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Interview with Joan Collins, Sally Jessy Raphael

Aired November 11, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, you read about it in the tabloids, now hear all about right from own mouth. Joan Collins, her new husband's about half her age. If you ask us, he's the lucky one.
And then, exclusive: Sally Jessy Raphael with a surprising announcement that's guaranteed to make some headlines, or give a tabloid a headache.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Joan Collins is the award-winning film, TV and stage actress. She now appears on the daytime soap opera "Guiding Light." And her new book, the new novel is "Star Quality." I remember last time she had a book there was a lawsuit which she won. This one cleared through, huh, Joan?

JOAN COLLINS, ACTRESS: Yes, absolutely. I just finished it. It is a terrific read, Larry. I think it spans a whole generation for women, the last century. In fact, the 20th century I think was the most fascinating century and the whole of man civilization because so much happened. So I have based my four characters -- main characters around that period of time.

KING: Did you pick up this writing skill from your sister? I mean she's been writing for so long.

COLLINS: I'm older than my sister so I started writing first. I started writing at school. I was always top of my class in composition, essays, English Lit and all of that. And I used to write novels and little stories and compositions and I -- but I put them away because I started acting when I was 17. So there wasn't much time. And then I wrote my first autobiography when I -- well, it was 23 years ago. And since then I've written about one book every two years.

KING: Well, "Star Quality" is the newest. You'll be seeing it everywhere in stores. We'll asking you about it in a while. I want to touch some other bases with Joan Collins.

How do you stay looking as great as you look?

COLLINS: Oh, well...

KING: Do you -- do you have any special things you do?

COLLINS: I have a lot of things that I do. Well I've written four beauty books as well. And I have a special cream that I use that I made myself that I invented, that I put on at night and during the day.

Basically, though, I believe in eating well, not eating too much but eating a variety of foods. I don't believe in dieting. I think dieting is bad for you. I don't believe in eating junk and I protect my face all the time from the sun, even in the winter with base and makeup.

KING: If you don't diet, then you to exercise a lot then, right?

COLLINS: Well, since I've been doing "Guiding Light" I've been so busy and we moved into a new apartment in New York. So I have had no time to exercise. I have done one set of sit-ups in two months. It's quite terrible. But I was so busy hanging curtains and pushing and pulling and taking things out of boxes that I was very, very active.

KING: How did you meet your husband?

COLLINS: I met him almost three years ago in San Francisco. I was doing a play with Stacy Keach and he was the company manager. And I was with my daughter, Katie. And we went on tour together. And we became very, very, very good friends and we were friends for about eight months.

And sometime after that we were working together on "Star Quality" because I needed somebody to help me with my book. And Percy was in town. I was in L.A. He was in L.A. We always seem to be in the same place at the same time, it was almost like karma. My friend Darling Dowl (ph), who's an astrologist, said that we knew each other in a different life and we were meant to be together so...

KING: You were first friends?

COLLINS: Oh, yes, we were friends for like eight or nine months. I liked him as a friend. I have a lot of male friends. I have a lot of male friends that I go the cinema with and movie and shopping. A lot of men friends I know love shopping.

KING: How did this develop?

COLLINS: How did it develop? It was like a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) actually. I was a little upset because I was supposed to do a television show and they sent me the script of it the night before and the script turned out to be really awful.

And I was very upset because my -- it was a rather -- I said I didn't want do it and they said I had to do it. And I said I hadn't signed one of those things. And when Percy came to the apartment at 10:00 in the morning to work with me on his computer, I was in floods of tears. And I was the damsel in distress. And so comforted me.

KING: He was the prince?

COLLINS: Yes. Looks like a prince, yes. He was very, very comforting. And that was it. I shall not go into any more details, Larry. I mean, you know... KING: How do you balance the life of a -- I have to deal with it. I'm 26 years older than my wife. And that's a different generation. You are older than your husband. That's a different generation. There are things -- he probably wasn't around when John Kennedy was shot.

COLLINS: Well, no -- yes, he was actually, he was a baby. But the thing is his mother actually is -- had him when she was quite old so he has -- his parents were not quite the same.

His mother would actually be like ten years younger than my mother so he has a very old soul. He's also very bright. Very knowledgeable about everything. And we agree about everything. He's my best friend. He's my partner. We share everything.

And we have not found any generational gap at all. If he wants to go a football game, he goes. If I want to go to a fashion show, I go. We don't have to do everything together. But we like doing most things together.

KING: What is the -- what keeps you, do you think, constantly in the tabloids? I don't think there has been a stage in your career, as long as I've known about you, that something hasn't been written about you every two weeks.

