tv Larry King Live CNN November 21, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
joe anna mayo doesn't feel her husband betrayed anyone when he shot one of the iraqis in the back of the head next to a baghdad canal. >> i knew he was on trial for murdering the iraqi detainees that they had captured. >> it was hard for you to say the word murder. >> yeah. that's not the word i want to
use. i just can't think of -- >> you don't look at your husband like a murderer? >> no. not at all. >> she says her husband is a good soldier. he was awarded the purple heart after an ied exploded resulting in a brain injury. his doctor told her he still suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and memory loss. it was his third combat deployment. >> i think that he's given a sacrifice a lot. i think he's -- he's a war hero. he's not a criminal. >> the mayos have been married for nine years, they have three children. the oldest is 11 years old. >> who's that? >> da. >> da da? >> their youngest is 15 months.
then there's 6-year-old joseph. from watching him play you can't tell there is anything wrong. but he suffers from congenital scoliosis and johana, legally blind, cannot drive. she can barely make out her husband's letters. how are you doing? i miss you so much. >> he drove the kids around. he took care of their homework and anything, grocery shopping, everything. i rely a lot on him for everything and now i feel like i have to turn to my daughter a lot and she's only 11. >> the incident at the canal that day changed this family. are you angry at all at your husband for him making that decision? >> no. not at all. knowing how my husband felt
about those soldiers, about those soldiers were his family. and knowing that what he did was to protect his family it -- it doesn't make me angry at all. >> these military wives are used to their husbands not being home, but this, they say, is different. once decorated heroes their husbands are not convicted war criminals. sergeant first class mayo pleaded guilty to the murder charges. the other two sergeants were convicted at trial. kim hatley, the wife of first sergeant john hatley, says she refuses to let herself cry even in private because she needs to be strong for her husband and her 19-year-old son who is now fighting in afghanistan. some people might call your husband a murderer. >> mm-hmm. >> what do you call him? >> i call him a good man. >> she has no reason to stay in germany any longer.
she's packing up her life and moving to texas. her husband's home state. >> okay. here's the card for you, too. >> oh, thanks. >> jamie leahy, the wife of mike leahy, works at her mom's beauty salon. it was never part of the plan but keeps her occupied. is it up setting when people look at him and say monster. >> it does. you don't know who you are talking about at all. he is a person. he's a son. he's my husband. >> and johana mayo, the wife of sergeant first class joseph mayo struggles to hold her family together. do you believe you'll get through this? >> yes. i know we will. it's just -- it's just, you know, it's hard right now but we'll get through it. >> three wives now waging a battle of their own.
they want their husbands home, but they have a long wait. cnn requested interviews with each of the three soldiers but army policy prohibits media interviews with prisoners, yet this man was given rare access. we met up with him outside the gates of ft.leavenworth. he is a socialology professor and has written books about war crimes and consulted with the defense on the leahy and mayo cases which allows him in the prison. >> they are afraid people look at them sand say monsters. they are not. they have no prior records. michael hayly told me, you know, if they let me out tomorrow i won't do any crime. i never did before. what people don't understand is we are different people over there. >> he says both mayo and leahy have lost weight and have a hard
time sleeping. do you think from your conversation from them that they care about what americans think about them? >> they care a lot. yes. you have to remember in their minds they are patriotic. in fact, one of them said to me they feel the army misused their patriotism. they feel betrayed by the army. >> he did not meet with hatley, but now we hear from him for the first time from inside ft. leavenworth. in this letter to cnn he writes the guidelines established for detaining and prosecuting the enemy has extensive flaws. hatley says he would capture the enemy and be forced to release them two to three days later because of lack of evidence or the weapons or explosives found on the individuals were not found in the same portion of the house that the insurgents were found in. he says he repeatedly found himself fighting the same enemy
again and again. i assure you, he writes, the military spared no expense in the prosecution of my soldiers and me. if they would have spent half the time, effort, and money in prosecuting the enemy as they had in prosecuting us i assure you we would have never found ourselves in our current situation. lawyers say it could take years for the appeals process to be completed but the one
outstanding question, of course, is for soldiers on the battlefield could this happen again. >> thanks for watching the special investigations unit "killings at the canal, the army tapes." >> larry: tonight, patrick swayze's wife, lisa niemi, on her husband's last days of courage and love and torment, battling a deadly disease and torment. she says cancer took his life but didn't beat him. his brother, donny, is here, too, revealing the true bravery that his family saw.
