TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces his accuser Christine Blasey Ford in the Senate as more women come forward with tawdry tales of Kavanaugh’s past. Tonight we have the latest on the historic, tense and breaking situation. America’s favorite TV dad is now inmate number nn7687 after being found guilty of sexual assault. We look at the case and the fallout. One of America’s most beloved actresses Marsha Mason joins us to reflect on her life in the spotlight, and with her ex-husband, master playwright and literary legend, Neil Simon.

Aired on September 26, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS' -- THE BATTLE FOR THE SUPREME COURT.

TOMORROW, SCOTUS NOMINEE BRETT KAVANAUGH AND HIS ACCUSER, CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, ARE SCHEDULED TO TESTIFY BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMIT I.

AT STAKE, KAVANAUGH'S LIFE TERM TO THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND.

IT'S A BATTLE WHOSE ULTIMATE OUTCOME WILL SHAPE THE NATION.

> AFTER SHOWING RESTRAINT, THE PRESIDENT CAME OUT SWINGING.

SHE SAID SHE WAS TOTALLY DRUNK.

SHE ADMITS THAT SHE WAS DRUNK.

SHE ADMITS TIME LAPSES.

WE HAVE THE LATEST OHHE ON WT TO EXPECT AT TOMORROW'S HEARING.

PLUS, AN UNEXPECTED MOMENT OF LEVITY AT THE UNITED NATIONS.

IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS, MY ADMINISTRATION HAS ACCOMPLISHED MORE THAN ALMOST ANY ADMINISTRATION IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY.

[ LAUGHTER ] DIDN'T EXPECT THAT REACTION, BUT THAT'S OKAY.

> FALL FROM GRACE.

BILL COSBY IS NOW INMATE NUMBER NN-7687.

AMERICA'S FAVORITE TV DAD HAS NOW BEEN DECLARED A SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR.

THE LEGALITIES AND FALLOUT AHEAD.

> AND OMARSHA MASON IS HERE WITH REFLECTIONS ON HER PRIVATE LIFE WITH EX-HUSBAND AND THEATER LEGEND, NEIL SIMON.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

WE BEGIN TONIGHT IN WASHINGTON, AND THE SHOWDOWN OVER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S EMBATTLED SUPREME COURT NOMINEE BRETT KAVANAUGH.

HAVING PREVIOUSLY SHOWN RESTRAINT, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS GONE ON THE OFFENSIVE AHEAD OF TOMORROW'S PIVOTAL PUBLIC HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL.

WHERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE'LL HEAR FIRSTHAND FROM DR.

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, THE WOMAN WHO HAS ACCUSED KAVANAUGH OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT DECADES AGO.

KAVANAUGH WILL ALSO TESTIFY, AND IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO ADAMANTLY DENY THE ALLEGATIONS.

AT THE U.N. THIS WEEK, PRESIDENT TRUMP UNLEASHED ON THE DEMOCRATS, AND HE QUESTIONED THE ACCOUNTS OF BOTH DR. FORD AND DEBORAH RAMIREZ, A SECOND WOMAN WHO HAS ALSO ACCUSED KAVANAUGH OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.

36 YEARS AGO?

NOBODY EVER KNEW ABOUT IT?

NOBODY EVER HEARD ABOUT IT?

AND NOW A NEW CHARGE COMES UP, AND SHE SAID WELL, IT MIGHT NOT BE HIM, THERE WERE GAPS.

SHE SAID SHE WAS TOTALLY DRUNK.

SHE WAS ALL MESSED UP, AND SHE DOESN'T KNOW IT WAS HIM BUT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIM.

OH, GEE, LET'S NOT MAKE HIM A SUPREME COURT JUDGE BECAUSE OF THIS.

THIS IS A CON GAME BEING PLAYED BY THE DEMOCRATS.

A VOTE WILL BE SCHEDULED ON FRIDAY JUST ONE DAY AFTER THE HEARING, A MOVE THE RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE COMMITTEE CALLED 'OUTRAGEOUS.'

