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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Best of PAULA ZAHN NOW

Aired December 31, 2003 - 20:00   ET

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

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Good evening and welcome. Thanks for spending some of your New Year's Eve with us as we enjoy some of the most memorable moments from this program over the last few months.
Ahead tonight, be it ever so humble, Saddam Hussein, who squandered his nation's wealth on glittering palaces spent his final days of freedom in a mud hut and hiding in a hole in the ground.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When the soldier's discovered Saddam Hussein, he came with his hands up. He said, I'm Saddam Hussein. I'm the president of Iraq, and I want to negotiate, to which the troops, we are told, responded, President Bush sends his regards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: We'll see Nic Robertson's riveting walkthrough of Saddam's final hiding place.

Plus, a couple wedded to each other and politics. Our interview with Senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, on what it takes to keep a family together while Dad is on the road to the White House.

Also, our conversation with Oscar winner Clint Eastwood. You may think you know him, but the tough-guy image doesn't tell the whole story. A passion for music also makes his day.

First, here's some of the headlines you need to know right now.

JASON CARROLL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Jason Carroll, live in New York's Time Square, where the crowds are gearing up for the big moment.

But right now, we want to turn to the headlines at this hour.

Four hours and counting, 2004 is almost here, and thousands of revelers are eagerly awaiting the ball drop in Times Square. Security is tight. At least 2,000 police officers are on duty, and helicopters are patrolling overhead.

In Baghdad, 2003 has ended with violence. A car bomb ripped through a restaurant in the central part of the city today. At least five people were killed. A dozen others were wounded, including three reporters for "The Los Angeles Times." And the Santa Barbara County sheriff denies allegation by Michael Jackson that he was abused during his arrest last month. Jackson says deputies dislocated his shoulder, fastened his handcuffs so tight his wrists were swollen, and locked him in a filthy restroom for about 45 minutes. But the sheriff's department released audio and videotapes which appear to contradict some of those claims.

We're going to have more headlines for you in just about 30 minutes. Right now, we're going to turn back to PAULA ZAHN NOW. Be sure to join Anderson Cooper at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for CNN's live countdown from Times Square.

ZAHN: It has been a remarkable year, from the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March to the capture of Saddam Hussein just over two weeks ago as he hid in a hole in the ground near Tikrit.

Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson gave us this riveting tour of Saddam's last hiding place.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: This bridge leads down to the Tigris River. This is a pomegranate and orange orchard. And this is a small compound Saddam Hussein was living in. This is the kitchen here, a sink over here, medicine, Mars bars, a flashlight, a cap, rotting bananas.

The place looks like a mess, not the sort of place you would expect to see a former president living in. Tins of Spam in the cupboard there.

And around this way, walking around the corner behind the mud wall, a box of oranges lying on the floor, already beginning to rot. A pot of water here.

The bedroom in here, two beds. And inside the bedroom, a refrigerator, a heater. On the wall, posters, a Christian poster, Noah's Ark. The bed, crumpled bedclothing. Fresh clean pair of boxer shorts, unused, still new. Another bed, a box full of clothes, a few books. On the bookcase here, pictures, brand-new frames, but nothing in the frames. No pictures to be spoken of. And down here, pair of shoes, unused, some water, a track suit bottoms.

Just chaos, not the conditions you would really expect the former Iraqi leader to be living in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what they did, it was like this, and then this rug was thrown over the top. So when we came in here in the night with night-vision goggles, this is what you saw. OK? So actually one of the U.S. soldiers that was here was standing on top of that and didn't have a clue at the time. And then they moved it back, saw it, and heard noises in the bottom.

That's when Saddam put his hands up, and they assisted him out. But there's a light, there's an air vent. I believe there's a tube, these tubings out the back here are where his airholes are. But this is where the electricity is run down underground. ROBERTSON: This tiny hole is really small inside. It's concrete, mud on the walls, a wood lintel here, wood around the top of the frame. It's very difficult to get in and out of. It wouldn't have been easy.

When the soldiers discovered Saddam Hussein, he came with his hands up. He said, I'm Saddam Hussein, I'm the president of Iraq, and I want to negotiate. To which the troops, we are told, responded, President Bush sends his regards.

After that, Saddam Hussein was whisked out of the hole, pulled up, and taken away to a helicopter waiting in the field just across here.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Tikrit, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Back home, turning to campaign 2004, in his quest to be president, John Edwards gets advice from many people. But the one person the North Carolina senator relies on most is his wife, Elizabeth. They have been together for more than 25 years, through triumph and tragedy. And through it all, they remain as close as ever.

In October, I spoke with them, and I began by asking Edwards what is the hardest thing about running for president.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The hardest part of that has been very clear, which is being away from Elizabeth some of the time, and particularly being away from my younger children. My older daughter, Kate, is in college, and so she and I are used to being apart part of the time.