larry connick jr. the crooner is here with the megaproducer clive davis. plus jenny stepanick, mother of one of our favorite guests ever. all next on "larry king live." >> larry: actor patrick swayze died at the age of 57, two years after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. he was married to lisa niemi. she is actor, director, producer and dancer. she is the author of "the time of my life." donny is here. he completed a western where he is a villain. there was nothing villainous about the swayzes.
patrick was scheduled to be on the show the night he went to the hospital with pneumonia. you look up the word special in the dictionary and you get patrick. how did you write it. >> i was bothering before that putting down his thoughts in a book. i'll get a video camera, you just talk. i'll record it. a lot of it is recording and shaping all that stuff. the book, it's very much written how he talks. >> larry: yeah, it is. >> very, very candid, as only patrick could be. and he is famous for being sometimes because sometimes you never -- you never knew what he was going to say next.
>> how are you doing, donny? it's been two months? >> hanging in there. right after he passed and we had the memorial, i guess there's a little bit of a feeling, at least his pain, he's not in pain anymore, so i was. >> larry: happy for that? >> happy that he wasn't in pain. then i had this western i went off and filmed. >> larry: you did a movie, right? >> at first, i wasn't sure i would be able to. i thought it was too soon. strapping on a gun and going to play the lead villain was a little bit therapeutic, i have to say. i got to vent lot of frustrations. >> you got to let it all hang out, i'm sure. >> larry: how are you dealing with it, lisa? by the way, you don't call yourself a widow? you call yourself a wife? >> either of those labels don't -- of course, i'm still his wife. more than anything, he's always going to be in my heart. that's the way it was when we were married also.
>> larry: it was a real love affair. great pictures. getting married in a dance studio. you two were poor. >> yeah, we managed to eat on 20 bucks a week. that wasn't so hard to do when you were dancing and watching your weight. >> larry: tell me about pancreatic cancer, which this is killer name to people. they hear pancreatic cancer, 5% live, right? >> make it to five years. >> only 5% make it to five years. >> larry: how did you learn it? how did he learn it? >> he was having indigestion problems and noticed he had jaundice. we immediately got him in and everything kind of snowballed from there. i didn't know a lot about pancreatic cancer at that point but he did. when he got that diagnosis, the first thing unfortunately because of pancreatic cancer, he said, i'm a dead man. it's a really tough, tough,
merciless disease, especially in the advanced stages, which he was diagnosed. of course, someone was just mentioning about how hard it is to live, you know, with this knowledge and fight this disease. but for us, every day, every week was a supreme victory. it wasn't like, oh, my go, could we make it to six months, it was, yes, we made it. >> larry: i told you before we went on, i met his doctor, dr. hoffman, who thought he was an amazing patient. i asked him, you have to pick up pancreatic cancer early so you can operate and a 14 hour operation if you get it early. i said, how do you spot it early? you'd have to take a cat scan every week. >> just about. >> larry: did he deal with it bravely? >> it was unbelievable. i wasn't with them when they first found out he had pancreatic cancer. i was there when they got the
phone call finding out how bad it was. i was there when he found out it me tastized to the liver. i was looking at my big brother's eyes and he didn't even flinch. what was going through his eyes, in about 15 seconds his eyes narrowed, it's time to jam and get busy. it was amazing. throughout the entire 20 months, he faced every roadblock with amazing courage. >> larry: did he think, lisa, he could defeat it or was he holding on as long as he could to live? >> this is why we got treatment, you know, because there will be that first person who has the kind of pancreatic cancer he had which was a carcinoma at an advanced stage. there was that first person that beats it. >> larry: he is going to be the first? >> why not? why not? we called ourselves realistic
optimists. we knew what a tough road we had ahead of us and at the same time, we held out the best of hope he could be the first. >> larry: what did you feel like inside though? >> every day, i love what someone had said, every day was like a 911 emergency. you were on call 24 hours a day, ready for anything, you know, you wake up ready to fight it's -- you know, it's a tough -- it's very tough -- >> larry: a lot of pain, right? >> underneath it. but for me, it was important to me -- if i was going to cry, i went and did it with my close girlfriends. >> larry: that's what i meant, did you do that? >> yeah. out of his sight, when he didn't know. when he looked at me, i wanted him to know he would be okay. >> larry: lisa's biggest regret is something she didn't tell patrick nearly enough.