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL BELIEVES KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION IS IMMINENT.

WE'RE GOING TO BE MOVING FORWARD, I'M CONFIDENT WE'RE GOING TO WIN.

DO YOU HAVE 50 VOTES TO CONFIRM JUDGE KAVANAUGH?

I BELIEVE HE'LL BE CONFIRMED, YES.

BUT THAT'S BEEN FLOWN INTO DOUBT AFTER REPUBLICAN SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI SEEMED TO WAIVER IN HER SUPPORT IN AN INTERVIEW WITH 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

WITH THE NARROW MAJORITY, THE REPUBLICANS CAN'T AFFORD MANY DEFECTORS.

SETTING UP A VERY HIGH STAKES HEARING TOMORROW MORNING.

JOINING ME NOW TO PREVIEW IT ALL IS DANIEL STRAUSS, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER AT POLITICO.

DANIEL, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

SO FIRST OFF, BEFORE WE EVEN GET INTO THE ACCUSATIONS THAT WE KNOW ABOUT, NEWS HAS BROKEN THAT STORMY DANIELS' LAWLAWYER, MICH AVENATTI, IS CLAIMING HE HAS A THIRD ACCUSER, HE'S REVEALED HER IDENTIFICATION, WHO IS ALSO ACCUSING BRETT KAVANAUGH OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT.

DOES THIS AT ALL PLAY INTO AT LEAST THE CONVERSATION AROUND TOMORROW'S HEARING?

YEAH.

I MEAN, IT'S HARD TO SEE HOW THESE NEW ALLEGATIONS DON'T COME UP DURING THE HEARING.

AND WHAT AVENATTI PUT OUT WAS A PRETTY GRAPHIC PORTRAYAL OF BRETT KAVANAUGH IN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT EPISODE.

IT'S SURPRISING, AND IT WILL FURTHER ADD TO QUESTIONS DURING BLASEY FORD'S TESTIMONY TOMORROW.

I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH ANY NEW ALLEGATIONS WILL SLOW DOWN A VOTE ON HIM.

SENATE REPUBLICANS SEEM PRETTY BENT AND PRETTY SURE THAT THEY HAVE THE NUMBERS DESPITE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR ACCUSATIONS THAT THEY'LL BE ABLE TO CONFIRM KAVANAUGH IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

AND, OF COURSE, AS I ALLUDED TO IN THE INTRO, THAT WE HAVE HEARD MITCH McCONNELL ESSENTIALLY SAY THIS IS GOING TO BE HAPPENING.

NOW, GIVEN THE FACT THAT THERE'S STILL GOING TO BE HOLDING THIS, DOES THIS MAKE TOMORROW'S HEARING MORE OF A FORMALLTY OR SOMETHING TO APPEASE PEOPLE THAT MIGHT BE UPSET, WHEN WE HEARD FROM MITCH McCONNELL WHO BELIEVES HE HAS THE VOTES AND KAVANAUGH WILL BE PUT ON THE SUPREME COURT.

YEAH, I MEAN, LOOK, HOLDING A HEARING DOES GIVE McCONNELL THE ABILITY TO SAY, WE HAD A HEARING, WE HEARD THESE ACCUSATIONS OUT, AND THAT THIS HAS BEEN ENOUGH OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE -- BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IT'S REALLY REALLY NOT GOING TO BE A CAKE WALK FOR THE GOP.

THIS HEARING IS GOING TO BE THE MOST TALKED ABOUT AND MOST -- THAT WE'VE SEEN THIS MONTH IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

WHAT'S SAID, WHAT HAPPENS, AND PRESIDENT TRUMP'S RESPONSE IS GOING TO CREATE A RIPPLE EFFECT THAT'S GOING TO COME UP THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE MIDTERMS.

ALL THE WAY THROUGH NOVEMBER.

NOW, IS THERE ANY CONSIDERATION, AGAIN, TO THE OPTICS OF ALL OF THIS?

