Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Carole Radziwill
Aired October 6, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, a rare look inside the secret lives of the Kennedys with Carole Radziwill. She was a globe-trotting journalist who married a prince, the prince Jackie O's nephew and John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s first cousin. She became JFK Jr.'s close friend and his tragic death came just a month before she lost her prince to cancer.
Now, Carole Radziwill shares intimate, emotional memories of life among the Kennedys. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
A great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE tonight Carole Radziwill, what a story, she's the author of the new memoir "What Remains, a Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love," which by the way a week from Sunday, October 16th will be number four on the New York Times best-seller list, congratulations.
CAROLE RADZIWILL, WIDOW OF JACKIE O'S NEPHEW, ANTHONY RADZIWILL: Thank you. Thank you.
KING: She grew up a working class girl, then married a prince who just happened to be John Kennedy, Jr.'s first cousin. She became best friends with JFK Jr.'s wife Carolyn Bessette but in a few awful weeks in 1999 lost all three, husband, friend, friend. Carol Radziwill why did you write this?
RADZIWILL: You know I think like many writers I don't know what I think until I write it down and writing allows you a resolution that you rarely get in life. And also for me creating, a narrative creates a sense of order out of chaos.
And, I think in the aftermath of that summer and the chaos that followed, I assumed this enormous responsibility of keeping them all alive. You know I think we do that, you know, when people die. We keep them in our heads to keep them close to us.
And there came a point where I knew that that wasn't going to work for me any longer and I started to forget details and it started making me anxious. So, I decided to start writing it down. You know it never was my dream to write a memoir. I don't even keep a diary. I mean I don't usually write anything down but, you know, my life didn't turn out the way I thought.
KING: We'll get into that.
KING: You worked with Peter Jennings huh?
RADZIWILL: Yes, I did. I did when I was -- I started at ABC when I was 24 and I worked for Peter Jennings in his documentary unit for about six years.
KING: And you were at the memorial as well right?
RADZIWILL: I was, yes, wasn't that beautiful?
KING: Beautiful. All right, give me the family breakdown. You married who? Who was related to who, what?
RADZIWILL: OK. I married Anthony Radziwill whose mom, Lee Radziwill is Jackie Onassis' sister and John is his first cousin and John's sister Caroline and he has a sister Tina, a younger sister Tina, so it's a very small, very tight-knit family.
KING: So, in a sense, Jackie would be like your aunt?
KING: Once removed.
RADZIWILL: Like an aunt-in-law.
KING: Like an aunt-in-law and John Kennedy, Jr. would have been your cousin?
RADZIWILL: Cousin, yes, cousin-in-law.
KING: And your husband though is it true never told you he was involved with the Kennedys at all?
RADZIWILL: No, you know, Anthony when you first meet him he's so -- he's very down to earth. He introduces, you know, he was introduced to me as Anthony. No, I wasn't aware of the whole family connection. I only learned that later on as you usually do sort of counting backwards on the family tree and then -- but you would never know it to meet him that he was...
KING: But he was a Radziwill.
KING: That's not an everyday name.
RADZIWILL: Right, right.
KING: And you knew that Jackie sister's name was Radziwill.
RADZIWILL: No, I don't know if I -- yes, I guess.
KING: Never asked him?
RADZIWILL: I never -- no, I never asked him.
KING: You never said that's an unusual name?
RADZIWILL: No. We were working a story together. We were, you know, he was an associate producer on this Menendez murder story that we were working on together and I was just, you know, a PA doing my job. No, I don't think we ever talked about it. In fact, we never talked about it the entire time we were working on the story together.
KING: When you got serious and you met the family, when you found out who it was...
RADZIWILL: Yes, it was shortly after, I mean it was shortly after.
KING: What was your reaction? When you were feeling serious, OK, then you knew you were going to be into a clan.
RADZIWILL: Yes. He used to call my family the DeFalco (ph) clan. We never -- you know we dated for almost two years before I met his family, so I think in some ways we both knew that it was important for our relationship if it was going to work that we needed privacy and we, you know, we were two ABC News producers and we created this little world for ourselves.
So, by the time I met his family, his mom and his cousins it was almost two years after we started dating. So, yes, it was nervous -- nerve-racking meeting his mom, as any young girl meeting her boyfriend's mom for the first time will understand but she was lovely you know.
KING: Did they accept you readily?
RADZIWILL: Yes, I think so. I mean, yes. I mean we -- we got along fine. We got along better than fine. I mean ever after we were married and I was, you know, mother-in-law and I was her daughter-in- law I think we probably got along better than most mother and daughters.