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the author, the late -- hard to say that, the late patrick swayze and his wife lisa niemi. your regret you were going to tell us about, you didn't tell him you loved him enough. >> that's what it felt like. in the almost last two years he was fighting this, i said it, probably, i lost count how many times i said it. >> larry: did you say you should have said it more? >> you know what, especially after losing him, you know, i regretted every bump we ever had in our relationship. i regretted every time i yelled at him, i regretted every mistake i ever made and wished i could go back and fix it. at the same time, particularly, like looking back at our whole life together, as we did in this book, you know, i have to remind myself that when i look at that story, i'm also very proud of those bumps because we always came out the other side.
relationships are not easy. >> larry: how close were you with him, donnie? >> we were very close. i'm six years younger but i liked to hang around as the little brother. i was 6 and he was 12, he'd argue with his friends, donnie is coming with me. >> larry: he didn't push you away? >> no. >> larry: most big brothers push little brothers away. >> larry: patrick talked with barbara walters about the fact he was dying. >> are you scared? >> i don't know. i'm being either truthful or stupid as to say no. but then i immediately when i say that, i have to say, yes, i am. >> larry: how was he? scared or not? >> he had his dark moments,
that's for sure. he -- you know, he never talked about it too much, though. >> larry: no. >> no. >> larry: were you with him when he died? >> yeah. >> larry: died in the hospital or at home? >> home. that was a big decision to bring him home. some people were encouraging to keep him in the hospital simply because it usually is easier on the family. >> larry: were you there, donnie? >> yeah. we were both there. holding his hand. >> larry: they say people die as you live. if you were brave, you die brave. di he die brave? >> very much so. it's kind of -- donnie and i were talking about this, it's kind of hilarious because patrick has played all the tough guys in movies and has the guns and can do fighting. that's kind of actor tough. patrick was always saying how tough he was. i go, yeah, yeah, that's the movies, honey. in reality, he blew me away. he really blew me away with his strength. >> larry: why? >> his strength and dignity and courage was --
>> larry: you knew he was going -- he knew he was going to die then, that day, did he know? >> i -- you know, even then we didn't say it out loud i actually talked to a nurse about that. i said, you know, we haven't really said -- once he was on that journey, out of this world, it went pretty fast. i asked the nurse, i said, we haven't really talked about it, i haven't really said, you know, are we both looking at the same thing here? she said, trust me, he knows, he knows. so we just -- >> larry: we have a great and timely web exclusive for you. julie fleischman is president and ceo of the pancreatic cancer action network. you can read her thoughts on the death of patrick swayze. at cnn.com/larryking. back with lisa and donnie in 60 seconds. american renewal. helping doctors help patients. in healthcare advancements cancer detection medical records, health for more people. means never forgetting is everything. is happening. right now.
of his famous roles. ♪ >> i'm telling you straight, it's my way or the highway. >> he likes to show off his muscles. >> i will show them off on you, little buddy. >> what a crock of -- >> what is that? >> i think tomorrow is a say-something hat day. >> larry: thought he was going to be a dancer, right? >> what? >> larry: he thought he was going to be a dancer. >> absolutely. >> larry: you ballet danced together? >> oh, yes. yeah. that was his -- his first job leaving home was his -- as a dancer.