But Emma Claire's 5, Jack is 3. And the only thing they know is whether you are there. And I miss them desperately. I love them very much. And being gone from them is clearly the hardest part.

ZAHN: Have they coined some interesting campaign phrases for you yet?

EDWARDS: Well, actually, the funniest thing they love to do is when campaign with me, they go out with my John Edwards signs and run around me while I'm speaking. The problem is, they hold the signs upside down most of the time. So they don't -- they haven't quite got the sign part down yet. But they are having a great time.

ZAHN: Senator, I couldn't help but notice that you wear an Outward Bound pin every day. What's the significance of that?

EDWARDS: This is my son Wade's Outward Bound pin. Wade was our oldest child. Elizabeth and I have had four children. I mentioned earlier Kate, who is a senior in college, Emma Claire and Jack, that were 5 and 3. And my oldest son, Wade died in an automobile accident seven years ago. And this is his Outward Bound pin, so I wear it.

ZAHN: And do you see a run for the presidency as any kind of linkage to your son Wade's legacy?

EDWARDS: Oh, well, I'm -- you know, Wade was -- Wade and I were very, very close. We were attached like this. And we did everything together. We climbed Mount Kilamanjaro together, we -- I coached his basketball team, his soccer team. He worked in my office part-time. So he and I were very close.

ZAHN: All right, let's talk a little bit about the dynamics of political marriages. And we've seen the gamut run where the candidates' wives have been very involved in issues, others less involved. How would you characterize, Elizabeth, your involvement in the campaign and the way you say you've fitting into this long term?

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: We always have been completely honest with one another. So I consider my role to be a sounding board for him and to make sure that the buses run on time at home, that the kids get where they need to be, and that everybody's needs are taken care of. That's my first responsibility.

Now, that said, I mean, I was a lawyer for 17 years. And all these issues that he talks about are of tremendous interest and concern to me, just like they are to a lot of mothers all across the country. And so I have opinions on these things, and I'll express them.

He's the guy who gets to decide, though, in the end.

ZAHN: And senator, is Elizabeth the one in your life that you can turn to for absolute raw candor?

EDWARDS: Oh...

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: How could he answer the question when I'm sitting next to him?

EDWARDS: Yes, here's the -- I love her, and I trust her, and she has one of the most extraordinary senses of what is right and what is wrong. And she will always tell me the truth. And just to cut to the bottom line, there's no way I could trust anybody else the way I trust Elizabeth.

We are -- and have been, have been through a lot over the last 26 years, and I want her. I could never imagine going through something like this without having her involved in every minute of it, even when I'm gone. I know we talk on the phone eight, 10, 12 times a day sometimes, about the kids, what is happening at home, about what is happening on the campaign.

No, it's obvious to anybody who knows both of us how incredibly close we are.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). ZAHN: So senator, can you share with us what Elizabeth had to say after your own admittedly, I guess you described it as a weak performance, when you hit the Sunday talk shows for the first time?

EDWARDS: Yes, she said, You got to get better. She had very simple advice. You're going to get better. And she was exactly right, and that's what I've done.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Our interview with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth.

As we continue with some of the most memorable moments from the past few months on our program, we'll hear from the woman who wrote the book on female sexual freedom. "Fear of Flying" author Erica Jong, and how women have changed since her novel shocked the 1970s.

And former NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor, one of pro football's greatest players, tells us how cocaine nearly destroyed his life.

And singer Gloria Estefan with a revealing look at the rhythms of her life, her work, and her passions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The 1970s gave us mod fashions, singles bars, and a sex- charged novel called "Fear of Flying" that climbed the bestseller list. Erica Jong's outrageous exploration of female sexual freedom helped change the American view of what a woman wants.

Well, on the 30th anniversary of her book, I asked Erica Jong if she thinks women are more sexually liberated these days.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERICA JONG, AUTHOR, "FEAR OF FLYING": I think in some ways they are. I think they have a sense of entitlement. They feel they are -- they deserve pleasure, which is a big change. But if I go around to colleges and talk to kids who are studying "Fear of Flying" in their literature classes or human sexuality classes, they tell me the double standard is alive and well.

ZAHN: And that double standard is...

JONG: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: ... as far as they're concerned?

JONG: ... if a girl is open about her sexuality, she is considered a slut, whereas a guy is considered a player. So they read "Fear of Flying," and I'm talking about the 20-year-olds, and they say, I get it. I know this book, this is my life.

So a whole new generation is identifying with "Fear of Flying," which is amazing and a little bit awful, in a way, because we've changed, we've changed, we've changed, you know, we have "Sex in the City" on TV, we have all the covers of magazines saying, you know, how to drive him wild in bed.