OF COURSE, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE COMPARED THIS UPCOMING HEARING TO THE PREVIOUS HEARING OF ANITA HILL.

HERE WE HAVE A WOMAN MAKING AN ACCUSATION OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN THE WORKPLACE, AND SHE WAS FACING A SENATE PANEL OF ALL WHITE MEN.

AGAIN, WE WOULD HAVE THE SAME THING, EXCEPT THIS TIME, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS HIRED AN OUTSIDE COUNSEL, A WOMAN TO COME IN AND DO THE QUESTIONING.

DOES THAT CHANGE THE DYNAMICS OF THIS AT ALL?

THE MOVE TO BRING THIS OUT REALLY IS AN ATTEMPT TO DIFFERENTIATE THESE HEARINGS FROM THE ANITA HILL HEARING.

BUT I DON'T THINK DEM-- IF DEMOCRATS HAVE ANY SAY, THEY'RE GOING TO LIKEN IT TO ANITA HILL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IT'S JUST NOT IDEAL OPTICS FOR A PARTY THAT'S TRYING TO CONFIRM THE SUPREME COURT NOMINEE.

WELL, OF COURSE, AS YOU SAID, IT'S GOING TO BE VERY TALKED ABOUT AND ALL EYES WILL BE ON DR. BLASEY FORD TOMORROW MORNING.

IS THERE SOMETHING WE SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE FROM HER OR THINGS THAT YOU CAN EXPECT THAT SHE WILL BE MOST JUDGED FOR, AND BY THAT I MEAN IN TERMS OF HER DEMEANOR, THE WAY HER VOICE SOUNDS, DOES SHE SOUND CONFIDENT, DOES SHE SOUND NERVOUS, HOW SHE APPEARS ON CAMERA.

HOW MUCH DOES THAT PLAY INTO THE PUBLIC'S PERSPECTIVE OF HER BELIEVABILITY?

I MEAN, I THINK -- I DON'T THINK THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE A HUGE AMOUNT OF JUDGMENT WHETHER HER VOICE CRACKS AT A SPECIFIC MOMENT OR WHETHER SHE'S EMOTIONAL.

I THINK A LOT OF IT IS GOING TO BE HOW SHE RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS AND HOW QUESTIONS ARE ASKED TO HER, IF THEY'RE OVERLY AGGRESSIVE, IF THEY ASK FOR UNNECESSARILY GRAPHIC DETAIL, OR DO THEY GO ON TANGENTS WHETHER SHE IS A SERIOUS WITNESS.

OR IF SHE'S MOTIVATED BY BEING A THIS TO DERAIL A REPUBLICAN NTO- NOMINEE FOR THE SUPREME COURT.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THEN FOR THE HANDFUL OF REPUBLICANS WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE SWING VOTES ON THIS, IS THERE ANY INDICATION THAT MITCH McCONNELL MIGHT LOSE -- HOW MANY VOTES CAN MITCH McCONNELL LOSE AND STILL GET BRETT KAVANAUGH THROUGH, AND IS THERE ANY INDICATION HE MIGHT HAVE HIS COUNT WRONG?

NOT THAT MANY.

AND LOOK, McCONNELL RARELY HAS HIS COUNT WRONG.

IT HAPPENS ONCE IN A BLUE MOON.

WE THOUGHT THAT THE LATE SENATOR JOHN McCAIN WAS GOING TO VOTE FOR OBAMACARE REPEAL AND THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

BUT MITCH McCONNELL CAN ONLY LOSE ONE OR TWO VOTES.

I REALLY DOUBT THE SWING VOTES ARE GOING TO VOTE AGAINST KAVANAUGH.

COLLINS HAS SIGNALED EVEN THOUGH SHE'S UNDECIDED ON THIS, SHE'S HAD PERSONAL PROMISES FROM KAVANAUGH ON STICKING POINTS LIKE ROE V. WADE.

