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Interview With Snoop Dogg; Shattered Dreams

Aired February 4, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, rap superstar Snoop Dogg. Always controversial, he survived gang wars and a murder trial. And now his first interview about being accused of rape by a woman who's hit him with a multimillion dollar lawsuit.
Then, a gorgeous young model, a drunken driver, her perfect face and a promising career shattered. The reconstructive surgery so agonizing she nearly lost her mind along with her looks. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's get you up to date on the Snoop Dogg story. Late last month, a female makeup artist filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against rapper Snoop Dogg, the ABC Network, the Walt Disney Company and the "Jimmy Kimmel Show." The woman alleges that on January 31, 2003, over two years ago, she was drugged and raped backstage at "The Kimmel Show" by Snoop Dogg and four associates.

We'll get into all of this. We thank him for making his exclusive appearance with us to discuss it.

What was your reaction to this? What to your knowledge happened that night, Snoop?

SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: Well, actually, I was kind of shocked when I heard of the information, Larry, because this was a woman that I had gave a job to do the makeup on "The Jimmy Kimmel Show." And when she originally made the police report, my name had nothing do with it, I was never there. Through payments or what not through certain companies like Disney and myself, with my lawyers advising me to pay her, it was supposed to go away because it was all extortion as far as I was concerned.

And then the last couple of months, she threatened to go to the "Enquirer" and all of these news stands to say that I had something to do with it and make up allegations. So, I said, you know what, I'm tired of this. I'm going to sue her. And I'm putting this out to let people know that she's trying to extort me. Because I had nothing to do with it. And don't know nothing.

KING: Well, let's go back. You hired her to do makeup. Were you hosting a show that week?

SNOOP DOGG: Yes, I was hosting for first week on "The Jimmy Kimmel Show" when it first opened. I believe it was 2 years ago.

KING: Did you know the woman? SNOOP DOGG: No, I didn't. I had met her that same week.

KING: When the original charges were made that four associates, and you weren't involved, what did you think of those charges?

SNOOP DOGG: Well, my suggestion to her was go to the police and have the police do an investigation, because I felt like rape is a serious charge. And, you know, it should really be handled the right way. Like I said, if it is rape, you need to really go to the police and see what's up. But her intentions weren't to criminally convict somebody, it was to get paid financially off of me or Disney. Disney stopped paying. So the next in line was me.

KING: Did you talk to the associates that she alleged raped her? Were they your associates, people that work for you?

SNOOP DOGG: No, I haven't talked to anyone who she accused of doing this to.

KING: Who are these people?

SNOOP DOGG: I have no idea. I know that my name is not on the police report. And that's what I'm here to talk about, me individually. She said Snoop Dogg raped her. So, I'm just here to show you that Snoop Dogg didn't.

KING: So she has never filed a police report regarding you?

SNOOP DOGG: Nope. No police report regarding me, Calvin Broadus, Snoop Dogg, anything relevant to me.

KING: So the only thing you have been hit with is a lawsuit, not a criminal charge?

SNOOP DOGG: Exactly. This is straight extortion.

And what is so crazy, Larry, this type of stuff happens all the time to entertainers where someone makes a false accusation and lawyer tells them just pay them and it all go away. And me personally, I was going along with it for first year and a half, because I thought would go away. Then I said, you know what, I'm not going to pay nobody no $100,000 check for me to clear my name up over rape. I would rather go court and fight it in the court of law and prove that I was innocent. And show that she was trying to extort me. So this type of act will never happen again.

KING: Why, Snoop, were you going to give her $100,000? Why give her anything if you weren't named? You weren't even involved?

SNOOP DOGG: Well, actually, I never wanted to give her anything to begin with. But my attorneys advised me to pay her this certain amount of money monthly, because she was having problems with her medical bills and just all kind of excuses that they were making up to pay her because they felt it was a nuisance and would all go away.

So I agreed with them, because I was doing so much work. But then after a while, I said I'm innocent. Why am I paying her? I need to be suing her like she trying to sue me.

KING: Do you think entertainers do this a lot, pay off people, just not to be nuisanced?

SNOOP DOGG: Definitely, it happens a lot of times to a lot of my friends. I know of a lot of cases where it happens you pay somebody off to keep your name going, because it becomes a bigger situation in the court of law when you have to really try to fight the fact that somebody is extorting you.

But me personally, rape is not my nature. I feel very compassionate towards any woman that has been raped. I have a mother, a daughter and a wife and rape is a serious allegation. That's why I'm here tonight with you to let you know that that is not in my nature and I cannot believe that I've been accused of this financially, but not criminally.

KING: This program, Snoop, has invited the accuser and her attorney to be guests on the show. They are considering the invitation. The woman's attorney, we're not naming her, but her attorney Perry Walter was interviewed by CNN earlier this week.

We have some excerpts from the conversation. He talked about the other defendants in the clients lawsuit and why they also should share blame for what was done to her. Watch.