COLLINS: I think, Larry, one of the things is I'm a very active person. I love life. I can't think of anything I would rather not -- rather do than get up and not do anything. I have to do something. Whether it is painting, writing, acting, shopping, going to the gym, being with friends, going out -- I just am a very active person. I have a lot of friends and I travel a lot.

And do you know something? I honestly don't know -- I don't know the answer. I don't seek to be in the tabloids but I suppose sometimes I go out and I'm wearing something and they take a picture and it's in. Most of the time we've been living in England and now we've bought an apartment in New York which we absolutely love. I really feel now like a native New Yorker. And I'm very happy here. So we want to balance our time between both places.

KING: Now your book is "Star Quality" and you have known a number of stars in your life as well as being one yourself. You had a lot of high profile romances. When those were going on, you were engaged to Warren Beatty, right? Was that good or bad in your life to have all that printed.

COLLINS: They didn't print so many things then. This was the sex biz. But there was a great deal of shock going on at the time because Warren and I were living together, and we were sort of -- we talked about getting married, but we basically thought we were too young. We were in our early 20s. It was just stupid. But Hetta Hopper, who was the grande dame of gossip columnists at that time, she was constantly castigating us in the press for living in sin.

And that is what I have brought into my novel is the fact that my four actresses are very, very shocking for their time, and living in sin in, like, say, the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s was considered absolutely terrible, which is what one of my actresses does. Whereas one of my other actresses has a baby out of wedlock in 1917, which was considered to be so shocking that nobody would speak to her.

I mean, you practically went into purgatory if you had a child that was illegitimate. I know that's the word they used then, it's probably not right now. And then my third actress, because each one is each other's daughter, becomes a drug addict, which of course is not really acceptable, but to a lot of people it is, and a lesbian, which is totally accepted in many quarters today.

So I'm covering all bases with these women and showing in this 20th century, from 1917 from 2002 how the concept of women, how the mores and morals of female sexuality, and also female liberationalism (ph), and female work, have changed. That also makes (UNINTELLIGIBLE) top story.

KING: Let me get a break and come right back. As it says, "Unbridled Ambition, Romance, Ruthless Betrayal: Broadway to Hollywood, Four Generations of Women." The book, "Star Quality." The guest, Joan Collins. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that's not for slugging me. It's you. No.

COLLINS: Let go, you bitch! Let go!


KING: That was the Joan Collins we came to know and love during those days when she was a hit on primetime television every week, and she wrote in her own book, dealing with her life, she was called a streamlined vamp, voluptuous, torrid, linked to Ryan O'Neill, Terence Stamp, Nicky Hilton (ph), Harry Belafonte and others. That was a rollercoaster for you, wasn't it, that part?

COLLINS: Well, that was not when I was doing "Dynasty," darling. That was before. That was in my youth. And I do believe that when you're young, you should be able to play the field, and I certainly played the field...

KING: Boy, did you.

COLLINS: ...and -- Yes I did, and so did you, Larry, you know that. And I kissed a lot of frogs as well, but no, I kissed a lot of frogs and now I've found my prince.

KING: How did the "Dynasty" thing come about for you?

COLLINS: The "Dynasty" thing came about because I was at a party in Hollywood and saw Aaron Spelling, who I'd known for a long time, and he said, would you like to play Cleopatra in an episode of "Loveboat?"

And I said I've always wanted to play Cleopatra ever since Elizabeth Taylor got it and I was almost going to get it. So I did that, and this was about a year before. And then when it came time to cast, Aaron said, "This woman would be perfect as Alexis." A lot of the other people did not want me in it. They wanted Sophia Loren, but she wanted too much money or something, and they wanted another actress called Jessica Walters (ph).

That's who they really wanted. Yes. Yes. And so they got me. And I was in Mobaya (ph) with my little child, and they said -- my agent said, "Come on," and he read me a couple of pages, he said, "It's going to be a good gig." I said, "How long will it last?" He said, "About six years" -- "About six months." So I got on a plane, went to Los Angeles, and it lasted for nine years. A very good run.

KING: Did you want to do episodic television, though, because you had a pretty good film career?

COLLINS: I was doing films. I wasn't doing great films. I was just -- I had just finished "The Star in the Ditch (ph)". Part of it is serious (ph). I had just finished "The Last of Mrs. Cheney" and I had just done another play.

Look, I'm an actress, Larry, I act. It doesn't matter -- I don't consider myself a star like some people. I am a star, I can only do this. I'm doing, you know, a soap opera now for six months, which is -- a lot of people would say, "How can you?" I do it because I love acting, I love working, and whether it's radio, television, films, theater, I don't care as long as I can get out there and do it.

KING: Unlike some of your counterparts, you do stage. You've done theater in New York, you've done theater in London...


