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Larry King Live

What's Next for Sarah Ferguson?

Aired January 25, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, GUEST HOST: She has had a bumpy ride on the royal roller coaster, now she's reinventing herself as a single woman and a hardworking mom. Sarah the Duchess of York is here for the hour, and she's taking your calls. That is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I'm Kathie Lee Gifford; Larry King is on vacation tonight. I hope he's enjoying it. I'm sitting in for the evening, and with me in New York is a remarkable woman whose life has included fairytale moments and front-page mistakes. Like me, she should probably be getting paychecks from the tabloids -- they certainly have made enough money exploiting us -- but she's also a bestselling author, career woman, and I'm sure, most proud of the fact that she is the mother of two beautiful girls.

Sarah, Duchess of York, so nice to he see you again.

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: Hello. It's great. It's fantastic you are doing this.

GIFFORD: Thank you. I'm delighted to be here, especially since I enjoyed your new book very, very much it is called "Reinventing Yourself with the Duchess of York; Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Changing Your Weight and your Life."

And it's not just your story, it is the story of 10 ladies, also, who have found enormous strength and change through the Weight Watchers program.

FERGUSON: And they are now leaders at Weight Watchers which is very exciting, but the great thing is, is that when I wrote this book, we wrote it together -- Weight Watchers and I -- and we went through so properly, a nutritionist has been brought in to do all the statistics, so I'm not saying that I'm a nutritionist or that I know the statistics, but what I did was...

GIFFORD: That word alone is hard to say.

FERGUSON: What I did do, was I interviewed each of the leaders -- I really went into really deep -- how they think about things, how they think about food, and what were the changes that they made, and how did they do it, so we compiled it together, then we sort of done quizzes in the book, so it's very, very, very powerfully going within and talking to the inner you.

GIFFORD: And you have now been the spokesperson for Weight Watchers for four years now?

FERGUSON: Yes.

GIFFORD: And the program's obviously been working really well for you, but you had to dig deep, didn't you? Go all the way back to your own childhood, the effect of your parents, divorce on you, and how food became a substitute and, it's not easy for most people to go all the way back and relive painful times in their youth.

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, I'm particular, I went back, but must people don't have to do that. You know, you don't have go back, you don't have to go through the real pain of looking back, what happened.

GIFFORD: But don't you have to find out why food has been a substitute in your life?

FERGUSON: Not necessarily. It depends on the person. I, myself, wanted to go back to the 12-year-old, because I realized, that when mum left to live in Argentina, I never told her I was unhappy, I never said to her that I didn't want her to go, and that I wanted her to be with me, and that, why did she want to reject and abandon me. And I never dealt with that issue and I should have done then and there, but I didn't.

So, I ate to compensate for those feelings, so that was just my example.

GIFFORD: But, even then, you were what you call a people- pleaser, and you're also British, so were you keeping up the stiff upper lip thing happening and...

FERGUSON: My dad told me, you know, keep it together. You know, you just get out there, and my grandmother said to, always seek to give out, rather than give in. You know, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) which says, seek to understand, not to be understood.

GIFFORD: So you were trying to be a good little girl -- and do the right thing, and deep inside, you were in enormous pain.

FERGUSON: What I realized, I was eating sausages all day -- you can't eat sausages all day, and not put on a little bit of weight. And I had Starbucks in between the sausages...

GIFFORD: A gourmet meal.

FERGUSON: A gourmet day. And quite frankly, what happened was, I was unaware, and I wasn't being educated on the effects of what food was going to do to me, so I started growing, and my weight started ballooning, and I started crying out for help, saying please help me, and everybody did that usual thing, saying, you are fine, you are fine, you're just copy (ph) fat, it will come off later on.

GIFFORD: That baby fat thing.

FERGUSON: And no one actually said to me, OK, let's look at how you are feeling. GIFFORD: By the time you came on the world scene, and you were dating Prince Andrew, you were a very self-contained, confident young woman. Was that a good point in your life where you, sort of, had it under control by then, and it was sort of hidden?

FERGUSON: No way. No.

GIFFORD: That's the way it seemed. You seemed so confident and fiery...

FERGUSON: Always the one that makes the most noise seems to be the one in total control, is probably the one that is not, you know?

GIFFORD: It didn't seem that way, I thought the press embraced you in a lovely way, you were refreshing after the, sort of, the royal family that we never really got -- nobody seemed particularly, completely human, everybody was very guarded, and here comes this lovely young woman like, "yeah baby."

FERGUSON: It was good because Fergie's still there, and I'm still Fergie, although most people call their dogs Fergie after the wedding, but I'm still Fergie and I still believe that the spirit is there but at that time, I was trying to be the caretaker and the caregiver, instead of actually trying to find out what Sarah needed to do.

GIFFORD: And even though you had been around the royal family all of your life -- all of a sudden becoming a royal yourself -- were you prepared at all for the press attention, for the worldwide press attention? Is anybody ever prepared for it?

FERGUSON: Well, I was totally in love with my man, so forget that, so who was going to look and worry about those sort of things, you know? I married the most wonderful handsome prince in the state -- a great uniform, but I wasn't thinking about all of that.

GIFFORD: But very soon, he was out of your life, out to sea, and you would talk on the phone, I'm sure, and write back and forth, but how many -- you were only married a few months before.

FERGUSON: He wrote every day.

GIFFORD: But he wasn't physically in that beautiful -- you're living in your palace without your prince.

FERGUSON: No, a lot of people say, well, you knew what you married, because he was a sailor, and quite frankly, that wasn't the case, because we only spent 40 days a year for the first four years of our marriage, and you can't build a foundation on 40 days a year, but that is no excusing the fact that we are where we are today.