AGAIN, THIS THIRD ACCUSER DOES CALL INTO QUESTION -- IT PUTS ADDED PRESSURE ON MEMBERS OF THE SENATE ON WHETHER THEY'RE ABLE TO VOTE FOR KAVANAUGH OR NOT.

SO IT'S CONCEIVABLE, BUT I DON'T THINK --

YOU MENTIONED EARLIER HOW THE PRESIDENT REACTS MIGHT ALSO PLAY INTO THIS.

OF COURSE, THE PRESIDENT BEING AT THE U.N. GENERAL COUNCIL DID ADDRESS THE SECOND ACCUSER AND WENT ON THE ATTACK IN A WAY WE'VE SEEN HIM DO BEFORE, WHERE SHE MUST NOT KNOW WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT, THIS IS PART OF A DEMOCRATIC CONSPIRACY TO SMEAR BRETT KAVANAUGH.

DOES THAT PLAY INTO ANY OF THIS AT ALL?

I MEAN, PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETS DURING THE HEARING, I THINK THERE WILL BE A SHIFT -- [ INAUDIBLE ] I THINK FOR WHITE HOUSE STAFF -- [ AUDIO DIFFICULTIES ]

OF COURSE, STAYING AT THE U.N., HE GAVE A SPEECH THAT USUALLY GETS HIM A LOT OF APPLAUSE WHEN HE'S AT ONE OF HIS RALLIES.

BUT IN FRONT OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL THERE WAS AUDIBLE LAUGHTER.

WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE UNITED STATES AND ITS STANDING WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD?

I MEAN, LOOK, I THINK IT WAS A LITTLE SURPRISING, NOT JUST TO PRESIDENT TRUMP BUT MOST AMERICANS WATCHING THIS, BECAUSE THIS IS A LINE THAT HE MAKES ALL THE TIME.

AND HE ALSO IS CONSTANTLY RAGING ABOUT HOW PREDECESSORS ARE BEING LAUGHED AT, THE WORLD IS LAUGHING.

SO TO SEE PRESIDENT TRUMP SPARK AMUSEMENT ON THE WORLD STAGE WAS A LITTLE IRONIC.

AND PRESIDENT TRUMP TRIED TO PLAY IT OFF.

HE SAID THAT WAS A DELIBERATE LINE TO GET SOME CHUCKLES.

BUT BEYOND THAT, I THINK TRUMP'S OPPONENTS WILL POINT TO THAT.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS THEY WERE BEING LAUGHED AT BEFORE HIS ADMINISTRATION.

ALL RIGHT.

LISTEN, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, TO COVER ALL OF THESE BREAKING NEWS EVENTS.

AND, OF COURSE, TO GIVE US A PREVIEW OF WHAT WE CAN EXPECT TO BE A VERY CLOSELY WATCHED, VERY CLOSELY DISSECTED SENATE HEARING TOMORROW MORNING.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU BACK ON THE SHOW.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

> BILL COSBY, ONCE AMERICA'S DAD, IS NOW A SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR WHO WILL SPEND UP TO THE NEXT TEN YEARS IN A MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON.

THIS WAS THE SCENE AS THE DISGRACED ACTOR WAS LED AWAY IN HANDCUFFS, GUILTY OF DRUGGING AND ASSAULTING ANDREA CONSTAND IN 2004.

COSBY'S MANY ACCUSERS, WAITING FOR MANY YEARS FOR THIS DAY, VOWED THEIR FIGHT IS NOT OVER.

WHILE COSBY SAYS HE WILL APPEAL THE CONVICTION, BECAUSE HE IS A VICTIM OF RACISM AND OF 'SEX WAR GOING ON IN WASHINGTON TODAY.'

THE CASE MARKS THE FIRST HIGH PROFILE CONVICTION SINCE THE ME TOO MOVEMENT CAST A SPOTLIGHT ON STORIES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN HOLLYWOOD.

JOINING ME NOW TO PUT THE VERDICT AND THE SENTENCING INTO PERSPECTIVE IS ATTORNEY AND LEGAL COMMENTATOR B.J.