PERRY WALKER, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM: The media seems to be focusing a lot on Snoop Dogg. And his involvement in this is -- we have alleged he's one of the perpetrators. But one of the other perpetrators are the corporate defendants in this case. ABC, Disney, "The Jimmy Kimmel Live Show" in my opinion, metaphorically raped my client as much as the perpetrators. They provided alcohol for the guests. They provided alcohol for the hosts. They provided alcohol, even, for the audience. They created an atmosphere of partying in order to attract a younger audience.


KING: Walt Disney, ABC and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" respond. They say there is simply no merit to the charges against the company.

Was alcohol being -- were you consuming alcohol while on the air that night, Snoop?

SNOOP DOGG: Me personally, I don't really drink alcohol. So I can't say what other people was doing. But I know personally me, I don't going to down with alcohol like that. So, I would have to say no for myself.

KING: Do you think in your heart something happened to that girl that night?

SNOOP DOGG: In my heart, I don't know if something happened to that girl that night, because, you now, like I said, she immediately started asking me for money instead of asking to go to court. And like I said, any woman that I know that has been raped, their first mindstate is, I need to go find the guy that raped me, get them off of the streets, and get them away from me so they did not do that to me or any woman again.

They don't automatically say I need to get some money from you. It is the other way around. You go for the criminal side first and then you ask for the money second.

KING: What is your memory of that night when the show ended? Do you remember what you did? Where you went? Did you remember seeing her?

SNOOP DOGG: Well, actually, every night after "The Jimmy Kimmel Show," I proceeded to jump in my vehicle with my PR guy, Richey Abbott, my hairstylist Queen Bee. And we rolled back to the house and go do what we do in the studio. You know, because I had another day to go back to do that. It was a five day show.

KING: So, you didn't go in to have your makeup taken off. You didn't go back -- you didn't see her after the show. You were out of there?

SNOOP DOGG: Yes. I never went to have my makeup taken off. I was more or less, once she put it on, I go home and take a shower and take it off like that.

KING: So, when she initially made the charges, you were there to help figuring -- did you believe her initially when she didn't name you?

SNOOP DOGG: I believed her. And my suggestion to her was go to the police. Because if you have been raped, your first state of mind is go to the police to find the perpetrators to take them off the streets. And that's what I was -- under the assumption that she was going to the law.

But now I'm reading into the paper and seeing on TV that Snoop Dogg raped her. And my name is not in the police report. So that just throws me off. That's why I'm here taking a stand, because I refuse to be another entertainer that just writes a check on a false allegation. And this allegation is not like, you know a car accident or something that -- of that nature, this is rape. And don't stand for that. I'm not with that. That's why I'm here to defend myself and let you all know I don't get down like that.

KING: We'll be right back with Snoop Dogg on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Snoop Dogg. So you're telling us that you've never had a relation of any kind with this woman?

SNOOP DOGG: No. And I was willing to take a DNA test, a lie detector test, all of that. But she was not with me doing neither one of them. So like I said, that's a serious allegation, rape. So the first thing you do when you say you're raped, you go find a guy who you said that raped you, you get a DNA test on him, and you find all the evidence and you take him to court and you prosecute him. None of that has ever happened with me. This has happened two years ago. Why now is it coming out in the media?

And I'm going to tell you why it is coming out in the media. Because Disney refused to keep paying her, and I told myself that I'm not going to pay her. I would rather go to court and show that she's trying to extort me. And that's what time it is right now.

KING: Was Disney paying her?

SNOOP DOGG: Yeah, they paid her off a little bit, you know what I'm saying, because they felt like it was a nuisance and it would go away sooner or later. But then I guess she got some new attorneys that just felt like they could get a lot of money from me. You know what I'm saying? I've got a lot of money, true indeed, but I'm not going to give it to you for something that I didn't do.

KING: Now you filed an extortion lawsuit against her. Where does that stand?

SNOOP DOGG: I filed an extortion lawsuit. It's actually a motion right now. And we got a deposition set up in a couple of weeks for her to come do a deposition and tell her side of the story, so that way we can get it all documented and we'll roll from there. Like I said, even in America, as a celebrity, you're innocent until proven guilty, and that's what I am, I'm innocent until proven guilty. And actually I haven't even been charged, so I don't even know what these statements are even about.

KING: Her lawyer, Perry Wander, was asked his reaction to the extortion complaint that you filed. Here is what he said.


PERRY WANDER, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM: The lawsuit that was filed in my legal opinion is a total abuse of process. That lawsuit doesn't even name anybody in the lawsuit. And Snoop Dogg, if he really felt and his attorneys really felt that he was a victim of blackmail and extortion, they should have filed a police report, but they didn't.


KING: Why didn't you file an extortion report?

SNOOP DOGG: Well, what we did was we did file one. We had Jane Doe. I had respect for her. I didn't want to put her name out there like that, you know what I'm saying? Because I felt like, you know, she had been raped if that's what she says she had been done, you know, I'm going to keep that name in discreet right now. But then after a while, we started to think, and me and my attorneys said, why is she coming down on me like this all of a sudden? We need to go back and show people that this is a lie. And like I said, in a court of law, it will all come out. It should be criminal first, civil second. Not civil first, criminal second. That's what I was taught, you know what I'm saying?