and -- unfortunately, his -- or fortunately, depending which way you look at it, you know, bad knee injury that he had previously pretty much put an end to that. >> he was once written up in "dance magazine" as the strongest male dancer in the united states and compared him to the bolshoi dapsers. one of 12 world's first innovations. the lexus ls. inspiring an industry. ♪ [ female announcer ] today's health care system is leaving countless americans stranded. that's why aarp is fighting to put people first,
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there is my relationship with lisa. i can no more imagine living without her than i can living without my own heart. >> this is a terrific book and one of the surprising revelations is after being together 30 years you packed a few suitcases and left the media never knew. was it over drink something. >> yeah. i think for the most part. because -- i mean, like i -- i think -- everybody pretty much knows what an amazing guy he is. but, you know, alcohol can do some pretty bad things. >> larry: how long were you apart? >> a year. >> larry: was that hard? >> it was very hard. of course, i was only about 15
minutes away. we talked every day. we saw each other most days. and -- but -- you know, but -- at that point, you know, i didn't feel like i had much of a choice. and -- i had -- really had to be willing to lose the relationship. and to his credit, you know, things turned around and when we did get back together, you know, we had some -- still had rough bumps and everything. it was really good we did because it was better than ever. >> larry: you were telling me during the break, you still have the arches? >> yeah. >> larry: are you going to spread them over the ranch? >> that was his wish. yeah. that's -- yeah -- yeah. he mentioned that. also, it was hard to get anything about any kind of wishes he would have after he died because we never -- we never -- we were always -- >> larry: pessimistic. >> exactly. we didn't want to talk about the negative stuff. yeah, the ranch and also there is a particular mountain in new mexico that i get to look at frequently. >> larry: you acted after he died, you did this western. right? >> yes. >> larry: how did it affect you when you acted? >> well, i was playing a bit of a monster of a character.
i put the full force of everything i was feeling. all the pain of -- you know, having to drive my brother to his chemo treatments and dodging paparazzi on the way. and then to lose my best friend and mentor. i just put it -- >> larry: when does the movie come out? >> i think march. they are talking about -- called "heathens and thieves." they will circulate it. >> spoken like a good actor. uses the pain for something constructive. >> larry: that's what you do. >> i did. maybe some of the crew members wished i was easier to deal with on the set. >> larry: john kennedy said life isn't fair. obviously it isn't. are you bitter? why did it happen to us? >> you know -- someone asked me am i angry yet. i said, no, but it is a coming. i can feel it. i have -- i have since then touched on that. there's been cynicism that's definitely come up. >> larry: what about you,
donny? >> i just miss him terribly. you know, i -- everything i do, i mean, we did so many things that were similar. >> larry: i speak for all of us when i say we all do. >> >> thank you. >> thank you. >> larry: the book is patrick swayze and lisa niemi, "the time of my life." if you want more information about pancreatic cancer or want to make a donation to the patrick swayze pancreatic cancer research fund at stanford university, go to our blog at cnn.com/larryking. up next, harry connick jr. with clive davis making fabulous music together. stick around.
>> larry: what an honor to welcome to "larry king live" two of my favorite people, harry connick jr., the singer, pianist, he sold 25 million albums worldwide and his new one maybe his best. its title is "your song" contains some of the best songs ever written. with him is clive davis, a legend in his own time, rock 'n' roll hall of famer, responsible for discovering janice joplin, whitney houston and those are just a few. do you still produce or did you do it for harry? >> i do very much selectively. i produced a whitney houston comeback album and we are in the
studio with carlos santana, but this is the first time ever for me. we had never collaborated before. i was the one who approached him. >> larry: you approached him. >> yes, i did. >> larry: how did you feel, harry, after you heard from the legendary clive davis? >> i was excited after i heard who he was. i never worked with a producer before other than a guy i worked with -- i've known him since high school. this was sort of an outside input on somebody of clive's level. i was blown away at the prospect of doing that. >> larry: your generations are different. did you have problems? >> oh, no. >> larry: did you have disagreements. >> we had disagreements not because of generational issues. we knew what record we wanted to make it was a matter of finding
each other's language off. we come from two different places. clive comes from rock -- >> larry: rock. >> not only rock and don't interrupt me. he comes from an aymr point of view. are you laughing at the clown now? >> larry: no. i'm wondering what it is like to interview someone when you are never going to interview them again. go ahead. >> we come from different worlds. i come from a practice room. clive comes from a different place. it is finding the common ground. which took a few meetings. >> the common ground here to me was show how great songs can have a long life and can be sung and resung and reinterpreted. great songs. >> larry: you are not associated with songs like just the way you