KING: Do you have any children?
RADZIWILL: No, we never had children.
KING: Your husband was diagnosed with cancer before you were married?
RADZIWILL: Right before we got engaged.
KING: Cancer of what?
RADZIWILL: It's sarcoma, fibro sarcoma. It's a rare solid tumor.
KING: Where in the body? RADZIWILL: It first presented in his right rectus muscle, which is his abdominal wall.
KING: How old was he?
RADZIWILL: And then later it moved to his lungs. He was, how old, he was 35 when he was diagnosed.
KING: Did you think twice about getting married?
RADZIWILL: No, I didn't because it's something that I think he really wanted and we were living together at the time and there was just no way I could have walked away from him.
And, plus I thought I was going to cure it. I had no doubt in my ability to find the right doctor, make the right calls, get him into the right treatment. So, no, I mean it was an intense period of my life. I had no experience with cancer. This was all new to me. But, no, I never would have walked away from him.
KING: How did he feel?
RADZIWILL: When he was diagnosed?
KING: Yes, I mean did he say let's not get married? Did he say...
RADZIWILL: No, no. We really didn't -- we never really talked about marriage. We were very happy. We kind of -- our lives revolved around our work and we worked hard and, you know, we were living together at the time and there wasn't a lot of talk of marriage until after he was diagnosed.
And then, no, I think it's something that he really wanted and I think it gave him a sense of security that we wouldn't have had if we had just been living together.
KING: You got married in August of 1994. Was John F. Kennedy, Jr. there? He was best man right?
RADZIWILL: Yes, he was Anthony's best man.
KING: They were very close then?
RADZIWILL: They were. Oh, they were always very close, yes, they were. The people used to say about them they were like brothers and they were in that way that they kept each other in check. And I could see even the first time I -- the first time I met John and the three of us were having dinner and how they teased each other and how they could almost, you know, they couldn't stand to be too close but they couldn't bear to be too far apart.
KING: About the same age?
RADZIWILL: John I think was a year younger.
KING: And Carolyn Bessette wasn't in the picture yet right?
RADZIWILL: She wasn't no. She was. I met her a few weeks after I met John for the first time. They were dating for a few months and then he broke up with her and got back with an old girlfriend.
KING: More in a minute with Carole Radziwill. The book is "What Remains, a Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love," already a runaway best seller. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADZIWILL (voice-over): Three weeks before my husband died, a young couple smashed their plane into the Atlantic Ocean off the Massachusetts shoreline, well after the mid-July sun had set.
It was reported in the news as 9:41 but I knew the general time because I had spoken to the woman less than an hour before. The pilot was my husband's cousin, John Kennedy. His wife, Carolyn Bessette, was my closest friend. Once it was the four of us with all our dreams and plans and then suddenly there was nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is it tough being a junior?
JOHN F. KENNEDY, JR.: I mean sure being, I mean I wouldn't know -- I don't have a basis of comparison.
KING: I mean are there ever days you say I wish my name were David?
KENNEDY: No, I'm pretty happy with what it is. It makes for a rich and complicated life, so but that's I think part of the puzzle to figure out in my life.
KING: It's no secret that John Kennedy, Jr. was a hell of a guy, on this program a couple of times, great fellow. She was a tremendous girl. We always had a good time together. He was special.
RADZIWILL: He was. He really was. He was the kind that -- he was the kind of guy who was really made for the big moment, you know, and we had a lot of big moments when Anthony was sick and he always knew what to do, what to say. I really depended on him and Carolyn.
KING: When you met him he was in his underwear?
RADZIWILL: Yes, he was. He was.
KING: What was happening? RADZIWILL: No, we were -- Anthony and I had rented a house together at the beach and he rented it with us and he came late the night before so I didn't see him come in. And in the morning he came out -- he came out of his bedroom in his underwear, you know.
KING: Did you like him right away?
RADZIWILL: After a while they all look the same in their underwear.
KING: Did you like him right away?
RADZIWILL: I did. He's very funny and very open. I mean he knew it was a safe place. He knew I was, you know, a serious girlfriend of Anthony's and I did. He's very funny and very generous, you know. He's a very easy and likable guy to get to know.
KING: He and John would imitate each other and do that.
KING: I mean they were best friends.
RADZIWILL: Yes, oh they would constantly imitate each other and play practical jokes on each other. I'll never forget John played I think the perfect practical joke on Anthony because he kind of strong- armed Anthony into sitting on this board of his charity. And, Anthony was the treasurer.