KING: What has this done to you personally? Relationship with other people, children?

SNOOP DOGG: Nothing with the children. You know, I coach football and I have a Snoop Youth Football League, Snooper Bowl game out here in Jacksonville tomorrow. And everything is going beautiful. And that's what I love the most, is out there coaching the kids and being a part of their lives. Their parents don't even have no insight on this right now. They know that this is not even my nature. They support me. They're down with me. And they're just waiting on the truth to come out.

KING: Oh, yeah, that game tomorrow, you have the Snoop's Youth All-Star football game, the Snoop Bowl, right? The Snooper Bowl.

SNOOP DOGG: Yeah, the Snooper Bowl. Snooper Bowl, Larry, Snooper Bowl. Not the Super Bowl, but the Snooper Bowl.

KING: Now, you have done some sometimes sexually explicit videos, haven't you?

SNOOP DOGG: Yeah, I've done it in my past.

KING: Do you think this puts you -- do you think this puts you more open to this kind of thing, where the public might tend to believe it?

SNOOP DOGG: I think it makes me a target. But the public and the people in general that know Snoop Dogg and follow me and support me know that that's not my nature. So that's why, you know, we go at it with such diligence as far as putting an extortion lawsuit on her, instead of just sitting back, waiting on the police to try to come and arrest me, which they won't, which they haven't, and if they are, I believe it is a little bit too late. But I'm willing to go do whatever they want me to do -- DNA, lie detector, all that. I'm down to do that. Come get at me, policeman, so we can get this resolved.

KING: Has your ex-wife said anything?

SNOOP DOGG: Oh, no. Me and my wife are still together. We filed for divorce, but we reconciled and we're living together...

KING: Oh, I didn't know that.

SNOOP DOGG: ... and enjoying ourselves. Yeah. She's out here with me right now. So Shante, if you're watching, I love you, baby.

KING: What has been her reaction to this?

SNOOP DOGG: Oh, actually, she's the one that called me first and -- when she seen it on CNN, she was, like, baby, you ain't going to believe this BS I just seen on TV. You know what I'm saying? She talked to me about it, and she knew that, you know, I had nothing to do with it and she stands by my side.

KING: Do you think having a -- you had a criminal record once. Do you think that is going to affect you in this lawsuit?

SNOOP DOGG: I don't think so, because the criminal record that I have has nothing to do with rape. I've never been inclined to do rape, never been involved with anything that has nothing to do with rape. My criminal cases were completely separate. And just to let you know, Larry, my record has been expunged, it's closed. You know, I haven't committed a crime in over 10 years. So I've been doing the right thing lately.

KING: Would you say you've changed?

SNOOP DOGG: Oh, I know I've changed. And that's one thing about life. Change is going to come. And that's where I'm at right now in my life. I'm about doing more right than wrong. I come from a background where, you know, crime is every day. You can see it everywhere you turn. But that doesn't mean it's still in me. It's around me. You know what I'm saying? But at the same time, I learned to walk my walk. I learned to be more positive, to be creative, to be innovative, to be a role model and to be a leader. And that's what I am.

KING: How has the public treated you since all of this?

SNOOP DOGG: Well, it's still the red carpet treatment. They still love Snoop Dogg. Like I say, you're innocent until proven guilty, and that's one thing America stands by. I have not been handcuffed, I have not been charged, so that really makes America just really wanting to, you know, plea with me and side with me and understand the fact that this could be a real extortion case like I'm saying it is, because like I said, a lot of people don't understand that these types of events happen all the time with entertainers, and they're quick to write a check because their attorney says, hey, man, write the check, you don't want to blemish your name.

But me, personally, I don't care about blemishing my name. I'm with going to court and proving this lady wrong, and keeping my name clean the way I worked it to be out.

KING: You're saying tonight, then, you will pay no more money, there is no settlement involved, that's it, you want to go to court?

SNOOP DOGG: I want to go to court. I want them to come at me the way they come at real rapists. If somebody -- Ted Bundy was a rapist, right? I'm pretty sure they didn't get Ted Bundy and say, hey, Ted, we need to get $35 million out of you, and then we're going to try to prosecute you. They locked him up, and then they went after his money, if he had money. That's the proper way. That's the appropriate way. If you have a criminal act committed against you, you go to the law enforcement and you get that act handled. That didn't happen with me. My name was not named in none of the criminal acts that happened. I wasn't even in the building.

KING: Does it make you feel an affinity for, like, Kobe Bryant or other celebrities charged with things?

SNOOP DOGG: Oh, definitely. Definitely, Larry. And it is crazy because this game is designed to make us feel like that. But we have to know and understand that somebody has to take a stand and stand up and fight this. And not just write the check because an attorney says, write the check. Stand up and fight this. If you're innocent, go all the way to court. I'm innocent. I'm with going to court. I stand before one judge or 12 jurors, it don't matter. I'm innocent.