KING: ...toured in theater. A lot of actors are afraid of it.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, it is quite daunting, but I made my first appearance on the stage when I was nine, because I went to a theatrical school, because I wanted to be an actress since I was eight. So I was on the -- I played a boy in an Ibsen play called "A Doll's House." And the director used -- there was another girl in it -- used girls to play boys because girls were much better behaved than boys.

But when we missed two entrances in a row, he came and gave us complete Hell backstage and that's when I said I don't think I want to be an actress after all.

KING: Stage has never thrown you?

COLLINS: Of course it does on opening night, but I've never had that devastating stage fright that some people get, but apparently, you can develop it. I read that Laurence Olivier developed it late in right. He developed stage fright when he was in his 60s, but it can be quite enervating (ph). I sat next at a dinner party once with a very famous actor, John Malkovich, actually, who was just about to open in a play in London and I said, "Aren't you nervous? You're opening tomorrow night."

And he said, "Why should I be nervous? I know my lines, I know exactly what I'm doing. You know, I've studied and I know exactly where I am." And he wasn't nervous, he was a very cool cat, because most actors are.

KING: What was the "Dynasty" ride like for you? Those nine years.

COLLINS: I have to say that those nine years were full of turmoil and drama and trauma to me, in actual fact.

KING: Why?

COLLINS: Well, first of all, when I went there, my youngest daughter was recovering from a very serious accident and so she was recuperating and it took quite a long time for her to recuperate. My husband that I'd been married to had gotten into a certain amount of, shall we say, substance abuse. And shortly after that, he got sick and he got cancer and he died. But before that, we got divorced, and then I married again -- another mistake. I've made a few mistakes in my life...

KING: So they weren't happy years for you even though they were professionally rewarding?

COLLINS: No, that's what I think God does to you. He gives you some great gig in which you make a whole heap of money, and you're just on top of the world and on every magazine cover, but your personal life is miserable. And for most of that time, I have to say, my personal life was pretty miserable. Although I'm a very happy person -- I managed to make the best of everything. I mean, it's, like, when God gives you lemons, you know, make lemonade. So I did that, but I never really found the kind of peace and tranquility in a relationship that I have now with Percy.

KING: I'm going to take a break. Be back with some more moments with Joan Collins. Her book is "Star Quality." The publisher is Hyperion.

At the bottom of the hour, Sally Jessy Raphael returns to television with an announcement she's going to make tonight. And I sense some periodicals are not going to be too happy with it.

Tomorrow night, Lin Wood, the famed Atlanta attorney will appear with us, and you will see never-before-seen tapes of depositions of his clients John and Patsy Ramsey.

We'll be right back with Joan Collins. Don't go away.


COLLINS: I hope you weren't too attached to any of those things I bought.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You think I care about those things? All I care about is my family.

COLLINS: Oh, come off it Krystal. You were just as addicted to all of those trappings as I was. What's the matter, dear, was the Alpine air a little too heavy for you, or did you just wander away from the sanitarium and get lost?




COLLINS: You're here because I requested you.

BOB HOPE, COMEDIAN: Good thinking.

COLLINS: Don't you think it's about time that you and I really got to know each other?

HOPE: I don't know if I do.

COLLINS: Do you have any idea of the kind of woman that I really am?

HOPE: No, but I have high hopes.


KING: Joan Collins, did you like working with Bob Hope?

COLLINS: Oh, he was adorable. He's so adorable. I'm so glad he's still alive. He's a Gemini, which is my sign too, so we keep going for a long time, so they say.

KING: Joan, what are you doing on "Guiding Light," and why are you doing "Guiding Light?"

COLLINS: I'm doing -- well, it's really because when Percy and I got married, which was in February of this year, we decided that the place that we wanted to spend most of our time was in New York. And he had a job that he was going to do, he's the company manager on the stage. And so we said we'll look for an apartment, and I said I will hopefully get a show on Broadway or off Broadway or something.

When it started, it was too -- it was too difficult to get a show because there wasn't enough time. So I said to my manager, "Well, look, I'll do anything. I'll do a daytime show or I'll do even a day --" He said, "Would you do a daytime soap?" I said "Why not?" As long as it's not longer than four, five, or six months, because I hear that the hours are very dangerously long. And of course they are. They're very -- it's very tough.

I have the absolute utmost respect for soap opera actors now. They work harder than any actor I know in any other medium. And they don't get very much approbation for it.

KING: Are they as good as actors and actresses you work with in Hollywood on television in the evening?

COLLINS: Oh, I think they're better. I think some of them are better, absolutely. I mean, they really are superb. You (UNINTELLIGIBLE), you have to learn and perform between 20 and 50 pages of a dialogue a day, with like one rehearsal. Try that on a lot of, you know, method actors. They wouldn't be able to do it. It's a method. It's very different. And it's fast and it's daring, and I'm liking it. But it's a bit scary sometimes.

