TUCHMAN: Tiger Woods is scheduled to play this week coming up in the Chevron World Challenge. That's a golf tournament Thousand Oaks, California. He's won it four times before. It's a very important tournament for him because money raised during the tournament goes to his foundation. Not clear yet if he will play in it.
Erica, back to you.
HILL: Gary, some good details from you tonight. Thanks for trying to press the officer there for some more information.
No reflection, of course, on Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry or any of the top ranked golfers in the world. They compete, of course with, Tiger Woods. But when they're all off the course, frankly, no one is in his league.
Tiger Woods is a billion dollar business. In fact, he's a one word brand name Tiger or Tiger, Inc. if you will.
Joe Johns now with an "Up Close" look.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whether you like professional golf or not -- in some ways, we are all at least followers of the career of Tiger Woods. We watch him, some obsessively. Not only because of his continued world dominance of his sport but because he is probably the best known athlete from any sport in the world.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS: This is Tiger Woods. Everything he does is upheld the utmost scrutiny worldwide. He is a golfing icon. But he transcends the sport, there's no doubt about it.
JOHNS: Though he is still a few wins away from the consensus claim of greatest pro golfer ever...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sneaks it in. Tiger Woods...
JOHNS: He is currently the highest paid. $110 million in winnings last year an unprecedented $1 billion in his career; including endorsements, appearances, business relationships with companies like Nike. He gets an estimated $20 million a year just from Nike for adding his brand to their line of golf equipment.
He got $10 million apiece for three golf courses he's helped develop in Dubai, North Carolina, and Mexico. He's also attached his name to Gatorade and Gillette, American Express because they want to be associated with what he's best known for.
SNELL: Wins everything. He keeps winning. He's a winning machine. And he settles for nothing but the best.
JOHNS: He has single-handedly re-branded and expanded the game, bringing in countless fans who probably would never have picked up a golf club if they hadn't seen Tiger do what he does.
His personal story is compelling. He married a Swedish model, they have two beautiful children. He's a mix race kid, son of a mother from Thailand, his late father, an elite American Green Beret soldier, said to have nicknamed Tiger after a man who saved his life in Vietnam.
And beyond all this, there is the charity, the giving back that makes him so popular. The Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, just days away, is a benefit for his Tiger Woods Foundation and other charities. Attention will be paid to Tiger's appearance or nonappearance at that event. Which just goes to show how watching Tiger and what he does on and off the golf course is now an international pastime.
Joe Johns, CNN, New York.
HILL: Ahead, some insight on just what makes Tiger tick from one of the top sports writers in the country.
Plus, Black Friday in a store where things got so out of hand, customers were sent home.
Plus, a late update to our investigation of the priest, the son he fathered and a mother's quest for justice.
HILL: You just saw Gary Tuchman's interview with the Windermere police chief who seemed to have a lot to say about really how little we know about what happened early this morning. State police, as he mentioned, are investigating. There are 911 tapes. No doubt we will be learning more in the days ahead.
But the fact is here few celebrities have a tighter grip on their image and on their private life than Tiger Woods. I spoke about that and a bit more earlier tonight with Christine Brennan of "USA Today".
HILL: We have learned, Christine, that his wife actually apparently was up, though. She heard the crash inside the house. Came outside, used a golf club, somewhat ironically, to help get him out of the vehicle, break a window. Do we know what was happening with them beforehand? Had she been up or just heard the crash and it woke her up?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, "USA TODAY": Erica, we don't know. I think that's the one thing that's kind of surprising -- several surprising aspects to this story, of course, on a slow news day. But one of the things is Tiger Woods is controlling of his image as anyone maybe on the planet. Not just athlete, anyone in our culture. I mean this guy guards his image, his Web site, everything about him, it has been controlled from the get go; from when he said hello world as a young new pro which was part of a Nike campaign back in the mid 1990s.
This is so uncharacteristic to have this kind of thing for a guy who never colors outside the lines. I think that's the part. I think Tiger will be giving us answers, Erica, simply because he's going to have to because he is such a powerful and important person, not only in sports but in our culture.