KING: Good luck, Snoop. Thanks.

SNOOP DOGG: Thank you for having me, Larry. And you all stay tuned for the Snoop Youth Football League taking over a city near you.

KING: Who are you picking in the Super Bowl?

SNOOP DOGG: I'm taking the Patriots. Willie McGinest, that's my homeboy, from Long Beach.

KING: Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, that figures.

SNOOP DOGG: Yeah, yeah, though.

KING: Thanks, Snoop.

SNOOP DOGG: Be cool, Larry.

KING: Snoop Dogg. You too.

When we come back, we'll meet Eiseley Morgan Tauginas. She has an unbelievable story and a remarkable essay coming in "Marie Claire" magazine, the story of a tragic accident that happened to her and the resulting effects from it. Her mother will also be with us in a while as well. Don't go away.


KING: Elton John is with us on Monday night, by the way.

We welcome Eiseley Morgan Tauginas to our -- Tauginas, right?


KING: Tauginas to our CNN cameras. She was an up and coming model, was disfigured by a car accident involving a drunken driver. She tells the story in a remarkable essay in the March issue of "Marie Claire" magazine. It is one "Marie Claire's" first-person essays titled "A Car Accident Destroyed My Looks."

Now, looking at you now, you're 19 years old, a freshman at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, destroyed your looks, where?

TAUGINAS: It has been a very, very long road to recovery. Since the accident in August of 2003, I've had four reconstructive surgeries, spaced about three or four months apart, and numerous in- office procedures with plastic surgeons and what not. And so this is almost the finished product.

KING: We're showing some pictures I guess, before and after pictures. And some amazing work done. Take us back to -- by the way, you were a model earlier, right?

TAUGINAS: Yes, sir. I started...

KING: No sir, Larry.

TAUGINAS: Sorry. I got into modeling when I was 12. I spent the night at a friend's house, and she was going to a model search. And I got picked and she didn't, and we never talked again. It was very...

KING: Where did you grow up?

TAUGINAS: In Florida. St. Petersburg.

KING: Where was your first modeling job?

TAUGINAS: Well, I didn't start actually working until I was 14. And my first job was in New York. I went to New York the summer that I turned 14. And my first job was in Central Park, with my mother there.

KING: Modeling for?

TAUGINAS: It was for a magazine that's not out anymore, it was called "New Woman" magazine, it was canceled...

KING: So you've done all kinds of -- models -- what were you getting well known for?

TAUGINAS: Well, the summer before my accident, I -- let's see...

KING: You did Abercrombie & Fitch, right?

TAUGINAS: I did Abercrombie & Fitch twice. Once when I was 15 and then again at 16.

KING: It sure looks like very sexy kind of stuff you did. You did do do negligees and...

TAUGINAS: I did. I did some lingerie. I did a lot of catalogs, Abercrombie. I worked for "Marie Claire" quite a few times. And I had a really beautiful spread in "Zinc" magazine right before the accident.

KING: So it was your goal then I want to be a supermodel or I want to be a career model?

TAUGINAS: I did. I planned on modeling all throughout -- all throughout college. I thought, you know, it is a good opportunity. It is wonderful. It is time to travel, make extra money in college.

KING: How did you learn how to do it, by the way? TAUGINAS: How to model?

KING: Yeah.

TAUGINAS: From experience.

KING: Really? I mea, you starting at 14, that's pretty young. You didn't go to school?


KING: Never went to school for it?

TAUGINAS: No, no modeling school.

KING: What happened that terrible day in 2003, August 16th?

TAUGINAS: Yes, Larry. I went out with some friends. We went out to a bar.

KING: Where?

TAUGINAS: In St. Petersburg, Florida. I had just come home from New York and I was spending time with my friends before I went off to Texas to go to school to start as a freshman at Southern Methodist. And I got in the car with one of my friends that night who I had a few too many drinks, and he lost control of the car. Three other people in the car.

KING: So driver was in your car?

TAUGINAS: No, sir.

KING: You weren't hit by a drunken driver.

TAUGINAS: Oh, right, right, he was.

KING: So he was driving. You were in the front seat?

TAUGINAS: No, I was in the back passenger seat. And he hit a telephone pole when he lost control of the car. And hit a telephone pole. And then the police report stated that I think as the pole was falling down, my face broke through the window and the pole grazed the side of my face.

KING: Do you remember that?

TAUGINAS: No. I don't remember -- I remember -- I remember that day. I remember being out with my friends. But nothing -- I don't remember getting in the car.

KING: Was this driver a boyfriend?

TAUGINAS: No. Just a friend.

KING: Was he -- was he hurt? TAUGINAS: No, sir. No, no one else was injured.

KING: You're the only one hurt.


KING: And you went through the window.


KING: So do you remember that night? Do you remember going out?

TAUGINAS: I do. I remember going out. But just until about the middle of the evening...

KING: You don't remember. Were you drinking?


KING: So you were a little out of it, too?


KING: So you didn't know the driver was drunk. Everybody in the car was probably...


KING: ... a little spacey.