GIFFORD: You have a very unusual relationship now, don't know? Tell us about your relationship.

FERGUSON: Kathie Lee, the most difficult thing for me is looking back with regret, because, of course, when you look back at that fairytale, I'd love to go back and redo things.

GIFFORD: What would you do differently?

FERGUSON: I live with regret, which I have to work at.

GIFFORD: Well, don't we all, but what would you personally do differently? You think you can change anything?

FERGUSON: The ramifications of my actions, perhaps, I would have -- had a little bit more diplomacy over my actions. The greatest understatement of all time. Perhaps, at 41, I can look back and say, right well, maybe I would have done things differently, but you know, I didn't and I'm here today, and I have got to look forward now. I have to.

GIFFORD: You also talked about losing control of your own life to the royal lifestyle. All of a sudden there were all these people doing everything for you, and you gave up control of your own life to them. Was that because, you, being that good little girl again, or you felt, this is the way I survive in a world like this?

FERGUSON: I had a very beautiful sister-in-law, didn't I? And she looked always immaculate, and there me coming along behind, with a growing bottom, and, so I, sort of, always then started to play the fool a bit and play the joker, and try to compensate for the fact -- I was probably actually crying inside, saying help me, I'm getting out of control with my finances, with my marriage, with my weight, and everything was, sort of, coming to a wonderful bubble of self sabotage.

GIFFORD: And would you talk to Diana about it very openly, because you knew of her eating disorder, as well, I'm sure -- probably one of the few that did know about it. Were you real honest with her about all these things, or could you be?

FERGUSON: Well, we had lots of talks.

GIFFORD: I know you are very careful to protect all of that.

FERGUSON: She is not here to answer.

GIFFORD: But she was a very dear friend to you for many years.

FERGUSON: Like sisters. Yes.

GIFFORD: And I'm sure, going through the same kind of press scrutiny you did, you sort of, I would think, would cling to one another, because sometimes, you would think that is only other person who understands what I'm going through, and when you look at William and Harry today, does it break your heart a little bit that they are about to experience all of that tabloid? I mean, they have been kind so far but that's because they're so young, but that is going to end soon, isn't it?

FERGUSON: There is an awful lot of people in world who have to go through really extraordinary battles and journeys of life; I mean, the road of life is very, very tough -- I think for a lot of people, and William and Harry will take their road accordingly. They are very strong, they're wonderful boys, and they will cope with it, you know, and it's like the children of Kosovo or the children of Afghanistan -- they've got their road too, or the children of Sierra Leone -- did they want civil war for the last 10 years? No, but it is their role, and they are going to do it their way. And, it is like my girls -- Andrew and I keep trying to bring them up to sort of understand about communication, about education, about companionship, and, that is their role ahead.

GIFFORD: We are going to talk more; in fact, the whole hour with Sarah, and it's a pleasure to have you here. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: The year was 1986 and, of course, that was the day you were married to Prince Andrew and recently you said, let's see here, we are the happiest divorced couple in the world. How have you managed that alone? That alone is an incredible accomplishment.

FERGUSON: It seems very sad, actually, when you watch that clip, but then, you know, but then, I always say that regret is that looking in the rearview mirror, you know? If you're driving your car and you look in your mirror, you can't look back, you've got to look forward, otherwise you will have a crash.

GIFFORD: And you also share, of course, the raising of these two beautiful little girls.

FERGUSON: We are, absolutely, we are the happiest -- we live in the same house, but we believe in communication between ourselves, we think that a lot of ignorance can come from lack of communication.

GIFFORD: How do you communicate this unusual, unorthodox living arrangement to your daughters? What do you say to them?

FERGUSON: We just explain it very truthfully, exactly like I deal with food with my daughters, which is a big issue, Kathie -- we have to go there, because with obesity becoming such a problem in this country and in the U.K. and Scotland, but with -- the truth about our relationship, we talked to them very honestly about it.

GIFFORD: I love your crest, loosely, out of Latin, it says, out of adversity comes happiness.

FERGUSON: I know. Can you believe that?

GIFFORD: Yes, because I understand it in my own life, but let me ask -- are you happy now? Is this a good time for you?

FERGUSON: It's getting better, yes, I'm beginning to understand, that you know, what it is all about, really -- what do I mean by that? I mean, understanding the inner critic of Sarah, not expecting too much of myself, not always beating myself up as a failure. Permanently thinking I'm a failure is not good thing. GIFFORD: You talk in your book about how you had driven that inner Sarah so deep inside you that you she was gone for several -- for years -- and how did you get her back? That child within you? How did you get her back?

FERGUSON: I have to tell you, that four years ago, I joined Weight Watchers, and I know, people say, yeah, but you are the spokesperson, you are paid to say that, you say Weight Watchers on Larry King.

GIFFORD: Could you say it if it weren't true?

FERGUSON: I couldn't, but you know me actually, don't you? So, you know I could not lie to you, because I just wouldn't be able to hold it together.

GIFFORD: From the first time I met you, though, you were somebody that I wanted to know better -- I was at a dinner party that Howard Rubenstein, your PR man here in New York, threw for you when you were just signing with Weight Watchers. Frank and I came and your mom was there -- lovely, lovely lady, and I remember you got up and told the bawdiest joke. Hysterical.

FERGUSON: The first five minutes.

GIFFORD: Yes. The first five minutes of the whole dinner and I went, I love this woman!

FERGUSON: We better not do it tonight.

GIFFORD: We won't do it tonight, but you were so -- you were just very relaxed in your own skin, and so that is why I was surprised reading your book, is I did today, that there was so much turmoil happening, and yet you were putting on the happy face, so tell us, exactly, how this program helped you, so it can help other people.