And yet, on the -- on -- in the area of feelings, young women are still afraid to be considered sluts. They are afraid to put out. They are afraid to get a bad name. So much has not changed.

ZAHN: Take us back to when this book first came out. It was so controversial. You kind of feel like you had to watch where you were going, that someone might not be very happy about your message.

JONG: Oh, there were so many people who attacked me, you know, in print, on TV. The book was very much misunderstood. It was seen as a testament to women just being wildly promiscuous. And, of course, it isn't that. It's a novel that deals with sexual fantasy more than sexual reality.

And people read it and they say, Oh, my God! That's going on inside my head too. So it's more...

ZAHN: Do you think...

JONG: ... about fantasy life...

ZAHN: Do you think the overt...

JONG: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: ... sexuality we're all exposed to on television on a daily basis is a good thing or a bad thing? For women?

JONG: I think it's quite deadening, and I don't think it represents true liberation. That makes me sound like a prude 30 years later. But I think this blatant sexuality -- I mean, I see girls, teenage girls, practically getting naked in the street, and the boys are indifferent.

I think the great untold story is the indifference of young men to all this sexual display. The guys seem to be running in the opposite direction. The girls seem to be wildly aggressive.

Maybe we need a little more secrecy and seductiveness in sex.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Some surprising opinions from "Fear of Flying" author Erica Jong.

The casino inside your computer. Online gambling is illegal in the U.S., but the Internet makes it possible, and a problem for many. We're going to look at an emerging addiction.

And man and wives. We're going to hear from a former polygamist and the women who shared household duties as well as a husband.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: Welcome back.

Now a look at one of the vices to come along with the promise of the Internet, online gambling. It's actually illegal here in the U.S., but because of the limitless reach of the Internet, Web casinos operating anywhere in the world are accessible right on your desktop.

And for many, the lure is irresistible.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Player wins.

ZAHN (voice-over): For millions, the Internet has become a ticking bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would be up all night long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It drove me nuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know logically that I cannot win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't get up until my last dollar was gone.

ZAHN: Online gambling sites have become big business. They literally pop up at you. Most of us find them a nuisance, but a staggering number of people find them impossible to resist.

KEITH WHYTE, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON PROBLEM GAMBLING: Roughly 5 million Americans in the past year have gambled online, we think. And the estimated revenues are somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion.

ZAHN: With all that money comes excess and addiction, attracting everyone from housewives to the fastest-growing group of addicts, college-aged men.

For this man, who won't reveal his real name but wants us to call him Dave, online gambling almost destroyed his life.

DAVE, INTERNET GAMBLER: My whole life revolved around work, gambling, and sleeping.

ZAHN: Dave has gambled since he was 15 years old.

DAVE: Everyone thinks it's the money. It's not the money, it's the juice that you get, it's unbelievable, the high that you get.

ZAHN: And Internet gambling was a perfect place to search for that elusive high.

DAVE: You can make bets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It started basically with all sports, but then, exploring the Internet sites, I found that they offer such a diverse number of things that you can bet on. You could bet on who is going to win the next reality show. And I'm sure they have the odds already posted on who is going to win the next presidential election.

It was just unbelievable, all the different things that they offered.

ZAHN: Endless choices plus convenience added up to disaster for an 18-year-old college freshman away from home.

DAVE: I could have spent eight, 10, 12 hours right in my own bedroom, sitting on the Internet, gambling, and have no problem with it. The time went just like that. It basically stopped my emotional growth from when I gambled compulsively since the age of 18. I isolated myself amongst my peers.

ZAHN: In those college years, Dave racked up almost $60,000 in credit card debt. By age 26, Dave was filing for bankruptcy, alienated from friends and family and depressed. It was his rock- bottom moment.

DAVE: Alcohol and drugs were the only thing that can cure my depression. And as a result, it made my depression more severe.

RICK BENSON, RECOVERING GAMBLING ADDICT: I think what it is doing, it's taking people who have addictive potential, who may be gambling problematically, who may be gambling seriously socially, and it is driving them into the addiction more quickly.

ZAHN: Studies say as many as 74 percent of online gamblers have a serious problem.

Rick Benson, a recovering addict himself, knows.

BENSON: Welcome, everybody.

ZAHN: He runs a Florida treatment program for online gambling addicts called ALGAMUS. Dave is one of his patients.

BENSON: It's created the opportunity to gamble with greater frequency, and, therefore, what it will probably do is, it will probably cause people to become addicted more quickly.

ZAHN: And it is a hard habit to break. Keith Whyte of the National Council on Problem Gambling says many Internet gambling sites intentionally target people with a problem.

WHYTE: We've known some sites in the past that have used the words "problem gambling" in their search tags, so that someone that was searching, for example, our site would actually get an Internet casino site as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I try not to stay on the computer that much, now.