KING: I'll bet you don't drink anymore. When is the next memory you have? You wake up in a hospital?

TAUGINAS: Right. I was in ICU for two weeks. And I remember probably about -- like about that time, about two weeks later...

KING: You have no memory of the two weeks?

TAUGINAS: No. I mean, I was on an immense amount of drugs. I suffered 15 fractures to the side of my face and then I had a Basil skull fracture and I had broken my mandible, so I had my jaw wired shut, so I couldn't talk. I mean, it was awful, awful. I'm glad I don't remember it.

KING: A lot of pain?

TAUGINAS: Not then. I was on so many drugs at the hospital that -- and you know, the fact I don't remember it, but...

KING: When did they give you a mirror?

TAUGINAS: Actually, my agent from New York found out about the accident right away. My mother called him. And he came down, and I was just so much out of it. This is probably about two weeks after being in the hospital, and I remember asking my mother -- I was like, mom, I need to tweeze my eyebrows if I'm going see my agent. And so she was like, no, no, I don't think that's a good idea. And they let me walk to the bathroom with all the -- all my...

KING: Hooked up.

TAUGINAS: Right, completely hooked up. And that's when I saw. You know, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: And?

TAUGINAS: And it was dramatic. But I was very much in denial. I had no idea how severe it was. I figured...

KING: When you saw it, you were in denial?

TAUGINAS: I mean, it was painful. But I didn't realize that it was going to take this long to recover. I thought that I was going to leave the hospital and -- I realized I was banged up.

KING: You looked at it and were confident then? You said, I'm going to look better?

TAUGINAS: I was, you know, in a different state of mind. I didn't have any idea how serious it was.

KING: We'll be back with Eiseley Morgan Tauginas, right? I got it. And then in a moment, we'll meet her mother, an extraordinary story. And going to -- talk about the doctors. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Eiseley Morgan Tauginas. And this story which you can read about in "Marie Claire" in the March issue called "A Car Accident Destroyed My Looks." Did you go to a rehab center?

TAUGINAS: I did not.

KING: You were home?

TAUGINAS: I did. I was real released from the hospital. They wanted me to go to rehab for, I think, an additional month. And I was released from the hospital with the agreement I would go to -- to see all the doctors that I would have seen at the hospital.

KING: So, you went home with your mother?


KING; In St. Petersburg.

TAUGINAS: Right, my mother and my grandmother took care of me.

KING: You don't have a father?

TAUGINAS: My parents have been divorced since I was very small. KING: Are you close with your dad?

TAUGANAS: Not at all.

KING: He did see you when this happened?

TAUGINAS: My mother asked me while I was in the hospital if I would like to tell him. And I -- we haven't spoken since I was young so I told her -- I didn't think it was right time just to call him when something bad happens.

KING: Brothers or sisters.

TAUGINAS: I have a little brother, he's 12. He's wonderful.

KING: How did he handle all this?

TAUGINAS: He was amazing, really. He was so strong.

KING: He didn't call you the ugly sister?

TAUGINAS: No. He was so great.

KING: 12-year-old boys can do that.

TAUGINAS: I know. He does it now.

But he was just so strong. And he helped me pull through it immensely.

KING: OK. Now what -- you had all the surgeries, what was that like?

TAUGINAS: The first surgery -- the first surgery I had was the first week I was in the hospital. So, it was -- I was out of it on massive amounts of drugs.

The second surgery I had was to to -- my cheekbone had been crushed into my face so they moved my cheekbone out before the bones fused back together. And put it in the proper position. And that was hard. I didn't sleep for 2 days before the surgery.

KING: A lot of pain after?

TAUGINAS: After the surgery, yes. Definitely.

KING: Moving your bones, right?

TAUGINAS: Right. They did it so they didn't have to rebreak the bone later.

KING: Was the damage only to the right side of the face.


KING: What else did they do? TAUGINAS: And then I had a...

KING: Something above your lip?

TAUGINAS: I had a big laceration through my lip so they pieced my lips back together.

And then I had a surgery in December of 2003 where they took bone from my skull and implanted it behind my eye because my eyes -- my right eye was in the back of my face and my left eye. And I had double vision all the time. They did that. And it cured my double vision which is amazing. It is very hard to go through life when you can't see.

KING: That's your eye, right?

TAUGINAS: Right. No, it is fine. My -- now my pupils -- my right pupil is a little higher than my left. But I can see fine.

KING: Any other part of the body damaged?


KING: Just face?


KING: Neck OK?

TAUGINAS: Mm-hmm. I had a tracheostomy tube, so I have a little...

KING: Why did they do that?

TAUGINAS: Because they had my jaw wired shut and I couldn't breathe.

KING: They fed you intravenously.

TAUGINAS: I believe they did for a while, while I was in ICU.

KING: How did you pick the doctors you picked?

TAUGINAS: Well, initially the doctors were all assigned to us. One, the doctor who did my first surgery in the hospital was recommended by a friend whose father was a doctor.

KING: Guy who drove the car?


KING: How has he been? How's he handled this?