FERGUSON: Well, thank you, because what actually happened was I had to go -- when I joined Weight Watchers, I, of course, had to do the program. The Winning Points Program, which is now called the Winning Points -- which is the new program for the year 2001, and it's fantastic, because it's designed for the individual, so you can go in there, you can eat anything you want on the point program, and as long as you don't... exceed your points, and you can just do it for me. I never choose menus, I never cook, as you know -- I don't like cooking.

GIFFORD: Honey, I don't know where my kitchen is. I know I have one.

FERGUSON: But the thing is, that it is just like, OK, it's not a diet program, it's a way of life, and I was speaking to two girls today, Lynne and Kim, and they were fantastic -- in fact, Lynne had lost 220 pounds on Weight Watchers.

GIFFORD: How long a time?

FERGUSON: In two years. GIFFORD: Oh, my Lord.

FERGUSON: She is now 20 years old, and she's a real inspiration, so pretty, and so nice, and I just said, why -- how did you manage to do this? and she goes because, I can do it at college, I can do it whenever I can, wherever I go, I can do it. And I just suddenly felt -- I wish more people could hear her say that, because it really -- that is what it was about.

GIFFORD: 220 pounds? In two years.

FERGUSON: Two years. Then I went, so I joined Weight Watchers and all the people of Weight Watchers supported me -- I had all my lovely Lindas and Jackies and everybody...

GIFFORD: You talk about in your book the difference between having a willful attitude and a wantful attitude, and when we come back, we will discuss that a little further with the Duchess of York, royalty here tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: I have so many pages of notes here -- I wish that the Duchess was with us for a week, because we could talk that long about so many subjects, because you have so much to say, we think we know what you have been through, but nobody can know what a person has been through except that person. But you were talking earlier about the difference between being willful and wantful; a lot of people want to lose weight, a lot of people want to change their lives, a lot of people want to change their jobs, a lot of people want in their lives, but they don't seem to have the will to accomplish it. How do you go from being wantful to willful?

FERGUSON: I think it is about -- I had to make that change, and it is taking the courage of your own truth. In the book, we talk about quizzes, going through it, who are you?

GIFFORD: And answering them honestly.

FERGUSON: Who are you, what do you want, are you -- I do it with girls -- I go, are you happy at school? Do your friends like you? Are you worried about mommy and daddy? I go through these questions.

GIFFORD: Do you ever see them putting on a happy face for you, the way you did? And what do you say to them then, so they can learn -- its OK to have your feelings.

FERGUSON: When I leave to go on a trip for Weight Watchers or America, which is great. But when I leave, I go, so, you know, you seem to be OK. And they go, no, we are just putting it on, so you don't worry. And I stop, and even if I miss the airplane, I stop and go back and say come on, let's talk about it. Because I remember, that when my mom left I did that. And I don't want them to grow up with their not sharing their emotions. It is so British, isn't it? Not to share your emotions, and not to talk about it.

GIFFORD: I think it's pretty universal, I do. Perhaps it's more so in Britain, I don't know.

FERGUSON: I love Britain, so I am not saying a word about it, but I do think sometimes we are taught never to say...

GIFFORD: Stoic.

FERGUSON: Yes. Never show feelings.

GIFFORD: We're just -- we are just putting a band aid on cancer, aren't we? It's going to eventually catch up -- we are going to have to deal with hiding it so he long, and it just gets worse as the years go by.

FERGUSON: With willful and wantful is, that if you really want something, and you don't do anything about it, that it eventually is going to manifest itself because your soul is going to come forward very strongly, and it's going to make things happen, because that is what you are meant to do. You know, inside yourself, so, if you really want something, and you don't do it, eventually it's going to do it for you. You are going to, perhaps -- going to sabotage like me, you know, perhaps I wanted to change things, but I never didn't have the will.

GIFFORD: Why do you think women spend most of their day pleasing and doing and nurturing everybody else and neglect their own person hood?

FERGUSON: Well, often -- I love that quote where it says, "you can't bring sunshine to others unless you bring sunshine to yourself." And I guess women are the greatest caretakers and caregivers. However, I think that's changing and I think men are taking a much more aware role of their role and of what they need to do in supporting women much better. And I think that is great, you know.

I think that Weight Watchers is about men and women, and I must say that, because everybody always thinks it's about the female.

GIFFORD: Men have weight problems as well.

FERGUSON: Absolutely, and this book is about men and women. And I just think, you know, like Afghanistan with those women that wear the burqas (ph), they're covered up because they must be hidden and women must stay at home and cook. We must talk about that. We must talk for them, because they want to...

GIFFORD: They come out.

FERGUSON: ... they can't, and they must have a voice and say no, we don't want to stay at home. We have a view. And we have a right to be respected and we have freedom of speech. Please listen to us.

GIFFORD: What happened when you went to India recently? Was that a life-changing experience for you?

FERGUSON: Completely extraordinary.

GIFFORD: Why?

FERGUSON: I went and had the great honor of meeting his holiness, the Dalai Lama, and I sat with him, I said I feel so regretful. I feel so guilty about my actions in the past and he said, what is guilt? Guilt is not a word in the Tibetan dictionary. Guilt is a fabrication of your own mind. You must free it, now.

And I said, but...

GIFFORD: How?

FERGUSON: Exactly. And I said isn't but what about regret? And he said, that regret is your mind. You must think you've done that. It's in the past. Now look forward. And look forward with compassion, not only for other people, but for yourself.