And, John decided that he was going to (INAUDIBLE) he was going to create this law firm and he did with an address, a number and it was just a front for this practical joke and he sent Anthony a letter, a very legal letter saying that someone had tripped and fallen at one of the board meetings and that she was suing for like $10 million and he sent this to Anthony.
And he called and it was Jack Hollander (ph), Esquire and there was a phone number on it and this went on for a long time. And, Anthony framed the letter. He could appreciate a good practical joke.
KING: But it got him right?
RADZIWILL: Oh, yes. Yes, oh Anthony plotted for years to get him back for that one.
KING: When you got married did his cancer get better?
RADZIWILL: He had had -- after he got diagnosed he had had an operation and they removed the tumor and a lot of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor, so the doctors were confident that they had gotten it all.
And, we married six months later and he was, you know, cancer free when we got married, you know, except as a lot of people know when they're dealing with cancer it came back shortly after -- it came back actually we felt another lump on our honeymoon. KING: Did you actually feel the lump?
RADZIWILL: Yes, it was a tiny, little pea-sized little bump exactly on the scar of the operation and we both saw it and we just kind of dismissed it, put it out of our minds until we got back to New York.
KING: And what killed him was spreading to the lungs?
RADZIWILL: Yes, sarcoma usually spreads to the lungs and that's where it stays and sometimes it goes to the liver. And, he had it for five years, which is longer than most people can live with it. And, it came back into the lungs several times and he'd have operations. He had two or three operations, major lung operations a year to remove the tumors.
KING: He died how long before John died?
RADZIWILL: He died just three weeks after John.
KING: Three weeks so he knew what happened to John?
RADZIWILL: He did.
KING: Or didn't he?
RADZIWILL: No, he did. No, he did.
KING: How did you meet Carolyn Bessette?
RADZIWILL: She came to the summer house with John one weekend and she -- she walked out of the bedroom and she had forgotten her toothbrush, so she came over to me and asked me if she could borrow a toothbrush or did I have an extra one? And, I must say she was -- she was very striking and also like John in that way very open and you kind of immediately liked her.
RADZIWILL: You've met her haven't you?
KING: Oh, yes, sure.
RADZIWILL: Yes, she's fantastic.
KING: And they were regular people, you know. They weren't uppity.
RADZIWILL: Yes. No, no, no, they were regular. They had a...
KING: Hung around their neighborhood.
KING: They weren't hard to see. RADZIWILL: No, no not at all and they were together a long time before they married, you know, and they moved, you know, before the marriage I think she moved much more freely than after.
KING: You and Carolyn had shared experiences right? You were blue collar girls.
RADZIWILL: We were.
KING: Where did you grow up?
RADZIWILL: I grew up in (INAUDIBLE) and she grew up in Greenberg (ph), which is across the Hudson River in Yonkers. And, yes, once we realized that we had both worked at Caldor (ph) together in the summers and not the same Caldor, different ones and we used to tease John and Anthony while they were learning to water ski off the Cristina (ph) we were stocking shelves and doing inventory. But we were, there was that. We were very similar and we came from a similar place, so there was that bond we had.
KING: By the way, was your husband a prince?
RADZIWILL: Well, I think he was.
KING: I mean, no, was he a prince in title?
RADZIWILL: He was.
KING: Didn't his mother have a title?
RADZIWILL: His mom did and his dad was a prince and there's, you know, four generations.
KING: From what country?
RADZIWILL: Poland, Poland, but you know he didn't really get involved in that.
KING: You didn't have to call him your highness?
RADZIWILL: No, only sometimes.
KING: We'll be right back with Carole Radziwill. The book is "What Remains, a Memoir of Faith, Friendship and Love." Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADZIWILL (voice-over): We were at (INAUDIBLE). I was washing dishes. Anthony was running on the beach and John was reading the paper when she walked out of the bedroom, blond and ten stories high in a white cotton nightgown with eyelet trim. She walked across the living room and put a hand on my shoulder. She seemed to know me.
"Hi, I'm Carolyn. You must be Carole. I forgot a toothbrush. Do you have one I can use?" Her eyes were as big as quarters and blue like a swimming pool and she spoke softly, almost whispering. I thought later she didn't want to scare me away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Carole Radziwill. So, you build a friendship with Carolyn, right?
RADZIWILL: We did. We did. It was almost instantaneous. We liked each other almost instantly and...
KING: Did she know your parents?
KING: You know hers?
