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tv   Nightline  ABC  February 21, 2015 12:37am-1:08am EST

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, nascar suspends driver kurt busch indefinitely for alleged domestic violence just two days before the daytona 500. on the track he's known as the outlaw. and this evening a judge has ruled in favor of his ex-girlfriend patricia driscoll. >> he popped up out of bed and grabbed me by the throat. rescuing hannah. >> hannah's coming home. >> the incredible story of a 16-year-old girl her alleged kidnapper, and the fbi's desperate mission to save her life. this new surveillance video showing the standoff during the last moments of her captivity. one of these people is not going
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to make it out alive. neil and robin. just two days to the oscars and we're behind the scenes with host neil patrick harris revealing how he plans to pull off the most legend wait for, it ary awards show ever. but first, the "nightline" five.
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♪ good evening. thank you for joining us. historic news from nascar tonight. former champion kurt busch suspended indefinitely after a
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judge rules in favor of busch's ex-girlfriend, who says he abused her. busch is now the first driver nascar has ever suspended for domestic violence. here his alleged victim speaks out. he's one of nascar's star drivers, kurt busch. >> power off turn number 4. and the outlaw wins the battle at martindale. >> reporter: but tonight nascar is putting the brakes on his career suspending him after a judge found busch manually strangled his ex-girlfriend, patricia driscoll. driscoll sat down for an exclusive interview with "good morning america"'s michael strahan. >> and i never saw some of the warning signs. >> reporter: all this just days before one of the biggest races of the year the daytona 500. >> based on our review of the available details including the court's findings that were released earlier today nascar has indefinitely suspended driver kurt busch. >> reporter: she claimed her ex-boyfriend kurt busch assaulted her in september. she drove to busch's motor home
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with their 9-year-old son after she claims he texted her. she says her son was in the front of the motor home while she and kurt were alone in the back. >> long story short, he was saying some really weird and crazy things. very paranoid. and he popped up out of bed and grabbed me by the throat with one hand, and with the other hand he grabbed my face and he smashed my head into the wall three times. >> was there any warning that something like this could happen? >> no way. because if i had thought for one second that he was still angry or crazy, i never would have even come there. >> kurt busch has denied the allegations. his defense team fighting back, saying she's lashing out after busch broke up with her. >> when he rejected her, she set out on a pattern and a course of conduct to destroy him. and she told people that's what she's going to do. and this is all an orchestrated campaign to ruin the guy that decided he no longer wanted to
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be with her. >> reporter: his lawyer telling us his client did not assault driscoll. busch testifying he was the one that should be afraid. depicting her as a gun-toting assassin. >> i'm not a regular mom. i like to shoot as much as i like to dance and have sex. >> reporter: his defense team introducinge inging this video she pitched for a reality show. >> now he said some things about you in his testimony to the court, in which he said you were a government assassin. are you an assassin? >> do you feel threatened by me right now? >> it's something he's thrown out there. and it's a big accusation. we've heard people being called a lot of things but never a government assassin. >> i'm from west texas. i grew up shooting guns. i own a defense company. i heard some of the most ridiculous accusations in the four days of testimony. i can't even describe to you how hard it is to sit there and listen to these lies being told about you. and you can't take anything. >> reporter: a judge sided with her, granting a protective order
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against busch, saying there was sufficient evidence of domestic abuse. but kurt busch's lawyer saying it's just not true. >> after a bad race kurt blows up sometimes, and he's had that reputation within the racing community. but it's only applied to racing. it hasn't applied to relationships. but she testified to all kinds of garbage that is not true but the judge is apparently accepting it. >> reporter: the he said/she said court battle was spurred by that confrontation in september. but driscoll told us there was one earlier incident. >> was there ever any prior incident of violence between the two of you? >> yeah. 2012. we ended up working it out. >> reporter: busch's attorney told us the allegation of violence in 2012 is "flatly untrue." driscoll telling us their relationship was fine until this past september. >> what was going through your mind after this happened to you? >> shock. you just can't believe that somebody that you love who
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you've spent four years with could hurt you like this. it's unbelievable. >> reporter: busch has denied the assault allegations all along, and with a million-dollar race just days away he's planning to appeal the decision. his lawyers putting out this statement -- "we are extremely disappointed that nascar has suspended kurt busch, and we plan an immediate appeal. it's important for everyone to remember that the commissioner's report has to do with a civil family law matter and no criminal charges have been filed against mr. busch. we are confident that when the truth is known mr. busch will be fully vindicated and back in the driver's seat." >> kurt busch has been called the outlaw. i mean his nickname is the outlaw. you've got the bad boy, feisty personality of nascar but you've got the nation saying we will not tolerate domestic violence, nascar you're at the cross-roads of this huge national conversation. >> reporter: busch's suspension is just the latest in a slew of headlines about athletes making news for indiscretions.