GIFFORD: It's one thing to say, I'm going to look forward, and yet we live in a world, especially someone like you or someone like myself, where they don't want you to forget. They want to remind you every single day of the past. And so it's almost like a scab that keeps being picked off and you're not allowed to heal. Do you avoid reading anything? Do you just not go there?

FERGUSON: Oh, no.

GIFFORD: Or when you do read something that's hurtful, how do you deal with it?

FERGUSON: Well, now, I have just decided that they have written so many things that good or bad, it doesn't make any difference. Just go forward in your own truth and have that courage and move forward with it, and do the best you can, and know you're being a good person. But don't always want to try to make everybody happy and please everybody.

But, I'm not going to do it because I've got to learn it. I've got to learn it.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: Well, there is a scripture that says, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

FERGUSON: Absolutely. You've got to conduct your own orchestra.

GIFFORD: That's right. We're going to be right back with the duchess and we're going to take your calls in just a few moments, OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FERGUSON: There is something about the East that has always fascinated me. I'd come to India to meet the ordinary and the extraordinary people of this vast and diverse continent.

As soon as you step onto Indian soil, the sights and sounds are overwhelming. The energy that people exude hits the very heart of one's soul. I hope that this journey will inspire and bring an inner peace within me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: We're back. We're talking with Sarah, the Duchess of York. And Sarah, you not only talk about in the book about your struggle to overcome and to control eating in if your life but also spending in your life. When you and Andrew divorced, you were really deeply in debt; right? And is it same thing? Is was it you were really acting out the same thing? One thing was spending; one thing with food.

FERGUSON: Absolutely, I was out of control in every way. Finance, weight, timing. Timing, I was on the verge of self sabotage which means you want everybody to not like you so you can turn around and say, see you are a failure. You have self-hatred. To justify your own self-hatred.

GIFFORD: So many of the women in there talk about how they -- many saw a picture of themselves, and were stunned by the picture. It's almost like they had been in denial about how much weight they had gained, and it was that picture that snapped them into saying, I'm going to do something about this. Was there a moment in your life, and I'm not just talking about the weight, but some moment where you said, enough. I am now going to take control of my own life.

FERGUSON: Yes, I often look in the mirror. In the past, I remember looking in the mirror, going, well most people try to change their life once they see themselves in the mirror. I -- that didn't do it. What did it was, I think, that the headline which said 82 percent would rather sleep with a goat than Fergie.

GIFFORD: Oh, my gosh. That would do.

FERGUSON: Wouldn't that do it? So I....

GIFFORD: That's so unbelievably cruel, though. They took a poll, an actual poll.

FERGUSON: Yes, so they said. And so, Kathie, that's really what it came down to, and I thought right, OK. Come on, Sarah. You know. you really have got to get a grip. And dad -- you know, I remember dad saying to me Sarah, get a grip. And here we are, and I mean, literally it is all about with great humor going forward and taking life and seizing the moment. Today is the moment.

GIFFORD: Carpe diem.

FERGUSON: It's not tomorrow. It's -- seize the moment and go forward because it really is -- it's very exciting once you do that.

GIFFORD: So, is the hardest part of your life now not dealing with anything in the past, but missing your daughters when you go out -- and what is hardest part now being Sarah, Duchess of York. Sounds pretty darn good to me. FERGUSON: Yes, it's good. I'm very, very, very lucky. I am. And you know what, I love every minute of it. I have a good time. I see the world, and I work hard, and I got two great girls and I'm glad that I'm learning how to be better mother.

GIFFORD: Do you think there is any chance for you Andrew to be reconciled. I know a lot of people harbor hope that that would be like the loveliest fairy tale of all that the princess and the prince get back together again. You know, the duchess and the prince.

FERGUSON: We've haven't talked about -- it has not been discussed. But the great thing is is that, as we said, living in the moment, if I get to end of the week I have done well.

Andrew and I both agree very wholeheartedly in joint unity of parenthood. We were there, obviously, when it all started, at conception and we honored and respected that moment and we honor and respect it now. But these are the two girls that are growing up with a lot more ability in discussing their feelings openly than we did.

GIFFORD: Then you're doing a good job as a parent. In the last "McCall's" that I think you were on the cover of, you said to Andrew, why did we ever get divorced, right? Because you obviously had such a good friendship now. What was his answer to you?

FERGUSON: Well, we believe that divorce was a piece of paper in our particular circumstances. Everybody's circumstances are, of course, of very different. But he and I, we uphold the fact that we respect each other's space and we respect each other's ways and we communicate. And I think it doesn't matter where you are or who you are, you could be titled or not titled, if you -- you have to learn to communicate and express yourself.

GIFFORD: Do we expect our royals...

FERGUSON: Sorry.

GIFFORD: I'm so sorry.

FERGUSON: Go ahead, do we expect what?

GIFFORD: Do we expect our royals to be more, somehow more divine in some sense than we mere mortals? Is there more expected of them and is it too much to expect?

FERGUSON: Well, the word "royal" -- what is the word royal? The word royal and royal highness is, I believe, to really have go inside deep into you soul and to really understand to give with total love and compassion, and I think that -- and I think that's -- whatever it can be, if you can spread that compassion wholeheartedly, knowing you have that inside yourself at that time, then I think that's good thing to be.

GIFFORD: That's -- that's truly royal.

FERGUSON: Um-hmm. GIFFORD: OK, we're going to be right back with the Duchess of York. I will go further with that. That's compelling. What do you mean by that? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: We're here with Sarah, the Duchess of York. A lot of people are on the line and want to ask you a question. Are you up for a few questions?

FERGUSON: Yes.

GIFFORD: All right, our first caller is from Bainbridge, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello.

GIFFORD: You're with Sarah, the Duchess of York.