ZAHN: The key to recovery, therapists say, is for addicts to recognize what online gambling has done to them.

BENSON: The more we can assist people to say, Look, these are the consequences that you have created as a result of your gambling addiction, the more likelihood the person will say, I will do whatever I need do to recover, because I don't want to feel these consequences anymore.

DAVE: I would set goals to achieve...

ZAHN: And Dave is committed. Between these group sessions with other gambling addicts and his private therapy sessions with Rick, he's recognizing his problem, what created it, and what he must do in the real world to avoid it.

BENSON: He's come to significant realization about the depth of his addiction, where it has taken him.

DAVE: There's always the possibility, because it's happened to me, where a pop-up window will come up, saying, Get a free $100 bet with a deposit of $100 or more. And you know -- how am I going to react to that? I can't tell you, because it hasn't happened to me yet.

But I'm hoping with the tools I have learned in this program, that if that situation were to arise, I'd just be able to hit the close window and get out of that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We are looking back tonight at some of our favorite moments from the last few months. Actor, director, politician, and musician Clint Eastwood reveals a surprising side of the star you might have thought you knew.

And former NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor talks about cocaine and how it nearly tackled his family and career.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE TAYLOR, NFL HALL OF FAME MEMBER: Yes, I could cheat the game of football. You know, I could be flexible. I could do not do this, not (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and still have a helluva game, helluva game on Sunday. But I can't cheat -- couldn't cheat the game of life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back.

As the last hours of 2003 slip away, we're looking back at some of the most memorable stories from our program over the last few months.

Ahead in this half hour, Lawrence Taylor feared no man on the gridiron, but the NFL Hall of Famer will tell us how drugs nearly destroyed his life.

First one wife, then two, then three. We're going to see how a polygamist marriage affected the wives and children of one family.

And our interview with Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, talking about his early career, and why he left Dirty Harry in the dust.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINT EASTWOOD: Well, in my early career, I wasn't worried about the consequences so much. I did a lot of action films. But I've been through there, I've done that, and I've had a nice career doing that. But it was -- at some point in your life, you just figure, like, you can't do that any more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: First, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

CARROLL: Live from Times Square in New York, I'm Jason Carroll, where the music is playing and the crowd is ready for a party.

Here are the headlines at this hour.

The new year has already arrived at across much of the world. In Berlin, thousands of partyers gathered around the Brandenburg Gate listening to music and watching the fireworks there.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are packed into Times Square right here to watch the ball drop at midnight. Because of the heightened terror alert, security is obviously tight. Extra police are on hand, and helicopters are patrolling overhead.

And CNN has learned the mother of Lionel Tate has agreed to a plea deal offered to her son. The deal would shorten Tate's sentence in the wrestling death of a 6-year-old girl to three years. Tate, who is now 16 years old, was just 12 years old when he killed his neighbor, Tiffany Yunic (ph). His life sentence was overturned earlier this month.

And be sure to join Anderson Cooper tonight at 11:00 Eastern for CNN's live countdown from Times Square.

Right now, though, PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.

ZAHN: Lawrence Taylor is a Hall of Fame football player and among the most-feared linebackers in the history of the NFL. He led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles.

Taylor had it all. But what he didn't have was control. At times he spent a thousand dollars day on cocaine. He was in and out of jail, and his marriage ended.

Taylor chronicles his path of destruction in his new book, "LT: Over the Edge."

He joined me here in the studio for a powerful interview. I started off by asking him if he's surprised he's still alive. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAYLOR: A lot of things could have happened. But, you know, by the grace of God and -- I'm still here, and I'm here to tell the story, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAHN: How did you blow it so badly? What happened to you?

TAYLOR: Oh, I wouldn't say blow it. Just saying that, you know, I got in, I got into a different type of world. You know, I've been a ball player, a person who called my own shots, for a lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE), for a lot of years. I was, I thought, as good as it came when it comes to playing ball.

ZAHN: Well, you were.

TAYLOR: But that don't always constitute being just the same way in the game of life, you know. You can't play the same way you play the game of football, you can't play life the same way. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: I understand that, but you were such a strong guy physically, you had everything going for you. Have you figured out what your weakness was?

TAYLOR: Just wanted more. You know, sometimes you just wanted to do more and more and more, and you got that sense of invincibility that nothing will actually stick on you.

ZAHN: In the book, you admit to some really awful stuff. Now, as a reader...

TAYLOR: What is awful?

ZAHN: ... am I supposed to be...

TAYLOR: What is awful?

ZAHN: Well, at one point, when you weren't even employed, you were spending $1,000 a day on escort services, $1,000 on cocaine.

TAYLOR: That was after, that was after...

ZAHN: And you had no income coming in.