are, can't help falling in love. you are bruce springsteen. >> i was in the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. yes, i was involved with patty smythe and lou reed. every song whitney houston has ever recorded so more recently in the last few years i was looking for the best, to me, the best young contemporary pop singer in the world. that person is harry connick jr. >> larry: i'm going to agree. >> i was looking for an album where he could reinterpret songs. i love "some enchanted evening." my career began with broadway. "camelot" or "my fair lady." >> larry: you were at home? >> yes. >> larry: what about you, harry? >> i was. i don't know if you have seen
"south pacific." >> reporter: i haven't seen the new version. >> i came to clive with the song and said what about this? it is an incredible song if it fits. it is an amazing, very classic song. i recorded it. clive was like i don't know if it fits the record. we both realized after -- we thought it was going to be a bonus track and it ended up going on the cd. >> he did an incredible arrangement of it and brought a whole new feeling of "some enchanted evening" as he does with "the way you look tonight." he reported charlie chaplin's face, billy joel or close to you by the carpenters. >> larry: this is one of the great cds of the new century. >> wow. thanks, larry. >> larry: you are an
experimenter. i saw a concert you did in new york. you did all jazz. >> that is where it comes from being a jazz musician. all of these decisions come from the same place. what was so fascinating working with clive he said we know you are a jazz musician and write the orchestrations and do the conducting and scoring. let's put that aside and feature you as a singer co-starring with these great songs. so that is what this was all about. >> larry: where did you record? >> at capital. >> larry: here in l.a. in the round building? >> that's right. >> you should have heard him of him going in and seeing pictures of nat king cole. and he is going to record "mona lisa." >> that was amazing. >> larry: my father-in-law
signed the beaches. >> really? >> this is about me and clive. >> larry: i don't usually get personal. i threw that in as a touch to add the historic topic of the building you were in, harry. you are really pressing me, harry. i suddenly don't like this album. >> you think i care about your father-in-law and the beach boys. >> larry: okay. is this true. you weren't there most of the time he was record something. >> no. we met every week in my office six straight months. he has a studio in his home in connecticut. he would come in every wednesday with the tracks. he would sing live. we would go over tempo. >> which was weird by the way. clive has this incredible office in new york. >> larry: i know. i've been up there. >> i was sitting on this side of the table. he is sitting where you are.
i go in the studio, write the music, it is done. i would do these arrangements and clive was sitting across and i'd go, ♪ when somebody loves you clive would sit back and turn around and hit the play button, repeat the song. i'm thinking do i have to do it again. like six times later, bro, i'm going to blow my voice. this is every wednesday for like four hours. he would say, that song should be two beats a minute faster or at 1:50 -- >> larry: you would classify him a perfection snis. >> not only a perfectionist, but thorough. i was blown away. clive, you don't have to do that anymore. you can go float around on a yacht. >> larry: harry, can i get a break. >> in a minute. >> larry: we'll be back. this brilliant cd, you can tell
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album. i know with his voice, with his phrasing, that with great songs he was versatile. yes. he does that well. to some extent it is where he has been left of center it was moving a little closer to the center. but not to change either his integrity or change his imaginative arrangements. when he said, fearing, who is going to arrange this album. i looked him straight in the eye, you are. >> i thought it was going to be a different thing. >> you are. not to change him. when you hear all these songs on one album you want to hear harry connick and you want the melodies to come through and you want to swing to it. nobody does it better. that is my mission. to make sure the world knows this young man is the best contemporary pop singer in the world today. >> larry: do you always do your
own arrangements? >> i do. the first couple records i did were done by mark sheaman. since i was 22 i have done the orchestrating, conducts and everything. i had the kill. that is what i was worried about. i'm going to work with clive. he is probably going to say let's bring in a whole new team. so i tried to preempt him and say what about john williams or quincy jones. he said do you understand what we're trying to do? do you understand the formula here? we are trying to make an album that is easy to listen to that features you as a singer. not the lengthy jazz solos competing with your voice. i said, yeah. he said you should write it to preserve your musical identity. >> larry: what about the musicians? >> some of the guys that have been in my band. bruce dukoff. when you stand up with a
conductor's baton and start to conduct them you are standing in front of the greatest musicians in the world. >> he relaxed greatly after the basics were done. we looked to soloists. it has brandon marselis and winton. >> larry: besame mucho. >> my dad is fascinated with spanish culture. he studied to be a matador. he has been bugging me to record besame mucho for years.