TAUGINAS: I think he's fine now.

KING: He did come see you? TAUGINAS: No, he didn't.

KING: He didn't?

TAUGINAS: He wasn't allowed to.

KING: Wasn't allowed to? was he charged?


KING: Was he found guilty?


KING: Did he do any time for this?


KING: He did?


KING: Is he out now?

TAUGINAS: He is, yes.

KING: Feel sorry for him?

TAUGINAS: I do. It is a very tough situation just because we were all friends before. And everyone's lives have changed dramatically since this one incident.

KING: Including the other girls in car?

TAUGINAS: No, the driver and then two other boys and then me.

KING: You ever see any of them?

TAUGINAS: No, I don't.

It is hard, you know. It really is. Things are just so much different than they were then.

KING: Are you all done with surgery?

TAUGINAS: No. I'm going to have one more surgery in New York this summer with Dr. Baker. He's amazing. I had a surgery with him last year. And he's going to do more surgery...

KING: What do you need left?

TAUGINAS: Well, I had cartilage put under my eye here so it is very -- they overimprovised and put more in case your body reabsorbs it. So they have to even that out and then do some more work to my eyelids.

KING: You learn a lot, huh?

TAUGINAS: Oh, definitely.

KING: Learn a lot about human anatomy.

TAUGINAS: This is true.

KING: Were your teeth all right?

TAUGINAS: No I broke my jaw in half. And I had my chin fixed in my last surgery. And then right before the accident, I had had bottom braces because my teeth -- my teeth were a little crooked. So my teeth look perfect right before the accident and then I had bottom braces again recently to even it all out.

KING: What do people say to you that you're lucky?

TAUGINAS: Definitely.

KING: What do you think kept you going?

TAUGINAS: I mean, hope. Just that -- like my life before this happened was very much perfect. I had the perfect teenage life.

KING: Sure did.

TAUGINAS: I was very happy. I had a serious boyfriend. I had a wonderful friends. I was going college. I was modeling. Things just looked so, so bright. And it is just hope that, you know, eventually I'll get back to that point and I'm happy now.

KING: You have a lot of faith?

TAUGINAS: I do. Definitely. My mother always says people always turn to God when something bad happens. And as selfish as that sounds, I did.

KING: God is in the foxhole, right?

TAUGINAS: I'm very thankful.

KING: What happened to the serious boyfriend?

TAUGINAS: I think it was very hard for him to deal with. And we -- we just fell out.

KING: Hard to deal with the way you looked?

TAUGINAS: Just hard to deal with the whole thing. With all -- that's a very serious thing to happen. We had a good relationship.

KING: How did you deal with the way you looked? First you're in denial. But then when that goes away, how did you deal with it?

TAUGINAS: The last thing I did before the accident was a beauty source for "Brides" magazine. And I think that came out the February after the accident. And I think once that came out is when I realized that I don't look like that anymore. And...

KING: You can't model.

TAUGINAS: Right. I was like this is the last thing I'm ever going to do, but I really cherish this. And that's when it really hit me that -- it was very hard. I would look in the mirror and I wouldn't see myself. And it wasn't until I had my last surgery in July that I really -- I started feeling like myself again, because I started looking like myself.

KING: Did you get emotional counseling too?


KING: Did "Marie Claire" come to you to do this article?

TAUGINAS: My agent approached them about it. And we started talking about it, probably like 6 months after the accident or something. And...

KING: Is the article designed to help people?

TAUGINAS: I hope so. That was my point. And I think it's had a positive influence. I was very nervous about that before it came out, that people would look at it as some whiney girl, some whiney girl who used to be a model. But so far since the issue has come out, I've had nothing but positive feedback and girls telling me it is inspiring and that they, you know, they'll think about things before they do them.

KING: You had always planned to go to college, right?


KING: What are you majoring in?

TAUGINAS: Political science.

KING: And hope to do what?

TAUGINAS: I would like to work at a political advertising firm when I grow up.

KING: When you grow up. You want to do ads?


KING: Political ads. Immediately the dirty side of it. You ain't got it bad enough.

We're going to take a break and come back. And Eiseley Morgan Tauginas' mother Alley Jamison will join us. And also include your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: We are joined, Eiseley Morgan Tauginas and I, by Ali Jamison, Eiseley's mother. Have you remarried?


KING: OK, but you have a different last name.

JAMISON: I never changed my name. I was born a Jamison and I've been a Jamison all my life.

KING: Better name than Tauginas. I'm not knocking your name, it's just Jamison is kind of a quick name. Where were you on that night that the tragedy happened?

JAMISON: I was at home. I was at home. I got a call about 2:00 in the morning.

KING: Do you remember when she went out?

JAMISON: Well, she had gone out earlier. She had gone to a birthday party in the afternoon, and had been gone, you know, most of the evening with her friends. But, of course, it was her last weekend. We thought her last weekend home before she went off to college. So...

KING: Were you very proud of her modeling career? Did you support it?

JAMISON: Yes, I do. I do. Actually, it was a great deal of fun for me too.