CALLER: Hello, Sarah.

FERGUSON: Hi, there. What's your name?

CALLER: Susan.

FERGUSON: Hi, Susan.

CALLER: I'm so excited to be speaking with you. My question to you, I wanted to know if you will ever write a book about your fond memories and times with Princess Diana?

FERGUSON: Oh, well, you're very kind. No, I won't, is the answer because those are our secret moments, and I think -- I don't think it would be right. I mean, I don't know. I've never really thought about it. But I think what a wonderful lady she was, and just such special memories.

GIFFORD: It has to break your heart, though, when you see so many people who weren't that close exploiting her even after she is gone and writing books and she is not here to defend herself and her sons still have to deal with all of that. What do you say to these people who just make their lives and their reputations and their fortunes on a woman who can't even defend herself at this point?

FERGUSON: Do you know what, if that is what's they want to do then it's going to come back to them one day; isn't it? They can't go -- if they want to go and write books and do that, then that's them. I can't make a judgment on it because they'll have to live with their own conscience. I don't think it's really right to do that.

GIFFORD: Do we have another caller on the line right now? OK, how is your relationship with the royal family now, Sarah. We hear different things that you just had dinner with the queen and everything seems fine. Then we find out there's a birthday party and the girls go and you're not invited. Is that -- first of all, is it true and second of all, if it is true, how do you deal with that? FERGUSON: Well, I'm very happy because I've come and made my second home the United States. So, I have come over here. I've been embraced by the people of America, and I'm really proud they have done that. And I will give my whole heart to them for giving my children a better mum.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: Have you ever considered moving and being bi-countries. What do you call it?

FERGUSON: Well, I'm a closet American, anyway.

GIFFORD: Have they forgiven you that in England? Are they upset that you spend so much time in America?

FERGUSON: No, I think that it's kind of good because I learn all the wonderful openness of the American people and go back and have a chat to them over there. So, it works kind of well. I just spend most of my time in the clouds really, every way.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: In every way. You were saying to me earlier that you're -- they're always getting after you about something, but apparently the latest thing is that you have come down on the obesity issue in England and you have been talking to children on the subject of obesity and they're finding fault with you for discussing obesity with children. Why is that? Why is that any different than discussing birth control with children or discussing AIDS or anything like that?

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, Kathie Lee, thank you for bringing that up because it's such a hot topic. I mean, obesity is becoming one of the greatest epidemics in this country and the UK and Scotland are very close behind. I'm not saying they're not.

But I'm simply saying -- we're going to put children on diets because we're not. What we're saying is, don't children have a right to an opinion, and if a child comes up to you at the age of 10, Kathie Lee, and says, oh, I feel fat. And I'm not feeling comfortable, do you just turn around and say, oh, it's fine. Go away. Go away. No, you respect...

GIFFORD: Or it's baby fat. You'll be fine in four years.

FERGUSON: Like they did, right. In fact, you turn around and you say no, I'll respect you. OK, let's listen. Let's try and help you and educate you that if you eat 15 pizzas in half an hour it might have an effect on the overall ramifications later on in your life.

GIFFORD: Better have a waste basket.

FERGUSON: Absolutely, but you know what I mean.

(CROSSTALK) GIFFORD: I know exactly what you mean, but I'm wondering what their issue is. Is it because it's you? Or is it because they're truly concerned that children will develop some sort of an eating disorder if the subject of obesity is even brought up.

FERGUSON: I think the people that are judging me are being very naive because they haven't looked at their own television sets and they haven't realized that every one and half seconds, practically, there is an advert for some fast food chain. And do they think that a child age five doesn't -- or six doesn't watch television and realize there's these hamburgers going every five seconds in front of their nose doesn't want to go out and eat one. Now, they're being told the hamburgers are best thing for you with chips everything else, but...

GIFFORD: And taste tests.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: And don't you think they have a right to know the truth? That if you eat hamburgers all day and chips that maybe you might have problems later in life with weight problems. And I'm not saying -- I'm not encouraging anorexia or bulimia. I'm simply saying that it's very important to help educate young people, not just about sex, but also about weight, too.

GIFFORD: You have two beautiful daughters who obviously see the same magazines as my daughter does. My daughter is only 7 1/2. She plays with her Barbie dolls but they're perfect figures. But last night in the bathtub she also had her Rosie O'Donnell doll which I brought for her because I took over for Rosie yesterday and it was struck me.

It was lovely that there were six perfect Barbie dolls in the bathtub floating there and Rosie in her little red suit with her vest on holding her little microphone, and yes, it was wonderful. I said thank goodness there is a different kind of role model as well because we are not created equally. We are all different but there is such a pressure on young women and young men. Cody, my son, the other day was going, mom, I think I'm getting a little fat.

FERGUSON: And what did you say?

GIFFORD: I said what do you want to do about that.

FERGUSON: Exactly. You didn't say, oh, no, no, no. You're not. You're fine.

GIFFORD: I said, well, you do eat four pancakes every morning, Cody. Should we maybe try some cereal is what I basically said. Did I do right?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: That is exactly right because what you did was you gave him respect. You listened to him. And weight watchers and what I believe is about just respecting the human being. Whether they're five or 50, they have a right to be respected.

GIFFORD: But the message is in the media today that if you're not a size two, honey, you ain't --

FERGUSON: You are out of here.

GIFFORD: Right. We'll be right back with your calls. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: Back with Sarah, the Duchess of York, and somebody from Milton, Vermont wants to talk to you, Sarah. Do you want to talk to them?

FERGUSON: Oh, good.

GIFFORD: Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Sarah. This is Helen from Vermont.

FERGUSON: Oh, good. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. It is such a pleasure to speak with you.