HILL: You mentioned how intensely private he is, Christine. When do you think those answers will come? Because we know he has an appearance scheduled Tuesday. Before then? BRENNAN: Tiger and his people, his camp will clearly make that decision. If they don't want talk before then, they won't talk before then. But I think that it's because he's so public and because he has sought that out because he's making the millions of dollars in endorsements. He is very much someone who has wanted the public's money and interest and has thrived on.
I think that because it's so strange, because the questions you're asking, because of all day the things we've been talking about, it just seems to beg the question that I think Tiger might want to have an answer or his people will be giving us more information I would hope in the next 24 hours.
HILL: Yes. A lot of people hoping for those answers. What about within the sports community? What is the reaction been today?
BRENNAN: Of course, it's a quiet day. And so it's been the lead story in sports. There's a lot of college football games, as you know, Erica. So that -- to steal the spotlight from college football isn't easy but Tiger Woods has.
And it's, you know, it's because it's so unusual; because we don't hear about this with Tiger Woods. Because Tiger Woods, what's he doing at 2:30 in the morning? He'll answer that question. I know we'll -- I'm sure we'll get the answer to that. And we'll get a lot of answers because people will want to know.
We in the sports community, sports journalism community will want to ask those questions as well. But I think it's more shock, surprise, obviously people are relieved that he's not injured more seriously. That's number one on the list. And now the question, what were you doing? What's going on? Why did your wife have the golf club and now she's breaking down the window in the back. A lot of questions.
I know that Tiger Woods and his people will give us answers because we will -- as I said, we will demand those answers, fans of his, his endorsers obviously and the people who pay millions will want to know those answers.
HILL: Again that was Christine Brennan of "USA Today" joining me earlier to night.
Still ahead, new information about the priest who fathered a child more than 20 years ago.
First though, Tom Foreman joining us again this time with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- hi Tom.
FOREMAN: Hey, Erica.
Wall Street took a tumble today over worries about a $60 billion debt crisis facing Dubai. The Dow down to 154 points, closing the short Black Friday trading day at 10,309; the Nasdaq dipped 37 and the S&P lost 19 points. The U.S. stepped up pressure on Iran today warning Tehran of new economic sanctions. The warning follows a resolution by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency demanding Iran stop construction of its recently revealed nuclear plant and end its uranium enrichment program.
The number of Americans with diabetes is expected to nearly double over the next 25 years to about 44 million with the disease. That's according to a new study at the University of Chicago. Researchers also say the cost of treating diabetes will triple to $336 billion.
And a Walmart store in southern California ejected all of its customers for about three hours early this morning when shoppers started fighting over bargain merchandise. Walmart changed its procedures for Black Friday crowd control after a guard was trampled to death at a New York store last year -- Erica.
HILL: Amazing that people are fighting over that stuff. And it happens at like 3:00 in the morning. You would think that (INAUDIBLE) would kick in at that point from the turkey. Everybody just relax. Tom thanks.
Coming up Monday on 360, women breaking barriers on the battlefield: GI Janes play crucial roles in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And the number of women commanding all male units has risen. There are also more high ranking women in the Armed Forces. But they're pioneering work comes at a heavy price.
We'll take a closer look Monday on 360.
Up next tonight on the program, a follow on a secret revealed: the son of a Catholic priest. The church paid child support to his mother but only if she kept the affair secret. She is now speaking out as are church officials.
HILL: For many this is the time of year when loved ones gather close. The holidays though are anything but joyful for the woman you're about to meet.
In fact she has a heartbreaking story of faith, family and the extreme lengths taken by the Catholic Church and its officials to keep a priest's secret.
As you'll see in this "360 Follow" that secret is that the priest has a son. The child's mother says church officials agreed to pay child support if she kept quiet. But when her son became ill, she claims the church largely abandoned them.
Here again is Gary Tuchman.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): This photo doesn't nearly tell the whole story. This priest not only baptized this baby, but he is also the baby's father. And that fact will be kept secret for 22 years.
It was a secret forged in a legal agreement between the church officials and the mother. Her name is Pat Bond.
(on camera): So they told you if you sign this you could never talk about it?
PATRICIA BOND, HAD CHILD WITH CATHOLIC PRIEST: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): In the agreement, Henry Willenborg, a Franciscan priest, declared he is baby's father. And in exchange for her silence, the agreement promises the Franciscans would quietly pay financial support for her son.