KING: You went with her to New York.

JAMISON: Yeah, when she was -- when she was young, I did.

KING: So who called you?

JAMISON: Very exiting. A police officer called, excuse me. And said that she had been in an accident and asked me if I knew how to get to the hospital and said, you know, you better get there right away.

KING: Did you drive by yourself?

JAMISON: No, actually my boyfriend, Brandon, drove me, because I was really in no state.

KING: How long was that drive?

JAMISON: It was about -- gosh, we've made it enough times. It's about a half hour.

KING: What was your thought when you saw her?

JAMISON: Well, they didn't let me see her right away. And so I really had no idea what the extent of her injuries were. But when I first saw her, I just -- I remember saying to my boyfriend, you know, just don't let me fall down. Because it was pretty bad. KING: How did you get through it?

JAMISON: Well, I think as she said, I mean, just, you know, hope and faith and, you know, just pray that things work out for the best.

KING: Why did she go home with you rather than go to rehab?

JAMISON: Because I kind of insisted that she come home with me. She was really having a very difficult time dealing with the hospital environment, because she's never has been sick or anything before. So I just really felt, as a parent, that she was -- would be much better off, not so heavily medicated at home, sleeping in her own bed, you know, around her brother and around me.

KING: Are you very close, Eiseley?

TAUGINAS: She's my best friend.

KING: Very close with your mom. Did you know the boy who was driving?

JAMISON: No. Never -- to this day I never met him.


KING: ... court or anything?

JAMISON: I saw him in court, but no, I've never -- he didn't go to school, he was a little older than Eiseley, and didn't go to her school or anything, and he...

KING: Were you annoyed that she was drinking?

JAMISON: Well, it was probably not the best thing she could have been doing. But I think when you see your child in a situation like that, you know, I really thought -- that was really the least of my worries.

KING: How did she measure up during all these surgeries?

JAMISON: She was great. She was astonishing.

KING: A trooper?

JAMISON: Oh, yes. Some of them are, you know, the -- they would last for hours and hours. I think the first surgery was -- I don't know, five or six hours, and then she had an eight-hour surgery and...

KING: You go to every one?

JAMISON: Of course.

KING: And there's another one coming.

JAMISON: There is one is coming, yes, yes, sir, this summer.

KING: What do you think of the nearly finished product?

JAMISON: I think she -- I think she looks amazing.

KING: I do, too.

JAMISON: I really do.

KING: Not much off from the way she looked.

JAMISON: No, no. I think she's just recovered just remarkably well.

KING: Let's go to some calls. New Orleans, Louisiana, hello.

New Orleans, are you there? Hello? No New Orleans.

Springfield, hello? Springfield, are you there? I know they're not there. What are you telling me no? Springfield, are you there?


KING: Speak.

CALLER: I have a question for Ms. Morgan.


CALLER: My question is, has your idea of beauty changed since you were in this automobile accident?

TAUGINAS: It definitely has. I think before the accident, I always compared myself and my personal idea of beauty to, you know, models I was always trying to measure up to. And since this has happened, you know, I really -- I really look at people for who they are now.

KING: Looks don't make that big of...

TAUGINAS: And realize that, you know, looks (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in a second, you know.

KING: She would have been a major supermodel.


KING: She was on the road. You going to model again?

TAUGINAS: I hope so. Keep my fingers crossed.

KING: Overland Park, Kansas. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Love your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: I admire your guests. I too had a life changing injury, and I was curious how Eiseley gets herself up, how you get yourself up for each surgery. I know you've been through a lot. They're not fun. And if you do at-home rehabilitation, if you do outpatient rehabilitation?

KING: It's a good question. How do you get yourself up when you know you're facing...

TAUGINAS: Well, my last surgery I had was a doctor that I chose, two doctors that I chose very carefully. And I was extremely confident. And like the morning of the surgery, I woke up, like, excited. I know it sounds very odd, but it was one step forward into completely recovering. And I had the utmost of faith in my surgeons.

KING: And then after the rehab, you had emotional help, right?

TAUGINAS: Right. I'm still seeing someone, seeing a doctor at my school now. Just you know, I think it is important when something incredible happens in your life, incredibly awful, excuse me, but you need someone to help you sort out your thoughts. It is just so much to take in at once. But usually, after all my surgeries, I've been in the hospital for at least a few days and then lots of at-home time.

KING: What is it like when she comes home, mom?

JAMISON: When she comes home from school or...

KING: No, from surgery.

JAMISON: Oh, from the surgeries? Well, she's -- she's really a trooper. And you know, we just try to make her take it easy and not do too much, you know, after immediately following...

KING: It is after pain, isn't there?

JAMISON: Right. Yes. Yes.

TAUGINAS: A lot of complaining usually.

KING: Hazel Park, Michigan. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Eiseley, I think you're beautiful.

TAUGINAS: Thank you.

