CNN AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN
Interview with Liz Smith
Aired December 25, 2002 - 07:44 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to get back to the weather and to the Christmas spirit in just a moment, but let's take a little second here to dig a little dirt, and who better to discuss the year's hot gossip than the grand dame of dish, columnist Liz Smith.
Before Paula checked out for the holidays, she sat down with Liz to talk about some of the year's juiciest celebrity stories. It is part of our continuing series, "2002 in Review."
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's start off with Michael Jackson.
SMITH: He is really talented.
You know, he has mutilated his body. In the process, he's become really grotesque. I just think that he's become a pathetic person, and he needs the public adulation -- you know -- because that's what he has in his life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find the defendant, Winona Ryder, guilty of the crime...
ZAHN: Let's move on to Winona Ryder now. Goes through this trial that all of us watched, ends up with a fine and some community service she has to do.
SMITH: She never really has admitted that she did anything wrong, you know, she had a lot of wonderful excuses. Hollywood is really pretty forgiving. I mean, look at how they re-embraced Robert Downey over and over again, and how they've let Jack Nicholson do anything he wanted through the years.
I think she will recover.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never betrayed the princess. I have only defended myself. I have never told secrets.
SMITH: The Queen suddenly remembered that he had told her he had Diana's things. That was an extraordinary thing that the British royal family -- they're another example like Michael Jackson, they can't do anything right any more.
And they were really recovering really well from the legacy left them by Diana's death.
Now she comes back again to haunt the royal family. You know, Charles was getting in a good position where he was going to be able to marry Camilla Parker Bowles. Now who knows what will happen.
ZAHN: Liza Minelli, David Guest. Will it last?
SMITH: Who knows? I really wouldn't want to get right out there on the -- you know -- the limb with a chainsaw on that one, but believe me, it's working for now and he's got her under control, and sometimes they act like a real love match -- it's -- it's amazing.
ZAHN: Let's talk about Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck.
SMITH: You know, I had lunch yesterday with a bunch of women. These seven women all said they felt that this was a publicity- generated romance.
SMITH: That it wasn't for real. And I'm so naive I thought, wow, I bought the whole thing. People already have them divorced; they're not married yet. And she's not divorced yet.
ZAHN: There were also some big breakups in 2002 to talk about.
SMITH: There always will be.
ZAHN: Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton.
SMITH: Well, you have heard the expression too hot not to cool down. Was she kidding, I mean, he'd already been married five times. And he'd -- he'd dumped a wonderful girl over night to marry her. To run off with her. So why didn't she know he would do that with her?
ZAHN: Another marriage that didn't make it, Nicholas Cage and...
SMITH: Well, that...
ZAHN: The daughter of Elvis Presley.
SMITH: She's got these attributes of Elvis and her mother and but here she marries this Elvis fan, and before that she marries Michael Jackson in a mysterious marriage we've never understood. I think this was another one. They just -- they let their hormones get the best of them when they should have just not married.
ZAHN: Brittany Spears, Justin Timberlake.
SMITH: I guess if -- you know -- you're sort of a professional virgin and you're really beautiful and voluptuous from the moment you're 16 years old you're a big deal, and the inevitable is that then you aren't a virgin and then somebody blows the whistle.
I think we need it. Gossip, celebrity. I think it's harmless, in a way. It's like diffusing some of your anger and anxiety and so forth by putting it off on these celebrities. Elizabeth Taylor has troubles, maybe you can get through the day.
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