KING: A couple other things on "Star Quality" -- are you eased into writing sex scenes? Is that easy for you? Some writers have a difficult time with it.

COLLINS: No, I can do it quite easily.


KING: ...little joke.

COLLINS: I wanted to regulate (ph) -- my sex scenes in "Star Quality" I think are not so much sex scenes as love scenes, as scenes of romance, and perhaps eroticism and sensuality. I want to make the reader feel that these two people really care about each other deeply rather than just, you know, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of thing.

So "Star Quality" has a few of those kind of encounters in them because it takes place over a period of 90 -- 99 years.

KING: Have you ever turned down anything you've regretted?

COLLINS: Turned down -- yes, I was offered a movie once called "Sons and Lovers" that I didn't do it. And it -- Mary Ure did it. And it was actually quite a good part, and she won the Oscar. So -- but I don't -- Moi, je regrette rien, as Edith Piath (ph) said. I don't regret very much. I'm extremely happy in my life. I consider myself to be very blessed. The fact that I am writing -- right after "Star Quality" Hyperion has signed me for another novel, which is very nice. And hopefully next -- by the end of next year, I will be doing a play, on or off Broadway, or in America somewhere, because...

KING: You're never going to stop working?

COLLINS: No, are you?


COLLINS: Why? Yes, when you stop working --


COLLINS: I mean, retire, what is that? Retirement -- when you retire, very shortly thereafter you die. I don't want to do that, not yet. KING: And is there any trick to keeping your sensuality, because you have kept that all through the years. You remain a very sensual -- there's no one would deny that you are not a very sensual person. And that can't be just from makeup.

COLLINS: No, no, no, it isn't. I'm very aesthetic. I like very -- I mean, I love silk sheets, I love candles, I love flowers, I love pillows, I love soft music, wine. I like all those things. I surround myself with those things in my life. I mean, even my dressing room at the studio has candles and cushions and cashmere rugs and things.

It's just something that I like, and I also don't buy into the ageism theory. I don't buy into you're on the slag heap when you're 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 or whatever. I don't buy into that. I consider you as old as you look and feel. And in that case I feel -- I feel I'm about 39, like Jack Benny.

KING: Are you in good health?

COLLINS: Such word (ph), yes. I think I am. I think health is another exceedingly important thing. And I think of that again as I've written in several of my beauty books, a lot of health comes from the proper eating habits, which are something that -- you know, I come from a generation that wasn't -- didn't have a lot of food. I mean, I'm a war baby, and we had rationing, and we didn't have sugar and sweets, which is very good for you in actual fact. Because when we had a piece of fruit, we'd gulp it down. It was just great.

KING: By the way, speaking of that, do you remember the bombings?

COLLINS: Yes, I remember the bombings. Yes, I remember, because -- yes, I remember being in air raid shelters. Even though I was evacuated because I was very young, I remember being in air raid shelters and the tremendous feeling of compatibility with everybody. People with cigars -- not cigars -- guitars and mouth organs and people singing, and everybody sharing. But cigarettes were very hard to find, and so my father would offer his cigarettes to somebody. A great feeling of compatibility and camaraderie.

And sometimes when I would get in the morning, when we'd go out -- we'd see shrapnel and bits of stuff in the streets and bombed buildings, and -- but I was evacuated a lot. Every time the blitz got heavy, my parents would take us off to the country.

KING: There was no one...

COLLINS: another school...

KING: great and as gutsy as the Britishers. Joan Collins...


KING: Great seeing you. COLLINS: Yeah, thanks Larry. It was great.

KING: Joan Collins. The book is "Star Quality" -- brand new, available everywhere books are sold.

When we come back, an angry Sally Jessy Raphael. She's going to make an announcement. She'll tell us why next. Don't go away.


KING: The October 22 issue of the "National Enquirer" had on the front page the headline, "Sally Jessy Rushed to Mental Ward." And then inside, this major story -- I show you here, which says, Sally Jessy suffers mental breakdown, the show's cancellation sends her into a tailspoon (ph) of despair. She's at her country retreat, sought psychiatric treatment at the clinic at Lennox Hill. Her book company has just published its first title, "Bullies," part of her Red Eyeglasses series.

Sally, is this -- how are you, by the way?

SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Thanks Larry, I'm fine. But I've really been fine. I'll tell you what I am. I am angry. I am hurt. I am devastated. I'm outraged, is what I really am.

KING: Other than that, nothing happened.

RAPHAEL: Nothing happened.

KING: Do you plan action?