TAYLOR: ... I finished playing ball, though. Well, no income coming in -- just because you're not working, that don't mean you have money that's not coming in.

ZAHN: Yes, but it wasn't the money stream you had when you were playing pro ball.

TAYLOR: Well, I never had a problem with money, now. I never had a problem with money.

ZAHN: But when people read that, do you want them to feel pity for you?

TAYLOR: No, I don't ask for anything.

ZAHN: What do you want people to think when they read that?

BENSON: You know, I really don't care what people think.

ZAHN: You don't want sympathy.

TAYLOR: No, no, I never ask for sympathy. I -- you know, I walk it like I talk it. I don't ask for anything.

You know, if somebody can gain strength from this book, then glory be to them. I think that's what it's all about. I mean, throughout this -- over the last couple weeks since the book has came out, I've had a whole lot of people come to me and say, Listen, hey, you know, what? I understand.

This book is not written for everybody. It may not be written for you. You may not be able to understand what is in this book. But, you know, a lot of people who struggle with things, who have crossed the line and don't know how to get back, and think there's no way back, and they are destined to be lost, hey, they will find a way back. Yes, you can make it. And this book might be written for them. They will understand it.

ZAHN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), because I had a couple...

TAYLOR: Everybody don't understand it.

ZAHN: ... different emotions when I read through it. One was disgust that you had (UNINTELLIGIBLE) such this golden opportunity to achieve, and you did on the field, and then sympathy for you in the end. So you understand how people could feel both emotions?

TAYLOR: Yes, but sympathy is not what you look for, you know, what I look for. You know, I don't run from anything, you know. I played the game as hard as I could, I lived as hard as I could.

ZAHN: Are you...

TAYLOR: Only thing I feel sorry for is what I put my family through, you know, that's only, that's only bad thing.

ZAHN: And you talk about apologizing to your ex-wife.

TAYLOR: Of course. I talk (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: You talk about letting your children down.

TAYLOR: Yes, but they are my best -- my ex-wife is my best friend, one of my best friends right now. My current wife is -- she has never seen that side of me. She doesn't know that part of me. I would never let her see it. So it works out.

ZAHN: Is it true you didn't take the concept of rehab seriously until you thought you might end up in prison?

TAYLOR: Oh, absolutely. No, I've been in rehab a couple of times, and it was just like a vacation to me. Just the detox, just out there just, just a vacation.

ZAHN: Why? Why did you look at it that way?

TAYLOR: I didn't feel I had to, you know. You know, just why does anybody do anything? You know, and it's a funny game you get yourself caught into. And why do have you to almost (UNINTELLIGIBLE) before you finally get it? Most people don't get it the first time, second time, third time. They go through it many times.

You know, I've been in enough rehabs. I have heard enough stories. I have heard all of the stories. I have heard them all. My story, I've told my story so many times, I know it frontwards and backwards, and most people know it anyway.

Why? Because it's the nature of the game. It's the nature of the drug. Yes, I could cheat the game of football, you know. I could be flexible. I could do -- not do this, and not do this, and still have a helluva game, helluva game on Sunday.

But I can't cheat, couldn't cheat the game of life, you know. I tried to think of a new way to do it, a new mousetrap. But it doesn't make a difference. You always get back to the same old square root.

ZAHN: How afraid are you that you might fall over the edge once again?

TAYLOR: I can't say I will never go back. I can't say it. Because, because, you know, at one point in time, I always said, Well, I would never do this. I would never stay up all night. I would never stay up for three days. I would never go out and buy it. I would never do -- All those "I never" turned out to be stuff I was doing routinely.

So I can't say I would never. Every day I stay clean, from every day I tell my story. Every day I'm comfortable with my situation and what I've done, and don't try to make up for it or anything like that. Just accept it and go on from there.

I get comfortable with it. I'm comfortable with myself. I'm comfortable with who I am. The likelihood of me going back to that life is very, very slim, especially with my new wife. She wouldn't have it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) she (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: Yes, what would she do to you, Lawrence...

TAYLOR: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: ... if that happened to you again?

TAYLOR: She is really tough.

ZAHN: You might be out of that house, Lawrence Taylor. TAYLOR: Yes, she's really tough. But...

ZAHN: Well, the book is fascinating, and equally excruciating to read in some parts.

TAYLOR: Yes, it was excruciating to write.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Maybe painful to write, but perhaps worth the effort. Since our interview, the book has hit the top 10 on "The New York Times" bestseller list.

On this New Year's Eve, we're enjoying some of our most memorable moments from the past few months on this program.

We're going to hear the story of two women who shared a home, a family, and a husband. What was it like to live in a polygamist marriage?

And singer Gloria Estefan talks about pain in her life and some of her most personal work.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Polygamy was outlawed in the United States more than 100 years ago. Though illegal, there are Americans who live in polygamous relationships. They see nothing wrong in being married to multiple spouses.