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nfl star ray rice was suspended after hitting his then fiance in an elevator. adrian peterson was suspended without pay for striking his 4-year-old son with a switch. >> the ray rice video was a watershed moment in sports. no league can ever allow someone like kurt busch to compete just even within hours after the news hits. >> reporter: tonight nascar is wasting no time investigating busch and swiftly suspending him before the biggest race of the year. patricia driscoll is content with nascar's decision saying in a statement tonight for victims of domestic violence there are no victories. my only hope is that the pain and trauma i suffer through this process will help other victims find their voice. >> this is the reality of the 21st century for all these leagues. the national football league lived through it in a huge way. still dealing with it today. six, eight months later. and now here comes nascar and they've got to deal with it again. this is going to be fascinating to see how it plays out. >> reporter: with a big race on sunday it remains to be seen if
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the star driver will make it back to the track. next, how a determined 16-year-old escaped a man holding her hostage. and later on "nightline," host neil patrick harris is getting ready for the oscars and allowing us behind the scenes. welcome to your exclusive backstage pass. ♪ welcome to the most social car we've ever designed. ♪ the all-new nissan murano. ♪ nissan. innovation that excites.
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♪ when women are kidnapped, their odds of survival often look grim. we're about to show you never-before-seen footage of a rescue gone right. an elaborate search mission for a young girl boiling down to small details that may have helped save her life. here's abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas. >> reporter: you're watching the final moments of a life and death encounter with a man and young girl he allegedly kidnapped. it's all caught on this aerial surveillance footage obtained by abc news. in minutes one of these two people will be dead. the climax of a week-long desperate search across four states for a suspected killer.
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it all began on an august afternoon. for neighbors in boulevard, california the raging fire is horrifying enough. but then the discovery of bodies. a mother and son, christina anderson and 8-year-old ethan murdered. the prime suspect, 40-year-old family friend james dimaggio. >> we believe that he murdered anderson, and then we believe that he set the structures on fire. >> reporter: but there's another urgent discovery. the person who isn't there. 16-year-old hannah anderson missing. believed abducted by that same family friend. >> we all hannah. >> reporter: a nation locked in as the story made national headlines. >> this morning there are new developments overnight in the manhunt manhunt for a california kidnapping suspect. >> suspect believed to have kidnapped a 16-year-old girl after targeting her family. >> reporter: and new details as they emerged only make the story worse. >> i know hannah did say she was a little creeped out when jim did tell her he had a crush on her. >> i'm begging you to let my
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daughter go. you've taken everything else. >> reporter: behind the scenes the fbi is launching an all-out effort. >> we're very concerned that something had clicked to cause him to take this terrible course of action. and at this point i think he's fully -- he's in. there's no turning back for him. >> reporter: the early fbi assessment, dimaggio is delusional obsessed with hannah. >> he thought that he and hannah would have a relationship and she would somehow fall in love with him. >> reporter: and police find disturbing signs he's told hannah how he feels. >> did find some e-mails that he sent hannah where it was clear he was concerned as hannah was growing up and becoming a teenager that they were growing apart. >> reporter: meanwhile, a sighting at this california border checkpoint not far from dimaggio's home appears to confirm that hannah is alive. have they left the country going into mexico? >> a statewide amber alert was sent out to nearly every cell phone here in california. >> reporter: but despite the frantic hunt six days go by and hannah has still not been found.