RAPHAEL: Yes, I plan on suing tomorrow morning at 9:00, in court in New York City, the "National Enquirer."

KING: Saying that?

RAPHAEL: Saying that there isn't one -- saying that they have libeled me, saying that there isn't one shred of truth in their story. You know, an awful lot of people are defamed in this way, and usually they don't sue because I'd gone to visit you, you were in Lennox Hill Hospital, let's say. And I went in, and they can say, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. You know, we didn't know you were just visiting somebody."

I haven't been in that hospital in years. I don't have a psychiatrist, I'm not under medication, and I don't have any form of dementia except what (ph) my husband says is a regular form of dementia...

KING: Well, when they say the 59-year-old TV personality was seen twice recently receiving treatment in the psychiatric clinic at Lennox Hill Hospital...

RAPHAEL: I want to know by whom, Larry. I want to know who saw me. You see, that's one of the things. They always say, a friend, a pal, an insider, a member of the family. And the other night I was out at dinner with a group of family members and friends. And I was starting to talk, and I said to myself, "Wait a minute. Just wait one minute. Who is it in this room, at this table, that sold that story? Who is it that is going to sell another story if I open my mouth and if I say anything?"

And I went to bed that night and I thought, "Who?" And then I said, "I cannot spend the rest of my life trying to figure out which person -- it's Orwellian. Who on my block is trying to stab me in the back? And somebody, somehow, has got to stand up and say, "Look, this is wrong. This is just flat out wrong."

When these people filed their -- with the SEC (ph), they said, quote, "Libel is their cost of doing business." Not good journalism, not checking facts, not knowing what's right and what's wrong, but libel is the cost of doing business. We're in a world where it's pretty immoral anyhow, and this just adds to it. I guess you can say I'm a little upset.

KING: They make it seem -- because here's what a paragraph starts: What hurts -- this is quotes, "What hurts Sally most was that people did not realize her longevity and give her the respect that she felt she had earned. One has to acknowledge that 20 years on television deserves to be respected," Andrew Freedman (ph), Sally's long-time friend and former publicist told the "Enquirer."

That makes it seem like he is responding to the fact that you were hospitalized and he's trying to explain why.

RAPHAEL: Well, it may make it seem that. I haven't seen or talked to Andrew in between three and four years. I mean, you know, he can say whatever he wants.

KING: They told him you were in the hospital and he gave them that quote in response to their telling him that?

RAPHAEL: I cannot answer for Andrew. As I said, I haven't seen, heard, or spoke to him in four years. I haven't been in that hospital in six years, even to visit anyone, and as far as I know, I've been -- I have every day since the show ended, accounted for because I keep a diary on what I'm doing every day.

I've been out of town a great deal. I've been having a wonderful time.

KING: They even bring this show in. They say, "The entertainer who took pride in having the longest-running syndicated TV talk show told her pal Larry King that the cancellation, 'just like hits you in the solar plexis,'" which makes it seem like something bad was happening to you. But that wasn't the case that night.

RAPHAEL: No, it certainly wasn't.

KING: That's a direct quote. That's what you said...

RAPHAEL: Yes, but Larry!


RAPHAEL: But Larry, I've been fired, or let go, 19 times. Do you think that this time, you know, I'm not going to have a breakdown the first time, the fifth time, the sixth time. Here's the problem, and this -- I don't know, have they ever written about you?

KING: Yes.

RAPHAEL: OK, this is...

KING: Never like this, nothing like this.

RAPHAEL: All right. This was on the cover. This means that all the people I know in my entire world who walk past a newsstand see that I have had not a nervous breakdown, a mental breakdown. I haven't had either, as a matter of fact. And this has wrecked havoc on my life. It really has. There are an enormous amount of people who really believe that newspaper. I've gotten all kinds of letters and e-mails. I've gotten telephone calls.

My friends, people who I think should know better, call up and say, "Look, is there anything I could do? Why didn't you come to me?" And I don't think there's anything worse for an interviewer than to be said that she has lost her mind. Who the heck is going to hire an interviewer who has last their mind?

KING: And by the way, you still want to come back on, right?

RAPHAEL: Absolutely I want to come back on. This is not going to do me a lot of good.

KING: That's one of the basis of your suits is that it's damaging to the career. It also says that you and your husband, Karl (ph), who I also know very well, fought bitterly but patched things up, and her husband Karl (ph) was very concerned about her and was with you inside the hospital.

RAPHAEL: Yes, right. He hasn't been in that hospital. I haven't been there in five or six years, he hasn't been there in seven or eight years, and...

KING: Let me ask, how did you...

RAPHAEL: ...I don't know of any fights.

KING: When you saw this, how did you first see this?