RADZIWILL: And I met -- and I met her mom and step dad a few times and then, of course, at the wedding.
KING: And she worked with Calvin Klein right?
RADZIWILL: She did. She did when I met her, yes, and then she left.
KING: You were at ABC?
RADZIWILL: And I was at ABC News, yes.
KING: Was she a clothing critique?
RADZIWILL: She did. She did. She had a -- had a whole program for me, sort of like a wardrobe metamorphosis. I thought I was doing fine but she -- she introduced me to, you know, shoes and all that sort of thing. We went shoe shopping one day and she bought me four or five pairs of (INAUDIBLE) these wildly expensive shoes and that was one of my introductions to fashion.
KING: There's a sense from the book that Caroline Kennedy, the other Caroline, the sister wasn't too crazy...
KING: Caroline, one is Caroline and one is Carolyn.
RADZIWILL: I know and I'm Carole.
KING: Caroline wasn't too crazy about her brother marrying.
RADZIWILL: Well, no, I don't know if -- I think she was happy that her brother found a woman that he was in love with. They didn't know each other that well before the marriage. But, no, I think we were -- we were happy for John and he was thrilled.
And, you know, I think, you know, it's a very tight-knit family and I think in situations like that where it's just a brother and a sister, kind of like Anthony and his sister, you know, there's always a period of adjustment but I think everyone was really happy for John. That weekend was a very, very happy one.
KING: I was going to ask you about that. Were you close with Anthony's sister?
RADZIWILL: I was. I mean she's lovely. I mean I don't see her that much anymore but we're two very different people but she was -- she was very sweet. I mean I had -- I was very lucky.
KING: What was the wedding like?
RADZIWILL: Their wedding?
RADZIWILL: Oh, God, it was...
KING: Where was it?
RADZIWILL: It was on Cumberland Island.
KING: Which is where?
RADZIWILL: Off the coast -- off the coast of Georgia and...
KING: Why did they pick that?
RADZIWILL: You know, John's friend ran a bed and breakfast there and he trusted her to organize the whole thing without telling anyone and she did that.
KING: So, they kept the paparazzi away?
RADZIWILL: Oh, everyone. I mean I think we were the only ones on that island that weekend.
KING: How many people attended?
RADZIWILL: I would say about 30.
KING: That's all?
RADZIWILL: Yes, 30. A few people from John's family, her family and then like ten or 15 of their closest friends. It was a great, fun weekend. I mean we were -- we were just so surprised that there was not a photographer there. I mean they really pulled it off and they were engaged for a year and a half before and she planned the wedding and it wasn't -- it wasn't -- you know but they knew that they had -- they knew that they could trust their friends not to say anything. We didn't.
KING: Did John not like public attention? He seemed to me to not care one way or the other.
RADZIWILL: I think you're right. I think he was used to it and it was just something that he dealt with and I think maybe it was a necessary evil for him. You know he didn't -- he dealt with it very well.
KING: He had it all his life.
RADZIWILL: Yes, he did, you know. So, it didn't really even phase him I think.
KING: So, a joyous wedding.
KING: And they go off on a honeymoon.
KING: And does your friendship now continue as two couples?
RADZIWILL: Yes. Yes.
KING: And Anthony is getting sicker right?
RADZIWILL: He is. He is. And she really stepped in. I mean...
KING: Oh, she did with Anthony?
RADZIWILL: Oh, yes, yes. I think she saw that I was starting to struggle a little. It was like three years of operations and doctors and checkups and she started coming with me to the hospitals and the doctors' visits and she was amazing. She was (INAUDIBLE).
KING: Was John there all that time too?
RADZIWILL: He didn't -- she would come to the -- we used to come to Washington to the NIH to have the operations and she would come with me for the weekend or the three or four days that we were here. And, John would come and go but I think it was difficult for him to see Anthony in the hospital.
KING: Oh, by the way, at the wedding, he invited one of the maids right?
RADZIWILL: Oh, he did.
KING: One of his maids.
RADZIWILL: Well, yes, there was a house that was right near this chapel that they got married at and the owner of the house allowed us to change into our clothes but they didn't know who was getting married. It was all set up like someone is getting married and they're just going to come and change their clothes here to go to the chapel.
So, when John walked in, I thought the maid was going to faint. I mean she was so sweet and the owners of the house were there and, you know, when John invited her and she came and she sat in the back. It was really wonderful.
KING: Right back with more and we'll discuss as we have to discuss the tragedy. Carole Radziwill, the book "What Remains, a Memoir Fate, Friendship and Love." A week from Sunday it's number four on the New York Times best seller list. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Carole Radziwill. What a story. All right that terrible night. Did you know they were flying to Hyannis Port?