(on camera): Confidential?
BOND: Yes. Oh, yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Pat says at the time she was very vulnerable. She left her husband for the priest. Was under psychological care and had considered suicide. She says she was intimidated by church negotiators and that she had poor legal advice.
But she saw no other way to support her son. His father, the priest, had no intention of leaving the priesthood, even though she says they continued their relationship.
(on camera): Patricia bond was a very devoted Catholic. She loved her church. And as it turns out, she loved her priest.
This is the church in Quincy, Illinois, where her son Nathan was baptized by Father Willenborg. And right across the street from the church this green house. This is where she used to live. She says Willenborg would celebrate mass during the day and often come here to sleep with her during the night.
(voice-over): The secret relationship would end after five years. Nathan was a toddler. Pat worried about how to care for him. She felt the church agreement she signed wasn't enough, but she kept her silence.
Her son, Nathan, grew up, smart, athletic, popular. But, three years ago, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
(on camera): What's the prognosis now?
BOND: I'm losing my son.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Doctors say Nathan may only have weeks to live. The church has paid for some medical care. But Pat had to fly him to New York this summer for late-stage cancer treatment. They had to stay for weeks. BOND: And I begged -- and I am saying that I begged the church, "Please, send us help."
TUCHMAN: The Franciscans gave her $1,000. But it was only a tiny fraction of the cost. Pat says she pleaded for more, saying church officials had a moral obligation.
(on camera): And what did the church say?
BOND: They said, no, we are not Nathan's biological father. We have no legal obligation to your son.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Franciscan Provincial Minister Father William Spencer would not go on camera, but, in a letter to CNN, he says, "Our payments have exceeded legal requirements."
He also writes: "When the mother made requests on multiple occasions, we made further payments for the child's support, education, health care." In total, the Franciscans tell CNN, Pat Bond received about $233,000 over the last 22 years. But, doing the math, that averages less than $11,000 a year.
(on camera): The Franciscans' insistence that they have been generous over the years with Pat Bond seems to miss the larger point. And that is, why was such an agreement signed in the first place? In the Catholic religion, priests are not allowed to have children. So, why didn't the Franciscans say to Father Willenborg: "Listen, you have had a child. You can no longer be a priest. So, take care of your child. Take care of the woman you had the child with"?
And why, pray tell, was this agreement confidential?
(voice-over): We wanted to ask these questions to the man who made that decision, who was the lead negotiator 22 years ago. Pat Bond says she didn't know what became of him, but she remembers his name.
BOND: Father Bob Karris.
TUCHMAN: And this is:
REV. ROBERT KARRIS, FORMER FRANCISCAN PROVINCIAL MINISTER: Father Robert Karris.
TUCHMAN: We found him at Saint Bonaventure University in New York State, where he is a renowned scholar.
Up next on 360, part two of Gary Tuchman's report. What Gary discovered when he met with the man who negotiated that secret agreement between the church and the mother of the child.
HILL: Before the break, we told you about how officials in the Catholic Church paid a woman child support but only if she agreed to keep quiet about the son she had with the priest. The mother says church officials have betrayed their promise to help them. They say they did not. We'll have more on that in a moment.
But first, Gary Tuchman continues his report in our "360 Follow" beginning with the search for the priest with the secret.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Father Robert Karris is the priest who represented the Franciscans 20 years ago when they offered Pat Bond a legal agreement. In exchange for her silence, they would pay to support the boy she had with Franciscan priest Henry Willenborg. Instead of seriously punishing Father Henry, Karris says they sent him to a treatment center and that he was ultimately back in the church community.
As for Nathan, Father Henry's son...
REV. ROBERT KARRIS, FORMER FRANCISCAN PROVINCIAL MINISTER: We are doing and are committed to continue to do what is best for Nathan, the son of our brother.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Do you think you should have said to Father Henry, "We don't really want you in the church anymore. You've had a child. Get a job. Take care of this woman and take care of your child. That's the best thing for Nathan. Not the church sending money. You taking care of him."
Don't you think that would have been the right thing to do?
KARRIS: Well, there are broken families. There are families which...