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then a huge break. >> just had a gut feeling about him. >> reporter: nearly 1,000 miles away people riding horseback in cascade, idaho report seeing two people matching dimaggio and hannah's description. >> the amber alert was on the television, and i told my wife i said that is that girl we seen on the mountain. >> she did appear frightened, but i thought it was fear of the horses. >> reporter: back in san diego a candlelight vigil. hannah's father tries to keep hope alive. >> this is great that we found a sighting today. >> the sighting at the trailhead was really the first positive lead we had. it immediately shifted all efforts up toward idaho. >> reporter: the terrain is rugged and vast. the u.s. marshals send up a small aircraft to search a nearby lake. authorities know dimaggio has recently bought a blue tent. and there it is. >> all of a sudden there was a little glimmer of blue that we saw in the trees. it was about 100 yards off of the lake. and then we were actually able to verify that it was a male and a female with blond hair and a
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small animal. >> reporter: the sighting of the cat gives the search team additional confirmation. it's dimaggio and hannah. the fbi sends in a jet armed with a sophisticated long-distance camera. these images exclusively obtained by abc news seen today for the first time. you can see thick pristine forest. then as the tape rolls a dramatic moment. there at the lake there are two people. look again. it's hannah and dimaggio. dimaggio takes off his shirt and walks along the lake at one point bathing. about 100 yards away there's a campsite. a fire has been made. possibly for cooking. dimaggio appears unaware that he's being watched, that he's been made. hannah seems oblivious too. then something unexpected happens. all of a sudden she starts waving. dimaggio never notices. he's over to the right tending to a fire. but look. hannah keeps on waving. is she signaling the aircraft? these photographs of the campsite seen by the public for
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the first time give a hint of what the fbi believes is a dicey situation. dimaggio has a rifle, a handgun, a machete. the potential for a confrontation is high. the fbi tries to use the element of surprise. it's time for the hostage rescue team to act. assistant director jim iucone oversaw the rescue effort. >> they essentially start ascending the morehead ridge up and around for about three miles. >> stealth was the key. >> stealth was the key. >> reporter: by the time the fbi team nears the site the daylight is starting to fade. but the plane's infrared camera captures everything. those airborne keep the agents on the ground abreast of what dimaggio is doing. the people on the ground appear white because the camera is picking up heat signatures. the fbi waits for dimaggio to leave hannah. >> the air assets are communicating continuously with the arrest team. letting them know every time
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dimaggio is moving from the campsite to go gather wood. and once he got far enough away into the wood line to collect firewood, that's when they made their last move, their final approach in for the arrest. >> the fbi had deployed two teams -- one to block any escape and another to save the girl. hannah starts running. and you can see she's suddenly joined by at least two fbi agents who come into the picture, one of whom grabs her hand. watch again. the moment of freedom. at fbi headquarters everyone is waiting, heart in mouth. >> there's that moment of silence, and we can't see. we're back here with just the phone listening to what's occurring. and then we hear shots fired and we heard "one down hard" and "jackpot." >> i do know from the int vie oferview of hannah he did have a rifle and he fired at least one shot. >> as for dimaggio the agents say they returned fire killing him at the scene.