RADZIWILL: I did because, well we were staying at their house in Martha's Vineyard, Anthony and I, and she -- and Carolyn called...
KING: They were coming, going to come to you?
RADZIWILL: They were coming to -- they were coming to the vineyard to drop off Carolyn's sister Lauren and then they were flying to Hyannis for a wedding and then they were going to come back the next day.
KING: Were they going to stop at Martha's Vineyard?
KING: They were flying from Massachusetts, right?
RADZIWILL: They were fling, no, from New Jersey.
KING: New Jersey, that's right. Yeah.
RADZIWILL: Caldwell Airport is where he kept his plane.
KING: And then he was going to drop them off.
RADZIWILL: Drop Lauren off.
KING: In Martha's Vineyard's. Then go on to...
KING: Hyannis, then back to Martha's Vineyard.
RADZIWILL: And then go to the weeding the next day. They were going to -- we were all going to meet back.
KING: Whose wedding it was it?
RADZIWILL: It was John's cousin, Lori and Mark.
KING: So you were looking forward to their coming. RADZIWILL: Yes.
KING: Anthony was sick now.
RADZIWILL: He was very, very sick at this point.
KING: So he's in bed in the house. Did you have a place in Martha's Vineyard?
RADZIWILL: No, we stayed at John and Carolyn's house. We were at their house.
KING: Anthony's in bed. When were they supposed to arrive?
RADZIWILL: Well, she had called me when she got to the airport. And said they were leaving. Probably it was a little after 8:00 -- 8:00, 8:30.
KING: Probably an hour flight.
RADZIWILL: So it's an hour flight, 1:10 flight. But I really wasn't expecting to see them until the next day. So I -- you know, Anthony and I had dinner and watched a little TV, and then we went to bed around 10:00.
KING: Even though they were going to come to the house, you didn't wait up.
RADZIWILL: No, they were just going to stop and drop Lauren off.
KING: So you expected Lauren to be there in the morning.
RADZIWILL: And then, and then, yeah, we would see them the next day.
KING: How did you hear about it?
RADZIWILL: Well, -- that midnight, John's friend, Pinky, called from the Hyannis airport, he was at the airport, and he was waiting there for the plane, and he said -- he -- that they hadn't come in, and that he was wondering maybe they stayed in the Vineyard and was he there with me?
KING: So did you check the airport at the Vineyard?
RADZIWILL: I -- oh, yeah. I went into reporter mode. I mean, I really kind of detached myself, because I knew I had to make phone calls and to find out what had happened and where they were.
KING: So where did you call?
RADZIWILL: So the first place I called was Hyannis airport, and this overnight maintenance kid answered, and he said he would check to see if the plane was there. And he knew John's plane. And he came back, he called me back. And said it wasn't. And then that's when I really started... KING: You called the Vineyard?
RADZIWILL: I called the Vineyard airport. I called Caldwell. I called...
KING: What did the Vineyard airport say?
RADZIWILL: That there was no sign of him, but they were expecting him. At Caldwell airport, I called and asked -- I asked them to check to see if the plane was in a hangar. And the kid there went to look. And it wasn't there. I knew it wasn't going to be there. But you know, you are trying to piece together what happened.
KING: Are you now thinking the worst?
RADZIWILL: Yes. I'm thinking the worst, but I'm also trying to -- I'm very calm. And I'm really -- I mean, it's, you know, my training. And -- as a reporter really helped me, because I had to call flight services to find out if he had filed a flight man. I called Logan air traffic control. I called La Guardia air traffic control. I mean, I was just like...
KING: Anyone else been inquiring about him? I guess you were the only one at this point?
RADZIWILL: No, I was the only one. And Pinky was in Hyannis. I told him to go back to the house to wait. And so we were talking to each other. And he kept calling. No, he's not here yet.
KING: Does Anthony know this is going on?
RADZIWILL: Anthony is asleep.
RADZIWILL: He's asleep, so he doesn't know.
KING: How do you find out, find out?
RADZIWILL: Well, I didn't really find out. I mean, because I was the one telling people. So, about 2:00, we were trying to get -- Senator Kennedy was at the house for this wedding. We were trying to -- Pinky was trying to call and wake him up, because I thought he would know what to do. And -- but we couldn't get into the house. So by 2:00, I just knew I had to call the Coast Guard.