FERGUSON: Well, it -- I love Vermont.

CALLER: Oh, you do.

GIFFORD: Have you been skiing to Vermont? Because you went skiing...

FERGUSON: I was in Switzerland all the time. I went in the fall. I went and saw the leaves.

GIFFORD: The foliage. Oh, my. What's your question?

(CROSSTALK)

CALLER: I was wondering, Sarah, if you feel that the royal family with its very tough and stringent expectations had any part in your marital break-up?

GIFFORD: Well, let's get right to it.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: The one I don't have the courage to ask, she did.

FERGUSON: She did. OK, well let's answer that. I think it wasn't about the royal family. I think it was the fact that Andrew and I were married very young. He went away to sea, and I was there and I think we both learned and have educated ourselves. And now we're 40, and I don't think -- I don't you think you can ever blame anything other than on yourselves, and I think we both took serious responsibility for our own break-up, and I think that's what I've learned now. And at 41 I'm sitting here saying, I'm glad that I went through what I had to go through because at least it has given me a much better understanding of myself.

GIFFORD: You did say -- you wrote your autobiography in 1996, and I have it here and tell me if this is true, that your -- in retrospect you feel it was almost a mistake, and in what way because you were so frank and so open ...

FERGUSON: The autobiography?

GIFFORD: The autobiography.

FERGUSON: No, I don't think -- I don't think it's so much a mistake. It was just one of those things that I went through, and I had to go through in order to grow to where I am now. I mean, there's so many things I've been through where if you really look at it you go, did I really do that?

You die with embarrassment. But you can't do that. I mean, I've learned I cannot look back in the rear-view mirror. I can't. I have to look forward now, because otherwise I will spend my whole life regretting and being embarrassed and cringing at my mistakes.

GIFFORD: And never accomplishing anything to undue -- not undue it, but to sort of balance the past out. You're doing so many good things now with your life. You have your children's foundation here in America that I know you raise enormous amounts of money.

Ivy, by the way, at Bloomingdales, your personal shopper over there loves you to pieces and sends her regards. Yes, she said, oh, I love Sarah. She said I get so mad when I read these things about her. She's the nicest lady. Your picture is right there in her office, and do you find that when you meet people it dispels the preconception that they had about you. Because you came in here, you immediately memorized everybody's name on this crew, and do you feel a need sometimes to say, I'm not that person you've read about. Get to know me, the real me.

FERGUSON: I think that when I walk into a room most people have got this negative opinion that I'm...

GIFFORD: Even in America.

FERGUSON: ... that I'm either very small or very fat. Yes, they do. And they always come up to me and say, you're so tall and you're bottom's not nearly so big. So, that's great. That's encouraging.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: That's better than the goat thing.

FERGUSON: And then they come out and then in the end they go, gosh, you know, we never knew that, you know, that you are this kind of person. So, I don't know. Whether it be good, bad, whatever. I just go forward, I believe very strongly in the heart and soul, and being a great mom and learning more and more about life. And painting pictures, taking photographs, goodness knows what, Life is exciting and we are so lucky.

GIFFORD: You talk about the whole Weight Watchers thing as being a journey, not a diet.

FERGUSON: Um-hmm.

GIFFORD: Where do you think you would be in your own personal journey now if four years ago you hadn't found some of the answers for your life in this program? What would Sarah Ferguson be doing right now?

FERGUSON: Oh, she'd probably have done a hugely good job at self sabotage and she's probably sitting in a little cell somewhere banging her head against a wall, a padded cell, probably...

GIFFORD: In a sense it saved your life, you think.

FERGUSON: Oh, no question about it, because it made me wake up and smell the roses. Literally, that expression is so right. Wake up, look at yourself, and realize that why do you want to beat yourself up to such degree that your sabotaged, you'll be late for things -- you just got to look at it and go, OK, I'm sorry. Please, let's go forward.

GIFFORD: There's a saying that came to me a few years ago, long before I was married and I was in bad relationship and I remember a voice in my head saying, if you settle for what you've got, you deserve what you get. Quit whining about it. You can change your life. Can anybody else make your dreams come true in your life or only you?

FERGUSON: But it's about pixie dust, Kathie Lee. It's about pixie. Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland...

GIFFORD: If you can dream it, it can happy.

FERGUSON: Exactly. If you really put your huge strength behind it and say, I'm going to make a difference. I'm going make magic. Well, for example, a child in Kosovo, all that child dreams about is a house or getting his or her parents back that have just been shot. We have so much in this country and in the U.K...

GIFFORD: And we sit around and whine.

FERGUSON: ... and we can't whine about what we did or how we did it. We've got to go forward and say let's make a difference and try and help more people.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: Sarah is not making me cry. I don't want to hear anywhere that she's -- I just have a cold, OK. That's all. I don't want to hear that I'm crying. We'll be right back with Sarah in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GIFFORD: We feel like we've all been through so much, watching the headlines in Sarah's life for so long, and then the break-up of your marriage, and then Diana and losing your mom all within a year of each other. And then just this past year -- it wasn't huge news here, but I suspect it was rather large in England, when your assistant of seven years -- what was her name? Jane Andrews, your former aide was arrested for stabbing her boyfriend to death. My gosh.

FERGUSON: Allegedly.

GIFFORD: Allegedly. Where does that stand now, Sarah?

FERGUSON: I don't know.

GIFFORD: Probably doesn't want to know.

FERGUSON: No, no. I think it's very important that at the moment, it hasn't been to court yet.

GIFFORD: Oh, it hasn't.

FERGUSON: No, and she is out on bail.

GIFFORD: And so it's a litigation in pending and all that.