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the nightmare was over. hannah was reunited with her family, seen here at the memorial service for her mother and brother. today she's in high school with a grade point average of 3.8. and she says she's trying to put her life back together. for "nightline" i'm pierre thomas in washington. next ellen broke twitter with her oscar selfie. but this year's host neil patrick harris, has more than a snapshot officially. mouths are watering, lemons are squeezing and stomachs are growling. or is it just me? every minute between you and red lobster's lobsterfest feels like an eternity. and who could blame you for craving our largest variety of succulent lobster dishes all year? dishes like dueling lobster tails. with one tail topped with creamy shrimp and a second tail stuffed with tender crab. i was hungry already and now you show me lobster lover's dream® let's make this dream a reality. a delicious, delicious reality. but one that won't last forever,
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at the oscars stars may
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dazzle on the red carpet, but the good stuff is going on behind closed doors. the juicy gossip, the private prep. and tonight this year's host is letting us in on all of it taking our robin roberts backstage before the big night. >> to your right. >> reporter: it may be 41-year-old neil patrick harris's first time hosting the oscars. ♪ we're going bigger ♪ but he's certainly had a lot of practice. he brought magic to the tonys. ♪ bigger that's right it's bigger ♪ and a halftime show to the emmys. ♪ that gets me high ♪ ♪ hi ♪ but to prepare for the oscars spotlight he's been working overtime. he's got some big shoes to fill. have you really been watching previous hosts on a loop? >> i watch them a lot. i got all the dvds of the last 10, 15 years of hosts from ellen to seth billy, and i just kind of went backwards to see how they have changed. everyone that watches the oscars
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sort of thinks wouldn't it be fun to be on it? how many people stand in front of the a mirror and practice their own acceptance speech? have you done it? >> with a hairbrush. >> exactly. >> yeah. it's a given. >> reporter: part of getting ready for the oscars is brushing up on the big names. >> benedict cumberbatch. >> you said it wrong. he has a t at the end of his first name. benedict cumberbatch. that's how i warm up every morning. benedict come behr match. bonadict coomberbatch. >> reporter: though the pressure is on harris has proven he can fit into any role. we loved him as barney, a well-dressed womanizer on "how i met your mother." >> amy and i believe in the lost art of letter writing. >> reporter: to a creepy ex-boyfriend in the blockbuster "gone girl." and when he's not acting he's at home raising 4-year-old twins, harper and gideon-w his
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husband david. >> he said they are both performers, both of them. >> we certainly encourage them to sing when they want to and we certainly laugh at their jokes. i want our kids to do it all, you know. >> live out loud. >> that being said, they're so loud that now i just want them to stop being so noisy. >> reporter: as far as his movie picks go he likes the classics. >> all-time favorite movie. >> "clue." >> all-time favorite movie line. >> yes i killed her. >> i hated her so much! >> even -- >> madeline kahn "clue." >> reporter: i'm robin roberts in los angeles. >> so who will you be rooting for? head to our "nightline" facebook page. we'll have all the best moments from the nominees we've interviewed this awards season. from emma stone to bradley cooper to benedict cumberbatch
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and more. the oscars will be airing this sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on abc. thank you for watching abc news. tune in to "good morning america" tomorrow. and as always we're online at abcnews.com. good night, america. every day more americans choose abc news. america's number one news source. [dramatic music] ♪ ♪ >> yeah! oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! hey! hey! hey! [cheers and applause] i'm terry crews, and i've got $1 million i just can't wait to give away today here on millionaire. [cheers and applause]
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today's first contestant simply wants to win money so she can devote all her time to doing community service. now, that is something i can get behind. from raleigh, north carolina please welcome andra cumber! >> [laughing] >> wow. >> oh, this is such a pleasure. >> it is my pleasure. >> thank you. >> come on, andra. so you just want to devote yourself to community service and helping people, huh? >> well, yeah. i do a lot of it now but the money would surely give me the freedom to do it as often as i want. >> that is so awesome. you know what? we need more people like you. well, here is the millionaire money tree. 14 questions spread over 2 rounds with money values going from 100 bucks all the way up to $1 million. >> [laughs] >> you've got 10 questions in round 1 from $100 to $25,000.

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