So I filed a report with the Coast Guard. And then someone told me -- I guess it was the Coast Guard, said I had to file a report with the Air Force also. So I called them. And once I did that, it sort of became everyone...
KING: Who made the official announcement that the plane was down?
RADZIWILL: Who made it?
KING: Because you were the first one to know it.
RADZIWILL: Well, I filed the official report to say that they were missing with the Coast Guard and the Air Force.
KING: So it was you?
KING: Because the first report was missing, right?
RADZIWILL: The first report was they were missing.
KING: Because they first report couldn't have been they went -- they were missing.
RADZIWILL: Oh, no. And then they launched a search and rescue. And then the news picked it up.
KING: How did it feel to be both emotionally involved with two people you loved? Did you know Lauren well, too?
RADZIWILL: I met her and I liked her very much.
KING: And you're also the reporter?
RADZIWILL: Yeah, I know, I know. It was difficult. It was difficult in the morning when -- to hear -- you know, I had ABC News on. When they broke in with a special report. That was really when it hit me. You know, it wasn't until I heard those words, you know, the Coast Guard has launched a search and rescue for John F. Kennedy's plane.
KING: Did you know that plane?
RADZIWILL: It was a new plane. I had flown with him in his older plane. And I don't think I'd flown in this new plane. But I'd fly with him often.
KING: He loved flying, right?
RADZIWILL: He did. He did.
KING: We'll be right back with Carole Radziwill. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had friends staying for the weekend and we were all sitting in the backyard waiting for John. And suddenly, a plane was right above us. He flew low, buzzing over the house before he landed. A fun thing. He broke up tension. He always knew to. A sort of childish but innocent thing to do: Flying over us, dipping the left wing. Just like him. We all looked toward the sky.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We're back. Did you tell Anthony?
RADZIWILL: Anthony came -- I was in the kitchen making all these calls, and Anthony walked out. It was right after I called the Coast Guard, so it must have been at 2:30. And he saw -- because I had these post-its with all the names and contact numbers and sort of arrows, you know, following this trail of leads and calls. And he just -- he saw that. And he knew -- he knew immediately what had happened.
KING: How did he take it?
RADZIWILL: You know, it was the only -- he sat at the kitchen table, and it was -- in all the time I knew him through dozens of operations and diagnoses and checkups, it was the only time I saw him cry. And when he started crying, that's when it really hit me.
KING: You cried?
RADZIWILL: We did. We couldn't -- it was a very difficult night.
KING: Did you go to the funeral?
RADZIWILL: Yes. We were on -- there was two -- there was the ceremony on the Navy ship and then there was the memorial service the next day.
KING: And then how soon after did Anthony die?
RADZIWILL: He died three weeks later, three days after his 40th birthday.
KING: How did you handle all this?
RADZIWILL: No, not well.
KING: Did he die at home?
RADZIWILL: No. We were at home in the morning and he woke up. And I knew something was terribly wrong. And so I called an ambulance. And we went to the hospital.
KING: In New York?
RADZIWILL: In New York, yes. And he died that day.
KING: Were you with him?
RADZIWILL: Yes, I was. I was with him. His mom was there. His sister. His cousin.
KING: Was it peaceful?
RADZIWILL: It was. It was. Much -- it was -- because he was struggling at that point. And it was -- it was so difficult for him. And after the accident, it just was...
KING: So how do you -- how did you emotionally post traumatic, all this, deal with it? What did you do?
RADZIWILL: I did all of the things that they tell you not to do. I sold our apartment almost immediately. I left my job at ABC News. I'd been there almost 15 years. And I've really struggled for a couple of years, coming to terms with what had happened. And it really wasn't until I think I started writing that I was beginning to...
KING: Writing this book.
KING: What are you doing now? Is this it? Are you going back to news?
RADZIWILL: I do miss journalism. And I don't think I will go back to TV, but several magazines have asked me it write for them. So I have a couple articles in the works.
KING: Are you out in the world again? Are you are dating?
RADZIWILL: Yes. I'm out in the world and dating.
KING: Is that tough to do?
RADZIWILL: No. I think dating is always tough. But, no. It's been -- it's been six years.
KING: Six years.
RADZIWILL: Six years it's been. Yes, I started writing the book four years after that summer.
KING: What was the final conclusion as to the reason John Kennedy crashed? You're the reporter now. Tell me.
RADZIWILL: It was pilot disorientation.
KING: The time of night?
RADZIWILL: Yes. He made a curious turn away from his destination, and that's when I think the investigators realized that he was disoriented. And I think that they thought he was trying to find something familiar.
