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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 2, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am EDT

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tonight on "nightline," sofia on fire. that switchblade tongue, those dangerous curves. tonight, sofia vergara, the dazzling star of the megahit sitcom "modern family" tells us where her tv character comes from and what she leaves offscreen. hurri-crain. >> excuse me. >> new accusations today against herman cain. the powerful former ceo issues a flurry of explanations, seeming to contradict himself at every turn and says racism may be to
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blame. and back to the future. it's the hot rod that is also a movie star and '80s icon. and now, one mad car scientist is retro fitting the delorean to make a truly futuristic machine. buckle up. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden, bill weir and tonight, juju chang in new york city, this is "nightline," november 2nd, 2011. >> good evening, i'm juju chang. and we begin tonight with a single mom who came to this country and made it big. sofia vergara is the rehot star of "modern family" here on abc. in many ways the show reflects the changing reality of the american family. in her spare time, she's launched a line of clothing for women who want her hot hollywood flare for less. all this, from a woman who once thought she'd be a dentist. here's my colleague cynthia mcfadden. >> i know that i have an accent but people understand me just
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fine. >> reporter: it was a role written just for her. >> i called your secretary and told her to order you a box of baby jesus. >> reporter: she plays gloria on abc's hit comedy "modern family." >> it's all very good. >> reporter: she's loud. she's funny. >> drop it. >> reporter: and she's perfectly sexy. and, of course, there's that accent. >> i didn't say hairing. i said hairing. >> reporter: said once when you get dressed up like gloria, i kind of look like a tranny. >> i do. look at me. >> reporter: no. >> but you know what, there's nothing wrong. >> reporter: it's extreme wo womanhood, i guess. >> i always look like a woman with extra butt, extra boobs. i always have makeup and the hair and i like big jewelry. so i feel like that. >> reporter: we got to spend some time with vergara backstage
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at "modern family." and we wondered just how close is she to her character, gloria? where do you stop and she begins? she's columbian, she has an accent, she's loud, she has -- >> reporter: she has a hot temper. >> she's crazy. >> reporter: do you have a temper? >> yeah, yeah. a lot. but you know the funny thing is, like, usually when i'm starting like a relationship with a boyfriend, at the beginning, they get a little scared because, like, i can turn and an scream and get angry but i turn, then i turn around and i forget about it. once they know me, they're like, oh, she's fine. >> reporter: but in real life, vergara's more than just that hot latin mother she plays on television. she's a cover girl. and a businesswoman. with her own production company. >> i'm sofia vergara and i'm not
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afraid to work with what i've got. >> reporter: and a new line of women's clothes at kmart. it's meant to be affordable and fit women with curves. even if your curved aren't as good as hers. >> my collection is at kmart. so go. >> reporter: are you wearing the line? >> this is it. everything. >> reporter: the jewelry? >> the jewelry, earrings, the -- everything, the jeans. >> reporter: all right, so, do a little twirl for me. let's see. if we looked like in the jeans, that would be -- >> yes, you will look like this. 29 bucks and you look like a million dollars. who has money right now to spend thousands of dollars in an outfit? no one. but still woman want to look cute, want to look beautiful, want to look sexy. >> reporter: so, do you think you can single handedly bring back the u.s. economy? >> i don't know, i'm bringing sexy back to kmart. that's all i can tell you. >> reporter: at 39, vergara was
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not an outnight success. she's bonn working hard at making it for 22 years. a natural blond, she grew up in cl colombia. she loved playing with barbie dolls and hoped one day she would have that barbie figure, too. you were skinny, too, as a little girl. >> yeah. >> reporter: there was a nickname. >> yeah, toothpick. i suffer because, you know, i'm always, everybody was more like voluptuous and me, in my culture, a skinny girl? has nothing going on. so i was very scared, always concerned that i was never going to fill up, you know, those fabulous outfits that my mother had. >> reporter: you didn't need to worry. >> but at that time i didn't know. >> reporter: she certainly wasn't too skinny at age 17 when she was discovered on a beach with her family. they quickly placed her in this pepsi ad. and now she's still doing pepsi ads.
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but now it's diet. >> what's going on over there? >> reporter: she married young at age 18 and had her one and only son, manolo, the following year. >> made him have me not go crazy with the fame or anything, i was always more concerned about being a good mother and working to make money, not just, you know, to be famous and crazy. >> reporter: so, the mothering that we see you do as gloria -- >> promise me you will never do anything like this again. >> i promise. >> because that's not the way i raised you. >> reporter: is that the kind of mother you are? think she's amazing. i think all woman should be more like gloria. i try to learn from her, actually. i wish i was more like her. >> reporter: surprisingly, despite her sunny disposition, vergara has endured many tragedies in her life. her older brother was kidnapped and murdered in colombia. and her younger brother has battled an addiction to drugs. to cope, she says, she tries to stay upbeat.