RAPHAEL: I didn't see it. People started to call me, Larry, and they would say, "Well, my mother called from Iowa and she wants to know is there anything she can do for you? Are you all right?"

KING: Did you run down and buy it?

RAPHAEL: Yes, I ran down and bought it.

KING: When you approached the newsstand, and you see that headline, can you tell me what you felt?

RAPHAEL: I looked at the newspaper and I said, "Uh oh, I can't pick up this newspaper and go and pay for it." The lady at the checkout counter is going to think something's wrong, so I just sort of went back in the car and said, "Karl (ph), will you do me a favor, would you go in and buy that newspaper?"

I was horrified. I was scared. I thought this is one of the worst things that can happen to me. I was...

KING: Well, it makes you seem a little loony. For example, it says, there's a naked mural of Karl (ph) in your master bedroom, and Sally keeps strange black dolls on her bed. The former talk queen spends her time shuttling between the fancy Manhattan brownstone and the place in east France. The dolls look like replicas of Don King.

RAPHAEL: Well, let's see, the true story...

KING: Do you have little dolls that look like Don King?


KING: Because this could be a sign that you ought to go to Lennox Hill -- I mean, I like Don King, but little dolls...


RAPHAEL: I'll tell you what I have. I have a grandson who occasionally sleeps over. I live in a big house. He camps -- we call it camping out. He camps out. He had a golliwog, and a golliwog is an English doll, and he probably left it on my bed. And as to the naked picture of my husband in my master bathroom -- doesn't exist.

KING: And they also say, the nature of this ordeal has turned Sally into a basket case. We're going to ask her about that. She sure doesn't seem like one tonight. We'll be back with Sally Jessy Raphael. Don't go away.


RAPHAEL: What did you find out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That they can kiss. They are father and son.

RAPHAEL: Someone who wants to remain anonymous wanted to give you something very special.


RAPHAEL: As she goes to her new home...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I have it back?



KING: We're back with a very active Sally Jessy Raphael, a very angry Raphael, who tomorrow morning will sue the "National Enquirer." What's been the effect on the family?

RAPHAEL: It's been pretty hard. The grandson came home and said, you know, "Is Nanny (ph) not well?" People gossip a lot. I will not be a victim of either bullying or of gossip. My kids are getting calls from relatives saying, "How come you didn't inform us?"

It's really been very, very hurtful to my family. Terribly hurtful to my family.

KING: One of the dangers, Sally, in suing, as others have told us on this program why they don't sue, is that when you sue, sometimes you win, and a lot of times they have won, you expand the story. This story, which never appeared in the "New York Post" or the "New York Daily News" or the "L.A. Times," may now well appear covering your lawsuit...

RAPHAEL: That is correct, but...

KING: You branched the story out.

RAPHAEL: Larry, what choice do I have? In other words, what would you do? I think at some point, you have to stand up for what's truthful and for what's right? But, there are so many people who think that I've had a mental breakdown that not to respond, not to try to set the record straight, that isn't going to help me or my family at all.

The only thing that's going to help them is if I do what I've always done, or tried to do in my life, and that is stand up for what is truthful. There isn't one shred of truth in that story. It was made up out of whole cloth, and I think the reason a lot of people don't sue, or don't follow through with it, is there's some little nugget, somewhere, some little nugget of truth.

But this has nothing, absolutely nothing. Look, if they said I got up yesterday, Larry, and I went and robbed the bank in Oklahoma, that is how far-fetched it is.

KING: Well, do you plan to take them to the coals, or would you be subject to accepting a settlement?

RAPHAEL: No, I would like to go to court and I would to have a trial.

KING: Do you think, though, in going through that you forsake going right back on the air for quite a while people will say, "Let this trial go on."

RAPHAEL: I don't know that it should take that long. Speedy justice is part of our guarantee. I don't think -- the landmark case was the Carol Burnett case. It took a great long time, I think, five to eight years, or something like that. And in the end, by the way, the judge said the reason we are fining the newspaper is so that other people will not have to put up with this. We have to do something to make it hurt them. It has to hurt them so that they don't do this to others.

And I don't -- I haven't thought about what it's going to do to the career. That's something that the lawyers asked me not to talk about. That's something we have to bring out in court.

KING: Now, you are well aware the "National Enquirer's" attorneys are Williams & Connelly, one of the largest, most famous firms in the United States. Does that daunt you?

RAPHAEL: No, I always believed in the little engine that could. And I also think there's something wonderful about really having complete truth on your side. That doesn't hurt at all.

KING: Now, we're under -- I understand that the November 19 edition of the "National Examiner" includes you in their roundup of scandals of the talk show stars.


RAPHAEL: I didn't know that.