FERGUSON: Yes, exactly, and I honestly don't know the situation so I would be totally incorrect to answer that.

GIFFORD: OK, and what about your dad? What is doing?

FERGUSON: My dad?

GIFFORD: Yes.

FERGUSON: He's a superstar. He's a good boy.

GIFFORD: You call him Pinkie and Perky.

FERGUSON: Pinky and Perky.

GIFFORD: I hate perky. He likes Perky.

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Well, I didn't call him Perky. This was old days when he was in -- when he was a soldier he was called Perky. I think it was because he was always very pale. But he is in good form. He's OK. He's back at the farm with his wonderful wife, Sue, and everything's fine.

GIFFORD: So he has remarried.

FERGUSON: He's fighting very, very hard with prostate cancer. He has prostate cancer himself and he is a spokesperson for that, and he's going around championing the cause, and my dad is such a huge champion. He's such a fighter that I know he will come through. GIFFORD: He's a stallion.

FERGUSON: Yes, well, he's just a good boy. You know, he's been through his own journey.

GIFFORD: And you're still very close?

FERGUSON: Very close, and I respect him, and he is a good boy. Helped me enormously in my life.

GIFFORD: I'm sure, and can you imagine ever being married again? Can you see yourself as Mrs. somebody living in the suburbs somewhere ever? My suburbs.

FERGUSON: I'm quite happy as I am at this moment, thank you very much.

GIFFORD: Not looking.

FERGUSON: No, I'm not looking. I'm just trying to work through things. I have got -- just getting -- I've cleared my debts. I'm getting my weight under control. I'm moving forward now, and let's take one step at a time. The most important thing, of course, without any shadow of a doubt, are my wonderful girls. So whatever they feel, really.

GIFFORD: Do they ever feel like you're choosing something else over them when you leave? I get that from my children once in a while. Well, why do you want to do that, mommy? Why do you want to leave us? When they say something like that you just about...

FERGUSON: My girls don't do that because they know very well that I have to work. I'm a single working mom. I have to meet the budget at the end of every month and there's no option. During the holidays, I don't work, but during the rest of the time I have to work because otherwise they can't get their Britney Spears T-shirts or their holidays or whatever it might be. So I'm working mom.

GIFFORD: But that sounds amazing to somebody to hear you say that. We're all -- I know my reaction is, well, Prince Andrew is a prince of England. Certainly they have a lot of cash and money from that side of the family; right?

FERGUSON: I know, but I didn't want to divorce Her Majesty or cause any problems. I just wanted to take things as they were get on with it and work hard and I'm pleased I have. I'm, you know, I'm happy. I think I've -- I think it's good for the girls to realize that a lot of mothers work in life, you know, and that I'm being a regular normal role model, out there,,,

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: And you're enjoying your work.

FERGUSON: Absolutely, and I've just been a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. GIFFORD: What is Regis going to do about that? He thought he was.. Oh, my gosh. The king has been replaced by different royalty.

FERGUSON: But it's very exciting. You know, I think that it shows that they are weight watchers and it shows them that at least (UNINTELLIGIBLE) It's very important that -- heart disease is the number one killer for females in this country.

GIFFORD: And nothing does that faster than obesity.

FERGUSON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

GIFFORD: And tell us about this wonderful wardrobe of yours. Are you sponsored?

FERGUSON: Well, it isn't...

GIFFORD: Be careful. Be very careful where things are made and under what conditions. I learned that. You have to be real careful.

FERGUSON: Yes.

GIFFORD: Monitoring is the key to everything.

FERGUSON: I think we're all right with these suits.

GIFFORD: You make sure they make them right.

FERGUSON: There's a very, very nice friend of mine, and he is -- well, the owner of Brioni in Italy, and, of course, Brioni's Men's Tailoring -- you know, Pierce Brosnan, he does James Bond.

GIFFORD: Oh, yes, and he doesn't look too shabby.

FERGUSON: And so I thought he looked pretty cool. So, just because I'm a woman, can't I wear men's suits?

GIFFORD: I just heard a rumor today in the papers that it might be a female James Bond next time. And you and I were not mentioned. I'm very upset but guess who was, Katherine Zeta-Jones. Your fellow United Kingdom person.

FERGUSON: No, but she is beautiful, isn't she?

GIFFORD: You know, she could -- if she weren't so sweet, I could really hate her. No. No.

FERGUSON: She's an angel.

GIFFORD: So you and Catherine Zeta-Jones both have the world by the tail right now, so to speak. Right?

FERGUSON: Well, I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is going into ladies' tailoring, so we're very excited. And thank for you mentioning it actually. Did you like this suit, too?

GIFFORD: Well, you asked me to. And I was happy to. Let's be honest about it. No, you look lovely. And you look like a lady.

FERGUSON: I had to ask you to do it. Otherwise, they would kill me.

GIFFORD: You've got control of your life. And that makes a lot of people happy, because a lot of us, at times, have lost control of our lives. And we all sort of have to get back on track. And this book will help them, I'm sure. I read it today. And it really -- I was surprised by how much really good solid advice there is in it. It is going to take some soul-searching.

But it's the difference between willful and wantful. How badly do you really want to change your life? And you certainly are a fantastic spokesperson for them.

FERGUSON: And write your own obituary, you know, what, when...

GIFFORD: I couldn't believe that.

FERGUSON: I know.

GIFFORD: She wants you to write your own -- don't scare people off. It's a great book!

FERGUSON: No, but it is true. When -- after you have gone, how do you want people to remember you?

GIFFORD: That's right.

FERGUSON: And have you achieved that?