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>> when you have a responsibility like a kid or a family, you cannot give yourself the luxury of getting depressed. and, you know, and thinking too much about it. >> reporter: but even that was hard to do back in 2000, when doctors told her she had thyroid cancer. she was just 28 years old. >> i was very young and when they tell you that word, it's like, what are you talking about? you think about that word and it's just -- you always think death. you don't -- that's all you think when they tell you that. so it was pretty scary. >> reporter: you can see the faintest little scar right there. >> yes. i need like a diamond necklace. don't you think? to cover it? i don't care about the scar. it's not that bad. >> reporter: you can even laugh about -- >> yes. >> reporter: everything. >> i have to. if i sit at home and think about all the things that have happened i would be like, you know, paralyzed in bed.
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>> reporter: since divorcing her first husband, vergara's been tied to some of hollywood's leading men. most famously, tom cruise. but these days, she's in love with a man outside the hollywood circle. he's 36-year-old nick loeb, a wealthy businessman from florida. you're going to turn 40 this year. >> ahh. yes. >> reporter: have you thought about more children? >> um -- yeah, of course, because of him, he's -- if i stay with him, he's young, i mean, he's younger than me, he's 36. he's never had kids. so, i'm sure he's going to put pressure. but right now i can't, i mean, i'm doing, in the middle of "modern family" which is my priority. i don't think anyone wants to see gloria pregnant. i mean, i -- >> reporter: i don't know. why not? that's a new "modern family." there's a twist. the writers would like it. >> i'm going to look horrible. >> reporter: oh, my lord.
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vergara has perfected the art of not taking herself too seriously. only you could have done that. >> special latin technique that i learned. >> reporter: it was like a mermaid. she told me at this event she even walked down the red carpet with her shoes on the wrong feet. you have your feet right? >> the right is on the right. >> reporter: very cute. the night we were with her, everything seemed to be in just the right place. >> well done. and our thanks to cynthia. as if tv stardom isn't enough, sofia has two movies coming out this holiday season. and just ahead, we shift gears, as new sexual harassment accusations emerge against the front-runner of the republican presidential field. ♪ all righty. oh, oh.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with juju chang. >> the whiff of scandal seems to be helping herman cain's fund-raising. his presidential campaign announced tonight they've set a record and raised nearly a million dollars in 48 hours. and polls find him leading the republican field. but cain, for one, says he
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smells a rat. first he suggested racism. now, cain is pointing his fingers squarely at texas governor's rick perry for leaking sexual harassment claims. abc's brian ross is here to investigate. brian? >> reporter: juju, the associated press reports tonight that a third woman considered filing a workplace complaint against herman cain after the national restaurant association over what was termed aggressive and unwanted behavior, with invitations to his corporate apartment here in washington. cain has already denounced the two previous allegations against him as false and questioned the integrity of the women. but in fact, our abc news investigation has found that both women are highly respected professionals who have gone out to successful careers in and around government. after two days of talking to reporters everywhere, cain spent today avoiding them as best he could. >> excuse me. excuse me. >> stand back. >> reporter: apparently following the advice of a newly
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hired crisis management team, now trying to change the unjekt and save his candidacy. >> excuse me. >> reporter: the new tack involved allegations from cain's chief of staff, that the story was planted by the campaign of texas governor rick perry. >> rick perry needs to apologize to herman cain. >> reporter: something the perry campaign denies. the women who made the allegations remain unnamed in news reports. but they are well-known inside government circles. one of them has worked for years as a public spokesperson for various federal government agencies. her case appears to be the one cain has described in his round of interviews, saying she was in communications and quite short. >> and i was standing near her and i did this, saying, "you're the same height as my wife." because my wife is five feet tall and she comes up to my chin. this lady is five feet tall and she came up to my chin. so, obviously, she thought that that was too close for comfort.