KING: And refers to your "50 million dollar lawsuit over her former show's sleazy tactics, a lawsuit that was dismissed." Also contends that you lie about your age and scrounge stuff from trash.

RAPHAEL: Well, I do not. Do not.

KING: Sally!

RAPHAEL: I don't know what trash -- you know, seriously, the only trash I know is the trash that these people write. I don't ever remember going through my trash or anybody else's trash. Again, who's the source? Where did they get it from? What poor, pathetic person who hasn't got a life has to pee in their own nest? Who the heck is this?

And I want to look that person straight in the face and say, "OK." Look, if it does nothing else than bring that person out of hiding and let me look at them, then it's worth everything for the rest of my days. I can't go on just wondering who would be hurting me.

KING: What has Karl (ph) said about all this?

RAPHAEL: He said go get 'em, tiger.

KING: So...

RAPHAEL: Karl and I have a 39-year -- very supportive 39-year relationship and I guess the big argument is who left the cap off the toothpaste.

KING: In the past, when you would see stories about other people in "Enquirers," and "Stars," and "Globes"...

RAPHAEL: I would never buy or read that newspaper, so I wouldn't see the stories about other people.

KING: So you never were...

RAPHAEL: I've never -- it was of no interest to me.

KING: weren't that kind of person.

RAPHAEL: I wasn't that kind of person. I'm not that kind of person. I think there are some good, reputable people in the newspaper business, and those are the people that I like to read or that I'm interested in. And by the way, I have no knowledge of any lawsuit brought to the television show. It never involved me, and I had nothing to do with it and didn't know about it. You'd think that the company I used to work for would know.

KING: You've got a new book coming out, the Red Eyeglass series. The first one's called "Bullies." What is this, detective stories?

RAPHAEL: No, that was a series of books that were done and was like a book club type of thing, and that came out over -- about a year ago. It was not a book that I wrote. It was a book that I thought would be extremely helpful to people, because almost all of us, including this story -- most everyone has met a corporate bully or a family bully, or you know. We're at the mercy of bullies.

KING: Did you have any inkling it was coming out?


KING: Usually the "Enquirer" -- and they have two writers on this, Tim DeNardo (ph) and Patricia Toll (ph) -- did either one call you?

RAPHAEL: Neither one called me.

KING: Because usually they try to get a quote from the people they are dealing with.

RAPHAEL: I've heard that they usually send you a letter or say something to you about that. They did not. On a previous matter, months earlier, they had called my husband and said, "How is Sally doing?" But he didn't know it was in any reference to any article that they were planning on writing because I think three or four months had gone by?

KING: Our guest is Sally...

RAPHAEL: And by the way, he told them I was perfect -- he says, "Gee, she just came back from France. She is having the time of her life." I've been working, Larry, since I was 12 years old, and you have -- I don't have a factory, I don't have a store which has produce on the shelves. All people like you and I have in the whole world is our reputation, and once somebody damages their reputation, they're destroying you. They are absolutely destroying.

KING: Let's take a break and we'll be back with our remaining moments with Sally Jessy Raphael. The suit will be filed tomorrow morning in New York.

Tomorrow night on this program, Lin Wood, the attorney for John and Patsy Ramsey. We'll see some tapes of their depositions and questioning as well by the Boulder City police force in Boulder, Colorado, concerning the death of their daughter.

Other guests this week include Barbara Walters and former president and Nobel Prize winner Jimmy Carter.

We'll be back with our remaining moments with Sally Jessy Raphael right after this.


RAPHAEL: Is it door No. 1? Is it door No. 2? Is it door No. 3?

I'm not getting a lot of volunteers, right?




KING: We're back with Sally Jessy Raphael, commenting on the "National Enquirer" story about her suffering a mental breakdown and going to the hospital in New York, rushed to a mental award. She will sue over all that tomorrow. Truth is, the only defense in a libel suit -- this could be troublesome for the folks at the "Enquirer," one would think.

About the career, have you been talking to people? Where are we?

RAPHAEL: Yes, I have. I'm lucky enough to say that there's some people who like me, and I have been talking to people. I've been -- I paint oils, and I've been painting about five to six hours every day. As I said, I've been working since I was 12-years-old. This is the first time I've had a break. It's been perfectly wonderful, Larry, not to -- not to have some place to go is perfectly wonderful right now.

But, like Joan Collins said, I work because I have to work, and so I'm there.

KING: Can you withstand financially a protracted, protracted court scene?

RAPHAEL: I don't know how protracted it will be. I've got to, don't I? I mean, now that I've done this, I have to do it.

KING: But you're saying this is open and shut, they can't have any proof. Nothing -- none of this happened. RAPHAEL: How are they going to -- all I'm dying to know is when I checked in this hospital, who saw me, what bed was I in, what medicine did I take, who made up this story and what's it about? There isn't one kernel or one shred of truth.