BERNSTEIN.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

HI, JENNA.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME AND TALKING ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC, BECAUSE WITH THE NEWS WITH THE SUPREME COURT AND WITH COSBY AND WE'RE BOMBARDED WITH THIS, CLARITY IS NEEDED ABOUT WHAT THE LAW IS AND WHAT'S HAPPENING.

THAT IS VERY TRUE.

SINCE YOU JUST MENTIONED THE SUPREME COURT, I DO WANT TO MENTION THAT COSBY'S PR PERSON CAME OUT AND OF THE MANY THINGS THAT HE SAID, HE PUT BILL COSBY'S CASE AND WHAT'S HAPPENING TO BRETT KAVANAUGH, THE ACCUSATIONS THAT HE'S NOW FACING, INTO THE EXACT SAME BOAT.

IS THAT FAIR TO DO?

IT'S GOOD LAWYERING PROBABLY ON HIS POINT, TRYING TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, THESE ISSUES WE'VE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH FOR A LONG TIME.

THIS CONDUCT IS NOT NEW.

I HAVE BEEN PRACTICING LAW 31 YEARS, AND THESE ISSUES HAVE ALWAYS COME UP IN CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

AND YOU CAN'T COMPARE IT THAT WAY.

ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE'VE SEEN NOW WITH AT LEAST COSBY BEING SENTENCED IS THAT FOR PEOPLE WHO MIGHT STILL HAVE AN EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO HIM, OR AT LEAST TO THE CHARACTERS THAT THEY KNEW HIM FROM IN THE '70s AND '80s, IS IT WORTH PUTTING SOMEONE WHO IS ALREADY SO OLD AND SO DISABLED BEHIND BARS AND PUNISHING THEM THIS WAY, WHY WAS THAT NECESSARY FOR THE JUDGE TO DO?

IT WAS NECESSARY, BECAUSE HE WAS CONVICTED OF A SERIOUS FELONY OFFENSE, A SEXUAL OFFENSE THAT THE JUDGE PUT HIM ON THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY AS REQUIRED UNDER PENNSYLVANIA LAW.

AND SIT A MANDATORY MINIMUM OF A PERIOD OF TIME OF INCARCERATION WHEN YOU ASSAULT SOMEONE LIKE THIS.

SO THAT -- THE FACT THAT THERE'S A WINDOW HERE OF THREE TO TEN COULD HAVE BEEN HARSHER, PROBABLY DID TAKE INTO ACCOUNT HIS AGE.

BUT IT DIDN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT A JURY CAME BACK WITH A SERIOUS VERDICT AGAINST HIM.

DOES THE FACT THAT HIS LEGAL TEAM PLANS TO APPEAL MAKE ANY CHANGE OR DIFFERENCE?

WE KNOW HE WENT IMMEDIATELY TO JAIL.

BUT DOES HIS LEGAL TEAM REALLY STAND A CHANCE OF APPEALING AND OVERTURNING THIS CONVICTION?

IT DEPENDS.

THERE ARE ALL THESE SMALL ERRORS.

IN MY APPELLATE WORK, SOMETIMES IT'S NOT THE BIG ISSUE OF GUILT OR INNOCENCE, BUT THE SMALLER DECISIONS MADE ALONG THE WAY.

WAS SOMEBODY STRUCK FROM THE JURY THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN?

WAS AN OBJECTION SUSTAINED THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN?

WAS INFORMATION HELD BACK?

I DIDN'T WATCH EVERY DAY OF THE TRIAL, SO I COULDN'T TELL YOU.

BUT I WOULD NEVER TAKE ANYBODY'S APPELLATE RIGHTS AWAY.

WHETHER YOU THINK THEY'RE GUILTY OR NOT, AN APPELLATE OPPORTUNITY IS CRUCIAL FOR EVERYONE, BECAUSE IF SOMEONE IS INNOCENT THAT IS FOUND GUILTY, YOU WANT TO FIND WAYS TO EXONERATE THEM, IF THAT'S THE CASE.