TUCHMAN: But the church is in the business of being ethical and humane. And wouldn't that have been the best thing for Nathan, for Father Henry to take care of his son?
KARRIS: It would have been the best thing. But that's not the reality.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Barbara Blaine founded a group called SNAP. It helps women who have had sexual relationships with priests. She says that the same pattern, for the truly faithful a priest has an exalted position. Victims are vulnerable because they offer unconditional trust.
BARBARA BLAINE, SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS: The church here is trying to protect themselves. And we believe that keeping secrets is what has enabled the abuse to go on for so long.
TUCHMAN (on camera): When you had discussions with your colleagues, protecting the church was part of the reason you wanted to have this confidential agreement. Right?
KARRIS: That is part of the reason, yes.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But he also says protecting Pat Bond and Nathan was another part.
(on camera): Was the church concerned about your son?
BOND: Oh, no. No. Never, ever. Not now, not then, not ever, no. They were concerned about getting us out of their life. And I guarantee you the day my son goes, the church will rejoice because he's...
TUCHMAN: Because he's what?
BOND: Because he's gone.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But Nathan is still fighting and has a remarkable attitude.
NATHAN HALBACH, SON OF PRIEST: If I just live my life as happy as I can during this time and just have all the fun I have before that horrible stuff happens.
TUCHMAN: He hasn't seen his dad for many years.
So where is Father Henry? For the last four years he'd been a priest in this Ashland, Wisconsin church, where he was extremely popular. His boss, this man, a bishop.
BISHOP PETER CHRISTENSEN, DIOCESE OF SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN: The innocent one in this is Nathan.
TUCHMAN: But the bishop has not punished Father Willenborg for fathering Nathan.
However, he did take action against him for another reason. Only last month the bishop suspended Father Henry because of new allegations, that when he was having an affair with Pat Bond, he was also having relations with another woman while she was under 18.
(on camera): Because of the allegation that he had an affair with a minor, you decided you needed to suspend him?
TUCHMAN: And was there any other reason you suspended him?
CHRISTENSEN: No. That would be it.
TUCHMAN: The bishop says Father Henry denies an improper relationship with that woman when she was a minor. With the suspension, he's no longer at the church. And no one seems to be able to tell us where he is.
We went to the Franciscan offices in St. Louis where he used to live.
(on camera): Is Father Willenborg here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As far as I've known, no, I have not seen him at all. TUCHMAN (voice-over): But we had his cell phone number, and he did answer.
(on camera): The reason I'm calling you is we're doing a story about -- he hung up on me.
(voice-over): "The New York Times" did get a comment from him, Willenborg telling the paper, "We've been very caring, very supportive, very generous over these 20-something years. It's very tragic what's going on with Nathan."
(on camera): After Father Willenborg hung up on me, I called him back again, got his voice mail and left my phone number. I also left my phone number with one of his assistants inside the church. But he's chosen to remain silent with me. Silence from Henry Willenborg is painfully familiar to his son.
How do you feel about him right now?
HALBACH: It's -- it's hard. He's never really been around. He's popped up here and there throughout my life. But I've never, never gotten the full respect and love out of him that I always wanted.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And now this painful discussion: What happens when Nathan dies? How to pay for his funeral?
BOND: They're questioning is having a staff at the visitation necessary?
TUCHMAN: But after we interviewed her, lawyers for the Franciscans wrote this. It says, "We will cover 100 percent of the expenses of Nathan's interment and monument/memorial expenses." And, they add, "Please advise if there is any additional assistance that the Franciscans can provide to Nathan at this time."
She hopes it means the Franciscans will pay for a part-time nurse at home for Nathan, because recently Pat learned she may not be able to take care of everything herself.
BOND: In June I was diagnosed with carcinoid (ph) cancer.
TUCHMAN: But for now, she says, she must focus on her son. They've decided he will die at home.
TUCHMAN: We originally aired this story two weeks ago.
And tonight we have a very sad and disturbing development. Last night, Thanksgiving evening, Nathan slipped into a coma. And 90 minutes ago his mother Pat called me and said Nathan passed away in his bed. He would have been 23 years old next month -- Erica.