KING: How much do you miss being on the air?

RAPHAEL: Not with that show, not a heck of a lot.


RAPHAEL: No, no. I miss the news. I miss the news a lot, and I miss interviewing a lot. But I don't particularly miss that show. It was time.

KING: You were unhappy with it at the end, right?

RAPHAEL: Yes, you know, it was time. What sells today in daytime is not something like -- that's not something I would like to do. I would hope to have a legacy that's a little more serious.

KING: How about radio?

RAPHAEL: Love it, absolutely love it. Would love a job on the radio.

KING: Would you consider talking to radio networks?

RAPHAEL: In a minute -- in a heartbeat.

KING: Well, you had a long career on radio, very successful one. Wouldn't you think that if you expressed that interest they would come a-callin'?.

RAPHAEL: I would hope. You want to...

KING: So you're ready to go back?

RAPHAEL: I'm ready. Boy, if I had a manager as good as you perhaps it wouldn't be a problem.

KING: We spoke about books earlier. You going to do an autobiography?

RAPHAEL: No, I don't think so. You know why? One of the things that my husband said when I -- you know, we were talking about this, he says, "Honey, you've been married to me 39 years. You're a mother, you live a pretty dull life."

KING: You've had a successful career, radio and television, you had ups and downs. You have had great personal tragedy.

RAPHAEL: Yes, but I'm still a pretty private person. One of the things in the article says that people saw me getting upset and crying. There's only two people in the world who are alive who have ever seen me cry, my husband and my daughter. It's not something I've ever done in public or would do in front of people. It's just not me.

KING: What don't you like about daytime television?

RAPHAEL: Kind of a base, bottom line, I would guess. And that's not all television, that's the need to be tabloid television, I think. It's either that or a plug your new book and let's have a lot of giggles, or plug your movie or whatever.

KING: You like John Walsh's new show?

RAPHAEL: I haven't seen it, to be honest?

KING: How about Dr. Phil?

RAPHAEL: I think it's pretty good. I think -- you know, something about daytime television Larry, is if you throw a lot of money at daytime television, you can do a decent show...

KING: Meaning?

RAPHAEL: Meaning one of the rare places where money shows up is on daytime television. Those companies that spend a lot of money can do pretty well. And you have to -- you can see the money in Dr. Phil. You can see the money...

KING: You mean in the set, in the graphics, and the way they go out and do things?

RAPHAEL: No, no, no, no. In the writers, in the producers, in how much they're paying them and who they are. There's a lot of money there.

KING: So, Sally, this will be filed tomorrow morning. Can we tell us who your attorneys are?

RAPHAEL: Yes, we can. I don't know if we -- I didn't ask them.

KING: No, go ahead. Give them a plug.

RAPHAEL: Judd Burnstein.

KING: Judd Burnstein will file the case for you. They'll be represented, I'm sure, by Williams & Connelly. And this is filed in, what, state supreme court of New York?

RAPHAEL: You know, you're asking me and I don't know, Ken Sunshine (ph) is...

KING: Is it asking for a specific amount?

RAPHAEL: I think there is an amount of $75,000 or something like that...

KING: That's all?

RAPHAEL: No, that is the base thing that you're allowed to do, and then the other depends on how long it takes the court case and all of that. It's -- you know, they sell...

KING: ...the amount up to the jury.

RAPHAEL: Yes, but they sell 1.5 million copies of that newspaper every week. I don't know what they make on that, but it's a substantial amount. And if we're going to hurt them, we've got to ask for a substantial amount.

KING: Sally, as always, my best wishes. Thank you very much for joining us.

RAPHAEL: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Sally Jessy Raphael, former talk show host, left that program a month and a week short of her 20th year, still it was the third-longest ranking syndicated talk show in TV history. This attack -- this story in the "National Enquirer" about being rushed to a mental ward, she files a lawsuit against the "National Enquirer" tomorrow.

Tomorrow on this program, Lin Wood will be here. The famed Atlanta attorney represents John and Patsy Ramsey. Going to show us some tapes, extraordinary tapes, of interrogations of the Ramseys by police investigators and in deposition.

Also this week, Barbara Walters and Jimmy Carter.

Usually I toss it to Aaron Brown, but we pre-taped this a little earlier this afternoon, so I can't toss it to him, but I will tell you that Aaron Brown hosts "NEWSNIGHT" next and one of his guests, one of my favorite folk, the remarkable -- I think the most important figure in the 20th century in the world of media, Ted Turner. He among others with Aaron Brown next on "NEWSNIGHT."

We'll see you tomorrow night with Lin Wood. Good night.


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