CALLER: My son was killed by a drunk driver. And my husband was seriously injured. And I just want to know what was your motivation to get you going day after day after your crash? TAUGINAS: I'm very sorry for your loss. My motivation was, you know, trying personally just to have a normal life, and to, you know, I wanted to treasure every moment of my life after I was given obviously a wonderful second chance. And I think, you know, that was exactly my motivation. I wanted to...

KING: You viewed it that way.


KING: That you've been given a second chance.


KING: You could have died.

TAUGINAS: Very, very easily.

KING: Probably one inch one way or the other sometimes.

TAUGINAS: I mean, I'm so lucky, not only that I'm alive now, but that I didn't break my neck. I mean, just so many things. I didn't have brain damage. So many things to be thankful for.

KING: Did anybody tell you if you'll ever remember it?

TAUGINAS: Most of the doctors I've seen, psychologists and -- they've said usually it's a blockage thing. And ...

KING: Might remember it?

TAUGINAS: Maybe. I hope I don't.

KING: I hope so too. We'll be back with more. Don't go away.


KING: We're with Eiseley Morgan Tauginas and her mother, Ali Jamison, and the caller is from Lake Wales, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I would like to say you're still very beautiful. And sometimes tragedy will cause one to call out to God. I would like to know if this accident had any effect on you spiritually.

TAUGINAS: Oh, I mean, it definitely did. Not only did I pray to God every night after my accident, you know, thanking him for my life in general, after I got out of the hospital and I was able to think logically and do something like pray, but I feel as though like my personal relationship with God is much closer now. And I realize that, you know, I think that God has a big hand in a lot of things I do. And...

KING: You're not blaming him for the accident?


KING: No why me?

TAUGINAS: No. I don't think that's the right way to look at it.

KING: Did you have a why me attitude?

TAUGINAS: No, because...

KING: It is logical.

JAMISON: There was so much to do and there was so much going on that I was just really grateful that she was alive, you know, and that was sort of touch and go. And particularly that she seemed to have -- she had all of her mental faculties, you know. That was one thing -- that was very scary, not knowing for at least for a couple of weeks what -- how she was going to come out of it.

KING: Royal Oak, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. We love you in Royal Oak here. Terrific show.

KING: I'm big in Royal Oak. Especially on the west side of Royal Oak, I'm tremendous.

CALLER: Eiseley, we have tremendous respect for what you've endured to this point and wish you the best with your upcoming surgery.

TAUGINAS: Thank you so much.

CALLER: In addition, we wanted to ask you whether or not you'd ever thought -- and let you know also how beautiful you look -- have you ever thought of going into acting?

KING: What about acting?

TAUGINAS: I would love to act. When I first got to school, this past semester, when I finally went to SMU, I had sort of a hard time adjusting. It was a lot to take in, because I had waited so long to go there, and it was like my ultimate conquest, was to get back to school. I thought I needed like a creative outlet, a creative outlet. And I took an improv class, and I really enjoyed it. It was great.

KING: A little follow-up?

TAUGINAS: I hope so. I mean, I want to take one thing at a time.

KING: So you're going to -- political science, you would like to work with political advertising.


KING: Acting interests you.

TAUGINAS: Right. KING: And you want to go back to modeling?

TAUGINAS: Eventually.

KING: What does your agent say?

TAUGINAS: Wait and see. You know, I'll have my surgery. And I mean, basically, I have an agency in Dallas, I have an agency in New York. And basically they both said when you feel like you're ready, then call us. You know, we'll talk about it. But I know that it is not ready yet so...

KING: You have to feel you're ready, right?

TAUGINAS: Right. I am not going to waste their time, you know, set myself up for them to tell me no.

KING: Are you dating?

TAUGINAS: I am not. I'm not -- there are a lot of cute boys at SMU. But I just -- I don't feel like I'm ready to date yet.

KING: Not that you don't think you look good.

TAUGINAS: I just -- I don't have the same confidence that I did before the accident. And I think it will take...

KING: What do you think, mom?

JAMISON: Well, she has a crush on a different boy every week. So...

KING: But she doesn't date them, she just has crushes.

JAMISON: No, she doesn't. She just has kind of crushes from afar.

KING: Do you feel she should take her time?

JAMISON: I think so. I think so.

TAUGINAS: It is a good time to wait.

KING: Thank you so much.

TAUGINAS: Thank you so much, Larry.

KING: Thank you.

JAMISON: Appreciate it.

KING: It is the March issue of "Marie Claire," read the article by Eiseley Morgan Tauginas and with her mother, Ali Jamison.

Earlier, Snoop Dogg.

I'll be back in a couple of minutes, give you a Super Bowl pick for what it is worth, tell you who is on Monday night. Don't go away.


KING: Two human interest shows over the weekend that we know certainly will interest you. Elton John on Monday night.

But let me go out on a limb here and pick Philadelphia in the Super Bowl. I like both teams, I like both owners very much, two terrific guys, and I know New England is a seven-point favorite, but take a shot. Go with the Eagles and see what happens.

We know what's going to happen in the next hour. You're going to be well hosted by one of our favorite people, Soledad O'Brien, sitting in for Aaron Brown to host "NEWSNIGHT."


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