SPEAKING OF WHAT YOU WERE JUST SAYING, ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IS HOW IS IT THAT THIS CASE, WHEN FIRST BROUGHT TO TRIAL, ENDED IN A HUNG JURY AND RETRIED AND ENDS IN CONVICTION.

WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO CASES?

THE MOST BLARING, IN THE INITIAL CASE, ONLY ONE OTHER WOMAN WAS ALLOWED TO TESTIFY.

ANDREA CONSTAND TESTIFIED AND ONE OTHER PERSON.

THE SHIFT IN THE SECOND CASE IS THERE WERE FIVE WOMEN WHO WERE ABLE TO TESTIFY THAT THEY HAD BEEN ASSAULTED BY COSBY AS PART OF A SIMILAR TRANSACTION, SHOWING A PATTERN ON THE PART OF COSBY, OF MANIPULATING WOMEN, GIVING THEM DRINKS, ET CETERA, OR DRUGS.

AND THEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTING THEM.

BUT THAT WAS CERTAINLY A BIG SHIFT IN THE JUDGE'S HANDLING OF THE CASE.

AND A JURY IS DIFFERENT EVERY SINGLE TIME.

IT'S A DIFFERENT GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFERENT LIFE EXPERIENCES.

AND IN ONE CASE THEY CAN DISAGREE AND IN ANOTHER CASE, A DIFFERENT GROUP OF PEOPLE CAN COME TOGETHER AND HAVE A DIFFERENT VERDICT.

IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME WHEN THERE IS A HUNG JURY AND THE STATE COMES BACK AND TRIES A CASE AGAIN.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE ISSUE OF HOW THE LAW IS HANDLED, THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH TALK, EVEN HERE IN NEW YORK STATE, OF EXTENDING THE STATUTE OF LIMITTATIONS.

THAT SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE HINDRANCES IN TERMS OF BRINGING CHARGES AND SOME OF THESE OTHER ACCUSATIONS WE'VE BEEN READING ABOUT IN THE NEWS, THAT THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS HAS RUN OUT, SO NOTHING CAN BE DONE.

IS THIS AN ISSUE THAT GETS READDRESSED IN THE WAKE OF THIS RECKONING OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN?

I THINK STATUTE OF LIM LIMIT LIMITATIONS, THEY ARE DIFFERENT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

A LOT OF STATES DO SOMETHING WHERE YOU'RE ONLY -- YOU HAVE UP TO THE AGE OF 18, AND THEN YOU ADD SEVEN YEARS SO THAT BASICALLY BY 26 OR 27, YOU NEED TO HAVE TOLD SOMEONE, YOU CAN'T WAIT UNTIL YOUR 40s OR 50s TO COME FORWARD.

IT'S GOING TO BE A HARD DISCUSSION, BECAUSE THE FLIP SIDE OF IT IS, BY NOT ENCOURAGING PEOPLE AND MAKING IT SAFE FOR THEM TO MAKE ACCUSATIONS EARLIER, YOU DO MISS IMPORTANT EVIDENCE, AND IT'S HARDER TO CONVICT SOMEONE 10, 15, 20 YEARS LATER.

THAT HAPPENED IN COSBY.

THERE WAS A HUNG JURY.

THEY WERE TROUBLED BY THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT WENT BY FROM THESE ALLEGATIONS.

SO ALL OF THIS IS SAYING THAT AS THE COUNTRY -- WE TALK ABOUT SEX, WE HAVE ALL THESE THINGS ABOUT SEX, AND YET WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IT IN TERMS OF THE LAW AND WHAT IT MEANS AND ITS IMPACT.

AND THAT CONVERSATION, ME TOO HAS STARTED A CONVERSATION.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE SUPREME COURT AND KAVANAUGH ON THE OTHER NEW ALLEGATIONS COMING OUT WITH HIM, BRINGS UP MORE ISSUES, AS WELL.