KING: So the land in the sea became...
RADZIWILL: The land and sea became one and there was no....
KING: So he landed in the water?
RADZIWILL: Yes. They called it a graveyard spiral, I think, the plane. When you're in a plane, you can't see whether -- you can't tell whether you're tilting or whether you're straight -- you know, whether you're straight. And I think the only way you can tell that is by looking at the horizon. And I think that he couldn't see anything.
KING: But he wanted to fly.
RADZIWILL: He did. He loved to fly. He loved to fly.
KING: Did Carolyn?
RADZIWILL: She didn't -- we flew with him all the time. She wasn't afraid to fly with him. I know people may have said that. But, no, she wasn't.
KING: Did he want to fly jets?
RADZIWILL: I don't know. I don't know. I think he just loved the idea of being able to get in a plane and be alone I think was part of it and not having to go to the airport. They always got bothered at the airport. You kind of sitting at the gate. There was always some...
KING: His mother would have not liked it?
RADZIWILL: No. I don't think so. But he didn't start flying until after she was gone.
KING: We're back there a moment with Carole Radziwill. The book is "What Remains: A Memoir of Faith, Friendship and Love." Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Carole Radziwill. Chris (INAUDIBLE) was here recently. I believe he said there was a cast on John's foot?
RADZIWILL: No. John had broken his ankle earlier that summer. And he had been wearing a cast for six weeks. But no, the night that he was flying, there was no cast.
KING: Did anyone tell him not to fly?
RADZIWILL: Not that I was aware of, no.
KING: There's a story in the book about an event where John comes in to tuck and sings a song to Anthony. What was that?
RADZIWILL: That was -- Anthony was in ICU and he had a massive septic infection. And the doctors didn't think he was going to make it. And Carolyn and I were sitting there. And it was probably about midnight. And we had been there all day and all night watching Anthony kind of drift in and out of consciousness. And there was really nothing left for us to do.
And John -- this was a big moment. And John came to the hospital right after this event. And he -- we were hoping that somehow he could save us. And he did.
He went over to Anthony and started -- held his hand and he started humming this song. And neither of us knew what this song was. But Anthony recognized it.
And then they started singing this song, this childhood nursery rhyme that John's mom sang to them as little boys. And it was -- it was heart-breaking, but it was also beautiful. It really was. And I think of it now, and I really -- I can smile.
KING: What did you think John would have gone on to do?
Anthony would have stayed in news, right?
RADZIWILL: Yeah. He loved it. He was an HBO Documentaries doing documentaries. And he loved it. And he was brilliant at it. And I think John.
KING: Run for office?
RADZIWILL: I don't -- you know, I don't know. He didn't really talk about it. I think he loved what he did. I think he loved that magazine.
KING: Like his father, he loved journalism. His father would have gone on to be a publisher of something.
RADZIWILL: He did. I think that magazine is probably ahead of its time. I mean, you look now and see the politicians and celebrities and celebrities are talking politics. And politicians are...
KING: I love George.
RADZIWILL: Yes. I did too. I thought it was a brilliant idea.
KING: You saw John cry, too, right after seeing scars on Anthony.
RADZIWILL: It was very difficult for John to see Anthony so sick. It was.
KING: Now, there were many reports, as always happens, about troubles in that marriage. Both of them cheating. What do you know?
RADZIWILL: Well, you know...
KING: Have to deal with this. I hate this.
RADZIWILL: No, that's OK. You know, I think -- I'm never surprised by what people say. I think everything that can ever be said about people have been said about them. And I can only tell you what I know. And you know, they loved each other. And they were committed to each other.
And it was a difficult summer. And I'm not going to say that it wasn't. It was -- you know, John's business was struggling and Anthony was dying, and we were -- we were not -- any of us really -- in a good place. And there were reports that they were in marriage counseling, and that's true. You know, but I think what distorts everything in life is not understanding the difference between fact and truth, and the fact was they were in marriage counseling. The truth is they loved each other. And I have no doubt that they would have been OK.
KING: How well did you know Jackie?
RADZIWILL: I didn't know her that well. She -- I'd met her several times. And -- but we -- I didn't know her that well. I guess I met her a year before she passed away.
KING: You visited her when she was sick?
RADZIWILL: She would come to our apartment. And -- because Anthony was diagnosed at the same time. So they were both...
KING: Two cancer patients.
RADZIWILL: Yeah, they were. And they would go for long walks in the park. And sometimes I would go with them, and sometimes I would stay behind. They were very close, and they always had so much to talk about. And they were both, I think, reassuring to each other, and they spent a lot of time together that last winter.