i said what do you think about "besame mucho"? does that fit the criteria. he said that is great. what about singing half in spanish and half in english. to do that for my pop who speaks spanish. >> larry: do you speak spanish? >> hell, no. >> larry: you read it? >> i had a teacher come in who was with me in the studio in the control room. i had to get it as perfect as i could. i don't know how close it is but -- >> larry: do you think people will remember that song? >> without question. >> larry: a hit of the '40s. >> that's great. take a hit of the '40s, '50s, with an arranger like harry connick with an arranger like harry connick how wonderful it sounds. i'm getting letters from around
>> larry: harry connick jr., what are you called on this album? producer? >> co-producer with harry. >> larry: did it take guts to do a sinatra song "all the way" written for frank? >> was it written for him? i guess it was, that's right. "jokers wild," that's right. this probably sounds immodest, but i never think of being intimidated by -- what are you going to do? are you going to sing "all the way" better than frank "and i
love you" better than the beatles? by virtue of being me, i just go in the studio and try to interpret it as best i can. i don't even think about -- i've studied frank and nat and all these people. i sing "i can't help falling in love with you," how are you going to do that better than elvis. all you can do is really, really study the lyric, develop your -- please, again, don't interrupt. >> larry: i'm trying to lead you. >> there's one singer at the table and i think we all know who that is. >> larry: you're heckling me. >> you know, that particular song is -- even if -- it's like -- i feel like it was written for me. or if you sing it, you know, if you're singing that to your wife -- >> larry: a personal song. >> my god, in the lean years, the between years, all the way.
you don't even have to be a singer, as you just proved, to come out and say -- i'm just seeing how far i can go, larry. >> larry: this is give it to the jew night. >> technically i am jewish. my mother was jewish. >> larry: really? >> that's right. from manhattan. >> larry: that's where the talent comes from. okay. what is musicians village? >> musicians village is a project i started with branton marsalis, to build a bunch of homes for displaced new orleansans. our ideals was to get as many of the misplaced musicians back in the city. we've ended up building 80 residences with 80% of those homes being lived in by musicians and their families. and now we're just about to break ground on a big center for music called the ellis marsalis center for music. all the homes are lived in. legendary new orleanian
musicians live there. >> larry: i don't know anyone who's done more for his city than this man. >> thank you, larry. i love new orleans. >> larry: brad pitt going to be mayor? >> you know -- >> larry: there was a rumor they would try to get him to run for -- >> not that i know of. whoever is the next mayor, i'm hoping will have the right combination of personality and knowledge and surround himself or herself with the right people to do what needs to be done for that city. because it is such an american treasure, you know? >> larry: what a city. so who are you recording with now? >> right now, lewis, the new orders that i introduced last year, to show that. and the great guitar classics of all-time. santana, barry manilow -- >> larry: it never stops. >> and a new order called bcg,
who wrote for beyonce. and we're doing new material. >> larry: do you ever think of retiring? >> i never think of retiring. because i look at you more vital than ever. >> larry: me either. why didn't you follow up your film career? >> i'm still doing it. some films are more successful than others, just like recordings. i'm doing movies based on things i really want to do. if they become popular, that's great. the last couple i did was sort of smaller movies. but i still like to do it. >> larry: you're amazing. >> thanks, larry. i think the same about you and clive. it really is a great honor. >> larry: my honor. >> i'm screwing with you. i like to screw with clive a lot, too. it's all out of respect. not really for clive, but for you. >> larry: the amazingly talented harry connick jr. and clive davis. and the album is "your songs" and it's great. would you like to sing a song? >> what would you like?
>> larry: that was president jimmy carter at the funeral of maddy citypanic. hard to believe it's been five years since maddy left us. he suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, the same disease that claimed his three siblings. maddy was 13 when he died. but boy, did he make the most of those years. a poet, a peace advocate, a philosoph philosopher. he inspired millions with his message of hope and peace, and finding your heart song. and now there's an incredible new book out about his life. messenger, the legacy of mattie j.t. stepanek and heart songs. the author is mattie's mom, jenny, and she joins us now from washington. celebrating heroes month here at cnn. and i can paraphrase the president when i say of all the heroes i've known, mattie was the greatest.