HOW DO YOU DEFEND AGAINST IT IF YOU ARE INNOCENT?

AND HOW ARE YOU PROTECTED TO MAKE SURE THAT SOMEONE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS LATER ON?

AND THEN MOST OF THESE CASES ARE HAPPENING FOR SITUATIONS IN THAT AGE RANGE.

I KNOW WHEN I SEE 15 TO 25 YEARS OLD.

B.J., THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE PROGRAM AND GIVING US THE MUCH-NEEDED LEGAL PERSPECTIVE INTO WHERE THE COSBY CONVICTIONS FITS INTO THIS MUCH LARGER DISCUSSION.

THANKS, JENNA.

THANK YOU.

> WE LOST A GREAT TALENT AND NEW YORK TREASURE RECENTLY.

NEIL SIMON BEGAN LIFE RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK CITY ON JULY 4th, 1927.

HE DIED ON AUGUST 26th.

A PROLIFIC PLAYWRIGHT, HE WROTE SCORES OF CLASSIC PLAYS, MOSTLY BROADWAY COMEDIES, INCLUDING 'LOST IN YONKERS' WHICH HE WON THE 1991 PULITZER PRIZE.

AMONG HIS FAMOUS SCREENPLAYS WAS THE 1977 FILM 'THE GOODBYE GIRL' AND 'CHAPTER TWO,' BOTH STARRING MARSHA MASON.

I SPOKE TO MASON, NEIL SIMON'S EX-WIFE.

IN AN INTERVIEW WE RECORDED BEFORE SIMON'S DEATH.

I TALKED TO HER ABOUT HER DEATH IN THE REPERTOIRE COMPANY OUT WEST AND HER NEW ROLES IN A POPULAR TV SERIES, AMONG THEM 'THE MIDDLE' AND 'GRACE AND FRANKIE,' AND HER PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH NEIL SIMON AND HOW IT BEGAN.

WELL, WHAT HAPPENED WAS, I WANTED TO GO BACK TO ACT FOR A SECOND SEASON AND I WAS PLANNING ON IT.

AND MY AGENTS HERE IN NEW YORK, SHE SAID, WELL, YOU BETTER -- WHY DON'T YOU AUDITION FOR THIS NEW NEIL SIMON PLAY, BECAUSE ACTUALLY YOU'LL PLAY FOUR OR FIVE PARTS, BECAUSE THE WHOLE IDEA OF REPERTOIRE IS WHAT GOT ME EXCITED.

SO I WENT AND AUDITIONED.

AND I HAD ACTUALLY SHOT 'CINDERELLA LIBERTY' BUT IT HADN'T COME OUT YET.

SO 'CINDERELLA LIBERTY' CAME OUT, BECAUSE 20th CENTURY FOX PUSHED IT OUT FOR A CHRISTMAS RELEASE.

AND SO I ALWAYS HAD TO GO BACK TO CALLBACK S SO I WENT BACK TO MY AGENT'S OFFICE AFTER I DID THE AUDITION FOR 'THE GOOD DOCTOR,' WHICH WAS NEIL SIMON'S PLAY.

I SAID I THINK IT WAS OKAY, I'LL PROBABLY GET A CALLBACK.

SHE SAID, THEY CALLED AND YOU GOT THE ROLE.

SO I HAD TO WEIGH STAYING IN NEW YORK AND DOING WHAT I HAD ALWAYS COME HERE TO DO, TO GO TO A.C.T., AND I WAS JUST SO TORN AND I HAD A LONG TALK WITH BILL.

HE WAS SO WONDERFUL.

HE SAID NO, NO, YOU MUST GO AND DO IT.

THAT WAS LIKE IN THE SUMMER, AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER.

AND THEN I KIND OF CLEARED OUT MY LIFE AND EVERYTHING, AND I CAME BACK TO NEW YORK AND GOT READY TO GO INTO REHEARSAL.