This report pulls back the curtain on one polygamous marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): Jeff and Joanne Hanks, 1998.

JOANNE HANKS, FIRST WIFE: We both believed that it was something that was right, that we needed to do, and so we talked about it for at least a couple of years.

JEFF HANKS, FORMER POLYGAMIST: People would look at it and say, Well, you men get all the benefits. You get all these wives and variety and so forth. But what they don't realize is that the man is accountable for their welfare, for their upkeep, for their happiness.

ZAHN: Jeff and Joanne had thought polygamy would bring them closer salvation and closer to heaven. Religion and the church had always been a cornerstone of their life. They even met through a Mormon dating service.

In the early '90s, they studied the Mormon Scriptures, hoping to deepen their religious understanding as the new millennium approached.

Jeff interpreted part of the early Scriptures as condoning polygamy as a means to salvation, a practice prohibited by the traditional Mormon Church. Jeff says he wasn't ready to fully embrace polygamy until he met self-proclaimed preacher Jim Harmston.

JEFF HANKS: He was teaching things that you had seen missing in the Mormon Church for years. And it was kind of a fun new exploration.

JOANNE HANKS: It was exciting. We thought we had found something that other people hadn't found.

ZAHN: With three young children in tow, Jeff and Joanne sold all their possessions, left their extended family, and settled with their new family, Harmston's congregation in the small town of Mantai (ph), Utah, population 3,000, estimated number of polygamists, 300.

JEFF HANKS: I was motivated not on any kind of a sexual basis, of thinking about what the future might hold as to having more partners, I was thinking of it as, This is what God wants me to do.

JOANNE HANKS: I thought, Well, it's a challenge. You know, I can do it.

ZAHN: So Jeff searched for a second wife. He found this woman, Amandah, who grew up surrounded by polygamy. Just shy of 18 years old, Amandah married Jeff Hanks.

AMANDAH, SECOND WIFE: Polygamy is definitely the boiling pot of weaknesses. You bring people together, and every weakness that you have boils to the top.

ZAHN: Joanne struggled on the inside.

JOANNE HANKS: I felt alone. I felt pretty much on my own emotionally in trying to figure out how I was going to accept this.

ZAHN: But at the time on the outside, Joanne appeared happy.

JOANNE HANKS: When have you a belief that this is right, you have to start preparing for it, and telling yourself that you're going to overcome those things.

ZAHN: Joanne would spend two nights with Jeff, then for two nights she would sleep in this bed in her children's room. The Hanks' new family shared everything. Church...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

JOANNE HANKS: Well, we're going to eat every last bit of it.

ZAHN: ... chores, child care...

JOANNE HANKS: Come open your stockings.

ZAHN: ... even celebrations.

JOANNE HANKS: Here's the birthday boy.

JEFF HANKS: I'm tired. JOANNE HANKS: So what else is new?

JEFF HANKS: I'm 37. I'm looking for more wives.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

JEFF HANKS: I felt like I was playing emotional Ping-Pong, trying to subdue the emotions of both women.

JOANNE HANKS: I would get depressed and discouraged and think, I might as well be a single mother. Because, you know, I've got children, but I don't have much of a husband.

ZAHN: After several years of living this way, everything changed. First, Jeff took a third wife. But the jealousy and the infighting became too much. The third marriage ended months after it began, and then a vasectomy prevented Jeff from impregnating Amandah.

In an ironic twist, she left him to marry another polygamist, Hanks' spiritual guide, Jim Harmston.

JEFF HANKS: I received a dose of medicine that Joanne was feeling as I went through some very ego-blasting moments, knowing that my plural wife was now going to go to another man.

ZAHN: And finally, the last straw. You'll recall the Hanks' motivation for polygamy had been spiritual, hoping to literally seek Christ when he returned to earth in the new millennium. But the new millennium came, and Christ did not.

JEFF HANKS: We had just wasted seven years of the prime of our life pursuing a pipe dream.

JOANNE HANKS: And we need to get back to reality.

ZAHN: Reality for them was moving out of Mantai back to Salt Lake City.

JOANNE HANKS: What a relief to get my husband and my family, my home, back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF HANKS: Want to eat some with me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Now, three years later, Jeff is rebuilding his chiropractic business, and Joanne is painting, while also raising their now-teenage kids.

JOANNE HANKS: The thing I say to themselves now is, if I got them into that very unusual cult experience, if I taught them in any way to lead them down that path, then I've got to make sure I reteach them and try to bring them back to reality.

And so that's what I've been doing for three years, is to try to bring them back to a normal, real existence.

ZAHN: Church-based religion is not part of that. Now the Hanks focus solely on family as the cornerstone for their beliefs.