KING: Did you go to her funeral?
RADZIWILL: I did, yes. I went to her funeral.
KING: It was very sad.
RADZIWILL: It was. It was. I remember leaving the church, and there is thousands of people lined up and down Park Avenue, all just very quiet and respectful. I thought it was really beautiful.
KING: How did John handle it?
RADZIWILL: He -- he handled it -- he handled it well. You know, he didn't talk about it that much. I think he was very close to his mom. And I think, you know, it was a difficult time for him.
KING: We'll be back in a minute with Carole Radziwill. I will ask her an unanswerable question after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It still exists, that togetherness in the Kennedys?
JOHN F. KENNEDY, JR.: Yeah.
KING: Doesn't go away, right?
KENNEDY: No. It is one of the great lucky things about being in my family, which I'm -- which...
KING: That gathering concept, right?
KING: It is familial, right?
KENNEDY: It is.
KING: It's a touching family, too? I mean...
KENNEDY: I think so.
KING: The boys get along. It's go for each other kind of family, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Carole Radziwill. The unanswerable question.
RADZIWILL: Yeah, I'm so curious.
KING: Why do you think there's so much tragedy around the Kennedys?
KING: Can't say it's like any other American family, because it ain't.
RADZIWILL: I don't know. I can't answer that. I think it's a very big family. And I don't know if you do the statistics on a family that big -- how tragedy strikes other families.
KING: Just God dealt them good and dealt them bad.
RADZIWILL: I think so. I think so. You know, I know them, and I'm very close with a lot of them still, and they're a wonderful, interesting family. Much more interesting, I'll tell you, than anything that's been written about them.
KING: More interesting than people think they're interesting?
RADZIWILL: Yeah. They're just -- they're interesting to me. And it has nothing to do with myths or glamour, because they're real. And real people are interesting to me. And they -- they, you know, they struggle like every family. They have great times and happy occasions, and they have sad times. And it's their realness to me that makes them interesting.
KING: Ted is the bulwark, isn't he? I mean, he's...
RADZIWILL: Yeah. The senator? KING: He's the founding father now, isn't he?
RADZIWILL: Uh-huh. I don't know...
KING: I mean, they turn to him.
RADZIWILL: Yeah. Yeah. I don't know him that well.
KING: You tried to reach him.
RADZIWILL: I did that night. Well, I did, because I just knew that he would know how to fix it. Yeah, I was very happy when finally they got -- that he called me that night and said, OK, you know, I'm taking over.
KING: What do you miss most about John and Carolyn?
RADZIWILL: You know, I miss -- you know, all I -- you know, I look back and I think about all the good times we had and all the laughter. And even though a lot of the time we spent with together were at hospitals, she had a way of making it fun and better for us. And I'm -- John has such a wonderful sense of humor. It seems -- it seems like for a long time, you know, in dealing with Anthony's illness, it was bleak. But we had a lot of good times, and we laughed a lot.
KING: How are you ever going to replace these people in your life?
RADZIWILL: Oh, I never will. No, I'll just -- you know, my life moved on. And I have a different set of friends, and they're fantastic and great. But no, I never -- I never will replace them.
KING: Why do you want to write magazines and not go back into television? The business that beats work.
RADZIWILL: You know, I like writing. I like the process of writing. I've liked the idea of being able to go to countries and with just my laptop computer and write a story.
KING: And you're good friends with Jamie Rubin and with Christiane Amanpour?
RADZIWILL: Yes, I am, very good friends, yes.
KING: They were friends with John.
RADZIWILL: Christiane and John went -- knew each other in college. And, yes, so I was very close with her, and then of course she married Jamie. They are fantastic.
KING: How is their little boy doing?
RADZIWILL: Oh, great. We just spent a couple of weeks together in France, and oh, he's just such a delight. Little English boy.
KING: You are, too.
RADZIWILL: Thank you.
KING: Thank you, Carole.
RADZIWILL: Thank you very much, Larry.
KING: Carole Radziwill. Quite a lady. Quite a book. "What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love." Next Sunday, a week from Sunday. Number four on "The New York Times" best seller's list.
Tomorrow night, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and the whole cast of "Roseanne." They're going to do -- they're going to come back together, and they'll be here on our program tomorrow night.
Here on our program right now, we turn the tape -- not, we don't turn the tables. We turn the network over to our good friends, Aaron Brown and Anderson Cooper and "NEWSNIGHT" -- guys.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com