GIFFORD: We'll be right back with our, I think, last few minutes with the duchess. If you want to call, call now. Time is running out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GIFFORD: We are in our last few moments with Sarah.

And what else do you want the world to know about you that they don't yet know? Let me tell everybody something that they don't yet know. Then you will have your turn. Tomorrow night, there will be an encore presentation of Larry's interview with Elizabeth Taylor right here on LARRY KING LIVE. OK?

Now, your turn.

FERGUSON: OK.

GIFFORD: What do you want the world to know about you that they don't know yet?

FERGUSON: That I'm getting -- I'm going to start new career in television and that you and I are going to have our own television show.

GIFFORD: Who needs Regis?

(LAUGHTER)

FERGUSON: Exactly. And that, you know, that it doesn't matter what age you are, who you are, that you can make a change and take the courage with that and make the change.

GIFFORD: It is, you know, you -- we have been through your struggles with you. None of us could ever know what it has been like. Only your pillow knows. Only my pillow knows. But it is one thing to say: I have got five pounds I gained from holidays -- you know, five pounds. What do you say to that person who is sitting there watching right now; they're 300 pounds or -- you know, truly, truly obese? What can you possibly say to them that will make them go from wantful to willful?

FERGUSON: Well, what I would say is: Look in mirror. Look at what you want. Do you want to make a difference? Do you really want to make a difference to yourself? And, if so, take that step. Make that move. And take mini-steps. Don't try and lose 300 pounds in a week. Just go tiny, tiny steps and you can make it. It might take you a couple years. But you will get there. And then you'll feel so much better. But don't -- please don't think -- please, whatever you do, turn the television off, say: Well, it's all right for her because she is -- you know, wherever she has come from, because that is not case.

GIFFORD: She's rich. She's royal.

FERGUSON: No, that is absolute rubbish. The bottom line is, when you've got a weight issue, you've got a weight issue. And you can deal with if you just take that change. Make it. You can do it.

GIFFORD: Describe yourself in one sentence.

FERGUSON: Mischievous.

(CROSSTALK)

GIFFORD: One word. One word. Of course you're much more than mischievous.

FERGUSON: No, I think I'm very proud that I love being a mother. And I'm...

GIFFORD: Nothing comes close.

FERGUSON: And I feel -- I feel very happy to be here in the United States. And I suppose what kind of person I am. I love today. I'm looking forward to today. I'm looking forward to what's going to happen. I'm excited by it. But it's taken a long time to get here.

GIFFORD: What about your daughters? What do you dream for them?

FERGUSON: I dream that they show their emotions. They speak their feelings. And that they understand that their life -- that life is tough and that they must take every day as it comes. And they can deal with whatever is thrown at them. They can deal with it. Just go inside in the soul, and the strength within yourself will lead you through it.

GIFFORD: As princesses in the royal family of England, are they going to be allowed to speak their mind? Are they allowed to have their feelings and...

FERGUSON: With me as their mother?

GIFFORD: Well, I know, with you as their mother -- but when you are not around, and as they grow older, will they be allowed to be who they are?

FERGUSON: Oh, yes. I think they will. I think very much they will. And they've got a great grandmother. And I think...

GIFFORD: That would be the queen.

FERGUSON: I think Her Majesty is one of the finest examples of that. I think she does an extraordinary role for them to follow.

GIFFORD: You know, last summer, I took our family -- we went on a vacation. It was the first time I had ever been in Buckingham Palace.

FERGUSON: Oh, good.

GIFFORD: And I was so unbelievably -- I have always loved history. But I had this great guide. And Janine (ph), if you're watching in England -- she was amazing. And we so fell in love with England. But next time I come to England, I want you to be my guide -- you and Janine. Will you take us around? And can we meet the little princesses? I promise we won't take them to McDonald's. We will eat good healthy foods.

FERGUSON: Well, maybe I will ask Andrew and the girls to take you around. I'm not sure that I will be much good at it.

GIFFORD: Oh, you're not that good with English history?

(CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Well, you know, I'm OK with English history. But, you know, I think I would love to see you any time. And I love -- I'm very proud to be British. And I'm very proud that you loved coming to the U.K. That's great.

GIFFORD: Oh, it was extraordinary. It was just so fascinating. Frank and my son, Cody, loved the imperial war museum.

FERGUSON: Oh, yes.

GIFFORD: Couldn't get him out of that. Cassidy and I loved Buckingham Palace and all that, you know. It is just truly -- and London has changed so much since the last time I had been there. FERGUSON: But don't you think how lucky -- you see, look at that. Wasn't I lucky to live in the fairy tale?

GIFFORD: Oh, absolutely.

FERGUSON: Well, there you go.

GIFFORD: Yes. And each day is a journey. And each day is a gift. There is an old toast which says: Here is to yesterday -- oh, how I'm going screw it up. How does it go? Which is history -- here is to tomorrow, which is a mystery. And here is to today.

FERGUSON: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. But today is a gift.

GIFFORD: So we drink to today.

FERGUSON: A cup of tea.

GIFFORD: Which is a gift. And that is why we call it the present.

FERGUSON: OK. We will drink to that.

GIFFORD: It is tea.

FERGUSON: But wine on Weight Watchers is two points. So we could have had a glass of wine.

GIFFORD: Now she tells me. I'm highly medicated on Tylenol Cold. I can't have that, too.

Sarah, it's been an absolute pleasure and a delight to be with you again. And I hope we do it again real, real soon.

FERGUSON: Thank you very much, indeed.

GIFFORD: And my thanks to Larry King, letting me sit in his very comfortable chair one more time. Of course, that encore presentation with Elizabeth Taylor will be on tomorrow night. Until then, be well.

Thank you.

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