JOANNE HANKS: We held on to the real thing, and that's our relationship, our marriage. Our children. Our family.

We are so lucky that we didn't blow that up, because that's the only real thing that we had the whole time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We're wrapping up 2000 with a look at some of our favorites from the last few months, including our interview with Oscar winner Clint Eastwood, his remarkable career, from spaghetti Westerns to one of the most directors in Hollywood.

And Gloria Estefan, a survivor. She'll talk about personal tragedy, professional triumph, and dealing with one of her toughest critics, her husband.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLORIA ESTEFAN, "UNWRAPPED" (singing): (UNINTELLIGIBLE) shows me that I'm just justified...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Gloria Estefan is a diva without the attitude. The singer-songwriter has sold millions of albums over the last 20 years. She is a five-time Grammy winner and one of the first Latin crossover stars.

Her latest album, "Unwrapped," is Estefan's first English compilation record in six years.

And in September, I asked her about one song, "Famous," that exposes the pain that sometimes comes with fame.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ESTEFAN: Fame has been wonderful to me. I can't complain. But there are moments, as anybody that has had any kind of celebrity knows, that -- where you're going through painful situations that you would much rather be in private.

And that song is very much of an analysis. I think my fans will really be able to see how I think on there. I didn't realize till I'd finished writing that, every first word of the verse is a question, because I'm a question girl. I'm looking for answers constantly in my life.

And when I say, Should you care? it really means, like, I chose this. There is really no reason for you to have to worry about this. So it's a -- a lot of them are tongue in cheek, a lot of the lines. Some of them are from, you know, pain that I have been through, having to be exposed at very difficult moments in through fame.

But fame has been fantastic. I've really gotten a lot of love. And when I had my accident, a lot of people sent great vibrations my way that I used in my recovery.

ZAHN: And yet, sometimes, do you think with the profile you have, that when people are meanspirited, they somehow don't think it's going to puncture you in some way?

ESTEFAN: I think that...

ZAHN: That somehow the money should protect you from it? That somehow your status will protect you from it?

ESTEFAN: Well, let's say this, you know, there's that age-old saying, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, which is true. I think every celebrity that reaches fame has got to know that that comes with the territory.

But we're human beings. I mean, I purposely don't read a lot of the things that come out, or even reviews sometimes, because no matter what, you're trying to do, you know, your art. You're trying to do what you love. And people forget sometimes that you're human. And of course your feelings can get hurt. That's for certain.

ZAHN: But I guess you can count on your husband...

ESTEFAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAHN: ... and your lovely son, who spent the better part of the last two years recording your life on videotape.

ESTEFAN: Yes, he did.

ZAHN: In a documentary form.

ESTEFAN: More than two years, actually. There's a lot of footage on there that goes back 15 years that he shot when he was a little kid on the...

ZAHN: Are they...

ESTEFAN: ... road with me.

ZAHN: Are they completely honest with you, if they don't like a song?

ESTEFAN: Yes. Oh, yes. My husband...

ZAHN: Ditch it, Gloria.

ESTEFAN: ... my husband is brutally honest, and I love that. You know, I may not like it at the moment, I may say, Oh! But then I look at what he's saying in his own inimitable way, and I say, Well, he's got something there. And I will go back to the drawing board or whatever.

And my son, who, you know, contributed to DVD to this CD, it comes along as a gift, because I wanted something as intimate as the music to accompany it. And I gave him free rein. I thought the only value is if he really has freedom, and I don't manipulate anything.

So I trusted him a lot.

ZAHN: What did you two learn about each other?

ESTEFAN: Well, I mean, I already knew he's very talented. He blew me away. I didn't see it till the end, because he kept making excuses. I wanted to see something, but he made excuses. And I think that he had a wonderful experience.

I think that despite everything and the traveling, and he really loved it, and he had a great time, and he captured his parents. He really knows his parents well. And I think he shows this on the DVD.

What did he learn about me? I guess you would have to ask him, because he's hermetic. I mean, I ask him things, and he never tells.

ZAHN: Well, the other thing we should mention that as a result of your injury, and I guess you still feel pain from that today, right, that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ESTEFAN: Oh, if I don't work out, you know, I'm titanium- reinforced (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: Sets off every little radar west of the Mississippi...

ESTEFAN: No, I'm nonmagnetic.

ZAHN: You're not magnetic? OK.

ESTEFAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) metal, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ZAHN: So that's great. But you have raised some $40 million for spinal cord research, which is a great triumph.