WE REHEARSED, I GUESS IT WAS AT THE THEATER, I KNOW ALL AROUND THE TABLE, THE FIRST READING.

AND THAT WAS OCTOBER THE 3rd.

AND NEIL AND I WERE MARRIED ON THE 23rd.

BIT OF A WHIRL WIND.

YES, IT WAS.

BUT IT WAS JUST MEANT TO BE.

ABOUT, AGAIN, THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST WONDERFUL FILMS.

IF PEOPLE OUT THERE HAVEN'T SEEN THEM, THEY SHOULD GO SEE THEM.

YOU THEN END UP LEAVING HOLLYWOOD, STEPPING AWAY FROM ALL OF THIS.

IN THE LATE '80s.

YOU GO TO NEW MEXICO, ORGANIC FORM.

YEAH.

AND MAKING A PRODUCT LINE.

YEAH, YEAH.

I SAW YOU SAY BEFORE THAT, THAT ACTORS SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE DIRECTING.

AND DIRECTORS SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE ACTING.

AND YOU'RE DOING MORE AND MORE DIRECTING NOW.

WHAT IS IT THAT IS ATTRACTING, IN THIS PART OF YOUR CAREER, WHAT IS ATTRACTING YOU TO THE NOTION OF DIRECTING NOW?

I THINK IT'S TRYING TO EXPAND ONE'S POTENTIAL.

AND ALSO IT'S VISIONARY.

I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO PUT IT.

I STARTED OUT AT SECOND STAGE.

THEY GAVE ME MY FIRST BREAK.

CAROL ROSSMAN AND ROBIN GOODMAN.

AND THEY WERE WONDERFUL.

AND THAT'S SORT OF -- AND THEN I LEFT IT FOR A LONG TIME, BECAUSE I WAS BUSY RACING CARS AND GROWING HERBS.

BUT THEN I -- WHEN ROBIN TOOK OVER THE BUCKS COUNTY AND EVERYTHING OUT IN PENNSYLVANIA, SHE SAID WHY DON'T YOU, YOU KNOW, COME AND DO SOMETHING.

AND I WAS VERY OF IT, THE COLLABORATION WITH THE SET DESIGNER, LIGHTING DESIGNER, SOUND DESIGNER, WITH THE ACTORS.

AND BECAUSE I SORT OF REALLY DO KNOW EVERYTHING NOW --

YOU'VE BEEN THERE, YOU'VE DONE IT ALL.

I'VE BEEN THERE AND ABSORBED A LOT.

AND I'VE ALSO DONE A LOT.

SO I FEEL CONFIDENT IN TERMS OF WHAT I'M DOING, AND I ALSO FEEL STRANGELY ENOUGH THAT THE 20 YEARS IN NEW MEXICO MEANT LEARNING MANAGEMENT, LEARNING DISCIPLINE, LEARNING BUSINESS, BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR, AND BECOMING A MANAGER OF LATINO MEN, WHICH WAS NOT AN EASY THING.

NO.

IT POSITIONED YOU FOR ALL OF THIS.

YES.

AND IT REALLY DID EXPAND ME AS A PERSON.

WELL, I KNOW I SPEAK FOR ALL OF YOUR FANS, WHICH I AM ONE, THAT WE'RE DELIGHTED WE GOT YOU OFF THE FARM AND HAVE YOU BACK ON THE SCREEN.

THAT'S LOVELY.

IT'S BEEN A REAL DELIGHT TO MEET YOU.

WELL, COME SEPTEMBER 27 TO PROVINCE TOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.

IS THERE A BETTER PLACE AND TIME TO GO TO PROVINCE TOWN, MASSACHUSETTS?

MARSHA, YOU BE WELL.

MARSHA MASON CAN BE SEEN GUEST STARRING ON 'GRACE AND FRANKIE' AND DIRECTIN ING AT THE TENNESS WILLIAMS FESTIVAL IN PROVINCE TOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.

THAT FROM SEPTEMBER 26th TO THE 28th.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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