HILL: Gary, it's heartbreaking.
I understand, too, in the time since we originally aired this story, that you've actually been contacted by the Franciscans. What's the latest on that?
TUCHMAN: Right. A lawyer for the Franciscans sent us a letter saying that there were corrections and retractions that they requested that we make. I took a careful look at our work. My bosses -- our bosses, Erica, took a careful look at our work. Our CNN attorneys took a careful look at our work, and we've all deemed there are no corrections warranted.
Nevertheless, to be transparent, we wanted to address their main concern that was in the very beginning of their letter. They said they agreed to pay funeral costs, and it had nothing to do with CNN or any reporting. But they agreed to pay those funeral costs before our story aired.
Nevertheless, their quote was, "We sent a check to the cemetery on Friday, October 30." But we need to tell you that on Thursday, October 29, the day before, that's the day that we called the Franciscans, wanted to interview Reverend William Spencer, who is their boss in St. Louis. We were told he would not talk us to; made it very clear we were doing the story. That was also the day that we interviewed Pat Bond, on October 29; so all of those things happened the day before.
In addition, a couple of weeks before that, "The New York Times" did their original reporting on this story. Their fine religion reporter, Laurie Goodstein, did a story. So there's lots of things that were in motion before they sent that check covering the funeral costs for Nathan.
So we should tell that you this letter they sent us was full of all kind of legalisms, but it backs up the point of our original reporting; that there has not been a lot of moral responsibility by people who are in the business of morality and ethics. That has not happened very much over the 22 years of Nathan's life.
He passed away with his mother next to him in his bed. His father, the priest, we still don't know where he is -- Erica.
HILL: So tough. This was the only upside there is, that he was able to pass at home with his mother, as both of them intended and as they wanted. Gary thanks.
And our condolences, of course, go out to the family tonight.
The president of the Catholic League and the president of SNAP, Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, faced off over this controversy with us recently. You can see their interview with Anderson on our Web site at AC360.com.
Coming up, meet CNN's Hero of the Year, who has dedicated his life to helping kids get an education in the Philippines. His inspiring interview with Anderson just ahead.
HILL: If you had a chance to watch last night's tribute to CNN Heroes, you know our hero of 2009 is a 28-year-old from the Philippines. Born into extreme poverty, just trying to stay out of gangs when he was in high school, Efren Penaflorida ended up keeping hundreds of other young Filipinos off the streets, and educating thousands of poor children, just by taking them to school, in push carts.
It is a remarkable story. Anderson Cooper sat down with Efren just moments after he won the award.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, CNN HEROES: You just won. Congratulations. How does it feel?
EFREN PENAFLORIDA, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR 2009: Thank you. It's unbelievable. I am shaking. I am really nervous. I could not totally believe that you said my name.
COOPER: Why did you start your organization?
PENAFLORIDA: I was bullied and I was discriminated because the gangs. Our mentor told us to make a group that -- to be an alternative.
COOPER: What do you think it is that made you different? You grew up in a shanty town near a dump. A lot of people don't survive that.
PENAFLORIDA: I went to school maybe because of the lifestyle of poverty that I have.
COOPER: What is it you think that made a difference in your life, enough that you were able to say, "I'm not just going to help myself, I'm going the help other people."
PENAFLORIDA: It's the people who helped me to be the person who I am now.
COOPER: You've been awarded now $125,000, an extra $10,000 from (INAUDIBLE). What kind of a difference will that money make?
PENAFLORIDA: The exposure helped us a lot. And also, a lot of people are donating. We're planning to have a center for learning that will help children to experience that learning is fun. Have at least an opportunity to be educated and to play and to be treated -- their wounds to be treated.
COOPER: You're going to be able to help a lot more kids.
COOPER: Congratulation. I'm so happy for you.
PENAFLORIDA: Thank you very much.
COOPER: I hope it sinks in. PENAFLORIDA: Yes.
HILL: Probably going take a little while. You can watch the momentum Efren won and in fact the entire "CNN HEROES TRIBUTE" tomorrow and Sunday night right here on CNN at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.
That does it for this edition of 360. I'm Erica Hill sitting in for Anderson.
Thanks for joining us tonight.
"LARRY KING" starts right now.