ESTEFAN: Yes, yes, and several songs that I have written, "Coming Out of the Dark," "Path of the Right Love," and "Always Tomorrow" go directly into the foundation. Because to me they were gifts. They came from somewhere else, these songs. And they're meant to be shared. And I'm really looking forward to the day when that cure happens. And it's very -- it's right around the corner.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: In her efforts to find a cure, Gloria Estefan is now the campaign director for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and she has also created the Gloria Estefan Foundation to enrich the lives of people in need. We continue our look at some of the highlights of the last few months on this program with a conversation with Hollywood's Clint Eastwood about his many careers in movies, music, and politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: "Mystic River" is considered a shoo-in for several Academy Award nominations, including best picture. It is the latest directorial effort by Clint Eastwood, and one of his most-praised films to date.

I sat down with him in October and learned some surprising new things about this multitalented Hollywood icon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josie Wales!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN (voice-over): In his over-40-year acting career, Clint Eastwood has played them all, the outlaw...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't get them all, Josie.

EASTWOOD: That's a fact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come you're doing this, then?

EASTWOOD: I got nothing better to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: ... the enforcer, the lover.

EASTWOOD: Well, my whole career has been a great escape.

ZAHN (on camera): And you've always enjoyed that ability to absorb someone else's personality and sort of disappear in the character.

EASTWOOD: Sure. That's the great fun of it all.

ZAHN (voice-over): Offscreen, Eastwood's roles have been equally as diverse. California politician, doting father, and, this might surprise you, passionate musician.

EASTWOOD: I guess I'm a frustrated musician. Play just enough to write down tunes, and that's about it. "Chopsticks" and a few things.

ZAHN: One thing you learn quickly about Clint Eastwood when you talk with him is that he is remarkably modest. He actually wrote the music for many of his films, including "Unforgiven," for which he won two Academy Awards.

His latest directorial effort might lead to more Oscar gold. It's an adaptation of the bestselling crime novel "Mystic River."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MYSTIC RIVER")

SEAN PENN, ACTOR: My own little daughter, and I can't even cry for her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN (on camera): Clint, I cannot ever remember leaving a film the way I left "Mystic River." Speechless, haunted, worn out. Is that what you were trying to evoke in the moviegoer?

EASTWOOD: Well, yes, I think it was -- I remember when I first read the book, I kept thinking about it for quite a few days. It stayed in the mind, and -- for a long time.

ZAHN (voice-over): It is the riveting story of three young boys, forever changed when one is abducted right in front of his friends and then sexually molested for days. He is able to escape his captors but not the long-term effects of the violence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MYSTIC RIVER")

TIM ROBBINS, ACTOR: I used to play on this street when I was a kid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EASTWOOD: I have always been curious about the robbing of innocence and the stealing of a person's life. And I think child abuse is one of the most deplorable crimes, and how it affects the victim, how you feel 30 years later.

ZAHN: The answer is complicated and unsettling and leads to a cycle of violence, familiar ground for Eastwood.

ZAHN (on camera): Why have you been so fascinated by violence and its consequences throughout your career?

EASTWOOD: Well, in my early career I wasn't worried about the consequences so much. I did a lot of action films. I've done that. I've been through there. I've done that. And I've had a nice career doing that. But it was -- at some point in your life, you just figure, like, you can't do that anymore.

ZAHN: So was this more a mature conscience you've arrived at? Are there films you simply would never even consider going back and doing?

EASTWOOD: Oh, sure...

ZAHN: You've never reprised the Dirty Harry...

EASTWOOD: ... almost all of them.

ZAHN: ... series.

EASTWOOD: No, no, you don't want to go back and do them, because they were a certain point in your life, and they were effective, and they were fun and interesting at that particular time in your life. But you -- as you grow along, you change, and you should change.

ZAHN: Having a young child now in your life, has that altered the way you view things?

EASTWOOD: Yes, when you're a young guy and you're doing an entertaining film, you go that great action thing, and a great shoot- 'em-up here, and audiences have fun with it. But I want audiences to come in, and I want them to think with me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MYSTIC RIVER")

PENN: Sixteen years ago, I did a two-year bit for robbery at Deer Island. Is that going to help you find my daughter's killer? I mean, I'm just asking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EASTWOOD: I want them to come and I want them to leave thinking about something, other than just the fact that, yes, he -- did he fire six shots or only five?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "DIRTY HARRY")

EASTWOOD: Did he fire six shots, or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But even this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and it would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EASTWOOD: That was great fun at the time. Now, maybe someday somebody will write a screenplay for a mature individual that has that kind of humor. But as long as it goes somewhere, that's all (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

ZAHN: So you're still leaving an option out there for yourself. I don't blame you.

EASTWOOD: Yes, an option, but I'm -- I've been moving around to the other side of the camera for quite some time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: While he considers his options, Eastwood remains one of the top directors in Hollywood. "Mystic River" has already been nominated for seven Critics Choice awards, including best director and best composer.

Thanks so much for being with us tonight on this holiday. Have a great New Year's Eve. Happy New Year, everyone.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Good night.

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