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>> reporter: elsewhere, cain called into question her job performance. >> i do recall that her performance, it had been told to me by her boss was not up to par. >> reporter: the other come complaining about cain is now working as a registered lobbiest in new jersey. cain saying he recalls having after work drinks with her and other employees of the restaurant association. >> she was in some of those group activities but it was never she and i alone or anything like that. >> reporter: but the incident which took place at a restaurant in crystal city, virginia, was much more serious, according to a former pollster for the restaurant association. chris wilson, from oklahoma, now a supporter of governor perry, says she was an eyewitness and talked about it this morning on radio station ktok. >> it was a very lower level staffer, i think she was maybe two years out of college. and this all occurred at a restaurant in crystal city and
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everybody was very aware of it. i don't want to be drawn into it specifically but if she comes out and talks about it i think it will probably be the end of this campaign. >> reporter: cain's reck elections of the incidents and then of any actual settlements have changed throughout the week. >> as far as a settlement, i am unaware of any sort of settlement. three months salary or something like that, just vaguely trying to recall it. it was somewhere in the vicinity of three to six months severance pay. >> reporter: today, "the new york times" reported the settlement was actually a full year's pay, $35,000. no small matter, according to employment lawyer david sherr. >> the year severance really is the company taking the matter seriously and investigating it seriously and perhaps finding that there was at least something that merited taking care of that employee. >> reporter: a lawyer for one of the women said he had met with his client tonight and while she wants to restore her reputation and validate her claims against
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cain, she has decided not to make any public appearances. instead, the lawyer said, she will likely issue a statement, sometime thursday, that contests cain's version of events but offers no new details. all of which, he says, needs the approval of the restaurant association. juju? >> thanks, brian. and no doubt you'll stay on that story. well next up for us, in "back to the future," a souped up delorean skips through time. and the car's next real life modification is almost as awesome. heartburn, third day this week. so i took my heartburn pill and some antacids. we're having mexican tonight, so another pill then? unless we eat later, then pill later? if i get a snack now, pill now? skip the snack, pill later... late dinner, pill now? aghh i've got heartburn in my head. [ male announcer ] stop the madness of treating frequent heartburn. it's simple with prilosec otc. one pill a day. twenty-four hours. no heartburn in the first place. great.
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[ female announcer ] having grands! biscis easy.the morning just pop 'em in... then go about your business... and in just 15 minutes, your family can enjoy warm fresh from the oven biscuits. grands! warm ideas made easy. ♪ start your morning a whole new way! ♪ ♪ pillsbury grands! biscuits ♪ filled with breakfast ingredients ♪ ♪ ready in minutes! ♪ you gotta taste...mmmm a brand new morning ♪ [ female announcer ] new pillsbury grands! biscuit sandwiches. it was always the car that looked like it could fly. the delorean is still a futuristic machine, 30 years after its manufacture, but now it's getting an upgrade that will once again take drivers on a trip through time, as my
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colleague bill weir finds out in tonight's "sign of the times." ♪ thriller ♪ thriller night >> reporter: from the zombie shuffle to the flock of sea gulls hair cut -- ♪ and i ran >> reporter: there are countless icons of the awesome' '80s. but if you had to pick a vehicle that defined the decade, it's hard to beat the creation that brought us "back to the future." >> you built a time machine out of a delorean? >> reporter: what are the words that leap to most people's minds when you say delorean? >> the rise and fall of the original company, the movies. >> reporter: so marty mcfully and cocaine? >> exactly. exactly. i was just getting there, too. >> reporter: it all began with john delorean, who left general motors in the '70s to build his dream. but by the early '80s, he was drowning in red ink, so delorean was allegedly enticed into a money laundering plot involved suitcases full of cocaine.
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he was arrested, tried and found not guilty due to entrapment. >> unfortunately because of it, the company went bankrupt, went into liquidation. >> we have taken some of the trunk spake out. >> reporter: that is when stephen got involved. over the years, this mechanic bought up all the unused parts, moved to houston and be the go-to guy for the roughly 7,000 delorean owners around the world. a few years ago, he had an idea. why not bring this '80s antique back to the future with electricity? so this is it this is the battery? >> this is the battery pack at the rear. >> reporter: plug into the wall and he says the batteries will take the care between 70 and 100 miles on a full charge, at around two cents a mile. >> this is where you plug the car in. >> reporter: but since you'll pay between $90,000 and 100,000 bucks for one, you probably want to know how it handles. can we take it for a spin? >> let's do it. >> reporter: all right. off we go to the houston motor
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sports park, a track too tight to open her up but enough to get a sense of what an engine free ride is like, nestled into an interior designed during the reagan administration. the decision to take these electric is so interesting. it's so ironic. this symbol of '80s excess in a lot of ways -- >> yeah. >> reporter: you think there's an earth conscious market for it now? >> i do. i really do. i was really inspired seeing the tesla roadster. we're not trying to outperform the tesla buzz we're trying to do something different, you know, we're trying to deliver a cool electric car. >> reporter: but cool is in the eye of the beholder. and you have to wonder, who plunks down six figures for a punch line from "the wedding singer?" >> don't puke in the car, all right? >> reporter: this guy. >> 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. how do you beat that? >> reporter: delorean is trusting the market is filled


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